I’ve decided to make this a category of its own, since I’ve done several posts on the topic before; one very recently. Every time there is a breakdown in civil order or a heinous crime is committed a few people wake up to the fact that they are responsible for their own protection. Some of them decide that purchasing a firearm is a good idea, and often only then do they learn the state of gun laws in their particular jurisdiction.
Earlier this week a pair of…
Words escape me. “Goblins” is too trite. “Inhuman excrement” is the closest I can come. A pair of soulless inhuman turds broke into the home of a family in Connecticut, raped and murdered the mother, raped both the 17 and 11 year-old daughters repeatedly, beat the father brutally with a baseball bat, and set the girl’s bedrooms on fire with them tied to their beds to cover their escape. The mother was strangled. The daughters died of smoke inhalation. The father was rescued by responding officers before he, too, could succumb. Thankfully, the vicious bastards did not succeed in escaping. Unsurprisingly, these slime had long rap sheets and were both out on parole, having served only part of longer sentences.
The reaction of the community is unsurprising. Shock, fear, and the sudden realization that yes, it can happen here – and that the police generally come in to take a report after the fact. They don’t prevent things like this from happening.
I don’t know how I missed the story before today, but on the evening news I was somewhat surprised to see that at least two networks saw fit to mention that gun sales in the area had spiked. A little Googling brought me a story from the Hartford Courant: After Killings, Fear Drives Alarm Sales. That’s not all they drove:
While home security systems may be in demand, it appears that much less interest has been shown in guns as security-related purchases.
“The middle-class and upper-class Simpsons aren’t looking to shoot anybody,” said Roger Picerno, proprietor of Guns and Safes Unlimited in Milford.
Most people are more likely to install locks and alarms, he said.
But Scott Hoffman of Hoffman’s Gun Center in Newington said his Berlin Turnpike store has received “seven or eight times” the normal number of inquiries about gun permitting, gun safety classes and weaponry, including more than a dozen calls on Thursday, he said. Sales are up, he said, but he would not provide any data.
“Much less interest”? Based on what? This is not what the network news reported.
An unusually high proportion of this week’s calls came from women, Hoffman said.
“On an ongoing basis, I get people coming in who have been robbed, raped, mugged, whatever,” said Hoffman. “And they come into the store days later wanting something to protect themselves.”
Here’s the kicker:
Many leave with pepper spray instead of firearms after learning that legally acquiring a weapon typically takes weeks or months. Obtaining a pistol permit – required for handguns – typically takes 90 days or longer, gun dealers said. Some shotguns can be obtained in about two weeks.
So, gun sales didn’t spike – because of permitting, restrictions and waiting periods? I wonder what sales are going to look like in 14-90 days.
“I can’t believe I’m here. I’ve been against guns and violence my whole life.”
“Did Ned threaten you, physically, I mean?”
“Said I belong to him and no one else. That’s about it. But I know what he means.”
“What did the police say?”
“The last cop, as he was leaving, whispered for me to get a gun.”
I tell her that owning a gun isn’t sufficient. She has to take safety classes, self-defense classes. She has to know what she’s doing. I grab NRA brochures from the counter, make her promise that she’ll sign up as soon as she gets her gun in ten days.
“Ten days?” she cries.
“First you have to take a test, here in the store, a written test. They’ll give you a booklet to study from. Then you get a certificate making you eligible to buy a weapon in California. After you purchase the gun there’s a ten-day waiting period until you take possession.”
“Background check. To make sure you’re not a felon, a psychopath, an illegal immigrant, a terrorist, a drug addict; it’s the law.”
Apparently in Connecticut, it’s ninety days for a handgun, and two weeks for a long gun.
Because a lot of people up there have been “against guns and violence” their whole lives, and the “middle and upper-class Simpsons aren’t looking to shoot anyone.” Or at least they weren’t.
Still, the gun shop owner gives excellent advice, and the paper reported it:
Hoffman, who wore a pistol in his belt during an interview Thursday and said he keeps pistols and a shotgun at home, said guns don’t guarantee safety.
“You could have 100 guns in your house strategically placed and not be able to save yourself,” he said.
Absolutely correct. Even carrying one on your hip is no guarantee that you can successfully defend yourself.
But it gives you a chance. I mentioned earlier that I’ve ordered a copy of Armed America: Portraits of Gun Owners in Their Homes. Each portrait is accompanied by a statement from the subject(s). This one seems most apropos:
“…one time out of a 101 where having a gun would have meant saving your own child – you would sell your soul, or trade everything you have to do that.”
For at least the chance…