Phil’s Phobias, Urticating Caterpillars and the Gun Debate

One of the joys of publishing written diatribe for public consumption is the comments and feedback from the… internet. Consider this recent example.

Phil from Australia writes…

I’m glad I live in Australia, with controlled gun ownership, where all guns must be locked away. EG. I read a story where a 3 year old boy shoots himself…….go figure.

Well there you have it. A random anecdote trumps decades of factual data, at least in Phil’s mind.

But when you step back and look at a comment like this, it just illustrates the real challenge behind the gun debate. You see, Phil is not alone. Think about how many people have their views about gun policy shaped by random “I heard that…” anecdotes.

I heard about a shark attack once. But that didn’t stop me from taking showers. For long.(Tweet This)

If one invests about four minutes to research the gun debate, it becomes pretty darn clear that guns themselves aren’t the driving issue for crime. Gun ownership is way up. Crime is way down. When folks aren’t robbed of their rights of self-protection, crime falls. Accidents are at an all time low. The vast majority of gun-related crime involves convicted felons. Guns are used far, far more frequently to prevent people from getting hurt than for hurting people. Let me repeat that.

Guns are used far, far more frequently to prevent people from getting hurt than for hurting people. (Tweet This)

In other words, a rational look at the data to examine the pros and cons of gun use yields a clear result. Guns save lives.

So what has so much power to trump decades of historical data and cause people to hold so dearly to viewpoints that have no basis in fact?

Hint: It’s fear.

You see, the power of fear is mind-bottling. You know, just like Chazz Michael Michaels so eloquently explained. “You know, when things are so crazy it gets your thoughts all trapped, like in a bottle?”

Phil is a perfect example of the power of the fear mentality.

You see, Phil lives in a country where children are 94.3 times more likely to be eaten by a crocodile than win a regional spelling bee.

Well, maybe I made that statistic up, but I’m sure it’s happened at least once, so that pretty much settles the argument.

Conclusion? If you don’t want to become croc-lunch, practice spelling the word “insouciant.”

I decided to consult famed behavioral psychiatrist, Dr. Emil Shuffhausen, to explore Phil’s case further. Based on preliminary analysis, there are a number of other things that frighten Phil.

Australian Phil's Fears

Australian Phil’s Fears

 At risk of causing Phil more undue stress, I want to point out some other hazards of living in Australia.

  • 715 people died tripping, slipping and stumbling, which makes one think Fosters Beer should be locked away.
  • 26 Australians fell off chairs to their earthly end. Consider working in the Lotus position. Yoga is all the rage right now.
  • 58 people died just falling out of bed, although there are not footnotes on which activity immediately proceeded these tragic accidents.
  • Australians are equally susceptible to death from human bites as dog bites. No comment.
  • More venomous arthropod warning signs might be in order, as urticating caterpillars are more likely to kill than crocodile attacks or earthquakes.

But here’s the thing. People like Phil aren’t really concerned with all these other potential hazards. Why?

Fear dominates attitude towards guns because people don’t assign any potential benefits to gun ownership – they only consider the negatives. (Tweet This)

That’s right. When subconsciously evaluating the cost / benefit of various life activities, which might kill us, people always consider the benefit side of the equation for things like swimming, walking, sitting, sleeping and even keeping pet urticating caterpillars. Yes, any of these activities can be lethal, but that’s OK because a larger upside is perceived to balance the risks.

We all just assume there are plenty of benefits to sleeping, sitting and caterpillar husbandry, right? (Tweet This)

So Phil, and others like you: Be intellectually honest about the debate. There are always two sides to any decision. Even a fart has benefits, so consider the other side of the scale before opining on gun control.

Oh, and Phil. One more thing. Nine people died in Australia last year as a result of horse-drawn vehicle incidents.

I sure am glad I live in a country with controlled horsepower transportation, where New York’s new Mayor is banning horse-drawn carriage tours. (Tweet This)

 

Be sure to check out our book, The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition. It’s available in print and Kindle format at Amazon:

The Rookie's Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition

The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition

Be sure to check out our newest book, The Rookie’s Guide to the Springfield Armory XD-S. It’s available in print and Kindle format at Amazon:

The Rookie's Guide to the Springfield Armory XD-S

The Rookie’s Guide to the Springfield Armory XD-S

2014 – The Year of 2nd Amendment Goblins, Trolls and a Few Fairies

Proving that few people have sense or good judgement, I’ve been invited to contribute articles to Bearing Arms. You might know them, along with 1.1 million other people, as 2nd Amendment on Facebook. Check them out. Subscribe. Get involved. Sign up for an Appleseed event in 2014, and better yet, bring a friend!

