21 November 2008

Friday Follies...
Let's start the weekend off with a little cogitation, shall we?
Today's J/G had an interesting (but not surprising to me ) article about a probe into the recent rash of GUN crimes.
Now, as we ALL know, GUNS DO NOT CAUSE CRIME. But who or what DOES cause crime?
(All together boys & girls)...
(thank you)
A gun is but an instrument that allows a criminal act to occur with a lot less hassle (unless the person you're holding up ALSO has a gun).
A gun is akin to a tool (not to be confused with the people who commit crimes that really ARE also "tools"), and should be used properly, responsibly, and with careful thought as to moral implications and consequences.
But many times, people have NO frigging idea WTF all that is...so they commit crimes anyway.
That's why we, as a civilized society...have something called LAWS.
And that's why we have something else called LAW-ENFORCEMENT.
Now...about this "probe"...(and NO anal jokes, people...)
I'd have to ask WHY are the police only NOW checking into this?
I'd like to believe that they've been probing these occurrences for years, but only NOW are making it public...that's what I'd "like" to believe.
You have to admit that since the advent of crack cocaine to the streets of this city, crime HAS gone up, and rarely has it abated during that time (about 20 or so years). And now with meth riding along in many a backseat of cars being driven along our very streets, thanks to new methods in cooking, crime isn't taking ANY time off. Add to that the "gang" aspect, and we would appear destined for a mini-Detroit future.
Now you regular readers KNOW I've been all over this "gun control" issue like flies on crap, so I won't revisit it for now.
We've not got a "gun" problem as much as we've got a CRIMINAL problem, guns being as I said earlier, merely a device to achieve a means to an end.
Think of it as an orchestra full of musicians...they can't perform WITHOUT their instrument. Well, the same applies to criminals.
Can't "act" without your PROPS.
Now I said all THAT...to say THIS:
We are following many larger cities when it comes to crime and crime prevention...and like those cities, we're seeing similar limited results.
Are guns being used in crime here?
(But now for something completely different)
Not NEARLY the number of armed robberies or crimes are being committed with REAL firearms.
(what's that you say?)
That's right. Think about it.
Indiana is the place most criminals come to (from MI and IL) to purchase firearms, because firearm restrictions abound elsewhere. That's not to say we're lax...we're just trying to stem the tide of straw purchasers and keep this state a bastion of 2nd amendment freedom, that's all. And here in Indiana, we've the means via crime prevention task forces to keep all this in somewhat check.
But the real kick in the teeth comes from LOOKALIKE "weapons"...non-firearms that appear to be AS REAL as an actual firearm.
And I would wager that over 50% of the "armed" robberies occurring in Fort Wayne are being perpetrated with FAKE guns.
Now I don't recommend everyone jump the perp carrying anything that LOOKS like a gun...that "could" get you shot...or worse.
The deal here is to get to know some of the differences between the real and the unreal.
And if you were to come to MY house...you'd have a damn hard time doing so.
I'm sort of proud of the fact that I can take an airsoft pistol and with a few "personal touches" make it look as deadly as a pistol sitting in the display case at H&H Firearms awaiting purchase.
But don't start lining up at my door asking me to do likewise with YOUR "toys"...
Not going to happen, unless I know you VERY well (being in law-enforcement wouldn't hurt, either).
Typically, it is "illegal" to change, remove, or otherwise modify the markings on these NON-firearms. Check every package..it says as much.
(yeah, right..in MY part of town, every little edge you can get helps to NO small degree)
In almost all cases, I have "modified" these to resemble real firearms, but that in NO way keeps me from knowing WHICH ONE of MY firearms is really...well, REAL. I know the difference, and as any potential thug, thief, burglar, or home invader would find out...they ALSO WILL KNOW the difference (as well as "feel" it).
I strongly believe that others around the city have taken to such modifications in order to facilitate their "activities", such as these robberies. I mean who the hell is going to KNOW if the gun pointed at them will fire a .40 cal bullet into them, or bounce a 6mm plastic BB off their head?
-Well, the barrel OPENING is a good giveaway, not that many folks STARE into them (and with good reason).
But a quick glance is all many need to assess the threat level; small opening, at WORST, a .22 (still lethal at close range), but usually a 6mm airsoft, OR a 3mm metal BB or .177 cal pellet. A LARGE opening...probably a .380 on up (mostly UP...like a .45). And if the barrel has a PLUG in it, do feel free to remove the weapon from the perp and beat him senseless WITH IT.
