Sunday, June 19, 2016

How To Buy An AR-15 In Seven Minutes

Johnny Depp as "The Hatter"
Happy Father's Day to any of you dads who may be reading this.

For me it's more of a day of quiet reflection as my own father passed away from cancer on June 24, 1996, Father's Day makes me even more mindful that I miss him.

Since I worked Saturday and it's pretty hot out there today, I'm just taking it easy and watching movies.

In defiance of what I consider to be unfair criticism of actor Johnny Depp for the disappointing box office returns for the sequel Alice Through The Looking Glass (according to the June 17th Hollywood Reporter it's only made about $177 million), I decided to rent Black Mass to see Depp's portrayal of ruthless Boston mobster Whitey Bulger - and for some lighter-hearted fare I rented the animated film Inside Out.

Depp is an exceptionally talented actor who didn't deserve all the snarky media flack he caught for the 2013 box office flop The Lone Ranger, the film was awful but it was because of an absolutely horribly-written script, weak directing and choppy editing; Depp always delivers on-screen.

On the way back from picking up said DVD's from my local Redbox, I caught the tail end of a segment on NPR's On the Media discussing the actual meaning and wording of the 2nd Amendment, which is so often deified and misinterpreted by extremist gun rights advocates who seem to use it to oppose any meaningful measures to control access to firearms.

Like the semi-automatic AR-15 assault rife used in so many mass shootings of innocent people here in America.

Journalist Helen Ubinas
Speaking of which, did you hear about the journalist from Philadelphia who walked into a gun store last week and purchased an AR-15 in about seven minutes?

When I read about this story on this morning, it left me feeling numb; click the link and check it out if you haven't read it.

Listening to all the news reports of some of the 49 funerals of the victims from the Orlando massacre taking place, as well as memorials for the dead taking place in cities around the world, it's deeply disturbing to think that Philadelphia Daily News - columnist Helen Ubinas was able to walk into a gun store, present her ID, fill out some paperwork, pay $759.99, and walk out of the store with an assault rifle in under ten minutes.

Sometimes it takes me longer to get turkey at the deli counter.

What if she'd been unbalanced and heading for a public place in downtown Philly?

Unlike some members of the NRA, I can't speak for any of the Framers who wrote the text of the Constitution in the late 18th century, but I doubt it was their intent that someone could walk into a store and buy an AR-15 in under ten minutes.

Ubinas only bought the gun as an exercise in journalism to demonstrate how lax gun control laws in America are, and she turned it into the police almost immediately.

But given what just happened in Orlando, the scary thing is that people make purchases like that in this country everyday, and we have no idea what their motivation is, or like Omar Mateen, who they really are, or what their intent is.

No comments: