How to fix gun control in America in 5 minutes

It’s been a weird few weeks. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of health care subsidies and marriage equality, which is a bit like a drunken hippopotamus sweeping a gymnastics competition with perfect scores all around.

But there’s one thing that wasn’t solved, and that was gun violence. Yet another mass shooting came and went, with no policy changes of any kind, nor any hope that such a thing could possibly happen. For whatever weird reason, it sparked the removal of the Confederate battle flag from all sorts of buildings, and that’ll perhaps lead to an incremental improvement in matters of entrenched racism, but it certainly won’t solve the underlying problems related to gun violence.

You see, the United States has a problem with guns. Despite 6 in 10 Americans thinking guns make us safer, the evidence is overwhelmingly the opposite. As gun ownership rates rise or fall, gun homicides follow the same pattern precisely. As gun ownership rates vary by region or state, gun homicides vary right along with them. More guns = more murder.

Gun ownership vs gun deaths
“Woohoo! We’re #1! In a shitty category!”

This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, except for those 6 in 10 Americans who think the exact opposite of reality. If you’re one of those people, you’re simply wrong. And your wrongness is destroying America.

But this is a problem that can be solved.

With racism.

You see, if there’s one Americans hate more than the metric system, it’s weird foreigners. Just take a look at the last century of American cinema, with Russian villains all over the place.

Ivan Drago I Must Break You
FYI: This man has an IQ of 160.

Outside of film, we even have entire color-coded paranoia movements, like the Yellow Peril and the Red Scare. Remember “No Irish Need Apply?” And segregation?!?

This fear is misplaced, of course. Terrifying though Dolph Lundgren may be, it’s the Americans who are killing you. But Americans have pretty much made a national pastime out of being scared of the wrong thing. Just look at Shark Week.

As for guns, the problem for quite some time has been that gun-loving Americans view easy access to gun ownership as fundamentally good. And how can we possibly get gun-loving Americans to view easy access to gun ownership as fundamentally bad?

Easy. Get Muslims to do it.

Take a look:

Explain the Difference

This photo comparison made the rounds on the internet, generally under the title “Explain the Difference.” But a lot of gun lovers claimed they could explain the difference, and quite easily, because one is a freedom-loving American, while the other is a freedom-hating Muslim.

As far as this plan goes, it doesn’t matter if they’re right or wrong. The only thing that matters is that they view only one of these as fundamentally dangerous. They’re happy to see white people getting guns, but they’d be absolutely horrified to find a bunch of Muslims doing the same thing.

Hence, bunch of Muslims:

Start doing the same thing.

Load up on as many guns as you can. Tweet about it all day, every day. Talk about how easy it is to get assault rifles and grenade launchers from the neighborhood vending machine without even having to show an ID of any kind. Post photos of your kids holding assault rifles with captions like “isn’t it so cute how they can barely lift them?!” You can even use toy guns, since they look the same anyway. Go ahead and mention how it’s practically impossible to get a gun in your home country, but here in America it’s soooo easy!!!

In fact, you don’t even have to do it. This’ll work even just saying so. Go ahead and write letters to NRA members thanking them for ensuring the ease of your many assault rifle purchases, and mention how you’ve recently expanded your collection with high-capacity magazines, explosive rounds, laser scopes, and bullet-proof vests so no one can stop you. Oh, and make sure to sign it Muhammed. That’ll get their attention!

Heck, you don’t even have to be Muslim. Americans can barely tell them apart from Sikhs and Hindus anyway, and I’d be willing to bet that anyone of Mediterranean or Latin American descent with an especially nice tan could scare the hell out of white America just as well as anyone. And Iranians?! Do I even have to mention how terrified Americans are of Iranians?!?! This plan practically writes itself!

Besides, you don’t even have to be within the US to do this. You can even borrow photos already posted by whichever paramilitary group is making headlines this week, and just start passing them around online, claiming they got all the guns at a Wal-Mart in El Paso, laughing and shouting “Can you believe they didn’t even do a background check?!! Thanks Obama!!!”

Yes, make sure to throw an Obama in there. And remember to call him Barack Hussein Obama, and mention how when he personally handed you your assault rifle and map of nearby elementary schools, he said, “It doesn’t matter if you have a criminal history. That’ll just be our…no, your little secret,” and he winked at you, and a tear streamed from your eye.

