To Serve and Protect… For Dinner?

One thing that many people fail to realize is that the police are the people and the people are the police. If you take a big enough subsection of population, you are going to come up with social outliers. That is to say that you will find sickos in any group of people if you take a large enough sample. There are an estimated 35,000 officers employed by the New York Police Department, which makes it slightly less surprising that you can find some bad seeds in their ranks. But, when they are being arrested for conspiring to kidnap, rape, torture, murder, and eat women using official databases; well, that just goes a little beyond reasonable distribution. How many sociopathic rapist cannibals are acceptable in a 35,000-individual sample anyway? Thanks for giving me yet another reason to avoid big cities. My parents have made recommendations that Jennifer and I should vacation in Chicago, NYC, Paris, and London. No thank you. Certainly not with the world in its current state. There are many places in the world that I would love to visit but for the lack of value put on the individual. Perhaps one day even the big cities of he world will respect an individual’s natural right to self defense, but as long as people are treated as subjects and chattel in such places, I’ll be staying in flyover country.

In Which He Pisses Everyone Off

I was actually thinking of writing a post with a message similar to this one. But, Michael Z Williamson takes it so much further than I would have that it’s not even worth the effort on my part. Well done sir. If any of you have not read this, you probably should. Language warning – don’t set this thing on text to speech in the workplace.

Guns Are Fun

Today, due to a lack of motivation to write a blog entry, I started splicing some of the miscellaneous shooting video clips that we have amassed over the years. It’s less than two minutes, and I’d really appreciate if if you would watch it and give me some feedback. I really wasn’t setting out to make a statement, but this is what I wound up with:

I think it came out pretty well. What do you think? Overall, I think my videos are turning out better and better. I might eventually wind up as one of those people.

Edited *twice* to FINALLY fix a typo in the captions on the video.

A Response to a Reader

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.

Neil Heslin Testimony Transcribed in Full and Commentary

I’m sure that by now you’ve all seen this:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

…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*

*crowd murmurs*

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)

*”heckling” starts*

From the crowd: “The Second Amendment shall not be infringed.”

Heslin: “Alright.”

From the bench: “Please, please no comments while Mr. Heslin is speaking.”

Heslin: “Okay.”

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.

An Open Letter to Stephen King

Dear Steve,

Can I call you ‘Steve’? Great. Thanks. It has recently been brought to my attention that you have a nice little op-ed floating around, in which you appeal to gun owners to ban certain types of guns, as though guns in my safe have ever been guilty of crimes committed. I have particularly enjoyed your The Dark Tower series of books as well as some of your other works of fiction. However, you are overstepping here. You see, you are not a role model nor a leader. You are, in fact, no more than an entertainer. When we want your opinion, we’ll give it to you. Beyond that, keep producing the entertaining material that amuses us and don’t otherwise open your trap. It’s tiresome when Bono does it, and it’s not even cute when Scarlett Johansson does it, and it’s sure as heck not cute when you do it either. Or as it has been immortalized on the internet by my lovely wife; DANCE, MONKEY! What little of your diatribe that I have managed to read illustrates to me that you know very little about gun culture, defensive gun use, gun mechanics, freedom, or the law. How dare you attempt to dictate to me or anyone else for that matter what tools are appropriate for defense, as though you were an expert in such things instead of a fiction author? If I could read your entire 25-page essay without making the contribution I would, if for no other reason than to gauge exactly how much I will boycott your work in the future. However, with such a blatant display of self-righteous arrogance, I fear that I will be unable to reconcile putting money in your pockets with fully hearing you out. To quote words that you wrote:

“I do not aim with my hand; he who aims with his hand has forgotten the face of his father.
I aim with my eye.

I do not shoot with my hand; he who shoots with his hand has forgotten the face of his father.
I shoot with my mind.

I do not kill with my gun; he who kills with his gun has forgotten the face of his father.
I kill with my heart.”

So you do understand that the tool is not to blame then? Indeed, a gun alone is not violent nor dangerous, but inert and inanimate. Evil hearts and minds are dangerous regardless of whatever tool is or is not available. The murderers that the anti-gun faction has been taking advantage of recently to justify further infringement of our Second Amendment were committed by bad people. They did not kill with the gun, but with the heart. And you sir, have forgotten the face of your father. With all due respect,

Evyl Robot Michael

Glock Ugliness – Are They Anti?

