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Thread: Internet based gun dealer joins fight for right to be armed at colleges!

  1. #1
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    February 18, 2007

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    Owner of Web-based Firearms Company that Sold to Virginia Tech and NIU Shooters Looks to Turn Tragedy into Platform to Improve Public Safety[/b]



    TGSCOM Inc. President Eric Thompson says unfortunate twist of fate is spurring him to take a more active role in protecting the public –especially young people – from future attacks.[/i]

    Eric Thompson, the owner of the Internet-based sporting goods and firearms retailer that has sold products to the shooters involved with the Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University tragedies, says his unfortunate twist of fate is spurring him to take a more active role in protecting the public – especially young people – from future attacks.

    Cho Seung-Hui used TGSCOM Web site http://www.thegunsource.comto purchase a Walther P22 [/i]firearm used in the Virginia Tech shootings last April. Just last week, Steven Kazmierczak, who killed five people at Northern Illinois University on February 14th, received two 9mm Glock magazines and a holster he ordered from the TGSCOM Inc. Web site http://www.topglock.com.

    “I’ve spent the past weekend feeling absolutely terrible that my company has been linked to both of these heinous crimes,” said Eric Thompson, president of TGSCOM Inc. ]“I assume it is just an unfortunate coincidence, but I also believe I now have a special responsibility to do all I can to try and prevent further loss of life.”

    Thompson is lending his voice to those who support giving the public the right to protect themselves from mass murderers like Cho and Kazmierczak. ]Specifically, Thompson believes that college students and university faculty members who are properly licensed and trained to carry a firearm should be allowed to do so. Thompson also wants his home state of Wisconsin to join the 48 states who already allow private citizens to carry a firearm for protection.

    “There is simply no reason that a properly trained and licensed person should not be able to exercise their constitutional right to protect themselves and the people they love,” said Thompson. “It’s time for our political leaders to stop pretending that murderous madmen, like Cho and Kazmierczak, will obey a feel-good edict like the gun-free school zone laws. All four major presidential candidates are in Wisconsin today, and I’d love to hear some real solutions from them – not just rhetoric.”

    Thompson says that while he is pro-Second Amendment, he would like to see an open and honest discussion from both sides of the controversial gun control debate. ]To help facilitate that discussion, Thompson is planning to launch http://www.gundebate.com as a location where people can “have a dialogue on the best way to prevent future tragedy.” Thompson said the site should be ready later this week.

    “I hope and pray I will never again be in a position where I am asked questions about selling items used in a crime,” said Thompson. ]“The next news story I want to be involved in is how I sold a firearm to someone who helped prevent tragedy – not cause it.”

    Thompson and TGSCOM continue to cooperate with law enforcement looking into the Northern Illinois University shootings. ]All of TGSCOM’s Web sites include a link to the NIU Memorial Fund.

    Eric Thompson is the president and owner of http://www.topglock.com, http://www.thegunsource.com and over 100 other sporting goods and firearms related websites. His websites sell to police officers, government agencies and private citizens. He holds a federally granted firearms license and has aided in many police investigations to bring criminals to justice. ]TGSCOM Inc., which employs 20 people, is based in Green Bay, Wisconsin where Thompson, his wife and their three young children live.



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    I appreciate his sentiment, but....

    1) The schools will argue that they already allow those who are "properly trained and licensed" to carry. Unfortunately, the subjective criteria the schools use to establish "properly trained and licensed" conveniently only include security guards, and even some of them aren't "properly" trained and licensed. So, to push for that standard will really do nothing to improve the situation... it would be feel-good pro-gun legislation.

    2) I couldn't help but laugh at the irony of the conflict of interest here. A gun dealer promoting that more people be armed... I'm not criticizing, as an armed population is good regardless, but I got a chuckle.

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    imperialism2024 wrote:
    2) I couldn't help but laugh at the irony of the conflict of interest here. A gun dealer promoting that more people be armed
    Yeah, if his effort does manage to get some mainstream attention and discussion, I expect the antis to make hay with that. If you're not interested in honest debate you can get a lot of mileage out of conflict-of-interest innuendo.

