Funny, but I didn’t think it would take so long.
Why, a whole seven minutes passed after the first responses to Monday’s common-sense column on guns and politicians started rolling in before some genius suggested that the Colorado theater massacre could have been nipped in the bud had everybody in the theater been packing heat.
Wow, why didn’t the rest of us think of that?
Probably because we know Dirty Harry Callahan wasn’t real and because we don’t all own a gun shop or a funeral home. Those are the only enterprises that would benefit from having everybody in a darkened movie theater strapped.
Others facetiously argued, with what they presumed was sound logic, that any call to ban guns – psst: no one has made such a call – should be followed by a ban on airplanes and cars because they, too, can kill people.
Oy. So proud were they of that unoriginal argument that I didn’t have the heart to tell them that airplanes and cars weren’t created to kill. Both can, for instance, take people to see loved ones. An assault weapon can only send you to your grave.
Just imagine the deadly chaos that would have ensued if you’d had a theater full of armed, panicked and ill-trained people indiscriminately slinging lead.
“Chaos” is also how one local gun shop owner describes what’s happening at businesses such as his right now.
I asked Jim – he didn’t want to give his last name but said he is the owner of Jim’s Gun Shop on Woodland Road in Raleigh – whether incidents such as last week’s spur gun and ammo sales.
“That’s a no-brainer,” he said, regarding me as if I had no brain. “Any time there’s an incident like that, there’s a spike in sales because people think they’re going to make it tougher to get” guns. “Nationally, everything’s been in chaos” because of the rush to get armed.
Elections drive sales
Larry Anderson of North Raleigh Guns, when asked whether that store has seen an uptick in business since the shootings, replied, “Not really.”
“Elections,” he said, are more likely to drive up sales. “We’re going to be pretty busy from now until after the election, depending on who wins.”
In 2008, after Barack Obama was elected, gun sales nationally broke records. I went to two local gun shops immediately after the election and watched people stocking up on weapons the way some of us stock up on Jack Daniel’s on New Year’s Eve.
Helping sell guns
Yep, we were played for chumps by the NRA and politicians who kowtow to it. President Obama’s birthday is in two weeks, and it wouldn’t surprise me if gun store owners and NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre forgo singing “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” and instead serenade O with Gladys Knight & the Pips’ 1974 hit, “You’re the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me.”
Because he is. Despite warnings that Obama would go around collecting up weapons the way Principal J.C. Watkins used to take our dice in the boys’ bathroom at Leak Street School, the president has been pretty mum on guns.
By portraying Obama as the gun-collecting bogeyman, though, the NRA has turned us into a nation of Ralphies – you know, the chubby-cheeked, bespectacled kid in “A Christmas Story” who’s obsessed over possessing “an official Red Ryder carbine-action two-hundred shot range model air rifle.”
Only difference is, many of us want assault weapons under our trees, not air rifles.
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