I’d be shocked if any of my readers didn’t know that I make holsters at this point. One of the many questions that I get asked on a regular basis is how I mold the leather to each individual gun. Most people don’t really care what the mechanics of the process are so much as wondering how I have an example of so many different types of guns. When I first started this as a hobby on the side, I usually either borrowed a gun for the process or used my own gun if it happened to match. That is no longer feasible and I now use dummy guns. I have a lot of dummy guns. Just to give an example, I have something like four different 1911 variants, i.e. Colt safeties, extended safeties, railed frame, and a Coonan. I actually have three different Glocks, and I have more pocket pistols than anything else.

The guns that I use for patterning and forming are either cast solid aluminum, or Blueguns, manufactured by Rings. This is pretty standard for holster makers. Some of us prefer the aluminum guns for their durability and dimensional accuracy, and others prefer the Blueguns for their crisp detail. I generally prefer aluminum, but don’t have any problem with their plastic brethren if that’s what’s available at the time. In searching for additional dummy guns that I need to fulfill orders last week, I wandered onto the Blueguns website and saw this note on the front page:

blueglock

Which reads*:

NOTICE
GLOCKS ARE BACK!
Glock has recently issued a New Contract with Ring’s Manufacturing Inc. (BLUEGUNS) to manufacture Glock Blueguns as we have been doing for the past 10 years. This new contract states that Glock restricts the sale of Glock Blueguns to the Public. We are restricted to selling Glock Blueguns to the Police, Military, Trainers, Police Distributors, or Holster Manufacturers. We ask that our customers abide by these rules and refrain from offering Glock Blueguns to the Public on the Internet, Publications or General Catalogs. We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your support.

Wait a minute. So basically, Glock made Rings agree to only sell their training replicas to “only ones”? In this case, that includes me, but I don’t need any more Glocks right now, and I don’t like classist attitude from any entity, especially a gun manufacturer. It’s no secret that they have classified their G25 and G28 as “Law enforcement only”, which is irksome but very few if any have complained about the absence of .380-caliber Glocks available to the public. I know that wouldn’t be my first choice in a chambering. Anyway, if Glock is taking an anti-rights stand, people need to know about it. So, I hopped on their website and sent them the following message:

Good morning,

I am a custom leather holster maker. Recently on a visit to blueguns.com, to research dummy guns for my production, I saw a note on the front page that reads:

“Glock has recently issued a New Contract with Ring’s Manufacturing Inc. (BLUEGUNS) to manufacture Glock Blueguns as we have been doing for the past 10 years. This new contract states that Glock restricts the sale of Glock Blueguns to the Public. We are restricted to selling Glock Blueguns to the Police, Military, Trainers, Police Distributors, or Holster Manufacturers. We ask that our customers abide by these rules and refrain from offering Glock Blueguns to the Public on the Internet, Publications or General Catalogs. We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your support.”

Currently, I have several Glock Blueguns that I employ in the design and production of custom leather holsters, and I anticipate that I will eventually need more. Many of my customers and colleagues desire to have a Bluegun training replica as a copy of their daily carry gun for draw practice, retention training, and other forms of training and practice, as a measure of safety above using a genuine handgun for such practices. These people are not necessarily law enforcement, trainers, or holster makers. Is it true that Glock has contractually forbidden Ring’s from selling training replicas to ordinary citizens? If so, why? Thanks in advance,

–Michael

Maybe they’ve got a really good explanation or maybe it’s just a big misunderstanding. Whether that’s the case, or if their response is, “because you suck and we hate you,” I’ll be sure to let you know either way. We live in interesting times, my friends. I think that a Glock is a fine pistol, but I’m not lining the pockets of anyone who wants to deprive me of my rights – especially not in the current climate.

Ten People Revisited

Some people like to accuse gun owners of not caring about victims of violent crime. Nothing could be further from the truth. Not only do we want to live long and happy lives free from violence, we want everyone else to as well. Heck, we even want those we disagree with to live long and happy lives free from violence. Unfortunately, some people want to bring violence to you, and they can only be stopped by force. And so, the most effective means is for someone with good intent to meet them with violence whether that’s a police officer, or some other good guy. We are that violence that lays dormant against the day that evil attacks. The overwhelming majority of us never seek to do anyone any harm, and would put our lives on the line to save the life of an innocent.

In my Ten People in a Room analogy, I conclude that if all ten people are armed and one of them has evil intent, he will be a lot less likely to act on his evil intentions. If however, of those nine people, three of them were carrying concealed handguns, three of them didn’t think much at all about guns, either positively or negatively, and the remaining three were highly opposed to guns, the one with evil intent would still have reason to not cause trouble, especially if he didn’t know which people were armed and which weren’t! Therefore, even those who are radically opposed to guns are still benefiting from their presence, despite their fears to the contrary.

