Tell Santa to bring more assault rifles
America tools up for the inauguration
It's guns and ammo for the holiday season if you read the news following Black Friday, the time annually reserved for the great annual shopping spasm in the US. "Panic at Gunfire in Toy Store," blared the November 29th frontpage headline in the Los Angeles Times, reporting a uniquely American muzzle flash.
"Instead of the usual frantic chaos on Black Friday... mayhem erupted in the electronics department... leaving two men dead in a gunfight and crowds of shoppers ducking for cover," read the Times. There was a rude exchange between two couples, one young man showed the other his gun and vice versa. Escalation took over, then mutual assured destruction, something that often comes naturally in these types of exchange in southern California. Customers hid between the aisles.
Left to read from between the newspaper's lines - it was probably a gang thing, young men doing each other because that's the way it is here, underlining one tenet of southern California living: It's unwise to fuss with strangers wearing loose clothing. Even in a toy store the day after Thanksgiving.
However, that's only one side of the firearms on shopping days coin. The other side is rural, connected to the first only by fear. (Full disclosure: This writer does not own a gun but grew up in a town where all the neighbors had collections. Hunting and pigeon shooting were religion.)
Guns and ammo sales are up since the election of Barack Obama. And they've stayed bullish, fueled by everything from conspiracy talk at gun shows to a sales tax-free gun shopping weekend in South Carolina.
Taking a bird's eye view of it, as shaken out from a selection of headlines from counties across the nation, the drivers of the surge seem remarkably consistent.
Of South Carolina's "Second Amendment Weekend," the Columbia State newspaper reported one sporting goods store owner who "called in extra staff and started giving away hot dogs and sodas because people were waiting so long in line." Some of the demand was attributed to the different "regime" coming to power, some to the seven percent price discounts.
A common thread was it's a response to the Democrats, or rather, fear of them. Gun sales traditionally spike a bit when they come to Washington - it also happened when Bill Clinton ascended to power. Although Barack Obama has said he wants common sense regulation and respect of the second amendment, this really makes no difference.
The Snohomish Times in Washington distilled the essence of it in a few paragraphs for a piece entitled "A Gun Under the Tree, Becoming a Trend."
"One of the hottest retail gifts for this year may be a new gun," it wrote recently. "Snohomish, Washington, like many small towns in America felt that many of their voices went unheard on November 4th and now they are worried about eroding constitutional rights.
"The national buying trend on guns is showing a rush on military style weapons and handguns." And assault rifles are thought to be in danger.
The Fresno Bee, in California, showed a more diverse mix of beliefs. Ammunition was going to be taxed, as a way to make gunning a hobby only for the wealthy. One gun dealer who was interviewed believed the new administration will try to outlaw gun sales within five miles of parks and schools. This would, it was alleged, ban almost all gun sales in the US.
But there was still another fear, a pop-eyed and spittle-flecked one, present in many of the stories. It takes its cues from weird retrograde and red state America, from parts where ill rumors abound and the thinking is that in bad times the country may suddenly disintegrate with others inevitably coming to take stuff from the locals.
"If our Capitol should fall to the enemy within, I expect you to do your duty," wrote Kurt Saxon on the backleaf of "The Poor Man's James Bond" - a gazette-like collection of bits on guns, ammo and how to make boobytraps, published in the mid-80s. And the enemy was to be met with speed, vigor and a good home arsenal.
re: History Lesson
> Wars of conquest started by the Americans:
> War of 1812: failed attempt to steal Canada from the Brits
Was a legitimate part of the war, started by the U.K.'s actions, including but not limited to the seizure of US vessels while conducting their lawful traffic on the high seas and the impression of their crews into Royal Naval service. At the time, of course, Canada was a part of the British Empire.
> Mexican-American War: successful attempt to steal Texas, California etc from the Mexicans
Following decades of border skirmishes. And Texas revolted from Mexico independently. It was (one of only 3 states to be) its own republic prior to entry into the United States. (Vermont and California are the other two, btw, and Hawaii was, of course, a Kingdom)
> War of Northern Aggression: successful attempt to conquer the Confederate States of America
There was no such thing as the Confederate States of America, at least not as a separate nation to be conquered. The CSA was a group of breakaway provinces, whose status is actually rather similar to what the entire US's would have been had the Continental Army failed in 1776-1789
> Spanish-American War: successful attempt to steal Cuba, the Phillipines etc from Spain
War declared by the Spaniards. Neither territory was taken as colonial province, but were transitioned rather rapidly to independence. What, precisely, is the record of the British Empire on this point?
> Second Gulf War: successful attempt to steal Iraq from, er, the Iraqis
Second phase of U.N.-authorized use of force following Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and repeated violations of cease-fire. Should have started ten years earlier.
> Not to mention all the little "interventions" like Grenada, various bits of Central America, SE Asia etc.
Again, ironic in the extreme to hear Brits condemning the US for that. Think we learned too well from you? Is there any continent besides Antarctica in which the British Empire did not maintain colonial presence well into the 20th century? Of course, the US has always attempted to maintain, or rapidly restore, local control and governance.
> Do we see a pattern here?
I do. Revisionist history to make a charge which is without significant basis in fact and can be made, typically with more justification, against any large power in world history.
Ahh, you Brits just love to poke fun at the Americans...
And, it's not like the Americans even care about what you think of them.
You seem the forget that several centuries ago your nation was one of the most aggressive on the planet: First you sent your missionaries, with their nonsense religion, to subdue the populations, And, if that didn't work, you then sent trade commissioners, with one-sided deals in hand, to "negotiate". And, when the monarchy got greedier, as it always did, then you sent the agent provocateurs and, inevitably, the warships, canons, guns and soldiers.
It's the American's turn now. So, let them have their fun. And, if they kill each other off in the process, so be it. ;)
did someone sneeze when they were naming the town?