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Bruce Watson: Snappy comebacks on gun control

Having participated in these debates since RFK was gunned down, I’ve spent a lifetime shoveling reason into vast pits of paranoia and speaking truth to brick walls. These days, I prefer snappy answers to stupid gun comments.

When someone says, “The only thing that will stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” I always back away slowly and say one of the following:

• “I once saw a bad guy with a gun stopped by a beautiful blonde.” OR

• “Oh yeah, how about an asteroid? An asteroid would sure take out a bad guy with a gun.” OR

• “Let me get this straight — you’re a 50-year-old man talking about good guys and bad guys?”

Next, when discussion drops to the level of “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people,” I usually answer:

• “OK boys and girls, let’s all put down our milk and put on our thinking caps. Guns, boys and girls, use these things called bul-lets. And bul-lets do kill people.” OR

• “You’re right, people do kill people. People are such killers. That’s why people can’t be trusted with assault rifles.” OR

• “I can’t wait to tell the 920 Americans gunned down since Newtown that they are not dead.”

Every gun argument eventually comes around to the Second Amendment and the “right to bear arms.” When this comes up, I say:

• “Gee, if I bear arms can I join your well-regulated militia?” OR

• “Wait, what did the amendment say about ‘well-regulated’?” OR

• “Thank God our Founding Fathers appreciated AR-15 assault rifles and 9 mm Glocks. Jefferson preferred Glocks, but Adams was a Bushmaster man.”

Of course, we’re all hearing daily that Stalin and Hitler “came for the guns.” When this comes up, I don’t waste my time with truth — that Hitler expanded gun ownership and Stalin never confiscated guns. Instead, I say:

• “OK, OK. If Stalin and Hitler ever come for your guns, aim carefully and good luck.”

And here’s an oldie but goodie: “When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.” These days, it’s no longer enough to answer with the parody — “When sex is outlawed, only outlaws will have sex.” In a nation where millions oppose the slightest gun control over the bodies of dead children, you have to be more creative. I usually try:

• “Bring it on. Outlaws don’t gun down kindergartners.” OR

• “When paranoia is outlawed, only outlaws will be paranoid.”

Next will come the cultural argument. “It’s not the guns, it’s the movies and video games.” My answer:

• “You can have my Murder Simulator 2.0 when you pry my cold, dead hands off the joystick.”

And when they say “gun control doesn’t work, doesn’t deter crime,” I never make the mistake of using reason. I know better by now. Sure, I could admit that the overall crime rate has gone down since 1990. Mass murder, though? Dead children? America as a shooting gallery? I don’t go there. I prefer these:

• “Stop signs don’t work — people still run e_SSRqem.”

• “Speed limits don’t work — people still speed.”

• “Mental health treatment doesn’t work — look how many crazies there are.”

And speaking of mental health, we always hear that this is not “a gun issue” but “a mental health issue.” My answer:

• “I agree. Because if you really believe what you’re saying — that you need an assault rifle to hunt deer, that expanding background checks means imminent confiscation of all guns, and that our president is another Hitler or Stalin — you’ve got some mental health issues, pal. Please seek help and once you’re feeling better, we can talk more about guns.”

Bruce Watson’s column appears twice a month. He can be reached at opinion@gazettenet.com.

Legacy Comments1

Great column, Bruce!

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