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Sunday, December 06, 2015

Socrates is Kind of a Jerk and Congress is full of Zombies



Socrates said:  My advice to you is to get married: if you find a good wife you’ll be happy; if not, you’ll become a philosopher.  

Ouch.  One of history’s first really good burns.  Because he WAS married.  Her name was Xanthippe and she was quite a bit younger than our Philosopher King.  

We don’t know that much about her.  (Hardly surprising since all the history books were being written by men).  An ancient historian had listed her as ‘undesirable’ and Socrates was obviously not ‘happy’.  She gave him three sons.  And he wasn’t happy?  Isn't that what every ancient Greek man wanted?  A stout woman to bear him sons?  Socrates might have been wise but he was kind of a jerk too.  Yeah.  I said that.

What did you imagine when you imagined being married?  (I’m assuming not just having a stout woman to bear you sons).  Although, no judgement in this space….

I imagined having someone you not only love to spend your life with (doesn’t love wax and wane?) but someone you really, actually, genuinely, warts and all LIKE.  

Someone who makes you laugh.  Someone you wouldn’t mind being stuck on a deserted island with.  When I imagined being married I imagined lots of wonderful and silly things that have come true, and some we’re still working on.  

For the most part I was enjoying having a partner, an equal who I could have interesting conversations with over dinner.  Well, that part is definitely true.  Turns out those ‘interesting conversations’ are more like the presidential candidate debates with no sides declaring a clear winner.  (Except in my head, I am always the winner…!)  

We argue about everything from Obamacare to gun laws to the best way to cut the lettuce for the dinner salad.  (That is not an exaggeration.  He likes it cut lengthwise and in thin ribbons.  I prefer to tear it apart in large, chunky pieces.  I realize the lettuce issue is a microcosm of our entire relationship…)

Anywhoo….I know when I’ve had a particularly convincing argument when, days later, long after the fire from the debate has cooled, I find myself fighting from his previous position.  Yes.

I have no idea how this happens.  

Except, maybe because after a few days I concede his point maybe had a modicum of credibility and that’s when he switches sides and argues my previous point for me.  Usually better than I did.

I’d like to blame it all on HIM, he’s so argumentative!  And he is, for sure.  But I seem to remember a certain little girl who loved to argue anyone, anytime, about anything.  

Poor Ellie.  Well, she’ll always hear both sides of the story with us, usually twice.   

In an effort to mend the fences (arguing ALL the time is exhausting and annoying.  Sometimes you just want someone to take your side!) I’ve decided to get us a gift certificate at the gun range down the street.  I figure together, we can learn how to properly imagine the other’s face on a target and shoot it safely.  I think we can bond over firearms.  (Already I’m questioning the sanity of this idea…)

This may surprise some of you.  I am after all the organic-tofu-eating yoga-addicted waaaaaay-far-left-mother-earth-diva kinda lady.  I literally will not hurt a fly.  

Let’s be clear - I don’t want guns ANYWHERE NEAR MY HOUSE.  I’m scared I’m not cutting Ellie's GRAPES small enough and I’d let a DEATH MACHINE in my house?  No.

BUT you can rent the guns at this range and learn how to shoot and I think it might give us a chance to both do something we have no idea how to do together.  I think learning how to shoot a gun will be good for our relationship.  (Again, I’m starting to question the sanity of this idea….)

All that to say this:  I don’t have anything against guns.  But this country is SICK IN THE HEAD if it thinks 353 mass shootings (four or more people killed at one time) in 340 days time is ANYTHING close to normal.  Or SANE.  If this country were a person he’d be labeled a psychotic and locked far, far away from civilized society.  It isn’t that the US has more guns than people that alarms me.  It IS part of this culture after all, for better or worse (lately, worse).  

What alarms me is the complete inability to pass any sort of gun safety laws in this country.  These laws aren’t in place to take guns away from people.  They’re there to ensure the wrong people don’t get their hands on them in the first place.  Every time I hear someone say ‘criminals don’t pay attention to laws’ I want to cry.  You just have to look at Canada, or Australia, or ANY OTHER FIRST WORLD COUNTRY to see that they DO work.  It makes me want to cry because there’s no thought or effort behind that sort of comment.  It’s a deflection.  And a stalling tactic.  It’s just plain not true and it’s literally costing lives.  Every day.

We.  Need.  Better.  Gun.  Laws.

For those interested, this is a quick recap of the main gun regulations in Canada:

A license is required to own or possess firearms. 

Federal government safety course required before applying for a license. 

To be authorized to carry a handgun or restricted long gun for a lawful occupational purpose, such as trapping or working in a wilderness area, an individual must be a Canadian resident, have a firearms license with restricted privileges and obtain an Authorization to Transport permit.

Semi automatic firearms have size restricted magazines (rimfire rifles excluded) 

Automatic firearms not permitted.

These laws are common sense, practical, and they work.  I won’t demonize the NRA - they are what they are.  

The real problem is us.  

We’re not mad enough about the issue to try and make any real changes.  Well, I’m mad.  I don’t want to wait until I hear a phone call from Ellie, hiding under her desk because someone is there trying to kill as many people as they can before they die.  

THIS is the use automatic weapons were MADE FOR.  To kill as many people as possible in as short a time as possible.  Surely even in Texas we can agree we don’t need an automatic weapon to hunt, and what skill does it take to hit a target with a semi-automatic rifle?  

What other argument is there?  If you’re stockpiling for the zombie apocalypse rest assured it’s already happened.  What other explanation is there for the lack of movement on this issue in Congress except that they’re all already dead inside?