A group called States United to Prevent Gun Violence wants to make a point. To do so, they set up a fake gun store and invited in the public. When buyers wandered up to the counter, they were presented with their choice of firearms. The catch? Each of the firearms could be related back to a crime of some significance. Then, apparently, the customer would feel ashamed of his decision to buy a gun that had been used in such a horrible manner.
How’s about an example…
A first-time gun buyer comes to the counter asking for a gun that would be easy to use. She’s looking for something she isn’t going to have to spend a year trying to figure out. Harmless enough query, right? Well, the clerk tells her that a .22 revolver is the perfect gun for her. The “easiest gun we have to use,” he insists. But wait for it:
“It’s also a gun that a 5-year-old found in his parents’ bedroom, went down and shot his 9-month-old baby brother with it.”
Other guns included an AR15 that the clerk was only too happy to explain was used in the Sandy Hook murders and a 9mm like the one a two-year-old used to kill his mother in Wal-Mart. One can only imagine that these prospective gun buyers went home to rethink their wrongheaded decisions in life.
What would happen if we did this with some other commonly-sold products?
Oh, you’re buying dishwasher detergent? Did you know that pod was once eaten by a toddler, poisoning him before he ever had a chance to start kindergarten?
How about that Buick? Did you know a woman once drove this exact model into a crowd of innocent people, killing four and injuring dozens of others?
A pressure cooker? Well, let me tell you what a couple of kids from Boston once did with one of these!
What difference does it make? Buying the same type of gun used in a horrible crime does not make you a horrible person. It doesn’t encourage more crime. It doesn’t support the person who committed the crime. It’s clear the group is trying to make a point, but it’s just hard to figure out what that point actually is.
Are the guns themselves evil? Maybe that’s it. Maybe certain types of guns are possessed by a malevolent spirit, making them prone to murder. If that’s the case, these pranksters are doing the world a great service by letting us know. At least provide us with a vial of holy water with every purchase. I don’t want to find myself inexorably drawn to the nearest elementary school when I hold my AR-15. No! Bad gun! Bad!
Instead, this little prank merely proves a very simple point that gun-control fanatics seem unwilling to confront. Good people can own the same guns as bad people. And guess what? The good people don’t shoot up a kindergarten class! If the clerk wanted to be more accurate with his presentation of the AR-15, he could have said, “Well, here’s a gun that was once used to do something terrible. It is also used every day by lawful gun owners to shoot at targets, hunt, and collect dust in their closets. If you point it at someone and pull the trigger, it may kill them, so probably don’t do that. You know, unless you have to.”
Or unless the evil spirit living inside the gun compels you to.