Post User Polls

Are gun stores responsible for crime?

By Paul Williams  |  October 23, 2010; 8:50 PM ET  | Category:  National Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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While holding gun stores responsible for crimes committed with guns bought there is an understandable response from a public frustrated by violent crime, it is just another example of the malady that has affected us for years now of finding s scapegoat rather than attacking a problem directly. Gun stores should be held responsible for violating the laws that apply to them, such as background checks and record-keeping. People who commit crimes with guns would not have been choir boys and girls if guns were not available. They should be punished appropriately.

Posted by: wrives | October 23, 2010 11:13 PM

Gun stores being responsible for a nut case?? do not think so.Like how do they know.If the paper work is filed and legal it is done. If owner caught selling illegally>YES

Posted by: rgw1946 | October 23, 2010 11:14 PM

The question should be phrased as follows:

Does the possession of a firearm cause a law abiding citizen to pursue violent criminal activity?

-OR-

Does the desire to pursue violent criminal activity prompt someone to acquire a firearm?

Posted by: Dnordgre | October 23, 2010 11:32 PM

Should computer sales stores be held libel for the damage done by hackers and creators of virus?

Posted by: slim21 | October 23, 2010 11:34 PM

What a crock of a leading question. Washington Post should be ashamed of such a BS question.
Should the Post be held responsible who read stories then acts on them? Sure why not, it makes about as much sense as this poll.

What is most interesting is where open or concealed carry is permitted, the gun violence rate is significantly ***LESS*** than regressive cities like Chicago and DC.

Man up, get a pair then get a clue. If you knew 20% of the people in an area were likely carrying, instead of only the criminals having guns, you'd likely not do something that was incredibly stupid and illegal.

Shame on you Washington Post for returning to your previous yellow journalistic ways.

Posted by: washingtonpost53 | October 23, 2010 11:43 PM

The nature of this poll questioning is entirely in line with the Post's long held belief that we blame things such as guns rather that blaming people who do bad things.

Liberals simply refuse to accept that there are basically rotten evil people out there, and they should be held responsible as individuals for what they do as individuals.

In a word, exercise some personal responsibility. What a shocking new concept that would be.

Posted by: inoue | October 24, 2010 12:03 AM

This is one of those "post hoc ergo propter hoc" fallacies--attempting to establish effect from a non-cause. Just because there is a gun does not mean somebody will be threatened with it. IT IS THE HUMAN BEING WHO PERPETRATES THE CRIME, NOT THE GUN, AND NOT THE GUN STORE. Fact is: we have a problem in our ghettos and 'projects' that needs scrutinizing and solving--the gun, the crime, the threats emanate from the ill-bred and not from inanimate objects.

Posted by: IIntgrty | October 24, 2010 12:14 AM

Perhaps you should run another poll asking the question "Should car makers be held responsible for crimes committed by criminals driving their cars."

Posted by: dan_l | October 24, 2010 12:16 AM

In addition, Dan, we should find out if makers of fireplace pokers, knives, hammers, baseball bats, gasoline, gasoline cans, matches, boards, sticks, rocks, vases, statues, and other such objects used to kill people ought to be held responsible for every dumb urge the ill-bred has to wreak havoc. OR, we could try to turn around the abuse and neglect that breeds killers.

Posted by: IIntgrty | October 24, 2010 12:19 AM

Are car dealership responsible for crime? Are car dealership responsible for drunk driving? Of course not. What a stupid question from the Post. What a PC way to think. Individual responsibility is never considered by the Post.

Posted by: marylandterps | October 24, 2010 12:19 AM

1. Should car stores be held responsible for crimes committed with cars that they have sold?

2. Should computer stores be held responsible for crimes committed with computers that they have sold?

3. "..."

Posted by: moebius22 | October 24, 2010 12:34 AM

If you look at the headline to the one article, this gun store has been responsible for 2500 accusations of crime. Now, given the penchant for drive by journalism and the dissemblance of half truths and outright lies by this newspaper, I would bet the number of crimes committed, at least in part, as a result would be four or five times that, easily. In fact, the Brady nuts and gun control idiots like this reporter likely are responsible for "contributing" to thousands of crimes. Given the logic being pushed, the Post should be shut down and this reporter and every other member of the Brady Foundation ought to be arrested and imprisoned for life. That sounds reasonable to me!

Posted by: mibrooks27 | October 24, 2010 12:46 AM

If you really wanted results, you'd hold the keystone cops responsible for increased crime rates in their operational area. Who is in charge here, the citizens or the corrupt cops?

Posted by: washingtonpost53 | October 24, 2010 1:00 AM

Shame On YOU WAPO trying to sneak Obama and
Mr Law Suit Eric Holder Gun Grab in on all
Law Abiding American Gun Owner with this sham poll! Just Say No To Obama & Holders
Up Coming Gun Grab After Election 2010!...
Support The Second Amendment by Voting All
Democrat Gun Grabbers Out Of Office!

Posted by: carleen09 | October 24, 2010 1:44 AM

@OP Criminals are responsible for crime. That's why they're called
criminals.

criminal
noun
Definition of CRIMINAL
1
: one who has committed a crime

The person is responsible for the crime, not the tools s/he happen to use, be it a gun, knife, stick, fist or a vehicle. Trying to assign blame to the manufacturer of the tool is ridiculous.

Posted by: wapo16 | October 24, 2010 2:08 AM

I don't own a gun, and certainly dislike the NRA. Having said that, I realize that gun ownership is legal and I fully support responsible hunters who use their weapons on the increasingly out of control deer population in our country, and I certainly have nothing against target shooters. Like everything else in this country, there are extremists, fully supported by the NRA, who feel they have to be armed like a small army, with automatic weaponry and bullets that blow large holes in anything they are directed towards. This I am against.

Back to the survey question, now that I have that off my chest. In no way do I believe that a gun store owner should be held responsible for the actions of his customers, as long as the guns have been sold in a legal way and the proper papers filed, anymore than I believe a car dealer should be held responsible if one of his customers does something stupid with a car he has sold.

I would add a caveat to the survey question though. The issue of guns being sold at gun shows, specifically in the parking lots of the shows, by persons unknown circumventing applicable gun laws, would make me support legislation placing responsibility for the actions of parking lot customers on the parking lot sellers. This I would support enthusiastically.

Posted by: rtinindiana | October 24, 2010 2:27 AM

If guns were responsible for crime, every cop would be a criminal. The only was to get around that conclusion is to admit that some people are responsible and able to possess and use a firearm for reasonable purposes, and some aren't.

As for keeping guns from the possession of criminals, give it up: we can't. As long as criminals will want an advantage over their victims, they'll find ways to acquire guns.

Posted by: dryrunfarm1 | October 24, 2010 3:54 AM

Gun stores are responsible for crime like car dealers are responsible for wrecks.

Posted by: usnr02 | October 24, 2010 6:42 AM

I wonder if the Post would be as interested in conducting a study that would credit these gun stores for the number of crimes that have been prevented when the intended victims had arms available with which to defend themselves?

Posted by: Gaffer57 | October 24, 2010 7:01 AM

This is a very badly put question. If you were to ask me should a store be potentially liable - I would say yes - absolutely. A lot of gun rights supporters would say the same.

But that is not how the question is put - it asks if "Should gun stores be held responsible for crimes committed with weapons that they have sold?" as an absolute - should they be liable if a crime is committed - not matter what? And even ardent gun control supporters are unlikely to agree with that premise.

The fair question is - should stores be held responsible under certain circumstances for guns that they have sold that are used in crimes? What circumstances? For example an obvious strawman purchase? An illegal weapon? A sale without a background check?

In what circumstances should they not be held liable? If the gun was stolen? If the buyer had a gun license? If the buyer passed a background check?

Instead this is a simplistic question that seems to assume that the Post's readers are stupid - or that they do not understand nuance.

Posted by: MacK6 | October 24, 2010 7:35 AM

You're asking the wrong question about getting to the heart of America's gun insanity.

Posted by: krausman369 | October 24, 2010 7:36 AM

Come to think of it, a lot of the posts above seem to be from people who don't understand nuance - for example should a car dealer be responsible for a car wreck -- what if he sells a car on the spot to a drunk without a driving license and the drunk runs someone over driving off the lot?

This is not as simple an issue as the question posited - of course a gun dealer should be held responsible - under certain circumstances - but in general probably not - the dealer is selling a legal product to which certain rules apply - if the dealer has not broken the rules, then how can you hold the dealer liable.

The problem with the 1% who sell 52% of crime guns is the strong suspicion that they are helping criminals weave around the system - lets be real, the criminals know where to go to buy these guns - they are not randomly selecting dealers - they are picking the ones that they know will be accommodating - and those dealers do need to be targeted and caught when they break the rules.

Posted by: MacK6 | October 24, 2010 7:44 AM

So,there they go again WAPO & Barack Obama
and Mr Law Suit the Obama Chief Gun Grabber
Joke US Attorney General and the Liberal
Democrat Gun Grabbers trying to find a very
sneaky open back door approach to grab our
guns and destroy the Second Amendment even after WAPO the Official Party Organ of the
Comrade Leader from Kenya Barack Obama,own
poll is right now showing less then 20% think gun stores are responsible for all
the crimes committed by violent criminals,
psychos,gang bangers,illegal aliens and
Mexican Drug Cartel Dealers as well..So,as
soon to be former NRA Member don't count on
the Sell Out Wimps Running the NRA today to
fight these gun grabbers not after NRA very
foolishly endorsed 20 two face Democrats for Congress this year..And,which is already showing the fallacy of NRA Leaders
doing so and that is why I will go join
Gun Owners of America and The Second Amendment Foundation Again,as I no longer
trust NRA to protect my Second Amendment
Rights from Obama & Holder and misguided
Liberal Losers like here at WAPO!

