I was just making sure that my rights as a white male Amurkin were not being infringed, so I went to the Wal-Fuck website to make sure I could still buy assault weapons from them, and sure enough, I can. Indeed, I cannot believe how fucking cheap you can get a military-grade assault rifle. Even Sig Sauer’s are under $900! Of course, that’s the cheap model with the worthless scope, but still, what a DEAL! Indeed, I cannot believe how gun prices in general have remained relatively stable since when I was a gun nut in the 1970s and early 1980s. But, the price of assault weapons has actually declined, and declined dramatically. You couldn’t buy AR-15s at Wal Mart when I was a stupid young redneck, and that’s a damned good thing. Until the mid 1970s, these types of weapons were totally unavailable unless you had serious connections and clearance. They simply were not available for purchase, even if technically legal. I remember my act of redneck stupidity in the 1970s was to buy a 10 shot magazine for my Remington 1100 12 gauge shotgun. The only problem is that the spring never quite has the oomph to push the shells and so they jam a lot when you’re blasting away at nothing (or an elementary school if you’re into that sort of thing). And, of course, it’s illegal to hunt with one of those. As any real hunter knows, shotguns are clipped at 5 rounds, and for most birds you are required to plug to 3 rounds (most standard pump and semi-autos hold 5 rounds). Back then, an AR-15 would have only been a Ruger, and it would have cost you at least $1500—which is about $3700 in today’s currency. You see, I know. I’m a redneck by upbringing. I’ve made bullets (they suck, buy them). I’ve loaded shotgun shells and rifle and pistol rounds. I never shot competitively, but I know all about the various disciplines, and how NRA types use debunking of assault weapons bans based on the fact that high-end single-shot shooting rifles sometimes have pistol grips.
You can’t actually hunt with an assault rifle. Here in Illinois, you can’t hunt with a centerfire rifle at all. We’re a shotgun-only state (as are many states with large populations and many areas in states that REGULATE the guns used in hunting by regions or counties). Guns are regulated. You can’t hunt deer with a 9mm, and in many states not with a pistol at all (pistols are too inaccurate, unless they are designed for long distance shooting). Rifles, particularly centerfire rifles, are dangerous because bullets can travel for miles. Just a couple of months ago here in So. Ill a little girl was hit with a bullet when some rednecks were blasting away with assault weapons. It is illegal to HUNT with the 223 round in Illinois because it is dangerous, yet idiots can shoot them at will? Nah, we need more regulation. If you can’t shoot deer with a round or a gun (guns are limited to shotguns holding no more than three rounds), why should you be able to blast away with one? Why should you even be able to own one?
What really bugs me is that every dirtbag redneck and his half brother can afford to go out and buy an arsenal—and the cost of military guns is lower than the cost of guns you could actually use to hunt. I just checked and the list price for a Remington 1100 (which is a hunting gun, and any law abiding citizen should be able to own one with proper registration and insurance) and it is substantially higher than the list price for a low-budget AR-15. That is ridiculous. But, it happens because of much wider market factors. Assault weapons are cheap because their production is subsidized! We (that’s the global “US” “we” meaning those of us who pay taxes—and I pay at the highest rate possible) pay for shitloads of these things to be produced so we can give military aid to petty dictatorships. That increase in the supply of weapons decreases their price (see Smith, Adam). So, since only cheap-ass honest-to-fuck redneck hunter types buy Remington 1100s, and since those weapons will work much longer than the redneck hunter will live, Remington doesn’t make many 1100s (to keep the price up given constant demand….). But, anywhere there is conflict the United States has sought influence by pumping “our” faction full of guns at US taxpayer expense, and that bleeds over into the domestic market…The gun industry is making superprofits abroad, and astronomical profit for what they charge domestically (even though those prices are low compared to what they charge for real hunting and shooting gear). Because production is high in the socialized military industrial complex, prices are low. Guns are subsidized. Especially stupid non-hunting and non-shooting weapons (a good match rifle will cost you ten times what you’d pay for a cheap AR-15).
Let’s contrast that with an industry which hasn’t received the wingnut welfare of the military industrial complex. Bicycles! The United States used to have a thriving bike industry, and now it is mostly smoke and mirrors where “companies” buy bikes and components made in Taiwan and China and put their names on them. But, a few companies continue, at a high price. Some readers may know that I’m a serious bike racer. My team, Team Mack, is sponsored by Waterford Precision Bikes, which makes both Waterford and Gunnar bikes at a factory which used to be the old Schwinn factory in Waterford Wisconsin. All of their bikes are made from steel, most of which is also American made. My stainless steel Waterford Race bike is the pinnacle of American production. It is the shit. It’s nearly as light as the lightest carbon frames made by twelve year old girls in Taiwan out of toxic glue that has ruined the environment of their nation. The ride on steel is much better than what you get from riding on glue and plastic. It’s a great American product, welded together by a bunch of Americans, at a firm owned and operated by Richard Schwinn. But, in contrast to the gun industry, the bike industry receives no government socialist communist muslim homosexual handouts. We don’t buy American-made bikes for millions of soldiers in third world countries. And because of that, Richard Scwhinn has higher unit costs associated with his lower levels of production. So, while I can buy an American made AR-15 from Wal-Fuckheads for around $500 (before the latest series of massacres), a regular Waterford steel frame (no wheels, gears, handlebars, or any of that stuff you need) will cost you $2000. My race bike frame, which is stainless steel, retails for $5k, frame only—so a full bike is close to $10k—as are most high end road racing bikes.
So, to summarize, redneck dipshits who think the President is a Muslim Homosexual Communist from Kendonesia can buy American made assault rifles for under $500, while American bike manufacturers can barely make a profit selling steel bike frames for $2k, and most cycling enthusiasts instead buy cheap shit from China. What if we pimped our bike industry instead of our gun industry? Gee, maybe my less affluent friends would be able to get a decent, American made bike for under $1,000… Better yet, what if we TAXED the LIVING FUCK out of guns? Or ended their subsidy….How many people would buy AR-15′s if they cost $12k? Half of the guys I race against are on bikes that cost that much. Price is often the best regulator….