Clinging to My Guns, Salt, and Light Bulbs

I recently, along with my husband, took the class that is required in my state to obtain a handgun permit. According to the instructor where we took the class, business hasn't been so good since the immediate aftermath of 9/11. Once I file the necessary paperwork, I expect that I'll be able to purchase my firearm within the next couple of months.

Now I'm not necessarily expecting to have to use my handgun once I obtain it, as I am fortunate to live in an area where violent crime is rare. (The last murder in my town took place almost 25 years ago, and was a shocking anomaly to the norm.) But many people are worried that after he takes office, Obama will do his best to support and ultimately enact legislation that makes it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to exercise their Second Amendment rights. It's more of a statement than anything else. Plus, target shooting is fun.

As the instructor at the gun shop said, "Meanwhile, criminals will continue to be able to get their guns."

But it's not just Second Amendment rights that Americans should be worried about, and it's not just President-elect Obama whom Americans should be worried about when it comes to the infringement of our rights -- Congress and smaller state and city governments all have their fat, grubby fingers in the pie as well.

Take, for instance, New York City Mayor Mike "Nanny" Bloomberg's latest attempt to micromanage his constituents. Having already banned smoking in public places and the use of trans fats by restaurants within city limits, Bloomberg now wants to "reduce the salt in processed food by 20 percent over the next five years."

No wonder he's looking to skirt the two-term limit approved by the voters -- he's not done yet telling them how to live their lives. Mary Poppins added a spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down, but she too would probably be in Bloomberg's sights, as he may be planning to cut sugar out of your diet as well as salt and fat.

What's next for New Yorkers? Cutting out certain foods entirely? Could it be goodbye to fried chicken? Donuts? Pastrami sandwiches? The carts that sell hot dogs, salted pretzels, and potato knishes on nearly every corner? When it comes to nanny staters, you never know what's next on the hit list. Hey, one town council in Britain decided that the salt shakers at chip shops had an overabundance of holes, meaning customers could put too much salt on their food. This just wouldn't do. So they decided to spend a couple of thousand taxpayer pounds on new and improved salt shakers with only five holes, compared to the traditional 17, and gave them out free to shops. One chip shop owner reported that "people will just put on more salt if they want more. In fact, we have had some people unscrewing the lids to do so."

You just can't make this stuff up. What's next, assigning a salt monitor to each restaurant to dole out salt portions? Don't laugh.

Certainly there is a problem here in America when it comes to diet and exercise. Thanks to modern technology, we not only have an overabundance of inexpensive food, but we've become a largely sedentary society. The obvious good comes with a price to pay. But does the answer really lie in relieving individuals of their personal responsibility in the choices they make? Should government bureaucrats who "know better" than you do have that much power over your life?