Thursday, November 20, 2008

An Example of "The Slippery Slope"

Article 1
Article 2

I heard this story on a (mostly) conservative, New Jersey talk radio station.

A 10-year-old boy brings a yellow toy gun in to school. The vice principal takes the toy away, and hauls him into the office. The police were brought into the situation, who then involved New Jersey government.

From Article 1:
"The plastic toy did not contain pellets that would cause harm if fired, he said.

"A variety store on Main Avenue and Washington Place was selling the guns, he said, and police contacted the state to test-fire them.

"The toys were not found to fire dangerous pellets, Capuana said."

Why does this bother me?

Probably the first complaint about kids and toy guns and BB guns were that they were dangerous. At some point, some child removed the rubber suction cup from a plastic dart, and shot their little sister in the eye with it. So toy guns are made more safe. The darts or pellets are now made completely from a rubbery material, and they go about 5 feet before hitting the ground. Short of really tampering with them, they are safe.

Next, there are complaints that the toy guns look too real. You need to put something red or orange at the muzzle end. The toy companies obliged.

After that, the complaints still kept coming in. The toy guns still look too real. Make them clear, make them yellow or orange; anything but black, brown, camouflage, or olive green. This happened around the early 90's I guess. I was still a boy, and I was pretty pissed.

Still, there are complaints. They can't make toy guns that look like real guns anymore. They make the toy guns look like the cheesy prop laser guns from 60s sci-fi movies.

Are they happy yet? No, they are not. Some poor 10-year-old boy brings in a toy pistol that doesn't look real, and they're still making a huge deal out of it.

From Article 2:
"Police say the boy has never been in trouble before and most likely will be recommended to attend a violence awareness program."

I'm sure they called in a parent to the school, and at least kept the boy out of school until the state had determined that the toy gun was not dangerous. But he's not out of the woods yet. Even though he's never been in trouble for anything before, violent or otherwise, he's got to go through some anger management class. You know damn well the other kids at school are going to tease him about this until he goes off to college.

Why is all this about toy guns such a big deal to me? It's a good example of the "slippery slope" argument made against gun control. This particular case just happens to be about toy gun control.

One of the first steps in this country was to impose a $200 (this is in 1934, remember) government tax on automatic firearms, "short barreled" rifles and shotguns, "any other weapons" (which would be stuff like pen guns, pistols that are made to look like cigarette lighters, and such), and sound suppressors (commonly and erroneously called "silencers").

Somebody decided that Americans were no longer to be trusted with carrying concealed pistols, and many states, until fairly recently, jumped on the bandwagon (or banwagon, if you will) and made laws against carrying concealed firearms.

Then, president Clinton, and attorney general Janet Reno, and a bunch of left-wingers in the house and senate came up with a crime bill that banned normal law-abiding American citizens from buying or assembling firearms that had more than two of the following:
an ammunition magazine holding more than ten rounds
a vertical pistol grip
a folding or telescoping stock
a bayonet lug
a "flash hider," and/or a threaded muzzle that would accept a "flash hider" or sound suppressor (which would also function as a "flash hider," by nature of their design)

Firearms that have three or more of these features, or were named specifically in the law were determined not to be of sporting use and off limits. Nevermind that these firearms are used in CDP and DCM competitions. By some twisted logic, use of these firearms in sporting events doesn't make them sporting firearms.

There was an expiration date on that ban. When that expiration date came around there was a Republican in the White House, and enough people with sense in Congress. Now. . . not so much.

The gun banners are constantly coming up with new and unique reasons to ban firearms. Ban them if they don't stamp a microscopic serial number on the primer. Ban them if they don't have fingerprint scanners that turn them on. Ban them if they don't have warning labels with letters 1/2" high engraved all over them. Ban them if they don't have "Obama is the Messiah," in day-glow orange printed prominently on the barrel. Some, at least when in the company of like-minded people, still admit to wanting to ban handguns, or all guns.

The point to all this rambling mess is that these idiots need to be stopped before we are all sent to government camps for "reeducation."

Write to your congressmen and/or congresswomen and tell them to stop the insanity. They may well be liberal democrats at this point, and will likely round file it as soon as they get the gist, but eventually, they'll get enough letters that they'll start to get worried about getting elected the next time.

Ugh! I need a stiff drink.

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