We’d have gun control in 5 minutes.

Do it, guys. Do it for America. We’ll never be able to do it without your help. We’ll thank you later, by making you the super-cool villain in every action movie for the next 50 years.


About SnarkyNomad

Eytan is a pretentious English major whose rant-laden sarcastic tirades occasionally include budget travel tips and other international nonsense. You can follow his every narcissistic word on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.

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128 Comments on “How to fix gun control in America in 5 minutes”

    1. Ah yes, the “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” argument. An argument that completely ignores the fact that if all you have is a knife, you can’t do nearly as much damage.

      1. Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight.
        I’m not a pessimist, just a realist. This argument (like abortion, politics, and religion) is just a waste of time. No amount of stats or reasoning is ever going to get enough people to make a difference on either side to change their mind.
        I’m here because of your travel tips, not for your politics.

        1. People could have said the same thing about segregation, same-sex marriage, slavery, flight, landing on the moon, and breaking the sound barrier. Lots of “impossible” things have happened over the years, all because of people who ignored the nay-sayers who said it couldn’t be done. So I’ll say what I have to say. If you don’t want to listen, feel free to spend time elsewhere. The internet is a big place.

      2. I must unsubscribe, because I cannot be part of a false, liberal rumor mill.
        You have no idea what you are talking about. Please stick to backpacks and stay away from our FREEDOM. Are you even a US Citizen ? I doubt it. Read the US Constitution, 2nd Amendment, US Supreme Court decision in Heller. American Citizens have the undeniable right to self-protection, including protection against tyranny. Amazing how in every dictatorship, genocide (Africa, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, China, Russia, etc.) the population is disarmed or defenseless. When you add up the millions upon millions of dead, tortured, displaced, imprisoned, summarily executed — the numbers are outstanding. Gun control means hitting what you aim at. Plain and simple. If you are in the US, then please leave and go to the middle east where the people have no gun rights and are being beheaded .. you can post about your experience and what bag you used to carry your friend’s head home in.

        1. Pretty sure mass shootings don’t qualify as “rumors.”

          Oh, and claiming that people aren’t American citizens simply because they support background checks for assault rifles is just dumb. Support for background checks for guns is at 90%. This isn’t some weird fringe belief. Driving a car requires a license, but somehow an assault rifle is less of a responsibility?

          1. Did you know that you don’t need a license or registration to drive a car around on your own property? It doesn’t even need to be insured. The only time you commit a crime is when you take it off your property. I agree with you incidentally about background checks, and training. However, the licensing argument isn’t an exact analogy. Also, long guns (all rifles and shotguns) are used in about 2% of gun crimes, and so called assault weapons about two percent of that. If you want to make a real difference in gun deaths, focus on handguns.

          2. I’d be happy to see more done for handguns, especially the gun show loophole, but I think the reason people point out assault rifles as quickly as possible is because we can’t even get THAT done, despite how silly it is; gun control advocates can suggest an assault rifle ban, and gun control opponents will say no, and then they’re literally arguing in favor of military-grade weapons for civilian use, and they end up looking ridiculous. Also, a lot of people assume that when you say “gun control,” you mean ending all gun use, so I like to point out the huge difference between what some people are suggesting and what other people assume they are suggesting. So yes, I’d like to see other problems solved as well, but pointing out the more extreme cases is a way to highlight the severity of the problem, and the severity of the opposition.

      3. I live in Spain part of the time and I am forever having to “explain” our obsession with guns and how we fail to see the gun ownership and violent death per capita correlation. In Spain there are as many angry and mentally ill people per capita of course but the difference is what you said. They use knives as it is not as easy to get a hold of guns and therefore do less damage. As an American I don’t understand how some people don’t “get” this and why statistics don’t change people’s minds. Loved your post and have forwarded it on.

        1. Yeah, it seems pretty simple. No other country has a problem like this, except Mexico, and they get their guns from the US. They have all kinds of excuses, but it doesn’t change the fact that just about every other country on the planet has solved this particular problem.

      4. Look snarky, don’t you dare take away my right to defend myself just because some mental wackos want to do evil. You need to fight against evil instead of good (arming oneself and one’s family against evil).

