Friday, December 21, 2012

Still at DUMBCON 1, with No Reduction in View

We're at DUMBCON 1.

For those of you new to my blog, the DUMBCON structure is my invention for identifying the level of national stupidity existing at any given time. It parallels the increasing scale of the military's Defense Condition (or DEFCON) concept, with DUMBCON 5 representing the routine, day-to-day background noise of ordinary stupidity and DUMBCON 1 representing stupidity beyond your wildest imagination (like people being convinced that the world will end today). You can read the full explanation of the DUMBCON structure in my original 2009 post here.

There are any number of reasons I might have set today's DUMBCON level at 1 - Congressional inactivity in the face of fiscal conditions potentially ruinous to the nation and the popularity of the Kardashian family to name two - but the real reason for my imposition of DUMBCON 1 is the ass clownery of both sides of the debate on "gun control."

I thought about this earlier this week when we had a discussion in the office of the pros and cons of various things that might be done to minimize the carnage caused by high-powered weapons in the hands of people who shouldn't have them.

We were a group of well-educated, politically aware people who spent the better part of an hour talking right past each other ... the real problem was that while each of us could marshal good arguments in favor of his position, the others could marshal equally passionate arguments to refute them. And this is why we have not seen ... and will probably never see ... meaningful limits on gun design and ownership in this country - neither side can accept, or even understand, the positions of the other.

So I'm not going to rehash all the old arguments here. There's no point. I'll just set DUMBCON 1 and shake my head. But what I am going to do is encourage you to bitch-slap anyone who invokes one or both of these utterly stupid arguments:

"Tens of thousands of people die in car accidents every year, but you're not trying to outlaw cars!"; or,

"Timothy McVeigh blew up the federal building in Oklahoma City with a bomb made out of fertilizer, but you're not trying to outlaw fertilizer."

If you hear anyone utter these words, revoke their brain card immediately.

First of all, a car is designed and built for one purpose: to move people and things from Point A to Point B. Yes, it can be used by a crazy person to kill people, but that's not what it's designed for. And virtually every aspect of its design is regulated to improve its safe operation.

Second, fertilizer is used to improve the fertility of soil. It is an unhappy accident of chemistry that the chemical components of fertilizer can be used to make explosives, but fertilizer is not manufactured for making bombs ... it's manufactured to make good things (like brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, and acorn squash - yum!) grow better.

Guns, and particularly handguns, on the other hand, are designed and manufactured for only one purpose - to kill. You cannot use a gun for any other purpose. Well, you could reverse your grip and use it for a hammer, but few people are quite stupid enough to do this*.

So ...

If you're going to make an argument, make an argument that makes sense. And because the NRA has promised a news conference for today at which it will make "meaningful contributions" to helping the problem, I am proactively extending DUMBCON 1 for another six months to cover the ways they'll work to undermine whatever "meaningful contributions" they recommend today.

Congress and the President may push us over the fiscal cliff, but we'll be by gawd armed to the teeth as we go.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.


* Except in old Westerns, where the sheriff uses his six-gun to nail wanted posters to trees.


eViL pOp TaRt said...

DUMBCON 1 seems to be where we are stuck. The national discussion regarding firearms is only symptomatic of that.

The Bastard King of England said...

Will there be a net for us under the fiscal cliff?

No, just taxes.

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

Maybe if you show your nipples while you shoot something will get done. I mean when Janet Jackson showed her nipple at the superbowl, congress conveened rapidly and made changes. I don't think that nipple killed anyone but perhaps it could work.

Duckbutt said...

They're not making them any marter, are they?

allenwoodhaven said...

I nominate the head of the NRA for ass clown of the year. I heard part of his press conference today. His solution: more guns. To paraphrase: "we can never know in advance to stop all those mentally ill monsters out there so we have to be ready to shoot them when they start mass murder."

Besides the fact that the vast majority of mentally ill are NOT violent (I've worked in the field for 30 years), they are NOT monsters. It's as if he was saying "if only those poor children had their own guns, they could have shot back and saved themselves." He did say that the principal and teachers should have had guns to protect everyone. That's a recipe for disaster. A stressed out adult with a gun in a school could do the same thing.

I vote for the this ass clown to win for the year. In fact I vote for him 5 times, if that's okay with you Bilbo.

Mike said...

Oh oh, AWH is on to something here. I vote for the NRA also.