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Extremists Using Gun Shows To Exchange Deadly Information

More and more, gun shows that most people think are merely hobbyist events for collectors to get together to trade items much like model train collectors do are becoming a recruiting grounds for political extremists to recruit new members or circulate petitions for extremist causes.

In Portland, Oregon the monthly gun shows at the large Expo Center that take place have become a recruiting grounds for extremists targeting immigrants or even recruiting for White Supremacist organizations. In addition, there is evidence that off-the-books, illegal gun sales often take place in the parking lot that sometimes involves illegal weapons of very lethal power being sold.

All of this calls into question whether political groups should be banned from such events and tighter parking lot security to prevent illegal weapons sales isn't really needed.

While gun shows have long been able to gain public acceptance by most believing that only peaceful hobbyists or collectors attend such events, a large part of the appeal of these shows was to an audience who sought to avoid background checks or gun licensing rules before many states sought to crackdown on this.

But a mentality that often was very suspicious towards the government continues to use these gun shows to promote extreme political opinions. Sometimes this could be especially paranoid and siege-mentality minded in nature. One organization, the Militia Of Montana had a massive display of books at the Expo Center recently that including titles like , "Weapons and Explosives Improvisation", "How To Hide Things In Public Places" and books on guerrilla warfare tactics or how to make poisons. Another table was entirely comprised of Nazi items and pictures of Adolf Hitler for sale.

The John Birch Society also had a display for their extreme politics as well. For some reason it is entirely legal to inform would-be domestic terrorists how to build bombs or other illegal weapons that could kill many innocent persons through books or other instructional materials, yet the federal government prosecutors only will only target some materials of a sexual nature at random that it considers to be obscenity. Anyone sympathetic to Al Qaeda or a similar mindset would be able to find more than enough books or information at a gun show to purchase common hardware and drugstore items and build dangerous bombs. This is a serious issue.

The fact of the matter is that many extreme political organizations use gun shows not to sell guns but to indoctrinate new members with their extremist views. And it could be a lethal combination to indoctrinate some into hate or extremism and offer them all the information they need on how to build bombs or other serious weapons.

Organizers of these gun show events need to set down some rules on what is acceptable to sell or display at these shows or not. And since government often reaps the financial rewards from renting out the space for these shows, they should take a serious look at who is renting space at these events.

On the Website of the Militia Of Montana, they claim that they do not advocate breaking any laws and the items they sell are for information purposes alone. That may be indeed correct. But is that enough to stop the next Timothy McVeigh from using this explosives knowledge to cause great harm? Will it stop someone who supports the goals of Al Qaeda? Could this be an accident just waiting to happen? Some things don't make any sense at all.


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Comments (7)

epador:

Agreed.

I have seen extremist groups recruiting at gun shows, but I've also seen them on college campuses. The only difference is usually right wing versus left wing nutjobs (gun shows attract right wing nutcases, colleges attract left wing ones, both are dangerous, and both are protected under the 1st amendment, for the most part).

there is evidence that off-the-books, illegal gun sales often take place in the parking lot that sometimes involves illegal weapons of very lethal power being sold.

Really, wow! Umm, what evidence do you have that this is happening? Any press releases from police departments outlining the problem and detailing their latest massive bust of weapons traffickers? Probably not, since most "off-the-books" sales are Billy-Bob selling his old hunting rifle (a weapon of very lethal power, seeing as it is designed to kill large game quickly and cleanly) to Bubba. Ohhh, dangerous trade there.

And why shouldn't we be suspicious of government, The Shrub has been all too happy to gut the hell out of the 4th Amendment. Police departments all over the country care less and less about your civil rights and are more than happy to play Ninja and destroy an innocent persons home on the word of a criminal. Or to make up crap charges to arrest a person for having the gall to defy their requests for information that that person is not required to provide.

And this does not even begin to cover all the little things that local, unelected bureaucrats do to people just because they can.

And geez, worried about people passing out "dangerous" information. Puh-leese, no one is going to buy a book and say "Hey, now I know how to build a bomb, let's go blow up a school bus!" And such information is readily available to anyone with a basic understanding of High School Chemistry.

I'd worry more about the Right-Wing nutjobs who think they have a lock on what kind of morality you should endure under, and less about the good 'ol boys who just want to be left alone with their guns and hunting.

Dantes44:

Agreed. Now...off to my local college campus to get my 'Little Red Book' and new Che shirt so I'll look cool at the next pro-Hamas/anti-Israel Death to the Great Satan anarchist parade!

Obama 08!

Socratease:
While gun shows have long been able to gain public acceptance by most believing that only peaceful hobbyists or collectors attend such events...
Got a cite for that? Didn't think so.

People are people, and some percentage of them are going to try an get away with what they think they can. The question you've got to ask yourself is: Would you rather those gun sales take place at pre-announced events on public property where the authorities can oversee them, or would you rather scatter them across the county at random times behind closed doors where cops would need a warrant to observe them? Which of the two do you think is conducive to tighter enforcement of the laws?

BobG:

What a crock. I don't think this bozo has even been to a gun show.

Bob, I have absolutely no problem with gun shows as long as collectors or other hobbyists attend, sell or display items there.

I do have a problem with a small number of political extremists and those who sell information at such shows that could domestic terrorism. I've attended various collector shows at the Expo Center such as the yearly auto swap meet they hold there and I only see collectors or hobbyists at that or model train shows. But more and more a few political extremists and those that sell literature that could fuel domestic terrorism are ruining the reputation of gun shows. This is a serious question for the integrity of these shows.

You can check out the website for the Militia Of Montana if you wish and view their schedule for upcoming gun shows to sell their extreme literature which in my view has absolutely nothing to do with owning a gun as a hobby or as a collectors item. They are just one of several groups hurting the integrity of these gun shows in my view.

Gun hobbyist or collectors are responsible persons, but it's the mindset of a few political extremists, potential terrorists or criminals that need to be kept far away from legitimate gun shows.

Paul,

The problem is one of access. Even extremists have a right to voice their opinion. I don't like seeing booths for the Nazis or the KK at my local gun show anymore than I like seeing demonstrations for the Communist party and Mid-East Terrorist sympathizers at my local college campus, but if we are gonna get rid of one, we gotta get rid of both, and that is a far more dangerous path than tolerating the whackos.

As for groups who distrust the government, they have good reason.


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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