Posted by: Ralphinphnx | October 24, 2010 7:54 AM

(Snicker).

This type of gun ko0k is just so intelligent.

Darwin awards all around as their inability to manage their weapons intelligently will lead to their demise, eventually.

Just too dumb to get why "gun rights" as they understand them won't work for sustaining a workable cultural system, including their own.

LOL.

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | October 24, 2010 8:01 AM

This is sensationalist "journalism". Realco sold 86 guns used in a homicide over 18 years. Considering Realco is in one of the highest crime areas in the nation and is the closest gun store to the murder capital of the Nation, it's not surprising that their store would show up.

Then look into the shoddy numbers. Of 77,000 guns recovered in DC, only 8700 (11%) were tracked back to MD gun dealers. 44,000(57%) couldn't be tracked at all. If anything this story shows the MD gun dealers (including Realco) are the ones following the law allowing their guns to be tracked. This whole story is poorly written. It puts a bunch of numbers together to insinuate that Realco is the problem. The problem is the high crime in DC and Prince Georges County.

Posted by: WitchDr | October 24, 2010 8:03 AM

Should we hold a dealership liable if a person gets behind the wheel when he is drunk and kills a busload of children? No.

This is a stupid discussion.

Posted by: dbeins | October 24, 2010 8:20 AM

Absolutely gun owners should be held accountable for crimes committed with guns they sell, just like everyone else. I don't think they (gun sellers) should be responsible for the crime itself, but if a gun is sold to a criminal without proper documentation (which it seems that many are) gun owners should be prosecuted for negligence. The gun debate has become irrational.

I have no problem with selling and owning guns, but it mystifies me why we don't require thorough background checks before we put a gun in someone's hand. We practice safety first in our society. So why do we ignore this principle with guns?

Posted by: citizen4truth1 | October 24, 2010 8:24 AM

Should we hold a dealership liable if a person gets behind the wheel when he is drunk and kills a busload of children? No.
--

Compare and contrast the 2 issues and then tell me why your arguement is specious.

Right.

You can't.

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | October 24, 2010 8:29 AM

Oh come on WAPO this is nothing more then
an "Obama Trial Balloon" to test how much
reistance our Junior Commie Leader Comrade
Barack Hussein Obama and that lying total
incompetent law suit happy phony US Attorney General Eric Holder will encounter
when they make their gun grabber move after
this election! Just like Adolf Hitler did
when he disarmed the German people prior to
WW Two. We are not fooled here WAPO! Vote
All Incumbent Democrats Out Of Congress and
Impeach Barack Hussein Obama as the first
order of business for the new Congress! As
Charlton Hston Put It,"Only From My Cold Dead Hands!" Wake Up America!

Posted by: Jan1977 | October 24, 2010 8:58 AM

So you wingnuts are after yet another of my constitutionally guaranteed rights!

You've already taken away too many. What do you get for doing that? A sense of power and authority?

Posted by: dwyerj1 | October 24, 2010 9:01 AM

What a stupid question. Should General Motors be held responsible for drunks that wreck their cars?

Posted by: Hawaiian_Gecko | October 24, 2010 9:21 AM

So,where is big mouth NRA Big Shot Wayne LaPierre and Wimpy Chris Cox and the NRA
when clearly Barack Hussein Obama and Crazy
Mr Law Suit USAG Eric Holder are already
testing the waters to grab law abiding gun
owners like myself legally owned firearms?
Oh,sorry I plumb forgot Wayne LaPierre and
Wimp Chris Cox Sold NRA and America Gun Owners Down The Drain When They Endorsed
20 Loser Democrats for Congress to help
Obama and Holder grab our guns! Vote All
NRA Democrat Endorsed Candidates OUT!
Come On NRA & Big Mouth Sell Outs Wayne
LaPierre and Chris Wimp Cox speak up!

Posted by: Jan1977 | October 24, 2010 9:39 AM

Hawaiian Gecko - what if GM was say selling Sherman tanks to schoolchildren. Sweeping positions are unwise (to be kind)

Posted by: MacK6 | October 24, 2010 9:55 AM

Until those who make straw purchases for guns that are later used in crimes are prosecuted as accessories, straw purchases will continue to be common. Duh.

Posted by: pyellman | October 24, 2010 9:57 AM

Saying gun stores are responsible for crimes committed with legally bought guns is the same as saying that 7-11 is responsible for a drunk driver killing someone because they sold the beer. It's ridiculous.

Posted by: mdermody | October 24, 2010 10:32 AM

Ah but McDermody - what if the guy swerved into the lot in front of the 7-11 with a shriek of brakes, stumbled in, grabbed the beer, burped in the face of the 7-11 clerk and said - "hic jush one for the road?- hic!"

Sweeping statements are for fools

Posted by: MacK6 | October 24, 2010 10:58 AM

Should tobacco companies be held responsible for someone getting cancer?

Posted by: nmoses | October 24, 2010 11:17 AM

ARE DRUG DEALERS RESPONSIBLE FOR ADDICTION? IF NOT, WHY DO WE JAIL THEM?

Posted by: rhodamiller | October 24, 2010 11:27 AM

Stores can do more. A security camera can make a video recording. The recording can be tagged to show who was there when a gun was purchased an delivered.

Posted by: reston75 | October 24, 2010 12:08 PM

Gun store owners should be held responsible for gun crime ONLY if they knowingly sold a gun to a criminal, or of they didn't bother to perform the required background checks, and sold a gun to criminal. If someone passes all the background checks and goes an commits a crime with the gun, the store owner is not responsible. They did their part, as required by law.

Posted by: msr0013 | October 24, 2010 12:26 PM

I said no, because as long as there are reasonable steps to be followed (background checks, and so on) and the store does it, it doesn't really seem like it's their fault. If a store - or a booth at a gun show, perhaps? - just flagrantly ignores the steps in place to stop dangerous people from getting armed, then that's another matter.

Posted by: ravensfan20008 | October 24, 2010 12:41 PM

wrives (October 23, 2010 11:13 PM), the first message in this thread, hit the nail right on the head.
We need to have strong gun sales laws and to enforce them with vigor.
We need to shut down the gun show loophole.
Did you hear what happened down here in Texas this week?
In the process of searching for the missing son of our former Texas governor, the sheriff's investigators confronted the next door neighbor to his property, only to be met with a hail of bullets from an AK-47; during the gunfight, the neighbor was killed.
It's a wonder some of the investigators weren't killed as well.
Then they found a shallow grave and a body, on which they found the wallet of the governor's son.
They're now trying to verify the deceased is actually the governor's son.
This barrage of opposition to any form of regulation of gun sales leaves the public vulnerable to the whims of every nut on the street, and since during Reagan's time, we emptied all the mental institutions, that means most of the people who suffer from mental illnesses are added to all the drug addicts and just plain crooks that are free to walk our streets, live in our neighborhoods and blow off steam whenever they feel like it, like these were the streets of Baghdad.
It's time the opportunity to put the rest of us at such risk be reduced.
Granted, after all these years of total all-out free-wheeling gun dispersal, it may take a couple of generations to calm things down, we need to start somewhere.
Felons and former mental patients should be prohibited by instant gun-check, more available in this era of high-speed computers, from being able to purchase guns so easily.

Posted by: Judy-in-TX | October 24, 2010 12:41 PM

wrives (October 23, 2010 11:13 PM), the first message in this thread, hit the nail right on the head.
We need to have strong gun sales laws and to enforce them with vigor.
We need to shut down the gun show loophole.
Did you hear what happened down here in Texas this week?
In the process of searching for the missing son of our former Texas governor, the sheriff's investigators confronted the next door neighbor to his property, only to be met with a hail of bullets from an AK-47; during the gunfight, the neighbor was killed.
It's a wonder some of the investigators weren't killed as well.
Then they found a shallow grave and a body, on which they found the wallet of the governor's son.
They're now trying to verify the deceased is actually the governor's son.
This barrage of opposition to any form of regulation of gun sales leaves the public vulnerable to the whims of every nut on the street, and since during Reagan's time, we emptied all the mental institutions, that means most of the people who suffer from mental illnesses are added to all the drug addicts and just plain crooks that are free to walk our streets, live in our neighborhoods and blow off steam whenever they feel like it, like these were the streets of Baghdad.
It's time the opportunity to put the rest of us at such risk be reduced.
Granted, after all these years of total all-out free-wheeling gun dispersal, it may take a couple of generations to calm things down, we need to start somewhere.
Felons and former mental patients should be prohibited by instant gun-check, more available in this era of high-speed computers, from being able to purchase guns so easily.

Posted by: Judy-in-TX | October 24, 2010 12:43 PM

Yup, guns cose krime. And my @#$%compooter make me spell bad.
Liberuls are such dunces.

Posted by: LarryG62 | October 24, 2010 12:56 PM

Career criminals are the cause of crime not legally sold guns. This is a feel good politically correct poll...stop making excuses for criminals...or feeling sorry for criminals. There simply does not have to be a law for everything..enforce what we have

Posted by: haroldtu | October 24, 2010 1:00 PM

GUNS DON'T KILL PEOPLE!
BULLETS DO.

BAN BULLETS!!!

Posted by: ost123 | October 24, 2010 1:01 PM

I just would like to know why the NRA who screams about their right to have a gun - why is it they are so quiet ? Wouldn't it be great to see them have some activities for the youth (who seem to be most of the damage)and make an attempt to keep them out of gangs or trouble?

