Thursday, October 17, 2013

Wrestlemania in The House!

When last I posted, the government shutdown was just getting revved up--but now, after only the span of a fortnight bloated by a 3-day holiday weekend, it is rolling to a stop.

Congressional Republicans conceded defeat on Wednesday in their bitter budget fight with President Obama over the new health care law as the House and Senate approved last-minute legislation ending a disruptive 16-day government shutdown and extending federal borrowing power to avert a financial default with potentially worldwide economic repercussions.

I'm kind of bummed that it's ending so soon. I was just getting packed up to head out west to the shuttered Yellowstone National Park to see how long I could dodge the remaining Park Police before getting kicked out--it was going to be a giddy recreation of my childhood in Troy, NY,  where we entertained ourselves by riding our bikes all over the campus of the renowned Emma Willard girls' school, while the "pinkos" (for some reason that's what we called the campus security officers) in their golf carts tried to catch us.

Anyway, the inevitable result of the Congressional melodrama has finally, um, resulted: House leaders, including Speaker John Boehner, along with a modest number of fellow Republicans (87 in total, which is about the number of people serviced in a span of 15 minutes by any given Starbucks), conceded and approved a bill to reopen the government and avoid pulling an economic Thelma and Louise.

Not surprisingly, Boehner made an upbeat, folksy statement to save face while finally abandoning the cynical and myopic obstructionism that his party has been engaged in for the last 2 weeks:

“We fought the good fight,” said Speaker John A. Boehner, who has struggled to control conservative faction in the House, in an interview with a Cincinnati radio station. “We just didn’t win.” 

Good fight? You lost the good fight in September. This was a baaaaad fight. This was you losing the fight, and then clobbering your victorious opponent with a folding chair as soon as he left the ring. This could only be considered a good fight if your entire political ethos was based on professional wrestling.

Of course, Boehner didn't really need to save face--he already did that simply by admitting defeat without crying.

Anyway, now that this is all behind us, we can finally get back to some serious political issues, like exposing our president for the Kenyan Islamist pinko that he is.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Observing National "Shut-Down Day"!

I went onto The Google this morning to, I don’t remember, look up photos of 18th Century surgical mishaps or something, and here’s what I saw:

How exciting, I thought, it must be the birthday of Isaak Groebli, inventor of the “Schiffli” embroidery machine, which revolutionized the embroidered patch-making industry. (Up until that point, embroiderers had to pains-takingly hand-stitch every patch, whereas after that point, embroiderers had to pains-takingly find another line of work.)

Turns out, though, that I was all wrong and whatnot:

After doing a "mouse-over" (I have a pet mouse who reviews my work, helps with IT issues, etc.) I discovered that the banner-doodle on The Google actually commemorates the 123rd anniversary of Yellowstone National Park. And to celebrate that anniversary the government is kicking everyone out.

The government shut down means Yosemite and other national parks will be closed until a new budget is passed. Tourists who traveled Yosemite National Park from all over the world are wondering what will happen to their vacation. Many have already paid for tours that are cancelled since these gates will let very few people through, until the government starts up again.

As you probably already know, it is “end-times” for the American experiment. We’re on the brink of de facto annexation by Canada on account of we might actually try to attend to the health and well-being of our citizens, which is a wholly un-American thing to do. We are primarily a Christian nation, not a Socialist one, and if there’s one thing Christians won’t stand for it’s helping the poor and the sick. Here in The America, we believe in more of a Caste system: nothing is handed to you—you start at whatever shitty level you were born into, and you strive to improve yourself, so that things will become better for you. Eventually. Like maybe in the next life.

In the meantime, you have inside of 2 days to burn your marshmallows over a campfire and scarf them down before evacuating the national socialist park system via the communist, tax-payer-built roadways. But don't think about that too much because before you know it you'll be back on your own God-given property, where you won't have to concern yourself with other people and their sorry state of health--I mean, besides that one trespasser you shot on your lawn who was trespassing on your God-given property and trying to sell you Girl Scout Cookies or whatnot.

These are your patches now. They're on your God-given property!

"If there's a government shutdown, though, who's going to keep me out of the National Parks?", you might be wondering. Well:

All non-essential workers in Yosemite will be furloughed until a new budget is passed in Washington, D.C. Law enforcement and utility crews will still be on-the-clock. Campsites, and places like the Wawona Hotel will also shut down.

