Sunday, March 24, 2013
Let’s start with a definition
LIBERALISM: c : a political philosophy based on belief in progress, the essential goodness of the human race, and the autonomy of the individual and standing for the protection of political and civil liberties; specifically : such a philosophy that considers government as a crucial instrument for amelioration of social inequities (as those involving race, gender, or class)(http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/liberalism)
Any liberal that suggests the usurpation, severe restriction or banning of a civil right, by definition, isn’t a liberal. I would argue that the preservation of your own life is a human right. Any person that would suggest levying a fine or a fee (i.e. “insurance”) to practice a right is not a liberal. Sorry, you’re not. You may be a party line Democrat but that doesn’t make you a liberal. The conservatives have jumped so far to the right and the rules of the protection of civil liberties and rights have changed so much in the past decade, that you may be confused as to where you actually stand in the political spectrum. But don’t confuse being in lock step with the centrist corporatist party with being a liberal.
It’s not just about the protection of civil liberties, let’s talk about the “amelioration of social inequities” and how “insurance” as a requirement to own firearms. Such a burden would make it cost prohibitive for those on the lower rungs of the socio-economic ladder to practice a right. So, the poor, working poor and some middle class won’t be able to afford this insurance and you say, “so what?” If you look at it from a Marxian viewpoint the Proletariat will be left defenseless and unarmed while the Bourgeoisie and elite rich will be the only people to afford to be legally armed. To me, as a more Social-Democrat, I see that as a large issue. The last thing you want is the working class unarmed while the rich are the only ones that have the ability to arm themselves. Talk about a fast-track to the slavery of the working class.
So, let’s be honest about why you want the “insurance” requirement: it’s not for any sort of liability, it’s the same reason Republicans want voter ID, it’s the same reason we had poll taxes. It is in order to make it cost prohibitive to own a gun therefore reducing the number of people who will go through the process of getting one.
You want de facto outlaw gun ownership with bureaucracy and, what would be for some, unattainable financial burdens.
Instead of going through the front door and having a vote on the repeal of the 2nd Amendment which would set the party back politically for years, you will wrap your arguments in ignorance, fear, prejudice and emotion. You will use these mostly inane argument to have votes to do silly things like require liability insurance, allow people to only have 4.236 bullets in a 7 1/2 round magazine, make up arbitrary rules about which cosmetic features make a gun legal or illegal. You want to make the rules so confusing and the violation of those rules so severe that you scare people away from practicing a civil right. The new gun laws aren’t much different in ideology, practice and theory of the new voting rights laws.
So, you can call yourself a Democrat or a progressive but please don’t call yourself a Liberal. You may be confused about what that word really means.
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Here it is closed and unloaded. Really it's not very large at all. It fits almost entirely in my hand. It's one of the smallest handguns you can purchase that doesn't go into the micro variety of handguns.
Honestly we never keep all the rounds in there. Right now there aren't even 10 rounds in the magazine for two reasons 1) it makes the gun heavier when you concealed carry and 2) it stresses the spring.
n them ask the soldier from New York that was arrested for having 30 round magazines in his trunk.
UPDATE: So, stop asking me why I need a 30 round magazine clip you goddamned fucktards. It's a magazine unless you have a WWII machine gun. I would like to have a 30 round magazine for my AR as that is the standard capacity magazine for that weapon, but I would most like to be able to use the magazine designed for my goddamned personal protection handguns without the threat of federal prison. And if you think that's wrong, then you can go fucking hang yourself because I don't give a shit what you think.
Wednesday, January 09, 2013
Also to frame the argument as gun control advocates versus gun nuts is absolutely a false dichotomy. Every legal, responsible gun owner, even those gun nuts like me in the NRA, ARE gun control advocates. That’s why we take the time to research the laws, fill out all of the paperwork, make sure our firearms are secured and placed away from children and the incompetent. That is gun control. I control, when, where and how the guns I owned will be fired. Enforcing liability for irresponsible gun owners should be a part of any new reform.
