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Thread: 60 Minutes Piece on Gun Show Loophole

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
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    About as fair as we can get from 60 minutes.
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/...n4931769.shtml
    Video at link.

    Gun Sales: Will The "Loophole" Close?

    60 Minutes: Fear Of Tighter Gun Control May Be Contributing To Big Rise In Gun Sales

    (CBS) Just in the last four weeks, there have been at least eight separate deadly shooting sprees all across the country. Some of this can be linked to the recession since several of the gunmen had lost their jobs.

    The recession is having an effect in another surprising way: in past downturns, people stocked up on things like canned soups. But this time, it's guns.

    Even as the stock market has plummeted, shares in Smith & Wesson have nearly quadrupled since November, and sales of guns are going through the roof.


    When 60 Minutes and correspondent Lesley Stahl showed up at the weekend gun show in Richmond, Va., the line to get in went around the building.

    "How many guns will be sold at a show like this over a weekend like this?" Stahl asked Philip Van Cleave, the president of Virginia's largest gun-rights group.

    "Probably thousands," he estimated.

    Van Cleave took 60 Minutes on a tour inside a world that's part arms bazaar, part "Antiques Road Show." And while the memorabilia may not be to everyone's liking - when it came to firearms - there was a perfect gun for every taste.

    "They actually made guns in colors. Lot of women like pink guns," Van Cleave told Stahl. "The good thing about a pink gun is a man will never steal it from you."

    You could tell gun sales are up because all around the 60 Minutes team, dealers and customers at the show were busy filling out the paperwork needed for FBI background checks. Since November, the number of background checks nationally has jumped over 30 percent compared to last year.

    Asked if prices are going up, Van Cleave said, "Yeah, the prices have gone up. In fact a rifle like this, which is $700, probably a year ago would have been about half of that."

    One reason, he says, people are willing to dole out the cash during this financial meltdown - is the financial meltdown.

    "We're being told all the time that, 'Oh, boy. The economy could just collapse. And we could fall into chaos.' Well, chaos is a good reason to be able to protect yourself," Van Cleave said.

    "And this is what are in people's minds and driving them into these shows and gun stores?" Stahl asked.

    "It's a form of insurance policy," Van Cleave said. "You could imagine if we truly had a collapse of the economy and it was hard to find food, those that did manage to hang onto food might find themselves in a precarious position."

    But the bigger reason for this gun rush is best summed up by one gun show commercial: "Buy! Sell! Trade up and cash in! Celebrate the Second Amendment and get your guns while you still can!"

    "While you still can" is code for "Barack Obama wants to take your guns away and re-impose the ban on assault weapons."

    "President Obama, when he was a senator in Illinois, pushed for every gun ban he could," Van Cleave claimed.

    "I actually heard that ammo was going quickly because people are afraid he’s gonna increase taxes on ammunition," Stahl said.

    "That's another possibility," Van Cleave said. "Certainly, a gun wouldn't be any good without ammunition."

    People are stockpiling bullets. Three hours into the show, empty stock trays piled several feet high. Fear of Obama has actually created a national ammo shortage.

    Asked if the gun lobby is whipping up these fears, Van Cleave told Stahl, "I don't know. I don't think so. I think the elections took care of that themselves."

    The number of FBI background checks does not reflect all the gun sales, because of something called "the loophole." In Virginia and more than 30 other states, people who aren't gun dealers can sell firearms at gun shows without conducting background checks.

    Actually, these private sellers can peddle their guns anywhere: at shows, in their private homes, or out of their cars.

    Stahl met Gerald Massengill, the former police superintendent of Virginia, in the parking lot of the gun show. He showed her license plates from up and down the East Coast.

    He told Stahl that people come to shows like the one in Virginia because that's where guns are easier to buy.
    Virginia is a main source of guns that end up in crimes in several northern states where gun controls are stricter.

    "You probably can walk this parking lot and find people selling guns out of the trunk of their vehicles," Massengill told Stahl.

    And that's legal. "There are no restrictions in Virginia against private sales as far as background checks. And again, that amazes me that in this day and time we would not want to know, as sellers, whom we're selling to," he said.

    But imposing any restrictions on gun sales in Virginia is nearly impossible.

    Consider what happened when a bill was introduced to close just the gun show loophole following the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre.

    With overwhelming public support, it was sure to pass, given the outrage over the worst shooting in modern U.S. history. Thirty-two students and teachers were shot and killed by a mentally disturbed student, Seung-Hui Cho.

