Tag Archives: politics

Surge in gun sales

Well, we did it. We actually passed a law limiting, to a degree, how much access the people of California may have, or be required to tolerate, to a certain type of firearm: automatic rifles with features generally accepted to describe assault weapons. It’s only a ban on new sales, though. Any such guns already owned may still be kept as long as they are registered (yeah, that’ll happen). Of course, as typically happens, the bill that Governor Brown signed back in July doesn’t take effect until January. Now there are headlines spreading the shocking news that, with lines of eager buyers backed up out the doors of gun shops and around the block, the new law is responsible for the six-month-long surge in the sale of these very toys…er, rifles. I think the proper response to this revelation is something akin to, Duh!

What the hell did they expect? It happens every time there’s a push for any kind of gun control, so it shouldn’t have come as a surprise to anyone. Of course anyone that wants to have one of these lethal toys is going to take advantage of the six-months warning that they had better get on with it. If they wait ‘til January, they’ll have to drive all the way to another state to buy it.

As I understand it, the reason for this law is to reduce the ready availability of a very real, clear and present source of death and misery in California. Seems to me that would qualify it for emergency status. You know, pass it to be effective immediately, like the following day, a week at the most. While waiting for these six months to drag by, we have seen more than an additional 250,000 of these lethal toys hit the streets of California, or at least potentially on the streets since most will probably go into closets, hopefully with good locks. And, yes, these steel, wood and/or fiberglass creations are toys. You don’t think so? Look up the definition of toy.

Just because a good, honest citizen is the buyer, you know, doesn’t mean a weapon, whether firearm, knife, hatchet or whatever, will not be used in a crime. Honest people commit crimes. Does that really shock you? Then, think about it. It is only after they commit the crime that they are no longer honest and honorable. Criminals start off as honest people. They are not born as criminals. They are not a separate species. They don’t have tattoos or green hair or three ears to set them off from the rest of society. There is no way to identify who is or who may become a criminal just by looking at them. They are people that take a wrong turn somewhere along the road. Sometimes they use the weapon they bought while still honest and non-violent to become a criminal because it is there so nice and handy when they get the urge to blow someone away—an urge that may dissipate before being acted upon given time. Sometimes the weapon is simply stolen from an honest person by someone who is already a criminal. Criminals also steal. Of course, if the honest person didn’t have it, the criminal couldn’t steal it, and he’d have to find another honest person that did have one that he could steal, if he could find such a person.

But, the thing is, the argument that this law will only affect honest people, not criminals, is bogus. It’s like this: If there were no guns, no one would get shot, period. But, since that is not going to happen—there will always be guns because there already are—any reduction in the increase and spread of guns, especially certain ultra-efficient types, available to criminals or those who may become criminals would still have a direct effect in the number of criminal uses. If there were 250,000 fewer assault weapons in a given area, say only 1,000,000 instead of 1,250,000 it would mean 250,000 fewer assault weapons available for criminals to use in that area. Of course, that’s not counting shotguns, assault weapons and muskets brought into the area from other areas, which is another issue, but with the same potential solution of reducing that area, also, by 250,000, or any number. It wouldn’t solve the whole problem, but it would be a start. A journey not begun, you know, is one never completed.

You may have noticed I haven’t mentioned the Second Amendment. I haven’t because it is not part of this issue, which is about the effects and the wisdom of delaying the implementation of a new law. It could equally apply to a law about…oh, say requiring red shoes worn on the right foot to have green laces, not blue ones. If there were a recognized serious health or safety reason for the restriction, why would we agree to give as many as 250,000 red shoe owners six months to stock up on blue laces? Oh, yeah, financial hardship for the stores selling shoelaces, as well as the factory producing them at an increased rate, all of which would be stuck with the huge inventories of blue laces they all stockpiled when their market forecasters saw the goldmine the writing on the wall predicted with the new law that was probably coming.

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Musing

Sometimes it’s hard getting through a newspaper without having to grab a pencil and jotting down a few opinions. Sometimes they make enough sense and are relevant enough to post. More often they don’t, so I just lay them aside. When I read them later, I often toss them into the round file, but sometimes they strike a chord. Sometimes it depends on what things have been making recent headlines. And, then, sometimes I just go back through them and get all worked up again. When that happens, I think…yeah, post it.