So, law enforcement will still be on the job, but they might have their hands full rounding up this guy:

When National Park Police or the Federal Forestry Patrol or whoever sets out to enforce the shutdown, I just hope they bring along a camera crew so that if there's a Winnebago chase, or a naked, drunk vacationer who won't come out of his tent they'll be able to preserve it for posterity in the woodsiest ever episode of COPS.

Now, seeing as this is The America and all, it's up to you to be sure the government (or lack thereof) doesn't stand in your way. Who is Uncle Sam to say to Yosemite Sam, "Get out of the park, and Christ already with those guns, will you just put them away?" Indeed, you should pull yourself up by your bootstraps and go on your God-given vacation all the same. With that in mind, I found a loop-hole (but don't say that I helped you--pretend you figured it out for yourself, you damn welfare case):

Signs will soon be posted around the Yosemite Valley to warn visitors they have less than two days to leave. The only people who will be let into the park will be those driving through to another destination.

You got that? You can still get into Yosemite National Park as long as you tell them you're just "passing through." Just don't give yourself away by asking to buy any patches.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Zonkey, Nelson, Archer & Kaufman: Legal Matters Down South

Back in April I wrote a post about a new law that had just been adopted in the town of Nelson, GA, requiring that every head of household there own a firearm. Shortly afterwards someone who read that post was so inspired--possibly by my dazzling prose, but more likely by the original news story that I cited--as to write her own blogular web posting about the matter. Either way, the important thing is that “Zonkey”, as this person is known, had nice things to say about my post. I don’t get many compliments, so upon receiving even a little bit of validation, well, if I were a resident of Nelson, GA, I would gleefully shoot my municipally-mandated firearm in the air like this guy:

On account of the Nelson gun law including such broad exemptions as to virtually negate itself, I figured the Nelson council members to be a bunch of idiots. Zonkey, however, suggested that the law itself was a deliberate joke, and that the Nelson lawmakers aren’t so much morons as well-humored pranksters.

A zonkey, by the way, is the rare spawn of a zebra and a donkey, and is one of a number of animal oddities that falls under the broader category of “zebroids.”

Zebras, it seems, are a randy lot, and will mate with all manner of other horsey-type animals--mules, donkeys, David Schwimmer, etc. And along with the funny-looking striped quadrupeds that result when zebras and other equines "make it" come made-up hybrid names to describe them. There's not much standardization in the world of zebroid etymology, though, and each cross-breed may be known by several different names—hence there's a whole herd of words to describe all the different zebroids, including: zedonk, zorse, zebrule, donkra, horbra, hebra, zebrinny, zebrass and zebonkey. Though seeing as my source for all this was Wikipedia, I have to wonder if somebody didn't just lift all those words from fight scenes in the old Batman TV show.

Not to prolong this tangent (which is to say, "I'm about to prolong this tangent"), zonkeys have coincidentally been in the news recently, on account of one was born in Italy a few weeks ago.
The new baby zonkey, or let's say, "bazonkey" for short. Or how about "zonkaby"?

In another strange coincidence, one of the only other known zonkeys currently in the world lives about 40 miles from the town of Nelson, at The Chestatee Wildlife Preserve, in Dahlonega, Georgia.

That's right, I wear a hot-pink halter. I've also got striped legs. You wanna keep staring? Go fuck yourself.

Yeah, so, getting back to the topic at hand. After reading Zonkey’s take on the gun ordinance, I must admit that in the past I never gave Georgians much credit, especially where intellect and humor are concerned—after all, my impression of southerners is based entirely on Andy Kaufman’s “I’m From Hollywood” video.

Maybe Zonkey's right—maybe the Nelsonites have a gun fetish and a sense of humor. We may never know for sure, but either way, I don't want to (maybe) underestimate Georgians again, so I'm not ruling out the seemingly absurd possibility that the “Zonkey Thoughts” blog actually might be written by the Chestatee Zonkey. The close proximity to Nelson would certainly explain the interest in that town’s legal antics. And the whole “being a zonkey” thing could certainly result in having a humorous outlook on the world.

Anyway, Zonkey also pointed out that the town of Nelson is being sued over their kooky law. The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence has filed suit against the town on behalf of one of its residents.

The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence in May filed a federal lawsuit against Nelson, a city of roughly 1,300 residents about 50 miles north of Atlanta, saying a recently adopted ordinance requiring heads of household to own a gun and ammunition is unconstitutional.

