Tag Archives: guns

Surge in gun sales

Well, we did it. We actually passed a law limiting, to a degree, how much access the people of California may have, or be required to tolerate, to a certain type of firearm: automatic rifles with features generally accepted to describe assault weapons. It’s only a ban on new sales, though. Any such guns already owned may still be kept as long as they are registered (yeah, that’ll happen). Of course, as typically happens, the bill that Governor Brown signed back in July doesn’t take effect until January. Now there are headlines spreading the shocking news that, with lines of eager buyers backed up out the doors of gun shops and around the block, the new law is responsible for the six-month-long surge in the sale of these very toys…er, rifles. I think the proper response to this revelation is something akin to, Duh!

What the hell did they expect? It happens every time there’s a push for any kind of gun control, so it shouldn’t have come as a surprise to anyone. Of course anyone that wants to have one of these lethal toys is going to take advantage of the six-months warning that they had better get on with it. If they wait ‘til January, they’ll have to drive all the way to another state to buy it.

As I understand it, the reason for this law is to reduce the ready availability of a very real, clear and present source of death and misery in California. Seems to me that would qualify it for emergency status. You know, pass it to be effective immediately, like the following day, a week at the most. While waiting for these six months to drag by, we have seen more than an additional 250,000 of these lethal toys hit the streets of California, or at least potentially on the streets since most will probably go into closets, hopefully with good locks. And, yes, these steel, wood and/or fiberglass creations are toys. You don’t think so? Look up the definition of toy.

Just because a good, honest citizen is the buyer, you know, doesn’t mean a weapon, whether firearm, knife, hatchet or whatever, will not be used in a crime. Honest people commit crimes. Does that really shock you? Then, think about it. It is only after they commit the crime that they are no longer honest and honorable. Criminals start off as honest people. They are not born as criminals. They are not a separate species. They don’t have tattoos or green hair or three ears to set them off from the rest of society. There is no way to identify who is or who may become a criminal just by looking at them. They are people that take a wrong turn somewhere along the road. Sometimes they use the weapon they bought while still honest and non-violent to become a criminal because it is there so nice and handy when they get the urge to blow someone away—an urge that may dissipate before being acted upon given time. Sometimes the weapon is simply stolen from an honest person by someone who is already a criminal. Criminals also steal. Of course, if the honest person didn’t have it, the criminal couldn’t steal it, and he’d have to find another honest person that did have one that he could steal, if he could find such a person.

But, the thing is, the argument that this law will only affect honest people, not criminals, is bogus. It’s like this: If there were no guns, no one would get shot, period. But, since that is not going to happen—there will always be guns because there already are—any reduction in the increase and spread of guns, especially certain ultra-efficient types, available to criminals or those who may become criminals would still have a direct effect in the number of criminal uses. If there were 250,000 fewer assault weapons in a given area, say only 1,000,000 instead of 1,250,000 it would mean 250,000 fewer assault weapons available for criminals to use in that area. Of course, that’s not counting shotguns, assault weapons and muskets brought into the area from other areas, which is another issue, but with the same potential solution of reducing that area, also, by 250,000, or any number. It wouldn’t solve the whole problem, but it would be a start. A journey not begun, you know, is one never completed.

You may have noticed I haven’t mentioned the Second Amendment. I haven’t because it is not part of this issue, which is about the effects and the wisdom of delaying the implementation of a new law. It could equally apply to a law about…oh, say requiring red shoes worn on the right foot to have green laces, not blue ones. If there were a recognized serious health or safety reason for the restriction, why would we agree to give as many as 250,000 red shoe owners six months to stock up on blue laces? Oh, yeah, financial hardship for the stores selling shoelaces, as well as the factory producing them at an increased rate, all of which would be stuck with the huge inventories of blue laces they all stockpiled when their market forecasters saw the goldmine the writing on the wall predicted with the new law that was probably coming.

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Guns, again

Okay! Enough, already! How many times do we have to have this conversation? What does it take for the message to get through?

Guns kill people.

Three words that are simple, easy to pronounce, and are clear in meaning. Yes, people kill people, too–usually with guns. Did you note that? Usually–with–guns. Yes, they may also kill with knives and clubs and poison and any number of things, like sharp pencils. But, if they use those weapons, they usually only kill one person and then run like hell. The great (?) thing about guns is that they can shoot one person, point the damned thing at someone else and shoot him, too. Then, if so inclined, do it again…ten times…twenty times…or more. There is really no limit to how many people they can kill one right after another as long as they have preloaded their clips and don’t forget to point the muzzle end of the gun at the victim instead of themselves.

Ah, but then comes the argument: The only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.  What a great soundbite!  Unless you stop to think about it and all the ways it’s a terrible soundbite. Imagine if all the folks who considered themselves to be good guys–they just don’t wear white hats so we can tell they are the good guys–were walking around with S&Ws or Berettas or Colts, or any of those other brands manufactured for the primary purpose of easy, multiple killings, in a handy pocket or purse. Now, imagine a scenario in which a bad buy (but one without a black hat) takes his gun to someplace like an elementary school or a college campus or a darkened movie theater (hey, it could happen) to see how many innocents he can shoot before a good guy with a gun stops him.  Because it’s a popular movie, lots of good guys are at the theater with their wives, children, girlfriends, boyfriends, or alone.  At a pre-selected (or maybe not) point in the movie, he pulls out his gun and starts shooting in all directions because he knows about every seat is occupied.  Naturally, when the good guys see the flash of his shots and hear the booms, they surmise that it has to be a bad buy because good guys don’t do that sort of thing.  So a good guys slaps leather, draws a bead on the shooter, or just points his own gun in his general direction since it’s so dark he can’t really see him, and starts shooting.  After all, the bad guy is still shooting, people are still screaming and falling over each other, so immediate action is needed.  However, all the other good guys, none of which are wearing their hats, see the flashes from his gun and assume there are two bad guys, so they all open fire on both of them. Of course, in the darkness, none of the good guys shooting at presumed bad guys can actually see their targets, but, action is needed. Each one knows he is a good guy, and, because people are screaming, he knows bad guys are (probably) shooting them.  Before you know it, every other person inside the theater is shooting at gun flashes in every direction.  Meanwhile, the bad guy who started it all is sitting in the corner watching and laughing; or maybe he just turned and left after his first few shots, knowing all the good guys would finish what he started.

This particular scenario has not happened–yet.  Not this complete scenario, although one may have come close.  But there appears to be no end to the insanity in this country, so hang in there.  The above described action adventure may be coming soon to the theater near you.

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