THE GUN SHOW LOOPHOLE


Parkland School Shooting,

Hundreds attend nearby gun show in Miami
by

MIAMI — Hundreds gathered at the fairgrounds here for a major gun show held just three days after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, less than 50 miles north. Many came to the 500-booth expo with a renewed desire to protect themselves. 

The event, sponsored by Florida Gun Shows, is within driving distance from Parkland, where 17 students and staff were killed on Wednesday when former student Nikolas Cruz allegedly opened fire with AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. 

Jorge Fernandez, a manager working the floor at the gun show says he’s expecting a large turnout of gun enthusiasts at the event, which runs through the weekend.   "We don't want people going out to buy guns and using them to kill people," said Fernandez. "But we do need to realize that lawfully licensed gun owners have the right to defend themselves." 

That is a sentiment half of all Floridians agree with, according to an October research study complied by the University of South Florida in the wake of the Las Vegas and Pulse shooting massacres. Organizers expressed their condolences on the shooting, which has reignited the national conversation on gun control legislation. "There’s no disrespect or insensitivity intended by this long-planned gun show,” a statement from organizers said. 

With a variant of the AR-15 in the foreground, patrons peruse weapons at a gun show in Miami, Florida, on Feb. 17, 2018. 
Now in the foreground, thats an AR clone, kills just as good as the real thing ( Colt Sporter)  for only $529.00, next is the RUGER brand at $549.00, and finally the Smith and Wesson contribution at $579.00.   

But thats not all, you can improve the killing machine with all kinds of accessories.  Probably other than the Colt 1911, the Glocks, and Remington Shotguns, more accessories are the highlight for the AR.

After that with power steering, power brakes, stereo, special paint, two all beef patties and special sauce, radar, night scopes, bigger magazines, and bipods,  and easily hit 2000+ plus with one of the really-really brand names like Sig- Sauer and truly be respected when you walk around the gun-show.  Just what you need to shoot that intruder in your home ten feet away.  A miss with that rifle will put a round into your kids room, or your neighbors house.  Im guessing based on what I saw at these shows, 90 percent own one now for all the wrong and dangerous reasons.


Related: Why so many people love the AR-15

The deadly shooting in Parkland has at least one gun vendor outraged at the systemic flaws that allowed Cruz to get an AR-15. "The government needs to do its job and they dropped the bomb and it’s pretty freaking sad," said Keith Moroe owner of Pompano Gun and Pawn. "You're damn right, I'm scared everyday. It could have been my children, my grandchildren." 

In Florida, described as one of the weakest states when it comes to gun restrictions, you must to be 18 buy a rifle, but 21 to buy an actual handgun.  That fact is a glaring problem, which some outraged residents say needs to be addressed. 

"It's just confusing," said a woman who identified herself only as Sho. "The shooter was young enough to buy a gun, but not old enough to get a drink." 

Speaking directly to elected officials at a vigil in Parkland earlier this week, Broward County Sherriff Scott Israel drew thunderous applause when he declared, "If you want to keep gun laws as they are now, you will not get elected in Broward County." 

While there may be a climate shift on the gun debate in some parts of South Florida, there’s no sign of a shift at all at the Florida guns expo at the Miami Dade Fairgrounds, which drew hundreds of gun enthusiasts across the state.   Despite heavy criticism on the timing of this event and heated remarks on social media, no protesters appeared to be at the event. 

Related: At schools near and far from Parkland, teachers face tough questions from students

The conversation at the gun show often turn to the AR-15, which is one of the nation's most popular guns and has an average price of less than a thousand dollars. David Bustillos, a serviceman in the National Guard, went to the expo to help his friend get a fair deal on the AR-15 before prices skyrocket.  

"Unfortunately with tragedy, there’s a market advantage to go up, which we want to beat," he said. 

Weighing in on the call for more gun control after the shooting at Marjory Douglas Stoneman High School Bustillossaid, “With the laws that are already in place, I think that’s more than enough gun control to have.”  

