Two-Thirds Can't Be Wrong

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Recently
I sent an e-mail to a friend that included a picture of a nice young
woman shooting a colorfully-attired AR15.

For
those not fully up to speed on gun jargon, an AR15 is the semi-automatic
version of the rifle the U.S. military has used for several decades.
Semi-auto means that each time the trigger is pulled, only ONE cartridge
is fired and only ONE bullet heads on its merry way in a linear
path from the barrel, in contrast to a fully-automatic gun which
can shoot multiple cartridges per trigger pull and is found in every
TV show from CSI and West Wing to reruns of the Golden Girls nowadays.

AR15s
are expensive guns ($700 and up) but their modularity makes them
a natural for hobbyists. Despite the so-called Assault Weapon
Ban a virtual cottage industry has sprouted these past few years
offering people the option to buy the rifles with various caliber
conversions, various sights, left-handed models, special triggers
for precision target shooting…all sorts of things to let each owner
personalize his or her firearm. The manufacturers had to take off
the flash hiders and the bayonet lugs to comply with the "ban,"
but otherwise anyone could still get the exact same gun during the
whole ten-year period. Even magazines over ten rounds capacity remained
fully available because only new production was banned.*
All previously produced "high capacity" magazines were
still sellable, and there were literally tens of millions of them.
The only change was that their prices went up a little.

Returning
to my e-mail, my friend responded to the picture with a "What's
up with that?"

I
figured my response was so insightful that I should share it.

Hi
Paul,

What
do you mean, “What’s up with that?” Didn’t you get the memo?

There's
a new strategy because “2/3rds of all Americans favor renewing
(and extending) the ban on Assault Weapons (and all other scary
things, to be defined by cosmetic features, but let’s not go
there again).”

The
key is to make the guns less scary-looking.

It
was on Comedy Central's The Daily Show the other night,
didn’t you see? He had a segment on the ban’s expiration (Jon
Stewart was hardly kind to gun nuts, but hey – they’re nuts
– so who cares about u2018em?) and reported how many of the
"banned" guns stayed on the market because their makers
altered the guns' cosmetics. Sure enough he showed a picture of
a rifle with pink furniture. [Editorial note: Furniture
on a gun refers to the shoulder stock, handguard around the barrel,
the grip, and things like that.]

Paul,
that's the new idea. We have to make the guns less scary-looking
so that our non-gun-owning neighbors will fixate their fears on
things that other people think are important (and not things
WE think are important). That’s modern Democracy in Action and
By Heaven what we need is a lot more Democracy!

To
this end all gun owners are pledging to put colorful bows on their
guns, and dress them up in lace and “Sunday Best” clothes, or
put pictures of Barney the Dinosaur or Powder Puff Girls on them.
So **naturally** they need to take those ugly, scary-looking black
stocks off them and replace them with pink, purple, red, maybe
even puce, chartreuse, emerald, and lavender furniture. I really
like the lavender idea, because maybe some enterprising chemist
can add something to the cartridge propellants and make the burned
gunpowder smell like lilac.

If
you're behind the curve on this I can understand. But you MUST
do your duty and run out to buy something to dress up your old
warhorse of a battle rifle [Paul owns a WWII vintage M1 Garand,
and it still has an evil bayonet lug!] so you can carry
it in the next parade in your spot beside the Girl Scouts and
Brownies. We won't have succeeded until Soccer Moms are pushing
their daughters in your direction, telling them to ask if they
might carry your rifle for a while.

Wow,
I just had another epiphany!

While
you’re at it, help me spread the truth about how people are using
books, yes BOOKS, to learn how to do all sorts of dangerous and
nefarious things. For God's sake, people learn chemistry
and PHYSICS (!!) from books, and these form the very foundation
for creating Weapons of Mass Destruction! Science books might
as well be the terrorist's Bible, and publishers should all go
to jail for aiding and abetting the Enemy.

Maybe
then “2/3rds of Americans” will agree on what this country needs
most – a good spate of book burning. After all, when 2/3rds
of the populace wants something, wasn't it Rousseau who wrote
about the General Will, and how it's always right? Two
heads are better than one, and 2/3rds of whatever sample size
the pollsters used must be far, far smarter than you and me.

In
fact, I like this whole idea so much I think I’ll write it up
and submit it to Lew Rockwell for publication. He can get the
word out, we'll start a mass movement, and then everything will
turn out great. All we need is a majority in the next poll.

Your
Bud,
Dave

*A
couple states also have their own prohibitions on certain sizes
of ammunition magazines, but that's another story.

September
17, 2004

David
Calderwood [send him
mail
] a businessman, artist, and author of the novel Revolutionary
Language
, selected January 2000 Freedom Book of the Month
at Free-market.net.
[No, that's
not an "assault rifle" on the cover of the book. The picture
originally came from www.springfield-armory.com
(the rifle is their M1A) and the manufacturer ground off the bayonet
lug from under the front sight turning it from a scary "bad"
gun into an All-American "good" gun. You could have purchased
one during any of the past ten years (except in The Peoples' Republic
of California). The 20-round magazine was also available via military
surplus, though the prices for them doubled during the so-called
ban.]

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