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Concealed or Not: Baum on Guns

Interesting article on guns this month in Harper's though I don't think you can get the article online if you're not a subscriber. It is written by a fellow (Dan Baum) who got into guns as a fat kid who couldn't run too fast, but he could lay on the ground and shoot a rifle pretty darn good. He grew up to be a liberal, but kept his gun hobby, and recently decided to get a permit to carry a concealed weapon. I don't know why, but the laws governing concealed carrying are called "shall-issue" laws.

Baum reports on the concealed permitting class he took in Boulder, CO, and on his experience of the gun-toting culture. I don't think they knew he was a liberal infiltrator who has voted consistently for laws restricting the distribution and use of guns. He gives a pretty good survey of the politics and economics of guns. He also gives some info on who's shooting who, and it seems that armed citizens are shooting a few bad guys, but that shootings overall are on the decrease. I wonder how long that will last. Anyway, institutionally apparently the police are against citizens carrying, but individually Baum found that street cops like the idea of potential backup from citizens.

According to Baum small concealable personal handguns are the one bright spot in the gun market--that and the accessories that allow you to carry concealed. Use of guns by women hasn't increased like they'd hoped it would, and where it has increased slightly is in hunting rifles. Tiny handguns designed for women have not taken off. Apparently there was a huge rush on ammo after Obama was elected, but that fear-driven buying binge has tapered down.

The new frontier for gun advocates, since they've been so successful in gaining "shall-issue" laws in the US, is open carry. Apparently it's already legal to openly carry a firearm in most states, but the goal is to do it enough that people habituate to it, and it is no longer so uncomfortable. Baum tried it and felt like a dick, so he went back to concealing.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 24th, 2010 02:58 am (UTC)
Interesting. I know Dan Baum from back in the day when he wrote "Smoke and Mirrors". I remember buying a case, to give to people for education on why the WOD is failing.

Small world..
Sep. 24th, 2010 04:26 am (UTC)
The shall-issue counties and states have laws which say that the permit shall be issued unless there is a good reason not to.

Small guns are desperately unpleasant to shoot. The most unpleasant things I have ever shot are a Smith and Wesson Ladysmith 357 magnum with a titanium frame and a 44 magnum derringer. Recoil velocity is inversely proportional to the mass of the weapon, but it's the energy you really feel and that's proportional to the velocity squared. So half weight 'ladies' guns are four times as nasty to shoot. So no wonder nobody buys them.

So he votes anti gun but not only has a concealed weapon permit but also uses it? Speaking as a very liberal serial gun owner who does not carry and has no intention of obtaining a concealed weapon permit... that is typical hypocrisy of the gun owning elite. Nobody should have guns, except me. Feinstein is the same, she makes a big show of gun control and had a great photo op where she handed over a 38 revolver to be destroyed. But then she had just bought a nice stainless 357 Magnum so she didn't need the old 38 any more.

The cops I know are pro, they say people who can pass the training and the checks aren't any danger to them anyway. I was watching police officers talk about letting concealed weapon permit holders off with traffic infractions, they were about 19:1 in favor of letting them off with an unofficial warning. I asked a former LAPD officer, who actually shot someone dead on the job, what he thought of this. He agreed 100%, he said those are the good guys and you can never tell when you might need their help.

Weirdly the Democrat presidency is a great thing for the gun industry, the rednecks and Republicans have such an unreasoning fear of new restrictions that they buy everything in sight. Meanwhile the Obama administration actually extended carry laws to national parks, so they have been responsible for reducing restrictions.

In the potentially coming disaster I think shooting people and being shot at might become a lot more common.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )



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