I have an article in the can about Laurent Koscielny. I will publish it later today or tomorrow. But I feel like I need to write about something that has been bothering me for quite a while now: guns in America.
Now, I know that a lot of people’s buttholes just puckered at the mention of guns. But we need to have real conversations about this and other problems if our nation is going to progress.
I also know that people are going to get upset and claim that I’m exploiting a national tragedy. A madman with an automatic rifle just killed 58 people in Las Vegas. But we can and should have these conversations all the time and I find that people who get upset whenever someone writes an article after a national tragedy are simply trying to censor their opposition. Typically, these people aren’t grieving. They just don’t want anyone to talk about gun control. Ever.
I am a gun owner. I was raised around guns. I got my first gun when I was 14. I own semi-automatic rifles and handguns. I have a concealed carry permit. I am a member of a local gun range.
I have witnessed gun violence. I saw my father shoot my dog in the face on accident. He was drunk, we were throwing cans in the air and shooting them. He kept missing. When he missed a can and it fell to the ground, he shot at the can, my dog jumped in front of the gun, he shot her.
There was blood everywhere. I cradled her in my arms in the back of the pickup truck as we rushed to the nearest vet. She survived. I don’t know how.
When we lived in Hawaii a man killed his girlfriend and then went on a rampage. The cops chased him to my neighborhood and a shootout ensued. My father grabbed his 44 magnum and when the man came to our door my father pointed the gun at him and told him to get away from the door. The man went next door and took those people hostage all day until he finally ran out of meth to smoke and gave himself up.
I remember running out of the house and seeing cops with guns out, their windows shattered, bullet holes in the side of their car. It was a war scene.
And when I was 13 one of my friends briefly dated a girl. She became obsessed with him after he broke up with her. She got a 22 from her father’s gun cabinet. She took that gun to school. And after a basketball game, she pointed that gun at him and shot him and his best friend. She later shot herself.
I know guns.
America needs gun control. And before you think that we have any real gun laws in this country what I want to do with this article is pull back the curtain a bit and show you what guns in America really means.
First off, what is a gun? You probably don’t know this but Sig Sauer makes a “gun” which is literally just a trigger assembly. You can drop that trigger assembly into a number of different frames and slides. This is the Sig P320. When you buy that gun, you need to have a background check and in my state, you have to wait five days.
But even further removed from that oddity is this new thing that is happening with guns: 80% finished lowers. This is an AR15 part that you can buy without a license or a background check. You buy it for $80, you watch a YouTube video, and you drill a few holes and before you know it, you have a fully operational, completely legal, unlicensed, gun. It takes a lot more to put those together than just $80. You have to buy an upper and a trigger assembly, but you don’t have to pass a background check.
They have 80% lowers for Glocks as well and these are significantly easier to put together than the AR15. You can go to a single web site and for about $500 have a completely unlicensed, home-made, no serial number, Glock.
And what about other types of guns that you probably think are illegal? How about a silencer? To own a silencer, you fill out a form, get some fingerprints, send the ATF $200, and you get a license to buy a silencer.
Or how about a short barrel rifle? For example, Sig makes a short barrel AR15 and a short barrel 9mm. If you want to be completely legal about it, you do the same process as you do for the silencer. Or.. you can skip all that and buy the “pistol” version which has what they charmingly call an “arm strap” which is actually just a rifle stock. It is illegal to shoulder such a weapon (put it up to your shoulder) and I’m sure that no one has ever done that.
Fully automatic weapons are also legal in these here United States of America. They are mighty expensive, however because to get one of them you have to buy something that was manufactured before 1986. They can sell for $15-20k and then you do the same $200 stamp thing through the feds as you do with a silencer or a short barrel rifle.
Or you could just watch some youtube videos and turn your glock into a fully automatic weapon. Of course, that’s illegal, unless you have a license to do that. Which you can also obtain from the ATF.
You could also just legally convert your AR15 into a “sort of automatic” weapon with a simple, drop-in trigger. The trigger operates on a “positive reset” method to achieve rapid fire which completely mimics automatic fire. That trigger costs $250 and doesn’t require any paperwork from the ATF.
Maybe you’ve been paying attention… you can legally build an automatic weapon in the United States of America, completely unregistered, no serial number, untraceable, no background check, no special paperwork. It doesn’t take special skills or even expensive equipment: you can drill out the lower receiver of an AR15 with a hand drill and jigs are readily available to help you do just that. Then you buy all the other parts online, there are even kits that you can buy for around $800 that are literally just like assembling a Lego set. Then you get your “positive reset” trigger for $250 and you got yourself the exact kind of rifle that Steven Paddock used to rain down death on 58 people in Las Vegas.
The biggest problem with all of this is that it is self-perpetuating. I own guns because there are so many guns in this country that I have to own a gun. I have to train my 9 year old daughter how to use a gun because I know for a fact that at some point in her life, she would have encountered a gun whether I wanted her to or not. America is awash in guns. If more guns made us safer, we should be the safest country on the planet and yet each year it seems like we have larger and larger mass shootings. More guns don’t make us safer. More guns just enrich the gun manufacturers. They want an arms race in this country, because it makes them rich. And that’s exactly what we have. Do I need to get an automatic weapon now? Is that really how we want to live? Under the threat of murdering each other constantly?
Today President Trump said that there are no easy answers. Bullshit. The easy answer is that these companies which manufacture triggers which turn a semi-automatic weapon into an automatic weapon should be put out of business. The easy answer is that 80% lowers should be illegal. The easy answer is that guns should be highly regulated, expensive, and require a license to own. The easy answer is that semi-automatic weapons could be outlawed.
There are easy answers and as a gun owner the easy answer is that I want gun control laws.