Our Gun Culture

Posted: December 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

I know I’m not the only person to blog on this topic since the Newtown tragedy happened on Friday.  I read in horror as the reports came in on Friday.  One thing I haven’t watch a single second of though is the coverage of the victims stories.  Some may find that disrespectful, but I can’t bear to humanize them.  It may seem wrong to some that they are looked at as just a number.  I prefer it that way.  Numbers don’t make me cry.  Numbers don’t put knots in my stomach.  Numbers don’t remind me that those could be my children.

There will be much debate in the coming months about our gun laws.  Some will say that we need sensible legislation.  Some will say we need to ban handguns and assault weapons.  Others will say “guns don’t kill people, people kill people”.  Still others will think the answers is more guns not less.

As I look at it there are 3 general options in front of us: (1) We look at this as a series of isolated situations and don’t allow it to impact our legislation at all.  (2) We determine that access to guns is an issue and we pass some laws that restrict this to some degree.  (3) We determine that more guns in more peoples hands will prevent some of these and move towards less restrictions and more access.

The first option is not really worth discussing because it changes nothing.  Why would I be blogging about that?

Let’s look at the second option.  Is more guns the answer?  Is it possible that a more armed citizenry could have prevented or limited some of the deaths that have resulted from these shootings.  The answer is an absolute, yes.  Any liberal, gun-control advocate is an idiot if they can’t admit that if guns were allowed at the movie theater in Aurora, or if a teacher or student had a gun at Columbine, Newtown, or Virginia Tech that fewer people probably would have died.  That really is common sense.  The shooter would absolutely have been subdued quicker and the carnage would have been less severe.  So I firmly believe that if we had more people with guns and there were less restrictions on where they could be carried then when these tragedies occurred, there would be fewer deaths.

Now what about option #3?  Will some measure of gun-control have an impact on these tragedies?  The advocates will say that they will because guns will be less accessible.  The gun advocates will cry that limiting access to guns only effects law-abiding citizens from getting them.  They say the criminals and mentally unstable will always get access to them.  They are correct in that argument.

So in short I do believe that the immediate impact would be more positive by allowing more access to guns than less.  And at the same time I think the answer is to have more gun-control laws.  This may seem contradictory , but it’s not.

The problem with our culture is that we are always looking for the quick fix.  We never think long-term.  This is the problem with many of us in our personal lives and it’s a problem with our lawmakers as well.  Why are drugs and alcohol such an issue in our society today?  It’s proven that excessive drinking damages your liver.  It’s proven that drugs kill brain cells.  It’s proven that smoking (legal and illegal products) causes lung damage.  So why would we do these things?  Because right now means way more to us then 10 years from now.  We need to stop thinking that way.  If we choose option #2 and make guns more accessible for protection then we are falling into that same trap.  We have a gun culture in this country that has been cultivated for many years.  But it’s taken on a far greater significance in the past 10-15 years.  It’s incredibly naive to think that the culture of violence in video games, movies, television, and many other medias has not contributed to the culture we have today, and thus has contributed to the wave of mass shootings.  By lessening gun restrictions we are helping to perpetuate this problem.  Let’s stop thinking about today and think about tomorrow.

I was always taught that highlighting a problem without proposing a solution is a waste of time.  So here is my solution.  We should not ban gun ownership.  In a free society we have to allow our citizens to reasonably protect themselves and their possessions.  The key word in that sentence however is “reasonably”.  In my opinion no citizen should be allowed to own a gun that contains more than 6 bullets.  These extended magazines, and semi-automatic weapons are excessive.   We don’t allow citizens to possess missiles and grenade launchers.  So the concept of limiting the firepower a citizen has access to exists. We need to limit the firepower that one has access to.  If Nancy Lanza was under this restriction there would be far fewer dead children and grieving families in Newtown.  Before purchasing a gun everyone should have to go through a thorough background check, including a psychiatric evaluation.  These are the things we can legislate.  But the true change in our culture will only come from home.  Parents need to stop purchasing shoot-em up video games for their kids.  Movie producers need to stop glamorizing  gangsters to make a profit.  For once let’s all really stand by our statement that we want to leave the world a better place than we found it.

