Philly QB’s Generous Christmas Gift, and CeaseFirePA’s Silly Response

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posted on January 5, 2017
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Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

‘Tis the season ... for clueless, useless anti-gun sanctimony. 

You may have heard how Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz gave a special gift to each member of his offensive line this Christmas. 

As ESPN reported, the quarterback, who hails from North Dakota and hunts as one of his favorite activities, gave each member of the Eagles offensive line a shotgun for Christmas. They weren’t just any shotguns—they were Beretta over-and-unders, reportedly a Silver Pigeon Sporting model, with each player’s number engraved on the butt of his gun. 

As one who’s hunted and shot skeet with a Beretta over-and-under for the past 40 years, I can attest that they’re sweet guns that point like pool cues and are darn near as quick. 

They also—at least in this case—carry a price tag somewhere north of $2,000 apiece, so they’re not the proverbial “weapons of choice” of killers, rapists, drug dealers and gang-bangers. (Indeed, according to the FBI, they’re used about 20 times less often than handguns are used in murders.) 

Nevertheless, in a USA Today Sports blog post last Thursday, Charles Custis shrieked, “Carson Wentz bought his offensive line the most violent gifts of all.” 

Heavens! Do clay pigeons have feelings? 

Not to be outdone, the anti-gun lobby tried to upstage Santa with gifts of its own. CeaseFirePA announced, magnanimously, that it was sending gun locks to the Eagles athletes who were getting shotguns as gifts from Wentz. 

The implication was clear: Those gun locks would render those firearms harmless in the same way that leg irons immobilize criminals, or strait-jackets defang the dangerously mentally ill. CeaseFirePA’s gun locks were approximately as useful as—and will probably be used even less than—Gamma’s infamous holiday sweaters. 

There was only one problem, though: CeaseFirePA’s gun locks were approximately as useful as—and will probably be used even less than—Gamma’s infamous holiday sweaters

Why? 

Because as anyone would understand after even seeing an over-and-under, double-barrel shotgun—or for that matter, any long gun that breaks at the breech on a hinge—the locks used to secure handguns simply don’t work on the shotguns in question. 

And anyone with even the most rudimentary knowledge of firearms already knows that. 

Shira Goodman, executive director of CeaseFirePA, reportedly said last week that the group was debating whether to go with cable locks or trigger locks for the shotguns. 

The problem is, neither would work. As Bob Owens of BearingArms.com pointed out, trigger locks need to exactly fit the trigger guard of a gun to disable the trigger—otherwise the whole gizmo can be moved to trip the trigger. And the trigger guards on a Beretta over-and-under shotgun are a lot larger than those on the handguns for which those locks were designed. 

As for cable locks, even if you found one with a long enough cable to fish down the bore, out the muzzle and back to the lock, you’d still need to leave the shotgun broken-open and flopping on its hinge in the wind—a good way to end up with an abused and damaged shotgun. 

What’s more, most people who own such guns break them down into pieces for storage and transport—which takes about five seconds, and renders the firearm fireproof unless and until reassembled, which neither trigger locks nor cable locks can prevent anyway—making CeaseFirePA’s gifts neither thoughtful, nor helpful, nor useful. 

In other words, CeaseFirePA’s gun locks are in this case—in a word—useless. Just like the rest of the feel-good-but-fail-fast anti-gun gimmicks that CeaseFirePA and the rest of the gun-ban lobby propose and promote and parrot every day. 

But hey, “It’s the thought that counts,” right? 

Unfortunately, too many of those in the gun-ban lobby are not only thoughtless (if not clueless) about the policies they push—they’re also careless about the consequences of those policies. And beyond being funny or silly, that’s too often a real threat. 

As U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis wrote in 1928, “Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government's purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.”

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