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City City Bang Bang

Last Saturday evening, excited teenagers were standing outside the underage Zone nightclub in Downtown Portland, Oregon waiting to get inside to here the DJ spin some great sounds. Then suddenly bullets sprayed everywhere from an Italian-made semiautomatic hand gun, shooting nine young persons including six foreign exchange students. Two girls, one from Oregon, and another, a foreign exchange student from Peru, were killed in the hail of bullets fired by depressed gunman Erik Ayala, himself a foreign national, who then shot and fatally wounded himself. One girl from Italy, another foreign exchange student has 11 bullet exit wounds and remains in critical condition.

When Ayala purchased this semiautomatic weapon at the 99 Pawn And Guns shop in Milwaukee, Oregon, the owner of the shop excuses the lethal sale by claiming that there was no red flags that the murder weapon was going to be used to commit a horrible crime or signs that Ayala was dangerous. Yet, Ayala was first turned away for not providing proper identification, and only on a second attempt was the lethal weapon sold to him by the gunshop.

Erik Ayala.jpgThis latest gun incident, including a huge uptick in gang shootings, where unemployed angry minority members with little money, no jobs, are opening fire on gang rivals is turning Portland, Oregon into a youth gun violence capital.

So far there have been little new calls for increased gun control laws. but at some breaking point, state legislators, police and city hall will no doubt seek to tighten up some laws to stem this new wave of youth gun violence.

All of this raises some interesting issues here. Last year, the Supreme Court struck down a local gun control law in Washington, D.C. as unconstitutional that violated the Second Amendment. And Mr. Obama, a former constitutional law professor voiced some support for the Supreme Court ruling, partly because of the court's constitutional view of the Second Amendment, but also because this ruling came during the presidential campaign and the Obama Campaign didn't want major friction with gun rights advocates or the NRA. Previously, Mr. Obama had been on record as supporting the D.C. hand gun control law.

This week, the Obama Administration voiced support for a new form of states rights on the issue of air pollution control, that will reverse the Bush Administration's form of strong federalism that limited 13 states, including California with congested cities and serious air pollution problems from exceeding federal clean air rules as applied by the EPA. This might provide an interesting clue about the Obama philosophy of the role of the federal government and it's power relation to the states and local governments.

All of these factors raise some interesting questions here. Will the Obama Administration allow some more leeway to states and local governments who want to address serious local issues such as gun violence with tougher local gun control laws? Will the role of the federal government be reduced from that of the Bush Administration that worked to intervene in limiting tougher local rules that it philosophically disagreed with?

Local governments with serious gun violence issues may be more willing to advance some tougher gun laws to keep dangerous persons like Erik Alaya from purchasing mass murder weapons like semiautomatic handguns form gunshops during the Obama years, because like the guide of the new EPA and local pollution rules, some states have serious local concerns about growing gun violence among young people where it is still way too easy for crazy or dangerous persons to purchase mass people killing machines like semiautomatic weapons to create public mayhem. Some Second Amendment advocates and NRA members might not be very pleased. But local and state governments will argue that new tools are needed to stop the gun violence bloodbath.

What do you think about all of this? Comments are very welcome here. Let's open up a lively discussion here.

Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!

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Comments (20)


Thats so sad. Thats why we need to deport and incarcerate these wetbacks. How dare he take lives that are our future. Why didnt he just jump off a bridge and cme crashing down in front of a semi truck for everyones amusement. I would have stopped to see the show if he was letting people know he was gonna splatter. Kinda like a train wreck, you dont wanna watch, but you have to. What is the most creative way to kill yourself? Post your answers.

I say, climb on a bridge, let everyone get there, like tv, police, fire military. Time it just right, and wait for a semi truck. As the truck comes by, jump and do a swan dive, where you splatter on the pavement, on the bounce, the truck hits you and spreads you about a 1/4 mile. Decapitating you, getting you intermal orgams you explode out of your body. Letting kids play find the spleen, or is that brain matter, or a booger? Of the ever classis, mommy is that a nose over there, and can I take an ear as a keychain.

How about some ideas, and dont forget to hit theplus sign to vote for my creativity


I read the article in the Oregonian about this incident. The way you portray the Pawn Shop owner as complicit or at least negligent is curious.

When you say that the owner was "claiming" that there were no red flags about the kid, you imply that you think there were. The Oregonian article doesn't list any red flags the owner overlooked.

You also say: "..Ayala was first turned away for not providing proper identification, and only on a second attempt was the lethal weapon sold to him by the gunshop."

The Oregonian says when Ayala returned he HAD the proper identification, so the sale was made. What you wrote gives the impression that they sold the weapon to him improperly.

