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Sure as Shootin'


Why We Liberals Don't Like Guns


by Tristan Trout



"Fun With the Second Amendment," even though we thought it was a pretty moderate sort of piece, generated a shitstorm of controversy. Our inbox rapidly filled up with people telling us just how America's eternal freedom depends on their collection of functional howitzers. Therefore, instead of writing incompetent opinions on constitutional law (here's a very good one, if you'd like to read it), we thought we should explain what we're about.

And so, in the spirit of democracy, we present to you the following authoritative list of Why We Liberals Don't Like Guns.

1. We're Afraid of Loud Noises
We liberals are vegetarians, and, like most herbivores, we are easily startled by loud noises caused by things like guns, pickup trucks, and Ted Nugent. This brings us to the fact that. . .

2. We Don't Hunt
Tofu doesn't run away, and the biggest animals in my neighborhood are the subway rats. Besides which, since we believe so strongly in animal rights, it goes without saying that deer have as much right to live and be free and run for Congress as people do. Also, the thing about guns is that. . .

3. Bullets Come Out of Them
And bullets can poke your eye out, which is what Mom always said what would happen if we played with BB guns. Speaking of which. . .

4. We Know About As Much About Them As We Do About Fixing a '56 Chevy
Face it: Most liberals, being city-dwelling pansies, have never actually shot a firearm. (I have. Twice. Once was black powder, which involved the distinct possibility of blowing myself up.) However, even with my limited experience in shooting, I quickly discovered that. . .

5. We Liberals Are Really, Really Nearsighted and Clumsy
Most liberals, including Yours Truly, wear really, really thick nerd glasses and are secretly afraid we'd be really lousy shots. Also. . .

6. Shooting Involves Being Outdoors
We'd rather stay in and read Noam Chomsky and write letters to the Village Voice and work on our pasty complexions. However, no matter how liberal we are, one of the things about guns that scares us is. . .

7. We're Afraid Negroes Might Use Them Against Us
As much as we may decry any and all racism, most liberals can't name, off the top of their head, the last time they actually hung out with a black person. The hypocrisy inherent in this issue is worth a whole story, except that I'd get branded a racist and no one would ever talk to me again.

Also, it goes without saying that. . .

8. We Really Wish We Were European
Because we heard that European women are easy. However, you're not allowed to have guns in Europe. Speaking of Europe. . .

9. We Are Trying To Make You All Into Homosexuals
And that AR-15 just doesn't go with that handbag, girlfriend. Come to think of men in uniform. . .

10. We Haven't Had Any Really Good Wars Recently
There are two wars we liberals really wish we'd been around for. The first is World War II, because, to judge by how we always compare everyone to Fascists, we would have loved to help defeat the Nazis (but not the Japanese, because, Pearl Harbor notwithstanding, they were the victims of racism).

The second war we wish we'd been around for is Vietnam, but only to protest it, because nothing will ever again be as cool as the 1960s were. Also, we hear protesting the war got you laid.

Which brings us to. . .

11. We Like to Legislate
The liberal solution to a problem is to pass more laws. Only by constantly holding the threat of getting sued over everyone's head all the time can we create a just society. After all, people are inherently good and fair-minded, and that's why we need more laws to make them behave.

Actually, the real reason that we legislate so much is. . .

12. We're Trying To Install A UN-Led Zionist Occupation Government
We're Jewish, we're trying to take over, and only you and your .22 stand between us and complete world domination!

In fact, the Jewish lust for power brings up another fear. . .

13.We're Secretly Afraid We Might Shoot Someone
No! No! Bad thought! After all. . .

14. When I Was Just a Baby, My Momma Told Me, "Son, Always be a Good Boy, Don't Ever Play with Guns"
But I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die.

Of course, it's obvious that the cause of gun crime isn't guns; it's the fact that we live in a society where the poorest people are crammed into crummy inner-city neighborhoods and people get so fed up with all the bureaucratic bullshit they flip out on bullet-shooting sprees. Take away the guns, and they'll probably just go on thumbtack-and-Bic-pen-stabbing sprees.


Posted December 10, 2002 4:54 AM




While personally a Second-Amendment absolutist—however regional an affair this is, I being a Texan—I have one tiny little nit to pick with you on your otherwise excellent article: really good historical books, especially controversial ones, ALWAYS get a working over with a fine-toothed comb. That's why book reviews are such an important part of the historian's bookshelf. . . if we are dealing with questions of chemistry, anybody in the sciences, while not immediately conversant in the field, can look at how the experimental data was set up and determine whether the logic behind it is valid. Not so for history. It is not merely for publicly controversial works that this happens. . . I could give you half a dozen examples in my own field that would bore you to death, but it's there, and anybody who publishes expects to get worked over if they put anything silly in their pages. . . what strikes me, as a guy who works with history, is that Bellesiles apparently did NOT expect a close review of his work. . . which is an interesting thing in and of itself. Good work, amigo. Looking forward to the next one.

Posted by: Russell M. at October 4, 2008 6:17 AM

I wanted to write you about "Fun with the Second Amendment." It was both funny and insightful. I can only imagine the emails you must have received regarding the article. The newer article "Why we liberals don't like guns" was absolutely hilarious. I guess the purpose of my email is to commend your work. But I'm also interested to know how many serious emails you received about this latest article that began with the words: "Damn right, and another thing..." btw, I may be knocking on your doors soon for a job. Since my new favourite hobby involves trolling the corporatemofo archives while at work, I figure hiring me would be the least you could do. cheers, Kevin

Posted by: Kevin at October 4, 2008 6:18 AM



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