Toying with our Lives: Slaying at Sandy Hook #NaBloPoMo

Slaying at Sandy Hook Online Game

Have you heard about this? It’s an online video game that reenacts the Sandy Hook (Newtown) massacre.

The Slaying of Sandy Hook Elementary

Read the report here: Sandy Hook-inspired game sparks outrage – CT Politics.

According to the report,

The game opens by directing users to grab a Glock handgun and shoot their mother while she is sleeping, just as Lanza did. The game closes with an alert that police have arrived, with the shooter turning a gun on himself.

And it ends with a body count of how many children were killed.

Please sign the petition to ask the game’s creator to take it down. 

Do you feel as sick as I do?

I mean, WHAT THE FUCK????

Reportedly created by Ryan Jake Lambourn, an American ex-pat living in Australia, the game includes links to gun violence prevention websites and urges people to contact their legislators. This is bizarre and confusing.

The mother of slain teacher, Vicki Soto, Donna Soto, told the media:

“It’s absolutely disgusting that somebody thinks this is funny. All the families are suffering. We’re coming up on December. My daughter’s birthday just passed. It just adds insult to the suffering that we’re dealing with.”

I cannot imagine the pain these families go through on a daily basis and to have their tragedy minimized and made into an amateur online game is, at best, bizarre and confusing, and at worst, malicious and sociopathic.

Please sign the petition to ask the game’s creator to take it down. 

This is a screen-shot from the game:

Screen shot from Slaying at Sandy Hook online video game
I’m not getting why anybody thinks this is a good idea

I don’t understand this.

It’s bad enough that there are so many “live-shooter” games on the market. And yes, I realize most people who play those games don’t turn around and shoot up a bunch of school-kids or mall-shoppers or co-workers.

But the games and movies numb us to gun violence and normalize it. Repetition is one of the tenets of advertising, and it works.

The latest brain research shows that violent games activate the anger center of the teenage brain while dampening the brain’s conscience. (studies cited here)

We have the highest per-capita gun ownership in the world, almost 1 gun for every American, which is about 50 percent more guns than the next highest country: Serbia.

Serbia. You know, the country where there were all those war crimes and genocide?

I repeat: WHAT THE FUCK?

It doesn’t have to be this way. It  is NOT normal.

We are killing ourselves. We are allowing 8 children and teens to get killed every fucking day in this country. Every day.

A lot of those deaths are suicides. Suicides that wouldn’t happen, or would’ve been survived, if the kid didn’t have access to a gun. Harvard says so.

A lot of those deaths are kids who unintentionally shoot themselves or each other. Kids like two-year old Carolyn Starks, shot by her four-year old brother. With his own gun.

His own gun.

Sandy Hook-inspired game sparks outrage - CT Politics
Source: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/caroline-starks-pictured-brother-5-1865972

A lot of those deaths are impoverished, shut-out, disenfranchised kids who are shut out of the economy, abandoned and left to shoot each other on the streets of our cities. Black kids. 55% of gun deaths are among African Americans, only 13% of the population. These aren’t just “bad actors.” There is a whole industry fueling this. There is a whole industry putting guns on the streets and into children’s hands to turn a profit. Let’s face it, people. This is a race issue. There is genocide going on here. More than half of gun homicide victims are black. And when we bring this up as an issue, anti-gun safety activists say, well, those are gangs. As if these deaths don’t matter. As if the bystanders shot in the crossfire don’t matter.

Well, you know what? These are people’s children. They are loved. And these deaths wouldn’t be happening if a callous industry, protected by a callous lobby, wasn’t blocking all the laws that would make it hard to sell guns to children and people who can’t pass background checks. And when black children are killed by gun-toting vigilantes because they are wearing hoodies or playing music in their car or knocking on your door for help in the middle of the night, we have a white-people problem.

I hope you’ve heard about Renisha McBride, shot in the face when knocking on a door to seek help after crashing her car. Would he have shot her in the face if she was white? I doubt it.