"We definitely think this law is misguided and unconstitutional in Nelson and anywhere else where it's passed," lawyer Jonathan Lowy of the Washington-based Brady Center said in a recent interview. "But it's also important to send a message to other jurisdictions around the country that might be inclined to pass similar misguided, unconstitutional laws."

The city's response? For that you'll have to ask David Archer, Nelson's insurance company-appointed lawyer.

"I don't think there was ever any intention of the city of Nelson to enforce the ordinance. I think it was a political statement that they made."

See, there's no need to get all litigious--the law wasn't meant to be serious. Point Zonkey!

Speaking of jokes, what's funny here is that Duane Cronic and the rest of the Nelson council thought they could get away with passing a law for purely editorial purposes. Other people, hilariously, didn't see it the same way.

Lamar Kellett, who lives in Nelson and is a member of the Brady Center, spoke against the ordinance at the City Council meeting and said it would have no effect on people like him who didn't own a gun and didn't want one. But several weeks later he went out and spent nearly $700 on a handgun and ammunition, according to the Brady Center's lawsuit.

Kellett said he doesn't qualify for the law's exemptions because he doesn't conscientiously oppose gun ownership — he just doesn't want to own one.

"How does a citizen like myself know that that will be true in the future or even next week?" Kellett said this week of the council's decision not to enforce the law.

Lowy, the Brady Center lawyer, agreed: "There's no guarantee that a law that's on the books will not be enforced," he said.

So, it turns out the unwritten "not meant to be enforced" provision of the law has a loophole. It's a Silliness Smackdown!

Finally, I've just learned that the suit has been settled.

The small city of Nelson, Ga., agreed Thursday to revise an ordinance passed earlier this year that required every household to own a gun.

While Nelson lost the fight, they did manage to cling to their gun law. Rather than see it struck down they agreed to amend the legislation so that it now proclaims itself meaningless. Joke or not, at least the Nelson lawmakers are sticking to their guns. (Pun intended, because I'm also hilarious.)

(c)  Because the United States Constitution protects the rights of Americans to choose not to own or maintain a gun in their homes, subsections (a) and (b) of the Family Protection Ordinance are not enforceable and shall never be enforced and no disability, penalty or adverse consequence shall attach to any violation thereof.

While that pretty much covers it, I would propose one final added provision so that nothing is left unstated.

d) This Ordinance shall be considered a giant slap in the face to the taxpayers of the City of Nelson; WHEREAS, the elected officials of said municipality have been paid to spend their time writing a bogus law that then had to be amended to explicitly affirm its bogusness consequent to a big lawsuit; WHEREAS ALSO, at least the city's lawyer is paid by the insurance company, but FORTHWITH, it is hoped that the city's insurance premiums don't go up on account of this whole debacle.

That should do it.

Thanks, first of all, to Zonkey for bringing this issue back to my attention, and to zorses, horbras, hebras and bazonkabies everywhere just for being themselves.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Brian Brown: Totally Down

This is Brian Brown.

Brian is the president of the National Organization For Marriage, a group with the sole purpose of preventing a hypothetical couple named Adam and Steve from filing their taxes jointly. As you can see, he's a very smiley guy—he's like a homophobic version of Drew Carey.

At least he was, before Drew lost all that weight and turned into Huey Lewis.


I'm still looking for a picture of Louis C.K. wearing glasses to complete the tryptich.

Anyway, Brian Brown says letting gays get married is bad because it's "redefining marriage," though I'm not sure why that's so objectionable--his own organization's media strategy consists almost entirely of redefining things.

The NOM website used to have a whole list of "Marriage Talking Points" like that one, but the page has been removed in the last year or two (though you can still see a few of the Talking Points in my earlier post, linked to above, and also again earlier in this sentence). I can't say for sure why NOM removed them, but maybe they realized they should keep their manipulative agenda under tighter wraps after their race-based political schemes were made public.

Not that you need to read secret documents to get the full flavor of Brian's screwy logic. Here he is on television, asking the age-old rhetorical question, "How can my virulently anti-gay agenda be bigoted if it has a black friend?"

There's a little grandmother--African American woman--in North Carolina, who actually was denied sitting at the lunch counter, and she's looking up and saying, "How can folks say that it's bigotry for me to go out and vote that I believe marriage is the union of a man and a woman?"

I wonder which of that woman's attributes confers the most legitimacy on her moral judgments--her age, race or physical stature?

Brian loves to bolster his anti-gay position by invoking solidarity with black people, as I've previously mentioned in that earlier post of mine (which I've linked to above a couple times already, and again at the end of this sentence just for shits and giggles... right here). I guess Brian believes that since black people are bigger victims of oppression than anyone, they cannot be biased themselves. So if you heard that Brian Brown is bigoted, don't believe the hype--Brian is "down," and his tireless efforts to deny gay people the same civil protections as straight people are totally "legit."

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

With Liberty and Equality for Dan

In a move that is sure to please at least a few Norwegian bachelor farmers in the Lake Wobegon area, Minnesota has become the 12th State in the Union to legalize unions of the gay variety.

Ahh, young love--the above L.A. Times photo shows Rep. Karen Clark, right, and Sen. Scott Dibble celebrating the passage of a bill legalizing gay marriage in Minnesota. Not only are they both gay Minnesota lawmakers, but it appears they are a man and a woman who are gay for each other. That may be a first for any state!

While things look all happy and, uh, gay in the wake of the legislation, adoption of the bill was not smooth sailing. While not a single governor of the state opposed it (he was unanimous!), there were a number of folks in the House and Senate of the good state of MN who did not care for this piece of legislation. Chief among the naysayers was Republican State Senator Dan Hall. When the Mini-soda State Senate was giving the bill the once over earlier in the week, Mr. Hall gave a 12 minute speech to precisely express his feelings of "nay" for the gay.

(You can also read a transcript by visiting this linky-dink.)

Mr. Hall explained that legalizing gay nuptials will do all kinds of harm in all kinds of ways. For example, because people of faith will have to put up with things in which they do not believe, "it'll threaten religious liberty." Mind you, gay marriage won't cause any actual harm to religion, but many people of deep religious conviction will certainly feel threatened. Rule number one: in this country, you're not allowed to do anything that might make Christians feel uncomfortable.

I think the real issue here is this: separation of church and state sounds real nice, but this country was founded on religion. The Puritans came here so they could have the freedom to believe what they believed without persecution--not to have to tolerate what a bunch of queers, Islams or Injuns  might believe (just to name a few). In keeping with that grand tradition, Mr. Hall purports that not only should religious Christian liberty not be threatened, inconvenienced or generally unsettled, it also should not have to give a crap about the rights of anyone else—here's Danny Hall on why legislation is simply the wrong avenue for pursuing this kind of change in society:

"Forcing others to give you your rights will never end well. It won’t give you the recognition you desire. That which is right can easily be seen by all. Let me say that again: That which is right can easily be seen by all."

Right on, brother. You can't force people to recognize other people's rights.

What a mistake that stupid thing was, am I right? Up high, Dan!

I don't know who these gays (and founding fathers) think they are, trying to legislate morality like that. And who's bright idea was it to force Emancipation down slave-owners' throats? It would've been much more meaningful if we'd waited for them to come around on their own. (Though we'd probably still be waiting--progress has an uphill battle in many parts of this land. I mean, the Civil Rights Act was passed back in 1964, and in 2013 Georgia is still telling Segregation, "I wish I knew how to quit you!" The reality is, like many of the loosely affiliated states that make up our Union, Georgia is so hung up on the 2nd Amendment that it just ain't have the time to keep up with all the new-fangled civil rights laws that we keep putting on the books.)

Anyway, so Dan Hall made clear in his speech his opposition to legislation "forcing others to give you your rights." I wonder if Dan appreciates the irony of giving that speech in a building located on Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

My guess is, no, he does not appreciate that irony.

Mr. Hall borrows a lot of Brian Brown's anti-gay marriage talking points. Like Brian Brown, he warns that gay marriage will ruin straight marriage, but he never actually says exactly how. Mainly he just assumes his audience will read into his warnings based on a set of shared traditional values towards homosexuality. And by "values," of course, I mean "fear."

Still, Hall had the good sense to realize that some would disagree with his position and even go so far as to call him a "hater" or a "bigot," so to fend off his detractors he had prepared some words to establish his street cred:

Many have said to me, ‘Sen. Hall, you don’t understand. You’re married, live in a nice suburb, you’ve got kids, live in a nice house, two-car garage, you’re well educated.’

Most of you don’t know I grew up in the southeast projects, 71 Saint Marys [Avenue] by the U of M. Many of my relatives were addicts, criminals, two sent to prison, more than one child molester. Those that my mother tried to keep us away from were relatives. My mother raised four children in the projects but had an alcoholic husband that she divorced when I was six years old.

