This cheerful depiction of a family playing a game of Jarts from the 1950’s might look like they are enjoying a fair summer day and a game of lawn darts, but if this picture were from today and the couple at the table just sold the Jarts to the family that is playing, they would be criminals. Now imagine that the rings are targets and the Jarts were guns that were sold by the couple at the table and being used by the family playing the game….that would be completely OK.
In the wake of yet another mass shooting – the worst in the nation’s history – it seems absurd that much of the discussion in the media is focused on “Islamic Terrorism,” hate crimes and terror in general, with only a passing mention of gun control.
“It’s too early to discuss gun control.” “This is a time for mourning, not talk about guns.” “Guns are not the issue, [religion, hate, terror, mental illness, etc.] is the issue.” Heck, Donald Trump is still ranting that keeping Muslim immigrants/visitors out of the country would be the answer to stopping senseless gun deaths. The NRA and the gun lobby would have you believe that any form of common sense gun control would not only trample the rights of the citizenry, but would decimate our country’s vital guns and ammunition industry financially, while leaving the average citizen totally defenseless against an overreaching and tyrannical government..
In 2008 the federal government passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) which outlawed the sale of any recalled products, both by individuals and corporations. Under the law, it is technically illegal for individuals to even sell recalled products at a yard sale at their own house….and it is up to all individuals to know what products have been recalled. The number of new recalls is in the thousands, every year.
In the history of the world, there has been one, yes one, case of accidental death by Jart. While the death of the seven year old girl who was killed when a neighbor’s Jart entered her yard was surely tragic for her family and something that they will never completely emotionally recover from, it seems absurd that one accidental death can result in the complete banning of a product that is basically a big nail with plastic fins…..especially when you read the now weekly stories of mass shootings and accidental gun deaths.
Over the past 60+ years, there have been about 6000 reported Jarts accidents, one of them leading to a fatality. Yet every year there are over 100,000 individuals in the U.S. alone that are the victims of gunshot wounds, and in the first ten years of this century there were 335,000+ fatalities resulting from gunshots.
We are not a Federally licensed gun dealership. But, we can still legally sell a number of different types of firearms on our website, including long guns, muzzle loaders and pistols, if the pistols were manufactured prior to 1899. Despite being legally able to resell these firearms, it is illegal for us to sell Jarts.
Sure there are lots of similar arguments that many of you have heard before….ie. “They sell [baseball bats, knives, chainsaws, cars, etc.], all of which cause many deaths, both accidental and intentional every year. But I offer the Jarts argument because it is a vintage item that is still greatly in demand despite the fact that they are illegal, and because of the history of one accidental death resulting in the illegality of something that has to be used inappropriately to actually cause any type of accident in the first place. (Hard to a two year old to impale themselves on a Jart, not so hard for a two year old to get daddy’s gun and shoot their sibling).
I’m not arguing that guns should be banned. I am making that argument that if you aren’t allowed to own Jarts because of an exponentially small risk of injury, then perhaps if you want to own a gun, it should be treated like owning a car (something that also results in many unnecessary deaths each year) where all cars need to be registered, licensed, inspected and insured – not to mention, the ability to obtain a driver’s license is restricted to those with severe mental and physical ailments that might prevent unsafe scenarios on the roads.
Gun fans cringe at the very thought of having to tell the government what weapons they own, but the 100+ unarmed victims in Orlando and their families probably won’t mind if the third of individuals who own guns in this country have to report owning and selling them.
I am not anti-gun, I am, however, pro-common-sense, or at least I’d like to think so. So with that, I will leave you with this image for a recalled piece of boy armor, that has never killed anyone, but is completely illegal to sell, simply because it cannot adequately stop a legal bullet, fired from a legally bought and sold gun.