Category Archives: Politics
For those having a hissy-fit over Obama’s use of a Marine-held umbrella yesterday, I have one question.
Why is it a problem for the Commander-in-Chief to tell (order?) a Marine to hold an umbrella over his and the Turkish Prime Minister’s head? Because it breaks Marine protocol regarding umbrellas?
Then why was this Marine’s breaking of same protocol lauded, when he broke protocol on his own volition to hold an umbrella over a man to shade him?
Both are instances of breaking the very same protocol, are they not?
Maybe they aren’t. I wasn’t in the Marines, so there may be something I’m missing here.
Look, I don’t like nor respect Obama. Yeah, I think the way he handled the umbrella thing was kinda stupid, because it’s that typical attempt for Obama to try to be cool, but just comes off awkward and unfunny and arrogant. But whatever. Someone didn’t plan for the rain, someone didn’t have a tent already set up, and like any good host you take care of your guest so it makes sense to offer the Turkish Prime Minister an umbrella. And yes, the Marine had to use his right hand because otherwise it would have been more awkward and wrong to place the Marine in the middle of the picture between the two Heads of State.
Why is this even an issue? Don’t we have more important things to call Obama on? Fast & Furious? Benghazi? Spying on the Associated Press? IRS screenings? You get mad with the press or the politicians distract from real issues. Isn’t that what you’re doing by making something out of an umbrella?
Can we stop with the double-standards?
Can we focus on things that actually matter, please?
So long as you deny our humanity, so long as you malign our dignity, intelligence and wisdom, so long as you seek to shade us under a cloud of evil that we do not partake in or support, so long as you tell us that because we own guns we are terrible people, you will prove yourselves absolutely right in that we won’t come to the table to talk with you.
This. So very much, this.
Read the full article. It’s long, but well-written. (h/t Jon Thomas)
They want to have a “national conversation on guns”, but there’s no conversation. It’s just a lecture, a scolding. Who wants to listen to that? When someone dresses you down, how much do you listen to them? How much do you want to cooperate with them? If they call you names, tell you you’re evil, put words in your mouth… do you really want to listen to what they have to say? Are you going to be receptive to anything they propose? It has nothing to do with guns; that’s just a human reaction.
Here’s a PDF from Dale Carnegie. Just about every rule gets violated in this “conversation”, and so we’re losing friends and alienating people.
To be fair, it’s not just the anti-gun folk that are like this. I see pro-gun folk that are this way as well. I cannot stand looking at my Twitter feed because I see so much … well… asshole-ish behavior going on. Conversations in less than 140 characters is not a conversation. I see name-calling, baiting, and just general rudeness. I mean, there’s assholes in every crowd, alas they tend to be the ones creating the most jibber-jabber, thus they create the perception. This sort of behavior won’t win anyone over to our cause. There’s no attempt to educate, just more violations of Dale’s rules. Really, what Mr. Snell’s article concludes cuts both ways: that so long as pro-gun folks treat anti-gun folk in a bad way (denying humanity, maligning their dignity, intelligence and wisdom, etc.), well… they won’t come talk to us either.
We can even step back from guns. Look at abortion, LGBT equality, environment (e.g. global warming), food (GMO, etc.), race, religion (including a-religion), whatever. Ever notice how divisive things are today? How the media no longer maintains a facade of neutrality but now blatantly takes and panders to “sides”? How politicians hammer on “the other side” for being in the way of progress, instead of they themselves trying to progress? How there’s so much spitting of venom and hate? There’s so much talk of tolerance, but little is given, especially to those that don’t agree with me. It doesn’t matter the topic. So long as we deny humanity, malign dignity, shade “the other side” under a cloud of evil… we’ll never come to the table and break bread together.
If united we stand and divided we fall… then it looks like we’ve fallen, and at this rate, we’re not going to get back up. Because while our humanity is crumpled on the ground crying for help, you’d rather Instagram ‘dat shit’ and walk away laughing at the ‘dumb bitch’. We need people to put their smartphones away, give our collective humanity a humble look in the eyes, and offer it a helping hand.
Naturally, some people object.
“I feel it is a really strong overreaction to what happened at Sandy Hook,” said Clayton Rascoe, parent of a Hunt pre-kindergarten student, referring to the Connecticut elementary where 20 children and six staff members were shot dead in December. “Clearly teachers and staff are not trained to carry firearms and take care of crisis situations,” Rascoe said.
