American Institutions

By Michael J. Legeros

Another week, another shooting.  Sigh.  Schoolyard rage seems the
rage right now-- yet another angry, young, long-alienated male go-
ing, uh, ballistic on the playground.  Or in the parking lot.  Or
in the very building itself.  In other months, we're horrified by
workplace violence, celebrity shootings, or *the* quintessential
American tragedy: loaded guns + curious kids.  Sigh.  What's a wea-
pon-crazed country to do?  After, Americans *love* their guns.  Al-
ways have and probably always will.  ('Tis fun imagining Charleton
Heston at age 200, still alive and defending the rights of citizens
to own high-powered plasma rifles.)  Shotguns, handguns, antiques,
and automatics-- yup, the Land of the Free is the Land of the Well-
Armed.  But since no one likes to be shot-- accidental or other-
wise-- there's *gotta* be a better way to be bullet-friendly.  And
a way that *doesn't* require the installation of metal detectors at
every entrance to every building.  Since we've already tried our
hands at gun laws, gun control laws, and gun *safety* laws-- "if
unlocked guns are illegal, then only *criminals* will have unlocked
guns-- I say the workable solution is... coexistence.  To accept,
indeed, that guns are here, here to stay, and are probably gonna go
off.  So with the idea of *harmonious* target-practice in mind, I
present the following outline.  A dozen ways for Americans to "get
along with guns" that also addresses our *other* national pastimes:

        CARS - Americans love guns.  Americans love cars.  To
        make mass shootings seem less shocking, issue school
        uniforms (or work clothes) with point values on them.
        Drivers can then get into act and we'll all be a little
        less alarmed at six o'clock.

        SPORTS - Americans love guns.  Americans loves sports.
        For outdoor events, hand out handguns that only fire
        upward.  Plus plate-metal headgear for all ticket-hold-
        ers.  Or, heh, for just the *home* team.

        HUNTING - Americans love shooting stuff that moves, but
        have a little problem with hunting accidents.  How 'bout
        this rule:  if it shoots, you can shoot back.  Plus dis-
        count on next year's license if for nabbing someone who
        can't tell orange from brown.

        VIOLENT MOVIES - Gotta have our guns and our *movies* a-
        bout guns.  Since teens are (a.) restricted from attend-
        ing violent movies not deemed appropriate by the Motion
        Picture Association of America and (b.) are a damned
        nuisance at that, let's try this lobby notice:  "Rated
        "R".  Anyone under 18 will be shot."

        SEX SCANDALS AND ABUSIVE SPOUSES - Americans absolutely
        *love* accusing people of having sex.  We could keep
        pointing fingers *and* nip domestic violence in the bud
        by reinstating the draft.  Instead of military service,
        men (and women) would be randomly chosen as Adulterer of
        the Week.  Thus those with gun-owning spouses could duck
        and cover appropriately.  Or return fire.

        LAWSUITS AND LOTTERY TICKETS - Everyone loves a lawsuit
        and everyone wants to get rich quick.  How 'bout bullet
        sponsorships?  Each round of ammo would be labeled with
        the name a corporation, organization, or wealthy indi-
        vidual.  So, if shot and still living, you could make a

        THE JERRY SPRINGER SHOW - Coming up next, Cross-Dress-
        ing, Alien Abductee Gun Owners And The Pregnant Transex-
        ual Women in Prison Who Love Them.

        FAST FOOD RESTAURANTS - Four words: guns for angioplasty

        MOM'S APPLE PIE - Seasoned with cordite, of course.

        FREE SPEECH - Bulletproof vests for everyone.  Starting
        with the satirists.

Copyright 2001 by Michael J. Legeros


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