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SHOT 2014: Protests flop, ‘ghost guns’ remind us to doubt ghost stories

Lots of firearms media types were at the gun range yesterday while protesters played to nobody in Las Vegas and Connecticut.
Lots of firearms media types were at the gun range yesterday while protesters played to nobody in Las Vegas and Connecticut.
Dave Workman

Today’s edition of The Outdoor Wire briefly details two protests that occurred yesterday when literally “nobody was home” to watch, while today’s Seattle Times reveals the latest attempt by anti-gunners to create a new fake issue: the so-called “ghost gun.”

One of the protests this column learned about late yesterday afternoon at the annual “Media Day at the Range” was held outside the Newtown, Conn., headquarters of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), where there pretty much was nobody to watch because, as the Outdoor Wire pointed out, the NSSF staff is here in Las Vegas for the annual four-day Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show, which opens today at the Sands Convention Center.

There was apparently also a very small protest outside of the convention center but, again, nobody was there to pay much attention. With the show not opening until today, the only audience consisted of people setting up for the show, and while this may break the hearts of the protesters, those people really weren't interested. They were busy working.

The Seattle Times report, about new proposed legislation in California targeting so-called “ghost guns” — firearms assembled from allegedly undetectable parts made on 3-D printers — reminds adults in the room that they should not believe in ghost stories. It is reminiscent of the panic that anti-gunners attempted to create about 25 years ago over “plastic guns” that were portrayed as “terrorist weapons.”

At the time, gun prohibitionists were talking primarily about Glock pistols, which are not “undetectable” and have become a leading choice of American law enforcement agencies. They have polymer grip frames, steel slides and barrels, and steel mechanisms.

The “undetectable” myth was invented by anti-gunners in an attempt to hoodwink unsuspecting people into supporting legislation the pushed a solution (a gun ban) in search of a problem that did not exist.

At the range, where hundreds of firearms media professionals and some amateur newcomers gathered to examine and shoot many of the new handguns, rifles and shotguns being introduced this week, there was some informal discussion about anti-gunners in search of windmills to tilt.

Not surprisingly, the first few Times reader responses to the story, about California State Sen. Kevin de Leon’s effort to require background checks and gun registration “for anyone who builds plastic firearms on a 3-D printer,” have been laced with ridicule.

If the protests and the proposed restrictions are any hint of things to come, this is going to be a colorful week in Las Vegas, where sarcastically rolling eyeballs may be as common as rolling dice in the casinos.


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