Posted by: peep1935 | October 24, 2010 1:22 PM

(sigh) Yet another poll written by a moron. :/ The question is like asking whether stores that sell liquor should be held responsible for the crimes of drunk drivers, or stores that sell cigarettes for lung cancer. There's no good answer; depending on whether the store followed the law and proper practice or not, they might be completely innocent or deserve to be shut down and the owners put in jail.

I voted "no" because that's correct more often than not, but...

A gun store that fails to do the proper NIC background check on a buyer and sells a gun to a person who is prohibited from buying or possessing a firearm should definitely be held liable if that person then goes and commits a crime. A gun store that did everything it is required to do and should do to verify that the person buying a gun wasn't banned from owning a gun should not. And anybody with two brain cells to rub together should recognize the difference.

I'm a gun owner. I also have a concealed carry permit and frequently go armed. My having a gun is not a threat to other innocent people; I won't use it against another human being except to defend myself or another innocent person's life. That's both the law and what I'd do anyway.

However, even if I had a mental illness that interfered sufficiently with my judgment and self control that I should not have a gun, there's nothing in the record that would suggest a problem to the gun store. I've never been arrested. I certainly don't have a criminal record. I've never been committed for mental health treatment, even voluntarily. I have no record of drug or alcohol abuse anywhere.

Is the Post suggesting that a *gun store* is responsible for determining that I am not a suitable gun owner and should not be sold a gun when both the government and the mental health industry have seen no signs of trouble? Talk about placing someone in an impossible position!

Sheesh. :/

Posted by: sakeneko | October 24, 2010 1:26 PM

When I go and buy a bottle of liquor, does the clerk know if I am going to give it to a minor or not? Does the clerk know if I am going to down it in the parking lot and take out a minivan full of kids? When I go buy a motorcycle, does the salesman know if I am going to be a total idiot and cause a major pileup on 95? No. If I buy a gun, does the clerk know if I am going to give it to someone and what that person will do with it? No.

A gun store that sells to people who are on "do not sell" lists needs to be punished. There must be a national database of people who cannot buy guns based on criminal history. If a gun store is not using the database for every sale. Last I heard there was limited communications between states. Now, if a person comes up on a list say in Virginia but not in say Ohio, is it the clerk's fault in Ohio if the guy buys a gun? No, unless there is a national list.(If there is one, please someone correct me).

A clerk can only do what he can. Check ID, check a database, etc. If the person is legally buying a gun and then GIVES it to someone else, that is not the clerk's fault...

Posted by: Homemom | October 24, 2010 1:29 PM

go ahead ban bullets/guns and when they come after you looking to slit your throat...
don't come crying to me because you're in pieces...
improve people...
stop using criminals...
get rid of those that don't value life...
a storm is coming...
half of you won't make it...

Posted by: DwightCollins | October 24, 2010 1:30 PM

remember that obama and clinton agreed to the small arms control treaty which would take away our right to defend ourselves...
vote them out...
before they slaughter us...

Posted by: DwightCollins | October 24, 2010 1:32 PM

Reduce the population, stupids.

Overcrowding cultivates aggression and violence.

All animals need space.

Posted by: veerle1 | October 24, 2010 1:49 PM

>Should computer sales stores be held libel for the damage done by hackers and creators of virus?

Can a brick or a wood plank also be used to kill people? Sure. Does that mean we stop making bricks and wood planks?

You can throw out infinite disingenuous comparisons; but there are differences. Computers and cars are built mainly for good purposes. i.e Computing and driving. Serve human needs in a positive way.

Guns, cannons, missiles are built with the express purpose of destruction of lives or property. When you get one you main focus is killing, domination over another.

So there's the difference. Rebut this if you can.

Posted by: jaczz | October 24, 2010 1:54 PM

I've never lost a close family member or friend by a violent crime committed by an illegally obtained handgun; therefore believe those voting yes have. Holding the store liable for selling the weapon used in a crime doesn't really make much sense. People will just go to another store and once closed, new owners are plentiful

Posted by: Sick_of_it_all | October 24, 2010 2:07 PM

Also, even cell phones can be used to trigger bombs and tiny microchips can be used in missiles. So everything needs to be tightly regulated, to make sure they don't fall into the hands of bad guys.

But the items in the 'Destructive by design' category (guns, ammo, missiles etc) needs much more special treatment and regulation, as they are designed for killing.

Posted by: jaczz | October 24, 2010 2:10 PM

“Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance. They are the peoples' liberty's teeth. The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference. They deserve a place of honor with all that's good." -- George Washington

“No freeman shall ever be debarred the use of arms.”- Thomas Jefferson

“Americans have the right and advantage of being armed unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.” - James Madison

“To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them." - George Mason

"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them." - Richard Henry Lee

“The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed." - Alexander Hamilton

"The great object is that every man be armed."- Patrick Henry

"This year will go down in history. For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration. Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future!" - Adolph Hitler

Posted by: LePauvrePapillon | October 24, 2010 2:21 PM

Why does neaqrly every mention of a gun in the Post have to let us know if it is "semiautomatic" or not?

I get the feeling they think it is full automatic.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | October 24, 2010 2:49 PM

"Guns, cannons, missiles are built with the express purpose of destruction of lives or property. When you get one you main focus is killing, domination over another.
So there's the difference. Rebut this if you can."

Why are guards armed?

People who sit and wait for intruders do not kill or dominate. They protect. What does the gun do for them?

Posted by: GaryEMasters | October 24, 2010 2:53 PM

More people are killed, injured and maimed by drunk drivers (including your's truly). Does this mean we need to hold, an auto dealer or manufacturer liable for gross misconduct? I think not.

I believe that FFL's (Federal Firearms Licensees) do follow the letter of the law or face severe criminal penalties. The BATF does a very thorough job in what budget they do have and woe to the firearms dealer that violates the law.

What is also of concern is that of those firearms used in a crime, how many were used in self-defense, yet the person was initially charged with a crime? There is a difference between the "commission of a crime" and "convictions from a criminal act."

Posted by: Computer_Forensics_Expert_Computer_Expert_Witness | October 24, 2010 2:54 PM

YES GUN STORES ARE RESPONSIPLE FOR CRIMES THAT ARE COMMITTED WHEN A GUN IS INVOLVED! I FOR ONE AM SICK AND TIRED OF THOSE THAT COMMIT CRIMES WITH GUNS, BEING LOCKED UP, HAULED BEFORE A JUDGE, AND SERVING TIME IN PRISON FOR A CRIME THAT THEY ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR!IT'S TIME FOR AMERICA TO WAKE UP!THIS TRAVISTY OF JUSTICE HAS BEEN GOING ON WAY TOO LONG AND WILL NOT STAND!
IF WE STARTED CHARGING THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CRIMES,(THE GUN STORE OWNERS),WE WOULD SOLVE THE OVER CROWDING PROBLEM IN OUR PRISONS SYSTEM IN SHORT ORDER!

GUNS AND CRIMINALS DON'T COMMIT CRIMES.. GUN STORE OWNERS DO!

Posted by: AmITheOnlyOne | October 24, 2010 3:31 PM

A gun store should be held responsible for a crime committed with the weapon that it sold ONLY if state policy regarding gun sales was not followed.

Posted by: dca_123 | October 24, 2010 4:02 PM

Let's hold car dealers repsonsible for vehicular homicides committed by those to whom they (in full accordance with the law) sold automobiles.

Posted by: OttoDog | October 24, 2010 4:04 PM

>> Why are guards armed?
>>People who sit and wait for intruders do not kill or dominate. They protect. What does the gun do for them?

A guard,(or military member) is a highly trained individual, there to guard against hostile forces,invaders. We would not need guards,weapons if there were no threats against us, as a state or individuals. But since our days as cavemen, humans have always been aggressive and tried to dominate one another.
So in a civilized society, you can argue that one may have arms for self defense(as the framers also thought), but a store selling a gun to you after high screening, to protect your family, is a different scenario than the store selling arms without screening to a gang, who would use them to easily outgun,outpower you and enter your house.
I'm not arguing against legal, screened sales of arms. Just stop the channels that sell to 'bad' actors (individuals or nations). It is in your own interests.

Say I owned a Company and made huge profits by selling arms in the black market to a group committing genocide. Is it the right thing to do?

Posted by: jaczz | October 24, 2010 4:08 PM

This is the WRONG question. Of course guns do not cause crimes. However, they make any given crime potentially much more lethal. So the question should be "Do guns make crime worse?" to which the answer is an emphatic "YES".

Posted by: betsyh1 | October 24, 2010 4:09 PM

Not only should gun store owners not be held accountable, but there should be no federal paperwork of involvement in the in-state purchase of a firearm. With guns, the main crimes are the unconstitutional laws themselves. Every time a free man is denied a gun purchase, the highest laws of the land are being broken, and by the very people who have sworn to defend them.

Gun control = the path to tyranny

Posted by: RealTexan1 | October 24, 2010 4:38 PM

Guns + people kill people. Guns are a part of the problem.

Posted by: zackool | October 24, 2010 4:38 PM

Guns + people kill people. Guns are a part of the problem.

Posted by: zackool | October 24, 2010 4:39 PM

Wrong question.
Are car dealers held responsible for lousy drivers? Nope. Car companies for hot cars? Nope. Newspapers for crummy reporting? Um, sorta.

Posted by: daskinner | October 24, 2010 4:51 PM

So there's the difference. Rebut this if you can.>

And some of us just enjoy target shooting. I have always enjoyed target shooting. I do not own a gun but I have a crossbow. I have never hunted nor raised it against another. I have it because I like the skill of target shooting and I did not need to go through the hell of trying to get a license in MA when I lived there. I also love archery and guns. No an ego thing or a power trip, I like the SKILL.

Now do you consider hunting to put food on your table domination? I have several friends who hunt and do butcher and use the meat to help feed their families. Yes even in this day there are people who hunt to help feed their families.

I have friends with guns and they just recreational shoot. Not one has ever raised their guns to another to dominate or intimidate. They just enjoy recreational shooting.

Posted by: Homemom | October 24, 2010 5:21 PM

What a stupid poll! If a man buys a pie at the store, filling out all necessary paperwork and following all the legal guidelines for pie purchases of course, then throws the pie in someone's face is the store responsible for his actions?

Posted by: meand2 | October 24, 2010 5:23 PM

If gun stores should be held liable for crimes committed for the guns they sell, every car maker and alcohol company should be held liable for deaths attributed by drunk driving!

Posted by: ebz36 | October 24, 2010 5:49 PM

from dan wemhoff. I have the last gun case in the District on a semi-automatic manuf. by Norinco in china. On appeal in federal court where everything was tried to avoid service of process. Can't sue against domestic mfgers, onl;y foreign. Killed a bystander in district by a drive-by gang. all serving lifeterms. Was able to trace it in 2001 and was imported by a defunct dealer in Calif.

Posted by: danwem | October 24, 2010 6:04 PM

my phone is 703-589-2199. don't know which dealer got it here but did wind up with a guy who ran a rent-a-gun biz here and sold the kiillers the gun. You ought to look into these type of transfers!!!. dan

Posted by: danwem | October 24, 2010 6:06 PM

from dan wemhoff again. it was rented through a rent-a -gun biz in dc. should do an article on these from various court records to show this transfer. dan wemhoff

Posted by: danwem | October 24, 2010 6:07 PM

This poll is lame, and lets you vote over and over how ever many times you want. Some anti gun idiot is hitting the yes vote over and over. No one in their right mind can blame a retailer of any business for someone's actions of crime. This poll is HIGHLY flawed.

Posted by: Chumlee | October 24, 2010 6:11 PM

Firearm registration and in depth background checks would alleviate many problems, but by no means would it prevent all crime. Those who want to commit crimes will always find a way.

Posted by: Diogenes | October 24, 2010 6:11 PM

Sure they do. That why Great Britain, with virtually no gun stores, has a violent crime rate double that of the US.

Posted by: Rob29 | October 24, 2010 6:12 PM


Guns have one purpose: to kill. Americans kill each other 2 - 4 times more than Europeans do.

Posted by: mynghialausa2 | October 24, 2010 6:19 PM

Great Britain does NOT have a crime rate double the U.S. NO country has as many gun deaths as the U.S. When everyone packs a rod, the faster on the draw wins!!

Posted by: bkrich | October 24, 2010 6:22 PM

Recidivism is a major source of crime. It's easy to cut off the recidivism effect ~ keep criminals locked up longer, or, execute them.

I think the ancients knew this ~ they didn't have firearms either!

Posted by: muawiyah | October 24, 2010 6:22 PM

MYNGHIALAUSA2 and BKRICH ~ maybe Europeans aren't as deadly to each other as Americans ~ until you bring WWII, WWI, Franco-Prussian War, Napoleonic Wars, and a whole bunch of other stuff into the statistics and then we win and you lose.

Please, please ~ don't try that old "Europeans are sweet" story again. NOBODY believes it.

Posted by: muawiyah | October 24, 2010 6:24 PM

Should a car dealer be responsible if someone legally buys a car and later uses it in a hit-and-run crime? Sheesh.

Fifty years ago, we had far fewer gun laws and restrictions, yet "gun crimes" were far fewer in number. So, it's obvious that guns aren't the problem. Some other element in society is behind higher levels of violent crime.

Stop chasing inanimate objects as the "cause" of people choosing to commit violent crimes.

Posted by: EricS1 | October 24, 2010 6:36 PM

The question of, "Do guns cause crime?" Is as idiotic as, "Do cars cause traffic accidents?"

People and their ill intentions are the root cause of all of these issues but until you stop criminals, honest people should be able to own and operate firearms.

Posted by: therapist11 | October 24, 2010 6:58 PM

What's next, holding car dealers responsible for the deaths caused by people who drive drunk? Murders were comitted long before there were guns. To try and blame inanimate objects for what people choose to do is just a lame attempt to try and limit another one of our rights. And I'm a tree hugging, progressive liberal.

Posted by: TRACIETHEDOLPHIN | October 24, 2010 7:04 PM

Your poll headline differs from your link headline. The answer to your link headline is...no more than newspapers cause news. Violence got along just fine before the invention of explosive powder and the hand-held cannon. For those of you who are evolution minded, that's about 2 billion years. And for those of us who are a bit more religions, about 6,000 years. Evil does exist in this world and when people make a choice (at least this is still a choice until someone decides to call it something else and make it sound nice)to do bad things, having access to a firearm is not the compelling factor that "pushed" them across the line. If you really want to hold someone responsible for the problems in America, start with our elected representatives.

Posted by: wantingbalance | October 24, 2010 7:40 PM

I didn't answer the question because the answer is obviously NO, making this question rather idiotic.

Posted by: bestowens | October 24, 2010 8:06 PM

I don't believe firearm dealers should be liable for the actions of their customers, so long as they abide by the laws of their state.

I do have a problem with the NRA's idiotic insistence that any and all attempts to regulate firearms to protect the public from gun crimes, is somehow synonymous with banning them in violation of the 2nd amendment.

The NRA perpetually ignores the first part of the 2nd amendment, which reads "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state..."). I am not sure what part of the words well-regulated are not understood. Even the most commonsense regulations, that polling suggests a majority of its members support, are somehow equivalent to banning firearms.

If the NRA was really interested in protecting the 2nd Amendment, they should be demanding that all citizens be required to purchase military grade weapons (smooth bore muskets wont cut it anymore) with their own means, attend military training on a regular basis, and provide military service when called upon to do so.

I haven't heard the NRA demanding that the obligations concurrent with the right to bare arms, be required by law. Thus, they are nothing but typical whining babies who want what they want, when they want it, regardless of anybody else' right to personal safety, without anything expected from them in return.

Posted by: risejugger | October 24, 2010 8:10 PM

Yes indeed - with stipulations. If they sold a gun legally to someone who committed a crime, no. UNLESS. They sell 2 or more guns legally to people who commit crimes. At that point they should be shut down. Any future sales by that person should make them culpable for the previous or future crimes committed.

If they sell ANY gun illegally, they should be held accountable as an accomplice in any crime committed. No second chances here.

Posted by: 20yrskinfan | October 24, 2010 8:12 PM

This is by and far the worst poll I've ever seen on WaPo. What's next? Do you like puppies or Hitler better?

Posted by: reiflame1 | October 24, 2010 8:16 PM

The critical question is this: what percentage of guns in the community has Realco sold and what percentage of those guns ended up used in crimes? They can't get to those numbers easily.

Realco's proximity to DC means it will sell a more guns to DC residents than a shop in Ames, Iowa. If crime guns from Ames, Iowa turned up in 2% of DC crimes, it would reveal a gun-running gang. Crime guns from the gun shop closest to DC means nothing.

If the Post really wants to rip the scab off the gun issue, do a nationwide analysis of gun crime by race.

Posted by: blasmaic | October 24, 2010 8:19 PM

If a gun dealer sells a particular gun in a way that violates an existing law then:
a) it should be cited for that violation and given sufficient punishment to deincentiveize further violations and
b) it might be successfully sued in civil court for damages that result from that sale.

But normally, the implied premise behind your question is absurd. Once a gun is sold legally, the responsibility lies on the perpetrator of the crime.

Posted by: dogwolf | October 24, 2010 8:20 PM

Of course law-abiding gun stores should not be held liable. Victims of gun crimes and accidents, however, should be able to sue the government (i.e. all American citizens) for allowing unlimited sales of virtually all forms of small arms to anyone who can produce a little cash.

Posted by: pcc7407 | October 24, 2010 8:32 PM

Guns cause crime like flies cause garbage. Really.

Posted by: jwalter6 | October 24, 2010 8:58 PM

ever heard of the dram shop laws? the barkeep was responsible for the behavior of his "clients" after they left the bar/saloon(in Illinois). This surely kept down the public drunkeness, maybe gun shopowners should be held liable for the body counts, and hold ups that their "wares" produce...

Posted by: pricehill1984 | October 24, 2010 10:59 PM

Jan1977:

If it was legal for General Motors to sell Sherman tanks to children, then no, you cannot hold them responsible.

And yes, Sweeping positions are unwise (to be kind)

++

Posted by: Hawaiian_Gecko | October 24, 2010 11:30 PM

ARE DRUG DEALERS RESPONSIBLE FOR ADDICTION? IF NOT, WHY DO WE JAIL THEM?

Posted by: rhodamiller | October 24, 2010 11:27 AM

+++

I'm not sure, but how 'bout because selling drugs is a felony offense, more serious than 'doing' drugs.


+++

Posted by: Hawaiian_Gecko | October 24, 2010 11:34 PM

GUNS DON'T KILL PEOPLE!
BULLETS DO.
BAN BULLETS!!!

Posted by: ost123 | October 24, 2010 1:01 PM

+++

Good grief. Bullets don't kill people either. If they did, then the hundreds of thousands of bullets I have shot over the years must have all been defective, because not a single one of them has killed anyone. :-)

+++

Posted by: Hawaiian_Gecko | October 24, 2010 11:41 PM

Why does neaqrly every mention of a gun in the Post have to let us know if it is "semiautomatic" or not?

I get the feeling they think it is full automatic.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | October 24, 2010 2:49 PM

+++

Some clown out here on one of these gun threads said her dad had a fully automatic Remington 700... LOL I guess he just couldn't make his bolt hand stop!

