“Okay, well-let’s back up a little bit: do you know the difference between a revolver, a pistol and a rifle?”
Jack got up, opened my refrigerator, grabbed another Bud Lite, opened it and took a long swig before sitting down.
“You’re trying to trick me, aren’t you?” He laughed. “A rifle is a rifle, but a shotgun is different, and everybody knows that a revolver and a pistol are the same thing!”
I had no idea where to start!
“So, what do you think? What should I get for home defense?”
I drained the last of my coffee, ambled over to my workbench and poured myself another cup. After a sip I told him,
“I think your best home defense weapon is a dog.”
Clearly, this was not the answer Jack wanted.
“Oh, I get it… you support the 2nd Amendment, but only for yourself?” He opined sourly, as he gestured toward my gun safe, squatting like a slumbering soldier in the far corner of the garage.
I returned my lounge chair and sat down.
“Not at all.” I replied. “Look, just because something is legal and you can do it, doesn’t necessarily mean that you should.”
“What do you mean?”
“I can pull my own teeth with a pliers!” I snorted. “There’s no law against it, but that doesn’t make it a good idea! Look, your idea of owning a handgun is to keep it loaded and handy, so that if someone sneaks into your home, you can shoot them, and defend your family, right?”
“Right…” He affirmed.
“What happens if the person ‘sneaking’ around your home late at night is your teenage daughter, or your son, or your wife? You’re probably not going to kill them mistakenly with your dog! After you find out why they are sneaking around the house at three in the morning you might actually want to kill them, but that’s a different story! See, as bad an idea as load, point and shoot is, you can’t mistakenly kill somebody with your family dog. Your dog is not going to go off unintentionally and blow your foot off, and though a criminal could very well take your gun away from you and hurt you with it, he probably won’t be able to kill you with your own dog! Conversely your gun will never be happy to see you. Your gun will never curl up next to you on the couch, sleep in your lap, or keep your feet warm, and your gun will never lick you.”
Jack looked down at Eightball and sighed.
“Maybe you’re right.” He said. “Okay… what kind of dog should I get?”
And, that would be the perfect end to this story, if it ended here- but it doesn’t.
As if on cue, Eightball turned, stretched languorously; grunted, smiled and farted. A big fart. A really big, smelly fart. The kind of really big, smelly fart that could be weaponized by the government, and used to disperse violent and angry protesters, or used to subdue entire armies.
Jack and I wiped the tears from our eyes while we tried to hide our noses in our tee shirts.
“Phew!” He exclaimed. “Is he dying? Do they all do that?”
I swallowed hard to keep from gagging.
“Some more than others, but more or less, yeah…” my voice trailed off.
“Okay… what kind of alarm system should I get?” He asked.