Sorry for the absence of posts. I’m currently sick. More on that later. In the meantime, go give money to Linoge’s fund raiser for veterans.
I received several comments on my Open Letter to Stephen King, and one of them was submitted by Jeremy, who seems to believe that I posited an imperfect analogy.
Very poor analogy. Roland carried a six shooter and was trained to use it responsibly as one of the only men in he realm to carry such a weapon. No assault weapons. He also murdered a young innocent boy in the first novel we meet him in because his way was so obsessed and misguided that he didn’t appreciate a human life to be as valuable as his own crazy obsession.
(oh and the people who won’t read his books anymore because he dated to speak his mind: good. I love when someone is so easily influenced away from something they previously enjoyed)
Admittedly, had my post been an analogy at all, it would not have been a good one. I never intended to compare the gun control debacle of our time to the storyline of Mr. King’s fictional world. But, to address the concerns as Jeremy wrote them as quoted above, let’s just see exactly what he’s stepped into…
Roland carried a six shooter and was trained to use it responsibly as one of the only men in he realm to carry such a weapon.
Are you seriously starting out with an ‘Only Ones’ argument here? So, Roland is an equivalent to a cop, with special, magical training? You may note that in the course of the story, he recruits laypeople (the same young boy that you mention, a heroin addict from Brooklyn, and a paraplegic woman with dissociative identity disorder) and subsequently trains them with the same skills, to make them as gunslingers in their own rights. Similarly, in real life, not only is police-style gun training available to any law-abiding, adult, free citizen in our wonderful nation, but the classes themselves have a substantial crossover in students between law enforcement, military personnel, and the private sector. I stood side by side in a pistol class with two young men who were in the Air Force who were in class that day simply because they didn’t feel that the handgun training they had received from the United States Air Force was sufficient enough for them to be proficient and competent in a combat situation. Indeed, much gun training that is widely available to the public is superior to the training that many law enforcement officers ever receive.
No assault weapons.
Why must you fetishists obsess over the object employed in an act of violence? In point of fact, “assault weapon” is a vacuous and dishonest term that was invented by politicians to scare people into advocating gun bans. Whenever you have a new term pop up in a contentious subject, it is best to follow the agenda (or in some cases, money) trail before accepting it offhand. Before “assault weapon”, politicians made up other terms to the same end such as “gangster gun” and “Saturday night special”. Sadly, even the tired term “assault weapon” seems to have quite a fluid definition depending on which politician you listen to. Discussions such as this would be far more honest and productive if we could cut out the scary rhetoric and discuss factually. If we are talking strictly of Evil Black Rifles, you need to understand that these are the most popular rifles in the nation today, and that there are millions of them in private possession that have never been, nor ever will be used in the commission of a crime, violent or otherwise. The word “assault” is a verb, which means:
1 a : a violent physical or verbal attack
b : a military attack usually involving direct combat with enemy forces
c : a concerted effort (as to reach a goal or defeat an adversary)
2 a : a threat or attempt to inflict offensive physical contact or bodily harm on a person (as by lifting a fist in a threatening manner) that puts the person in immediate danger of or in apprehension of such harm or contact — compare battery 1b
b : rape 2
And, the word “weapon” is defined as:
1 : something (as a club, knife, or gun) used to injure, defeat, or destroy
2 : a means of contending against another
Therefore, if we ditch the agenda-driven, political definitions and stick to strict, English-language definitions, an “assault weapon” is not at all an Evil Black Rifle so much as it is any object that one utilizes to mount a physical attack against another. The black rifles with collapsible stocks, pistol grips, barrel shrouds, and bayonet lugs, with their thirty-round (standard capacity) magazines, peacefully sitting in the safes of millions of Americans are not at all “assault weapons” and it is simply bigoted, prejudiced fear-mongering to assert that they are. For an actual analogy, if your girlfriend gets mad at you for eating too many tacos and attempts to stab you with her spork, that very morphoditic eating utensil is the assault weapon, and much more so than her AR15 which she left at her house, which has never hurt anyone. Indeed, during the fictional course of The Dark Tower series, Roland assaults infinitely more people with his revolvers than the overwhelming majority of all so-called “assault weapons” (as per the current, politically expedient “definition”) ever have or ever will, by a margin of some to nothing. This is primarily why the gun rights advocates find the
“high-velocity-assault-clip-shoulder-thing-that-goes-up” rhetoric so insultingly stupid. What I have found is that there are two types of people who argue for more gun control: Those who are motivated out of ill-intent (i.e. politicians who incite fear to tow the line to ultimately disarm the populace for greater power) and those who are motivated out of ignorance (the masses who simply repeat the talking points that have been fed to them by their betters, because they have been told that they are “common-sense”). And, this tends to be an inclusive continuum, in which some individuals fall into both definitions.
