Madison County Opinion...

SEPTEMBER 15, 2004


Column
By Frank Gillispie
The Madison County Journal
September 15, 2004

Frankly Speaking

Pink Pistols unite gays with guns
Here is a news item that has been ignored by the major media. The Pink Pistols have endorsed Michael Badnarik for President of the United States of America.
“What’s that,” you say? “Who is Michael Badnarik and who or what are the Pink Pistols?
Pink Pistols is a national organization dedicated to educating the alternative sexual community on the need for armed self-defense. Pink Pistols currently operates 43 chapters in 29 states. Its members support gun rights and armed self-defense.
Badnarik, 50, of Austin, Texas, the Libertarian candidate for President, welcomes that support. “Pursuit of political reform is best exercised through the ballot box and the jury box,” he says. “But ultimately the cartridge box must be there, especially when lives are at stake.”
Badnarik is also on record in favor of same-sex marriage, according to a press release from his campaign. “It’s a religious and community matter — the government shouldn’t be in the business of licensing marriage, or of excluding anyone from it. That came about as a means of preventing interracial marriage — racism imposed by government. It’s no different when applied to consenting adults of the same sex.”
So, dear readers, what do you think. Do we need a group of gays running around with guns? Is the gay community under such threats that they need to “keep and bear arms” to defend themselves and their community?
While we are on that subject, how do you feel about the death of the assault weapon ban? In case you didn’t hear, the federal assault weapon ban died at midnight last Monday. You are now free to go out and purchase a semi-automatic AK47, or any other so called assault weapon. (True, fully automatic combat rifles are still forbidden.)
Here are my answers. The second amendment allows all Americans, including those within the “alternative sexual community” to keep and bear arms.
Whether they need to bear arms to defend themselves is not a factor in that right. The Constitution gives everyone the right to be armed, regardless of social, sexual or political orientation.
As to same sex marriages, I believe the marriage ceremony is spiritual in nature. Two people are joined in the bonds of matrimony according to the rules of the church. As long as we insist that church and state must be kept separate, the state has no authority to recognize any marriage, gay or otherwise. Rules for marriages are written by various churches, and any church that wants to recognize and conduct same sex marriages has the right to do so. Those that reject the idea have an equal right not to recognize them.
I have an idea. Perhaps the Pink Pistols should organize a church of their own. They can call it the “Pink Pulpit” and write their own marriage rules.
They can conduct as many marriages as they wish with armed guards at the front door. They just cannot use the guns to force the rest of us to accept them.
Meanwhile, the end of the “assault weapon” ban gives them, and the rest of us, a slightly larger selection of guns to keep and bear. At least we all now have a little more freedom.
Frank Gillispie is founder of The Madison County Journal. His e-mail address is frankgillispie@charter.net. His website can be accessed at http://frankgillispie.tripod.com

Column
By Margie Richards
The Madison County Journal
September 15, 2004

A Moment with Margie

Time again for ‘shadowland’
I’m not sure when it happened, but something “shifted” a few days ago.
I guess I first noticed it right after Frances blew her wet breath on us, scattering the first significant leaves off the trees, most of them still fully green, some with a few brown spots.
There was a slight, yet perceptible shadow on everything the first morning the sun came back. Not full and vibrant as it is when summer beats down on you, even through the shade.
Oh, it still felt hot mind you, but different.
And I remember thinking to myself, fall is on its way.
I always look for it, this subtle turning of the earth on its axis toward autumn and ultimately, winter; sometimes I miss it, but I try not to.
It’s the time when the shade beneath the still fully clothed trees seems a little deeper and my shadow as I walk across the yard or the parking lot is longer, more significant.
This shift causes two feelings, simultaneously, in me. I look forward to the lessening of humidity and the crispy feel of the air, and the need for a light jacket in the mornings and evenings; but then I hate to see the green recede. Then comes the change in sound, followed by the silence, of the crickets and other creatures in the woods in the evenings.
And then there is the night time.
It begins creeping up on us, minute by stealthy minute, each day. First, it’s dark at nine instead of 9:15, then it’s 8:30 before we know it and now it’s around 8 or so, perhaps a little earlier depending on the cloud cover.
My daughter Miranda and I marked the difference last Saturday evening, coming home from a family reunion in Jonesboro. Driving, I took my sunglasses off, noticing again how the shadows showed up a lot sooner and a lot deeper, even it seems, than the day before.
“Before you know it, it’ll be dark when we get off work at 5,” Miranda said.
And she’s right, soon the regular work day will consist of rising in the dark and arriving home in the dark.
Christmas will be upon us (retailers would have us think it already is) and another year will have passed.
But here’s something to think about: for those of us who continue to live our lives on this earth, there’ll be a day late next winter when the shadows will shift again, the sun will shine a little clearer and daffodils will push their green knobby heads through cold and crusty earth.
And the shadows will recede again, for a season.
Margie Richards is a reporter and office manager for The Madison County Journal.

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