Thursday, March 7, 2013

Illness and Productivity

This is the third and last day of being home sick from work; it's almost 5:30 P.M., and I'm finally doing something productive. I guess I'm finally feeling better. Good enough at least that I'd like to challenge with some questions.

1. I heard a commercial yesterday about some home improvement club you can join that will "pre-negotiate" deals for you. What does it mean to "pre" negotiate? It seems to me that a deal is either negotiated or it isn't. Is that anything like "preheating" your oven? You turn the damned thing on, it gets hot. Then you bake a cake! I don't see much use in this "pre" fix.

2. I use a particular brand of dishwasher soap. It is new and improved and promises to make everything shiny, bright and clean without any streaks or cloudiness. It isn't cheap either, but it looks cool-kind of like a Yin-Yang symbol with a red power blaster bead in the middle. Now this very same company is advertising a new product. Something to add to the dishwasher to remove all the soapy, dirty build-up left behind by soaps and such. Why should I buy a second product to clean up the mess their product leaves behind? Could they not add this product to one side or the other of their super-duper dishwasher soap thing? I know, I know. They want me to buy something else from them. I refuse.

3. Since December 4, 2012 and the shooting of 25 children and teachers in a school in Connecticut, the conversation about how to reduce gun violence has continued to be without reason or logic. So, the rest of this post may not be in the form of questions, but observations. First of all, I used to be a conservative and some of my family fit every stereotype of the furthest right wing conservative. My beloved brother is a 23 year veteran of our local police force. So I've heard all the usual quotes about law and order, search and seizure, probable cause, drug tests, etc. "If you have nothing to hide, what difference does it make?" Why can't this same argument be applied to the question of background checks for gun purchases? We hear so much about law-abiding gun owners...if they have nothing to hide, then what is the problem?

Speaking of; I have been a vocal critic of violence in movies and video games. It almost seems like a no-brainer that constant exposure to violence would have a negative effect on a growing child's view of the value of life. I'm still not convinced that it doesn't. But after the Newtown shootings the news indicated that many countries have the same or higher exposure to violence in culture and media but lower rates of gun violence. So, why are American children so much more sensitive to images of violence? I saw lots of stories about this during the winter months, but there don't seem to be any good answers.

Lastly, I must insist that we get away from the ridiculous stories of single mothers having their homes invaded by marauding gangs of thugs, therefore leading to the need for said mothers to buy AR15's. I now have a vision in my mind of actress Linda Hamilton, buffed up as she was for The Terminator movies, wearing a tank top, cammo pants and Doc Marten lace-up combat boots, hearing this gang trying to break down here door. She rolls out of bed, never losing the grip of her trusty AR15, and lying on the floor, takes aim with this  "machine gun", and begins to fire through the closed bedroom door, killing all of the attackers. But when the police arrive, they also find the bodies of her children, who were awakened by the ruckus and came to get Mommy because the noises scared them, and those bullets going through the walls and door did not discriminate-they did what they were designed to do-they killed. If this mother had been afraid, and wanted to protect herself and her children, wouldn't it have been safer for her to have a semi-automatic handgun or a shotgun that could be aimed at the bad actors carefully and accurately? I'm not anti-gun, and neither is the president. I'm anti-"overkill," excuse the pun, and military style weapons have no place in civilian self protection. Nor do their high-capacity magazines. All I am asking for, and what most people are asking for in this new environment regarding gun safety, is a touch of rationality applied to this issue. 

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