Gunfights vs. Knife Fights, and Killers Will Be Killers

early cuyler

Oh, let me play devil’s advocate today.

Nobody is ever going to hear gun control horse hockey coming from my mouth, pen or keyboard.

First of all I am a card carrying member of the NRA. I am all about 2nd Amendment rights, and even more so in the wake of senseless mass shootings.  As far as I am concerned, the average citizen should be armed, everywhere and at all times, so that it can safely be assumed everyone is packing heat. I believe there is no greater deterrent to gun crime than having the knowledge that a law abiding gun owner will return fire.  I carry and I will continue to do so.

The issue is NOT gun control, or who can have what weapon. It’s obvious that criminals don’t obey laws or there would be no murders, no thefts, no rapes, and we would all hold hands and sing Kumbaya. The fact about legislation is, laws only work for law-abiding people.  There is no way to legislate crime out of business.  If such a thing were possible, then as soon as God sent down the Ten Commandments to Moses all would have been good with the world.  Sadly murder is as old as Cain and Abel, and it has always been a part of the human narrative. It’s something called original sin, or to borrow from one of my favorite theologians- John Calvin (though I am not a Calvinist- I am more of a confessional Lutheran/ Molinist, I am with him on this one)- the total depravity of man. Given to our own devices, apart from the grace of God, human beings are intrinsically evil.  Anyone who doubts that, go to a daycare and watch a room full of two year olds interact, or go to an automotive shop and secretly observe the technicians’ behavior for a day.  You will see more depravity of man than what should ever be allowed.

One can make weapons more difficult to get, but ultimately it’s not about weapons. Deny the nut job his AR-15, and he will find a way to make a box truck and some fertilizer a weapon of mass destruction.

In the UK, where guns are banned, killers substitute knives like they are some kind of twisted Early Cuylers. Death and injury are easy to inflict on the fragile human body, and as those who work in corrections will attest, criminals are adept at creating their own weapons using anything from underwear to plastic spoons.

So do we ban box trucks or fertilizer or underwear or plastic spoons simply because some depraved jackwagon can turn these things into weapons?

Some will argue that guns are made for only one purpose, which is to kill. I am not going to argue with that, nor am I going to argue that one needs an AR-15 to go out and shoot a deer.  However, the 2nd Amendment was never about procuring venison, regardless of how tasty venison can be.  The 2nd Amendment was and is about the individual’s right to defend one’s home, family and property.  This means that an individual has a right to use deadly force if his or her life (or the lives of his or her family) is threatened. We have the right to self-defense.

The role of the gun as a deterrent is often overlooked, but whose house would a criminal plan to rob? An organized killer (one who thinks and plans ahead) is going to try to avoid those homes with guns and/ or dogs, because killing defenseless victims is a lot easier than fighting armed ones.

Gun laws or the lack thereof would have had absolutely no impact on Stephen Paddock or his carefully planned assault on the Las Vegas strip. Enacting knee jerk motivated gun control laws now is about as effective as closing the barn door when the horses had never been in the barn to begin with.

Asperger’s Is Not an Excuse, Actions Still Have Consequences, and Humanity is Still Totally Depraved

signers-drawing

I am glad that some thinking people are starting to understand that keeping people from protecting themselves and their families does nothing to change the fact that killers will kill. Even in the light of the past couple weeks’ worth of senseless shootings- and I freely admit that the existence of evil is something I don’t comprehend- I still believe that the Framers of the Constitution had the right idea when they included:

“A well-regulated Militia, being necessary for the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed. “

The Second Amendment has been expounded upon by far greater minds than mine, however, there are two points being made here.  Some more left-leaning interpretations of the Second Amendment take the first part about a well regulated militia and assume that meant that the Framers were talking about the armed forces, National Guard and law enforcement but not about private individuals.  What they are leaving out is a knowledge of 18th century history.  In the 18th century there was really no full-time armed forces, but individuals who would volunteer in time of war (a concept similar to a very rudimentary National Guard) and individuals had to keep their own weaponry in order to be able to be available when the need arose.