Renisha McBride

We could stanch the bloodshed.

The lack of universal background checks makes it easier to sell guns to anyone and anybody. Criminals. Domestic Abusers. People declared mentally ill by the courts. Teenagers.

Even though most NRA members actually support background checks, their leadership–heavily funded by gun manufacturers–doesn’t. They don’t want to put a damper on sales. No matter how many lives it costs. Reminds me a whole lot of the tobacco industry. And the marketing… the marketing is full of false patriotism, fear-mongering, and racism:

NRA ad campaign

NRA ad campaign

NRA ad campaign Obama

Did you know racist people tend to own guns?

And that racist people oppose gun regulations? Big surprise, right? There was a study showing this; here’s the abstract. All that talk about defending their homes. Against whom? They’re afraid of the other–racial and ethnic minorities. And the gun marketers make sure they stay afraid, breeding fear and fanning the flames of racism. And I posit this is why we have Stand Your Ground laws–the modern-day lynching, IMHO that allow travesties like Trayvon Martin’s death.

Did you know most mass shootings are perpetrated by angry white men?

But enough with all the statistics.

Our hearts know what to do.

Call your legislator, dammit. Tell them you want background checks. Tell them you want to protect kids from gun deaths. Tell them to buck up. Tell them you vote.

Then hug your loved ones.

Posted by

Part of the solution since 1973.

39 thoughts on “Toying with our Lives: Slaying at Sandy Hook #NaBloPoMo

  1. Kylie

    “What are your thoughts on gun safety in households with children?”

    What I said earlier. Lot’s of gun safety training in our schools. What the heck, give a person with children in the house a tax deduction for buying a gun safe and using it. We give all sorts of tax deductions for buying energy efficient air conditioners, or whatever, so why not gun safes (or safety training for adults who didn’t get it as children)?

    But safety and familiarity training above all else. Do it in the schools and start early (think of the NRA “Eddie Eagle” program that is aimed to teach kindergarten age kids if they see a gun, leave the room and go tell an adult).

    Unfortunately though you can’t teach innate individual responsibility, at least not as far as I know. You can encourage it by making responsibility a large message in how you socialize people (as opposed to socializing them to believe in rights and benefits), but ultimately responsibility comes down to the indvidual. If you look at society today do you think we a send a strong message of personal responsibility to our children (vs. “rights” and “benefits”?)? I suspect that might be part of the problem.

    Bottom line is there will always be people who are innately irresponsible and all the training and lecturing to them won’t accomplish much, and I don’t know any good way to identify them beforehand. We can improve the situation. We can’t make tragedy impossible.

    regards,

    lwk

  2. Kylie wrote:

    Re universal background checks using driver’s licenses or state issued ids:

    “I wonder how that would work if somebody does something that changes their eligibility.”

    I don’t see a technical problem with courts/law enforcement marking/defacing the id/driver’s license to invalidate the code allowing firearms purchase, perhaps making it a temporary id that has to now be renewed without the code. It is purely a technical issue of how to implement.

    “The private sales loophole is an important source of guns for people who could not buy them from a federally licensed dealer.”

    So let’s divide the people who do this into two categories. Those who for whatever reason can’t pass NICS but aren’t basically criminals or have any criminal intentions. Maybe as a teenager 20 years ago a guy got a felony conviction but has been law abiding ever since. I don’t see that as a huge problem in the sense of being a threat to society (and personally I think there ought to be a process to “rehabilitate” a person’s right to vote or possess a firearm after some period of good behavior).

    The other category are criminals and people who simply have no respect for the law and intend to do whatever they please if they can get away with it. These people will get guns whatever law you have. We have had a War on Drugs going on for how long and the end results are as far as I can see:

    1. Higher availability of drugs than ever before and thriving criminal enterprises that supply them.

    2. Our 4th Amendment rights are largely a joke anymore. Think of “no knock” raids and asset seizures without due process of law.

