If I had on my posh ajebutter hat, I’d have titled this post “Bang-Bang” mimicking the sound of a gun expelling bullets.
The tragic news of senseless killings, regardless of where it happens, always touches me deeply. I empathise with those caught in the crossfire of thoughts within another person’s disturbed mind and sympathise with their loved ones. Everyone is entitled to the right to die a more dignified death.
Recently, I was surprised to learn that a man responsible for mass shootings in the US simply walked into a licensed store and purchased two guns with the casual ease of buying Bazooka bubble gum.
I wondered, what would be the motive for purchasing a gun? What else could guns possibly be used for? So, to give those who make lax regulations that piggyback on the second amendment the benefit of the doubt, I made a list of possible alternatives outside of firing and killing:
- Attach a silencer, and whisk eggs
- Long double-barrelled ones used as telescopes, all the better to see you with my dear
- As a water hose nozzle
- To scratch one’s back, there’s this spot right in the middle that’s usually hard to reach
- To light up the gas cooker, my friend kindly suggested this
- To hang at the top of a Christmas tree, being shiny and all
- To smack down the snooze button on a pesky bedside alarm clock
- Ladies will love this one; To trace that diagonal line for cheekbone contouring
This list is by no means exhaustive, the possibilities are endless, really.
And as we Third World citizens are wont to do, I made comparisons between societies, highlighting our own flaws and shortcomings with self-deprecating, good-natured humour that in no way undermines the severity of the issue being analysed. In these parts, satire is our middle name, it’s become our way of addressing societal issues, it subtly makes things slightly more bearable and easier to wrap around the head.
Rather laughably, we get overly defensive if non-Nigerians repeat our exact sentiments when our internal issues are placed in the spotlight. We prefer to hold exclusive rights to criticise ourselves.
Well, I considered why this chewing gum gun business won’t work in Nigeria.
It goes without saying that it’s not because we have a stellar law enforcement agency, for our police officers themselves need more protection than they could possibly give to us. Personally, I don’t expect to see flashing red and blue lights á la NYPD Blue, barely five minutes after calling 112, our equivalent of 911. We proactively protect ourselves with false bravado, steel gates and the assurance of divine intervention.
It won’t work because most people walk around with raw anger, the sort that bubbles quietly underneath. Blame the heat, blame the economy, blame the politics or even blame blame itself.
Anyway, if one had the licence to carry a firearm and owned a pistol. I imagine it would be a pink chrome, gloriously chic looking piece of metal. The thought of that girly and lethal combo makes me quite giddy.
Picture one sitting in bumper-to-bumper Lagos traffic, baking under scorching heat that all the Fan Ice Yogo carefully manufactured in Ibadan cannot abate. Then, reckless danfo bus driver with a sense of entitlement comes along and smashes one’s tail lights. One simply closes one’s left eye for better aim and Pee-shaoon! deflates bus tires, that’ll teach him a lesson in road use etiquette.
Picture an overzealous LASTMA or FRSC officer asking one about the expiry date of tires that work perfectly fine. The way I see it, whilst still attached to a car fuelled at a hefty ₦145 per litre, expired tires are a small compromise in the grand scheme of things. So, between making empty small talk with the officer and handing over one’s driving licence, one smoothly retrieves gun along with the other car papers from the glove compartment and places gun on the passenger seat like it deserves to sit down all by itself, big girl style.
One would then proceed to alternately break eye contact with the officer and look meaningfully at the passenger seat. He’d quickly learn a life-long lesson about discernment before letting that sly “Anything for the boys?” slip past his lips.
One’s neighbour’s dog disturbing one’s sleep. Pee-shaoon! No, not to eliminate the poor thing, a warning shot in the air might frighten it into reconsidering this silly business of barking continuously at 5:00 am daily. Alas, that might be counterproductive because most dogs would bark even louder after being startled like that.
If every driver carried a licenced pistol, Lagos roads would be littered with bleeding bodies, because if one were able to harness energy from the collective frustrations of offensive-defensive/defensive-offensive driving during Third Mainland Bridge peak hour commute, it would produce enough electricity to power the whole country. Those affiliated with BRF, take note.
Come to think of it, perhaps, we’d treat each other with more courtesy if we had a chewing gum gun policy. Packing metal would serve as an unspoken “No-BS zone” warning of sorts.
Ah, but no point placing a keg of petrol in the hands of a man smoking a cigarette. Not so? 🙂