Monday, July 23, 2012

The Pursuit of Happiness

OK so where was I? Actually I've spent a lot of this weekend ranting. Mainly about the terrible shooting event in Colorado, gun control (or lack of, in this country) and the stupid arguments in defence/defense of guns. (See previous post for a brilliant rebuttal)

Apparently, because the Second Amendment to the Constitution says we have a "right to bear arms", that's it. End of. Nothing can be done about it. Except that no one seems to notice-  it's an amendment to the Constitution. Which means that the original Constitution was fiddled with. And, according to Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, who promises to amend the Constitution to ban gay marriage, it can be fiddled with again.


And here's another thing (rant)? If we're going to be sticking to the letter of the law, as in the Constitution (and the "right to bear arms") what about "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness", which are stated as  "inalienable rights" in the Declaration of Independence.

I realise that "the pursuit of happiness" is vague and subjective, but I suspect that like me, many people include the odd glass of wine in the spectrum. And yet, it's heavily restricted in this country.

  • 40% of the counties in Alabama are dry (ie. you can't buy booze anywhere).
  • In Colorado, you can only buy wine and spirits from liquor stores and liquor-licensed stores, (ie. not from supermarkets and corner shops.)
  • District of Columbia (DC) - no alcohol sales on Sundays.
  • Kansas - stores and gas stations can only sell beer of up to 3.2% proof
  • Massachusetts - No "Happy Hour" specials; no pitchers for fewer than two people; no more than two drinks per person; no drinking contests; no prizes of alcohol.
  • In most counties, no sales of alcohol on Sundays. 
  • No sales of spirits before noon on Sundays.
  • New York (state) - liquor stores must be owned by a single owner who lives within a certain distance from said store (ie. no chains)
  • Oregon - all liquor is state-owned prior to the sale to consumers
  • Wine & spirits can only be sold at state-operated stores
  • No hard liquor sales after 7pm (1) and none on Sundays.
  • Texas - between 10am and noon on Sundays you can only buy alcohol on-premise, with a meal; all liquor stores closed on Sundays
  • Utah - anything over 4% proof sold in state-controlled stores; hours = up till 10pm and not on Sundays; no drinks in restaurants without a meal;

And when I say "no sales on Sundays" that means with your Sunday meal! Sigh.


  1. Seems ironic that you can buy guns galore in Colorado but you can't buy a bottle of wine in the supermarket. Er, priorities?

    As for Mitt Romney, I'm just gritting my teeth and hoping we come out the other side of this election OK.....

  2. And increasingly, districts are passing laws to allow patrons to carry loaded handguns in bars.
    This country gets scarier and scarier the further right it goes.
    I lived in London during the 1970s and miss living in a civilized country.
    Sorry, but that's the way it often feels now, as though this country has become something I no longer recognize. Far more culture shock for me coming back than there had been when I moved from NYC to London.

  3. Alarmingly, there are four states now (can't remember them right now) that allow handguns on college campuses! I mean, asking for trouble or what?

  4. Sounds more like the pursuit of crappiness...

  5. This! Thanks for posting this. Every time we go to buy drinks I find it so strange. I'm going to have to write about the time we bought wine from a local winemaker here in PA. I asked him about all the rules he has to adhere to, and my head was spinning at the end of it.

  6. Thanks for this post, am sending it to my friends. Beggars belief. I was just starting to get furious about all these things today. Condoms not readily available here in Oakland but guns are.

  7. Those liquor laws seem pretty darn logical to me. Why do you British always want things to be uniform? Hup two three four... What's the fun in that? Really. And I see nothing wrong with the right to bare arms either. Unless the arms are overly tattooed, maybe. And even then it would be ok with me on Sundays.


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