As Americans face off over President Barack Obama’s gun control proposal, The New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof wants everyone to remember the saga of the gun and the goose.
In his column published yesterday, Kristof argued guns just make bad situations worse, regardless of the people involved.
To illustrate his point, Kristof tells the story of “good admirable, law-abiding people” who felt the need to draw guns over a goose.
From his column:
Take the time we gave a goose to a neighbour.
That goose would wander off to a different neighbour’s property and jump into the watering trough for his sheep. The sheep owner was furious that the water would be fouled, and one time he was so fed up he threatened to shoot the goose.
He was probably just making a point, but, since he had a gun handy, he pulled it out and aimed it in the direction of the goose. Seeing this, the goose-owner (who had come to fetch his bird) saw the need to protect his property and pulled out his own gun. They faced off — over a goose!
This story, according to Kristof, “underscores the role that guns too often play in our society: an instrument not of protection but of escalation.”
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