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WI: Journal Sentinel uses Brady info for editorial

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Monkeyleg, Oct 11, 2006.

  1. Monkeyleg

    Monkeyleg Mentor

    Dec 25, 2002
    Decatur, AL
    No, this should not come as a surprise. The Journal Sentinel routinely uses data from Brady and VPC "studies" for their editorials.

    The frustration lies in the fact that the Journal Sentinel's opinion page editor has refused to publish any articles I've written, saying that they don't publish articles from "advocacy groups." :fire:


    Editorial: Shielding the unscrupulous
    From the Journal Sentinel

    Posted: Oct. 10, 2006

    Nate Finkley bought 22 guns from Lou's Jewelry and Loan in suburban Philadelphia in 1986 and '87 to supply Jamaican drug gangs, according to federal court records. The store was a favorite source of guns for the Philadelphia underworld because, unlike its competitors, the clerks asked no questions about suspicious buys. Finkley told this to the Brady Center to Prevent Handgun Violence, which has sued the store.

    Finally, in July, the feds revoked the store's license to sell guns because of "numerous and egregious violations of the Gun Control Act," as an official put it. But a bill - which has sailed through the House, thanks in large part to the piloting of Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, the Menomonee Falls Republican - would make such license revocations a thing of the past, as former officials of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have noted.

    Sensenbrenner and his colleagues ought to be ashamed for rushing to protect rogue gun dealers at the expense of public safety. The Senate must not let this dangerous bill see the light of day.

    The Brady Center has put out a well-documented report on Lou's, whose guns accounted for 19 homicides and 65 aggravated assaults in Philadelphia alone between 2003 and 2005. Citing news stories, court records and a former employee, the report says that the store repeatedly sold to blatant straw buyers and obvious gun traffickers.

    ATF cited at least 239 federal violations at Lou's, including at least five instances of selling to straw buyers, at least three instances of selling to prohibited purchasers and at least five instances of selling many guns to single purchasers, without notifying ATF and local police of the suspicious sale, as the law requires.

    One straw buyer was Theresa Bush. The real purchaser was her boyfriend, Saad Abdul Salaam, who supplied weapons to a co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Bush bought between 30 and 50 handguns for Salaam between 1990 and '93, according to court testimony.

    Most licensed gun dealers are scrupulous - and try not to sell to straw buyers or traffickers or terrorists. But HR 5092 would protect the unscrupulous dealers. The law already ties the hands of federal agents in monitoring gun dealers. For one, it permits the agents to make only one unannounced inspection a year to a gun shop. Hence, a store where such an inspection has taken place knows it is safe from such oversight for a year. The law also requires the feds to show that a violation is willful and defines "willful" in such a way as to make the proof difficult.

    The bill would narrow "willful" even more, to the point where the feds would almost be required to read the minds of dealers - the reason the group of ex-ATF officials warn that revocations would be "virtually impossible." The bill would also define as "minor" what are in fact major violations. Minor violations would trigger light fines, not license revocations.

    Yes, passage of the bill is a top priority of the National Rifle Association, which lobbies to keep gun transactions as unfettered as possible. But just because the NRA says jump doesn't mean that Sensenbrenner and his colleagues have to.
  2. Monkeyleg

    Monkeyleg Mentor

    Dec 25, 2002
    Decatur, AL
    Well, I guess there aren't any WI members on THR right now or, more than likely, they've come to expect the likes of the above editorial from the Journal Sentinel.

    Below is today's editorial on school shootings. I've bold-faced a statment that I think needs addressing, which is the presumption of innocence in what once was our legal system.


    Editorial: Ignoring a key ingredient
    From the Journal Sentinel

    Posted: Oct. 12, 2006

    How do you stop gun toters determined to shoot up a school? That problem defies easy answers. Accordingly, none came forth at a conference President Bush convened in suburban Washington, D.C., this week in response to a spate of deadly school shootings, including the fatal shooting of a principal in rural Wisconsin.

    Sadly, the conference avoided a promising line of inquiry. A common ingredient of the incidents was the use of guns. The natural question: Can the nation do a better job of keeping firearms out of the hands of people who use the weapons to terrorize schools? That question went unexplored.

    The day before the conference, a 13-year-old student brought an AK-47 clone to a middle school in Joplin, Mo., and fired it - without hitting anyone, thank goodness. An administrator talked him into leaving the building, and police arrested the boy. The incident was a reminder of Bush's lax stand on gun control. Two years ago, he let expire a ban on military-style, semiautomatic weapons, such as the AK-47.

    Yes, these incidents are complex, and guns are not the only factor. Alienation is a common thread among accused and would-be shooters from the ranks of students. They feel taunted or bullied by the "in" crowd. Fifteen-year-old Eric Hainstock, charged in the shooting death of Weston Schools Principal John Klang in Cazenovia, seemed to fit that pattern. He said he was upset because a group of students was teasing him.

    Clearly, as conferees noted, early detection of ticking time bombs is key. Better yet, can schools take steps to ease tensions among cliques so that bombs won't start ticking? One possible answer is uniforms. Schools that have adopted them report reduction in such tensions - a fact worth pondering. And schools must examine whether their anti-bullying policies need to be upgraded.

