Before we a-dress the issue of guns and clothes, a lawyer’s primer. If you don’t have the law, argue the facts; if you don’t have the facts, argue the law; if you have neither the facts nor the law, then call your opponent names. That’s not just for lawyers . . .
Immediately after news of the Loughner spree-killing hit the net, gun control advocates were euphoric (in a caring concerned and outraged kinda way). Loughner was a right-wing gun nut wielding an assault rifle who shot a Democratic Congresswoman. It soon emerged that the killer was an apolitical nut with an “ordinary” handgun. To paraphrase the Talking Heads, facts didn’t do what gun control advocates want them to do.
Then the Arizona police and the FBI revealed that Jared Lee Loughner had fitted his legally purchased weapon with an Arizona-legal extended magazine. So gun control advocates took to arguing the law; as in “there ought to be a law.” Or, there is a law in New York that should be a law everywhere. Well, that’s what Alexandra Le Tellier at opinion.latimes.com argued, quoting NPR’s “Fresh Air” . . .
Now, if Loughner lived in New York, there’s a very good chance he wouldn’t have been able buy a gun, legally at least. [Robert] Spitzer continued [on NPR]:
“I would also make the comparison between a state like Arizona and a state like New York state. In New York state, when citizens apply for a pistol permit in order to then purchase a handgun legally, the state of New York asks for quite a bit more information. They ask for four character references, and the permit applicant needs to go before a local judge and say, ‘This is why I would like to have a handgun,’ before they can get the OK to do it. And in that more lengthy and detailed process, including the process of interviewing and consulting with character references; had Mr. Loughner lived in New York state, it’s abundantly clear he would not have been able to get a permit.”
Not so abundantly, Mr. Bond. Even Le Tellier isn’t buying that one.
That certainly seems like a more responsible approach. One flaw, however, is that if you make it too hard for people to get a gun, they may just take their exasperated selves to the black market, where it’s not only easy to buy a weapon, but it’s possible to have the barrel of the gun cut up (like one might take a razor blade to their fingertips) so that the weapon and the bullets become untraceable. Or they could just buy a used gun at a gun show.
Point of information: criminals and psychopaths don’t generally source weapons from gun shows; the ballistic get-togethers account for less than two percent of guns used in a violent crimes and Loughner bought his gat from a gun store.
Anyway, with the State of the Union Address, President Obama proved gun-shy on gun control in general, and high-capacity magazines in specific. Without the President’s immediate, unqualified and outraged support, the legislative push for new gun control laws lost traction.
Gun control advocates are now at Stage Three: name calling. And who should lead the sarcasm assault but the Gray Lady: The New York Times. No Permit? No Touching the Pistols is an excellent example of character assassination journalism. The piece clearly and, it must be said, masterfully associates New York City gun dealers with porn/sex shops.
In the Pelham Parkway section of the Bronx, Olinville Arms also caters largely to law enforcement, a clientele that, from the looks of the store, does not place a high value on décor. Big piles of gun-related paraphernalia sit next to a few hundred leather belts, running up to size 58; pink girly-girl tank tops with police logos hang above school crossing-guard patches.
The actual guns, save for a few shotguns positioned below two dusty deer heads, are kept out of sight. But not out of earshot: the store has a shooting range, separated from the shop only by the thinnest of barriers, and each discharge rings out at a disconcerting volume . . .
I found it hard to imagine buying a gun based on looks, but the sales counter was lined with an advertisement for a hot pink rubber sheath for dressing up a hunting rifle, an accessory that appeals, the salesman said, to “a certain kind of person.” Then a few more powerful shots thundered out. You get used to it, he said with a shrug.
The anonymous City Critic’s bias is reprehensible—and he’s welcome to write for TTAG anytime. IThis guy can write. Will somebody please hook him up with a legal handgun? Meanwhile, he (or she) almost finds ballistic salvation at Jimmy Choos. I mean, Beretta.
Holding a top-of-the-line gun is supposed to make a person feel powerful, confident, in control. Instead, I felt ridiculous. My stance was all wrong, and in any case I would never pull the trigger — not to kill an intruder, not to kill a bird. That moment of truth reaffirmed what was already beyond doubt: I am a pacifist, or a coward, depending on your perspective. But just as important, I am a New Yorker. In a city where we all live right on top of one another, playing with guns feels as out of place as wearing prairie dresses and engaging in plural marriage.
Playing with guns should always feel out-of-place. Using one to protect your life and the life of your loved ones should not. As millions of Americans will attest–regardless of ridicule from the people who’ve already lost the debate.