“Never let a serious crisis go to waste,” is a quote attributed to the current boss of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel. In the progressive Statist world, we could modify that statement. “Never let a tragedy or crime fail to become a crisis.”

We have seen it play out time and again. A piece of human debris goes on a killing spree and the immediate reaction of the Progressive Statist is to pass more legislation, i.e. changing a color. “There ought to be a law!” is the rallying cry. Never mind the fact murder and felonious assault are already illegal. We need more laws to keep us safe. At no time do the big government types or their sycophants in the media point to the human element of the problem.

While the following is not a “crime”, the rush for new laws or a government solution was sadly all too predictable.

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Idaho Tragedy

Someone mentioned a tragic story from Meridian, Idaho to me. A two-year-old boy shot his four-year-old brother in the head with an emergency flare gun. At press time the victim was alive in intensive care. Certainly, this story should upset anyone that has a soul.

If you wanted to be thoroughly depressed, you could search “toddler deaths and injuries” daily online. You’ll find that they drown, are accidentally poisoned, killed in car wrecks and die from falls. Furthermore, the CDC report shows that car crashes, drowning, and burns were the top three unintentional killers of small children.

What is troubling about the Idaho event, besides the obvious injury to the child, is the knee-jerk reaction to blame the object, not the circumstances that led up to the injury. Moreover, there are cries rising for new laws and legislation aimed at emergency flare guns. Some call for more “Warnings” on flare gun packaging.

Are you kidding me? It’s a FLARE GUN, it shoots a burning FLARE, how much more warning do you need? In fact, do sporting goods and marine supply stores sell flare guns to children? Last time I checked the answer was no.

There are calls for manufacturers to change the color of the emergency signaling tool from blaze orange to colors less attractive to kids. The obvious sophistry aside, are you trying to tell me that if a four-year-old child found a flare gun that was black, green, yellow or some other color they would not pick it up?

Manufacturers have even offered to classify flare guns as firearms and only sell them through FFL holders. I challenge anyone to tell me that these changes would have prevented the tragedy in Idaho.

The Magic and Evil of Color

Every time a child or teen is shot by the police while holding a toy gun the first question posed by neophytes is “Did it have an orange color tip?” Not “Was the kid just holding it?” Or “Did the kid point the gun in a menacing way at the officer?” It’s as if the color orange is somehow a magic shield to prevent tragedy. We don’t question the actions of humans’, just the color of the object.

We know that Nanny Bloomberg went so far as to outlaw colored guns during his term as emperor of New York City. I suppose today if the NYPD responds to a call of a bank robbery in progress and the bandits run out with hot pink blasters in their hand the cops should resort to Mace because the objects could no longer be “real guns”.

Perhaps, rather than getting all wrapped around the axle over color, we might consider the circumstances? Or, instead of calling for more legislation and government control after every tragedy or crime we might want to actually hold human beings responsible for their actions; whether those actions are negligent, reckless, purposeful, or deliberate.

Paul Markel ©2014

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Paul G. Markel has worn many hats during his lifetime. He has been a U.S. Marine, Police Officer, Professional Bodyguard, and Small Arms and Tactics Instructor. Mr. Markel has been writing professionally for law enforcement and firearms periodicals for nearly twenty years with hundreds and hundreds of articles in print. Paul is a regular guest on nationally syndicated radio talk shows and subject matter expert in firearms training and use of force. Mr. Markel has been teaching safe and effective firearms handling to students young and old for decades and has worked actively with the 4-H Shooting Sports program. Paul holds numerous instructor certifications in multiple disciplines and a Bachelor’s degree in conflict resolution; nonetheless, he is and will remain a dedicated Student of the Gun.

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