Monday, January 28, 2013

Sometimes I wonder if Obama just can't help himself ... (guns and ground hogs)

President Obama just gave an interview to The New Republic, in which he talking about gun regulation, among other things. (Franklin Foer and Chris Hughes, Barack Obama is Not Pleased The president on his enemies, the media, and the future of football 01/27/2013. And he fell into the bad habit we now know all too well of cheerfully framing the issues the way his ostensible opponents prefer:

Part of being able to move this forward is understanding the reality of guns in urban areas are very different from the realities of guns in rural areas. And if you grew up and your dad gave you a hunting rifle when you were ten, and you went out and spent the day with him and your uncles, and that became part of your family's traditions, you can see why you'd be pretty protective of that.

... And that means that advocates of gun control have to do a little more listening than they do sometimes.

The President apparently believes that the fanatics have been so flexible and open-minded all along!

The assault weapons ban Diane Feinstein introduced does not ban hunting rifles. The business about how the city slickers have to understand the reglur folks in the country is also getting pretty old. If people think it's fine for mass murderers to conveniently get semiautomatic AR-15's and AK-47's to gun down mall shoppers or school kids whenever they get the urge, they aren't thinking that because they have fond memories of squirrel huntin' from when they were 10 years old.

And do the country folks who supposedly don't know nuthin' about what all these here city people want with gun laws and stuff really need weapons like this for shooting small, four-legged pests or rabbit hunting? Guns & Ammo featured this weapon in a story last fall that reads like marketing copy for the seller, Nosler Inc., the Varmageddon AR: G&A Online Editors, At the Range: Nosler Varmageddon Signature Series AR Varmint Rifle 09/10/2012. The article says the gun is a "product of a joint effort from Nosler, Noveske and Leupold."

They also have a YouTube video of the same name:

The video featuring a Nosler representative claims this semiautomatic assault weapon can fire accurately up to 550 yards, or 5 1/2 football field lengths.

This video direct from Nosler shows how the gun can be used to rapidly put multiple holes through ground hogs with "varmint bullets and ammunition." "Varmint" is the nominal reason for calling it "Varmageddon AR." I'm sure it didn't occur to anyone at Nosler that naming it "Armageddon" with a "V" on the front might help it's marketing to survivalist and other paranoid rightwing types.

The assault rifle's website says: "Available as rifle only for $2295 or in a complete accessory package that includes a Varmageddon™ edition Leupold® VX-3 LR 4.5-14×50 scope featuring the CDS™ turret calibrated to match Nosler's .223 55gr Tipped Varmageddon™ ammunition for $3195." I'd be curious to know their profit margin on that weapon.

But a sale to Sandy Hook type shooter brings in just as much profit to Nosler as a sale to a rancher who needs several hits to kill a ground hog. I'd also be curious how many of these sales actually go to ranchers.

I'm sure Obama would say we need to be more sympathetic to rural folks who really, really dislike groundhogs. Or maybe the rural folks might want to ask themselves whether they want people even in small towns to be carrying around a semiautomatic weapon that is supposedly accurate at 550 yards.

As an alternative, here's a "Havahart 1092 Collapsible One-Door Easy Set Live Animal Cage Trap for Raccoons, Stray Cats, Groundhogs, Opossums, and Armadillos" that you can order from Amazon for only $60:

Or if the "Havahart" brand sounds like a sissy name from "urban areas," there are competing brands, as well. For the cost of Varmageddon AR, you could get about 35 of these babies and then just kill them with a pellet gun if you just have to shoot something.

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