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State-Hosted Gun Shows Provide Forum for Violence and Hate - Fran Quigley

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Vinnie From Indy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-08 09:24 AM
Original message
State-Hosted Gun Shows Provide Forum for Violence and Hate - Fran Quigley
(reprinted in it's entirety with author's permission)

State-Hosted Gun Shows Provide Forum for Violence and Hate

By Fran Quigley

It is Friday evening in late October, and the shadows on the Indiana State Fairgrounds are starting to lengthen as I pay nine bucks to gain admission into the 1500 Gun and Knife Show.

Twenty-five feet inside the entrance of the South Pavilion building, a display table is draped with the striking red background and black swastika of the Nazi flag. Ten feet further, an SS uniform is for sale. The crowd of several hundred, virtually all white men, mill past displays of Confederate flags and National Rifle Association literature. One vendor features T-shirts of the iconic yellow smiley face with a bullet hole in its forehead and brains blown out the back of its skull.

Thousands of weapons are for sale. Glock 23 fully automatic pistols, Uzi nine millimeters, Colt 44 magnum Anacondas. Some cost less than $100.

One display includes copies of legal treatises on the castle doctrine, the law on the right to use deadly force on intruders. Next to the stack of treatises are bumper stickers reading, Osama bin Laden/Obama Joe Biden. Coincidence?

When someone picks up a bumper sticker, the man working the display nods. God help us if McCain doesnt win, he says. I live in South Bend, which is 35% black. Thats what you call a target-rich environment.

My companion at the gun show is Joe Zelenka, who coordinates for the Church Federation of Greater Indianapolis the prayer vigils held after murders here in the city. When weapons like the ones sold here make real human beings look like the blown-away smiley face on the t-shirts, Zelenka is there to hear the mothers cries of anguish.

He points to a Springfield XD 9 millimeter semi-automatic pistol. Not legal in California, the box reads. The only things these are used to hunt for is people, Zelenka says.

Zelenka is helping to coordinate a petition from nearby St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic parish asking Governor Mitch Daniels to stop hosting these gun shows at the State Fairgrounds. The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1983 requires that licensed gun dealers conduct background checks of purchasers before selling firearms. But there is no such federal or state requirement for private sellers. They are free to sell weapons, including at gun shows, to any convicted felon or spouse abuser who plunks down the cash.

A handful of states have closed this gun show loophole, sometimes in the aftermath of tragedy . After gun show-purchased weapons were used by the Columbine High School killers to shoot 26 students in 1999, Colorado voters passed a referendum requiring background checks for all sales at these shows.

But Indiana has no such limitation. And Governor Daniels, like Governors Bayh and OBannon before him, doesnt plan to stop the State Fairgrounds gun shows. We are not in a position to discriminate among potential users (of the Fairgrounds) that comply with applicable laws and the lease requirement, says Daniels spokesperson Jane Jankowski.

Meanwhile, the only-in-America headlines continue. On Halloween, a 12-year-old South Carolina trick-or-treater is gunned down. At a Massachusetts gun fair, an 8-year-old boy accidentally shoots himself in the head with an Uzi submachine gun. A dispute over a LSU-Alabama college football game leads to two people being shot to death. In Arizona, another 8-year-old shoots and kills his father and another man.

Zelenka continues his grim ritual of prayer vigils, as the Indianapolis homicide total climbs over 100 deaths again this year. And, next year, the Indiana State Fairgrounds is scheduled to host five more weapons extravaganzas, each providing a forum for the fringes of hate and the merchants of violent death.

Quigley is an Indianapolis attorney and director of operations for the Indiana-Kenya Partnership.

http://www.indystar.com/article/20081117/OPINION12/811170309/1002/OPINION

Fran Quigley
Indiana-Kenya Partnership/USAID-AMPATH

www.iukenya.org
www.ampathkenya.org


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123infinity Donating Member (276 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-08 09:29 AM
Response to Original message
1. I don't believe they were selling any fully automatic guns.
...
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Dogtown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-08 09:47 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Displayed
O/C, the tax-stamp requirement would obviate an immediate sale of the selective-fire weapons, but 'prospective' customers could window-shop.

Great hook to attract potentials to your booth; the emotionally-stunted would flock to fuel their full-auto fantasies!

