"Sorry, pal. The law requires a five-day waiting period. We've got to do a background check."
- "Five days? But I'm mad now..."
There are doubtless factors warning against too-simplistically blaming the horrific college carnage in Virginia on American gun-nuttiness alone.
Deep-seated, disturbing psychological issues within the culprit, certainly.
A culture of thoughtless violence crossed by instant gratification, possibly.
A rather ragged mess of a response by police, apparently.
But for now, the expansive savagery of such lethal wherewithal does call to mind the old line suggesting the most sensible method of gun control.
Just the one question on the application forms:
"Do you want to own a gun?"
And if the answer's "Yes", then you're certainly not having one.