Basically you have a thread here where half of the people have no knowledge of what they speak.

+++

Posted by: Hawaiian_Gecko | October 24, 2010 11:47 PM

This is the WRONG question. Of course guns do not cause crimes. However, they make any given crime potentially much more lethal. So the question should be "Do guns make crime worse?" to which the answer is an emphatic "YES".

Posted by: betsyh1 | October 24, 2010 4:09 PM

+++

I don't buy into your premise at all, and if someone walked up to you, threw a McDonalds cup of gasoline on you and lit you up, I bet you'd change you thinking on that 'no too well thought out' comment that guns make crimes worse.

++

Posted by: Hawaiian_Gecko | October 24, 2010 11:55 PM

When everyone packs a rod, the faster on the draw wins!!

Posted by: bkrich | October 24, 2010 6:22 PM

+++

I hate to burst your bumper sticker phrase, but it's simply not true. The one with the best sight picture and steady trigger pull wins.

I shoot competitively (today in fact) with guys that draw like Mel Gibson in Maverick, but shoot like a drunken Iraqi on his wedding day.

++

Posted by: Hawaiian_Gecko | October 25, 2010 12:06 AM

Great Britain does NOT have a crime rate double the U.S. NO country has as many gun deaths as the U.S. When everyone packs a rod, the faster on the draw wins!!

Posted by: bkrich | October 24, 2010 6:22 PM

+++

I forgot. You're wrong about this too.

The most violent country in Europe: Britain is also worse than South Africa and U.S.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1196941/The-violent-country-Europe-Britain-worse-South-Africa-U-S.html#ixzz13LABQFTx

+++

Posted by: Hawaiian_Gecko | October 25, 2010 12:11 AM

Guns, cannons, missiles are built with the express purpose of destruction of lives or property. When you get one you main focus is killing, domination over another.

So there's the difference. Rebut this if you can.

Posted by: jaczz | October 24, 2010 1:54 PM
*******************************************

Firearms (of which cannon are a subset) are designed to propel a projectile at high speed as accurately as the technology of the day will allow. Missiles are designed to deliver an explosive payload against a designated target.

The attributes that you claim are their sole purpose are emotions of fear and distaste that you project onto them.

A gun or a rock or a TOW missile are all inert, inanimate objects until they are used by a person. It is the will and intent of the person using them that determines whether it's for lawful or unlawful purposes.

If, by your definition, a firearm (limiting the argument to just one of your examples) is designed solely and exclusively to kill (human beings, presumably), then every time a gun is fired, a life must end as a direct consequence. I can assure you, the last time I went to the range, I discharged several of my firearms about 50 times or so each. Were your claim true, I'd have had to stack corpses like cordwood just from my own shooting, let alone that of the other patrons in attendance.

Consider your argument rebutted.

Posted by: ihatespamverymuch | October 25, 2010 2:58 AM

I would add a caveat to the survey question though. The issue of guns being sold at gun shows, specifically in the parking lots of the shows, by persons unknown circumventing applicable gun laws, would make me support legislation placing responsibility for the actions of parking lot customers on the parking lot sellers. This I would support enthusiastically.

Posted by: rtinindiana | October 24, 2010 2:27 AM
*******************************************

Ah, the mythical "gun show loophole" that wasn't.

In many states (CA not being one of them, sadly), a private party transfer of long arms (and pistols too in some states) are not required to be done by a FFL holder. Only purchases of new firearms, consignment sales and mail order sales are required to go through an FFL and have a 4473 DROS (Dealer Record Of Sale) form completed by buyer and seller. So the people buying and selling guns in the parking lot of gun shows are adhering to the letter of the law perfectly. Trust me, local and federal LE agencies have people at gunshows looking for illegal activities. If it were illegal, they'd be busting the parking lot sellers left and right.

And don't forget that even though the parking lot is private property, they're generally freely accessible to the public, so the prop. owner wouldn't be liable even if the transactions were against the law. I haven't heard of any precedent that makes publicly accessible private property owners liable for illicit drug sales that occur on their land, or for rapes, murders or other crimes of that nature.

Posted by: ihatespamverymuch | October 25, 2010 3:09 AM

For those that believe guns are evil/immoral and should be banned/outlawed and so on, this gent, munchkinwrangler, wrote a very well rationed argument in their favor back in 2007:
*******************************************
Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force. If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of either convincing me via argument, or force me to do your bidding under threat of force. Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories, without exception. Reason or force, that’s it.

In a truly moral and civilized society, people exclusively interact through persuasion. Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction, and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some.

When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force. You have to use reason and try to persuade me, because I have a way to negate your threat or employment of force. The gun is the only personal weapon that puts a 100-pound woman on equal footing with a 220-pound mugger, a 75-year old retiree on equal footing with a 19-year old gangbanger, and a single gay guy on equal footing with a carload of drunk guys with baseball bats. The gun removes the disparity in physical strength, size, or numbers between a potential attacker and a defender.

There are plenty of people who consider the gun as the source of bad force equations. These are the people who think that we’d be more civilized if all guns were removed from society, because a firearm makes it easier for a mugger to do his job. That, of course, is only true if the mugger’s potential victims are mostly disarmed either by choice or by legislative fiat–it has no validity when most of a mugger’s potential marks are armed. People who argue for the banning of arms ask for automatic rule by the young, the strong, and the many, and that’s the exact opposite of a civilized society. A mugger, even an armed one, can only make a successful living in a society where the state has granted him a force monopoly.

Then there’s the argument that the gun makes confrontations lethal that otherwise would only result in injury. This argument is fallacious in several ways. Without guns involved, confrontations are won by the physically superior party inflicting overwhelming injury on the loser. People who think that fists, bats, sticks, or stones don’t constitute lethal force watch too much TV, where people take beatings and come out of it with a bloody lip at worst. The fact that the gun makes lethal force easier works solely in favor of the weaker defender, not the stronger attacker. If both are armed, the field is level. The gun is the only weapon that’s as lethal in the hands of an octogenarian as it is in the hands of a weightlifter. It simply wouldn’t work as well as a force equalizer if it wasn’t both lethal and easily employable.

Posted by: ihatespamverymuch | October 25, 2010 3:23 AM

And the last paragraph. I felt it needed to be quoted in it's entirety. You can check munchkinwrangler's wordpress page post for march 23, 2007 for the original.
*********************************************
When I carry a gun, I don’t do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I’m looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don’t carry it because I’m afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn’t limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force. It removes force from the equation…and that’s why carrying a gun is a civilized act.

Posted by: ihatespamverymuch | October 25, 2010 3:26 AM

The seller of a legitimate, legal tool is no more responsible for a murderer using it to commit crime than shoes are responsible for running a 9.8 second 100yd dash.

Let's try a simple game of association to help the slower members of the readership to follow the logic being attempted by the Washington Post, with this spurious question.

Is Faber-Castell responsible for bad novels being written, since they make pencils?

Is General Motors responsible for drunk drivers, since they make cars?

Is a glutton fat because Dansk makes silverware?

Unlike, say, the Washington Post being solely responsible for ridiculous poll questions that seek to spin opinion instead of contributing to solving the actual problem.

Speaking of firearms sales in the United States, the U.S. is a nation of free citizens in free states, not some other place with people subject to the whim of dictatorship or who live by the leave of royal proclamation. Here, the rule of law demands that criminals themselves be held responsible for their actions.

If personnel at a store are found to be engaging in criminal activity, such as knowingly selling restricted items in a criminal manner, then such people are criminals and should face the full weight of applicable law.

But it is ludicrous to suggest that merely because an item has been used criminally that the manufacturer, seller, neighbor of the criminal or anyone else is responsible for the criminal's crime.

The seller of a legitimate, legal tool is no more responsible for a murderer using it to commit crime than Faber-Castell for excellent literature or General Motors for drunk driving.

Wake up, leaders at the Washington Post. Earn your respect back via making a positive contribution to the fight for the rule of law, instead of committing spin sin by misguiding and misdirecting people regarding the concept of personal responsibility.

Posted by: WpPoLlMn | October 25, 2010 3:36 AM

The real core of this poll, of course, is the hatred and fear of firearms.

If you are someone who fears guns, thinks they are inherently bad or believes that guns should be disallowed for use by people, then you owe it to yourself to read the essay by Marko Kloos entitled Why The Gun Is Civilization. The poster ihatespamverymuch has graciously included a copy of that text above, in the post made on October 25, 2010 3:26 AM .

That essay speaks to the legitimate utility of the firearm as a tool for protecting life. It is important to understand the simple reason why good people seek effective defense of their lives and lives of their loved ones against criminals who would take everything they've got.

Posted by: WpPoLlMn | October 25, 2010 3:52 AM

So,it looks like Iam not the only one here,
that has noticed the total absence of the
NRA Leadership Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox
and it makes me wonder why? Or,are Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox too busy trying to
help Barack Hussein Obama elect 20 phony
baloney Democrat Gun Grabber liars to the
Congress that NRA foolishly endorsed maybe
now then? I will not join NRA if this is
the kind of Missing In Action Weak Two Face
Leadership Is All NRA can provide to defend
my Second Amendment Rights and keep my own
guns safe from Democrat Gun Grabbers Barack
Hussein Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder. So I will go join Gun Owners of
America instead & NRA & Wayne Pierre and
Chris Cox will not get to use my membership
dues to help elect Democrat Gun Grabbers for Barack Obama and Eric Holder! It looks
LaPierre and Cox are turning NRA in AARP
for gunowners! Time NRA replace both!

Posted by: KathyAnn1980 | October 25, 2010 7:01 AM

Are car dealers responsible for vehicular homicide?

