Let’s think outside the box, shall we?

The political debates in the country are driving me crazy.  It seems like every day the level of angry diatribes on Facebook for conservative causes gets louder, crazier and more rabid.  I tend to remove people from my timeline daily. Clearly, the free speech movement of the 60’s showed that free speech, demonstrations and perseverance can change the world.  Maybe not quite as much real changed as they might have wanted, but it does contribute to change.  Sadly, it seems that has translated into yelling, fanaticism and personal attacks.  It seems the lesson was lost.

I don’t mind debate and I acknowledge that my opinion might not always be right.  But let’s have discussions and compromise.  In today’s partisan politics, compromise has been lost.  During the fiscal cliff fiasco, the Republicans vowed to not compromise.  That’s one sure way to encourage debate and compromise.  All it does is make deep chasms deeper.  To my way of thinking, it is no better that a 3-year-old boy who won’t share his toys.  Nothing good comes from it and the behavior needs to be corrected.

Fox News, my favorite whipping boy, spends hours per day on topics that are ridiculous.  President Obama is ruining the country is generally the basic theme.  During the election, I was constantly amazed on how Fox harped on “Obamacare.”  It was a good idea when Romney did something very similar in Massachusetts.  Is it because it is ok if a state does it but the not federal government?  Personally, I am not sure that every state in south knows the civil war ended and they lost.  I don’t dislike southerners, but I am wary of the “old ways.” Let’s be honest, many people still fly the Confederate flag and think it isn’t offensive.  It is.  I believe, regretfully, we are still generations removed from racism and classism being eliminated in this country.  Isn’t Arizona still protesting the MLK Holiday and looking for reasons to stop minorities?  It is in the name of curbing illegal immigration of course.  I think a strong federal government has to something that some states probably won’t do.

That’s not to say there is no room for debate or compromise.  I believe there is.  But, is there a debate if each side yells, “no compromise!”  I’m not a fan of pork barrel spending or ever increasing entitlements.  But, let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater.  Let’s make plans, as complex as they may be, to cut spending.  Not everything today.  Real change is needed, but it’s not a light switch change and there is no magic bullet.  Discussion and compromise are needed.  If you see it, please let me know, because I do not.  That bothers me.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe in Democracy and Capitalism.  I also believe in compassion and more butter than guns.  But I do believe in a strong defense system; we are the watchers on the wall so to speak, let’s not abandon that.  Let’s be smart about it.

While I believe that we need to arm and outfit our military appropriately, I do not believe in nuclear weapons vis a vis mutually assured destruction.  We have some, ok.  So do a few other countries.  I am very bothered by Iran and other countries developing them.  I’m not saying let’s go invade Iran.  But it’s not the worst Idea I’ve heard either.

What is the worst idea I’ve heard lately is that the best defense against a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.  Color me stupid, but this not the old west and the good ‘ol USA is not Tombstone.  We are not all Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday.  Some of you must be the Dalton Gang, by definition, of course.  Aren’t you puzzled about how much power the NRA has?  I saw a poll that 84% of the US wants some sort of increased gun control.  84%.  Even if that is an exaggeration, I think we can agree it is 84% likely that MOST people want some sort of gun control.  But there seems to be two sides:  people who want to talk about it and those that refuse to entertain the thought.  The people who believe this will ruin the country seem to be yelling the loudest.

I’ve seen some people go as far as declare the president a criminal or tyrant for the plans and objectives he outlined on gun control this week.  Is it really that different from the legislation, now long expired, that Regan put into place in the 80s?  Not to my mind.  But something is different.  Probably the Fox pundits spewing hate all day every day.

Last night I saw a clip of some idiot proposing that if European Jews had assault weapons, there wouldn’t have been a holocaust.  Really?  To paraphrase John Stewart, France couldn’t stop the Germans and it took the US and other countries over 5 years of WAR, but giving civilians guns would have prevented WWII.  Lunacy.

People are screaming that taking away semi-automatic, high capacity killing devices is in violation of the constitution.  The constitution that was written when weapons (or arms) meant muskets (manually reloaded, of course), knives, bayonets, and cannons.  I would never thing to propose to take away one’s musket or bayonet.  Other than Rick Harrison (and his high profile customers) on Pawn Stars, who do  you know that has a cannon?

In 1729 Jonathan Swift published “A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People From Being a Burden to Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Publick.”  I often recall that piece and think of its great logic.  I have a new modest proposal.  Clearly, hand guns and hunting rifles are not enough for the gun enthusiasts.  Perhaps they are right that we need more good guys with guns.  I would propose the following.

  • Every dwelling must have at least 1 hand gun.  People will be on the honor system to keep it away from children and encouraged, but not required to take a gun safety course.
  • People will be encouraged to have as many rifles and hunting gear as they can afford.
  • On each block, at least one family will be required to have and AK47 (or more powerful weapon)
  • In each 4 block area, at least 1 family must have a machine gun or other killing weapon to use against the bad guys.  The blocks will vote on who is the good guy
  • For every 100 families or dwellings there will be one family with a crate of hand grenades.
  • For every 500 families or dwellings, there will 1 ground to air RPG or rocket launcher with at least 3 rockets.
  • Cities larger than 50,000 will have 1 tank per 50,000 citizens.  These will be housed at the homes of the city council.
  • Cities larger than 900,000 will have at least 1 nuclear bomb.  Cities over 2million must have at least 3.  The head of the city’s garbage collection agency will be in charge of the bombs or rockets.

I believe this is a great course of action.  It will put lots of weapons in the hands of good guys and will force everyone to be careful how they use their allotted weapons.  It logically follows that if the killers at Columbine, Newtown and Aurora had known they could be easily killed they would have thought twice about the consequences of their actions, they wouldn’t have pulled the triggers.  Right?  Thank god for the NRA.

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