    Two recent shooting incidents - in Bailey, Colo., and Lancaster, Pa. - departed from the norm in that they involved men who invaded schools with the apparent intent of molesting female students. One recommendation - that all schools draw up an emergency plan in the event violence breaks out and that they practice the plan - is worth adopting.

    But the one-day conference was too reticent about guns. A Wisconsin lawmaker has contributed to that topic, but not in a helpful way. State Rep. Frank Lasee, a Green Bay Republican, wants to arm teachers and principals on the theory that they could pull out their trusty weapons to stop armed assailants.

    While that outcome is possible, guns in schools are likely to do more than harm than good. For one, students could steal the weapons. For another, they might be too handy when heated disputes erupt. Also, in the event of an assault, a teacher could be killed while reaching for a gun.

    Remember, Columbine High School had an armed guard on the premises, and he was not able to stop the massacre. Another object lesson comes from Tyler, Texas, where last year a bystander, licensed to carry a concealed weapon, pulled out his handgun to stop a shooting spree outside the courthouse. The assailant, armed with an AK-47, shot the bystander to death.

    The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence has faulted Bush for excluding the topic of guns from the conference. White House spokeswoman Emily Lawrimore fired back in an e-mail message to the Los Angeles Times: "President Bush believes we should target criminals who break our laws - not law-abiding citizens who follow the law."

    Trouble is, the government already deals about as effectively as it can with shooters. Unfortunately, this is only after they break the law and shoot up a school. Law enforcement officers arrest them if they haven't already killed themselves. That's not where the weakness in the system is. The weakness is in heading off such shootings. Relaxing gun laws does not shore up that weakness.

    From the Oct. 13, 2006 editions of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
  3. Autolycus

    Autolycus Mentor

    Feb 13, 2006
    In the land of make believe.
    I love unbiased reporting.:barf:

    Cause we all know that the Brady Campaign and VPC dont have an agenda.:rolleyes:
  4. Monkeyleg

    Monkeyleg Mentor

    Dec 25, 2002
    Decatur, AL
    For the last couple of years, the JS has pretty much banned me from letters to the editor.

    But, I keep trying. Here's my reply to their editorial today:

    The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's 10/13 editorial about solutions to school shootings ("Ignoring a key ingredient") was a marvel of journalistic moorlessness.

    First was the statement made by the editorial board: "A common ingredient of the incidents was the use of guns."

    If the topic at hand is school shootings, shouldn't it be obvious that a "common ingredient" be guns?

    Granted, there have been millions of mass killings worldwide in just the last 100 years involving the use of gasoline, machetes, knives, fists, feet, lumber, and just about any other commonly-available objects. But does the editorial staff really need to repeat the dreaded word "guns" in order to further its agenda?

    The editorial board also engaged in the usual hand-wringing discussion about further gun laws.

    Given that the shooter was 13 years old, and had carried a firearm into a public school, and discharged the firearm, and no doubt with intent to do bodily harm, that student broke dozens or more state or federal gun laws.

    Most prominent amongst the laws broken was the "Gun-Free School Zone" law, which had been preceded by the "Drug-Free school zone" laws, and other laws intended to stop criminal activity in schools by the mere posting of signs.

    I'm shocked that criminals intent on selling drugs or trying to kill people would disregard such stern notices. If this pattern of behavior continues, we'll soon see people disregarding speed limit signs.

    Yep. There oughta be a law, although the editorial board seems clueless as to what additional laws should be added to those on the books that already punish acts such as murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder, or even possession of a firearm by a minor.

    Instead, the editorial board concluded with this chilling statement: "Trouble is, the government already deals about as effectively as it can with shooters. Unfortunately, this is only after they break the law..."

    I sincerely hope that the members of the editorial board are familiar with the concept of presumption of innocence that our judicial system is founded upon.

    If students have knowledge of a crime about to be committed, it is their moral and civic duty to alert authorities.

    On the other hand, if the editorial board of the Journal Sentinel is tilting toward more pre-emptive laws regarding the lawful possession of firearms, the board should bear in mind the one law that has proven to be unrepealable, and which has led to the deaths of scores of millions: the law of Unintended Consequences.

    Yours truly,
  5. Silent-Snail

    Silent-Snail Member

    Aug 28, 2004
    On the front just behind the Cheddar Curtain
    From myself and several of my friends, "Thanks for the effort.":) Awaiting unexpected results.
  6. vynx

    vynx Active Member

    Sep 11, 2005
    Hi, I grew up in Menomonee Falls (or as it is better known Monotony Falls).

    I feel for you guys in WI - the Milwaukee area is very left/socialist leaning and pro-democrat. I live in Cal. and bad as it is here I still feel for you at least our Gov't doesn't control us as much as WI. I'd bet a large part of this is because its an election year and the J/S (and whats with that? give it one damn name - talk about woosie leftist bull can't even risk using just one name when you combine the 2 papers) wants to smear a Republican politician.

    As with so many anti-gunner/democrats (so many not all) facts have nothing to do with politics - its lie, cheat and steal the offical job description of politics.

    Good Luck - maybe you need to adobt some of their tactics - start a group named "Families or Mothers to save Children" and send your letters under that name.

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