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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Wayne LaPierreThe NRA has lots of fans in Congress and — if you believe this letter to the Hartford Courant — it has a least one fan in a federal Supermax prison:

As a lifelong career criminal, although I no longer enjoy the right to keep and bear arms, I’d like to take a moment to express my appreciation to the National Rifle Association for nonetheless protecting my ability to easily obtain them through its opposition to universal background checks.

Upon release in a few years from my current federal sentence on bank robbery and weapons charges, I fully anticipate being able to stop at a gun show on my way home to Connecticut — where new laws have made it nearly impossible for a felon to readily purchase guns or ammunition — in order to buy some with which to resume my criminal activities.

And so, a heartfelt thank you to the NRA and all those members of Congress voting with them. I, along with tens of thousands of other criminals, couldn’t do what we do without you.

Gary W. Bornman,
The writer is an inmate at the federal “Supermax” prison in Florence, Colo.

We can tell you that there is a Gary W. Bornman who is currently incarcerated at The United States Penitentiary, Administrative Maximum Facility in Fremont County, Colorado.

The NRA argument against comprehensive background checks is that criminals will always get their guns illegally. The Daily Beast‘s Matthew Parker argues that that is easier said than done:

I’m a convicted felon who lives in the Bronx. Despite the nonviolent nature of my crimes—my convictions range from counterfeiting to felony shoplifting to possession of narcotics and drug paraphernalia—I cannot legally purchase a firearm. But given my somewhat shady past (not to mention the Bronx being the Bronx), I’m fairly certain that I could find a shady character close to home who will sell me a gun illegally—with three caveats: I’d risk being sent back to prison if caught, I would be putting my life in danger, and the price of weapons bought in such deals can be in excess of five times their retail cost. To put this in perspective, the assault weapon that Adam Lanza used to murder 20 children and six adults in Newtown, Connecticut, last December, which has a retail value of between $1,000 and $2,000, could cost between $5,000 and $10,000 on the streets.

My point is that purchasing firearms illegally should be an ordeal, and that effective background checks would be the first step in making it so. But what’s also pertinent is that Lanza was not a shady character with a long criminal history, and so would have had no experience moving in illicit circles. Background checks may have forced him to do so—to risk being arrested, robbed, or even killed in some dark alley for the substantial sum he’d have needed in order to buy a gun illegally.

So making guns available without background checks does seem to make life easier for criminals.

AP Photo/Steve Ueckert

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  • charleo1

    Since the Congressional politicians that voted aganist the bill, refused to even
    honestly, and correctly describe the bill they were voting down, this letter will
    most likely be ignored. It was a sight, and perhaps a lesson we should take to
    the ballot box next year. If your Representative is so thick headed, they can’t
    understand a piece of legislation, 90% of the Country, understood, and favored.
    Well, maybe they have no business in the law creating business. Maybe this
    whole thing about them being in government, is really not such a good idea.
    Because, as laws go, they don’t come any easier to understand than this one.

    • TZToronto

      The only way a tougher gun law would have any chance of passing would be if the Democrats agreed to tack on an amendment that cancels Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and the ACA. And even then the NRA would threaten any Congress-creature who voted to pass it. Hey, Congress-creatures!! Grow a spine and do what the people want, not what the gun lobby wants.

      • neeceoooo

        I sent letters to the two representatives from Tennessee, Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker and there was no response from Alexander and Corker responded with a canned letter that did not address the gun law at all. It was all fluff and not even good fluff.

        • Pamby50

          I know. I still write to both of them anyway. Alexander is up for re-election. He won’t do anything.

          • neeceoooo

            And we can hope that he won’t get reelected either.

  • Dominick Vila

    The ones that deserve the eternal gratitude of every criminal and demented individual are the members of Congress and their supporters for voting against the expansion of Reagan’s gun control law to include gun sales via the Internet and at gun shows. The NRA is the organization that advances the interests of the weapons industry and, therefore, should not be taken any more seriously than any other publicity company. Members of Congress, and those among us, who justify the need to have lethal weapons and high capacity magazines to defend themselves against real or imaginary threats are the ones to be blamed for contributing to the violence and chaos that prevail in most American cities and towns. When someone blocks the expansion of background checks to ensure criminals and unstable people cannot buy guns they become part of the problem.

    • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

      Amen, Dom. Amen.

  • stcroixcarp

    Some ideas for bumper stickers: “Support your local felons: Join the NRA.” ” The NRA sucks” ” Criminals–protect your rights. Join the NRA Today.” “My Second Amendment trumps your right to life. Join the NRA”

  • tdm3624

    I still don’t understand why the NRA didn’t support the Toomin/Manchin background check bill. It was a really good bill, much better than the Schumer version.

  • montanabill

    Very interesting. Looks like the ‘career criminal’ could have made a living by writing. Maybe I’m just too suspicious, ‘nonetheless’.

    • metrognome3830

      You’re being too judgmental again, Montana. There are career criminals who are quite intelligent. It’s a lack of morals they suffer from.

      • montanabill

        I also like to think I use a modicum of common sense too. That letter does not read, in the least, like it was written by a hard-core criminal who has spent most of his life in prison. Maybe he spent his time in prison taking classes, but if so, why write about how you get your weapons? Especially, since he claims that, if released, he’ll return to a life of crime. (not in the above article) There are much easier ways to get gun than a gun show, and safer too, for people like him.