    Lily Habtu, who was shot in the jaw and survived, says the loophole must be closed. "Convicted felons can walk into a gun show. The mentally ill can go into a gun show and purchase whatever they want," she told Stahl. "Without a background check."

    "Why not make it uniform and have everybody go through the background check?" Stahl asked Philip Van Cleave.

    "Well, how about making it uniform and have nobody go through the background check?" he replied. The Second Amendment doesn't say, 'You can get a gun if you go through a background check.'"

    Lily Habtu and several of the Virginia Tech family members lobbied to close the gun show loophole. They created Facebook groups and YouTube clips to rally for their cause.

    Omar Samaha, whose 18-year-old sister Reema was killed that day, testified before Virginia lawmakers that he went to the Richmond gun show one day, and bought a dozen weapons in an hour, including an assault rifle and something else: "A Glock that was stronger than the one used to kill my sister."

    He said he never had to show any identification.

    And asked if he was asked for identification, Samaha said, "I was asked but I refused."

    "So what happened?" Stahl asked.

    "They either sold me the gun still or they said, 'Pay me 15 more dollars and I'll go without looking at your ID," he replied.

    "Here's one of the big arguments: Cho didn't get the guns from a gun show, and he did show his ID. There was a background check on him," Stahl pointed out.

    "But the next Cho will go to a gun show because it's that simple. It's just like buying a candy bar. It really is," Samaha said.

    But if one side thinks the lesson of the Virginia Tech massacre is that we need more gun control, the other side - the gun lobby - says it proves we need less.

    Philip Van Cleave says the ban on guns on college campuses should be lifted. "If just one student 21 or older had a permit and had been armed that day - I mean the first time a police officer showed up, they didn't even fire a shot. He saw the police coming, he killed himself. It was over. The first time somebody would've been able to show him resistance, it would've stopped him. I'm convinced he would've killed himself and probably saved a whole bunch of lives at that point."

    "Arming all those young people…" Stahl said.

    "Wonder who's fighting in Iraq for us right now," Van Cleave replied.

    "But you know, you could have a lot of them be like Cho," Stahl said.

    "If they do, there will be plenty of other 21, 22, 23 and older people there to make sure that he doesn't get very far," Van Cleave argued.
    When the Virginia Senate voted in February on closing the gun show loophole, it was a real stunner: the bill lost by two votes. The gun rights forces prevailed.

    "You had so much going for you. You had the emotion. You had parents. You had survivors speaking out," Stahl said to Virginia Tech survivor Lily Habtu. "Police chiefs. You had the governor of the state, and it still went down. Why?"

    "I would have to say that the gun lobby must have a strong base in Virginia," Habtu replied.

    And so she and Omar Samaha are looking to Washington now that the Democrats are in control and with so many fresh examples of gun violence: from the Mexican drug cartels along the United States' southern border to a string of deadly domestic shootings where assault weapons were used.

    One of them happened in Alabama on March 10, when a gunman crossed the state killing 10.

    On March 21 in Oakland, Calif., a man killed four police officers; two with an assault weapon.

    And in Pittsburgh on April 4, three policemen were gunned down. The suspect's friends say that he had lost his job and was afraid President Obama was about to re-instate the assault weapons ban that had passed under President Clinton, but was allowed to expire under President Bush.

    AKs [rifles] and other firearms, once forbidden under the ban, now fill entire tables at gun shows; you can buy them from private sellers without a background check.

    "These assault weapons are essentially designed and made to kill numbers of people in close combat," Senator Dianne Feinstein of California told Stahl.

    Sen. Feinstein was the author and champion of the assault weapons ban in 1994. "They become the guns of choice of drug cartels, of gangs, of people who are mentally incompetent. Our police on the streets are essentially outgunned. Lesley, Friday I was at a funeral in Oakland, California. Four police officers slain."

    Feinstein wants to reinstate the assault weapons ban. But what are her chances?

    This is what the number-two Democrat in the Senate, Dick Durbin of Illinois, said on the Senate floor: "We don't debate guns around here much anymore. We used to. Basically, we reached a point where there just aren't many people who will stick their political necks out to vote for sensible gun control - just too big a hassle."

    A "hassle," because of what happened in 1994. After the assault weapons ban was passed, the Republicans won both houses of Congress and the National Rifle Association got a lot of the credit.
    But now the Democrats are back in control, and Van Cleave thinks there's been a big political shift towards guns.

