A Not-So-Modest Proposal

I usually refrain from writing about guns because they have become such a volatile subject. All the legislation seems for naught, and the legislators are becoming increasingly idiotic. To wit:

All the breast-beating after each new incident seems to lead us further into despair, but here may be a solution, one that will satisfy the gun owner and the anti-gun faction.

First, some background: we’ve all heard the catchphrase guns don’t kill people; people kill people. It makes a really keen bumper sticker—and not only on a pickup truck. The alternate phrase promoted by the gun lobby, guns don’t kill people, America’s failure to treat the mentally ill kills people just hasn’t caught on. My solution really revolves around the original anyway, and it gives people who believe it a chance to say it loud and often.

Here’s how it works, let’s say there’s another mass killing where some angry young man (it’s usually a man) with a gun senselessly slaughters a lot of innocent people. You know it will happen again—there are 300 million guns out there—someone’s going to use them. So here’s the plan that I like to call, The Plan.

Whenever there is a mass killing (defined, I’m told, as more than four) some member of Congress who has actively opposed sane gun legislation must visit the family of each victim, present said family with a free bumper sticker (or wall hanging if the people don’t have a car) and read the words aloud, and with feeling: guns don’t kill people; people kill people. If the legislators believe it—and aren’t in bed with the NRA—let them own it, and let them own it in front of those who know exactly what kills people. These traveling legislators will be like the Westboro Baptist Church, compounding misery wherever they go.

As always there are those who will claim that this plan should only be applicable to assault rifles, or long guns, or any automatic weapons. I know that once you begin making exceptions, a plan won’t work. But I can compromise.


If a mass killing is committed with a musket, anti-gun-law legislators can stay home. Why? First off, the smooth bore of a musket barrel makes hitting anything smaller than the Grand Canyon pretty much impossible. Second, the time it takes to reload is enough time for the police in the next county to take down the shooter…or for prospective victims to kick the living daylights out of the gutless little coward. (Editorializing. Sorry.)

So muskets then.

That’s it. Simple. Nobody gets hurt, and better still, no gun owners have to relinquish their cherished Second Amendment rights (which were designed for muskets anyway.) And the best part is that the legislators themselves don’t have to believe a word of that catchphrase; they simply have to repeat it.

Just as they do now.

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