On my long commute, I often have the misfortune of sitting in traffic and examining other people’s vehicles (OPV!), it’s a good time to catch up on bumper sticker philosophies. One saying that I just can’t stand is “Guns kill people like spoons made Rosie O’Donnell fat”. Here’s why this is a dumb statement:
1. People never say “Guns kill people”, you never hear news anchor lead with “Today, the gun killed 12 people in Aurora, Colorado”. What we all end up hearing is “Today, 12 people were shot to death”. Getting shot by a gun is a lethal event, for those of you who disagree, try it and see what happens.
2. How did we pick the spoon? While a gun fires bullets with lethal consequences, a spoon is incapable of making someone obese. I think a better analogy would be, “Guns kill people like an unhealthy diet and lack of exercise made Rosie O’Donnell fat”
3. How did Rosie O’Donnell get selected for this bumper sticker? Is she anti-gun? Seems like she got dragged into this thing as an innocent bystander.
4. Even if the statement was coherent or a proper analogy, it still doesn’t establish solid ground for more relaxed gun laws, as the conclusion is that guns can kill people and Rosie O’Donnell is overweight. It sounds like the argument this bumper sticker is trying to make is that if a person is responsible with a gun or a spoon, we can live healthy and productive lives. Maybe they should update their bumper sticker to say: “Good thing guns only end up in the hands of responsible people”
All this being said, I think it is fine to own a gun, but maybe, we can acknowledge that they can and often do kill people. According to the CDC, there were 11,493 gun related homicides in 2009 (most recent data), there were 2,996 in the 9/11 attacks. We sent hundreds of thousands of troops to fight after 9/11, spent billions of dollars on the war, and killed thousands of innocent civilians to fight terror around the world, when we are nearly 4 times as likely to be shot to death each year in our own country. If spent half the money we did on Iraq and Afghanistan, just rebuilding our own communities and cracking down on the terror in our own country, would we be better off?
Finally, if we can’t figure out how to limit guns and gun violence in this country, I say we just open things up and let people have any kind of weapon they want. Bazookas, tanks, and rocket propelled grenades, they don’t kill people either, and for Rosie, I’m sure she’ll be content with her spoon.
Tomorrow Winston gets his tonsils out at 8:45AM, keep him in mind, he’s really being brave about this event and I know he’d like to hear from you in the next couple of days.