Thursday, January 10, 2008

crossing the border.

I drove my brother down to Boston yesterday for his return flight to Germany. It was kind of odd to come back to Boston after ten years--I didn't have any problem at all finding my way around, but some features were definitely not there in 1997. The Mystic River bridge was a new one to me, for example.

Apparently, MA passed some new and (more) draconian gun law that stipulates a mandatory year in jail for anyone caught with an unlicensed pistol there, loaded or unloaded, in your person or in the vehicle. "Unlicensed" means "not accompanied by both a Massachusetts FOID and a home state permit, and not locked in a triple-locked safe at least two zip codes away from its ammunition." They don't recognize NH Pistol Permits, of course.

This may seem a cowardly cop-out from the guy who once wrote an essay called "A Declaration of Civil Disobedience", but we can't currently afford for me to take an unpaid year-long hiatus, so I grudgingly disarmed before driving into MA.

I don't know that the justice system of a state deserves that kind of title when they are perfectly willing to take a year of someone's life for the offense of having the wrong piece of steel in our possession. Then again, all the states have even higher penalties for possessing the botanical equivalent of a bottle of vodka, so we're already a very long way down the slippery slope of victimless crime enforcement. Sadly enough, part of the reason for that is the cheerful consent of people who defend their gun rights tooth and nail, yet don't bat an eyelash when their neighbor gets hauled in and locked up for ten years because he grew some funny tobacco in his basement.

I hate to be a pessimist, but I look at the way things are going, and I have to concur with Tam. A storm is coming, and it's going to catch a lot of folks in the open.

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