Ahh, Texas… a great state that’s pioneered many things, the most important of which being Buc-ee’s, the breakfast taco, and gratuitous gun violence perpetuated by a culture of separatism and resistance to change. But worry not! As your newly elected senator, I promised I’d make some improvements around here and goddammit, that’s what I’m gonna do.

See, to solve the truly perplexing problem of gun violence we need to really think outside of the box. For example: you can’t shoot anyone without any firearms at your disposal, right? Now I know what you’re about to say; “Ohhhh Senator, that just won’t do! Total gun bans are completely ineffective here, don’t you know your audience?” And to that I say, I don’t NEED to know my audience, because I already know what’s best for them. You people are too stuck in your ways, you need to open your minds to the possibility of weaponless warfare. You thought my focus was on harm reduction, yes? You stand corrected! I believe that a healthy level of violence is key in any functional society. We don’t need less harm; we just need fewer guns. Or preferably no guns so that we can harm each other more creatively. See, guns make things too easy. Interpersonal conflicts become so stale once guns get involved. It always goes the same — people have beef with each other and the quickest way to end that beef is to pull the trigger. Can’t really argue with someone when they’re either dead or bleeding from a few fresh holes in their body.

Now, I think that’s plain lazy. Where’s the inspiration? The method? The creative process!? Whatever happened to crafting elaborate, cartoonish schemes to get back at people? What happened to verbally scathing someone so severely that they become ostracized from their community and are forced to pack up and leave out of pure shame? What happened to dedicating your life to besting a fated nemesis who thwarts you at every turn and gradually develops a slightly homoerotic relationship with you? Don’t you see? We’ve lost something near and dear to the human experience, all because of these blasted guns. Well, I’m sick of it. I’ll have no more of it and neither will any of you. I don’t care if it’s beyond my power; ideology cares not for titles. Art bows to no institutions or systems. There is only one way to reconnect with our souls — and that’s through the art of rap. Good ol’ rhythm and poetry.

Okay, stay with me here. Perhaps you’re confused, maybe you’re even anxious if you happen to be Caucasian and have trouble staying on the beat in any situation. That’s okay. I share your plight and I’m here for you. But here’s the thing, I never said you had to be good at rapping. Most people aren’t that good at rapping. You only really need to be worried if you piss off André 3000 or something — and even then, you’ll probably be fine considering he makes experimental flute albums now. You are beneath him. In any case, rap is the one thing that has the potential to unite us all under this garishly star-spangled flag. The flow, the creativity, the complexity… it can serve not only as a weapon, but it can also bridge the gaps between us. I’ll give an example: let’s say your neighbor has been putting his trash in your bins every week even though you’ve told him repeatedly to stop. One morning you spy him over the rim of your mug and decide that you’ve had enough. You confront him on the front lawn, and he’s dismissive as per usual. All you’d need to do is whip out a truly inspired excerpt from “Rap God.” What’s he supposed to do, defy you? You, who just proved at 8:34 am on a Monday that you can, in fact, do the fast part of “Rap God?” He won’t just choose to stop putting his trash in your bins, he will be forced to do so by your objective superiority. Anyone can shoot a .38 caliber into someone’s left foot, but not everyone can do the fast part of “Rap God.” The choice is clear.

Admittedly, it’s not a perfect system. Already I can detect some potential power scaling issues. What if you and your opponent are equally bad at rapping, or equally skilled? In this case we defer to the artist, i.e., whoever’s verse you’re rapping. (If you’re freestyling, then I apologize, but you’re on your own.) Which artists outrank each other then? It can be difficult to say, considering how many rappers there are in the world. My people have been doing some studies behind the scenes, and we’ve made some interesting discoveries. First off, the highest amount of damage ever dealt by a single verse was from a Lil Dicky song. We were just as surprised as you are. It’s not something we can explain, but we’ve observed it on multiple occasions. The Lil Dicky strategy is certified fresh. Secondly, different languages have no bearing on score. Whether you whip out an RM verse or a Missy Elliott one, both are equally valid in the eyes of the law. I know that RM mostly raps in English but just ignore that and focus on what I’m trying to say. The last issue (and most glaringly obvious) is fairness — who officiates these things? Does anyone preside over a rap battle, or does it just sort of happen? And to that I say,I don’t know, dear citizen, does anyone officiate a parking lot shootout? No, of course not! We have to keep it fun somehow! The rules of rap battles are fast and loose. It’s very much a vibe-based activity, so the mediation should be vibe-based as well. If it’s taking a little too long, then a concerned citizen is more than welcome to step in and act as a judge. If one of the opponents is clearly being dragged through the mud by the other, then the rap battle is serving its purpose! May that poor bastard never again incite the wrath of that individual for as long as they continue to live.

Obviously, all of this is still a work in progress, but I plan to roll out this new legislation by the end of the year. Soon our citizens will cast down their guns and pick up microphones in their stead. The world will be an infinitely better place when we are awoken not by distant gunshots and screams, but by someone trying and failing miserably to rap Nicki’s verse from “Monster.” Imagine the conversations we could be having when we aren’t trying so hard to kill one another. Now if you’ll excuse me, I hear loud, innumerable footsteps and what sounds suspiciously like several rifles being cocked down the hall. I must make my escape through the window as I anticipated this would be the initial response to my forward-thinking gun control plan. Au revoir!