It seems like every time I flip through the newspaper or turn on the news there’s another fatal or near-fatal shooting being reported. It’s one of the many reasons I try to avoid watching the news, actually. My heart sincerely goes out to the victims and their families every time I hear of another senseless act of violence, and I always wonder why it keeps happening, what lawmakers are doing to prevent such tragedies, and who these people are that keep getting guns and going crazy with them.
An October 2011 Gallup poll shows that gun ownership is on the rise in all demographics, with 47% of Americans claiming to own a firearm. That’s the highest percent reported since 1993. This trend seems to coincide with the gun control laws that were federally passed under President Clinton in late 1993 and early 1994. First, the Brady Bill which required a five day waiting period and background check before one could purchase a firearm. Secondly, the Assault Weapons Ban , which finally defined what an assault weapon was and banned things such as automatic weapons and accessories which made standard weapons more deadly. The ban expired under President Bush in 2004, and there has been a dramatic increase in gun sales since. States have been letting up on their restrictions in recent months as well, as Rachel Maddow points out in this clip, courtesy of Best of the Left Podcast:
It seems that Americans are still divided on the issue of gun rights. Those on the far Right are clutching their rifles in one hand and the second amendment in the other, screaming “freedom” to all who will listen, while those on the far Left are on their hands and knees in a courtroom crying out, “won’t somebody, please, think of the children?”
I used to sympathize with the latter, though I was less concerned for the future generations as I was for my own safety. But, I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching on the topic, because I know when we’ve been licked, and I know that most Americans will never agree to turn in their guns for hugs and sing “We Are the World” around our respective town campfires. No, America needs a new plan – and here it is, in five easy steps.
Step one: effective immediately all grade schools K-5 will have a class on gun safety and target practice. Workshops for all citizens currently older than 10 years old will be held in every city until each person has completed it. This is mandatory. Those who try to avoid the class in protest will be hunted down.
Step two: at the end of the class, give everyone an American-made gun. I mean everyone. If you’re strong enough to hold up a pistol then baby, it’s yours. The class isn’t pass/fail – use what you learned or get shot, it’s your call.
Step three: familiarize all citizens of these important laws: murder is a crime, he who fires at and hits the first person will be sentenced to life in prison, and self-defense is not a defense until you’ve been shot. No exceptions. All petty criminals currently flooding our prisons are hereby released and given a gun.
Step four: watch the population decrease rapidly at first. I call this the Darwin period. It should start to level out after about a year.
Step five: install 24/7 gun vending machines and silhouettes of moose and bank robbers around cities that can pop up at anytime, allowing those who are left some fun target practice.
Pretty simple, right? And just think of the boost this will have on our economy. Thousands are sure to die within the first six months, freeing up jobs in nearly all professions to those who survive. Not only that, but morticians, casket makers, and grave diggers will be in exceptionally high demand. Florists and sympathy card company’s stocks will be through the roof. Over-population will no longer be a problem and, for those who are concerned about it, this will also affect immigration, because who in their right mind would want to come to a country full of heat-packing Americans? Our world will soon become a utopia, where people are polite to one another because they know if they’re being an asshole it’s pretty likely that they’ll get shot dead right there. I picture it as a combination of “Pleasantville” meets “Unforgiven”, where June Cleaver might be serving you a big, hearty breakfast and then, when she realizes that you didn’t take out the trash, again, she shoots you point blank in the head. Yes, this is my kind of world.
I’ve also taken into consideration that people toting guns around will likely get bored and decide to just go around shooting any old thing that they can. I want to discourage the senseless killing of animals ala Oregon Trail style (“You’ve collected 4000 pounds of buffalo meat but can only carry 500 pounds”) so there will be an additional law prohibiting the killing of any animal that is not used for food or other practical purpose (hats, rugs, art). Anyone found not in compliance will be charged a fee, and that fee will increase with each offense. However, hunting for your own locally sourced, free range food is a great way to promote healthy eating and an active lifestyle. I would encourage everyone to hunt for whatever game is in their neighborhoods, be it squirrel, deer, ducks, or raccoons. Especially raccoons.
I’ve only shot a few guns in my life – target practice with a sawed off BB gun, an Intratech Tec-9 9mm, an AKM-47, and an Armalite AR-50 BMG that I can recall for sure. Target practice with my friends was fun and I think necessary to learn, but the truth is, I don’t really like guns. I don’t own one, and I don’t feel any safer having one around. I just think that it’s time we level the playing field, so to speak, and give both the Right what it wants (guns for all!) and the Left what it wants (equality and improved conditions for the lower and middle class!). I realize that I may very well be one of the victims of this plan, and I’ve learned to accept that. I mean, life is short to begin with, and sometimes we need to be reminded of how fleeting it can be. Let’s all live as though we might get shot tomorrow. Because with or without my new plan, we could be amongst the growing number of Americans shot to death this year.
Patti Lynn Henry was delivered in a blizzard in February of 1984 by a drunk doctor who nearly fainted at the sight of a baby with a disintegrated umbilical cord. She’s faced countless tragedies, both real and imaginary, ever since. She’s a hostage of her home town of Northfield, MN. When Patti isn’t busy writing, she’s dressing her cats up in costumes and burying the photographs in her garden.