On Friday in Crikey, my occasional houseguest Guy Rundle put John Howard to use as a gun control ambassador. To concede that Howard was good for anything noble could not have been a pleasant thing to do. But, just as Rundle swallows my awful lasagne, he swallowed his loathing for Howard. Momentary discomfort is justified if it saves an American life, or your hostess’ feelings.

In a piece that is substantially better than all of my cooking, Rundle notes that the Second Amendment is as antique as the smooth bore rifles whose ownership it defends. This is a good argument and one US advocates for a much-needed gun control routinely make. This was part of a constitution that described an infant state exposed to attack. The US, of course, grew up to become a beautiful, heavily armed invulnerable sexy hegemon, and to argue that its citizens, who have the unfortunate habit of killing each other both accidentally and with intent, have a “right” to firearms is a bit like arguing for the “right” to scurvy. It was an unpleasant affliction that citizens were once forced to endure and need suffer no longer.