Targeting

     You never know what’s going to upset people.
     Gun owners are upset that a New York newspaper published a list of people who won guns – with their addresses. (See story.)
     Does this make sense?
     Why aren’t the gun owners happy about this?
     After all, one of the primary pro-gun arguments is their deterrent effect. If a robber – apparently one unable to surprise you or shoot you first – knows you have a gun in your home, he won’t try to rob your house.
     That’s the standard pro-gun argument. I’m not taking sides by pointing this out.
     A problem with the argument has always been, how does the robber know you’ve got a gun?
     The West Nyack Journal News solved the problem.
     Now there’s a guide to protected homes.
     It’s the people who don’t own guns who should be upset. Now they’re targets.
     Expect to see a matching lawsuit from defenseless people, to match the gun owner suit. It’s a kind of wonderful symmetry.
     You try to do some good and look what happens.
     I love the gun control debate because I’m a science fiction fan. You can’t get 10 minutes into a gun debate without someone coming up with a fantasy scenario to prove their point.
     Either you scare away the gang of killers by pulling out your Uzi (or whatever), or some guy who just wanted your money shoots you and a busload of passing children because you reached for a gun.
     But the deranged maniac is going to come to his senses upon seeing a minimum-wage guard with a weapon.
     Or maybe the guard, sleeping at his post, will be the first person to shoot.
     Or maybe benevolent advanced aliens will obliterate the planet after discovering our violent ways.
     This is why a lot of us want to hitchhike off this planet with our towels.
     (NOTE: If you get the sci-fi references, pat yourself on the back and realize you’re a nerd too.)
     
     Creative Cursing: I got to go to a college bowl game on New Year’s Day in a pro football stadium and I was intrigued by a sign for a “family section” in which there was “no alcohol” and “no profanity” allowed.
     My immediate thought was, “Where’s the profanity section?”
     And why isn’t there one?
     After all, smokers get a section. And lots of people at football games enjoy profanity. Why not give them a section?
     Think of the competitive fun that profanity section guests could have coming up with creative curses.
     No, wait. That would require creativity. Never mind.
     I’ve often thought that special sections – or maybe special days – should be set aside for beach balls at baseball games. Sure, it’s a lot of fun watching ushers chase down random beach balls, but it’s such a letdown when the balls get arrested or float down to the field.
     Wouldn’t you want to go to a beach ball day at the local stadium? You’d get two games at once.
     
     Earning Your Money: Headline on the front page of the early edition of the Sunday Orlando Sentinel this week: “Florida jobless may need email.”
     No, this wasn’t a story about the unemployed not having computer access.
     It was a story about Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity considering a rule that would require people to have email addresses to apply for unemployment benefits.
     Really poor people need not apply.

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