Friday, February 19, 2010

The Shooter Shop in Philadelphia

The Coalition for Peace Action is sponsoring a prayer vigil tomorrow in front of an infamous Philadelphia gun shop.

I have learned how guns flow from legal gun shops through gun traffickers to people who can’t legally own weapons. Somebody has to DO something! I have learned how cheap “dirty” guns end up in the pockets of teenagers and turn arguments into unintended murders and murderers. Somebody has to DO something! I have learned about the “gun rights” lobby opposition to rational legislation to slow the flood of illegal weapons. For God’s sake, somebody has to DO something!

The Shooter Shop in North Philadelphia has been among the top gun shops in the entire country in having guns it sold recovered from crime by law enforcement. According to ATF, this is a strong indicator of being a source of illegal gun trafficking. Heeding God’s Call has asked the Shooter Shop to sign the Code of Conduct and adopt these responsible practices to save lives by reducing straw purchases. So far, the Shooter Shop has refused, preferring instead to look the other way and enjoy the profits.

What these good Christian folks are asking "the owner and employees of the Shooter Shop and all gun shop owners in the United States [is] that they do everything in their power to reduce/eliminate the practice of straw purchasing, and refuse to profit from the death-dealing sale of illegal handguns."

What's your opinion? Are they already doing "everything in their power?"

Please leave a comment.


  1. Some deluded "guns are EVIL" loon says:

    I have learned how cheap “dirty” guns end up in the pockets of teenagers and turn arguments into unintended murders and murderers.

    What the hell is an "unintended murder"? If you pull a gun out of your pocket in order to shoot someone during an argument, there's nothing "unintended" about it.

    Classic case of blaming the tool, rather than the tool user.

  2. Mikeb30200;

    As you well know, and I'm beggining to know better, day by day; they don't need to do anything until the law IS NOT on their side. The reason they have for doing such things as what the Philly shop does is that they can.

  3. Democommie says:

    The reason they have for doing such things as what the Philly shop does is that they can.

    And what "things" do you accuse the Shooter Shop of doing? Selling guns without performing background checks (or to people who have failed background checks)? If so, there's a law against that (unfortunately), and they can be put out of business and prosecuted. Selling inexpensive firearms? So what--firearm ownership shouldn't be subject to a wealth test (such tests being inherently racist).

  4. Zorro:

    Always with the "We ain't done nuttin' wrong." defense.

    Legal and moral are two different flavors of what's "right". You people only concern yourself with the letter of the law; unless you disagree with it--then it's "unjust".

  5. Democommie says:

    Always with the "We ain't done nuttin' wrong." defense.

    There's no "we" involved here, Democommie--I have no connection whatsoever to the Shooter Shop.

    I'll ask again--of what wrongdoing (whether illegal or "immoral") are you accusing the store ownership/management? Selling guns to people who later either use them in crimes, or pass them on to people who do?

    Do you believe that gun dealing can only be morally conducted by people who possess some mystical power of divination, allowing them to deny sales of guns that will eventually be used for evil?

    You people only concern yourself with the letter of the law; unless you disagree with it--then it's "unjust".

    I am, as best I can determine, just one person, rather than "people," but you are correct about one aspect. I do very strongly believe in requiring strict compliance with just laws, but not with unjust ones.

    What kind of sad, twisted creature would see that as controversial?

  6. Looks like their little protest was a bust.

  7. "Legal and moral are two different flavors of what's "right". You people only concern yourself with the letter of the law; unless you disagree with it--then it's "unjust"."

    Well said, demo. But don't forget Zorro's only one guy.

  8. Spirited gun-sale showdown at Kensington shop protest

    By Craig R. McCoy

    Inquirer Staff Writer

    Perhaps emboldened by its headway in protests against the old Colosimo's Gun Center, an interfaith group rallied yesterday against a new target - the Shooter Shop in Kensington.

    This time, though, the demonstrators ran into an opposing force: a contingent of pro-gun counterprotesters.

    It all added up to a lively demonstration of the First Amendment and a quarrel over the Second Amendment as the sides each mustered about 40 protesters outside the gun shop, on Allegheny Avenue.

    When the antigun advocates from Heeding God's Call went into silent prayer, the pro-gun folks sang "God Bless America." When the antigun folks sang a hymn, an opponent shouted, "Long live the Second Amendment."

    The Rev. Fred Kauffman, a Mennonite pastor and leader of Heeding God's Call, told his faithful that gun dealers such as the Shooter Shop could do much more to make sure they are "not feeding the illegal gun market."

    Kauffman and his band are urging gun shops to sign a 10-point pledge calling for shops to be more vigilant in spotting "straw purchasers" who buy guns in bulk for resale to criminals.

    To buttress its case, Heeding God's Call cited a 2004 study that identified the 120 gun dealers in America - out of 80,000 registered sellers - that had each sold at least 200 guns traced to crimes.

    With 208 traces, the Shooter Shop made its way onto the bottom of this list.

    Yesterday, a man barred a reporter from entering the shop to speak to the staff, saying, "I've been told not to let you in."

    An attorney for the business, Dan Del Collo, who was at the protest, dismissed the 2004 study as unreliable. For one thing, he said, it drew on data that were a decade old or more.

    Del Collo also said a large number of traces could merely reflect sales volume, not reckless sales practices.

    For much of last year, Heeding God's Call protested twice weekly outside Colosimo's, on Spring Garden Street. In the fall, the shop went out of business after more than 40 years, shuttering as part of a plea agreement after federal prosecutors charged it with selling weapons to gun traffickers.

    Along with the demonstrators of both stripes, the sidewalk in front of the Shooter Shop yesterday was also crowded with about 10 members of the Philadelphia Police Civil Affairs Unit. Officers kept busy videotaping and photographing the protesters.

    The on-scene commander, Lt. Joseph O'Brien, said the surveillance was routine, undertaken by the unit for "every protest" in the city. In case of a crime or violence, the images could help police sort out what happened, he said.

    Among other steps, Heeding God's Call wants gun shops to agree to take videos of all purchasers and keep them for at least six months.

    However, Dan Roberts, who drove to Philadelphia from Williamstown in South Jersey to protest the God's Call protest, said it was enough that gun merchants abided by the law.

    "It's not a gun-dealer problem," Roberts said. "It's a criminal-justice problem."

    Asked about that, Kauffman replied that tougher law enforcement had a role in quelling gun crime.

    "There's some truth to that," he said. At the same time, he added, "there has to be a way to interrupt the violence" before cases end up in court.

  9. The gun issue is hard, I stand in the middle, part of me wishes that nobody had guns, but in reality that will not be possible, so the other part me thinks that all good law abiding citizens should have guns to stop the evil people that also have them...If you do feel the need to own a gun, there are gun shops in Philadelphia, PA that can help you find the gun you need. And if you don't want a gun, so be it. I think more than guns, our society needs to challenge the fact that our kids are watching disturbing violence and media all day.

    1. Thanks, James, but you're forgetting two things. Almost all guns used in crime today start out the legal property of lawful gun owners. Through various means they make their way into criminal hands. The more guns in lawful hands, the more end up in criminal hands.

      Secondly, many of the crimes committed with guns are done by formerly law-abiding gun owners, good guys who turn bad. Increase the total numbers and you increase the incidents of that.

      The solution: stricter gun control laws and higher requirements as to who can own and carry guns.