Because Liberals Think and Conservatives Follow.

I have the unfortunate pleasure of being friends with several conservatives on facebook.  Because of this I can count on several posts per day regarding how President Obama is a socialist that is ruining our country, that he’s secretly a Muslim that wants our county ruled my Allah, or that he simply isn’t a U.S. citizen.  I seldom read anything that I haven’t heard already because everyone of them pretty much says the same thing over and over. I came the realization the other day that I have far more liberal friends on Facebook than I do conservative friends, yet I get exponentially more posts deriding liberals than the other way around.  Why is that I asked myself?  I then asked my wife.  Her response was “Because liberal think, and conservatives follow”.

That is it in a nutshell I believe.  When you think and develop your own opinions on matters, you don’t feel the need to espouse them constantly.  Plus they are your own opinions.  They are not something someone told you to believe so you hold them a little more personal and sacred.  Now I’m not saying that there has never been an outspoken liberal, but I am astonished at the hypocrisy and hatred that comes from the right.  These friends of mine constantly post things on their wall that are anti-liberal.  And most of them are not even worth discussing.  Bill Maher, who some conservatives need reminding is a comedian, asked one of his panelist if Republican congressmen that purposely thwart Democrat policies designed to create jobs and help the economy, solely because they are a democratic ideas were being treasonous.  Seems like a legitimate question to me.  He even said if not treasonous, at least it could be deemed unpatriotic.  What I see on my wall is “Bill Maher says if you disagree with Obama you are committing treason”.  What?  Really?  That’s what you got out of that statement.  Then I’m supposed to consider things you say credible?  Another one was when Obama made the admitted gaffe referring to Auschwitz as a “Polish Death Camp”.  First off Obama is not the first person to do this.  Many in the past have used that phrase to distinguish from the death camps that were within Germany.  Obama apologized for offending anyone in Poland and it should have been dropped at that.  But of course I had to see it on my wall via my conservative Facebook friends.

So I was thinking to myself, why is it that conservatives are so prone to posting and talking about this stuff.  And furthermore why is our political climate today so divisive.  The answer can be summed up in two words – Rush Limbaugh.  Rush Limbaugh has probably done more harm to this country than any man in my lifetime.  Pre-Limbaugh conservatives and democrats disagreed.  Post-Limbaugh they hate each other.  Pre-Limbaugh you would get registered democrats that voted Republican, and vice-versa.  Post-Limbaugh that hardly ever happens.  Rush Limbaugh has created such a great divide that our government is in constant gridlock, because the two sides can’t reach compromise on anything.  Some may say how can I blame this one man.  It’s simple.  He was the catalyst for the conservative talk show movement.  He was successful and he made money on it.  This in turned spawned the likes of Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, and an entire cable news network (FOX News).  Why is FOX News around?  Because Rush Limbaugh said that the mainstream news was a bastion of liberalism.  And all his “followers” agreed with him.  So now you have this massive movement of people that say and believe the exact same things.  There is no thought process, just blind following.

So I thought why have the liberals been so miserable at coming up with their own movement?  Sure there is MSNBC that tries, but they have about 1/3 the viewership of FOX News.  There have been a few liberal talk radio hosts, but none have near the pull of Limbaugh.  For some reason liberals aren’t interested in listening to a talk show deriding conservatives for ruining America.  And I ask myself why is this?

And the answer once again is .  .  . “Because liberals think and conservatives follow”.