        I wll never in my lifetime forget Sandy Hook…and all those innocent children in the first grade class who were wiped out by an evil one. But taking all the guns away from law-abiding citizens would never have stopped him, and it won’t stop others from doing the same thing. Taking away my right to bear arms just so some wacko ‘might’ not be able to get a gun makes no sense whatsoever, and is down-right unfair.

        Try taking guns away from the bad guys instead of the good guys, okay?

        P.S. By the way, I sure do like your name…Snarky Nomad. Fitting. :)

        1. 1) Requiring some sort of license to own a firearm is not synonymous with taking away your right to own a firearm. See also: automobiles, fishing, SCUBA diving.

          2) Closing the gun show loophole IS taking the guns away from the bad guys. They can, as of now, walk right in and buy a gun with no background check whatsoever. Where do you think a bad guy will go to get a gun? A place that does a background check, or a place that doesn’t? Closing this loophole would ensure there are fewer avenues for those with a criminal record getting a firearm when they’re not legally allowed to do so. It would not, however, interfere with your efforts to acquire one legally. It is not an infringement of legal rights. It is an infringement on criminal convenience.

          3) “Nothing can be done to stop a bad guy from getting a gun” is just an imaginary falsehood. See also: rest of world, where this problem simply does not happen.

  1. I had to laugh at the picture of Dolf Lundgren. Just this morning I started watching Rocky IV during my early morning treadmill workout. I bought a 4-pack of Rocky movies at Target for about $10. I left off on the movie just before the big fight starts where Rocky whoops up on Ivan Drago.

    I agree with your argument, though I remain pessimistic that change will happen. Not impossible, but not likely either. Personally the things which scare me the most are not terrorists or plane hijackings, but idiots with guns and drunk drivers.

    1. Self-driving cars will eventually fix drunk driving, but we might have to wait for a bit before it happens everywhere. Someday though!

          1. Sadly where I live public transport is rather spotty. One of the great things about Europe is the ease at which one can move around.

    1. So you’re saying 1) there would be fewer gun-related suicides, and 2) you read an article about politics even though you didn’t want to? And here I thought it was just so easy to click somewhere else.

      1. The point on suicides being the predominant metric touted in gun death statistics is valid. And it’s inclusion into overall gun violence is misleading. Sadly an individual who is at the point of seriously contemplating suicide is very unlikely to be stopped by removing one means of doing so.

        1. …though an individual at the point of seriously contemplating suicide often has second thoughts, but not necessarily if the attempt is over within seconds, as is the case with guns. Removing them would only help; not fix the problem completely, but help.

  2. Funny that my husband suggested the exact same strategy to me last night! I think it’s got promise. And loving your snarky responses to the haters.

  3. I agree. He needs to check his facts and read history. Genocide, Facism, Communist Dictatorships have killed millions upon millions, because the citizenry was disarmed. I too came here to read about cool outdoor stuff and not listen to progressive rants about disarming US Citizens. I am looking for the unsubscribe button, but will wait to see if my posts get through moderation and see Snarky’s reply.
    Homicide and gun deaths are a small fraction of what kills Americans. Heart disease, cancer, diabetes, drugs, medical mistakes, alzheimers, stroke and accidents to name a few far out number gun deaths which are notoriously over-reported, because justified homicide and police shootings are often lumped in with murder.

    1. Ah yes, the good ol’ “we shouldn’t bother solving a problem that kills thousands of people, because there are other problems as well.” You’d probably feel differently if your kids or friends were in school at the time of a mass shooting. But, given how frequent they are, maybe you’ll get to experience that someday.

      Happy to unsubscribe you manually. By the way, you’ll notice several moments from this “history” you speak of when dictatorships defeated even a well-armed resistance, so all those guns are still no guarantee of safety. But they sure are a guarantee of school shootings.

      1. So long as we have lax gun laws there will be mass shootings and it is that simple. One can point to dictatorships disarming people yet many democracies have strict gun control laws and seem to function just fine.

      2. Question… if you were a shoplifter and there was a business that you knew of that posted a sign that shoplifters would not be prosecuted, don’t you think that would encourage you to steal from them?? Well if you understand that concept then, why are people unable to understand posting these DEATH ZONE signs??×503.jpg
        [VIDEO] The Collective Failure of Gun-Free Zones
        When we allow so-called ‘gun free zones’ to go unchecked, we put EVERY PERSON who enters those ‘gun free zones’ in danger.

