Most Laws are Stupid

Laws are stupid in most cases. They are written by lawyers and politicians and their assistants who are tasked with saving the world from a perceived harm. I came across such a law that I didn’t even know existed, and I believe it falls into the stupid category. Before I make my point I have to tell a family story. My wife Barbara had many uncles and two of them were bachelors who fought in WWII. John, fought in the battle of the bulge in Europe, and his brother Frank fought in Italy, and survived. They came home and led what seemed to be normal lives. Frank’s brain melted and he married at age fifty, John never found the love of his life. Rumor had it that John had one sweetheart who rejected him and he never recovered. The two bachelors bought lake front property in Wisconsin and built a house on it. The entire family benefited. It became the go to week-end resort for many of us.

Somewhere along the way John, an avid outdoorsman, bought a mail order gun, a Colt pistol fashioned after the famous Colt 45 used by many gun slingers of movie fame. John’s pistol was a .22 caliber pea shooter as opposed to the .45 caliber gun used by gun slinging cowboys of the wild west. John shot the gun a few times at paper targets and lost interest in it. His gun was made in 1961.

The bachelors lived with their older sister Marie and her husband Henry in a small three bedroom house in Chicago. They also had a younger brother Louie who also served in WWII, but since he was already married at the time Lou pulled duty protecting the Aleutian Islands off the coast of Alaska. Lou and his wife lived in Lyons a suburb of Chicago. The three brothers began to pass away when they reached their seventies, and Marie’s husband also passed at sixty-eight. She wound up inheriting all of John’s stuff.

Before my wife Barbara died she committed me to care for Marie who was childless and living alone. I took the job seriously and visited her twice a week to make sure she had food and regularly took her to her doctor for check ups. On one of those visits she handed me a paper bag and said, “here Joe, I want you to have this I don’t know what to do with it.” I opened the bag and the box inside. It was the Colt. By this time, Illinois had passed a law that all gun owners must have a Firearm Owners I.D.(FOID) to possess a gun lawfully. I had a FOID when I was much younger so I could buy ammunition for the Winchester rifle my brother gifted me when I was fourteen. The FOID card was invented by lawmakers to keep people from easily buying guns and ammunition. Before that time, I was able to buy a gun and ammunition in a hardware store anywhere in America. After the FOID law I couldn’t buy ammunition in any state of the Union unless I had a FOID. I loved target shooting and taught each of my kids to shoot with that rifle. During my college days I took the rifle with me, and joined the school rifle team so I could shoot competitively. After school, I shot at my parent’s farm in Michigan, and more recently I shoot in a special target range I set up in the basement of my home.

By the time I inherited this gun from Marie the country had gone gun control nuts so I reapplied for a FOID card again just in case a SWAT Team shows up at my front door looking for guns. Fast forward twenty-two years and the original story I began to tell. I’ve had this gun in my desk wrapped in plastic in the original box it came in. In the past twenty years I have shot it twice, both times while visiting my son in Texas. We went to the gun range to have some fun shooting holes in paper. Last week, Lovely’s cousin Richard came to the USA on a business trip, and stayed with us for a few days. I learned that Richard is a gun collector, and enthusiast. He also grew up in a country that was a part of the former USSR. He describes that experience as living in a prison within your own country. Richard, like most Americans believes in liberty and freedom and has a formidable collection of weapons from many gun manufacturers around the world. He also belongs to gun enthusiast club. They shoot at paper regularly, and to make things interesting have special events like Wild West Days, or Al Capone days. On those days the members dress in period clothing, shoot period weapons, and their targets are paper Indians and mobsters. One of Richard’s goals while here was to find a western wear shop and to buy some cowboy clothes. I didn’t think that would be possible in Chicago, but I was wrong. Alcala’s Western Wear at 1733 W, Chicago Ave, is the go to place. It is as good as any Western Wear shop I have been to in Arizona.

The family sat around the table a couple of nights ago and listened to Richard’s stories about his gun hobby. Not to be out done, I showed him my Colt. I thought Lovely was going to faint. She had no idea that I owned a gun. Richard on the other hand was totally impressed and loved the gun. This is my chance to be a hero I thought to myself. I said, “Richard, I’d give you this gun right now if I didn’t think it would cause you no end to problems at the airport.” At first he thought I was kidding, but I told him, “I want you to have this gun, I’ll ship it to you.”

“Thank you,” he said with a huge smile.

Yesterday, I searched the internet to find out how to do it. What a mistake that was. There are endless excuses in front of me to prevent shipping a gun anywhere. The bottom line is that I must find a dealer who is licensed to sell guns, and talk him into doing me this favor. Then there are packaging rules which are designed to hide the contents of the package from any one inclined to want to steal the package for it’s contents. I’m sure all this bullshit has been designed to prevent lawless citizens like me from running illegal firearms to dangerous criminals around the world. Yet in reality, the only ones affected by this law are guys like me who want to send a present to a cousin. Every week in Chicago we get a report on the number of people who were shot in Chicago. The joke is that it is illegal to own a gun in Chicago, but Chicago doesn’t enforce the law, and guns are available on the street. I’d bet my house that none of the guns used by gang members were bought and shipped to the perpetrator’s home using the mail or a delivery service.

So what purpose do all these ineffectual gun laws have? My take is that it keeps big government employed and getting bigger, but it doesn’t do anything to protect the common man from harm by a man with a gun.