the_second_amendment_protects_poster

Fast forward to the 21st century.  Most Americans have no concept of what it would be like to have to defend one’s life and property if a scenario such as the one proposed in the film “Red Dawn” would arise, where there would be war in streets and neighborhoods rather than an abstract concept of soldiers and armies fighting over obscure hills and fields in far-distant lands.  However, many Americans have experienced armed robbery, assault and other crimes of violence that could have been prevented if the victim had been able to defend him/herself.  The Framers had a solution to that: “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.”  The Framers not only believed so heartily in a strong national defense that it is one of only two responsibilities of the Federal government spelled out in the Constitution, but they also added it to the Bill of Rights- along with the proviso that individuals also have the right to defend their person and property.  In this statement the right to self defense is underscored as a natural right rather than a privilege granted (or withheld) by the whim of the state.

SelfDefense1

I don’t have any problem at all with responsible gun ownership.  The law-abiding person who owns a gun and has had appropriate background checks and safety training is not generally the person you have to worry about- unless you are trying to perpetrate crime.  On the other hand, the unarmed are all potential victims.  All one has to do to be a victim is to be in the wrong place at the right time.

This being said, I can go back to the fundamental argument that guns don’t kill people any more than spoons make people fat.  The conscious decision to aim a firearm and pull the trigger is what kills.  It’s easy to go around screaming “gun control,” until one realizes that the decision of a killer is the root of the lethal mechanism.  It is possible to kill with bare hands, with knives, with poison, with motor vehicles, with a baseball bat.  The possibilities of potential lethal weapons are only limited by a potential killer’s imagination and desperation.  Banning firearms just means killers will find weapons other than guns to kill people with.  There are still murders in the UK and in every other country where strict gun control has been enacted.  The murderous impulse does not lie in an armament of steel, but in the convoluted and dark malice dwelling in a killer’s heart.

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Dark malice that can lead to murder can surface in any human being alive today if circumstances and opportunity press that individual hard enough.  Evil is that pervasive in this world.  I don’t subscribe to all of Calvinism (my soteriological leanings are more congruent with Molinism) but I agree with 100% of one of the petals of Calvin’s TULIP- the Total Depravity of man.

Human beings, if left to their own devices, are 100% self serving.  I’ve heard every excuse out there for why people kill- video games, bad childhoods, being deprived, being over-indulged, crappy schools, being bullied, being introverted, being mocked, et cetera and so on.  I think a better question, given the total depravity of man, is what keeps everyone from becoming a killer?   Or are we all killers, and the severity of our behavior is simply a matter of degree?  If so, then what is the mechanism of our restraint?  Does it have to do with the wiring of the frontal lobe of the brain, or is it a matter of the will, or a combination of both?  I believe it is entirely possible that the only thing that restrains most from indulging their darker urges is simply the grace and mercy of God.

Even though I believe that there is a God and that He is highly involved in the lives of humanity, I also believe that He expects people to respond to Him. I believe He has expectations for his creation (and maybe this is my repressed Catholic guilt coming out.)  After all, when one reads Scripture we learn that most of humanity’s problems arise from thinking our ways are better than God’s ways.

We don’t have the liberty to simply say, “the Devil made me do it,” if for any other reason than at the end of the day, God holds us accountable for what we do or don’t do.  Psychology would say that humans do what they do to pursue pleasure and avoid pain, but there is a deeper aspect- the aspect of “you own who you are and what you have become.”

Things in life can and do suck, but it’s every person’s responsibility to choose how to react to things that suck.  The question is, do we turn to God and His will or do we let evil win?

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I find it disturbing that society is all too willing to absolve people from individual accountability and blame their abherrent behavior on everything from being bullied as children to being on the autistic spectrum.  As someone who experienced both gratuitous and fierce childhood bullying and is a high-functioning autistic,* (apparently that’s what the medical community is calling Asperger’s Syndrome these days) I am here to tell you that both of those theories may have some credence, but at the end of the day, the decision to move beyond a painful past and to learn to work the wiring is not only possible, but it is also a moral obligation.  Maybe I say this out of a sense of noblesse oblige that I was taught- that those who are given more are held to a higher standard.  I can say that the convoluted and sometimes vexing wiring of Asperger’s or “high functioning autism” or whatever is the current terminology used to categorize the introverted, weird and/or eccentric is not a license to allow the depravity within to overcome.  Video games are no excuse. Technology in general is no excuse.  The laxity of discipline and the pervasive faux feel good PC philosophy being taught in the schools (while dreadful, false, and a contributor to the delinquency factor) is not an excuse either. There is a God, and He has standards and rules, even when it seems like society does not.

