On certain days everything comes up roses. It happened to me two weeks ago when it was revealed that the National Rifle Association managed to lobby the Justice Department into withdrawing legislation that would bar plastic handguns.

This was a gift from the blue because up until then Justice was supporting bans on plastic handguns.

I know what you're asking. How could the American people have been so lucky? It was not luck but common sense that forced the Justice Department attorneys into bed with the NRA.

First you must understand what a plastic gun does. It has a minimum of metal, which allows it to pass through metal detector machines. While just as easy to shoot as a metal one, it is much lighter to carry under your coat. Law-abiding citizens will be able to tote a plastic gun on a plane without the firearm showing up on the screen. It is the perfect weapon to stash in your car or by your bedside. No one but a bleeding-heart pinko could have any objections to the plastic gun's joining this nation's great handgun arsenal.

The coward may ask, "Why do we need it when we have so many guns on the market?" We need it because every weapon we can sell to the civilian population is one more blow to the criminal elements that walk the streets.

The National Rifle Association, which has no ax to grind in this dispute, insists that the banning of plastic guns will be the first step toward disarming America. The word is out that the muggers and stickup men would like nothing more than to ban anything made of plastic, including bullets, which are now legal.

The betting here in Washington is that whatever the other side attempts, the NRA will prevail. This is not necessarily because the NRA is right, but because it's rich.

Who do we have to thank for saving the plastic guns we so desperately need? It's none other than our attorney general, Ed Meese. Ed is a good friend of all gun people. He came to our aid when it looked as if banning plastic guns was going to be a fact. When Ed realized what was going on, he immediately pulled the bill, which was headed to the White House for approval. Not since the handgun statute in Florida went into effect this year has there been so much joy among gun owners in America. Thanks to Ed Meese's decision, the NRA could hang another coonskin on the wall.

What makes this victory particularly sweet is that the NRA managed to win this one when so many people, including law enforcement agencies, antiterrorist groups and citizens' groups, were against it.

So what does the NRA hope to get out of allowing plastic weapons to appear on the market? The answer is absolutely nothing. The NRA always involves itself in good causes, provided they have something to do with the biggest bang for the buck.

It doesn't matter if it's an automatic pistol or a Chinese Silkworm missile, the people have a right to bear arms. Frankly, the plastic gun is not the issue. The issue is if the plastic gun is banned today, what gun will be embargoed tomorrow?

As a gun lover, you may be asking what you can do to make sure they don't take our plastic weapons away. First write to Ed Meese and thank him for stopping the bill. Send money to the NRA to support congressional and senatorial candidates who support all of us. There are a lot of votes for sale on Capitol Hill for pro-gun legislation.

This is one of the most important battles we have to wage because there is nothing the other side won't do to stop our plastic weapons from being sold over the counter or in the airline terminal novelty store.