He [Roland] also murdered a young innocent boy in the first novel we meet him in because his way was so obsessed and misguided that he didn’t appreciate a human life to be as valuable as his own crazy obsession.
I admit that it’s been a while since I last read these books, but I seem to recall that Jake’s first death occurred when Roland’s nemesis deliberately pushed him into traffic. After that, Jake and Roland met and continued on the adventure together until Jake’s demise, of which you speak. Roland did not actively “murder” him so much as allow him to fall when he could have made the choice to save him instead. Although cowardly and deplorable, this is not “murder” in the strictest sense any more than ignoring a drunk and brawling domestic couple makes you a wife-beater, or not stopping a shoplifter makes you a thief. If you are going to define “murder” to include the failure to save a life when you are afforded the opportunity to do so, or to put someone in a hazardous situation that ultimately plays out to their demise, that’s painting with an awfully wide brush. The argument then can easily be made that the very act of gathering children in a place with no defenses, and no means of escape, where a madman can force his way in and slaughter with impunity against no effective resistance is murder. I don’t know about you, but I’m not really prepared to call someone a murderer for dropping their kids off at school, or for being employed by the school, or even being a politician writing policies concerning schools, even if I vehemently disagree with them. As atrocious as I find gun control to be, I’m not even prepared to call gun control advocates “murderers” although they have not always afforded me the same regard. I do agree with you in that Roland’s irrational obsession caused him to make the choice to not save the child. And yet, suspension of disbelief in The Gunslinger’s world includes rampant reincarnation. As opposed to our world, where when one dies, they are ostensibly gone for good, in the world of The Dark Tower, death is easy to play off with “There are other worlds than these.” That is to say that death, being less permanent in the fictional world, and therefore, murder or even manslaughter by negligence as framed in the book series is simply not as much of a natural offense as it is in real life.
(oh and the people who won’t read his books anymore because he dated to speak his mind: good. I love when someone is so easily influenced away from something they previously enjoyed)
I will assume that was supposed to be “dared” and not “dated”. But, I’m glad to be of entertainment to you. I hope that brings you back for more, and I shall exploit the bandwidth you provide in an unrepentant and blatanty capitalistic manner. I don’t know whether you actually read Mr. King’s essay, in part or in full, but he shows that he is antagonistic towards politically-charged inanimate objects with scary nicknames and aesthetic features, as well as the NRA, which is the oldest, most effective civil rights organization in our country. It is not so much that Mr. King “dares to speak his mind” as it is the fact that he speaks down to all of the little people. He tells us that he owns three handguns “with a clear conscience” as though it’s acceptable to say, “I’m friends with lots of ni**ers.” In an attempt at taking on a leadership role over the rest of us, he shows how he courageously asked his publisher to pull Rage after collecting a mere nineteen years worth of royalties, because it was linked to some violent crimes. All of this, and he has the audacity to ask readers to pay for privilege of enduring this sermon. I don’t ask for a penny from you, Jeremy. And yet, I will freely admit to profit being a motivating factor.
Additionally, it is not so much being “easily influenced away” as it is standing up for one’s principles. To give you an analogy that actually is an analogy, if you found out that your favorite restaurant, Neighborhood Trough Buffet had a corporate policy that they did not like dogs, and actually supported animal shelters that euthanize, specifically because they wanted to kill dogs, you might just take umbrage to that. If it just so happens that you adopted your much-beloved dog, Skippers from the local no-kill shelter, it might take on personal meaning to you that Neighborhood Trough sought to destroy dogs that are so much like yours, and that violates your personal values. Skippers didn’t do anything to anyone, and he’s a great companion and he is protective of your family. You now have a choice to make. You could say, “Eff it, Neighborhood Trough is da bomb and I’m going to eat there anyway. Sure, they may support dog euthanasia, which is sad and wrong, but it’s not like I can change that on my own,” which would be well within your rights, even if it would make me question your personal convictions. Then again, you could say, “As much as I have enjoyed eating at Neighborhood Trough in the past, I am a man of my principles and I simply cannot patronize an establishment that supports activities that I find to be so reprehensible.” However, in your comment, you play it as though it is a point of weakness when in fact it is not. Just as in my analogy there are plenty of other restaurants in town that you can patronize that don’t support the wrong animal shelters, in my world there are plenty of talented authors that support my rights and freedoms. As an example, Larry Correia is a New York Times Best Seller and has written probably the most comprehensive and exhaustive argument on either side of the gun debate, that he doesn’t even charge anything to read, unlike King. In fact, he was recently invited to speak on the subject with Huckabee:
So yes, I’m remorseful that my hard earned dollars have played any part in the royalty pot of someone who holds my rights in such low regard. Indeed, Stephen King can go pound sand with his opinions unless he has been grossly misrepresented by others. The excerpts that I’ve been able to read certainly seem to be a condescending dissent to my rights as a free citizen, and it is not worth the ninety-nine cents to me to read the whole thing myself to test his defense. I hope I’ve been able to clear up a few things for you.
