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Locked and Loaded

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If happiness is a warm gun, there's a gentleman in Simi Valley who was chuckling like Buddha on a lotus blossom jag - until the LAPD pinched him for possession of 388 illegal firearms, more than the total number of guns seized citywide in 2003.

After Wayne Wright was busted for selling a gun to an undercover officer (out in Porter Ranch, of all places), the police searched his home and discovered a cache of guns and ammo that would be the envy of any Iraqi insurgent or Wal-Mart gun department manager.

Sounds like good police work, and it was, but this is definitely a good news/bad news situation.

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The good news, as described in the typically dry wording of Chief Bratton's press release: "Many of these guns are the types routinely used in crimes in Los Angeles" (As opposed to the illegal guns that are not routinely used in crimes in LA, which would, we suppose, include muskets and hand cannons).

The bad news, which just got worse with the expiration of the national assault weapon ban: California's tough gun control laws, while admirable, are limited in their effectiveness as long as other states (hello, Nevada!) continue with lax enforcement of weak legislation.

We've got to take a little bit of responsibility for the situation ourselves, as well. Guns go where there is a market, and the LA market has an insatiable demand for firearms. Whether you're in street gang, a bank robbery crew, or just a rapper from Sherman Oaks looking for street cred, there's gonna come a time when you need a gun, and LA's illegal arms dealers will be there to serve your needs.