    3. An hugley militarized police force (think of pictures from Boston recently with hordes of police all in black, with assault rifles, and military vehicles).

    I don’t think you are going to have much success in keeping guns out of the hands of people we really ought to be afraid of (but you can put them in jail when you catch them – see my later comments on that).

    My proposal for universal background checks will help some. It will make it easier for a private citizen – if they are honest – to not sell to people they probably shouldn’t. As I said before, “sting” operations that are highly publicized could encourage people who are “borderline” law abiding to stick with the law. All that will help.

    But the really bad guys, the career criminals will still get guns I think. Dry up one source some and they will find another. Again, the Drug War should in principle show how difficult it is. I have read that since mostly banning handguns in the U.K., and most other guns, that their gun crime rate in the U.K. has doubled in the last decade or so.

    As to real solutions I have some suggestions. First off we should realize that we have lost the War on Drugs. America finally came to its senses back in 1933 and repealed Prohibition. We had always had some organized crime, but it flourished selling illegal alcohol during Prohibition and we see exactly the same thing happening today with drugs.

    America has a huge number of non-violent offenders in our jails. More than just about any country today. I think a lot of those, especially non-violent drug offenders, could be dealt with in other (and less expensive) ways. Empty the jails of a lot of these people and open up space for truly violent offenders and people who commit crimes with guns.

    Without the financial incentives of drugs and putting violent offenders in jail I think a lot of our crime problem would go away. If we could have politicians who actually knew how to get out of the way and let the country’s economy grow through the private sector maybe people would have the opportunity to work for their living.

    As specifically to firearms, I think we ought to put guns back in our schools (we had marksmanship teams in schools back in the 1960s). We ought to have serious gun _safety_ training in our schools from kindergargen through high school. If we are going to have guns in society then it is highly irresponsible not to teach kids something about them, especially how to be safe around them. Not doing so is the same kind of irresponsibility as not teaching kids the consequences of casual sex. 🙂

    Of course I think we ought to be doing research on other issues, like what sort of social problems cause violence, what are the real effects of psychoactive drugs, and a serious effort to deal with mental illness.

    Those are my ideas.

    regards,

    lwk

    1. This is a lot to digest! I will mull it over before responding in depth. Briefly, though, as the mother of a 3-year old boy who loves to ‘play weapons’ I am constantly putting him in time-out and telling him not to hurt people. He hits us, he throws things at us, and he turns everything into a sword or gun. Spatulas. The L-shaped magnet. Toy food. Legos. If he got his hands on a real, loaded gun, he could easily kill somebody. Teaching kids responsibility takes time and persistence and consistency. It also takes enough time for them to develop the abstract thought required to understand consequences of their actions. Teaching is not enough. Child safety locks,locked gun cabinets, storing ammunition separately from guns, guns that have identity-detection technology so they won’t operate for non-owners, letting other parents know whether there are guns in the home when you have play dates are critical.
      Just like seatbelt and helmet laws, regulations are needed to get everybody making these life saving changes.

      Two of my siblings concealed-carry and I have asked them to take care to make sure my kids can’t get their hands on them. My husband was almost killed by his brother when they were kids when his brother pointed their dad’s gun at him. It went off just as he lowered it to the ground and blasted a big hole in the floor. This was a hunting family that took gun safety seriously. My dad was a Marine and hunter and taught me to shoot a rifle when I was 8 or 9. He was later shot to death during a military drill. A close friend of mine shot himself in the head with his parents’ gun senior year of high school. In my state gun deaths outnumber vehicle ‘accidents.’ That’s unacceptable.

      1. “In my state gun deaths outnumber vehicle ‘accidents.’”

        I don’t know if your state differs significantly from the national average, but for the U.S. as a whole approximately two thirds of all deaths with a firearm every year are from suicide.

        Now some will say that suicide is impulsive and if guns were not available those people would be much less likely to kill themselves. Now this may sound plausible and if people only speak in an “echo chamber” to other folks with similar beliefs and prejudices the supposition becomes established fact in their minds.

