'The true Soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because He loves what is behind him.' -G. K. Chesterton

30 January 2013

Request For Reevaluation Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bureaucracy

Well kinda. I was perusing the blogs today (you know I read all of you every day right? So write good.) and ran across a good post by DaddyBear. It was a comment there that got me thinking, always a dangerous thing. My hair is still smouldering. What hair I have. It was a very small fire. Go read the post and comments and you'll know which one I'm talking about.

I've written about using the word Fire in a theater before so my views on fatuous arguments is pretty well known. Now the ridiculous equating of licensing drivers and gun owners is being tossed around again. Man, how I wish this idiocy would just go away. Or the idiots. Either way.

First of all there's nothing in the Constitution about driving. It's considered a privilege and not a right. In most every state I know about when you're licensed to drive you also agree to provide a sample of your blood (Ouch), breath (Whew) and/or urine (Icky) when so requested by competent law enforcement authority having probable cause to take you forthwith to the hoosegow for driving while under the influence of intoxicating substances (or having reasonable suspicion to suspect you of the same). It's called Implied Consent and it's a wicked pisser (Yes, I do watch too much TV). You are subject to separate penalties for violation of that in addition to anything that might be levied on the DUI charge. Think cash and roadside trash detail here. Drivers Licenses can be suspended for a wide variety of things ranging from excessive moving violations (slow down you damn kids!) to being uninsured. Go to a DMV hearing sometime. Judicial they ain't. The hearing officer can basically take your license away for most anything they want and there's little or no appeals process. Do try to not piss off the hearing officer. They're grouchy. Do get a lawyer (though in many cases a lawyer isn't allowed. How's that due process working out for ya?) and maybe a payday load cause you're gonna need lots of both kids. All that is because a drivers license isn't considered property. You have no expectation nor property right to it. It's a privilege and the state can basically remove yours about any time they take a hankering to and they usually take a hankering basically anytime the shark is feeling peckish. Which is always. You can even lose your drivers license for being in arrears on your child support payments. Because they can, that's why.

On the other hand guns are a property right and their possession is actually enumerated in the Bill of Rights. Rights versus Privileges. See how that works? Requiring the licensing of gun owners is akin to requiring me to get a religion license before I can possess a Bible. Or a Torah. Or a Qur'an. It's an onerous and undue infringement on my right to keep and bear arms and makes such dependent on bureaucratic governmental approval or denial. Someone wants to create a DMV division of the BATFE. Please excuse me whilst I run screaming from the room at the thought. Will I have to parallel park while simultaneously clearing a malfunction on my Sig, reciting the Four Rules and playing 'Spot The Carjacker' with the proctor? What if I fail because the sun was in my eyes and the radio was tuned to that station that only plays Elton John when I only listen to AC/DC when I'm drivey/shooty and I was really thinking about that outfit Lu was wearing earlier and how much I was looking forward to getting home and convincing her to no longer be wearing it (if you know what I mean and I think you do) and my fingers were felling particularly fat and fumbly that day? Will I then have to appear before a hearing officer in DATFMV (Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Motor Vehicles) office to argue my case? What about lawyers? Does Due Process come into play? What constitutes a fair test and pass/fail scores? Who makes my local up the test? Will it be open book? Will I have to touch it? (Get your minds out of the gutter. I was talking about the gun. Perverts). Are there separate tests for rifle, pistol and shotguns? Are silencers and automatics like big rigs? Will I have to fill out a log book and keep track of rounds fired and how much sleep I've had in the last 24 hours of shooting? Who decides all this stuff?

See, here's the thing. Government does what government does. That is regulate everything under the sun and charge fees for applications, licenses and permissions for anything and everything they can sink their bureaucratic teeth into. Subject to petty tyrants bringing their bad days at home to work with them of course. How humiliating is it to find yourself on your knees begging the angry DMV clerk to please accept your paperwork instead of sending you back to Line 73 which currently stretches out the door and down the block with a wait time measured by calendar because you misspelled penis (Hint: It's the answer to question 137. What are you compensating for?)? Who wants more of that? Oh, right.

