Jun 19, 2016 by Norris Burkes
“Do you understand that by accepting traffic school, you waive your right to appeal?” asked the balding judge.
“Yes, sir” I said. “I understand.”
What a deal! I’d waive whatever was necessary to avoid a costly insurance increase. Sometimes we give up a few rights and we all win. It’s called a compromise and it’s what helped build this country.
Actually, there are a few more rights I’d like to waive. I don’t know if I need a notary, but since my readers are faithful witnesses, I declare this day, the following to be true:
“I, Norris Burkes hereby waive my rights to buy or carry an SIG MCX, an AR-15, or any other military-style assault riffle. While I’m at it, I waive my rights to carry grenades, briefcase nukes, or tow anti-aircraft guns from my Winnebago.”
“Wait a minute,” you say. “Don’t give away your constitutional rights so quickly!”
Why not? I gave up several rights after 9/11. I waived my right to carry a 6-ounce bottle of mouthwash on the plane. We all did. And so far, not one plane has been diverted from its flight plan to kill 3,000 people.
More than anything right now, our country needs to find a compromise. So why can’t we do it? Why are we acting like Cinderella’s stepsisters unwilling to compromise?
Whenever my siblings refused to compromise on a TV show, my mother would scream, “Don’t make me come down there! If you kids can’t agree on what show to watch, then I’ll throw that dad-blasted thing in the yard.” She said “dad-blasted” a lot but if you really made her mad, she’d “dad-gum” you.
Don’t tell me we can’t do it. There was a day when people thought it was their right to smoke in the grocery store. When others objected, smokers insisted it was their right. No compromise. So, the majority voted away all smokers’ rights in indoor spaces.
There was a day when 18-year-olds considered it their right to drink. They couldn’t handle that right, so most states recalled those rights.
But speaking of rights, how is it easier for man to exercise his right to buy a gun than for a woman to practice her lawful right to an abortion?
Suppose we treat these young gun-buying men the way same way we treat these scared young women. Put him through a mandatory 48-hour waiting period, require parental permission and a doctor’s note proving he understands. Show him a gruesome video and then make him drive several hundred miles to buy his gun in a store surrounded by protesters yelling “baby killer.”
I don’t know. I’m just supposin’.
You say, “guns don’t kill people, people do.” Well, dadgummit, those people killers are getting a lot of help from the assault guns that can fire a bazillion armor piercing bullets from their mega-sized clips.
Gun ownership in this country is at 47 percent. Nearly all owners are responsible people. Polls show they’d be in favor of reasonable things like expanded background checks and closing the gun show loophole that allows unchecked purchases. So dadgummit people, why can’t we just agree on these basic steps – at least until we see if they work?
Finally, I know that some of you will tell me that I should stay in my religion lane and pray for the victims. Well, I am praying. I am praying that we hear the collective voices of these Orlando victims.
God expects his children to compromise and get along. So, please, let’s find a compromise. Don’t make him come down here. Again.
– Write Norris at firstname.lastname@example.org or P.O. Box 247, Elk Grove, CA 95759. Twitter @chaplain, or call 843-608-9715.