About a week ago, The New York Times' Randy Cohen got his Swift on and
proposed to test the "more guns, less crime" theory. He wants to
give every woman a gun, and see what happens. The outcome would, Cohen believes,
settle forever the debate about gun prevalence and its influence on crime:
If nothing else, my plan would compel both factions, pro- and anti-gun, to
reconsider their positions. If its adoption strews the streets with
bullet-riddled bodies, then the pro-gun forces will have to abandon the idea
that increased gun ownership decreases crime. If my plan actually does reduce
gun violence, then gun-control partisans (including me) will have to reexamine
their own assumptions.
Sounds oddly familiar. Back in the fall of 2001, Penn Jillette had the same idea in the Cato Institute's
Every woman could do whatever she wants with her "Female Anti-Violence
Device." She could leave it home if she wants, or if she cares about pleasing me
(and who doesn't?), she could get one of those garter holsters. The only things
she couldn't do is sell or give it to a man.
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Of course, Jillette probably didn't have to explain to his readers
in a follow-up that he was sorta-kinda joking.