When Cats and Dogs Have Guns
by Prof. Earnest Prankheimer
Before you dismiss this idea as a drug and alcohol fueled fantasy, you should hear me out. We love our pets, especially cats and dogs, who are intelligent enough to relate to, and with whom we form deep bonds. We have an estimated 70-80 million dogs and 74-96 million cats in America. They’re like family members; we hurt when they are sick, and mourn them when they pass. There’s a fundamental reason to arm them, and it’s the same reason we arm ourselves — self-protection. I don’t have to tell you what a dangerous world we live in, and small animals have only teeth and claws with which to protect themselves. There are unfortunately too many animals who are mistreated by their owners, their only other protection being the ASPCA or the kindness of strangers. Too many other cats and dogs are homeless and so have no human protectors. In addition, they’re continually being hunted and rounded up by local Humane Societies which may find them a home, but most likely will euthanize them. Having a firearm would even up the odds a little. I don’t know about parakeets and goldfish, but cats and dogs deserve the best we can give them.
How would it work? Clearly a dog or cat paw is too large to fit into a trigger guard, and their toes aren’t long or flexible enough to do the job. I’m thinking that some kind of apparatus strapped to a front leg, and by closing or clinching the paw they could pull the trigger. The question naturally arises, can a cat or dog be trained to be a responsible gun owner? Well, they could hardly do worse than American gun owners in general (at least once a week a toddler shoots someone with a gun they found laying around). Dogs and cats are too small to handle a long gun like an AR-15, so for our purposes we’ll concentrate on hand guns, or more properly, paw guns. Small cats and toy dogs will probably only be able to handle something small, like a 22 caliber pistol, whereas a Great Pyrenees or Newfie might “paw” itself with a 357 magnum, ala Clint Eastwood. Obviously, the animal must be trained to use a firearm, or firepaw, safely, and so pet firing ranges will be necessary. Cats and dogs being natural enemies, I would recommend the ranges be far removed from each other.
The first step is to obtain the weapon. Of course, no background checks would be required, much like with many humans. And because cats and dogs go around stark naked, concealed carry permits aren’t applicable; it would have to be open carry, which many states already have. The weapon will have to be able to fire multiple shots, as an animal lacks the dexterity to reload. Likewise, we will have to clean the weapons for them.
We humans will have to be acutely aware that our pet is pawed, again for their safety and our own. The device, or harness, should be removed before clipping the animal’s nails or administering medication orally. Also you should take it off before your pet takes a nap; they have a tendency to twitch their paws while dreaming. You don’t want a new hole in the wall, or in you either, for that matter. Patience will be required during the adjustment period. We can hardly blame Rover, looking out the picture window at a squirrel running across the lawn, from instantly blowing the squirrel away, along with the window. Or it could be Tabby spotting a bird outside. Home insurance rates will skyrocket. Other problems will arise. Dog parks could be the new killing fields. Unfortunately, we may see mortality rates spike among mail carriers (and more fortunately in the case of Mormon missionaries).
Then there are the basic differences in temperament between cats and dogs. Dogs are fiercely protective of their owners. A dog is unlikely to shoot its owner, unless he has it coming. Cats, on the other hand, don’t have owners; they are the owners. They’re far more independent, and they can be really vindictive, so I would recommend that you properly maintain their litter boxes at all times, and ensure that they have only the finest quality food and cat toys. If you know what’s good for you, that is. If you have more than one cat or dog, or perhaps both, I can only hope that they’ve formed a congenial relationship.
When you stop and think about it, you must concede that I’ve put forward some cogent points. We genuinely love and cherish our pets, no one will argue with that. Then isn’t it irresponsible, if not outright negligent, not to give them every chance to survive in a vicious and dangerous world? Think of all the positives. Your pet will have the protection it needs to respond to and survive the worst that the world can throw at it. Thousands, if not millions, of new jobs will be created, from pet firing range management to firepaw safety training. The human population will drop somewhat from the numerous accidents, which will lower the unemployment rate. And the weapons industry will be ecstatic with the prospect of potentially 150 million new customers. A whole new field of case law will be created, as courts will struggle to interpret new laws urged by animal rights activists. We can worry about all that lat4er. For now, let’s get some protection into the paws of our loved ones; we owe them that. One more thing, and it needs to be stressed: the best way to stop a bad pet with a gun is a good pet with a gun.
This week’s posting sponsored and endorsed by the National Rifle Association.