Now two people I really respect put out two different arguments on the subject. Well-renowned atheist thinker Sam Harris on the anti-new-regulation side, and noted atheist from the Richard Dawkin’s Foundation for Reason, Sean Faircloth on the the pro-gun ban side as a rebuttal to Harris. You click on their names for their articles, as a primer for what I’m going to discuss.
Second, if liberals are going to have a place at the table discussing legislation concerning gun laws and ownership they need to be educated about guns in general and specifically what laws already exist. Ignorant and stupid comments like this one: “An AR is just a semi auto AK47,” aren’t going to get you anywhere with gun owners. It shows you’re complete lack of knowledge on the issue. So, educate yourself. Because having people that make comments that ignorant on the issue proposing legislation and reform is scary and could actually be dangerous. Your calling for a ban but you don’t even know what the hell you are banning.
As far as party affiliation goes I would say gun owners are split down the middle. I know just as many Democratic gun owners as Republican. All gun owners are now screaming because Pres. Obama is now going to institute sweeping gun reform according to the Washington Post, as they should. The NRA and conservative gun owners rightfully argue that the good majority of gun violence occurs in the inner-cities, population centers of over 200,000 and they’re correct. Republicans are partially to blame for the gun reforms that are coming because the call for stricter laws because of more gun crimes can be correlated to their social policies that have left the urban dweller to their own devices with dwindling assistance from the collective. They don’t want to help the inner-city and the desperate poor. They disparage those on food stamps and welfare, saying the $1 a day they receive for food is more than enough charity. Don’t invest in their schools and communities to help improve the community situation that would have a direct impact on reducing crime and especially the gun crimes that are of issue now. Libertarian environmental standards that allowed lead to be pumped into our environment. Lead exposure as a child permanently effects parts of the brain for impulse control, judgement and ability to pay attention. Parts of the brain that, if effected when you are young, will make you a violent person. Of course the communities have to shoulder most of the blame but the social Darwinism of heartless conservative libertarianism does not help the situation, where generations are born into hopelessness.
The Republican base casts them off as welfare queens and lazy people trying to get something for nothing. They don’t want to invest in improving quality of life the inner city through those dreaded social programs, ergo crime runs rampant as the only means survive. When you pull what little support people have away from them and back them into a corner people become desperate as they feel abandoned and they do what they must to survive. Ask Jean val Jean. So, as they turn to crime they use guns to commit these crimes as is shown in FBI statistics where these population centers own 1/2 the legally and registered guns of rural areas but have two times the number of violent gun crimes. I’m not saying these individuals and community leaders don’t hold responsibility for their actions but when you abandon sections of your country to the libertarian philosophy to each their own, well, each will go and get take care of their own. Not to mention the people in the inner city carrying unregistered/illegal firearms are following the lead of the fringe, minority, gun owners who believe weapons should not be registered or tracked by the government.
The Second Amendment and owning a gun has nothing to do with hunting and, here’s a kicker, I don’t believe the Amendment has complete bearing on whether or not Americans have a right to own something privately in their home so long as they don’t harm anyone else, it goes more to privacy and being secure in your person papers in effects. I have never hunted probably never will but it has nothing to do with me owning a tool or a machine. The 2nd Amendment has to do with a well-regulated militia having weapons, so militia members can have firearms to protect the government from a revolting mob, not to protect a mob from government. Conservatives are often confused by this and have obviously never heard of the Whiskey Rebellion. But there is no exclusion anywhere else in law that does not allow a law-abiding citizen to own a firearm…or a chainsaw…or an axe…or a Sanyo television. It’s a tool, but it’s the tool of a free man. There are limitations and constraints in the laws as to which firearms you can own but no prohibition. Why? Because in this country prohibition has never worked. How many people smoke pot? The purchase of that pot was just as illegal as buying a black market gun. Anyone remember when we tried to outlaw alcohol? All it did was create a HUGE criminal market. Really, you want to push the purchase of all guns to the criminal market with NO checks, no bureaucracy where everything goes to the person that can pay? That seems like a horrible idea. If you’re advocating total ban, that is what you are advocating.
