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The comedian, Bill Engvall, has made a career talking about how hard it is to tell ahead of time who is stupid.

Stupid people should have to wear signs that just say, "I'm Stupid"
That way you wouldn't rely on them, would you? You wouldn't ask them anything. It would be like, "Excuse me...oops, never mind. I didn't see your sign." ...
The schtick works two ways:  we all have had moments when normal looking people have unexpectedly said or done dumb things; and, if we are honest, we all confess to having said or done some pretty dumb things from time to time. It is all harmless:  Engvall isn’t talking about dangerous or threatening behavior, just palm to head stupid remarks.

An example from Engvall of a sign- worthy conversation:

A couple of months ago I went fishing with a buddy of mine, we pulled his boat into the dock, I lifted up this big 'ol stringer of bass and this idiot on the dock goes, "Hey, y'all catch all them fish?" "Nope - Talked 'em into giving up. Here's your sign."
But he gives us a window to a wider point. Looking at people, listening to people, even interacting with people on a regular basis: we don’t know how they may act in every situation.  It is an unsettling thought, but we simply can’t predict the behavior of the people around us.

Those who object to gun control tell us that we need to keep guns away from the mentally ill and criminals but everyone else should be given access to as many guns as they choose.  Any kind of gun, any kind of ammo, any amount of ammo. We don’t need background checks except for the mentally ill and criminals, so it is only necessary among licensed gun dealers. Gun trades among family and friends, or by gun collectors, no need.

 Because criminals don’t have friends and family? The mentally ill don’t have friends and family? No, the assumption is that good law abiding gun owners won’t sell to the mentally ill and to criminals. And if they have family members or friends who are mentally ill or criminal, they will keep the guns away from them. Problem is, the mentally ill don’t wear a sign. Neither do criminals.

It seems odd to me that gun rights people can argue concurrently that background checks don’t work, because criminals won’t submit to a background check; and that we need to keep guns away from criminals and the mentally ill. How is that supposed to work?

Originally posted to vickijean on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 02:56 PM PDT.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA and Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA).

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