Crimson Trace

February 6, 2013

Between The Berms: Who Is This Secretary of Need?

I know who the Sec. of State is. I know who the Sec. of Defense nominee is. I know, off the top of my head, most but not all of the other members of the President's Cabinet.

But I am unfamiliar with this Secretary of Need, and frankly I am unsure about the Department of Need he - or she - heads up.

But there most certainly must be one because all I hear on television are officials in the U.S. Government outlining what U.S. citizens don't need.

For instance, I understand that we don't need a "military-style assault rifle". We don't need clips OR magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. Or is it 7 rounds? I'm sure they'll let us know the final number of rounds we need.

We only need a shotgun for home defense, because as one commentator said on one of the cable news shows, "as assault rifle is overkill" for home defense.

I don't know about you, but I am so very thankful that we have a Government and a Congress that is there to make these important decisions for us. And I am particularly thankful to have other citizens help them outline what we don't need.

But I am concerned that the Secretary of Need is too narrowly focused on guns, and I think he - or she - needs to provide further guidance on other questions of need. For instance:

- Nobody needs a motorcycle that goes up to 194 mph, regardless of how "cool looking" the Suzuki Hayabusa is. The Secretary of Need should limit motorcycles to a top speed of 5, maybe 10 miles over the highest speed limit in the U.S. Imagine the number of lives that would be saved.

- Nobody needs a Ford F-150 Lightning, known as the "World's Fastest Production Pickup Truck", that has a top speed of 147 mph. Again, 5 to 10 over the speed limit is just fine. Again, imagine the number of lives that would be saved.

- Nobody needs a closet full of shoes. I'm sure women - and men - can do with 6, 8 maybe 10 total pairs of shoes. A maximum of 10 pairs would cover all possible footwear requirements.

- And nobody needs to pay $500 for a pair of Jimmy Choos or up to a couple thousand for a pair of Manolo Blahniks. The 1% can easily live within the means of the 99%.

- Nobody needs that many 24-hour news networks, and judging by the ratings of MSNBC it's pretty clear that most Americans feel the same way. One less cable news channel won't be missed.

- Nobody needs a keg of beer. Unless you are a bar or restaurant there is absolutely no need for one of these high-capacity alcohol containers that are designed to do just one thing...get people drunk as fast as possible. Countless lives have been lost due the the unrestricted access to these high-capacity alcohol devices. Limiting the capacity of alcohol containers available to individuals to something along the lines of just 6 cans or bottles would save lives. Even if we saved just one life, it would be well worth it.

- Nobody needs pornography. And nobody needs any further explanation as to why.

- Nobody needs the ultra-violence of professional football. With all the data on head and brain injuries and the off-the-field violence, especially towards women, removing the hitting from football and replacing it with, what is arguable the equally thrilling, touch or flag version of tackle football makes sense. Reasonable people can agree that eliminating the hitting in football doesn't stop anybody from playing football. Even the President himself, as a parent, has voiced concern about tackle football, giving the Secretary of Need plenty of political clout to "tackle" this critical issue.

Obviously this is just a short list of things we don't need, but it's ample evidence for why we do need a Secretary of Need to make for us the difficult yet important decisions.

The Declaration of Independence identified the "unalienable Rights" of "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness". But obviously the Founding Fathers didn't mean an "absolutely unlimited" life, liberty and happiness. Some reasonable restrictions must apply, and thankfully we have the Secretary of Need to guide us...whoever they are.

- Paul Erhardt, Editor, the Outdoor Wire Digital Network

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