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Johnston writes: "But for the NRA-backed policy of not putting identifiers known as taggants in gunpowder, law enforcement could have quickly identified the explosives used to make the bombs, tracking them from manufacture to retail sale. That could well have saved the life of Sean Collier, the 26-year-old MIT police officer who was gunned down Thursday night by the fleeing bomb suspects."

If gunpowder was traceable, would the police have been able to find the bombers sooner? (photo: Boston Globe)
If gunpowder was traceable, would the police have been able to find the bombers sooner? (photo: Boston Globe)


How the NRA Impeded the Boston Bomber Investigation

By David Cay Johnston, The National Memo

20 April 13

 

he intense hunt for the Boston Marathon bombers illustrates another way that the National Rifle Association helps mass murderers - by delaying how quickly they can be identified.

The inability to quickly track the gunpowders in the Boston bombs is due to government policy designed and promoted by the NRA, which has found a way to transform every massacre associated with weapons into an opportunity for the munitions companies that sustain it to sell more guns, gunpowder and bullets.

The price for such delays was put on terrible display Friday morning when the two brothers, who had been caught on video placing the bombs, killed one police officer, wounded another and carjacked a motorist, creating conditions so unsafe that the 7th largest population center in America spent Friday on lockdown.

But for the NRA-backed policy of not putting identifiers known as taggants in gunpowder, law enforcement could have quickly identified the explosives used to make the bombs, tracking them from manufacture to retail sale. That could well have saved the life of Sean Collier, the 26-year-old MIT police officer who was gunned down Thursday night by the fleeing bomb suspects.

Had the suspects in the Boston bombings killed by slipping poison into bottled water or canned food at a factory, or lacing spinach in a field with a deadly chemical, it would have taken only minutes to a few hours to identify exactly where that food was manufactured and how it moved through the food chain. That would have quickly narrowed the search for suspects.

With many food products you can use a smartphone app to scan the product's barcode and learn where, when and by what company the product was made. Cans and bottles also come with codes printed or stamped on them to help stop foodborne illness by tracking products to their source.

"With almost any food these days you can quickly track it from the source to the store where it was sold," according to Bill Marler, a Seattle litigator who specializes in food safety cases and sponsors the website Food Safety News.

Had the Boston bombers used a plastic explosive, it would have included identifiers that would have allowed a quick trace. Those taggants exist because the NRA does not oppose them.

Why is that? Why this breach in the NRA's Maginot Line of defense against reasonable regulation of guns and ammunition?

The answer appears to lie in who makes plastic explosives like Semtx, which was used to bring down Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988. The world's main supplier was not a company that finances the NRA, but Libya under Moammar Khadafy.

That this one breach in NRA policy traces directly to the economic interests of the American munitions industry provides powerful evidence of what motivates the NRA - profits.

That the gun makers have managed to turn each massacre into a spike in sales of both expensive rapid-fire weapons and ammunition adds to the evidence that the NRA should be viewed as the mass-murder lobby.

The major source of plastic explosives may also be significant in understanding the NRA's willingness to go along with taggants for plastic explosives, which are much more powerful than gunpowder.

But gunpowder, like guns, are extremely difficult to trace because for more than three decades the NRA has fought to make sure it's difficult to almost impossible to do.

That difficulty results not from the technical issues at hand, though the NRA tries to make people think that's the case by mischaracterizing a 1980 government report.

In the case of guns, the NRA claims anything remotely resembling a gun registry or a national database tracking guns from manufacturer to retail sale would help the government disarm the citizenry. In this the NRA fuels the fantasy that in the event the American government turned on the people, bands of armed patriots could defeat the military with its trained soldiers, aircraft, drones, advanced weaponry and communications.

Iraqi households almost all had guns, too, but that did not protect them from their country's military or the invading American-led ground forces a decade ago.

Bombs have long been used in America for personal, criminal and political purposes. The frequency of bombings may surprise many people given the intense focus on the Boston bombs.

Roughly 5,000 bombings and attempted bombings are reported in the U.S. each year, according to Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms reports.

The ATF data, like that the FBI gathers, takes a broad measure, counting bombs made from matchsticks as well as dynamite.

The level of reported bombings in 2011 and 2012 was triple the number compared to more than four decades ago, when I wrote a three-part series in the afternoon San Jose News on homemade explosive devices. Back then, as a staff writer for the morning San Jose Mercury, I covered California radicals, left and right, and the cops trying to catch them. I even got one bomb-maker in 1972 to invite me home to see a nonworking bomb model fashioned from advice in a book we both owned, anti-war protester William Powell's The Anarchist Cook Book.

Hobbling law enforcement, and attacking it, has long been an NRA strategy.

After the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, federal agents had a tough time tracing the fertilizer used to make the bomb that killed 168 people and injured 680 more because the NRA had fought using identifiers for explosives.

As my then-colleague Fox Butterfield reported in The New York Times three weeks after the crime:

Technological advances in the last three decades might have made it harder to build such a bomb and easier to trace its origin, the experts say, but gun enthusiasts and makers of fertilizer and explosives have repeatedly blocked efforts to put the research to use.

"It is just amazing that in this dangerous time, fanatical, boneheaded people are opposed to controls on explosives," said then-Representative Charles E. Schumer, a Democrat from Brooklyn, who introduced bills in 1993 and 1994 that would have forced manufacturers to add an identifying marker to explosives so their users could be tracked.

Mr. Schumer was referring primarily to the National Rifle Association and the explosives industry, which helped defeat the bills, citing among their objections safety hazards and reliability. The use of markers, they said, makes explosives more unstable and, when used in gunpowder, makes the charge less reliable.

Reynold Hoover, a former bomb expert with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, said his agency had money in the budget in the 1970s to develop a tagging or identification agent, known as a taggant. The 3M Corporation devised the technology by the late '70s, said Mr. Hoover, now a consultant in Washington: fluorescent particles that could be detected by ultraviolet light. Manufacturers would use a different taggant in each batch.

Although up to 90 percent of taggants might be destroyed in a detonation, enough would remain to reveal their source.

In 1979, while conducting a $5 million pilot project using taggants in some seven million pounds of explosives, the ATF was able to track down and convict James L. McFillin, who had used an explosive, Tovex 220, to make a bomb that killed one man and injured another in Baltimore.