        It certainly sounded plausible to me when I first heard it, especially when the view was espoused by people with big letters behind their name, letters like “Ph.D”.

        The U.K. is probably as close as any country in being similar to the U.S. There are long term historical and cultural ties and a common language and a common law system based on the same traditions.

        The U.K., as you probably are well aware, enacted very severe restrictions on firearms ownership. According to Wikipedia in the U.S. we own 89.0 guns per 100 people. In England and Wales that number is 6.2, a huge difference.

        So if the idea that people would be prevented in many cases from committing suicide if a gun was not present can be easily tested by comparing total suicide rates between the U.S. and the U.K. If this supposition of a connection to the availability of guns was remotely true there ought to be a very significant difference.

        There isn’t a significant difference. They are nearly identical. 12.0 per 100,000 in the U.S. and 11.8 in the U.K. See:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_suicide_rate

        So going back to your original statement about gun deaths. I do think it would be a very good idea to not be counting suicides as something greater control of guns could accomplish in itself. If one removes that consideration then the remaining deaths from accidents and homicides is much smaller than auto accidents.

        “My dad was a Marine and hunter and taught me to shoot a rifle when I was 8 or 9. He was later shot to death during a military drill.”

        My youngest son is an active duty Marine currently. I am a Navy veteran and served several tours in the Vietnam War. Accidents in the military are something that will happen on a regular basis. When you have a lot of people under great stress, with never enough sleep, and tons of dangerous equipment of all sorts around accidental deaths are absolutely unavoidable. More than a few names on the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington were people accidentally killed by friendly fire or in accidents.

        You have my deepest sympathy for the death of your father. I know many names of people who I grew up with who did not come back from Vietnam. My son already knows the names of several Marines he started out with in boot camp who did not make it back alive.

        “guns that have identity-detection technology so they won’t operate for non-owners”

        This is an absolute non-starter for many reasons. Just because it works in a James Bond movie (Skyfall) doesn’t mean it is something that can be trusted in real life. Besides the huge number of ways such technology can fail, it will enormously increase the cost of firearms which discriminates against the poor. I think you can reasonably expect that very few gun owners will support any such legislation. I would certainly vote to make a politician unemployed who even remotely supported this.

        “storing ammunition separately from guns”

        When I put my handgun in its safe tonight, right next to my bed, it will go to bed fully loaded and ready to fire. And there will be two fully loaded speed loaders on my nightstand right next to a high power LED flashlight (can blind an intruder in the dark). Ammunition by itself is not terribly dangerous and sometimes calling for the above is just overkill designed to make guns as difficult as possible to use for home defense.

        “letting other parents know whether there are guns in the home when you have play dates are critical.”

        It has been a while since had really little kids around, but all those parents need to know about me is that I store my firearms safely locked unless they are under my direct control. My guns are absolutely no hazard to kids in my house, ever.

        regards,

        lwk

  3. I’m beyond shocked. What is wrong with people? In what universe is this okay? It’s disgusting and disturbing. Plus, it’s deliberately hurtful to all of the families who were affected.

  4. Hi Kylie, we are new to your beautiful blog by way of mutual blogging bud, Carrie Rubin. We’ve spent some time knocking around it, & enjoyed it thoroughly!! We’ve signed the petition and are outraged that anyone would try to profit, commercialize or use this incident in such a way. It is utterly repulsive!! Thank you for writing posts like this to bring awareness to such grotesque behavior. More people should take part in knowing what’s going on around them, rather than to act as though their ostrich’s with their heads in the sand. Our hats are off to you my dear!! 🙂

  5. I can’t sign the petition because it wants a zip code and won’t accept my UK post code. But the creator of this game is sick and twisted. If they want to create awareness of the dangers of guns, there are plenty of ways of doing so without resorting to something so perverted.

