Hold weapons sellers accountable
April 16, 2013 10:04 PM | 994 views | 3 3 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Re: Reuel Hamilton’s letter to the editor of April 7 on the Columbine and Virginia Tech school shootings

Hamilton’s letter reveals problems in the legal system that could possibly prevent future shootings. Virginia Tech gunman Cho Seung Hui was known on campus to be mentally ill and had sought professional help. Tech officials did nothing nor were his parents notified. He legally purchased a Glock 19 and Walther P22 from a local gun store and five 10-shot magazines on eBay.

At Columbine Robyn Anderson, a friend of Klebold and Harris, bought the shotguns and the Hi-Point 9 mm carbine at a gun show in 1998 from unlicensed sellers. Because Anderson purchased the guns from someone else the transaction constituted an illegal “straw purchase.” Klebold and Harris bought the TEC-DC9 from a pizza shop employee who knew they were too young to purchase the assault pistol but, nevertheless sold it to them for $500.

I doubt mass killings will ever end in a society awash with firearms but those who are mentally ill should be identified and offered help. The straw purchasers, unlicensed gun sellers and those who sell weapons to minors should be held legally responsible to the fullest extent of the law.

Dave Young

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Nettie Helen Stemm
April 18, 2013
Mr. Young, suppose a person has one beer, gets in his car, leaves the parking lot of the restaurant, remembers something he forgot to tell his wife, calls her on his cell phone and engages in a converstion during which time he runs through a stop sign and plows into a group of people crossing the street, killing a few and injuring the rest. Who do you suggest we sue. The brewery that made the beer, the restaurant that sold it to him, the people who made his cell phone, the people who sold him the cell phone, the company that made his car, or the guy who sold him the car, or his wife who was distracting him?

When you start trying to shift blame from the perpetrator to peripheral entities, you enter upon a very slippery slope.
April 19, 2013
Ms Stemm, I couldn't have said it better. Why do people seem to always want to put the blame on to something or someone other than where the true burden belongs. We have a free-will and a free-choice and we are responsible for our behavior.
Kevin Foley
April 28, 2013
@ Nettie - OMG! You're right! As we all know, the primary reason people own and drive cars is to KILL people!

Another lesson, Nettie: Republicans enacted legislation to shield gun manufacturers from liability in 2005, the NRA's key legislative objective at that time. Bush signed it into law.

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