It wouldve been illegal for me to sell these kids a beer. But a gun? No problem!
  • Goldy | The Stranger
  • Alex, Rich, and David couldn't buy a beer without showing ID. But a gun? No problem!

Alex, Rich, and David seem like some awfully nice young men. They are friendly, well spoken, and knowledgable. About guns.

The three took the ferry in from Bremerton on Saturday morning, joining dozens of other private buyers in the streets surrounding Seattle's gun buyback event, hoping to snag a few deals on some unwanted weapons. "I just want to save some of these beautiful guns from being destroyed," David told me as they waved their signs at the cars lining up along James Street. David says he's a collector, and assures me that he keeps all of his guns safely secured. And I don't doubt him.

But then, what do I know? David could be a total sociopath. (Probably not, but sociopaths are great at faking normal.) Or perhaps he's a convicted felon or has a restraining order against him (again, probably not). Yet none of that would have stopped him from paying cash for guns on a downtown Seattle street corner—no background check, no waiting period, no questions asked.

That is the so-called "gun show loophole" that exempts private gun sales from otherwise mandatory background checks. Alex, Rich, and David couldn't legally buy a beer without showing ID (Alex doesn't look old enough to legally buy beer, period), but there's no such restriction when it comes to them buying guns. Hand them a gun and they hand you some cash. Perfectly legal.

And fucking crazy, regardless of how sane, law abiding, and responsible Alex, Rich, and David may seem.