Things are getting weird around here.
Not here in my little corner of southeastern Pennsylvania, thank goodness – that’s just fine. The wife is incubating our little parasite quite nicely, our bills are paid, and we’re putting a few bucks away to afford the unending cascade of incredibly expensive baby crap that we’ll have to buy once our daughter shows up in May. On top of that we’re actually enjoying ourselves, as our first Scion tabletop event is taking place this Saturday at our friends’ house in South Jersey, so there’s little to complain about in our personal lives right now; it’s truly a great time to be alive.
On the other hand, the shit seems to be hitting the fan pretty hardcore on a regional and national level. The state legislature of my ancestral home of New York seems to have lost their god damned minds by instituting a terribly Draconian gun control law. Since I’m sure we’ll be moving back to NY a few months after our child is born (probably upstate – I love all you Long Island folks but there ain’t no way we can afford a home down there), and this means that this law will affect me directly because I do indeed own a firearm.
That being said, I’m not a member of the NRA and they certainly don’t speak for me, especially in light of how they’ve actively worked to hamstring the ATF when it comes to preventing illegal gun sales. It’s this illegal gun trafficking that is a major contributor to gun-related violence in the US – much more so than the scapegoat of violent media that’s trotted out by gun control groups and NRA members alike – and with Senators and Representatives bought and paid for by the NRA and related gun lobbyist groups have worked overtime to not just limit any overreaching on the ATF’s part but also strip it of any possible power to actually keep firearms out of the hands of those who could pose a risk to the safety of themselves and others, such as people suffering from mental illness.
In essence the NRA has thrown the baby out with the bathwater by stripping the ATF of any sort of authority whatsoever. However they haven’t just brought this backlash upon themselves: the consequences of their selfish actions will now have an impact on law-abiding and responsible owners of firearms – people like myself – that keep their weapon secured and inoperable at all times whenever not in use and who treat the weapon with the utmost care and caution when actually using it, and this is why I will never count myself as either a supporter of the organization or consider enrolling in membership.
That being said, the NRA isn’t the only organization that’s completely out of their minds. The new NY State firearms ban is overreaching as well because it will require anyone who currently owns a firearm that falls under its definition of an “assault weapon” to not only have the weapon registered but dispose themselves of it or face criminal prosecution after the 12-month grace period. The problem I have with this clause is that it’s not going to actually make a difference when it comes to reducing gun-related violence in New York, as the only people who will comply with the new requirement to first register and then sell or transfer their now-illegal weapon are those same people who would not dream of perpetrating any kind of gun violence in a million years – the same responsible, law-abiding firearms owners that the NRA has screwed over. Anyone who procured their firearm through illegal means (something which has been made easier thanks to the NRA’s castration of the ATF) isn’t going to be bothered with the new law, and compliance among gun owners suffering from mental illness is unlikely to be high as well – so I am perplexed as to how reducing the number of firearms owned by peaceful, responsible gun owners will stop criminally-minded or the mentally ill from perpetrating horrible tragedies such as the Newtown shooting.