Have you ever had an altercation with a waiter in a restaurant about a little bowl of olives that has mysteriously appeared on your bill. Or been sitting in Wetherspoons and noticed some naughty-looking geezer in a West Ham shirt firing the daggers at you? Perhaps you’ve just been spending an afternoon in your local Slug & Lettuce and thought, wow, this place could do with a little livening up.
The perfect solution to all of these situations? Having a gun, of course.
Packing heat, going in heavy, exercising your trigger finger: sounds exciting, doesn’t it? Well kids, that’s because it would be. But before you knew it you’d be bleeding to death in a derelict row house while a nappy-wearing crack smoker tossed off into one of your shoes. And if you’re thinking that sounds a little bit like ‘The Wire’, you’d be right. Because ‘The Wire’ is in America, and that’s where guns are.
Because, despite what Guy Ritchie and the London Paper want you to think, guns don’t really happen here, do they? I mean, we do have them, but not America style. Not convinced? Read this. Yep, Arizona and Tennessee have passed a law making it legal to carry concealed weapons in bars and restaurants. And the reason? “Advocates of the second amendment’s right to bear arms argue that in the wake of shooting sprees, citizens should be able to defend themselves by carrying guns in public places.”
Makes sense, I guess. I mean, in the freak event that a crazed lunatic opens fire while you’re munching on your super-sized Whopper meal, the best way to calm the situation would obviously be for EVERYONE in the restaurant to start shooting back.
This is now the situation in Arizona. You can: drive a car at 16, smoke at 18, legally carry a hand gun at 18, but you can’t drink until 21. It gets worse, though. You have to be over 21 to carry a concealed handgun, and the same age to purchase a gun from a Federally licensed gun dealer. Gun lovers between the ages of 18 and 21 are only legally allowed to buy their shooters from a private party.
A private party? So, in summary: when you get to the more mature and sensible age of 21 you can legally buy a gun from a proper dealer who has been approved by the government, and carry it around tucked safely out of sight. But if you’re 18, 19 or 20, you can still legally have a gun, but, BY LAW, you’re only allowed to have one if you’ve bought it off some random bloke in a car park and promise to carry it around openly.
Enough law-making madness for you? No? Well here’s some more: fireworks are illegal in the state of Arizona. Fireworks. And this week the state vetoed a bill that would have made sparklers, smoke bombs and small fireworks legal, because it was concerned they might cause fires. Meaning that on your 18th birthday you can get in your car, drive down the road and pick up a gun, meet your mates at a restaurant where you’re all allowed to have guns, as long as they’re all on the table where everyone can see them, but under no circumstances can you celebrate by lighting up a cheeky sparkler.
All of which means that, soon, the new big danger to Arizona’s youth won’t be guns. Boring to have a gun when everyone else in McDonald’s has one, too. No, the new big danger to Arizona’s youth will be fireworks. They’ll be status symbols; they’ll demand respect. “Fuck! A firework, where did you get that from?” they’ll say. Fireworks dealers will roam the streets, luring in impressionable kids attracted by the mystique and power of these unobtainable bundles of explosive fun.
So to end, a message for the youth of Britain: don’t play with guns, play with fireworks. You’ll be the envy of millions of wannabes over the pond.