Happy 3rd of the month, everyone. 'Tis the day I go out and spend almost all my money in preparation for the month, including rent, some food, a few cat supplies. Tomorrow, I'll pay the phone bill, leaving me with just over $90 for the entire month of December.
I HATE being on SSD!
However, I was able to get out and talk to my constituents. "Bor: Campaigning for President, one person at a time." I think I have a good chance of winning Arizona, if the two people I spoke with are any example of what the people want. I should corner a Playgrounder with mad math skills and have him run some numbers. "There are approximately 6,338,755 people in AZ, and two of them like what I have to say. What are my chances of carrying the State in 2012? And while you're at it, calculate a snowball's chances deep in the bowels of Hades."
The longer of the two conversations was with my security guard friend, David. He's ex-military, and ex-cop, and now a security guard in his mid-50's. His job requires he carry a gun. He collects antique firearms. If he were to take Social Security today, he would earn under twice what I make. His wife, while disabled, doesn't collect SSD because David earns enough for them to get by.
Armed with this knowledge, I spoke about my views on the topics I've only touched upon.
When I mentioned that to live at poverty level, one would need to earn $867 per month, he scoffed. "No one can live on $867 a month," he said. I took a moment to remind him I live on less than $800 a month right now, and that January might see me at the $800 mark.
I spoke of the welfare system, and how people on Social Security are reliant on a system that should be temporary. I focused on the addition medical insurance I receive, and how earning more than $120 a month if I could find work from home would put an end to that, and his response was, "So basically...You're screwed!"
(People not involved in the system are often shocked when they learn some of the facts.)
On my views about how veterans should be cared for, he spoke of a friend he had that lived approximately seven hours from the nearest VA hospital, and his friend died of a heart attack because of the substandard care he received, as well as being so far from the help he needed. To Dave, my "NVF Program" sounded great. And when I mentioned that tracking chip in every person enrolled in the various services, he nodded a lot. I even used my line from my entry. "It's not a matter of Big Brother spying on military personnel; it's Uncle Sam watching over his nieces and nephews." I also added, "Anyone abusing that system and spying on those being tracked will be beheaded." Dave liked that one, too.
On guns...Well, Dave has the goofy idea that if everyone owned a gun, people would be A LOT nicer to one another. In theory, this works. Alas, humans are incredibly stupid, and I personally believe there would be a need for mass graves if we armed everyone.
The reality is that David liked a lot of what I said on guns. Punishment for crimes committed with a gun came up, and I told him that I want to institute a zero tolerance policy on such things. Upon bringing up statistics from other nations, he was nodding again. There are countries out there that, when a gun crime is committed, the police arrive, bring the culprit outside, shoot him/her in the streets, and leave the body behind for others to clean up. While I wouldn't go that far, increasing sentencing for gun crimes would certainly help to deter that kind of stupidity.
He did bring up a point I hadn't thought of when it comes to guns. What do we do about the weapons that are already out there? His idea was a "don't ask, don't tell" policy. If someone wants to avoid the extreme prison time for having illegal weapons, they can go to any police station and turn them in, with no questions asked. I one-upped him. "Aside from the incentive of avoiding jail time, I'd be willing to offer a reward. Turn in an illegal weapon, and the police will not only not ask any questions, but hand over $50 and a thanks for complying with the law."
And guns were a big part of our conversation. As I've said, it's a hot topic. I made it clear that I was in no position to take on the Second Amendment in such a way as to abolish it. There would be such an uproar that I don't think I'd make it anywhere near the White House if I placed it on my agenda to eliminate the right to bear arms.
Dave described the process of getting a job with his company. Part of it involved four interviews with different people. If any one of them noticed a problem, employment was denied, specifically because employment required carrying a firearm. And even they will only allow a wheel gun. Then the applicant goes through a psychological test, and if even the smallest red flag appears, that person is denied employment. All of this comes after the requirement that the applicant have either a military or law enforcement background of at least five years!
For the person who needs a gun as soon as possible due to a threat of physical danger, I spoke of speeding the process via the local police, and Dave was all for this. Right then and there, the police can create photographic ID, take fingerprints, and even a DNA sample to add to the national gun registry. These are the things that would take place during my 30-day registration program. But when someone is under imminent threat, the police can get it done that much faster.
I find it interesting that David is a self-proclaimed country bumpkin, and yet he gave my words considerable thought. He could find almost nothing wrong with my ideas. He even went as far as to complete one of my thoughts. "Anyone who walks into a gun store and claims he needs a gun right away," I began, and he finished, "should raise so many red flags that the police would be on their way in minutes."
And I said it a dozen times..."There is no one - no civilian - who needs a military grade weapon. Those who need it will have their access granted through whatever organization they work for."
It's been a rough day, my beloved readers.* The time has come for this candidate to get some rest. While I have no real power to make a national proclamation, I demand that you all BE WELL.
* Note: Too tired to run excessive editing, so forgive any major errors.