A humble two-part solution to America’s gun problem

When last I left off rambling, I tried to figure out what the main points against stricter gun control in America were–these seem to be at the core of most arguments:

  1. It’s my right per the second amendment
  2. I need to defend myself (from bad guys)
  3. I’m a law-abiding citizen, why should I be punished
  4. I need to defend myself (from a tyrannical government)

Ok so here’s my plan. Get ready. It boils down to two things: North Dakota and puppies.

The Second Amendment

Yeah, yeah. They didn’t specify what kinds of guns, and they do say ‘well-regulated,’ so it seems like we can agree that better registration, pervasive background checks and thorough training/testing will not infringe on your apple pie-crusty rights.

Interestingly, the only other countries with gun ownership rights in their constitution, according to this Slate article, are Mexico, Haiti, and Guatemala. So we’re in good company. Which kinda makes you think whether it’s really necessary. At least it makes me think.  Because really, it’s outrageous how many guns we have here. We’re number one in gun ownership (USA! USA!)–right up there above Yemen, Iraq, and Kuwait. (This Washington Post article points out that the numbers for some countries, like Yemen, might be underreported, and that there are other developed countries with really high gun ownership, like #3 Finland. But see how America’s bar is twice as high as Finland? Yeah.)

Defense from bad guys

I get this one. Really I do. It’s a scary world we live in, and I even understand the reasoning that bad people will be less likely to try any funny business if they think the good guys around them might be packing.1

If someone tries to break into your home, you want to feel like you have a chance at stopping them. But if your gun is locked up, not loaded, with the safety on–as everyone knows it should be, to keep the number of gun-related accidents on the decline–how likely is it that you’ll be able to get your act together and composedly shoot your burglar in time to stop anything from happening?2 Besides, most breakers-and-enterers are looking for a quick and easy job, one where you aren’t around.

So here’s my big solution: puppies for guns.

There have been a number of successful gun buyback programs, which is great and all, but wouldn’t a gun puppyback program be even better? Yes, the chance that you might have a gun in your home might deter a burglar, but you know what else would? A German Shepherd. Or a big ol’ mutt. Bonus: they’re still a threat when you aren’t home. Downside: you might get something like the below, which I can tell you from experience is not much of a threat (although don’t tell him that). But then again on the upside: SO CUTE. Who cares about guns and burglars anymore?

Don’t punish the law-abiding many

I understand this one too. But there will always be those jerks who ruin it for the rest of us. Remember in elementary school when Andrew P. fell off the big slide and broke his arm and then they took the big slide away? That slide was awesome, and I missed it. And I was mad that I had to suffer just because some idiot could not understand gravity or the clear and perfectly functioning safety measures put in place by the Big Slide Company. Boys ruin everything.

Oh for a simpler time, when safety was…less of a concern. From the Library of Congress, c.1926.

It still kind of sucks, so here’s my solution: gun puppyback program. You can still feel indignant, but every time that rage boils up just look deep into those brown puppy eyes and… wait, what were we talking about again?3

Defense from the government

This one makes me worried. I linked to one such believer in my last post, and although I’d like to think a puppy would make them forget their crazy, that particular type of nutjob seems to be, like, a lot of crazy. I’m gonna go ahead and say too much crazy for one or even two puppies. Here’s where the second part of my solution comes in: North Dakota. I believe we should just let those who are preparing to fight the government have their own state. And we don’t want to give them a good one, even one that was separated from the rest of America for our own safety. I mean Hawaii is amazing and so is Alaska. We need them. Texas would be an obvious choice, because I assume most of these people live there anyway, and it dangles in the Gulf which is nice, but it’s also kind of important to our economy and stuff. Now I don’t know anyone who’s from North Dakota, or has even been there, and it’s probably cold and it borders Canada, so it seems like a sound choice to me. But I’m open to suggestions.

In conclusion, we can reduce both the number of guns and the number of un-adopted dogs in America while letting the people who don’t want to be part of this wonderful, dog-loving country have their own area to do whatever they want in. A nice, big farm, if you will, where they can run free and be happy and live out the rest of their days.

And if you don’t want a dog, we can hand out cats instead, but I’m going to be honest: they’re not great at guarding your home, nor are they always super affectionate.

1Remember when I said that infographics can lie (see P.S.)? Kennesaw, GA has a law stating that every residence must have at least one gun. It’s been put up as a beacon for less gun control, because violent crime has gone down since the law was enacted in 1982 and is currently lower than the national average by a whopping 85%. But in reality, only about 50% of Kennesaw’s residents own a gun, and their police spokesman says their low crime rate is thanks to great police work (no surprise) and community involvement (Bloomberg, Dec. 20 2012). You could likely find other suburbs with very low crime rates that don’t have such radical gun-owning laws, like, oh, say, Carmel, IN. Blammo.

2Check out this totally legit-looking summary of a research study that found that guns in the home had no positive effect on the safety of the homeowners, and (for households with ladies and children) led to a greater risk of harm.

Dog with blue eyes

You just know he’s judging you. Photo by Flickr user orkomedix.

3I know that not all puppies have brown eyes, but blue-eyed dogs KIND OF CREEP ME OUT. I mean, they’re awesome, but in a creepy way. Bonus points for dogs with two different colored eyes. Fun fact: this is called heterochromia iridum.4 So at least if you feel you’ve wasted time reading this post, that everything I’ve said is total BS (which is very possible) you can say you’ve learned something.

Dog with one brown, one blue eye

Bitches. Photo by Dan Bennett.

4Meta footnote: I might have partial heterochromia iridum. I’ve always called it a freckle in my eye. Like that Postal Service/Iron & Wine song.

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