        1. I’m really not sure where you’re coming from with the gun free zone discussion, because that isn’t mentioned here at all. What I’m advocating is that gun ownership shouldn’t be the free-for-all it is now. The current system is “anyone can get a gun, even a terrorist.” All they have to do is go to a gun show, and there’s no barrier to purchase besides money. Think about which side of that debate you’re on.

  4. Speaking as a person who has lived in the UK, Ireland and Australia their whole life, I find the justifications that a worryingly large number of Americans make for gun ownership…well quite frankly, bizarre.

    I, and pretty much everyone I’ve ever met, have never for one minute felt that owning a gun would make ourselves feel any safer.
    This includes several of my friends and family who grew up in Belfast and Londonderry (now Derry) through “the troubles” in the 70s and 80s.
    In fact, because of the things they saw happening on their own doorstep they are even more anti-gun ownership than any of the so-called “liberal, lefty propagandist” merchants mentioned above.
    This isn’t propaganda, this is the view of most of rest of the democratic world outside of the US.

    Does any sane person really think that your average citizen armed with *insert your weapon of choice* can defend themselves against an organized, disciplined military force if that highly unlikely situation ever came to pass?

    I think it all comes down to travel and education. In my opinion, anyone who has travelled outside their own country for any period of time would be inclined to come to the same conclusion.

    1. And the countries that did get rid of their guns make for some great examples of how easy it is for a democracy to continue even without guns. If fascism comes to the US, it’ll be dressed up in a pretty suit, not a military uniform. It’s already partway there.

    2. This is pretty much everything I was thinking. Frankly the whole ‘pro gun’ argument has no basis in reality or logic and yet those with that mind set will not be swayed. Truthfully I thought the rants against the article were comedy at first but there you go. Great comment and very witty article.

  5. Australia has gun laws, with the (perhaps unintentional) assistance of the NRA we brought them in after the Port Arthur Massacre with the specific aim of preventing crazy people from getting their hands on rapid firing weapons. Seems to work pretty well.

    The laws haven’t got rid of all the guns nor prevented criminals using and selling them (that wasn’t the objective) but they have reduced the supply so that the price of a gun on the black market is so high that any disaffected teenager with poor social skills doesn’t have a hope of getting his hands on them. Oh and a lot of owners decided they’d keep their arms by burying them out in the bush somewhere, and you know what? We just don’t care because they’re still out of circulation and unlikely to be used in a crime of passion or a home invasion.

    1. Yeah, but after the guns were restricted Australia immediately devolved into a fascist dictatorship with tyranny and oppression and ruthless despots ruling with an iron fi–OH WAIT NEVERMIND.

  6. I’m still waiting for the first gun-loving, flag-waving patriot to step up and prevent a mass shooting. If all these guns were the answer, you’d think they would have helped at least once by now.

    1. Yeah, they keep saying that the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. But also background checks.

      1. Well to be fair, most of the mass shooting have occurred in so-called “gun-free” zones, and the “good guys” tend to obey the law and leave their firearms at home when they plan to go somewhere with this restriction.

  7. “You have no idea what you are talking about. Please stick to backpacks and stay away from our FREEDOM.” HAHA thanks I laughed so much at this one, looks like an american cliché.

  8. Like many, I follow you for your travel tips, but unlike many I support your first amendment right. I am a gun owner and I am smart enough to know that you are correct in your correlation between guns and gun deaths. I would also like to see these deaths stop. However, I believe that the purpose of the Second Amendment is not to protect us from thugs, but from our own government turned foul. We send arms to oppressed in a number of countries and we arm some oppressive countries. Here, we are already well armed, about one gun per person, so any would be tyrant would know ahead of time that taking our liberty would cost blood. We no longer have independent community militias so we will have to do individual gun owners capable of forming militias in emergency as our last line of defense of liberty. Maybe I am being cold, but I am willing to put up with gun deaths as the price of liberty.

    Finally, we have had assault rifles in civilian hands since shortly after WWII, see M1 Carbine. I actually prefer it to an AR 15. It has only been since the demise of our mental health system that we have had the mass shooting problem.

    I like your travel advice, but I am respectful enough to hear your politics and argue now and then. Oh, and yes, unfortunately, we are a very racist country.

