Tuesday, March 15, 2005

On the Web--mASS Backwards

Many good things are on the web today, so today’s posts are going to be a little different than usual. These are thoughts I had while reading other blogs rather than an essay on a given topic. There are three posts each with this tagline.

Bruce at mASS Backwards talks about this morning’s “Blute and Scotto” radio show. I heard it too while driving to work from New Hampshire. The 7:00 to 7:30 segment featured Massachusetts State Senator Jarret Barrios, a true gun banner even when he claims he doesn’t want to touch hunting rifles (I just looked, the Second Amendment says nothing about hunting).

Barrios introduced a bill that would outlaw .50 caliber rifles and FN Five-SeveN handguns. He called .50 caliber rifles terrorist weapons, but other than a brief mention of Five-SeveNs (he called them FN Herstals) today’s conversation concentrated on .50 caliber rifles. Barrios is dangerously ignorant about guns. Peter Blute is a former Republican Congressman from Massachusetts and Scott Allen Miller is an “independent” who is hard to figure sometimes. Neither one had enough firearms knowledge to challenge Barrios significantly. To give them credit, neither one agreed with him. Miller pointed out that terrorists wouldn't follow this law anyway.

One caller, from New Hampshire (not Bill or me), said he owns a .50 caliber and said that there are other rifles in magnum rifles that are just as accurate and almost as powerful as the .50 caliber. Of course, Barrios turned that and other conversations around by snidely implying that people who support civilian ownership of these rifles also support arming terrorists.

Another caller tried to trap Barrios when he asked him if he (Barrios) supported the Patriot Act. Barrios said he’d never thought that much about it. The caller made a point that Barrios was cynically using terrorism as a way to ban more guns.

Barrios often referred to LNG tanker ships that pass residential and business areas in Boston harbor to offload. He painted pictures of fireballs caused by .50 calibers, which he described as bazookas. He wouldn’t listen when Scotto tried to explain that a .50 caliber rifle couldn’t blow up a ship and it’s not really a bazooka.

Finally, Barrios was very clever and very slippery. He kept stating that an 18 year old could buy a .50 caliber rifle online. Only once did he say that an online buyer (of any age) would have to pass a NICS check somewhere before taking possession of the gun. Go read mASS Backward’s take on assclown Senator Barrios as well.

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