It’s that time again! The country has once more experienced an incident of rampage violence, and since we’re once again caught on the horns of the “thoughts and prayers” vs. “ban all guns” debate, it’s time for another Modest Proposal.
Once upon a time, there was a comic named Chris Rock. And God, was he funny. Anyway, he had this one sketch where he talked about his solution for gun violence, and in this article I’ll be shamelessly stealing and adapting it.
In short, we radically increase the cost of ammunition. That way if someone gets shot, we at least know they deserved it.
But wait, there’s more!
Here’s the plan: if you own a gun, you can own ammunition. And you can own any type of gun you want, and any kind of ammo you want. But all ammunition costs a flat-rate $500 per round. Given the reasonable argument that you might need a gun for self-defense, that gives the average person the ability to load a revolver or shotgun over the course of a few months which, given the actual odds of a home invasion, seems like a reasonable timeframe/risk calculation.
Meanwhile, we establish designated gun clubs around the nation. These are clubs for hunters, sport shooters, people like that. At these clubs you may store a gun and buy ammo for that gun for its actual market price. Both the guns and the ammo are specific to the club; they use a type of ammunition incompatible with all other firearms. This sounds hard, but gunmakers used to come up with new calibers regularly, so I doubt this would give anyone much trouble.
If you want to use your club gun, you may do so on club-sponsored hunting trips, range practice, or sport shooting events. But you check the gun back into the club when you’re done, all events are supervised by club officials, and members are searched before they leave. Then make holding any club-only guns or ammo outside of the club environs a felony, and institute regular ATF audits of the club records and inventories.
Oh, sure, we’d still have gun violence. But at least people would know that if someone rippled off seven hundred rounds from a private gun, they had a serious bone to pick with the target.
If you like that one, I have several other Modest Proposals on this subject: here’s one on banning guns, here’s one on restricting dangerous people’s access to firearms, here’s one on gun culture, and here’s one on reducing shooter incentives.
And while we’re all reading and debating, I suppose I’ll keep sending thoughts and prayers for the victims of the Santa Fe shooting… since that’s all we can do as a nation, apparently.