Mayors Against Illegal Guns Play the Columbine Card

Mayors Against Illegal Guns is running TV ads using surveillance video from the Columbine massacre to encourage new restrictions on gun sales.

While we wait for Brad to insert the video to Hobo With A Shotgun (Bill Marriott’s peeps don’t want kids on the Boulder Business Center’s [sole] steam-driven computer to view Tarantino clips), The New York  Daily News reports that Mayor Bloomberg’s pet project—Mayors Against Illegal Guns—is airing an ad arguing for background checks at gun shows.  The $250k ad campaign features surveillance video from the Columbine High School massacre. “The killers got their guns because of a gap in the law,” the announcer intones. “Momentum is building in the Senate to close the loophole. Eleven years after Columbine, it’s time. Call your senator.” What should I call him? But seriously folks . . .

First aired Tuesday, the 11th anniversary of the Columbine killings, the ads run on national cable networks and in Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Ohio and Virginia to target senators there.

What do these states have in common? Dunno. Liberal base? Fresh wounds? Unusually, the NRA gets the last word in the Post’s piece.

National Rifle Association spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said background checks at gun shows would take too long and impede the rights of legal gun owners.

“They continue to try and abridge the rights of law-abiding citizens. They should focus their efforts on going after criminals,” Arulanandam said. “The intent is to drive gun shows out of business.”

And there I was thinking it was a bunch of politicians trying to score political points with their base.

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

8 Responses to Mayors Against Illegal Guns Play the Columbine Card

  1. avatarDonal Fagan says:

    I have heard variations of the statement, if guns are illegal, only criminals will have guns. If there are indeed no background checks at gun shows, then it seems to me that a likely way for the criminals to get guns is to buy them at a gun show, or down the line. I understand it is time consuming, but I can't see how convenience overrides safety in this situation.

    • avatarRobert Fure says:

      There are background checks at gun shows if the gun is sold from a dealer who is at the gun show. Like if Colt sets up a booth and sells you a gun, it's just like buying it anywhere else.

      The "loophole" is that in some states (but definitely not all) an individual who is not a gun retailer may privately sell a gun to another private citizen without a background check. This is because the private citizen is not a business, does not hold an FFL, and is not selling the gun as a means of business. It's like a yard sale. You don't need a business license to sell your stuff unless you intend to do that as a way to make your income. Like if you had a yard sale every week, you would need a business license.

      This is a hassle to private citizens for a lot of reasons – primarily they don't have the means to run a background check. Which means they then have to go through a dealer, who will then charge them a fee to run the check, ranging from a minimum of $35 (to cover costs) to $100. Dealers charge a hefty fee to do this to make it more reasonable to just buy a new gun from them. Why buy a used gun for $350 and pay a $100 fee when you could buy a new gun for $475?

      The FBI had a study that revealed that few illegal guns and guns that were used in crimes were bought at gun shows. Most of them were stolen firearms or ones bought illegally. Despite Mexico blaming the US for it's gun problem, you can easily find illegal guns coming in through Mexico and purchase them in border towns or as far north as Los Angeles (where I live).

      The gun show "loophole" is very small – private citizens are not selling massive amounts of guns. Also, most states require an FFL handle all pistol transactions anyways, so the vast majority of private sales are of long guns – which few states regulate and are used in very few crimes.

  2. avatarMartin Albright says:

    Donal, background checks are already required at gun shows if the transaction is from a licensed dealer. The issue here is essentially the criminalizing of private transactions between individuals.

    Back when the Denver Post was editorializing on the neccessity of background checks at gun shows, I wrote a letter to the editor pointing out that from a legal standpoint, there was no difference between a private sale between individuals at a gun show and a private transaction between individuals through one of the Denver Post's own classifieds – a transaction for which a background check is not required.

    • avatarDonal Fagan says:

      How private is that transaction? My Dad refused to sell his Python. Although a lot of guys wanted to buy it, no one wanted to fill out the paperwork. What paperwork is involved?

  3. avatarBrad Kozak says:

    Bloomberg…Bloomberg…isn’t he the same Bozo that the BATF told to “pound sand,” when he (illegally, as it turned out) sent his minions from the Big Apple out into other states to try and “sting” local gun shops into selling them guns in a less-than-legal manner? The same clown that was told that his actions were illegal, and that his investigators were breaking the law? The self-same, self-righteous prig who apparently authorized guns from evidence lockers that were seized by police to be put back out on the street to entrap gun dealers? THAT Bloomberg? So what you’re telling me is that, since Bloomberg failed at taking down all the “Evil Gun Dealers,” he’s now turned his mighty powers towards “Evil Gun Shows.”

    Maybe somebody should do a Grindhouse movie starring Bloomberg as “Rebel Without A Clue,” or “Mayor With a Gun Grudge.”

  4. avatarMartin Albright says:

    Funny that these ads are running in CO (though I have yet to see any) since CO has required background checks at gun shows since 2006, as a direct result of the Columbine shootings.

  5. avatarstarviego says:

    If you want to find out what really happened at Columbine I suggest you read what the eyewitnesses had to say:

    http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/columbineeight.php

    • avatarRobert Fure says:

      The commentary on that site seems to imply the government was behind Columbine. Or am I misreading it?

      Also, eye witness testimony is faulty. You have some witnesses saying 2, some saying 3, some saying 4, who weren't the two confirmed shooters, meaning six shooters.

      Most of the witnesses on that sight talk about a third party seen outside of the school. It's well documented that as Klebold and Harris approached the school, they bumped into a person they knew. They told him they liked him and that he should leave right now.

      That would explain why 3 people are seen outside the school, together, before the shooting started. Tin foil hat stuff, it seems.

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