Two years later, she married another,  my stepfather who also was a drunk. When he was home, we tried not to be. When I was 12 my mother told him, “You either get on your knees and accept Jesus and have him take over your life and stop drinking or there’s the door, don’t ever come back.’ He did that that day, our life changed, that was a turning point in my history. My father this day, 48 years ago today. He’s now in a nursing home, my mother still lives on Lake Nokomis.

I'm not sure what having a shitty childhood has to do with being an expert on gay legal issues, but he really does paint a wonderful picture of traditional marriage.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Georgia on My (And Out of Its) Mind

There's a national "conversation" happening right now, and it's all about GUNS! Popular topics of the gun conversation include "high cap" ammo clips, that wackadoodle guy from the NRA, and even the "Bushmaster," which despite what you'd expect is a powerful semi-automatic rifle and not a professional-grade personal grooming device.

As if all that wasn't enough, the conversation has just become even more interesting wackadoodle! Defending the right to bear arms has long been a concern for many citizens, but thanks to a new law passed by a wee town in Georgia our right to NOT bear arms is under attack. I do declare!

Backers of a newly adopted ordinance requiring gun ownership in a small north Georgia town acknowledge they were largely seeking to make a point about gun rights.

The ordinance in the city of Nelson — population 1,300 — was approved Monday night and goes into effect in 10 days. However, it contains no penalties and exempts anyone who objects, convicted felons and those with certain mental and physical disabilities.

Well oh my gravy! The wanna-be-big-government city council of the tiny town of Nelson, GA, which has a population smaller than that of a New York City rush-hour subway train, has made it mandatory for the head of every household to own a firearm. Here's the text of the law on the town's website. My heavens!

(a) In order to provide for the emergency management of the city, and further in order to provide for and protect the safety, security and general welfare of the city and its inhabitants, every head of household residing in the city limits is required to maintain and firearm, together with ammunition therefor.

Now I'm just a simple boy who doesn't know enough about laws and such to make any kind of judgment about the Constitutionality of dictating such a thing, but I’m pretty sure that mandating gun ownership for the residents of a town with almost no crime—and claiming it necessary for "the general safety of the city"falls under the legal category of “assinine.” In their ample wisdom, though, the Nelson council members have minimized the likelihood of blowback; usually it takes an effort from the NRA to kneecap a gun law, but in this case the drafters have made the ordnance-themed ordinance self-negating with the inclusion of a second provision:

(b) Exempt from the effect of this section are those heads of households who suffer a physical or mental disability which would prohibit them from using such a firearm.  Further exempt from the effect of this section are those heads of households who are paupers or who conscientiously oppose maintaining firearms as a result of beliefs or religious doctrine, or persons convicted of a felony.

Those exempt from the law include criminals, the insane, the disabled, and—thoughtfully—paupers! According to the internet, this is what a pauper looks like:

By a strange coincidence, that's how I've always pictured everyone who lives in Georgia. But then again, I'm a terrible person.

Anyway, along with those protected classes, included in the exempt category are dwellers of Nelson with conscientious objections. Objections may be based on religious doctrine, or on, well, just beliefs. With a definition that broad, if you live in Nelson and you ever find yourself hauled in front of the city council for failure to pack heat, you will be excused from the requirement just by adhering to any conviction from "I think guns are bad" to "I believe that you can go fuck yourself." Put simply, Nelsonites can ignore the gun requirement altogether as long as they believe that it shouldn't apply to them, much like pedestrians in New York City aren't held accountable to street signs or signal lights simply because they do not believe in traffic. 

My personal belief is that this whole thing is moronic, but even so I have to applaud the Nelson council members for staying committed. Sure, they snuck in a clause that makes their new law moot, but by going through the motions of spelling out all the other grounds for exemption they've done an admirable job of keeping up the pretense that this endeavor is actually serious.

Nelson City Council Member Duane Cronic engages in the serious procedural business of passing a silly law.

Still, by their own admission, the point of passing this law isn’t really to have a law. It’s to make a statement, or a point about our rights, or something. I can’t figure out what comment they intended to make about gun laws, but if any statement comes across through passage of this ordinance, it's "We are a bunch of fucking idiots." ("Idiot" is a legal term for someone in a position of authority who is more concerned with making a point than with making sense.)

I suppose it's possible the council members are actually earnest about believing the requirement will make the town safer, but the crime rate in Nelson is already so low that a single police officer is sufficient to keep the peace:

Police Chief Heath Mitchell noted that the city doesn’t have police officers who work 24 hours a day and is far from the two sheriff’s offices that might send deputies in case of trouble, so response times to emergency calls can be long. Having a gun would help residents take their protection into their own hands, he said.

