This blog post is posted on a website. The fact that you are on a website means that you have spent some time today on the world wide web. This fact also means that you have almost inevitably heard about what the USA Today did. They released a video, a piece of digital media trying to explain the Texas church shooters choice of weapon. Fair enough, as much as this event has saturated the media there are still probably details that people do not know, but would like to have. Conceivably among these kinds of details might be some interest what weapon he used, again fair enough.
This is where things began to take a turn for the surreal however. In their video they decided to discuss not just the base model of his chosen weapon, not just the modifications he chose to use, but some of the more exotic possible weapon modifications on that model. Among these possible modifications and add-ons they chose to include a chainsaw bayonet. It is worth noting here at this point, that these can in fact be made. They are not however widely available commercially. People are far more familiar with them as a device and concept in pop culture. Think about things like the Video game series Gears of War, or Fallout for instance. It should come as no surprise then that they were promptly roasted on various social media platforms for this nonsense.
As generally humorous as this was, it does raise a couple valid and fresh discussion points in the gun debate that typically don’t get talked about. First of all, we should mention that the people who would like “reasonable gun control” don’t realize that anything even the most ardent gun nut would accept is already law, let alone all the other laws we pile up on gun owners. Second of all, if a person didn’t already know this, it becomes worth noting that gun controllers really have no idea whatsoever just what commercially available weapons are even capable of at all. This is the point I really wanted to get to here. This kind of ignorance is dangerous and stupid, and it needs to be resisted especially as we approach a new technological threshold in weaponry.
For instance we have already had public scares about “ghost guns” and 3-D printed fire arms. How do these work and just what are they capable of? Well the greatest advantage certainly is that they do not come with the serial numbers by which they can be identified. The other great advantage is that once you have the equipment, you can have virtually any weapon you could want provided you can find and download the blue print software. Seems like a pretty sweet deal, but it is not a coast to coast emergency where people are somehow buying their own build your own machine gun model kits. What you can order and acquire via mail or the internet is very strictly regulated.
These are things that we are already capable of. Whats coming around the corner? Think about what the United States military is capable of. They have developed deploy able rail gun technology and are actively working on some or another sort of plasma weapon. These technologies along with advanced body armor and integration methods will inevitably trickle down to the public, This is how it has always worked. It may even happen faster now though with the increasing likelihood that we pursue the conquest of other planets. Can we expect them to keep up with weapons that we are pulling out of our own imaginations when they can’t track what already exists? The answer is an obvious and resounding no, we can not.
So when you see something as simultaneously awesome, and stupid as chainsaw bayonets, please have your laughs. For your own sake, and the sake of every other gun owner as well though correct them also. explain to them that the weight change this would cause is deeply impractical. Explain to them that we do have back ground checks. Finally never forget to remind them that the government is deeply fallible and will never be the answer to the problem of violence and evil in our world.