WASHINGTON — “The only people who should have guns are women.”

Yes, you read right. I heard my mother’s voice clear as a lark from California. Daybreak there, 10 a.m. here.

Sorry, guys, you’ve lost your gun privileges until further notice.

Then watch the murder rate drop down in free fall. Suicides might plummet, since men are more apt to take their lives that way.

Sparking this was the latest outrage, two mass shootings, in Georgia and Colorado, in one week. Eighteen lives were lost. The suspects are lone angry men, each 21, who stole and scarred souls forever.

Constitution framer Alexander Hamilton died by firearm in a duel. He never had his 50th birthday.

Hamilton’s last words cursed the “right to bear arms” amendment, they tell me.

We spoke on my mother’s pandemic morning call before her walk on Montana Avenue. Across the country, I could see her with a sporty bandanna around her neck.

Everyone loved her simple yet subversive idea. It kicked up dust on social media.

Mass shootings started in the late 20th century. The 1999 Columbine High School bloody Colorado scene grabbed our senses in a chokehold. Two male students opened fire, making mayhem in the halls. It seemed unthinkable then.

Guns are the toxic, tragic American way of death.

More than 100 mass shootings are on record, with nearly all (97%) committed by men. Some are random; others are hate crimes.

The racial murder of nine Black church members in a historic South Carolina church in 2015 broke our hearts in the same place. The “doer” was one white male supremacist, age 21.

President Barack Obama sang “Amazing Grace” at the funeral. But we need more than that. We need background checks on gun sales and a ban on assault weapons. A new House-approved bill is knocking on the Senate’s door again.

Obama failed to pass simple gun measures in the Senate in 2013, after the Sandy Hook elementary school murders of 20 children and six women. The lone shooter in the Connecticut rampage was a 20-year-old man.

We expect to be safe in places of worship, grocery stores, military bases, schools, college campuses, nightclubs and the U.S. Capitol.

But the public square ain’t what it used to be.

Caught in the Capitol siege, I felt the fear that goes with gunshots piercing the air you breathe.

A professor, my mother’s bracing idea is worthy of Jonathan Swift.

In 1729, Swift’s famous satire suggested starving Irish children be fattened up to be eaten by the wealthy set. He cuttingly called it “A Modest Proposal.”

So let’s disarm the opposite sex. Inspired or what? Swift is with us. Round up the pool of likely suspects.

When I joined The Baltimore Sun newsroom, there were 300 homicides a year. Not one female shooter came over the city police scanner. Most victims were young men of color.

Social scientists and public health experts say gun violence is an epidemic. When will we ever learn?

In the newspaper, I see Dorian Hurd, a college basketball player, 20, shot dead on a street for no apparent reason.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., claims all mass shooters are mentally ill. How “vexing.”

That’s dead wrong, Mitch. But it’s one more reason to cleanse ourselves of our killing machines.

When a massacre of school children and teachers couldn’t move Congress’ mind, some citizens gave up hope for sane gun control. Not all.

There’s a new sheriff in this town now.

President Joe Biden has a fighting chance to confront the nation’s criminal record on gun violence. He can’t carry a tune but navigates the Senate shoals better than Obama.

What a thought experiment: Take guns out of the hands of American males across the land. That goes for police officers so they can learn new social skills.

Violence against women, let it vanish as a plague.

Don’t forget the Montana governor, who hunted and shot a tagged Yellowstone wolf (an endangered animal). Nice work by Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte.

Allow only women to own guns, if we wish. We won the vote nonviolently. We’ll keep the peace.

Arms and the woman: Our lives may depend upon it, sir. Thanks, professor.

Jamie Stiehm can be reached at JamieStiehm.com. To read her weekly column and find out more about Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, please visit creators.com.

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