  6. The Sandy Hook shooting game is…I can’t. I just don’t even know what to say here. Not only is it incredibly insensitive to all of those impacted by the tragedy, but it’s in completely poor taste. What does is say about our culture that someone would think to invent a game like that?

  7. The heartlessness behind the creation of this game is astounding. Astounding. I don’t even know where the desire to channel one’s creativity in this way would even come from. So sad.

  8. Kylie, I wouldn’t blame video games for gun violence. This is a page straight out of the NRA playbook. According to Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2012/12/17/ten-country-comparison-suggests-theres-little-or-no-link-between-video-games-and-gun-murders/), there is no link between violent video games and gun violence. Even if violent games make players more prone to violence, it’s impossible to shoot someone if you can’t get a gun – and the gun availability isn’t the fault of the video games.

    1. You’re right that it’s about access. If they’re not available, then they can’t be used to kill intentionally or unintentionally, no matter what kinds of video games people are watching.

      However I think it’s disgusting that somebody created a game re-enacting the Sandy Hook shooting.

    2. I checked the link and the study looked at spending on video games, but it didn’t look like they collected data on the types of games people were playing. The reporter said the findings are based on an assumption that the spectrum of games is similar. The link I included is an article that contains several citations to published research showing a link. I don’t think it’s an either/or issue. Obviously, gun regulations are more important than addressing video games, and if the industry fingers them as culpable they’re just passing the buck, to mix metaphors 😉

      1. I don’t think other developed countries are only playing harmless games like Words with Friends and Tetris.
        Besides, most of the violent games are first-person shooters, so the game just doesn’t translate to reality without something you can shoot for real.

        1. I still think reenacting the Sandy Hook massacre, beginning with killing Ms. Lanza, is terrible. It’s so insensitive to the families. It’s awful. Most of my post is about the stats around gun deaths and the need for background checks and such, not about video games. I think the messages in the NRA and gun manufacturer marketing is important because it helps shapes the political rhetoric and the way people vote. I see it as the same as tobacco advertising that emphasizes “rights” and that very specifically addresses things like fighting excise taxes, which is a whole other post.

    3. The author of “On Killing,” Lt. Col. Dave Grossman wrote a book on how video games be involved in conditioning children to violence:

      Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill: A Call to Action Against TV, Movie & Video Game Violence

      But I also think we ought to look at how the massive and legal prescription of psychoactive drugs to children, particularly young boys and teenagers could be part of the problem – wrote on that here:

      Guns And Drugs
      http://free2beinamerica2.wordpress.com/2013/02/05/guns-and-drugs/

      One thing try to point out in the above is the the pharmaceutical industry is 100x more profitable in the U.S. than the industry that supplies personal firearms (vs. military). They can afford to spend a lot more in Congress than the NRA could ever dream of.

      One thing I do know – when I was growing up in the 1950s we have tons of guns, many of them very powerful surplus battle rifles, and we didn’t have these mass killings in schools. Also didn’t have all these kids on drugs and watching video games.

      regards,

      lwk

      1. p.s. – since this is Nov. 22nd, the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy, thought would add one more detail. Previously I wrote:

        “… when I was growing up in the 1950s we have tons of guns, many of them very powerful surplus battle rifles, …”

        Lee Harvey Oswald shot Kennedy with a WWII surplus Italian Carcano battle rifle he bought through the mail (probably paid around $10-12). I remember ads in the back of comic books back then where you could buy all sorts of German and Italian WWII surplus battle rifles and ammunition and bayonets through the mail with no check whatsoever – as long as your check from the bank didn’t bounce. Some guy made a fortune in Europe in 1945 picking up thousands and thousands of these rifles from beside dead Germans that hadn’t even been buried yet (the French were in no hurry to…) and putting them in warehouses and selling them over the years.

        The whole point I guess is that powerful “military grade” firearms were hugely abundant in the 1950s and 1960s and didn’t have the school shootings you see today. It seems obvious to me that if one wants to look for root causes it really isn’t guns (whether you think people should have them or not). I think we should be looking for other things that have changed in our environment whether it is video games, drugs, parental permissiveness, breakdown of the nuclear family, breakdown in morals, or whatever.

