Thursday, December 27, 2012

Monday, December 17, 2012


Nuance is not impossible.

I am in favor of responsible gun ownership. I am against crazy ass gun worship. There's a big difference.

I know some of these survivalist nutbags who think all the civilization in the world is going to end soon and the only way they are going to survive is to have enough assault weapons and ammunition to shoot every member of the hordes of people that are going to come after their "supplies" when the shit jumps off. They are EVERYWHERE. You are probably surrounded by them right now.

These people are MENTALLY ILL. It's time to stop glorifying these "survivalists" by giving them their own television shows and start getting them the help they need. I don't know what level of paranoia you have to be to need mental health care, but I think stockpiling weapons and explosives for the upcoming mayan/zombie/nutjob apocalypse is WAY WAY across that line.

Keeping some bottled water and a few power bars around in case of an earthquake or tornado is one thing. Keeping your basement filled to the rafters with saltine crackers and 9mm ammo is another. I think we can tell the difference, right?

I've also noticed all the reactionaries on twitter going fuck nutz crazy about gun rights. Funny how they think the constitution is absolute and unchangeable when you're talking about gun ownership, but when it's about letting gays marry they're all about getting constitutions changed. "Pass those 'Defense of Marriage' amendments, and do it quick before the fags take over completely!" You people need to calm down. Nobody is going to take away your guns. I promise.

Want to talk about people fooling themselves? They really think a glock and an AR15 are enough for them to "take up arms" against their corrupt government? The one with tanks, aircraft carriers, drones and nuclear weapons? Keep up that pretense, Billy Bob. There's some nuance there I think they've missed.

Look, I understand the feeling that if someone comes lurking around your house in the middle of the night intending to do harm to yourself or your family, you want to be able to defend yourself and you definitely cannot count on the police who have more important things to do like give out tickets to people disobeying no right-turn-on-red signs. I get that.

I just think that we can differentiate between people who have those feelings and those who think they need a bunker full of assault weapons and ammunition. That having a safely stored gun in your home to make yourself feel safer, (which in fact makes your home less safe [statistics are a bitch]) is different from someone who sleeps with a loaded 9mm under his pillow.

Guns are kind of like drugs. There are those people who can fire a gun and feel that power and handle it. There are many who cannot. They become like people who get a prescription of vicodins from the dentist and IMMEDIATELY count them to make sure the pharmacist didn't screw them over. That's a person that needs help.

I have no idea how you find those people, nor do I know how you actually help them. If you try, you'll probably get shot. I just know that we have to stop laughing at them and saying "that's how they are." They're sick. It's not funny. It's sad.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Friday, December 07, 2012

I'm Dangerous and I Must Be Punished

Apparently I did something this morning that was so dangerous, so risky and so detrimental to society I must pay the government $139.75 to be punished for my behavior.

What did I do that was so dangerous I need to surrender $139.75 of my (not so) hard earned money? Well, if you look at the list of risky behaviors that deserve such punishment, I obviously must have done something pretty bad.

I could have:

Been driving 30 miles per hour above the posted speed limit.
Passed a stopped school bus.
Been speeding in a school zone.
Failed to comply with financial responsibility (I think this means driving without insurance.)

But I wasn't doing any of those heinous deeds. What dangerous maneuver did I attempt to get away with?

After stopping at a red light, I made a right turn.

I admit it! I'm guilty. Yes, there was a sign posted that said "Right Turn On Green Arrow" and I ignored this instruction and turned on a red arrow. I'm not even sure I would have attempted such a risky move if the driver in front of me hadn't done the exact same thing and I was worried I was holding up traffic. I wasn't in any particular hurry, I was only going to work for pete's sake.

I indicated to the officer that the sign did not say "Right Turn On Green Arrow ONLY," nor was there a sign that said "No Turn On Red" and that is rather confusing, but he disagreed with my logic and said "It means the same thing."

It's no wonder people hate cops. If you even question their authority or their judgement in any way they get very defensive. And it seems like most of the time their entire existence is a waste of resources. Like everyone else, I see people do hundreds of things every day that are dangerous and irresponsible, yet the police seem to be occupied with unimportant minutiae that doesn't help anyone in any possible way.

Maybe I'm completely wrong, and there has been dozens and dozens of accidents at that intersection where people have attempted to turn onto that on-ramp. But I doubt it. Based on the logistics, I doubt there have been any, and if there were the drivers must have been retarded.

So I can take a day off work someday in January and contest this ticket in court and probably lose, or even worse get sentenced to traffic court, wasting another of my days. I have to decide if one of my ten days off per year is worth sacrificing to fight this injustice, or just pay the fucking fine and get on with my life.

I think we all know what's going to happen.