    "Towards Democrats," Stahl remarked.

    "Democrats aren't all anti-gun," Van Cleave explained. "We saw some Republicans get kicked out of the Senate and replaced with some much better Democrats."

    "'Much better,' meaning?" Stahl asked.

    "For guns!" he replied.

    Van Cleave is right. Sixty-five Democrats in the House, who are "for guns," signed a letter opposing bringing back the ban.

    "You have lots and lots of Democrats who got support from the NRA this time, and so they agree with the NRA. They'll vote with the NRA," Stahl told Feinstein.

    "I'm not going to disagree with that at all," the senator replied.

    She admits she's facing daunting opposition. "The National Rifle Association essentially has a stranglehold on the Congress."

    Asked if anybody from the Democratic Senate leadership or from the administration has asked her to back off, Feinstein said, "No. Nobody said a word to me."

    And what about President Obama, who NRA supporters like to call the great "gun grabber"?

    His Web site says he wants to make "the expired federal assault weapons ban permanent," but the White House doesn't seem to be interested in bringing it up - any time soon.

    "There's some sense that the president has so many crisis issues on his plate right now that the idea of bringing up guns - which is considered part of the Culture Wars - would be such a diversion," Stahl told Feinstein.

    "I agree with you. I wouldn't bring it up now," she replied.

    Feinstein said she's going to hold off, for now, but vowed she would eventually push the issue. "I'll pick the time and the place, no question about that," she told Stahl.

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    Had a Fienstien staffer in the cab a couple months ago and I spent the entire ride talking about firearms. Told her about the pic of her boss holding an AK at a press conference WITH HER FINGER INSIDE THE TRIGGERGUARD and said quite frankly that I thought Feinstien was a dumbass of the first water.

    Talked about the purposes of different types of firearms and why a shotgun is (in MHO) a better weapon for home defense than a pistol and that if DC were forced to honor Virginia CHPs DC would be safer. Iced the cake with the adage "when seconds count, the police are only minutes away.

    Well, I might have made some kinda headway, I don't know. She was absolutely approving of the fact that I like the internal trigger lock on my S&W .44 Mag. But I think maybe I got one of these antis to think, at least until she got to her office in the Hart Senate Office Building and got re-brainwashed. Hey. Ya do what ya can.....

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    What about the "hardware store" loophole?

    Do you realize that anyone can walk into a hardware or home improvement store and walk right out with a CHAINSAW! I know everyone has seen in movies and video games how dangerous these devices are, and yet people can buy one with no background check or certification whatsoever!

    I say we need to close the hardware store loophole before anymore innocent sheep are maimed by these heinous machines. And while we're at it, all chainsaws should be limited to no more than 1 ounce of fuel and equipped with mandatory throttle locks to prevent access by small children.



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    And don't forget the fertilizer and kerosene loophole. We need to close that one as well as the Egg McMuffin one while we're at it. I also heard there was a car loophole but I'm not sure about that one.

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    Regular Member Alexcabbie's Avatar
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    Well this truly in a full-court press on Virginia, I am sure lots of you saw the press conference called in Richmond featuring Bloomberg, (who evidently thinks he is now the Reich Protector of Virginia ) and of course all the tearful survivors and families of the Virginia Tech Massacre where -- why is it necessary to point this out -- THE KILLER PURCHASED HIS WEAPONRY TOTALLY LEGALLY but never mind, in the Anti world emotion trumps reason every time. Gruppenfueher Bloomberg also spoke about a NYPD officer who was killed with a gun "illegally purchased in Virginia". Once again, not at a gun show but who cares?

    The Commonwealth went to Obama last year of course; and my suspicion is the emboldened DemonRatz tested the waters with the smoking ban. Once they realized how quickly they could make Republicans fold, they launched this attack.

    And they have tipped their hand. This proposed legislation is being pushed using the blood and tears of the victims and their families as lube to grease the skids. But as I said the killer got the guns kosher. The only thing that might have stopped Va Tech (in their eyes) is a TOTAL BAN ON FIREARMS A LA GREAT BRITAIN.

    What a pity since all of US know that one armed student or professor (even a janitor!) could have stopped that madman in his tracks. This has been a three-part assault. First the ABC special to show that arms on campus woulld not be effective, then "20/20", and now this rally with the Mayor of New York come to Virginia to ddictate our politics to us.