But shortly afterward, Congress ordered the bureau to stop work on ways to trace explosives. At the time, Representative William J. Hughes, the New Jersey Democrat who headed the House subcommittee on crime, said the National Rifle Association and makers of explosives had pressured Congress to block the program.

The NRA opposed using taggants, saying they would contaminate some explosives used by gun hobbyists, like old-fashioned gunpowder called black powder and the newer smokeless powder. It said people who liked to fire antique rifles or who loaded their own ammunition would have to use less accurate gunpowder.

Let's not forget what Wayne LaPierre, the NRA's CEO, said shortly after that terrorist act in Oklahoma City. LaPierre went on the attack against law enforcement, comparing federal agents to the Nazis and calling them "jack-booted thugs."

Former president George H.W. Bush then resigned from the NRA in protest, but LaPierre kept his job, which speaks volumes.

As for taggants, the "study" the NRA cites to show that good science found taggants would make gunpowder less reliable and would not work was in fact only a review of the literature.

Anyone who actually reads the 1980 report, "Taggants in Explosives," will find this revealing line by the Office of Technology Assessment: "Due to severe time constraints, OTA did little original research."

Technology has advanced since that report, which is so old that it was prepared on a typewriter.

We can get identifiers put in gunpowders because of technological advances, just as reports get prepared these days on computers. And if "good science" says existing taggants fall short, then Congress can fund research to develop taggants that work without degrading the quality of the explosive charge in bullets.

But as the votes in the Senate killing modest gun regulation and controls on gun trafficking showed this week, what stands firmly in the way of reducing mass murders and bombings is one organization and its backers.

We can change that, once the public understands that the NRA is not so much a defender of Second Amendment rights as a lobby for enabling mass murder.


 

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+74 # MainStreetMentor 2013-04-20 13:48
It's the money, stupid. The NRA is ENTIRELY after the funds gun sales generate. Anything else they say is a ruse - a protective veil they stand behind to hoodwink the unsuspecting into providing more revenue.
 
 
+20 # BobbyLip 2013-04-21 05:41
And of course the congresscritter s and the political parties are ALL about raising money--it's their only raison d'etre.
 
 
-32 # edge 2013-04-21 05:54
Quoting MainStreetMentor:
It's the money, stupid. The NRA is ENTIRELY after the funds gun sales generate. Anything else they say is a ruse - a protective veil they stand behind to hoodwink the unsuspecting into providing more revenue.


PLEASE tell me you do not believe this cr@p!

Gunpowder is sold in the TON quantities to THOUSANDS of individuals.

It is similar to buying "DOVE" soap.
Yes, you would know that it is in fact "DOVE" soap, but it is sold all over the Country! Finding the buyer of a particular bar of soap would take weeks if it were possible at all!
They knew WHAT the bomb was made of almost immediately, the taggents would ONLY get them to a particular "batch", NOT the actual sale!
 
 
+40 # SusanT136 2013-04-21 07:43
Quoting edge:


Gunpowder is sold in the TON quantities to THOUSANDS of individuals.

It is similar to buying "DOVE" soap.....the taggents would ONLY get them to a particular "batch", NOT the actual sale!


Do you really expect anyone to take your comment seriously when you compare buying gunpowder to buying Dove soap? And please - enlighten me as to who these "individuals" are who buy gunpowder by the ton, which occupies somewhere around 40 cubic feet and would involve how many thousands of dollars for the purchase

You're wrong about the taggants. This technology has been around since the 1970's, and while it can't identify a specific purchase if the batches are small enough it can be extremely useful as a lead for investigators.

"The largest U.S. producer of taggants today is Microtrace, based in Minneapolis. Livesay acquired the license for Microtaggant from 3M in 1985 and formed his own company to manufacture it. "We only make taggants [for use in explosives] for one customer: the Swiss government," says Charles W. Faulkner, general counsel for Microtrace.

The Swiss have used them to solve 559 bombing cases since 1984, he adds."
http://www.sciencenews.org/sn_arch/9_14_96/bob1.htm
 
 
+6 # Mairead 2013-04-21 13:39
Quoting SusanT136:
Quoting edge:


Gunpowder is sold in the TON quantities to THOUSANDS of individuals.


Do you really expect anyone to take your comment seriously when you compare buying gunpowder to buying Dove soap? And please - enlighten me as to who these "individuals" are who buy gunpowder by the ton, which occupies somewhere around 40 cubic feet and would involve how many thousands of dollars for the purchase


The reference to Dove soap might as well have been a reference to Budweiser beer, the similarity being the anonymity of sales and quantities sold. Any ton batch of gunpowder, soap, or vat batch of beer will be divided first into wholesale quantities and then into small retail quantities.

As you point out, specific small sales - and except for a small number of repeat customers who are known, they're probably all small sales - can't be identified via taggants.

I also wonder whether we even know that they were commercial-gunp owder bombs, as opposed to home-made black-powder or ANFO. Black powder would certainly do the job - it propelled quite large cannon balls and mined castle walls for hundreds of years. ANFO would also be effective, as well as simpler and cheaper I believe, as well as even more anonymous. I haven't read anything about it, have you?
 
 
+5 # George D 2013-04-21 18:56
Well, as "edge" mentioned; They knew immediately the bombs were made with gunpowder, as opposed to C4 or more exotic materials. Your attitude and comments show, not just ignorance, but a "Dick Cheney" or "Don Rumsfeld" sort of arrogant ignorance.

Thankfully, the other person responded to your stupidity with a cogent explanation; Basically the same explanation that's in the post you commented on but with a bit more detail so you might be able to understand it better.

Feel enlightened now? Or is that too much to ask?
 
 
-2 # engelbach 2013-04-21 14:30
From what I have read, you are wrong.

And the NRA is a profit-generati ng organization for the arms manufacturers.
 
 
-13 # George D 2013-04-21 11:11
Yes; The "NRA" is responsible for the Boston Marathon attacks. The NRA. And all gun owners are "nuts" and conservatives.

I just read a story like this in another RSN headline; The one about why Glenn Beck is still dangerous. The lunacy that Glenn Beck was spewing sounds oddly similar to this story; But from the extreme left this time.

