Seth Brown | The pun also rises: The funny part
The funny part is that because chocolate eggs with a toy inside killed three people in a 40-year span, they were banned in the U.S. for the better part of a century. Maybe if there was just a gun inside they would have been legal?
The funny part is that since Sandy Hook, more children have been killed by guns in the U.S. than the number of U.S. soldiers killed in combat since 9/11. So you could imagine some parents saying, "We sent our kid overseas to fight in the army, because we wanted to keep him safe."
The funny part is that I was horrified and surprised the first time that "last month's mass shooting" was no longer specific enough, only somewhat surprised when "last week's mass shooting" stopped being specific enough, and now I find myself not the least bit surprised that "the one that happened in the past 24 hours" isn't specific enough. Pretty soon "Today's mass shootings" will just be part of the news, like the daily weather.
The funny part is that many people's response to mass shootings seems to be "thoughts and prayers," but then people in churches and synagogues offering prayers were also killed by mass shootings. I mean, you have to admit, that's a little ironic.
The funny part is that when every other country had a mass shooting, legislation was swiftly proposed that curtailed further deadly incidents, from Britain's handgun ban after 1987's school shooting, to Australia's private sale ban after a 1996 shooting, to Germany's one-year waiting period after a 2002 school shooting, to New Zealand's recent semi-automatic weapon ban after this year's Christchurch attack. Here in America, after the Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012, we swiftly proposed a bill saying of course everyone could still buy guns, but maybe there should at least be background checks? The bill was defeated.
The funny part is that U.S. Congress members can blame the mass shootings on mental health issues with a straight face, when every other country also has mental health issues like we do here, but does not have a lack of gun restrictions. I think they should just blame the mass shootings on prehensile fingers. If these murderers didn't have prehensile fingers, they wouldn't be out there pulling those triggers!
The funny part is that people commit mass shootings to try to win fame for themselves and their ideas, and then the media helps out by reporting on the shooter and printing up their manifestos. It's like, "We must stop these people from murdering just to advertise their business. Like the latest horrible murders by the owner of Bob's Auto Shop, currently running a fantastic summer sale!"
The funny part is that people will say "Where did the shooter get these extremist views?" when they echo the same racist rhetoric we've seen everywhere from 8chan message boards to Trump's Twitter feed talking about "invasion" and "infestation." Yeah, where could these views possibly have come from? Probably just a lone wolf, and certainly not a symptom of a national crisis.
The funny part is that while white supremacist terrorism has killed hundreds of people recently, the president's response has been to cut funding to groups working to deradicalize Nazis and other far-right extremists. He did, however, threaten to declare Antifa as a potential terrorist organization for standing against far-right extremists.
The funny part is that we blame everything else. Maybe teachers don't have ENOUGH guns! Maybe we should restrict IMAGINARY guns in video games. All we know is it can't possibly be the prevalence of ACTUAL guns everywhere in America.
The funny part is that a humor columnist wakes up on a Sunday morning to look at yesterday's news to see if there's anything amusing to use in his column, and instead he finds multiple mass shootings in the past day.
Seth Brown is an award-winning humor writer, the author of "From God To Verse," and suggests if you don't find it funny, that you encourage your elected representatives to do something about it. His website is RisingPun.com.
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