Pass the Bullets

The heatwave that swept across California has finally abated but the lingering effects are taking its toll on my family. If certain factions in our society have their way, the only thing left to do will be to pass the bullets to end our suffering.

It all started a week ago Wednesday on a trip to the valley, during the sweltering heat. Our little family piled into a borrowed air conditioned vehicle to treat ourselves to dinner with the grandparents. After sharing a lovely evening we made our way back home.

I don’t know if I picked up a bug during one of our shopping stops or if I simply had too much of a good thing and the air conditioning got to me but the next day I was sick. It began with a sore throat and progressed to full-blown stomach flu. My head ached, I felt like I had been run over by a semi-truck on steroids. My nose was running a marathon and I could hold nothing down. It was like Mount Vesuvius had errupted all over again.

Being the resourceful person that I am, one without the benefit of medical insurance, I decided it was time to take action. I had some Coricidin HBP left over from my last cold and began to treat the symptoms of my illness with little results. I used some Triaminic strips trying to sooth the fire burning in my throat, followed with some Chloraseptic spray for good measure and without relief.

For 7-days I lay in bed, unable to function normally, suffering through fever, sweats and chills – all the while living off popsicles. We purchased some Mucinex D, which left me feeling dizzy and very dried out but provided little actual relief for the rest of my symptoms.

On the 8th day of my illness my husband came down with the bug. Here’s where things get real interesting. At least we had purchased five more boxes of Puff’s on our shopping excursion the day before because we were going to need them.

2-days later, still fuming because someone in their infinite wisdom decided to pull Coricidin D off the market and stick me with this HCP crap, I went shopping for an alternative, something – anything to make me feel better and get me back on my feet again.

I made my way carefully down the hill to Sonora, still suffering from burning eyes, a runny nose and all the other nasty little symptoms no one talks about in polite society. At the grocery store I carefuly examined each package of cold medicine, comparing ingredients and trying to match them up with each of our complaints, so that we could finally resume our lives.

I settled on a 20-count box of Non-Drowsy Sudafed, multi-symptom Cold & Cough formula and a 12-count box of Alka-Seltzer Plus, Cold & Cough. I figured that ought to do the trick. If one didn’t work the other should and I could save myself another trip to the grocery store.

The clerk had other ideas. At the checkout things were going smoothly. I was anxious to pay for my goods and be on my way, until… The checkout clerk calls the manager over, who proceeds to inform me that I am not allowed to purchase two boxes of cold medicine.

“What do you mean, I’m not allowed?” I asked indignantly.

Since when do I need permission to take care of myself? Who thinks they have the authority to dictate what I can purchase and how many?

The manager informed me that a new law had been passed in California that limits my purchases of cold medicine to one box. I was never informed of this new law. I was sick, I was upset and I was irate. The manager finally said that I could make two separate purchases to obtain the needed items, so I calmed down, slightly. But then the logic of it sunk in. If I can make two separate purchases to buy cold medicine, what was the point of passing such an oppressive law? What purpose could possibly be served?

On my way out of Albertson’s, I stopped to apologize to the manager for making a scene and his response still has me seeing red. He told me that he had just received an e-mail informing him that Albertson’s may quit carrying over the counter cold medicines and that our government in all their wisdom is considering passing a law to require customers to have a prescription to purchase them.

I simply responded that we don’t even have a doctor and that if such a law was passed we might just as well keep a loaded gun handy, so that we can shoot ourselves when we get sick.

I haven’t seen a doctor since 2001 and I don’t plan to start seeing one now. I don’t know if what the manager said was true but I do plan to get to the bottom of this. If this information is true the media isn’t reporting it.

Nothing is going to prevent people who want to make illicit drugs from doing so. Criminals should be punished for their wrongdoing but what kind of a country will be left with when honest people can’t even care for themselves and their children? Is this just another way for the government to impose controls on its citizens by forcing them to pay to see a doctor?

Removing cold medicines from the grocery shelves will effectively create a new caste system. Those who have insurance will be able to see a physician, those without insurance will be forced to suffer without any kind of treatment available, effectively being priced out of the healthcare market.

This new policy would push the cost of healthcare even higher as the demand rises and low cost alternatives are banned from use by the general public. I guess it’s time to stock up now and pass the bullets, please.

A Trip to the Capitol

Today (2001/03/01) I had the pleasure to take my wife and son to the California state capitol. We accompanied a group of homeschooling families that are in Sacramento for the next couple days on group field trips. We took the capitol tour together and had the opportunity to watch a session of the state assembly. Though, admittedly, I am not very familiar with our states laws, I am a self-declared minimalist – I believe less government is better in almost every regard.

Sacramento, CA

I had the ‘pleasure’ all right. There were at least two bills on the table for vote today. One of which specified March second as the ‘Nationwide Reading Day’ (or something to that effect). Nationwide? From a bill in CA? Amazing. I didn’t know we had that authority. What’s more, I was impressed to see the number of ‘co-authors’ for the bill. The total number was in the realm of seventy. Yes seventy. No, you’re not reading that incorrectly, and yes, we only have seventy-nine assembly ‘persons’. You’ll have to excuse those three or four that did not coauthor – I’m sure it wasn’t by design. I think they were all deathly ill, attending to funerals or otherwise incapable of being there for the opportunity to co-sponsor such important legislation. Yes, that was sarcasm; but unfortunately, no, I’m not making it up.

It’s important legislation like this that keeps me up at night. And rightfully so.

And that’s not all. Special consideration was made for the individuals (and families of) that lost their lives in the driving incident in Santa Barbara last week. With all due respects, the respect and ‘moment of silence’ are perfectly satisfactory, but it should be understood that it is little more than political posturing – of course. Especially when this ‘moment of silence’ was followed quickly by statements about how we need to work harder on handgun regulation – where did that come from? It was an AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENT. No weapons of any kind were involved. But some politicians obviously felt it necessary to take that opportunity to speak out about their need to stifle your second amendment rights: over an auto accident.

After some more ludicrous discussion, the assembly came to a discussion about colon cancer being the second largest cause of death nationally – or something to that extent. I wasn’t sure exactly what the point of this discussion was, since they brought up several means of detecting colon cancer and how ‘simple’ it was to remove, if found in time. Great. There was discussion about how the legislators should have an ‘awareness campaign’ within their districts, but I don’t think there was any political force behind it. If people don’t want to go to doctors are they going to force them? Does the assembly hope to author a bill that would require Californians to get a rectal exam every year? What was the point of this?

My concern in this is that within the short session today (it couldn’t have been more than an hour and ten minutes) they managed to bring up both firearm legislation and something to do with people dying from colon cancer. Why? I think they should instead spend their time and energy fighting the greater evil of our state: stupidity. I think that if you look back at each murder, accidental death and ‘near death experience’ throughout the world, much less the country or ‘tiny’ state of California, you’ll find that the number one cause of death and accidents is *stupidity*. Where is the drive to educate people on common sense, or to eliminate the widespread following that stupidity claims? In fact, stupidity is so abundant that several of the assembly ‘persons’ were obviously infected. Where is the call to arms against it now? I think you’ll hold your breath a long time if you wait for it.

Remember, you won’t always be in the majority.


Shawn K. Hall