Romaine lettuce is dangerous right now. If you eat it, you risk serious illness. As a result, the Centers for Disease Control has told people to toss their romaine regardless of where it was purchased. To be sure, not all of it is dangerous, but they can’t be sure what is and isn’t safe right now, hence the instructions.
It’s a serious situation. One that doesn’t preclude the possibility of humor. My favorite meme so far is a marijuana leaf asking some Romaine, “So who’s the devil’s lettuce now?”
But while I see it as an opportunity for humor, some see it as an excuse to try and argue for gun control.
On Thanksgiving Day 2018, Americans couldn’t buy romaine lettuce because of a CDC recall linked to an E. Coli outbreak. But even though gun violence is so mundane that a shooting at a mall in Alabama Thursday evening barely made national news, guns were still freely available at stores like Walmart across the country.
On Thanksgiving Day, after the federal government had taken swift action to protect citizens from pathogen-laden romaine leaves, one male teen suspect in a Birmingham, Alabama mall allegedly shot and injured two others, including a 12-year-old girl. He was pursued by police, shot, and killed. Those were not the only casualties caused by guns that day.
Of course, the op-ed includes the obligatory mention of the timeframe in which the Second Amendment was penned.
While firearm ownership within the context of a well-regulated militia is protected by the Constitution’s Second Amendment and there is no constitutional protection for any vegetable, much less lettuce, the Bill of Rights was written when slow-loading muskets made the idea of a mass shooting an improbable nightmare. The technological upgrades in the almost 250 years since then have allowed carnage to unfold in emergency rooms across the country.
And the First Amendment was written when the only means to communicate were a quill and ink or a moveable-type printing press. Today we disseminate ideas, including idiotic ones, at light speed and reach millions of people, thus creating an entire legion of folks who think communism and socialism are both distinctly different (pro tip: They’re not really) and workable (pro tip: It’s not).
What’s your point?
The fact is, comparing romaine lettuce to guns is ridiculous.
One is food that has been infected with a deadly disease, making it so that the normal use of it is an act that may potentially harm consumers. This is something we often do with products that may kill the users even through proper use.
Guns, however, don’t kill their users if handled properly. They may kill criminals when handled properly, but that’s a different matter entirely. That’s kind of what they’re supposed to do, after all. The only way they kill anyone else is through misuse or negligence.
In fact, this entire argument becomes completely ridiculous to even the anti-gunners if you rewrite it to compare automobiles to romaine. Cars kill more people than guns every year, yet those are still widely available, so what’s the deal?
If it was really about lives, it would be a thing, but it’s not.
Instead, it was nothing more than an opportunity to turn a real event into a chance to pontificate on gun control. It’s not like the author gives a damn either way.