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Archive for May, 2013

Gun lovers gather for build-your-own-rifle parties


Editors Note:   This MSN News article details the newest crease in the world of guns. “Build your own gun party” , ” It’s just liking knitting or Barbie” they say, only it this party the object is to build your own AR-15 or AK-47 military grade assault rifle. And guess what, as long as you are building it for your own use and not commercially it’s all legal, you don’t even have to register it as per current gun laws. One of the problems  though as stated by Mr. Gene Hoffman, CEO of the National Gun Victims Council, is how do you keep dangerous felons or possible terrorists from joining the party? Very simply you can’t. I admit that I know nothing about terrorists but after checking with local police and state parole officials I found out that the current laws bans felons from owning or parching a weapon. The law says nothing about punching the pats to make a weapon yourself.

As always please feel free to submit any comments or questions that you may have about this post or any other  article appearing in this blog.

Build-your-own-gun parties: Customers look over the last two AR-15 style rifles for sale inside a gun shop in Florida.

Reuters. Gun-building parties are an easy way to obtain a weapon like an AR-15.

MSN News  Friday, 24 May 2013   By Matt Kwong of MSN News

Rifle-building parties mix burgers and beer with a chance to sidestep gun laws by building your own weapon.

What’s a party without some brewskies, a few burgers on the grill and a group of buddies just kicking back and assembling some of the world’s deadliest assault weapons from make-shift parts?

That’s the premise of so-called rifle “build parties” that are spawning across the U.S. and in California in particular, where the gun laws are considered to be among the country’s most restrictive.

Although gun ownership makes a person subject to having their firearms registered with the government, build parties provide a setting in which gun aficionados can circumvent that requirement. They’re a convenient way to obtain trendy AR-15 or AK-47 assault rifles without the bureaucratic headaches associated with gun ownership, according to firearms advocates.

That’s because there is no law prohibiting Americans from making their own firearms for personal use, explains Alan Gottleib, founder of the Seattle-based Second Amendment Foundation.

“People get together to build their own rifle, so to speak. They buy the parts, they sit down together, and they assemble them,” he said. “Of course the way the laws are written, if you’re making a gun for your own use and it’s not commercial, there’s no law against that.”

Lindsay Nichols, attorney with the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence in San Francisco, confirmed the legality. “That’s right, the law is weak enough that it doesn’t apply to making your own gun for your own personal use,” she said. “I think what’s scariest about these gun build parties is the kinds of guns we’re talking about. ”

IT’S LIKE KNITTING AND BARBIES

Gene Hoffman, the San Francisco-based chairman of the Calguns Foundation, which promotes “Second Amendment freedom fighting,” characterizes the knowledge-sharing gatherings as just another group for hobbyists wanting to learn more about a craft.

“It’s knitting for guys,” Hoffman says. “It’s exactly the same thing that gets people to go buy a ’67 Dodge Charger and rebuild it. Call it a very guy thing.”

Only in this case, instead of restoring a junkyard car, partygoers are welding, sawing, degreasing and twisting high-powered rifles into shape.

“People put hot dogs on the grill, there are beverages, and it’s a nice Saturday afternoon with some blow torches and a 10-ton press,” Hoffman said.

While AR-15s may be hard to obtain at gun shops, they’re fairly easy to construct. For gun builders, according to Hoffman, “the running joke about AR-15s is they’re Barbies for boys.”

SIMPLE AND DANGEROUS

In an illustration of just how simple it can be to manufacture an unregistered AK-47, a reporter with the investigative magazine Mother Jones recently posted a report detailing how he joined a build party in Los Angeles to build an AK-47 that is untraceable.

Most of the kits, according to the report, come from stockpiles in former war zones.

Gun-control advocates responded with alarm over the Mother Jones exposé.

“The thought is just horrific,” said Elliot Fineman, CEO of the National Gun Victims Action Council in Chicago. “You can’t allow people to walk around with deadly weapons and not expect to have the statistics that we have, which is the highest level of gun homicide and gun-related crime in the developed countries.”

Among Fineman’s concerns is how anyone would be able to screen attendees at a build party for potential dangerous felons or even terrorists.

“You have all these hate groups, and … these people right now can arm themselves with AK-47s. These people are nuts. I don’t want them armed with AK-47s,” he said.