        Interestingly enough saw a study the other day that seems to correlate the rise and fall of leaded gasoline after WWII to the huge rise in crime and homicides that peaked in the 1990s and which has been falling steadily ever since (our homicide and crimes rates today are approaching historic low rates not seen since the 1960s when I was a teenager). According to the study there was an approximate 20 year lag – enough time for a kid to grow up in that atmosphere. Correlation doesn’t prove causality, but it is a very interesting idea. Wonder what we put in our environment that is responsible for the socalled epidemic of ADHD?

        Here is link to the article on lead – disclaimer is Mother Jones.

        America’s Real Criminal Element: Lead
        http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/01/lead-crime-link-gasoline

        regards,

        lwk

        1. Oh, the things we used to be able to buy from the backs of comic books! I think you nailed it–Lee Harvey Oswald was able to buy a gun through the mail with no background check. Same thing is happening today, through the Internet instead of comic books. And semi-automatic weapons up the ante. School shootings are tragic and upsetting, just as any mass shooting, or individual death. I’m more concerned about the daily gun deaths, especially suicides. I’d encourage you to check out the link to Harvard’s Means Matter website. I’d also like to see better child safety locks and storage requirements, which would help reduce unintentional deaths among kids shot by kids, but also teen suicides, which is something I’ve been very closely affected by. Thanks for your comments and respectful dialogue. I appreciate it.

          1. “Same thing is happening today, through the Internet instead of comic books.”

            I read some people saying that, but that is not my experience. Yes, there are Internet sites that advertise guns for sale, for example try http://www.gunbroker.com which is one of the more popular ones.

            But here is the way it works legally – if anybody does anything different than this, for example through the mail, then they are seriously breaking Federal law (a felony).

            I sold an M1 Garand (WWII rifle) through this site. I put up an ad and basically said only local people who show up on my door in person (nothing through the mail). There is no difference between that and putting an ad in the local newspaper which has been going on forever. This is a perfectly legal private sale today. I check the guys driver’s license to insure he is a citizen of Texas (my state – required by Federal law) and he signs a bill of sale (just in case, for my protection – nothing in the law that mandates it).

            But the way it normally works is this. I am looking for a particular model and find one and it is long distance from me, usually in another state. Federal law absolutely prohibits the sale of a firearm from a person in one state to a person in another state without a FFL (Federal Firearms License) dealer involved, or through the mail, again without an FFL.

            So I bid on the gun and win. Now to get the gun into my hands I have to do the following.

            1) I find a local FFL dealer willing to take the gun on his books to sell to me.
            2) I pay the seller and tell him the FFL dealer he has to ship it to.
            3) The seller ships the gun to the FFL dealer.
            4) I go to the dealer, pay him a previously negotiated fee, and he sells me the firearm going through the regular FBI NICS database check just like any retail sale.
            5) I pass the check and the transaction completes and I walk out of the FFL’s shop with my new gun.

            That is how it really works most of the time in my experience. Again, if anyone does anything different then they are committing a Federal felony.

            BTW, I posted a while back a proposal for universal background checks that would cover private sales, and even more importantly, a check that many gunowners would support (have had a lot of positive responses from both people on who are gun owners and those who are not and just want better checks). You can check it out here:

            Universal Background Checks
            http://free2beinamerica2.wordpress.com/2013/08/28/universal-background-checks/

            It is a complicated discussion. I understand reasonable people want to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally unstable. Whatever side you are on this issue, you need to understand that you need some consensus to get something done. If either side sees the other as stupid and unable to compromise then no compromise will ever happen. 🙂

            regards,

            lwk

              1. “Do you run background checks when you sell guns privately?”