Posted by: arlingtonresident | October 25, 2010 7:01 AM

Hey, WaPo editors.. it's pretty obvious you are trying to close the enthusiasm gap by dredging up an issue that isn't even on the radar for most voters.

Posted by: Bullfrog66 | October 25, 2010 9:33 AM

I think a more important question to ask is what percentage of individuals charged with "using a firearm in the commission of a felony" are convicted and sentenced to additional prison time for this charge. I strongly suspect that this charge generally disappears in the plea bargan process in most court cases in DC and PG County, or if convicted of the charge any additional prison time imposed is concurent with prison time imposed for other charges.

Thus if there is not enhansed penalty imposed for using a firearm in a felony what is to deter criminals from using a firearm?

We will only cut down on the use of firearms in the commission of felonies if we impose additional consecutive prison time for the charge.

Posted by: milalex1 | October 25, 2010 9:43 AM

Wow. A survey in the middle of a "gunshops cause crime" propaganda wave. And STILL we get it right, with most people voting the truth, that gunshops to NOT cause crime.

I suppose the leftists and the easily led account for a smaller percentage of the WaPo readership than I had thought.

Posted by: ZZim | October 25, 2010 9:50 AM

How often are alcohol makers or stores that sell the product held accountable for drunk driving deaths? How about the automobile makers or dealers?

If the fire arms dealer breaks the law then go after them but they have no idea when a person is making a straw buy from them, the straw buyers should be held accountable for what they do.

Posted by: flonzy1 | October 25, 2010 9:50 AM

Are gun stores responsible for crimes?"
Duh
Are drug dealers responsible for drug-related crime?

Posted by: snowbucks | October 25, 2010 10:00 AM

This is a dumb survey. Why not ask about the root cause...government failure to properly fund law enforcement agencies and failure to push that laws be enforced. We have lots of laws but criminals really do not care. I suspect that the lady who bought the 9mm handgun and whose teenage ward stole it and killed a man was not procecuted for failure to secure the weapon nor have the proper trigger lock even though both are crimes. Until we enforce the current laws new ones will make no difference. And as far as gun stores being responsible, that is as dumb as the article.

Posted by: staterighter | October 25, 2010 10:37 AM

Are bars responsible for drunk drivers? Are auto companies responsible for careless drivers? The fact is that the only ones responsible for a crime are the ones who commit the crime.
Right now people are trying to hold parents responsible for the actions of their teens. (Can't you just see a teen asking to take the family car and when Dad says 'No, not until you do your homework', the kid says 'well, then I will commit a crime and you will go to jail". )

Hold the person responsible who commits the crime and punish them accordingly and do not accept excuses.

Posted by: tenshi1 | October 25, 2010 11:04 AM

there are plenty of people here saying we should pass this law or that one, but those laws are already in effect. Mentally ill people and felons are barred from purchasing handguns in every state in the union, and by federal law. Almost every state does have enhanced penalties for using a firearm in the commission of a violent crime, and the law is that the sentence must be served consecutively. The feds have the harshest penalties for firearms violations, and states can work with the feds to make sure violent criminals get more time than they would if prosecuted at the state level under Project Exile. The laws are there, but what people don't realize is that if a person has decided he is going to commit a murder, or a robbery, or some other crime that carries life in prison or some huge number of years isn't going to say, oh, I guess I won't risk the death penalty by committing this murder, because I might get an extra fifteen years if I do it with a gun. That's a fantasy. If a person is ready to commit serious crimes, then they are ready to committ less serious crimes n the process. As to this poll, as usual WAPO asks a dumb question. And to the moron who wrote, DUH, in response to the question, I say, DUH, it's not hardly a gun shop's fault that the products they sell LEGALLY are misused. I own plenty of firearms, but you people who are crying about a "gun grab" after the elections should try reality over that B.S. There are very few democrats or "liberals" who believe that firearms should be outlawed, and Obama could pass a law by the close of business today outlawing all firearms for private citizens, and it would have zero impact on any gun owner. Obama can't take guns away. a majority of both houses of Congress would be required, and the SOTUS has already ruled that it would be unconstitutional. I know fearmongering is a staple of the teabaggers and teabaggetes, but some of have functioning brains and choose to embrace reality over what some pyschotic radical is spewing. BTW, where are the death camps and the reducation camps you teabaggers promised would follow Obama's election? I'm still waiting.

Posted by: red2million | October 25, 2010 11:16 AM

As others here have said -- hold the gun stores responsible for upholding their part of the law and not as scapegoats for the societal and legal failures down the line.

Posted by: DOps | October 25, 2010 11:22 AM

Let's have a poll on whether or not we should be holding the pharmcies of the country responsible for prescription drug abuse, as well as and we can holding the grocery stores/hardware responsible for readily available chemicals.

Posted by: 50Eagle | October 25, 2010 11:33 AM

Gun stores responsible of criminals?
Lets hold Walmart responsible for stupid people because they sold them pencils to use in school.... Lots of unsharpened pencils here in DC.

Posted by: comradcitizen | October 25, 2010 12:06 PM

It appears the Post is bent on distorting the truth about responsible gun dealers and private gun ownership. First and foremost, dealers sell firearms and should not be responsible for how that firearm is resold or simply given to another individual. Secondly, let's set the record straight on some local issues. You know why Maryland, a great state for outdoorsmen and hunters does not allow concealed carry? The answer is Prince Georges County and the inherent crime rate of that area and those who perpetrate it. This is why I will not retire in DC or MD. This issue would surface other demographics deemed politically incorrect to discuss, but nonetheless, law abiding weapons owners, hunters, or other enthusiasts are at a distict disadvantage here. Virginia, here I come!

Posted by: slickrick1 | October 25, 2010 12:18 PM

should liberal reporters be held responsible for the dumbing-down and polarization of the american people?

Posted by: sofedup | October 25, 2010 12:20 PM

My father-in-law owned a small gun store in southern California. He told me he made a small fortune seller guns to what he referred to as the local gang-bangers. As long as their paper work was in order, he said, he didn't care one bit if they walked out of the store and used it to kill each other -- that wasn't his responsibility.

I'm sure this is the same mind-set as the rest of the gunaholics posting on this thread.

Posted by: HillRat | October 25, 2010 12:23 PM

Hell yes! And let's hold the car companies responsible for auto-related deaths and injuries, too. Or a pet shop that sells you a dog that ends up biting you. Or a liquor store that sells you a 5th that you guzzle and die. Or....
Ridiculous!!!

Posted by: ddnfla | October 25, 2010 12:34 PM

To: hillrat

Your father-in-law was performing a public service if, in fact, the gang banger scum actually used the weapons he sold to them to kill each other.

Posted by: ddnfla | October 25, 2010 12:38 PM

"The Hidden Lives of Guns.."??? seriously? Last time I checked. Guns were inanimate objects. What's the follow up story? The Hidden Lives of Hammers? Maybe the writers can do an autobiographical piece called "The hidden lives of Washington Post Writers' Brains."

Posted by: mordrud | October 25, 2010 1:08 PM

Yes, they should be held at fault, only if they sold the guns illegally.

Posted by: weaverf | October 25, 2010 1:11 PM

Slickrick1, we in the freedom loving state of Virginia welcome all who defect from the People's Republic of Maryland.

Posted by: mordrud | October 25, 2010 1:12 PM

The fact that 1/3 of dealers are linked to 2/3 of violent crimes indicates a problem with those dealers.

Posted by: AxelDC | October 25, 2010 1:23 PM

hillrat the article seems to contradict your father's point of view, since there's an article here today that specifcally states that the gun dealers often deny someone whose paperwork is in order if they suspect the person is buying the gun for someone else. I guess it makes you happy to believe that all gun dealers are as irresponsible as your father. I'd say that mentality represents a tiny fraction of legitimate gun dealers and most strive to keep guns out of the hands of those who shouldn't have them. Especially since they get the blame from morons who can't grasp the fact that once a product is sold, the seller is no longer responsible for how it's used or misued. Same with gun owners. 99% are responsible and law abiding.
Those who have gunphobia will just have to deal with the other 1% and the criminals who trample the law the best way you can.

Posted by: red2million | October 25, 2010 1:44 PM

Should newspapers be liable for people killed in reaction to headlines later proved to be false?

Example: several people were killed as the result of riots fueled by Newsweek publishing a false story about a guard at Gitmo flushing a Koran down a toilet.

What criminal and civil penalties should be applied to Newsweek and the journalist/author?

Posted by: JustJoe3 | October 25, 2010 1:45 PM

Here is another poll question...Should Virginia resident's be held responsible for their stupidity? I vote for YES.

Posted by: dougw3 | October 25, 2010 2:34 PM

Yes they should be liable. But the liability should have a cap, say $1000. If they are selling a lot of guns to criminals they should go out of business.

Likewise for the manufactures. If they had some liability, they'd make sure their dealers where very careful who they sold guns to.

While other products can cause harm, only guns are designed to kill people. That's puts them in a unique class.

Posted by: mike_midwest | October 25, 2010 2:36 PM


In the nutty world of politically correct Liberal Land;

EVERYONE is responsible for crime,

EXCEPT the PERSON who commits the crime.

Posted by: chicago77 | October 25, 2010 3:09 PM

The question is a bit vague/misleading to say the least. A better question to ask the readers would be, "in cases where the gun store has complied with all federal, state, and local ordinances pertaining to the sale of a firearm, should the store be held liable if such a gun was used in the commission of a crime?"

I think everyone would agree that if a gun store knowingly and illegally sold to someone who had previously committed a disqualifying crime or was otherwise not allowed to purchase, the store should be held accountable. However, if the store meets all legal requirements for the sale, and someone suddenly decides to commit a violent act with the gun, can you really blame the store?