I guess coming to RSN for an exchange of ideas at a "higher level" than other places was my own misguided perspective. These articles and the thoughts spewed about them are basically at the same level as Glenn Beck.

Enjoy your alternate universe people. I can see now that expecting folks to live the way they preach has been all wrong and, instead of voting to help preserve the rights of others, I need to focus on one person only; MYSELF.

So; I'll say it again; And again; And again; Not ALL gun owners are "nuts". The 300 million guns aren't concentrated with "a few" people in America; MANY people own them and desire to have one. And after fighting for other people's rights to be preserved, I now find the left attacking my freedoms and rights. Time to switch to the lesser of the evils in this world for me. Why do I care about abortion rights, gay rights, etc? I can filter all of "those people" through my "evil lens" just as you folks do gun owners.
 
 
0 # engelbach 2013-04-21 14:32
As your first sentence shows, you clearly did not read the article.

And you sound like a spoiled child.
 
 
+2 # George D 2013-04-21 18:46
That's it? That's the best you can do?
You made my point exactly. You have nothing intelligent to offer in response except for pejorative commentary.

Let me try to make my somewhat subtle point a bit clearer. Casting the NRA in a role to link them with the terrorist attack in Boston is foolish. Especially by alleging that somehow the gunpowder should be able to be tracked; GUN POWDER?

This shows two things about the author of the article. One; That he is clueless about what is possible to do in the US today and WHY that is and Second; He and the people in these forums will stoop to the same low levels that the extreme right does, to try to make their point.

"Debating" issues with people that are clueless and refuse to try to see any side but their own is fruitless.

I'm not spoiled and I'm glad I am no longer a child; Or even a young adult in America today. The selfishness exhibited from both sides of the sociopolitical spectrum is astounding, and it is going to be our undoing.

No; I'm far from being "spoiled" but the gun debate has certainly led to me becoming "enlightened" and I guess that's the only "positive" I will take from these forums.
 
 
+2 # George D 2013-04-21 19:19
The first sentence of the article sets the stage for the drivel that follows. "The evil NRA is controlling America" and "aiding terrorists".

The NRA exists because a lot of people support it. Granted, I have been puzzled by the stance against background checks; Until the other day. That's when California passed a law to CONFISCATE all weapons from people who are ON A LIST of owning a gun, but "no longer should have one".

Now; To people that think all gun owners are "nuts" this sounds very logical and like good social policy. But to gun owners it sounds like proof of the reason there should be no list about anything related to guns.

One more law and the list of gun owners becomes a list of "people that shouldn't own a gun". As in EVERYBODY that has one.

So I guess I have to now side with the NRA; Like MILLIONS of other AMERICAN CITIZENS already do. And I guess that people in Congress that stop EVERYTHING is better than having people that do things that will hurt me directly.

America is divided and the line between one side and the other being in power is razor thin. The gun issue is going to shift power back to the Republicans because more people care about that freedom than those that care about gay rights or abortion. That demographic of "young voter" is ripe for taking. The Republicans would be foolish not to exploit this debate to garner that vote in 2014.
 
 
+2 # bmiluski 2013-04-22 10:18
George D.....you people keep mistakenly think that we think as you do. Since YOU use a broad brush to paint everything you think we do as well. WRONG....we DO NOT think that the NRA is responsible for the Boston Marathon attacks. What we do believe is that NRA works for its own $$$ interest and the country and its people be damned.
 
 
+2 # George D 2013-04-22 12:55
Well Ok then; Try thinking about this.
The NRA makes money the same way RSN does; BY DONATIONS and membership dues.
So why do they have so much money and power? Is it because the super wealthy in America prop them up?
Follow the money, genius. The NRA is powerful because MILLIONS OF AMERICAN CITIZENS; "The people" as you put it, make them so.

So while you are not one of "the people" I mentioned, you are certainly one of "the people" that view the NRA, what they stand for and how they operate, WRONG as you like to say.

Democracy in America is alive and well, so far, thanks to the preservation of it by people like Harry Reid. All of those nasty little rules exist for a reason. It slows down the tendency for bad laws to be made during fits of emotion in the public. Looks like that's what has happened this time; At least at the federal level.

Hey; Maybe you should back the Rand Paul crowd. They think the states should decide everything. In California, that's what's happening now. I can either leave my home of more than 50 years, and go where there are few limits on gun ownership, or stay here. I sure wish the feds COULD stop California from infringing on my rights; Oh; And the rights of gays too ;-)
 
 
+36 # angelfish 2013-04-20 15:56
WHY are they abetting the Criminals? I don't understand it.?!
 
 
+65 # Scott Galindez 2013-04-20 16:22
Criminals are good for business... Gun sales, private prisons..
 
 
+25 # X Dane 2013-04-20 23:57
angelfish.

M O N E Y
 
 
+31 # Barbara K 2013-04-21 06:23
angelfish: I'm with you. The NRA should be declared a Terrorist Organization and put out of business. They are making it possible for these killers to walk among us with their deadly weapons and kill us at random. They are no friend of Americans. They make lots of money while our citizens bleed. The NRA not only has blood on their hands, they are swimming in it.

..
 
 
-41 # edge 2013-04-21 06:23
Quoting angelfish:
WHY are they abetting the Criminals? I don't understand it.?!

YOU do know that the Russians asked the FBI to investigate the older brother, RIGHT!

The FBI did not see him as a threat so now YOU want to blame a non Government entity that fights for YOUR freedoms!
 
 
+18 # rockieball 2013-04-21 09:12
I do not see how the NRA which does everything to help sell weapons and arm people, by making the people afraid of each other is protecting my freedom. Not when one has to make their home a fortress. Not when one is told that people should walk around carrying guns to the point that if you just look cross-eyed at them or they do not like what you're saying and they pull out a gun and start shooting. At the same time these people have to gall to say we are civilized, when they are no better than the savages of 100,000 years ago.
 
 
+8 # engelbach 2013-04-21 14:34
That's laughable. You fight for my freedoms? How?

Did you actually read the article?

It doesn't say that the NRA was responsible for the bombing, but for slowing down the process of tracing and catching the bombers.

I don' think you can refute that.
 
 
-1 # edge 2013-04-22 10:31
Quoting engelbach:
but for slowing down the process of tracing and catching the bombers.

