My tea leaves are wilted, my ouiji board's picking up Howdy Doody reruns, and my crystal ball melted in sweltering heat. In short, I'm about sick to death of everyone - and I mean everyone- in Washington giving me the "spin" on what yesterday's Supreme Court decision really means. Hopefully, this week - and June- are headed for the exits.
Thankfully, analyzing any of the decisions coming out of Washington aren't my job. As you all know, living under them is getting harder. Figuring them out- well, Howdy Doody says I have a better chance of getting Clarabelle the Clown to sing opera. My Magic 8-Ball concurs. Not looking good for the home team.
But there are other things happening that aren't tough to figure out. Unfortunately.
For those of you who consider Google an underpinning element of your ongoing web experience, this probably would be a good time to, well, stop reading.
Google, more specifically Google Shopping, has decided to censor "weapons" -yep, they say they're making their new Google Adwords area "safe for all users." Google has sent word to numerous retailers that their products have been disapproved under Google's policies.
Weapons, i.e., guns and gun-related items, are not. As their message to retailers says "We do not allow the promotion or sale of weapons or any related products such as ammunition or accessory kits." Being blunt, "safe for all users" doesn't disqualify edged weapons, throwing stars, spears and such. Additionally, Google's policy pages also allow "Some hunting-related items".
As you can imagine, there's been a bit of an outcry online. But one of the gazillion comments on the first discussions I read raised a great point. Google isn't a public utility; it's a private enterprise. Private enterprise, Washington assistance notwithstanding, is still able to decide what it will-or will not- allow. Hand-wringing and acting as if Google is some sort of evil public utility is, well, wrong.
Google will do what it will do. And anyone who disagrees has the right not to do patronize their services. Retailers who sell products that they consider unacceptable are faced with the same choice: changer your products or take them somewhere else.
To be clear on this one, Google's search engines aren't filtering out firearms related items. If you type in "firearms for sale: in the Google engine, you'll get approximately 4,900,000 potential hits.
I don't like the decision, but it is their right to decide what they'll sell. They're not violating our rights; they're exercising theirs.
And speaking of exercising our rights, how about exercising our skills? At shooting, that is. Word yesterday that the Armed Citizens Alliance (www.ArmedCitizenAlliance.com
) will hold its first National Armed Citizens Challenge September 21-23, 2012 at PASA Park near Barry, Illinois.
It's being described as a "Sports Fair for the Armed Citizen" and will feature exhibits, demos, and hands-on firearms training from ACA sponsors, partners and supporting manufacturers.
There will be specialized instruction on-site from top trainers, as well as on-site classes that can qualify participants for concealed carry licenses in any state with enabling legislation.
Oh yea, there's also a "recreational event" - a 12-stage "Challenge" open to ACA members. You'll use your own firearm - as you'd usually carry it. Lots of awards for individual participation and achievement, but it's not a typical "prize table" match.
Note: this isn't a shooting competition. It's real-world-based defense scenarios designed to give shooters confidence and the ability to run their firearms when they need them most-times of high-stress.
If you're interested, signups start July 15 and it's limited to 200 shooters. Forms, details and all that sort of info is available through the ACA website.
It is now officially Friday. Have a safe weekend.