Trayvon Martin

Posted: March 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

As I’ve been following the timeline of events regarding the Trayvon Martin case it makes me sad to think of what his parents must be going through.  I do think it’s unfortunate that the race card has been used though, as that is taking away from the facts of the case.  I wish black leaders would realize that when race is brought up it actually tends to hurt the credibility of the complaint.  And it is a disservice to Trayvon and his family to focus on race.  I’m disappointed that President Obama made the comment that if he had a son he would look a lot like Trayvon.  This just perpetuates racial tension.  This is not about race.  The reality here is that a young man lost his life when he should not have.  It does not matter what race he is, or what race the shooter is.  The reality is that justice needs to be served.  Let’s deal with whether it was racially motivated afterwards.

The facts as I’ve understood them are such:  George Zimmerman began following Trayvon Martin because he looked “suspicious”.  He called 9-1-1 to report this.  The 9-1-1 operator told Zimmerman to stop following the boy.  I heard this myself on the 9-1-1 recording.  George Zimmerman ignored the request and continued to pursue Trayvon.  If an unknown man that outweighs you by 80 pounds is following you, and you get scared and turn around and punch him in the face and hit him in the back of the head, isn’t that acting in self-defense?  Aren’t Trayvon Martins actions completely understandable?  And since when is shooting someone that is unarmed considered self-defense?  Zimmerman outweighs the kid by 80 pounds.  How about punching him back?  How about wrestling him to the ground?

In my opinion there is no evidence, other than finding out that Trayvon was armed, that can make Zimmerman’s actions justifiable.  He should be immediately arrested and charged with negligent homicide.  The facts are that he had no authority to follow this kid.  He was told by a 9-1-1 operator to stop following the kid.  Trayvon Martin is dead because George Zimmerman acted in a negligent and reckless manner by following a young man for no apparent reason.

If Trayvon Martin’s family, their lawyer, President Obama, and other black leaders would start focusing on the facts and not the race then maybe an arrest would be made.  Who cares at this point whether Zimmerman was a racist.  His friends seem to think he’s not.  If it’s determined that race played a role then we can chalk this up as a hate crime, but that can be determined during the lead up to the trial.

One final note:  While race has been what this case has been most focused on I think the more important political hotpoint should be gun control.  Whether you are for or against conceal and carry laws, this case is exactly what opponents of the law worry about.  When irresponsible citizens are allowed to carry guns on them, bad things will happen.  So at least if we are going to allow the conceal and carry laws the least we can do is prosecute fully those that pose the threat that opponents of the laws fear.

So I was listening to the radio the other morning and heard Mike and Mike on ESPN state that John Madden, as a part of Roger Goodell’s safety panel, is proposing that the NFL makes rules regarding hitting a QB similar to those regarding punters and kickers. I knew Madden was going senile when in the 2002 Super Bowl he implored the Patriots to run the clock out in a tie game with 1:30 left.  They instead of course drove down the field and Adam Vinatieri kicked the Super Bowl winning FG.  But now Madden has completely lost his mind.  John Madden coached in the NFL.  He knows how intense a defensive lineman needs to come off the line of scrimmage to beat a 300 pound lineman that can run a 40-yard dash in around 5 seconds.  There is no way to expect these guys, or even more so blitzing linebackers and defensive backs, to stop in an attempt to avoid contact with the QB.  All the injuries he hopes we avoid having to QB’s would be replaced by pass rushers tearing ligaments, hamstrings, and anything else that can tear while trying to avoid these collisions – collisions that have made the NFL what it is today I might add; or I should say what it was 5-10 years ago.  This would essentially make pass rushes illegal.  Rushing the passer drives much of the strategy in the NFL.  Disguising blitzes and using stunts to hurry the QB is essential to the game of football.  What separates good QB’s from bad ones is the ability to feel the rush, and know when to get rid of the football.  How can someone that has been around football as long as John Madden not see that his idea would completely ruin football?  John and I need to have a little talk!

Hello world!

Posted: March 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

So found this site by trying to reply to a news article.  So now I guess I’m a blogger.  We’ll see how it goes.  I know I find most of what I say pretty interesting or insightful, or I probably wouldn’t say it.  Let’s see if anyone else finds it as such.