Our friend John Feinblatt has just published an editorial on CNN’s website stating that Trump’s decision to exempt gun shops from the advisory list of businesses that should be shut down during the COVID-19 crisis is “both shameful and nonsensical.” I happen to agree. Feinblatt, who heads the Everytown organization (that’s the premier gun-grabbing group in the entire world, in case you didn’t know) goes on to list the threats from guns in the current situation, noting in particular that domestic violence and gun accidents involving children will probably increase since everyone is now stuck at home.

I suspect that if the virus continues to mount, that Feinblatt’s concerns may well be borne out. This is particularly the case as the virus spreads from big cities into rural zones because when you get out into the small towns, everyone has a gun. And usually more than one.

What I find most concerning about Schmuck-o’s decision to exempt gun shops from the advisory list is the fact that the official Department of Homeland Security’s announcement defines people who work in gun shops as ‘critical infrastructure workers,’ right up there with workers who respond to emergencies like natural disasters, accidents, and anything having to do with the firemen or the cops. Indeed, the exemption for guns covers the entire gun industry supply chain from manufacturers, retailers, importers, distributors – even shootings ranges need to remain open during this critical time.

I must admit, by the way, that I am somewhat more sanguine than Feinblatt about all these so-called ‘first time’ gun wannabees rushing into gun stores. I recall a similar, somewhat briefer surge in my gun shop after 9-11; I also recall that when it was clear that Bin Laden was not going to be leading an invading army down the streets of Philadelphia (none other than Newt Gingrich claimed that such a plan was in the works) that many of the guns that people scoffed up to defend themselves against further attacks were returned, most of them never having been removed from the original factory case.

I also have to raise a slight demur with our friend John Feinblatt who reminds us that by granting a commercial privilege to the gun industry, the Schmuck-o Administration is elevating the 2nd Amendment into a “super right above all other rights.” Oh, don’t worry. Mike the Gun Guy™ isn’t about to all of a sudden voice a new-found devotion for gun ‘rights.’

To the contrary, there’s no such thing as a free-standing, gun ‘right.’ The 2nd Amendment isn’t a ‘right’ of any kind. It’s an addition to a legal document that was written in Philadelphia and then ratified by nine states and became legal on June 21st, 1788. The so-called gun ‘rights’ embodied in that document were defined by two federal laws, the National Firearms Act of 1934 and the Gun Control Act of 1968. These laws define the kinds of guns that Americans can own (NFA34) and the kinds of people who can own guns (GCA68). I don’t see anything either law which defines anyone connected to the gun industry as being workers in some kind of ‘critical infrastructure’ at all.

Which is why, when all is said and done, the pronouncement which lists gun-shop sales clerks as being on a par with hospital workers, cops, firemen and other first responders is a load of pure, unadulterated crap. Does it give the gun industry a brief boost in revenues after three and a half years of near-total collapse? Sure. On March 11th, Smith & Wesson stock hit its lowest point in the last five years – a couple of pennies over 6 bucks a share. Now it’s rebounded way up to 7 bucks and change. Big, friggin’ deal.

Kudos to John Feinblatt for making an argument about guns based both on reliable data and good, common sense, even though all Schmuck-o is really doing is rewarding the gun industry for what he hopes will be another 30 million in donations for his 2020 campaign