If the goal is to cause both sides of the political spectrum to quiver, twitch and shake like a raccoon clinging to the outside of a cement mixer speeding through a railroad yard, just casually throw out the term, "gun control," and step back. The left considers all guns the reprehensible tool of warriors, criminals and primitives, while in most of red state America, the definition of gun control is using two hands and hitting the target.
Then some addled-brained, flippo-unit actually uses those techniques to take out a bunch of innocent people, and the blowback starts with a debate about how big our guns should be, further restrictions on who can purchase them and whether we need to know the identity and shoe size of the purchasers.
Yes, we do. For crum's sakes, you need to present identification to apply for a card to take a book out of a library. Admittedly, in the right hands, a book can be more dangerous than a gun, but they hardly ever put holes in people's bodies that the blood leaks out of way too quick.
With increasing frequency, these body counts shoot north into double digits, which triggers a discussion of banning these high-powered, personal weapons of destruction. For a minute. Then the Republicans kowtow to the perverted wishes of their cruel masters, the NRA, which thinks the best way to avoid school shootings is to ban schools.
This same NRA commanded their lapdogs to prevent research into gun-related deaths. That's right, Republicans have refused to allow the funding of government-related, gun-death research. Which is a shame, since America has a surplus of raw data. You could say we are dead solid center of the gun-related death universe. It's like talking about sandwiches in Philadelphia but prohibiting any mention of the cheesesteak. As Holland is to tulips, the U.S. is to gun deaths.
In the wake of these horrific tragedies, conservatives then predictably go straight to the handbook of NRA generated talking points to say the same things over and over. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families." "None of this would have happened if the gay Hispanic dancers were armed." "Assault weapons can be used as legitimate hunting rifles."
Really? That's your argument? Because, okay, it makes a sort of sense. You can also use a chainsaw to cut butter, thought it might get a little messy around muffin time. Come to think of it, a hand grenade will signal the end of recess. Doorbells can be rung with 12-pound sledgehammers. Once.
They're called "assault weapons" for a reason. They're not "tucking kiddies into bed" rifles. They're for assaults. Yes, the Second Amendment guarantees a well-regulated militia the right to bear arms, but at the time our Founding Fathers were talking about citizen-soldiers wielding one-shot muskets, not terrorist-wannabees brandishing HK MG4s capable of shooting 800 .45 caliber bullets in under a minute with a range of a half a mile.
Hunting weapons? Seriously? What are you hunting? Tanks? A herd of triceratops? Can you imagine someone putting a full clip into a deer at 30 yards? You'd end up with venison jerky. In noun and verb forms. Jerky being the operative word here.
Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed columnist, comedian and former Pizza Hut assistant manager. For sample videos and a calendar of personal appearances including his new one- man show, Elect to Laugh: 2016, appearing every Tuesday at the San Francisco Marsh, go to willdurst.com.