Gun Grabbers and Reasonable Solutions

Well, don't say I didn't warn ya. While the United States Congress was busy denying most of the ultra-liberal, knee-jerk reaction gun control bills on Capital Hill, the Old Line State's own Comrade Governor Glendening was busy this summer pressing for his own misguided approach to end gun ownership in the Peoples Republic of Maryland.

On June 5, Glendening decreed that he was forming a rubber stamp Task Force to draft legislation for the 2000 session of the General Assembly that will "implement new measures ensuring only childproof guns will be sold in the future." Glendening charged the puppet commission with "looking at every available alternative ... including new technologies to personalize guns."

It seems that Herr Glendening is planning on hanging his gun control hat on "smart guns," a term used to describe guns which only will fire when a code is received from some monitoring device that the operator is the bona fide authorized user for that piece of hardware. While this technology is only drawing-board operational, there are some manufacturers working on transponder bracelets as one solution to this problem.

On August 27, Glendening addressed his Task Force meeting in Annapolis, MD. Lt. Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend implored the members to "hold the gun industry accountable for making guns." It is interesting that the 21 member Task Force includes cabinet members, state legislators, law enforcement officials, children's health policy experts and community leaders, but no gun manufacturers or retailers, nor are there any representatives of responsible gun owners, i.e. hunters, skirmishers, etc.

While it may be possible, with exceptionally high cost increases, to provide some sort of weapon individualization, an intelligent person would have to ask why. I mean, let's follow this "smart" technology to a logical conclusion. Let's say that the Maryland State Police adopt a smart gun policy, and issue only smart guns to it's officers. Now, imagine a situation where an officer is involved in a life threatening situation and needs to use a fellow officers weapon because his is no longer available for use (out of ammo, dropped, malfunction, etc.) He or she is S.O.O.L., man. Of course, the perps aren't incumbered by the Governors prejudices, and have the upper hand. How does this reduce crime?

Try this on for size. The man of the house is not home, and the woman of the house hold needs to use his gun to protect livestock, children or herself. "Smart" guns won't help her a lick. Maybe she can use it as a club, or to block the door closed, but that's it. How does this protect a man's family?

Of course, we all know how all those fancy car locks have thwarted car thieves - not! They just learned new techniques to steal cars. Who's to say they won't find a way to thwart individualized gun locking systems the same way.

The Glendening-Townsend team have but one agenda, and it is eventual gun confiscation. By there own admission, current legislation is reducing gun violence in Maryland. Are they trying to get there foot in the gun cabinet door before gun crimes have been reduced so much that more legislation is not popular? It starts with assault rifles or handguns or whatever they can use to get a foot in the door, but the goal is always the same. They don't differentiate between skirmishing arms and other arms, either. They have designs on all our guns, and it shows regularly.

Of course, these are the same people that decreed mandatory water restrictions in Maryland while the surrounding states only cautioned residents to curd water usage. Look at the record. When he couldn't get a law passed by the legislature, Glendening used executive privilege to ban smoking inside buildings in Maryland. He doesn't care about democratic principles; he's been on a power trip for years. Now, I have to ask, do we really need to listen to Chicken Little and Henny Penny for gun control advice? We don't need "smart" guns, we need smart Governors.

While reason doesn't seem to abound among elected officials in Maryland, I will draw your attention to Carroll County. It seems that there is a move afoot there to have a gun education curriculum in schools there, much like the drug awareness programs which have been so successful in this country and abroad. The good people of Carroll believe that gun safety education and awareness would go a lot farther to reduce gun violence, and I'm a believer in these types of programs as well. The program was still in it's embryonic stages at press time, and I know that the NRA kids programs are being looked at, as well as other material. Hopefully in the near future I'll be able to report that Eddy Eagle is in and smart guns are out.

Hey, believe it or not it's time to start thinking about a Skirmishers Christmas. We don't have that long to drop hints and pick out those new "gotta have" items. I always need percussion caps for pistols and muskets, as well as powder. Bullet moulds make great stocking stuffers.

Catalogs open to the page where your dream lives are always a good hint, especially if you circle the item. Recently, I've taken to filling in the order blank and leaving in a conspicuous place.

So think about your needs for the next Skirmishing season, drop some hints and good luck. Until the next time, promote responsible gun ownership, shoot safe and have fun.

1999 by Tom Kelley

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