José Can Say So

Control the People, Not the Guns

By José Canseco

I truly believe, aggressively, that we have the right to bear arms. We should be able to carry guns to protect ourselves. Period.

The funny thing is I don’t own any guns, but I would love to have a few—an Uzi and a street sweeper and a machine gun, maybe. I’d love to be able to carry a 9mm on me in a holster and just walk around. That’d be great. But you can’t in California, the state in which I live. And that’s bogus.

The problem with trying to restrict psychopaths’ access to guns is: How do you know what a person qualified to own a firearm intends to do with it? Obviously, something was wrong with the guy who shot all of those innocent people in that movie theater in Aurora. I’m sure it was some psychological issue or depression or drugs—we really won’t know unless they do some blood work on him.

He was a biologist or a chemist or something; he had no priors, no felonies, nothing. Sure, the screening process could be tightened up more, but from what I understand his record was squeaky clean. If you can’t sell a gun to him, then who can you sell a gun to? Who’s going to qualify?

It appeared as though he was convinced that he was doing some kind of military black ops or something: the way he was dressed, the way he went about it, the way he used the whole environment, bought a ticket, went out, came back in the exit… Everything was planned out. The only thing he didn’t plan was his escape. I think he wanted to die. That’s why I truly believe that if the people inside the theater were armed, they could have taken this guy down. There’s no doubt in my mind, that if one person had a gun they could have stopped him.

You should have the right to protect yourself and bear arms, no questions or ridiculous restrictions. Everyone should be able to carry a gun and show it in public: “Listen, you mess with me, you’re going to get shot.” I guarantee that if four or five or six people had guns on them in that theater, either that kid would never have gone in there, or he would have gotten blown away. That’s just the way it is. I think you have to send a message to the criminals: ”No no no no no, you think you’ve got a gun? I’ve got a bigger gun. I’ve got two guns on you.” It’s simple psychology, really.

Once, when I was about 19, I had a gun pulled on me by a younger kid. He was probably 16 or so, and he put it right in my face. My reaction was, “Put that thing away.” He jumped in his car and took off.  But I’m a 6'4" 250-pound martial arts expert. If a guy breaks into my home and comes after me but clearly doesn’t have a weapon—and I know I can defend myself—no I won’t shoot him. But I have to make sure he doesn’t have a weapon on him. And that could be a problem in the dark, after I was just startled out of bed. So it’s a very iffy situation. But, theoretically, if I was certain he didn’t have a weapon and I could defend myself (in other words he’s smaller than I am), I would not use a gun. Even if he does, I’m probably not going to shoot him above the waist; I’ll blast him in the leg or the knee.

If you misuse a weapon and kill innocent people, you should be executed. And if it were up to me, I would fry the Aurora shooter, big-time. I’d do it like old times; I’d make it a spectacle and try him in public. Hang him, electrocute him, whatever. Maybe make it a Pay-Per-View special and send the proceeds to the families of the victims and maybe offset some of the costs of keeping him on death row and operating whatever death machine you strap him to. If I were president, that’s exactly what I’d do. No doubt in my mind. Financially, it’s a great deal.

The endpoint of what I’m saying is that our country has nukes and other countries have nukes, and we don’t have these things because we want to or will use them, really. We have them to deter other countries from using them. On a large scale it works, so why not on a smaller scale? Mutually assured destruction.

Keep abreast of all things José every Monday with his new column, José Can Say So, only on VICE.com.

@JoseCanseco

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