That's right, today's column is so ingeniously crafted that, mark my words, I will be able to say anything I choose to say about guns, without the slightest fear or risk of taking potshots from anyone on any side of this volatile issue.
I know I'm dreaming. I know that all I have to do is say the word "guns" and lots of people will start to get their hackles up.
Admit it, some of you already are getting your hackles up. I can see you.
But I'm going to make this attempt anyway. Allow me to begin with a carefully worded statement of plain fact.
A big gun show is scheduled this weekend in Ontario. It's called the Crossroads of the West Gun Show, and it takes place Saturday and Sunday at the Ontario Convention Center.
I also will mention that the right of Americans to bear arms is guaranteed and inviolable. It is hard-wired into our nation's Constitution.
If anyone feels foolish enough to try, let him or her come forward to offer a contradiction of these facts, as I have laid them out so far.
Let me next state, as another undebatable point of fact, that in many communities there is an element of sharp concern over guns and gun ownership. It's true in Newtown, Conn., and Aurora, Colo., and other sites of recent mass shootings.
And certainly it is true in Southern California, which also has been wracked by gun violence in recent years.
Ontario is in Southern California.
Now, if there are any imbeciles among us, who are willing to admit that they don't read newspapers, and don't follow current events, and have no clue about what is going on in the community, and have no compunction about looking foolish in public, let them come forward and attempt to challenge any one of the statements of fact presented heretofore.
More facts: In many communities where there is concern over guns, aggressive measures have been taken to curb the number of privately owned firearms. These measures have included police sweeps and seizures, buyback programs and legislative initiatives.
As an example of the latter, Los Angeles County in 1999 banned the sale of firearms on county-owned property, including the Los Angeles County Fairplex in Pomona. This ended a run of gun shows and sales at that venue that had gone on for decades
The message was clear. Los Angeles County wanted to restrict the public sale, purchase and ownership of guns.
In Ontario, a different message is being heard this weekend. Buy more guns. Guns are good. The more guns, the better.
The Crossroads of the West Gun Show takes place from 9a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 9a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Ontario Convention Center, 2000 E. Convention Center Way. Tickets are $12, and admission is free for children under 12. For more information, visit www.crossroadsgunshows.com.
Let me say it again. All of these iron-clad facts are easily checkable, except by deranged lunatics who can't read or sustain rational thought.
Now, let me briefly veer into the realm of commentary. What follows will be a short series of what might be called satiric remarks rather than facts. The purpose will have less to do with imparting information than with expressing a particular perspective.
By the way, I will be exercising my American right of free speech, which is guaranteed and inviolable. It is hard-wired into our nation's Constitution.
If there are any dangerous sociopaths who hate America so much that they will offer to take exception to this, I am ready to hear them out.
If a big gun show in an uneasy Southern California is a good idea at this time, perhaps we should take a look at other shows and exhibitions that will offer the same sort of reckless excitement.
How about a wild bear show, for example? We'll round up a lot of savage wilderness bears from our local mountains and set them loose in a crowd of people at the Ontario Convention Center. Yes, we may be exposing a certain percentage of people to peril, but we'll be sending an important message: Bears are not the problem. The problem is what a few irresponsible bears do with their claws and teeth. We can't blame all bears for the unfortunate actions of a few.
Let's also have a giant fire festival in the National Forest. We'll build huge bonfires amongst the trees as a demonstration of our right as a free people to do so. In our responsible hands, nothing can go wrong, right?
Let's hold a big street racing festival, where we all drive 100 miles per hour in heavy traffic around the Ontario Convention Center. Whee! Just remember, cars don't kill people, people do.
OK, I'm done now. I guess I'll go to a comfortable spot where I can be close to my telephone and my mail box and my computer screen, and wait for the barrage to begin.