It is not possible for authorities to trace the rifle used in this week's shooting at the Holocaust Memorial Museum to the original purchaser, a law enforcement source said Friday.
The source, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the investigation, said the weapon is a Winchester Model 6, .22 caliber rifle -- a type of gun manufactured between 1908 and 1928 -- long before records were kept on gun purchases.
Authorities also were checking to see if the weapon had been used in any other crime, the source said.
Now, that's very interesting. The "authorities," whoever they are, seem to be focusing on the gun. Maybe they're taking their cue from Paul Helmke, do you think?
I would imagine the reason they focus on the gun, in all seriousness, is because of all the variables in a crime like this, the weapon is one of the most concrete. You've got the impossible-to-predict behaviour of a human being who is acting criminally, you've got whatever influences have played a part in his personality, involvement in the hate groups, etc., you've got the random instances of other people being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and then you've got the gun.
Because of its age, they were unable to determine who the original purchaser of the gun was . But they also tried to learn if it had been used in any other crimes. I guess that's two different types of traces. I'm not sure exactly how it works. Let's say they had been able to trace the weapon to a gun shop in Virginia. Would that help to prove the theory that strict gun laws in D.C. are useless if just over the bridge they're lax?
What kind of gun is that anyway, the Winchester Model 6, .22 caliber rifle? Isn't that the kind often given to kids to learn with? Don't they use that one in summer camp for target practice?
What's your opinion? Do you think trying to trace the gun's provenance could yield valuable information. How difficult is it to purchase a rifle like that? Can you still just walk into a store and buy one, like in the good old days?
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