Georgia native Eric Willis is new to Florida. "I don’t disagree with the gun law," he said while standing outside of the closed Sunrise Tactical and Ammo, the store where the shooting suspect purchased his weapon. "People should be able to protect themselves."   "In the state of Florida, if you have the money, you can get a gun," he added. 

Guns rights enthusiasts at the expo are largely pointing to the flaws by the FBI and the Broward County Schools for not acting on leads they may have had on the shooter months ago.  "Is there way to fix this?" said Moroe. "Follow through with your job. Get the job done." 


The Gun Show Loophole  (et tu brute - two more shows we attended)

I do not want to harp on this, as giving any space to relate to gun shows anymore as a sporting event is a disgrace to any kind of recognition of some people as humans capable of non-reactive common sense thinking and pressured by personal loss of values and common normal life values.  These are not gun shows any more. These are gun suppliers feeding the public, and they do a great job making lots of money based on fear and paranoia.  Thats why gun sales go up after each incident and heinous killing. 

June, 2016 -  My buddy from one of our Military Support Organizations called me and he had discount coupons in hand, a nice lunch for us in the offing and offered to drive, to the Tampa Fairgrounds huge GUN SHOW and if we didn’t see anything exciting,  Bass Pro Shops a few miles away was having a sale.  We both hunt, or have hunted, fish and I have been around weapons from my 13th birthday, well trained, staying current, former military and competitive shooter in all disciplines and thats over sixty years.  And the Bass Pro Shops are mecca for the outdoors.

I have owned my fair share of rifles and shotguns assault weapons and plinkers and attended many gun shows, even during my competition days as I tried to sell software I wrote for club scoring, for scoring matches, target and statistical counts to supplement my competition shooting.  All three disciplines I participated in is one expensive game averaging 50-75 cents a round and some days in practice shooting 500 rounds, and ammo is expensive.  Do the math. I rose to hierarchy in our shooting clubs till being called “the old man”.  

We paid for the parking and entry.  Inside it felt different, the rhetoric and attitude of those handling those weapons from the old days.  Fewer hunting rifles, skeet, sporting clays and trap guns.  Every table was covered with military arms.  You could have supported a small island or a small third world countries insurgents or guerillas.  

And the effect it has on the public who appeared not trained to question but blindly following some made up propaganda that they don’t question.  I’m not calling the participants anything like  stupid, or dangerous, just susceptible and plenty of bad scenarios, more than a fair amount, promoting the over the cliff lemming effect. 

I had nothing better scheduled, hadn’t been to the shows in years,  and had a gut feeling due to recent shootings, beside I might find a story and some small, items I wanted for my hurricane survival kits like fire starters,water purification and some cheap ammo for practice as the range prices were high.  Retired,  but I still try to make a range once a month for defensive shooting and keep my skills up to par.

This is fairly common across Florida as the gun shows are owned by one or two promotors who just happen to sell more guns than the rest of some states.   Two thirds of the tables were from one dealer.  You enter and they sell you a ticket for 9-10 dollars.  A dollar off coupon mailed to you via eMail and you save a dollar.  The greeter then asks if you have a gun with you. No weapons,  I assured him.

If you did have a weapon with you, it was inspected and  you watched them secure the weapon unloaded with a wire tie so that it was not possible to be used. Regardless I have been at two shows and somehow a gun did go off.  Had to have been one of the exhibitors who rarely get checked and it’s grounds for them to be banned.  I guess those two incidences, were the immaculate conception of firepower.

The show was graced with the usual normal everyday citizens looking for self defense, protection, curiosity, killing an afternoon, male bonding, showing siblings the sport as a means of tribal acceptance, and preservation, sort of like macho land and you could not miss the rhetoric, it was all over the place.

The problem was the lies got bigger, still around and supported by a sub culture.


