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Aspen Times columnist Todd Hartley (Photo:
Aspen Times columnist Todd Hartley (Photo:

ASPEN, Colo. — According to Todd Hartley, to enact new gun legislation in the U.S. would be to “shut the barn doors after the horse has already gotten out.”

So in his weekly “I’m With Stupid” column in the Aspen Times on Friday — a column that Hartley claims is meant to encourage aspiring and current gun owners to “seek less violent ways to make up for your shortcomings” — the Basalt resident is attempting another method of gun control.

He’s defaming the genitalia of gun owners.

“If you own multiple guns or feel the need to possess a military-style assault weapon, it’s because you have a small penis,” Hartley writes.

In his column, subtitled “The longer the weapon, the shorter the tool,” Hartley says that with 310 million nonmilitary firearms in a country that has shown such staunch support for the Second Amendment, even the buy back programs that have seen success in countries like Australia will likely prove fruitless in the U.S.

Instead, Hartley writes, “the only feasible option” to reduce the number of firearms in the U.S. is to “change people’s attitudes toward guns.” One way to do that, in Hartley’s mind, is to question the motivation of gun owners.

As a case study, Hartley gives a synopsis of Hummer’s downfall in 2010.

“To me, those Hummer owners were a lot like gun owners,” Hartley writes. “They had an inflated sense of their own self-importance, and they thought owning a massive tank-like vehicle made them somehow more virile and masculine.”

Hartley asserts that consumers did a 180 when “the rest of us pointed out that owning a Hummer was an obvious sign of a person making up for a physical shortcoming.”

At that point, Hartley continues, “Hummer went out of business virtually overnight.”

That doesn’t mean Hartley is prepared to lump all gun owners into the same boat. He gives a pass to those who own a handgun “to protect your home and your family,” and to those who own a rifle or shot gun “for hunting or target shooting.”

It’s only the possession of a “pseudo-machine gun” that proves “you have a tiny wiener and you’re incredibly self-conscious about it,” in Hartley’s estimation.

Hartley did not excuse females who own such weapons from the same criticism.

“Women who own assault weapons have tiny penises, just like their male counterparts,” Hartley writes. “That would explain why they’re angry enough to buy a weapon whose sole purpose is to kill as many people as possible as quickly as possible.”

The column is sophomoric at times. Aside from the aforementioned passages, Hartley, who is also a stand-up comedian, suggests at one point that a “Swedish-made penis-enlargement pump” could be “more effective than arming yourself to the teeth.”

But there are also moments of wit and earnest, featuring Hartley venting about elected officials who “clearly don’t have the guts” to push for stricter gun control in the U.S.

As he wraps up his column, Hartley pens a plea to anyone who has “had enough of all the shooting and killing in this country.”

“I encourage you to spread the rumor that when gun owners talk about their 9 mms, they’re actually referring to their genitalia and not the caliber of their weapons,” Hartley concludes. “With any luck, we can stigmatize gun ownership and encourage people to give up their firearms willingly.”

Click here to read Hartley’s entire column