February 17, 2011

Gun-hating NYT Writer Visits City's Gun Stores

By David Paulin

New York City may be a hotbed of liberals and gun haters, but a few gun stores actually do exist there. However, buying a handgun can be a frustrating experience -- thanks to burdensome regulations and lousy customer service, according an amusing article by Ariel Kaminer in the New York Times: “No Permit? No Touching the Pistols.”

“To run a gun shop in this of all cities is to weather a great deal of regulatory — even hostile — scrutiny,” writes Kaminer, a New Yorker who (surprise, surprise) all but admits she hates guns and wouldn't shoot an intruder or even a bird: She's a “pacifist or a coward,” she proudly states.

New York City is “one of the hardest places in the world to buy a gun,” Kaminer reports. What's more, Michael R. Bloomberg is proud of having tightened up gun laws and would like to export those laws to the rest of America, she says.

Visiting two dreary gun shops, Kaminer observes that unless you're a cop, they're not very interested in selling handguns to law-abiding people like her: Sales people are gruff or apathetic.

The most hilarious moments of Kaminer's gun-store visits occur when she enters a third store -- an elegant up-market place on Madison Avenue specializing in what Kaminer calls “hunting rifles.” (Hey, Ms. Kaminer, what about shotguns? Well, maybe she doesn't know the difference between a rifle and shotgun.) At Beretta Gallery, she is mesmerized by hundreds of weapons on display and costing between $1,000 and $170,000 each. Besides the firearms, other oddities at the shop captivate her -- such as “large-game trophies that peer down superciliously from their mountings.” Yikes! Kaminer also notes that Beretta has the “look of a private club and the feel of another century.”

Then for the first time in her life, she holds a gun: “a 20-gauge semiautomatic (at the lower end of the price range).” Putting it to her shoulder, she takes aim. She writes:

Holding a top-of-the-line gun is supposed to make a person feel powerful, confident, in control. Instead, I felt ridiculous. My stance was all wrong, and in any case I would never pull the trigger — not to kill an intruder, not to kill a bird. That moment of truth reaffirmed what was already beyond doubt: I am a pacifist, or a coward, depending on your perspective. But just as important, I am a New Yorker. In a city where we all live right on top of one another, playing with guns feels as out of place as wearing prairie dresses and engaging in plural marriage.

Let's hope that Kaminer's piece wasn't read by any of New York City's sexual predators, burglars, or homicidal maniacs. They might have gotten the strange idea she would be an easy target and want to look her up. Something tells me that any criminal who takes a fancy to her wouldn't be deterred by her moral superiority or her fellow sophisticates at the New York Times.

--Originally published at The American Thinker.

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