I like to do my Black Friday shopping the day before Thanksgiving, so when I finish this column, I’m going to drive to the ol’ gun shop and buy myself a gun. I haven’t bought a gun in a few months, so it’s time to maintain my membership in what the researchers at Harvard refer to as the ‘super’ gun owners, or what The Guardian calls the ‘hardcore super gun owners,’ i.e., gun nuts like me who have at least 17 guns lying around.
When this study was released back inn 2016, it provoked the usual hue and cry from the usual organizations laboring mightily to reduce violence caused by guns. How could it be otherwise? After all, everyone knows that the more guns lying around, the more injuries caused by guns.
This narrative has no reality behind it at all. The ‘average’ size of the arsenal owned by the hard-core gun nuts is 17 guns? Are they serious? I currently own maybe 60 guns (actually I’m not really sure of the exact number) and in the world of hard-core gun nuts, this makes me kind of light. The two brothers who ran my gun shop probably had 200 guns stashed in the family home, and one of my customers had at least twice that number of guns lying around here and there.
Know why I opened a retail gun shop? Because back in 2000 my wife informed me that our house didn’t have enough room for her shoes and my guns. And the shoes weren’t about to go. You think there’s any intrinsic difference between my dear wife buying shoes and me buying guns? If you do, then you have absolutely no understanding about why people like me (hard-core gun nuts) buy guns. If pressed, we’ll come out with the usual nonsense about protecting ourselves from an ISIS invasion or strengthening our 2nd-Amendment ‘rights.’ But when gun nuts get together, you’ll never hear them say anything about any legal issue except to bitch about the fact that every time they want to buy a gun from a dealer, they have to fill out one of those friggin’ forms.
Today I’m going to buy the new Sig P320 pistol, the civilian version of the new military gun, the Sig M17. What makes the P320 a ‘civilian’ gun as opposed to the weapon that will be carried by our troops in the field? The model name, that’s it. Otherwise, it’s the exact, same gun.
I’m buying the Sig because I want to buy a gun. Six-hundred and change – no big deal. If I take the family out to dinner tomorrow night I’ll pay just as much for a slice of dry turkey, some mashed-up vegetables and a piece of ‘homemade’ pie. Maybe I should cancel the dinner and buy another gun. Get my point?ow
Here’s the real point. Recall that back in 2008 my dear, departed friend, Tony Scalia, decided that handguns deserved Constitutional protection as long as they were the types of weapons that were ‘commonly’ found in the home. His opinion exempted weapons manufactured for military use, such guns being designed for battlefield exigencies, not for self-defense.
The fact is that just about every handgun Americans use for self-defense, as well as for shooting someone who gets in their way, happens to have been designed and manufactured for military use, viz., Glock, Beretta, Colt and a few more. The decision to allow civilians to own such guns has nothing to do with the 2nd Amendment, and it’s the reason we suffer from gun violence and other OECD countries don’t.
So here’s my Thanksgiving thought for all my gun-control friends: Stop the nonsense about how much you respect the ‘right’ of other people to own guns as long as they follow some ‘sensible’ rules. Take the bull by the horns and say what we all know to be true.
If you want to end gun violence, cut the bullshit and get rid of the guns.
Have a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving!