Future expat

“Awwww shit. Dammit.”

When those are the first words out of your mouth before getting out of bed, it’s gonna be a bad day. I woke up this morning feeling much more fatigued than when I went to bed. Woke up at 130am and never really got back to sleep. Internet surfed, read a book, tossed and turned, and played possum but couldn’t fall back into a normal sleep. And now I feel like death warmed over.

The brain doesn’t want to work, even after a couple of strong cups of coffee. I hate mornings like this. And I did everything right yesterday – I ate healthy, I exercised hard, twice (!). No alcohol and went to bed at a reasonable hour. This is what I get for living healthy – punished the following day. What’s a person to do?

Guns again (I told you; not letting this go). I had an indirect discussion with one of my brothers about guns, a discussion that told me I need to make my position clear. I’m not against gun ownership, and I don’t think people who own them are bad people (well, many of them aren’t). What I am against is an idiotic lack of controls on gun ownership and firepower. There’s simply no use for an AR-15 except to kill lots of people quickly, so it has no place in a civilized nation. They should be banned and illegal to own. It’s a war weapon, period.

If you want to own a gun, any gun, you should go through the same kind of hoops as someone who wants to pilot an airplane – training, certification, registration, and some kind of annual testing. No untrained or untested 18 year-old should fly a plane, and no untrained 18 year-old should be able to own and use a gun.

And there are degrees of this. A commercial jet requires much, much more experience and training than a starter Cessna. Likewise, the right for concealed carry of a handgun should require much, much more experience and training than your first shotgun used for hunting ducks (and that first shotgun should still require a minimum of training). And again, outside the military there’s simply no need for high-capacity magazines and semi-automatic weapons. Those are for killing lots of people fast, so why would we allow normal citizens to have them?

That’s my position on guns. Background checks. Lots of training. Annual certification and mental health checks. Registration. Strict limits on firepower. Assurances that the person owning and carrying the gun is of sound mind and sound body. Is a card-carrying adult who understands the responsibility.

These measures won’t remove all chance of gun deaths in the US, but it would return us to a saner culture and dramatically decrease the opportunity for troubled individuals to kill lots of people quickly. Gun fetishism, gun culture at its worst, is what has gotten us to this terrible place. We had ten mass shootings in the US over the weekend – ten! It’s as if we’re an alcoholic drinking ourselves to death – we simply can’t stop.

It really does make me want to move to the south of France. Our culture in the US is very diseased, and gun violence is one of the big symptoms.

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