Posted by: JCfromVA | October 25, 2010 4:36 PM

Bar owners are liable for their drunk driving patrons, so why aren't gun dealers liable for gun deaths?

Posted by: AxelDC | October 25, 2010 5:00 PM

In response to RTININDIANA--the Second Amendment is not about hunting. There is an old saying in the West--"A well armed society is a polite society." Criminals love unarmed victims and fully support the agenda of the misguided Brady bunch and other gun-grabbing anti-gun nuts. It should give criminal's a monent of pause when they are looking for victims in States and jurisdictions that do not stop law abaiding citizens from owning guns. Predators in washington D.C., Chicago, etal probably get a good laugh when these jursidictions pass their stupid gun ban laws. If these people don't worry about laws prohibiting murder, rape robbery, etc, I don't think they are going to worry about violating these mickey mouse anti-gun laws. The Post needs to get a grip on reality and advocate policies that will allow law abiding citizens to go from unarmed victims to persons who can defend themselves. And if anyone thinks the police will protect them, that person is living in a fools paradise. I say this as someone who has been in law enforcement for many years. It takes seconds for a criminal to perpetrate an act of violence. It takes the police minutes to respond. The primary purpose served by the police is to take a report and bag the body.

Posted by: lazaruslong1 | October 25, 2010 5:24 PM

Blaming gun shops for gun violence is like blaming culinary supply stores for obesity. It's absurd.

Posted by: vampduck | October 25, 2010 10:10 PM

I think a more important question to ask is what percentage of individuals charged with "using a firearm in the commission of a felony" are convicted and sentenced to additional prison time for this charge. I strongly suspect that this charge generally disappears in the plea bargan process in most court cases in DC and PG County, or if convicted of the charge any additional prison time imposed is concurent with prison time imposed for other charges.

Thus if there is not enhansed penalty imposed for using a firearm in a felony what is to deter criminals from using a firearm?

We will only cut down on the use of firearms in the commission of felonies if we impose additional consecutive prison time for the charge.

Posted by: milalex1 | October 25, 2010 10:42 PM

Holding a gun store responsible for crimes is like holding a car dealer responsible for car accidents or a liquor store owner for drunk driving (package goods, not a bar).

This is a typical knee-jerk reaction, just as is attempting to pass new laws when there were already anywhere from 5-50 existing laws already violated.

Stop the madness. Start holding the individual who did it responsible and make him or her do the time.

Posted by: kiltedknight | October 25, 2010 11:15 PM

Should Paper Mills, Printing Press Manufacturers, and Al Gore (The inventor of the Internet) be held responsible for the lies and dis-information being spread by the Washington Post and other dinosaur media?

I'd be offended if I cared at all that these people (The MSM) think they are better than the average American!

Posted by: bogus7145 | October 25, 2010 11:16 PM

DO SPOONS MAKE ROSIE O'Donnel FAT

Posted by: wilford2 | October 25, 2010 11:48 PM

Guns used in crime do not come from gunstores. Rather they come from family, friends or on the street. Here is a quote:

“U.S. Department of Justice statistics appear to support Templeton’s claim. According to a 1997 survey of state-prison inmates, among those possessing a gun, fewer than 2 percent said they obtained the firearm through a gun show or flea market. The majority of inmates, 80 percent, said they obtained their weapon from family, from friends or illegally on the street."

http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/Cow-Palace-gun-show-in-the-crosshairs-45562377.html

Posted by: GunsPreventCrime | October 26, 2010 12:05 AM

Well, it's clear that around 50% of of the country is mentally defective. Holding a gun store liable for crime committed? Holy smokes, what kind of facist police state do you people want to live in?

While we are at it, let's hold Bed Bath & Beyond liable for anyone stabbed with their kitchen knives and Ford responsible for every family killed by some drunk or teen texting on their phone. Oh crud, now we gotta hold Miller Brewing Company and Verizon liable too!

To top it all off we've got brilliant posters saying how we need a background check system to prevent guns being sold to criminals like this is some kind of stroke of genius. I hate to burst your bubble of ignorance but this system already exists and is enforced nationwide. No gun store is going to sell you a gun without a background check...period.

Some of you people are so quick to give up your rights and your liberties when you feel it is not relevent to you. Just wait until your ox gets gored. How can you call yourselves free people when you are willing to trade freedom for the illusion of safety?

Posted by: jonathandureund | October 26, 2010 12:27 AM

I will soon be sixty four years old and in my life time have witnessed many examples of law abiding citizens who went ballistic and killed others. Guns are made for only one reason. To kill. When you purchase one or steal one it is with the intent to kill another. America is not about sanctity of life but about who has the biggest gun and when you decide to use it.

Posted by: fabricmaven1 | October 26, 2010 1:05 AM

To say the seller is at fault for the killing of someone by the purchaser who completed all the federal requirements correctly to buy a weapon and then kills with it is the equivalent of holding the Chevrolet dealer at fault if the new car buyer kills a pedestrian after a legal car buy.....
Get real folks, It is the person pulling the trigger,not the guns sales point, or the mom or dad who mistreated the killer as a child or whatever else you can dream up...It is the shooter themselves, no one else!!!

Posted by: secreteyes69 | October 26, 2010 2:08 AM

Money is the root of all evil. Nobody denies that and there is a direct cause and effect. Therefore, hold the Federal Reserve responsible for all crime, they print the money.

Posted by: wmboyd | October 26, 2010 5:58 AM

Calling gun stores responsible for crime is as stupid as calling car dealers responsible for accidents on our highways.

Posted by: tonyr4096 | October 26, 2010 5:59 AM

Thanks to this poll and the dim lib Washington Post's propaganda, I am committed to renewing my membership and re-joining the NRA today

Posted by: OlafGunderson | October 26, 2010 7:40 AM

If we choose to hold gun stores and their owners and staff responsible for crimes committed by the item they sell, then we had better hold Bed Bath and Beyond responsible for knife attacks...and we better round up those clerks and managers at Sports Authority for baseball bat beatings...or we might want to cuff the salesman and general manager at the Chevy dealership for those pesky DWI fatalities...or run in the helpful hardware man at the Ace Hardware Store when someone gets conked in the ehad with a hammer, or garroted by a length of rope. This concept fails by its own silliness.

Posted by: LouisianaVirginian | October 26, 2010 7:42 AM

Why does the NRA believe that no restriction on gun sales/ownership/use should be regulated even if tens of thousands of Americans die every year from gunshot? How can people be crazy enough to support such an organization?

The NRA has lobbied against the restriction of .50cal gun sales, not even a pretense that this is a sportsman's weapon. They will continue to lobby for the end of restrictions on automatic weapons sales, that have been in place for 75 years. Owning, and using, an automatic .50 cal weapon, like those used on fighter jets is the wet dream of every NRA crazy.

Posted by: LeftGuy | October 26, 2010 8:17 AM

Not surprised at all that WaPo would ask such a stupid question, nor that over half answered yes, but I am saddened by it.

Posted by: kbarker302 | October 26, 2010 8:43 AM

Should Democratic Politicians be held accountable for the suffering of Senior Citizens caused by the sorry state of Social Security ..... that they FORCED people to pay into? YES ....and the same is true with Medicare. See you at the poles.

Posted by: richard36 | October 26, 2010 8:57 AM

Yes, guns are responsible for crime, take then away from all Americans.

Yes, money, the evil rich and corporations are responsible for Greed, take then away from all Americans.

Yes, food is responsible for Obesity, take that away from Americans.

Yes, breathing Americans are responsible for polluting are planet with CO2 and cutting down trees, take Americans away.


Remember, Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Dodd, Barney, Maxine, Grayson All know what's best for Americans and we should follow them even if it means suicide...

Posted by: jblast2000 | October 26, 2010 8:58 AM

The stupidity of individuals...that is like asking "are car dealers responsible for vehicular homicides" or "is mcDonalds responsible for obese people eating there 5 days a week"

Posted by: EricMC | October 26, 2010 9:01 AM

Should Democratic Politicians be held accountable for the suffering of Senior Citizens caused by the sorry state of Social Security ..... that they FORCED people to pay into? YES ....and the same is true with Medicare. See you at the poles.

Posted by: richard36 | October 26, 2010 9:01 AM

Any harmful device that's easily available will compound injury and death exponentially. Its simple probability mathematics. And gunpowder is much more lethal than anything else.

Posted by: lionelroger | October 26, 2010 9:05 AM

I wanted to see if your poll was real.
I tried voting four times from four different locations. Funny your total number of votes never changed.
Your a bunch of fakes.

Posted by: jamesf1 | October 26, 2010 9:11 AM

It is the gun manufactures that should be held responsible. Oh, I forgot they are all corporations - having all the rights of a person and none of the responsibilities.

Posted by: Jihm | October 26, 2010 9:24 AM

No gun stores who legally sell guns are not responsible. Liberals who reject an ultimate moral standard (God); and shove moral relativism (Political Correctness) down our throats in the news, Hollywood, and in our universities are responsible for the rise of gun deaths, the murder of the unborn in a mothers womb, and for the exploitation of women.

Posted by: sonofliberty09 | October 26, 2010 9:35 AM

This deserves repeating:


Gun stores should be held responsible for violating the laws that apply to them, such as background checks and record-keeping. People who commit crimes with guns would not have been choir boys and girls if guns were not available. They should be punished appropriately.

Posted by: wrives | October 23, 2010 11:13 PM

Posted by: Over-n-Out | October 26, 2010 9:37 AM

Holding a gun store responsible for the actions of a criminal is as stupid as holding a judge responsible for the criminal actions of convicts who are released early from prison.

Actually, I take that back - IMO the judge has more culpablity since he knowingly released a predator.