Arguing that we didn’t have assault rifles in 1776 so people shouldn’t be able to own assault rifles is asinine and stupid. We had rifles and muskets which were the deadliest small arms of the time. So, whether you know it or not you are making the argument that we should only be allowed to own up to the most efficient small arms of our times…the AR. We didn’t have the internet, television or radio when the First Amendment was written, does that mean the protections of the First don’t apply to those media. I know, I know, I said above the 2nd isn’t really the whole reason we should be able to legally own guns, it’s not the whole reason but it does have some bearing.
So we can’t ban them, then what is the answer? Well think outside your talk radio box where all you hear is how evil guns are and how crazy anyone who owns a gun must be. Gun owners are Americans and they deserve the rights afforded to them under the Constitution. Freedom is scary and dangerous. Yes, more people will get shot by guns, stabbed by knives, killed by drunk drivers. But that’s freedom. I don’t like the idea that we have to legislate away every little thing that is scary to one group or another. Freedom takes courage.
The pissing and moaning of a bunch of ignorant, knee-jerk reactionary liberals calling for bans and prohibitions won’t help get any meaningful reform accomplished. Every time you put someone like Sen. Feinstein on TV to talk about guns, all you do is entrench those on the hard right and lose those in the middle to the right who feel they are protecting one of the few alleged rights we have remaining. We don’t need to ban anything.
So, what can we do? And believe me I don’t like some of these anymore than any other gun owner but compromise comes out of concession. And reasonable, responsible gun owner need to add their input or the rules will get made without them and do you really want a bunch of hippies that have never seen a gun in their life setting the national laws for firearms.
For fuck’s sake the first thing we need to do is close the gun show loop hole. It’s stupid that we haven’t. Every responsible gun owner that purchased their firearms from a reputable dealer that did the background check should want this as well. People with bad intentions are getting armed in these places and making it more difficult for us legal, responsible gun owners to enjoy our freedom. BLUF: it’s fucking it up for all of us.
1) National standardization of requirements for firearm ownership, addressing, training, security of firearms and civil and criminal liability if reasonable means aren’t made to secure your firearms and they are used to commit a crime. ie. Adam Lanza.
2) A national law that sets the standards for concealed handgun licensing and carry. This would piss off the "Tenthers" taking it out the hands of the states that all have 50 separate rules and laws and makes it very confusing and potentially legally hazardous when traveling. This has been a complaint of all gun owners no matter their political stripe for years. These permits would be issued by the FBI or ATF. In the process we'll be creating a whole new bureaucracy with lots of jobs just to make people feel better.
These are your carrots and here's the catch to gun owners which they will hate, especially the civil libertarians, but who gives a shit about civil liberties anymore would someone think of the children? What you do with all of this is you add national gun registration, which is a concession on part of the gun owners. I, like most gun owners, don't like the idea of registration but I would even go so far as to say that maybe we do need to register all firearms; if that is the course we need to go to make you feel better. I don't like it but on my side that's a concession I'm willing to make. I don't think it will be prohibitive of any crime and I'm not sure what good that would do because the people committing heinous and illegal acts certainly aren't going to make sure they fill out the proper paperwork to make sure their gun is registered before they go shoot up a school, but it would hold gun owners liable and responsible for making sure their weapons are secured properly and kept from the incompetent.
Sam Harris Article link: http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/the-riddle-of-the-gun Sean Faircloth’s Rebuttal: http://richarddawkins.net/foundation_articles/2013/1/4/sam-harris-neglects-the-most-important-evidence-about-guns#.UOm1z6Vb0sk
Thursday, September 06, 2012
When people say that killing bin Laden doesn’t matter I think there is something that those who haven’t served in these wars should understand and I’m going to try and convey that to you in this lil’ story.
In 2003 I was just going to serve my time in the Army Reserves take my college money and get out.
There was no reason for me to go active duty. I had aspirations for a career in TV and radio broadcasting. In January 2003 I signed a contract with ROTC to commission as an officer and go active duty when I graduated from college. This is a decision that took me on quite a journey.
