Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Aurora, Colorado. The list just keeps getting longer. It’ll keep getting longer until we realize that the right to buy guns isn’t the problem. After all, according to a quick check on the net, this country has almost as many guns as people. That we know about. Trying try pry those guns from our cold, dead hands is not going to happen anytime soon. If buying isn’t the problem then the right to sell them, and to keep selling them no matter what the cost could be what’s happening around us.

There were twenty seven years and a revolution between the writing of the Declaration of Independence and the prologue to the constitution. During that time the phrase life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness morphed to life, liberty and property. Most of us understand the phrase as protection for the property we OWN. There’s another kind of property though. The property we want to SELL to somebody else.

My first Sony Discman lasted forever. I finally had to tape the batteries in but it kept truckin’ along for years until the drive finally died. I’ve had two since then and neither one of them lasted more than two years. That’s how companies keep costs deceptively low.  And it doesn’t really matter to anything but your pocket book if electronics don’t last as long as they used to. Can’t do that with guns though.

Guns are not like single use cameras. They can be used again. Guns are not like cheap clothes from third world countries. Fool around with the quality of manufacture and you may end up with a handgun that blows up when the customer tries to use it. That is not good for business. The same with boxes of ammo that have a lot of duds.

So how do you solve the problem? Convince people to buy as many guns as possible, make it as easy as possible and don’t give a damn about where the guns go after the original buyer forks over his money.

 I tried Googleing the phrase “National Rifle Association Donor Transparency.” Didn’t get much information beyond the fact that any useful information is scarcer than hen’s teeth. And, that earlier this month the NRA went to a great deal of time and trouble to threaten our representatives who were getting ready to vote on campaign finance law that would have made it easier to find out where the money comes from.

I suspect that if we could trace donations to the NRA we would find that much of the over $205,000,000 in income in 2004 came from the same groups that benefit the most from the NRA’s lobbying efforts; the manufacturers of weapons, ammunition and those other lovely accessories the well dressed nutcase needs to go on a rampage. After all there are only so many SWAT teams in the country and body armor isn’t single use either.

So, who benefits from the shell game that hides behind the second amendment? It isn’t us. It’s said that if you follow the money, you’ll usually get to the truth. If only it were that easy.

The mantra started within a day. “If only there had been someone in the audience with gun, he could have….” A dark theater, smoke grenade, bullets flying, a room full of people all trying to be someplace else. You sat in the middle where the picture is best. How do you get to a spot where you can get a clear shot without getting trampled or drawing fire? Or even get there before shooter bugs out looking for new targets?

And there’s the old standby “you need a gun to protect yourself in case someone invades your home.” For that to work you need a gun in every room. Otherwise, how do you get to the gun stored in another part of the house before the bad guys get to you? The answer is, ninety percent of the time you probably can’t. So, again, who benefits. The manufacturers not the customers. 

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