Even as the rate of all other gun-related crimes had been decreasing in the United States for decades, the rate of mass shootings had steadily increased as gun show loopholes were found to circumvent bans on assault rifles, mental health centers were defunded by the government, and the NRA captured both political parties. Experts on television declared that the solution to massacres in movie theaters was to add more guns to theaters; to slaughters in malls, it was to add more guns to malls; and to school shootings, it was to add more guns to schools. Soon enough, the United States was overflowing with guns.
And Americans were angry, very angry, because their political system was corrupt and unresponsive to the plight of the middle class and the poor. Both parties had catered to the wealthy business elites in exchange for their campaign contributions and for cushy jobs in the private sector. The combination of mass resentment and rage together with millions upon millions of state-of-the-art firearms boded ill for the nation's survival.
In 2017, Texas alone sustained 362 mass shootings. The survivors fled the state, leaving it barren, but there was no escape. New Mexico, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and all the other southern states erupted in gun fire as the mentally deranged, the marginalized, and the dispossessed as well as the jihadist terrorists vented their frustrations by spraying bullets in crowded places. Militarized police forces were deployed and demonized by fear-mongering right-wingers who awaited the prophesied End of Days. Militias went to war against the police, eventually leaving the southern states desolate and bereft of human inhabitants.
Liberal lawmakers took the loss of the southern half of their country as an opportunity to push for mild gun control laws, but they were ousted from office by NRA-backed candidates who merely had to call the liberals "communists" to win popular support even as the voters were cut down by hooligans' gunfire soon after leaving the voting booth.
Again, the survivors fled to the north, but the northerners found they had to arm themselves or be shot to pieces by the traumatized southerners. Through 2019 the mass shootings continued and looked increasingly like a civil war.
In 2020, the U.S. population dropped to around 100,000 proud, patriotic Americans.
Before the government fell, Congress again debated whether to regulate the shrunken gun industry that was still pumping out firearms and selling them to the beleaguered remnants of American civilization. Congress decided against halting the nation's impending collapse, insisting that the Founders had been rabid anarchists who intended for the country to resemble not fattened, spoiled Middle America but something like the Wild West which was truly the land of the free and the home of the brave.
As one Republican representative said, "The Founding Fathers upheld everyone's right to bear arms for the purpose of stocking a militia. A militia has to be powerful enough to take down the government if the government should fail to uphold the law. Therefore, every American citizen has the right to carry even weapons of mass destruction to keep the government in check."
Cosmopolitan Americans from abroad rushed home to attempt to salvage their nation, but were cut down by gunfire soon after stepping off the tarmac.
Canada and Mexico, too, moved into American territory and were promptly blasted en masse by Americans boasting the latest in military hardware. Thereafter, foreigners kept their distance.
When survivors in Montana realized that the government had neglected in their last firearms bill to allow for the sale of newly-designed magazines capable of carrying 400 rounds of ammunition, they nuked Washington D.C., rendering the country lawless.
In 2021, after a series of further mass shootings, there were only twelve Americans left alive. Six of the survivors engaged in a Mexican standoff over a dispute about who spilled beer on the shoe of whom. All six pulled their triggers and died in a hail of bullets.
The remaining five Americans deemed it wise to spread themselves out across the land to keep alive the American Dream. One, however, Howard Derringer, was mentally ill and hunted down the others, executing them with an assortment of submachine guns until only two Americans remained: Derringer and a former bus driver named Mark McEwan.
Before Derringer could locate and shoot McEwan, Derringer succumbed to an unknown ailment in 2023.
Mark McEwan was the sole survivor of American freedom. A peaceable man, McEwan allowed foreigners to observe his actions without launching a crazed assault on them.
He spent the bulk of his time agonizing over whether to impose restrictions on the use of firearms. One day, standing before a mirror, he gave a speech to himself.
"I speak to you today as president of this great nation," he said, "having just voted for myself last week. I speak to you also as someone who is terribly thirsty. There's no water for miles. Aside from that, I feel it's incumbent on me to take up the issue of arms control. There's no NRA anymore, so passing a ban on assault rifles would be feasible. I could throw all the long guns I see into a river.
"But as the last American, I also feel I have a duty to honour the American spirit. For that reason, I've decided not to control the use of firearms. Instead, I'll shoot this sonuvabitch, blowing my brains out with a Colt M4 carbine. Let the blessed guns inherit the earth."
With the loss of Mark McEwan and of the United States, China became the world's largest gun manufacturer. In 2025, China annexed what had hitherto been the American heartland, honouring those previous generations of brave American souls who had eked out a living under the constant threat of being shot like a Third World dog in the streets, by turning that territory into a giant gun manufacturing facility.