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August 10, 2009

CSGV Mailbag

In the wake of yet another mass shooting by an individual who legally purchased firearms (and obtained a permit to carry a concealed handgun) despite being clearly deranged, the need for sensible gun laws in the United States is more obvious than ever.

Thankfully, it is not only gun control supporters who are committed to preventing such unnecessary acts of violence. Here at the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, we are blessed to receive inspiring emails from gun rights activists who are dedicated to ending the suffering that gun violence causes in our country. Over the past four months...

We heard from those who—thankfully—are taking care of their own hygiene...

From: Sinuhe Agrinzoni [sagrin@hotmail.com]
Subject: RE: Tell Congress: Don't Weaken Hidden Handgun Laws!
Date: July 9, 2009

you are an idiot. It is not the people legally carrying hand guns with proper permits that we have a problem with. It is the other wanna be gangsters roaming the streets with no clue or common sense that is the real threat. Get your facts straight and look up how many law abiding citizens are committing gun crimes. The number is staggeringly low. Take me off your ridiculously liberal mailing list. People like you are not qualified to wash my crotch.

Have a good day!

We heard from those who are arming themselves against dangerous practitioners of non-violence...

From: Randall 2 [randall2@randallcounty.org]
Subject: The truth
Date: July 5, 2009

You need to wake up and grow up. There have always been predators---individuals, governments, gangs, religions, in the world and always will be. People have the right, and if they have any family, they have a moral obligation to protect themselves and loved ones as well as their property. If you are too much of a coward to do this, you have no right to live here in America and enjoy the liberties we have. The question is : Why are you afraid of me having a gun? I am a law abiding, patriotic, God fearing, America and family loving citizen. I WILL have my gun to protect myself against YOU !

We heard from fans of CSGV President Mike Beard’s “Mondays With Mike” Blog...

From: lawrence mattera [lawrence.mattera@sbcglobal.net]
Subject: Mondays with fatass!
Date: June 4, 2009

Ted Nugents mental health ? What about your eating disorder,Mike? The fact is your previuos job as lobbyist shows what kind of person you are. Anything for a buck.That fact that you "feed your face" thru a anti gun group that has no "grassroots" support as you claim shows that desperation brings you earn any way you can. How do you live with yourself? From a "lobbyist" to a million mom moron. BRAVO Mike or shall I call you Munching Mike.

We heard from those with great concern for world hunger...

From: Bigdawgbob13@aol.com [Bigdawgbob13@aol.com]
Date: May 31, 2009

Try feeding some children instead of wasting your time on something you can't do. DUH

From: REBARDR1@aol.com [REBARDR1@aol.com]
Date: April 12, 2009

you people make me laugh you can not stop terrorist/ drugs/ drug dealers/ illegal gambling/prostitution/ and everything else in this country but you want to take guns from the ordinary citizen so the criminals will just get another valuable product meaning the fire arm to have in thier corrupt business's WAKE UP you people can not even feed the poor in this country

We heard from those who never explained how you’re supposed to know if someone’s a felon if you don’t run a background check on them; and who missed a recent 20/20 special...

From: slg1373
Subject: Get educated before you post
Date: May 10, 2009

Ther are no gun show loopholes. All sales @ gun shows go thru the same background check as a gun store. The only loophole is a private sale, and the person selling faces a felony if he knowing sales to a felon or someome not legally able to own a gun. Private sales go on everyday. You do not need a gun show. If Wal Mart sells a man a baseball bat and it is used to kill someone, Is Walmart responsible? More guns are used to protect and defend than used in crimes.more people die in car accidents than by guns. Wheres the legilation on banning cars. There are millons of illegal aliens driving without licenses that can't even read road signs, you would save more people by stopping that than banning guns. But doing that is not on the Liberal "feel good" agenda. If you don't beleive the loophole part go to the next gun show in your area and see for yourself.

We heard from those whose signatures stated the obvious...

