Oddly, there's a similar discussion here:
OK, I respect that, but I’m interested why (as an intellectual, not political, exercise)?
You in general like the Onion, so I assume it’s not a question of comic STYLE; it’s content.
The content here is certainly silly (gorilla ownership) as is the twisted logical premise (if everyone owned a gorilla, no one would be attacked by a gorilla). That’s the core of any Onion article—making something serious seem silly. And in general, humor is found in the unexpected connections we make between what is presented and what we are lead to anticipate.
We find something funny when (a) we are surprised by the turn of events and (b) we make the connection between the expected and the unexpected. The laugh reflex IMO is a self-congratulatory response to understanding.
Since I am pretty sure you understand the connections to be made here, may I assume it’s not funny (to you) because you’re not surprised?
Again, I respect that.
There is usually something serious—unsettling even—in satire. That is what makes it what it is. Good satire leads to a better understanding amid the uneasiness. Maybe the best satire is when both understanding and angst are maximized. In that quarter I would agree, this article is far from the best of the genre.
I don’t want to belabor the point nor dismiss your reaction, but I didn’t consider the children to be the fodder “spent” for the sake of humor—and I don’t think that’s because I’m not sensitive to tragedy.
The satirical target was logic. If I were to posit (facetiously) that “deterrence” is evidenced by the fact that since (almost!) everyone wears underpants, slaughter by these implements is extremely rare, I am mocking an inappropriate correlation/cause rubric, not asphyxia victims.