Here’s Every Conversation You’ve Ever Had About Gun Control, Summed Up
America’s Favorite Broken Record: The Gun Control Debate
We’ve been here before. We’ve been here before many, many times. A large-scale mass shooting. A nation horrified and disgusted and heartbroken. An event that could have been avoided with adequate gun control measures in place. This is all too familiar to every American.
And we all know what will happen next, don’t we? Of course we do.
Legislators and everyone with an IP address will discuss and debate gun control. The left are for it, the right are against it. And then, a week or two will pass. Trump will say some stupid thing on Twitter, and America will forget all about the gun control issue. And then another mass shooting will happen sometime later, of course, because this is America. Rinse, repeat.
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We, as a nation, need to have a serious, grown-up conversation about gun control, and it needs to happen right now. But gun enthusiasts? They don’t want to have that chat. They believe their right to bear arms is more important than your right to not be shot in the face because you had the audacity to leave your house for some reason.
I think the best way to move this conversation forward is to analyze it. These gun control debates are highly repeatable, and shy of a few variables, we’ve all had this same conversation repeatedly. think I’m wrong? Well, here’s every conversation you’ve ever had with gun enthusiasts in the wake of a mass shooting, summed up.
Every Conversation On Gun Control You’ve Ever Had With Gun Enthusiasts
You: This mass shooting was tragic. We need to talk about gun control.
Them: Hey, this isn’t the time! People just died tragically!
You: Really? Isn’t this the best time to discuss gun control and gun violence?
Them: No, because it isn’t fair! I’m a responsible gun owner, okay? I own a gun safe, and I teach my kids to stay away from guns, and I’ve taken gun safety courses. Most gun owners are responsible like me!
You: Every gun owner is a responsible gun owner, right up to the moment they’re not anymore.
Them: Stop it! Stop making these rational arguments! You’re trying to take my guns away!
You: Nobody wants to do that, okay? Look, we just want sensible gun control, all right? For instance, we could have gun registries that are kept digitally in an easily-accessed nationwide data cloud, rather than having this information stored on paper and microfilm and ancient floppy disks from the 1980’s.
Them: Yeah, but I don’t want the government keeping that kind of information on me. When the revolution happens I’ll be the first one they send the drones after! Screw that!
You: Okay… well, could we maybe enhance background checks? We could, for instance, block people on no-fly lists from buying firearms. Open up state databases to the FBI’s background check system so they have more data to work with. Close gun show loopholes and require background checks universally for all firearm sales. Close the three-day loophole, too; currently, gun stores can proceed with a sale if they don’t hear back from the FBI in three days. That could be fixed pretty easily, right?
Them: Hell no! These new background checks won’t do nothing except make it take longer for me to even get my gun. And I need my gun right now!
You: Why do you need a gun ‘right now?’
Them: Because I love my guns! And what if Obama tries to…
You: Obama isn’t president anymore.
Them: Yeah, that’s just what Obama wants you to think!
You: Ugh… okay… can we create a federal gun licensing system that works like car licenses work? You would need to pass physical and mental health tests. You’d take a gun safety course. And this would be federal so States aren’t phoning these things in with sub-par standards, OR making things way too difficult for gun owners, as some states would do. And we could couple this with a simple firearm insurance policy, too. If a firearm you own kills another person, your insurance pays out to the victims. Can we do that?
Them: No way, Jose! You want to make gun ownership more expensive! Screw that! I didn’t know any of these people who were killed in this mass shooting! Their lives are less important than my financial savings!
You: OKAY! JESUS CHRIST! How about this? We ban gun sales to people dressed like killer clowns, who come into gun stores carrying balloons with little ISIS logos on them, rambling incoherently and repeating phrases like “I’ll show her” and “You’ll pay for this” and “I’m the clown? I’ll show you who the fucking clown is.” And when the gun store owner asks why the clown needs guns, the clown replies “Children’s birthday party” and then starts laughing maniacally. Can we block THAT GUY from buying a gun?
Them: Hell no! I love clowns! Clowns are the best! How dare you discriminate against someone for trying to bring joy to children!
You: No dummy, I meant… the… I mean… did you hear what I… oh my God, can I borrow your gun?
You: So I can shoot myself in the head and make this conversation end?
Them: Nope. I’m a responsible gun owner, after all.
You: Sigh. By the way, while we’ve been having this chat, there was another mass shooting.
Featured image courtesy of Alex Wong/ Getty Images