Wednesday, May 17, 2006

FOOB: I Don't Even Know Where to Begin With This One

This weeks For Better or For Worse was shaping up to be a real snore this week (instead of being the usual roller-coaster of excitement. Not.), but today's strip merits comment simply due to stupendously dim-witted leaps Lynn Johnson makes in her desperate search for a plot.

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Does this make any sense? "A cell-phone is like a gun."

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This is a cell-phone

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These are handguns.

The only people I know who routinely mistake cell-phones for guns are trigger-happy police.

"You can wear 'em on your hip in a holster.." Fair enough.

"You load 'em with a battery an' your personal stats."

I'm not totally up on my gun tech, but my friend Alex IS, so I asked him. Big Al, HE say:
As far as I remember, only experimental firearms used batteries, either
to power a solenoid to hit a conventional primer, or as a heating
element to fire a rocket- I'm thinking of the MBA Gyrojet-.

Smart guns are a bit off right now. I think Glock experimented with a
pistol that was electronically linked with a ring that you would wear.
If the gun went away from the RFID transmitter in the ring, it would
automatically go safe. The design was to prevent disarmed police from
being shot with their own firearms, but no police forces adopted it
after some early failures. Police tend to value reliability and
simplicity in their firearms. More complicated versions that would scan
dna or handprints never got anywhere for the above reasons.

I think we can safely say that guns, unlike cell-phones, don't use batteries and are not repositories of personal data.

"An' guys strut around with them, making "super important calls" in public places - with an attitude that says... "the world is my personal space, baby!"

Did Lynn Johnson get mugged this weekend or something?
Look, I live in Philadelphia, where the gun violence is out of hand. But the idea that gangsters are gunning people down at anywhere near the rate that people are carrying on loud conversations in public is not only nuts, it's an unproductive metaphor. In fact, it is not the fact that handguns are brandished like cell-phones that makes them so dangerous: if everyone with a handgun was waving it around in public in the same way that cell-phone abusers talk at the top of their lungs about recent colostomy operations and susequent bowel movements, there'd be no problem. We'd all know who to avoid and when to duck. It's the fact that handguns are typically concealed up to the minute they're employed that makes them such a problem.

"The world is my personal space, baby!" Well, yes it is. It's everyone's personal space. We live here.

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[OK, OK, Diallo brandished a wallet. If Lynn can pretend a gun and a cell-phone are comparable appliances, I can pretend that Diallo had a cell, not a billfold.]


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