A citizens' action group called E.A.R.P.L.U.G.S. has started a petition to ban assault guitars and to demand that guitar stores must do more thorough background checks on people who purchase guitars and amplifiers.
A spokesperson for the group claimed that "random people, many who are tone deaf, can just walk into a store and buy a triple humbucker electric guitar without any background checks as to whether they have had an ear test or have exhibited signs of bad musical taste in the past."
E.A.R.P.L.U.G.S. claims that the NGA (National Guitar Association) is mostly responsible for the plethora of bad notes heard reverberating through U.S. bars and restaurants. They believe there has been an upswing in guitar attacks in recent years, with deaths from 'awful music' nearly tripling in the last decade.
The NGA has said they are still composing a response.
Opponents of E.A.R.P.L.U.G.S. have argued that the 2nd Amendment gives people the right to buy as many guitars as they want with as many pickups in them as they choose.
But E.A.R.P.L.U.G.S. states that there may be a loophole in the 2nd Amendment regarding the purchase of guitar amplifiers, or as they call it, 'ampunition'.
"They may have the right to bear guitars," said the spokesperson, 'but they don't necessarily have the right to bear ampuniton. Guitars without amps are much less dangerous and we suggest that the government restrict the amount of watts a tone deaf or musically challenged person can buy." They suggest that 5 watts would be an acceptable limit for weekend warriors.
"The readily available 200 watt amplifier is definitely overkill and has proven disastrous when launched upon an unsuspecting audience." 5 deaths from 200 watt amps were recorded in January alone.
As far as acoustic guitars go, it is recommended by E.A.R.P.L.U.G.S. that complete amateurs with bad taste not be allowed to purchase acoustic guitars which have inbuilt electronic pickups. "Because these guitars can be played very loud," said the spokesman. "We don't believe that the 2nd Amendment means that just anyone can turn up to 11."
He continued, "The fate of the music lover is in the hands of the senate and lobbyists for the NGA. We plead with our representatives to see this as a human rights issue - that is, the right to go into a bar knowing that we are entering a safe listening environment. Guitars are not just for any Joe Blow to bash away at. People who operate guitars should have a background of experience, knowledge, skill and most importantly, good taste."
E.A.R.P.L.U.G.S.* was started by Rupert Vandythrop, who lost a dear friend whilst innocently sitting in a bar in Nashville when an 'artist' started playing the guitar in one key and singing in another at a very loud volume through an untuned P.A. Vandythrop's friend suddenly keeled over, clutching her ears. Splayed on the floor in spasms of pain, the woman's last words were, "You can't sing an E over an E flat chord..." Jazz afficionados have taken issue with this claim but the NJA (National Jazz Association) have since sent condolences to the woman's family. Besides, the 'artist' in question was playing country music, not jazz.
*No-one is completely sure what E.A.R.P.L.U.G.S. actually stands for.