The globe is staggering, reeling under the burden of more than 7 billion people.
We’ve figured out how to feed ‘em all, for the most part, but they’re wrecking the planet with carbon-spewing, globe-trotting, meat-eating recklessness.
And we keep replicating, like viruses, adding 360,000 souls to the teeming mass of humanity every twenty-four hours, with only 150,000 folks gracious enough to shuffle off this mortal coil each day to make room. We’re not winning.
It’s not for lack of trying.
China fearlessly led the way with its infamous “one child” policy, but the People’s Republic is on the cusp of abandoning that approach after generating a slightly unworkable male:female ratio of 18,000:1, roughly – welcome to toxic masculinity.
We’ve introduced sex education to preschoolers and employed birth control methods up the wazoo. Long gone are the primitive days of fending off pregnancy by optimistically hanging weasel testicles around one’s neck as foreplay: the modern world is awash in oral contraceptives, IUDs, condoms, diaphragms, vasectomies, and tubal ligations; and if none of those suit, one always has abstinence as trusty backup, or the rhythm method, or the timing method, or the “running the neighbour’s son off with a shotgun” method – or, in a pinch, the Lorena Bobbitt method, for the aspiring surgeons among us.
But the babies keep coming, despite all that, and the planet’s getting crowded. Rampant disease, malnutrition, starvation, and thirst as impediments to human survival are no longer the reliable drags on population growth they used to be, unfortunately – we’ve exported solutions for those previously-helpful scourges to even the darkest corners of the world, all in the name of “progress”.
Even abortion, that efficient solution (should an enterprising sperm stubbornly navigate all obstacles to punch its way into an egg), is no match for people’s relentless propensity to procreate, despite stamping out 55 million fertilized little wannabe humans year after year.
But there’s new hope on the horizon for Mother Earth, thanks to the inspired leadership of America and the National Rifle Association. By arming America’s citizens to their teeth and facilitating the repetitive murder of schoolchildren, the NRA has broken new ground in the battle to rein in our numbers.
It wasn’t a sure bet, this initiative, as the appetite of Americans for the elimination of its children was unknown, at first. But a few test cases, culminating in the 2012 slaughter of twenty small children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in the run-up to Christmas, made it clear they had a winner. Millions more guns were sold in the aftermath, and America never looked back.
And practice makes perfect. So far in 2018, there’s been, on average, a school shooting in the U.S. every single week.
There are a few glitches: children don’t always die. Hours before I sat down to churn out this piece, a school shooting in Indiana injured only three people and left nobody dead. It produced barely a ripple in the media stream, akin to a pebble tossed into Niagara Falls - scarcely a need for thoughts and prayers, even. Americans are world champions when it comes to “thoughts and prayers”: between all the thinking and the praying and the dodging of bullets, it’s a miracle that anything gets done.
It's about to get even better: in the aftermath of the school massacre in his state last week, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, a truly great American, was blessed with a blinding flash of insight of the sort many of us pray for but never receive: the kiddie kill rate is directly related to the number of doors to the schoolhouse. Expect renovation contracts to be awarded soon across the nation. (Hot tip: this would be a good time to add a few shares in Home Depot and Lowes as supplement to your portfolio of gun-maker stocks – a tidy profit is guaranteed.)
“I have spoken of a thousand points of light,” George Bush the First grandly proclaimed in 1988 as he accepted the nomination for President. It was a phrase for which he was widely and frequently ridiculed, but he was a man before his time: thirty years on, thanks to the ceaseless flash of gunfire, thousands of points of light illuminate the American landscape each and every day. President Bush, we owe you an apology.
America has provided, once again, a useful template for the rest of the world: if you can’t stop your people from breeding, if you can’t force them to use proper contraception, if you can’t eliminate their offspring in the womb, then, by God, go after their kids at school.
For America, it’s a model that’s working beautifully. There’s some push-back occasionally, but nothing serious, nothing sustained. There’s no need to worry that it will ever change. The chance of hell freezing over, never great to begin with, has gone essentially to zero, if even the mildest global warming predictions are correct; but they’ll be lacing up ice skates in hell before the NRA releases its choke-hold on American politics.
And so to the National Rifle Association, on behalf of the entire weary, overburdened planet, I say “thank you”.
And God bless America.