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NYT Spotlight On Internet Gun Sales

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Boom_70, Apr 17, 2013.

  1. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    A pretty impressive piece of investigative journalism from the NYT on the loopholes
    and dangers in internet gun sales.

  2. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I don't like how the term "loophole" is used in all the ways folks can buy guns and bypass background checks. Loophole suggests that it was inadvertent.

    It's no mistake that any bozo can walk up and buy a gun at a gun show or over the internet.
  3. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Isn't the term's most frequent usage in regards to "tax loopholes"? Do you think those are "inadvertent"?

    The use of the term here is entirely consistent.
  4. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    A home mortgage deduction is not a tax loophole -- and I have seen it referred to as such.

    I do think there are "loopholes" that sharpies have taken advantage of, such as companies stashing money overseas to avoid taxes.

    Companies spend millions on accountants to save more millions. I think that's a loophole.
  5. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    "Tax loopholes" are purposefully written into laws -- and they are in nearly every tax/spending law, even the sequestration law -- to specifically benefit certain companies/industries/benefactors/constituents/donors. And, it's done in response to lobbying and political donations.

    You're naïve and/or ignorant if you do not acknowledge/understand this.

    Companies don't have to search for them, their lobbyists wrote them.
  6. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    Ace I'm open to a different word. I look at it this way. There are gun laws to regulate the sale of guns through gun dealers. A work around seems to be selling guns on the internet.
    That's a loophole to me.

    Hate to get bogged down on the word though because the story itself is pretty impressive.
  7. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    What I am saying is that "loopholes" connotes having to work at jumping through some kind of hoops to get the benefit before and/or after the fact.

    The gun show "loophole" isn't really a loophole because its purpose is to make it easy for someone to walk in and buy a gun at a show without having to go through time-consuming background checks.

    The tax loopholes are designed to be complicated -- and some are not necessarily designed but are opportunities that are exploited -- so that accountants can get their share and certain companies can benefit.
  8. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    That's a loophole the size of Nebraska.
  9. Amy

    Amy Well-Known Member

    From my perspective as a tax lawyer, both of you are right.

    The definition of "loophole" is an ambiguity or omission in a statute allowing the provision to be evaded. In one of my jobs, I wrote tax statutes (unaided by corporations, lobbyists, or constituents, btw). I learned how difficult it is to write a perfect statute that will capture every single transaction/taxpayer we intended it to cover and not cover transactions/taxpayers not intended to be covered.

    In the past, the term was applied only to these ambiguities or omissions. Today, however, the term is applied to any and every provision that reduces taxable income - even ones that are entirely consistent with generally accepted accounting principles in determining net income for corporations or provisions for individuals that are generally supported by taxpayers, such as the mortgage deduction.
  10. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    What's the correct catch phrase word to use then? I'll change it.
  11. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    The story was impressive, but it definitely wasn't perfect. I do respect the balls on the reporter to call a bunch of gun nuts - and, yes, the term applies to some of these characters - and basically ambush them about their backgrounds.

    I think it fudged and obfuscated on some key details. Well into the story, we learn that "most" of the dealers contacted had clean records. I don't know what "most" means. Ninety-nine percent? Ninety-five percent? Fifty-one percent? That's an enormous range.

    It was an interesting piece, and someone had to do it, but they really cherry-picked the details to tell the story that they wanted to tell.
  12. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    There goes Dick, ripping the NYTimes again. ::)

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