I’d Expect Nothing Else from Rolling Stone
A short piece in Rolling Stone‘s most recent edition discusses the recent brouhaha in the Senate:
Gun-control advocates win their biggest congressional battle in years
Depends on your perspective, I guess, but stopping legislation has traditionally been the gun-rights advocate’s definition of “victory.” If the gun-control advocates consider it “victory” now, I guess we really have reversed the pendulum.
Bull’s eye shooter supply, a great barn of a building in Tacoma, Washington, sells everything from air rifles to the Bushmaster XM15 semiautomatic rifle, a kind of high-class M-16.
Upstairs, you can try a gun before you buy it at one of twelve indoor shooting lanes, where children under 12 yrs shoot free when accompanied by adult.
Horrors! Children! Guns! Child abuse!
I’m sure the evil Bull’s Eye forces 12 year-olds to pay if they come in alone.
For a building that contains enough firepower to overthrow Kim Jong Il, security is remarkably lax. “It’s pretty amazing,” says Richard Van Loan, a federal agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. “You have guns not tethered down, no security cameras, nobody checking the doors.” According to the ATF, at least 238 guns have “disappeared” from the store — and fifty-two have been used in crimes. The snipers who terrorized the nation’s capital in 2002, for instance, managed to obtain the Bushmaster they used to kill ten people from Bull’s Eye without bothering to pay for it.
And only after that did the ATF pull Brian Borgelt’s Federal Firearms License. Why was that? Why is the ATF not in some way responsible for ensuring that Bull’s Eye do proper record-keeping or risk loss of its license?
Relatives of nine of the victims sued Bull’s Eye and Bushmaster Firearms, claiming their negligence led to the killings. Last June, a judge agreed to let the lawsuit go forward, citing Bull’s Eye’s “allegedly reckless or incompetent conduct in distributing firearms.” But if the National Rifle Association and President Bush have their way, the case will never go before a jury. The NRA and the White House are pushing a bill that prohibits lawsuits against the makers and sellers of firearms that end up killing or maiming people. Supporters call it the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. Opponents call it the Bull’s Eye Protection Act.
And that is, as far as I can tell, a lie. The bill certainly protected Bushmaster, as even the author of this piece doesn’t seem willing to outright accuse Bushmaster of being negligent in this case (though, to be honest he’s more than happy to implicate them by association.) However, if, as Malvo admitted and the story states, the gun was stolen from the store, how is Bull’s Eye responsible? Because of its history of “losing” firearms? Then why is the ATF not also culpable?
The bill set off the biggest congressional gunfight in years. The House passed the measure by a wide margin, and the Senate seemed all but certain to follow suit. Then, on March 2nd, gun-control advocates managed to tack two amendments onto the bill that are anathema to the NRA: one extending the ban on assault weapons and another requiring background checks on customers at gun shows. “It’s the NRA’s dream bill — with some of its worst nightmares attached,” said Peter Hamm, communications director of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
He left off “the Sainted,” as in “the Sainted Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.”
But I guess that’s assumed, now.
Determined to block the amendments, the NRA e-mailed dozens of senators in the midst of the vote, urging them to reject its own bill. Some lawmakers read the messages on their pagers while they were considering the measure on the Senate floor. In one of the most unexpected turnarounds in memory, the Senate voted 90 to 8 to reject the bill.
“I’ve been around here eighteen years,” Sen. John McCain told reporters after the vote, “and I’ve never seen anything quite this bizarre.”
I wonder why he didn’t use Feinstein’s quote from the New York Times:
“I’m a bit numb,” said Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, the lead sponsor of the assault weapons ban, said after the final vote. Of the rifle association, she said: “They had the power to turn around at least 60 votes in the Senate. That’s amazing to me.”
But it was a gun control victory, right?
But the fight isn’t over yet. The Senate must still debate whether to renew the ban on assault weapons, set to expire in September. And Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho, a sponsor of the bill protecting the gun industry from lawsuits, vowed to push for another vote on the measure soon. “This issue,” he warned, “will not go away.”
Um, no, the Senate doesn’t have any need to debate renewal of the AWB. It can just let it sunset without further discussion, though I doubt the gun-grabbers will allow that.
Oh well, at least the article wasn’t a complete fabrication of lies.