Mark Steel: The only answer is more guns

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The Independent Online

We're supposed to admire people who think "outside the box", so you have to be impressed with Americans who still rage against gun control. For example, if you were in an office and someone gasped, "I've just been informed there are some deranged lunatics amongst us", it would take a certain imagination to reply, "In that case, the main thing is to make sure everyone in the building has access to plenty of guns".

The latest lunatic going berserk with a gun goes to show that everyone needs to be armed, as there are lunatics about going berserk with a gun. It's been suggested that primary school teachers be armed, but one teacher couldn't overcome a sudden attack so surely the kids themselves need guns. And once schoolchildren are protected, madmen will go crazy in nurseries instead so we need to arm babies. Kindergartens will advertise by saying: "Here at Bubbly Bounce, our precious cherubs are each provided with a 9mm Colt semi-automatic pistol, so you KNOW your child is safe all day long."

One phrase repeated by pro-gun campaigners after the latest shooting, is "Guns don't kill people, people kill people". This may be true, though if we're being picky it could be argued that a gun was also a component part of the incident. So maybe guns aren't enough, and there needs to be a campaign for every American to have the right to own a ferocious lion. Of course, a problem may come when a nutcase tries to shoot your lion, which is why the lion would have to be armed with a sniper rifle and rocket-propelled grenade launcher, but at least the honest citizen would be on the way to feeling safe at last.

The people most determined to oppose gun control also seem to be those who were most determined to oppose a healthcare system that would destroy the US citizen's right to die without the state interfering by looking after them. I'm not normally a conspiracy theorist, but someone should investigate whether the United States has been infiltrated by a suicide cult.