“I think I’m allergic to the ocean,” I tell the clerk, as I run my I.D. through the debit card machine. “Whenever I go surfing, I get really sick.”
I don’t have to explain why I’m getting Claritin-D, but I feel compelled. Because the reason I have to go to the pharmacy to get my medicine is because the goverment is suspicious of people who buy anything containing psuedoephedrine — a key ingredient in meth. And Claritin-D contains pesudoephedrine.
So by explaining why I’m buying it, I guess I’m trying to say, “Look, man — I’m not one of those meth people.”
The law was called the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005, which was included in the Patriot Act. Under the law, medications that included psuedoephedrine were to be sold only at pharmacies, not over-the-counter as they once were. The amount of psuedoephedrine one could purchase was to be limited, and buyers had to run their identification through a debit card machine so that records could be checked.
Another words, the government is keeping tabs on how much Clariton-D I purchase.
I certainly don’t have a problem with cutting down on meth. And while I feel a little like a criminal just because I don’t want to sneeze all night, I can understand the logic of tracking psuedoephedrine sales.
The thing that bothers me is this: If the government is keeping track of my purchase of allergy medicine, why can’t the government also track a guy who buys $15,000 worth of high powered guns and ammo in a short time?
Okay, I know why. In fact, everyone knows why. Politicians on both sides fear the NRA’s wrath. So it doesn’t matter how many mass murders we have — in a Colorado movie theater, at a political rally, at a school — our elected officials won’t talk about any sort of restrictions on gun purchases.
But how about this: Since mass murderers aren’t enough to get their attention, what about terrorists? After all, that anti-meth law was part of the Patriot Act, right?
What if a terrorist were to buy $15,000 worth of weapons?
Since 9/11, terrorism concerns have revolved mostly around planes and bombs. But there’s always been the more obvious threat, like what if someone were to take a high-powered gun to a baseball stadium, a school graduation, or a county fair.
Well, hopefully, the FBI and CIA are pretty dialed in on would-be terrorists. Of course, few would suspect a guy like Tim McVeigh.
Or James Holmes, the guy who shot up a theater in Colorado. Nobody suspected him because no one knew about all those purchases he’d made. Had he tried to buy $15,000 worth of Claritin-D, the USDA would have paid him a little visit. Guns, tear gas, protective gear and all that ammo?
Not a concern.
If we consider him a mass murderer, doesn’t that suggest his guns were weapons of mass destruction?
Say what you will about the 2nd Amendment and hunting and all that, but I think most reasonable people would agree that someone who buys $15,000 worth of weaponry warrants a visit from someone in law enforcement — before he shoots up a theater, not after.
Some pundits are urging us not to make the Colorado tragedy political. And indeed our two presidential candidates sure aren’t. But this isn’t political — it’s common sense.
If we can crack down on meth dealers, we should also crack down on murderers.
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