Monday, April 21, 2003

I can say with absolute certainty that Wayne LaPierre and Charlton Heston are more of a danger to me than Saddam Hussein ever was. Even if Saddam had the desire to hurt me or the people around me, he seems never to have had the means to deliver death to my door. By contrast, murderers have what deserves to be called a terror network -- gun shops that are the source for a disproportionate percentage of crime guns, quite possibly because the owners don't really care who obtains their guns, even to the extent they're legally required to. And the gun lobby is determined to make sure that criminals can obtain crime guns from these dealers forever.

I know -- we've all gotten used to the gun lobby getting whatever the hell it wants, and to the self-righteous monomania of gun lovers, so it's hard to get angry. Well, sorry -- I got a little angry today reading in The New York Times today about the widow of a D.C. sniper victim who is suing Bull's Eye Shooter Supply in Tacoma, Washington, the source of the rifle used in the D.C. murders, and Bushmaster, the manufacturer. She's upset because the kind of suit she's filing may well be made illegal by the NRA's bootlickers in Congress. The damn Republicans refused to let her testify at a hearing on the bill.

As I mentioned last December, the owner of Bull's Eye has given two contradictory stories about how the gun used in the D.C. shootings got into the hands of John Muhammad and Lee Malvo. Neither was eligible to buy it from Bull's Eye legally; conversely, if it was stolen from Bull's Eye, the store had a legal obligation to report the theft. But Bull's Eye flouts the law repeatedly, and has done so for years. The feds know it, but punishment has been limited to wrist-slaps. And Bushmaster sold guns to Bull's Eye nonetheless.

At this point, I'd settle for no new gun laws, as long as there was a real effort to crack down bad dealers who make no effort to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. Who could object to that? Every member of the NRA, apparently.

If this is not evil, then evil has no meaning.

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