Medical pot + guns = no. OVI + guns = OK

Guns and alcohol vs guns and potThere are plenty of instances with drunk people shooting someone. Yet, most people who smoke pot say it mellows them out.

Of course, we can’t talk about illegal pot use- we’re talking about a prescribed medication for a medical condition.

People who register with the state of Ohio to legally use medical marijuana will be prohibited from possessing firearms under federal law, according to guidance released by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

In an open letter to federally licensed firearms dealers, the ATF advised in 2011 that marijuana is still a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law so any use of the drug is unlawful, and gun dealers are prohibited from providing guns or ammo to anyone they have cause to believe uses pot.

“There are no exceptions in federal law for marijuana purportedly used for medicinal purposes, even if such is sanctioned by state law,” the memo says.

Source: Medical marijuana users in Ohio can’t own or possess guns

Schedule 1 drugs aren’t really drugs- as in medicine- they are “Banned substances”- “Substances in this schedule have no currently accepted medical use in the United States, a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision, and a high potential for abuse.”

To get to the drugs- you need to go to “Schedule 2” which is defined as “Substances in this schedule have a high potential for abuse which may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence” and include such winners as:

“hydromorphone (Dilaudid®), methadone (Dolophine®), meperidine (Demerol®), oxycodone (OxyContin®, Percocet®), and fentanyl (Sublimaze®, Duragesic®). Other Schedule II narcotics include: morphine, opium, codeine, and hydrocodone.

Examples of Schedule IIN stimulants include: amphetamine (Dexedrine®, Adderall®), methamphetamine (Desoxyn®), and methylphenidate (Ritalin®).

Other Schedule II substances include: amobarbital, glutethimide, and pentobarbital.

Oh, no- we don’t have any problem with any of those Schedule 2 drugs. They wouldn’t possibly be dangerous to mix with guns.

But in a world where a game show host is president, “conservatives/Republicans” just voted to raise the national debt by 1.5 Trillion dollars, and the president and the party are endorsing a child molester- logic no longer takes precedent.

And while any blood alcohol content while carrying is cause to revoke your CCW- having an misdemenor OVI isn’t.

It’s time for logic to apply to our laws.

Our culture of death

Dead children always make people more upset. Dead embryos, dead babies, dead kindergarteners, dead teenagers- because they had their whole life ahead of them. Tears came to the presidents eyes as he made a statement about the killings in Connecticut. All over Facebook discussions are going on about our pistol packing society. Assertions are being made that this guy had to be mentally ill to go on a rampage, that he shouldn’t have had access to the guns in the first place, and on and on.

We put these senseless killing sprees on a scale. This was the second “most successful” gun spree after the one at Virginia Tech. Of course, if we took away all the guns, he could have been even more deadly- like Timothy McVeigh and his truck full of fertilizer bomb which also killed kids and a whole lot of other people and was almost 6x more effective. Or Bin Ladens minions who killed 10x more, but that was the work of 19 people, so on a death ratio they actually didn’t do quite as well as McVeigh who would be the current kill ratio winner with the kill score keepers.

All of this pales to war. When the true professionals do it, the scoreboards have commas. Syria has managed to kill 40,000 people in their little “civil war.” I put that in quotes, because it may be the biggest oxymoron to call any war civil. There is nothing civil about putting a hole in someone- ever. When we look at the numbers of people killed in Afghanistan and Iraq, we tend to only look at our casualties, not the enemies. We spend trillions of dollars perfecting and supporting systems that turn death tolls into pinball scores. We’re expected to win, and win big we do. But in the process, all we are ultimately doing is hastening our own demise.

Everyone of us has or had a mother. It’s a common denominator to being human. When was the last time you heard a mother of a convicted killer say, “thank you Mr. Executioner, for taking my child off the face of the planet”? It doesn’t happen. With every death, victim or martyr or child, justified or not, someone is deeply changed- and not for the better.

We’ve been at war for over a decade, in a place half way around the world. In Afghanistan, the way of the gun is the way of life. It’s been a playground of war for generations. You don’t need a concealed carry permit and guns are available as easily as bananas are here- even though we don’t grow bananas in our country. People don’t aspire to go to Afghanistan, unless they are going there to kill. It astounds me that people still want to come to America, where we kill each other off and imprison people at higher rates than any other “industrialized” country. Those of you reading this can rant that “we’re still the greatest country in the world” but, the problem is, one of our metrics shouldn’t be a kill ratio, ever.