FAKE NEWS, NO...MORE LIKE FAKE SOLDIERS

A few self proclaimed super patriots, defenders of the faith, some elaborately decorated with macho tattooed skulls essential artwork,  basic nobodies, we call them “Wannabes’s” playing their role, complete with their look, attitudes, tough, imaging, lots of tattoos on bare arms, lies and prejudices talking their usual trash about black presidents and helicopters painted black and why they are going to support T-RUMP, their extensive training as SEALS other special forces and military expertise.  

I failed to take pictures there because it ruins my blending in and they, some of the ass clowns look-a-like wannabe’s might be offended, I wouldn’t waste the pixels.  They are the what I call the gun-show poster children. One jerk had three guns on slings all over him with everything except a Lawes rocket.  They were a shorty shotgun, an AR-15 decked to look like a M4-A1 with everything but radar  and two sidearms.  Who was he impressing...?  You are at a gun-show you idiot , everyone knows what they look like, he just paraded and paraded.

There were other poster children running around with a service dog that wasn’t, parading his wife with short shorts and very nice physical stature, and kids in strollers dressed as they came straight from church.  Some still, on the nipple.

NOTE:  In thirty-five years of working and building Military Memorials and Military Charities, these are not the people I have gotten to know. I know and have worked with the real guys.  Six generals ( 4 stars) and their staff.  Many of those attending are what I call Church Goers.  They go to church, just don’t live by the faith, very similar to talking the talk and not walking the walk, and off to the gun-show.

A fitting quote attributed to Mahatma Ghandi,  “ I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ “.  Just might have been a repeat. A similar quote appears to be from an Indian philosopher named Bara Dada, brother of Rabindranath Tagore. The full quote from Dada appears to be from the mid-1920s: “Jesus is ideal and wonderful, but you Christians, you are not like him.”

With an able body of listeners soaking it all in, it struck me as very similar to the crowd at an awards dinner given at the annual Hatfield and McCoy Family Hour event.  The finale is when the topics turned to, “ Who did what to who first”  and hopefully just rhetoric, the spiel began. 

Many directors of misinformation, those pseudo patriots pretending for their own glorification,  you would not believe the crap spelled out as gospel, and I just listened and observed.   A few times I wondered whether to intervene, and was smart enough not to because some of these people were beyond or below normalcy and were walking on their knuckles. (Troglodytes)

The day before, Donald Trump had accepted the endorsement of the National Rifle Association, on the tables were T-Shirts Make America Great, “Trump for President” and “Trump Army”  T-shirts.   They had the usual anti Hillary shirt and other disdainful products for sale.  One thought rang in my brain,  I was attending a  Moron Believers Convention.

Donald Trump and Wayne LaPierre, birds of a feather....


GO GRAND AND SHOWTIME NRA STYLE

Pushing personnel protection , you should have lots of guns, maybe a golf bag full so you can select the right one because you never know when the government is going to send their Jackbooted thugs in black helicopters to invade your home because you forgot to pay that fine for not mowing your lawn or watering on the wrong day. This is wrong and stupid.

At the show, there were ten lanes filled with every kind of weapon imaginable.  Im guessing 95% or better were either Military style AR’s and combat shotguns, high capacity pistols with little purpose other than offense or claimed defense  and all kinds of accessories.  

It was a rare moment in American public life: A killer's shooting rampage had claimed lives young and old, giving rise to a burst of political will to strengthen gun laws. In November 1998, Florida voters overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the state Constitution that allowed counties to mandate background checks for private gun sales — closing the so-called gun-show loophole. 

Public support for universal background checks had surged over the summer, after Tampa resident Hank Earl Carr, a volatile felon who acquired a stockpile of firearms despite his criminal record, fatally shot three law enforcement officers and a 4-year-old boy. The constitutional amendment passed with 72 percent of the vote.

With their newly granted authority, Florida's most populous urban counties, including Pinellas and Hillsborough, rushed to enact ordinances regulating gun shows. From a distance, it looked like a bracing example of voters making their will known on an issue that confounds politicians.