But the chief — the town’s sole police officer — acknowledged the crime rate is very low. He mostly sees minor property thefts and a burglary every few months. The most recent homicide was more than five years ago, he said.

That being the case, additional firearms are certainly not essential "in order to provide for and protect the safety, security and general welfare of the city and its inhabitants." Bringing a gun into a home that previously didn't have one introduces new risksthe possibility of a family member or visiting toddler accidentally shooting off a toe or a face, for example. That wouldn't be such a bad thing, statistically speaking, if there was also a chance that the gun would be used to fend off an intruder. But since quiet, peaceful Nelson ain't that kind of a place it's a good bet that a household gun mandate is a net negative for the health, safety and general welfare of the town's toes and faces. I do declare!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Delusions of (Armed) Grandeur

A couple weeks ago—on this very internet!—I opined that James Dobson, founder of old-timey-values group Focus On The Family, was using the tragedy in Newtown, CT,  to further his old-timey agenda. A few days after Dobson's remarks, and a full week after Adam Lanza's murderous rampage, the National Rifle Association finally emerged from its bunker of silence to fire off a barrage of wild comments of its own in response to the massacre. I was interested to learn that the NRA actually agreed with my assessment of Dobson's crass behavior—here's the NRA's Wayne LaPierre, explaining that it's disrespectful to respond to a tragedy with self-promotion. (By the way, if you've ever wondered what it would be like to listen to Droopy Dog reciting the phonebook, a minute of this will give you a pretty good idea.)


"Out of respect for the families and until the facts are known, the NRA has refrained from comment. While some have tried to exploit tragedy for political gain, we have remained respectably silent. Now, we must speak for the safety of our nation’s children."

He makes an important distinction: it's okay to use a tragedy to promote your screwy worldview, but only after a seven day waiting period.

By the way, after sitting through just a couple minutes of that half-hour speech I was already starting to feel the calcification of my blood in my veins, so I switched over to this transcript, which I was able to get through faster than you could field-strip a handgun. Anyway, Mr. LaPierre finally gets around to a discussion of gun control—or more accurately, he side-steps gun control and instead detours into the realm of fantasy:

"Now, I can imagine the headlines, the shocking headlines you’ll print tomorrow. “More guns,” you’ll claim, “are the NRA’s answer to everything.” Your implication will be that guns are evil and have no place in society, much less in our schools."

Many people are indeed calling for a ban on the kinds of assault weapons used in mass killings of innocent civilians, but in the paranoid world of the NRA, a restriction on any gun is the same as ATF agents storming your compound with tanks and prying every last gun from your hands (which are presumably cold and dead, of course). Mr. LaPierre is incapable of recognizing differences between bans of different types of guns, though he has no trouble with the nuances of the guns themselves.

The media calls semi-automatic fire arms, machine guns. They claim these civilian semi-automatic fire arms are used by the military. They tell us that the .223 is one of the most powerful rifle calibers, when all of these claims are factually untrue, they don’t know what they’re talking about.

What idiots the media are! Things are much safer than the news would have you believe, because the weapons that are killing our children are not, in fact, of military caliber! So everything's okay, right? Well, no: LaPierre explains that our society is incredibly dangerous—on account of all the psychopaths running around with assault weapons that can be purchased with ease at Walmart—and declares that we must immediately deploy armed guards everywhere to defend against this uncontrolled menace.

The truth is, that our society is populated by an unknown number of genuine monsters. People that are so deranged, so evil, so possessed by voices and driven by demons, that no sane person can ever possibly comprehend them. They walk among us every single day, and does anybody really believe that the next Adam Lanza isn’t planning his attack on a school he’s already identified at this very moment? . . . The only waythe only way to stop a monster from killing our kids is to be personally involved and invested in a plan of absolute protection. The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

I suppose this makes some sense—if your worldview is dominated by a love of firepower, then naturally your problem solving strategies will tend towards weaponization. LaPierre is like Ralphie in A Christmas Story, who fantasizes about the day when a bunch of masked bandits will come climbing over the fence so he can shoot them all with his Red Rider BB Gun.

Only LaPierre is not ten years old.

Still, there may be something to that kind of reasoning. For instance, instead of instituting leash laws that strip dogs of their freedom, municipalities could just encourage citizens to carry machetes to defend against all the vicious roaming dogs. Everybody wins!