Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Blame Game

I recently got into a discussion with some folks over guns in the house - and guns being carried in general. We have recently had a rash of school shootings here in PA, and of course, this makes the gun control folks even more fervent. The argument was posed that you should not have guns around the house because children might possibly get a hold of them. That may be true - but I blame that "possibility" on the parents. Most people I know were raised in houses with guns. And - you may find this shocking, so prepare yourself - not a single one of us ever shot anyone, purposely or accidentally. We knew better than to mess around with weapons for several reason. First, our parents warned us that if we ever touched a weapon, we would be chopped liver. Our parents weren't afraid to burn our fannies. Second, we knew the value of life. If we hurt someone, we were swiftly corrected, and we learned that you don't hurt people because they are individuals just like us, with a right to live and not be hurt, just like us. Third, guns were part of the landscape. We understood what they were used for, and we knew and trusted our parents to be responsible and protect us. We also understood the danger, and knew that it was more than we were prepared to handle. We had fear - yes, children should have fear. It is our fear that protects us and keeps us safe. Of course, most folks would rather blame the guns than the parents. We would rather sue the gun manufacturers for not making guns that can't fire, than accept that we were irresponsible. Yesterday was another brilliant example of avoiding our own responsibility. I heard on the radio that Congress is evaluating credit card companies. Apparently the average American family is at least $7,000 in debt to credit card companies. And it is the credit card companies' fault. Yes, folks, it is now the big corporations who are holding guns to the little person's head and forcing them to use their high interest Visa card. Of course, that "gun" is persuasive speech and high credit limits - and Congress is claiming that credit card companies are not divulging the interest rates of their cards clearly. Let me explain something to you folks who don't know how to read credit card offers. Federal law requires that there be a statement or pamphlet in every credit card offer, stating the interest rate, the fees, and the limits and penalties on all credit accounts. You just have to look around and read. I've been doing it for years, and no one ever taught me how to do it. I must be some sort of genius, clearly. Of course if you're illiterate, this could be a problem. But then you can just sue the literature-publishing companies for not teaching you how to read.