As the U.S. senate begins weeks of deliberations on President Obama's proposals to expand background checks for gun purchases, a Toronto newspaper has shown just how lax the current American laws are.
[ Related: Gun control proposal clears first hurdle ]
Two intrepid Toronto Star reporters contacted a gun owner in Georgia via a private-sale website called armslist.com. The reporters met 'Bob' in a Starbucks parking lot:
The reporters, posing as Canadians recently moved to Georgia, handed him $270 for a .25-calibre German pistol, a Deutsche Werke that would sell for as much as $2,000 in Toronto. Bob described it as a “poor man’s James Bond” gun.
Cash on delivery. No background check, no identification asked for and none shown, even though federal law requires proof of state residency, such as a driver’s licence, for a private sale. No paper trail.
As explained by Global News, consumers who buy guns from a licensed firearms dealer in the U.S. are already subject to background checks but people buying from private sellers are exempt.
The Star notes that 70 "per cent of all guns used in Toronto crimes are smuggled from the U.S." from states with lax laws like Georgia.
The full article can be read here. The newspaper intends to chronicle the gun's journey all the way into the streets of Toronto.
Another embarrassing moment for American gun advocates came earlier this week when Buzzfeed.com singled-out a 2011 YouTube video where an American-born spokesperson for Al Qaeda advises would-be terrorists to purchase guns at U.S. gun shows.
"Let's take America as an example," Adam Gadahn said.
"America is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms. You can go down to a gun show at the local convention center and come away with a fully automatic assault rifle, without a background check, and most likely without having to show an identification card. So what are you waiting for?"
While Gadahn is wrong about being able to purchase fully automatic rifles without background checks, the video is pretty compelling.
And, of course, the National Rifle Association was quick to slam Buzzfeed for reporting on the video.
"I wonder when Buzzfeed is going to start citing Al Qeada's pop culture criticism of the United States too," NRA news host Cam Edwards said.
A case of the NRA shooting the messenger?
In any case, it seems Canadians should be watching the U.S. gun control debate very closely.
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