Since 2004 I have lived on 3 continents in 3 countries and 4 states. At one point we moved twice in 6 months once from country to country then to another state.
In 2006, I deployed for my first time to Iraq. Starting my deployment in a comparatively restive northern Iraq and ending it 13 months later in the wild west of Anbar province, Ramadi after a wild and scary adventure. My wife deployed as well. It was a scary year as we waited for the other to be hit by a mortar, or killed by an IED. Imagine waiting for or just accepting as fact that the person you love most in the world is going to get killed. Imagine accepting the fact that you are already dead in order to do your job with some sort of bravery or courage. We suffered that for 13 months then returned home.
Nearly twelve months to the day after coming home we deployed again. This time to Kuwait for 15 months. Again separating ourselves from our son and separating our son from both of his parents. Believe this is not the easiest thing to do. Me in Kuwait and my wife going to Baghdad a few months into the tour…again the psychopathy applied as I just assumed she would be killed, just to take the sting away at that moment when I was taken aside and told, “Your wife was killed…”
So, late one evening, I saw President Obama was going to be announcing something special to the American people. When Obama said those words, “the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden,” I was relieved and saddened. All that rushed through me is that everything I had worked for, every moment I had spent scared and worried. Every moment I had spent homesick and pretending to be brave. It was worth it because I did my part, however insignificant and however small to make that happen. The people that I knew, that I’ve lost to the toils of war and the hidden and foreign struggles of returning home they were sacrificed on the alter of justice. The sanity and time that I will never get back. The personal friction created by the stress of the deployments and managing careers. All of this collapsed on those words… “that killed Osama bin Laden.” The man behind an event that had shaped my generation and called it to arms was dead. The war was over. Wasn’t it?
You don’t realize, that when I signed up I was afraid I was going to miss this war due to the statements of the leaders at the time. I deployed twice in support of a venture that had nothing to do with getting the guy that killed my fellow Americans on American soil. I thought my service was futile. I thought my deployments were for naught and they were, mostly as it pertains to getting bin Laden. But I still endured that pain…I spilled sweat in sand on a foreign land because that’s where I was told to go.
But when I heard those words…killed Osama bin Laden…all that rage, anger and hope for vengeance that had driven me to a life of military service, and created so much pain and sidetracked so much of my life, it didn’t go away. It collapsed into exhaustive sadness, especially knowing the jobs was done but the wars weren’t over. But if the worst I’ve had to endure is exhaustion, physical and mental pain and anguish for almost a decade, some of that emotional trauma and pain I will endure for the rest of my life, I guess, it’s a comparatively small price to pay for my country; for justice. For vengeance.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, if you didn’t serve in the military you don’t get why getting OBL is a big deal because all you were told to do after 9-11 was shop, I was called to go get shot at. If the largest sacrifice you made was losing the yellow ribbon magnet off the back of your SUV you probably won’t get it.
Thursday, August 09, 2012
Sunday, August 05, 2012
I know, I know if it bleeds it leads. That’s for a reason. That is news.
There's a way to make it the lead story without sensationalizing the shooter or their actions. Simple coverage at the top, what is the NEWS concerning this story. Then move to the next story. Honestly, all the coverage of these guys just leads to bad journalism, ie. Holmes was a member of the Tea Party, which turned out to be false. But in the rush to make the story more interesting they got it wrong.
How about better press control? Such as preventing press/journalist/media from knowing a shooter's name or allowing them access to a photo. How about a fine for any new organization that uses the news of a shooting in any sensational manner? A penalty for using the shooter's name more than a certain number of times in a 24 hour period. It has been shown empirically that the amount of attention given to the shooter gives rise to more shooters. The media's culture of sensationalism is just as culpable as the gun in creating more shooters like this guy.
The only thing that gives the press the "right" to do their job is that same pesky document that gives people the right to own weapons. So, if we're going to amend the document in the name of keeping people safe we should also amend or limit the rights of the press. They are just as culpable for mass shootings as guns, gun manufacturers and gun owners with their sensationalism, propagation of mass paranoia and playing fast and loose with information and facts.
