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09/21/2004 Archived Entry: "Entrapment/fishing expedition at The Claire Files forums"

WE HAD A SPOT OF EXCITEMENT OVER AT THE CLAIRE FILES FORUMS YESTERDAY. Taking advantage of a glitch that's since been fixed, an unregistered person posted a request asking where he could get a "high-power silenced sniper rifle" and oh yes, "how to procure unusual weapons."

When challenged -- as he was immediately, of course -- he denied any provocative intent. He just wanted ... it was just a ... uh ... specialized target shooting, that was it. And the "procuring" bit just meant he wanted leads to good gun shows. Never mind that he titled the thread "Silent Sniping." (Pardon me for not quoting exactly; the thread has since been deleted.)

The unknown poster, who called himself Chaemera, "spoke" in clipped, military phrases, but seemed surprisingly ignorant about both using and buying firearms.

Fishing expedition? Entrapment? Who knows. Smart people got it right away and jumped all over him. kbarret wisely called for deletion of the thread, which the mods soon carried out to prevent any innocents from getting themselves in trouble. (Remember that these days even the most innocent innocent can be charged with conspiracy or racketeering or some other such nonsense when a fed is really determined.) My favorite response came from Silver, who thoughtfully explained, in great deadpan detail, why Chaemera was really looking for a .177 cal air gun, not a high-powered rifle, for the type of target shooting he described.

Amazing, though, what icky critters lurk out there in the dark, undusted corners of the Net.

Posted by Claire @ 09:59 AM CST

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