Here’s a link to today’s article at Bearing Arms

2014 is going to be the year of relentless attack on our Second Amendment rights.

His Royal-ness the Dishonorable Nanny-pants Bloomberg is now unemployed, and will be able to devote his full and undivided attention to helping us understand what’s best for us. We have a President in office, who, while not otherwise occupied vacationing, seems to believe that his lack of experience qualifies him to make unilateral decisions that no one else wants or agrees with. And last but not least, Vice President Grumpy McCrankyPants has not yet been distracted by a new Cracker Jacks trinket, so he’s still on a gun control rampage. Oh yeah, and Piers Morgan still lives here.

With all that looming in front of us, it’s time that everyone understands the real history of the Second Amendment.  You heard it here first folks…

A Second Amendment Fairy Tale

Once upon a time…

In a faraway land called Murrica, there was a great struggle, lasting many days and nights. You see, the settlers of Murrica were tormented by an insatiable and covetous evil troll known as George Threepence. While George lived across the great waters, in the hinterlands, he insisted on taxing the settlers with many fees and regulations. After all, he did not get the name George Threepence for his generosity.

Fed up with overzealous overdraft fees and parking tickets without representation, the villagers of Murrica were desperate to be free of the troll. They called upon a new leader, George Chiseled-Face for help. George Chiseled-Face had a plan. He knew that the good people of Murrica were well schooled in the use of magic kablooey powder and many of them maintained stores of it for their personal protection and other uses.

Without delay, George Chiseled-Face rode throughout the land of Murrica, yelling at the top of his lungs, “Militia! Militia! That means you – all you settlers of Murrica!” And it was in this way, that the people of Murrica had determined to organize themselves into a fighting force to oust George Threepence, the troll. For the people did not trust big armies like George the troll had. They preferred to call themselves up to service and yell “Militia!” with great enthusiasm as needs arose. It was most exhilarating!

Using their wits, a collection of farm animals and copious quantities of magic kablooey powder, the good people of Murrica, led by George Chiseled-Face and many fair and white-wigged princes, fought battle after battle with troll George’s Red Socks, until finally forcing them out at home plate.

Read the rest at Bearing Arms!

5 Reasons Concealed Carry Laws Are Ridiculous

I’ve started another new venture and am writing regular columns for Bearing Arms. It’s a great source of news, opinions, and how-to info for all things shooting and Second Amendment related. You can find them on Facebook also. Here’s this weeks rant…

Gun free zones

Every day there’s something in the news about someone or other campaigning to restrict concealed carry.

For example, the newly-formed group MDASININE (Moms Demand Action Supporting Irrelevant Nonsensical Insane Nanny-like Edicts) is frequently on the warpath to shame businesses, who want nothing more than to just sell stuff, into the gun debate.

And they’re not the only ones. Federal and state officials – you may know them as bamboozlers in training – are constantly dreaming up new restrictions, laws and public proclamations. All these rules are just as ‘guaranteed’ to make us safer as the rock-solid ‘guarantees’ that health insurance will be cheaper and we can keep our own doctors.

Restrictions vary by geography. If you have a fast enough computer, you can calculate the number of restrictions by multiplying the number of politicians by the number of media microphones within a radius of 97 miles. Some examples of “no carry” restrictions include…

Restaurants. Churches. Public bathrooms. Sporting events. New York City. Political conventions (think about the number of criminals per square foot there!) Medical facilities (even though doctors kill far more innocent people than guns.) Post offices. Buffalo Wild Wings. Staples – or maybe not Staples. Schools. Movie theaters. The St. Louis Mass Transit System that delivered most people to the NRA Annual Meeting. 7-11 stores? Canada. Military bases. My house. Ha! Just kidding with ya.

