opinion
Text in which the author defends ideas and reaches conclusions based on his / her interpretation of facts and data

Simians in Ohio

Several US states have determined that depriving someone of the right to bear arms because they are blind is "discriminatory"

I think it was Ohio. I believe I heard it on the TV news. I have been unable to confirm it. What makes me doubt it, is my sheer reluctance to believe it. Some Roman (Pliny or Apuleius?) said that "if idiots could fly, we would never see the sun." Admitting that I may be among the idiots, I cannot make sense of the State of Ohio's recent decision that it is "discriminatory" to the blind not to allow them to have an arms license, or to carry a gun or use it. So now the sightless can have their little arsenal of weapons on the wall and carry them in the street. And as we know, the gentlemen of the National Rifle Association are not content with having a Colt or a Glock on the wall or in a drawer. They like to provide themselves with assault rifles, grenades and even anti-tank weapons.

After a certain age, drivers are subjected to obligatory medical tests to see how their reflexes and sight are holding up. And their driver's license is not renewed if they fail it, on the grounds of public danger.

Several American states, however, headed by Ohio, have determined that to deprive someone of the right to bear arms merely because they are blind or nearly so, and might shoot in the direction of the fuzziest of shapes, is not a sensible and prudent measure, but a "discriminatory" one. I think I had better not set foot in Ohio, in case I come up against a paranoid individual with a white cane in one hand and a Kalashnikov in the other, confident of his ability to shoot "by ear."

At this rate, there will be Parkinson's sufferers who will find it "discriminatory" that they are not allowed to practice as surgeons

At this rate, there will be Parkinson's sufferers with trembling hands who will find it "discriminatory" that they are not allowed to practice as surgeons; one-handed amputees who protest because they are not allowed to compete in weight-lifting contests and boxing matches; decrepit old geezers demanding their right to be bullfighters; weaklings who appeal to the courts because they have been refused jobs in the police or the fire brigade "in disparagement of their physical appearance;" cripples who fly into a fury because the London Royal Ballet has refused them a tryout as dancers; and deaf people who are not contented with composing, like Beethoven, but demand a job in the papers as music critics.

I ask the reader not to dismiss all this as an exaggeration or a joke, because, now that we are on the subject: there exist crowds of incompetent writers whose books get published (true, after some underpaid gopher in the publishing house has corrected the spelling mistakes and cleaned up the illegible text); translators ignorant of both languages they are dealing with, source and target; the audiovisual media, radio and television, are full of individuals whom God never meant to set in front of a microphone, with disagreeable voices or who are simply tongue-tied, with abject diction and incapable of completing a sentence with meaning (what reason is that for "discrimination" against them?); and hundreds of mumbling actors who really require subtitles. Far from rare are the cases of people in wheelchairs who take it into their heads to climb Everest, which is all very well, but they should not expect a helicopter to come and rescue them if their vehicle gets stuck in a crevice. (Perhaps this latter instance is a slight exaggeration, but not a very gross one).

Given that animal rights activists are beginning to demand that beasts (especially the larger apes) be classed as "persons," I suppose the day is not far off when chimpanzees and gorillas will have the right to bear arms, so as to avoid "discrimination." Then the traditional Spanish remark "He's more dangerous than a monkey with a machine gun" will be politically incorrect on grounds of racism. Fortunately, except for a few pets owned by eccentric people, I believe most of the larger simians in Ohio are currently behind bars in "animal prisons" (zoos).

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