Monday, July 23, 2012

A Modest Proposal (Thank You, Mr. Swift)

I've come up with a solution to gun violence in America.

Well, a partial solution.

You want to dramatically lower civilian shootings in the USA? Here's what you do:

First, you outlaw the manufacture and sale of guns for civilians. Only police and military are allowed to be so armed. No guns for sale, no ammo, nada. 

No kind of gun, period.

Then, you make possession of a firearm a capital crime, no exceptions. Woman being raped uses a gun to stop it? Death penalty for her. Psycho killer opens up on a crowd in a theater and you shoot him? Same deal. No exceptions.

Got to draw the line somewhere, right?

Ninety-day grace period to turn in your hardware, in case somebody is on a long camping trip and misses the announcement. After that? Guilty ipso facto.

Eventually, most of the guns would get collected and with no more being made, why, that would do the trick. 

Well, yes, guns and ammo can still work after a hundred years, so some of the two hundred million out there will get stashed, but eventually ...

I expect this will cut down on shootings. 

At least by civilians.

Of course there are capital crimes on the books now, and more than a few felons have been convicted of them and are in jail waiting to be executed, so that isn't a complete deterrent.
Some whackos are always ready to die, can't do anything about that, but it'll be harder for them to get the hardware.

Probably should eliminate that waiting-around loophole: If you are caught with a gun, the police should be able to shoot you dead right then. If you survive, your execution is carried out as soon as the jury comes in and convicts you, no appeal.

Take you outside, kneel you down, one to the back of the head, end of story.

Sure, there will always be some nut-job who doesn't give a rat's ass if he dies, so the law won't affect those folks, but pretty much, it will eliminate a lot of the problem, yes?

Sound good to you? Ready to go there?

Please note: If you are so stupid you miss the satire and irony in this post? Don't send me a horrified note. It is in the same vein as Swift's proposal to deal with the children of the poor by eating them. Really. If you can't see that, how on Earth did you figure out how to operate a computer well enough to get here?


Daniel Keys Moran said...

C'mon, man. Sure, I get the satire. But there's a big gap between putting tracers in gunpowder, to identify who bought a particular bullet, and what you describe. Big gap between forcing people to train like a cop to get a CCW, and what you describe. This is strawman territory.

Steve Perry said...


I didn't say I was opposed to putting tracers in gunpowder, nor licensing, nor any of what I and most folks might agree is reasonable. I'm not. I got the FBI check, prints, pictures, background, and I'm cool with that.

It's the knee-jerk get-rid-of-them-all response that I find irrational. Like I said in an online forum, he would had done better to leave the assault rifle at home and used the shotgun. His black rifle jammed. The shotgun is a much better weapon for that environment -- buckshot puts a whole bunch of deadly rounds out there with every shot.

Take away the M-16 clones, hey, not gonna bother me, I don't want one, a deer rifle is better-made and more accurate.

You don't think the anti-gun set will stop there, do you? Then it will be handguns, then more than three-round shotguns and any rifle holding more than five. After that, it will slope on down. These are the folks who think all guns are evil per se and that you can't negotiate with evil.

William Adams said...

How will tracers in gunpowder work when kids can just scrape up saltpeter from under cow dung, buy sulfur candles from the local store and make their own charcoal (which is what I did when I was a kid)?

You can't outlaw or control firearms unless you can control chemistry and every episode of _Mythbusters_ and _Star Trek_ --- look at Haiti where they're trying to implement gun control by controlling every plumbing fixture --- guess you need to round up every copy of

Travis said...

Steve, even your plan misses out on getting the real killer. Until we limit the manufacture, sale an use of motor vehicles people will continue to die. Those machines have been proven unsafe through decades of attempts for lay people to operate them an it is clearly a failed experiment. It's time to get those cars off the streets.

Steve Perry said...

I don't think tracers will work without completely regulating ammo, too-- ammo is portable and easier to move than guns. Johnny buys a case and sells some of it to Tom, who swaps a box to Bill, who has it stolen from the box in his truck.

You'd have to regulate gunpowder in all forms, too. Buy a couple pounds of it and put it into a dark closet, a few thousand bullets and primers, and recycle your shells, you can make a shitload of your own ammo.

And as you point out, you can make your own black powder, though it's messy. Of course, those old cap-and-ball and muzzle-loading flintlocks are mostly exempt, including the replicas. You can buy a copy of Wild Bill's Navy Colt most places without filling out the federal gun forms, and clunky and smoke-belching as they are, they will kill somebody just as dead as a mini-gun.

If people want guns, they will find a way to get them. You can get a gun in the mostly restricted countries in the world, and it only takes one nutso gone postal to point out how ineffective a law is in stopping a psycho.

Some regulation makes sense, but such things are like most front door locks -- they keep the mostly-honest people out. Serious burglars? No.

Dave Huss said...

After that happened I thought that an old tee shirt, three wine bottles and $3.00 worth of unleaded in the right combination, carried in an old Wal-mart bag along with a Bic lighter would have killed absolutely every single person in the theatre. People just don't fucking get it. It is not guns or knives or any damn thing that is dangerous, It's PEOPLE. Let's see you stupid sons of a bitches ban that.