Monday, February 13, 2006

Cheney's Got a Gun: Our esteemed vice president shot someone in the face. Luckily it was with bird shot from a 28-gauge shotgun, so the victim appears to be doing all right. I've heard that some people are trying to absolve Cheney of blame, claiming the other guy snuck up behind the veep before the quail jumped. Well, that's bullshit. I'm a hunter, and I know it's always the gunman's responsibility to know where his compadres are and where the shot will go, and to make sure those two aren't anywhere near each other.

But this story has been labored to death on other blogs, so I'll move on to something else I saw in another newspaper. Boston is trying to crack down on gun deaths in the city, and officials are brainstorming ideas on what to do. Among the proposals is to record the names of anyone who buys ammunition. That makes me nervous, because I'm allergic to any governmental intrusion into people's private lives (ie, the NSA wiretaps). But I'm also aware that sometimes additional government action is necessary during times of crisis (ie, the NSA wiretaps). Count me against registering ammunition purchases. There's just too much potential for abuse without much likely benefit.

But I'm open to a second idea that Boston is toying with. Officials want to use technology that stamps a gun's ID number on the shell casings. That way the police can definitively match a gun to a spent shell found at a crime scene.

Now, if the shooter collects his shell casings at the end of the shooting, the stamped ID will do nothing. But chances are, it will help solve a few crimes. And police will only be investigating your spent shells if they are mixed in with a crime scene. Sounds like a fair deal to me.


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