I don' think you can refute that.


OH REALLY!

Did the two brothers have permits for their firearms? NO!

They were criminals!

Taggents would not have led the FBI to the brothers! Taggents won't tell you who bought the gunpowder, but will identify it after they find your supply.

YOU are why we get knee-jerk FEEL good laws that do nothing but cost money and restrict rights!
 
 
+10 # rcossebo 2013-04-21 06:52
Quoting angelfish:
WHY are they abetting the Criminals? I don't understand it.?!

They don't care who is buying, they are making the money!!! Play both sides against the middle and YOU WIN!
 
 
+54 # Rich Austin 2013-04-20 22:18
Please, please, please, let's not forget the sleazy, fetid, bought-and-paid -for senators who aid and abet the NRA’s killer ideology. Their recent sell-out where they refused to support minimal background check legislation gives us an idea of the foulness that pervades Congressional and NRA offices in Washington, D.C.

In 2014 we can vote those scum out of office, and we can demand an end to the tax breaks that our government gifts to the NRA!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!
 
 
+9 # Interested Observer 2013-04-21 05:59
There are a few of those, but being bought is not necessary. Guns are one of those election campaign killers that most candidates must avoid at all costs. That fear is enough. A hard right incumbent lost in a primary for simply conceding that global warming is real. The gun issue works like that as well.
 
 
+13 # rcossebo 2013-04-21 06:56
Quoting Rich Austin:
Please, please, please, let's not forget the sleazy, fetid, bought-and-paid-for senators who aid and abet the NRA’s killer ideology. Their recent sell-out where they refused to support minimal background check legislation gives us an idea of the foulness that pervades Congressional and NRA offices in Washington, D.C.

In 2014 we can vote those scum out of office, and we can demand an end to the tax breaks that our government gifts to the NRA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AMEN!!! They are all part of the same cloth and need to have their tenures revoked! I would LOVE to see term limits on ALL Government officials not just the President AND make the SUPREME COURT not profess their religious or political beliefs; it comes out in their rulings anyway!!!
 
 
-28 # edge 2013-04-21 07:10
Quoting Rich Austin:
Please, please, please, let's not forget the sleazy, fetid, bought-and-paid-for senators who aid and abet the NRA’s killer ideology. Their recent sell-out where they refused to support minimal background check legislation gives us an idea of the foulness that pervades Congressional and NRA offices in Washington, D.C.

In 2014 we can vote those scum out of office, and we can demand an end to the tax breaks that our government gifts to the NRA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


What a LAZY attitude!

You don't deplore that fact that criminals are NOT prosecuted, but want to go after law abiding gun owners...you disgust me!
 
 
+6 # engelbach 2013-04-21 14:36
A background check is going after potential criminals.

What on earth is the matter with you?

Do you like the idea of standing shoulder to shoulder with people who should never have been allowed to have a gun?
 
 
-24 # skylinefirepest 2013-04-21 09:59
A question here, Rich, if I may? The gunowners didn't object to the expanded checks as much as they did to the rabid additions from Feinstein, Pelosi, Reid, did they? A clean bill would likely have passed. The Dems have no one to blame but themselves.
 
 
+5 # engelbach 2013-04-21 14:37
The Republicans and the Democrats who voted against the bill do indeed have no one to blame but themselves — for selling out to the NRA against the wishes of the great majority of the American people.
 
 
-3 # George D 2013-04-21 23:50
"...for selling out to the NRA against the wishes of the great majority of the American people..." Or did they?

I've heard a lot about what the majority of the people want, and most of it has been biased, of course.

There's a big difference between being "willing" to address an issue and "wanting" to do so. Yes; 92% of the people, according to some polls, said they favored universal backgound checks. "Favored" them. Not demanded them. Even most gun owners, including myself, started out "favoring" those "common sense" notions to keep guns out of the hands of felons and mental cases.

Thankfully, the NRA stood it's (and our) ground and the Democrats did what they always do; They tried to overreach and expand the goal to gun and magazine bans and lists that, in California, are now being used to CONFISCATE weapons. Hmmm. That got my attention.

So the trust has been broken and the sides are easier to choose now. And I suspect that the "youth" will be listening if the Republicans do a good job of telling them what Democrats have in store for their rights to own a gun. Heck; Just point to the recent laws in California. That should do it. It did it for me. And I have been a Feinstein supporter and Obama supporter; Up until now.

Majority? Let's find out in 2014. Until then, live in your dream world of what you think the majority "wants".
 
 
+5 # rcossebo 2013-04-21 15:22
Quoting skylinefirepest:
A question here, Rich, if I may? The gunowners didn't object to the expanded checks as much as they did to the rabid additions from Feinstein, Pelosi, Reid, did they? A clean bill would likely have passed. The Dems have no one to blame but themselves.

Seriously?? You THINK that the REPS and your Right Winged hooligans would allow a clean bill to pass anything? They tack on more horse manure than you could rack out of your stalls man!
 
 
-1 # bmiluski 2013-04-22 12:55
And what exactly are those rabid additions from Feinstein, Pelosi, and Reid? Do you really know what they are or are you just blowing neo-con smoke up your own a......
 
 
-1 # ericlipps 2013-04-22 15:37
Quoting skylinefirepest:
A question here, Rich, if I may? The gunowners didn't object to the expanded checks as much as they did to the rabid additions from Feinstein, Pelosi, Reid, did they? A clean bill would likely have passed. The Dems have no one to blame but themselves.

A "clean" bill, meaning what exactly? One with no actual teeth, I suspect.
 
 
+35 # Secular Humanist 2013-04-20 22:26
No one ask the question, "So what?" when the NRA raises these objections. Or, "How many innocent people must be maimed and killed to pay for the marginal 'benefits' enjoyed by gun enthusiasts?"

I, for one, think the balance is currently 'way out of whack.
 
 
-38 # Dumbledorf 2013-04-20 23:09
This is nonsense and a crock of crap! People make their own gunpowder for muskets and stump removal and have been doing it for centuries. See>>> http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Gunpowder
 
 
+3 # engelbach 2013-04-21 14:39
Your post is irrelevant to the subject of the article.
 