From: Nathan Jack [nathan.jack95@yahoo.com]
Subject: BS
Date: April 8, 2009

You are all just a bunch of pathetic, wimpy, socialist, and nazi liberals. You think you can get rid of guns? 2nd amendment. Bad guys will always have guns even if you ban them.

A pissed off citizen

And finally, we heard from a heavily armed guy who would have attended that gun show anyway...

From: Rob Snyder [tango_1_alpha@yahoo.com]
Subject: Gun show Loop holes
Date: April 7, 2009

You poor folks are some of the most un-enlighten individuals I've ever come across. Your web site is so full of inaccuracies and false information, it's a wonder you have ever been taken seriously even by the mindless mass media. It's no wonder gun sales and the sale of ammunition are sky rocketing. You're web site might as well have a direct link to the NRA because you are so obviously biased even in the face of the truth. I want to thank you for directing me to attend a gun show. As a result of your "Loop hole" rhetoric, I decided to check it out for myself. I bought a couple of nice hand guns and an "assault rifle" at a great price! I was also able to shop and buy more accessories than I ever knew existed and all the ammo I could carry. The people have spoken, let freedom ring!

August 3, 2009

Northern Exposure

Though gun control advocates typically focus on the harmful impact that weak laws have on American families, it is becoming increasingly clear that the ease of acquiring firearms in the U.S. has implications far outside our borders.

In June, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report which stated: “While it is impossible to know how many firearms are illegally smuggled into Mexico in a given year, about 87 percent of firearms seized by Mexican authorities and traced in the last 5 years originated in the United States, according to data from Department of Justice’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) … Many of these firearms come from gun shops and gun shows in Southwest border states.”

Understandably, this data has resulted in a national focus on Mexico as an example of how America’s loose laws lead to international firearms proliferation. A recent study in the journal Criminology and Criminal Justice, however, suggests that our neighbor to the north has also been profoundly affected by the trafficker-friendly environment in the United States. The findings of the study, entitled “The Illicit Firearms Trade in North America,” include the following:

The study’s authors found, “among all data sources, the majority of the successfully traced handguns recovered in crime in Canada are found to originate in the United States and we know of no evidence that would lead one to believe that other countries are a major source of smuggled handguns.”

Criminals and traffickers look south because guns are not easy to come by in Canada. Since 1930, Canadians have been required to show “just cause” to own a handgun, and all firearms must be registered with the government. Guns are particularly easy to acquire in the United States (through straw purchases and unregulated private sales), however, and “long, undefended borders between Canada and the United States, in particular, present a challenge for customs officials who must balance the demands for free flow of goods and people with security needs.”

“The main mechanisms by which weapons are illegally trafficked from one country to another are concealment, false declaration and falsification of documents and mail order,” the study observes. “The networks for smuggling guns are diffuse and range from individuals concealing a few guns in their car to large-scale commercial operations … Mail is another means of illegal importation and one that is often difficult to detect.”

Not surprisingly, the study’s recommendations for curbing the flow of firearms into Canada begin with reforms in the United States. Such reforms would include, “improvements to regulations of firearms (for example regulating transactions at gun shows…as they do in California), better enforcement of existing regulations that prohibit straw purchases and illicit sales at gun shows, and enhanced investigations of smuggling operations.”

The authors also call for freer access to information about trafficked guns. “A firmer factual base...could be established if data from criminal investigations and gun tracing were released for research purposes,” the study finds. “A broader inquiry is warranted: the stakes are very high for developing effective strategies for limiting the illicit movements of guns.” The absence of this “factual base” has been aggravated by the Tiahrt Amendments, which restrict the ability of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to release crime gun trace data, as well as require the destruction of approved criminal background check records after 24 hours.

Toothless U.S. gun laws endanger not only Americans, but the entire continent. With all the recent concern about American guns feeding a war against the government in Mexico, it is long past time to consider the harm being done north of the border.