Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Guns & Answers

Most of the Democrats I know are extremely sweet people—they want everybody to be nice, and they think that people are good at bottom (and if only they are educated and legally restrained, all will be well).  But most are thoroughly inconsistent in their logic and limited in their information.  For example, my boss, who is rabidly anti-gun, asked me to bring my gun to the sale we had this last weekend, since we had tens of thousands of dollars worth of jewelry.  I looked at her like she was nuts and flatly refused: “I’m not bringing a handgun into DC!”  She thinks I have a license and that it’s somehow universally accepted, and she most assuredly doesn't know the district firearms laws.  Then, of course, everybody on both sides of the aisle was horrified by what happened in Connecticut last week—flags have flown at half-mast around the city and the Washington Monument since Friday’s massacre. 

All these well-meaning people are talking about denying folks with mental illnesses guns and limiting the ability to purchase ammunition.  My questions: since practically everybody in the US is on some form of pharmaceutical, who determines the cut-off point for crazy?  Since women are disproportionately represented in the depressed category, and yet also inversely likely to participate in violent crimes (and yet need a non-muscular means to defend themselves against those who would make them victims), how is any anti-gun legislation fueled by a backlash against the possession of weapons by those suffering from so-called mental illness going to avoid being, at its bottom, fundamentally anti-woman?  And, just because you are depressed, or even because you have a developmental disorder, does not mean you are going to go out and kill people, either individually or en masse.  Something deeper, more insidious, is at work.  Why penalize "consumers" in this way? 

Really “meaningful” firearms reform should involve social imbedding of the acquisition process!  One is known by the company one keeps, and as was amply demonstrated by this weekend’s events, people who lash out violently at others are usually estranged from family and society.  If one was required to have two witnesses support one’s application for weapon’s acquisition, with the understanding that those two people had to be felony-free, and if you committed a crime with such weapon within a five year period of its purchase, would lose their right to recommend another for ownership for a year or so, I guarantee both Democrats and Republicans should be pleased with the result.  Those who are responsible to others, whether or not they’ve had to deal with various emotional issues at different points in their lives, are less likely to betray the confidences they hold.  And just because you’re depressed doesn’t mean you should be penalized, or deprived of the right to defend yourself.  Just because government officials and celebrities enjoy the benefits of well-trained, arms-bearing protective services doesn’t mean that ordinary Americans of either sex should have to go without their individual self-protection.  Although I didn’t bring my gun to the estate sale, I did buy a small axe there, which kept behind the jewelry counter, and now carry in my car.  It’s just my size, and very sharp.  Frankly, given the miniscule caliber of my handgun (which I’ve never fired, even at a shooting range), the axe is much more deadly!

On a less combative note, my friend Susanna just emailed me a lovely long letter today regarding my posts from the beginning of this calendar year, which led her to several questions, to which I’d like to respond.  Susanna, see answer to question #7 in particular for a good time to get together!
1) Did your sister get her nursing license (In a January post, she was studying for some tests towards that)?  Yes, S Dawg has been working as a nurse since the beginning of the year, and has already paid off all her school loans.  I am constantly impressed by her abilities—her energy level and efficiency, not to mention her intellect, are way beyond mine! 

2) Are you still working on a mystery novel (ref Feb post)?  Yes, it’s about 25 single-spaced pages at this point.  I’ve taken the last two months off from writing, but will return to the project in January, after I complete my ESOL certificate (I paid for an on-line course a month ago, and need to do it!)
3) Did you make it to Colorado in Sept to visit cousins (I would assume no, but I am still curious)?  No, alas.  Plane tickets to Denver were almost $500, and that for a weekend.  I ended up spending a while on the phone, and my cousin finished the Grandmommy quilt scrapbook (two volumes, almost 90 pages) just minutes before she left for the airport to fly to Georgia.

4) Did you really go to ComicCon in San Diego (you wrote about that in February, but I didn't hear any more about it)? Sadly, I didn’t get to use the tickets, because, again, plane fare and hotels would have cost me more than $1000 for the four days, and I was really impecunious at the time.
5) Are you still writing a novel with Sheila? (Her blogynym) And is that the same book as my question 2?  Yes, and yes.

6) Are you currently roommate-less, or do you still have the temp nudist Naval Academy midshipwoman (she sounded fascinating - you could tell me more about her. Unless there's nothing to tell or it was too unpleasant)?  Roommate-less since she left!  I would rather talk about all the many other interesting ladies I’ve met this year!  I did have a full house of fascinating people for this year’s Christmas party, which took place this last Saturday.  Friends from many walks of life came, and one (with my permission) brought a guy she’d hoped to set me up with…
7) Has your mom gotten married yet [in the June posts, it sounded like it was coming shortly ("6 weeks" (or was it 8?)), but then you mention "her fiance" in a November post again, I believe]?  The wedding is slated for this very Saturday!  His elderly mother is bedridden at home, and a few of us in the immediate family plan to gather by her bedside with the couple and the minister, and have the ceremony there.  Would you like to come for cake and lunch afterwards?  I think the time is high noon.  Give me a call!

8) Are you still doing the trivia team? I'd love to hear more about that! How did you get involved with it? Who participates? Is it all kind of trivia?  My attendance with the trivia team has been spotty this year.  We all took off one quarter because we had too many commitments elsewhere, but we re-started in the fall.  I joined a couple of years ago after a girlfriend from church invited me, then she started dating and got married and moved away, but I kept on.  The other girls (we are an all-female team, after the guys who’d been a part at the beginning baled on us) are ten years younger than me, but that actually helps, because they watch TV (American TV, that is!) and I don’t.  It’s a max four-person team and the questions cover everything under the sun.  The top three teams get gift certificates to the bar, which helps cover our snacks on the odd occasions when we finish well.  It’s a nice social outlet, and I like my teammates, only one of whom is a Christian.  They are sweet to include me.
I was scheduled to go to GA today (which, incidentally, was Dex's 50th birthday--the congratulatory text I sent him didn't arrive, so I emailed), but my stomach wasn't settled, I was too tired, there were too many errands to run beforehand (including some procrastinated-on cleanup from the Christmas party!), and both my driver's side brakelight and my headlight have gone out!  So I'm planning to leave early in the morning.  Me, my axe, and my dirty laundry, flying fragrantly down the road.

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