I don’t discount the influence of mental illness, and how society so conveniently “mainstreams” the mentally ill, denying that some people do have an inability to control their rage and that some people should be isolated from the greater community for a time to receive mental health treatment.  I do understand what it is to be depressed and near suicidal, but I also understand that there is help available for individuals and families when mental illness becomes overwhelming.  I’m no poster child for mental health, and insanity is downright pervasive in my family tree.  If there is anything that society (as opposed to the individual) can do to help prevent violence it is to identify mental illness and provide ways for those at risk to get help.

insaneI wish this were a joke, but it’s not.  I have ancestors who were crazier than shithouse rats.

I may never know for what purpose God decided to plop my sorry carcass on this earth, but I’m pretty sure that no matter how beat up on I was or how bizarre my wiring, He didn’t intend for me to load up an assault rifle and shoot up a classroom of unarmed, defenseless kids.

Sexy pole dancerI’m pretty sure God never intended me to be a pole dancer, either.  I’m doing good to walk a straight line without tripping over my own feet.

There I go again with that whole morality thing again, and no, I am not talking about the mundane concepts of morality- refraining from fornication,  eschewing the use of swear words, and those sorts of trite formalities, but a deeper morality.

One that says, “There is a God, and He has rules.”

Politically Incorrect Theatre, a Lovely Hiatus, and Welcome to the Gallery of Fashion Don’ts

I know what I want for Christmas! A revolver always makes a lovely gift-to-self, no?

I already have a revolver (and it was a gift to myself) though it’s a Taurus, not a Colt.  I believe in the 2nd Amendment, and packing (i.e. legal concealed-carry) has become a reluctant necessity for some of us.  There are some places and situations that are just plain unsafe for a woman to go alone and unarmed today.  I don’t want to be a victim.  Better to be armed and never have to use it than to need protection and fail to have it.

I don’t believe that packing is the right option for everyone.  I hesitated for a very long time before finally deciding to get gun safety training (and even then it was on my Dad’s insistence) and to get my permit.  Much to my surprise, I discovered that I actually enjoy shooting, and I can hit a target with a .357 a lot better than I thought I could.  The shotgun (I also have a Mossberg 20 gauge) is a bit more of a challenge.  Most people have an easier time with a shotgun vs. a pistol, but go figure, the pistol is more effective for me.  That being said, I do think that no one should even consider owning a firearm until they’ve had general gun safety training.  Even with safety training, it is essential to become intimately acquainted with how your particular firearm works.

No, I did not go on a cruise, gay or otherwise, but I had a nice few days’ away.

The meaning of words can change drastically in the course of a generation or two.  It also used to be possible to entertain kids with a simple puppet show.  Today even the very youngest kids need to be occupied with electronic stimuli.  My granddaughter is five months old and is currently learning to push buttons so they will make noises.  Then again, she also chews on her toes in between bites of cereal and fruit when she eats, so she’s pretty easily entertained- now.  I am curious to see what it will take to entertain her in a year or so.  All I can suggest to Steve-o is that he might want that portable DVD player for the car.   If such a thing had existed when he was in car seats it might have saved me a lot of irritation, if having to listen to Thomas the Tank Engine, Pokémon, and Power Rangers ad nauseam would have been better than his incessant screaming.  That just might be a toss up, though Thomas was a lot less offensive than the damned dinosaur. (I couldn’t handle Barney. Thankfully, Steve-o didn’t care for him either.)

I might just get him that portable DVD the more I think about it.  I’m sure he will love all those various princess, My Little Pony, and Hello Kitty movies- that I’ll make sure she gets.

If you’re watching this swill for the plot, you have Problems.  Just plead that it’s only on so the kid will shut the eff up. Boys, no one will get it that you’re having fantasies about the horses’ hineys.

