Yesterday my American Rifleman magazine arrived, so I sat down, made a coffee, and had a good read. I have yet to meet a single member from any of the gun-control organizations who reads American Rifleman because I have yet to meet a single follower of Gun-control Nation who is also a member of the NRA.

              Now how you can spend time, energy and money trying to reduce the influence of an organization without knowing how that particular organization argues its case is beyond me. But lots of things are beyond me, so let’s just leave it at that.

              In any case, this month’s issue featured a review of a new product from Smith & Wesson, whose factory is right down the road from where I live. The product is a gun called the Shield Plus, which happens to be the pistol pictured above.

              Like most of the company’s products, this gun is designed to be attractive to consumers who believe they want to have a gun at the ready to protect themselves from all those bad guys walking around. And since the number of bad guys has increased substantially since the ‘China flu’ arrived, obviously we should all be carrying a gun.

              Incidentally, for all the talk about how everyone rushed out to buy a gun to protect themselves from the virus, or from the BLM marauders, or the Antifa gang, in fact March purchases of handguns this year dropped by almost 20% from the same month a year ago. No wonder S&W stock has been sitting at $18 a share since last September, down from $22 a share in 2016. The Dow has almost doubled over that same period of time. Oh well, oh well.

              Now back to the Shield Plus. The gun called the ‘plus’ because it has been redesigned to hold more ammunition – the extended magazine holds 13 rounds and with a live one in the chamber you’re walking around with 14 rounds.

              How big is this gun which holds enough ammunition to mow down half the entire roster of the New York Mets?  Try this: 6 inches long from end to end. My droid is almost 6 inches long. How much does the gun weigh? A little over 1 pound.

              I can fit this weapon with this immense amount of military-grade firepower into the front pocket of my pants or the shirt pocket of the jacket I wear when I go out on the golf course and I won’t even know that I have the gun with me.

              There is simply no other consumer product that represents this degree of lethality. And by the way, the whole deal will set you back around $500 bucks. Yesterday I bought a new battery for my car which cost me $250 bucks. What’s $500 bucks? Nothing.

              There is only one reason why S&W is making a gun which is both this deadly and this small. And it’s a reason you will never hear mentioned in all the advertisements for this gun. The reason goes like this.

              What the gun industry is selling these days is not just lethality based on the number of military-grade ammunition you can fire before you have to reload your gun. What they’re really selling is lethality based on – ready? – stealth.

              The problem is that there are lots of places where you can’t take a gun. You can’t usually bring a gun into public spaces like theaters and shopping malls, you can’t bring a gun into most schools. If anything, the recent uptick in mass shootings will only make us more, not less accepting of the idea that we should all be walking around armed.

              But for the gun nuts and wannabe gun nuts who buy into the nonsense that the ‘bad guys’ can be stopped if all the ‘good guys’ have guns, the gun market will continue to be dominated by products as small and concealable as the Shield Plus.

              Now where did I put my car keys?