OPINION: Debating guns ... a kid could do that
GUNS are bad.
At least, among the population of reasonably sane, self-respecting people, that tends to be the general consensus.
In the hands of the wrong people, guns become dangerous weapons.
In the hands of the wrong people, life becomes a lottery.
And in the hands of the wrong legislators, guns are in the hands of wrong people.
Americans are an interesting bunch.
An American news program this week brought the great debate to the fore once more, and what they had to say about it was rather comical.
Following possible presidential candidate Donald Trump's assertion that "these gun-free zones are a disaster" (and, for the record, so is the possibility of Donald Trump becoming leader of the free world), an entire news team proceeded to voice their approval of his thesis.
Sadly, however, it didn't end there.
Instead, the team produced a three-pronged assault on common sense that Trump himself would have been proud of.
An attack which, unfortunately, could have been easily rebutted by any remotely decent Year 5 debating team.
News team: "Can you really blame guns?"
Year 5 debating team: "Yes."
News team: "When there's a drunk driving accident, you don't ban cars."
Year 5 debating team: "No, but it goes to show that these things are pretty dangerous when they're in the wrong hands."
And my personal favourite from the third speaker of the affirmative (news team): "The idea that taking guns away from the law-abiding is insane and childish."
Bring it home, Year 5: "We're children, and we're clearly smarter than you… So I'm okay with being childish."
Like I said, this news team was rather comical … right up until the point I realised they were actually being serious.
But it didn't stop there.
One particular anchor thought it necessary to point out that "Australia don't have gun violence … but they go to prison for expressing unpopular views".
Um. What now? I'm fairly sure I've expressed more than a couple of unpopular views in my time, and as far as I'm aware, I've never been in prison.
Australia is far from perfect.
But watching this gun debate from afar has been mesmerisingly painful - a debate that started off amid the satisfaction that we are able to walk down safer streets than our American cousins has viciously transformed into a hair-pulling insult fest where champions of the Second Amendment are resorting to false and irrelevant claims about the country that is apparently doing things better.
The fact that this all came in the light of yet another tragic school shooting in the United States only serves to belittle their argument even more.
Sadly, arguing with stupid people is like playing chess with a pigeon; no matter how well you play, the pigeon is always going to knock over the pieces, poo on the board and strut around as though it has won.