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It’s too late for gun control, America. It’s not too late to leave

A word of advice to my US friends and family who want their children to grow up without the prospect of getting shot
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Dear Sane America: Let’s talk.

The much-touted gun safety measures preliminarily agreed on Sunday in Congress are not even a band-aid on the bleeding above-the-knee amputation that is US firearms policy. What’s truly required is a massive tourniquet – sweeping gun ownership reform, rescinding or deeply modifying the 2nd Amendment, massive buyback programs and a concerted weapons seizure effort. It could be done. It would be very ugly. Heck, it would be a borderline civil war. But it could be done. Other countries have done it – although admittedly none of these had the insane stockpile of weaponry, the reign of baseless fear, nor the sick culture of firearm worship that the US has developed.

But let’s face it: it ain’t gonna happen. That ship has sailed. There’s no one with the political will, the courage, or even the desire to even apply a tourniquet – let alone pull it tight. The time to dress and heal this wound has passed. The NRA, the gun industry, media fearmongers like Infowars and Breitbart, and the increasingly visible and unashamedly white supremacist militias have won.

Accept it.

So, to my US friends and family who want their children to grow up without the prospect of getting shot in school, shot at the mall, shot in a movie theatre, shot in the grocery, shot in the beauty parlor, or even just plain old shot on the street: I offer a viable solution: L E A V E.

To those who think that more teachers with more guns facing more youths with more guns is a dumb idea, who realize that taking your open carry AR-15 to McDonalds is not a fun afternoon out, and who don’t think that a Hello Kitty-themed assault rifle offers any kind of sane teaching moment: LEAVE. Just go.

I’ve been an expat for 33 years. I’m here to tell you that there is life beyond the borders of the United States of Glock. There is education. There are other passports. There is university for which you don’t have to mortgage your future. There is socialized medicine that doesn’t make you choose which fingers to reattach if you get injured. There is a shorter work week. There are longer vacations. There is government-sponsored childcare and pre-school. Paid maternity leave. Paid paternity leave. Legal abortion if you need it. There is baby formula. There is life out here. And you know what there isn’t? Pervasive firearms possession and a sick culture of death grown fat on gun industry profit.

It’s actually really easy. You choose your destination. You review the local requirements, check your professional accreditation options. Governments in sane places like Australia, Canada, and New Zealand – just to name some key English-speaking countries – are actively looking for good people. And that’s only the English-speaking countries. You can get along wonderfully without ever knowing the local language in gorgeous, family-friendly and gun-free places like The Netherlands.

There are downsides, of course.

US expats are the embodiment of taxation without representation. Aside from Eritrea, the US is the only country in the world with citizenship-based taxation. And we’ve also got some very, very annoying financial reporting requirements under the draconian FATCA legislation. But there are plenty of expat-friendly accountants, not to mention entire organizations and online networks, that can help you deal with that. And I personally would volunteer to fill out three FBARs a year in exchange for not having to send my kids to school with a bulletproof backpack.

And then there’s family. A tough one, admittedly. But old timers like myself recall moving halfway around the world before WhatsApp and Zoom. And while flying is expensive, it’s doable. And while the distance can sometimes feel vast…well, you can draw some solace from the fact that your children are not participating in weekly Active Shooter Drills, right?

Bottom line, my (formerly) fellow sane Americans: the war on gun insanity in America is lost. There is no hope of steering the ship away from the well-armed, booby-trapped rocks.

Sometimes, the best vote you can cast is with your feet.

About the Author
Steven Greenberg is an award-winning novelist (see , a professional writer (see, and a full-time cook, cleaner, chauffeur and single dad for three young adults (see his dishpan hands). Born in Texas, Steven grew up in Indiana and emigrated to Israel just months before the first Gulf War in 1990. He's a former combat medic in the Israel Defense Forces, who never learned to properly salute despite his rank of Sergeant. And he's a career marketer, who's run a home-grown marketing boutique since 2002.
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