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    I wouldn't call it a "conflict of interest" --- the interests are completely compatible with one another. Would somebody accuse a newspaper of "conflict of interest" if it published an editorial in favor of freedom of speech and press?

    Realistically, allowing firearms on campuses would probably not lead to a significant number of new gun sales. I doubt many people who currently own no firearms would be motivated to buy a gun simply because they are allowed on campus.
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    Shotgun wrote:
    I wouldn't call it a "conflict of interest"
    You're right. Conflict is the wrong word. The issue they'll point at is coincidence of interest -- gun dealer argues from a high moral position that the world is better if law-abiding citizens are armed and oh, by the way, I'll sell you some guns.

    I'm not saying he's not sincere, just that antis have a ready-made target.

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    Well it's a target for the antis insofar as they have a tendency to employ sophistry to try to convince people, particularly themselves, of the validity of their beliefs. But when analyzed it's really not much of an argument. Anybody who sells anything can be accused of saying "buy my product and you will be improved." So what? That's not much of an accusation.
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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    hlh wrote:
    He wants to start a "dialog"... There will never be "dialog" as long as one side doesn't accept the 2nd Amendment for what it is.
    I'm going to have to disagree with that. This is not an "us" vs "them". People on firearm forums tend to be strong 2nd Amendment supporters, especially on more self-defense focused forums. People visiting the Brady Bunch site tend to be anti-2nd Amendment and you are correct, are so virulent in their beliefs that only their suffering a violent criminal attack that could have been stopped by their use of a firearm is going to even begin to change most of them. Then we have the strictly "sportsman" shooters, many of whom unfortunately fall into the "when they came for me there was no one left to speak for me" category, who wrongly think that capitulating and even colluding on certain anti-2nd Amendment issues will lead to them being left alone. There are some of them we can reach through a dialogue.

    But in between all those people are people like my parents used to be, many of their friends, my fiancee's friends and millions of other Americans who aren't anti-2nd Amendment, aren't pro-2nd Amendment, but are so ignorant of the issues and the facts that they really can't formulate an intelligent position. Those people, who may never own, use or carry a firearm themselves, can be educated in a dialogue to understand the actual facts of gun ownership, gun use, 2nd Amendment rights and the importance of not restricting law abiding citizens who choose to do so from carrying a firearm. My fiancee's friends are not stupid people but they are big city/suburb dwellers. They are all professionals, most with at least bachelor's degrees or higher degree. All but one of them started out anti-CCW and most were wishy-washy on the 2nd Amendment overall. They had no idea the kinds of training and background checks a CCW holder goes through. They didn't understand the reasons someone would carry a firearm as it seemed like stupid, dangerous thing only fearful people would do to them. Having a dialogue with them has led to several of them now, while not necessarily being pro gun, at least not being anti-gun.

    I think such a dialogue, outside the scope or reach of a media vilified organization such as the NRA, could reach those millions of people in the middle. We don't need them to suddenly want to be gun owners or CCW holders, we just need them to understand that those of us who choose to do so are normal law-abiding people who, despite the media characterizations otherwise, really are the first line of defense against violent criminal acts. Proof that they are out there is borne out by the fact that only about 3-4% of people in shall issue CC states actual become licensed. That is not nearly enough people to vote yes to pass such a law or to pressure legislators to over turn governor's vetos on the issue. There is another 45-60% of the population who don't want to carry themselves but don't want to deny it to others. If we can increase that percentage to 75% or higher through a dialogue, we no longer have to worry about the gun-grabbers as they become the whiney mostly ignored minority they should already be.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    hlh wrote:
    Great response! And I understand what you're saying. I often have "dialog" with friends and relatives that has an impact, but having a "dialog" with strangers via the media is usually not constructive. Our news media makes it impossible to have constructive dialog when they love to create conflict.
    I'll meet you half way and agree that the MSM makes it very difficult to have constructive dialogue if such dialogue is not part of their agenda.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    Regular Member thnycav's Avatar
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    It would only be a conflict of interest if the owner of the gun shop had the decision making power at the university.

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