I can’t for the life of me understand the logic behind restricting concealed carry to reduce crime. To believe that, you also have to believe that those who carry concealed are the root cause of crime. There’s no other way around the logic.

Not surprisingly, the concealed carry community has been proven over and over again to be the safest measurable population group around. More so than priests, active duty police officers, Hollywood intelligentsia, politicians and Amanda Bynes. The crime rate of Mayors Against Illegal Guns membership (sorry, I meant Mayors Against Legal Governing) is orders of magnitude more than that of concealed carry citizens. I can’t prove this, but I hear you have to provide photographic evidence of extortion, fraud or preschool fight club gambling to become initiated into the exclusive MAIG crime syndicate.

A number of states have compiled data on the lawfulness of concealed carry holsters. For example, in Texas, the average citizen is 7.7 times more likely to commit a violent crime than a concealed carry holder, and 18 times more likely to commit a non-violent crime than a concealed permit holder.

Read the rest at Bearing Arms!

 

Be sure to check out our latest book, The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition. It’s available in print and Kindle format at Amazon:

The Rookie's Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition

The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition

Coming Soon To A Theater Near You: The Longest Gate

The Longest Gate - WWII Memorial Shut Down

A Government Shutdown Pop Quiz

Today’s pop quiz is a little complicated. It’s a combination of reading comprehension and true / false answers. Ready?

Government shutdown shooting range

OK, now they’ve done it. I’m really mad.

Reading Comprehension

Dick and Jane like to go shooting at a public range in the ‘Murrican National Forest. This range is completely unattended. It’s open 7 days a week from sunrise to sunset and there are no employees of any kind at the facility. It’s a nice facility and Dick and Jane have fun shooting and meeting other people who like to shoot. Today, Dick brought 3 boxes of American Eagle .223 Remington Ammunition. Jane brought 3 boxes of 300 AAC Blackout ammunition. One was 110 grain, one was 135 grain and the last was 220 grain subsonic loads. When Dick and Jane arrived at the shooting range, they found a padlocked gate with a sign saying that Bert and Ernie couldn’t seem to agree on a budget, so due to lack of Federal funding, the range was closed until further notice.

Questions – Circle the correct true / false answer:

1. (True / False) Since the range is unattended, no one actually reports to work there.

2. (True / False) Since the range is unattended, some Federal employee had to violate the government shutdown order to go lock the gate to the shooting range and place signs saying that the range was closed, even though no one works there.

3. (True / False) Federal government decision-making mimics the thought processes of cement.

4. (True / False) Dick and Jane’s conspiracy theorist friend, Vladimir, is convinced that a call was placed from the White House to the folks who look after the ‘Murrican Forest Shooting Range telling them to shut the range down just to poke gun owners in the eye.

5. (True / False) The United States Senate is full of complete idiots who are an obscene embarrassment to the American way of life.

6. (True / False) Dick and Jane left the range with 6 total boxes of ammunition.

7. (True / False) Harry Reid looks an awfully lot like the fairy in Dick and Jane’s reading books.

Answer Key

1. True.

2. True.

3. False. Cement is demonstrably more intelligent.

4. False. No call was placed. Air Force 1 was dispatched late last night so the matter could be handled personally.

5. True.

6. False. Dick and Jane snuck in anyway. And collected a pile of sweet, like new, once-fired .30-06 brass to boot.

7. False. Harry Reid resembles a Garden Gnome suffering from advanced stage Mad Cow disease.

 

I Do Not Like Guns Here Or There, I Do Not Like Them Anywhere

Dianne Feinstein Dr. Seuss I do not like guns

More on the LaPierreCare Affordable Gun Act here.

LaPierreCare Affordable Gun Act of 2013 Set To Launch Amid Defunding Fight

NRA Executive Vice President pitches LaPierreCare at a recent Remington State University event. Image: NRA.org

NRA Executive Vice President pitches LaPierreCare at a recent Remington State University event. Image: NRA.org

Tomorrow marks the go live date for the Affordable Gun Act of 2013, commonly referred to as LaPierreCare. Intended to make guns and ammunition accessible and affordable to all Americans, LaPierreCare levels the playing field by striking down capricious state laws that infringe on rights to bear arms. According to industry spokesperson, the late Charlton Heston, “This is a big flippin’ deal.”

