February 13, 2013 - So, the other Sunday I was sitting on the couch in the living room with my sons, Shamus (15) and Sean (13 in a month). Part of our weekend ritual is to watch one Sunday morning political talk show, whilst eating breakfast so we can make observations about politics before we dive into vacuuming, washing, dusting and cleaning. (Yikes, that last sentence was pert near a run-on.)
The boys like to make fun of regular pundit guests. They mimic the politicos voices, facial expressions, make up songs about them and they also show no respect and talk back to the TV.
Just so you know, I know I should not condone this total lack of respect shown the television set but to date, the TV has not answered back nor pulled me aside to give me the "whatfor" so I will straighten them out.
When TV has a problem, I will address it. Until then, the boys are free to pop off.
When it comes to politicians "answering" questions the lads will listen and more often than not say something like, "That wasn't the question," or "Boy, she didn't like that question! I think she wants to rip the reporter's throat out," or "Did you understand his answer?"
I may be . . .
. . . A.) The world's worst dad . . .
. . . B.) The world's meanest dad; and. . .
. . . C.) The town's cheapest dad, but . . .
. . . at least I am fine-tuning their BS detectors for when they actually start having to work, pay bills and vote.
So, where was I?
We were watching the talking heads bob up and down and from this way to that and I was surprised the topic of discussion wasn't the nation's budget nor anything else financial. The topic du jour was gun control.
As a parent, it's interesting to watch both Shamus and Sean as they take in any opinions presented Sunday mornings and as they then discuss what they have seen and heard.
Shamus has a big, soft heart and shows tons of empathy for most causes purported to help humankind. Sean, well, I'll just put it this way: some members of his mother's family are worried he'll become a young Republican. They're both bright and I can only hope whereever they fall politically, they do so with eyes and minds wide open. T+hey know that on any given subject each of them can be wrong or both can be right and that it's quite all right to change your mind from time to time.
(Oh, and I hope they realize their opinions matter as much as the next guy's -- not much.)
But, as we watched the information and subsequent debate about national gun control we all found this one little tidbit of information interesting: There are supposedly 9,000 federal laws currently on the books. Yep, that is not a typo. A nine with three zeros following it. No wonder stuff isn't being enforced. There's no way mere mortals and law enforcement can wrap their heads around that much verbage. Even the young wiseacres sitting with me that Sunday figured out that was a too big of a number to just start tacking on more laws.
Nobody (except maybe an evil genius or a Rainman-like dude) can be expected to know all 9,000 federal rules and regulations in regards to shootin' irons. Both boys decided before voting for more legislation, the old ones needed to be weeded out.
Young Master Shamus said all the Congress folk needed to get in a room and start going through all the laws, one by one. And all the laws would be assigned the life of a clay pigeon. If a law was to stand, its pigeon would be tacked to a wall. If a law was to be rejected as outdated, redundant or unconstitutional, members of the opposing party could shoot at that law's clay pigeon until they nailed it.
Sean agreed that would be a good idea, and a fun way to get Republicans and Democrats together shotguns and pistols -- sort of like an old John Wayne movie. Shamus added that Dick Cheney would not be invited to the shindig.
Ah, the stuff that comes out of the mouths of babes . . . and teenagers.
Don is Assistant Publisher for Sherman Publications, Inc. He has worked for the company since 1985. He has won numerous awards for column, editorial and feature writing as well as for photography. He has two, sons Shamus and Sean and resides in the area. To read archived copies of his columns, click on his name, just under his picture up top . . . He can be e-mailed at: firstname.lastname@example.org