I own a gun, much like the pistols used in Connecticut. I’ve always told myself my reason is that because I won’t go peacefully if my neighbors and the State decide that they have a right to round “my kind” up and send them to death camps like what happened to my paternal great grandparents in Germany. As a veteran, I know that I have no chance in hell of stopping the military from doing the dirty work, and even those of us with arsenals are delusional if you think you’ve got a chance against an infantry squad.

But a few months ago, my eyes were opened by a 9 year old in my own home, who had the idea to “see my gun” and had somehow located the place I stored it, climbed to get it’s innocuous hiding kit down, and take it out to…

The keys to the trigger lock were secure in my pocket, but heaven knows, I don’t check my keyring daily to see what’s still on it, and the next time, that minor obstacle could have been easily removed and I would have had a little girl packing 17 rounds of death in her hands and I, her sister, her mother or that innocent child might not be here today. Guns are never a good answer to problems, just an easy one.

And still, despite that experience, and all my rational thought about the subject, I still wrestle with the idea of giving up my gun. My justification these days is the tribe of misfits two doors away, who think nothing of running my block like an Ultimate Fighting ring on occasion. Just last week, the father of the brood was pounding on my parents door begging them to call the police on his own spawns. The number of calls to police are off the charts, but it seems the “no blood, no foul” rule is being applied and the penalties so far are like gnat bites. We’ve acquiesced to incivility as a baseline and set the tolerance bar too close to death for comfort.

The question is, when will each of us say it’s time to aspire to live in Mayberry RFD instead of Mayhem USA?

Did enough children die yesterday to turn our moral compass? In the 40 years since I was in elementary school, our schools have changed from places with open doors and playgrounds, to controlled access buildings with a Sallyport for an entrance?

Think about it, if this is where we’ve come in two generations, where are we headed? To the Thunderdome?

It shouldn’t take dead children to see that we’ve got a culture of death. Commas don’t belong in a death toll, But, keep counting, maybe we’ll get a bonus round before the year is up.

“Super Committee” and “Rebound”- semantics for stalling the inevitable

The “Super Committee” has now failed and the stock market dropped. We’re in a tizzy over imaginary actions that never happened, caused by something that wasn’t.
The Dayton Daily News proclaims housing is rebounding in Dayton today. Really?

How do we come up with these superlatives without any real justification? I was having a short discussion with a good friend yesterday- a veteran police officer, talking about the plight of a friend in the courts- he says “the truth is malleable” – so true.

It’s why the entire industry of “Public Relations” exists. It’s why politicians hire “campaign strategists” and “consultants” to help put lipstick on their piggish campaigns.

What happened to actual action?

The stock market has taken wild swings- sometimes because the programs that now run trading encountered a programming hickup- or because we don’t look at facts anymore- especially when company financials have as much credibility as a slot machine. Every time you spin it- you get a different answer. Where are core fundamental answers in today’s world? We’ve got presidential candidates talking about evolution and others not knowing what happened in… what was the name of that country again? Can I buy a vowel?

I have an 8 year old who now thinks it’s fun to poke fun at me for “using big words” and “trying to show everyone how smart you are”- have we really started to worship stupid people?

Apparently well reasoned debate of the issues must be done in soundbites, because, well, we’re starting to have the attention span of a goldfish (which is supposedly, according to scientists about 3 seconds). The Occupy Protests can’t be serious because they can’t condenses their mission statement into 50 words?

What happened to intellectualism?

The problems we’re facing today aren’t going to be solved with slogans, flag waving or better PR. Things don’t change just because the media says they have- or because we have a new way of measuring “progress.” Things change because we actually make changes: real, substantive, fundamental changes.

It’s not saying “Hope” or “Change” it’s doing it.

I watched the movie “Too big to fail” on the way to Europe, which apparently is in the process of failing. (Highly recommended movie btw). It seems the guiding argument for creating the “super committee” was that  Congress was too big. Now, even 12 people have failed us as well. The handing over of this work to a committee of an even number could only bring failure- it was a recipe for disaster. What we need is a leader to actually step up and lead. The president has failed us, the free markets have failed us, our laws are failing us (when we have a CEO steal millions and get 7 days).

