Civil War in the United States

People who despise guns and wish to control access or ban them altogether have no idea what they are embarking on. The war over abortion and other divisive issues will be minor in contrast to the polarization of this country if you attempt to criminalize and further demonize gun owners. If you could succeed which I do not believe you can, you would lose. You would have a country that mirrors Chicago, where gun  specific courts overflow and the homicides rates are extremely high.

I marvel at how little I feel threatened in Dallas. There are areas to avoid but if I need to go there I take protection and I don’t need to get agitated that I am having to be there. I can enter communities which I could never safely enter in Chicago. There is very little graffiti here in contrast to Chicago. Poverty is always a threat to the stability of a community. Violence is always a companion of poverty it seems.

We allow people who have never had a felony convictions, who have not been convicted of a misdemeanor and who have no convictions for family violence, to carry a concealed gun here. They must pass a 10 hour class, take a shooting test and submit fingerprints to the state police. If they meet the requirements the state must issue the concealed carry license.

Blood does not run in the streets. Persons with CCWs do not randomly shoot people. They do not resolve disputes by pulling a gun on someone or shooting someone. They can defend themselves or third-persons from assaults when threatened with great bodily harm. Police officers who pull over a CCW holder, know instantly, more than they would ever know about someone who can only produce a driver’s license. A DL tells an officer that the bearer has a home address, and has passed a driver’s test. It does not speak to criminal history.

This path of criminalizing the possession of firearms will not succeed and what would be worse is if it did. If I could wave off those on this road, I surely would. If you think the people who own firearms are crazy now, wait till someone tries to disarm them.

Sadly, I am one of those who will resist if my government makes such an effort. Know who I am and where I live. It matters not. I wouldn’t be marched to an death camp given what I know about the Holocaust. I will not be disarmed even if it is mandatory and involuntary.And I am one of the nicer ones.

Is no place sacred?

I see this question being asked regularly. When a church or school or movie theater is shot up, this question echos in the media. I raise my hand dutifully, I think I know the answer. No place is sacred. No place is safe. The reason is simple. Craziness and evil do not recognize restraints.

This is mental disease spreading throughout our world. Its tentacles know no bounds or boundaries. Let me digress for a moment. The US is bound by certain international treaties on warfare and yet those we choose to lead our country commit atrocities upon civilian populations repeatedly. These leaders allow the bombing of school children and innocents and rationalize that it is the result of collateral damage. As if that makes it acceptable.

Now we have violence being progressively more commonplace in the US. No one has been able to attack the United States from abroad. We are insulated from enemies by oceans and friendly neighbors. But we will never be insulated from ourselves. Do you believe a country of such diversity accompanied by racial, religious and sexual animus would be exempt from acts of hatred tinged violence?

What makes us so special that tragedy should not visit us daily. We are a country proud of its heritage of blood spilled. We demonize what we do not understand or like. Fags, Niggers, Spics, Kikes, Sandniggers. Words of hate. Westboro Baptist Church is just a more sublime representation of our society. I have heard such hatred for Muslims,  minorities, majorities, criminals, homeless, crazies and on and on. Even from the lips of those I know to be well-educated I have heard venom which I found ignorant and unworthy of reply.

I do not suggest that we deserve tragedy. I just mean that violence is woven into the fabric of our society. Even those so genteel as to sniff when it comes to the idea of owning guns find no fault permitting the imprisonment of drug users or the ongoing existence of a Guantanamo.

I do not practice law anymore. One of the big reasons is because prosecutors and judges  hand out incarceration as if it was no big deal. How do you negotiate for your client with a foe who believes that your client cannot be punished harshly enough? How could I return to a system which incarcerates 14 year old boys to life in prison without the possibility of parole. That is unbridled violence to me. Prison is a sentence to a life of constant fear and violence.

So, I carry a gun. I have guns in  my home. I do not delude myself for a minute into believing that a crazy killer will honor the societal restraints and not perpetrate on a Church or amusement park or school. I teach my children to be cautious and guarded when I am not home. Keep the doors locked and be wary of persons arriving unexpected. (I have yet to read a single interview with a mass murderer who said he intended to shoot up a grade school, but couldn’t figure out how to avoid arrest for illegal possession of a firearm on school property.)

There is no place safe or sacred. I accept that. I choose to anticipate and prepare for the worst. If you oppose gun ownership, you want the worst to never take place. You want the right to be safe in a house of worship and schools. I want the same thing you want, and the possibility of backing my peaceful efforts with a firearm. Let me know how that sacred thing works out for you.



Gong to ban Oxycotin

The government has been considering a ban on this drug. It is generally considered one of the most effective pain killers on the market. Those that use it responsibly are horrified at the prospect of losing access to this protection from chronic and acute pain. But there is such widespread abuse of this drug by opioid addicts that the probability looms large that it will be banned. 

I argue that the drug should remain available and that we should address the misuse of it as a public health issue but the government continues to respond from a law enforcement position. When Canada declared that heroin use was a health issue and not a criminal issue, the US government suggested closing the border with Canada. 

Or maybe we can limit the problem to a bunch of Appalachian nobodies who are barely citizens anyway and a few dead hill-billies is an “acceptable collateral loss”.

