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Friday, January 11, 2013

Seattle Jewish Federation to Lawmakers: Close the Gun Show Loophole

Posted by on Fri, Jan 11, 2013 at 3:16 PM

On July 28, 2006 an armed gunman walked into the offices of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle and shot six women, killing one. Today, in response to tragic shootings throughout the nation, the Federation has sent a letter (PDF) to lawmakers urging action:

[O]ur response to tragic events like the one in Newtown, Massachusetts or Seattle, Washington cannot end with grieving. Moments of crisis compel action.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, Jewish organizations in our community, and rabbis urge our leaders to act earnestly in order to prevent future tragedies. We support sensible gun control measures like closing the gun show loophole which allows guns to be sold without background checks; ensuring Washington State has a mental health system capable of responding quickly, compassionately, and effectively to individuals in crisis capable of inflicting great harm, and providing resources to make sure schools, public facilities, and nonprofits are safe and secure.

Speaking of which, yet another reminder of Sunday's rally against gun violence.


Comments (15) RSS

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Fnarf 1
40% of all gun sales in the US are through the "gun show loophole", which is therefore not so much a loophole as a yawning chasm.
Posted by Fnarf on January 11, 2013 at 3:34 PM · Report this
Clearly the "gunshow loophole" enabled him to obtain his guns. (Actually, he purchased them with a background check and a waiting period.)

Maybe instead, of worrying solely about the "gunshow loophole", maybe we could worry about the fact that he had a 10 year history of mental health problems. Perhaps *better* background checks, allowing mental health issues to be linked to the NICS database (I know, terrible breach of privacy) and make it more difficult to "rehabilitate" your mental health ban on firearm ownership. I realize that the NRA doesn't like that because, well, it is against the "2nd Ammendment" or something, and liberals dislike that because it is prejudiced against people with mental illness, and invasion of mental health patients privacy or something.

Somehow, I think if you have enough history to show mental illness as a defense at your trial there really should be enough to prevent you from owning a firearm. This litmus test would probably have halved our 'mass shootings' in the last decade.
Posted by randoma on January 11, 2013 at 3:43 PM · Report this
Fnarf 3
@2, what level of mental health check would have kept Nancy Lanza from owning guns? I'm not being snarky; it's a serious question. Can you legally require people with mentally-ill family members to lock up their guns, or not have them?

What would prevent someone with no history of mental health issues buy guns and then develop mental health issues later?

Somewhere north of a quarter of the population of the US will have mental health problems at some point in their lifetime.
Posted by Fnarf on January 11, 2013 at 3:54 PM · Report this
evilvolus 4
It's not a "gun show" loophole. It's a "Craigslist" loophole. A "trunk of my car" loophole.
Posted by evilvolus on January 11, 2013 at 3:58 PM · Report this
Former Lurker 5
But KOMO news last night showed a victim of the shooting who said she doesn't support gun control.... who am I to believe??
Posted by Former Lurker on January 11, 2013 at 4:01 PM · Report this

One victim in that shooting, who still has a bullet lodged near hr spine, says she opposes any new gun troll laws. She was interviewed on KOMO.

What say you?
Posted by Chicken shits on January 11, 2013 at 4:03 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 7
@1 and 4,

That term is driving me fucking bananas. The "loophole" allows any asshole to sell guns without any kind of licensing for the seller or background check for the buyer. Loophole, my ass.
Posted by keshmeshi on January 11, 2013 at 4:15 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 8

Why can't we? Why can't it be a felony to allow mentally ill relatives or minors access to firearms in the family home? It would only be enforceable after the fact, but it might be enough to compel "responsible" gun owners to actually be responsible for once.
Posted by keshmeshi on January 11, 2013 at 4:16 PM · Report this
@3, Why can't you require gun owners who reside with someone with mental health issues to keep them out of reach? I mean, right now there are storage/access laws regarding gun ownership when you have a minor residing with you. Admittedly they aren't very good laws, but they could be. So, if you can regulate gun storage because of a minor, I don't see any reason why you can't regulate gun storage due to mental health issues.

As far as someone developing mental health issues after they own firearms, there are plenty of imperfect solutions, none great.
Posted by randoma on January 11, 2013 at 4:36 PM · Report this
Fnarf 10
@4, trunk of your car yes, Craigslist no. Firearms and ammunition are prohibited there (and on Ebay).
Posted by Fnarf on January 11, 2013 at 4:37 PM · Report this
disintegrator 11
@3: Noone believes that you're not being snarky.

I agree with you, but c'mon. You're being snarky.
Posted by disintegrator on January 11, 2013 at 11:18 PM · Report this
Lew Siffer 12
#5, #6...*crickets*
Posted by Lew Siffer on January 12, 2013 at 10:02 AM · Report this
evilvolus 13
@10 - Fair enough. Backpage, then.
Posted by evilvolus on January 12, 2013 at 12:36 PM · Report this
@9, because it's obvious and verifiable when someone's a minor. It's not verifiable when someone has mental health issues; unless the person has an institutional record tatooed on their forehead, you're depending on individual assumption.
Posted by sarah70 on January 12, 2013 at 10:51 PM · Report this
@14, Not necessarily obvious when someone is a minor. However, I think you missed #2, where I said:

"Somehow, I think if you have enough history to show mental illness as a defense at your trial there really should be enough to prevent you from owning a firearm."

If you are given an involuntary stay at a mental institution, I think that should be sufficient grounds to lose your right to bear arms. Perhaps there should be some way to get your right back, but the current method is far too easy.

If mental health professionals had a way to report someone as being unfit to bear arms (yep, would require a national database of those mentally unfit - what? Too nazi-like for you? But! Keeping a national database of firearms owners is perfectly okay?) you could use that as well, with the same caveat as above.

The fact is that the majority of mass shooters had a history of mental illness. It isn't like serial killers where, afterwards, everyone is like, "He was the best neighbor ever, I had no idea he buried dozens of teenage boys in the crawlspace under his house." By and large, the response to mass shooters is, "No surprise, everyone was just waiting something like that to happen."
Posted by randoma on January 13, 2013 at 11:05 AM · Report this

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