A Reluctant Mugger

“Johnny, please don’t do it anymore,” Sarah said. “For god’s sake, Johnny, you got a college degree. I’ll find a job somehow. You won’t have to do it anymore.”

“Yeah, and who’s going to take care of the kids, Sarah, tell me that.”

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“We’ll put them in a day-care center, Johnny.”

Johnny laughed. It wasn’t a happy laugh.

“Do you know how much that costs, Sarah?, he said. “Try $5000 a year. We got three kids, honey. We don’t have $15,000 bucks for daycare. It used to be that day-care centers charged $1000 a year. Then the bureaucrats slapped all those regulations on day-care centers. Extra double-fireproofing on the walls. Fire-alarm and sprinkler systems. Nurse on duty 24-hours a day. They just kept piling on the regulations.

“Then they cracked down on good people, housewives, who turned their homes into a day-care center for a few neighborhood kids. ‘Against the zoning regulations,’ the local bureaucrats said. I know all this, Sarah. Remember, that’s one of the businesses I tried to open myself. We lost a lot of money because of those damn bureaucrats. Their regulations drove hundreds of day-care centers out of business, me included. The ones still in business now have to charge their customers an extra $5000 a year just to meet expenses. We can’t afford it.”

“You know I don’t want to work for someone honey,” Johnny said. “I can’t. I can’t stand taking orders. I want to succeed, honey, to grow a business, to be someone. You can’t do that working for someone else. It’s like giving up, giving up my dream.”

“You know what happened next, honey. Do you remember? For five years, I tried so many new businesses. But the bureaucrats and their regulations screwed me every time. I even tried to open a lousy pushcart selling food in the business district. Did you know the local bureaucrats charge $4000 in city fees just to get their god-damn “permission” to open a pushcart? I heard in Washington, D.C. that the local city bureaucrats extort $7000 in fees from guys trying to open a pushcart. Did you know that in California, up to 20 federal and state licenses are required to open a business? Remember I wanted to drive my own cab? In New York City, a cab medallion costs  $200,000. Who do you think set up the medallion system with these cabs? The city politicians. Every business I tried, the government bureaucrats require licenses and extort their license fees. I won’t give in to them anymore. I won’t put up with their extortion.”

“But, Johnny, why do you have to be a mugger? Why do you have to rob people on the streets, Johnny? You’re going to get killed one day.”

“I don’t want to be a mugger, Sarah. I don’t want to hurt anyone, honey. Don’t you know that? But our three kids got to eat. Sometimes I can make a lot of money mugging people. I’d never hurt them, you know that, honey. I just stick my gun in their face and they give me their cash and credit cards. Then I have them lay face-down on the sidewalk and I walk away. You know I always have blanks in my gun. But they don’t know that. And you know there’s never any cops around. And I wear my disguise, so no one knows what I look like. I make the money we need to feed the kids. I have to do it, Sarah.”

“But Johnny, what if someone has a gun, what if they try to shoot you when you mug them?” Sarah cried.

Johnny laughed derisively. “Won’t happen, Sarah, it won’t happen. This is the one time the politicians are on my side, honey. See, the gun-control fanatics in the State legislature passed the “no-carry” laws. They just banned law-abiding citizens from carrying concealed guns. On the streets, I have nothing to worry about. Law-abiding citizens won’t risk five years in prison if they’re found carrying a concealed pistol. They’re afraid that if they try to shoot me when I mug them, and the cops come, they’ll be the ones going to prison, not me. Do you believe that, Sarah?”

“The same bureaucrats that stopped me from opening up a legit business, who have been persecuting me with their damn regulations and license-fee extortions, these same bureaucrats made me into a successful mugger.

“Oh, Johnny, how will this end? It has to end badly, Johnny. I love you, but I’m so scared.”

“Sarah, I love you so much, I love the kids so much. What else can I do? What else can I do? Blame the government bastards. Blame them, honey.”

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