Jul 04 2011

A pink gun can still kill you

Category: freedom,government,guns,mediaharmonicminer @ 11:49 am

The Orange County Register reports that a Transient finds police gun replica under leg.

A Costa Mesa homeless man called Costa Mesa police officers Sunday night to turn in a gun he said he found under his leg after waking up at Lyons Park.

The piece – which turned out to be an air-soft gun – is an exact replica of the 40-caliber semi-automatic Heckler & Koch pistol that Costa Mesa police officers use, Sgt. Clint Diebell said. The gun has the same weight, look, color and feel as the officers’ sidearm. When the slider is pulled or the cartridge is removed, one can see brass that resembles a bullet, Diebell said.

Article Tab : The pistol found in Costa Mesa resembles a Heckler & Koch 40-caliber semi-automatic pistol like the one shown above.

The transient, David Betts, is well known to the local Police Department. He called on his cell phone at 9:26 p.m., put the gun in a white paper bag and waited for the officers at a bus stop.

The gun will be stored in a found property area, Diebell said. If no one claims it, it eventually will be destroyed.

Diebell said owning an air-soft gun that fully resembles a real one is legal, but owners are not allowed to brandish or fire the weapon in a public place such as a city park.

There is so much wrong with this article that it’s hard to know where to begin.

Let’s start with this:  the airgun shown above is not a “replica of a ‘police’ gun.”  It is a replica of a typical .40 caliber handgun, a real firearm that is entirely legal for civilians to own (and carry, if they can get a concealed carry permit), and which some police officers carry as well.  It is not a “police” gun in any sense, unless we plan to start referring to the donuts that police eat as “police donuts,” or the beer that they consume in cop bars as “police beer.”

The next thing that’s wrong with this report is that it isn’t news.  A hobo found a toy gun and gave it to the cops because he couldn’t tell the difference?  How is that “news”?

I don’t know how much training police receive these days in firearms identification, but I’m fairly sure that the report mischaracterizes Sgt. Diebell’s comments about how hard it is to tell the toy from the real thing.   The report makes it sound like the Sgt. thinks it’s hard to tell the difference between the toy and real thing.  I suppose that might be true, for someone who has never held or operated an actual hand gun.  I’m pretty sure that the Sgt. would be able to tell in about 1 second that it was an airgun, something the reporter chose not to mention.  Of course, people who really can’t tell the difference should assume such an item to be a real firearm until they know otherwise.  I’ve told my own kids that when they see a firearm-looking item, they should assume it’s ‘real’ till proven otherwise.  In what way is this a big deal, and newsworthy?

This sentence says it all, about the reporter’s ignorance regarding firearms:  “When the slider is pulled or the cartridge is removed, one can see brass that resembles a bullet, Diebell said.”  Guns don’t have “sliders,” they have “slides.”  Airsoft ‘guns’ don’t have “cartridges” at all, but they do have little tiny plastic pellets that the user puts in a magazine that is then inserted into the grip of the handgun.  There is no “brass” in them.  I strongly suspect that the reporter used the word “cartridge” where he should have used “magazine,” since, as I said, airsoft guns don’t have cartridges, let alone ones that can be “removed.”

Why am I belaboring all of this?  To make two points:

1) Reporters who report on “firearms related news stories” usually know less about firearms than they do about quantum physics or molecular biology.  They don’t have the background to understand what an expert tells them, and so they don’t get the report right.  It’s as simple as that.  Media outlets usually can’t FIND a reporter to send on such “stories” who knows anything about guns, because these journalism school graduates have mostly never been around them….  which makes you wonder why they fear them so much.   Maybe they watch too much TV.

2)  The slant of this story is clearly that there is something dangerous about people being allowed to possess toys that look like the real thing.  This is clearly meant to be in support of a new law to require them to be pink.  But the reporter’s obvious opinion belongs in the editorial pages, not masquerading as ignorantly presented “news.”

By the way, if this idiotic law to require all airsoft guns to be pink actually passes, I expect that some crooks will be painting their real firearms a nice shade of hot pink, just to cause the cops with whom they may be shooting it out to pause that extra deadly second to decide if the weapon is “real” or not.

In the story linked above, would the cop who shot the teen age boy have been able to see that the airsoft gun was pink, in the low light conditions in which the shooting occurred?

The boy was left paralyzed in the shooting, which LAPD officials said occurred when an officer felt threatened because he was unable, in the dark, to distinguish that the weapon involved was a replica of a Beretta  handgun.

You really can’t see colors well in the dark, can you?

And what reponsibility does the boy have for failing to comply with reasonable officer commands, and instead running, then brandishing his toy gun at the cops?  In the low light, would it have mattered if the toy gun was pink?

It’s worth pointing out that some REAL guns are manufactured pink (and a variety of other bright colors), on purpose, to make them more attractive to women.  Maybe the California legislature should make a new law that all real firearms sold in the state must be black or gun metal blue.  Just so everyone can tell the difference, you know.  Maybe the feminists will weigh in on that suggestion.  Or not.

Google “pink airsoft legal California” and “SB 798” for more info and opinions on the proposed law. This is just another example of trying to fix everything in the world so that stupid people who do foolish things won’t suffer for it, at the expense of the freedom of everyone else.

It’s also an example of really bad reporting.