The overarching goal of the LaPierreCare program is simple – help make guns affordable and accessible to the 152 million adult Americans who do not own a firearm. “Yes, Nearly 100 million people own a gun, but we hope to remove restrictions imposed by states like Illinois, New York and The People’s Republik of California that prevent all Americans from having the opportunity to enjoy their rights.”

House Minority Leader Fancy Pilates gushed about the new law’s possibilities. “Just think of an economy where people could be a trapshooter, action pistol competitor or 3 gunner without worrying about keeping their day job in order to afford guns. People wouldn’t be prevented from busting caps and vaporizing SPAM because of unfair inconveniences like jobs. The old system is racist.”

However, the LaPierreCare movement is not without controversy and flip-flopping. “Initially, I wanted to pass this bill so I could see what was in it. But then I found out it was about guns and that it would make it even easier for George Bush to buy another Perazzi. So now I’m opposed,” lamented Minority Leader Pilates.

Senate Democrats seem to understand the bill’s inevitability, yet are mounting an aggressive effort to defund LaPierreCare in hopes of stalling the program. “Obviously this is about guns, and those make me piddle my britches, so I’m opposed on principle. But it’s also really unfairsies,” groaned New York Senator Cluck Schmoozer. “Under the proposed LaPierreCare program, unemployment and under achievement is simply not rewarded. This who live with their parents well into their 20s have to find ways to pay for their own guns and ammo. It’s just not fair – one-percenters just need to step up to the firing line, so to speak.”

“Yeah, what he said,” President Obama echoed. “If LaPierre says owning a firearm is every American’s right, then just because someone goofed off through seven years of college and has to live at home, their weekend recreational shooting activities shouldn’t be impacted. That would be, ummm, racist.”

New York Mayor Mikey Silverspoonberg, leader of the group Mayors Against Legal Governing, has also emerged as a powerful force in fight to stop LaPierreCare. “I will fight to defund LaPierreCare until my interns can no longer bring me skinny Chai Lattes,” claimed Bloomberg during a marathon, fact-filled, 93 second speech from New York’s famous Monkey Bar restaurant. “Knowing what’s best for the American public, I will use gobs of my money to enforce my will. Now where the hell are my bodyguards?”

Others are jumping on the defund LaPierreCare bandwagon. California Senator Polyanne “I would appreciate if you would refer to me as Senator – I’ve worked hard for that title” Whinestein stated “I think your rights are all hot air. I do not like them Mr. LaPierre. I do not like guns on a range, and I think your views are somewhat strange. I do not like people questioning me, I don’t like that at all you see. I do not like guns here or there, I do not like them anywhere.”

Did you enjoy this article? Then you might like our fun, but insanely practical new book, The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting!

President’s Gun Control Order Will Reduce Street Crime

New Gun Control Executive Orders to eliminate corporate jackings. Photo: FoxNews.com

New Gun Control Executive Orders to eliminate corporate jackings. Photo: FoxNews.com

The shooting community was stunned by two Executive Orders from the Obama administration earlier this week.

One of the proclamations effectively closes a secret loophole commonly used by street thugs, gang members, and the Reverend Al Sharpton. Under current law, legally formed corporations and trust officers are able to purchase restricted firearms such as short-barreled shotguns, automatic rifles and sound suppressors. The new Executive Order mandates finger prints, background checks and local law enforcement approval of officers and trustees before these legal entities can apply for special permits from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Although the process is cumbersome, federally controlled and takes 6 to 12 months to complete, administration officials are convinced that low lifes and gang bangers are taking advantage.

“Fo shizzle!” whined one Crips member who declined to be identified. “I was planning a couple of jackings for sometime next spring or summer. I figured I would need to be strapped for that,  so I had my mouthpiece at the law firm of Rutherford, Collingsworth and Davenport drawing me up a Subchapter S Corporation. You need that to begin the application process for restricted firearms ya know. Obviously the benefits of limited financial liability of the partners and flexibility of taxable income distribution will benefit my fellow bangers too. Besides, the Bloods all use Limited Liability Corporations, so we didn’t want to go that route.”

