Eavesdropping at the Bar: A Discussion About Gun Crime

An Anarchist, a Liberal and a Conservative walk into a bar… A drunken political discussion about gun crime in the USA.

Another busy night at McCaffreys.

The air in McCaffrey’s hangs heavy with the odour of countless drinkers. It tastes of stale beer and staler sweat. Three young Americans sit around a chipped and stained pine table, sourly sipping their drinks as they talk.

Ana digs at the fibres of the tabletop with her butterfly knife, takes a long drag of her last cigarette and crushes it out in the chipped ashtray. ‘You hear about the shooting outside Sammy’s?’ She reaches up and twists one of the spikes of her Mohawk into place as she gazes at the other drinkers, daring someone to comment.

‘Sure did’, replies Libby, her tie-dyed dress smelling nearly as bad as the bar. ‘I can’t believe that in a country that claims to be the land of the free so many people are getting killed by guns. The people need to rise up, take charge, and stop this violence. We need to work together to achieve liberty and peace.’ She has a fierce look in her eyes, as she always does when she’s talking about human rights, or equality, or whatever other piece of libertarian shit Ana has to listen to.

‘Fuck that’, retorts Ana, ‘there’s no-one in charge in America. It’s pure and beautiful anarchy that reigns here. The only way to ‘stop’ gun crime is to get yourself a bigger gun.’

From the other side of the table, Connie clears her throat and leans into the conversation, her pristine blue trouser suit in contrast with the dingy surroundings. ‘We need to look at whose fault this is. You ask me, gun crime wasn’t an issue until Obama took over the White House. Just look at the stats. Gun crime today is up twelve percent on what it was before Obama came into power. That’s what happens when you forget who you are as a nation and take the soft Democrat approach. You start letting immigrants into your country, and gun crime is bound to rise.’

‘You can’t be serious’, blurts Libby. ‘Immigrants have nothing to do with gun crime in the US! You know who’s most responsible for acts of terror on US soil?’

‘Uh, Arabs, obviously’, drones Connie.

‘No, you idiot. White. Christian. Men. Stop listening to what the media tells you. Start looking at the facts. Talk to people. Find out what’s really happening.

Ana stabs her knife into the table. ‘Hang on Libby, you’re saying that gun crime isn’t a product of Muslim extremists or black gang-bangers?’

‘That’s right honey, check it out. You wanna stop school kids getting shot up in school? Stop blaming those that aren’t at fault.

Ana and Connie are silent for a second, thinking it through. Connie takes a sip of her drink and looks between the other two girls. ‘So what do we do about it then, ladies? I sure as hell don’t want our proud nation being shot full of holes.’

‘I know, right’, agrees Libby. ‘Everyone should be free to live their lives without terror and oppression.

‘And as much as I love the idea of a world with no rules and no rule-makers, I kinda wanna live a little while yet’ says Ana as she gulps down the last of her tequila. ‘So what do we do?’

‘Well, it’s clear to me’, offers Connie. ‘We simply mandate a new set of gun control laws that allow responsible people to have firearms, as per the Second Amendment, and punish the shit out of anyone breaking those laws.’

Libby’s eyebrows raise. ‘Oh, I see, so treat some people one way and others another way. If you’re not on the list you’re not allowed a gun. Doesn’t sound very fair. Bordering on fascist if you ask me…’

‘Ok, fair enough. Any other ideas? Ana?’

Ana steepled her fingers and looks at the other two. ‘How about we get rid of gun laws altogether? If everyone’s got one then surely some order will be guaranteed…’ She trails off, unsure her idea is going anywhere.

‘Uh, ok Ana, nice try,’ says Connie sarcastically.

‘Wow, guys this is hard’, says Libby, brushing her hair behind her ear. ‘No wonder we have a problem.’

The girls sit in silence for several minutes. No-one seems to be able to come up with a sensible idea for how to eliminate gun crime. No-one seems to be able to get through the inequalities of it.

When your country is built on a set of constitutions it seems like you just can’t keep everyone happy.

About Jeremy Wood

Jeremy is an ex-teacher, ex-youth worker, ex-coffee taster, ex-business owner and ex-career starter. He now spends his time writing and advising young people how to choose a career path. Having studied psychology and sociology, Jeremy has a passion to understand people: how they work, what makes them tick and why they have an uncontrollable urge to destroy themselves, each other and the planet.

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