You know all those press conferences where “victims of gun violence” and their enablers wave the bloody shirt like the checkered flag at the Indy 500? Those are enervating and, I think, a bit sad. But this, this is scary stupid. “The 60-inch sniper rifle is longer than the folding table on which it sits, a massive 35 pounds of matte black chrome propped up by removable front legs. Next to it lie three 4-inch-long, .50 caliber bullets. Together, they are capable of taking down a small aircraft. And you can buy one right now if you live in New Jersey — even if you’re on the federal terrorist watch list.” A person on the terrorist watch list can buy a small aircraft? After 9/11? Wow! As for crimes committed by shooters with a .50 cal rifle in the Garden State . . .
nj.com doesn’t list any. There haven’t been any. Not one. There was, however, a recent terrorist attack involving a pressure cooker. And a big-ass truck can do a lot of damage. Or a can of gas, some chains and padlocks. But let’s not let common sense intrude here. There’s way too much dumb to savor.
This afternoon, standing in the shadow of so-called “soft targets” in Linden — chemical tanks, processing plants and the city’s airport — politicians and advocates called upon Gov. Chris Christie to sign two gun control bills into law in the name of national security.
“‘Fifty-caliber weapons are not made to shoot people, they’re made to destroy targets,’ said Bryan Miller with the group New Jerseyans for Safety from Gun Violence. ‘New Jersey is full of such material targets.’
To press that fact, [yesterday’s] event was held at a public park within shouting distance of both a small airport, which sent noisy planes and State Police helicopters flying overhead throughout, and a cluster of giant cylindrical tanks filled with chemicals. “This is a target-rich environment, and it’s open to the public,” said State Sen. Nicholas Scutari, a Linden native and sponsor of the watch list ban.
The legal-to-purchase Armalite AR-50 is accurate at distances more than one mile and fires “amazingly heavy” bullets, including explosive, incendiary and armor-piercing rounds that can easily be purchased online, Miller said.
“One man, with one of these guns and a bullet or two, can knock down a chemical tank and create chaos,” he said.
Now about that terrorist watch list. As we’ve pointed out numerous times, there are over a million people on the FBI’s terrorist watch list. Some 40 percent of those records contain inaccurate information. In 2007, there were around 20k “false positives.” How do you get on the list? That’s a secret. How do you get off the list? Also secret.
Is it possible that the Justice Department, NSA, FBI or the President himself could declare a whole category of people potential terrorists? Like . . . NRA members? Gun owners? Sure! Why not!
How about this for a scary thought: Even if Christie doesn’t ban fiddy cals, a purchaser could go on the FBI’s terrorist watch list. I mean, chemical storage tanks, right? For all we know, .50 cal buyers are on it already.
Like I said, scary stupid.