In late November of 1986 I was walking from my apartment in a somewhat seedy area of Tulsa to an adjacent convenience store. As I approached, I noticed that there was this guy freaking out with a gun. He blasted a round or two into the ground. I had to get my shit, so I kept walking. He followed me over and unloaded his pistol in my face from about 15 feet. He only hit me once in the shoulder. I couldn’t feel it because of the shock and went into the store (I was on a mission from my pregnant soon to be ex-wife). I was wearing a white polo shirt, and the cashier was aghast when I approached the counter. “Dude, you know you’re bleeding, right?”
The cops were already there before I even went in, since the guy had been freaking out for a while. They had the guy and had searched his place and uncovered a few more guns. All of his guns were pieces of shit. 38 specials, 32 5-shooter, what we used to call “Saturday Night Specials” which even the racist redneck Lynard Skynard band wanted dumped to the bottom of the sea (not ideal, we can recycle….). I remember one of the cops saying something like “these guns shouldn’t even exist.” And, they wouldn’t have, were it not for the revolution in the NRA in 1976, and the complicity of politicians in allowing not only the continuation of Saturday Night Specials, but also the development of civilian markets for military guns. That market did not exist before 1980.
When I got shot in 1986 there was no state in the United States where it was generally legal to carry concealed weapons. Permits were strict, and most holders were judges, lawyers, and police officers. Back when we almost banned virtually all handguns in 1976, the highest capacity semi-automatics could only hold 7 shots. Now, we have handguns with 27 shot clips, and assault rifles with 35-45.
The history of gun technology and regulation is something lost in this non-debate about gun control. The fact is, until the late 1970s there were NO high caliber semi-automatic rifles available for sale which could shoot more than three rounds. Ruger changed that in the late 1970s, through heavy lobbying. All guns used to have safety mechanisms, now they don’t. This is why so many toddlers are killing people and themselves. Semi-automatic pistols with no safety. Jesus. People are shooting their dicks off every day. There is no longer any respect for gun safety, people just want the biggest baddest thing to stuff next to their limp dick (before they shoot it off).
Importantly, nobody needs these weapons for hunting or for the rare instance of self defense. You can’t hunt with a pistol for almost any game in almost any state, and the few that you can require it to be a rifle without a stock. Most states don’t allow you to hunt with a rifle at all, because it’s too fucking dangerous. NO state allows anyone to hunt anything with a gun packing more than 5 rounds. If you don’t hit your quarry in the first shot or two, you’re more likely to kill your brother in law than the duck or deer. The reason why all handguns should be banned should be obvious by the fact that I’m alive. That motherfucker unloaded six rounds and only hit me once! If you’ve ever shot a piece of shit Saturday Night Special or even a fairly high end pistol, you’ll appreciate why. They suck. They ain’t good for nuthin’.
What is to be done? First we need to regulate the arms trade in a more substantial way, and revive the Saturday Night Special ban along with the assault weapons regulations (way more people get killed by the former than the latter). Next, we need a massive buy back program for all weapons. Give fair value. Pay cash. Yeah, it will work! Look at Australia. Destroy all of the weapons, just like what we did in Cash for Clunkers…..
Next, we need a tax on all gun and ammunition sales. Given the enormous burden of gun violence on the state for both policing, prisons, and health care and disability—I’m thinking that a tax of 500% is not out of line at all. That would mean that the killing machine that the last six mass murderers used in the US would cost $3250 instead of $650—though maybe it should be more for those kind of guns…..
All of the rounds used in Saturday Night Specials should be eliminated from production. This would have a huge effect on homicide and suicide in poor inner-city communities, particularly when combined with buy-back programs. 25 cal, 32, 38, 38-special….worthless shit that should not even be legal to produce or sell.
No gun should have a magazine carrying more than 7 rounds. End of Discussion. If you need more than that, you’re a fucking terrorist. You shouldn’t need more than one shot. So, why do you? Unless you’re a bad guy with a gun.
What we really need is for every African American Man in this nation to run out and buy an assault weapon and get a conceal/open carry license. They then need to parade around in public scaring the white people. A few of our brave soldiers will, of course, be murdered by pigs, but, eventually, we’ll get gun control and maybe also control over our police state.
Yeah, the police state. I learned about that when I was a kid working with Octavia Booker and Mark Smallwood and Harold Peavey. I never knew that police would pull you over and beat the shit out of you, until Booker came to work fucked up one day. I had to duck down when we drove out to their places to party after work. They said there’d be cops and if they saw a white guy with black guys, we’d be fucked. I deferred to their experience. The effect of this harassment and oppression is devastating. I’ll never forget when my good friend Victor Anderson reflexively dove to the ground upon seeing a cop who hailed us near the parking lot at Vanderbilt. Victor, a tenured professor at Vanderbilt, laid on the ground and said “don’t shoot me, don’t shoot me, please.” I thought it was kind of funny at the time…I don’t anymore.