Posted by: gieriscm1 | October 26, 2010 10:12 AM

In Great Britain gun ownership is banned, yet both the crime rate and the murder rate are far higher than in the US. Clearly, the sale of guns does not increase crime.

Posted by: mike85 | October 26, 2010 10:18 AM

Are car dealers responsible for accidents? Are farmers responsible for fat people? I hate the fact that this country has strayed so far from personal responsibility. It is NOT the bartenders fault if YOU CHOOSE to drink too much! The fact that this question is at 50% speaks volumes as to the sad state this country is in. You should be responsible for the things YOU do. Not what you do them with. God save us from ourselves.

Posted by: Pourshot | October 26, 2010 10:24 AM

Utopian-Pacifists who don't live in or regularly visit the real World blame guns, their manufacturers, and distributors for the violence caused; yet they never credit those same people when the Police or Military use the guns. Wake up and realize it's the individual who is violent and they don't need guns to carry out their crimes. What's next? Do we ban the sale of rocks and sticks?

Posted by: Fajitafrank | October 26, 2010 10:31 AM

So we should close car dealerships which have sold the most get-away cars used in bank robberies?

Posted by: PAVC2 | October 26, 2010 10:35 AM

Are automobile stores responsible for the 50,000 or so people who get killed every year in accidents on US roads? A Liberal is soneone who believes he owes Society a debt, but he wants to pay it back with your money.

Posted by: foffe1 | October 26, 2010 10:50 AM

Are automobile stores responsible for the 50,000 or so people who get killed every year in accidents on US roads? A Liberal is soneone who believes he owes Society a debt, but he wants to pay it back with your money.

Posted by: foffe1 | October 26, 2010 10:51 AM

It is a legal door. Let's open it so we can all get rich suing auto makers and the evil car dealers who sell cars to people who drive drunk.

Then we can sue the devil worshiping Walmart and Kmart for selling kitchen knives sometimes used to stab people.

Let us not forget to ad the sinful 7-11s that sell cigarette lighters which some have been known to use to start fires.

You really sure you want to open this door?

Posted by: superc | October 26, 2010 12:11 PM

I voted "No," but I want to add that gun stores should be held accountable for laws that applying to their selling of firearms, such as conducting background checks and the like.

But if they have followed the laws, I don't feel they should be held accountable, just as I feel gun manufacturers ought not be. After all, would we go after the store selling, for example, hammers or baseball bats or the manufacturers of those items if someone used one to attack or murder someone else??? I don't think so.

Posted by: MekhongKurt1 | October 26, 2010 12:20 PM

Why not blame the organization that approved the sale in the first place? You know, the FBI. Each sale made by a licensed gun dealer must go through the FBI's NICS. They are ultimately the responcible party.

Posted by: csmkershthegunnerslaircom | October 26, 2010 1:19 PM

Should auto dealers be held accountable for crimes committed with autos they sell? Same logic.

Posted by: lorddunsmore | October 26, 2010 2:07 PM

Sure, and car dealers should take liability for automobile accidents involving cars they sold, and liquor store dealers should be co-charged with each DUI involving booze they sold, and drugstores that sell condoms should be liable for any births that occur due to in the field failure, and members of Congress who support the national insurance plans should be forced to be subscribers to them INSTEAD OF THEIR CUSHY GIVE AWAY FREE PROGRAMS. And let's not forget newspaper ads for guns, cars, condoms and liquor--the owners of the newspapers FOR SURE are liable when anybody abuses anything since they PROMOTED the use to begin with. It's named the "Washington" Post for a reason...it's in the mecca of liberal arrogance and stupidity--WASHINGTON ! Worth about as much as your regular politician and slanted pollster...NOTHING.

Posted by: willy75 | October 26, 2010 2:08 PM

Should stationery store owners be held responsible for people who commit forgeries? Should sellers of laser printers be held responsible for the actions of counterfeiters? Auto dealers for reckless drivers? Like gun dealers, all of the above sell a legal product which, unlike guns, are not Constitutionally protected. No rational person would consider charging the vendor of those legal products because someone subsequently misused or abused that product. This poll is an attempt to push an agenda and nothing more.

Posted by: brolin_1911a1 | October 26, 2010 8:18 PM

Do we hold Ford responsible for drunk drivers? Is Chrysler to be sued for the use of their vehicles in robberies, drive-bys, or other crimes? Cars are used in more crimes than guns. We don't have anti-auto laws....

Posted by: onebigelf | October 26, 2010 9:09 PM

My previously voiced opinion on the subject yet stands-----in spades!

"Guns are neither evil or good. They are mere inanimate objects without will or volition of any sort. To impute 'good' or 'evil' to inanimate objects is a sign of an immature, primitive or sick mind incapable of reason. It is what may or may not be done with them that is subject to judgment by societal standards. That usage is entirely the province of the user without logical guilt applicable to the object used. Those who promulgated our Founding Documents were well aware of that reality. They regarded them as tools for the maintenance of the rights of a free people. In that regard NOTHING has changed. Some truths are immutable"

Posted by: of939 | October 26, 2010 9:16 PM

I can't believe anyone in any capacity at the Post would even ask such an inane question! Are you just checking to see if the comment section is working????

Sure sue the stores that sell guns, and knives and cars and baseball bats and drugs and gas.....com'on man I feel stupid even anskering this BS!

Posted by: Bexarpaw | October 26, 2010 9:32 PM

So, by the same warped logic....

Cellular carriers should be held accountable for any accidents caused by a driver texting or talking on a cell phone

Car makers should be held responsible for anyone killed or injured by their vehicles (even if the driver was drunk, distracted or intent on hitting someone).

Posted by: meadmkr | October 26, 2010 10:45 PM

Absurd! Should vendors of kitchen tables be held responsible for obesity? Liberals need to hold people (including themselves) accountable for their actions -- not inanimate objects!

Posted by: blainenay | October 27, 2010 7:43 AM

You're kidding right?

Is a corner store liable if a candy bar gives a child a cavity?

Is the casino liable for someone chooses to blow all their money at the craps table?

Gun stores sell a good and render a service. What we choose to do with that good is our decision. We are all free to do as we please, why should this be any different?

Posted by: MercifulModerate | October 27, 2010 11:02 AM

Great report and poll question!!!! Thank you Post! An unquestionable proof of deep thinking!
Here is a suggestion for your next investigation: "The Hidden Life of Gasoline". Please tell us about the link between Gasoline and Pyromania. The poll question could be: "Should Gas Stations be responsible for Arson?" Maybe you can dig deeper and reveal the evil role big oil companies play in all that. Touch on riots and Molotov cocktails too! Wow, juicy stuff… can’t wait to read it!

Posted by: victor101 | October 27, 2010 12:38 PM

Only if we can hold Car Dealerships responsible for selling cars to drivers that drive under the influence and kill others.

Posted by: n0klu | October 27, 2010 9:38 PM

Are gun stores responsible for crime?

Many have asked the question: Are car dealers responsible for drunken drivers?

I'll ask another question: Are attractive women responsible for rape?

The answer to all three questions is, emphatically, NO!

There are idiots who will say yes to all three questions, but rational people have managed to rise above that level of thinking.

The Washington Post should hold to a higher standard.

Beauhooligan

Posted by: beauhooligan | October 28, 2010 11:17 AM

Why, of course they are.

And Boeing is responsible for the 9/11 World Trade Center disaster.

Posted by: composing | October 28, 2010 5:01 PM

I've seen some of the most outlandish claims and comments in this string that I have seen for quite some time. But some claims demand clarification.
Yes, the NRA has fought to prevent bans of .50 caliber firearms, for a good reason. A good bit of black powder rifles are that caliber or slightly larger caliber. Rifles used by people involved in re-enacting battle scenes from the Revolution and Civil wars use .50 caliber or slightly larger caliber rifles as well. Those would be banned if a ban were passed, as they have been covered in any proposed ban so far.

As to the claim the NRA has fought to end the ban on machine guns, they aren't banned. If you can pass the background checks involved in the process, and pay for the $200.00 tax stamp, you can own a machine gun. It's a restriction, not a ban.

Several people proposed more laws on firearms, as if that would end gun violence. A change in society is needed to end violence, banning a specific item will not do it. There are currently better than 10,000 firearm laws in place in America, for the best part, not enforced. You have the most popular form of music for youth glamorizing gun use, usually in a criminal means, yet Americans aren't demanding an end to rap or hip-hop music.
Laws are not enforced, or under enforced at best. A good example is the rapper TI. He was arrested and convicted of trying to buy machine guns and silencers while under disability, he has a felony record. The penalty for a single offense of trying to buy an unregistered machine gun or silencer is 10 years in prison, he had 5 counts against him. He was sentenced to a year and a day, to allow him to be released early.
I'm sure if I were charged with a similar offense, a single offense, I'd have gotten close to the max sentence, and I have no criminal record whatsoever.

Enforce the 10,000 laws first, if that doesn't stem the violence, then come back and suggest more laws.

Posted by: stickhauler | October 30, 2010 4:08 AM

I have an idea. Lets hold politicans responsible for the debt they run up! Makes MUCH more sense than blaming store owners for the failures of the ATF in enforcing federal laws.
If the feds enforced the laws, maybe we have fewer illegal guns and fewer illegal aliens too!

Posted by: REBEL-1 | November 3, 2010 12:11 AM

I have an idea. Lets hold politicans responsible for the debt they run up! Makes MUCH more sense than blaming store owners for the failures of the ATF in enforcing federal laws.
If the feds enforced the laws, maybe we have fewer illegal guns and fewer illegal aliens too!

Posted by: REBEL-1 | November 3, 2010 12:12 AM

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