December 4, 2015

Bulletproof Vests (or, What to Give an American Tourist for Christmas).

Minnesota Historical Society/Flickr

Author’s Note: The scenarios alluded to here are not meant to promulgate fear. The point of this satirical piece is to point out how little our government has done to protect the common good in the face of the mass shootings that have occurred.



Bulletproof vests are the new Christmas present.

They come in all sizes—small, medium, large and XXX for those big guys. You can get them on Amazon, I’m sure.

But they’re probably sold out.

After all, you can’t go to the movies without one, or your classes at your junior college—or, well, you can’t go just about anywhere there’s a group of people, to a Christmas party at work or even to church, without one.

“Mommy, Wow! How did Santa know I needed a bulletproof backpack and matching vest?” Our children will say.

“Because Santa wants to keep you safe,” we will say back.

My step-daughter is planning a trip to Disney World this spring. She lives in the UK.

“Are you nuts?” I want to tell her.

In my mind’s eye I see Fantasy Land being shot up, dead, bleeding princess lying all over the ground in the “Happiest Place on Earth,” while young men in their real combat outfits shoot real people with real bullets, using what the news euphemistically refers to as, “long guns.” (Are they kidding? They called them “long guns” in the Revolutionary War.)

I wouldn’t go to Disney World. I wouldn’t go to any “world” where there are groups of people just hanging out having a good time in this whole life-threatening, murderous, violent world called America.

I wouldn’t visit us. It’s too dangerous.

And now, that’s what the Australians are saying too.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports former Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, Tim Fisher says, “he’s sick and tired of Americans being warned about a potential terrorist attack in Sydney given the U.S. is unable to control its deadly gun culture.

“It’s Time to Call out the USA.”

I’ve thought about that. I’ve thought about tourism. I’ve thought about how, soon enough, any country with any kind of concern for their people will tell those people, “Hey, you know what, if you want to go to America, that’s fine. But be sure to bring a bulletproof vest—in fact, be sure to bring one for you and for your spouse and for each of your kids.”

“Mr Fischer said Australia’s alliance with the US has been “too much one way” and suggested Australia start preventing delegates from attending conferences there, as well as a “streamlining” of the annual ‘G’day LA’ event. “I’m a bit sick and tired of the US… putting into their travel advice that it’s not safe to go to Sydney [after the Paris massacre]…”

Or, better yet. It’s probably best not to visit America right now at all. Maybe ever.

“Three hundred and fifty two mass shootings in the USA so far this year but about 80 a day you don’t hear about. All [are] unacceptable because the US is not stepping up on the public policy reform front. A person is 15 times more likely to be shot dead in the US than in Australia and that travel advice should reflect this, as it does for Mexico.”

“Fifteen times more likely to be shot dead.” So, if I were going to Disney World, I would definitely be wearing a bulletproof vest. I know, maybe they can start selling bulletproof vests with pictures of Mickey Mouse on them. Anything to make a buck—er, to keep Americans safe.

It makes sense to me. It makes way more sense than waiting for our government to do something—anything—about the NRA’s “unacceptable blockage of any sensible reform, including ammunition magazine limitation.”

On the other hand, probably the best thing to do, after all, is to have Santa address the issue by leaving us bulletproof vests under our Christmas trees, because as everyone knows by now, Santa has our best interests more at heart than our government does.

“Since the mid-1990s, Australia’s firearm mortality rate has dropped from 2.6 per 100,000 people to just under one per 100,000, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The rate in the US is more than 10 per 100,000, according to the US National Vital Statistics Report.

“In the 18 years leading up to the Port Arthur massacre, there were 13 mass killings in Australia. There have been zero in the 19 years since.”


Relephant Read:

Two Mass Shootings in 24 Hours: Welcome to Our New Normal.


Author: Carmelene Siani

Editor: Toby Israel

Photo: Minnesota Historical Society/Flickr


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