 
-55 # JTHinSD 2013-04-20 23:16
Really??? Do you, Mr. Johnston, at "The National Memo", lie to your children like this as well? What a bunch of BS...you, sir, are an out and out liar. A fabricator of myth, technological misinformation for a specific agenda. And you, Dear RSN'er, are a fool, with a closed mind, willing to suspend all level of rational perspective and/or questioning thought in the pursuit of, well, drivel. Shame on the lot of you.
 
 
+19 # Merschrod 2013-04-21 05:56
Jt please explain the lies.
 
 
0 # bmiluski 2013-04-22 10:25
Oh please people like JTHIDSD NEVER explain the lies. They just mouth the bs that is fed to them by their neo-con handlers. I'll bet you won't hear from JTHIDSD again. Because it means it would have to think.
 
 
+15 # rcossebo 2013-04-21 07:02
Quoting JTHinSD:
Really??? Do you, Mr. Johnston, at "The National Memo", lie to your children like this as well? What a bunch of BS...you, sir, are an out and out liar. A fabricator of myth, technological misinformation for a specific agenda. And you, Dear RSN'er, are a fool, with a closed mind, willing to suspend all level of rational perspective and/or questioning thought in the pursuit of, well, drivel. Shame on the lot of you.

If you'd like to see a closed mind, look in the mirror. You are taking the PROPADGANDA from the NRA (Nazis Really Are here) more than anyone else. You live in a little outpost in a far flung section of the US and still think in the pioneer and Old West Way! You need to move beyond that which has not made us better! Saying and doing the same old thing thinking you'll get different results is INSANE!
 
 
+13 # DavidCayJohnston 2013-04-21 08:21
You attack without citing a single flaw in my work. Did you read it? Do you think the OTA report was not prepared on a typewriter (click on the link). Or that the NRA did not oppose taggants in plastic explosives? Or that technology has not advanced in the last three plus decades?

If you can find any error in my work it will be correctly forthrightly and promptly.

BTW, I lecture all over the country on ethics and have a decades long track record of being ahead of the curve and right on the facts -- which is why Congress, Presidents and lower level officials have changed laws and rules in response to my work, which unlike you I sign with my real name and take responsibility for.

If you cannot identify any lies I look forward to your apology.
 
 
0 # GyraSol 2013-04-21 17:52
Mr Johnston - Semtex is not manufactured in Libya. It is manufactured in Czech Republic.
The perpetrators were identified within 2 days. Investigators were not hindered by lack of identifiers in the black powder.
Your inflammatory rhetoric only serves to emotionalize a tragedy.
 
 
-1 # engelbach 2013-04-21 14:38
Classic troll. Not one word of verifiable information. Just spewing hate to get attention.
 
 
-52 # JackB 2013-04-20 23:22
Sorry boys & girls but it wasn't the NRA that did it. It was the Congress. Of course truth & accuracy are not matters of importance to liberals so there is no need to get upset.

True or not just call it true & keep on ranting.
 
 
+12 # Merschrod 2013-04-21 06:01
Jack, of course congress voted for it, but who weer they voting for? How was it all mobilized? What was the common sense for making it harder to track criminal activity? I can;t calculate the odds, but the chance of the US Gov. trying to lock down all gun owners is much less than the odds of criminal use of fire arms or explosives. If you were to take all examples of the US Gov. going against citizen uprisings and compare that with all of the criminal use of firearms and explosives, you would have a rough idea of the odds.
 
 
+19 # rcossebo 2013-04-21 07:03
Quoting JackB:
Sorry boys & girls but it wasn't the NRA that did it. It was the Congress. Of course truth & accuracy are not matters of importance to liberals so there is no need to get upset.

True or not just call it true & keep on ranting.

DUH!!! THEY WERE BOUGHT AND PAID FOR BY THE NRA DUDE!
 
 
-1 # engelbach 2013-04-21 14:41
Sure, the NRA are just bystanders twiddling their thumbs ...
 
 
+15 # Happy51 2013-04-20 23:31
Those who have No Regard for Anyone, the NRA, need to be shut down . When did human life become so cheap?
 
 
-51 # unionizenow 2013-04-20 23:54
Oklahoma City was not done by Timothy McVeigh. There were larger explosives planted by government/CIA folks. What McVeigh used could not have done the damage. There is a great dvd out about this called "A Noble Lie." See it if you can. Also go to A&E911 Truth for what really happened on 9-11.
 
 
+20 # Scott Galindez 2013-04-21 04:09
I bet you watch Alex Jones too...hmmm I bet I can sell you ocean front property in Arizona...
 
 
0 # engelbach 2013-04-21 14:42
Uh huh.

And how many people shot Lincoln?

And who really attacked Pearl Harbor?
 
 
+32 # beardog 2013-04-21 00:05
In Texas, regarding the murders of Mark Hasse, Mike McLelland and his wife it was reported that Hasse and McLelland both believed Williams blamed them for the loss of his job and carried handguns because they thought he was "a threat to their personal safety."
Those guns they carried didn't do them much good, did they? ..even when they suspected their eventual murderer. It puts the lie to the logic you'll be safe from a gunman if you carry a gun.
 
 
+1 # bmiluski 2013-04-22 10:27
I think that's why in the "old west" a civilized town would not allow anyone to carry a gun (other than the sheriff) and anyone entering the town had to check their fire-arms with the sheriff. So maybe we should go back to the days of the old west.
 
 
+34 # fdawei 2013-04-21 01:42
The NRA is a fascist organization that has the sleaziest politicians in its thrall. It should be labelled a terrorist organization.

Nor should we forget the munitions and gun makers who aid and abet the murders, massacres and mayhem that occur everyday in the US!
 
 
+10 # Barbara K 2013-04-21 06:41
fdawei: It would be great to have a drive to get NRA members to quit, that would cut off much of their lobbying money. One doesn't need the NRA to own guns. Their members who fund them have that same blood on their hands. Shame on them all.

..
 
 
+13 # vitobonespur 2013-04-21 03:40
If measures aren't agreed upon sometime in the near future to help stop massacres perpetrated with firearms, the time may eventually come when the only thing that CAN be done would be to amend the Constitution making guns -- especially handguns and military-style weaponry -- unlawful to own...PERIOD! Perhaps the NRA should unclench a bit and agree to some of the more sensible suggestions that are being tossed about so that they don't eventually find themselves dealing in, and supporting, black market merchandise.
 
