L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 72, May 15, 2000
Armed Informed Mothers' Day
If Guns Were Treated Like Cars
by Ron Miller
Special to TLE
1. You could get a simple license from the State for a nominal fee and only have to take a test that any idiot could pass. You'd only have to renew it every 10 years for 40 years and maybe retake the test if you move out of state.
2. You could kill and injure people with your gun while drunk and still have your lawyer get your gun back because you need it for work.
3. You'd have half the tax burden of the county and State dedicated to improving the shooting ranges and facilities. The public agrees this is never good enough to suit them and with all the gunowners from California moving in, the range capacity will never catch up. Lines at the range are always shown on TV with the newsies deploring the crowding.
4. You could carry in any State at any time because carry and possession of your gun is honored nationwide and is considered a basic American civil right.
5. You would see commercials on TV pushing the newest, latest guns which you could lease for just $25 per month subject to the fine print.
6. You could finance a fancier gun than you can really afford by taking a 5 year loan with approved credit.
7. You would have a gun safe built into every house. In the upscale houses you would have 3 gun safes. Inexpensive houses and mobile homes would just have a gunrack by the door.
8. You'd have gun storage lockers at the shopping mall in which to store your rifle while shopping. This in order to free your arms for packages. The convenience of the shopper is paramount.
9. You could buy ammunition at the 7-11. Full-service station means they'll reload your magazines for you.
10. The news would stop reporting gun accidents unless more than 10 children were killed at one time. Onesy-twosey would only be notable in small towns or if Princess Di's bodyguard shot her while aiming at paparazzi.
11. If the price of ammunition rose 20% the Federal Government would release war reserves of ammo to bring the price back down to the consumer's comfort level. Ammo would carry a 50% tax to finance public shooting ranges. Teapot Dome scandal would have been about a lead mine.
12. We'd teach gunsmithing in vocational-education programs.
13. Every 16 year old would be looking forward to the day when he could take the family revolver to school. The rich kids would get a high-capacity semi-auto pistol on their 16th birthday and endanger everyone when they learn to use it in public.
14. High schools would have large gun lockers to store student's arms while they attend classes. Administrators would try to charge for the service to discourage teen-age gun carrying to school.
15. Schools would have shooter's education classes to make sure the kids could pass the test. They would show gory films of gunshot wounds. The squeamish would throw up.
16. Old people who can hardly see would still be permitted to shoot in public because to disarm them would be to damage their self-esteem. Familes would wring their hands over holes in the walls and ceiling. Occasionally an oldster would fire into a schoolyard when they mistake the trigger for the safety. Legislators would refrain from criticizing because of the AARP's influence.
17. Congress would be debating alternative weapons systems for people who can't afford their own guns.
18. There would be such a thing as "public weapons" for the masses.
19. Congress would be subsidizing weapons for people too limited in means to afford their own.
20. Congress would be willing to float a loan to Colt's in order to ensure the survival of an American company against unfair foreign competition. (Think "Chrysler")
21. We, except for Ralph Nader, would dismiss 40,000 deaths and 500,000 injuries per year as "the price of freedom."
22. You would have MADS. Mothers Against Drunk Shooters (instead of HCI). MADS would conduct a campaign of public education instead of trying to use the force of government to prohibit irresponsible drinking and shooting.
23. You could rent a gun at any airport if you are over 25 and have a credit card.
24. You would have the fringe-greenies advocating bows and arrows because they think gunsmoke is damaging the environment. Al Gore would write a book about the damaging effects of gunsmoke. Al Gore would also claim to have been a handloader before his sister died in a powder fire.
25. You'd have huge outcry in the Press and Congress over our dependence on cheap, imported, foreign ammunition.
26. Ted Kennedy would have shot Mary Jo Kopekne instead. Ted would be a few thousand dollars richer (bullet:$0.25 vs car:$3000). Ted would stop carrying his own gun and instead, hire bodyguards to carry fully-automatic weapons under their coats for him.
27. You'd have businesses like "Jiffy Gun-Clean" to make life convenient. But you'd always worry that they might not have gotten the magazine fully seated afterwards.
28. You'd have "Classic Gun Events" with parades on public roads as everyone with such a classic carries it for all the public to see.
29. You'd have huge eyesores where piles of guns are left to rust in the open at "Gun Junk Yards". They would charge you outrageous prices to go out back and pick off a hammer or sear which is probably also worn out like the one you want to replace.
30. There would be a booming business and debate about substituting non-OEM parts in the gun repair business.
31. You'd have TV news crews going under cover with hidden cameras to ferret out "unscrupulous gun smiths." This story would be "old reliable" and works every year.
32. The Japanese would be trying, and succeeding at taking over the market for efficient, reliable high-quality guns.
The Koreans would be trying to sneak in at the low end of the market. The Germans would be selling premium brands based on better workmanship, longer life, and brand cachet. But their guns would require you to take it to a gunsmith every 3 months for a complete tear-down and dimensional inspection at outrageous labor rates. The Italians would paint their guns flaming red and they would have a reputation for being finicky. The State Department would be applying pressure to get Japan to allow more US-built guns into their country. The Japanese would resist the US by saying that Japanese shooters have extra-special safety requirements that only Japanese manufacturers can meet.
33. You'd have an entire section of the Saturday Coloradoan devoted to ads for new and used guns.
34. You'd have a pair of fun-loving gunsmiths on Public Radio doing a show on gun problems. They'd be named "Tap & Rack"
35. There would have been a terrible TV show back in the black & white days named "My Mother - The Gun" It starred Jerry Van Dyke and ran just one season.
36. Dean Jones would have made a series of stupid movies starring Herbie the Love-Gun. Herbie was an adorable anthropomorphized cheap German Saturday Night Special. Dean Jones would never show his face in public again after these movies.
37. Competition would be carried on TV all day on Saturdays. The Daytona 500 would be round-count instead of miles. There would be speed contests, endurance contests, and off-range marksmanship events. NASGUN would create big heroes in the South and extravagant marketing opportunities.
38. High-schools would paint up a gun in the colors of the opposition and charge $.25 for you to swing a sledge hammer at that gun during pep rallys.
39. John Elway would own half the gunstores in the Denver Metro area.
40. Wellington Webb's wife would be carrying the finest English Double shotgun money can buy while Wellington has body guards to carry his semi-auto pistols for him.
41. Back in the 1970's during the ammo crisis, Congress would have set a maximum cyclic rate for autos and semi autos in order to conserve ammo.
42. After Iraq was pushed out of Kuwait, the national cyclic rate was raised to something all semi-autos can be comfortable with.
43. The Coloradoan would be publishing the locations of range repair work every week to be sure no one would be inconvenienced.
44. The Beachboys would have released some songs about guns:
45. Letters to editors would be written decrying that all those Soccer Moms are lugging .50 cal machine guns around town, wasting ammo and getting in everybody's way.
46. Letters to editors would be written responding that putting one's beginning driver son or daughter behind a .50 cal would mean that the writer's offspring would survive any conflict with lesser armed individuals.
47. Al Gore would claim he invented the .50 cal cartridge and say he was sorry.
48. Cities would be experimenting with electric guns but would be surprised to find that people would step in front of them at the range because they were too quiet so no one knew the electric gun was there.
49. President Clinton would demand that electric gun manufacturers put a cowbell on each one to prevent senseless accidents.
50. The National Rifle Association would be reduced to selling travel insurance for your guns because the rest of society will have seen to it that there would be no chance that firearms would ever be banned.
Ron Miller <email@example.com>