Friday, December 17, 2004

Bay Area Blues: San Francisco wants to be the next on a short list of cities that bans the ownership of handguns (via Insta). This is a disturbing trend of government trying to crack down gun rights. And that's not just because of the fact that other cities that have banned guns, such as Chicago and Washington, DC, have the highest crime rates in the country.

Now, because I live in Virginia, y'all might wonder why I care about what's going on in some Blue State. I could go on at length about how nobody should have their rights taken away, especially ones guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. I could even include the quote, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

But I also have personal reasons. My girlfriend is originally from California, specifically Los Angeles. And if things keep going the way they're going, I'll probably end up moving there with her (commence *whipping* sounds now). The problem is these "reforms" tend to move through cities like some contagious disease.

It has already come to my attention that a shotgun I currently own, legally bought and paid for in Virginia, is illegal in California. It's a Saiga 12 -- a Russian-made, semi-automatic 12-gauge with a five-round magazine. I would not even be allowed to keep this gun in my home, were I a California resident. This gun's only "crime" is that it is similar in design to the AK-47, which is no more deadly than most other rifles, but people who don't know any better believe this is the quintessential killing machine.

To point out how absurd this ban is, you should know that I also have a Remington 870 Wingmaster -- an American-made, pump-action 12-gauge with a three-round capacity (including one in the chamber). This shotgun is perfectly legal in California and most other places.

The funny thing is, these guns fire the exact same ammunition the exact same way and, as a result, are just as deadly as each other. While the Saiga is semiautomatic, the Remington pump can be fired just as quickly. And although the Saiga does have a slightly larger capacity, the Remington can be fed ammo continuously while I would have to remove and reload magazines to continue firing the Saiga.

Unfortunately, the people who make the most restrictive laws regarding firearms seem to be the people who know the least about them. Liberals blaming crime on guns makes as much sense as conservatives blaming crime on rap music. Nothing should be outlawed in America without compelling reason. And prohibiting citizens from owning handguns only leaves them in danger of being hurt or killed by criminals who (surprise, surprise) don't obey the law.


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