First they came for your urinal, now they want your Nerf gun.

It’s not like you need more proof, but if you’re beginning to think there are crazy places in the world dominated by silly people we have two recent news items to confirm your suspicions.

Now, if we were apt to be snarky, this is where we would point out that both of these crazy news items come from deep, deep blue states. But, given it is the Christmas season, we have sworn off snark.

So as a judge in a courtroom may say, strike that last paragraph.

The first item is a bit of old news but since it ties so nicely with the assault on assault Nerf guns, we dug it out of the files.

Admittedly most people did not know that the Really Good Liberal class considers some Nerf guns as ‘assault-style.’ But while the term ‘assault-style’ Nerf guns is as bizarre as it sounds, even more crazy is the danger these same deep-thinking libs assign to a common bathroom fixture.

It seems the city of Portland is remodeling the Portland Municipal Services Building. And this is some remodel. The city is spending $195 million on the project. Given the budget the building is certain to have all the latest gizmos. But there is one thing it will not have.


Seriously. Not one in the entire building. And this is one big building: A full 15 floors that includes some 1,000,000 square feet of space, yet when the work is done, it will be a urinal desert.

The Brain Trust running the project eliminated urinals as a way to “break down barriers.”

So who knew urinals created barriers? Apparently Chief Administrative Officer Tom Rinehart. And with such an impressive title, who are we to question his urinal analysis? Here’s what he had to say:

“We will continue to have gender-specific (male and female) multi-stall restrooms that are readily available to any employee that prefers to use one. But there will be no urinals in any restroom in the building. I am convinced that this is the right way to ensure success as your employer, remove arbitrary barriers in our community, and provide leadership that is reflective of our shared values.”

Scratch your head all you want but, in Portland at least, if there is a choice between urinals and ‘shared values,’ urinals lose every time.

As it turns out, the Leading Lights at the Empire State Consumer Project want to share their values when it comes to Nerf guns.

We can all agree that Nerf guns are valuable tools. While the darts these guns shoot are harmless they really do annoy a sister, always a priority for anyone who might get a Nerf gun for Christmas. Like a brother.

As it turns out, the people at Nerf know their market. They designed a super Nerf guns that can shoot lots of darts without re-loading. This is especially handy if a brother has more than one sister. Needless to say super Nerf guns are quite popular.

Just not with the Empire State Consumer Project.

The Empire State Consumer Project works out of New York State, a place where the Clever Class protects consumers from dangerous things such as big soft drinks and cheap natural gas.

According to reports, the outfit sent a letter to Hasbro scolding the company for making ‘assault weapons’ of ‘mass destruction’ that are marketed to children.

It may be that the Empire State Consumer Project does wonderful things. But anyone who views a Nerf gun as an assault weapon of mass destruction certainly has a different view than the rest of us – at least those of us who don’t live in New York or Oregon.

But who are we to judge? We didn’t realize urinals are such a drag on success in the workplace.

DAN HAMMES is publisher of the Gazette Record.

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