Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Why Gun Laws Need To Be Harsher

People named on the government's terrorism watch list have successfully purchased firearms hundreds of times since 2004, government investigators reported yesterday. In one case, a known or suspected terrorist was able to obtain an explosives license, the Government Accountability Office reported.

U.S. lawmakers requested the audit to show how people on the watch list can be stopped from boarding airplanes but not from buying guns. Under federal law, licensed firearms dealers must request an FBI background check for each buyer but cannot legally stop a purchase solely because someone is on the watch list. The study found that people on the list purchased firearms 865 times in 963 attempts over a five-year period ending in February.

Now, the general portrait of a gun dealer is someone who is a very narrow patriot: guns are necessary in order to keep the tyranny of government at bay, but they would never be used unnecessarily.
Apparently, not even that much. Suddenly patriotism and homeland and personal security fall by the wayside when profit becomes the overriding concern.
Interesting how greed can trump enlightened self-interest, the very basis of capitalism, isn't it? Here we have numerous instances of a gun dealer selling guns or explosives to a bunch of people whom the government, the BUSH administration in most instances, deemed a threat to the security of the nation.
So it's not like we have a bunch of "militiamen" (domestic terrorists with an acceptably cretinic agenda) purchasing guns to keep BATF agents at bay. These are folks the FBI won't let get on an airplane.
These dealers are selling weapons to presumed terrorists with no place to go...meaning the odds jump that the same gun dealers may be dealing with the aftermath of their greed right in their own home towns.
Worse, I can almost imagine that some greedy bastard went one step further, and told his other customers that "them terrists is loadin' up on guns, so kin Ah sells ya this here semi-auto unner th table?" I certainly hope I'm wrong, but my guess with respect to the inherent greed of humanity is I'm right. We'd sell our countrymen out for a bowl of soup, and now, I'm betting, we'd sell our neighbors out, too.
You can blame the loophole in the law, and the temptation to do so is pretty strong. After all, if you can't legally stop someone from buying a gun, then you're just following orders, right? But let's face facts: it's very easy to just say no.
And they cannot. It is apparent that not only should this loophole be shut tight, but that gun dealers should face increasingly stronger punishment for lapses in judgement. A gun is intended to harm. Period. In many instances, I have no problem with that, but we ought to limit the sale of weapons to only those instances as much as possible and since we've given loopholes of all sizes to gun dealers to slip through, then it's only fair that when they do screw up, it ought to cost them a lot more than just a few bucks.