This Unholy Mess


My Nobel Peace Prize

Of course it’s very gratifying to realize I’ll be receiving this incredible honor. To join the ranks of greats like Mother Theresa, the Dalai Lama, and Nelson Mandela—well, it’s going to be a very humbling experience. I’m already working on a blockbuster speech that will wow the Academy in Stockholm by starting out with quotes from Lord Byron and the movie, “Hangover 2,” then wrapping up with selected ravings of Wayne LaPierre.
It’s more than a little ironic that the idea that’s going to bring me this spectacular global recognition should have come from America’s community of Gun Crazies, but I have to give recognition where it’s due. As long as I don’t have to share the prize money, of course.
Just think of everything the Gun Crazies have had to endure in recent years: reams of statistics demonstrating the need for more regulated–or even reduced–gun ownership. All those endless graphs compiled by the shadiest groups imaginable, like the World Health Organization and the American Journal of Medicine. You look at the ones that correlate the number of guns with the number of gun deaths in various industrialized nations, and in every one of them—yep—there’s the United States, that little dot in the upper right-hand corner of the graph, a proud, lone standout in the stratosphere of guns and deaths, while other countries linger, clustered miserably together in the lower, life-infested regions of the charts.
The Gun Crazies have endured the pain of having to explain away terrible mass shootings by insisting that guns don’t kill, by saying that it’s the price of freedom, or whatever. They say it’s always too soon for legislators to discuss gun violence.
How many times can they be expected to hear that the U.S. has only 5% of the world’s population but 45% of the world’s civilian-owned guns—well over 300 million firearms? And it’s been like a broken record for them, hearing that Americans are 20 times more likely to die from gun violence than citizens of other wealthy countries.
So we have to sympathize. And I personally am extra sympathetic, considering that these guys have given me the key to a Nobel by offering their own solution to the problem of gun violence. The way to make us all safer is simple, they say: more guns. Are you worried about some shooter popping up in a gun-free zone? All you need to do is arm two or three hundred thousand teachers; that same number of ministers, rabbis, and priests; and, say, a couple of million bartenders. Voila. Mr. Shooter will think twice about indulging his uncontrollable murderous rage. He’s obviously not going to want to get shot or anything.
Working with their basic idea for a more peaceful America, I now present to you my mostly fool-proof plan for world peace.
If our country is going to be safer with a larger number of guns in more hands, it makes sense that the world will be a much safer place if there are lots more nukes—everywhere. Think about it. If practically every country in the world has plenty of nuclear weapons, none of them will dare use them! The Middle East will become a haven of peace once Iran, Syria, Iraq, and the others all have a healthy inventory of nukes. Sub-Saharan Africa will settle into at least a semblance of stability through the magic of deterrence. Not that there will be a couple of Marriots and a Hooters appearing in Khartoum right away, but there will be a palpable calm everywhere, the kind of calm that can be generated only through the threat of massive nuclear retaliation from a variety of countries.
Extra bonus: We won’t need the United Nations anymore! You can forget those painful, deadlocked Security Council meetings and the huge cost of keeping toilet paper in all those restrooms in the UN Headquarters complex.
There will always be Nervous Nellies who get shrill about the dangers of broad nuclear proliferation, but these are going to be the same feeble losers who question the obvious benefits of a gun-rich America. The Nellies will talk about the risk of accidents or malfunctions in the nuclear arsenal of, say, Chad or Lebanon; or about nuclear strikes initiated from false information. But this is quibbling. What’s the worst-case, highly improbable scenario for the world? Maybe total destruction of the planet and of life as we know it; but it will have happened in a global structure freed from the compulsive efforts of misguided souls who want to abridge the rights of nation states to own nukes.
And come on, nuclear winter’s not going to happen, anyway. This plan is all about more peace and less violence, right?
Stockholm here I come.

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