Just when I thought I'd heard it all, somebody has to go and tarnish the name of, in my opinion, the greatest musician who's ever lived, by attaching a fucking AR-15 to his name. Who might this be, you ask?
Dan Baum is a self-professed "weirdo hybrid"—a card-carrying liberal from suburban New Jersey whose affinity for firearms places him firmly in the opposite camp. For his latest book, Gun Guys: A Road Trip, the former New Yorker scribe embarked on a 15,000-mile cross-country journey to figure out why millions of Americans—himself included—instinctively cling to their guns.The relevant excerpt from the interview with Mother Jones:
MJ: In the wake of Sandy Hook, AR-15 rifles have been flying off the shelves. In your book, you mention that these guns are ubiquitous at shooting ranges and gun stores. What do you think explains its rise in popularity?Sure, I get it. This guy probably thinks he was selling the virtues of assault weapons while at the same time paying Jerry a nice compliment, right?
DB: There's a perception in the media that the AR-15 is some kind of weird outlier in gun culture. How many times have you heard since Sandy Hook that nobody needs an AR-15? Well it turns out everyone needs an AR-15; it’s the only gun anyone wants. Have you ever fired one?
DB: If I put one of those in your hands and you shot at a target you would be awestruck at how well you shot. It's like a guitar that makes everyone play like Jerry Garcia.
But also, it is enormously popular precisely because it's just so cool. It shoots so well, it's lightweight, it has a spring in the butt-stock so you don’t feel much recoil. It's accurate and modular and it has all those great accessories. It's just a fucking awesome consumer product.
For those unfamiliar with Jerry's style of guitar playing, trust me, you really don't want people firing-off bullets in a manner even remotely similar to the way Jerry fired-off notes.
My guess is that Garcia probably doesn't appreciate having to interrupt the intimate acoustic set he's been playing for the 26 victims of Sandy Hook, and all those before or since, who's lives were taken by guns like the one being so leisurely compared to his "weapon" of choice, so he can grave-spin in protest.
Sorry about that, Jerry. We're workin' on it.