"To Arms, One and All"

by Arthur Hoppe

 Friday, July 3, 1998

TALK ABOUT gross inequities! Time magazine reports that there are more than 230 million guns in the nation, or almost one for every man, woman and child, but 60 percent of American households have no firearms at all.

You can see the problem: four in ten Americans are armed to the teeth, and the rest of us are what the newspapers refer to as ``innocent victims.''

Simple justice calls for spreading all this lethal wealth through a socialized weaponry program under the slogan: ``One Man, One Gun,'' and that, of course, goes for one woman and one child and their guns as well.

After all, what does our sacred right to bear arms avail us if we have no arms to bear? It's no good to permit every citizen to carry a concealed weapon (as 31 states now do). Every citizen must be required to carry a concealed weapon. As the Second Amendment says, bearing arms is ``necessary to the security of a free State,'' and all too many of us are shirking our patriotic duty.

Not only would arming every American protect us from Libyans or North Koreans, it would protect us from each other.

Take schoolchildren. As my friend, Ron Andrews says, ``How many students would go to school aiming to plug their teacher or ther fellow students if they thought they would face massive return fire?''

Exactly. With every American bearing an arm, we will become not only a more secure, but also a more polite and mannerly nation. Ask yourself: Would you cut off a 35-year-old blonde in a BMW if you thought she was probably packing an Uzi? Think of how much more considerate people would be. ``Oh, did you want this parking place, too? Please, be my guest.'' No longer would delivery boys whistle in elevators. No longer would muscular fans in undershirts pour beer down your neck at football games. And you can bet the boisterous fellow at the next picnic table would refrain from playing ``Roll Out the Barrel'' on his accordion, if you showed him both barrels.

Everyone would descend from the rear exits of buses. Dentists would keep you waiting no longer than three minutes. And no postal clerk would ever be fired.

Our carry-on baggage would still be scanned at airports, but only to ensure that we'd done our duty and were bringing at least a .38 aboard. What terrorist would hijack a plane carrying several hundred well-armed passengers?

So simply by requiring every American to carry a firearm, we would be living overnight in a safe, secure, polite and orderly nation. The only other way to achieve equality of firepower is to ban every American from carrying a firearm. But my neighbor Mr. Crannich wouldn't go for that.

Crannich owns an AK47, two shotguns, a Colt .45 and a Red Ryder beebee gun left over from his first childhood. I asked him if he'd care to share his arsenal in order to promote a safe, secure, polite, orderly society. ``Over your dead body,'' he snapped.

Well, I'm going to do my part anyway. I'm going to buy a Sherman tank.