    Disclaimer – I am a criminal defense attorney and I make a portion of my living defending homicide cases.

    s/Casey Sears

    1. Part of the problem is that even against a well-armed citizenry, the government is always going to have access to superior technology, like drones and tanks. Back when it was muskets vs muskets, it made plenty of sense as a defensive measure, but the balance of power is no longer remotely equal. I also think that if anyone wants to take over the United States, they’ll do it with charm, rather than tyranny, with a slow, steady restriction of voting rights (already in progress in many states) rather than outright force, as it’s much easier to get away with (as evidenced by all the voter ID laws out there). All the people shouting “they’re taking away my freedom!” are doing nothing in the face of voting rights restrictions, but they get upset about gun rights; I don’t see the point of having a gun to defend freedom if they don’t also take the time to defend democracy itself, which is being eaten away. Really they should be showing up at voting stations fully armed and demanding everyone be let in, even well beyond closing time.

      Also, no one is talking about taking guns away. A useful analogy would be driver’s licenses. It’s not like people started taking cars away just because you have to get a license to drive, and doing the same thing for guns makes all sorts of sense, particularly in the case of background checks. Tyranny is worth fighting against, but people should be fighting that battle, not the alleged precursor of a simple background check. It’s not like you can’t go fishing because you need a fishing license. The same principle could apply to guns; particularly high-capacity assault rifles, which are a lot more dangerous to society than a fishing rod.

      1. Following the driver’s license analogy, liability insurance should also be mandatory if you own a gun, just as it is in many states if you own an automobile.

        1. I can get on board with that too. Insurance companies could review you based on previous history of accidental firings and whatnot. If you’re just a terrible shot, it’ll cost you more.

  9. I don’t think I’ve laughed so much at blog comments ever. Some of the comments are hilarious, and the responses even more so.
    Thanks for yet another fantastic post, Mr Snarky. I love your stuff.

    1. Will do. If someone wants criminals to have effortless access to assault weapons with no background check whatsoever, I can’t imagine we’ll get along.

  10. Great article. I’m so glad I live in a country that treats gun ownership with the respect it deserves. Subscribe the heck out of me!

  11. Interesting article Mr. Nomad.

    I think the main issue with more gun laws is that criminals, by definition, don’t follow laws. Some of the regions in this country with the strictest gun laws on the books are also places with highest instances of gun violence (i.e. Chicago).

    If you could wave a magic wand and get rid of all the existing guns in this country, then regulation on future purchases might work. But you mentioned the issue in your post – there are already enough guns floating around the USA that we could arm nearly every man, woman, and child. The genie is out of the bottle, so to speak, and a lot of seriously crazy people already have their guns. I would carry around a policeman every day, but it’s just not practical (and they are notoriously bad shots).

    We don’t live in a perfect world, and until we can figure out to make massive reductions in the number of currently armed criminals and mentally-unstable I’m going to continue to rely on myself for my personal safety and that of my family. It’s a sad state of circumstances, but often the only thing that stops a bad-guy with a gun is a good-guy with a gun.

    I don’t know if you ever read Sam Harris, but he has about the most impartial write-up on guns in America I’ve ever read. I’d encourage anyone who’s interested to check it out:

    Keep up the good work,

    1. Buyback programs would remove a lot of the guns from circulation, so if that were to be combined with background check programs, that would remove new and old at the same time. If assault rifles were to be banned, you’d pretty much have to do a buyback program, so that all the people who have assault rifles would actually have a method to get rid of them, rather than just keeping an illegal weapon in the closet or throwing it in a trash can or something.

      And New York has made the point that, yes, guns still show up even after a ban, but that’s just because states have different laws, and people can just cross the border. So there would have to be a nationwide ban on certain types of weapons, followed by background checks and buyback programs, in order to reduce the supply nationwide instead of just one place or another. I think it would work. And besides, if it only solves the problem halfway…those are still plenty of lives saved.

      1. Sorry, but I just don’t envision any relevant number of criminals or armed-violent-mentally-unstable persons lining up to turn in their guns. If it suddenly became a federal crime to own an “assault weapon” I highly doubt it would have any measurable impact on the gun-related homicides in this country.

        Firstly, long-guns (rifles) only account for only 3% of all murders in the US (according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report) and ‘assault weapons’ would only encompass a small fraction of that 3%. Secondly, putting more gun laws on the books will only serve to regulate law-abiding citizens, and embolden criminals by sending the message that they are less likely to meet any resistance from armed citizens.

