I love trains. I don’t have a love affair with them the way President Joe Biden does, who commuted on Amtrak daily when he was a Senator from Delaware, but I really like trains.
It’s easier to travel on a train than on a plane, and so much better than a bus. Airports are huge hassles while to get on a train, you just show the ticket guy your ticket. Actually, you get on the train first and then you show him your ticket. It’s so easy when I have a trip to Washington, DC as I don’t have to screw with traffic or parking. It’s the same with going to New York City. And the greatest thing about going to those cities on a train is that after you arrive, you get on another train to your destination. If you work it right, you leave your house, get on a train, and you’re dropped off a few blocks from your hotel (unless your hotel is in Georgetown). It’s easy.
Amtrak has moments where it’s a pain, like the time the air conditioning went out during summer on a trip home from North Carolina while I was trying to meet my CNN deadline in the cafe car, but it’s still a great way to travel. The trains I really love are subways. I still have NYC and DC train cards with a few bucks on them. I want to live in a city with a huge train system, but I can’t afford it.
Subways get a bad rap. A lot of people have told me they’ll never get on the New York subway because it’s not safe. I’ve had people in New York City tell me to never take the subway. I was at an Irish bar in midtown Manhattan and two brothers I was in a conversation with told me that whatever I do, to “never take the subway.” They were way too late with their advice. I’ve taken the New York subway all over Manhattan, through the Bronx, and into Brooklyn. I haven’t gone through Queens yet, but I will when I go see the Mets. But I’ve taken the subway through the Bronx at night and wasn’t afraid (there’s a train system on Staten Island but it’s not connected to the other four boroughs). And yeah, you see freaks talking very loudly to themselves and there are smelly people, but you also see women alone with their babies. I’ve seen groups of kids without adults on the Washington Metro. The Metro is pretty safe, and despite the recent increase in violence, the New York subway system is usually safe. My biggest hassle with subways is that they can be confusing.
Washington’s train system can be confusing but it’s a lot easier to figure out. The Metro has six lines, 91 stations, and 117 miles of routes. New York City’s subway has 36 lines, 472 stations, and 850 miles of track. You can get lost. I had a conversation with a different guy in that same Irish bar who was NYC born and raised, and he told me he got confused with the train system. But, there are now apps for that kind of stuff. I would look on my phone while in my hotel room to see when the next train was arriving at the station around the corner.
I used to get confused with the Metro until I traveled on the Subway. I don’t have any more problems understanding Washington’s Metro.
To me, it doesn’t make sense not to take the trains if you’re in a city that has them. Do I feel safe in the stations? I’ve drawn cartoons in NYC’s underground stations.
You may need to make adjustments as circumstances change, like during the COVID pandemic, but I refuse to allow lunatics to dictate how I live my life. I refuse to live in fear. I still rode in cars after being in car accidents, I still flew in planes after 9/11, and I’ll still ride in trains despite the shooting yesterday in Brooklyn.
A friend I grew up with will never go to Washington or New York City because he refuses to go anywhere without his guns. To me, that kind of fear is worse than living with the very small chance you’re going to be attacked on a train.
Giving everyone a gun is the NRA solution to gun violence. Didn’t a mass shooting on a military base disprove that solution? And in the few instances when a “good guy with a gun” showed up to a mass shooting, the good guy doesn’t actually save any lives. The “good guy with a gun” in Sutherland, Texas in 2017 showed up AFTER the shooter had already killed 26 people when the good guy started chasing him. The shooter was done shooting. And the good guy went on a car chase after the shooter instead of tending to the wounded bleeding to death. Arriving at the scene of a mass shooting is the sick fantasy of every gun fetishist. I think the main reason for them to carry a gun isn’t for their own personal safety, but more for the day when they get to shoot somebody.
Also, how can police tell the difference between the good guy with a gun and the bad guy?
There’s a better solution than the yee-haw cure and that is….let’s get rid of guns. It’ll be hard to shoot someone with a gun if there are no guns.
We don’t have to get rid of all guns but let’s get rid of the guns that make it easier to shoot a high number of people in a short period of time. The Second Amendment gives you the right to bear arms, but it doesn’t state you have the right to own machine guns, which is basically what these assault rifles are. If nothing else, let’s put more control, requirements, and regulations into owning these weapons that are made strictly for the purpose of killing human beings.
“Gun control” is like the word “liberal” for conservatives. No pun intended, but it’s a trigger word meaning bad, much in the same way conservatives now use “groomer,” “woke,” “cancel culture,” “book,” and “personal hygiene.”
While there are people in this nation afraid of getting on a train or traveling to a large city, there are people in other nations afraid to come to our nation because of our sick fetish for guns.
Gun fetishists are afraid gun control will disrupt their entitled white-privileged gun-humping lifestyle. But their guns are disrupting people’s lives while they’re just trying to get to work.
The gun fetishists, the so-called “constitutionalists,” want us to live in fear. They want us to be afraid of getting on a train or going to a donut shop. But like I said before, I refuse to allow lunatics to dictate how I live my life.
Music note: I listened to Pearl Jam while drawing this cartoon. And I bet you thought it would be the Beastie Boys.
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