It looks to me like you wanted the Pawn Shop owner to appear negligent, when (by the Oregonian article) it doesn't appear to be true.


My apologies, the article I found was from the OregonLive.com web site - not an Oregonian Web site as I originally thought.



hey scott8 how would you like to see death? Post your answer

Doubting Thomas:

Paul -

The background check done when you buy a gun is (or was, it's been a while) the filling out of a form, and then the gun shop owner calls in to verify the info.

If the asshole had bogus ID, that wouldn't be caught by the system. The system depends on getting honest information from a purchaser. Once it is legally bought, the blame for the use of the firearm is on the user, not the seller.

But banning guns don't mean they go away. One thing that the UK and Australia found was that criminals don't tend to obey the laws - and the channels that get drugs into a country can get other things as well. The UK banned rifles, then handguns - and saw gun crime rise about 40%, with home breakins and burglary skyrocketing.

Kennesaw, GA mandated gun ownership, with a gun to be kept in each house (though there was no penalty for not having one) in response to Morton Grove IL widely publicising their entire city a gun-free zone.

Crime in Kennesaw, especially breakins and burglary, plummeted. I understand Morton Grove saw little effect from their ban, and has since repealed it.

I also understand there's a movement in the UK to allow handgun possession again.



When Ayala purchased this semiautomatic weapon at the 99 Pawn And Guns shop in Milwaukee, Oregon, the owner of the shop excuses the lethal sale by claiming that there was no red flags that the murder weapon was going to be used to commit a horrible crime or signs that Ayala was dangerous.

I have ONE question......Does anyone go into a gun shop and tell them " I wanna use this to kill a bunch of folks"?

ok second question

HOW can the gun shop be responsible, if they denied him, because of not having the paperwork, the first time. Then when he had the right stuff, to NOT sell it to him. I would have sold it to him also. I say EVERYONE has guns, that way at first couple shots. 30 people take a shot at him. Its done, minimal casualty. Better yet, everyone have a ROTTWIELER!!!! MANDITORY training and spaying and registration. They are more friendly than a gun...Thats what I had growing up and as an adult. I didnt need a gun. and I LIVE IN CHICAGO!!!!

Doubting Thomas:

Re gun bans -


"THE government was accused yesterday of covering up the full extent of the gun crime epidemic sweeping Britain, after official figures showed that gun-related killings and injuries had risen more than fourfold since 1998."

Pretty bad for a place where people can't legally own guns...


Paul, do you really know how many shootings that is done by people that have concealed weapons permits? Truth is, very little, and when done by them, they are 99.9% justified.

We do not need more laws, just enforce the laws on the books. A very close friend of mine bought a gun, and a week later committed suicide. No one even knew he had a gun. (He did have some very serious health problems and didn't want to burden his wife and children.) The cops couldn't believe how easy it was to buy a gun. If the law in that case would have been enforced, would he have been able to buy and take home the gun on the same day?

Nobody needs new gun laws, just enforce what is on the books. Until then, you really shouldn't be spouting off BS like you have done on this post.

Portland is known as a bleeding heart and sanctuary city. Even your mayor, which is a joke to us living north of the river, is a damn liar.

Doubting Thomas:

I agree with you, Allen - we've GOT a lot of laws. Enforcement is lacking. Actually making sure the law is followed is key, but it sure seems sometimes like there's a belief that if one more law is passed, suddenly they'll become self-enforcing!

The real problem is that passing a law is much easier than enforcing it, and gives the impression that 'something is being done'.


Everyone sees the gun and misses the point. This guy was mentally ill. Depressed. He needed help. Mental health services, even in the People's Republic of Portland, do not come near meeting the needs of the people. The ability of mental health professionals to help their clients AND protect the public is seriously hampered by innumerable factors. THAT'S what needs attention here.

If he had used a machete in that crowd he could have killed and maimed at least as many kids. Would we be talking about machete control then?


Epador, OJ used a knife and nobody talked about knife control, did they? It's just gun control the bleeding hearts want.

If the laws were enforced, and with Public Health professionals being used, yes this problem could be brought under control. And you are correct about the People's Republic of Portland. That name fits it to a T. I'm a liberal with some things and conservative on other things. Living across the river from Portland makes a person wonder how they can survive over there. And you have to love their new Mayor, he is a liar and still have the people there want him to stay and the other half wants him to resign. It's funny!


The mayor of Portland declares his city a "sanctuary" city for illegal immigrants; now, he (or rather the citizens of Portland) is reaping what he sowed, as these people move into the city, bringing their gangs and violence with them. When liberal politicians want to show how compassionate and open minded they are, it is always the average citizen who suufers for their hubris.

