Americans Having Fun? Oh, the Horror!
When Steve Lauer developed DuraCoat, it was a technical innovation with a practical application. In the few years that it has been on the market, it has been adapted to serve an aesthetic function, as well. While such adaptations seem to happen all the time these days, there are still some objects that seem unlikely subjects for snazzy customization. Guns, for example.
But if you visit the website of Lauer Custom Weaponry, you'll see quite an impressive array of graphic treatments that can be given, through a DuraCoat spray-on process, to a pistol, a shotgun, a carbine, or a semiautomatic rifle for between $50 and $100.
Carol Vinzant, the author of a recent book about the firearms industry, "Lawyers, Guns, and Money," says one reason the ``cool factor" might matter is that there's been little technical innovation in the consumer-gun market for decades. "The last real technological innovator in the gun industry was John Browning," she says. "And he died in 1926."
And while the gun shopper has traditionally treated his or her firearms as quasi-sacred items, maybe even this category is not immune to customization in an era of "Pimp My Ride," laser-etched laptops, and an infinite number of cellphone covers. "Gun owners and retailers are having fun with the color combinations," The Chippewa Herald recently wrote in an upbeat profile of Lauer's business. "The possibilities are endless."
Yeah, almost as endless as the free-flowing supply of mental diarrhea, like this, coming from the fanatics in the gun control movement.
The possibility of multicolored weapons prompted Mayor Michael Bloomberg to sign legislation in July banning the sale of gun-coloring kits in New York.
That'll teach those neolithic knuckle-draggers to try to have fun on his watch.
Lauer was promptly interviewed by about 30 reporters who, he says, generally didn't seem to know much about guns or gun owners.
He says his customer base is not urban bad guys but rather rural gun owners who take safety seriously.
He adds that he sells to law-enforcement agencies that use blue-colored guns for training and to search-and-rescue operations that use yellow or orange guns, as well as to competitive shooters who simply want to stand out.
And while basic, functional, nonsnazzy matte black is still the "big seller" and is used for its practical rustproofing qualities, creative aesthetics have been good for business. Between DuraCoat's practical and style-oriented applications, Lauer doesn't see business slowing down anytime soon. "There's a lot of guns," he says. "There's far more than you'd ever imagine."
I think Han Solo said it best:
I don't know. I can imagine quite a bit.
Here's an article on SurplusRifle.com, showing, step-by-step, how the Duracoat finish is applied.
Can't you just see gun-toting gangbangers and crack-addled thugs everywhere setting up shop in their well-ventilated basements and garages with their compressors and airbrushes to "pimp their gats"?
"Yo, G! I scored some of dat Duracoat shit fo da gats!"
"That's da bomb, homes. Now we can paint 'em lime green and carry 'em around in the open, and everyone, including da po-po, will just think they're toy guns! But, yo, how does this shit work?"
"Let's see...Step one...disassemble the firearm."
Bloomberg would be better served banning Rust-Oleum spray paint, if his real goal is to prevent criminals from painting their guns with pretty colors. But, of course, we all know that's not what he's aiming for here (no pun intended).