This is not a post about Constitutional rights or about what sorts of laws we have or don’t have or should or shouldn’t have.
This is about the marketplace. And frankly, there’s apparently something pretty disturbing going on in the marketplace right now.
This morning on public radio, I heard a representative of a gun store say they are currently selling weapons like the one used in the Orlando massacre at a very brisk rate. That is, people are buying more of them in an hour than the store normally sells in a couple of days. Usually, he said, they sell three or four a day. Now, they’re leaping off the shelves or racks at a rate of about 10 an hour, and more than that over lunch hour.
Of course, these weapons have been very popular for years, even as we’ve had one mass murder after another using them.
I have to ask: “What sort of person sees a certain kind of weapon used in something like the Orlando massacre, and thinks to himself “I’ve gotta HAVE me one of those!“?
What goes on in such a person’s head?
Now my gun-loving friends will say, this is just a rational response to talk about once again banning such weapons — red-blooded folk want to get out there and purchase the rifle they’ve meant to get for years before it’s banned.
I’m sure it does work that way with some. But I have to ask a followup question — what is the rational reason why someone wants one? What is the circumstance that this person anticipates that calls for a large-magazine, rapid-fire weapon? Do they expect to be attacked by a herd of deer? Are they preparing for the zombie apocalypse (if so, I recommend they take a cue from Daryl Dixon and obtain a quieter weapon)?
What scenarios call for a weapon ideally suited for a target-rich environment of human beings? What normal circumstance can’t be dealt with with a bolt- or lever-action rifle, or a semi-automatic that uses five-round magazines?
What sort of nails does one drive with such a hammer? And what are the psychological processes that cause someone to want to shell out several hundred dollars for such a tool?
We’ve seen these things grow in popularity the more mass murders they are involved in. Am I wrong to see that phenomenon as kind of sick, and if so, why?