 
-8 # cwbystache 2013-04-21 06:10
yes! and we must add pressure cookers to the list in that amendment.
 
 
0 # engelbach 2013-04-21 14:43
That was old last week. Very, very old.
 
 
0 # rcossebo 2013-04-21 15:17
A little callused dude.
Poor attempt at humor.
Plus 1 for the attempt, Minus 1 million for the tone!
 
 
+1 # rcossebo 2013-04-21 07:07
Quoting vitobonespur:
If measures aren't agreed upon sometime in the near future to help stop massacres perpetrated with firearms, the time may eventually come when the only thing that CAN be done would be to amend the Constitution making guns -- especially handguns and military-style weaponry -- unlawful to own...PERIOD! Perhaps the NRA should unclench a bit and agree to some of the more sensible suggestions that are being tossed about so that they don't eventually find themselves dealing in, and supporting, black market merchandise.

But Black Market = MORE MONEY!!!!
 
 
-8 # skylinefirepest 2013-04-21 09:53
Okay, I'll bite rcossebo...exac tly what "common sense suggestions" are you talking about? There was nothing about school safety in this issue...it was all about gun control and Obama threw a hissy fit when he got spanked. He wasn't interested in protecting children, all he wanted was gun control from the start and even HE ( along with his dumbwad "two blasts out the door" biden )said that his gun control measures were not about to save a single child.
 
 
+3 # engelbach 2013-04-21 14:44
The bill didn't go nearly far enough, it's true. But it was a start.

I don't think the NRA is at all interested in protecting schools. Their main purpose is to help the munitions industry sell guns.
 
 
-2 # rcossebo 2013-04-21 15:15
I'm really not sure what PLANET you're from, but you’re sure as H*** not from Earth, or at least the one I know. You're acting like a prejudiced white man who is against anyone who is different than you are and playing it up like some political view point.
The Gun Control PRESIDENT Obama and a lot of the Congressmen/wom en were trying to get passed was good for everyone. I don't know about you but I don't want guns of ANYKIND in any of MY SCHOOLS! What about those poor people in TEXAS WHO KNEW HOW TO USE THEIR GUNS? I wonder how they feel now that they are DEAD!!! Those DAMN guns didn't help them. GET A FRIKKIN CLUE SKYLINEFIREPEST and try to figure out the best way to address the situation WITHOUT THE FEAR AND HATE MONGERING!!!
You think ADDING GUNS to Schools really will make them safer? I'm glad YOU WANT A NAZI SS STATE! I don't!!! I want America like it was when I was kid and you could go to school and have fun without the fear of a BULLY pulling out his NRA touting Father's gun and blowing a hole in you! Your ilk of human is sub in my book
 
 
-2 # George D 2013-04-21 23:29
Probably a waste to chime in here but I guess I just can't help myself.

I believe the point that was made is that there are plenty of better ways to stop criminals and people that are nuts from getting a hold of a gun. That discussion doesn't take place because neither side has been an honest broker in addressing the issue. And on the "gun control" side of the debate, it has been wrong headed from the beginning and escalated to a more threatening (to gun owners) stance as it progressed.

As for the NRA; They exist to make money and they do that the same way any special interest group does; By soliciting donations from their supporters. They're a powerful force? Hmmm. Is that because democracy works? Would they have money if there were not millions of people supporting them? I think not.

Gun and ammo sales surged since Newtown. Was it a handful of "gun nuts" buying all those weapons? Nope. It was average citizens that began to fear, not the NRA, but the loss of a freedom to own a weapon. Was it fear mongering? I used to think so. But look at the laws being passed in this "no more guns" frenzy and you will understand why that fear was founded.

So you don't want a gun; Tell me what you do want and I'll do my best to see that it too gets outlawed. Gay rights? Amnesty for illegal's? Abortion rights? Who cares? Why did I ever care? I don't anymore.

So take your pompous attitude and stuff it.
 
 
+1 # bmiluski 2013-04-22 10:32
The NRA gets money from gun and ammo manufactures. As for the laws being passed restricting the sale of guns its typical NRA fear mongering.
 
 
+2 # bmiluski 2013-04-22 10:30
How is a back-ground check for guns purchased on the internet gun control? You can still buy a gun.
 
 
0 # George D 2013-04-22 13:01
What's the background check based on? Do you know what was in the bill? Is there a list that's similar to the "no fly list" being contemplated?

That "list" exists in California as a gun registry and California just passed a law to go after people on that list that "should no longer have a gun". One more vote and it could be ANYONE on that list. Criminals? They are NOT on that list.

So; Is that such a big reach to imagine that allowing databases on gun owners to be kept at the federal level might someday lead to abuse? I think not.
 
 
+1 # rcossebo 2013-04-21 06:51
Of course it's the greed of the Corporate War Machine or however you want to label them; I just call them anti-American Greedy Businessmen which have been with us forever. They play to the one who has the money, and if they can’t find them, they make it so our RIGHTS are being assaulted and we are losing our way of life and the only way to keep control is BUY THEIR GOODS, in this case guns and ammunition because our families are threatened…BY THEM!!!!
It is ONLY when the PEOPLE stand up and finally say "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH" and we tell them, these greedy bastards and Congress who are ONE IN THE SAME that we aren’t going to take it anymore, that we will finally TAKE OUR COUNTRY BACK!
The amount of miss-informatio n and the slander propaganda from the Right and the Corporations as well as the RICH who are making a KILLING...LITER ALLY from the American People is exactly the same and being used in the same way as it was is WWII by the NAZIS! Look at the scare tactics and the threats of chaos that the NRA (Nazi’s Really Are here) and Republican’s keep throwing around. Observe the SAME TALKING POINTS BEING SHOVED OUT OF THEIR MOUTHS…it’s all the same as if there was a Goebbels or ROVE or KOCH behind them???
Come on people of the DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE; LISTEN, THINK, LEARN, And ACT! As it is said you are either part of the solution or you are part of the problem…WHICH ARE YOU??
 
