The Flinchum File
Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions

Walk and Chew Gum


Not too many years ago, I listened to a native of Fort Worth, Texas, discussing food with a person from Liverpool, England.  It was a good-natured discussion of who had the best food.  Actually, it was hilarious, because they couldn’t understand each other.  They were both speaking English, that is the English they are used to, and they still could not understand each other.  Their facial expressions were quizzical but amused.

Democrats and Republicans are the same.  They both speak English but don’t understand each other.  The Democrats scream there’s too many guns, while the Republicans scream there’s too many crazy people.  Even though they’re both right, they still don’t understand each other.  The Democratic and Republican parties are both more concerned with beating each other, thinking that is the predicate to solving problems.  They will never understand each other if Republicans watch Fox TV religiously, while Democrats watch MSNBC TV religiously.  They refuse to watch Newsy TV.

As a veteran, I know the horror and the damage of firearms, but I am also familiar with the paranoia of the NRA, as well as the language of the “sacred” Second Amendment.  How about limiting the right to purchase a firearm to those people who can pass a simple, very simple, psychological profile?  How about renewing that every five or ten years?  There is no one big right answer.  There are many small right answers.

The best way to protect the Second Amendment is not to insult intelligence.  The Second Amendment does not give anybody the right to own tanks, bazookas, land mines, Claymores, nor numerous other weapons.  The Second Amendment should not be used to put weapons of war into the hands of people of unknown psychological balance.   It does not protect the right to own certain weapons.  It does not protect the right of all people to buy weapons.  It does not protect the right of crazy people to bear arms.

My friends from Texas and England had one advantage:  me, as their translator.  How do we help Republicans understand Democratic English and help Democrats understand Republican English?  Until we do, mass killings will continue, along with all of our many other problems.

By the way, my Texas friend agreed that England has better beer, while my English friend agreed Texas has better beef . . . a compromise!


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