I’m sure that by now you’ve all seen this:
…which was transcribed here thusly:
Heslin: I don’t know how many people have young children or children. But just try putting yourself in the place that I’m in or these other parents that are here. Having a child that you lost. It’s not a good feeling; not a good feeling to look at your child laying in a casket or looking at your child with a bullet wound to the forehead. I ask if there’s anybody in this room that can give me one reason or challenge this question: Why anybody in this room needs to have an, one of these assault-style weapons or military weapons or high-capacity clips…..Not one person can answer that question.”
Crowd/Alleged Hecklers: “Second Amendment shall not be infringed”
Public official: “Please no comments while Mr. Heslin is speaking. Or we’ll clear the room. Mr. Heslin, please continue.”
And, I’m nearly equally sure that you’re familiar with the longer version of the footage, as seen here:
When I first watched this, of course I disagreed with Mr. Heslin’s assessment, even if I felt horribly empathetic for him. My first thought was that this man was deeply distraught and it was unfair of the Senate to ask him to come and speak in that state. His words stuck with me, and some of them just really rubbed me wrong, and I had to come back and address this. In searching on the internet, I could not find a transcription of the full, sixteen-minute video. So, I have transcribed it myself below. I wanted to add my own commentary, but rather than interrupt, I’ve provided reference numbers in the text that will coordinate with my comments below. I have also added helpful links in the text where I felt they were appropriate. Mr. Heslin has a heavy accent, and was a little disjointed in his speech. I’ve attempted to make this an unabridged, verbatim transcription. I thought about dropping his ‘um’s and ‘uh’s, but decided to leave them in, not to make fun of Mr. Heslin, but to be as thorough and literal as possible. Although his grammar is quite poor, I have quoted it verbatim, and will not ridicule him for it. I did redact the shooter’s name, as I will not promote the faming, which is a major part of the problem.
Neil Heslin: “Good morning. My name is Neil Heslin. Jesse Louis was my son. He was six years old. He was a victim at Sandy Hook. I’m here today to just hopefully get the word out that changes have to be made.(1) Uh. I’ll tell you a little bit about Jesse. He was a boy who loved life. Um. Lived it to the fullest.(2) Uh. His mother and I are both separated; he spent equal amount of time with both of us. And um, he was my son, he was my buddy, he was my best friend.(3) And, I never thought I’d be here speaking like this; asking for changes, on my son’s behalf.(4) And, I never thought I’d be laying a crest… The happiest day of my life was the day he was born. He’s my only son and my only family. And, the worst day of my life was the day when I had… when this happened, and I buried him.(5) And, I was raised in a household with guns and weapons. In fact, I started skeet shooting when I was eight years old. I was educated on the safety of guns. I was… my father was an avid hunter. I was hunting ever since I was eight or ten or twelve years old with him. I’m not a gun owner now.(6) And uh… I… I think a lot of changes need to be made as for the safety and handling of guns, regulations of the guns(7): handguns, long arms, um… whatever you want to classify as an assault weapon(8), uh… Something like happened in Newtown…”
*fire alarm sounds*
Heslin: “Something like happened in Newtown can…”
Intercom: “May I have your attention please?”
Public official: “Just a moment. Just a moment please sir.”
intercom: “May I have your attention please. There has been a fire reported in the building. Please proceed to the nearest exit and leave the building.”
*crowd stands up and video breaks*
Heslin: “Back now that we all survived the fire(9).”
Public official: “Thank you. Now we are ready to ah, ready to continue now. Thank you, Mr. Heslin.”
