Being Carded at 75

February 10, 2013 | 0 comments

Guns have been much in the news lately. So have silly regulations, which always seem to be in the news, perhaps because of their inscrutability.

A few days ago I read a comment at another blog. The writer was a man who took two of his great-grandchildren on a visit to Wyoming's capital city, Cheyenne. While there they visited a gun show. The man almost bought "a very pretty competition barrel Dan Wesson .357, but that would have meant crossing a state line with, for that state, an 'unlicensed' firearm."

"We all had a good time, and the kids made me proud, they were so well behaved. Not once was I asked for I.D., not once were the kids treated as anything but well-behaved young children." He said "the atmosphere was pleasant" at the convention, which he found more interesting than the museum they had visited earlier in the day.

Before they started for home, the children's mother called and asked him to pick up a few items: groceries, spray paint, and a decongestant. "I was carded at the pharmacy section of the grocery store. Now, I look pretty durn good for 75, if I do say so myself, but I had to show an I.D. to buy an over-the-counter medication."

At Home Depot his I.D. wasn't enough. "The young lady informed me that it was not possible to sell me white refrigerator epoxy [paint] because there were individuals under the age of 18 in my party. In my party."

There we have it: An elderly man, with two young children in tow, is free to handle a firearm without being asked first for identification, but he can't buy a nonprescription medicine for colds without showing proof that he's over 18. He can't buy spray paint at all because he has under-18s with him.

This topsy-turvydom may make no sense to you, but it makes perfect sense to countless regulators and to countless regular folks, whose only complaint might be that the man should have been required to show his I.D. even to look at a firearm, let alone handle it.

The regulations at the grocery store and Home Depot are what results when people in general are no longer expected to be responsible for their own actions. The Catholic Faith teaches that each man has free will and has a duty to develop and control it. The secular world thinks that a man largely is not responsible for what he does and needs to be overseen and cajoled much like a child.

The secular world thinks that, when it comes to decongestant tablets, a septuagenarian is no more aware than a five-year-old. It thinks that a teenager might want a can of spray paint for a night of "tagging" and that a man drawing Social Security is likely to supply the boy with the means to effect his escapade.

It shouldn't surprise us that as people move away from Christianity, they move away from Christian thinking and even thinking of any sort. They become reactive. Indeed, no one is more a reactionary than a secular progressive. Not working from fundamental and fixed principles, all he can do is react to real or perceive problems by instituting another regulation.


Karl Keating is founder and president of Catholic Answers, the country’s largest apologetics and evangelization organization. He is the author of five books, including Catholicism and Fundamentalism and What Catholics Really Believe.

Comments by Catholic.com Members

Be the first to leave a comment!


You are not logged in. Login or register to leave a comment.