The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, January 17, 2002, Image 7

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Background checks
inadequate in Texas
AUSTIN (AP) — Background checks failed to prevent
more than 1,100 guns from being sold in Texas to felons or
other people prohibited from buying firearms over a 2 1/2-
year period because of incomplete records, according to a
study released Wednesday.
The “Broken Records” report by the Washington-based
Americans for Gun Safety Foundation graded states on the
quality of records used for federal background checks.
Texas and 21 other states were graded an “F” because the
states had not fully automated reporting of felonies,
domestic violence and mental disability records.
According to the group, 1,142 ineligible gun buyers
were able to purchase firearms in Texas. The state has auto
mated only 55 percent of its felony records, the report said.
The report studied gun sales from December 1998 to
June 2001.
In Texas, all background checks required by federal law
are conducted by the FBI’s National Instant Criminal
Background Check System.
Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman Tom
Vinger said that local governments report felony convic
tions to the state agency, which then makes it available to
federal officials instantly.
Texas officials conduct background checks for con
cealed weapons licenses but not gun sales, Vinger said.
Under federal law, if a background check cannot be
completed within three business days, a gun dealer may
turn over the firearm to the buyer.
Nationally, the report says 9,976 prohibited buyers
obtained a gun because of faulty records over the past
30 months.
“The dirty little secret is that the records for almost
every state are in terrible shape, and our front-line
defense necessary to keep guns out of the hands of crim
inals is full of holes,” said Jim Kessler, director of the
foundation that wrote the report.
The National Rifle Association agreed Wednesday that
the system is sloppy but said the blame should fall on an
out-of-control bureaucracy, not lawful gun owners.
sen Cartoon
Continued from page 1
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rial to a hero
he would welcome a meeting
with the group to discuss his
I Texas A&M President Dr.
Ray M. Bowen submitted a
letter to The Battalion
expressing his disapproval of
the cartoon, saying it “clearly
played on negative stereotypes
ol African-Americans.”
1 Racist messages conveyed
by the cartoon help cast doubt
on whether A&M is a truly wel
coming place for all people,
Bowen said.
I Megan Mack, vice chair of
the Black Awareness Committee
Continued from page 1
and a senior psychology major,
said she found the stereotypical
images in the cartoon deeply
offensive and said The Battalion
should apologize. She added
that the cartoon is part of a pat
tern of insensitivity to blacks
and other minorities by the
“I might be outraged if this
was the first time, but they (The
Battalion) have made it a habit. I
just don’t know why the editors
let such things run,” Mack said.
This is not the first time that
cartoons appearing in The
Battalion have stirred contro
versy. Castillo said that he has
been careful to exercise good
judgment in deciding which
Thursday, January 17, 2002
Continued from page 1
medical and hazardous materials
will undergo an additional eight
hours of more specific training.
“Our doctors and medical
team will be taking along nar
cotics that they have never cov
ered or carried before. They are
going to be instructed how to use
them in the case of contamination
or contact with hazardous materi
als, to keep our team members
healthy,” Donoho said.
Nick Pappas, rescue squad
officer for the team and a lieu
tenant with the Bryan Fire
Department, said TX-TF1 will be
stationed at a military base near
Salt Lake City.
“We will be on standby the
whole time. If we are not called in,
then we will spend our time train
ing in our cold weather gear and
becoming accustomed to the dif
ferences in that gear,” Pappas said.
TX-TF1 is one of only six
national task force teams that are
being sent to cover the games.
They will be paired with
California Task Force-1 from Los
Angeles and will serve 11 days in
the area. Members of TX-TF1
were deployed to the World Trade
Center in New York City to assist
in the rescue effort after the Sept.
11 terrorist attacks.
Even though the FBI has not
reported any terrorist threats
against the Olympic Games,
Donoho said such a high profile
and international event could be
a target.
“While this type of event has
always had tight security, after the
Sept. 11 tragedies, national
awareness is even higher,”
Donoho said.
cartoons are published in the
“I’m certainly aware that
race is a sensitive issue on cam
pus, and I thought this through
carefully before making a deci
sion,” Castillo said. “We’re not
in the business of offending
people, but we do want to make
people think and make them
question things, even if it may
be a little uncomfortable.”
Bisrat said the AASC is
working with the University to
help recruit more black stu
dents to A&M, but that inci
dents like the cartoon in The
Battalion perpetuated A&M’s
reputation as unwelcoming to
omore Thomas Tamez. “I like the fact that you can
do other things on them.”
1 One weight room attendant will be designated
to the new racks during each shift in an effort to
familiarize users with the new equipment,
Wilson said. The Rec Center will also offer free
ush signed lei weight room orientation every Saturday, exclud-
nesday namir ing school holidays, at 11 a.m. Reservations can
N.J., post offc be made at the Member Services Desk in the
-earner, a pai Rec Center.
■ hijacked plar “We’re trying to get as many people using [the
n Pennsylvan new weights] as we can,” Wilson said.
ered the nov Women also are being encouraged to famil-
ds Lets rc j ar j ze themselves with the new weight equip-
ls believe MWgnt. The Rec Center’s Women on Weights pro-
n ^ e S § ram gives female students a chance to work
. ' With personal trainers and learn how to use the
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, different equipment.
engers aboai UTT g 1 ,, r , , t , ,
s Flight 93 wf Hopefully (the new racks] wont be as
calls to relative ^ aunt * n S to wornen because the machines are
alerting the ^ or their bodies. They are very easy to
ing was takif rnove ’ an ^ I think it’s a lot safer to lift,” said
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Advertising Manager Angela Stanton-
More free weight equipment will be added to
the weight room by March. Hammer Strength
machines are designed to match human move
ment, making the motions easier for joints, as
well as conforming to accommodate any body
size from 5 feet to 7 feet, Wilson said.
The Rec Center added treadmills, cross
trainers and abdominal machines this fall.
Wilson said that between $60,000 and $80,000
is spent on improvements each year to stay on the
cutting edge of equipment and facilities.
Student suggestions are part of the formula
that determines what equipment needs to be pur
chased, Wilson said. A Student Advisory
Committee and a Participant Advisory
Committee meet to review the ideas and make
Funding for improvements and additions
made to the Rec Center comes mostly from the
Student Recreational Sports fee, which also cov
ers the center’s maintenance, wages and utility
bills. These fees are currently $78 per student for
the semester, up from $50 in Spring 2001, when
the increase was approved by a student vote.
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argiveness alHi
members of ^
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oved one. I can
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313 B. South College Ave jc
V] College Station, TX 77840 |
(979) 846-8916
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