Does it get any more ironic than accidental shootings at gun shows in North Carolina, Indiana, and Ohio on national Gun Appreciation Day?

Backed by the frothers at the NRA, who engage in the sort of head-scratching counter-logic that even a first-grader could see through, gun advocates are making all the wrong arguments for all the wrong reasons.

No, people asking for stricter gun laws are not coming to pry your weapons from your cold, dead hands. They are making sure the psycho next door who lives in his parents' basement and dresses up in camouflage outfits to play violent video games all day long can't get his hands on an assault rifle.

While P&J wouldn't let even a derringer in Casa Diablo, because we know we'd find a way to blow our noses off, we are friendly with many gun owners. And those we know are more sane and cautious than your average bear. They respect what a handgun or hunting rifle can do. They are almost all ex-military or ex-law enforcement, after all. Many have been on the wrong end of a gun barrel at some point, so they take the subject very seriously.

Oh, and as far as we know, they take handguns, not Uzis, to target practice.


And now we go to the toy department . . . sports.

HOW 'BOUT THEM PATS?!? | At Phillipe and Jorge's health club Monday morning, all the talk in the locker room was about the Patriots depressing performance in the AFC Championship game the day before. Reaction ranged from disbelief to an acknowledgement that perhaps Tom Brady and the boys weren't all they were cracked up to be.

If there was an organ by the showers playing funeral music, it would have fit right in.

P&J don't believe in that kind of overreaction. Our solution is simply to fire that fraud Bill Belichick and trade Brady and his favorite wide receiver, Wes Welker. We have e-mailed this astute advice to Patriots owner Bob Kraft, and are expecting a response any minute now.

STAN THE MAN | If you are of a certain age, and P&J passed it awhile ago, every kid on the block knew who you were talking about when you said "Stan the Man." That would be Mr. Musial, the St. Louis Cardinals three-time MVP and seven-time National League batting champ who passed away last week.

Stan the Man had some advantages. For the bulk of his career, the Cardinals were the westernmost team in baseball, and their games were broadcast widely across that section of the country beyond the Mississippi and in the south. That had something to do with his popularity. But it was more than that. Unlike most of today's athletes (and P&J would love to see how many current major leaguers know who Musial was — take the under at about five percent) he was about as soft-spoken, dignified, and revered as a small-town pastor.

Despite his destruction of Phillipe's beloved Philadelphia Phillies, P. had a Musial figurine in his bedroom. He hoped to be the next incarnation of "The Man." As you may have guessed, that idea didn't work out too well. Nor did becoming the new Elvis. RIP, Stan the Man, there won't be another.

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