Oh, yeah! I'm almost a writer for The New Yorker! My dream.
This might be as close as I get, parallel thinking about gun control between The New Yorker's hugely talented Hendrik Hertzberg and way-less-talented me.
But, hey, we're on the same track when it comes to making fun of the absurd contention, "Guns don't kill people, people do." Which is so, so, so wrong.
Here's what I said in a blog post on December 29, 2012.
Why don't we legalize surface-to-air shoulder fired missiles? After all, people shoot down airplanes; shoulder fired missiles don't shoot down airplanes. If terrorists don't have a missile, they'll just find some other way to destroy an airplane.
How comfortable would you feel flying on a commercial airliner if you knew that anyone could legally stand along its flight path holding a shoulder fired surface-to-air missile?
If you're an NRA member, logically you should be just fine with this, since your organization favors allowing assault rifles to be owned by just about anyone.
And here's a quote from Hertzberg's "Shots" piece in the January 7, 2013 The New Yorker.
But, for Hobbesian gun nuts of Gohmert’s ilk, the essence of the Second Amendment, when all is said and done, is not about any of that. Its real, irreducible purpose is to enable some self-designated fraction of the American people, in a pinch, to make war against the American government—to overthrow it by force and violence, if that is deemed necessary.
If that’s the line you draw, then where, logically, do you stop? In Georgian times, when the amendment was ratified, the most fearsome weapon anyone, soldier or civilian, could carry was a single-shot musket. And today? “Shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles don’t shoot down black helicopters, people with shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles shoot down black helicopters”?
We think along the same lines, but differ on what sort of aircraft we mention. Surface to air missiles are commonly used to shoot down helicopters, but also other aircraft.
I was picturing a crazed Tea Party patriot standing under the flight path of a commercial airliner as it takes off, about to exercise his Second Amendment rights with a shoulder-fired missile. Hertzberg refers to those dreaded imaginary black helicopters that the U.N. will send in with Obama's help to take our freedoms away.
Same difference. Anyone who thinks assault rifes or shoulder fired missiles are needed by ordinary citizens to defend themselves against the government is so crazy, any example of their insanity works to ridicule them.
Hertzberg makes other excellent points in his essay.
It is indeed disturbingly weird that all those politician gun nuts who want their assault rifes and high capacity magazines didn't have the guts to defend their point of view after the Sandy Hook killings. I guess lies can't be defended when the spotlight of truth is too bright.
Within hours of the unspeakable massacre of twenty first graders and six teachers and staff members at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Newtown, Connecticut, on Friday, December 14th, bookers for the television networks’ Sunday-morning political talk shows hit the phones, trolling for guests.
They were seeking, among others, politicians, public officials, and prominent citizens willing to defend the proposition that military-style munitions—high-powered semiautomatic assault rifles and pistols that can fire a round every second, use magazines holding as many as a hundred bullets of a type specially engineered to liquefy the insides of human beings, and be outfitted with accessories like grenade launchers, flash suppressors, bayonet lugs, pistol grips, and collapsible stocks—should continue to be readily available to all comers, with or without minimal background checks or waiting periods.
The bookers came up empty.
“We reached out to all thirty-one pro-gun-rights senators in the new Congress to invite them on the program to share their views on this subject this morning,” David Gregory, of NBC, told his “Meet the Press” audience. “We had no takers.”
The National Rifle Association, which had instantly deactivated its Facebook page and silenced its Twitter feed, refused all interview invitations and issued a statement explaining—admitting?—that it was shutting its big mouth “as a matter of common decency.”
When it finally opened that mouth, a week later, out came a demand for N.R.A.-trained guards in every single American school: a hundred thousand schools, a hundred thousand guards, a hundred thousand guns, a hundred million dollars in new business for the N.R.A.’s “corporate partners” in the gun industry.