Happy Birthday Mr. President


President John F. Kennedy   29 May 1917 – 22 November 1963

John-F-Kennedy-9362930-1-402

We Remember


We set aside this day to remember the generations of our Bothers and Sisters in Arms, those of us who made it back and to honor the memory of those who did not.

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Want to Buy a Gun Without a Background Check? Armslist Can Help


Inside the controversial, mysterious world of online gun sales.

—By Stephanie Mencimer

| Fri Feb. 1, 2013 4:06 AM PST

The Armslist logo. Armslist

In 2007, US Air Force Academy graduate Jon Gibbon saw a television interview about Craigslist that got him thinking. The online classifieds site had decided to reject ads for firearms, and Gibbon thought he had spotted an opportunity. "When I heard them say that they decided to ban all gun-related ads because a few users cried out for it, it inspired me to create a place for law-abiding gun owners to buy and sell online without all of the hassles of auctions and shipping," he told Human Events in 2010.

So Gibbon hooked up with his academy buddy Brian Mancini, and two years later the pair launched a website they thought was destined to fill a natural void in the online marketplace: Armslist, a website devoted specifically to the private sales of guns and related gear. The site allows private sellers to offer guns for sale to other private purchasers. Buyers can contact sellers via phone or email to set up the sale, and avoid going through a federal background check or even leaving a paper trail. Such transactions are more anonymous than purchasing a weapon at a gun show, where people who can’t pass a background check can buy large quantities of guns.

Armslist quickly took off. By 2011, it was one of the largest online gun sites in the country, with more than 13,000 active listings for firearms. The site also had another, more dubious distinction: Weapons obtained through the site have been tied to the murders of four people and one suicide. An undercover New York City investigation (PDF) found that the site likely was a major conduit for illegal gun sales. Investigators discovered that 54 percent of the sellers they contacted through the site were openly willing to sell firearms to people who admitted they couldn’t pass a background check (which is a felony, incidentally).

Armslist isn’t the only online gun site in the country, but it’s by far the biggest, especially after KSL.com, a news site owned by the Mormon church, stopped taking gun ads after the Newtown shooting. These sorts of online operations are a primary target of proposals from President Obama that would require background checks for every gun sale, even private ones. When New York City took a look at the online gun marketplace in 2011, it found more than 25,000 weapons for sale on just 10 websites, making the internet a significant component of gun industry. The report suggested that the internet sales were likely tied to a fair amount of crime

Editors Note:

The above article was copied from MotherJones.com/politics. I don’t know about you but the above article scares the bevies out of me.

Just the thought that anyone with an internet connection and enough money can get their hands on a gun with no questions asked, no matter if they are a felon, a mentally ill person, or what ever, is mind boggling to me. hat I have ever

Consider the fact that, as stated in the article, "Armslist isn’t the only online gun site in the country". This is one of the most compelling reasons for enhanced gun background checks that I have ever heard. Remember that only 60% of all weapons sold are covered under our current background check law. Now I know that 60% sounds like a large number, and I agree that it is, but consider that this leaves 40% of all weapon sales with no background checks whatever.

Now if I, with just a minimal amount of internet snooping, can find articles like this I find it very hard to believe that their wasn’t at least one of the entire Republican Senators and a handful of Democratic Senators that voted against the President Obama’s enhanced gun background checks did not know as well.

For more information be shure to click on the blue hyper link "undercover New York City investigation" to view in PDF format the entire 20 some page report.

As always any comments, questions, and or concerns are more than welcomed.

Video

Even On Mother’s Day


Editors Note:  For more on gun violence and the need for enhanced gun background checks watch the attached You Tube video from MSNBC  “The Rachel Maddow Show”  To give you some quick background information the show was broadcast the day after Mothers Day and  dealing with the shooting that happened at the New Orleans Mother’s Day Parade in which numerous bystanders, including a 10-year-old boy and girl, were wounded.

Also for anyone keeping track this is my first attempt to add a video to this blog. If this works I will try adding more video’s not only to bolster my point but also hopefully make this blog more interesting for you to read and watch.

As always please feel free to send in any questions, comments or concerns you might have and I will try to address them.

To view the video please click on the hyperlink below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ei6Hut9zVE

Thanks to Mother Jones hear is how Keystone Sporting Arms, the maker of the Crickett Rifle, advertise to children.


