What is Going On?
For the last 14 years, since I first became a gun owner, I have been watching the Great Gun Debate play itself out in the American mind. I have a lot of mixed feelings on the topic since I:
- Only shoot targets
I am libertarian enough to believe that people should be allowed to make their own mistakes, and conservative enough to believe that they should suffer for them. In short, politically, I am a radical righto-leftist.
Americans refuse to make up their minds about broad issues of national
policy. Is it a fundamental human right, for example, to poison oneself
with cigarette smoke? If so, then it's absurd that people are suing
the tobacco industry. If not, then ban tobacco outright. Our lawmakers,
since they are basically cowards who serve at the whim of an ignorant
people manipulated by television, attempt to back their way into a position
that makes sense by a process of stepwise legislation. It's OK
to poison your lungs if you're over 18, and you pay a lot of taxes on
the poison. It's NOT OK to consume LSD but it's legal to drink
so much alcohol you fry every neuron in your head, etc, etc,
A .22 plinking pistol
Guns are used to kill lots of people in the US every year. They're much more convenient for killing than, say, a knife or a crowbar, and marginally more convenient than, say, a Buick or a gasoline bomb. Clearly, say the lawmakers,
GUNS ARE A PROBLEM and therefore
Conveniently, they neglect the fact that the gun would not do anything
if it was just left to sit there. I've had guns sitting unused in my
safe for years and they haven't fired at anyone or even
Anyhow, the lawmakers are on the job, and they're going to solve the
problem of those nasty guns. Only, it turns out to be
There happen to be folks like myself who own guns who appear to be
completely harmless. There's also the matter of the second amendment
to the constitution, but if the American People get concerned enough
about a problem they'll waive their rights by not complaining. There
are target shooters, hunters, security guards, instructors, all kinds
of people who happen to have legitimate reasons to own guns. So what's
left for a lawmaker
Try to identify types of guns that are often associated with criminal
activity and ban them.
When a heinous crime is committed with a particular "type"
of gun, there's usually a big hue and cry about that type of gun. Some
guy uses an AK-47 to open fire on a crowd of schoolkids and there's
a big push to ban AK-type "assault rifles" (rather than nutcases
or even schoolkids). Now, 7 years later, a couple schoolkids open fire
on more schoolkids, using a .30-30 lever action hunting rifle and a
bolt action rifle, and USA Today actually ran an article asking whether
there should be restrictions on hunting weapons. During my lifetime,
I can recall so far bans on "mail order guns," "assault
rifles," "Saturday night specials," "assault pistols,"
and what's next? Just about everything except
Defining a "gun toting crazy" is a hard problem. Do they
wear camouflage? Do they drool on their shirts? Do they mumble? Or twitch?
Senator Strom Thurmond does all of the above except wear camouflage
is he a "gun toting crazy?" Defining attributes of
people is hard because you can't get into their heads, yet. So you define
the properties of "bad guns" so you can separate the "bad
guns" from the
| Dayglo-green Uzi is better than icky, nasty black Uzi. For
some reason, Bill Clinton's bodyguards still prefer
How stupid can you get?
Bad Guns are Mean Looking Guns
Slowly, I realized that the lawmakers are legislating not safety, but
aesthetics. There's not really anything that makes a FAL an "assault
rifle" while a FAL with a thumbhole stock and no flash suppressor
is a "sporter." My Uzi is no more dangerous than anything
else that puts a 9mm bullet downrange. It's just a mean looking gun,
is all. I think, truly, that the logic here is that Bad People are attracted
to Bad-Ass-Looking Guns. Nobody has articulated it yet, but that seems
Sportster AR15 in people-friendly
The Clinton administration recently banned importation of the H&K PSG-1 rifle. I don't know if you feel safer knowing that. In case you're not up on these things, the PSG-1 is a semiautomatic sniper rifle; the finest in the world. We certainly don't want crazies running around with things like that! Oh, yeah, they cost $10,000. When was the last time you heard of someone sticking up a 7-11 with a $10,000 sniper rifle? Or, for that matter, with a FAL? My FAL weighs about 14lbs and is about 4 feet long. I suppose I could fit it under my trench coat to look inconspicuous. Yeah, right.
My Uzi'd fit under my trench coat. So would a Ruger 10-22 a very sedate semiautomatic plinking rifle with its stock sawed off and a pistol grip installed. Oh, of course, if someone did that, they'd be breaking the law. No self-respecting crazy that shoots up schoolyards is going to have the guts to saw down a rifle stock. So we're safe.
What do the PSG-1 and the FAL have in common? They are both Bad-Ass-Looking
Guns. Incidentally, those sedate Ruger 10-22s have spawned a huge aftermarket
for stocks and bipods and cheap curb feeler crap that makes them look
kind of like Bad-Ass-Looking Guns
Good Guns are Pretty Guns
So, I have a simple proposal that would have as much effect on gun
crime as a lot of the restrictions that have been passed in the last
That's right: Pink.
We know that psycho schoolkid killers think they are tough. They'd never use a pink gun. Have you ever heard of a psycho crazy using a pink weapon before? Absurd. Therefore, if all the guns are pink, we'll be safe. Safety orange and lime green will be OK, too, I suspect. No self-respecting psycho crazy'd be seen dead with a lime green .44 magnum.
Oh, and make it illegal to repaint them.
Do you feel safe, now?
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