Let’s say there’s this new thing.
Let’s call this thing — for no reason other than it’s a fun word to think about — a wizzle.
Now this wizzle is a powerful new thing. There are rumors Steve Jobs may have been behind it before he died. It can help feed you, it can help your body relieve stress, it’s really fun to play with and master, and it could even conceivably save your life one day.
Wouldn’t you most likely want one of these, or at the very least understand why most people would?
WIZZLES FOR EVERYONE!
But what if it turns out that wizzles, while themselves safe, can easily be mishandled and there were not a lot, but more than a few, accidental deaths caused by them? Let’s say something like 4,000 over a 5-year span, mostly involving children 18 and younger playing with them unsupervised? Nothing too crazy, right?
However, a small, but vocal minority begin to call for a ban of all wizzles nationwide and momentum for the cause grows.
At the same time, advancements in wizzle technology have allowed them to now be more efficient than ever, and wizzle manufacturing proves to be a formidable American industry, helping us keep economically afloat during a time where the term “Recession” is Hemingway-esque understatement.
Would you consider banning them? Probably not.
Hand out a few Darwin Awards maybe, but given there are 300 million hypothetical wizzle-owners in the US and less than 5k fatalities, it isn’t that bad. Even the iPhone has fatally electrocuted a few people in its day. It’s the price of progress.
WIZZLES FOR EVERYONE!
But what if on top of the accidental deaths, an interesting phenomenon is noticed by a variety of reputable researchers and studies that showed that wizzles had a strange, indecipherable correlation with suicide rates.
For some unexplainable reason, the risk of suicide increased in homes that owned wizzles to the point where a study of California wizzle purchasers found that in the first year after someone had even purchased a wizzle, let alone used it, suicide was the leading cause of death. Scientists were puzzled as to why, but the facts were indisputable: wizzles were somehow involved in over 20,000 suicides a year.
What the hell would we do?
Obviously it’s not like the wizzles MADE those people commit suicide (it’s an inanimate object created to help mankind), but the correlation was indisputable. More and more people call for a nationwide ban of wizzles, but even as their numbers grow, it’s apparent that wizzles are an American institution.
The most practical solution offered involves stopping those who are at risk for suicide from being able to acquire a wizzle.
And that’s fair. Sane, normal people still get access to wizzles.
WIZZLES FOR (MOSTLY) EVERYONE!
Then a story makes national headlines about a sane, normal person intentionally mishandling a wizzle in order to harm someone else. Wizzle Inc. comes under fire as the case moves its way up the legal system, but a Supreme Court ruling reminds us that things like hammers and axes have been used to kill people for thousands of years but we’re still using them. Public outrage deflates.
However, once people became aware of wizzles’ ability to harm others, more and more “sane, normal” Americans start intentionally mishandling wizzles to cause harm, leading to over 10,000 deaths a year and over 70,000 hospital visits.
Somehow this device that was meant to promote personal safety ends up causing a situation where individuals are much more likely to be killed or hurt than those who live in a country where wizzles aren’t as prevalent.
WIZZLES FOR EVERYONE?
If this really was the case, if we were at all sane, we’d at least reevaluate our country’s love-affair with wizzles, right?
Maybe we’d meet halfway and eliminate those types of wizzles that are more likely to be misused while making concessions for those that enjoyed using wizzles for sport to still be able to procure wizzles that couldn’t, for example, kill an entire classroom full of children.
Maybe we’d remind ourselves that with great power comes great responsibility and that in this country, having something as powerful as a wizzle is a privilege, not a right?
SOME WIZZLES FOR SOME!
It makes sense, right?
But then you go and call them guns and everyone goes and loses their shit.
Originally posted on The Daily Banter on September 2, 2014