Ammunition Warnings: While everyone is talking gun laws to death – literally – the US Government is apparently turning a blind eye to staggering online sales of ammunition.
Don’t you find it odd that the police were able to report, in only a few hours, exactly how much ammunition the Colorado killer purchased over the Internet and through other sources? They have him down to the last bullet.
Declared the New York Times,
With his academic career in tatters, law enforcement officials say, [the accused] began to assemble another plan. Over the last two months, he bought two handguns, a shotgun and an assault rifle from local gun dealers. He bought and stockpiled 6,000 rounds of ammunition online. The police said he began to receive large deliveries to his home and work. He outfitted himself with black body armor and a gas mask.
Why didn’t red flags go off when the man who shall not be named purchased 6000 rounds of ammunition for his “legally purchased” assault rifle? If law enforcement knew about the sales immediately after the nightmare played out, why couldn’t they flag it in advance?
Why can’t the FBI, state governments and law enforcement do more both to control and flag ammunition sales – at the very least to warn local authorities about massive ammo purchases over the Internet, not to mention through legal gun dealers and through local expos.
With a few keystrokes, the suspect ordered 3,000 rounds of handgun ammunition, 3,000 rounds for an assault rifle and 350 shells for a 12-gauge shotgun — an amount of firepower that costs roughly $3,000 at the online sites — in the four months before the shooting, according to the police. It was pretty much as easy as ordering a book from Amazon.
He also bought…a high-capacity “drum magazine” large enough to hold 100 rounds and capable of firing 50 or 60 rounds per minute — a purchase that would have been restricted under proposed legislation that has been stalled in Washington for more than a year.
…sellers are not required in most cases to report sales to law enforcement officials, even unusually large purchases. And neither Colorado nor federal law required him to submit to a background check or register his growing purchases, gun policy experts said.
A few states like Illinois, Massachusetts and New Jersey, and cities like Los Angeles and Sacramento, have passed restrictions on ammunition sales, requiring permits for buyers or licenses for sellers, or insisting that dealers track their ammunition sales for law enforcement. But in Colorado, and across much of the United States, the markets for ammunition — online and in storefronts — are largely unregulated, gun-control advocates say. – NYT
Are we really unable or unwilling to send out an Ammo Alert in this day and age?
Notice how correspondents and commentators from CNN (Anderson Cooper is the lone courageous voice), Fox, CBS, ABC and nearly all print/online media declare “There is no hope for gun reform.” What gives the media the right to consign us to death by assault rifles? Bill O’Reilly says he “can live without the assault rifle ban, so long as there is better reporting.” How generous. Never forget the political cowardice of both Obama and Romney – who don’t have a thumbnail of courage, as compared to the 13 year-old girl who risked her own life to save the life of a six year-old. She failed – because a woman’s cold body was draped across the child – but they have failed us. Shame on them both for their silence. We deserve better.
To your security rights! – Dr. Joyce Starr
Here’s a July 24, 2012 update – in the form of an editorial by author Craig R. Whitney, specifically his point: “The N.R.A. has frightened lawmakers into giving it credibility it does not deserve.”
Gun owners and their advocates must, in turn, stop insisting that gun ownership is an absolute right. The Second Amendment is not a law unto itself. Before and after 1791, the right to keep and bear arms has been inseparable from civic responsibility: originally, the duty to answer a call to carry arms in defense of community or country, as part of militia service. Today — with 30,000 firearms deaths a year (half of them suicides) — the civic duty is to find ways for gun ownership and public safety to better coexist. Yet the N.R.A. continues to act as if gun owners have no responsibility to anyone but themselves and their families.
So far, liberals and centrists have done more to adopt a reasonable position. The president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence has lately begun to emphasize that it accepts the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Second Amendment (which also upheld “longstanding prohibitions” on gun ownership by felons and the mentally ill, and gun bans in schools and government buildings).
New York City’s mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg, co-chairman of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, has put forward a raft of proposals to tighten background checks, better regulate gun shows, trace and share information about guns used in crimes, and crack down on the importation of machine guns, military-style rifles and other especially dangerous weapons. But the mayor has no credibility with the N.R.A. and its supporters.
The N.R.A. has frightened lawmakers into giving it credibility it does not deserve. Even after President Obama tried to start a dialogue on gun violence last year, stating, “I believe that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms,” the N.R.A. flatly rebuked his overture and urged its members to vote against Mr. Obama so that he couldn’t try to deprive them of gun rights through Supreme Court appointments in a second term.