The reality is very different. Despite the amendment's passage and counties' actions, the requirements for criminal records checks on private gun sales are virtually unenforced in Florida.

Law enforcement officials, government attorneys and gun-show organizers say the ordinances are ignored in the seven counties — encompassing almost half of Florida's population — that currently have them.

Sheriff's deputies and police officers have responsibility for seeing that the background checks are conducted, but acknowledge they do little to ensure compliance. Gun-show organizers say private sellers typically disregard the laws.

"Nobody's checking anything," said Randie Rickert, organizer of the Hernando Sportsman's Club gun show.

Hernando County passed an ordinance closing the gun-show loophole in 1999 and repealed it in 2009. During the decade the law was on the books, it was ignored at the club's gun show, Rickert said.

"It's a feel-good law," he said. "It had no impact on anything.


At one time the two most popular military weapons sold were the venerable Colt 1911 pistol and the Colt AR-15, duplicate of the M-16 except for the sear converting it from semi-auto to full auto.  With no patent protection, the Colt AR-15 variants today include those by more than enough major manufacturers like Ruger, Smith and Wesson, and specific custom shops like Rock River, Bushmaster, Remington, DPS, STAG, and about six others.  SEE THE COLT 

On a large amount of tables there were the DIY components handily parked and organized so you could build your own.  Only the receiver has to be registered and you are off and running with the weapon custom tailored for your needs.  The 1911 handgun, my favorite of all time has about thirty companies both factory on line and custom grades available in every imaginable configuration bought with a credit card and a clean background.

What was not present were hunting rifles and sporting shotguns!  Even the legacy collectors looking for that elusive Remington or Colt .45 Single Action revolver owned by General Custer were not in attendance.

You had every kind of barker there selling telescopic sights, laser beams,  belly, plastic, leather, custom molded, and ankle holsters, really low-end Chinese made range bags from cheap to real garbage, ammunition from third world countries, licenses for concealed carry and... 

My favorite homemade beef jerky, and the best gizmo at the show was Fire Starter Model three as seen once on Naked and Afraid since the bow drills didn’t work well this wet season. 

This was not the show for the Sportsman Organization for Sportsmen as I knew as the NRA years ago.  Sports had nothing to do with this show.  This was a paranoia convention of media whipped citizens.  Fear prevailed, some of the folks looked scary, dressed for the occasion and when speaking appeared to have graduated magna-cum-loudmouth with barely a degree from the six grade.  

Scary folks carrying or shouldering elaborate versions of the M-16 tricked with an auto sear or AR-15 civilian sear or semiautomatic with a SLIDE STOCK option that turns it into a FULL BLOWN Assault rifle.  In some cases faster. And it’s sold with an accompanying 100 round magazine.   

Knives galore filling tables in every color of the rainbow for sale. Some of the more aggressive looking participants wore big knives on their belt and one dork carried a Samurai sword knockoff cross back fashion.  I termed him the Ninja Schmuck.  

The knife guys were in full force selling you cheap slave labor Chinese or India  junk as “collectables” as one person told me retail for under ten and sometimes under five dollars and their net cost is about $1.80 each, yes the decimal point is in the right place. Your finger might not be. They are mostly the cheapest grade of 440 steel and the pivot pin is paramount to failure with your finger under it.

If you want to be in the Knife business, its simple, just contact these guys at Cutlery Corner Network.  They will sell and send you for $366.00 dollars over 170 piece assortment of some of the ugliest and cheaply made knives just perfect for retail at gun shows for $5-$10.  The importer is FROST Cutlery.  And the country of origin is third world.

Not being prejudiced against knives, I am a knife collector of sorts, only the bulk of my collection are better Chef tools, like Ten or more Shuns, Ken Onion,  a Santoku Kramer, and a host of Wusthofs plus less expensive commercial Tramontina’s when I teach a class on cooking or do Charity work at the missions.  I own two Randalls and Two machetes and one Titanium CQ7 custom made for me.   You will get what you pay for.


