Ed Driscoll

My Favorite Mistake

Making the rounds today in the Blogosphere is this editorial on “The Disarming of America” by one Dan Simpson, whom the Toledo Blade describes as “a retired diplomat, [and] a member of the editorial boards of The Blade and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette”:

When people talk about doing something about guns in America, it often comes down to this: “How could America disarm even if it wanted to? There are so many guns out there.”

Because I have little or no power to influence the “if” part of the issue, I will stick with the “how.” And before anyone starts to hyperventilate and think I’m a crazed liberal zealot wanting to take his gun from his cold, dead hands, let me share my experience of guns.

As a child I played cowboys and Indians with cap guns. I had a Daisy Red Ryder B-B gun. My father had in his bedside table drawer an old pistol which I examined surreptitiously from time to time. When assigned to the American embassy in Beirut during the war in Lebanon, I sometimes carried a .357 Magnum, which I could fire accurately. I also learned to handle and fire a variety of weapons while I was there, including Uzis and rocket-propelled grenade launchers.

I don’t have any problem with hunting, although blowing away animals with high-powered weapons seems a pointless, no-contest affair to me. I suppose I would enjoy the fellowship of the experience with other friends who are hunters.

Now, how would one disarm the American population? First of all, federal or state laws would need to make it a crime punishable by a $1,000 fine and one year in prison per weapon to possess a firearm. The population would then be given three months to turn in their guns, without penalty.

Hunters would be able to deposit their hunting weapons in a centrally located arsenal, heavily guarded, from which they would be able to withdraw them each hunting season upon presentation of a valid hunting license. The weapons would be required to be redeposited at the end of the season on pain of arrest. When hunters submit a request for their weapons, federal, state, and local checks would be made to establish that they had not been convicted of a violent crime since the last time they withdrew their weapons. In the process, arsenal staff would take at least a quick look at each hunter to try to affirm that he was not obviously unhinged.

Time to pull out the Sheryl Crow Defense once the emails start arriving at the Blade–which should probably be renamed something far less aggressive sounding, after all.

Update: Since I linked to Ace of Spades’ Sheryl Crow post, it’s only to fair to also include a link to his thoughts on Simpson’s gun-grab op-ed.

More: “But don’t call Simpson a