I had a really fun time with my granddaughter Friday and Saturday.  It’s scary, but she’s already crawling and sitting up and she’s not even six months old yet.  It won’t be long before she is getting into everything and wreaking general havoc.  Yes, grandchildren are the ultimate payback.  Now, Steve-o, you might just start understanding why Mom was so flipping paranoid about so many things.

Of course medical fun is on my agenda a lot more often than I’d like it to be.  Yesterday I got to get another blood draw (had already had one Thursday in anticipation of my Dr.s’ appointment yesterday) because the lab forgot to do the A1C test which is probably the main reason for getting my blood tested every three months to begin with.  I think the Dr. and the nurse were more upset about it than I was.  I don’t freak over blood draws, but I know some people do.  The nurse kept on apologizing for having to take my blood again, but it’s really no big deal.  Hopefully I get a three month reprieve on blood draws (until I have to do it before my next appointment in November) but whoop-de-doo.  It really doesn’t bother me anymore. As long as my clothes stay on, medical procedures truly don’t phase me.

This is really all it covers.  For the waist down, you get a paper sheet.  Joy and rapture.  Yeah.

The only Dr. appointment I find unnerving anymore is the paper-nightie one, regardless of who does it. The first time I had it done, (I was 16 and I really wanted to get on the pill, you know… so I went to the county health clinic rather than my family Dr. which turned out to be a Bad Idea,) the guy was a medical student, and he was more than a little rough with things, and that memory has given me the willies about this procedure ever since.   My current gynecologist is excellent- I can do nothing but applaud his repair work that is allowing me to live free of pelvic pain, and even three years later I am so thankful I had the hysterectomy/major repairs.  Although I know I have to get all that checked once a year to make sure the repairs are holding up and to verify that nothing else in that vicinity is screwing up, these days I don’t like taking off my clothes for any purposes other than showering.  I have always found pelvic exams and mammograms to be rather unpleasant, but I’d probably be twisted if I enjoyed it. (Necessary, yes- and guys, you are not off the hook- get that prostate check you’ve been putting off!)

Sunday we took our obligatory trip to the State Fair.  I like to go to the fair, if only to marvel at all the bizarre specimens of humanity.  You don’t have to pay for the freak show at the fair.  The freak show is free- just look around and you’ll get treated to:

Bad Tats-

Isn’t that special?

Completely inadequate coverage:

This looks good- how?

WTF?  On many levels.

Horrible hair designs:

Oh. Dear. Lord.

And completely stupid tat designs such as: (though I’d already included a bad tat, I saw plenty of really bad tats at the fair!)

Even when I have it, I don’t really want to advertise it.

I admit I forgot my camera this year, which really sucks, but I don’t think I’d had the courage to take a pic of the 500 lb she-behemoth snarfing a footlong corn dog in one bite even had the camera been handy.  That image has seared itself into my retinas.  Woof.

Things That Suck #361: Weenie Commentators, and #362: Assorted Ass Pilots

Disclaimer: I like Will Ferrell.  The character he portrays in Anchorman, Ron Burgundy, is a humorous depiction of the douchebag that lives inside just about every newscaster.

It’s inevitable.  Whenever there is some kind of highly visible public tragedy there has to be at least one highly visible public figure who says something so asinine you want to bitch-slap him or her through the monitor. Usually there are several such weenie commentators, as they start repeating each other ad nauseam once one weenie commentator rears its ugly head.  I try not to watch TV news too much as I am prone to anxiety and depression. At least I can pick and choose a bit more getting my news online.

Most of the crap in the mainstream media is exactly that- “Crap” with a capital “C”-so sickeningly politically correct and skewed to reflect one particular world view that it lacks any kind of substance.  Don Henley said it back in 1985- crap is king, and we all love dirty laundry.  I don’t think even Don Henley had any idea just how stupid “journalism” would eventually become, although he was spot on as far as humanity’s flaming desire to see the carnage broadcast live and in color.

I hate to admit it, but even though I try not to have that “stop and gawk” mentality, I do too.  It’s human nature to go past an accident scene and try to determine if anyone’s injured, if it’s anyone I know, and worse yet for me, because of my automotive background, I’m actually assessing the damage to the vehicles.  Saturday I actually came upon the scene of a car/motorcycle accident.  Those seldom turn out good.  The motorcycle was in pieces, the front end of the car was pretty much hosed, and the guy that was on the motorcycle ended up motionless on the pavement.   I figured if he wasn’t dead he was probably close to it.  I’m glad I was wrong.

