“Users of Instagram, which has no explicit policy prohibiting the sale of firearms, can easily find a chrome-plated antique Colt, a custom MK12-inspired AR-15 tricked-out with “all best of the best parts possible,” and an HK416D .22LR rifle by simply combining terms like #rifle or #ar15 with #forsale. These are handguns, shotguns, assault rifles, and everything in between being sold in an open, pseudo-anonymous online marketplace. With no federal law banning online sales and differing, loophole-ridden state laws, many gun control advocates are concerned about the public safety consequences of this unregulated market.”
“While the laws around online gun sales are complicated, Instagram users trying to sell their guns really aren’t doing anything illegal.”
Not The Onion:
The news that a 5-year-old had shot and killed his 2-year-old sister sparked a storm of outrage Wednesday, and much of the ire was directed at the fact that he used a .22-caliber rifle manufactured by Crickett, an arm of Keystone Sporting Arms that designs weapons specifically for children. The 5-year-old’s gun—which had been given to him as a birthday present—was marketed with the tagline “My first rifle.” Crickett’s website featured not just a friendly, cartoonish green insect as the company logo, but photos of young children cradling their weapons.
Read more about the guns marketed to children. (Emphasis in above quote ours.)
As we wrote about a couple of times on this blog, we have been tracking all 530+ representatives’ positions on gun control, updating it when news happens, and publishing their statements automatically via our Twitter robot @YourRepsOnGuns.
It’s been a very fun project and one we hope that has been informative. We’ve received a number of emails from readers tipping us off to local articles and they’ve sent in letters from their rep explaining their position on gun control.
If you want to help us be able to do more projects like this, there’s a People’s Choice component of the awards where you can vote for us.
If you like the project and want to give us your vote, you can find us here. We’re only 70 votes away from first place! (Sometimes the site asks you to also log in to Facebook, but nothing gets posted from your account, we’ve checked.)
Thanks for the help these past few months!
Hey look, our team got nominated for an data journalism award!
Shame on you! Shame on you!
Lori Haas, whose daughter was wounded in the April 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech, and Patricia Maisch, who knocked an ammunition magazine out of the hands of Jared Loughner in Jan. 2011, to U.S. senators after they voted 54-46 to defeat an amendment on gun background checks. (via nedhepburn)
Read our full story here.
From The Rachel Maddow Show:
Here’s a chart that compares the popularity among Americans of background checks for gun purchases compared to other things that are more commonly understood to be popular with Americans.
(Photo credit: MaddowBlog.com)
Still Puritan after all these years, huh America?
A hunting buddy of mine emailed me from the waiting room of his doctor’s office in Columbus, Ga., a few days after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School. He was cringing in embarrassment as an old redneck spewed racially divisive rhetoric in front of African-American patients. Then my friend’s embarrassment turned to astonishment as that same redneck (almost certainly a gun owner, given the region and his demographic profile) said, “I never cared much for Obama, but that speech he gave about those little kids—I give him an A for that. He’s gonna try and get more gun control, and I hope he gets it.”
1,673 firearms were collected this weekend for the 2012 Gun Buyback program, spearheaded by the Mayor’s Office of Gang Reduction & Youth Development (GRYD) and LAPD. Thank you to the Angelenos who turned in a firearm and helped us secure a safer City for everyone.
Guns organized (relatively) neatly.
Props to the editors for throwing their well-laid plans out the window to cover the earthquake in Japan. In this week’s Newsweek, Simon Winchester tells us why the tsunami that struck Japan should have Californians worried, Andrew Romano and Pat Wingert report on the number of Americans killed by guns since the shooting of Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (hint: it hasn’t let up), and Tony Dokoupil and Ramin Setoodeh on Celine Dion’s return to Sin City after its economic collapse.
This Newsweek cover has been brought to you by Sir Charles the Cat. Also known as Chawlie, Chuck, Charles, sweetface—or just Charlie.