What If It Were Parakeets?

Yes, parakeets.

What if the right to own parakeets was guaranteed by the Second Amendment?

And what if we all knew that parakeets were menacing and dangerous—only useful when employed by the most well-trained and responsible parakeet wranglers? Would we allow parakeets to be sold randomly to people on the terrorist watch list? To people with serious mental illnesses? To people who already own an entire aviary full of parakeets and want more?

Or would we just say no—you can’t have any more. You have enough parakeets, and besides…no, there is no besides…you just can’t. Now get out!

See how easy that would be? Why shouldn’t we do the same for guns?

Unfortunately, I think one of the reasons we can’t (or won’t) is…and please correct me if I’m wrong…people who love guns often own guns. We wouldn’t fear the parakeet owners unleashing their birds on us, but people with guns—when we say” Now get out!”—they might just shoot us.

So instead of being overrun by parakeets, we’re stuck with this massive proliferation of weapons. Darn that Second Amendment. Of course assault rifle owners and automatic weapons aficionados are forever citing its importance, but they don’t really care about the Constitution. It’s nothing more than a talking point. I remember an old NRA bumper sticker: I’ll give you my gun when you pry it from my cold, dead hands. Sad that any human being would think that way. Even sadder, though, that we have an incredible and disheartening number of cold dead hands these days:

  • In 209 out of 336 days this year, at least one shooting left four or more people injured or dead.
  • A total of 462 people have died and 1,314 have been wounded in such mass attacks in this one year.
  • Since January, there have been at least 354 such cases in about 220 cities in 47 states.

This is December 3, the 337th day of the year. We are averaging more than one mass shooting a day. That’s a lot of cold dead hands.

Already the pro-gun folks are reminding us that pipe bombs were used in San Bernardino, so we can’t blame guns.

As if we’re idiots. Those numbers I cited above? Those are shootings.

Then again, if we keep holding moments of silence, on-site vigils, and well-attended memorial services and think that’s going to change anything, then maybe we are idiots—exactly the kinds of people who shouldn’t own guns.

Unfortunately, we’re exactly the kind of people who do.

Addendum: I blogged this before I read the comments that a frustrated and angry Senator Chris Murphy made yesterday. If I had read them first, I wouldn’t have had to write this. (12/4/15)


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