Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Gun violence

Here in the USA we’ve just had a couple more instances of gun violence. It seems to be a part of our culture now, and I don’t like it. I wonder how foreigners think about it. Well, actually I know how at least some foreigners think about it. My friends think it’s weird and a little scary. I wonder if this will dampen their desire to visit the USA if it keeps up.

I do have a potential solution to the tourism problem. We need to turn the concern into an advantage. Think about how Americans everywhere are “weaponing up,” buying new and better guns before good handguns and assault weapons become less accessible. If everybody here has a gun, folks unable to buy guns in their home countries will feel disadvantaged when they come to visit. What we need is gun rental kiosks at all international airports. Even if we pass new laws requiring background checks for gun owners, visitors can obtain guns without purchase and avoid the slow and inconvenient process of becoming owners.

It could really boost our tourist industry. Not only does easy availability of rental guns remove a deterrent to travel, for some visitors it will be an incentive to come. Unable to enjoy the pleasure of firing a handgun at home, gun tourists would begin traveling to America for the opportunity to carry a gun and fire it at rats, tin cans, and other appropriate targets. Hotels in remote areas would see a surge in business, and could even supplement their income by selling bullets in lobby convenience stores. And imagine the letters our new tourists will send home to their friends, building a virtuous cycle supporting a new field of travel.

I suppose the only reason we don’t have gun rental kiosks already is that nobody has solved the liability problem. If somebody rents a gun to a tourist who uses it inappropriately, perhaps the victims will try to sue him for arming a psychopath. If insurance companies can’t come up with a good way around this problem, then it’s time for new legislation. If every American is required to carry gun liability insurance, then the costs will be sufficiently diluted that it shouldn’t be a concern to gun-rental entrepreneurs. Our gun problem can be solved, and approaching it in this way is much more likely to get legislative approval than those limiting “solutions” that never go anywhere.

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