On that note - the role of government - two indirectly related current events are converging to change me. Don't jump ahead - I am not signing up to get my (R) card to acknowledge that a de-regulated Wal-Mart somehow equals "free market," and thus "free society." No. These two specific things are changing how I live.
The first of these is Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley's assault on legal gun ownership in Maryland. SB 281, as it's currently called, seeks to ban assault weapons, and for other gun owners, mandate a thousands-of-dollars cocktail of mandatory training, licensing, and fingerprinting that O'Malley must hope will limit legal gun ownership to the extremely wealthy, and by some impossible hope, also have an impact on illegal gun ownership and use. As a legal gun owner, obviously, this causes me great concern. I believe in certain limits to the 2nd Amendment, for instance, that I shouldn't own a Predator Drone armed with Hellfires. But I don't believe that somehow expensing me out of legal gun ownership will make one tiny impact in the state's epidemic of drug-related gun violence, or the growing epidemic of mass murders by sick individuals. At home, we're discussing whether to stay ahead of the proposed changes, because having access to a reasonable suite of defense equipment is a reasonable thing. Some of you will know what this is.
|Sales of this item are up 600% from 2012 (and 2000% over the long term average) |
since Maryland's gun control legislation was proposed in January.
I don't think that was the Governor's intention.
Why does it matter to me? Well, I could write about it for days, but here's the meat and potatoes of the issue: in a city where 250-350 murders per year are committed, I've called 911 for help on four occasions, over the course of 15 years. The shortest response time I've ever received is 35 minutes. 35 minutes is a long time to wait for the good guys to show up.
I don't want assault weaponry. But the state seeks to take it away from all of us except for career criminals. Amendments to the bill which would strengthen criminal penalties for using a firearm in a crime were stricken down. The state's firearm bill isn't about criminals, or crime. It's about gun elimination, and guess what - the bad guys aren't giving up theirs. Nor are corrupt cops. Just you and me.
Which brings me to the second issue: my community garden is the epicenter of an ongoing gang war between the Black Guerrilla Family and the Bloods. For those who don't know, the BGF started as a prison gang, then became a prison GUARD gang, and then became a street gang! How crazy is that? I mean, literally, it's f*cking insanely ridiculous and stupid that this type of thing is allowed to occur in our society. So.......a gang war at my community garden. With actual murders!
And so, the Community Garden Experiment has wrapped up, if not failed. Not because of poor soil, or rats, or laziness. But because Maryland's current gun laws - some of the most strict in the country - cannot prevent hardened convicts from conducting gang business, buying and selling fully automatic weapons, and committing murder in City parks. And those same laws make it nearly impossible for me to legally carry a weapon to defend myself where I should not need to - on City property.
Rather than use this space to indulge my usual complaints, like, "Why does government cost so much if it doesn't work?", we're turning inward a bit, inside the marginal protection of our six foot fence. Realizing quite clearly that no one is out there to help us, to protect us, to help deliver food to us in time of crisis. So let's store water and build a garden!
Two years ago, we stored no rainwater. Now, we store 350 gallons. Should be 500 gallons by the end of the summer. Due to the natural grade of our lot, we are able to send water away from the house, to be stored and used for later. Sustainability and self reliance are more simple than words. See:
165 gallons will rest on this platform, umm....requisitioned... from a 6.5' countertop pallet. The elevation will allow head pressure to build, driving gravity-fed drip irrigation.
And unlike the war zone two miles down the road at the Community Garden, I can actually teach my son how to take care of himself here, too. Safely. Hey, bring your kids over, too. Black, white, whatever. Bring them over. They can learn. They can play in peace. Until someone falls on a saw or hits their thumb with a hammer, anyway.
|I started wearing safety goggles after a scare with a grinder last year. Hank wears his, too.|
And while I need to rescue my raised beds from Gangland for a retrofit into the new home garden , I also need to start my early spring crops. How about a few rabbit proof raised beds?
Look, I don't know what's going to happen. But it's good to be focusing on home. And it's great, once again, to have my helper with me in the garden. If he can learn how to take care of himself here, I believe he can take those skills and that mentality anywhere.
Post-script: For reasons uknown to me, this post is being heavily spammed. Any comment left below that is concise, related to this topic, and more or less respectful will be posted. I respect your first amendment rights, even more than normal if I disagree with you. However, I delete all spam comments on all posts (all 600+ of them), and this post is no different. Those are the "deleted comment" references you may see.