Responses to a satirical column on whether the right to bear arms includes howitzers were — well — informative.
Last week I wrote a column asking satirically whether law-abiding citizens should be able to have howitzers to combat tragedies like the school shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and whether hardened security should include howitzers atop our schools.
Emailed responses included information that:
• It would be dangerous to put howitzers on school roofs because they weigh too much. One reader said a howitzer weighs over 7,200 pounds. If you’ve weighed a howitzer recently, you can verify whether this is accurate.
• There should be no concern about 18-year-old purchasers because they couldn’t afford $600,000 for a howitzer. I haven’t priced them lately, so I don’t know if this is the current cost.
• Right now, it’s possible to get a howitzer. I’m not going to quote details on that.
• I was wrong to have stated that firearms now are the leading cause of death of children and adolescents. Gosh, that came from mortality data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It showed that motor vehicle deaths among kids dropped way back into second place. More car wrecks could save firearms from continuing as the No. 1 cause.
• It was wrong to call an AR-15 a weapon of war. Since that rifle is a more powerful weapon than the rifle I had in the Army, I now know that the Army never provided us with weapons of war.
• I’m an idiot. The kind reader concluding that affixed three adjectives before “idiot.” One was “100 percent.” The other two can’t be used in the newspaper.
• Gun violence shows the difference between the political parties because “all of these shooters were or were leaning Democrat.” No source was cited, but this certainly was from sources other than the lamestream media.
• The Founding Fathers in writing the Second Amendment knew that a “well-regulated militia” should have cannons and other powerful weapons of the day to defend the country from the government usurping power or attacks from abroad. I read the long responses on this all the way through only if the writer had been there with the Founding Fathers.
• The Supreme Court in the Heller case decided everything, leaving no further question about what the right to bear arms means. I guess decisions like Heller and Roe v. Wade are set in stone and cannot be questioned.
• I should have questioned whether law-abiding citizens also could have tactical nuclear weapons. Those suggestions came from folks who understood the satire. I hope.
• Lack of gun regulations isn’t the problem because Chicago has “draconian gun laws” and still has ample gun violence. Here I thought the courts struck down or weakened Chicago efforts to control guns and that the weapons for the gangs often come from Indiana, where there’s virtually no regulation.
• It wasn’t clever to ask if the NRA would use the slogan: “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a howitzer is a good guy with a howitzer.” Darn, nobody mentioned my other line about an NRA response: “When howitzers are outlawed, only outlaws will have howitzers.”
Don’t get the impression that all reader responses were like those. They were not. There were also responses from readers who understood and liked the satire and agreed with points I was seeking to make about gun violence.
I’m not going to quote from the views that I regard as positive. The intent here is not to quote words of praise or in defense or to offer insults to counter insults.
The views that I did present are indeed informative, telling a lot.
Jack Colwell is a columnist for The Tribune. Write to him in care of The Tribune or by email at email@example.com.