So were Obama, Biden, Bloomberg, Feinstein’s actions not a strong overreaction as well?
Teachers are not trained to take care of crisis situations. What about bullying? What about troubled students? depressed students? There’s all manner of crises that teachers have to deal with. Violence in our schools is nothing new, from the “schoolyard fight”, to now students getting quite aggressive and physically violent with teachers over things like requests to put away mobile phones. Should teachers not be able to handle a crisis?
“There are police and military personnel who train their entire lives for such a situation and they unfortunately get it wrong sometimes,” he said. “I don’t think it is going to solve anything. I think it will introduce more problems than it could ever cure.”
How? What facts and evidence can support your claim? Firearms ownership has risen. Concealed carry has risen. There are more people walking around you today that have guns hidden on their person. And just-released BJS data shows that firearm homicides have decreased. More guns, less firearm homicide. How is this a reduction in violent crime a problem? Is that what you want?
“We teach kids implicitly with everything we do,” he said. “By doing this we are teaching them that violence is a viable solution.”
I hate to say it, Jack, but sometimes violence is not just a viable solution, it’s the only solution. I used to say that to, that violence is not the answer. But now I know that sometimes it is. Oh sure, you cannot make it your only answer, and you must consider if it is the best solution to the given problem. I mean, look at what women’s “rape prevention” seminars are all about — kick him in the groin, palm strike him in the nose, kick, bite, punch. That’s the offered — and socially and culturally acceptable solution — and it looks a lot like violence to me. Are you saying we shouldn’t teach rape prevention, because that would be teaching violence as a viable solution?
“I own guns. I hunt with guns. I teach my kids to use guns,” he said. “But this is a place of education and safety.”
It should be a place of education and safety. Alas, it is not. Granted, mass shootings are rare and on the decline (despite the media and political hype), so you should look at the mundane. I mean, bullying is pretty common at school. Schoolyard fights happen. A school is no magic bubble that somehow prevents bad things from happening. But I can think of things that can further deter and prevent bad things from happening.
A gun owner himself, Moseley said he didn’t vote for the measure because letting guns in school is not the right answer.
“Teachers are trained to be nurturers, not protectors,” he said.
To nurture is to care for and encourage the growth of development of. If you care for these kids, isn’t their safey important? If you want to see them grow, shouldn’t you want to also ensure they can live to see another day? We put fire alarms, extinguishers, and suppression systems in our schools. We have the kids go through fire drills so they can know precisely how to evacuate the school in the event of a fire. Depending where you live, you might have tornado drills. And the teachers and staff run these drills, maintain the order, and help to deal with the crisis.
Why shouldn’t we enable our teachers — who we entrust with the future of this country — to be able to fully care for their students?
A study released Tuesday by the government’s Bureau of Justice Statistics found that gun-related homicides dropped from 18,253 in 1993 to 11,101 in 2011. That’s a 39 percent reduction.
Another report by the private Pew Research Center found a similar decline by looking at the rate of gun homicides, which compares the number of killings to the size of the country’s growing population. It found that the number of gun homicides per 100,000 people fell from 7 in 1993 to 3.6 in 2010, a drop of 49 percent.
Both reports also found that non-fatal crimes involving guns were down by roughly 70 percent over that period. The Justice report said the number of such crimes diminished from 1.5 million in 1993 to 467,300 in 2011.
Full story. The Associated Press’ story continues tho:
But perhaps because of the intense publicity generated by recent mass shootings such as the December massacre of 20 school children and six educators in Newtown, Conn., the public seems to have barely noticed the reductions in gun violence, the Pew study shows.
See that’s the thing. Perspective is lacking.
One event happens, the media hype machine gets fired up, and it’s blown out of proportion. I’m not saying what happened in Newtown or any school shooting should be minimized, but rather kept in perspective. I mean, how many people were killed in Chicago this past weekend, and where’s the media hype and outrage over that?
When you look at the BJS’s data, if those homicides are going down folks… why don’t you look at that? I mean, you want gun-based violence to decline, right? Well, we have a decline! Let’s try to see why!
