We can take away from this experience several observations.Jim, typically, cuts straight to the point:
The first is that this attitude of "just let them take those ugly, black guns" is common among hunters and competitive shooters. Anyone with that attitude is a fool. Sit down with a hunter from England or Australia, hear him tell the story of what happened there, and watch the tears well up in his eyes when he says they never thought the government would take away their hunting guns. To gun banners, there is no such thing as a good gun. They want them all. When Tom Diaz, of the Violence Policy Center, was on Gun Talk, I forced him to admit that he would like to ban all guns. What about the police, I asked. Once we get all the other guns, he said, the police won't need their guns, either.
A ban on black guns, or "Saturday Night Specials," or 50-caliber rifles, is a ban on all our guns. There is no such thing as a bad gun or a good gun. We can't throw babies off the back of the sled, thinking it will keep the wolves away from us.
The next thing we learn from this is that the world has just changed. This entire episode took place inside of 36 hours, on a weekend -- a three-day weekend for President's Day. It happened...and this is important...entirely on the internet.
AR-style rifle enthusiasts have forced the entire shooting industry to acknowledge a blinding glimpse of the obvious: there are many, many more "recreational shooters" out there than there are hard-core hunting types.Jim, Tom and I have been talking — mostly to ourselves! — about the impending paradigm shift for the last couple of years...scary to see it happen. As Jim Shepherd told me, it's the difference between reading about an artillery barrage and being caught in one!
For many in our industry, this was a frightening epiphany. They've continued to market their products to the hunting community while blithely ignoring the growth segments of the industry.
They are decidedly not ignoring us anymore.
I urge all of you to take the time to read the text of the new AWB, as introduced by Carolyn McCarthy. This is one heck of a document — it closes every single loophole...every single one! It looks like a Violence Policy Center document to me; I see some signs of their position papers in how carefully the loopholes have been closed. This document is a Democratic Party stalking horse...if you don't believe that, I've got some waterfront property in Arizona I'd like to sell you!
Understand the battlefield...