Most gang members we spoke to were still in a state of shock, wondering how they were going to acquire restricted weapons now that the corporate and trust loophole is being closed. Many top 100 law firms are already planning for losses in billable revenue. “Losing thug life business is really going to hurt” moaned Commerce Winthorpe, Esquire, founding partner of the prestigious firm Winthorpe, Winthorpe and Fiddy Cent PeaceOut!, LLC. “We’re definitely going to have to cut back on complimentary mint juleps on Friday afternoons.”

Administration officials expect the measure to eliminate virtually all crime resulting from the loophole. “Today’s street thugs have gotten pretty sophisticated” explained an anonymous official. “They’ll plan a mugging 6-12 months in advance to allow time for setting up a corporation, completing the BATFE application, and waiting for agency approval to get a suppressed double deuce. The days of spontaneous jackings are long gone.”

While insiders won’t comment, many expect the next Executive Order will close the notorious non-profit museum loophole, believed to be the root cause of cannon, flintlock and gatling gun crime.

Even A Fart Has Benefits: Dealing With Gun Control Arguments

Even a fart has benefits. Gun debate.

Now that civil debate has gone the way of Sony Walkman cassette players, just remember this:

Even a fart has benefits.

In fact, it’s hard to imagine something that has no benefit whatsoever. Mosquitos? Yeah, they’re part of the food chain and they keep the OFF! Deep Woods people employed. Former Congressman Anthony Weiner? Why he singlehandedly made Twitter interesting for at least a month. And apparently he’s going to be the gift that keeps on giving now that he wants to run for Mayor of New York.

The hysteria over gun control exceeds that of the first nine rows of floor seats at a Justin Bieber concert. (Tweet This)

And its only going to get worse as Congress has (at least temporarily) shelved Hypocrite of Epic Proportion Feinstein’s new gun and magazine ban legislation.

You’ll continue to hear “common sense” arguments, mostly from Piers Morgan, but also from some of the other Mouseketeers on NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, and CNN.

What you won’t hear, however, is the other side of these “common sense” arguments.

After all, someone smart and famous, like New Boy King Bloomberg once said something like “every action has a reaction.” Or maybe it was Bill Nye the Science Guy.

In any case, things tend to have two sides. Arguments, decisions, discussions, 45 single records and of course, politicians.

In other words, every decision has pros and cons to consider. Drawbacks and benefits.

Like a 45 record (for those of you younger folks, 45 records are kind of like harpsichords) every “common sense” gun control talking point has two sides.

Con: If a gun control measure can save just one life, isn’t it worth it?

Pro: What if some measure saves one life, but results in thousands more being lost? Oh never mind, that’s not a “what if” question. Somewhere north of one million people per year use guns to protect themselves from a violent crime.

Con: Guns killed (fill in the number of your choice) people last year!

Pro: Yeah, but most of them were bad. In fact, numerous studies find that upwards of 75% of gun related murder victims have previous criminal records. Perhaps that ought to be factored into the debate? You can also factor in the previous discussion point here. How many people were saved by using a gun last year?

Con: Guns only have one purpose! To kill people!

Pro: Seriously? Well it’s good to know that police carry guns for the sole purpose of killing people! Obviously this is not the case. But just for discussion’s sake, let’s suppose that’s true. Isn’t it intellectually dishonest to assume that a gun’s only purpose is to kill innocent people? Do you not consider the scenario of a gun killing someone who is trying to kill an innocent person?

Con: You want teachers to be able to carry a guns? What if one goes off???

Pro: Guess what? When teachers with concealed carry permits are disarmed at the front door, bad things DO happen. Can we have a rational discussion that considers evidence of “accidents” or concealed carry permittees suddenly going crazy versus documented uses that stop violent attacks?

We could go on all day about gun control arguments. The important thing is to insist on considering all sides of an issue before forming opinion, and especially policy.

Because everything has at least one benefit.

Even a fart.

A Second Amendment Fairy Tale…

A Second Amendment Fairy Tale

Once upon a time…

In a faraway land called Murrica, there was a great struggle, lasting many days and nights. You see, the settlers of Murrica were tormented by an insatiable and covetous evil troll known as George Threepence. While George lived across the great waters, in the hinterlands, he insisted on taxing the settlers with many fees and regulations. After all, he did not get the name George Threepence for his generosity.

