In the aftermath of mass murders in Newtown, CT, Aurora, CO, and Clackamas County, OR, several sensible ideas have become topics of public discussion: banning the sale of assualt weapons, banning the sale and ownership of clips that hold more than five bullets, and banning sales of guns to purchasers who have not had a background check.

It's the last of these ideas that I'm writing about here. It's about what's commonly referred to as the "gun show loophole". Although background checks are required for retail sales of guns, they are not required at gun shows.

This obviously makes it easy for convicted felons and mentally ill people to purchase guns. However, another class of people that takes advantage of this are Mexico's narco-terrorists. They simply hire people to purchase assault weapons at these guns shows (usually in Texas and Arizona) for them, then transport them into Mexico.

According to a report issued by the US General Accounting Office in 2009, "While it is impossible to know how many firearms are illegally smuggled into Mexico in a given year, about 87 percent of firearms seized by Mexican authorities and traced in the last 5 years originated in the United States, according to data from Department of Justice’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). According to U.S. and Mexican government officials, these firearms have been increasingly more powerful and lethal in recent years. Many of these firearms come from gun shops and gun shows in Southwest border states."

Current TV aired an expose on this, the Vanguard documentary Arming the Mexican Cartels by Christof Putzel.

For the mostly peaceful people of Mexico, this is a tragedy. The number of deaths from the civil war that has been going on in Mexico over the past six years has been at least 57,500, and estimates run as high as 100,000. The parents, children, brothers, sisters, and friends of the people who have been killed are just as unhappy about it as the parents, brothers, sisters, and friends of the of the children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The high-paid employees and the Board of Directors of the National Rifle Association have blood on their hands. Put a stop to unlicensed gun sales in the US, and Mexicans will benefit, too.

Comments   

+1 #2 Bob Broughton 2012-12-23 07:36
Well, as you say, there is good reason to required a background check for every gun sale. I CAN see it happening soon.

The liability sharing idea won't work. It certainly wouldn't work if the crime was committed in Mexico. Even if that were not the case, liability could only be shared if it's possible to identify the seller.
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+1 #1 william 2012-12-23 06:21
Good morning,
Please permit me to correct a factual error. You wrote: "they are not required at gun shows." Licensed dealers are required to do a background check whether at their store or at a gun show. Unlicensed individuals are not required to do a check no matter where they sell a gun - gun show, home, supermarket parking lot. Unfortunately, a mistake like this only gives the hard-liners another reason to say that you don't know what you're talking about, thus your comments are to be rejected. There is good reason to require EVERY gun sale to require a background check, but I don't see it happening soon. I think there is also a strong argument for somebody who transfers a gun without a background check sharing liability with the shooter if the gun is subsequently used in a crime.
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