Friday, April 19, 2013

How the gun lobby blocked bombing investigators


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Given the recent Boston Marathon bombing, this is particularly pertinent, isn't it? The NRA hasn't just blocked gun control, it has deliberately hobbled bombing investigators, too.

Think about it. This is the organization which has Congressmen running scared. Incredible, isn't it?

From MSNBC:
One avenue of investigation is already closed off to forensic officials working the Boston Marathon bombing case due to efforts dating back decades by the National Rifle Association and gun manufacturers.

The FBI said Tuesday that gunpowder, along with pieces of metal and ball bearings, were packed into at least one pressure cooker and another device to make the crude bombs that killed three people—including an 8-year-old boy—and wounded more than 170 more during the Boston Marathon Monday.

But a crucial piece of evidence called a taggant that could be used to trace the gunpowder used in the bombs to a buyer at a point of sale is not available to investigators.

“If you had a good taggant this would be a good thing for this kind of crime. It could help identify the point of manufacturer, and chain of custody,” Bob Morhard, an explosives consultant and chief executive officer of Zukovich, Morhard & Wade, LLC., in Pennsylvania, who has traced explosives and detonators in use in the United States and Saudi Arabia, told MSNBC.com. “The problem is nobody wants to know what the material is.”

And why does "nobody" want to know this?
“These taggants would allow the police to identify the maker and even the lot of the ammo by the taggant,” posted blogger dfariswheel online in January in a closed gun-forum called AR15.com, a longstanding group named for the same type of military-style, semi-automatic rifle used in both the Newtown grade school and Aurora movie theater mass shootings.

Get that? If you could identify the gunpowder, you might be able to catch the bomber or the shooter who used it.

To NRA supporters (the NRA itself refuses to comment, of course), that means the big bad government will be able to track you down during the revolution, or the race war, or the next attempt by 'patriots' to secede - or whatever loony thing they imagine is imminent.

To sane people, it means that terrorists and other criminals now have an easier time getting away with murder.

PS. Thanks to Jeff for the link.

2 comments:

jeff725 said...

I'm not a lawyer and I don't play one on TV, if the NRA did deliberately hobble the bombing investigators, I wonder what the chances are the NRA could be held CRIMINALLY liable?

But, like I said, I'm not a lawyer.

WCG said...

I'm not a lawyer either, Jeff, but I'd venture a resounding NO to that.

When I said they "deliberately hobbled bombing investigators," I didn't mean to imply they did it for that reason. Besides, they hobbled bombing investigation in general, not this (or any) specific investigation.

So, no, they're not criminally liable. No more than you are if you support or oppose a particular law, no matter what the effect of that law might be.

Let's not turn into the Tea Party here. :)