Gun shop owner misses several points
Reading Eric Blaisdell’s article of Jan. 2 (“Local shops say gun sales are up”) reminded me of the old days, when I was a reporter and would occasionally have to quote sources who were spewing utter nonsense, as if the opinions they were expressing had any place in a rational public conversation.
Through Blaisdell’s quotes, readers were subjected to the rants of a gun shop owner in Waterbury, who said, among other things, that “assault weapon” is a “left-wing media term” for semi-automatic weapons that merely “look different” from hunting rifles. In this case, “looking different” refers to accoutrements that enable the shooter to decimate his target (a tree, a deer silhouette, a helpless student) with bullets in a matter of seconds — to hell with marksmanship — which is not the way respectable hunters go about their business.
All the 26 Newtown, Conn., victims were shot multiple times — some of those little bodies had 11 bullets in them — in a matter of a few minutes. Yet the Waterbury merchant is contemptuous that “the federal government” (which hasn’t done anything yet) wants to bar some weapons just because “they look different.”
He also accused “the media” of turning the Connecticut shooter into a “hero.” In fact, all the coverage I saw or read portrayed the shooter as thoroughly deranged, a child killer, the farthest thing from a hero. The implication is that the media should have just shut up and not reported this disastrous event because it caused gun enthusiasts a little discomfort. That reminds me of the adage about the heat and the kitchen.
On one issue, I actually agree with the gun store owner. I, too, question why the school attack in China, on the same day, with almost the same number of victims (22), was virtually unreported in this country. In that attack, the deranged assailant wielded a knife instead of a Bushmaster. Consequently, horrible as the incident was, no one died.
Now why do you think that was?
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