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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Rest Stops on Interstate Highways



I do more highway driving these days.  I’ve learned to appreciate rest stops.  I stop just to use the bathroom and to wake the hell up.  You know that falling asleep feeling you get when driving.  That’s a scary feeling.  It’s like somebody is hypnotizing you and you can’t come out of the trance. That’s when I find a rest area fast. I did not know the history of rest areas.  But knowing this country black people were likely not welcome at most early rest areas.  They probably had unofficial rest areas where black people could stop.  No restroom, no water. No food.  Just a piece of cement in the ground big enough for 1 or 2 cars.   But, I did some research.  Rest areas started in the 1950s.  Some states built them, they claim, to emphasize that state’s culture.  I saw a photo where the state of Texas built rest areas in the shape of Teepees.  Now how insulting was that to Native Americans?  This country takes the land from Native Americans, then mocks them by putting up rest stops with a teepee design.  Who thought of that?  It’s like rubbing it it.  Whomever it was their entire family should be interviewed on TV then lined up to be slapped by the last 15 Native Americans living in this country. Thankfully most of the rest stops I visited looked okay.  But, I always worry about serial killers being inside the bathrooms waiting for me.  So, when I go into a rest room I go in fully loaded.  I’m packing like SWAT on a mission.  I’m talking full body armor, knives, backup guns, stun grenades.  So when I use the bathroom I have one hand on my stuff and the other hand on a weapon. I’m looking around and peeking  at whomever comes in. The food in those rest stop vending machines is sad.  They have sodas and snacks from 20 years ago.  You eat that stuff you’ll have to go big time at the next rest stop. But truckers really need rest stops.  Otherwise truckers would fall asleep and kill all of us.  Now some states are closing rest stops because you’ve got these all purpose gas stations being built with showers, restaurants, stores, video games.   They’re like little cities. I have an idea on how to keep the rest areas open.  Create rest and brothel stops.  That way it becomes a multi service facility. 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Enabling Domestic Terrorism?

Two recent mass shootings in the United States claimed the lives of 58 and 26 people respectively. It's now become so common there is even a "top 10" list of mass shootings in the United States.  We all know that as you read this, someone somewhere is making plans for their entry into the "top 10 list".  Unfortunately someone wants to be number one on the list.  Why?  Because we've been taught that being number one is something we should aspire to, even in negativity. That will mean more innocent lives will be lost for some deranged purpose.

The reason for these incidents occurring is not easy to determine.  There is no mathematical equation that shows A plus B will result in C.  C being mass shootings.  Or if their is a profile that predicts such behavior, our law enforcement agencies are not sharing that information with us.  We must agree that in these United States of America we have developed a system and processes that enables people to gain weapons and military accessories that can and will be used during mass shootings.  People are committing mass shootings basically because they can and because our system of obtaining guns enables them to.

People often refer to their second amendment right to bear arms.  We all agree that the second amendment under the US Constitution wasn't intended for the building of gun and ammunition stockpiles for mass shooters to use when they choose.  The second amendment to the United States Constitution says, "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."  Unless I'm reading it wrong nowhere does it say that  a human being has the right to purchase unlimited weaponry to use as they wish. The second amendment was proposed in the year 1789.  The complexities of life in the year 2017 do not compare to the "simpler" lifestyle in 1789.  We do need to reflect and act on what the amendment means in today's time frame.  Then the appropriate action to modify access to guns and other weaponry needs to be taken.

Since the police cannot protect everyone from becoming the victim of a crime, we agree that people should have the right to bear arms to protect themselves.  The self protection doctrine has merits.  But how much weaponry does one person need?  Do we not believe that our police forces and armed forces can be trusted to always protect us?  If not, one could say a person should have unlimited access to possess whatever type of non nuclear weaponry they need  to ensure their safety and the safety of their family.  As I read and learn about the massacres inflicted upon black people in these United States during race riots in the early 1900s, I definitely agree that people have the right to protect themselves from unruly mobs.

If the police are primarily responders to acts of violence, then some would say everyone needs some type of protection until the police can arrive.

Whatever side of the debate you are own we have to recognize a basic fact.  Our current system of "gun control" enables most people to obtain enough weapons to perform a mass shooting.  There is no mental health test that prevents a person who has never been labeled "mentally ill" from obtaining the weapons of mass destruction.  It is ironic that the United States often feared countries having weapons of mass destruction, when we ourselves created a system where an individual United States citizen can become a weapon of mass destruction.

Let's face a fact.  Until our lawmakers become recurring targets of mass shooters, laws further restricting access to guns will not be passed.  We know how it works.  It takes a tragedy close to the source to motivate people to act.  Our lawmakers are no different.  When they become as vulnerable as normal people, maybe they will act.  Have you seen the protection lawmakers are given at their office buildings?  They make sure a mass shooter can't get to them.  What about the rest of us?  Are we on our own?

Who knows, maybe we just need to get accustomed to the mass shootings and exercise diligence in where we go?  Get our Wills in order and have our funeral arrangements already worked out in detail. Do individuals have to arm ourselves like in the days of the Wild Wild West and always be ready to defend ourselves from harm?  I do wonder what our governmental agencies are doing to locate and stop mass shooters before they carry out their plans.  Can they develop "profiles" and mechanisms that will raise "red flags" on certain people who "might" be dangerous? How do you identify and label a person as a potential danger due to mental issues?

We have enabled people to obtain and use weapons.  If we don't plan to place further restrictions on access something has to be done to reduce the opportunities for mass shootings to occur.  Otherwise we will soon be talking about a top 20 list.