Yesterday the Washington Post ran an online piece which once again proves Americans are fatally in love with guns. Not only the real ones, but replicas as well. In fact, as the Post points out, just like with the genuine article, some of us are getting killed because of faux weapons.
The news outlet's research found that nationwide, in the last two years, police have killed 86 people because they mistook BB guns and other weapon look alikes for the real thing.
Of those 86, 50 were white men and five were women. 38 of the victims had histories of mental illness. 46 of the shootings occurred at night and police claim 60 of the people who were killed pointed their fake guns at them.
53 of the weapons were either BB, or pellet guns. 16 were what is known as Airsoft guns which use compressed air cartridges to shoot plastic BB's. 13 were classified as non working replicas, two were toys, one was a race starter's gun, and the last was a lighter.
So all this mayhem has been caused by a bunch of trigger happy cops, right? Well maybe in some instances, however the whole nightmare is enabled by manufacturers who insist on making their BB guns and toys look exactly like the real thing.
The Post reported an outfit called Umarex USA--which bills itself as, "the king of replicas"--makes air guns which are the mirror images of everything from the Colt 1870 Peacemaker, to a modern Smith and Wesson Military and Police issue semiautomatic. The latter sells for $50 at your local Wal-Mart and in 38 states it's perfectly legal for your kid, no matter what his, or her age is, to buy it.
Well, Jeez, why don't we just get rid of them, or at the least, make sure they're all painted bright orange in order to stop this shit? After all, they don't shoot real bullets, so it shouldn't worry any of the gun nuts should it? Actually those demented fucks oppose even imitation gun control.
The Post says manufacturers such as Sig Sauer, who brags on their web site they make air guns which are perfect replicas of nearly all their deadly weapons and others are busy lobbying against such laws. In addition a bunch known as Gun Owners of America and--you guessed it--the NRA are opposed to any legislation which would force changes in the appearance of these toys which would help police know they aren't looking down the barrel of the real McCoy.
The piece quotes a spokesperson for Gun Owners of America. He condemns such legislative attempts for change because, in his words, "It all arises out of the general animus and media fed fear of anything that has to do with guns."
That's right, it's all the media's fault and besides, who cares about that cop who is responding to a call of a person with a weapon around sundown in a sketchy part of town? Not to mention the kid he, or she sees carrying what looks just like a 9mm Sig Sauer--the one which was used to shoot BB's at tin cans in a vacant lot all afternoon. Given those circumstances it takes only a single second of making either a wrong move, or misinterpretation of intent for tragedy to strike.
Honestly, this is madness beyond belief. People in this country are dying because of a well financed minority and an industry which has as about much credibility as the hucksters who used to tell us there is no evidence cigarettes cause heart disease and cancer. Both groups intimidate law makers by threatening to donate huge amounts of cash to an opposition candidate in the next election, or they simply pay them off.
Indeed, that's what democracy has sunk to in America these days. Our representatives won't do what is obviously right because they are either coerced by brute thugs, or they accept outright bribes. And, given that awful truth, now we now know the real reason we are no longer great, or truly free.
sic vita est