Thursday, August 09, 2012

Special Delivery

I’m not exactly anti gun but I do count myself as one of those who believe that obtaining and possessing a semi automatic weapon ought to be more difficult than obtaining a fishing license. I don’t own a gun and I’m not a hunter but I have been known to enjoy blasting the hell out of trap and skeet on occasion.

It’s not so much the senseless assault in the Aurora Colorado  movie theatre that scares me as it is how loosely regulated the gun market is. Today, in this country, you could just as easily have an assault weapon dropped on your doorstep as any other package from UPS, even if you didn’t order it.

That's what happened a few days ago just down the pike in DC, a city with supposedly stricter gun controls than most states. Seth Horvitz, a DC musician, ordered a television through Amazon and ended up with an assault weapon instead. According to this story by Paul Duggan in The Washington Post, Seth “heard a knock at the door. By the time he opened it, a UPS man was leaving the building, on Eighth Street NE. To the right of the door, propped against a wall in the hallway, was a rectangular cardboard box about three feet long.”

He had ordered a 39 inch television. That would typically come in a bigger box.

In a box this size you get a “a tactical military-style SIG716 semiautomatic rifle, wrapped in heavy plastic and encased in Styrofoam, with an empty magazine for 7.62x51mm ammunition...”

“I definitely knew it was a mistake,” he said. “But I was confused as to how that kind of mix-up could happen. Especially given the recent events, the recent shootings. It surprised me to see how easy it would be for a gun to show up on someone’s doorstep — not just a gun, but an assault weapon.”

An Amazon spokesman did not return calls for comment. A UPS spokesman could not be reached.”

And, just in case you were wondering, this is the rifle that was dropped on Seth's doorstep. 
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