        I regularly attend gun shows in various states. All vendors at these shows are careful about requiring paperwork. They know they are targets. There are law enforcement people patrolling, so it would be way simpler to answer a for sale ad out of the paper. Without further confirmation, I call the letter bogus.

        • metrognome3830

          That’s OK Montana, I can’t prove it isn’t. Nor will I even try. It certainly could have been written tongue-in-cheek.

        • JO

          When we went to a gun show in northern WI, one of the vendors told us what a great day they had on opening day of the show, the previous day. He told us that 2 guys with a huge wad of cash went from table to table buying pistols, semi automatics and assault type rifles from all of the private vendors. They did not buy from any of the FFL dealers. In WI dealers have to do background checks private sellers do not.
          (You would think licensed gun dealers would want the universal checks to create an even selling field).
          We are gun owners, we think universal background checks are a good idea. Since we are law abiding citizens background checks do not infringe on our right to buy and own guns. We often wondered how many crimes were committed using the guns bought at that gun show.
          We resigned from the NRA shortly after “raving Wayne” became the spokesperson.

          • montanabill

            Sound like you would have been disappointed in none of those guns were used to commit crimes. In other words, you are implying that anyone who buys a gun sans background check must be up to no good. I am surprised that in Wisconsin, someone can set up a booth to sell guns without an FFL license, unless they specialize in antiques and relics.

          • JO

            Montanabill,That is the way gun shows work in WI. We would prefer that no guns were ever used to commit a crime regardless of how they were obtained, however in the situation described to us by the vendor at that gun show, the two guys were buying a large number of guns, primarily pistols and assault type, and took pains to buy only from the private sellers. Realistically in the world we live in today one can easily assume that some of those guns will be used for no good. We have purchased guns at auctions and gun shows without a background check, but we look for the best value regardless of whether the seller has an FFL or not. I don’t remember ever seeing a police officer at a gun show. We see armed civilians all the time, but no police, unless they are incognito.
            Take care.

    • DEFENDER88

      I am sending this to you only because you seem reasonable and I dont want a bunch of crap from the gun graggers. Dont have time for them.
      You may be able to use some of this below.

      The letter writers here are trying to fool and deceive you here toward their gun control agenda.
      Look, there are plenty of good reasons to well argue a better system for background checks. But, these letters(as you observed) were clearly either written or edited by a progressive gun control advocate. This kind of s*it is so Tea Partyish in its method – Deception, Dis-Information, and outright lies like these. It would have been better to keep it real and factual.

      Several things in these letters are just bogus( Agenda driven, mis-information, gibberish. Pure BS) and the criminals know it and would never write anything like this.
      For 1 they mostly dont go to gun shows(too many other easier ways to get guns and usually cops are at the shows).
      For 2, I dont know any that are nearly this literate.
      They just dont operate this way. And they dont write worth a dam.
      These letters are just way too well written. And much too agenda driven. Think about it.

      ps The criminals *dont do* background checks. Except a very few of the really dense ones.
      For 98% of their guns – They steal their guns or use straw buyers or the black mkt. – none of which a background check will catch.

      As for the NRA, most in here, dont even know what they dont know.
      They(the NRA) do have close ties to the gun industry and may have taken too hard a line on background checks but most in here dont know the side of the NRA that promotes gun safety and thorough training. In fact most Police in this country are trained using long established NRA gun safety and handling standards.

      If NRA gun safety and handling standards were followed by everyone, there would never be any “accidental” shootings.
      And there would never be any *murders*.

      Dont believe it, ask your local police Firearms *Instructor* –
      Who developed and administers the tests and procedures he had to take to be *Certified* as a *Police Firearms Instructor*?
      Not the Patrol Guys but the Department *Certified Firearms Instructors* who teach them how to shoot.
      They(the Instructors) typically must be *Certified* by the *NRA* with NRA developed training programs.

      • talonts

        So the guy I saw at the gun show going from table to table asking if they did background checks, and heading to the next table if they said yes, was just a figment of my imagination, right? The fact that he spoke very quietly and constantly watched the police that were at the show meant nothing at all…

        • DEFENDER88

          There are always exceptions but it is not common. Point is he is avoiding the check and will find one on the street if necessary or steel one. The check system is a deterrent but these people will find a way around it. There are a lot more guns available on the street by private sellers than at gun shows. Mostly, It is not a gun show problem – it is a private seller problem. By far the bigger problems are – Stolen Guns, Blk Mkt sales, and straw buyers. Changes are needed but to concentrate on gun shows is much too narrow a focus with, by default, limited results.

      • montanabill

        Your preaching to the choir. I am an NRA member. I’m both a regular shooter and collector. I frequently attend gun shows as I travel the country. The real history of Bornman is available if you get past the echo chamber.

        • DEFENDER88

          Yeah I know.
          Thats why I sent it to you hoping you might be able to use some of it against the gun grabbers. I did not have time to deal with their crap about how my rights are more important than the rights of poor dead children. About how no one is coming for my guns etc – which they clearly are. etc. and all their other cowering, handwringing, Oh dear me, BS.
          While they sit in their gated protected communities and buildings.
          Im with you, Im a NRA and State Certified Firearms Instructor, competitive(IDPA) pistol shooter, etc.
          *When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.*