Monday, October 11, 2010

Open Letter to the US Postal Service.

Grant Cunningham of the The Revolver Liberation Alliance writes an open letter to the USPS telling them they are losing business by:
  1. Not following US law with regard to shipping firearms. The law requires only the recipient have an FFL but the Post Office insists both sender and receiver have one.
  2. Using archaic design criteria for their website. Apparently the site only works well with Internet Exporer and requires the user to download Adobe Reader to print a label.

The first bit of bureaucratic silliness cost me an extra $50 when I had to ship a rifle back to Browning from some minor work. I can see how that could add up quickly for a gunsmith who deals with customers all over the country. Even sending through UPS or Fedex is a hassle because I had to go to a Regional Center to send it instead of just dropping it off at a local shipping point.

Perhaps Congress needs to be reminded that the Commerce Clause was intended to facilitate commerce, not inhibit it.

I see the second in many web environments. I think it is a side effect of using IDE's that make it easy to plug in pre-written objects without any review of the underlying code. While it is true the Macintosh and most Linux distributions now have perfectly good tools to handle PDF files, Adobe Acrobat was the "standard" for a long time in Internet Years. The developers probably have some legacy code that relies on Acrobat being present and have never bothered to change it to match the changing web client environment.

Not too bright but, despite the appearance of being an independent corporation, the USPS is really an arm of the Federal Government. Change may make for a good campaign slogan but in the real world, governments change slowly and only with great resistance.

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