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...where life is slow, and ripe with rural treasures

Friday, July 27, 2012

July Observations

I'm starting to feel like a farmer. Day after day I look to the skies, hoping for rain in a place where it used to pour a gusher three times a week.  "God waters the lawn in my hometown," I once told a friend on Long Island, which is a sprinkler system mecca. This summer the lawns in central New York, not to mention the golf courses, are scorched and crisp. Mowers have been put away. Gardens are failing. My sister has been frowning about the sparrows in her yard, who line up along the fence and blink in their futile search for a cleansing puddle. Today there was some hope...threats of thunderstorms and worse, which did in fact affect those north and south of here. We had a few drops for a few minutes. Now it's back to hitting balls on fairways that resemble brown indoor-outdoor carpeting.

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Another lunatic has taken gun in hand and ruined the lives of innocent people for no reason. All the talking heads are shouting about gun control and American rights and the second amendment. Why is the solution to this so difficult? When our founding fathers wrote the second amendment they were using muskets, not assault rifles. Yes, we in the U.S. should have the right to bear arms to protect our homes and, should any other nation decide for some antiquated reason to sail a bunch of soldiers by boat to invade the shoreline, our country. And okay, maybe some gun collectors want to own a semi-automatic weapon. Is there anything wrong, however, with making sure the person who buys such machines and their accompanying ammunition online isn't a terrorist? Or an ex-con? Or a homicidal maniac? Can't legitimate gun buyers be patient enough to wait an extended period of time until they're determined to be a non-nut? Ooooo yes, oh dear, that would be scary government involvement in our lives. But it seems to me, with all due respect to the original fellows who noted the importance of our ability to bear arms as well as to those who cling to the importance of abiding strictly to the Constitution, that we could include a few red flag stipulations to prevent an unbalanced kid from opening fire on a movie theater full of people.

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The rodent in my home -- which I determined to be a vole based on my quick glimpse of it and some internet research -- remains at large. For those of you who may not be familiar with the creature vole, it's a meadow mouse, bigger than the typical tiny and speedy house mouse; slower, and a little hunched. A local pal sent me this email regarding voles: "5-10 young per litter/5-10 litters per year/gestation period 3 weeks/sexually mature at 4 weeks, exponential population growth." After receiving this email I concluded, for my own sanity, that the vole had exited the premises.

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As I write this late Thursday evening, the weather channel promises showers overnight and scattered thunderstorms tomorrow. I scan the skies and don't believe them. This has been a strange summer, filled with parched ground and gunfire. Thirsty birds. And mice.


3 comments:

it's like this said...

According to a radio report I heard, the Aurora shooter had no criminal record and had never crossed the path of any mental health agency....he was a first time offender who could not have been caught by any reasonably broad background check (the kind of background checks and waiting periods that already exist and are very common.) Better security at the theater and a limit on magazine capacity would have prevented or limited the carnage in this situation, and by better security, I do not exclude the presence of another armed citizen in the theater. Allowing people to ENTER through emergency exits is a bad idea. More personnel and better technology could have prevented this slaughter AND provided jobs. I do feel that magazine capacity should be limited.

Anonymous said...

Federal and state background checks (and waiting periods)are enforced when guns are purchased online. Shipping is to a dealer with a Federal Firearms License, not directly to the buyer, who must pick up the gun in person, with proof of ID.

mettler said...

oh my....another Squeaky!
http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/shouts/2012/07/squeaky-poems.html#entry-more

About Me

Newspaper columnist; blogger; author of Delta Dead; author of 101 Tip$ From My Depression-Era Parents; author of Australian Fly; editor: ...And I Breathed (author, Jason Garner, former CEO of Global Music at Live Nation), "A History of the Lawrence S. Donaldson Residence"; "The Port Washington Yacht Club: A Centennial Perspective"; "The Northeastern Society of Periodontists: The First Fifty Years"; editor: NESP Bulletin; editor: PWYC Mainsail; past editorial director: The International Journal of Fertility & Women's Medicine; past editor of: Long Island Power & Sail, Respiratory Review; Medical Travelers' Advisory; School Nurse News; Clear Images; Periodontal Clinical Investigations; Community Nurse Forum