You have to wonder when the New York Times has an Op-Ed piece called “How China can defeat America” and they seem to have a better understanding of what made our country great than we do right now.

For all the talk, all the positioning, I’ve yet to hear a single substantive plan, a “New Deal” put forward to re-make America and solve our problems of widening economic inequality and the destruction of the middle class- and the imploding of our government’s financial standing at all levels. The bad news is we need at least two plans- to really have a debate.

To quote the most famous philosopher known to Americans, Mr. Miyagi, “Either you karate do ‘yes’ or karate do ‘no.’  You karate do ‘guess so,’ ” We’ve been trying to do karate by consensus and guessing so.

If we don’t make real changes soon, there will be a fight, just as we’ve seen other governments toppled or reconstituted (don’t even ask for a count on how many have changed in the last few weeks- Greece, Italy, Spain… without including the continuation of the “Arab Spring” which is outliving its media given name).

To quote a friend, Sally Hogshead: “Break out the nun-chucks and let the street fighting begin.” because if we don’t start talking seriously about making systemic change- it will be made for us the old fashioned way: I’ll quote a famous Chinese philosopher: Mao Zedong: “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.”

We have more guns in America than we seem to have leaders.

That’s the very real reason that I know eventually we’ll come to our senses, or not.

That’s the inevitable if we don’t change soon.



Is that a gun on your belt, or are you just happy to see me?

While Ohio just recently made it legal to carry a concealed weapon with permit, what many people don’t realize is that if you just strap it on in the open- it’s legal. Do you feel safer already?

And although I know a few people who have a CCW permit, and have been around my share of cops who pack off duty, I’ve not seen anyone carry a sidearm unless they worked in a gun shop.

Those days may be ending.

In recent months, the “open-carry” arm of the gun-rights movement, which advocates that gun owners carry visible weapons as they go about their daily business, have been exercising their rights. They’ve been proudly displaying their sidearms in public places, sometimes meeting up in groups.

via The Associated Press: Politics and retail a no-win mix.

We’ve always had people who are staunch supporters of the 2nd Amendment, and some states have always been more gun friendly, but this recent movement to “normalize” the carrying of firearms is a step in a direction I’m not sure I’m comfortable with. That doesn’t mean I don’t think people should be able to own guns, I just think the idea of having one on you at all times is a recipe for disaster. When guns are more accessible- more people get shot (one of the reasons we have more people dying by getting shot in this country every year than any other industrialized nation- and I should take some time to dig up a source- but, it’s not that important to make this point).

Although I’m perfectly comfortable around guns, when with people who are trained and responsible, I’m not sure that everyone walking around with a pistol has society’s best interests at heart. We’ve already got a ridiculous number of people in prisons- do I really want every Tom, Dick and Dirty Harry playing judge, jury and firing squad if they think a crime is being committed?

In today’s Dayton Grassroots Daily Show, Greg Hunter and I (both gun owners) discuss our feelings about this hot-button issue.

If anyone knows what the open carry rules are in Dayton, Ohio, I’d appreciate it if you post in comments. We’d also like to hear from members of the Dayton law enforcement community what their views are on open carry. Does it make your job easier, safer or more dangerous?

It’s still the economy, stupid.

I was going door-to-door last night for Barack Obama in my neighborhood. This time the list was pretty inclusive- every registered voter. On the homes without any registered voters (and there weren’t many) I went up and tried to register people.

I only ran into a few that thought they were voting for McCain. One, claimed he was against Obama because he’s a member of the NRA and they keep telling him that Obama will take away his guns. I had to explain that even if the President and Congress and the Supreme Court all got a case of the stupids overnight, that it was highly unlikely that someone would take his toys.

With just a short discussion of where the money is coming from that funds the 2 candidates- he started to understand why Obama was probably a better choice for his family. Then when I discussed the crazy CEO pay of insurance company CEO’s and the boys who screwed up Bear Sterns- and then got bailed out with his tax dollars- change sounded real good.

I dutifully asked everyone what the most important issue to them was off the list of issues (including “guns”) and everyone said the same thing: Economy.

So, wake up America, it’s still the economy, stupid.