Here are a few short ones:

Leave or stay in Iraq

Should we delay leaving Iraq? That’s a question we’ve been asking for a few years. Should we leave thousands, or even hundreds of troops there for yet another year to keep trying to arm, train and advise the Iraqis to step forward as one and protect their own? If we give guns to any three Iraqis, two of them will shoot either each other or the third. A bloodbath may be unavoidable whenever we do leave for good. Remember the chaos surrounding the last chopper out of Saigon? It’s a different world now with different issues, sorta, but the result may look the same. We have already delayed a decade even as we vainly tried to justify going there in the first place. Michael O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institution once said he would “wait until we have an Iraqi government, and do it with the Iraqis together.” Well, I suppose it’s conceivable there might be an efficient, effective Iraqi government someday, somewhere, just not in Iraq, at least not until sometime after Hell freezes over, although probably before there is peace in Israel. Unless another Saddam comes along and is allowed to beat and bash Iraq into the single nation we are insisting upon, one once again held together by the brutality of a steel fist, the chances of a unified, let alone functional, national government over all of Iraq is about as likely as one in Afghanistan.

Tribal Conflicts

I have come to the conclusion that the problems in the Middle-east, Africa, and most other areas in the world are not solvable by methods that the civilized world is willing to use. Those societies are still based on tribal law, whatever that may be. Problem is, with more than one tribe involved, more than one set of laws are pushed. Then it’s a matter of which tribe is strong enough to force their laws on every other tribe. No matter what advances these countries make, any disputes will be settled in the only way they know: by whichever tribe is strong enough to push their solution to fruition and God, Allah, or Zeus help the local innocents if either side has access to modern weapons. Civilized (?) countries may become involved because of natural resources or strategic locations that might affect their national security, but there is only one way to end the tribal wars that result in so much brutal slaughter. A national leader from the area involved, if it is to remain a sovereign nation, must rise to power and exert such brutality in his enforcement of whatever laws he deems appropriate that everyone else stops fighting and cowers in fear. Remember Sadam Huisain? When it comes right down to it, most cultures in this world cannot be trusted with weapons more advanced than sharp knives, and dull ones would be better.

Re: Complaints of women wearing yogi pants in Montana (did you hear about this one?)

One or more guys (I don’t remember just who they were) up in Montana got all worked up about women wearing tight–really tight–pants, the kind that don’t leave a whole lot to the imagination. I guess all those womanly shapes are giving them too many ideas; the kind righteous, married men shouldn’t be having. And, of course, the fault is all on the women, not the guys. Yeah! If a woman is assaulted it’s her own fault for putting temptation right out there where a guy can’t avoid it! Right? Yeah! Apparently, that’s the thinking behind all the good reasons the women in the middle east have to wear enough to make a person have to guess what gender they are, except that a man over there certainly wouldn’t wear such a thing. Over the centuries, even a lot of the women over there don’t feel comfortable unless they are covered over. Do all men have as much trouble resisting their own lurid impulses as those in fundamentalist worlds where a woman, a supposed creation of God, must always conceal her body beneath shapeless tents in order for men to not be exposed to temptation, or is it just the righteous few? Did God really create what He did and then give it all to men, and that everything is for men to use or abuse as they see fit? Are men really so great, so deserving? Yeah? Well, why? Is God really so petty and devious that He created women’s beauty to be a temptation against which men are tested daily? Is God really so small? Could a god so small create something as grand as the universe—or even conceive of it? Or did God, in creating the universe, create men and women and all the rest from tsetse flies and butterflies to vales and whales, from quarks to quasars, so that they all may exalt in the beauty and magnificence of all existence, and in so doing, in His? If there is a God, I would find this latter description much easier to accept of the author of all creation.

And, then, there’s this. Are we alone?

