Mark Steel: US gun lobby is right -- the more lethal weapons the better

We’re supposed to admire people who think “outside the box”, so you have to be impressed with Americans who still rage against gun control.

For example, if you were in an office and someone gasped, “I’ve just been informed there are some deranged lunatics amongst us”, it would take a certain imagination to reply, “In that case, the main thing is to make sure everyone in the building has access to plenty of guns”.

The latest lunatic going berserk with a gun goes to show that everyone needs to be armed, as there are lunatics about going berserk with a gun. It’s been suggested that primary school teachers be armed, but one teacher couldn’t overcome a sudden attack so surely the kids themselves need guns.

And once schoolchildren are protected, madmen will go crazy in nurseries instead so we need to arm babies. Kindergartens will advertise by saying: “Here at Bubbly Bounce, our precious cherubs are each provided with a 9mm Colt SSP semi-automatic double-action pistol, so you KNOW your child is safe all day long.”

As the strategy of allowing everyone to have guns has worked so well, it’s a shame it wasn’t applied more rigorously in international affairs. During the civil war in Rwanda, presumably the US gun lobby said: “The problem is there aren’t enough guns. You can’t expect a country to be peaceful when everyone has only one each, we should send over a few million more and the place will be as quiet as a mouse by Thursday.”

One phrase repeated by pro-gun campaigners after the latest shooting, is “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people”. This may be true, though if we’re being picky it could be argued that a gun was also a component part of the incident. So maybe guns aren’t enough, and there needs to be a campaign for every American to have the right to own a ferocious lion.

Of course, a problem may come when a nutcase tries to shoot your lion, which is why the lion would have to be armed with a sniper rifle and rocket-propelled grenade launcher, but at least the honest citizen would be on the way to feeling safe at last.

President Obama hinted that he’ll try to introduce gun controls, but the problem he has to overcome is millions of Americans appear to have a charming disorder, whereby they think the way to stop a calamity is to have more of the things that caused the calamity. If they ran the fire service, they’d run through the streets setting fire to everything, saying, “Glad to be making every citizen safe from pyromaniacs, ma’am.”

The people most determined to oppose gun control also seem to be those who were most determined to oppose a healthcare system that would destroy the US citizen’s right to die without the state interfering by looking after them. I’m not normally a conspiracy theorist, but someone should investigate whether the United States has been infiltrated by a suicide cult.

[First appeared at The Independent. Mark Steel is a British comedian and socialist.]


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