Only in the Bizarro World

When I was a kid,there was a recurring segment called "Tales of the Bizarro World" in Superman comics. Superman stood for "truth, justice and the American way". In the Bizarro world people were governed by the Bizarro Code which states "Us do opposite of all Earthly things! Us hate beauty! Us love ugliness! Is big crime to make anything perfect on Bizarro World!"

Where else but in Bizarro world would the Credit Card Act of 2009, an act designed to protect consumers against unscrupulous credit card practices, be coupled with amendment 1067, inserted by Senator Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma, that allows concealed weapons to be carried into The National Park and National Wildlife Refuge system?

In true Bizarro logic, Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., stated, "The fact is American gun owners are simply citizens who want to exercise their Second Amendment rights without running into confusing red tape." The confusing red tape regarding credit card rules and rates was what the bill was supposed to be about.

Quickly following on the heels of the kind of logic that protects credit card holder's rights by endangering both humans and animals, Arizona joined 41 other states in allowing handguns to be carried into bars. I've seen enough cowboy movies to appreciate the excitement of mixing two fisted drinking with a one fisted handgun, but even the old West got civilized and had patrons check their side arms. As stated by many gun advocates, "Each person has the right to bear arms to defend themselves." However, they seem to be protecting themselves from each other. According to the FBI, states with the least restrictions on gun control, such as Arizona, Texas and Arkansas, also have the highest rate of violent crime involving firearms.

Only in a Bizarro world would anyone think the combination of guns and alcohol was a good thing.

Recent laws also allow guns to be kept in cars parked on the private property of employers who forbid guns in the workplace. This is a step in the right direction for gun owners who are now vulnerable only on that dangerous walk from their company parking lot to their job.

If you don't drive to work and have to take the train, you can take comfort that Congress voted to allow guns to be carried in baggage checked aboard all Amtrak trains.

In a compelling statement of patriotism, Senator Roger Wicker, R-Mississippi, said "Americans should not have their Second Amendment rights restricted for any reason, particularly if they choose to travel on America's federally subsidized rail line." I'm having a gun turret mounted on the front of my car to protect myself from the other armored vehicles that travel our federally subsidized highway system.

And in case our country doesn't offer sufficient protection, the Lord will -- or at least try. Rep. Beverly Pyle, R-Arkansas, proposed HB1237, to allow a concealed handgun into churches and other places of worship.

Only in Bizarro world do you find alleged men of God like Ken Pagano, pastor of the New Bethel Church in Lexington, Kentucky, who, in June sponsored a "bring-your-guns-to-church day." Like all good church events, this one had a dollar raffle. The grand prize was handgun. Nothing says "love thy neighbor" like a well armed congregation.

As a nation, we are already well armed, ranking first in the world in per capita gun ownership with 90 guns per each 100 people. Households with guns are 11 times more likely to use those guns to commit suicide than for self defense. The suicide rate in the United States from firearms is the highest, by far, in the world. To be fair, we don't just kill ourselves, we kill others, a lot. According to the United Nations Survey of Crime Trends, the United States has the highest homicide rate of any developed country by over 7 1/2 times.

To keep things balanced, we also have the highest teen pregnancy rate in the world in both absolute numbers, 494,357 and per capita, 1,672 per million people. In the Bizarro World, the key to solving this epic and epidemic problem happened on September 29th when the Senate appropriated $50 million for an "Abstinence Only" bill. The Institute of Medicine, affiliated with the National Academy of Sciences, tried to eliminate funding for abstinence only programs in 2000. Their research, along with other peer reviewed academic research concluded, "Preaching abstinence doesn't produce it." Education, contraception and condoms work. If you believe abstinence works, you are really screwed.

In the Bizarro world, you can rally millions of people to support the unrestricted use of firearms that will inevitably bring about injury and death, pony up $50 million for useless abstinence programs, but can't get people to agree on national health care reform that would benefit everyone.

I was a kid when I read about the Bizarro world. I didn't expect it to actually be a Bizarro world when I grew up.