Thursday, July 17, 2008

Catches .22 and .45

Much ado was recently made over the Supreme Court decision to lift Washington D.C.'s ban on handguns- perhaps it was all for naught...the new law went into effect this morning and almost nobody cared...three hours into the new era of legalized guns, only one person had bothered to show up to register their gun- the aptly-named Dick A. Heller, the same man who sued the District for the right to pack heat in the first place. He was turned away because he failed to bring his guns with him, apparently he was under the impression that he would be arrested for possessing an unregistered handgun. A D.C. police spokesperson assured him and others that this wasn't the case, but there is another catch, one that would put a smile on the face of Dick's namesake, Joseph Heller.

D.C. residents can only legally register guns that are purchased in their home District- and there are currently no licensed gun vendors in DC, so there can't be any legal sidearms. The police have granted a six-month amnesty period so that owners of formerly illegal weapons can register them, but said owners will have to submit their weapons for ballistic tests to determine if they have been used in unsolved crimes and , in addition, they will have to take a written gun-proficiency test (in my opinion, they should also have to pass a shooting test) and face the possibility that their handgun gets confiscated if it violates DC's still-intact ban on automatic weapons.

Not surprisingly, DC residents have overwhelmingly opted to keep their guns cocked, locked and illegal rather than submit to the labyrinthine registration requirements and somewhat counter-productive regulations.

The new law includes strict storage requirements that opponents of the handgun ban say violate the Supreme Court ruling.Gun owners must keep their pistols at home,unloaded and either disassembled or equipped with trigger locks.Weapons can only be loaded and used if the owner reasonably believes he or she is in imminent danger from an attacker in the home.

I understand the reasoning: it's not safe to leave loaded guns where kids can get to them. Duh.
But those regulations render the guns useless for self-defense purposes. Last night I saw what I thought was one of my cats on the windowsill- it turned out to be a stranger peeking into my living room! I (stupidly) rushed to the front door and tried to catch the peeper- who fled- and it wasn't until a minute later that it occurred to me that I was unarmed and could have been leaping into danger. The voyeur saw me coming, so it's very unlikely that he would have stood still long enough for me to unlock and load my pistol and shoot him through the open window-as it was, I didn't even have time to grab a sledgehammer. Luckily for me, peepers are not very brave and I didn't need a gun but if it had been a home invader, I wouldn't have had time for assembly and loading, I'd have been better off with a baseball bat- a good choice of weapon for a poor shot such as myself.

I don't scoff at the idea of having to kill someone inside my home. A couple of years ago, a business friend of mine -along with her husband and children- were tortured and murdered by home invaders inside their quiet suburban house in broad daylight - that murder changed something inside me. If I see someone I don't recognize in my house I will hurt them as badly as I can and ask questions later because there are situations in which you don't get a second chance...knowing my friend and her husband, I imagine that they tried to reason and plea with their killers and that, obviously, didn't work. I hate guns and I loathe violence, but I'm not a pacifist, so stay the fuck off of my porch unless I know you.

If you kill someone I know, don't expect me to hold a candle during your execution.



My Twin lives in Chicago and I sometimes entertain the idea of moving there- but it's getting very dangerous. Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has just offered to bring the National Guard into urban Chicago to halt the epidemic of violent crime brewing there- one recent Chicago weekend saw 36 shootings, including nine murders, and Chicago Public Schools officials say that over two dozen students have been killed by guns since last September. Over two dozen kids...why hasn't that gotten any significant national coverage? I'm guessing that none of the victims were white and/or wealthy. Just a guess...


billy pilgrim said...

i think the cat is already out of the bag as far as guns go.

i'm waiting for the new-age weapons where i'll be able to kill with a thought.

Herself said...

creepy creeperton at your window! That would freak me out pretty bad but I guess if you make a habit of watching jeopardy in your birthday suit, you are bound to attract some weirdos ;-)

yellowdog granny said...

well, you know how i feel about guns and why...actually think it's ok to have a gun..just can't have any bullets..

yinyang said...

Wow, what a creative law. I wish I had that kind of talent.

Allan said...

BP- I'd rather be able to calm with a gesture than kill with a thought.
Kidding! I want a phaser that makes my victims dissappear.

Tif- Yeah, I can see that. Vividly.

JS- There's always pistol-whipping.

YY- Give it time. Now go read Catch-22.

Susannity said...

They have gun safes where you can have your weapon loaded and ready to go. They are small and pop open for easy grabbing after keying in a code. If I owned a gun, prolly what I would have.

citizen of the world said...

Or have that power that they had in "Stranger in a Strnage Land" where you can you think someone into non-existence.