Heslin: “Now that we all survived the fire here(9)… Um… Getting back to where I left off: I was raised with firearms and hunting and skeet shooting.(10) I’m not in favor of banning guns or weapons.(11) I’m in favor of… would like to see a lot stricter regulations, being on a Federal regulaton and a state level.(12) Um. There’s a lot of facts… a lot of things that should be changed to prevent what happened: mental health, um, being a big part, uh; going back to the basics, better parenting, uh… When I was raised, I was raised to respect my parents and my elders, not to kill my mother when she was sleeping.(13)
Uh. It’s… it’s just shocking what happened in Newtown.(14) And uh… I look at these weapons that were presented by the state police here: the uh assault, so-called assault weapons, meaning military-style and military looking(15) – you can categorize it or classify them however you want(16). I still, still can’t see why any civilian, anybody in this room in fact, needs weapons of that sort(17). You’re not going to use them for hunting(18); even for home protection(19). Semi-automatic and automatic weapon is one of the most inaccurate weapons out there. The sole purpose of semi-auto… those AR15s or the AK47s is put a lot of lead out in a battlefield quickly, and that’s what they do.(20) And, that’s what they did at Sandy Hook Elementary school on the fourteenth. That wasn’t just a killing, that was a massacre. Those children and those victims were shot apart. And, my son was one of them.(21) And uh. This picture I brought with me today was taken six years ago; it was my son when he was six months old, and myself. That was my mother’s Christmas gift that year. My mother passed away five years ago, ironically, on the same day that Jesse perished. Um. I just hope some good can come out of this in changes for mental health, the ban of assault weapons, or there’s a… I just can’t fathom why any of us need that in our society or in our home. Why do we need thirty-round magazines or cartridges?(22) There’s no one in this room here that has the capability, mentally or physically, to take on twenty people, or fifteen people, where you would need thirty rounds of ammunition.(23) There’s no reason for it. And, I hope everbody in this room can realize that and see that. There’s a lot of people here that are in favor of guns, and not changes. But, if they open their eyes and their minds, and supported changes and it would give them more rights, if it was on a Federal regulated program. It would give them more rights to take hunting weapons in and out of different states.(24) I think both sides really need to work together to pass regulations that work for everybody. And, I’m never going to have my son back.(25) I accepted what happened that day when it happened. I didn’t like it. I couldn’t change it. He wouldn’t want me to sit around crying or feeling bad. I’m not trying to do something to help him – and to help the other victims(26). That school was a beautiful place. It was like Maybury, going to that school in the morning. I never saw anybody that wasn’t happy there.(27) And, I dropped, we dropped him off that morning at 9:04 (I saw the clock), I walked him into that cla… into the, to the school. He gave me a hug and a kiss. He said, he said… And, I gave him a hug and a kiss back. And, he said, “goodbye.” He said, “I love you.” And, he said, “I love Mom too.” We were supposed to go back and make gingerbread houses that day; we never made it. Twenty minutes after that, my son was dead. And, there’s no reason for it.(28) There’s no reason that *redacted*‘s mother should have had those weapons in that home, locked up or not locked up(29) with a child(30) that apparently had mental issues. Um. I think a lot of it goes back to mental issues. Years ago, when we had Bellevue and Fairfield Hills, people were committed.(31) You never heard of crimes like this.(32) And, I think that’s a big thing that they have to focus on along with gun control. And, a place to start is banning these weapons. There’s no reason for these. There’s no place on the street for them.(33) Another argument that.. uh.. people have is, “Well, the criminals will have these weapons.” You’re never going to take weapons away from criminals, or drug dealers, or people on the streets that have them. You have to make very strict penalties for that, and not a slap on the wrist, not probation. You’ve got to make mandatory, harsh jail terms for those people.(34) If they’re convicted of committing a crime with a weapon, whether it be a robbery, a hold-up, an assault, there’s got to be strict penalties. You’re not going to take, banning the firearms, you’re not going to get them away from the criminals.(35) But, we don’t need these weapons on the street or in our homes. We don’t.(36) And, I ask everybody to think about it, and everybody in this room, whether you’re in favor of guns, or in favor of banning them, to try to work together to come up with reasonable changes that work. And, I think one place to start is with the regulations on background checks – thorough background checks for everyone who purchases a weapon. Resales have to have thorough background checks.(37) I think a ban on high-capacity magazines and assault-type weapons needs to be in place; more strict guidelines on people who own them, such as the state has and the Federal government has with machine guns.(38) Um.
I just can’t believe what happened at Newtown. I dropped, we dropped Jesse off at 9:04 and an hour and a half later I was back at that school and it was like a military installation – SWAT team members, families in hysteric – uh, hysterical, state police from all over the state, FBI, uh. It was unbelievable. Students there looking to be reunited with their parents; parents looking for their children; I was looking for my son, I was looking for his classroom. They were never to be found.(39) What some of the surviving students’ parents told me: my son, Jesse yelled, “Run! Run now!” He was in Miss Soto’s class; ten of the students survived; my son wasn’t one of them. I hope those words helped those children survive.(40) And, I just… I just hope that some change can come out of it and that’s positive and good. Newtown’s a broken community. I see the people up there; they’re heartbroken with their heavy hearts. I had the opportunity to go into Chalk Hill School where these children are, and it wasn’t a good feeling; it was a very sad feeling. And, it’s something that should have never happened.(41)
And, getting back to these high-capacity weapons: We’re not living in the wild west. We’re not, we’re not a third-world nation. We have the strongest military in the world. We don’t need to defend our homes with weapons like that.(42) I just hope that everybody in this room, as I said before, can support change. Ban hi… Ban assault weapons and high-capacity clips and magazines. And, that’s a step in the right direction. And, support Federal changes and regulations.
And, I don’t know how many people have young children, or children, but just try putting yourself in the place of I’m in or these other parents that are here and having a child that you’ve lost – it’s not a good feeling.(43) It’s not a good feeling to look at your child laying in a casket or looking at your child with a bullet wound to the forehead. It’s a real sad thing.
You know, I wish… I ask if anybody in this room can give me one reason, or challenge this question: Why? Anybody in this room needs to have an assault… one of these assault-style weapons or military weapons or high-capacity clips? And, not one person can answer that question, or give me an an…(44)
From the crowd: “The Second Amendment shall not be infringed.”
From the bench: “Please, please no comments while Mr. Heslin is speaking.”
From the bench: “Or, I will clear the room. Mr. Heslin, please continue.”
Heslin: “Anybody, anyway, we’re all entitled to our own opinion,(45) and I respect their opinions and their thoughts. But, I wish they’d respect mine and give it a little bit of thought, and realize that it could have been their child that was in that school that day.(46) And, I don’t think of any of the massacres or shootings in this country – I believe they all happen with an assault weapon, or assault-style weapon, high-capacity clips(47): Aurora(48), Columbine(49), um, Sandy Hook… And, they were, I believe they were all purchased legally, too(50). Uh. Not to say that it.. you know, massa.. uh.. assaults like that couldn’t have happened in another way but you need to cut down on the guns – those type of guns. There’s no reason for it. And, they cause destruction and they cause massacre.(51) And, that’s what they were made to do.(52) And, uh. You know, I just ask that they could place a ban on them.(53) That’s all I have to say at this time.
Public official: “Thank you Mr. Heslin and thank you for having the fortitude to come and be here today in the wake of the terrible loss of your beautiful son Jesse. Thank you so much.”
Heslin: “Thank you very much.”
*Applause from the crowd*
(1) – I understand him introducing himself and telling how his word is applicable, but he didn’t take more than three sentences to jump from that straight to gun control. I find this troubling already.
(2) – Sounds like a neat kid. The whole situation is truly heart-breaking.
(3) – “Son,” obviously, “buddy” I can truly relate to, but “best friend”? I’ve heard people refer to their grown offspring as “best friend,” but never a six-year-old. I can’t find anything explicitly wrong with this, but it does strike me as odd.
(4) – We all know that his son will not benefit from any “changes”, and this is simply an emotional appeal for a knee-jerk reaction.
(5) – I pray to God that I never find out how horrible that has to feel. No one should ever have to bury their children.
(6) – Totally irrelevant. The Second Amendment has nothing to do with skeet shooting or hunting. I don’t think that you should be forced to own guns if you don’t want to.
(7) – I hope no legislation is passed based on your beliefs that would lead to the restriction of my rights. This is not callous, it has nothing to do with the loss of life as perpetrated by bad people.
(8) – What I “want to classify” as an “assault weapon” is already illegal, although I feel it should not be.
(9) – I find it weird that he felt that it was so important to tell this joke that he reiterated it. I understand that someone who is going through tragedy can act oddly, so I don’t think this necessarily implies anything. I just find it odd.
(10) – Again, irrelevant.
(11) – Except…
(12) – The fed makes it a PITA for us to buy and own guns already. And, you want that to be more strict? How about we punish the criminals instead of the good guys?
(13) – I don’t think anyone is raised to shoot his or her mother while she sleeps. Ultimately, we are creatures of free choice, and unfortunately, some people turn out bad despite a parent’s best efforts or genuinely good parenting.
(14) – It is shocking, and I don’t think anyone is disputing that. We should not be shocked when these events happen as we have created the formula in which these things happen. If we keep sensationalizing mass murderers and keep banning weapons in schools, killers will come forth and murder in places where they meet no resistance for the contrariety.
(15) – Are the aesthetics of the guns used of any relevance in the least? At the risk of sounding heartless, your son would not be any less dead had he been killed with anything else.
(16) – See point #8.
(17) – It’s got nothing to do with need. We have a natural right to defend ourselves that is guaranteed by the constitution.
(18) – Irrelevant but demonstrably false.
(19) – Wrong again.
(20) – This is one of the more ignorant statements I’ve heard on the subject of guns and reveales an impressive lack of experience on the subject.
(21) – Reiterating the tragedy is not valid to the point of the argument. It is an emotional appeal that doesn’t add intelligence to the discussion.
(22) – Confusing misuse of terminology aside… So, you don’t want to ban all guns, only the most popular and in the most common use? Gotcha. Do you realize that’s like saying, “I don’t wan to ban all Japanese cars, just the Hondas and Toyotas.”
(23) – Maybe not in that room. But, you get out here to free country, and you might be amazed at what a well-trained individual can do.
(24) – So, more strict gun controls would give us more gun rights? That’s some twisted logic right there.
(25) – Horrible but true. My heart goes out to you.
(26) – Isn’t that a contradiction of you asking for changes on your son’s behalf? (point #4)
(27) – Totally irrelevant emotional appeals again.
(28) – It was a senseless tragedy, to be sure, but…
(29) – Don’t conflate the act with the tools. It was not wrong of her to have these inanimate objects, and neither you nor any one else has yet given a reasonable argument to the contrary.
(30) – Not a “child”, but a “man”. We’re talking about a twenty year old. By the time I was twenty, I was a married, home owning father. The crime was his alone. The sin was his alone. At the age of twenty, one is no longer the responsibility of one’s parents.
(31) – I’m not sure I can get behind the involuntary denial of freedom of people based on the label of insanity, lacking any evidence more tangible than the word of a professional. As often as people get misdiagnosed by physicians and psychologists, it just seems like an awful big crack for people to slip through.
(32) – You also forget that in the days of the big asylums, students would lean their guns in the corner of the classroom because they were going hunting after class.
(33) – They are in millions of privately owned safes in this country. Millions of these guns have never killed and never will kill anyone. And yet, you want to punish millions of innocent people for the crime of one. I can’t really say I blame you for wanting someone, anyone even, to pay for your son’s death. But, you are taking out your frustration and anger on people who don’t deserve the blame.
(34) – This is the first point that I actually agree with. If we don’t lock up the criminals, they’ll be out committing crimes. They will get guns and they will commit crimes with them. Keep them in jail, or shoot them dead.
(35) – And yet, you want to take the most effective form of defense from the very people who would be victimized by these criminals.
(36) – You don’t. Don’t force your values on the rest of us.
(37) – The states that don’t use the NICS system have to call the FBI for a background check. The current background checks are an inconvenience to the law-abiding that we begrudgingly accept in the hopes that it will make it a little harder for criminals to get guns. Ratcheting up on that only punishes the law abiding.
(38) – The restrictions on machine guns are completely unreasonable and were a knee-jerk response to other high-profile violent crimes. We would be better served to rescind those restrictions than to add standard-capacity magazines and the most popular rifles and pistols.
(39) – Completely irrelevant.
(40) – Your son was a brave little boy, and he should be greatly mourned. You should be proud of the time that he had.
(41) – The Newtown shooting should have never happened, true. But, we live in a fallen world with bad people. Of course the community is torn up about it. There’s no other way they can be.
(42) – All it takes for evil to win is for good men to do nothing. If you disarm us, this is our eventual future. WARNING – extremely graphic pictures at the link
(43) – Teaching your children responsible gun handling goes far further toward their safety than attempting to insulate them from guns. I can’t imagine the pain you must be in, but it is still no excuse to deny good people of their rights.
(44) – And, that was no rhetorical question.
(45) – But, you seem to think you are entitled to your own facts as well.
(46) – I have considered this, and it is an excellent reason to not send our children to a gun-free zone for so many hours every day. There are plenty of alternatives for most of us already.
(47) – Demonstrably false; the Oklahoma city bombing and 911 come right to mind.
(48) – The Aurora shooter demonstrated a proficiency in building effective bombs. His body count could have been so much higher if he didn’t have guns.
(49) – The Columbine shooters used no such guns, and that shooting took place during the 1994 AWB, demonstrating the point that those intent on evil will use whatever tools they can get their hands on.
(50) – Aurora is the anomalous exception that provides your argument any modicum of credence. The Columbine shooters bought their guns illegally, through straw purchases and illegal private sales. The Sandy Hook shooter murdered his mother and stole her car and guns, which I’m fairly certain was not legal. All of the provided examples are people intent on evil, carrying out evil where they know guns aren’t allowed.
(51) – They do not cause destruction and massacre. Those intent on evil cause destruction and massacre. The gun itself causes nothing at all, and there are millions in circulation that have never spilled innocent blood.
(52) – I’m getting so tired of the “intended purpose” fallacy. Forget the fact that more children die from drowning than from gunfire because guns were “designed” to kill. Do you know what was originally designed to kill? Hammers and clubs. And according to the FBI, they’re still taking more lives than rifles.
(53) – No.
I still think it was wrong of them to ask him to come and testify in the first place. Then again, the whole pony show is a disgusting farce and I really hope the whole thing blows up in their faces. If you’ve read this all the way to this point, please do leave me a comment to let me know. I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t though. This did turn out pretty long.
If you’ve been following my blog, you probably read my musings about building a geodesic dome as a house. If you read the comments section, you know that there’s been some discussion going on. Inventive told me that he grew up living in a dome house that his dad built. I asked for pics and description, and he posted a blog entry of his own with current pictures of his parents’ home. It looks pretty good, especially after the remodel. My favorite is the last picture, where you can see the new furniture on the new floor, with freshly painted triangle panels in the wall behind, with the script “When you can’t see God’s hand, trust His heart” painted on the wall. Words to live by! Please do go check out his pics and commentary.
