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Question Of The Day

Have You Ever Been in a Situation Where You Needed a Gun?

"No. Gun ownership is normally about either bad geography knowledge or phalluses."
August 23, 2013, 4:49pm

Some men shooting guns in Arkansas. (Photo via)

Arkansas – land of the Clintons, Johnny Cash and the Ozarks – is now home to a school that is arming its teachers with guns.

Arkansas Christian Academy has previously posted armed guards at its Sunday services, because church services are well-known targets for mass shootings. Now, the academy has apparently given the go-ahead for its teachers to pack heat – the thought, I suppose, being that more guns will dissuade mass shootings. I think I got smarter just writing that.

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In any event, as an American with a little home knowledge, I went around London to ask folks if they have ever been in a situation where they needed a gun.

Christine, 26, actress: No, I’m from Canada, so…

Why is it that you guys still have a lot of guns but a fraction of the violence of the US?
We’re a hunting and fishing nation. We have really, really strict rules. Handguns are pretty much illegal. You need to have a hunting license to own a gun. Mostly the people who own guns own hunting rifles.

The US is one big The Most Dangerous Game by comparison.
Yeah, the handguns that are in Canada come over illegally from Detroit.

Poor Detroit, always getting a bad rap.

Russ, 26, entrepreneur: No.

So you’ve never been mugged?
No, touch wood.

Would you like to shoot a gun?
No. I never want to shoot again.

Not even at a gun range?
Sorry, mate.

Why is America so fixated on guns?
It goes back to the ethos of the American dream and being able to stand on your own two feet. And it’s through all the brackets from gun control right way through to the healthcare system. There’s no support, there’s no sustainability.

Gauthier, 24, musician: The short answer is no.

So you’ve never been in a dangerous situation?
I’ve been in a dangerous situation, but the fact that I’m alive and fine proves that I don’t need a gun.

That’s airtight logic, I suppose. You mentioned your family has moved to Arkansas – what do you make of this news?
It’s not entirely surpising. I’ve been to my brothers and sisters’ friends’ houses and they’ve got these huge secret rooms full of guns. So I don’t think it’s suprising that they do that, but I do think it’s obviously evading the solution.

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And what is the solution?
The solution is undoable, but it’s changing people’s mentalities about firearms. Instead of having more firearms, get the point across that it’s really not necessary.

Why do people in the US think it’s necessary?
The fact that the country was built on individual property and the fact that you have to defend that property. There has to be limits on individualism. It’s basically a pseudo-tool of individualism, isn’t it?

Too right, mate.

Tim, 23, communications assistant for a publisher: Yeah, I’m a happy guy that I’ve never needed a gun. That is, I think, a good thing.

So you’re saying it’s a good thing we don’t live in a Mad Max, post-apocalyptic Thunderdome?
Yes. Not yet anyway.

Ever fired a gun?
No.

With our gun mania, are Americans trying to overcompensate for something ?
Almost certainly. And it almost certainly has something to do with phalluses.

Yeah? I was going to say our shitty geography skills, but if you want to go with phalluses…
Well, it’s got to be one of the two: geography or phalluses. Normally these things are either geography or phalluses.

PJ, 36, web producer: No. Even here in London, no.

Why is America so different in terms of guns?
I can’t fathom where it comes from. It must go back years and years and years, and the National Rifle Association is a very powerful lobby. I get the sense that people, not just Americans, but people with access to guns can tend to be more trigger happy.

Does more guns mean less violence?
No, no, no, no, no.

What about arming teachers?
That’s probably going to make the situation worse. What happens if a teacher has a gun and there’s a kid – one of those really bad kids who just takes it there, whatever you say he’s not going to stop – and the teacher might get pissed off… and then what?

Uh oh, I think I know where you're going with this.

Previously - What's the Stupidest Argument You've Ever Had?