Guns for Terrorists (New York Times ):
The Government Accountability Office examined F.B.I. and state background checks for gun sales during a five-month period last year. It found 44 checks in which the prospective buyer turned up on a government terrorist watch list. A few of these prospective buyers were denied guns for other disqualifying factors, like a felony conviction or illegal immigration status. But 35 of the 44 people on the watch lists were able to buy guns. The encouraging news is that the G.A.O. report may be prodding Washington to act. The F.B.I. director, Robert Mueller III, has announced that he is forming a study group to review gun sales to terror suspects.
Thank goodness: The FBI is forming a study group. Maybe in six months or a year the group will order a formal investigation of a year or two, followed by a blue-ribbon commission to review the findings and issue recommendations.
It reminds of this story I read somewhere about the government setting up a panel to reengineer the process of sorting and routing mail in a certain department. They started with an 8-step process, deliberated and wrangled for a year, and ended up with a 16-step process. And this:
After the G.A.O. report came out, Wayne LaPierre, the N.R.A.'s executive vice president, took to the airwaves to reiterate his group's commitment to ensuring that every citizen has access to guns, and to cast doubt on the reliability of terrorist watch lists.
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