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Archive for Saturday, August 8, 2009

Gun dealer sold to health club shooter, other mass killers

August 8, 2009


— An online weapons dealer who sold a gun or accessories to three mass killers, including a man who opened fire at a Pittsburgh-area health club this week, said Friday that any of the shooters could have just as easily found what they wanted at a Wal-Mart or another store.

Eric Thompson, whose company TGSCOM Inc. last year sold an empty Glock 9 mm magazine and magazine loading apparatus to George Sodini, the man who shot up a Collier Township, Pa., health club on Tuesday, said the sale was legal and his company did nothing wrong.

“The firearms industry and firearms dealers are lambasted by the media and by politicians all the time and very often nobody stands up and says, ‘Hey, we didn’t do anything wrong,’” Thompson said. “I’m ... being penalized by doing a good job and employing a lot of people and selling sporting goods. ... I’m not some backwoods guy just making to look a buck off of tragedy.”

Thompson’s company, which is based in Green Bay and employs about 40 people, also sold a gun or accessories to the shooters in the Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University attacks.

Seung-Hui Cho used a .22-caliber handgun bought from TGSCOM in his attack at Virginia Tech in April 2007, in which 32 people were killed. Stephen Kazmierczak, who killed five people in an NIU classroom before killing himself in February 2008, bought two empty 9 mm Glock magazines and a Glock holster through a TGSCOM site.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms doesn’t keep statistics on online gun sales, but Thompson said online sales are taking business away from stores. Thompson declined to say how much the company made in sales last year, but said it was “in the millions of dollars.”

“It’s just the nature of the business,” he said. “We just happen to be on the forefront in this industry.”

Thompson visited the Virginia Tech campus after the attack to support a local chapter of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus. And after the NIU attack, he said the Web site Kazmierczak visited saw a spike in traffic.


RoeDapple 6 years, 3 months ago

Magazines, clips, loaders, holsters. All accessories and not in and of themselves classified as weapons or capable of firing projectiles. This is nothing more than a witch hunt by the media, somehow connecting the legitimate business to crimes committed with expectations that the business owner should have somehow 'known' these shooters would kill upon receipt of accessories purchased from him. If gun(s) were sold, they would have to be purchased at the TGSCOM inc. location, or transferred through a legitimate licensed gun dealer in the state of the purchaser. Nothing newsworthy here, just another Associated Press witch hunt.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 6 years, 3 months ago

If I drive my Ford through a crowd and purposefully kill a dozen people, is Laird Noller part of the problem? He's a BIG seller, so yes, many of his sales have been used in crimes, just as many Laird Noller Fords have been used for illegal activities.

It's statisically unavoidable.

RoeDapple 6 years, 3 months ago

OldEnuf, In the spirit of the article, I would say that if you purchased a trailer hitch and a horse trailer (accessories) for your Ford, then used it to steal your neighbors cattle, the business where you purchased these accessories should have known you had no horses and intended to use them along with your Ford to commit crimes.

beatrice 6 years, 3 months ago

Fords have a utilitarian purpose and are not made or designed to kill others. Guns, on the other hand, are. “It’s just the nature of the business,” he said.

Nice business.

RoeDapple 6 years, 3 months ago

bea, as you seem infinitely knowledgeable on the subject please point out gun or guns from this list that are designed to 'kill others'. Take your time, wouldn't want you to err







(buzzer) Okay, times a-wasting bea.

All the above guns, even the ancient muzzle loader were designed to shoot at targets in a precise, measured and as accurate way as possible.

Once again your lies have been discredited

OldEnuf2BYurDad 6 years, 3 months ago

Some guns are "home defense" in purpose, or "anti-personnel". That doesn't mean that the "purpose" of the gun is for illegal uses or for shooting innocents.

Corey Williams 6 years, 3 months ago

Since they still fire a projectile at amazing speeds, couldn't they be pointed at a human instead of a paper target? Just because their purposely built to be target guns, does it mean you have to use them that way?

All guns are designed to fire a projectile of some sort at targets. It's up to the user what those targets are.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 3 months ago

Will Axelrod's puppet pitch this as America's Dunblane moment? Stay tuned to see which industry is the next target of Barry's howling mob....

puddleglum 6 years, 3 months ago

yeah, most people use fords to kill others... good argument

RoeDapple 6 years, 3 months ago

Yes tumbleweed, my hand made solid maple baseball bat stands ready by my door as my first line of defense if someone comes knocking late at night, with my back up close by if they are kicking in the door instead of knocking. But at 6'3", 265# and ugly as a mud fence, usually all I have to do is open the door and smile. Have had a couple back off the steps rapidly with that approach.


LadyJ 6 years, 3 months ago

So I'm trying to imagine the type of gun the 500 pound man hid in the folds of his fat while he was in prison. It had to be really small, did he have spare bullets? Something new for the guards to check. Who would of thought, just when you thought you had heard everything (such as cats downloading porn).

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