 
+11 # humanmancalvin 2013-04-21 06:52
Goebbels would have been proud of the propagandist snow job the NRA rains on people daily. Back in the 70's while living in the White Mtns. in New Hampshire, I got into the local culture of hunting. I subscribed to all the varied hunting magazines & cards for the NRA would always fall out of these. You could be an NRA member for cheap money, get some type of free bag or whatever. Back then, the NRA would offer Whitetail hunting tips & the like,I never remember seeing anything nearing the political. It is obvious since then the gun & ammo manufacturers have co-opted the NRA & have them on their payroll. Where mountains of cash are, you will always find a Pol nearby ready to dive in.
Unfortunately, I have a brother who never left the rural mountains & he like the entire village believe every twisted word that drools from the maws of the NRA as it is today. The ridiculous: Obama (Obammy) is coming to take our guns away using the US Nazi ATF or the like. I've given up trying to argue, please let me know if any good Leftie Progressive has found a way to argue intelligently with a Tea Bagging, NRA supporter. I find it to be an impossibility as facts have no place in their world.
Our only hope is 2014, where we can fill both house chambers with Blue behinds, not forgetting the handful that voted against the recent common sense measure.
 
 
-12 # skylinefirepest 2013-04-21 09:49
Hey human...what the NRA does is beyond your comprehension apparently. The NRA didn't get really political until the liberals tried to do away with the private ownership of firearms. Reference Feinstein, Reid, Pelosi, Clinton, obammer, etc. What was the "common sense" measure you were talking about? What in that bill would have protected our schools? Even obammer admitted not a damn thing, didn't he? It was totally about gun control NOT school safety. What a bunch of firearms illiterate wussies you libtards are!
 
 
-4 # engelbach 2013-04-21 14:45
My, how brave you must be with a deer rifle in your hand.
 
 
+2 # rcossebo 2013-04-21 15:31
Quoting skylinefirepest:
Hey human...what the NRA does is beyond your comprehension apparently. The NRA didn't get really political until the liberals tried to do away with the private ownership of firearms. Reference Feinstein, Reid, Pelosi, Clinton, obammer, etc. What was the "common sense" measure you were talking about? What in that bill would have protected our schools? Even obammer admitted not a damn thing, didn't he? It was totally about gun control NOT school safety. What a bunch of firearms illiterate wussies you libtards are!

OMG! Are you serious?? Look at the records closer and you'll see that the ones who are trying to gut the Constitution of the POWER OF THE PEOPLE are the Corporations, Big Business, the RICH KOCH BROTHERS, and simple minded sub species like you all! The Tea Party, the Republicans (Right Wing group) and the idiots who can't look beyond the tips of their noses are the ones who are taking the rights away by sanctioning the legislation YOUR Party is pushing and those who want to KILL THE CONSTITUTION! As I've said before, anyone who is following this line of thinking is either lacking in brain cells, genetically the missing link, or just doesn't care about AMERICA! Still trying to figure out where you fit!
 
 
-3 # zornorff 2013-04-21 16:20
You are pathetic. Too bad you require a firearm as a proxy for your manhood.
 
 
0 # bmiluski 2013-04-22 10:35
AGAIN.......the government does not want to take away your guns. You can keep your damn guns. What is wrong with you people? It's this kind of postings that give you people a bad name like.......NUTS !!!!
 
 
-2 # Gnome de Pluehm 2013-04-21 07:33
In black and white terms: Conservatives have the killer instinct; liberals don't.
 
 
-2 # Kootenay Coyote 2013-04-21 08:20
As Gore Vidal put it, ‘A merchant has no country.’ Nor does the cheap shill NRA.
 
 
-9 # skylinefirepest 2013-04-21 09:44
Almost funny, isn't it? Dumbledorf and others tell the truth and you guys give them a bunch of minuses. Not really interested in the TRUTH are you?? Typical liberal mindset. The majority of you guys don't give a crap about anything but the government dole so what was I to expect? The NRA in the United States teaches more people ( from kids to seniors ) about gun SAFETY than all the rest of the entities put together. But you guys are not interested in gun safety or safe schools...you'r e only interested in the liberal ideal of no guns for anybody but government. No personal responsibility for your own safety...call the gubmint and they'll send you a man with a gun to do your dirty work for you. Liberals are wussies hiding behind other people's firearms. And not one of you has the guts to give an honest answer to my questions in the past few blogs...namely why do the police carry guns, for their protection or yours? Has or has not the Supreme Court ruled that the police have no obligation to protect YOU, you are obligated to protect YOURSELF?? All you want to do is whine about how unfair life is, pray for the government to look after you, feed you, give your lazy carcasses money 'cause you can't find a job, and change your diapers 'cause you might get your hands dirty. If Obama had wanted school safety instead of gun control it would have passed with no problem. In his whiny speech he was not angry because of anything except having been spanked thoroughly.
 
 
-5 # engelbach 2013-04-21 14:47
Your macho posturing doesn't fool anybody.

You're an ignorant child having a tantrum filled with lies.
 
 
0 # bmiluski 2013-04-22 10:36
If only you people could back up your rhetoric with actual facts.......my that would be so refreshing.
 
 
0 # Pancho 2013-04-21 09:45
The NRA had lobbied against the use of taggants in fertilizer, too. That was the bulk of the immensely powerful bomb with which militia crazies McVeigh and Nichols destroyed the Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City 18 years ago this week.
 
 
+2 # wwway 2013-04-21 11:26
The NRA is a front orginization for gun and ammo manufacturers. I would say they are all in the murder business.
Sadly, no one is talking about creating a responsbile gun owners orginization to counter NRA and GOA. That makes all gun owners complicit in the murder business, as far as I'm concerned.
BTW, I watched Ted Nugents cable program for the first last night. Weapons = Family values? Really?
 
 
+1 # cwbystache 2013-04-21 15:43
anyone who pays federal taxes is "in the murder business."
 
 
0 # Rich Austin 2013-04-21 13:44
Edge –
After viewing some of your ignorant rants I thank God you disagree with my posts. If you personally found merit in my offerings I’d problably check myself into a clinic that treats sociopaths
 
 
+1 # skylinefirepest 2013-04-21 13:52
Seems like I can rest my case...more minuses from non-thinking liberals that cannot or will not truthfully answer my simple questions to y'all.
 
 
0 # bmiluski 2013-04-22 10:39
I'm sorry, what WAS your question? Your rant is so confusing.
 