Many antis act as though the very presence of a gun poses a threat, hence gun-free zones in schools and government buildings, as though a law-abiding gun owner in good faith will somehow ‘snap’ when they cross the threshold into certain predefined places. This is demonstrably false on so many different levels. What does constitute a threat is the presence of evil without opposition. Since the law says that I must leave my gun unloaded in my car, parked off school campus before I can go into the school, that’s what I do. I go into the school without my gun to meet with the teacher or accompany my kid to the lost-and-found, complicit with the laws and regulations. When the psycho wants to be famous, like all those other mass-murderers he’s seen on TV, he goes to the school so he can be the tenth guy in a room full of sheep. He knows that his murder spree will reap far more carnage if he’s the only one armed. And, the laws have disarmed me – someone who not only carries a gun, but has trained and practiced, and who has multiple background checks to prove my history as one of the good guys. Checkmate.

Ever notice how mass murders never happen in gun ranges, or police stations? Ever notice how the truly awful ones happen where guns aren’t allowed? Considering this, does anyone want to work up the numbers on how many deaths are due to gun regulations versus the lack of them? One could almost say that gun control in and of itself cause violence and crime. What if more people like me, trained and practiced in the use of arms, were allowed to carry in government buildings? What about on airplanes? I suspect we would deter or stop far more crimes than some silly regulation or law. Why? Because it would hit those who don’t abide by the laws where it hurts.

Dear antis: Just because you don’t like guns doesn’t make gun owners your enemy. You don’t have to like guns, and we won’t force you to have them. We are your friends and we want the world to be a safer place just as much as you do. But, the genie is out of the bottle now – you can’t make guns go away. Even if you could vaporize all of them, people would make them at home, smuggle them in from elsewhere, or simply use something else. No amount of legislation can save you, but we can. Give us a chance.

The Second Amendment – Another Perspective

Imagine two-hundred some odd years ago, the country is brand new. When the king tried to disarm us and tax us despite anything we had to say about it, and generally treated us as if we were no more than property, we fought. And, we won. And, it was now time for a small group of men to codify the basic laws of the new country. These men knew that they would eventually die for what they had done, it was only a matter of when the king’s men showed up to extract his revenge on them. Just as the king had become oppressive, they understood that any government could eventually become oppressive and tyrannical. Therefore, they wrote the Bill of Rights, to sign into law what the government was not allowed to do to the people. This was not about giving people rights so much as defining them in a way so that the government couldn’t infringe upon those rights.

They didn’t know if the British would try to come back and take us with a second go, or if some other country would want to claim this land to take advantage of its resources. Obviously, this new nation would need a powerful military to protect itself. But, what if we faced a foe that was more powerful than our military? Or, what if a corrupted federal government ever turned the military against the people? We would need to be able to mobilize and arm the people. These would be regular folks who knew their way around a gun. And, they’d have to provide their own gun and ammunition, since there wouldn’t be a centralized armory for them to be supplied from. They wouldn’t be a military so much as a militia.

Heaven forbid we should ever again have to violently fight out an oppressive government, but if mobilization of armed citizens was ever necessary, such motions would need to be organized and swift, or one might even say well-regulated. And, the people would need weapons fit for a fight against a professional military; they would need access to all the same weapons that soldiers had. Otherwise, they would not stand a chance in such an altercation. And therefore, they made it illegal for the government to keep us from arming ourselves with whatever means we might ever need to defend ourselves as individuals or as a community.

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

If I’m right about all that, the fact that I can’t buy a new machine gun – does that infringe upon my rights as an emergent member of a hypothetical militia that would be fighting against men with machine guns? What about the fact that I have to go through a state-approved test and pay fees to the government to carry a gun wherever I go? Does it infringe upon my rights that taking a gun into a school or Post Office is a felony offence? What about the fact that it is illegal for me to carry a handgun in excess of .45-caliber? I’m kind of thinking these are infringements, from that perspective.

A lot of people say that the Second Amendment is outdated and unnecessary at this point and should be violated or abolished on that justification. They say our government is not oppressive or tyrannical, so we should just give up our guns for the greater good. But, can you think of a corrupt politician? It’s a laughably stupid question, isn’t it? How about this – can you think of a politician who is not corrupt? I can think of a few, but it’s a far shorter list than the other one. Do you think that enough corrupt politicians put together could become oppressive or tyrannical? If the government comes to take over your neighborhood and lead you to a detainment camp, what will you do? If men with guns come to take your life, do you have means to defend yourself? Don’t think it could happen? Neither did so many Jews, Chinese, Russians, or any other people who have been oppressed throughout history.