                It is not possible today. Only an FFL dealer can do that. That is one of the things I addressed in my proposal for universal background checks. If when everyone gets a driver’s license or state issued photo id they were run through the NICS database then a code could be placed on the back of the driver’s license that the person was not prohibited. Then as a private person I could check a potential buyer in a private sale and confirm that a) they were a resident of my state (required by Federal law currently) and b) they were not prohibited.

                regards,

                lwk

              2. Hmm. That’s an interesting idea. I wonder how that would work if somebody does something that changes their eligibility.

                The private sales loophole is an important source of guns for people who could not buy them from a federally licensed dealer. It sounds like you genuinely want to be part of the solution and I respect that. Thanks for the dialogue!

            1. According to a 1999 report issued by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the current definition of “engaged in the business” often frustrates the prosecution of “unlicensed dealers masquerading as collectors or hobbyists but who are really trafficking firearms to felons or other prohibited persons.” A June 2000 ATF report found that unlicensed sellers were involved in about a fifth of the trafficking investigations and associated with nearly 23,000 diverted guns. A national survey of firearm ownership conducted in 1994 determined that 60 percent of all firearm sales in the U.S. involved federally licensed dealers, while the remaining 40 percent of firearms were acquired from unlicensed sellers. [Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, accessed 4/11/13]

              1. “According to a 1999 report issued by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF),…”

                Well quite honestly I wouldn’t believe everything the BATFE says. As far as Federal agents go if you look back many years at things they have done they are literally the “bottom of the barrel” and find it hard to transfer to other agencies because of the low regard they are held in by other Federal professionals.

                These are the same guys involved in “Fast And Furious” allowing guns to be trafficked to Mexico which have already killed at least one Border Patrol agent.

                Again if you go to a gun show, at least the ones I go to, the vast majority of people there selling firearms will be FFL dealers (and there is no “gunshow loophole” for them – they conduct NICS background checks every time). You will see some people selling personal firearms and collections. My impression, not scientific but based on decades of observation, is that most of them are selling guns that are not going to be very desirable to criminals. For example, they may be selling old revolvers that have some collectors value, but your average criminal or gang-banger will be wanting a semi-automatic pistol (not something that looks like a relic to him). Also I think if they continue to do so across many shows the BATFE agents will target them.

                Basically BATFE prefer to deal with non-violent people who break technical laws. They don’t appear nearly as eager to track and confront violent criminals, again reference the “bottom of the barrel” statement above. Again that is just opinion, but one based on reports over many decades, and maybe somewhat biased, I admit. 🙂

                The fact though is that someone is selling guns illegally to gang bangers, criminals, and drug dealers. I personally would like to see the BATFE or FBI conducting real investigations into that with undercover agents, etc. – like they go after drug dealers. But I am not generally seeing that happen. I think Washington – for whatever reason – will fund local law enforcement to go after drugs, but not guns so much.

                One thing about my proposal for universal background checks is that it would set up a perfect mechanism for “sting” operations against people selling guns illegally. Your undercover agent buys a gun from someone who doesn’t check their license to see they are not prohibited gets arrested and you make that very public. Very soon I think all honest gun owners would be checking! 🙂

                regards,

                lwk

              2. Yes I agree!! In my state a gun show is defined as more than 25 guns for sale at a time. So, someone can sell up to 25 guns in one go, legally, without any sort of background check. A law was passed years ago to require background checks at gun shows so that’s not so much of an issue here.

                What are your thoughts on gun safety in households with children?

  9. Preach on, sister. The new Grand Theft Auto game opens up with a pretty violent bank robbery that includes having to kill about 50 police officers to get away and move on. I get that it comes with the territory, but it still sickens me a little bit as a police officer to think this sort of violence against the police is so to be expected that it can be included in games no questions asked. And yes, I’m a total hypocrite because I only know this by having bought the game. Still…I admire your passion.

    1. Thanks. I just can’t believe somebody would create a game reenacting Sandy Hook!
      I do not even want to think about what kinds of games my stepsons are playing in other households.

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