Michael F:

A) How do you know that Mr. Ayala was depressed? Maybe he was just evil.

B) Picking and choosing which laws to enforce, as Portland does, leads to lawlessness.

C) Dude, go back to school. Your grammar, spelling and syntax are abysmal.

I appreciate the lively discussion here so far. But no one has really responded to my complaint that semiautomatic weapons such as this have no legitimate hunting or self defense purpose and are merely mass killing machines that are favorites for drug dealers, gang members, terrorists or other criminals.

I have no problem with legitimate hunting or self defense type guns, but these semiautomatics are entirely another type of weapon. Should persons also be able to purchase landmines, mortars, tanks, machine guns or other lethal items. Should there be some limits on the level of lethal force available to nonmilitary persons?

Let the discussion continue.


Paul, there is nothing wrong with a semi auto weapon. You can have a single shot, and if you happen to miss your first shot, or do not put the intruder (that breaks into your house) down, you may need a second or third shot.

Gun control to means hitting what you are aiming at. But sometimes you may not have the perfect aim that you normally do. That is when you damn sure need the extra rounds available.


You indicate you have no issue with a legitimate self defense type gun, but only with a semi automatic gun. A semi automatic gun is a legitimate self defense gun. I believe you are confusing semi automatic with fully automatic. A semi automatic gun only fires one round per trigger pull. A fully automatic gun continues to fire as long as the trigger is held down. Automatic weapons are illegal killing machines. Semi automatic is a very generic team commonly used for any gun not fully automatic or single shot.

But no one has really responded to my complaint that semiautomatic weapons such as this have no legitimate hunting or self defense purpose and are merely mass killing machines that are favorites for drug dealers, gang members, terrorists or other criminals.

That is because that particular assertation is a hyperbolic, emotionally-laden load of gos-se.

I carry a semiautomatic pistol on my waist every day I leave my apartment, and yet I have somehow managed to not shoot anyone in a flagrant fit of rage. Furthermore, I own an additional two semiautomatic firearms at home, and neither of them appear to have killed anyone in their entire existences, either independently or with my assistance.

In the end, there is little difference between revolvers and semiautomatic pistols, apart from available capacity, and speed with which you can reload said capacity. However, one trigger-pull equates to one bullet on both platforms, no matter how long you hold that trigger down.

However, no matter how you go about it, revolvers and semiautomatic pistols are both important self-defense tools today, as evinced by the growing number of concealed carry applications in all states where they are legal. Simply saying that semiautomatic firearms have not "legitimate" self-defense purpose is patently and absolutely false.

Now, if you are talking about all semiautomatic weapons, both long-guns and short, then you are still off base... and, in the end, it does not matter. I am not going to justify my desires, and my desires should never have to meet your definition of "needs", especially when those desires are protected by the Constitution (and recently upheld by the Supreme Court). Furthermore, when applied more broadly, the "need" fallacy can be ineffectively applied to just about any context (do you really "need" that SUV?), and thus the argument pretty much immediately collapses.

At any rate, semiautomatic firearms have many uses both in hunting, and in self defense, and in various other arenas as well, despite your ignorance on the matter. I would strongly suggest doing a few Google searches in the future, before you start making wildly baseless claims. Is what this murderer did unfortunate? Absolutely. Should his actions be used as leverage to disarm America? Absolutely not. He does not represent the vast majority of the law-abiding gun owner demographic, and trying to use his actions to deprive the entire American populace of their rights is just despicable.

Doubting Thomas:

As far as automatic weapons go - machine guns, whether an old-fashioned 'tommy' gun or an M-2 - it's perfectly possible to legally own one, if you're willing to go through a background check and pay the requisite fees (which are steep) and pay the price of the weapon (which is usually very steep also).

But most people won't bother. Automatic weapons are also expensive to feed - .50 cal machine gun ammo goes for well over a dollar a round in the civilian market, so the price for your 'fun' goes up real fast.

In the end, Paul, these things are tools. Nothing more, nothing less. Morally, they're about as neutral as you can get - simple tubes that take a chunk of metal and accellerate it quickly out one end. They have no feelings, no emotions, no murderous impulses, no compassion. A rifle in the closet won't get up and out of the house on its own, looking for someone or something to kill.

It's the user that actually decides what purpose it will be put to. And the vast, vast majority of legal owners will never use their firearms for more than target practice.


Doubting Thomas-

Laws vary state by state on ownership of machine guns. It is possible to legally own them in some, but not all.

Doubting Thomas:

True - but the federal requirements for such ownership can be met. You have to go through state hoops also, and as you point out some won't allow it.


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