For you folks out there who are concerned about gun violence but don’t know all that much about guns, I recommend you spend some time going through the website of Ballistic Magazine, which to my mind is the best and most illustrative resource for understanding everything you need to know about guns and the people who buy and own guns.

              Note I didn’t refer to the population which ‘has’ guns, because when it comes to the population which has guns but didn’t go through a background check to get their hands on a gun, we don’t know anything about them at all.

              And guess which group makes no distinction between the two gun-owning populations – it’s the group which happens to manufacture the guns. In fact, what gun makers know about their industry is that whenever a law is about to be passed which will increase gun regulations, gun sales go up. Then after the law is passed, gun sales decline.

              Guns aren’t like cars. You need a car or you can’t live a normal life. And although the gun industry has been trying like all get out to convince Americans that guns should be nothing more than a normal ‘tool,’ like a hammer or a screwdriver, with an ever-increasing number of Americans, this bullshit just doesn’t fly.

              I love how all these so-called gun ‘trainers’ refer to guns as ‘tools.’ Yesterday I took a walk in a Home Depot store, and I saw hundreds, if not thousands of different types of tools for sale. I didn’t see one, single gun.

              My point is that the entire gun industry and all the talk about it on both sides of the gun debate reflects the degree to which owning and using guns is based entirely on fantasy which can be best understood by perusing the online or printed version of Ballistic Magazine.

              I bought and read my first gun magazine in 1960 or 1961. It was a copy of Shooting Times, which I read from cover to cover because I was just ‘getting into’ guns. The articles were mostly about shotguns and rifles – hunting guns – because that’s the kinds of guns which people bought and owned back then.

In those days, the only people walking around with a handgun were cops and bad guys, and I also knew that I would be taught how to shoot a gun when I went into the ‘service.’ I received my draft notice in 1968. Today, if you use the word ‘service’ in a conversation, most people think you’re talking about how long you have to wait for a four-dollar cup of coffee at Starbucks.

              Now back to Ballistic Magazine.

              The picture above shows a new 9mm pistol which is featured on the cover of this month’s mag. The product is manufactured by two companies which have been selling gun accessories for the past 20 years, most of these products designed for the ‘tactical’ market, whatever that means.

              When I was a kid, nobody owned or bought ‘tactical’ guns. The military bought ‘tactical’ guns. And for that matter, the only people who walked around wearing camo were kids like me who would go into the local Army-Navy store to buy a cheap pair of pants.

              Camo clothing has become high fashion, army-navy stores are long gone, and the gun industry now keeps its bottom line above water by pretending there’s a real need to buy and carry a ‘self-defense’ gun.

              Exactly what are we all defending ourselves against? Nobody really knows. Maybe we need to protect ourselves against all those Chinese balloons floating around. Or maybe there really is a 2nd-generation Martian community living at Area 51.

              And of course, let’s not forget the fifty thousand MAGA troops that Shithead Trump deployed to make sure that every single 2020 polling place was guarded against votes being stolen by the you-know-who’s.

              If you happen to reside in what we politely refer to as an ‘underserved,’ inner-city minority neighborhood, you are located in the kind of living space where just about all gun violence actually occurs. And the idea that we can reduce this violence by painting the empty lots green, just demonstrates how arrogantly stupid the so-called public health approach to gun violence has become.

              I wonder if any of the so-called gun-violence researchers who hold academic positions at our most prestigious universities have ever even gone into a public housing apartment. If they did, they would find (as I found when I was dating a woman who lived in the Washington Towers in New York City) that the closets don’t have doors. 

              “it’s an economy move,” as was explained to me by someone who worked for the New York City Public Housing Authority and didn’t seem to understand that such inhuman ‘economies’ are exactly why the residents of those vertical box cars can’t seem to align themselves with what we think are the best ways to make life more livable and less violent in ‘underserved’ urban zones.

              And by the way, public housing projects were the brainchild of liberal academics known as ‘urban planners.’ But it’s not as if the alt-right advocacy artists and gun-industry apologists ever promote an idea which has any more realistic grounding in what should be done to eliminate gun violence. Let every law-abiding American walk around with a gun? Yea, that works.

              I can’t think of another public debate in which both sides are as far removed from reality as what passes for an informed discussion about guns.