Tuesday, December 24, 2002

"Smart" guns: (Still blogging from home, no links, sorry). New Jersey becomes the first state in the nation to require that new hanguns be sold with "smart" technology that prevents them from being fired by anyone other than an authorized user. Oddly, this requirement was put in place before the technology exists.

Here's a really odd quote from the governer of NJ: "This is common-sense legislation. There are safety regulations on cars, on toys. It's clearly time we have safety regulations on handguns." Whats so odd about this is that typically, it is consumers who demand safety regulations. Yet I can guarantee you that the actual consumers of hanguns opposed this legislation, which was undoubtedly pushed through not by gun owners, but by anti-gun political activists.

Gun owners don't trust "smart" guns. While the technology would probably be harmless on a target-shooting gun, it could be a disaster on self-defense guns. The stress of a lethal-force encounter might fool the technology with sweat on a fingerprint reader or changes in the style of grip. It would prevent husbands from shooting a wife's gun and vice versa. And, of course, dead batteries would turn a handgun into an overpriced rock for self-defense purposes.

For all these reasons, gun owners don't want "smart" guns, and they certainly don't want to be forced to buy them. Why, then, is this portrayed as a consumer-protection measure? Why not simply be honest and say "We want to make guns as expensive and unreliable as possible, becasue we think gun owners are racist hicks who should be punished for their politically-incorrect hobbies"?

In addition, I'd be willing to bet that police guns are exempted from the "smart" requirement. I certainly will NOT be using any gun that isn't reliable enough for the police.

Monday, December 23, 2002

"Objectively pro-Saddam": This is really an old issue, but I wanted to order my thoughts a little before I wrote about it. I don't have all the links since I'm at home, but here are some musings:

On the one hand, it is undeniable that people who oppose war in Iraq are working to Saddam's benefit. Clearly it would be better for him if we didn't invade and kill him. So
technically, the pro-Saddam designation is correct.

The error lies in believing that pro-Saddam means anti-American. Certainly there is substantial overlap between the two groups, but it is possible that it is in our national interest to leave Saddam alone. If Saddam's interest coincides with ours, there is no shame in advocating a position which is "objectively pro-Saddam." Maybe being pro-Saddam is the right thing to be, and in the best interests of the United States.

It is foolish to believe that anything which is bad for an enemy is good for us. That's called vindictiveness; it is no way to lead one's life or one's country. It is also mistake to believe that anything good for an enemy is bad for us. We should decide on war in Iraq without regard to Saddam--who cares what happens to him? Our decision must be based on our own self-interest, not on the desire to kill an evil man at any cost.

I'm not sure whether the users of the OpS line are being vindictive or simply trying to smear their opponents to control the debate. Either way: stop it. What's good or bad for Saddam is irrelevant. Supporters (and opponents) of a war must make an argument which appeals to American interests, not Saddam's anti-interests.

(It seems like some people howling about "objectively pro-Saddam" seem perfectly willing to use the "objectively pro-" line to describe their opponents--just recently I saw a blog post quoted approvingly on Ampersand's site (sorry, don't have the URL in memory) which declared that opponents of affirmative action were supporting "the racist status quo." So lefty outrage at Glenn's rhetorical excesses seems a little lame to me in light of the constant smearing of conservatives other than Lott as racists and gun owners as "objectively pro-criminal." Of course, no one can be held resposible for what his fellow travelers says, but hypocricy is certainly not unheard of in political debate. It would be nice if the anti-OpSites would also police their own ranks for similar cheap shots.)
Marriage advice: Want to ruin your marriage? Get a wild turkey call and practice at home. But gee, what good is my brand-new shotgun if I can't call a gobbler into shooting range?

Special note to Tim Blair: I own a pump-gun and you can't! Emigrate now! (That was kind of mean.)
Limited Posting: Sorry, but there's water in my basement. Since it's finished living space, that means tearing out carpet and drywall to fill the cracks (plus, digging for the drain pipe outside to patch any leak). Fun and giggles all around.

I'll send a few posts in to work with my wife, but there will be few links, if any, since I don't have Internet access at home. Mostly, I'll miss posting on my favorite bloggers' comment boards.

Also, with the holidays, I'm not totally sure when I'll be back for real. Figure I'll be back up to full strength early in the new year.

Have a Merry Christmas. If you don't celebrate Christmas, have a good day anyway. If Christmas wishes offend you, consider purchasing a thicker skin during the after-Christmas sales.