Tomorrow, Tangier, 18th and Lombard, Philadelphia.
See you there.
Well, no videotape.
There might be a major sex scandal brewing in Washington (as my ex would say, “Big whoop”).
Regular readers will know that, by and large, I stay away from sex scandals. I don’t think they reveal much except the existence of original sin (no, the original sin was not sexual–the original sin was weakness, and we all have it somewhere).
I might remark on a sex scandal if the scandal points out the hypocrisy of a public figure, because of the sin of hypocrisy, not because of the sexual (mis)conduct.
So why am I mentioning this?
. . . can’t be trusted (that surprises you how?). Dick Polman:
In a bid to find a more flexible definition of â€œsuccess,â€ the Bush administration is now cooking its death statistics by omitting all Iraqi civilian deaths caused by car bombs. This is a convenient omission, since much of the unceasing sectarian Sunni-vs.-Shiite violence is caused by car bombs; if you take the car-bomb death toll out of the stats, the Bush team can make it appear that the â€œsurgeâ€ is succeeding better than it actually is. The president did try to explain the policy last Tuesday: â€œIf the standard of success is no car bombings or suicide bombings, we have just handed those who commit suicide bombings a huge victory.â€ But for those of you who think and speak in English, allow me to consult my Orwellian-to-English dictionary and translate Bushâ€™s remark: â€œIf we tell the truth to the American people about the true level of violence, we embolden the terrorists, so weâ€™re going to adjust the â€˜standard of successâ€™ to our liking.â€ Or something like thatâ€¦
Follow the link. There’s more.
This time of year–well, actually, about two weeks ago, because of the climate difference between here and there–at Pine View Farm, the deciduous trees and underbrush have not started to fill in yet. As you look at the woods, the splashes of dogwoods in bloom can be seen from a mile away or more under the canopy of loblolly pines.
(Aside: When my ship comes in, I’m going to get triple tracks.)
There is clearly no hope for any controls on guns in the United States. Regardless of whether or not one favors limiting the types and numbers of guns someone can own, it just ain’t gonna happen.
And (full disclosure) I don’t know that I favor limiting gun ownership for law-abiding citizens. I grew up around guns and enjoy plunking targets as well as the next person. As I have mentioned earlier on this site, I’m a pretty damned good shot when I’m in practice, and I’m proud of that.
Nevertheless, we clearly have a problem of guns falling–well, not exactly falling, more like cascading–into the hands of those who are not, and have no intention of being, law-abiding.
Therefore I propose this: controlling gun owners, rather than controlling guns.
And how? By requiring that those purchasing firearms demonstrate competence at time of purchase.
To avoid any (pseudo-)Constitutional issues, this process would be administered by the firearms retailer. To assist retailers in administering the program, the Guv’mint would help them construct the facilities they need to administer the program; to repay the Guv’mint for their assistance, the retailers would complete certification training and tests and be subject to requirous audits–by
Democrats or at least not by Republicans trustworthy Federal employees.
The process would be simple:
When someone applies to purchase a firearm, he or she would, in addition to completing any legal background checks already required by his or her state, have to demonstrate competence. The competence test, like a driver’s test, would have two parts:
1. A written test on firearms safety and handling. Good safety stuff can be found here. If the prospective purchaser passes the written test, he or she would then have to pass a competence test, much like an on-the-road driving test.
2. The competence test would have multiple components, depending on the type of firearm desired.
- For long guns, the purchaser would have to put three shots out of five in a circle the size of a quarter at 100 yards. If the purchaser could not do that, he or she would be deemed obviously incompetent to own and handle a firearm and would be sent to attend firearms training.
- For handguns, the purchaser would have to put three shots out of five in a circle the size of a quarter at a distance of 15 yards. Once again, if the purchaser could not do that, he or she would be deemed incompetent and sent to improve his or her skills.
- For assault weapons, purchasers would be required to squeeze out a magazine without the kick of the firearm causing them to perforate the ceiling of the building with lots of tiny little holes as the weapon took control of them.
- For grenade launchers and the like, the purchaser would be required to blow up his or her personal vehicle, demonstrating both competence and dedication. If the purchaser blows up someone else’s vehicle, he or she would be required to replace the vehicle and attend training before attempting again to purchase a like weapon. There would be no reimbursement for the purchaser’s vehicle–that would be his or her “cost of doing business.”
By instituting such a program, we can insure that competent, law-abiding citizens who cannot reach orgasm without the feel of cold blue steel
between their legs in their hands can take full advantage of their (pseudo-)Constitutional right to act like idiots; that street criminals who purchase (as opposed to steal) their weapons can at least hit what they are shooting at, thereby minimizing the terrible toll taken by stray bullets; and that absolute nutcases who want grenade launchers at least know how to use them.
I was about to drift off to sleep to Law and Order reruns, but could not resist checking out just one more blog after spending all day writing about cooling towers.
And I stumbled upon this from Dan K. Thomasson:
I met an old friend and colleague on K Street the other day and she looked a bit weary. She told me that her son’s tour in Iraq had been extended because of President Bush’s surge and she expressed concern that his planned wedding although a year away might have to be postponed. Actually, the wedding worry was just a cover up for what really bothers her nearly every minute of every day — his safety.
Then suddenly she stopped, looked at me and asked quietly, “Why is this president so stubborn?” In her tone was the unmistaken note of motherly despair, one that is now echoed by millions of other Americans who can see no end to or even reason for this debacle the president so glibly calls “winnable.” There can be no victory, nearly every expert agrees, only continued chaos as long as American troops are present.
“He is like a child who puts his hands over his ears,” my friend said demonstrating, “and shouts, ‘I’m not listening! I can’t hear you!’ “
I’ve had similar thoughts as I’ve read the news lately–If he can’t get his way, he really doesn’t know how to react.
Except with “Na na boo boo. I’m going to veto.”
I don’t pay a lot of attention to polls. Yeah, I read them when they hit the news, but I don’t pursue them.