A Safer World
By Neil McKinnon
Recent shooting tragedies in Colorado and Wisconsin have prompted a variety of responses ranging from installing surveillance equipment at movie houses to increasing the police presence at large gatherings. Most of these efforts will be short-lived and ineffectual.
However, one public reaction not only has the potential to alleviate violence but may also lead the way to averting other tragedies. All across the U.S., people have responded to the gun carnage and mass killing by buying more guns. The argument is that if everyone is armed, then there is more chance that a shooter will be gunned down before he can fire multiple shots at his victims. Presumably, he will also be less accurate with all those extra bullets whizzing around his head.
Lionel Triggertalk, a long-time gun owner and member of the NRA agrees. “If everyone is packing heat, we can blow away the son-of-a-bitch in less than a second,” Triggertalk says.
Lionel’s cousin, Kenneth Pillowtalk, also agrees but takes the reasoning a step further. “If more guns is the solution to gun violence, then perhaps to avoid being hit by lightning people should wrap themselves in tinfoil and stand outside during storms,” Pillowtalk says.
I found Pillowtalk’s view intriguing. I began to wonder what steps we could all take to lead more secure lives and to avoid the most common catastrophes. So, last Sunday during a two-hour latte break, I developed a short list. It is by no means exhaustive:
1. To avoid drowning you should drill holes in the bottom of your boat and set out to sea without a lifejacket. The theory is that if you drill large enough holes the boat will sink while you are still within swimming distance of the dock and, without the encumbrance of a bulky life jacket you stand a better chance of making it. Also, a cumbersome life jacket makes it awkward to bail before you sink.
2. To avoid being injured by a wild pitch, a baseball batter should stand in the middle of home plate after drawing a bulls-eye on his uniform. The idea is that the pitcher will be so discomfited by this action that he will throw four straight balls thus sending the batter to the relative safety of first base.
3. People of all persuasions should engage in sex with as many partners as possible, all the while avoiding protection by playing a game of puncture the condom prior to each act. This is much like buying guns. Carriers of unwanted viruses will be more readily identified by numerous ex-partners and will then be treated, thus preventing an infected individual from propagating his or her unwanted conditions.
4. One can avoid diabetes by increasing one’s intake of processed sugar through the regular consumption of cola, muffins, cookies and all manner of delicious treats. Initially the increased sugar consumption will lead to more diabetics. However there will be less muffins, cookies and pop left for non-diabetics to consume thus curtailing the development of the disease.
5. Similarly, osteoporosis can be prevented by encouraging people with weak bones to play tackle football. The initial result will be more broken bones and more people becoming permanently bedridden which in turn will lead to fewer fractures among sufferers. Bedridden people rarely break bones unless they fall out of bed, a problem that can be solved by the simple expedient of tying them down.
6. To reduce fatal automobile accidents, good drivers should undo their safety belts and blindfold themselves prior to entering a freeway. The resulting free-for-all will be terrifying to those drivers who cause the most accidents: young Mexican men, old gringos of both sexes and female Asian immigrants. Sheer terror will keep most of these groups off the road thus reducing slaughter on our highways.
In addition, using the gun example as a model it may be possible for us to:
a) Reduce concussions in pro-sports by eliminating helmets,
b) Stop prison violence by supplying inmates with weapons,
c) Increase literacy by burning books, and
d) Slow global warming by idling our cars for three hours every day.
Which brings us back to Lionel Triggertalk. “Given the unrealised potential for saving human lives by increasing small arms ownership in the general population, it seems that American society has no choice,” he says. “The right to bear arms must be expanded to include anti-tank weapons, flame throwers and nuclear bombs.”