Friday, December 28, 2012

The Mother of All Unanticipated Consequences

For those who have not been following the results of the gun buyback program initiated by the City of Los Angeles, I must call attention to the post hoc think piece for The Atlantic Wire by Alexander Abad-Santos. Most important is the author's observation that the collection of weapons turned in to gift cards from Ralph's included two anti-tank rocket launchers. As Abad-Santos observed, this raises innumerable questions:
The first being, who in Los Angeles had military-grade rocket launchers in their house(s)?
Actually, considering the city, I do not find that one particularly difficult. The answer I would propose is:
Anyone who is a character in an action movie made within the last ten years.
The more interesting question, which action-movie scriptwriters tend to ignore as a messy detail, is:
How could someone living in Los Angeles come to possess that weapon in the first place, particularly someone clueless enough to let on that (s)he has the weapon by exchanging it for a Ralph's card?
Then there is the question for all of us who feel frustrated at the intransigence of the National Rifle Association, based on their current philosophy of arming teaching in classrooms:
Is the only solution to "a bad guy with an anti-tank rocket launcher" going to be "a good guy with an anti-tank rocket launcher?"
Shouldn't we be asking what anti-tank rocket launchers are doing in a supply chain directed at the general public and how they got there?

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