By Dave Workman

Constantly on the lookout for a firearm to demonize, gun control extremists have learned that if they cannot readily find a demon, they invent one.

Such is the case with Smith & Wesson’s new and admittedly very large, five-shot revolver chambered for the company’s new .500 S&W Magnum cartridge. It’s an impressive looking handgun, weighing over 4 ½ pounds, with an 8 3/8-inch barrel. For those interested in details, it launches a 440-grain bullet at over 1,600 feet per second.

This information sent gun control zealots into well-choreographed hysteria. Within hours after its debut at the annual Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show in Orlando, Fla., gun banners were vilifying the new revolver as the obvious weapon-of-choice du jour of street criminals. No matter that the handgun is not even yet available for sale, or that its suggested retail price will make it prohibitively expensive to own, or even that, as a practical matter, no gang-banger in his right mind – if there is such a creature – would ever consider using this cannon because of its awesome recoil and the difficulty in concealing, much less carrying it.

Joining the chorus to outlaw the revolver – which was designed for hunting big game animals – were Illinois Congressman Danny Davis, Illinois State House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie, and Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo. Their complete lack of objectivity is rivaled only by their abandonment of fact.

In his attack on the new gun, Davis bluntly insisted, “I think guns are made to kill people. That’s my opinion.” He erroneously contended that, “You don’t go out hunting deer with a revolver.” That’s not true. Many people do hunt deer with revolvers. I’m one of them.

Currie revealed her absence of knowledge, admitting, “I’m not a weapons expert…” In an astonishing moment of self-contradiction she said, “The description I heard was that from a significant range you could fell a bear.” She subsequently insisted in an interview with CNSNews that the gun could not be designed for hunting. When I spoke with her, she suggested it was some kind of “assault weapon,” while admitting that she had not even set eyes on it.

Recently, Delgadillo chimed in, claiming, “These unnecessarily enormous weapons pose a danger and do not serve any justifiable purpose.” Just because he says so doesn’t make it a fact.

The odyssey of gun control over the past few years has been rather curious. Its message has mutated from “crime reduction” through “child safety” and now has become a tool against terrorism. A hard look at gun control brings one to the realization that it’s not concern about crime, child safety, or even national security. Anti-gunners just want to be rid of guns.

Their efforts have almost become predictable, and invariably are shown to be factually challenged. Recall back in the 1980s the hysteria over so-called “undetectable plastic guns” that turned out to be Glocks, which are quite detectable and are now the chosen firearm of many police agencies.

Then came the campaign against high-capacity magazines. Gun grabbers argued that the limit on magazine capacity should be ten rounds. The S&W .500 Magnum holds but five cartridges.

They’ve made various claims about the number of children who die every day from gunshot wounds. Sometimes these “children” have ranged in age to 22 years, and their numbers are easy to disprove using statistics from the National Safety Council and/or the Department of Justice.

Recently, anti-gunners declared war on the .50-caliber rifle genre, claiming they are the weapons choice of terrorists, and pose a threat to urban populations in the hands of criminals. Really? Where’s the crime wave involving these big rifles?

Now comes Smith & Wesson’s awesome revolver. It’s big, perhaps ugly by some standards, and to people who dislike firearms of any kind, a little scary looking. But looks do not make a criminal instrument; same as appearances or the color of one’s skin do not make someone a criminal. The gun has never been used in a crime, yet people want it banned. Such logic belongs right up there with “All Muslims are terrorists” and “All blacks and Hispanics are lazy.” Why? Because at the root of this hysteria about guns lies a form of social bigotry.

Big, small, shiny or even dull black, if it’s a gun, it is an object of revulsion, and the Davis-Currie-Delgadillo crowd wants it aborted like an unwanted child. Such people support every kind of restriction on gun owners, the more intrusive the better, evidently realizing that gun owners are the only citizens against whom it remains fashionable to discriminate.

The campaign against the .500 Magnum is just the latest manifestation of that discrimination, but it is just one more example of how preposterous the gun control crowd is willing to be in order to push their agenda.