That, my friends, is what we call an “evergreen” headline.

In this instance, however, we’re talking about a law written by slow-witted politicians who feel compelled to “do something” because criminals are still acting like criminals despite existing laws that tell them that crime will be punished.

In this instance, we’re facing yet another dumb law on how fake guns must be colored so that they aren’t as easily confused with real guns, as if the criminal behavior committed with both fake a real firearms isn’t the problem.

The Massachusetts House is set to vote Wednesday on a bill that would require all imitation firearms owned, made or sold in Massachusetts be marked to distinguish them from real guns.

The bill would require replica guns to be painted a color other than black, blue, silver or aluminum and be marked with a non-removable orange stripe. There would be exceptions for antique firearms and for guns used for theater or film productions.

The point of the policy would be to help the police and the public distinguish between fake and real guns.

Norwood President Chief Bill Brooks, president of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, which supports the bill, said his police force last month had an incident when a replica gun was used in a robbery.

Particularly in urban areas, Brooks said there have been problems with people using fake guns in crimes and carrying them on the street. When an officer is unsure whether a gun is real or fake, Brooks said, “It puts people in jeopardy of being shot.”

The bill is sponsored by State Rep. Dan Cullinane, D-Dorchester, who did not return calls for comment. It has 20 cosponsors.

The following should open the eyes of the most clueless of people.

Here’s a replica Beretta PX4 Storm compact captured by the Boston Police Department.

Americans are tired of “just black” guns, and there are many color factory options for firearms, and there are many after-market gun coating companies that use any number of technologies to change the color of firearms.

In the end, this legislation is a test of intellect and pandering for the Massachusetts House.

If you vote in favor of this bill and are sincere in your belief that painting an orange strip with change either the behavior of the criminal, or the behavior of civilians or law enforcement officers responding to a “man with a gun,” then you are, in very generous terms, an idiot.

If you vote in favor of the bill knowing that it will do absolutely nothing—these bills have been passed elsewhere, and have failed in every instance—then you are cynical and pandering to stupid people, instead of using your office to educate your constituents on why such legislation is a bad idea, and you are failing them.

The only rational vote on this issue is to blast the politicians—and I assure you that appointed police chiefs like Bill Brooks are politicians, not real cops—who are pushing a fake “we have to do something” law that will not have any impact on crime.

Here are the facts.

  • Criminals will break laws.
  • Criminals who will commit armed robberies will by black spray paint to make any fake gun look real to commit crimes.
  • These same criminals will paint real guns with an orange stripe in hopes of causing police and citizens to pause just a half-second, enabling them to get that “first shot” advantage over law enforcement officers and other citizens.
  • good people in law enforcement and other citizens are going to get shot as a result of this law.
  • this law ONLY benefits criminals.

We’ve seen numerous documented instances were criminals have violated this law in both ways, painting over markings to make fake guns look real, and disguising real guns to make them look fake in hopes of giving them an advantage over the good guys.

In the real world, well-trained police officers and “regular Joe” citizens are going to react to the threats being made by the person, not the color of the gun in their hand.

Politicians like State Rep. Dan Cullinan and Norwood President Chief Bill Brooks of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association are going to get good people killed as a result of this idiotic law.