America had a typical reaction to the recent shootings at a Colorado movie theater, Wisconsin Sikh Temple and near Texas A & M University: national gun sales spiked. We watched the news, shook our heads in disbelief and then got in line for the drive-thru window at the local gun shop.
It’s simple. When you love something deeply and see someone else possess that thing, it only makes you want that thing more. America and guns is just an old-fashioned love story that gives you heart palpitations, fluttery eyes and a head wound.
The United States is number one in the world for personal gun ownership at 88 guns per 100 people. India is a distant second with only 3 guns per 100. Of course, as handling more and more irate tech calls cause Indian workers to snap, gun ownership there may rise.
It’s a collective obsession, too. To prove we have a government of the people, by the people, our defense spending exceeds that of the next seventeen countries combined. We dare China to come collect the money we owe it.
Driving is a privilege. Voting is a privilege. Gun ownership is a right. By the way, shooting a gun, while driving home from casting a vote, is still legal in several states. This right to possess a gun is guaranteed by our constitution’s second amendment, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not to be infringed.”
There was a land to clear of a native population and food to put on the table so the first gun control laws weren’t enacted until the end of our Civil War. If there was ever a time to infringe a little, it was when faced with a large population of recently freed slaves who might be harboring a grudge.
Today there are state and federal laws designed to keep guns out of the hands of documented criminals and lunatics. Unfortunately, the loopholes in these laws are big enough to drive an Abrams tank through. If you can’t pass a background check, go to a flea market or swap meet. There an unlicensed dealer can overlook the fact you’re drooling on your strait-jacket and fill your cart with guns, bullets and eight-track tapes.
The arms our founding fathers guaranteed the right to bear were single shot, smooth bore, muzzle loading muskets, with an effective range of about a hundred yards. To become a mass murderer with that kind of equipment requires a very willing group of victims, possibly stumbling across a meeting of Suicides Anonymous.
That’s why most of the psychopaths from that era, like Jack the Ripper, chose to work in the serial killer field. Solo mass murdering didn’t become an Olympic event until fairly recently, when semi-automatic weapons capable of holding large amounts of ammunition became available to the general public.
The most powerful lobbying group in Washington, The National Rifle Association, fights any effort at gun control, even defending military style weapons as hunting rifles. The shooter at the Colorado movie theater was able to pair a hundred shot drum magazine to one of these assault rifles. If it takes you 100 shots to bring down Bambi, hunting may not be your sport. Try wood working.
Since it is obvious that any meaningful gun control is impossible, full gun ownership is the best choice. Pass a law requiring every adult man and woman to carry a gun at all times. The knowledge that every other driver is armed surely cuts down on road rage. Everyone becomes a little more polite at the supermarket checkout line. People don’t shout so loudly into their cell phones.
I think I just talked myself into buying another gun.