Editorial Article by Jim Lantern, Lantern Timeglass Journal, afternoon of Tuesday 12 July 2016
GUNS! The 2016 Political Odyssey Issue – My solution will satisfy Democrats and Republicans!
First, a question – or just an observation. When a psychotic person uses a gun to engage in a hate crime, mass murder, or terrorism, there is always the usual outcry and demand for guns to be taken away from citizens – make it harder for them to get guns via background checks and such. So, I must ask, why is it that when a psychotic cop blows a black man to Mars and beyond with an overkill of bullets from his gun, there is no public demand from the political far left to take guns away from cops – kinda like when those in London were not allowed to carry guns?
And some background. Last time I worked full time 40 hours per week I was paid only $10.50 per hour. Not a job within my normal profession, it was a temporary deal. A friend, assistant manager at a rent-to-own business, was griping about not having good help to restore rented items returned so that they could be rented again or sold. Plus some help with deliveries to homes and doing the pickups when customers were finished with rented items. He had tried a temporary employment agency, and wasn’t satisfied with the workers sent. He needed someone temporary to help get the business caught up. “I can do that.” I told him. He accepted. I had net pay of about $1400 in a month. $400 to rent, $100 to utilities, $100 to Cox for CATV + Internet + phone, $300 for food + general supplies + meds + other general basic human needs, left $500 in my budget – so from that employer I made down payments on a desk, chair, and new Dell computer. I had enough money left that month [of the three months I expected to have the temporary job] for one other desired purchase. I went to Walmart and bought a very simple single-load single-shot shotgun and a box of shells. Including tax, close to $100 total I recall. I’m not a hunter. I’m not a criminal. I’m not a terrorist. I bought it strictly for home defense. The idiot landlord had rented an apartment to a crystal meth dealer, and then a lot of psychotic criminals began to show up in what was a good neighborhood.
You don’t want ME to have a gun? Here’s the best way to have stopped ME from making that purchase back then. Here’s my brilliant idea to help prevent some or most people from being able to buy a gun…
Jack up the price.
Money is the answer.
Jack up the price so high I would not have been willing to buy it or otherwise could not have afforded to buy it. For example, $500 for that shotgun instead of only about $100 total. I’d not have bought it.
Anyway, THAT is the answer – the solution to the guns issue: GUN SELLERS NEED TO JACK UP THE PRICE OF ALL GUNS so that most people – or at least low income people – can’t afford to buy them. Crime statistics according to police prove low-income and no-income people are more likely to engage in crimes. By that way, I’ve often wondered, for example, HOW IN HELL CAN THAT PERSON CONSIDERING HIS EMPLOYMENT HISTORY HAVE OBTAINED A GUN TO KILL ALL THOSE PEOPLE? Must have got a used one cheap from a private source? To prevent private sources from doing that, it might be necessary for government monitoring of all gun sales and for that to include government price-setting. No law stops anyone from buying a gun. No law stops anyone from selling a gun. But there would be price controls. It becomes a rich man’s purchase, like buying a boat for example, an upper class item, or at least middle class income. Rich people should like it. They’d not have to worry about poor people getting guns and using the guns to rob and kill them.
Problem solved. Crowd goes wild. People dance in the streets. No sniper shoots them. Unless it happens to be an upper class blue book social snob who has acquired a gun and gone crazy. I have no solution for that scenario.
A little more background perspective for my kind of thinking and choices in life…
I quit drinking all alcoholic beverages because of the onset of bleeding stomach ulcers at age 30 in 1986. When the alcohol hit the bad spot inside my stomach the pain wasn’t just severe – it was tortuous! Felt like a red-hot sword being rammed through my gut. Enough pain to make me scream out and drop me to my knees.
About 10 years later, 1996, when I realized I was healed up enough and not having had any new bleeding stomach ulcers in a long time, an opportunity presented itself for me to go into a nightclub and order a mixed drink. Guess what stopped me. Price shock. Pain in the wallet instead of pain in the stomach! During the past 10 years the price of mixed drinks had skyrocketed, which I didn’t know about. My income – not as much – few increases during that decade. Cost of living got a bit higher for me. So then I discovered that for just a single shot of rum with coke (in a glass about 8oz), which had been my favorite mixed drink many years ago, that nightclub wanted $3 and the waitress wanted a dollar tip. I realized then, that for the $4 total – for just one drink, I could get a complete country-fried steak dinner plus drink and tax included at Bonanza Steak House – self serve buffet line – no waitress. NO CONTEST. I’d take a steak dinner over a mixed drink anytime!
I was never an alcoholic. It had been easy to quit. Also, because of my unusual metabolism, a unique condition few people have – but I know I’m not the only one, it is physically impossible for alcoholic beverages to make me drunk! For me, alcohol was a super-fuel stimulant, not a depressant. It sped up my physical reflexes as well as speed and clarity of thought. Yes, I made some money shooting pool in bars and clubs, while pretending to be drunk. I never walked out with less money than I came in with. I used the majority of my winnings to buy the loser and others drinks and sandwiches, so none of them ever got mad at me – and I was never in a fight in the 10 years I drank and shot pool in bars and clubs.
My social life meshed perfectly with my work life. I repaired juke boxes, pinball games, video games, and cigarette machines at those same locations during my first profession of 10 years from 1976-1986. The bleeding stomach ulcers made me quit drinking and change professions.
Anyway, my point is this: For ME, a gun isn’t a priority. I have other NEEDS and WANTS and other interests I’d rather spend my money on – what small sum of it I now live on. However, if I could get my hands on a couple of nukes, then I’d solve the ISIS problem in Iraq and Syria real quick.
By the way, a friendly warning to you pathetic humans: I’m sure I’m not the only beer-drinking pool-shooting alien to have hung out in bars and clubs on Earth a few decades ago. (I’m fairly sure some of the stories by Spider Robinson about Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon are true.) You know, that’s how we will win in the end, since alcohol can’t make us drunk. We’ll just get all humans fall-down drunk, and then take over the planet. No guns needed. That’s if we don’t die first from all the crap you humans keep putting into the atmosphere. No wonder I suffer from bronchial asthma. Buy a gun? No. I need the money for Primatene Tablets! So even aliens have health priorities. Lucky for you Earth humans, your SNAFU governments, and FUBAR planet. There’s a sobering thought for humans. And to answer your ultimate question – no, you are not alone. Earth is just another grain of sand on a vast inhabited interstellar beach. Maybe someday humans will learn how to surf. In the meantime, let it be known – we are better at shooting pool than you are, so don’t bet the planet!