“The United States is a nation of laws—poorly written and randomly enforced.”—Frank Zappa

One of the reasons that gun owners dislike gun laws so much is because their enforcement is capricious and arbitrary. To put it another way, if you do something stupid with a gun and you are wealthy and/or famous/and or powerful, not much bad will happen to you. If you are not wealthy, etc., and get on the wrong side of the law, the hammer is going to come down hard.

This came bubbling to the surface on March 26th when Philip Thompson, an aide to Senator Jim Webb (D-VA), set off the metal detectors in the Sam Rayburn building in Washington and was found to have a 9mm pistol and two magazines in his bag. Now this is a serious breach of Washington’s stern handgun laws (they are why there is no crime in Washington, D.C.) but I am willing to bet that Mr. Thompson never pays a fine and never sees the inside of the slam.

The stated reason (if one is ever given) will be that there was no criminal intent. The actual reason is that Mr. Thompson has a U.S. Senator to run interference for him. A couple of phone calls will be made, and that will be the end of it.  And, by the way, I’m a big fan of Jim Webb and am very glad to see him in the Senate.

Let us proceed to case number two. Mark Wahlberg is a talented young actor who, in 1988, was sentenced to 2 years in prison (of which he actually served 45 days) stemming from an assault. Mr. Wahlberg’s most recent movie is “Shooter” (which I hope to review soon) and as preparation, he attended a shooting academy where he used real guns.

The problem is that if he was convicted of a felony, there is no way he can touch a real gun without going back to the joint. I can’t tell whether he was a felon or not, because no two internet sources carry the same information, but two years certainly sounds like felony time. And did the sheriff’s deputies appear on the set and clap the cuffs on him? Not effing likely. If they had, he would have been sprung with groveling, abject apologies within five minutes. After someone made a phone call.