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I’ve never met a gun enthusiast I didn’t like, which is strange and probably means I haven’t met many. Even so, I’m still surprised when mouth-foaming, flag-waving, gun-emblem T-shirt-owning, gun-show-booth-manning true believers turn out to be polite, generous, sincere people I’d like to have as neighbors.

As a result of their relentless good will, I’ve mellowed over the years to the point where I don’t have a rage about guns, although I would like to see people who buy over-the-shoulder weapons go through a background check. Millions of my fellow citizens love hunting, were raised with it, mark the year’s passage by their hunting trips, and are tired of listening to gun palaver from people such as me. Fair enough.

So, in the spirit of ultimate reconciliation, let me welcome all blood-sports enthusiasts to the 2010 turkey, dove, and pheasant season. Murdering turkeys, especially with an eye toward eating their flesh, is legal until November 28. True, you can only kill one turkey a day, but that’s why they made highways, for return trips. Have your dog rip open bird bellies or simply kill jakes and toms, hens and jennies by any means necessary. Don’t worry — turkey muscles, hearts, and livers are tasty be they young, old, male, or female. Bon appetit, pilgrim!

You can execute pheasants until December 26; three males a day are legal. Dove death is good through December 27. Get this, you can have ten dead doves on you and the man can’t do nothing. Finally, don’t forget Imperial County for your white geese kill needs. Killing fields are open through January 30, and you can bag eight geese a day. Bring the family along and take home enough bird meat to feed your pets until Mother’s Day 2011!

While we’re here, let’s talk about the moral meltdown of once-beloved sports figures. Brett Favre told the NFL Network he won’t play next year. One champion leaves, another arrives. Kindly permit me to introduce LeBron James.

We can posit, in terms of raw megalomania, that nothing has topped LeBron’s one-hour prime-time ESPN extravaganza, The Decision. As you recall, ESPN’s July broadcast was set up as a sports thriller; to wit: which team would sign James as a free agent? The show was half over before freelancer Jim Gray (handpicked by James) was brought forward to pop the big question...well, sort of pop the big question. Gray asked 16 questions first, including, “Are you still a nail-biter?” Buzz Bissinger described the scene as “TV’s equivalent of waterboarding.” It will be remembered as the moment LeBron’s megalomania went mainstream.

Saying that, I think his November 11 press conference — the one after Miami lost to Boston — has to be given consideration as a top-five LeBron James megalomania moment. Nine games into the season and he’s calling out his coach. Follows is a transcript.

“He’s [coach Erik Spoelstra] trying to figure out the minutes. He’s trying to figure out exactly the lineups that he want to play. For myself, 44 minutes is too much. I think we both know that. Forty minutes for D-Wade is too much. We have to have, you know...you know, we have to have as much energy as we can to finish games out.”

The Heat lost the contest 112 to 107. James played 44 minutes and Dwyane Wade played 40. Happily, as James pointed out, the outcome wasn’t his fault. He was too tired to finish with his usual panache. LeBron is 25 years old and a fella gets tired after 44 minutes.

Two days later, LeBron complains about how people took his original complaint and then threatens us with his ultimate sanction, ignoring the people of Earth. “It got blew up out of proportion, saying that I told Coach Spo that he’s playing me too much and he’s a bad coach. You kind of understand sometimes what Randy Moss was talking about when he said, ‘I will not be answering any more questions,’ because every time I say something, it gets turned out of character.”

Here’s the part that hurts: he’s right about the minutes.

The bars are closed...where is Tiger Woods? Woods has played 13 PGA tournaments this year and hasn’t won, placed, or showed in any of them. One wonders what the lad accomplished in 2010?

Well, he’s won $1.2 million in prize money. He’s ranked second in the world. He kept his house, a $50 million wonder on Jupiter Island, Florida. And he’s got a contract with his ex-wife who won’t be writing a book or giving interviews during the Cenozoic Era.

Pretty good year.

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sureshot Nov. 18, 2010 @ 11:47 a.m.

QUOTED: "although I would like to see people who buy over-the-shoulder weapons go through a background check"

Patrick Daugherty is misinformed and did not research this statement.

Since 1998 all firearms sales from dealers, including rifles, shotguns, etc require a background check in all states under Federal law.

In addition to the Federally mandated background check, California law has since long before that date required a waiting period & background check for rifles, shotguns, etc.

Also, California law is more restrictive than Federal law regarding prohibited categories of purchasers.

Private parties in California must transfer ALL firearms sales though a licensed dealer, with a background check and waiting period. There are no exceptions to this except between certain family members.


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