I've been offered the opportunity to handle, but not fire, automatic weapons in my local gun-shop.
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123infinity Donating Member (276 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-08 01:40 PM
Response to Reply #2
7. The article says they were for sale. That is a lie. And it's not illegal to shoot an automatic
weapon if it's done with the approval of the legal owner. If it were, don't you think that would put a small crimp in law-enforcement? Individual cops virtually never own the ones they carry.


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Dogtown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-08 02:05 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Never said it was illegal
Edited on Mon Nov-17-08 02:07 PM by Dogtown
Said I was not offered a chance.

Full-automatic weapons are neither a mystery nor powerfully alluring to me. I've fired, and been fired upon, with enough automatic weapons not to be vulnerable to that siren.

The 'get-around' on claiming "for sale" is, I'm sure, the ability of customers to *order* a full-auto from the factory, contingent upon tax-stamp of course.

Knowing that few if any will place orders. Hundreds will stop by, though, just to ogle and lust.

They'd be ripe for a sales pitch for something cosmetically appealing.

No offense, but guard yourself from used-car salesman. They're full of chicanery, too.
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123infinity Donating Member (276 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-08 04:46 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. You cannot buy a new automatic weapon, legally. There has been a freeze on
the required stamps for years. I gather you're a VietNam vet from your comments (I am too, sort of...I was never sent there although I was in the service during much of the late 1960s) - and your description of 'cosmetically appealing' is a bit ironic given that the -lack- of it is largely responsible for the AWBs. Not sure what to think of your post; I have no interest in fighting with you - as a former cop I'll be among the first to say that certain people have no business with guns but that's a far voyage from supporting any sort of wholesale bans.
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Dogtown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-18-08 07:16 AM
Response to Reply #11
16. I was unaware of a freeze on stamps.
If I played the "Nam" card, my apologies. That's always a cheap shot, and I only intended to show that I'm not of the uninformed "grabber" crowd. I honor your service as I do my own, both of us were subject to the same dice-throw.


My interest in this sub-thread was the 'marketing' ploy that I perceived, and if there is a freeze on full-automatic tax stamps, it weakens my stance. They may still have been 'offered' for sale, contingent on ATF lifting the freeze. Or not. I'll admit I was speculating.

It appears that your concern was slanted journalism fanning the anti-gun fervor; a very likely scenario, also.

Personally, I feel the AWB was a silly law meant to appease certain factions w/o offending others. As with all compromises, it failed both camps. We seem to agree that some restrictions are necessary, but a ban on firearms is counterproductive, and nearly impossible to implement.

I'm sorry if I seemed combative. I have a distrust of certain topics because of the trolls purposely deflecting discourse, it makes my posting style a bit truculent at times.

Nice to meet you, 123infinity. See you around the threads...

:hi:

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derby378 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-21-08 09:56 AM
Response to Reply #11
19. You can still get an NFA stamp...
...as long as it's not for any full-auto weapon manufactured after 1986. Suffice it to say that prices on civilian-legal full-auto have skyrocketed. Cheapest I found recently was a full-auto AK-47 for $4,000, and I know that won't last long.
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tomreedtoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-08 10:31 AM
Response to Original message
3. It isn't truly "state sponsored," either.
Any more than the computer sales they used to have at the Central Florida fairgrounds were sponsored by Jeb "Governor Duuuh" Bush.

I agree that I'd feel very uncomfortable attending a gun show or even selling hot dogs to the guys who attended there. And I suspect there'd be an unrepresentatively small number of non-white faces there. But shutting down such shows would drive them underground, and in that kind of environment the REAL loonies would take over. Better to have it in the open where you can see what these guys are doing.

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Vinnie From Indy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-08 05:11 PM
Response to Reply #3
12. The article did not state the event was state "sponsored".
Edited on Mon Nov-17-08 05:14 PM by Vinnie From Indy
It stated that the event was held/hosted at a state run facility - The Indiana State Fairgrounds. Also, Quigley did not advocate "shutting down" anything, he merely pointed out the fact that the show was being held on state property. These shows can be held anywhere, Quigley in a roundabout way asks if they should be held on state owned properties. He also merely advocates that Indiana might want to follow other states, like Colorado, in regard to regulating sales between private gun owners at gun shows.