I think this cockamamie scheme of ours might actually be doable! I showed my scribbles of brainstormed floor plans to my parents on Saturday and they seemed pretty excited about it. We discussed location, and we’re pretty sure where we’re going to build it – for now anyway. There’s still plenty of time to change our minds. With the kit that we’re looking at and the floor plan we’re thinking towards, we’ll have lots of space for house guests. That will be a first for us, and we’re pretty excited about the prospect! Of course, I’ll publish more when I have more to report.
Feeling like I can’t do more involved content options justice today, I’ll leave you with some Korean pop music instead. And no, I’m not going to link gingham* style here. You’ve all already heard that, no doubt. However, I will link Kim Hyun-a, who has incidentally done work with Psy. Here’s her video “Bubble Pop”, which is every bit as light as the title implies, but it’s still fun:
In fact, let’s just stick with Korean girl pop for that matter. Here’s “Twinkle” by Girls’ Generation. I would have embedded the video here, but they aren’t letting that happen. It’s hard to blame them for limiting embedding on a 30-million view video, I suppose.
I’d say that pop singers in the western world should watch their backs! Have a good weekend everyone.
*Yes, I misspelled that deliberately. Not hating, just having some fun.
Here we are, at the very end of KTKC 2012. I want to start by giving some huge thank-you’s to all of you who donated on my behalf. Among the kilted, you have put me in a solid third place, behind JayG and Stingray, but ahead of Kelly. Unless something crazy happens (again), that’s likely where I will finish. I am still expecting a few donations in, which have been pledged but not received, and we’ll just have to see if and how that affects the finish. I am so humbled and honored by your support; you people are amazing.
The top four donors to my account are standing at $200, $150, $100, and $75 currently. One of my $50 donors was trying to donate again yesterday but was having issues with the donation website. **Update – My official top five donors as of right now are $200, $150, $150, $100 and $75. Thank you!** I expect that will be resolved shortly and we’ll have an actual top five to receive the gun grips, custom holster, and oil paintings. Because, we’re classy over here in this corner of the internet. I’m still going to need to figure out how to contact those of you who were the top donors. I’m sure we’ll figure out something there.
Also, one of the donors has requested one of Jennifer’s illustrious “designer” paper bags. If any of the rest of you who donated want an autographed paper bag, just give one of us a shout and we’ll make that happen.
As to catsuit pics, I believe that the promise was that if I took first place, I’d publish video of Jennifer shooting the M82A1 in skin tight PVC. Unless we have our own little Christmas miracle (which I’m not ruling out until midnight Sunday), I don’t see that happening this year. Perhaps next. However, the deal was that if you people put me in the top three, we would take some high-quality, high-resolution pictures and publish them for your review. Assuming I don’t slip from third place, we will be working to make sure this happens. Do you have any poses or angles you’d like to specifically request? I imagine we can take a few fun pictures. If you can manage to bump me up into second place before midnight on Sunday, we’ll do more pics in more poses and possibly even try to get Oleg in on the action.
I’ve gotten donations and well-wishing in this thing, but I haven’t received a whole lot of requests of stuff to do or give for donations. I really do value your input and would love to get some ideas from you. Obviously, it’s a little late in the game to change the plan, but we can start planning ahead for KTKC 2013, right? So anyway, we’re not done yet, but it’s looking good so far. Please do slide your donations my direction as we’ve still got a couple days. I’ll be wearing my kilt. Thanks again!
You all remember a couple of days ago when I
freaked out and had a whiny meltdown offered incentives for Kilted To Kick Cancer donations? Well, I wanted to give an update and provide some more information on the prizes. The painting by Jaimilyn is an 8×10 oil piece on canvas, entitled “Beginning of Fall”, as seen on her website. This is quite a beautiful painting that would very well decorate anyone’s wall. I would say that Jamilyn has forgotten more about fine art than I ever knew, but I don’t think she’s forgotten a single thing at all.
In case you aren’t yet familiar with Mark’s grips at Rimfire Designs, his work is fantastic. For the past couple years, I’ve chatted back and forth with Mark, and we’ve bounced our business ideas at each other repeatedly. Ironically, I don’t yet own any of his grips. I’ve been leaning on him to start producing some S&W revolver grips, and he’s finally caved! Imagine this kind of woodwork:
Keep in mind, that’s unfinished, rough-cut wood. That orange color gets a lot brighter when finished. For the astute among you who noticed my logo stamp atop that plank, this is my commitment to KTKC and the prizes:
Yes, that’s my chaotic workspace. And, the shelf bisecting this image that everything is on is the English yew plank in question. So, I’m going to have to uproot all that clutter and ship a gun to Mark in order to make this happen. And, it’s totally worth it. Mark is going to make two sets of grips that will be signed and numbered and awarded separately. But wait, that’s not all!