On the gripping hand, be careful what you wish for. Let me provide an anecdotal example of why this is such a bad idea. besides the obvious "It's unconstitutional Weasel Boy" one of course. Back in the day, when I wore a blue suit and did cool stuff, I used to do traffic enforcement while riding really cool motorcycles and looking like totally bitchin' and stuff. Yeah, I know. I was as hated as Al Gore at Republican Broadcasters convention. Stay with me here for a minute, I do have a point. And no, it's not the one on top of my head. Though my head is remarkably pointy shaped. But enough of that, back to the story. Among those duties was to evaluate drivers that were suspected of...let's just say of being automotively challenged and leave it at that. There was a form to fill out which included the driver's information, my information and why they were being referred. It was called a Request For Reevaluation and could either be Emergency (Great jumpin' Jehoshaphat Margarete, you need to evaluate this guy like yesterday! I mean it! He's a menace! Hey are you listening? AAIIEE!!) and just regular (Whenever you get a free minute there Skippy). Either way the driver was supposed to be called into DMV and actually, you know, have their ability to successfully pilot a four thousand pound motor vehicle on America's highways and byways reevaluated. Hey, it's right there in the form and everything! In 24 years I wrote hundreds of them. Hundreds I tell you. It's surprising how many folks out there have issues driving a car. I mean bouncing off parked cars while careening out of control down the street and nearly running down pedestrians who were minding their own business in their back yards kind of issues with driving. Or maybe not so surprising. I mean, you've been out there. Would you trust those people with your life? I thought not. Anyway. In all those years not a one ever had their license revoked. I never even got called in to DMV for a revocation hearing. I've seen a 93 year old driver hit 14 parked cars and three trees on her way downtown to the Farmer's Market and who had not a single clue anything untoward had occurred. Kept her license. Hell, that was 15 years ago and as far as I know she still has it (and a high deductible insurance policy I'm sure). I had a UPS driver pass out behind the wheel of his Big Brown Truck for reasons unknown and run off the road leaving a path of total destruction in his wake. Yep, kept his license. There were more, oh so depressingly many more. Like the gal who failed to see it and ended up in the middle of Lake El Estero. Had no idea the lake was there in spite of living in that city her whole life. Or the guy who decided the Rec Trail was just a really narrow street and what the hell are all these pedestrians and bicyclists doing in the middle of the damn road!? I've seen trees run right out into the street and then magically teleport themselves, with the car still wrapped around the trunk, right back into the grove. No idea how that happened officer. I swear. Parked cars that suddenly appeared right in front of motorists. Pedestrians who unexpectedly dropped their cloaks on invisibility just as the driver was passing on the sidewalk. The guy...well, you get the idea. None of them ever lost their driving privilege. Nary a one. If you believe my coworkers (and why wouldn't you. They're a great bunch of folks. Why the hate? Oh yeah. That whole ticket thing. Right. My bad.) none of them ever saw a driver suspended either. We may have been wrong on occasion but not every time. My point? Oh right, I was building up to something wasn't I? It's just this. Bureaucracies tend to be capricious and make frustratingly random decisions. There's no rhyme and little reason. Decisions seem to be made by way of Magic 8 Balls, fortune cookies, Ouija Boards and Lunar cycles (Full Moon Madness FTW!!). Anyone on the gun control side who thinks those people can be depended on needs to quit smoking crabgrass. That stuff will rot your brain.

I got just the answer. How about No? That's simple and easily understood, even for those who are logic challenged. I like that word. I may even love it. Short and to the point. No. N. O. Don't be shy, say it with me. No. It just rolls off the tongue. It's satisfying with no aftertaste and none of that next day "Oh Lord, who is this and what have I done?" regret. Those who insist on Conversation, Compromise and Common Sense (The three C's of gun control) should get very used to the idea of hearing it frequently and sometimes vehemently. I am not putting my civil rights, any of them, into the hands of people who think spinning the Big Wheel 'O Hilarious Outcomes is an acceptable method of decision making.

Can I get an Amen from the back row? Thank you brothers and sisters.



Old NFO said...

More Amens than you want... sigh...

Wraith said...

I'll see your "Amen" and raise you a "HELLZ YEAH!"

Excellent commentary, sir.

Sarge said...

Amen, amen, amen. etc. etc. NO, NO, and hell no.

Six said...

Thank you my brothers!!

Lee from La said...

I'm with Wraith, from the back row nearest the door: Amen and Hell Yeah

Six said...

Thank you brother Lee!

agirlandhergun said...

Excellent as always! And Amen!!!!

Six said...

Thank you my Sister!!