        Seriously, sit down with your favorite beverage and take 15 minutes to read through the article I linked. It’s not right-wing NRA propaganda; It’s written by a Liberal neuroscience Ph.D. and member of academia most famous for his books on Atheism. It’s rare to find clear, nonpartisan thinking on such a hard and ideology-fueled topic.


        1. It is worth noting that the hardened criminals are not the ones shooting up movie theaters, black churches, schools and on and on and on. This is largely done by young, angry, white men.

        2. Here is a quote lifted directly from that article:

          We could do many things to ensure that only fully vetted people could get a licensed firearm. The fact that guns in the U.S. can be legally purchased from private sellers without background checks on the buyers (the so-called “gun show loophole”) is terrifying. Getting a gun license could be made as difficult as getting a license to fly an airplane, requiring dozens of hours of training. I would certainly be happy to see policy changes like this. In that respect, I support much stricter gun laws.

          He goes on to say it will not fix the problem completely, but I would argue that it would fix the following problems: New people easily getting guns who shouldn’t; people who commit a small, non-gun crime, and during the routine police check, they could check to see if he has a gun license and a gun and could then search for and confiscate it; a parent/friend/family member passing away, and all of his/her guns going into the hands of whoever finds them, increasing the number of unlicensed guns in circulation, and likely ending up in the hands of people who shouldn’t have them, which could easily be fixed by putting the guns in a will, just like money and assets, but requiring the recipient to obtain a license to receive one.

          Also, ignoring the assault rifle problem is…odd. It causes a small percentage of gun deaths, so we should…do nothing? And you’re right, criminals might not turn them in…except those who are in need of cash. Also, it will reduce the problem of adults who happen to own assault rifles, and whose children use them for mass shootings. It will also reduce the problem of people who own assault rifles and aren’t criminals, but may one day become them. All of these would be beneficial.

          So no, it won’t solve all gun-related problems, but a few easily-enacted policies would solve several of them.

        1. The title of that article makes a halfway decent point, which is that you won’t get criminals to disarm with a buyback program, which is partially true. The opposing argument, however, is that you will definitely get plenty of law-abiding citizens to disarm, and none of them, or their children, will be able to shoot up a school afterwards. The thing is, the world isn’t split between criminals and non-criminals. 100% of all criminals were non-criminals at some point. But if they have no guns, they won’t do nearly as much damage when they cross that line. And the buyback program worked just fine in Australia.

  12. I totally understand and appreciate your argument. I was appalled at how easy it was go out and acquire my concealed carry permit. Gun ownership, and especially every-day carry, is something that should not be entered lightly and should require a serious thought coupled with serious training. I guess the point I’m really trying to make with my responses is that there are several good reasons why sane people would want to own and train with a firearm, and that ultimately guns are just tools – there is nothing inherently evil about them.

    I agree that we need to be having a sane national conversation about the role of firearms in our society, but I think that working to identify and address the mental issues of the “young white males” Alan refereed to in his response would go a lot further to curbing mass shootings than putting another “assault weapon” law into place.

    1. I would definitely agree with all that. I’m not against handguns for home defense, but it could be regulated like anything, instead of this gun show loophole nonsense. That’s part of the problem with bringing it up for debate; people will assume you mean a ban on 100% of all weapons, and they immediately launch into Stalin and so on and so forth. I didn’t specify in this post what sort of level of gun control I’d like, so they didn’t know, but I think a few sensible steps like background checks, licenses, and no assault rifles would be sensible.

  13. Love your blog post. Your comments are so true and to the point that I laughed out loud – and I rarely find stuff funny enough to laugh out loud. I would be happy to live in a world without any guns, but in absence of that moderately unrealistic situation I am glad I live in a democratic country where there is a licence system. This is helped by the local population having a general mindset that for ordinary civilians, guns have little applicability in modern life. Even the police do not routinely carry weapons, and a recent suggestion that they should do so was much opposed. There are no mass shootings and no deaths of children in supermarkets because the mother took a loaded weapon with her. Of course there are hunting accidents. Of course criminals use them, and murders are committed with them, but in my view there are criminals in any society and people will always find a way to murder each other. The best you can do is make it as difficult as possible. I do not feel any less safe, nor any less free. To the contrary.