Fed up with overzealous overdraft fees and parking tickets without representation, the villagers of Murrica were desperate to be free of the troll. They called upon a new leader, George Chiseled-Face for help. George Chiseled-Face had a plan. He knew that the good people of Murrica were well schooled in the use of magic kablooey powder and many of them maintained stores of it for their personal protection and other uses.

Without delay, George Chiseled-Face rode throughout the land of Murrica, yelling at the top of his lungs, “Militia! Militia! That means you – all you settlers of Murrica!” And it was in this way, that the people of Murrica had determined to organize themselves into a fighting force to oust George Threepence, the troll. For the people did not trust big armies like George the troll had. They preferred to call themselves up to service and yell “Militia!” with great enthusiasm as needs arose. It was most exhilarating!

Using their wits, a collection of farm animals and copious quantities of magic kablooey powder, the good people of Murrica, led by George Chiseled-Face and many fair and white-wigged princes, fought battle after battle with troll George’s Red Socks, until finally forcing them out at home plate.

Knowing the great responsibility that comes with independence, the settlers of Murrica began referring to themselves as citizens, believing that “serfs” and “settlers” were unbecoming descriptions for freedom-loving Murricans.

One of the first acts of the citizens of Murrica was to write things down on paper. These important ideas and observations were known as The Amendments. Even though the ideas written as The Amendments were thought to be so flipping obvious as not to need writing down, some of the older citizens knew better. Having fought trolls, gnomes and a few goblins in the past, the elder statesmen knew that some future idiot would try to change things because he thought he was really smart. Being very wise, all the citizens agreed on a bunch of Amendments over pizza, chicken wings and 14 gallons of hard cider.

The new citizens of Murrica knew the importance of being able to protect themselves against future trolls – whether said trolls came from across one of the great ponds, or from within. So they made it very clear that, forever and always, citizens of Murrica would maintain their stocks of magic kablooey powder.

This idea was so important to them that they wrote it down second, just after the idea about making sure they could always speak and write things down. This second idea, about keeping other people’s grubby mitts off their magic kablooey powder, came to be known as the Second Amendment.

Many years went by and the citizens of Murrica suffered growing pains, a few wars and the invention of the Shake Weight. But all in all, the Murricans had developed a pretty good system of government.

During this time, most Murrican citizens never forgot the importance of The Amendments, especially the second one. They knew that George Chiseled-Face and his assemblage of white-wigged princes did exceptionally well on the SAT tests and had provided them with wise and timeless governing principles.

Over the years, the industrious Murricans developed many wonderful uses for magic kablooey powder. Like making beautiful light displays in the sky. They learned how to harvest wild animals to make bacon and roast beef using the magical kablooey powder. They even developed sporting contests using magic kablooey powder. While these other activities with magic kablooey powder were interesting and useful, the citizens never forgot the real reason that magic kablooey powder was protected by the Second Amendment. For it had enabled them to gain and maintain their freedom from the penurious and irritable troll, George.

From time to time, a bold gnome or troll would pretend to be a Murrican citizen and try to erase some of The Amendments. Fortunately Murricans were a pretty independent bunch, and TV had not been invented just yet, so they had numerous hours of free time. They paid attention to current events and stopped these trolls and gnomes right in their tracks. During those times, it sure was hard to fool a Murrican citizen.

Years had passed since the last insidious internal troll infiltration, and some citizens has forgotten the importance of The Amendments. And of course, by this time, none of them were alive when Murricans lived under the oppressive troll-thumb of George Threepence. During this time, shows like “I Dream of Jeanie” and “American Idol” were invented and this caused many Murrican citizens to succumb to a trance-like state of unawareness and apathy.

Just then, a charming new boy king was crowned in Murrica’s capitol city of Deesee. While some Murricans were suspicious, many were entranced by his spell and ability to read poems from magical glass screen crystals. He filled his court with all manner of trolls, gnomes, goblins and even a few fairies. And all of them lived high on the pork in the glamorous capitol city of Deesee.

The new king also enjoyed the services of many court jesters who would do and say outrageous things in hopes of getting a few minutes of airtime on XBCNN, the boy king’s personal scribe network.

