I recommend the story in The New York Times today about the gun industry's aggressive marketing of firearms (including assault weapons) to children, in the hope that the industry's customer base won't continue to shrink. The story is infuriating. However, there is one moment of absurdity. Times reporter Mike McIntire speaks to Andy Fink, editor of a magazine called Junior Shooters:
In an interview, Mr. Fink elaborated. Semiautomatic firearms are actually not weapons, he said, unless someone chooses to hurt another person with them, and their image has been unfairly tainted by the news media. There is no legitimate reason children should not learn to safely use an AR-15 for recreation, he said.Wow -- if a firearm isn't being aimed at a person, it's not a weapon. How post-modern!
"They're a tool, not any different than a car or a baseball bat," Mr. Fink said. "It's no different than a junior shooting a .22 or a shotgun. The difference is in the perception of the viewer."
Maybe this notion will work its way into our legal system.
You're a local pol and you get caught receiving a cash bribe? Tell the authorities that since you haven't actually spent the money on a Porsche yet, it's not really a bribe! It's just a bunch of paper!
The DEA swoops down on your boat and finds a kilo of cocaine? Hey, it's not an illegal drug -- it's not actually being snorted! It's a large quantity of a benign powdered chemical!
You build a car bomb and drive it to Times Square, but you're stopped before you can set it off? Hey, as long as you haven't actually detonated it, it's ... um, a science project! Yeah, that's the ticket!