12/03/2013

US Mandatory Gun Ownership

People in the UK often say that Americans are all gun-toting crazies. Not to their faces obviously, they might have a gun. But the UK has got it wrong.

A small town in Maine has proved there are a lot of people with sense after they unanimously voted against a law requiring every household to have a gun and ammunition.

Requiring? That's bad. In every neighbourhood there are some houses where there shouldn't be guns. If you have a fridge in your front garden you shouldn't have a gun in the house. If your neighbour has just planted leylandii trees you should not have a gun (that's not going to end well). If you're dating a model, who looks a lot like a scary intruder in the dark, you should not have a gun.

About 50 people from the town of Byron turned up to the meeting. That's not a bad turn out as the place has a population of 140, which probably would've been even smaller than 140 if this law passed.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying there's no hope for a mandatory gun ownership law, I'm just saying it needs a lot of restrictions. For example, the only people who should be forced to have a gun are the people who don't like guns. They're unlikely to use it unless they really have to.

Next, the people who should be banned from owning guns are the people who want a gun. You wouldn't make it as obvious as that, or they'd go on about their second amendment and their right to wear short-sleeved shirts, or bear arms, or whatever the hell it says. What you do is say that anyone who shows an unstable personality can't own one, and make wanting to own a deadly weapon a sign of an unstable personality. Pretty soon anyone with violent tendencies would be massively out-gunned by everyone they'd want to pick on. Crime rates would plummet. There you go, another of the world's problems solved. You're welcome.

It's not the first town to try to pass a law like this. Last week, citizens of a town called Nelson approved mandatory gun ownership.

I thought things were changing in America. I thought recent tragic events might have talked the gun-lovers into realising that the cost of lives is not worth it. But no. The realisation that the latest gun tragedy is so bad it might actually bring about useful gun control has caused a knee-jerk reaction with laws about mandatory gun ownership and a massive increase in the sale of guns.

They seem obsessed. I subscribed to the Alex Jones podcast for a while and it's amazing what conspiracy theories these people believe. They think the tragic shootings are arranged by the government as a way to get the guns out of the hands of the public. And why do they need these guns? To fight the government, which they also accuse of trying to reduce the population of America. Well, you know what's the best way to reduce the population of Americans? Give them lots of guns. History shows they're pretty good at shooting one another.

It seems that it is still best summed up by the NRA's Charlton Heston, who famously said the only way to take a gun from him is from his "cold dead hands". But good news, he now looks so old his hands will be that way pretty soon.

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