Alas, the boy king encountered many difficulties as the land of Murrica was in turbulent times. Murrica had maxed out its Capitol One Murrica Card and rather than make minimum payments, the boy king decided to take out payday signature loans.

The bottom line was that the land faced a serious shortage of doubloons – and this caused great consternation. Citizens were lined up like never before at the boy king’s court, demanding lower taxes, jobs and cell phones. Something had to be done! After all, the citizens of Murrica were not happy, and the king remembered that citizens in Murrica had magic kablooey powder. He was concerned that the citizens would revolt, as they did against George Threepence. The king decided to enlist the help of his court jesters to solve the problem.

The boy king’s jesters studied the problem for many suns and moons. They even consulted the Oracle of Soros, but the Oracle of Soros was too busy straddling hedges to be of much help.

Suddenly, the king’s prized magical talking donkey, Joseph, came up with an idea! “Perhaps we could disarm the angry citizens before they get entirely too upset! We could get our sorcerers to cast a spell on our subjects to make them believe that we’re taking control of the magic kablooey powder for their own good and safety! But of course, we will have all the magic powder. This will allow us to do what we think is best for the citizens without interference.”

The king was smart, and also a little bit sneaky, and thought Joseph the magical talking donkey had a wonderful plan.

The king proclaimed “Joseph! Gather all the other asses and implement this plan immediately! I will reward you greatly by allowing you to dine at my table with the minstrels from the western lands of Follywood Forest. They love to visit the royal palace and will entertain us and possibly stroke our egos. Perhaps the minstrels will assist you in your quest by making cheesy public service announcements!”

So Joseph went to work. First, he enlisted the help of some of his must trusted Rose Garden Gnomes. Sir Joe ManlyChin and Prince Patsy TooEasilyInfluenced were chosen to enlist the support of the majority of the Council of Inaction magistrates.  Joseph knew that he could also rely on the magical powers of fossilized bones buried deep in the Council Chambers. Legends bespeak that the bones are the remains of an ancient hobgoblin, Harry the Misleader, believed to be a founding troll of the Council of Inaction. The legends also say Harry’s bones would rattle occasionally during times of great political opportunity.

Joseph realized that not many people would listen to a magical talking ass, and knew that he needed to call upon the most enchanting sorcerers from the Teevee territories. He quickly dispatched his elves to locate them. After following a trail of New York Times clippings and Panera Bread crumbs, the elves found three of the most powerful sorcerers: WereWolf Blitzkrieg from the province of Concoction Narration Network, Boy Prince-in-Waiting Pierpont Morganstern and a sputtering goblin known as LudiChris Matt-P-U.

All had proven microphone-mojo magical powers of hysteria and would be most helpful with Joseph’s quest. Joseph then asked the sorcerers to concoct enchantment fables, potions and mystical moving pictures that would entrance, entertain, and numb the citizens into a perpetual state of blissful unawareness. So they did.

The king had much power, in his own mind, but knew that he would need to enlist the full cooperation of the Council of Inaction. For if the Council of Inaction agreed to the plan, the citizens would certainly not doth protest too much.

The big day of the Council of Inaction vote arrived, and the king, his court and all the Rose Garden Gnomes, trolls, sorcerers and minstrels were most joyful, as the boy king’s plans had never been thwarted.

But little did the king’s court understand that a gallant prince, Robin LaPierre and his band of Merry Riflemen, had been hard at work. Robin and his Merry Riflemen not only had knowledge of the magic kablooey powder, but even more importantly understood the powerful magic of the internet. For the internet had mystical power to shatter the sorcerers enchantment spells and deliver scrolls of truth to the citizens. While many citizens succumbed to the sorcerers moving picture spells, and continued watching reruns of The Bachelorette, a great multitude were able to see through the boy king’s evil plot.

Late in the day, the Council withdrew to the secret chambers to consider the king’s proclamation. Imagine the boy king’s surprise when many of his magistrates on the Council of Inaction defied his instructions! He stormed and stomped and made vile threats of retribution. But the good citizens of Murrica were not afraid. For they knew that with the magic kablooey powder came freedom and independence.

To this very day, the boy king and his trolls, Rose Garden Gnomes and other insidious villains try to thwart the well-being of the citizens of Murrica. But they remain vigilant and sure, thanks to The Second Amendment.