Wednesday, January 12, 2011


"Greg Wolff, the owner of two Arizona gun shops, told his manager to get ready for a stampede of new customers after a Glock-wielding gunman killed six people at a Tucson shopping center on Jan. 8.

Wolff was right. Instead of hurting sales, the massacre had the $499 semi-automatic pistols -- popular with police, sport shooters and gangsters -- flying out the doors of his Glockmeister stores in Mesa and Phoenix.

“We’re at double our volume over what we usually do,” Wolff said two days after the shooting spree that also left 14 wounded, including Democratic Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who remains in critical condition.

A national debate over weaknesses in state and federal gun laws stirred by the shooting has stoked fears among gun buyers that stiffer restrictions may be coming from Congress, gun dealers say. The result is that a deadly demonstration of the weapon’s effectiveness has also fired up sales of handguns in Arizona and other states, according to federal law enforcement data.

“When something like this happens people get worried that the government is going to ban stuff,” Wolff said."

Any surprises here?

Most Americans LOVE guns. It's built into our DNA. Even most that don't own and have never shot one (where have they been?) still have a warm spot in their hearts for the great equalizer. Because that's what guns are. At their most basic level guns put the poorest and the wealthiest, the strongest and the weakest on the same playing field. Everything else being equal the cripple in a wheelchair with a .22 and decent skills will scare the hell out of the attacker that's threatening him. Legs aren't anywhere near as deadly as a round between the eyes.

A gun is like sugar. Let any little kid get his first taste of candy and watch the smile break out on his face. It's no different the first time a kid shoots a gun. My granddaughter was five years old the first time she squeezed the trigger on my little .22 plinker, with help and some older helping hands, of course. As the can bounced across the grass she smiled and laughed, pride in her accomplishment beaming on her face and said, "Let's do it again, Pops!". Her mother was no different when she started shooting at about the same age.

I love guns. I love to shoot with family and friends. There's not much that can equal a Sunday afternoon in the fall, hanging out around the fire, drinking a couple beers and competing with my buddies shooting at cans with pistols and rifles or tossing some clay birds and smoking 'em with my trusty 12 gauge. A little meat on the fire, preferably backstraps, some music on the truck stereo and life is good. Who am I hurting? How am I a danger? The kids are there and they get to learn responsibility. They feel a little grown up because they know we trust them. Safety is first and the rules need to be followed so no one gets hurt. Not a bad life lesson for the young ones.

Yet, to hear the news or the politicians you'd think that I was committing the most heinous of crimes, leading children down the road to perdition, polluting young minds and creating future killers, when in reality I'm helping kids to develop habits and responsibility that will serve them well in later life. Kids need danger. Yes, it needs to be managed and controlled but the chance of death is good for kids. It helps them to mature, to see that life is full of choices, that just because something is dangerous doesn't mean you shouldn't do it. It just means you should exercise caution and use your intelligence.

Honestly, I'd rather that kids use real guns with real bullets that can cause real death than play all these video games that allow them to shoot with no consequence. The real gun teaches them respect and responsibility while the game just teaches them to kill. Yet the politicians don't spend any time at all complaining about the game. Because the game is a tool of control useful to the powerful while the gun is a tool of resistance useful to the people.

So is it any surprise that the sale of Glocks jumped after the shooting in Tucson? The usual suspects immediately jumped on the gun control stage, screaming about magazine capacity (of course, they said clip capacity because these experts have no idea what they're talking about) and opining how no one needs that many rounds for hunting. Hunting? What the hell does a 9mm have to do with hunting? The pistol used by the shooter is primarily a defensive weapon as are most other handguns. They aren't meant for hunting, though some can be used for that purpose. Handguns are designed to save lives by taking lives. And when it comes down to defending your life, how can you possibly have too many rounds?

Besides, the whole high capacity magazine thing is a distraction. My .45 only has seven rounds in the magazine but so what? I can drop the spent magazine and have another inserted in a matter of seconds. You say that this is the reason that we should do away with semi-autos and detachable magazines altogether. I say that before detachable magazines we had revolvers with with speed loaders and before that we had revolvers with extra cylinders. And when all that wasn't enough we had the Missouri guerrillas during the Civil War carrying six or more revolvers at a time to gain the advantage in fire power over Union troops.

So you say the only real answer, the only way to guarantee safety for the people is to ban guns altogether, except in the hands of the government. And I say this is what you wanted all along. You just aren't honest enough to say it.

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