As inspiring as a lot of letters, papers and declared opinions might be regarding the chances, hopes, and/or fears (?) of ever discovering evidence of life anywhere other than Earth, they still present the concept of finding life “out there” as an “if” proposition instead of a “when.” Okay, I understand a fact is a fact only after it is proven, but come on!
Don’t you think it’s sorta presumptuous to think the entire universe was created just for us. We can’t even see a vast majority of it. Try this: Imagine some of the microbes on a crystal of silica containing exactly 147 facets in the middle of a southern California beach look out at all the other grains of sand close enough to see and opine that microbial life is probably there, too, given the vast number of potential grains. But, ignoring trillions of grains stretching out in all directions, other microbes reject that possibility, arguing that their creation in the deposit of whatever it was that plopped onto their grain could only have happened by divine intervention, thus they are unique on all the beach, plus on all other beaches, as some claim to exist, although probably in some other dimension since there is obviously not room in creation for more than one beach. And besides, they point out, in all the thousands of grains they have looked at, none are crystals of silica with 147 facets, which is obviously an absolute requisite for life to occur at all.
Could happen.

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A New Conspiracy Theory

Just where did The Donald come from…really? No, I don’t mean which planet, although that might be a legitimate question. I mean, is he really an honest to goodness candidate for the office of President of the United States? A job with an annual salary, including benefits, that is about what he makes in a day? Or is it an hour? And this is a guy that can’t stop crowing about how much he is worth. Is it that he has all the money he needs or wants (no, seriously), and that he really does want to make this a better country, at least in his opinion? Is all his bombast just a holdover from his days on TV when such a thing would improve his show’s ratings, and he really doesn’t know any better than to think it is also appealing to thinking people out in the real world? Are all the outrageous opinions and ideas for solutions of the nation’s problems that he keeps coming out with really from his mind and heart (assuming he has either)? Or is it something else?

Are we all being taken for a ride?

Is this whole Donald Trump for President thing nothing but a red herring?

Is it all just something to outrage and occupy anyone not in the GOP’s inner circle while the other candidates look pretty good in comparison? I can see Trump going along with something like that. He’d love being the face on every TV news broadcast and the headlines of every newspaper, even overshadowing the Democratic candidates. That is, if he really is the obnoxious fool everyone is assuming him to be. Maybe when he was a kid, all he really wanted was to be a clown when he grew up. But Daddy merely laughed and said, “No. Here’s million dollars, now go play like a good boy.”  Hell, he may actually be a smart, serious businessman who had developed an on-screen persona for a popular, money-making TV show that is ready-made for this role, and he is merely doing his part by temporarily staying in character for the Grand Ole Party as he was asked. He’d get to be as obnoxious as he wanted, the worse the better, until the true GOP candidate secured the nomination. It could even be someone chosen long ago by those deemed to be the power behind the throne, perhaps someone not yet included in the present horde of candidates who could be smeared by the mud being slug about, someone to be brought out later when Trump has done all the damage he can safely do and can be withdrawn. And then, with a big-business-friendly president in the White House, he could go back to concentrating on making even more weekly millions while trying to score with Miss Universe or whatever he does for diversion.

And, when you consider it, a lot of that could also apply to Carson?

The only thing that would work better for the GOP would be if Trump and/or Carson could then be switched over to grab the nomination for the Democratic Party…maybe as president and vice-president. That way the GOP’s true candidate would win the election by unanimous vote. Even Reagan wasn’t unanimous.

Okay, if he really does withdraw from the GOP and runs as an Independent, I’ll withdraw these “suggestions” that, otherwise, seem to me to be altogether reasonable.

I mean, come on, people! Donald Trump is a successful, billionaire businessman. He may have gotten his start with a million dollar stake from Daddy, but he, not Daddy, still turned it into billions. How many MBA’s could do that? No way could he have done that if he was really the obnoxious fool he is portraying to the public. It’s entertaining, but, frankly, I don’t buy it.

Does the GOP have anyone devious enough to put something like that together?

I wonder what Carl Rove has been doing lately.

Okay, now, folks–put down the pitchforks. This was all tongue-in-cheek.  You know, just joking.  A great, elaborate hoax like this could never really happen…not in America…not in the twenty-first century.  …Right?  …Could it?

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