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!)
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!