Neil Steinberg, writer for the Chicago Sun Times, saw how easy it was for other journalists to waltz into a gun shop and walk out with a child slaughtering, full auto, death machine, exactly like the one that the Navy Marine Rangers use (leftist talk there), so he decided to try it Des Plaines, Illinois. Only this didn’t quite go according to plan.
In addition to a mandatory 24 hour waiting period in Illinois, it turns out Mr. Steinberg has a troubled past of alcohol abuse and domestic violence, so he was denied the sale.
But before he got that far, he was first faced with the same hurdles that other potential gun buyers are faced with; contradictory and unclear gun laws. As he wrote:
I had trouble even figuring out whether bringing an assault rifle into Chicago is legal. The Internet was contradictory. The Chicago corporation counsel’s office punted me on to that black hole of silence, Bill McCaffrey. I found that Illinois has a 24-hour waiting period between buying and taking possession of a gun. Unearthing that fact alone made the exercise seem worthwhile. I was learning something.
After chatting with one of the salesman at Maxon Shooters Supply about the different AR’s and options, Steinberg is asked to show his FOID card, which is, apparently, some kind of Star Of David for gun buyers in Illinois. He decided on a Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport, one of the lower end models that lacks a lot of the features and quality of a standard AR.
Steinberg tosses in the normal anti rhetoric with:
Driving to Maxon’s, the whole gun debate clarified in bold relief. There is the danger of the gun. itself. And there is the danger the gun protects you from. Another divide. Which danger you feel is greater decides which side of the divide you live on.
Being fact-based I know, you buy a gun, the person you are most likely to shoot, statistically, is yourself. And your family. More pre-schoolers are killed by guns than are police officers. Nor do I need the sense of security, false though it may be, that guns bring. I live in Northbrook, where criminal danger is remote. My boys laugh at us for locking the doors. I don’t plan on keeping this gun a second longer than I have to for this column.
The gun shop knew who he was.
When it came time to make the purchase, Rob, the clerk with the tattoos, handed me over to Mike, who gave his name shaking my hand, I gave mine. “The writer?” he said. If I wanted to lie as part of my job, I’d have gone into public relations. “Yes,” I said, explaining that I plan to buy the gun, shoot at their range, then give it to the police. He suggested I sell it back to them instead and I heartily agreed. Economical. If they would let me photograph myself with it there, the gun need never leave the store.
Steinberg filled out the background check paperwork, which, according the most hysterical anti gunners, doesn’t exist because you can buy these M47’s with no background check (leftist impression again).
A reporter in Philadelphia bought an assault rifle in seven minutes; 40 percent of gun transactions in the U.S. have no background checks. Here, I had paperwork. A federal form asking, was I an illegal alien? No. Was I a fugitive? Again no. Had I ever been convicted on charges of domestic abuse? No. Handed over my credit card: $842.50. Another $40 for the instructor to acquaint me with the gun the next day.
Then came startling news:
At 5:13 Sarah from Maxon called. They were canceling my sale and refunding my money. No gun for you. I called back. Why? “I don’t have to tell you,” she said. I knew that, but was curious. I wasn’t rejected by the government? No. So what is it? “I’m not at liberty,” she said.
Gun dealers do have the right to refuse sales to anyone, usually exercised for people who seem to be straw purchasers. I told her I assume they wouldn’t sell me a gun because I’m a reporter. She denied it. But hating the media is right behind hating the government as a pastime for many gun owners. They damn you for being ignorant then hide when you try to find out.
A few hours later, Maxon sent the newspaper a lengthy statement, the key part being: “it was uncovered that Mr. Steinberg has an admitted history of alcohol abuse, and a charge for domestic battery involving his wife.”
He goes on to cry about being singled out, thinking that the same policies don’t apply to everyone else, then blaming the EVIL, SHADY GUN INDUSTRY for everything:
Well, didn’t see that coming. Were that same standard applied to the American public, there would be a whole lot fewer guns sold. Beside, they knew I planned to immediately sell it back to them.
OK, Maxon has had its chance to offer their reason.
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Now I’ll state what I believe the real reason is: Gun manufacturers and the stores that sell them make their money in the dark. Congress, which has so much trouble passing the most basic gun laws, passed a law making it illegal for the federal government to fund research into gun violence. Except for the week or two after massacres, the public covers its eyes. Would-be terrorists can buy guns. Insane people can buy guns. But reporters . . . that’s a different story. Gun makers avoid publicity because the truth is this: they sell tools of death to frightened people and make a fortune doing so. They shun attention because they know, if we saw clearly what is happening in our country, we’d demand change.
H/T to This Ain’t Hell, who suspects that the rag intentionally sent their violent reporter to do this job because they could turn around and scream “LOOK HOW IT EASY IT WAS FOR A KNOWN WIFE BEATER AND ALCOHOLIC TO GET A DEATH MACHINE!”