Were guns banned? Were magazine capacities restricted? Nope. In fact if anything, anti-gun folks are going to point out how over the past 10-20 years “gun rights” have expanded, the laws have become too loose, all these states adopting concealed carry laws.
But I thought blood was going to flow in the streets, and we’d return to the Wild West with shootouts over parking spaces? If that happened, wouldn’t gun-related homicide numbers have risen?
Evidently they declined.
I don’t think we can say “expanded gun rights” is the sole cause for this decline, because factors such as the health of the economy, jobs, drugs (e.g. late 1980′s saw a rise due to crack cocaine) certainly come into the equation. But just because it’s not the sole cause doesn’t mean it’s not part of the equation, that it’s not part of the solution.
Look, when it comes to a violent crime you’re likely to be involved in, it’s going to be some criminal wants to get paid. They want what you’ve got: your money, your sexuality, your dignity, whatever… and they will stick a gun in your face to force you to give it up. The criminal wants what they want, and then they want to be able to enjoy what they get, and then be able to do it again. They want to get your wallet, get the money, buy some drugs or booze, consume the drugs or booze, then do it again. Notice that “getting shot or injured or killed” is not part of their equation? Don’t you think empowering Joe Citizen to fight back, to have it be publicly known that the citizenry is armed, that if you mug Joe you may get killed… don’t you think that’s going to have an effect upon reducing crime? If criminal doesn’t want to get shot, he’s going to be more careful or reluctant or just flat out decide to do something else (e.g. just break into a business in the middle of the night to see what he can steal… still not great he committed a crime, but at least people aren’t getting hurt, right?).
Isn’t that what is desired? To reduce the crime? to reduce the violence?
Well, the BJS’s data has shown it’s declined, despite what media hype and politician opinions lead you to believe. So when the facts and data speak, maybe you should listen.
They claim that schools are places to teach… for students to learn.
If the story told is facts and truth…
Yes, he brought a shotgun onto school grounds. It was a mistake. The kid’s an Eagle Scout, and he’s human too (i.e. makes mistakes, just like you do, just like school adminstrators do). The moment he realized his mistake he secured the shotgun and went to the school office to try to contend with it (have Mom come pick it up, or some such solution). He was really left with no options, because if he left school grounds that’d be cause for punishment, so what he could he do? He tried to handle it in a responsible manner, but instead he got suspended and turned over to law enforcement.
The school system is standing by their decision.
“Administration reacted promptly and the proper procedures and protocol were followed,” Jones said. “The situation was turned over to law enforcement immediately. As a result of our investigation, it is our best determination that students and staff were safe at all times.”
They were always safe and never in harms way.
But this is what “zero tolerance” policies do. In fact, it’s what policy tends to be about: something to hide behind.
There is no thinking.
There is no consideration.
There is is no accountability because you can just point to the faceless “policy” and wash your hands of everything. Even those that made the policy, if they are still around, aren’t accountable.
Whatever happened to understanding that youth is a period in our lives rife with mistakes? Thus youth should also be a life period rife with learning and forgiveness. But alas, we’re not allowed to make mistakes anymore. What sort of society are we building?
And what lesson is Cole Withrow and the other students supposed to learn? Thinking is bad? Shirking responsibility is what you do as an adult? Because that’s certainly what “school administrative officials” are doing… all because Cole Withrow made a mistake, and sought to do the responsible thing in correcting it.
Mr. Withrow, no matter how this falls out, don’t let the actions of a few unthinking individuals color and tarnish your view of the world. Yes you made a mistake, but you handled it as right and responsibly as you could.
Paula Bolyard writes:
As I listened to the police scanner during the Boston manhunt, I wasn’t thinking about “police all over the place” in the “personal security guard” sense that Feinstein seemed to be implying.
Instead, I imagined a mother huddled in the nursery with her baby. Her husband is out of town and she is also listening to the police scanner, praying the terrorist doesn’t burst through her back door.
I imagined an 85-year-old World War II veteran living alone. He fought the Nazis on foot across Europe and his government just instructed him to “shelter-in-place.” He turns out the lights in his home and hunches over his radio waiting for updates though the long night.
I wondered if they could protect themselves if the worst happened.
In the middle of that night listening to the Boston police scanner, I evolved.
