Thursday, June 23, 2005

More on legal and illegal guns

The teeth-gnashing on local gun violence gets my sympathy, but it also feels like sending smoke signals into unoccupied lands -- it's clear that there's no traction for getting anything done on the state level, where things have to happen. Even Specter's circus on youth violence included dismissals by both US Senators of any notions of working toward gun regulation.

Anyway, the Daily News has a cluster of articles on the subject today:
  1. First, a long article pointing out the negligent ease with which legal gun dealers become the conduit for weapons that are being resold illegally.
    When asked if it's normal for one person to buy 10 handguns for protection purposes, Sauers said it was.

  2. A short piece says New Jersey groups are pushing for a regional focus on gun trafficking, since Philly guns are ending up in their communities.

  3. Another short piece points out the weakness of attempts to regulate gun sellers or police their actions.

  4. The final longer piece discusses a national GOP proposal that would shield gun dealers from civil suits (such as the landmark case won by a mother in the first story).
    "As former directors of ATF under six presidents, we are appalled that members of Congress would support special-interest legislation to protect dangerous gun dealers rather than laws that would protect the American people," Steve Higgins and Rex Davis wrote in a recent editorial published in the Baltimore Sun.

    "Congress should be strengthening our laws and increasing ATF's resources, not tying its hands."
    . . .
    Opponents of the bill say gun dealers could duck liability for making sales that are legal but reckless.
    The bill looks well on its way to passage, with supporters including PA senators Specter and Santorum.
Altogether, it's not a heartening picture.


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