    Well, hell. I guess after they've passed a law requiring us to all get our canines filed flat and eat tofu with vitamin suppliments, at least the ssoybean farmers will be rich enough to buy firearms on the black market, and we'll have a rebellion when they get sick of the Tofu Tax. Whatever. I usually try to end with a little humor but after what Ive seen over the last three nights I don't have much humor left.

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    longwatch wrote:
    About as fair as we can get from 60 minutes.
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/...n4931769.shtml
    Video at link.

    . . . .

    But imposing any restrictions on gun sales in Virginia is nearly impossible.

    Consider what happened when a bill was introduced to close just the gun show loophole following the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre.

    With overwhelming public support, it was sure to pass, given the outrage over the worst shooting in modern U.S. history. Thirty-two students and teachers were shot and killed by a mentally disturbed student, Seung-Hui Cho.

    . . . .

    When the Virginia Senate voted in February on closing the gun show loophole, it was a real stunner: the bill lost by two votes. The gun rights forces prevailed.

    "You had so much going for you. You had the emotion. You had parents. You had survivors speaking out," Stahl said to Virginia Tech survivor Lily Habtu. "Police chiefs. You had the governor of the state, and it still went down. Why?"

    "I would have to say that the gun lobby must have a strong base in Virginia," Habtu replied.

    And so she and Omar Samaha are looking to Washington now that the Democrats are in control and with so many fresh examples of gun violence: from the Mexican drug cartels along the United States' southern border to a string of deadly domestic shootings where assault weapons were used.

    . . . .

    Feinstein wants to reinstate the assault weapons ban. But what are her chances?

    This is what the number-two Democrat in the Senate, Dick Durbin of Illinois, said on the Senate floor: "We don't debate guns around here much anymore. We used to. Basically, we reached a point where there just aren't many people who will stick their political necks out to vote for sensible gun control - just too big a hassle."

    A "hassle," because of what happened in 1994. After the assault weapons ban was passed, the Republicans won both houses of Congress and the National Rifle Association got a lot of the credit.
    But now the Democrats are back in control, and Van Cleave thinks there's been a big political shift towards guns.

    "Towards Democrats," Stahl remarked.

    "Democrats aren't all anti-gun," Van Cleave explained. "We saw some Republicans get kicked out of the Senate and replaced with some much better Democrats."

    "'Much better,' meaning?" Stahl asked.

    "For guns!" he replied.

    Van Cleave is right. Sixty-five Democrats in the House, who are "for guns," signed a letter opposing bringing back the ban.

    "You have lots and lots of Democrats who got support from the NRA this time, and so they agree with the NRA. They'll vote with the NRA," Stahl told Feinstein.

    "I'm not going to disagree with that at all," the senator replied.

    . . . .

    "I agree with you. I wouldn't bring it up now," she replied.

    Feinstein said she's going to hold off, for now, but vowed she would eventually push the issue. "I'll pick the time and the place, no question about that," she told Stahl.
    Three cheers for the "DemocRATZ!"



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    Daddyo wrote:
    What about the "hardware store" loophole?

    Do you realize that anyone can walk into a hardware or home improvement store and walk right out with a CHAINSAW! I know everyone has seen in movies and video games how dangerous these devices are, and yet people can buy one with no background check or certification whatsoever!

    I say we need to close the hardware store loophole before anymore innocent sheep are maimed by these heinous machines. And while we're at it, all chainsaws should be limited to no more than 1 ounce of fuel and equipped with mandatory throttle locks to prevent access by small children.

    And the ball-peen hammer!!!

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    Regular Member Alexcabbie's Avatar
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    Brother Donk,

    Diane Fienstein is a "DemonRat". Zell Miller is arespectable Democrat. You I haven't quite figured out. On to other business.

    Remember a few threads ago where I spoke of the Federal Government classifying Ron Paul supporters et al as "radicals"?? Well, I was right. A Homeland Security bulletin just was disseminated to all Law Enforcement agencies telling them to watch people who displayed gun-rights, pro-life or Ron Paul bumperstickers or who belong to gun rights organizations (like this one) as these people (US) could be possible "right-wing radicals" and militia nuts. First the triple attack in Virginia, now this, and all of it a huge pack of filthy lies and distortions.

    Oh yeah. And Tammy Bruce. Armed, Lesbian, and a Democrat who is decidedly no DemonRat. Your party could use about 25 million more of her, Donk.

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