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Kazmierczak Comes From Long Line of Mass Shooters Who Passed Background Checks

By       Message Martha Rosenberg       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink

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While the nation debates NIU shooter Stephen Phillip Kazmierczak's mental health, how many realize he waltzed into Tony's Guns in Champaign, IL five days before the massacre and bought a Remington and a Glock?

Kazmierczak may have been institutionalized for a year and given a psychological discharge from the Army, but he passed the background check just fine when he bought two of his four weapons at a Champaign, IL gun store!

So did Latina Williams who shot three at Louisiana Technical College in Baton Rouge on February 8. She might have been living in her car, paranoid and delusional and giving her possessions away in suicidal gestures but she walked right into a New Orleans pawn shop and bought a .357 revolver and a box of ammunition the day before the shootings.

It's a good guess that Charles "Cookie" Lee Thornton was a legal gun owner too when he killed two police officers, two council members, the city's public works director and shot the mayor, Mike Swoboda, twice in the head at a City Council meeting in Kirkwood, MO on February 7.

Shooters in two Valentine's Day-timed massacres last year--Sulejman Talovic who killed five in Salt Lake City's Trolley Square mall and Vincent J. Dortch who killed three at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard--also breezed through background checks. Talovic, a Bossnian immigrant, bought his weapon at Sportsman's Fastcash, a pawn shop chain, without even showing second identification as required of legal aliens investigators think.

Bart A. Ross, a Polish immigrant who shot Federal Judge Joan Lefkow's husband and mother in Chicago 2005, was also a legal gun owner.

So were Terry Ratzmann, who fatally shot seven in a church service in Milwaukee in 2005, Chai Vang, who killed six Wisconsin hunters in 2004 and Jennifer Sanmarco who shot and killed six at a Goleta, CA postal facility in 2006.

And of course there was Virginia Tech's Seung-Hui Cho.

Of course the gun lobby likes to use mass shootings for recruitment.

Do you really want to be unarmed when a human volcano explodes because he lost his job, went off his meds or his girlfriend dumped him it asks--as if it had nothing to do with arming the volcano.

And as if "good guys" defending themselves against criminals need to purchase multiple guns and automatic weapons as the Kazmierczaks of the world typically do.

But with 20 dead in February alone, the reductionistic equation--1) bad guys get guns illegally 2) the rest of us need them because of 1)-breaks down.

It starts to look less like Outlaw Guns And Only Outlaws Will Have Guns and more like Legalize Easy Guns and Criminals Will Be Legal.

Speaking to a group of Florida Republican women on Valentine's Day before news of the NIU massacre surfaced, Glen Caroline, director of the National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action lamented. "The media never reports on self-defense use of guns. They always report on criminal use of guns." Unfortunately he was about to hear about Kazmierczak.


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Martha Rosenberg is an award-winning investigative public health reporter who covers the food, drug and gun industries. Her first book, Born With A Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp The Public Health, is distributed by Random (more...)

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