So, I think I’ve figured it all out. Okay, not all all. But one thing that has bothered me since I was young.
Once, when I was (probably) nine, my mom asked me what I would do if I won a million dollars. With very little preparation or thought, I said the following:
“I think I’d like to buy everyone’s guns–maybe for about $50 each–and throw them in an incinerator.”
Okay, you got me. I didn’t say “incinerator.” I know that because, as I write this, I just now had to look up the correct spelling. I have always had a thing where I do not normally use words that I cannot spell.
I remember looking at the sidewalk–I’m pretty sure we were in front of my school–and not at my mom’s face when I answered her. Because she’s never liked guns–and always made that abundantly clear to my brother and me throughout our childhood–I have a suspicion that she probably welled up and felt pride in raising her son to subscribe to the same beliefs as she’d held for so long.
Now, the point of this (quick?) blog post: As a high school- and college writing instructor who lives and works in southern Indiana and assigns argumentative essays, I have read a “fair” share of pro-gun essays. Often, within the argument, the student-author will mention a recent event where a responsible gun owner prevented a heist or mass shooting to impress upon the reader that state- and federal governments should not stand in the way of this potential for heroism.
In those classes as well, we discuss the Rogerian argument method. In short, it’s a technique in written argument that suggests a compromise and not a complete reversal of one’s perspective.
As I sit in my chilly kitchen writing this–at least 100 yards from the closest firearm–I’m the eternal pacifist–the guy who always thinks that guns are not the answer to any of the world’s problems.
If I were in a gas station, however, waiting in line to buy one of those hot “taquitos” they have spinning on the metal rollers as the place was suddenly being held at gunpoint, perhaps my tune would change. I mean, those fucking things are good as shit!
Seriously, though, I have an idea. If the real concern is that everyday Joes and Janes who own and like to shoot guns ALSO want to feel protected as they stand behind me in line as I’m ordering a grande chestnut praline frappucino, I suggest the following:
Let licensed gun owners have the ability to carry tranquilizer guns! Since their apparent objective is to take down any threat, why not just prevent the threat without killing them? Let’s explore a couple more ideas and alternatives first:
Lots of people carry knives. They are quite popular in Switzerland, I hear. In America, we use them to spread butter and open Amazon deliveries. The bigger ones can be worn on hip-sheaths and can cut through anything else from tennis shoes to cows’ necks (if needed). In a hostage situation, however, being close to the threat is key–unless, of course, the knife-owner happens to be one of those guys at the circus who can purposely miss hitting a bikini-clad lady on the spinning wheel from fifteen feet.
This would definitely end the ordeal, but it would also cause a bit more havoc than a bullet (or series thereof). Let’s move on.
These are advantageous, but they also could succumb to electrical shortages. As anyone knows, battery-powered objects have the proclivity to jam or simply be out of power when absolutely needed. Who among you has had his/her phone die at the WORST POSSIBLE TIME???
These would send the right message to these would-be thieves or killers would even draw a weapon, but they are not the most convenient items to carry when all you really want is some Big Red soda, a roll of toilet paper, two doughnuts, and a NASCAR-themed lighter.
While I have not been to a scene such as those suggested where heroes have (or could have) saved innocent lives, I have seen news footage of the aftermath. There are typically thirty-six EMTs, police officers, news reporters, and bloggers surrounding the crime. These people have other responsibilities and should not have to waste their time on this preventable situation. If the perpetrator was tranquilized, he or she could have been arrested while “under” and handled by less than three dozen professionals.
Those people who have to clean and sanitize the place probably have other agenda items for their day. Do you think any of those people enjoy wearing haz-mat suits and being crouched down on a tiled floor cleaning up bone fragments and grimy human blood?
Lastly, what about the friends and families of the alleged criminals? Should the only option of civilian peacekeepers be to take the life of this person? They (presumably) have families and friends who probably don’t want to be at a funeral any time soon.
Thus, it is clear that the cleanest, most efficient way for responsible civilians to help prevent crimes (and countless hours of 24-news entities “covering” these deplorable events) is to let them carry tranquilizers guns to take down threats and keep America safe.
As for my taquito, I prefer salsa to blood spatter.