 
+2 # skylinefirepest 2013-04-21 15:53
Ok kiddies, repeat after me, slowly so that maybe it'll sink in...explosive purchases require id, a name and address. Purchases of gunpowder or ammonium nitrate do NOT require id or a name and address. So just exactly how is it that the adding of taggants was supposed to find the bombers?? Huh? What was that?? Once again, the left talks trash without the facts to support. Oh, and by the way, exactly what supporting evidence is there to state that the NRA lobbied against the use of taggants in fertilizer? What? Where? It doesn't exist? Just as I thought...anoth er lie from the left.
 
 
-1 # bmiluski 2013-04-22 10:43
This article was in the Seattle Times.
So darlin, YOU might want to start reading newspapers that aren't funded by the neo-cons.
WASHINGTON - Almost 20 years ago the government developed a way to mark explosives to help trace terrorist bombs. But Congress blocked the research, even after a test of the device helped catch a bomber in Baltimore.

Lobbying by the explosives industry and the National Rifle Association, citing safety concerns, buried the idea.
 
 
+1 # da gaf 2013-04-21 20:11
COULD IT BE THAT GREED MAY BE BEHIND ALL THIS DAILY CRIMINAL ACTIVITY?..SURE THERE IS TENSE EMOTIONS SUCH AS ANGER AND SOME KIND OF REPRESSED REVENGE IN MANY PEOPLE'S UNCONSCIOUS PART OF THEIR MINDS..AND WHEN IT EVENTUALLY SURFACES AND TAKES CONTROL..AND DOES IT INSANE REACTION...OF KILLING OR DESTROYING WHATEVER IS AVAILABLE...... COULD OR WOULD THIS ALWAYS HAPPEN IF THERE WAS NOT THESE RICH RULING SECTOR HAD NOT CREATING SO MUCH OF THIS BURIED HATRED AND ANGER IN THE AVERAGE JOE..BECAUSE OF THEIR POWER AND CONTROL?
THE RICH CORPORATIONS WILL ALWAYS CREATED THEIR TOP HIERARCHY POSITION WILL MANIPULATE GOVERNMENT AND THE COUNTRY BECAUSE OF THEIR GROWING GREED AND POWER AND CONSTANT EXPLOITATION OF THE COMMON PUBLIC..HUMMMM?
LIKE HERE IN WEST TEXAS THAT IS IN SERVER DROUGHT THE BIG OIL COMPANIES HAVE MOVED IN - BY THE THOUSANDS AND ARE USING OUR VALUABLE DRINKING WATER FOR THEIR "FRACKING" FOR MORE OIL JUST TO SELL TO SELL TO CHINA AND THEY GET RICHER AND DESTROY OUR TOWNS- NO WATER NO LIFE- AND THE OIL COMPANIES COULD CARE LESS! NO WONDER MANY PEOPLE OR SO PISS OFF AND FULL OF ANGER..THE POWERFUL CORPORATIONS HAVE NO SENSITIVITY FOR PEOPLE- GREED IS AN UGLY THING AND THESE BIG CORPORATIONS ARE DAMAGING THIS WORLD AS FAST AS THEY CAN- IN SO MANY WAYS!
 
 
-2 # Marta 2013-04-22 06:11
Has anyone investigated if there are any direct links between the NRA and the Boston bombers?
 
 
+4 # restore2america 2013-04-22 07:26
David, you need to think thru what your article suggests is possible: tagging gunpowder at point of manufacture would have saved the cop's life.

First, do we know that gunpowder was used? (I don't - maybe you researched this.)
Second, work backward from how people buy gunpowder (either in pre-made cartridges or in containers used for reloading used cartridges). To accomplish what you suggest is possible, every container or package of bullets would (a) require a different chemical tagent signature, and (b) requires separate record keeping from origin to sale (assuming the buyer doesn't pass the ammo on to someone else, which would be perfectly legal).
Third, this assumes that the person who bought the gunpowder used it in committing a crime. What about theft?

By the time you sort thru the practical issues, your proposal would not work. So stop blaming the NRA for this cop's death. It's a nonsense kneejerk reaction. We're angry at a horrid crime and are looking for someone to blame - so let's blame the standby bad guy. Kinda like blaming gays for war (popular at one Kansas church) or blaming abortion for moral decline (popular at many churches). Your proposed law would be an unworkable failure - and would do NOTHING to address the actual problems in our world.

Let's focus on real solutions to actual problems rather than "ideas" that make us feel good because we bash our favorite bad guys.
 
 
-1 # George D 2013-04-22 10:24
Excellent, well thought out and stated, points.

With the exception of some of the name calling and morphing of names (obammer) diverting the topic to reveal obvious personal bias, most points made by the gun owners in this forum have been quite good.

Although most of the liberals posting here give each other "thumbs up" their comments reveal thoughts that are mostly unsupportable and based on emotion and ignorant arrogance. Other readers will see that.

So, knowing that many people read these forums, I'm delighted to see this "debate" in the public domain. It does more to get people thinking about why this issue is not as "obvious" as some might otherwise be inclined to think.

Take that poll about background checks and gun registration again; This time at college campuses. Wanna see what might happen in 2014? Do that little test after people have had a chance to understand the gun control side of this better.

There are two topics surrounding Newtown; Resurgence of gun control and how to have a safer, gun owning society. The NRA and I am on the side of a safer, gun owning society.
 
 
-3 # bmiluski 2013-04-22 10:45
This article was in the Seattle Times.

WASHINGTON - Almost 20 years ago the government developed a way to mark explosives to help trace terrorist bombs. But Congress blocked the research, even after a test of the device helped catch a bomber in Baltimore.

Lobbying by the explosives industry and the National Rifle Association, citing safety concerns, buried the idea.
You my dear, are just supporting the terrorists.
 
 
+1 # George D 2013-04-22 13:13
Oh; Well then; It was a done deal. Must have been completely debugged and all issues understood back then.

If it was in the newspaper (The Seattle Times) after all. That must have made this fact; End of debate.

You "my dear" seem to form views based on little fact and are quick to point to others as being "supporters of terrorism". Why not just say we all "pal around with terrorists" then. It sounds like you learned how to think and reason from the home school of Sarah Palin.
 

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