Social networking is wonderful thing; it makes it easy for us keep in touch with friends and family around the globe. It also demonstrates very clearly why we need more stringent gun laws. Think Progress reports that Facebook was Jerad Miller’s tool of choice for sidestepping his criminal history and getting firearms he shouldn’t have been able to get.
Miller, one half of the deadly and cowardly rampage that left three dead in Las Vegas on Sunday, put out a call on Facebook asking where he could find a rifle one month before he carried out the deadly shooting. In post dated to May 8, Miller asked, “Need rifle. Can anyone help?”
Miller was a convicted felon and thus restricted from owning a firearm license, since Federal Law prohibits domestic abusers, convicted felons, the mentally ill, and other broad categories of people from purchasing guns from licensed dealers. State laws add to the groups, such as individuals with substance abuse problems. Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval (R) vetoed a bill that would require background checks for all gun purchases because it would “do little to prevent criminals from unlawfully obtaining firearms.” At the same time, online stores like Amazon, Craigslist, and E-Bay are doing more to block the sale of firearms using their services, while Facebook announced last March it would be active blocking those trying to use its service to sell firearms.
Miller railed against his conviction and restrictions in a piece he wrote for Infowars:
[box type=”shadow”]They have tried to tell my fiance, who has no criminal record, that she may not own a firearm if I live in the house. Now, i face a dire problem. Yet there is no victim in the crime i committed, so how can that be a felony charge? A charge that takes my 1st, 2nd, and 4th right away? How can this be? Do I really live in a free country? (all spelling errors original)[/box]
A number of gun safety groups argue that organizations like Amazon, Craigslist, and E-Bay could do a lot more, though, according to Think Progress:
[box type=”shadow”]But some gun safety groups argue that the social network could do more. “Facebook continues to make it too easy for dangerous people to find guns and should prohibit gun sales outright,” the Brady Campaign said in a statement. “Gun sales have no place on a social network which makes it simple to evade background checks.” Following the shooting, police recovered a shotgun and two handguns, 200 rounds of ammunition, and two more guns taken from the police officers they killed. [/box]
h/t Think Progress