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Saturday Morning

There are 87,482 new articles on the Internet today about what to do about the utter availability of guns in this country. The smartest one I've come across is this one by Joshua Holland.

The article might give hope to some that there's a way to pass sane Gun Control legislation that would even be backed by a majority of firearms owners. I don't think so. When you come across a stat like one Mr. Holland cites about how Americans favor banning 100-round magazines by a margin of 63-34, you might think such a law is possible. I don't for two reasons. One is that the 34 are louder and more adamant than the 63 and our elected leaders are just plain more afraid of the smaller group. Before most representatives would support such a law, they'd have to see some recurring evidence that you can get turned out of office for not supporting something like this. The 34% are fierce enough on Gun Control issues that they will expend the funds and energy to defeat their political foes. The 63% are not.

And I also suspect it's not really as lopsided as that; that some in the 63% are in favor of the other guy not being able to buy such ammo and that they assume they'll find some way to get theirs and outgun him. I also think that the 63-34 margin exists in a world where the 63 assumes it's never really going to happen and that if it ever came down to an actual vote, a lot of them would be persuaded by the argument that, you know, this is just opening the door for all those people in the government you don't trust to confiscate and ban all your ammunition.

I would love to be proven wrong about this but on the topic of Gun Control, I think anything short of total pessimism is overly optimistic. Still, read Holland's article. The only thing I could imagine that might turn all that sanity into passable legislation is if someone prominent — as famous and charismatic a gun owner as Charlton Heston — emerged as a spokesperson for responsible gun owners. There are plenty of wise, sane pistol-packers out there but they have no rallying point, no leader, no spokesmale. That's what it would take and even that would only cut my cynicism about this by about a third.