Felon Pens a “Heartfelt Thank You to the NRA” for Opposing Universal Background Checks

A blog about murder, theft, and other wickedness.
June 13 2013 9:00 AM

Felon Pens a “Heartfelt Thank You to the NRA” for Opposing Universal Background Checks

168159503
The seal for the National Rifle Association (NRA) is seen during the 142nd annual convention at the George R. Brown Convention Center May 4, 2013 in Houston, Texas.

Photo by KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images

Crime is Slate’s crime blog. Like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter @slatecrime.

The most articulate advocate for national gun control legislation might be a convicted felon and federal prisoner. Gary W. Bornman, a bank robber who’s currently incarcerated in the Supermax federal prison in Florence, Colo., recently wrote a letter to the Hartford Courant that ought to embarrass anyone who opposes background checks for gun buyers. The Courant ran the letter under a classic headline: “Felon Thanks The NRA.” Here’s how it began:

As a lifelong career criminal, although I no longer enjoy the right to keep and bear arms, I'd like to take a moment to express my appreciation to the National Rifle Association for nonetheless protecting my ability to easily obtain them through its opposition to universal background checks.
Advertisement

You can read the whole thing here.

Bornman notes that, as soon as he is released from prison, he plans to visit a gun show to pick up the necessary guns and ammunition “with which to resume my criminal activities.” He closes by thanking the NRA and its congressional allies: “I, along with tens of thousands of other criminals, couldn't do what we do without you.”

Yes, this is sort a cheap, “gotcha” point. And, yes, it’s also possible that Bornman doesn’t care about gun control so much as he cares about writing provocative letters. A 2001 Courant feature about Bornman notes his hobby of writing to newspaper editorial boards. The piece excerpts a 1999 letter Bornman wrote to the Los Angeles Times, titled “Counsel Me Before I Leave Prison,” which reads, in part: “Prison officials aren't the least bit concerned that I have constant thoughts of harming others or that I fantasize about such things as assassinating the president or killing a bunch of [prison officials] as they leave work.”

So, OK, maybe Bornman isn’t going to be cited in any position papers anytime soon. But you know what? His point about background checks is punchy, thought-provoking, and memorable. Well played, Gary W. Bornman. The Courant ought to give this guy a column.

TODAY IN SLATE

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Global Marches Demand Action on Climate Change

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 21 2014 1:15 PM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 5  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Time Heist."
  Arts
Television
Sept. 21 2014 9:00 PM Attractive People Being Funny While Doing Amusing and Sometimes Romantic Things Don’t dismiss it. Friends was a truly great show.
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 21 2014 8:00 AM An Astronaut’s Guided Video Tour of Earth
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.