Now that Joe has finally put Trump where he belongs and we can get back to discussions about what needs to be done and how to do it, one of the things which may or may not get done is another law that would go somewhat further in terms of regulating guns. After all, Joe made a point of talking about gun violence during his campaign, he also didn’t do bad when it came to getting big bucks from America’s Number One Anti-Gunner (i.e., Mayor Mike Bloomberg), and he’s got a blue Senate and House. What else do you need?

              What you need, it seems to me, is an honest and realistic understanding of how and why so many Americans really like to play around with guns. And it’s not just the pandemic that got people scared so they ran out and bought another gun. That was a convenient story told on both sides of the gun debate but there were and other reasons why gun sales continue to keep companies like Smith & Wesson in the black.

              Ever hear of a video game called Valheim? It’s an RPG video game (RPG meaning ‘role-playing’ game) which you play either alone or with friends on the internet. The first week it went up it sold a million copies. It continues to sell a million copies every week and has been reviewed by more than 60,000 users on a game store website called Steam.

              Valheim combines the two elements that usually make a video game popular – mythology and violence. In this case the player becomes a mythical warrior from some frozen zone, and he fashions a weapon which he then uses to defend himself from his foes. The whole point of the game is to kill as many of the ‘enemy’ as you can.

              Want to see the kind of video game which represents more than 90 percent of all video games bought and played? Go back to Steam and try a game called Zero Caliber.  The player is a battle-hardened veteran who runs around in some dangerous city somewhere in Iraq, or maybe Syria, or maybe Afghanistan. The point of the game is to shoot and kill as many of the ‘enemy’ as you can. You can enlist other players and lead a whole squad into battle as well. Of course, you have the choice of an AR, a handheld Uzi, or any one of a number of weapons that can spray endless rounds all over the place.

              One of the issues that will surely gather steam in Gun-control Nation is how to talk to Gun-nut Nation about the risk of guns. This discussion has been going on for years, and it tends to turn on defining proper gun behavior in terms of ‘responsibility,’ or ‘safety,’ or ‘common sense,’ the theory being that if gun owners behave responsibly with their guns, then gun violence will go down.

              What does it mean to be a ‘responsible’ gun owner?  It means locking the gun up or locking it away so that it can’t get into the hands of the little kids. So, the responsible gun owner goes to Home Depot, buys a gun safe for a thousand bucks or so, shleps it home, sticks it somewhere out of the way and tried to remember to always keep the guns in the safe.

              Meanwhile, here’s Dad struggling to push or pull his gun safe into the basement or maybe a corner of the room where his wife does the wash, and the guy’s teen-age son is sitting in front of the TV which is hooked up to a computer, and the computer is downloading a shooting video game from Steam.

              The game only costs $24.95, it will keep Junior occupied for the entire day. And since Junior can still only go to school every other day for the remainder of this year, a shooting video game is worth its weight in gold.

              I’m still waiting for the very first gun-control group to spend even five minutes talking about how to teach a 12-year-old to play a shooting game in a ‘responsible’ way.