Thursday, July 26, 2007

Gun Shop Owner IDs VT Wannabe?

It looks like a student at Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville decided that he wanted a whole bunch of guns all at once. That's not a problem, normally. It is a problem if you get all twitchy about it at the store. The problem is compunded further if you've written something that threatens a campus shooting spree if you don't get money in a certain amount of time. It's even worse if you abandon your car and leave the note where it can be found.

There's something else here that doesn't add up. He's under investigation for fraud and theft in regards to making a false online sale at a gun auction site. He's acting like he's trying to be some kind of gunrunner, but failing miserably at it. I suppose we should be glad for such small favors. But he's also got the whole double life thing going: two passports (American and Nigerian), two places of residence (Englewood NJ and St. Louis) and two seemingly distinct personas (the nice guy persona is posted on Facebook, the angry college student on MySpace). His friends all deny he could do something like that, as he's a nice guy around them. He's also a fraternity president who apparently is a self-styled rapper, writing lyrics typical of the genre.

So, we've perhaps got a guy here who has some kind of split personality problems, or we're faced with a guy who's a thug using a nice guy act to cover his trail, or even a Walter Mitty-type character who conflates fantasy with reality. I definitely want more information on this. It's a shame we can't trust every gun owner to be responsible, but it's better to weed out the miscreants instead of punishing the entire group.

Oh, before your anti-gun friends freak out over online gun sales, remind them that in order to receive a gun via the mail you MUST have a valid Federal Firearms License. Those things aren't cheap and you do get a lot of regular scrutiny (and if the local agents are dicks, regular harassment, too) from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. If I were to make an online purchase of any gun, I would have to have it sent to one of the local FFL holders. These FFL holders are mainly gun dealers with their own shops and stock, so in my case it's just easier to order something directly through the shop owner. Besides, transfer fees have gone up recently because of people trying to pull crap like what happened downstate. So, try as you might, you can't just go to the internet, order an automatic rifle and have it shipped right to your doorstep without there being some kind of government observation. Mail-order gun sales were prohibited with the Gun Control Act of 1968. You don't break that law unless you really like the idea of spending time in federal prison.

Also, the Saluki alumnus in me says "Thank God it didn't happen in Carbondale! They have enough problems down there!"

1 comment:

Weetabix said...

It's too bad the press doesn't feature gun owners in the same proportions as they exist: 99.9% positive articles to 0.1% negative would be a refreshing change.

It's a good thing this guy appears to be an incompetent bad guy.