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October 18, 2002
I gotta tell you, I'm

I gotta tell you, I'm disappointed I only got one comment on that last post. What are you people, on a break? There were some serious issues raised there! Come on: Pork Tornado, other people's anniversaries, radio installation narratives, what more do you want? Oh wait, that's really boring. Sorry, nevermind.

So I have a question. What possible objection could there be to "ballistic fingerprinting", to at least investigating the possibility of developing a system to uniquely mark bullets fired from a particular gun? What exactly is the NRA's problem? These semi-automatic high-powered featherweight laser-accurate weapons are for hunting, right? Don't hunters want to know which guy got the deer? I mean, they must have drunken brawls about this sort of thing all the time, this would put an end to all that.
"Hey you got 'im, son! Congrat'lashens on your first keel."
"Nope, nope, looks like that was your'n Pa. I sher thunk it'z mine, tho."
Maybe they're not all idiot rednecks, but, really, come on. They are.

Apparently they cite a gun owner's privacy as an issue. His privacy to do what? To kill whom or whatever he chooses without the threat to his liberty of anyone knowing about it? "If Junior acts up, I'm gonna tag him in the leg, and it ain't nobody's business. Get your laws off my AK-47." Like that?

So it's ridiculous. Obviously, this would be a good idea. No one's saying it's going to stop violent crime or free the world, but it's not going to hurt. And it sort of looks like public opinion agrees, and so maybe it will go forward. But maybe not too, and this is what's so scary about this issue. You can just watch as the administration tries to fight it, then sees that a lot of people like this idea, especially with some fucking psycho running around the capital blowing people away with impunity, so they quickly backpedal. But wait, they can't completely or the NRA'll have their hides. What's a poor power hungry politician to do?

Easy! They say that the president wants to discuss the issue; in other words, we're studying the matter, and all the very complex scientific (maybe) and moral (no) issues it raises, and I'm afraid this could take some time. We'll check, but we still might not be able to do it. But we'll check. Could be months, though. Please kindly forget about it (we will).

From Ari Fleischer's mouth to your... eyes:
"But when it comes to criminal behavior and people who use guns to commit murder, there's no amount of laws that's going to stop these people from committing these depraved crimes. The issue is the morality; the issue is their values."

Right. So, hmmm. I guess we shouldn't have laws then. If we just teach people the right moral values, if we bring 'em up right, we won't even need laws! It's the Republican Utopia! What the hell is the matter with these people? We shouldn't go around willy-nilly supporting science, evidence, investigation or police work, we should focus on the real root of the issue. Values.

But wait! Then the public opinion numbers came in, and the people weren't buying it.

Same guy, next day.
Wednesday (his quotes are real):
Ari: "It's exactly as I said yesterday; the President wants this issue explored."
Me: "Wow! Really?!"
Ari: "And to that end, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has been meeting, and met yesterday afternoon with the White House staff to start to discuss the various issues,..."
Me: "Like how to make this go away, yes, go on.."
Ari: "... the technical issues, there are feasibility issues, the pros and cons about how this could possibly could be effective, whether it could work, or maybe whether it would not be able to work."
Me: "Wait, it might not work? Hmm. I'm seeded by doubt..."

Real Reporter's Question: "Ari, if I could just follow up quickly on that. Any idea how long that review will take place?"

Ari: "That will be up to ATF."
Me: "Oh, okay. We'll go talk to them then. You're not responsible anymore."
Ari: "They're going to take a look at it from a lot of technical points of view, as well, to see what technological breakthroughs can result in whether or not this can be done, or whether it will not be able to get done."
Me: "Oh, so they're going to check whether maybe some patentable process or device, some kind of breakthrough, could be obtained or created by discussing whether it's possible or not possible. I see. Wait, what?"
Ari: "And so that pace will get determined by them."
Me: "Gotcha. Them. Not you. Them."

As long as they catch that guy in Virginia soon, their NRA overlords will remain satisfied and everyone else will just go quietly back to the soup lines.

So I don't know what to do about it. That president guy and his whole entourage scares the shit out of me. Really, it's not Bush, he's just a symbol, the most recognizable feature of a big scary beast. But I'm worried that if these kinds of things continue, we'll all be screwed. Empires don't last forever, and this one seems to be in a big hurry to go. My hopeful side sees the possibility that it could go another way, that enough people could get fed up with being treated badly to do something about it, but it seems more and more remote.

Of course you can argue that there have always been these kinds of feelings. Some portion of the population has always felt disaffected or disenfranchised or disemboweled. There is a lot of happiness in the world, a lot of great art, great thinking, scientific advancements, new Lucky Charms marshmallows. People still fall in love, go on vacation, have kids, look at the stars. But I don't know. I think those kinds of things are on the wane. We're making more movies like The Matrix and fewer like Harold & Maude. Well, people are making happy movies, but not many people are seeing them. Well, not many people ever saw Harold & Maude either, but you get the point. It's an illustrative example. We seem to identify more with mayhem, paranoia, and apocalypse than we do with beauty and love. There are always people predicting dire things for their own culture or society, always have been, always will be, the problem is that sometimes they're right.

We should all read this site more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/. It's one of the most amazing pieces of propaganda I've ever seen. It outrages me but good.


Previous Comments

OK, now what if some psycho, redneck inlaw steals your firearm, snipes a few people, then slips the gun back into your hiding place. The bullet test then identifies you, who has spent the last few days shut-in watching re-runs and eating cereal. You have no real alibi. What then? The NRA may really have a point here. Maybe Ari's on the right track thinking we should spend a few years pondering the possible yet highly unlikely ramifications of this legislation and, if at that time public attention is still focused on this issue, we can resume the debate.

In the meantime, we can all think a little more about our values.

What? Isn't a gun innocent until proven guilty? Where's the sense of fairness in this blog anyway? We should be supporting Ari in wartime, not second-guessing him!


acutally its not that hard to see why folks would want guns.

a gun is powerful, it's use simple, a simple person could weild one and be heroic.

...sorry i'm feeling a bit simplistic, i would like to set everyone strait, but i'm trying to quit drinking all together... alcohol is more dangerous than guns probably, in aggregate. well they are.

put ********** stars over the last paragraph.

anyway, war isn't the answer.


i agree, it's not hard to see why folks would want guns. that's why they shouldn't be allowed to have them.

good luck with the drinking, my man. stick with the chronic, much better.

Yes, I agree USA is a dangerous place and guns hurt people (or the people using them)...ok, ok, I'm not brainy enough to discuss this sort of important issues. I just wanted to say hello to my old friend Anthony, who doesn't seem to bother reading his hotmail emails anymore. I even sent you a lovely (??) picture of me and my better half!! I do read your slapnoses once a week at least but I'd still like to hear a quick personal hello from you every now and then....have I made you feel bad enough,so you'll write me straight away???
Congrats on your anniversary, to both of you! Liz sounds like a lovely lady and Anthony,it's good to see you so happy.
Enough of sloppy stuff. EMAIL ME!!!!!