Saturday, November 8, 2008

Let the hysteria begin

Here's the lead paragraph in a recent AP story with the dateline of Midlothian, Va.:

"When 10-year-old Austin Smith heard Barack Obama had been elected president, he had one question: Does this mean I won't get a new gun for Christmas?"

One can only wonder what kind of discussions young Austin was subjected to in the months leading to the recent presidential election, but the little fellow, whose mother promptly scampered to get him a 20-gauge shotgun, isn't alone in harboring a foreboding dread that the gun-confiscation wagon will soon be making the rounds, presumably much like an ice-cream truck but with "Give Peace a Chance" coming from the speakers. The story goes on to say that the FBI has seen a sharp increase in the number of background checks for gun purchases, and gun stores are doing land-office business. David Hancock, who runs a gun shop in Midlothian, says sales have nearly doubled in the past week, and he had to call in extra workers on Election Day because of the crush of business. "They're scared to death of losing their rights," said Hancock. Stewart Wallin, who owns Get Some Guns (really) in Murray, Utah, said he sold nine assault weapons the day after Barack Obama was elected. Are people really that afraid of losing their right to bear arms or do they figure, now that Obama's headed to the White House, that black mobs will soon descend to subjugate the white man? There's no doubt that Obama supports greater gun controls, but he's never suggested seizing the weapons of law-abiding citizens or a widespread ban on firearms sales. Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said his group will continue to press for "sensible" restrictions such as background checks at gun shows, a ban on military-type assault weapons and a crackdown on the illegal gun trade. Mark Tushnet, a Harvard Law School professor who has written a book on the gun debate, said he doesn't see expanded firearms restrictions as a high priority for the incoming administration and expects that "maybe the gun-show loophole will be closed, but not much else." The NRA, of course, preaches doom and gloom. That's one of the problems in the whole discussion of guns in this country. You have a fringe element on one side that would like most guns banned, and you have the NRA that believes any effort to control the flow of weapons is the first step on a slippery slope toward storm troopers raiding people's homes to snatch everything from Saturday night specials to blunderbusses. I really can't see a reason for anyone to own an Uzi, and I think more restrictions on the gun-show trade would be good, but if I live to be 150 years old, I will never see the day when the government comes to the homes of good citizens and takes their handguns, rifles and shotguns. It just ain't going to happen. For one thing, the populace, even people like me who favor some controls, would not stand for it. And, knowing that, you'll never get a majority of Congress to sign on for such a proposal. Also, broad gun controls just wouldn't work. If handguns and hunting rifles are banned, that really doesn't mean anything to the criminal element. I guess if we want to look on the bright side of all this gun-buying hysteria, we can credit the new president with his first achievement in stimulating the economy.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

The NRA counts on the fear, racist attitudes and stupidity of gun owners across the country that someday, government agents will show up on their doorsteps to take their hunting rifles. That's why there is never any middle ground when discussing gun control.

"If they take away my submachine gun and bazooka, the next step will be taking away my hunting rifle."


The fact an 8-year-old can legally fire an Uzi at a gun show in Massachusetts tells you just how few meaningful and effective gun laws we have in this country.

Want to know the funny part? Every time a gun store owner racks up another sale from some fearful resident, he's thinking, "Thank you God for letting Obama win."

November 8, 2008 at 9:10 AM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

How many times do we have to hear "WOLF" and not see a wolf before we start ignoring the idiot yelling "WOLF"?

November 8, 2008 at 1:06 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

This just in from the AP:

ST. JOHNS, Ariz. – A man who police believe was shot and killed by his 8-year-old son had consulted a Roman Catholic priest about whether the boy should handle guns and had taught him how to use a rifle, the clergyman said Saturday.
The father, Vincent Romero, 29, was from a family of avid hunters and wanted to make sure the boy wasn't afraid of guns, said the Very Rev. John Paul Sauter of St. Johns Catholic Church. The boy's stepmother had suggested he have a BB gun, the priest said.
Romero taught his son how to use a rifle to kill prairie dogs, Sauter said. Police say the boy used a .22-caliber rifle Wednesday to kill his father and another man, Timothy Romans, 39, of San Carlos.

November 8, 2008 at 10:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They're gonna take our guns!!! Palin-Jindal 2012!!!

November 8, 2008 at 11:50 PM  
Blogger Dale Lolley said...

Expalin to be what racism has to do with this?
That's a ridiculous statement.
Why is it that anyone who disagrees with President-elect Obama is automatically a racist. Aren't we throwing that card around a lot lately - talk about crying wolf.
I'm sure people in countries where guns have been banned also thought the government would never ban them.
Certainly the culture here is different, but I never say never.

November 9, 2008 at 2:00 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

I think there is some element among us, not necessarily a large one, that fears "the other," whether it be blacks or Mexicans or whatever. I also think it existed long before Barack Obama hit the scene and has nothing to do with people agreeing or disagreeing with him.

November 9, 2008 at 7:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How is it racist?

"Are people really that afraid of losing their right to bear arms or do they figure, now that Obama's headed to the White House, that black mobs will soon descend to subjugate the white man?"

Yes, that's exactly why many people are buying guns now. Or do you believe they just want to beat the Christmas rush?

November 10, 2008 at 10:16 AM  
Anonymous Steelerfan43 said...

Our country does need stricter gun control. A child should not be allowed to fire an uzi at a gun show. Matter of fact a child should not be allowed to fire any type of weapon at a gun show. Gun owners and hunters should not fear having ther rights removed from them completely, but we do need to figure out a way of controlling the underground gun sales and illegal possessions of guns. People are dying everyday at an alarming rate because some idiot or child has access to a firearm. I support our right to bear arms, but not all of us.

November 10, 2008 at 10:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems that because Obama is black, many fears that still would have existed had he been a white Democrat have been blown up even bigger. The one who seem to complaining the loudest are the sames one who didn't complain for eight years while the Bushites rammed through their policies. But I see the point that few who opposed them were yelling "Damn Bush and his white-guy agenda."

I fear extremism of any kind, from the left or the right. I don't want to live in a country where policies swing from one extreme to the other with every election. There has to be compromise. But too many people for my taste have reduced religion, gun control, birth control, energy policies, abortion, education and just about everything else to "there's only one way." What happened to America as champion of diversity?

November 10, 2008 at 12:53 PM  
Blogger PRIguy said...

I think that part of the gun-buying frenzy and the mania over fear of losing our right to bear arms once again comes from people not taking the time to learn a bit about the topic. I am NOT suggesting that gun owners or advocates are stupid. Here is why I say this:

I work with a fellow who prides himself on his knowledge of politics. He was quite outspoken about the horrors a McCain/Palin presidency would bring and thought Obama would save the world from all of its ills, from terrorism to the gum disease known as gingivitis. One week before the election, however, he ditched Obama and voted for McCain. Why? Because he was afraid of this gun revocation.

He actually said to me, "If he gets into office, he's going to take away our guns." This guy doesn't own a gun, by the way. I told him that Obama can't just sit down in the Oval Office with a cup of coffee and scribble out a memo banning guns. This same guy, when he was rooting for Obama, decided that if McCain and Palin got into office, their first order of business would be to eliminate Roe v. Wade. This guy is 50, has two grown sons, and is divorced. Why he is so adamant about a woman's right to choose is a mystery to me.

The point is that this guy hasn't got an inkling of how government works or how laws are passed or how the Constitution works. I think there are far too many people who take one or two bits of information and have a knee-jerk reaction.

November 10, 2008 at 2:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seems to me you just reinforced the "Idiots" label from the above post.

November 10, 2008 at 6:03 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home