Black Friday Posts New Single Day Record For Gun Background Checks At More Than 200,000


TINLEY PARK, IL – MARCH 11: Danny Egan (L) helps a customer shop for a handgun at Freddie Bear Sports on March 11, 2015 in Tinley Park, Illinois. According to a survey conducted by the University of Chicago 32 percent of Americans own guns, down from a high of 50 percent of the population in the 1970s and early 1980s. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Robust economy.

Via USA Today:

The FBI was flooded Friday with more than 200,000 background check requests for gun purchases, setting a new single day record, the bureau reported Saturday.

In all, the FBI fielded 203,086 requests on Black Friday, up from the previous single-day highs of 185,713 last year and 185,345 in 2015. The two previous records also were recorded on Black Friday.

Gun checks, required for purchases at federally licensed firearm dealers, are not a measure of actual gun sales. The number of firearms sold Friday is likely higher because multiple firearms can be included in one transaction by a single buyer.[…]

Federal authorities, meanwhile, have for years openly complained that incomplete databases and staff shortages make it difficult to keep pace with the constant stream of background checks required of most new gun purchasers and efficiently trace firearms used in crimes.

In a statement earlier this week, Sessions said NICS “is critical for us to be able to keep guns out of the hands of those that are prohibited from owning them.” He said the Texas shooting “revealed that relevant information may not be getting reported to the NICS — this is alarming and it is unacceptable.”

While gun sales have been surging in recent years — largely driven by fears of more restrictive gun laws proposed during the Obama administration — gun check numbers had leveled off in the first months of the pro-gun Trump administration.

SOURCE: Weasel Zippers 

NY Times Reporter Leaves The Urban Environment to Find The Campiest Place on Earth: Great Falls, MT



They take time to mock the 85-year-old female piano player.

Via NY Times:

When a study recently found Great Falls the least gay-friendly city in Montana, one man wrote on a local news website, “Let’s keep it that way.”

Mermaids are totally tolerable, though.

Great Falls, home to 59,000 mostly conservative citizens, can be a soul-deadening place. Big-box stores and chain restaurants line the weary main drag. The primary employer is Malmstrom Air Force Base, which services nuclear missile silos. The wind chill has been known to hit 40 below.

But you can’t hold life back. It always breaks through — sometimes in unintentionally hilarious ways — even in the most unlikely places.

I don’t know how else to account for the Sip ‘n Dip, a kitsch-tastic tiki bar hidden inside the O’Haire Motor Inn here. To find this treasure, you walk past the stack of Western Ag Reporter newspapers in the lobby and climb a narrow set of carpeted stairs. There, swimming behind glass six nights a week on a rotating schedule, you will find 12 women dressed very convincingly as mermaids.[…]

As it happens, the mermaids alone do not make the Sip ‘n Dip the campiest cocktail lounge in the history of campy cocktail lounges. (Honorable mentions to the Red Fox Room in San Diego and the velvet-wallpapered Bryant’s in Milwaukee.) Adding to the atmosphere is an 85-year-old singer: “Piano Pat.”

Pat Spoonheim has been an institution at the Sip ‘n Dip since 1963. (The bar opened in 1962 and has the original Naugahyde to prove it.) She still arrives three nights a week with a towering hairdo. She applies a little lipstick, adjusts the Ace bandage on her wrist and sits down at an electric keyboard encircled by Christmas lights. Ms. Spoonheim can be a little cranky — she’s sick and tired of “Sweet Caroline,” she’ll have you know. But she will accommodate the occasional request. She describes her style as “jazzy.”

“We’re rockin’ and rollin’,” she was shout-singing when I dropped in over the summer. “It’s Great Falls! On good-Ole Friday night!”

Two macho-looking dudes in cowboy hats lifted their drinks (blue concoctions topped with umbrellas) and roared in unison: “We love you Piano Pat.” A guy wearing a T-shirt reading “Beer, Bacon, Guns & Freedom” turned away from the mermaids long enough to clap. A husky lady with the remnants of a home perm fervently tapped her fork on a platter of meatloaf.

Oh, didn’t I mention the menu?

Despite its landlocked location, the Sip ‘n Dip has tiki décor. Blowfish and glass buoys hang from a thatched ceiling. There are velvet paintings, fake ferns and seashell lights. Behind the Formica bar, pink light glows upward through stacks of cocktail glasses. But the food is pure home on the range. There is a full menu. For $15.95, you can enjoy the Hog Heaven (pulled pork, macaroni and cheese, bacon bits). That meatloaf will also set you back $15.95. It comes with potatoes and gravy.

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