Reader Ripcord writes:
A few days ago a reporter in Philly, went into a gun store and bought an AR-15 in less than 15 minutes. You can imagine her indignation that after filling out the paperwork, passing the NICS check, and plopping down her credit card, she was allowed to walk out the door, rifle in tow. The headline almost writes itself. And predictably, there have been some copycats around the country among other scribes bereft of original thought. A columnist from the Chicago Sun-Times, Neil Steinberg, among them.
“Guns are a kind of masturbatory aid in the elaborate heroic fantasies of millions of Americans, who imagine themselves supermen.”
So Mr. Steinberg dutifully trotted to a local gun store in his little quest to buy an AR-15.
After eyeing and pawing a Smith & Wesson M&P 15 Sport II, he presented his FOID card, plopped down the dinero and filled out the necessary paperwork. Unbeknownst to the trolling scribe, Illinois is one of seven states that has a waiting period on long guns — 24 hours to be exact. Not a day, not a business day, 24 hours.
While the writer may have thought he was going to go unnoticed, the eagle eyed clerk at the store inquired if he was in fact the Sun-Times reporter, which he admitted.
After traipsing out the store with who knows what thoughts in his warped little mind, he probably felt pretty good about himself. Another hit piece on gun owners was virtually writing itself and things were just hunky dory. Well, not quite.
You see Mr. Steinberg has a bit of a colorful past.
On October 2 of 2005 the Chicago Tribune reported:
Chicago Sun-Times columnist and editorial board member Neil Steinberg could face jail time if he is convicted of domestic battery charges related to an incident involving his wife last week.
Steinberg, 45, of Northbrook was arrested about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday in his home after his wife, Edie, called 911 and reported abuse, said Sgt. Michael Keady of the Northbrook Police Department. Steinberg spent the night in jail and posted bail Thursday.
Edie Steinberg had first tried to call emergency services on another telephone, but Neil Steinberg hit that phone out of her hand, causing minor injuries, Keady said.
She was able to call 911 on another phone, he said.
Steinberg was charged with one count of domestic battery and one count of interfering with the reporting of domestic battery. Both are misdemeanors and carry sentences of up to a year in jail, Keady said.
After completing alcohol treatment, the charges were dismissed. Which is the reason he was able to get a FOID card in Illinois. While Steinberg filed to have the arrest expunged, it’s unclear if that has taken place as it’s still within the Cook County system and can be looked up.
In 2008 he published Drunkard: A Hard Drinking Life, his story of being an old time hard drinking reporter and his decent alcoholism.
Long story short, the gun store, Maxon Shooters Supply, refused the sale. After pressing them as to the reason,
A few hours later, Maxon sent the newspaper a lengthy statement, the key part being: “it was uncovered that Mr. Steinberg has an admitted history of alcohol abuse, and a charge for domestic battery involving his wife.”
So his careful little plan for whatever hit piece or sexual innuendo-filled rant he was going to write wasn’t to be. The gun store, remembering his wife beating incident, his attempt at keeping his actions from being reported to the police and his history of intoxication and admitted drunkenness gave them pause. And so they cancelled the sale and refunded his money.
Shockingly, Steinberg sees darker forces at work:
Now I’ll state what I believe the real reason is: Gun manufacturers and the stores that sell them make their money in the dark. Congress, which has so much trouble passing the most basic gun laws, passed a law making it illegal for the federal government to fund research into gun violence. Except for the week or two after massacres, the public covers its eyes. Would-be terrorists can buy guns. Insane people can buy guns. But reporters . . . that’s a different story. Gun makers avoid publicity because the truth is this: they sell tools of death to frightened people and make a fortune doing so. They shun attention because they know, if we saw clearly what is happening in our country, we’d demand change.
Here’s a news flash for Steinberg: You’re a troll. A well-known troll, and after writing that hit piece earlier in the week, you’re lucky any gun store worth their salt lets you walk in the door. You somehow managed to play the system and avoid a conviction on a charge that has resulted in most others losing their Constitutional rights. But hey, some animals are more equal than others, right?
The fact is, you got caught. Someone wasn’t going to play your game, and called you out for the wife-beating drunk you had admitted you are, and then refused to sell you a gun because of it. Yet now you want to play the victim, poor Neil couldn’t get his gun to write his nasty column, so he wrote another supposition-fueld rant instead.
The real problem, Neil, is that you’re living in the past. Gun owners will continue to remind the world what you are. You see, social media and Google work both ways. You and the birdcage liner that prints your columns no longer have a monopoly on what people call ‘news.’ And even though the comments have been turned off, we still get to have a say.