June 08, 2012
NY Gun Control: The Mad Hatter Would Understand
By David E. Petzal
One of the most frequent bleats I hear from people who don’t like guns and the people who own them is: “How can you object to any kind of reasonable controls? Why do you fight every law tooth and nail even if it makes sense?”
Because when you talk about most controls placed on anything by government at any level, “sense” and “reasonable” die agonizing deaths somewhere between the proposal of a law and its actual enforcement. It seemed reasonable after 9/11 to have a more or less efficient group of people keeping terrorists off airplanes. What we got instead was the TSA yanking adult diapers off granny ladies and copping feels from 6-year-olds.
This brings us to the Oligarchy of Bloomberg, where a resident of said city was recently informed by the License Division, Rifle & Shotgun Section, that a review of his files showed he might be in possession of an assault weapon, which is banned in the O. of B. An assault weapon here is defined as “…any semiautomatic centerfire or rimfire rifle, or shotgun that incorporates a folding or telescoping stock, or no stock, a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action, a bayonet mount, a flash suppressor or barrel threaded to accept same, a grenade launcher, or modifications of such features.”
And what was the alleged assault weapon? It was an M-1 Garand, an 8-shot, 10-pound relic of a war that took place nearly 70 years ago, and which has never, as far as I know, been used in the commission of any crime, anywhere.
What transformed this near-antique into an “assault weapon”? Its bayonet lug. There’s no telling when someone might fix a bayonet and roam the streets of Manhattan, dealing long and short thrusts to innocent bystanders.
So, in order to keep his rifle, the owner of the M-1 took it to a gunsmith who milled off the bayonet lug and then sent a letter, along with a copy of his FFL, to the License Division, Rifle & Shotgun Section, stating that the work had been done. Amputating the bayonet lug has, of course, destroyed any value the rifle had as a collector’s piece, and the owner will not, of course, be compensated.
And if you listened very carefully, you could hear “reasonable” and “sense” shrieking as they thrashed in their death struggles.