LSAT Kung Fu Blog / Semester 2, Week 7: A Stable, Genius, Modest Proposal

Semester 2, Week 7: A Stable, Genius, Modest Proposal

A Modest Proposal

This is not going to be about law school at all, is it?

It happened again. I could write that sentence over and over and it would always be true, will always have been true, is true now and will be true forever into perpetuity, amen, unless…

Unless we change something.

[And I’ll say this right up top. Some of you maybe want me to shut up and dribble, and I swear to god next week I will. But I have a little boy and a little girl who are sitting in public school classrooms as I write this, and as long as I have to worry a little bit about whether they’re safe from being shot to death while they’re at school, I’ll reserve the right to write about it to whatever audience I have left. That’s just how I can sleep at night. If you disagree with the solution I present here, sock it to me in the comments. I promise I’ll engage if you will]

Last week, the President of the United States of America suggested that what we ought to do in order to limit gun violence in schools is, we ought to put more guns into schools, specifically by arming public school teachers. Today, we consider that proposal.

We begin from the incontrovertible, logically unassailable position that the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. No law restricting the sale of weapons—in any measure, to any person—can ever possibly help, because tradition, and because everyone knows the Second Amendment is the only sentence in the Constitution that is unsusceptible to limitation of any kind. 

No systematic, dedicated approach to mental health could even remotely curb the number of deaths. No methods aimed at education, no requirements for meaningful gun safety training before ownership, no ban on assault weapons or semi-automatic weapons, no limit whatsoever on sales of guns could even possibly check the violence done by guns. 

No ban against the sale of guns to violent criminals could conceivably limit the number of gun shootings done by violent criminals. Universal background checks for gun buyers likewise would help not one iota. NOT ONE IOTA I SAY. Universal checks for ammunition buyers would probably help even less than that! Limiting purchasable quantities of ammunition could not under any circumstance limit the amount of ammunition sprayed by automatic weapons fire into the bodies of schoolchildren, and barring gun sales to those deemed dangerous by mental health professionals wouldn’t do anything at all to stop dangerously mental ill people from shooting children or anyone else they feel compelled to shoot.

No, the only possible solution, the only conceivable way to limit the violent effects of guns—and I don’t know what’s so hard about this, guys, I really don’t; it’s totally implicit right there in the language—is more guns. I’ll reiterate, in case you didn’t catch it the first time around, because it’s an ingenious, superior, and logically invulnerable position: the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

Now I know what you’re thinking; today’s America is home to the largest, most heavily equipped police force in the history of the world. There are good guys with guns all over the place! I mean, we’re absolutely chock-a-block with good guys with guns! You can’t swing a cat without hitting a good guy with a gun. You can’t drive 80 in a 65 without coming across a good guy with a gun. How come all those good guys with guns weren’t enough to stop this one bad guy with a gun (or the bad guy before him, or the bad guy before him, or the bad guy before him, or the bad guy…)?

Also you may be thinking, hey, there was a “good guy with a gun” right there on campus at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School at the time of the shooting. There were four of them, in fact. How could four armed good guys with guns not have stopped this (otherwise totally unstoppable by any other methods) tragedy?

The President didn’t say. 

But when we consider the fact that there were good guys with guns at the Orlando nightclub shooting, at the Las Vegas shooting, at Virginia Tech, at Columbine…. Well, I mean, if all of those good guys couldn’t stop those shootings, just, why not

The President didn’t say. 

But I think I found the answer, hidden in plain sight within the President’s solution: the guys weren’t good enough good guys! 

See, I will submit to you that the problem isn’t that the good guys didn’t have guns—they did!—and it wasn’t that the good guys with guns weren’t trained—they were!—and it can’t possibly be that this solution isn’t really a solution at all but is instead a cash grab by America’s gun manufacturers cynically profiteering off of the deaths of American children by ginning up a manufactured culture war between one side that wants sane, sensible gun regulations and another that sees even the slightest limit (for example, a measure to stop gun sales to the mentally ill or the violently criminal) as an abrogation of the apparently absolute and unalterable right of every single person (?) (!) to own any weapon of their choosing, so long as it’s a gun. 

