Larry Webster: When pressure cookers are outlawed, only outlaws will have Sunday dinner

The rare food we grew up on, not fried, was boiled and always in a pressure cooker by an equally explosive stepmother who could fix Sunday dinner about as quick as it takes the teenager at the drive-through window to oversauce your fast food enough to ruin your clothes.

We knew not to call that thing a petcock in front of her and just called it that little jiggly thing, but when it hissed and threw off steam like old '97, you were close to some world-class green beans or mashed potatoes. My present chef would sooner fry with PCB oil in a chamber pot than use one, because one blew up on her mother one time.

So I have mixed feelings about Pressure Cooker Control, but something must be done, like something always must be done when there are victims. About the highest honor you can put on a victim is to curb the Constitution in their name.

I, like anybody else, want to keep pressure cookers out of the hands of Chechnyans, whatever them are, but certainly don't want to give up mine. Yes, we do have one and it is somewhere round the house put up, just in case we have to have it. I don't want to not be able to buy a pressure cooker at a flea market. I certainly don't want the government to have the only pressure cookers, and if I want to buy one the size of one of those Apollo Oil tanks, then I should be able to.

I guess the answer is background checks. The government could have a hotline and if somebody wants to buy a pressure cooker, the seller could call in and see if the buyer was Chechnyan on not, or had wore funny stuff on his head, or had also overstocked BBs, or had more ball bearings than Timkin. Or was crazy. The system could be quick. In fact, Presto might be a good name for it.

What we really need in this world is some way to instantly spread dangerous information to all the crazy people, like how to build bombs. I have advocated for ignorance and isolation as the solution to terrorism. Ignorance is usually taken to be a negative thing, but up to now I liked living among people ignorant of how to build weapons of mass destruction out of their pressure cookers. Into Ignorance's blissful garden came not the serpent, but the spider whose worldwide web cannot be unspun.

Ignorance also deters terrorists in other ways. Nowadays a weirdo who wants to be remembered can be assured that he will, simply by killing enough school kids or foot-racers. Three hundred channels will stay on 24/7 talking about him and pointing out whatever grievance the killer had or thought he had. Would one of those guys act at all if he knew that his act would not be covered on the news?

We should prohibit news coverage about any mass killing of more than two people at a time. Lives would be saved. This might be a slight violation of the First Amendment, but, hey, we must act somehow.

Isolation means you don't know what is happening on Boylston Street. Isolation means that you are not afraid of stuff you don't know about. Isolation means you know who the crazy people in your holler are, and you either stay away from them, humor them or watch them like a hawk. Isolation is the only and final solution to terrorism, because you can protect your food supply, you know more about the land and forests and streams of that place and are more apt to protect that place, and you don't give a darn what other people believe and what you believe is none of their business.

We must all say goodbye to one another and isolate, and there, ignore.

Reach Larry Webster, a Pikeville attorney, at websterlawrencer@bellsouth.net.