I’ve really been preoccupied the past several days. First came the garage sale, not just any sale, but the BIG GARAGE SALE, held at my house last week as part of the local Route 66 garage sales promoted by the Logan County Tourism Bureau.
At my house, this event was engineered by my wife Suzi, who believes her life is lacking something substantial if she can’t hold at least two garage sales a year. She tried having her spring sale in May, but it was a big flop, thanks to inclement weather. So, Suzi pulled out all the stops for her next sale, to be held in conjunction with last weekend’s Route 66 event. Stops aren’t the only thing she pulled out. She cleaned out our back storage shed, the garage, the closets in the house, perhaps even her car’s glove box and trunk to load up the sale tables.
She even coaxed me to go through my mechanical and woodworking tools to see if there was anything there I’d like to see gone. I did come up with a few token donations for the sale. Good news: Suzi decided not to open her sale last Sunday because she didn’t have enough items remaining to hold a sale. She is stashing the measly leftovers for her autumn sale.
Her sale opened on the same day the committee of the U.S. House investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the heart of our government opened its public hearings. Thankfully, everything on the driveway was put under cover by the time the committee started its hearing that evening. I can be somewhat of a political junkie if the subject at hand is interesting. And this was an interesting start to the public hearing, as was Monday’s televised session. More preoccupation, mind you.
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In recent days, I’ve also kept my eyes and ears open for that bipartisan group of U.S. Senators to forge a compromise on gun control legislation. Their agreement was announced Sunday afternoon. Yes, it’s a start on trying to fix the ungodly problem of mass shootings in this country, but it left out some key points that are sure to disappoint advocates of real, meaningful change.
Expanded background checks for gun buyers are missing in this package. Also left out are a renewed ban on assault weapons and a proposal to raise the minimum age of military-style weapons sales to 21.
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Now, it’s Monday and I got a real wake-up call about the weather. Yikes, it’s hot out there. I had a couple of garden chores that simply had to be done this morning. It took me a couple of hours and I was dripping with perspiration and conked out to the core by the time I headed to the house. I can’t recall when we’ve had a heat wave like this current bout.
Speaking of gun control, I had a few more reader comments about my column on that subject a couple of weeks ago. Included are:
From Michael Schmidt: “I am not going to debate gun control with the administration that armed the Taliban. My rights and freedoms as an American are not up for interpretation or debate.
“I am really tired of the people who talk like it is all a big mistake, that gun owners just misunderstood the Constitution for the last 200-plus years. It is aggravating. That's it. That's my rant.”
From Peter Dunkin: “Regarding the comments on your last article, we must remember there was no standing army or militia when the Constitution was written by the framers. Consider we now have a standing military, National Guard, federal, state and local police force. There is no need for a well- regulated militia because we already have that.
“The folks who conclude that restricting ownership of military-grade firearms would bring on the fall of the Second amendment, maybe it’s time we really look at why it was added, what it was intended to do and how we can allow recreational and sporting arms without walking around in public with military-grade weapons slung around our necks.”
From Jane Bryson: “It’s been said many times that a picture is worth a thousand words, so perhaps it’s time for pictures to be published. You and I are old enough to remember the picture from 1972 of the napalm girl showing what the war was doing to the children.
“Then in 1973 the U.S. pulled out of Vietnam. Did the picture help? Perhaps.
“Maybe it’s time for another picture. One that shows a classroom covered in blood and body parts—the result of children’s bodies being mutilated by an AR 15. I feel that ‘cleaned up’ the reports. The parents of murdered children are being asked how they feel.
“All of the experts are studying the background of the shooter trying to determine why he would do such a thing. And then we move on to the next shooting. Perhaps it’s time that the public sees what has happened and gun control gets resolved.”
Dan Tackett is a retired managing editor of The Courier. He can be reached at email@example.com.