That leaves us with only one possibility; we need better good guys! Gooder guys!

And, as the President must have mused to himself before speaking out loud on this topic, who’s gooder than retired police officers? Public school teachers, that’s who. 

I completely agree of course. I mean, I think that’s a beautiful and bigly great idea, but it’s just that I’d take it one step further to make it perfect. If we really want to make totally sure that we’re getting the goodest possible guys with guns, let’s cut out the middleman

Don’t arm teachers; arm the students!

Who could be a gooder guy to carry a gun than an innocent child? NO ONE, THAT’S WHO.

If we simply put guns in the hands of every schoolchild in America, then we’d put an immediate end to the problem of school shootings! Talk about deterrence; can you imagine walking into a school with your AR-15 (which must never under any circumstance be outlawed because it’s the gun that won the West and thus the birthright of every American), and coming face-to-face with an army of strapped second-graders? 

Stop where you are for just a second. Close your eyes. Now, think of the sum total goodness of all of this country’s six-year-olds. Six-year-olds are so good! They’re sweet and funny and goofy and innocent and they’re still halfway babies.

GIVE THEM ALL GUNS! Those are the good guys we need!

Then, in your head, add in the goodness of those seven-year-old second graders we were just talking about, then factor for the goodness of the eight-year-olds, the nine-year-olds, the ten-year-olds…. Well, you get the picture, right?

The only thing better than an OK guy with a gun (which so far, frankly, must be all we’ve ever seen, because up to this point, none of those so-called “good guys with guns” have ever managed to stop the bad guy with the gun) is a real good good guy with a gun. And nobody’s any more good than a sweet, innocent child. They’re the goodest guys of all, and now we’ll have every one of them packing heat every day. The bad guys won’t stand a chance! This solution is perfect in every way.

Now, I know, my Republican friends have just one question; how do we afford all those guns? Good one, guys. Thanks for keeping me on my toes. We’ll have to figure that out, but it’s probably going to happen by cutting taxes for the very very rich, so those savings will trickle down, as is the natural law. And then we use those extra revenues to buy the guns. Win-win. We’ll be tired of all the winning, etc.

And of course Democrats will whine about this plan, but they’ll never be able to mount the strong and cogent moral case against it that would capture the hearts of their constituents. They’ve already ceded most of the battle by not combatting the (INCONTESTABLY ACCURATE) argument that Americans are owed the inalienable right to own any gun they want by virtue of their being born here. Democrats will use large words. They’ll use very precise language, without any emotional resonance. They’ll use rhetoric that’s aimed at the head, not the gut. They’ll attempt to be strategic and they’ll moderate their position so as to triangulate multiple bases of support. They’ll try to outsmart the problem. And since they won’t just “tell it like it is,” then ipso facto they’ll just be spouting off more “political correctness,” so there’s no need to listen to them. Plus we have all the guns.

And there it is. The Grand Plan. The Stable, Genius (and you know what, cut out that part about Modest. It’s un-American) Proposal. 

Once all of the kids are riding dirty all of the time, we’ll have no more gun problems. (Except figuring out how to make our guns reliably waterproof. You know, for pool parties).


To Noah, age 12, and Lucy, age 9 and both still living.

Also to:

Alyssa Alhadeff, age 14 at her death

Martin Duque Anguiano, age 14 at his death

Jaime Guttenberg, age 14 at her death

Cara Loughran, age 14 at her death

Gina Montalto, age 14 at her death

Alaina Petty, age 14 at her death

Alex Schachter, age 14 at his death

Luke Hoyer, age 15 at his death

Peter Wang, age 15 at his death

Carmen Schentrup, age 16 at her death

Nicholas Dworet, age 17 at his death

Joaquin Oliver, age 17 at his death

Helena Ramsey, age 17 at her death

Meadow Pollack, age 18 at her death

Scott Beigel, age 35 at his death

Aaron Feis, age 37 at his death

Christopher Hixon, age 49

Be good to one another, because we are all we’ve got,


Further reading on the President’s proposal: