Monthly Archives: December 2012

Can Openers Don’t Kill People, People Do!

It is true that people do the killing and that can openers or even table forks, for that matter, are not found to be responsible for mass killings. Despite the ‘gun nut’ conventional wisdom that guns are not responsible for today’s killing of 20 children in Newton, CT, but that an individual person was responsible, it is the availability of firearms that result in mass murders. Can openers and tableware are cheaper and more abundant than guns but neither are a problem to the safety of school children, though both are available to perfectly sane people and lunatics as well.

The Second Amendment is a straw man and always has been. Yes the Constitution guarantees the individual the right to bear arms, but it is plain that this right was attached to a mutual obligation. That obligation was for the armed individual to bring his arms to the defense of his community. Since we do not have universal militia service in the US, the other half of the obligation is being ignored and by any reasonable logic the right is thereby abrogated.

It is also significant to note that the Constitution did not grant a universal right to bear arms. At the time of the founding of our Nation, neither women, nor Indians, nor slaves had any such right. The notion of a universal right to bear arms has never been a part of our law. In fact the arming of slaves and Indians was specifically prohibited by the very States and Commonwealths that became the United States.

There are any number of people who are ready to subscribe to any number of notions about conspiracies that supposedly threaten freedom. I cannot imagine that laws keeping lethal gasses and biological weapons from being readily available on the consumer market are seen as threats to freedom. No, such laws are seen to be a part of the fabric of the protection of our citizenry. Firearms can and should be regulated and controlled as are any other serious threats to human health and safety. The fear that regulation and control will allow confiscation is an irrational phobia.

In any event, I’d rather my .22 pistol be taken from my warm hand than have even one more child’s cold dead hand have to be opened to put his or her pencil back on the desk.


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If It is 1955, 38 Senators are Ready for Action

Once again the USA is embarrassed on the international stage. Our Senate refuses to enter a United Nation treaty that protects the disabled. Most other nations, including Great Britain, Germany and Russia see no sovereignty issues with the treaty that mimics the US laws protecting those with disabilities.

But 38 Republican Senators, Republican ideologues, voted ‘No’ making the USA appear in favor of discrimination against the disabled. Our not participating also bars us from taking part in the UN’s decisions to further protect the disabled.

Beginning in the 1950s, the right-wing has used every opportunity and all media to oppose and undercut the effectiveness of the UN. There was no Fox News in the 50s, so the Reader’s Digest served at the propaganda arm of the ‘right ideology.’

Apparently these 38 Senators missed the news that the recent election signaled a real change in American opinion.

They also seem not to realize that ‘I Love Lucy’ is no longer on prime time, that iron lungs are no longer in huge demand to treat polio patients and that the John Birch Society is an embarrassing artifact from the mid-20th century. They seem not to realize that this is the 21st century and that, whether they like it or not, we are one world and that this one-world came about not by conspiracy but by computer.

My counsel to the 38 Senators: Your McCarthyism is just a lazy habit you’ve fallen into. You can get over it with a bit more knowledge and effort, provided you are not home-schooled into believing silly notions about threats to US sovereignty. We’ve entered all kinds of treaties about not warring on civilians but that seems not to interfere with our sovereign right to drone on and on. Your notions about US sovereignty are as flimsy as your philosophies.


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