18 Apr

Today I went to the pharmacy to buy my weekly supply of Claritin-D which as you may remember from a previous blog of mine, contains pseudoephedrine. Pseudoephedrine is a common decongestant and is used to treat stuffy nose and sinuses caused by the common cold, hay fever, or sinus infection.

However, because pseudoephedrine can be misused in the making of methamphetamine, it is considered a dangerous substance. And even though the misuse of it is uncommon (according to the internet) the United States federal government has seen fit to regulate it so that I and others like me cannot get our hands on more than one Claritin-D tablet per day.

And when it comes to pseudoephedrine the US government sure doesn’t fool around because all sellers of these “controlled” substances must maintain a “log book” which is to be used to record each sale and the following information is required to be documented:

  • Identity of each product sold, by name
  • Quantity sold
  • Name and Address of each purchaser
  • Date and Time of the sale

Every prospective purchaser must present a valid identification card with photo, or an acceptable document issued by a State or Federal Government, and sign the log book.

But the good news is that today, instead of having to go through the lengthy process of filling out the paperwork and showing my driver’s license and then signing on the dotted line the pharmacist simply took her scanner and clicked on the Claritin product code then pointed the scanner at the back of my driver’s license and presto!

And what’s on the back of my driver’s license in that long black bar anyway? The mark of the beast?

Everything that’s on the front, except the picture, is on that magnetic strip. Your name, address, height, weight, eye color, birth date, sex, license number and expiration date is all stored on that magnetic stripe.

And we use these  magnetic stripes to keep track of all sorts of objects and people; they are used to keep track of rental cars, airline luggage, nuclear waste, registered mail, express mail and parcels, and tickets that allow the holder to enter sports arenas, cinemas, theatres, fairgrounds, and transportation.

And we’ve been using these scanners and barcodes now for  over 40 years and the government has applied this amazing and simple technology in continuing efforts to try to reduce crime, illegal immigration, underage drinking…and anything they can possibly thing of including suspected minority voting fraud for crying out loud!

So why not…of all things… guns? Barcode on the gun, barcode on the bullets, barcode on your license…the seller takes his scanning “gun” (how appropriate is that?) and bing bang boom, point and shoot here, point and shoot there and all of the necessary info is immediately recorded and logged into a database…and they’ve even got a barcode that looks like a target! (It’s both cool and fun!)

Sample ShotCode linking to this article.

How easy is that? And we’re already doing it now for just about everything you can think of especially wherever the government thinks it might make some impact in providing safety and security for the American people.

We could even have used an electronic marker known as a taggant  to trace the gunpowder used in the bombs at the recent Boston Marathon that would have  identified  the point of manufacturer, and chain of custody…

In fact, explosives manufacturers are already required to place tracing elements known as identification taggants  in plastic explosives but…you guessed it… not in gunpowder, thanks to lobbying efforts by the NRA and large gun manufacturing groups because…wait for it… they are worried about being sued over the improper use of their ammunition or explosives!

If only guns and ammunition were considered by Congress to be as dangerous as allergy medication, movie line jumpers and minority voters, then we’d see some gun safety legislation…You Betcha!

12 Responses to “Pseudoe-Fed”

  1. Rabblefish April 18, 2013 at 4:33 pm #

    I like Chris Rock’s solution: Raise the price of a bullet to $5000 apiece!

    And have do you ever watch “PBS Frontline”? They did a great investigative report into the crystal meth epidemic.

  2. Jae April 18, 2013 at 4:50 pm #

    Interesting perspective. Although I’m more of the mind that you should be able to get your Claritin-D without the hassle because you are a law-abiding citizen. I’m not too fond of the governments ever-encroaching nanny status all under the guise of safety. But you probably already guessed that. 😉

  3. momshieb April 18, 2013 at 4:55 pm #

    Of course, now the feds can march in, kick down our doors and take away our claritin……!
    Thank you for pointing out the ridiculousness of this whole argument.

  4. crossinh April 18, 2013 at 6:34 pm #

    Makes so much sense. So why is the NRA so against it and other common sense rules?

  5. Terri L. Spilman April 18, 2013 at 8:30 pm #

    Well said again. I finally broke down and did a post on common sense gun control after the failed Senate vote yesterday. I put links to three of your fantastic gun control posts in my blog: The thought, research and well-framed arguments you put together are so much better than anything I’ve read in mainstream media. Keep it up!

  6. Malcolm Greenhill April 18, 2013 at 8:49 pm #

    By the same logic let’s barcode people at birth with a simple implant. Then the government can really protect people from themselves perhaps giving them a small electric shock if they are underage and enter a liquor establishment or if they ingest illicit drugs. Why bother banning guns anyway, let’s just support measures to have a democratically elected government control people directly. In the long run this will be much more efficient than banning guns, knives, pressure cookers, swimming pools and autos, all of which kill so many people. What a wonderful world that would be where nobody could do anything dangerous, do anything risky, make any mistakes, insult someone or hurt their feelings. There would be no bullying, no fighting, no disagreements, no unpleasantness. It would be heaven, would it not?

  7. Maurice A. Barry April 18, 2013 at 9:00 pm #

    All sorts of complex trust issues here. Do we trust our fellow citizens not to make drugs deemed illegal? Do we trust our government not to turn tags and other identifiers against us as individuals? Do we trust the gun-toting public to use their assault weapons responsibly? No easy answers here as, in the end, it’s a choice between a government that is often hard to trust and … well … nut jobs. The only thing I can say is that we’d all be better off if our governments were more transparent. At least, then we, as citizens could do to THEM what they all seem so intent on doing to US, namely keeping an eye on them. Fair enough.

  8. NO ULTERIOR MOTIVE April 19, 2013 at 1:58 am #

    GREAT ESSAY! You’re correct. As for as I’m concerned, there is absolutely nothing in our government, in Washington DC, that’s rational…seriously, it’s so disturbing; all I can do is vote, pray and put my faith in God. I’m not being facetious.

  9. brucethomasw April 19, 2013 at 3:09 pm #

    The bar codes are not going away . . . and as Big Brother is Watching anyways – why not guns. A brilliant idea. I wonder what the NRA thinks of it?

  10. TamrahJo April 19, 2013 at 4:11 pm #

    I do not understand the hesitation of those against this idea – we buy a car and register it, and display easy-to-read-after-dark license plates, so if we run someone over, rob a bank or take out a fence, there is some way of tracking we vile villains – – While I’m an at-the-edge-of-slippery-slope-thinking- I figure, “everything else is tracked, why should this be a problem? “

  11. Chiantihill April 19, 2013 at 5:50 pm #

    Yes, apparently the only place we’re entitled to privacy is with gun ownership. Everything else is open season!

  12. Below Zero | Above Infinity April 20, 2013 at 12:24 am #

    I sure do like the way you think.

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