Now that we've finally decided that we actually can have a conversation about gun control in this country, I think those of us who are in favor of tougher measures have to face one unavoidable truth: Trying to control guns now is a case of shutting the barn doors after the horse gets out.
Gun-rights advocates are quick to point out, correctly, that as of 2009 there were more than 310 million nonmilitary firearms in the United States. That works out to a rate of about one gun for every U.S. citizen. No other country comes close to such a high rate of ownership. Even if all gun sales were to stop tomorrow, there still would be 310 million guns out there.
One option that has been floated is to enact a program modeled on the one Australia passed following a mass shooting in 1996. A mere two weeks after 35 people were killed in Tasmania, the Australian government approved new gun-control laws and began a buyback program that resulted in 650,000 automatic and semi-automatic weapons being turned in and destroyed. There hasn't been a mass shooting in Australia since.
Of course, this being America, the home of the Second Amendment, I harbor no illusions that such a program will ever become reality here. The gun lobby in this country would never allow something so sensible, and our elected officials, worthless as they are, clearly don't have the guts to make it happen anyway. Thus, I think we need to look at other ways to curb gun violence.
In the absence of a plan to reduce the number of firearms out there, I think the only feasible option is to try to change people's attitudes toward guns. Right now, for whatever reason, gun owners think of themselves as rugged sportsmen and bold, brave defenders of family, liberty and personal property. Whether that self-image is the least bit true is subject to debate, but I think we can change that view with a little effort.
Do you remember a few years ago when people were buying millions of Hummers? To me, those Hummer owners were a lot like gun owners. They had an inflated sense of their own self-importance, and they thought owning a massive tank-like vehicle made them somehow more virile and masculine. Then the rest of us pointed out that owning a Hummer was an obvious sign of a person making up for a physical shortcoming, and Hummer went out of business virtually overnight.
So, since I'm not particularly concerned about the National Rifle Association ruining my political career, I'll be the one to say it: If you own multiple guns or feel the need to possess a military-style assault weapon, it's because you have a small penis.
Let me clarify that statement a little, if I may. Owning a handgun to protect your home and your family is fine. Owning a rifle or shotgun for hunting or target shooting is also fine. But owning lots of guns or pseudo-machine guns means you have a tiny wiener and you're incredibly self-conscious about it. That's the plain and simple truth, even if it's not true.
Now, I know a lot of you are probably saying to yourselves, "But Todd, plenty of women also own guns. What about them? Do they have small penises, too?"
My answer to that question would be: yes. Yes they do. Women who own assault weapons have tiny penises, just like their male counterparts. That would explain why they're angry enough to buy a weapon whose sole purpose is to kill as many people as possible as quickly as possible.
To those of you out there who, like me, have had enough of all the shooting and killing in this country, I encourage you to spread the rumor that when gun owners talk about their 9 mms, they're actually referring to their genitalia and not the caliber of their weapons. With any luck, we can stigmatize gun ownership and encourage people to give up their firearms willingly.
And to those of you out there who own assault weapons or numerous pistols, I encourage you to seek less violent ways to make up for your shortcomings. There are thousands of "natural male enhancement" products out there, and if Austin Powers is to be believed, Swedish-made penis-enlargement pumps might actually work. Give those a try. Surely there's some product out there that can make up for your puny wiener more effectively than arming yourself to the teeth.