Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
John writes: Christ, Eric, it ain’t that bad. Where I live (PA) nobody pays attention to speed limits anywhere, whether on urban streets or on the interstates. The only bad element of driving around here is the utter lack of lane discipline – people routinely drive in the passing lane, often well below the speed limits (such people should be shot on sight, or at least dragged out of their cars and beaten with tire chains); sadly the cops rarely stop such loutish dolts. Of course this is compensated for by the almost total absence of gun laws – one can get a CCW just for the asking, as long as one hasn’t killed anyone in the last five years. The only better place is Wyoming, wherein my two bros live. There are practically no gun laws at all in WY – you can carry openly, concealed, in your boot, or in your glovebox. Another feature of WY if a total absence of crime, violent or otherwise. There are also near-zero violent minorities and those who do live there do so precisely because they enjoy the security of being able to go anywhere without fear of being mugged, beaten, or hassled by rogue cops.
My reply: Of course, “that bad” is relative!
Relative to the America of 20 years ago – which I can remember – America today is very bad. Relative to what’s maybe coming, though, the America of today might be fondly remembered as halcyon era of goodness.
Point being, there is almost always good – and bad – in every time and everywhere. The measure, I suppose, is a combination of what we were used to and what we feel gypped of.
For me, the outspurting of myriad petty tyrannies – especially thinks like seatbelt and helmet laws, mandatory insurance laws and the like – have made ordinary living markedly worse than it has ever been . . . in my lifetime.
Of course, in prior lifetimes, one might have been jailed for writing the stuff I do, almost every day. Palmer Raids come to mind. So you’re right – it ain’t that bad.
I’m merely hoping it gets better rather than worse!
. . .
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