I recently stumbled across the cartoons of itsAlexClark, a fairly popular YouTube creator with over two million subscribers. Most of his cartoons are slice of life stories like "my hot babysitter got me in trouble" or "Mario Kart got me a girlfriend" but recently decided to take on a more serious topic that has touched our lives on an ever more recurring basis. His manner of doing so brings it down to a level I think even Donny Cheetohead could understand. Let's sit back and watch.
I shared this video with a few friends and one of them was keen to point out that the difference between cats and guns is that his neighbor can't make a cheetah in his garage unless he already owns two cheetahs. Now it's a funny video so I'm not surprised it elicited a humorous reply, but it does delve into an area of gun control that's not often discussed so props to him for it. It IS actually possible to make a gun yourself. After all historically speaking someone didn't just snap their fingers and make projectile firing weapons fall from the sky. There was a steady progression of technology from gunpowder to muskets to revolvers to automatic weapons. We human beings sure are inventive when it comes to finding new and better ways to kill each other aren't we? So it's true that if you had the money to buy the correct tools, the training on how to use them, and the knowledge of how to put those components together, you could make yourself a lethal weapon and not even have to "go to Petco" to buy one. After all we can watch people making swords on TV and those are just as lethal in the wrong hands.
Do we simply throw our hands up in the air then? "Well since anybody with the time and knowledge can make dangerous weapons, there's no point in regulating them at all, so f--k it." Well if we wanted to live in a lawless country where anybody could do anything to anyone with anything any time they f--king felt like it then SURE that would be a fabulous response. Thankfully I don't live in that country. I'm not saying the United States is great. Hell I wouldn't even say we're good. Since about January 20th of last year we've been pretty damn awful. That's not any reason to give up on having a sensible discussion about important issues. We don't have to wait around until "Mrs. NRA" lets everybody on the block have their own pet cheetah. That's not to say there shouldn't be any cheetahs - just that perhaps not everyone is meant to own one. Making a gun and making a cheetah do have one thing in common - they're both going to require a lot of money and effort. Now if you're the kind of person who is either a little bit angry, a little bit off or potentially both, how much are you going to invest in doing it yourself when you can go to Dick's Sporting Goods to get your very own cheetah for cheap? You get to maul a whole lot of people with a cat a whole lot quicker if that's your aim. Thankfully even they realize that's just a bad idea and decided to stop increasing the dangerous cat population.
I think Alex Clark did us all a favor by bringing a little levity to this situation with an imperfect but workable metaphor about assault rifles. It doesn't hold up to every single way you scrutinize it, but the fact we're even talking about whether or not it works has already done a public good. That's the first step - we need to talk to each other about what it really means to have "a well regulated militia" where "the right to bear arms shall not be infringed." There was a good idea in theory in that statement - citizens should be able to defend themselves and their state or country by taking up arms, so no one should be barred from having them for any reason. Of course in those days there was no such thing as a semi-automatic or fully automatic assault rifle either. It's possible there's a sensible compromise between owning a hand gun and owning weapons that should probably only belong to the military, but unless we can all sit down and talk about it reasonably, we're just going to end up with a lot more kids being mauled by dangerous cats.