I realized right then that if I were holed up in my house while a cold-blooded terrorist roamed my neighborhood, I wouldn’t want to be a sitting duck with only a deadbolt lock between me and an armed intruder. There are not enough police and they cannot come to my rescue quickly enough. They carry guns to protect themselves, not me. I knew at that instant if Dzhokhar Tsarnaev showed up at my door while I was “sheltered-in-place” and aimed a gun at my head and only one of us would live, I could pull the trigger.
Her story resonates with me because I too evolved. I was never against guns and wanting to ban them on the whole, but I didn’t see why anyone needed “a machine gun to hunt Bambi”. Then, Wife was sexually assaulted while taking Oldest (then an infant) out for a walk/push in his stroller. That was my evolutionary moment. It still took me a number of years to come around to owning a gun and carrying a gun, but that moment opened my eyes to many realities about life and the world. That moment set in motion my quest for knowledge, education, and enlightenment about personal safety, crime prevention, etc.. To then own and carry a gun became a logical conclusion, because when you strip away your ignorance, your bias, you emotions and all you have left is fact and harsh realities about the world? Things become pretty clear on their own.
Apparently Timothy Gramins:
At long last the would-be cop killer crumpled to the pavement.
The whole shootout had lasted 56 seconds, Gramins said…. Gramins had discharged 33 rounds. Four remained in his magazine.
It doesn’t matter that Timothy Gramins is a police officer and was on duty. What matter is he was a man being brutally attacked, and he chose to fight, he chose to live.
And he needed a lot more than 10 rounds to preserve his life.
Who would need more than 10 rounds, indeed.
Some might say that he’s police, and they always get exemptions from the law. It’s precisely because they know there’s no good reason to restrict capacity, because one may well need it, as Sgt. Gramins did. Is there some reason we plebeians should be treated differently? Of Tom Givens‘ 60 students still alive today because they were carrying their gun, the range of shots fired ranged up to 11 shots. That’s more than 10; that’s more than 7. Was the life of this one person not worth it? because I thought “if it saves just one life, then it’s worth it”.
Who would need more than 10 rounds, indeed.
(Aside: another lesson to learn? you’re not dead until you’re dead. Keep fighting. Both Sgt. Gramins and his attacker were brutally wounded, but both kept fighting, both kept working to survive and live. You’ll be dead when you’re dead; meantime, keep fighting.)
I saw somewhere else someone making a worthwhile observation.
Bomb goes off killing and injuring many people, we blame the bomber.
Gun goes off killing and injuring many people, we blame guns.
We haven’t called for a ban on pressure cookers, or background checks, or licensing, or registration, or whatever… because we know that’s silly because the pressure cooker isn’t to blame. We haven’t called Martha Stewart evil or demonized the NRA (you know, the National Restaurant Association).
Why is this horrible event about the person that committed the act, and particular other horrible events about the inanimate object that the person used to commit the act?
I’m not trying to politicize the events, I really don’t want to do that. But it’s a fair observation that bears repeating.
Austin Police Chief Acevedo admits his department cannot keep you safe. That the FBI can’t keep you safe. That the government cannot keep you safe.
“It really illustrates the importance of vigilance,” Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said. “The police department can’t do it alone. The FBI can’t do it alone, government can’t do it alone. Ultimately, we’re all responsible for safety.”
Ultimately WE are responsible for safety.
You are responsible for (your) safety.
And yet, he testifies against campus carry and recently went to Washington DC to testify in favor of gun control proposals that won’t do much to impact crime but will affect your ability to do as he says and be responsible for your own safety.
So Mr. Acevedo, which way is it? I mean, great that you say you support CHL but again, your actions don’t exactly jive.
Nevertheless, it’s nice to see the Austin Chief of Police admit and acknowledge that the only person that can be responsible for your safety is yourself, and that “others” cannot truly keep you safe.
As they say, admitting it is the first step.
Sheriff Shayne Heap of Elbert County Colorado. Notable is that he chastised all politicians, regardless of political affiliation — it’s more about their intent.
Yeah… a lot of recent posts based upon the words of law enforcement. But I figure if you’re going to talk about crime and violence, maybe those that deal with it every day might be worth listening to. I mean, going to Joe Biden for leadership on violence issues is like going to Fred Phelps for leadership on gay rights issues.