Just got back from a 4 day road trip to Pennsylvania. Took the wife and kids and got out of the rat-race to maintain our sanity. Just wanted to share a few observations about topics that may interest you – guns, booze, fireworks, and tobacco.
Overall, I did not care much for Pennsylvania, but there is a certain charm to the place. Didn’t like it much the last time I was there a few years ago. As I drove down route 314 to route 611 I noticed that in every mall is a tobacco shop of one kind or another. Mostly they advertise ‘wholesale’ priced tobacco products. I did not notice that more people were smoking, but they enjoy a much larger variety of shops, which no doubt offer a larger variety of products. I thought of how that would not be acceptable in Massachusetts.
I also noticed gun shops. Alongside every tobacco shop seemed to be a gun store of some kind offering the sale, purchase or rental of guns. Again, I never saw anyone walking around with a gun, but I thought of how all the gun shops would not be acceptable in Massachusetts. I rarely see any in Massachusetts.
Liquor stores in Pennsylvania do not sell 6-packs. They only sell 12-packs or larger. To get a 6-pack one must go to the local supermarket or convenience store. As you might have guessed – I did not see any drunks or abuse of alcohol happening. No bottle deposit on bottles or cans. No trash lining the streets!
Fireworks in almost every mall. All kinds of variety in the local stores. One particular store I visited had these large quart sized fireworks for sale sitting right next to the office supplies and tupperware. Guess what? No piles of lost limbs lying around because people blew their hands off. No lines at hospital waiting rooms to re attach limbs were observed.
I did notice that the local economy was not terribly strong, but one would be hard-pressed to make the argument that it had anything to do with guns, tobacco or fireworks.
I did have a chance to visit a shooting range in Henryville, PA. It was one of the most exciting, fun and enjoyable parts of my time away. I visited a shooting range named Sunset Hill Shooting Range. The people were professional and hard working. I have not shot a gun in nearly 40 years, but I intend to do it more often going forward. I took my two sons and made a morning event out of it. The first rifle we shot was the HK416 Tactical Assault Rifle. It was bad-ass and loads of fun. It happens to be the same model of gun used to kill Osama Bin Laden. it is light, accurate and reliable. Then I shot a Beretta Neos U22 pistol. Awesome! My sons insisted on shooting a sniper rifle. Wow, what a kick it was… Ya know what? No dead bodies lying around with gunshot wounds. I did not see a single dead body all day long. All I saw were families having fun shooting and learning about guns. Both sons agreed it was the highlight of the trip.
The overriding observation was that the people in Pennsylvania have made different choices than the legislators in Massachusetts. People in Pennsylvania have retained their rights to own a gun freely, own and use fireworks and make an industry out of tobacco. They have decided that those things are important to them and they want to hold on to them. On the other hand Massachusetts legislators have made different choices for us. Massachusetts citizens have not given up the right to own those things, but legislators have taken away their right to own those things. As much as I like Massachusetts I find it sad that legislators have taken away our right to so many enjoyable things. I like fireworks. I ‘now’ love shooting guns. I can understand how people like tobacco. Yet in Massachusetts those things are as taboo as church. Oh yeah, there are a lot more churches in Pennsylvania too.
Massachusetts has made it illegal to own/use fireworks. They have made it nearly impossible to use a gun freely. They would never tolerate large-scale tobacco warehouse stores. The nanny state is alive and well.
Upon my return to Massachusetts I had one unique experience. Since we had been away I decided to pick up two gallons of milk and a 6-pack at a local convenience store in Littleton. I had my daughter come into the store with me to help carry the milk. I was refused the sale of alcohol because my daughter was with me. The clerk (simply doing her job) informed me that it was not legal to sell alcohol to anyone with a minor in tow. There was an assumption that as soon as I left the store I would give the beer to my daughter, who is 20 years old. I was assumed guilty. How long has this been the law? What do parents do when they have kids and need a 6 pack? Do they leave the kids in the car and hope that some other nanny-state do-gooder won’t have them arrested for leaving kids in a car on a summer day? WTF?
Guns are safe and fun. It is sad that so many Massachusetts residents have a desperate fear, phobia truthfully, of guns. That phobia has been learned by what progressives teach. I think I will make a donation to The Gun Owner’s Action League. They understand things a lot better than most Massachusetts residents.
I also feel bad for Massachusetts citizens because they are missing out on so many of the things that make life fun and enjoyable. What is the harm in a few firecrackers? What is the harm in the open ownership of guns? What is so bad about enjoying a smoke?
And where are the results of all this nanny-state protection? Are we better because of all the things we are denied? I know many uppity Harvard Law School types that think we are better, and worse yet they look down on the guns and God crowd, but that is just people hating on each other. Massachusetts and Pennsylvania are both ‘middle of the road’ when it comes to happiness. I think we have only given up our liberties, and that is saddest of all…