A lot of California politicians have declared open season on the 2nd Amendment. Whenever I listen to one of their logically limp lamentations, a persistent thought comes to mind.
“What if . . . just what if they ever succeeded?” They would certainly ban the private ownership of all firearms. With this unsettling thought vexing my brain, I began to think about implements other than guns that might be used for personal self-defense.
One morning, after downing my third cup of coffee, I felt sufficiently caffeinated for a really inventive moment. First, I wondered if the government elite would still allow people to defend themselves with edged weapons? “I don’t think so”, I said to myself. Too much blood. After all, those who strive for the “Geese-ification” of American society feel that the only acceptable response to spilt blood is fainting. No, I thought, a substitute weapon has to be very benign looking. Something that will not disturb the delicate, P.C. minded ethos of the crying towel set.
At that precise moment, I spied my old mop leaning casually against the wall in a kitchen corner. It had the dignity of a true friend. Indeed, it had proven its worth many times over by doing a frankly dirty job. Yes, a dirty job because, after all, that’s what real mops do. How can I best describe my mop? No delicate modern plastic prissiness, this one. It lacks a light weight quick release sponge on the business end and you don’t want to use it after doing your nails and it probably doesn’t come with a manual that teaches you how to mop or even buttons you have to press put it in settings. Instead, the stick, composed of stout nicely grained oak, is three quarters of an inch thick. The clamp is made of galvanized steel and the absorptive strands are composed of sturdy cotton fiber; once white, but now gray from over one hundred clean up victories.
I thought about carrying my mop, in public, perched on my right shoulder. Certainly, no one would be too alarmed. However, if danger threatened, the oak stick would act like a quarterstaff. The clamp could hurt a bad guy. And the floppy part of the mop might contain some very nasty stuff depending on what was mopped up last.
With this awareness, I imagined myself walking the mean streets of Los Angeles. I would not be looking for trouble but I would be ready to, er . . . “mop up” if trouble came looking for me. If the idea caught on, I could foresee thousands of sober citizens displaying mops in open carry position.
I next imagined the reaction of our California Legislature. It would go something like this:
1. An increasing number of Californians are being hurt by mops.
2. Mr. John Doe tripped on a mop while inebriated, suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and died. We send our prayers to his bereaved widow and congratulate her on starting MAM (Mothers Against Mops).
3. To speak softly while carrying a big stick poses a greater danger than simply yelling for help.
4. Mindful that a mop, in the wrong hands, poses a clear and present danger, we further resolve that:
. . . A. Mops shall not exceed 3.5 feet in length.
. . . B. It shall be unlawful to sharpen a mop handle.
. . . C. Mop handles shall have a tensile strength not exceeding 10 lbs.
. . . D. All mops shall be sanitized immediately after use.
. . . E. Mop clamps shall be made of soft plastic without sharp edges.
. . . F. It shall be unlawful to add a bayonet stud to a mop.
. . . G. Any mop not meeting these requirements shall be designated an “Assault Mop”.
5. Rules governing Assault Mops:
. . . A. They must be registered with the California dangerous implements commission.
. . . B. They are not allowed within one-half mile away from school grounds.
. . . C. Owners must pass a course in safe mop handling
. . . D. Owners must have never been convicted of a felony.
6. Exclusions: In recognition that certain minorities and illegal immigrants have, as the result of being under privileged, been forced to do excessive janitorial work, they are hereby excused from all mop regulations. Furthermore, illegal immigrants shall not be reported to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for Assault Mop crimes when residing in designated sanctuary cities of California.
Impossible, you say? My response is: “Dorothy we’re not in Kansas!” We’re in modern California, a state with a huge streak of childlike naiveté that kind of oozes out of Disneyland. Yes, my friends. I’m quite sure that the above scenario would be the response of our State Legislature should a group of law abiding citizens decide to use mops or any other implement for the purpose of self-defense.
So what do you do if you’re attacked by a street thug in California and don’t want to run afoul of the law? Hmmm, let’s see . . . Have you ever heard of “duck and cover”? Just don’t kick the mop bucket.
—Wallace Schwam, MD is a retired internist with interests in geriatrics and pharmacology who trained at Duke University. He rated expert in marksmanship in the Army and continues to enjoy hunting and tactical training with handgun, rifle and shotgun.