I’m also offering a custom holster build. Have you been wanting one of my holsters but hadn’t gotten around to ordering yet? Do you need something in an odd cant angle or a crazy color? For your Glock, or 1911, or M&P, or possibly another type of handgun, have you been needing a new tuckable IWB or pancake style OWB holster?
Of course, the above is just an example. That particular specimen has already been delivered and put into full-time use. I’ll look forward to working on a new and unique piece made just for you! Be the top donator to my KTKC page, and you get your pick of these.
You people are truly awesome. AWESOME. Twenty-four hours ago, I had not generated a single donation for the cause. I appealed to my readership in my frustration and have seen
$150.00 $160.00 come in since then. With sixteen days left in the month, if we can keep this pace, we could raise $2400.00, which is very nearly $2560, which is over* half of the flippant goal I put on my page. You have no idea how happy that makes me. Big, big thanks to you all. And, if you haven’t donated yet, please do. Every bit helps – even five or ten bucks at a time will add up in a hurry. Please do give however much you feel called to.
*corrections made, as I got a donation while writing this entry.
As you all know, I am one of a bunch of hooligans who are trying our darnedest to raise money and awareness for male-specific cancer this month. As I said in a previous post, I have only one kilt. This one is a Fraser tartan actually made in Scotland. It’s actually quite nice, and not really suited for daily wear. Don’t get me wrong – it’s plenty sturdy enough for it. It’s just kind of much for daily wear. These things are made from a lot of material! This one was made for someone who is about five feet, seventeen inches tall, so I had to hem it significantly. I kid you not – I had to hem about four inches up. The only real way to do this was to iron all of the pleats flat, iron and stitch the hem, and re-knife all the pleats with the iron. I got the kilt second hand, but it’s not necessarily a permanent arrangement, so I didn’t want to permanently alter it. So, I’ve actually got four inches of wool folded up at the hem. When it’s 100+ degrees outside, this thing is hot.
Anyway, in addition to the 5.11 TDK* and AD kilt that I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been thinking about additional options. I’d really love a denim kilt that had a jeans-style fly, belt loops, and five pockets. I haven’t found one that’s really right. In fact, I haven’t really even liked any of the denim kilts I’ve run across so far. Similarly, I’d really like a camouflage kilt that is styled like BDUs, with the cargo pockets under slash pockets in ripstop cotton, with the button fly. There are lots of camo kilts out there, and I might just have to settle, unless I decide to have one custom made, which is also a valid option.**
Anyway, I hit Google and eBay for a while and found some textiles of note. If you can’t call a kilt a ‘skirt’, then I guess you can’t call this a ‘slip’. I suppose I can see the value, but that just seems like it would amplify the heat. I believe I’ll pass. If any benevolent benefactors out there wanted to sponsor this kilt from Comme Des Garcons, I’d wear it proudly. Well, I’d wear it proudly up until I thought about how that money should have been donated to the cause instead of bolstering my wardrobe. Then, I’d feel like kind of a dick.
Years ago, I ran into the Utilikilts booth at the local medieval fair. That was back before anybody had heard of them. I wish I’d bought one from them back then, so I could be like the Utilikilts hipster, but I was a penniless kid at the time and one of their garments would put about fifteen tanks of gas in my car. Right now, it appears that they’re running a pretty decent sale on their camo kilts in the Original and Survival styles. Although I am all about pocket space, I just don’t see the necessity to pocket twenty beers, so I’d probably lean more in the Original direction. A lot of people have had great things to say about Alt Kilt, but I’m a little put off by box pleats on men’s kilts. Tradition is knife pleats, and box pleats look like a cheerleader skirt to me. My personal hangups aside, wear whatever you like. And those links are not to pick on Sport Kilt at all – they seem to have a decent line at a very reasonable price.
Anyway, if you choose to wear a kilt, be mindful and careful about it. Don’t wear just anything. You don’t want to wind up another dude in a skirt.
Please do give generously and according to your heart’s directive to the KTKC cause through my link here.
*5.11 Tactical is showing the shipping date on my order as of 8/9/2012. I don’t know where they are shipping from, but that gives me something else to wear in a week or so probably.
**H/T to AD.
Me: “It suddenly occurs to me that I’m wearing a Scottish kilt with U.S.G.I. combat boots and a BDU shirt, and pointing a compound bow across the back yard. You’ve got to be some kind of weird to find yourself like this.”
Teen Bot: “Or, some kind of AWESOME!”
Me: “Thanks, buddy.”
*Sigh.* The kid is 13.5. I have no delusions that he’ll always think I’m cool. In fact, I’m honestly surprised every time something like that pops out of his mouth anymore… Kiltpic!
*My spotter couldn’t see where I hit in the above pic. I don’t think that I went off paper, but won’t rule it out as completely impossible either, as I wasn’t familiar with the gun. As unlikely as it is, I think I shot through someone elses prior hole by luck.