THE BACKDOOR GUN SHOW LOOPHOLE

Add the backdoor gun deals at gun shows, which I have witnessed enough times and nothing being done about it and you wonder whether the government is doing anything.  The non FFL “Buyers” are standing at the front door trying to buy guns even before those coming to the show to trade or buy components can get inside, it’s been right out in the open.  Cash on the spot, no hassle , no paperwork, and six months later you too can get a call from the ATF since your registered weapon or fingerprints on it were just used in a shooting maybe in Chicago.

Obviously there is not enough funding, voted down in the GOP house nor enough policing of the industry at these gun shows all promulgated by the public relations department of the NRA.  A gang banger in Chicago or elsewhere will pay three times what the gun is worth because it’s free drug money,  it is not registered, no paperwork, cash and I don’t know you.  

Not the same group of people today as their was in the past. The economy, the media has fanned the flames. I do not like more laws as much as you do. But compromise is a good word and a few small controls worded correctly would both satisfy both sides. There are loopholes, there are procedures that need to be in place.   I see violations all the time at gun shows from those working the dark side.  I saw four deals just at this one show and I didn’t even get down one row. 


PERSONAL EXPERIENCE

At another show,  before I retired, I had my AR-15 shorty with me, with two uppers and different barrels and stock changes it was versatile in competition, self defense, and S&R.   I was on a mission, though the AR was not a heavy kicker, l was looking for one of those recoil absorber rear ends with a top soft plate.  This was because of my TMJ condition. It was a fools errand and did not work.   And I got hit five times from the parking lot to the front door if I was willing to sell for cash on the spot.  

One idiot waving 800 dollars in my face.   A street seller with drug connections could sell that rig for 2500 dollars and guess who gets the phone call when it gets traced.   I eventually sold it to a buyer, who were my friends at the local gun shop, they took my AR in trade for a nice .45 and did both paperworks for a $25 fee.

If you are contemplating selling your legal registered Pistol, Revolver, AR or AK-47 AKM, or Abrams tank, better get it documented with a notary or verifiable witness and plenty of identification from the new owner.   

Here is why.  At the show none of the touters were legal FFL dealers, at least ten more inside the arena touting quietly asking “Are you looking to sell”.  No trail, no paperwork, cash in pocket, and if I had sold, my name would be first on the list if it was ever used maliciously.  It’s not always the unregistered dealer in arms, sometimes its someone not thinking of consequence if it was a weapon registered to them.  

You don’t want a knock on the door, right or wrong.  The ATF is the friend of the good guy.  Recently a very valuable Colt .45 single action was recovered that was stolen 35 years ago and returned to it’s rightful owner.  Even the owner had no clue of that particular firearms value. But if it was sold stolen down through the years the others have no rights to the weapon.

The ATF, FBI, and other members of Law Enforcement  are the enemy of the bad guy.  They will come to see you, they will make inquires to the various lists and credit exchanges which record those inquires.  You don’t need that notoriety.  If I sold my guns to my brother, I would have that form since I can’t guarantee it wouldn’t be stolen from him.  And they are relentless.

By capitulation with unregistered weapons, a simple solution to stop this traffic would simply credit the first buyer with the same, less or more financial penalty as the bad guy who got the gun and used it.  Overnight there would be a scramble. It would instantly stop the no registration program.   The cell phone of you and your “selfie” gun friend is another valuable tool. 

And the deaths in this country keep mounting by guns with no registration. Your dues do not support the sporting side of the industry, they are bribes to our political officials.  And other information spread, literally endorsed by and put forth by the NRA throws fuel on the fire, stirs up the fringe idiots to taking things into their own hands.

The NRA of today is not your friend, they are doing nothing to prevent killing people... they talk the talk but fall flat on their face while walking...

*07-2018 aljacobsladder.com