Gunville, USA 8.6
What do you give the gun nut who has everything? His own town to live in, complete with "7,200 square-foot gunsmith facility and armory ... 5,000 square-foot video training simulator building with the latest video simulator systems; 12 shooting ranges ... nine 360-degree, live-fire simulators; live-fire, underground training simulator with over 400 yards of tunnels; five story SWAT tower ... and much, much more."
That, at least, is the vision that gun school owner and would-be urban planner Ignatius Piazza has for Front Sight, a resort town currently in development that Piazza likes to describe as a kind of Disneyland for the NRA crowd. Piazza, now energetically promoting the town, hopes to have the development, located about 50 miles west of Las Vegas, finished by fall 2002. So far, Piazza says he has sold three dozen lots; each lot, the Gannett News Service reports, includes unlimited access to shooting ranges, a leather holster - and a free Uzi.
Not only will Front Sight residents get to play with their guns 24 hours a day; they'll also be able to live in what Piazza promises will be the safest town in America. "We won't have any crime at Front Sight," he recently told visitors to the development. "Not with everyone trained in firearms and most everyone owning them." (Interested readers can view lovely scale models of the planned community at www.frontsight.com.)
Nudist Barbie 6.2
If you want to strip your Barbie dolls naked and play with them, make sure you do it in the privacy of your own home. British Barbie enthusiast Marcelle Bremner recently was visited by police constables after she set up a display of "inappropriately dressed" Barbie dolls in the window of an empty shop below her flat. "Police stepped in following a complaint from a neighbor claiming some of the dolls were showing too much leg and others, including a Barbie with no clothes riding a horse bareback, were offensive," London's Bridge News Service reports. The officers reportedly asked her to "tone down" the display. "The officers made me feel dreadful, like I was some kind of pedophile," Bremner told the Sun tabloid.
David Futrelle is a contributing editor of In These Times.