Thursday, January 27, 2005


Call me a "gun nut" if you must. But I'm really not one. Still, I did give my sweet, innocent 5-year-old daughter a gun for Christmas. Not just any gun, mind you. It's commonly called a "street-sweeper." It's automatic or semi-automatic. Honestly, I don't really know much about guns. My wife is horrified. It's not that she is anti-gun; it's just that when you pull the trigger, it is awfully loud. Especially when the trigger is pulled in the house. Did I mention it's a toy gun?

Which certainly didn't make it any easier to find. Had I wanted a real gun, one would imagine from watching TV news that finding a gun is child's play. But a toy gun? None in the toy stores. Slim pickings even on the Internet (and I'd waited too long to have it shipped). It was as if toy guns had been banned. Not that superstar-shoppers like my wife wouldn't have uncovered one, somewhere, but this amateur was willing to admit failure.

Then, just days before Christmas, I went to Global Foods, a local grocery store that caters to Asians and Latinos. I like to go there because they have vegetables I've never seen or heard of before. It's very educational. And they also carry vegetables I actually recognize. Cheap, too. On this enchanted day, I bumped right into a display of junky toys. Laying there, telepathically calling to my macho-kid-Christmas-neurosis, was a shiny black submachine gun. The kind of gun that might not have worked so well for playing cowboys and Indians, but my goodness would it shine in any remake of the Untouchables or in an imaginary battle with the Nazis, with me as part of the underground resistance, or a member of an elite commando squad.

Just what my daughter would want! Right? Needless to say, I plopped down my eight dollars.... My 5-year-old makes a heckuva lot more sense than those who fear, without a shred of evidence, that playing with toy guns will somehow turn kids to crime. She makes more sense than the school in Indiana, where officials altered their school's mascot - a Minuteman - to remove the musket he carried. They feared the armed minuteman symbolized gun violence. I guess they hadn't yet gotten to American history. Her toy gun is just a toy. But it is a grand symbol of freedom, self-defense and a healthy disdain for political correctness.

More here

The impact of firearms on crime, business, and politics: "The other day a news item stated that for the last 10 years the crime rate in the United States has been dropping, but the "experts" don't seem to know why. Nothing in society is simple, and there are all kinds of factors operating at any one time, but one of the things the media and the so-called experts have apparently overlooked, consciously or unconsciously, is the plethora of new laws that allow law-abiding citizens to carry concealed weapons. Just a few decades ago, there were almost none, but today 37 states have "right-to-carry" laws on their lawbooks. Nine others, plus Washington, D.C., allow carrying with restrictions, and in the remaining four the right is denied."

No comments: