Late Saturday night, I headed to downtown Saint Paul with my friends Bill and Elaine to hang out in a bar to hear music. This wasn't just any bar or just any gig. Misha Siegfried and His Band were playing at Wild Tymes in downtown Saint Paul.
Let's just say the gig was great and I got home at 2:30 AM. Of course, as band mom, I'm biased. Just a bit.
Sunday afternoon, just as we finished band brunch (band moms always supply food to starving musicians; it's a rule) and the band was getting ready to head back to Milwaukee, we heard about the shooting at the Sikh Temple. Everything stopped in my house and all eyes were glued to the television.
Now, let me pause here to tell you what happened Saturday night right before the gig. We were sitting on the patio of the club and St. Paul's finest swarming down at the other end of said patio. Several cruisers were also present. From where we were sitting, we watched them approach, get him to his feet, and then handcuff him. Amazingly, this was all done in relative silence. No drama, no shouting, just about no sound. Later found out he was a gun-pointing kinda robber and the cops had actually been tailing him.
Now, back to Wisconsin. The first thing I wanted to know was what kind of weapon was he using, and oddly, no one said a word about what he was packing. He wasn't identified until this morning, and the information said he had a single 9 mm semi-automatic hand gun, and later in the day, reports said the gun had been purchased legally and recently.
|Walther TPH .22 lr|
Okay, for those of your who haven't mastered your gun basics yet, this means that the thing has an easily removable/changeable magazine. That means you can re-load faster and on the fly if necessary. On a website called chuckhawks.com, I found a whole page devoted to helping one select one’s piece of choice, and the following explanation why one might choose a semi-automatic handgun:
· Holds more rounds than a revolver. Normally a semi-auto magazine holds 8 to 10 rounds, but there are magazines capable of holding 15 to 30.
· Faster reloads from previously loaded magazines.
· Due to popularity, there is a wider choice of accessories such as holsters available.
· Easy carrying of spare ammunition via preloaded magazines.
· Usually easier to conceal for a similar caliber gun due to thinner action than a normal revolver.
These all sound like great reasons…except, unless one is participating in sport shooting event at a firing range, why on earth would one need one? Why does one need to consider the speed at which one can change a magazine …unless one has nefarious purposes in mind. If you’re looking for a gun for defense, would a tidy little revolver do the trick?
And why would anyone doing a background check sell a semi-automatic gun to a guy who is actively involved with a neo-Nazi/white supremacist movement? If the Southern Poverty Law Center knows the guy is a racist nut, why doesn’t the gun shop owner figure that part out in a background check? (Note: the tats might've been a hint)
Now, I have no idea what kind of heat the robber on the patio was packing, and I don’t want to know. What interests me is how he got the gun, and whether or not there was any moment during the time we were sitting there sipping our beers that we were in danger.
Tucson, Aurora, Wisconsin, what’s next? And what will it take to begin a serious discussion about gun laws and gun availability in this country. Two massacres in public places in the space of two weeks, and it’s beginning to sound more like Afghanistan than America.
This is not what the Second Amendment is about. The Second Amendment is about the right the security of the state, a militia, and the right to bear arms for that cause. It is not about the right of bearing automatic assault rifles and semi-automatic hand guns for the heck of it. Definitely not what the Founding Fathers had in mind.
Any politician that doesn’t want to have this discussion RIGHT NOW is bought and paid for by the NRA, an organization so opposed to gun control that they ultimately put every citizen of the United States at risk. You would think when a nutball shot a Congresswoman and her constituents at a community meet’n’greet that you would realize our gun laws are ineffectual and out of date.
Republican and Democrat alike: Tell the NRA their moment in the sun is over. It’s time for a sensible discussion about guns, gun availability, and gun sales. Period. It has to happen.
Now would be an excellent time to start.
Wifely Person Tip O'the Week
Sometimes, staying out really, really late is really, really fun.