05 July 2014

Gun Control: Getting the Numbers Right


Given the large number of guns already 'out there', it seems safe to assume that we do not have the exact correct number to optimize societal well-being.  Therefore we either need more or we need less, there are either too many guns in circulation or there are not enough.  Opinions on this question vary. 

Let's start by assuming there are not enough.  We need more.  Take this to its logical conclusion and we see that all citizens should be not only armed but armed to the (proverbial) teeth.  Imagine if every child leaving for kindergarten is strapped with a gat, two tommy sub-machine guns over each shoulder (yes four in total), maybe a mini-RPG launcher to ward off the meanies as he makes his way to the back of the cafeteria.  This child would be safe, no bully would dare start trouble.  And he would be discouraged from attacking others by virtue of the similar firepower they'd be loaded down with.  Everyone would be too tired to fight with anyone, just lugging that artillery around all day in the hot Alabama sunshine.  Once children are fully armed we can begin arming the elderly and the insane until we reach the correct number of weapons for a population of our size and general bent.

On the other hand, we may have too many guns.  In this case a reduction in the number of guns in circulation is in order.  Possible ways of reducing this number include: buyback programs; restrictions or outright bans on manufacture, sale and distribution of; prying them from gunowners’ cold dead hands; and so forth.

We should not necessarily destroy all guns, as zero is not likely to be the optimal number.  If suddenly there were no guns, gun manufacturers would have too strong a position, possibly a basis for holding hostage our entire way of life.  No, we will have to dismantle all gun-making operations completely so that when we hit reset everyone starts from a level playing field.
But what, then, about the makers of knives, scythes, tabarzins and tomahawks, not to mention crossbows?  Once the gun factories are razed and all the guns destroyed these may become our new enemy. 

And holy shit, what about kung fu: how are we gonna confiscate that?

The more I think about this, it's a helluva humdinger.  There's no way we'll ever have the correct number of guns.  Maybe what we need is fewer bullets – or perhaps more bulletproof umbrellas.  I’ll run some more numbers and get back to you on this one.

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