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Never look a gift gun in the muzzle

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The good citizens in Poland’s Ustrzykach Dolnych are wondering if Santa will be out of the pokey soon enough to deliver presents tonight, because day before yesterday, according to Breitbart.com – quoting a story in The Mirror – a middle-aged Santa and his younger “female helper” were arrested for drunken driving…of a horse-drawn sleigh.

Both Santa and his 31-year-old, uh, “favorite elf” were reportedly “visibly drunk” as they zipped down the road. Things went bad when a car horn was honked, spooking the horse. The animal reared up and the sleigh crashed into a wall. Santa should have stuck with reindeer.

Down in Florida yesterday, a different Santa impersonator strolled into a bank with a gift package…and robbed the place. He handed a teller a note saying the box had something dangerous inside. He was fibbing, but he got away and the cops are looking for him. The suspect is described as a jolly fat man with a white beard and red cap. Can’t be too many people who look like that.

Two stories yesterday dealing with last-minute gift ideas for gun fanciers – one from Arizona’s Scottsdale Gun Club and the other a blog about “tacti-cool” Christmas gifts – were aimed at adults, but what about all the kids who find firearms in fancy wrappings under the tree tonight and tomorrow morning? If there is not a cleaning kit in a separate package, someone goofed.

Here’s something you can do for the youthful new gun owner: Stop referring to new firearms as “new toys.” Guns are many things, but they are not “toys.” You will find this frequently on the gun forums: “Got a new toy,” as the title of a discussion about someone’s new firearm. Don’t treat them like toys, don’t handle them like toys, and never, ever look down the muzzle of a gift gun unless and until the action is open and clear, and there can be no doubt that the firearm is unloaded and safe.

Yesterday, the Huffington Post reported – in its Weird News section – about “Pancho Claus,” the “Tex-Mex Santa” who has become something of a fixture in Texas. There, according to the story, this sombrero-wearing bearded amigo hands out gifts to “low-income and at-risk children.” If there are any Scrooges in the audience who think this is a bad idea, this column has a lump of wet coal for your stocking.

According to a popular Christmas song, Santa has a list that he checks twice to find out who’s been naughty and nice, and somewhere on the list should be the name of Harry Suniville. On Sunday, according to the HuffPo and the Portland Police, Harry tried to steal gasoline from a vehicle parked next to his…while he was smoking a cigarette.

Lastly, Christmas has already arrived in part of the world, and will be creeping around the globe throughout this day. It is a good day to call family and friends, remember where we’ve been during the past year, and think about where we’re going.

Think good thoughts about those who have left us and are enjoying Christmas around that great campfire over the horizon. Stay safe and shoot straight.

And Merry Christmas.

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