By Capt. Fogg
If all that I read were the sporting goods catalogs that arrive in
the mail I would still know something was up. There are suddenly pages
of drum magazines for sale to fit everything from non-military versions
of long guns to shotguns to semiautomatic pistols. Drum magazines,
you'll remember seeing them on The Untouchables,
things holding 75 to 100 rounds mounted on the infamous "Chicago
Typewriter." One catalog even features violin and cello cases fitted
out to carry them. Fedora and Zoot Suit sold separately. What you'd
need to carry a Glock pistol with a 75 round drum mounted below the
grip, I don't know, but it's next to useless as a concealable or even
portable weapon. So why this feeding frenzy? Why just now? Is there an
shops are getting very crowded again. There's a large supermarket
style one under construction in my area of coastal Florida. Prices are
rising and they can't seem to keep military-looking fake 'assault
rifles' on the shelves. Another catalog features a kit allowing one to
bolt together two Ruger 10/22 rifles - the kind of gun some country
gentleman might give his son on his 18th birthday into a two barrel,
crank operated .22 rimfire Gattling gun, complete with tripod. Only
$397 but you have to supply your own pair of rifles. Their website bears
a headline saying they're up to a week behind on shipping orders
because of massive demand.
In barber shops and hardware stores and the
Sporting Goods department at the local Wal-Mart, you hear muttering and
whispering about "that monkey" and they don't mean Wayne LaPierre. I
heard an octogenarian friend say at dinner the other night "we don't
have any freedom any more." She'd just sold her handgun from the fear
that someone would steal it and murder someone and she'd be blamed. It
isn't true of course, I don't think there's any way of tracing guns in Florida, but the fear is on the street and in the
retirement homes and the mansions and yachts and trailer parks. That monkey
is after our guns.
Yes, it's gun control time again with one side arming themselves for war and the other side howling Gun Control
like ragged extras in a Frankenstein movie. The President has offered
a package of measures designed to calm the hysterical on both sides
and it's not likely to do that, or so I think. It's the "biggest legislative effort in a generation"
says the Huffington Post
, "a bold and potentially historic attempt to stem the increase in mass gun violence."
Lets see what it looks like after passing through the entrails of
Congress. Surely some of the proposals were pinned to the coat-tails of
a tragedy like a rider on an unrelated bill: ban the armor piercing
ammunition? Well it's really not that nor are the hollow points we use
for hunting "Cop Killer Bullets" either. How does one argue for
meaningful gun control with all that lying going on?
most of these inflammatory lumps of high velocity hyperbole are just
that: attempts to emotionalize and to dupe the uninitiated and succeed
in polarizing the attempt to do something useful. To me, much of this
heated argument is corrupted by dishonest coinage, invention and the
refusal by both sides to examine the axioms their arguments rely on.
GUN CONTROL! and when I ask "what kind?" The expression I get from
either side is the same -- I must be one of them!
Will banning the millions and millions and millions of
guns and accessories now in 150 million private hands do anything? By
the time anything like another loophole-ridden, designed-to-fail ban
hits the streets, the number of these things buried in back yards and
hidden behind paneling in basements will have doubled and the ranks of
camo-clad, militiamen and survivalists and preppers will have grown
further and short of a house to house search of 100 million private
residences and storage lockers and bunkers, very little will be done to
reduce their numbers. And nice people, ordinary people, educated people,
affluent people are buying guns they would have had no interest in -- because Obama's gonna ban them. The best way to create demand is to ban something.
if Congress does do it again, and if they suddenly disappear with a
wave of the magic wand, will someone still be able to find the hardware
to kill a score of innocents? Could you get drunk in 1929? Can you get
stoned in 2013? Of course.
Have all the miscellaneous and ballyhooed safety regulations done anything? Mandatory trigger locks,
of firing pins, loaded chamber indicator and magazine disconnect
regulations? No. Has there been an increase in the murder by firearm
rate as is being said? No. It's lower than it was in the 1950's. The fear is oversold.
Much of what is being proposed can be no more effective in protecting school children than those stupid, yellow Baby on Board
signs people put on their cars in the '70s. It's just there for the "I hate guns" people.
I'm still wondering if there has been
an increase in mass gun violence or if the handful in the last few
years is a statistical blip and the result of the unrelenting "never
forget" emotional media coverage that promotes repeat performances, but
that question will never be settled when opinions on both sides are
bolstered by selective facts, when the tenets of faith, the
proclamations of activists and politicians and lobbyists are taken as
axiomatic without question.
happens, I doubt my shotgun will be confiscated, nor my Civil War
pistols or my Flintlock Rifle. I'm sure I'll still be able to go to the
outdoor shooting range and make holes in targets with a .22 pistol Top Shot will
still be on the History Channel and the Biathlon will still be held and
Sarah Palin can still hunt for moose. Floridians will still be able to
shoot wild hogs and Burmese pythons and out in the bayou, they'll still
be able to hunt 'gators with .22 rifles. The fear is oversold.
happens, much legislation will be designed by people who know
dangerously little about firearms and in a state of near hysteria and
much will be sabotaged by their opponents terrified of symbolic
emasculation and little will change. No one will bother to mention or
discuss or factor in the fact that gun violence is still on the decline
and that the level of gun control in any particular state or city does
not correlate to that decline. It's a battle of preconceived notions and
it's all about irrational fear.
penalties and such won't effect anyone bent on committing suicide and
taking a few dozen innocents with him. Banning an auto-loader with a 15
round magazine when Abraham Lincoln's brass bound Henry repeater will
fire 16 rounds in 16 seconds will not make anyone all that much safer
and we'll go on banning all kinds of things to "save the children" and
setting the stage for a massive Republican victory in 2016. America
loves guns or we wouldn't own 300 million of them. America loves guns
the way it loves trucks and football and beer and that's not going to
(Cross posted from Human Voices)
Labels: gun control, gun violence, guns