You seem to have imagined reading a great deal of info that was not in the article.
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DonP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-08 11:03 AM
Response to Original message
4. A Colt .44 Anaconda for $100! Where do I sign up?
That's close, but not quite a record, for the amount of misinformation or outright lies crammed in a single agenda driven "news" article.

I'm calling BS on this "story".

I go to gun shows in both Illinois and Indiana and I have attended the Indy show in the past: 1. no full-auto weapons are sold there. (FWIW The cheapest full auto weapons start at about $12,000, call for a full FBI background check, your fingerprints on file, a $200 tax stamp and about a 4-6-month waiting period.) 2. The only guns I've ever seen that sold for $100 at any shows were old beat to crap "wall hangers". And they still required the regular NICS background check unless they were muzzleloaders and over 100 years old. 3. I've never seen WWII Nazi uniforms or other paraphrenalia for sale at the last two dozen shows I attended (just a lot of overpriced ammunition), but I have seen WWII GI uniforms and other equipment for sale, so it might be sold at some shows to WWII or Civil War re-enactors. Hint Fran: it's not much of a re-enactment if you only have one side participating. Somebody has to be the bad guys. 4. The Springfield XD is legal to sell in California AFAIK, unless they came up with some new law against it recently. It's just a normal semi-automaitc 9mm pistol that has a polymer frame and an adjustable backstrap to fit the owners hand for more accurate target shooting. 5. The shows I have attended have been pretty diverse in terms of the attendees both in gender and race. But that wouldn't allow them to make (up) their point, would it?

If this writer and friend have a problem with guns and gun shows just say it out loud and stop making shit up and going so far over the top. The FBI and CDC have done the research that showed that gun shows are not the source of crime guns. I think the number the FBI came up with was way less than 1% IIRC?

Then they might have some credibility. As it is they just sound like fools.
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123infinity Donating Member (276 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-08 01:37 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Some people will believe any story that makes gun owners look like nutballs.
As can be discovered here on a regular basis. :grr:
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Vinnie From Indy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-08 05:33 PM
Response to Reply #4
13. Your post is mildly amusing and very typical.
You write,
"A Colt .44 Anaconda for $100! Where do I sign up?"

Please point out exactly where Quigley stated that one could purchase this particular gun at that price? Quigley stated that "thousands of guns were for sale" and that "SOME were priced at $100." Words mean things as do sentences. You seem to have misread the article.

You write,
"The Springfield XD is legal to sell in California AFAIK, unless they came up with some new law against it recently."

You may be right about that, but Quigley merely reported what was written on the box for this particular weapon at this particular sale.

You write,
"If this writer and friend have a problem with guns and gun shows just say it out loud and stop making shit up and going so far over the top."

LOL! Again, you seem to have a problem reading and understanding. Quigley simply reported what his experience was at this show. He did not call for an end to gun shows. He did offer that he believes that Indiana should regulate sales between private individuals at gun shows as many states like CO now do. He also points out the shows are held on state owned property. He does not offer an opinion on whether these shows should be banned from state property, he merely points it out. Additionally, he reports that past and present Governors, both Dem and Repub, will not acted to stop these shows and do not plan to in the future.

You write,
"Then they might have some credibility. As it is they just sound like fools."

As far as I can tell, you merely made a bunch of shit up in your head about this article and went weapons free on Quigley. If you read the article again and really try hard, you might find the real fool here.

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VPStoltz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-08 06:48 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. It's Foxliteration.
You read a truth, and because you don't like the truth you Foxliterate (transliterating) it into someone lying. The gun nuts were also horribly offended by the mere statement of fact regarding anything Bush did.
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Recursion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-08 11:14 AM
Response to Original message
5. What the hell do gun shows have to do with the loophole?
Christ, the author even admits as much,

The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1983 requires that licensed gun dealers conduct background checks of purchasers before selling firearms. But there is no such federal or state requirement for private sellers. They are free to sell weapons, including at gun shows, to any convicted felon or spouse abuser who plunks down the cash.

The "loophole" is that Congress can't regulate intrastate sales between private parties.
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Doctor_J Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-08 02:25 PM
Response to Original message
9. The only surprising thing is that some otherwise sensible people don't believe
that these events draw the loony fringe in droves
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DonP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-08 03:10 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Really? Seen that "loony fringe" there yourself?
How many gun shows have you actually attended?

I've found a lot of people believe things based on what they read on someone's blog or a "news" article like this or even worse, they buy into the Brady Bunch crap about how gunshows are hotbeds of gang bangers buying machine guns.

I have a sister that is absolutely convinced that you can walk into a gun show and buy a gun with no background check or buy a kit for converting almost any gun into a machine gun for $20. I've invited her to go with me to a show and see for herself, but she's into; "I don't need to see something to know it's wrong and there are people there breaking the law". Then, when I pointed out that her home state (Iowa) has a concealed carry law in place, she said I made it up. Thanksgivings are always a lot of fun for the family.

Have you actually been to many gun shows? I have no doubt that some attract the occasional whack job or two.

But in more than 40 years of attending gun shows I've only seen a few folks that could be classified as "loony". I've seen far more normal people looking for a deal on cheaper ammunition, or like me, trying to fill in a gap in a collection. I've seen one arrest where someone tried to buy a rifle without proper ID and offerred the seller extra cash to skip the background check. The state troopers at the door stopped him and took him away in bracelets.

I found my Enfield No. 4 MkII for only $165 at a local gun show as a private F-to-F sale between another Class 3 C&R dealer and myself (also a C&R license holder). He was African-American too, funny how that stereotype doesn't always fit. I bought my large loop Winchester '92 clone from a guy named Espinoza at anopther show last Spring, he's a Class 1 FFL that covers most of the one day shows in my area.

The loony fringe can show up anywhere the public is admitted but they don't stock up on guns at the gun shows I've attended, or the ones the FBI and CDC researched either I guess..
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Doctor_J Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-08 06:25 PM
Response to Reply #10
14. I am sure that these provide a service to regular citizens
Edited on Mon Nov-17-08 06:26 PM by TOJ
My point is, you are unlikely to go to a rotary club meeting or hardware store convention and find posters of the president's head in crosshairs, or someone who considers a town with a 35% black population a "target rich environment". It's possible that this is all just talk and these people are not really a danger to blacks or President Obama (or Hillary Clinton or Nancy Pelosi), but their openness about discussing their hatred and desire for violence makes them part of the fringe (I hope)
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-19-08 11:22 AM
Response to Original message
17. That's some pretty hyperbolic and inaccurate reporting there
The Glock G23 is semiautomatic only. The process of transferring a fully automatic weapon is lengthy and complex, and not something that can be done at a gun show.

...But there is no such federal or state requirement for private sellers. They are free to sell weapons, including at gun shows, to any convicted felon or spouse abuser who plunks down the cash....

Bullshit. The same law that prohibits licensed gun dealers from selling guns to convicted felons, etc. also prohibits unlicensed individuals from selling guns to prohibited people.
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benEzra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-20-08 10:26 AM
Response to Original message
18. That is about the most ignorant non-reporting I've ever seen...
Edited on Thu Nov-20-08 10:27 AM by benEzra
Here's a rebuttal, from someone who was actually, you know, AT the show while in full possession of her cognitive abilities:

http://booksbikesboomsticks.blogspot.com/2008/11/proof-that-ignorance-is-no-barrier-to.html

Proof that ignorance is no barrier to opinions.

Every morning I make a point of stepping onto the front porch with a cup of coffee and a cigarette, retrieving the Indy Catbox Liner from the lawn, flipping to the editorial page and pressure-checking my cerebral arteries for weak spots.

After this morning, I can safely state that there are no incipient aneurysms waiting to let go, because they surely would have burst while reading a piece by one Fran Quigley, who went to a gun show called the "Indy 1500" at the state fairgrounds at the end of October. Oddly, I also attended a show at the same fairgrounds at the same time, and it even went by the same name, but it must have been in a different building, because the one I attended had no Title 2 Glock 23s for less than $100...

Thousands of weapons are for sale. Glock 23 fully automatic pistols, Uzi nine millimeters, Colt 44 magnum Anacondas. Some cost less than $100.


He bemoans the display of an German uniform for sale, without noting that the table in question was also selling a British gas mask, a U.S. Doughboy helmet, a Japanese sword, and a French revolver.


But seriously, a "fully automatic Glock 23"?

"I don't think that word means what you think it means." --Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride
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