Showing posts with label gun control. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gun control. Show all posts

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Raquel Welch's earring bomb: Passing thoughts on gun control

I like to watch old movies on television on Saturday afternoons, and I don't care whether the movie I watch is good or bad. This afternoon, I watched Fathom, a 1967 film starring Raquel Welch.

Raquel is involved in some sort of international terror plot. A guy with a British accent gives her a pair of lime green earrings, which happen to match the lime green bikini she is wearing. The left earring is a small bomb, the guy tells her. Just drop it down a ventilator shaft and it will explode in 30 seconds.

In the next scene, Raquel entices the villain, a creepy looking character wearing a green-tinted monacle, into the master suite of a luxury yacht.  He is so enchanted by Raquel's beauty that he doesn't notice her throw her left earring down a conveniently located ventilator shaft. Sure enough, in 30 seconds (maybe less), the earring explodes and sinks the yacht. Raquel gets away on a speedboat being driven by the guy who gave her the earrings.

This movie got me to thinking about gun control. I have a Remington 20-gauge shotgun for quail hunting and a  Remington 12-gauge shotgun for shooting ducks. I would be very sorry if Michael Bloomberg confiscated them should he be elected president. I wouldn't go postal, but I wouldn't be happy about it.

I'm a reasonable guy, and I'm not totally against all gun control. Nevertheless, I think the Democrats should start small with their campaign to take guns away from Americans.  Let them start by banning those dangerous earring bombs like the one Raquel Welch used to sink a yacht. I for one would not object.

Fortunately, earring bombs are rare. After the movie ended, I drove to my local Academy store and asked if they carried earring bombs. (I guilefully told the sales associate I was shopping for a Christmas present for my wife.)

The associate told me the store was sold out of earring bombs and wouldn't restock them until after the holidays.  He also said the lime green model had been discontinued.

Returning to my discussion of the movie Fathom, I highly recommend it. It is true the plot is a little thin but no thinner than an Ingmar Bergman movie. It is also true that Roger Ebert gave Fathom a "thumbs down." But the New York Times described the movie as "crackling good fun," and who would argue with the New York Times over matters of culture and the arts?

Raquel Welch, sans earring bomb.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

It's a comfort to have a shotgun in the closet: The guv'ment ain't never gonna round up all them guns!

My father came back from World War II with a pocket full of money. He'd been a prisoner of the Japanese for most of the war, and he received three years in back pay when he got back to the States.

One of the first things my father did when he returned to Oklahoma was to buy a Browning automatic shotgun, a beautiful gun with a dark walnut stock and the famous Browning humpback design. He promptly took up quail hunting and it became his only recreation.

Quail were in abundance in northwestern Oklahoma during the 1940s. The quail hunters had all gone off to war, and the countryside had been depopulated during the Great Depression when a lot of my father's relatives became Okies and went to California down old Route 66. There were literally millions of bobwhite quail in the brushy country on the Kansas border, and you could kick up a hundred or more just by wading into a random plum thicket.

My father was a minimalist when it came to upland game hunting. No fancy Gortex rain gear, no Orvis sportswear, no pricey equipment from Cabella's. When my dad went quail hunting, he took his shotgun and a cardboard box, which contained a cheap, faded hunting vest and two or three boxes of shotgun shells.

When I was about twelve I began to go quail hunting with my father, and I saved up my paper-route money and bought my own shotgun--a used Remington Model 11, another beautiful firearm made in the pattern of my father's Browning. I kept my shotgun in the closet with my Dad's.

For my dad and me, shotguns were not weapons; they were sporting goods--something like a fishing rod or golf clubs. Many of my teenage friends had shotguns, and it never occurred to any of them to take a gun into a school and start shooting people.

But times have changed, and now people can buy assault rifles with extra-large magazines. And these guns are fairly cheap. You can purchase a new assault rifle for anywhere between $500 to $1500. And the sporting goods stores sell assault-rifle ammunition in plastic tubs that hold a couple hundred rounds.

Now the politicians are talking about a nationwide gun buyback program designed to get firearms out of private hands--assault rifles mostly. Senator Joe Biden and some other presidential contenders endorse this idea.

I hate to be the one to break it to you, Senator Biden, but the guvment ain't never going to get all them guns out of people's closets. We now have more guns in the United States than we have people. There's a gun for everybody, even the little babies and toddlers.  And people are not going to give those guns to the federal government.

Senator Joe, Beto O'Rourke and Senator Warren might get people to sell their dusty old shotguns rusting away in the attic: their bolt-action .410s, their single-shot, 16 gauge Savages. But if they bought an assault rifle or a 9 mm pistol, they are going to keep it.

And any politician who does not understand that is not smart enough to be President.

The Browning automatic shotgun: A beautiful thing to behold

Note: The title of this essay was partly inspired by a passage from a book by James Howard Kunstler.