From: Gregory Alan Bolcer (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Wed Dec 20 2000 - 16:24:57 PST
Wow! I read every word straight through. You
must be book writing avoiding. 8-)
> In a message dated 12/20/2000 12:04:15 AM, Ken.Coar@Golux.Com writes:
> >I believe that Damien, Tony, and yourself have emitted statements
> >that are difficult to construe any other way. I'll accept
> >that there may be an error in communication.
> Gee, as best I can recall, what I said was that it should be hard for guns to
> get into the hands of bad people, and that people who want to own guns should
> be required to take classes in their safe use. If you were able to construe
> this as stating that guns should be banned, then some gun owners are more
> paranoid than I thought, and I should perhaps give careful consideration to
> the idea that guns should be banned entirely. :-)
> I'll try to be more careful with my emissions if you'll be more thoughtful in
> your construings.
> >If it worked so well,why was it repealed?
> I didn't say that Prohibition worked well. I said that since the repeal of
> Prohibition, efforts to control the illegal (untaxed, unsafe) production of
> hootch and to monitor sales have worked fairly well. Yup, there's lots of
> teenaged drunks out there, driving cars and, for all I know, carrying loaded
> sidearms, both the booze and the bullets taken from Mom's and Dad's cabinets.
> That's kinda beside the point, which is that sensible people ought to agree
> on and enforce sensible (I did not say nanny-like nitpicking) laws, rules,
> and customs so that dangerous things (guns, knives, cars, liquor, airplanes,
> bulldozers, cherry bombs) aren't likely to be handled recklessly or fall
> easily into the hands of those who can be expected not to know how to handle
> them carefully.
> You know, earlier in this thread someone (I forget who) wrote patronizingly
> about people in the country's "literary classes" not seeming to know that
> thare are vast scantily populated parts of this great land. Actually, some of
> us lit'ry folk have visited, lived in, moved to, moved from, or otherwise
> been familiar (from a distance less than 30,000 feet) with the dwelling
> places of those I guess I'm supposed to call the illiterary classes. Some of
> us find it a little annoying to read statements that imply there's a kind of
> moral superiority involved in not having near neighbors, though empathy (what
> we literary types call "negative capability," after Keats) suggests that the
> posture of superiority comes from a defensive fear that city slickers
> secretly snigger at country mice. Both English and American literature are
> filled with the conflict between city and country.
> And you know, life IS different in town. I haven't been to Austin in many a
> moon, so I've no idea if what I saw there on my first visit can still be seen
> today. But then there were signs in bars that said that in Harris [is it
> Harris? can't recall] County it was illegal to possess a loaded firearm in a
> place where liquor was served. Friend of mine pointed out that this sign was
> necessary because in rural counties in Texas it wasn't illegal. That sign's
> revealing, pointing out, as it does, thatsome behavior that is just fine in
> the country can become dangerous and antisocial in town. For example, my
> friend told me that his ambition, like that of every good Texan in his
> unhumble Texan opinion, was to own a house on enough land that he could piss
> off of his front porch. Now, you just don't do that in Houston, Austin, San
> Antonia, or Dallas, any more than you walk into the bar at the Adolphus
> twirling a loaded Colt .45 around your index finger and shooting the top off
> the quart of Jack Daniels. Larry McMurtry, a lit'ry man, points out in his
> introduction to In a Narrrow Grave that Texas went from a state where 90% of
> the population was living in rural areas to one where 90% lives in
> cities--and did it in a generation. Dan Jenkins, in Baja Oklahoma--Dan's more
> a drinking man than a lit'ry one, but he wrote good when he chose to--caught
> that change when he wrote that Texas was "a detour off the freeway to see
> where you were raised."
> Now, I'm entirely prepared to cede to you or anyone the virtues of clean
> air, copious stars, tumbling tumbleweeds, voracious jackrabbits, caribou,
> weasels, unfenced land for sheep and fenced land for cattle, circuit-riding
> Methodist preachers, heavy pesticide use, friendly waves from strangers,
> quilting bees, and everything else that coutnry life contains in fact or in
> legend. I'm even prepared to agree that life is more natural in places
> unfrequented by the literary classes, except Hemingway buffs.
> More natural, but less human. Most of us human beings have chosen to live
> in cities--more and more of us every year. Even though telephones and faxes
> and the web allow us to telecommute, we don't, and won't. Social capital is
> vital to us. There are eight million stories in the naked city, 4 million in
> the silicone city, and three million in the windy one, and I'm not counting
> the burbs, where the deer and the Cherokees play. Those vast illiterary
> spaces are losing population; you can't keep 'em down on the farm once
> they've seen Paree, and fewer human structures interrupt the wind as it
> crosses the Dakotas than did in my father's time. Most human beings prefer to
> live in town.
> Where it's not a good idea to have a loaded firearm, drunk or sober.
> Where, following the advice of Adam Smith, we employ the division of labor to
> hire police to keep public safety rather than undertake the job ourselves.
> I'm not saying that that's morally superior, either. I'm just saying, as
> Walter Cronkite used to say, that's the way it is. My mother used to say, no
> doubt quoting her mother, "Your rights stop where my nose begins."
> So, following in the tradition of Jonathan Swift, yet another of those
> damn lit'ry fellers, maybe we should set things up this way: No gun laws at
> all where people need them to blow the heads off rattlers or make holes in
> coffee cans; and let's set up checkpoints and storage lockers on the edge of
> every Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area, inside which out snakes wear
> suits and we have electric can openers. On the way into town, leave the
> weapon in a locker, take a receipt, and pick it up on the way back. For an
> extra $10, we could probably get someone to clean it while you're shopping at
> No offense meant, and I hope none taken.
-- Gregory Alan Bolcer | email@example.com | work: 949.833.2800 Chief Technology Officer | http://www.endtech.com | cell: 714.928.5476 Endeavors Technology, Inc. | efax: 603.994.0516 | wap: 949.278.2805
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