Keen-eyed politicians have spotted a possible link between gun ownership and gun use, and are calling for an enquiry to investigate further.
If their hunch is correct, owning a gun could increase the chances of an individual firing a gun, an action that is known to pose serious health risks.
“In the wake of recent atrocities, I noticed that a lot of people who had been shot, were shot by people who own guns”, explained Jeremy Thwaite, a backbench MP.
“I pondered this matter over lunch with some other MPs, when a thought struck me. What if people didn’t own guns? How would that affect their ability to go mental, and shoot people?”
“I’m not a statistician. But I suspect it could nip it in the bud.”
Pro-gun groups believe that any restriction on gun ownership is an infringement of their civil liberties, and would be a devastating blow to important industries such as gun rack and prosthetic limb manufacturing, and grief counselling services.
“Obviously firearms must be treated with respect, but a shotgun is just a tool at the end of the day. A tool which is essential for day-to-day work in the countryside”, claimed Frank Dolton of the Freudian Rifle Association.
“Whether you’re a farmer, game keeper or taxi driver, you never know when you might need to whip out your weapon and blast a massive hole in a rabbit.”
“That’s what I said on my police questionnaire anyway: I didn’t mention I desperately needed one to hold on to the idea that I’m a powerful member of a community that both fears and respects me. Not the second time I filled it in, anyway.”
While MPs often go to great lengths to avoid understanding farmers and their country ways, Thwaite thinks it might be worth confronting them on this occasion, to suggest giving up casual gun use for a month or two.
“I understand the need to control foxes, crows and ramblers, I really do”, claimed the MP.
“But I’m not sure it’s such a valid excuse if you’re a home-based website designer. Even if you do live in a village.”
Thwaite knows it’s a sensitive subject, and is keen not to upset gun owners.
“We have to carefully weigh up people’s right to shoot things against the right not to be shot, it’s an ethical minefield.”
“The gun lobby say they’re keen to meet me and discuss it, but I think I’d prefer to use the phone. I’m sure they’re reasonable people, but you can’t be too careful.”