Landmine kills 10 girls collecting firewood

William Kennedy has been an activist for years on the issue of banning landmines. I wish compassion could be as easily aroused for Afghani kids as it is for kids in the US. I wish our indignation was global, that our repulsion for oppression as powerful  and our acceptance of starvation non-existent. The gun control issue evokes powerful feelings of anger at guns and compassion for victims. I see animals get more attention and compassion than starving children. Our military is drone killing innocents. Our President, Mr. Compassion, is targeting US citizens.and wants no interference from any court oversight. Bradley Manning will wilt in prison because he exposed the war crimes and criminal political backroom dealings of the US government.

I have been an activist for many years on a variety of subjects. I do not lack for compassion of those suffering. I do not resist gun control because I love guns. I resist it because it is a red herring, a sleight of hand. Guns are not the problem nor is banning them the solution.That is my opinion. That opinion derives from much study and experience  I taught many people how to use a firearm and none has ever been charged with a violent crime.

By the way, I am a democrat and they will shoot themselves in the foot soon.Democrats will push for gun control and likely be swept out of office again by angry gun owners.

William Kennedy should be receiving much needed donations today as our collective anger swells about the needless deaths of children in Afghanistan. And I will be heartened to see Americans showing that we care as much about the other guys team as we show for the home team. I always thought it was funny when hockey fans got fired up about the home team when both teams were all Canadians. Never made a lot of sense to me.

One more reason to be mad at me

Because I am likely a smug, self-righteous ass who practices righteous indignation at every opportunity. My thoughts that I am a generic ass rests on my actions and thoughts of the past 24 hours. Early yesterday I wrote that the tragedy in Conn. would start a fire and fuel the debate about gun control. That didn’t take much intelligence to predict. But 18 hours later the persistent posts about how this event was a gun issue troubles the heck out of me. It defies all empirical data and it shifts the debate from the public health arena where I feel it belongs and makes it a law enforcement debate. The same tactic has been utilized in the abortion and drug debate. There are those who believe the solution to drug abuse is to outlaw drugs. There are those who believe that since they are against abortion, everyone should be legally prohibited from getting an abortion. Gun control advocates believe they can limit crimes of violence by prohibiting the possession of guns. Or they believe in the alternative that their position is justified if the next murderer cannot kill as many people as quickly thus mitigating the carnage. Maybe all the prohibitionists are correct and I am wrong.

If you are what I call a progressive or lefty, then it seems you tend to view the right with derision for their short-sightedness  and their demands that we practice what they preach. But the conservatives arrived at those solutions the same way most of you got to the gun control answer. Ignoring facts, drawing conclusions based on feelings or religious convictions and the belief that a complex problem can be resolved through controls on human behaviour.  My personal belief is you, who believe that, are guilty of the same crime as the right-wingers that offer that if God were allowed in schools then criminals wouldn’t be found there. It just pains me to see people treating their perspective as truth and marching sharply and in unison behind their causes.

I do not know if guns are the answer to anything. I know what my personal experience is. I do not mistake that experience for even the truth of the moment as I experienced it. Example, I used to think I was a responsible drinker and drug abuser. Time has taught me that I was not responsible but I was an idiot. But I do not extrapolate from that insight that everyone who uses or even abuses drugs is having the same problem I had.  I do not presume that abstinence or 12 steps in the sole path to recovery. It is simply my path which I am on today. I take great comfort in the teachings of the Buddhists who emphasize personal responsibility over salvation through religion.

By the way, on a related note, I offer one more reason to hate me. I do not wave the American flag, I stand against religion in government and I do not believe in controlling human behaviour through legislation.

I do believe the suffering of families in the United States ranks right up there with those who lose children in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Gaza, all over Africa and elsewhere. It is fashionable to support our troops. Our president got a Nobel Peace Prize he didn’t deserve. I support keeping our troops out of harms way. I support every attempt at diplomatic solutions before sending a single soldier into the fray. My personal solution is to practice a form of personal responsibility and to practice loving-kindness for all living beings. My greatest contributions to society so far are my daughters who are vegetarian, practice recycling and will save the life of insects that find there way into our home.

Yep, that is what I am doing or not doing about the pointless death of people in Conn. I am trying to do what I can to take personal responsibility about how I behave. And I am trying hard not to self-righteously hold the rest of you in disdain. I am inclined to do that with people who do not agree with me, but with practice I can act my way into better thinking.

It a bonfire now.

It is raging as all can see from surfing the Internet. People are afraid and they want to feel safe. Some of feel safe by thinking we can defend ourselves with bullets. Others defend themselves with faith. And a bunch just want the threat to go away and outlawing guns sounds like the path. Growing up on the south side of Chicago, I was robbed or assaulted more times than I could ever recall. I have been assaulted with fists, knife, guns, and car antennas and yes by Sam D’Orlaque, with a broken golf club. I fear being the victim of a violent assault! I have found great comfort in knowing that my lack of size or agility or aggression could be overcome with a simple small handgun. I have successfully thwarted attacks against me by displaying a gun. I have also been deterred from committing acts of violence against persons who displayed a gun. I do not expect a single anti-gun person to understand how I feel. I am just making an observation which is my truth.