Monday, March 4, 2013

Gun Control and the "User Agreement"

     I've got a friend who doesn't want to give up his assault weapon.  Never mind that he can't afford to shoot it for fun anymore at over a dollar per round. Never mind that he has better weapons for close quarters self defense and hunting. That zombies aren't real and the revolt against a tyrannical government isn't practical don't come into the argument, either.  He knows that the 2nd amendment was designed for musket bearers, and that there are too many crazy people in the world with access to guns.  His first line of defense for the hunger wars is a stock of rice and beans, not ammo.  He would prefer to leave crime fighting to the folks his taxes train.  He is as disgusted by people who attack schools, bomb federal buildings, and spread paranoia as any of the rest of us.
     I've suggested to him that gun control already exists, and should.  Its hard to argue that  folks with even the best intentions should be allowed to collect or carry nuclear or chemical weapons.  Accidents happen.  It irks my friend that fully automatic weapons require such stringent "collectors" permits, not only because that allows them to be tracked, but because it prices them out of his range as toys.  None of the existing laws bother him all that much, though. Neither does the fact that assault weapons actually WERE banned for a decade quite recently.  "The line in the sand shifts", I tell him, "whichever direction the wind blows."
     But my friend has decided, along with millions of others, that he will keep his unregistered assault weapon, whether laws forbid it or not.  The risk, he says, of fines and prison are worth it.
     "Seriously?", I ask.
     "I'm tired of living like this.  Allowing arrogant assholes to watch and control every part my life.  There's a camera on every corner.  Cops can see you in your house with thermal imaging.  They chase folks with drones and satellites.  My employer can legally draw my blood and take hair to decide if I'm fit for duty.  Gathering my DNA for a national database is easy and acceptable.  My health records will soon be easily shared among unsecured providers.  My vehicle has a black box recording my driving habits that nobody thought it important to mention when I bought it.  Cops can force you out of your car and onto the ground without cause.  Being named a "person of interest" is the same as being convicted of the crime.  Anybody can be tracked and found on the internet.  All of your website history and purchase records are in databases. TSA habitually dehumanizes travelers. The only folks doing well in our society are those with enough assets they're exempt, or those on welfare.  IRAs, insurance, and social security are scams.  Traffic engineers, homeowners associations, media..., its all about controlling others."
     "You sound like one of those old angry guys I hear so much about."
     "I guess I am.   Maybe that's something to be proud of.  Don't get me wrong, I love this country, but every day I see it turning into something different, and I hope that more people will read the 'Living in America' user agreement and not just check the box."

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