I don’t make this stuff up, you know. So, here we go again.
For those who came in late, let’s go back to the Assault Weapons Ban. Passed in 1994, the feature of it that drew most attention from people who don’t own guns was the ban on the importation, and manufacture of some scary-looking (to some) kinda sorta military-looking rifles, like this one.Understandable, really, given all the mass killings by pretty Wiccan girl — oh, nevermind.
Less remarked upon, outside the gun community, was the ban on the sale of new standard capacity magazines — that’s the black, boxlike thingee that the cartridges go into. The theory was that since nobody — other than a cop — needs a magazine with more than ten rounds, and since magazines with more than ten rounds are bad if you don’t need them, much — or, at least some — goodness would ensue. Now, yeah, I know that’s silly. Granted few people can switch mags as fast as this guy, but realistically, it wasn’t much of a muchness to most people. A bad guy who wanted to murder a bunch of people with his Glock would, instead of carrying a couple of spare 15-round mags, would carry three ten-round mags.
A good — or, at least, okay — guy, who thought that he might need more than ten rounds would just carry a spare mag, or buy one of the “pre-ban” mags which were still available, to those who had the cash.
But something did happen. Since manufacturers could no long make guns for the noncop market that were designed around, say, fifteen-round magazines, they started designing more guns around ten-round or lower-capacity mags.
The Assault Weapons Ban inspired a new class of smaller guns — pocket pistols with ten rounds in fairly large calibers, like, say, these: (Two of the above are in 9mm; one’s in .45. Perfectly reasonable self-defense calibers.)
Which, naturally, made the folks in the anti-gun industry happy? Nah. They decided that the relatively new, smaller guns — largely a response to their own sponsored legislation — were evil: “Pocket Rockets“.
Well, the Assault Weapons Ban has been dead for four years, and people can, if and when they want to, buy new, standard-capacity magazines, even if the mags happen to hold fifteen or sixteen rounds, but the “pocket rockets” remain. (And for good reason; pocket carry, while not a cop thing, is often a very useful way for somebody who doesn’t want to draw attention to himself to keep a self-defense tool handy.)
Now, it would be untrue to say that the gun manufacturers are terribly sympathetic to the hysterical shouts from the antigun industry, but they do listen. Smith and Wesson, after some years of development, came up with a brand new handgun, developed around a brand-new round: the .500 Magnum:As a carry gun — for either good or bad purposes — it would be pretty hard to imagine a worse choice. For one thing, it’s a great, big, heavy sucker — even empty, the lightest variant weighs three and a half pounds. It’s hideously expensive to practice with — each trigger pull is going to throw almost three bucks downrange.
Basically, it’s designed for folks for whom dealing with humongous recoil is a lot of fun, who are maybe going to be hunting something like grizzly bears with a handgun, and who have definitely have lots of money — forgetting ammo, the gun itself is going to run around a grand.
Surely, it’s something that even the hysterics at the Brady Center and the VPC couldn’t complain about. Heck, if Plaxico Burress had been trying to hide .500 Magnum in his shorts —
No, I’m not going to go there. Never mind. Back to the antgun folks. Having nothing real to complain about, they decide that the .500 is a “big boomer” (yeah, it is; I’ve been around one going off, once; it is kind of loud) and a “vest buster”.
There’s just no pleasing some people.