Sunday, June 28, 2015

Going Postal

Two buddies were driving to their favorite hunting grounds. They came to a road sign - "Bear left." So they went home. Author unknown.

Waiting for the brats to cook (no, I wasn't grilling the neighbors) I stumbled across a post on Facebook. Apparently, an appeals court reversed a district court - the DC ruled the Post Office's ban on firearms on Postal property violated the Second Amendment. The Tenth Circuit found in favor of the ban. Well, okay. One need not be overwhelmed with common sense to detect a rule we can all live with.

Dropping off a package, mailing something to my writing instructor... The only time I have a gun with me is when I'm getting the thing done on duty. Nobody seems to care; an armed, uniformed police officer calms a lot of people down (believe it or not). Fine.

Pro tip: Don't take a break from alcohol on a night you intend to read the comments on an FB posting.

I'd guess (based on the small sample I soldiered through before being overcome with anguish) 90% were supportive. They broke somewhat evenly between people affronted by firearms per se (and deeming people who aren't "idiots" and "creepy"), people who now felt safer and anyway it was about goddamn time, and those with horror stories that seemed to involve either close brushes with post office shootings or some free-form associations involving the term "Going Postal."

The remaining ten percent? Some surely suffered from an abysmal case of Nothing Better To Do (which, now that I write that, might include me and this blog entry). Several seemed inclined to be merely contrarian. Finally, an array of frustrated gunfighters bent on shooting it out with terrorists and robbers trotted out the usual "You'll be sorry when" arguments.

Bored, I read the case. It involves a man with a true Western Slope name -Tab Bonidy - who does his snail mail business at the post office in Avon, Colorado. In true latter day cowboy fashion, Tab had no real quarrel with Postal Law, so he thought to leave his shooting iron in his vee-hickle. Except - that was also prohibited. The whole case was about whether he could have a gun in his car in the post office parking lot.

My opinion lurches and sways between laughing until I pee, and being horrified by the whole process. You know why?

Because gun control in this country is too important to cultivate a terminal case of stupid. The conversation about keeping guns out of the hands of assholes who would shoot innocents going to the Post Office, or to church, or to school, should have begun with Columbine (if not before). We endure massacre after massacre without having the serious, grown-up, it will actually do something about it conversation common sense demands. We create signs and symbolism meant to make us feel better. Honestly, does anyone really think a guy bent on emptying his gun into a crowd is deterred by a sign that says it's a misdemeanor to have the gun he's using to commit murder?

Conversely - if you had a gun under your pickup truck's seat when you went to check your PO box, wouldn't you just STFU? Why make a big deal about it? Is it that boring in Avon?

This is a silly, pointless, shameful exercise. Thorough, meaningful background checks based on discovering those things that predict violence must be created. Honest, law-abiding citizens must back off of demanding the right to buy anything they want immediately, so long as there is room on their Master Card. We need to grow the frick up and stop wasting our time about truly peripheral stuff. We're arguing over parking lots and signs?

Keeping guns out of the hands of people who cannot be trusted with them works. Let's figure out how to do that better.

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