Thursday, December 20, 2012

21st Century 2nd Amendment

Let’s bring the 2nd amendment into the 21st century. Here is the second amendment of the United States Constitution:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

But first, let’s examine the first amendment of the Unites States Constitution:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

This first one is a doozy. It covers religion, speech, press, assembly, and petitioning the government. Freedom of religion is the only one without limits, in the sense that you may establish and practice any religion of your choice. Of course, religious activities that are criminal or fraudulent are not a protected right. All of the others have limits. You may not say whatever you want, whenever you want, wherever you want. The press is not all powerful to do as it chooses. Assembling peaceably ( in itself a limit) has confines. Petitioning the government is subject to protocols and procedures.

Now back to the second amendment. A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. This has limits, too. You don’t get to bear a rocket propelled grenade. A line has already been drawn. Moving that line is a matter of societal and cultural change, and technological progress.

The question is simple: what arms do the people have a right to bear?

The line has already been drawn based on destructiveness. The people don’t have the right to bear a rocket propelled grenade due to the weapon’s destructiveness and indiscriminate nature. The people do not have the right to bear fully automatic weapons because of their destructiveness. It comes down to how offensive (as opposed to defensive) a weapon is. The greater the offensive capability, i.e. designed to kill as many humans as possible as fast as possible, of the weapon the more it should be restricted.

It is time to reconsider the placement of this line.
By their very nature “assault” weapons are highly destructive; pushed over the line by their ability for rapid fire combined with high volume magazines. Handguns are too easily concealed; their inherit stealthiness rendering them much more offensive than defensive.

The following firearms should be legal for the people to bear:

Bolt action rifles and breech loading shotguns.

With bolt action rifles and breech loading shotguns you can hunt and protect your home. Everything else should be illegal.

Arguments of gun proponents:

“Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”
People murder people; handguns and “assault” weapons make murder easy and efficient. Let’s make it less so.

“Criminals will always be able to get guns.”
The idea is to make it more difficult for criminals to get guns. It is currently far too easy.

“Outlawing something just doesn’t make it go away.”
If you can’t have perfect results than don’t even try? So what you are saying is, “We can’t stop all robberies or rapes or terrorism so let’s just stop trying.” Whatever.

“Automobiles kill more people than guns.”
If we have mass murderers who kill via vehicular homicide then I will be more than happy to discuss “car control.”

“The founding fathers wanted to guarantee our right to bear arms.”
The founding fathers aren’t here and circumstances have changed necessitating a modification to what constitutes “arms.”

"300 million American guns were not misused again this week."
It's like we are sharing our homes, buildings, and places with gather with poisonous snakes. We go days, weeks, months without an encounter, and then 20 people die. And we do nothing; we simply wait for them to kill again.

“Gun control is not enough.”
No kidding, but gun control is part of the solution.

“But … The Second Amendment!”
We can change it if we choose, even repeal it. The brilliance of the constitution is its flexibility of interpretation. As times change, the interpretation changes. And times, they have changed, and so it is finally time for the interpretation of the second amendment to join the 21st century.



Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Movie with Attitude

(There are spoilers below, but I am leaving out the key revelation [and a few other surprises], in case you watch the film.)

I streamed a movie on Netflix called "A Complete History of My Sexual Failures" and I want to write about it but I got no idea where to go with it. So, stream of consciousness writing; first thing that comes into my head ...

This is a documentary made by a 30 year old (my guess) man who appears to live in Edinburgh, Scotland. It seems he has had dozens of girlfriends and apparently all of them have dumped him (he never admits to dumping any of them). He decides to interview as many as he can to determine why they dumped him. I don't get the impression he was attempting to better himself. I get the impression he was desperate for an idea, for something to do, and went with this.

This guy is a bum. It is clear he wasn’t always this way. He looks much better, and happier, in old photos. He doesn't come close to smiling till over three quarters into the film. He speaks in a bland, monotone voice. His personal hygiene is in disrepair. He clothes are ratty. His flat is a mess. He has no job. It would seem he has lived like this for three years or so. I asked myself if he showed zero personality on purpose; as a device for his little film. I going to give him the benefit of the doubt. He was truly a bum.

I have three sisters. Growing up with three sisters and listening to their opinions about boys and men I can look at a man and tell you if he is cute, or handsome, or whatever. I can see the potential in this guy. Even as a bum you can see a certain cuteness factor underneath. If he would just fix his hair, shave/trim his beard, and smile more, I can see what women might find attractive. Still, I can't believe how many women were willing to go out with him. He certainly doesn't exude confidence, but I guess if you keep asking then someone will say yes.

However, it seems to me that women in Great Britain/Europe are generally more polite, less judgmental (at least on first appearances), and more willing to give it a go than women in America. Perhaps that is my own cynical perspective talking, but I think not.

He met several women via MySpace (film released in 2008), all of them attractive. One of them went to bed with him, but he couldn’t get it up. This guy overdosed on Viagra, drank too much, and then ran around the city asking women if they would have sex with him and many women tolerated it politely or even handled it with good humor. One girl was actually interested. She got his number, texted him later, which he ignored at the time, but then they eventually got together by movies' end.

Mum and Dad, tell us the story of how you met! Well, children, I was roaming the streets drunk with an erection that wouldn’t go away asking random women to have sex and your mum took my phone number and we hooked up later.

What makes this movie worthwhile is that it encourages you to consider yourself and your own life. I find myself thinking of the movie "Fast Times at Ridgemont High." Here is one boy's advice to another:

I just send out this vibe and I have personally found that women do respond. I mean, something happens.
- Well, naturally something happens. I mean, you put the vibe out to 30 million chicks, something is gonna happen.
That's the idea. That's the attitude.
-The attitude?
Yeah! The attitude dictates that you don't care whether she comes, stays, lays, or prays. I mean whatever happens, your toes are still tappin'. Now when you got that, then you have the attitude.

Basically, the secret is to not care, and to combine that with a certain level of aggressiveness. You are always working it, and never worrying about what happens, because you know you will eventually get a hit on your bait.

I guess I just don’t have the attitude. Probably never will.