Sunday, October 03, 2004

Airgun Rampage

With the US media we are constantly imbued with fear by stories about school shootings, workplace massacres, and the ever-present lone nut, who is nice to his neighbors but keeps to himself.

That's why we have British media for comic relief.

"A GUNMAN shot at four children and a man in a terrifying drive-by airgun attack."

"The the third air gun attack in the city in the last five months."

Reassuringly, the police spokesman said, "The consequences of this incident could have been a lot worse."

I'm still a rabid air gun shooter. My house is basically designed around a 100 foot air gun range. Comes in handy, especially in winter months where shooting outdoors is not possible because of short daylight hours or I just don't feel like freezing my ass off.

As such, I try to follow online airgun forums. The two largest I've found are in England and Australia (NZ, maybe), respectively. As with any group of shooters they are always polite, cordial, and willing to help out.

Firstly, what weirds me out is that no working class fellow, say age 28, has ever had a chance to shoot an actual firearm.

Secondly, the tales they tell are almost beyond belief, to me. England has an arbitrary statute regarding what pellet velocity a gun can have. If you trick up a gun to get your pellet's FPS beyond a certain point, your gun can be confiscated and you can be fined. Law enforcement actually attend shooting clubs in order to chronograph fucking pellet guns.

I own three pellet rifles. My regular shooter is a Gamo Shadow that sends a .177 pellet out of the barrel at 1,000 FPS. By English standards, this a fucking assault rifle. And I've never seen a pellet from that gun make it through the White Pages.

So whenever you get down that the country is going to pot; that your not making as much as you should be, because the economy is allegedly crap; that your wife is leaving you; that your kids hate you, etc. etc. etc.; Remember:

You don't pay almost half your wages in taxes; you can still own a .45; you don't have to wait six months to see a dentist in order to have a filling replaced;

And there is no scourge of drive-by pellet gun shootings to terrify you and your family.

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