Here’s How the Rifle That Just Killed a 2-Year-Old Girl Is Marketed for Kids

—By Mark Follman

| Wed May. 1, 2013 3:10 PM PDT

On Tuesday, inside a rural Kentucky home, a five-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed his two-year-old sister. The boy had been playing with a .22 caliber single-shot Crickett rifle made and marketed for kids. The children’s mother was reportedly outside the house when the shooting took place, and apparently didn’t know that the gun contained a shell.

"Just one of those crazy accidents," said the Cumberland County coroner, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Clearly the issue of parental responsibility is at the center of this tragedy. But against the backdrop of the Newtown massacre and ongoing national debate over regulating firearms, it also points back to the big business of guns—including how the industry profits from products aimed at children.

The Pennsylvania-based maker of Crickett rifles, Keystone Sporting Arms, markets its guns with the slogan "My First Rifle." They are available with different barrel and stock designs, including some made in hot pink to appeal to young girls.

Business has boomed since the company’s inception in 1996, according to its website*. In its first year, it had four employees and produced 4,000 rifles for kids; by 2008 it had greatly expanded its operations, with 70 employees and an output of 60,000 rifles a year. KSA’s site states that its goal is "to instill gun safety in the minds of youth shooters and encourage them to gain the knowledge and respect that hunting and shooting activities require and deserve."

But a visit to the "kids corner" page reveals a gallery of photos that some people might find unsettling:

Then again, KSA’s approach to arming America’s tykes may be no more disturbing than the post-Newtown boom in bulletproof backpacks and school clothes.

Update, May 3, 10:30amPT: Shortly after we published this story, the Crickett Firearms website was shut down, and it remains unavailable. This morning I called Keystone Sporting Arms and was referred to attorney John Renzulli, who spoke on behalf of the company: He said that the Crickett Firearms site had been "inundated and corrupted" by a surge of visitors and had been shut down by the hosting service. "We’re working hard with the host to get the site up again," he said, though he declined to specify when it would be restored. (It’s an intriguing explanation given that Crickett’s accounts on Facebook and Twitter have also since disappeared.)

Renzulli acknowledged that the accidental death of the two-year-old girl in Kentucky has stirred strong emotions, but said that it was not an appropriate time to continue the debate about gun control. "This is not about Crickett Firearms," he said. "We need to respect the privacy of these people, this family is going through a lot. We’re not going to analyze and evaluate what happened here until a full investigation has been conducted by law enforcement. At that point we’ll comment."

Here are some additional screen shots I captured from the "kids corner" page of Crickett.com:

Screen shots: Crickett Firearms website

Mark Follman

Senior Editor

Mark Follman is a senior editor at Mother Jones. Read more of his stories, follow him on Twitter, or contact him with tips or feedback at mfollman (at) motherjones (dot) com. RSS | Twitter

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They even come in bright pink for little girls.


Fatal shooting with gun for ‘kids’ renews marketing debate

AP Photo: Dylan Lovan. Toddler accidentally shot: A home in Cumberland County, Ky., Wednesday, where a 2-year-old girl was shot by her 5-year-old brother with a gun designed for children.

By James Eng of MSN News

The shooting death of a 2-year -old by a 5-year-old in Kentucky is prompting renewed debate over the marketing of firearms for children.

The accidental fatal shooting of a 2-year-old Kentucky girl by her 5-year-old brother with "a little rifle for a kid" has cast renewed attention on the marketing of firearms to children.

Caroline Sparks was shot in the chest on Tuesday afternoon by her brother while he was playing with a .22-caliber Crickett rifle at the family’s home in rural Cumberland County.

The weapon is marketed as "My First Rifle" by Keystone Sporting Arms, a firearms business based in Milton, Pa. The Crickett rifles are available with various barrel and stock designs and come in several colors, including bright pink to appeal to girls.

The section of the company’s website devoted to Crickett rifles was inaccessible for much of Thursday. The site sports a "Kids Corner" featuring a series of pictures of smiling youngsters toting and shooting small rifles. It also touts laudatory testimonials from parents and children. A typical one reads:

"My wife told me to do something with my daughter after gymnastics today, she recommended going for hot chocolate or a donut. I thought, that’s not special, plus once you’ve consumed the item where does that leave you. Instead we bought a pink Crickett from my six year old daughter and wanted to say thanks for making quality affordable firearms for new shooters."

