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“Mmm. Say, does this place have a gift shop, Dad? Because maybe instead of this lecture…”
“Really, the point of the sport is about accepting a particular handicap, one based in history. If you miss the deer because of the old technology, well, then you miss the deer. Unlike Daniel Boone, you can stop and get chalupas on the way home from deer camp and your family won’t have to scavenge for poke salad for dinner. So I don’t think it’s all that sporting to game the system with a tricked-out, ugly high-tech rifle in low-tech season just because you can’t stand to leave the field empty-handed.”
“So do you want to ban them?”
“Oh, goodness no! That was what the liberals did with the assault weapons ban that expired in ‘05 — they essentially banned types of guns based on cosmetic features, like the shape of the stock. This is America and you can own any kind of ugly gun you want. I’ll even defend your right to own ugly guns with some very ugly guns of my own, should it come to that. There’s no reason you shouldn’t hunt with an in-line muzzleloader if you want to. But I sure don’t have to like them.”
“Dad, are you an elitist?”
“Have you been listening to Hugh Hewitt again? No, sweetie, in outdoor sports, you’re always the sportsman; it’s the other guy who’s the elitist. Actually, I may be a gun snob, but I think the in-line muzzleloader crowd are the elitists. These are guys who want an extra week of deer hunting all to themselves, and are willing to buy not only an extra deer license, but an extra government-approved gun to do it. Like a lot of penurious hunters I never could spring for that platinum-plus deluxe deer hunter package.”
“Well, what happened to these things? Why aren’t they around any more?”
“A few years ago, the states saw deer populations skyrocketing. So they extended the regular modern-rifle deer season by another week or two. And at the same time, people started realizing that what these special seasons did was effectively to grant a monopoly to the muzzle-loader industry. Some states began cracking down on their definition of what qualifies as a black-powder rifle. Others just eliminated the primitive firearms season altogether, figuring that if a hunter wanted to hunt with a primitive firearm — traditional or ugly — in the longer regular season, nothing was stopping him.
“Hunters were glad to get the extended season with their regular rifles, so they didn’t mind. Most of them had only bought their in-line rifles to comply with the regulations, not because they actually preferred them to their Rugers and Marlins.
“No, the ones who really complained were the muzzle-loader manufacturers who were deprived of the entire reason for their product. Without the laws and the loopholes that created them, there was little reason for anyone to buy them. There was still a market for the traditional rifles among traditionalists, but the in-line rifles just became expensive, unsightly wallhangers. Mainly you see them in garage sales for twenty dollars, but occasionally you see them in gun museums — as a curiosity from a more regulated age.”
“Hmmm…so, Dad, what you’re saying is, the inline muzzle-loading boom is an example of how government regulations distorted markets, produced unintended consequences, and codified an inferior, un-competitive technology that would have vanished long ago without the regulations that sustain it?”
“Exactly. That’s my girl! Hey, let’s go to the gift shop and find you a pro-second-amendment T-shirt that will get you kicked out of school.”
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online