After the two shooting incidents this week and last, of course, there’s much discussion about gun control. To be more precise, there’s much discussion about whether or not to have some discussion about gun control. It seems to be pretty far down on most politicians’ agenda. Because it’s an election year, the big, bad NRA might target a candidate or an incumbent for “removal” or for “non-support.” So the pols are mostly mum on the subject.
Most of the leaders who say anything, generally say they’re OK with current gun laws but they’re opposed to 100-round magazines. Op eds ask, “Why does anyone need a 100-round rifle clip?” or “Why does a civilian need an assault weapon with a 100-round magazine?” or words to that effect. And I say, if the Second Amendment is the basis for individual gun ownership, then it also ought to be the basis for a gun owner to possess as much ammunition as he/she wishes to possess to use in his/her gun. How can it be constitutional to own a gun but not the bullet-holding device to fire it?
(Of course, the Constitution says not one word about ammunition, 100-round clips, AK-47s or flame throwers for that matter. I know because I’ve read it numerous times.)
I get the politics, but the logic is pretty leaky. I think it would be fun to have a battery of Stinger missiles, but that’s against the same law that currently allows assault weapons and 100-shot clips. Go figure. I’m just sayin’.
An “up close and personal” feature during the Women’s Marathon the other day highlighted one of the Kenyan women runners — an early favorite for an Olympic medal — Edna Kiplagat. The film showed Kiplagat at home on a 10-acre farm she and her husband-coach could only afford because of their earnings from running. Running, they said is a profession in Kenya.
What struck me was the contrast between that woman’s home environment and that of many of the other women from the industrialized world who are Olympic competitors. The Kenyan was shown basically slopping the chickens and interacting with the calves in her corral. She has two children of her own and adopted two more after her sister died. She and her husband have four kids to support. In this country, their farm would look more like something from Tobacco Row. That’s not a slam on Kenya, which is after all a Third World Country.
It is an observation on the difference between those athletes and our own. How many of our Olympians actually have to work for a living and support any number of other family members? Not many, I would submit. Our 14-year-old champions move from Miami to Boston to be near a special coach. Older ones are supported by sponsors, families with means, special foundations. Their job is to train for the Olympics, year in and year out. Few would interrupt their regimen if a swarm of locusts hit their village or if the power or water went out for a week at a time. Those things happen in Kenya pretty often, maybe not the locusts but the power and water outages. I have that on very good authority from friends who live there — in a good neighborhood.
Maybe there ought to be a sliding scale for the Olympics whereby the athletes who don’t have it so easy at home get a few extra points. I’m just sayin’.
Terrorism expert Peter Bergen says we’re more likely to be attacked by home-grown right or left-wing crazies than we are by al Qaeda or their ilk. There’s something to think about as we gird for battle in the War on Terror. The old Pogo line comes to mind about meeting the enemy and realizing it is “us.” If we spent a trillion dollars on eradicating home-grown terrorism instead of focusing on the jihadi threat, we might all be safer. Just sayin’.
Before the big Chick-fil-A brouhaha, that is a little over a week ago, I went to a Chick-fil-A restaurant somewhere in Virginia. We were on the road between Roanoke and Damascus in the far western part of the state. I remember hearing about a survey or poll a year or more ago that ranked Chick-fil-A as a particularly good fast-food place, and I’d been wanting to try it out.
It was frightfully hot and humid that day, and we needed a break, and we saw a sign for a Chick-fil-a up ahead. After a couple of wrong turns, we found the local eatery, went in and ordered. They had all kinds of chicken sandwiches available, but I went with the basic one. It tasted just like bland grilled chicken on a white bread bun. Frankly, I thought it was about as boring and unmemorable as any fast food I’ve ever had, although the fries were pretty good, and the iced tea was cold and icy.
While we ate, we had noticed signs that said Chick-fil-A restaurants are closed on Sundays, always have been. We thought that was kind of strange but didn’t give it much more thought. At the time, I determined I’d never go to another Chick-fil-A, but not because of their politics or religious inclinations — none of which I knew anything about until a couple of days later. Now, of course, I know there’s another good reason not to go to Chick-fil-A. I’m just sayin’.
Chris Daley is a staff writer and columnist for the Mountain Democrat. His column appears each Friday.