The only question now is how to ban all firearms

Stephen Paddock booked a suite at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. He brought 17 weapons with him, including four Daniel Defense DDM4 rifles and three Sig Sauer FN-15s. Paddock knocked out two windows in his suite and then began shooting concert goers 300 yards away. He killed 58 people and injured another 525.

The great gun control experiment is over

Some people have already begun talking about more gun control. The time for that particular conversation has passed. Stephen Paddock saw to that. The only thing worthy of a conversation today is to talk about the best way to remove every firearm from circulation. Every single one. Handguns, rifles, shotguns, or any other mechanism designed specifically for killing people.

It’s time for them to go.

The right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness

People have inalienable rights. At the very top of the rights pyramid is the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Guns and civilized society do not mix. We now know that to be true. There’s no disputing it. Politicians can talk about limiting the size of magazines, improved background checks, or closing the gun show loophole all they want. Those are not valid discussions to have today.

The discussion we need to have

The discussion we need to have now is the best way to remove all firearms from our country.

It may not be easy. When we decided people should not own other people, it took a civil war to accomplish that idea into practice. Will it take another civil war to remove every firearm from society? It might, but that should not be a factor in deciding what to do. If our ancestors allowed the threat of a civil war to factor in when deciding if slavery should be abolished or not, people today would still be allowed to own other people.

Some things are so important they’re worth almost any price. Removing guns from our country is one of those things.

How I would do it

If it were up to me, I would implement a one-time buy back program for all firearms. I would then melt them. After the one-time buy back, possessing a firearm would be a felony. A conviction of possessing a firearm would involve mandatory minimums. We could take our existing laws on drugs and cross out the words “crack cocaine” and replace it with “firearm.”

That would be a good start.

Update

I’ve reconsidered my opinion on gun ownership.

Confederate monuments are the ultimate participation trophies

One of the things I’d like to see in my lifetime is the removal of every single Confederate monument displayed on public land. These monuments are the ultimate in participation trophies.

The people these statues attempt to glorify took up arms against the United States of America. They were also resoundingly beaten. The Confederates were forced to surrender in defeat because they were beaten into submission on the battlefield.

The Confederates don’t deserve statues or monuments. They didn’t earn them. Statues and monuments are for winners. Statues and monuments are for those who fought for what was right and just.

The Confederates didn’t do that. They fought so people could continue to own other people. They fought for one of the most revolting and disgusting reasons people can fight other people for: the continuation of slavery.

Just because you participate in something doesn’t mean you deserve a trophy, or in the case of the Civil War, a monument.

Robert E. Lee doesn’t deserve a statue displayed on public land. He was a traitor. He resigned his commission in the United States Army and took up arms against the United States. He was personally responsible for the death of thousands of Americans. He no more deserves a statue displayed for the purpose of memorization then does Osama bin laden.

Confederate monuments are the ultimate participation trophies - Bent Corner
Robert E. Lee and Osama bin laden

Robert E. Lee and Osama bin laden had a lot of common. They both sent men to kill Americans. Osama bin laden killed Americans in the name of Islam. Robert E. Lee killed Americans in the name of extending the institution of slavery.

I’d like to see each and every Confederate statue gathered up and dumped in the middle of the ocean. It’s what they did with Osama bin laden’s body. It strikes me as a fitting end for all the Confederate participation trophies currently littering our country.

Visa wants businesses to go cashless

Visa is encouraging food related small businesses to stop accepting cash for payments and to instead accept only credit cards. Visa is calling the program “The Visa Cashless Challenge” and is willing to pay qualified small businesses up to $10,000 to make the switch.

From the press release:

Visa will be awarding up to $500,000 to 50 eligible US-based small business food service owners who commit to joining the 100% cashless quest.

I think this is a great idea. The sooner we move away from physical currency, the better.

The concept of physical currency is antiquated. Cash money is inefficient, dirty, impracticable, and prone to fraud. Cash is the preferred currency for criminal activity. Cash is used by both the terrorist and the drug dealer.  Cash is used by people who don’t want to pay taxes or child support. Cash is king for all sorts of criminal enterprises.

Cash money is filthy. It’s rife with all sorts of germs and deadly pathogens. The herpes virus is most often passed from one person to another, not from toilet seats, but from cash. When someone tells me they have herpes, I assume they bought something with cash.

Donald Trump would not feel the need to build a gigantic wall between Canada and the United States if we had a cashless economy.

I think we’d be a much better country if we moved to a cashless society. As an added side benefit, a cashless economy will also make things easier during the End Times. In the Bible, it tells use that during the end of the world, we will all have to take the Mark of the Beast. If we don’t, we will not be able to buy or sell anything. According to the Bible, even slaves will need to have this mark. Once we switch to a cashless economy, we’ll pay for our purchases using the number on our right hand or our forehead.

Moving to a cashless economy just makes since.

The Maryland license plate is terrible

Sheri and I bought a new car a few weeks ago, a 2016 Ford Fusion, and the license plates arrived in the mail a few days ago.

Maryland_Passenger_Sample_License_Plate_2010

I hate it.

I love how this car looks. The idea of placing these terrible looking license plates on it pains me.

Our new car, a 2016 Ford Fusion.
Our new car, a 2016 Ford Fusion.

I don’t even understand these plates. They were evidently created to commemorate the 200-year anniversary of the War of 1812. According to my calculations, that was four years ago.

Why am I receiving these plates four years after the fact? Getting these plates now is like getting a graduation card four years after you graduate. Then again, at least said card would probably have a few bucks in it. The opposite is true with these plates. We had to pay for them.

I could care less about the War of 1812. As far as wars go, it’s one of my least favorite. The British were the bad guys. I love England and British culture. I would rather not dwell on such a dark stain in our history when Americans and the British were killing each other.

It was 204 years ago. It is time to move on.

The Star Spangled Banner is one of the worst songs ever written. The high-pitched notes and the ridiculously complicated lyrics make it one of the hardest songs to sing. Ordinary people cannot even sing it. What kind of national anthem is it when most citizens of that nation are incapable of singing it without their voice cracking?

As bad as the short version of the song is, the extended “deep cut” version is even worse. The full version even includes a bit about slavery:

No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave

Francis Scott Key
Francis Scott Key

That section of the song was a warning to lowly paid day labors and slaves tempted to take up arms and fight on the side of the British.

The song was written by Francis Scott Key, a slave owner and a co-founder of the American Colonization Society, an organization aimed at sending all non-slave black people to Africa. He is treated as kind of a Big Deal here because he was from western Maryland. That fact that Francis Scott Key lived here in western Maryland should not be a focus of pride. He wrote a bad song and wanted to send black people to Africa. Excuse me if I do not celebrate his existence.

This license plate just looks bad. The artwork looks amateurish. The fonts are ugly. It should not be the default plate for vehicles registered in Maryland.