Two Aggies went into the watermelon business. They bought watermelons for a dollar each, hauled them to their fruit stand, and sold them for a dollar each. Business was brisk, but after a couple of weeks the profits were thin. The Aggies were discussing ways to improve the situation, and one finally turned to the other and said, “What we need is a bigger truck.” There are enough gun control laws now to choke an elephant, and congress is looking at getting a bigger truck. If what we are doing now is not working, it is beyond me how doing more of the same will make any difference. A bill was placed before 106th congress on February 24, 2000 that will amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to require the registration of handguns. I have no idea why our government would want to know exactly where all the handguns in the country are located, unless it wants to set the stage to take them away from us. If this bill passes it will be like handing the fox a map of the henhouse. This sort of thing has happened in other countries, and has always been a prelude to total disarmament of the citizens. Most recently Australia rounded up 640,381 personally owned firearms at a government expense of over $500 million. One year later homicides were up 3.2 percent, assaults were up 8.6 percent, and armed robberies were up 44 percent. The state of Victoria alone saw a 300 percent increase in homicides committed with firearms. It seems the only people who didn’t surrender their firearms in Australia were the criminals, who were then free to wreak havoc on the unarmed population. Without their guns, the citizens of Australia were no longer citizens, but subjects. Zig Zigler, one of America’s most popular motivational speakers, sells audio tapes of his seminars, and at the end of every tape he says,”The law prohibits making copies of this tape. Your integrity prevents it.” The law in Australia prohibited criminals from having guns, but did not prevent them. And the same thing would happen here. The Second Amendment prohibits the government of the United States of America from disarming its citizens, but it does not prevent it. We learned that right after World War II, when the camel’s nose first appeared under the tent with the ban on automatic weapons. He’s in about halfway up the hump now. Australia is the latest in a long line of countries who have succumbed to government protection to the detriment of its citizens. Recent history is rife with examples of this kind of help from big brother. Turkey established gun control in 1911. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million disarmed Armenians were rounded up and exterminated. The Soviet Union established gun control in 1929. From 1929 to 1953, approximately 20 million helpless dissidents were rounded up and exterminated. China established gun control in 1935. From 1948 to 1952, 20 million unarmed political dissidents were rounded up and exterminated. Germany established gun control in 1938. From 1939 to 1945, 13 million unarmed Jews and other “undesirables” were rounded up and exterminated. The same kind of thing happened in Cambodia in 1956, Guatemala in 1964, and Uganda in 1970. And now our government wants to know who has handguns in America. I can almost hear the “da-dums” from the movie “Jaws” in the background. But bill #SB-2099 will do more than require us to declare that we do, in fact, have handguns, including, quote “a starter gun,” in our homes. If passed it will also require us to pay a tax of $50 to the IRS for every handgun we own, it will make the list of us “dissidents” available by computer to every federal, state and local law enforcement officer in the country, and it will give the Secretary of the Treasury a blank check in carrying out these tasks. I know this sounds like Nazi Germany, comrade, but look it up for yourself at http://thomas .loc.gov The big disagreement here is whether banning guns would prevent crime. It’s sort of like trying to cure AIDS with aspirin, but there are plenty of people who think guns cause crime. And I suppose spoons cause obesity. There are also plenty who believe banning guns is the answer to preventing firearm accidents, especially among children. Education is never considered an option, and common sense is way too much to ask. Even if I didn’t want guns in my house, I would be doing my children a disservice not to educate them about proper handling and respect for firearms. I can’t be with them everywhere. My friend, Gordon Gipson, is a Fredericksburg police officer. He was recently asked to speak, in uniform, to a Pre-K class in Mason. Right after he walked in and sat down, a four year old boy walked up and tried to grab Gordo’s service pistol out of his holster. After explaining that this was a no-no, Gordo asked the kids how many of their parents owned guns. All of them, except the pistol grabber, raised their hands. Because that boy’s parents are non gun owners, he is much more likely to harm himself or someone else, should he come into contact with an unattended firearm somewhere, because he hasn’t been exposed to them. Gun control advocates cite statistics to further their cause, but statistics can be made to serve either side in almost any argument. For instance, statistics show that doctors are much more dangerous than guns. This seems ludicrous, but facts are facts. There are 700,000 physicians in the United States, and they cause 120,000 accidental deaths each year, which comes to 0.171 accidental deaths per doctor. There are 80,000,000 gun owners in America, and 1,500 accidental gunshot deaths per year, for a total of 0.0000188 accidental fatal shootings per gun owner. According to these statistics, doctors are about 9,000 times more dangerous than gun owners. Let’s start using common sense, and place the blame where it is due. Chevrolet is not responsible for your wreck, McDonald’s is not at fault if you spill coffee in your lap, Stanley didn’t cause you to hit your thumb with your hammer, and honest people don’t commit crimes, with guns or anything else. If you get a chance, let your Senator or Congressperson know that the Aggies still went broke, even after they got a bigger truck . . . Kendal Hemphill is an outdoor humor columnist who would like to apologize to all you Aggies. Write to him at PO Box 564, Mason, Tx 76856 or email email@example.com The views and opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the ownership or management of any publication in which it appears.