Keystone declined comment on its marketing and on the firearm used in the Kentucky shooting, described by the county coroner as "a little rifle for a kid."

The company referred inquiries to its attorney, John Renzulli, who told MSN News: "The privacy of the family needs to be respected at this time. Until there is a complete investigation Keystone will refrain from making a comment."

Renzulli added: "At some point the facts will emerge as to what really occurred here."

LEARNING TO FIRE

Federal law prohibits firearms dealers from selling shotguns or rifles to anyone under 18 but there’s no minimum age for possession, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

Keystone’s website says the Crickett rifle is "ideally sized" for children 4 to 10 years old. The company stresses the importance of learning to safely handle firearms at an early age:

"The goal of KSA is to instill gun safety in the minds of youth shooters and encourage them to gain the knowledge and respect that hunting and shooting activities require and deserve."

Gun safety and firearm restrictions have been in the spotlight in the aftermath of the Newtown, Conn., school shootings in December that left 20 children and six adults dead.

Among a host of gun-control proposals introduced this year by Connecticut lawmakers is a bill that would establish a task force to study the marketing of firearms to children.

Psychologist and youth marketing consultant James McNeal, author of the 1999 book "The Kids Market: Myths and Realities," decried the targeted advertising.

"Ever since I can remember, harmful products, including weapons, have been marketed to children -— in more ways than I can count," McNeal told MSN News via email. "And ever since I can remember there have been laws and organizations that could prevent it, and didn’t, and don’t."

PREVENTING ACCESS

Steve Sanetti, president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the firearms industry, told The New York Times that parents, not the government, should be the ones to ultimately decide if and when to introduce their children to shooting, and what sort of firearms to use.

"It’s a very significant decision," he told the Times, "and it involves the personal responsibility of the parent and personal responsibility of the child.”

Firearms expert T.J. Johnston said the problem isn’t marketing of firearms, but access.

A horrible tragedy that never should have happened.


5-year-old fatally shoots 2-year-old sister

AP Photo: Dylan Lovan. 5 year old shoots 2 year old: A home in Cumberland County, Ky, is seen on May 1, 2013, where a 2-year-old girl was shot by her 5-year-old brother with a gun designed for children.

By Associated Press

In a tragic accident, a 5-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed his 2-year-old sister in southern Kentucky.

BURKESVILLE, Ky. — A 5-year-old boy accidentally shot his 2-year-old sister to death in rural southern Kentucky with a rifle he had received as a gift last year, authorities said.

The children’s mother was home at the time of the shooting Tuesday afternoon but had stepped on to the porch for "no more than three minutes," Cumberland County Coroner Gary White told WKYT-TV.

White told the Lexington Herald-Leader the boy received the .22-caliber rifle as a gift. He said the rifle was kept in a corner and the family didn’t realize a bullet was left inside it.

"It’s a Crickett," White said, referring to a company that specifically makes guns, clothes and books for children. "It’s a little rifle for a kid. … The little boy’s used to shooting the little gun."

White said the shooting was an accident.

It wasn’t immediately clear who gave the boy the gun or exactly what led up to the shooting. White did not return a telephone call from The Associated Press on Wednesday.

State police said in a brief news release the shooting occurred when the boy was "playing" with the rifle, but did not elaborate.

It is not clear whether any charges will be filed, said Kentucky State Police spokesman Trooper Billy Gregory.

"I think it’s too early to say whether there will or won’t be," Gregory said Wednesday.

Keystone Sporting Arms, based in Milton, Penn., produced 60,000 Crickett and Chipmunk rifles in 2008, according to its website. It also makes guns for adults, but most of its products are geared toward children.

The company’s slogan is "my first rifle" and its website has a "Kids Corner" section where pictures of young boys and girls are displayed, most of them showing the children at shooting ranges and on bird and deer hunts. The smaller rifles are sold with a mount to use at a shooting range.

"The goal of KSA is to instill gun safety in the minds of youth shooters and encourage them to gain the knowledge and respect that hunting and shooting activities require and deserve," the website said.

No one at the company answered the phone Wednesday.

According to its website, Bill McNeal and his son Steve McNeal decided to make guns for young shooters in the mid-1990s and opened Keystone in 1996 with just four employees, producing 4,000 rifles that year. It now employs about 70 people.