  14. I am a Canadian who has recently moved back to Canada after living in the US for 16 years. I started reading your blog for travel tips because in November I am starting a round the world journey. Honestly at first I felt a little nervous reading this article because it was curving into the political arena. Then I realized that this is actually a travel article written for any non US citizen who is planning to visit the US. It is important to be aware of the local culture when visiting any country.

    There are many excuses, but absolutely no valid reasons for the absurdity of how Americans cling to their guns. It’s ludicrous that the CDC can no longer study reducing accidental death by guns due to lobbying by the NRA.

    Its probably true that an article like this will not change anyones mind, but thank you for standing up and pointing at the elephant in the room.

    I will continue to read and recommend your blog to my friends.

    1. Thanks for that. A couple people have asked why a travel blog would have a political article, but the way I look at it, travel is one of the best ways to confront one’s preconceived notions of what’s “normal.” For a lot of Americans, guns are normal, and they have all sorts of explanations for what would go wrong without them, or how reducing the supply of guns wouldn’t fix the problem, and so on. But if you just check literally anywhere else, it works out just fine. The same is true of government-provided health care, and plenty of other things. Americans object rather strongly to all sorts of things that work extremely well in all sorts of places. So the reason I felt it was appropriate to include here is because this is quite obviously a localized problem, and travel is a great way to find alternative solutions…and this problem really needs a solution.

  15. I was in Hobby Lobby today looking at all the pro-NRA merch for sale, you know, like “WE DON’T CALL 911!” or “KEEP CALM AND CARRY” with guns plastered all over the signs, etc, and I wondered: how would this company (much less the rest of ‘Murica) feel if a whole bunch of black folks came in and started buying all this stuff? How WOULD America react if they started appropriating white gun culture for themselves? Terrified. Which is, of course, how the rest of us feel in an open carry state in a Walmart. I love shooting, myself (and even hunting) but the gun culture is really freaking creepy and honestly not really OK, considering how exclusionary and white it is.

    1. I agree, though I think that white people think that black people with guns just kill other black people, so I think it would work better if they were brown. Not to say they wouldn’t get upset, because I think they would. Definitely worth a try.

  16. What do you know, another ignorant article on gun control that ignores facts like how criminals don’t register guns and will always have them no matter how much you punish law abiding citizens. A travel writer that thinks he knows all about the idiosyncrasies of the social politics of gun control is like a celebrity that thinks they have what it takes to run for office cause they’ve been on TV. Stick to what you know my friend.

    1. What I know is that other countries don’t have this problem, so this “criminals will always have them” argument is just imaginary.

      1. Just imaginary? So…take a look to Brazil. No one can have even handguns here. It’s against the law. But criminals don’t care about laws. 60.000 deaths a year by guns is good for you? Good people don’t have guns, but it’s perfect possible to bad people find one. It’s a complete disaster. It’s like being in a war everyday.
        60.000 deaths every year is not so imaginary for us…

        1. Central and South America gets a lot of its guns from the United States, so a big part of the reason they’re so available down there is because we make them up here, which is pretty awful. But other countries don’t have nearly as much of a problem, which is why I have a hard time buying the argument about how they’re always available. I did not mean to minimize such a big problem in the places where it’s a serious issue, so I apologize for that. But reducing the number of guns available illegally makes it harder and harder to get one, and rarer and rarer for people to use them.

  17. I really enjoy your gear reviews I don’t enjoy reading your political views. Do you plan to continue this or will you return to what initially drew me to your site – informative reviews of travel gear and clothing?

    1. If you go back through the archives, you’ll notice a mix. If you don’t like it, don’t read it. This is true of all information everywhere on the internet. But this is my site, and this is what I have to say. Travel to me is a way to learn about the world, and to learn about one’s own country as well; to see what works, and what could be done better. And for something that causes such an immense destruction of life, I see no reason why someone shouldn’t observe how other countries handle the problem, and talk about importing the solution.

      Imagine if it were any other issue in which thousands of lives were at stake; a simple water treatment strategy, road safety laws, engineering methods that can withstand natural disasters, etc etc etc…and then imagine someone coming along and saying that no one should bother talking about it, because it’s “political.” Would listening to those objections make much sense? I think not.

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