A radio talk-show host once confided: "If you want to light up the phones, just talk about abortion or gun control."
It works for blogging, too. My piece here earlier this week, saying that the key issue, handgun control, has been largely neglected in cable's saturation coverage of the Fort Hood murders, brought out the gun-nut crowd, big time.
(This reminds me of that darkly apt joke: Two nuts were walking down the street. One was a salted).
Little has changed with the handgun groupies. Certainly not their point of view (summary: "The Second Amendment is the revealed word of God"), no matter how many lone-gunman shooting sprees we have.
And the anti-handgun control arguments posted here? Staler than last year's Christmas fruitcake (an apt metaphor for a lot of these pious pistoleros).
C'mon, NRA and its acolytes: Time to freshen the material.
Here are some of the golden oldies trotted out to explain (justify?) the latest handgun bloodbath. I paraphrase at times:
1. "Nidal Hasan used the Internet. Should we also ban the internet?"
No, Einstein, just doorknobs like those that got him into that building. Doorknobs can be as lethal as handguns. I think Chairman Wayne (Lapierre) said that.
2. "Many of MY guns are bought for historical significance."
You mean, like the ones that killed Garfield, McKinley, and Kennedy? Ever thought of collecting coins instead?
3. "You cite Canada as being anti-handgun. Did you know it's about to repeal its gun ban?"
Yes, I did. But that repeal movement is directed at the Rifle and Shotgun Registry, not handguns. And it's probably not gonna happen. Try reading actual news stories, Baretta Boy.
4. One anti-gun Commenter asked: "Can anyone could name another mass murder that DIDN'T include guns?" The NRA crowd was all over this one instantly: The Oklahoma City bombings, they fired off notes en masse.
OK, you got us on that one. Now, how about the other 50 or so, committed with guns and handguns?
5. "The gun didn't kill anyone. A person killed them."
I'll let Commenter kcdrew field this oldie: "You're right. Guns don't kill people. People WITH guns kill people."
6. "Guns -- on an Army base? What a surprise," said one pro-gun jokester, whom we'll call "Shecky."
Hey Shecky, I can answer this one from personal experience: My father was a career U.S. Army officer; I grew up on Army bases. The only way you can obtain a gun on a base is to sign one out at the armory, and only then for a good reason Ironically, U.S. military bases are often far safer than the cities outside them - because this part of the government, anyway, has stricter gun-control laws. That is, unless a soldier has visited Guns Galore in Killeen...
7. "Guns are banned in the U.K., but they're having knife crisis."
Hmmm. Google News doesn't turn up any instance of recent mass murders in the U.K. with knives.
8 "For gun laws to work, you have to assume people will follow them."
No, you don't. You do, however, start arresting those who break handgun laws (which should be felonies.). It's not perfect by any means, but you have to start somewhere.
9. "If the students at Virginia Tech had been allowed to carry guns, the death toll would have been a lot lower."
Yes, allowing untrained, gun-toting and hormone-driven young males to pack heat on campus sounds like a great idea. I told this one to a cop I know, and he started laughing.
And finally, the inevitable fallback position:
"Owning a gun is a constitutional right."
OK, so how's that well-regulated militia unit you're part of working out for you?