Burkesville sits near the Tennessee-Kentucky state line along the Cumberland River, among the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. The small city is about 90 miles northeast of Nashville, Tenn.

It is home to a Mennonite community that gained attention in 2010 when nine of its members were killed in a head-on collision with a tractor-trailer.

A Great Award for a Great Lady who is not only a gun owner also a victim of gun violence herself.


Giffords wins courage award, challenges Congress on guns

Reuters: Brian Snyder. Giffords wins courage award: Gabrielle Giffords.

By Aaron Pressman of Reuters

Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords urged Congress to find the courage to support gun control.

BOSTON – Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords received the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award on Sunday, and asked Congress to act more courageously on the issue of gun control.

"We all have courage inside," Giffords, who herself survived being shot in 2011, said at the Kennedy Library in Boston. "I wish there was more courage in Congress. Sometimes it’s hard to express it."

The remarks come just a few weeks after the U.S. Senate voted down a measure to expand background checks for gun buyers, a step favored by President Barack Obama and most Americans.

Related: Obama slams senators who opposed gun measure

An online Reuters/Ipsos poll released in January showed that 86 percent of those surveyed favored expanded background checks of all gun buyers.

Giffords, a Democrat, was shot in the head when a gunman opened fire on a congressional outreach event in Tucson in January 2011, killing six people and wounding a dozen others. She resigned from Congress a year after the shooting to focus on her recovery.

Following the attack in Newtown, Conn., that killed 26 people at an elementary school in December, Giffords and her husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly, founded a lobby group aimed at curbing gun violence and challenging the political clout of the well-funded gun lobby.

Related: Giffords, Kelly launch gun control initiative

Before the awards ceremony on Sunday, Giffords and Kelly visited victims of the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing who are recovering at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital.

The award, named for President Kennedy’s 1957 Pulitzer Prize-winning book "Profiles in Courage," was presented to Giffords by foundation president Caroline Kennedy.

Senators, both Republican and Democrats, who voted against extended background checks saw their poll numbers fall.


Gun control: NH Sen. Ayotte faces backlash for vote

Getty: File. N.H. Sen. Kelly Ayotte speaks at Conservative Political Action Conference. Ayotte is facing a backlash over her vote on gun control.

By Associated Press

A Newtown victim’s daughter confronted the senator over her "no" vote on background checks as pro- and anti-gun groups run political ads in the independent-leaning state.

WARREN, N.H. — A woman whose mother was killed in last year’s school shooting in Newtown, Conn., confronted Sen. Kelly Ayotte Tuesday during the senator’s first public appearance in New Hampshire since voting against gun control legislation.

About 150 people attended the town hall meeting, where Ayotte defended her vote against a bill that would have required criminal and mental health background checks for people buying guns online or at gun shows.

After the vote two weeks ago, the New Hampshire Republican, a former prosecutor, expressed concern that expanded background checks could harm the rights of gun owners.

"I’m just wondering why the burden of my mother being gunned down in the halls of her elementary school isn’t as important," WMUR-TV reported Erica Lafferty asking.

Lafferty’s mother, Dawn Hochsprung, was the principal of Sandy Hook Elementary School, where 20 pupils and six educators were slain in December. She died after lunging at the gunman to try to stop him from firing.

Ayotte said she was sorry for what Lafferty has been through.

"And I think that ultimately when we look at what happened in Sandy Hook we should have a fuller discussion to make sure that doesn’t happen again," she said.

Ayotte said she hoped to find some common ground but that she didn’t think the enhanced background checks that she voted against would have changed the outcome in the Newtown shootings.

"Mental health is the one area that I hope we can agree on going forward to work on because that seems to be the overriding issue on the list and that is why I have been trying to work across the aisle on that issue," she said.

Local and out-of-state groups who opposed Ayotte’s vote held up signs that read "Shame on You." Ayotte supporters countered with signs reading "I support Kelly."

Ayotte is considered a solid Republican but represents a state known for its independent streak, and was the only senator from the Northeast to vote against the gun control expansion advocated by Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., and Pat Toomey, R-Penn.

Gun control groups, including those led by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, have begun running ads criticizing Ayotte for her "no" vote on the background check measure. The National Rifle Association has countered with ads backing Ayotte and thanking her for her vote.

MSN News contributed to this report.

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