There is a reason why I don’t ride these things.  Note the damage to the Explorer is comparatively minimal (though that front fascia, fog light, bumper reinforcement, core support, radiator and condensor will cost you.)

I found out today that the dude involved in Saturday’s accident actually got off with relatively minor injuries, though he was life-flighted to the trauma center.  He got sent to the trauma center because he was knocked unconscious, and God only knows what kind of brain injuries and internal injuries and broken bones can happen to someone thrown off a motorcycle.  Especially if you’re not wearing a helmet.  ER staff have a name for motorcycle riders who choose not to wear helmets: organ donors.  This guy dodged a bullet so to speak, and what he does with his motorcycle riding in the future is up to him.  I wouldn’t ride one of those things but hey, if you want to, knock yourself out.

Society is not obligated to protect people from every possible stupid thing they can do.  Shit and stupidity are the two most common elements in the universe, and even the most intellectually astute among us are not going to avoid either one entirely.

One of the beautiful things about individual freedom is that you are entitled to be stupid to a degree.  No one should have to tell you the coffee is hot, that you shouldn’t smoke crack, or that riding a motorcycle without a helmet is a bad idea.  But no one should have the “right” to sue because of pouring hot coffee on themselves or because of their own negligence.  No one else should be obligated to bail others out of the consequences of their own stupidity.

Another situation that disturbs me is when a weenie commentator excuses a person’s criminal behavior based on their past experiences.  I am appalled every time that some ass pilot gets a pass for everything from armed robbery to mass murder because “he/she had a bad childhood.” So you peed your pants and your peers called you “Pissy” when you were seven, so you decided to go on a killing spree 20 years later and take out people who never knew your sorry ass from Adam’s housecat?  I have no sympathy for dumb shit like that.  Neither should anyone else.

Do you whiz your pants when you’re executed by lethal injection?

I had a shitty childhood.  I got my ass kicked every day.  I was lucky to get three hots and a cot- and didn’t always get that.  Big freaking deal.  Does that give me the right to go fire bomb the WalMart for failing to have English speaking cashiers on duty when I need to buy a jug of Pennzoil? Give me a freaking break.  No one owes me a damned thing, and what is the point of taking out my misdirected feline aggression on others?  I’m fortunate in that my cats get along well and don’t fight- but what good would one cat beating up a completely innocent cat do?

Isabel is not impressed.

It disturbs me that the media almost immediately wants to exonerate people who get caught doing the most ghastly things.  I understand in this country (and this is probably unique to the US) that a suspect is innocent (according to the law) until proven guilty.  I don’t think criminals should be tried and convicted in the media (though they often are, and often wrongly) but when someone’s caught red-handed, on camera, committing an atrocity, let’s not just start in making excuses for the alleged criminal.

I don’t want to hear about some ass pilot who molested kids but he’s “not responsible for his actions” because his Dad beat him.  Bullshit.  Yes, life cut you a bad deal.  I’m sorry to hear that.  Welcome to the club. Now get with the program, learn from history, and figure out how to be a decent human being.

I also don’t want to hear from the ass pilots who scream and cry on either side after a shooting incident that either a.) everyone who is not a convicted felon should run out and buy a gun (I am a believer in the 2nd Amendment, but whether or not to carry a gun is an individual choice) or b.) guns should be banned, like in the UK and other parts of the world.  Screw that too.  Both of those views are too extreme and uncalled for.

Gun laws aren’t the issue.  By definition, a criminal is one who breaks the law.  How many criminals are going to give a rat’s ass if guns are suddenly made illegal?  They don’t give a rat’s ass about the law, otherwise they would be law-abiding citizens.  Outlawing guns would simply create a black market much like the one already in place for illegal drugs.  That “war on drugs” is going so splendidly, ‘ya know?  Why not expand it, and expand the crime that naturally follows?

Why not expand the concept of personal responsibility, and enforce the notion that individual choices and individual actions have consequences?