Chip Berlet, an expert on right wing fanaticism and militarism, wrote an excellent article where he sort of dips into media culpability in mass shootings.
“According to Dr. Marvin Swartz, while “we don’t know whether there was a specific relationship between the political climate that [Loughner] was exposed to and his thinking, it’s a reasonable line of inquiry to explore.” Swartz explains that “One’s cultural context does [have an effect on] people’s thinking and particularly their delusions. It gives some content and shape to their delusions.” Swartz, a professor of psychiatry at Duke University, says it is legitimate to study “the cultural influences on people’s delusions or persecutory thinking,” and consider “different aspects of culture” and the how they affect people’s behavior—even the actions of terrorists.”
“The link between mass media vilification of a scapegoated group and incidents of aggression and violence against that group is well-established. Not everyone gripped by the media massage reacts by assaulting or killing the scapegoat, however, and a few people actively resist the campaign. Some terrorists write a script in which they see themselves as a Superhero out to avenge a wrong—real or illusory. Men in the United States seem oddly attracted to this role which intersects with guns and violence.”
Limiting the press, not being facetious now, would be a horrible idea. Although, given the state of today’s media, obsessed with sensationalism, obsessed with being first not right, obsessed with ratings not facts, I don’t know what harm it would do since they aren’t fulfilling their obligation as the fourth estate. Anyways, let’s operate off the premise that we don’t want to limit their rights (much like they’re cheering to limit the 2nd Amendment which is right after theirs). What do we do? Well, journalistic and news institutions have propriety policies. They are allowed, legally, to show you the most horrific terrifying shit, dead bodies, naked people, sex acts, so long as it falls in the guise of news. The reason they don’t show you this stuff is because they have a propriety policy, where they have come together as a board in their organization and said that it doesn’t add any good information to show a dead body so we’re not going to show that at 10 p.m. As a matter of fact they don’t do it because it could turn people off from their station. So, they have their own limiting laws and practices already. Another limitation they put on themselves, they usually won’t put out information unless they have a certain number of identifiable, independent sources confirming that information. They already limit themselves, why not with coverage of mass shooters in the name of public safety.
Then why not ask these institutions to limit themselves when it comes to coverage of a mass shooting? Give the news and the facts then move along. Why should they do this? Because as you can read in the Chip Berlet article they are adding to the “superhero complex” that these mass shooters need in order to commit their crime. So, if we’re going to make all this limitations of freedom, especially concerning gun rights which are just as protected in the Constitution as speech, in the name of safety, should we start front the top and work our way down. If there’s nobody rooting these people on in the national media that just might stop some of these guys from acting out their macabre fantasy.
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
And here I'm mostly talking about the stalwarts, the conservatives, the authoritarians that are afraid of change. When I look at issues like rBGH, BPA toxicity, global climate change, a decade plus long war and crashing stock markets. These are all problems, they knew would be problems but their generation covered them up, brushed them under the rug and looked the other way in the name of profit and upward mobility for themselves. In some cases they started them expecting us to finish them and clean up their mess.
Look at the relics of their generation we now have to contend with. Our air and water is poinsoned. Our "food" is poison. Global climate change is destroying ecosystems. Our economic system has essentially taken our country's wealth from the middle class and given it all to the top 1% rendering capitalism and democracy virtually useless, only giving us the illusion of choice. Really, what is the difference in voting for a Republican versus a Democratic. It's a lesser of two evils scenario.
Our generation has an opportunity to be smarter. Our generation has an opportunity to take power now. Our generation has the ability, with that power wrested from the control of the insane, to address problems head on instead of turning a blind eye to make an extra buck or get that next promotion. This is not just in the US. Look at the uprisings of the middle east where the people our age and younger have finally grown tired of the old men telling them that everything is fine because it is as it has always been, when they can look around and see that what has always been is not what they want for themselves or their neighbors.