Thursday, May 9, 2013

Even Sensible Politicians Show Their Ignorance on Guns

Chicago's ordinances on guns apparently make it illegal for museums to even display them.  At least one Alderman is somewhat sensible in proposing legislation that would allow museums to display firearms.  Just like everywhere else in the country.  Not even Washington DC is that draconian to disallow museums from displaying firearms.

Now, I hate to bring this up because it may disuade Alderman Burke from his proposal.  The gun he uses as a reference is a WWII era German Walther PP that was donated to the Pritzer Military Library (as an aside, how do you have a military library or museum and not have firearms? - Firearms are banned from campus where I went to school, Texas A&M University, yet right in the middle of campus there was a museum with a rather impressive display of firearms).  Alderman Burke's ignorance quote follows:

"I don't know if someone's going to find ammo for a German handgun from WWII all that readily."

Really?  The Walther PP family comes in calibers .32 ACP, .25 ACP, .380, and .22.  Every single one of those calibers is sold today.  And not just as a novelty.  You can buy boxes of 500 or a 1000 if everyone wasn't buying up everything like crazy (which just means that instead of on store shelfs, all of that ammo is sitting in people's garages).I know Alderman Burke is thinking that by saying ammo isn't readily available he is trying to appeal to people's sense of safety.  But that is no excuse for ignorance. All of these calibers can be found as readily as 9mm or .45 ACP.

The only thing that would make the guns in museums more "safe" would be to disable them completely by welding up the barrel.  Of course this would destroy about 80-90% of the monetary value of the gun.  A gun that can't fire is a paperweight.  This isn't like a computer that is a piece of junk after 10 years.  I have seen 500 year old guns that have been fired.  I have personnally fired guns that are more than 100 years old.

Some technologies from WWII are obsolete.  I can see where the mistake may lie.  But this just shows that the people making laws in Chicago are totally ignorant of the objects that they are seeking to regulate.  Here is a quick rundown of common ammunition cartridges that were invented in the last 100 years (meaning there are firearms that are older than the World War I that you can still find ammunition for):

.22 LR - 1887
.25 ACP - 1905
.32 ACP - 1899
.32 S&W - 1878
9mm Parabellum - 1901
.38 Special - 1898
.380 ACP - 1908
.45 ACP - 1904

For those non gun people, these are all common cartridges.  Many of which are still used by militaries and law enforcement throughout the world.  If I went into odd ball cartridges like the Nagant, the list would be much longer and it would take about 5 minutes of searching on the internet to find someone that sells something.

So, allow the display of firearms for historical purposes, don't try to pretend that you can't get ammunition for it.