Monday, April 15, 2013

Guns For Sale

This nation has plenty of people who speak Spanish,. The further South and West you go, the easier they are to find.  I was reading today about a high school baseball team representing a school district in southern New Mexico with a student body which is 97% Hispanic. That's unusual I guess, but certainly not illegal.
Anyway, this baseball team was in the midst of a game when an umpire noticed that the team was using Spanish to communicate. The ump called time, then ordered the team to stop using Spanish or face the threat of ejection from the game. This, in turn, brought the manager off the bench to defend his players, only to find himself under the same threat no matter what language he used.
It could have gotten ugly, but a second umpire, fortunately bilingual, intervened to inform the first one that there was no rule forbidding espanol in NM high school baseball, and that he would make sure no Spanish cursing or vulgarities were used by either players or coaches. The game resumed, with any cursing done in whispers, I suppose.
The only point is this. For over 200 years, we have not found it necessary to have a national language, even though immigrants who seek citizenship must show they can speak the local lingo in order to qualify. We have had or currently have newspapers, radio and TV in languages other than English in plenty of places. No one was killed as a result, so as long as you understand "safe", "out", "ball" and "strike" in English, you should be allowed to play baseball in any language you wish, including Japanese.

We are, folks, a long way from changing the regulation of gun sales in this country. The public (80% or more) favors a system of background checks for weapons buyers, but the Legislative Branch, especially the GOP led House, refuse so far to sign on.
Last week, a vote was taken in the Senate to allow floor debate on the matter. Certain members, all Republicans, opposed even this, and called for a filibuster. The vote, referred to as a "cloture" measure, passed by a 68-31 margin, and so debate will go forward.
One of those opposed to debate was Utah's 1st term senator Mike Lee, a tea party guy who oddly resembles a baby dressed in a suit. Like a baby, his favorite word seems to be "NO!", especially in response to anything coming from the Obama administration.
When asked about the lost vote, Lee insisted that it wasn't a failure at all. That's OK. I understand the desire to put the best face on things, especially bad news. On the other hand, you have to wonder how Lee would have described it if the vote had gone the other way. My guess: "SUCCESS!"    


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