Today we will dip our toes into the gun discussion. Specifically, the high-capacity ammunition magazines for assault weapons and how such items tend mostly to be the realm of people without much education or any sort of consistent dental care who live in trailers with 30 cats and have an NRA sticker on their $400 car.
Harsh? Perhaps. But if you believe the massacres at Columbine High School and a theater in Aurora and the numbing execution of 20 wide-eyed little school kids in Connecticut — in part because of these high-capacity magazines —- should not have any bearing on your "right" to shoot trees and your "right" to blow up propane tanks in the woods with a withering barrage of bullets as you guzzle beer, well, you're probably accustomed to life being harsh.
As you know, the state's largest manufacturer of high-capacity magazines for AR-15s and other weapons designed to kill people as quickly as possible is threatening to leave Colorado if the mega-magazines — holding more than 15 bullets — are banned in our state. Pending legislation seems to be leaning in that direction, as is the sentiment of the majority of Americans.
Magpul Industries, headquartered in Erie, north of Denver, says that if that bill passes, it will take its 200 jobs and what it says is $85 million per year that it pumps into the state economy and move to another state.
Here now, a bit about Magpul Industries from its own website, under the heading Unfair Advantage:
"'If you come expecting a fair fight, you are unprepared.' This common saying among military and law enforcement professionals illustrates the core values and mindset that drive everything we do at Magpul. ... Regardless of the end user or their mission, our goal is to design equipment ... far superior to that of your 'standard issue' gear. In short, we want to give you an unfair advantage."
An example would be Adam Lanza, who unleashed an assault gun with a high capacity clip on screaming children huddled inside a first-grade classroom in Newtown, tearing them apart. Thanks to the large magazine, he shot one little boy 11 times.
I guess that's what Magpul meant by an unfair advantage.
"If we're able to stay in Colorado and manufacture a product, but law-abiding citizens of the state were unable to purchase the product, customers around the state and the nation would boycott us for remaining here," Magpul chief operating officer Doug Smith said to media. "Staying here would hurt our business."
Maybe Magpul could make up for the lost revenue by manufacturing a device that could hold a bottle of gin on your dashboard for the drive home from work. Or a heavy stick to beat your spouse. Or a plastic water barrel to drown kittens.
Leave, Magpul. Go away. The $85 million you claim to spend in Colorado? We'll get it back 10 times over from companies moving here because of our hint of enlightenment.
Of course, we could always lure Magpul to El Paso County, where the county commissioners' biggest accomplishment of the past few years has been the opening of a gigantic gun range. Commissioners Sallie Clark, Amy Lathen and Peggy Littleton, who posed for photos with big smiles as they aimed handguns at the ground-breaking for the range, could pose with AR-15s and 100-round, child-killing clips.
Frankly, we'd be perfect for Magpul. We're a county of gun nuts and Second Amendment crazies. And Magpul, bless their unfair hearts, could still save face because, more and more, El Paso County is not acting like it's part of Colorado.
(Colorado has voted for Barack Obama, twice. El Paso County has voted overwhelmingly for George H.W. Bush and Bob Dole and John McCain and Mitt Romney, if I have my list correct of recent Republican losers.)
If the high-capacity magazines are banned in our state, "We will leave," said Magpul's Smith.
Here, another line from Smith and the Magpul website: "Magpul was founded in 1999 with the intent of developing a simple device to aid in the manipulation of rifle magazines while reloading under stress."
An example of that kind of stress would be when Sandy Hook Elementary School principal Dawn Hochsprung is screaming and running at you.
Rich Tosches (firstname.lastname@example.org) also writes a Sunday column in the Denver Post.
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