Out of the Humidor
From the Print Edition:
Richard Branson, Sept/Oct 2007
(continued from page 2)
I was reading "Out of the Humidor" [August 2007] today and a couple of lines caught my eye. There was a post by Jason Bloom of Warrington, Pennsylvania, and I quote: "If the government cared about this country, maybe it would stop firearm sales over the Internet; maybe the tragedy of Virginia Tech never would have happened."
As a firearm retailer, I can assure you that [firearm sales do] not happen in such a carefree and loose manner. We are one of the most closely regulated businesses in the country and that simple statement from Mr. Bloom makes it look like guns are in the mail every day all over the country—like ordering a box of cigars. I can assure you that that is not the case. I am not certain of the details of that particular sale, or how it was handled, but I can tell you that someone did a background check on him and he was cleared to purchase by local law enforcement or at the federal level.
I am not here to soapbox and tell you to be "pro" gun or "anti" gun. That's not what I normally do, but I feel strongly about this. Are there problems with firearms sales in the United States? How do we judge this? Are there problems with drunks killing people with their cars? Do we ban cars or make them as hard to purchase? Guns are tools; it's that simple. There are a lot of people who cannot wrap their brain around the fact that it's the person with the gun/knife/club/rock/car that is the problem. I would offer a counter, Mr. Bloom. A student could have stopped what happened at Virginia Tech very quickly with the proper tool.