-The material the weapon is made of means a lot. Chromed steel is hard to duplicate, even in plastic, so that's a no-brainer (90% certainty a real gun). And with polymer frame autos out there, the "look" can be deceiving. The steel slide is the giveaway, unless it has a matte (tenifer) finish.
-Even the COLOR of the frame of the pistol can be changed. There are gun makers that have PINK frames (for the ladies), camo frames for guys and damn near ANY color you can imagine. Real guns look like TOYS and the TOYS are looking more realistic.
-The manner the weapon is carried tells a lot as well. A "toy" will be lighter than the real gun, and if you know what to look for as far as "body language", that'll give it away. My RAP4 P99 .43 cal paintball pistol IS heavy though, and would fool anyone. It even has a blowback feature when you fire it (CO2 powered), and that's the "pride of my collection", as it were. Hell, law-enforcement even uses these gas pistols to TRAIN with, so you KNOW they must think they're "real enough", right? Now they're NOT cheap (several hundred bucks for a paintball-firing M4 carbine clone that goes either full auto or select fire), but you DO get what you pay for in this regard.
If I were a criminal (and having held positions that allowed me to think LIKE a criminal in order to catch them), I'd grab some cheap-ass airsoft (fake) guns at a local store (K-Mart works well, as does Cabela's, Wal-Mart, or Dick's), and lose that red marking on the front of the piece ASAP.
Then, carrying a knife as a backup weapon (any REAL criminal has a backup, and that's why YOU should too), I'd go rob me someone or someplace, and then laugh my ass off as I "pull one over" on the LEOs (until I eventually get caught, because I f$cked up somewhere else along the way...they usually do).
Trouble is, brandishing a fake piece could DAMN WELL get YOU shot by the police, especially if it looks MORE real than a toy.
I readily admit to chasing some arguing locals off of my property with a "modified" airsoft gun and a million candlepower spotlight. Down side to that is if someone "calls your bluff", and you're left standing there with not much more than your family jewels in your hand. Game over.
I assessed the situation BEFORE I went outside, so I wasn't worried. It was just a shouting, physical match (for them) which broke up damn fast after they saw ME. Of course shouting at them that I didn't care WHO I sent to the CORONER FIRST must have made an impression.
They have never come back since.
So what I can envision for the future of Fort Wayne is the police looking into WHO is buying these lookalike weapons, because they will get you the cash JUST AS WELL as a real gun...that much HAS been proven weekly in this city.
I can also see the city begin to BAN or RESTRICT such "non-firearms", as Philadelphia did decades ago (didn't bother Dad and me...we just went OUTSIDE the city to buy OUR pellet pistols). Such bans are already in place in NYC, LA, CHICAGO, and the other usual cities.
So I'd start to stock up if you like plinking with the kids, or like shooting varmints on the property.
It's not illegal to do so...yet, but I am almost CERTAIN that it IS coming...like a jail on wheels.
Get these BB guns, pellet pistols and airsoft weapons NOW...while they can still be had. They're good for teaching your son or nephew the proper manner to respect a REAL firearm, and when they get older, they'll already know to do the right thing.
And for law-abiding, real gun-owning people like ME, who just like to shoot, but don't have the resources or $$$ to blow every other day at a range, it's good practice, a little bit of upper body exercise, and in some cases, a calming influence; a way to blow off steam (and remain in the FRONT seat of any police cruiser).
But always remember to...shoot safely, act responsibly, and have fun.
Above all, DO have a great weekend, wherever you go.


Anonymous said...

I did not see an email address. I was wondering if you had seen this post.

American troops through a French infantryman's eyes

Bob G. said...

Thank you...I have NOW, and that's a damn good read.

I admit to "busting" on the French from time to time, but I also realize that "some" people there DO NOT represent the ENTIRE populace (same applies HERE in the USA).

Ihave an upcoming post that tunes in on our involvement in Iraq, and how some cable channels are covering it.

Stay tuned.

And thanks for stopping by.


indy said...

my box cutter is my backup to the real deal. i dont care for the fake weapons whatsoever. take care

Bob G. said...

I've still got me a "ring" cutter that is shaped like a hooked fingernail...used to open cartons...and my boot knife.

But always remember to NEVER bring a knife to ANY gunfight...!!


indy said...

i probley work where you got that ring cutter for free. lol dont go postal on us.......;)