Friday, October 14, 2005

Gun Rights

American citizens have the right to keep and bear arms, but even here, economic discrimination takes place.

Good guns are expensive, especially if lawfully purchased from a licensed dealer. Maybe buying a black market gun is the ultimate in personal freedom, but what about my warranty?

It's one thing for people of lesser means to have to own crappy, dangerous cars. You might be able to work around the limitations of those. But cheap guns can be very dangerous to their owners. You could make the case that it's downright discriminatory, even unconstitutional, to force any citizen to settle for a cheesy weapon.

If we accept that human nature is basically irritable, and that deadly encounters are bound to occur, then possession of a firearm becomes a necessity so basic the government should issue one to every adult and provide training to every child. It would level the battlefield, anyway. If anyone has one, everyone should have one.

Bear in mind that anything beyond the initial 9 millimeter is your own problem. Want an AK? A Stinger missile? A tank? You're on your own.

Personally, I can go for months, even years without having a gun pointed at me. But maybe I have just been lucky. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

It might be good for national morale if everyone felt the weight of a little personal security riding on their hip, or the holstering location of their choice. There might be a few impulse killings, but only until the novelty wore off. If it's not you, or someone you know, what's the problem? If the law can't find the killer, the Armed Citizen eventually will.

It would do away with gun control as an election issue, too. If anyone bitched about it, someone else would probably just shoot him.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

These Honored Dead

Step back a moment from everything you've read or heard about the Civil War. Put aside your cherished notions. Sometimes things happen for reasons far different from those intended by the participants or inferred by later observers.

The Civil War happened so that at least some land would be preserved from strip malls and car lots. Even over bloodstained fields, it's been a battle against the developers. But only the dignity of all those deaths slows the development juggernaut the slightest bit.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Cold Mountain

I just finished reading Cold Mountain, by Charles Frazier. I hadn't read it as soon as it was handed to me, probably more than a year ago, because I wasn't in the mood to wallow in the Civil War era.

The more I think about the Civil War the more I think all uniforms and regalia should be burned as relics of an entirely shameful chapter in our history. How do you celebrate the supposed heroes without taking a side? If the heroes were heroes regardless of side, their deaths were a double waste. How is it wonderful that anyone died valiantly for a mistake? Choose for yourself which side might have been mistaken, the fact remains that one side won, one side lost and many bloody acts were committed in the process.

I saw the movie on DVD. While it wasn't one I'd see twice, it had some great bits, like when Renee Zellwegger said, "They call this war a cloud on the land, but they made the weather, and then they stand out in the rain and say 'shit! It's rainin'!'"

The book just took a lot longer to make the same points the movie did. I didn't feel as ripped off as I do after reading just about anything by Larry McMurtry, but I did feel that I could have spent my time better elsewhere. But I did want to see how book and movie compared. Now I know. And there would have been no film without the book. So it wasn't a total waste. It does not cast either side of the Civil War in a very positive light. That in itself is worth a lot.