MADISON, Wis. — An online weapons dealer who sold a gun or accessories to three mass killers, including a man who opened fire at a Pittsburgh-area health club this week, said Friday that any of the shooters could have just as easily found what they wanted at a Wal-Mart or another store.
Eric Thompson, whose company TGSCOM Inc. last year sold an empty Glock 9mm magazine and magazine loading apparatus to George Sodini, the man who attacked a Collier Township, Pa., health club on Tuesday, said the sale was legal and his company did nothing wrong.
"The firearms industry and firearms dealers are lambasted by the media and by politicians all the time, and very often nobody stands up and says, 'Hey, we didn't do anything wrong,' " Thompson said. "I'm … being penalized by doing a good job and employing a lot of people and selling sporting goods."
Thompson's company, which is based in Green Bay and employs about 40 people, also sold a gun or accessories to the shooters in the Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University attacks.
Seung-Hui Cho used a .22-caliber handgun bought from TGSCOM in his attack at Virginia Tech in April 2007, in which 32 people were killed.
Stephen Kazmierczak, who killed five people in an NIU classroom before killing himself in February 2008, bought two empty 9mm Glock magazines and a Glock holster through a TGSCOM site.
Thompson visited the Virginia Tech campus after the attack to support a local chapter of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus.