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.

Catching Up – Dreams and Such

I’m sorry for how… …manic my posting has been. It seems that right as I get into the habit of daily blog entries something random occurs and all of a sudden you get nothing for two weeks or so. Well, I don’t have a whole lot to report this morning, but I thought you deserved some kind of update. It may have been a mistake to incorporate bacon into two meals yesterday. Weird dreams were had by all. Perhaps even weirder than this:

However, they weren’t nearly as weird as the time I had the epic dream about the evil corporation that was transforming me into a sasquatch and Jennifer into some kind of electric babe, and we were supposed to forget each other in the whole transformation process. That one pretty well took the weird cake for me, and yet it was cohesive enough a story that I could probably write it into a pretty entertaining narrative. I’ve been wanting to do that, but I’m trying to decide whether I should write it in first person or limited third. And then, do I write it as myself, or change identification for the sake of the write up?

In Jennifer’s dreaming, we had to run some miscreants out of LawDog‘s flower bed, threatening them that they had trespassed into the wrong garden, and then we all had a party. In my dream, my parents dismantled my car, so I had a sleep-over in a car shop with my best buds (because that’s totally what grown men do), until the place got overrun by people doing some kind of battle drills, and then this random chick from YouTube kissed my neck in something of an emotional breakdown, and they had to drag her away.

So, yeah. The dreams were weird but not all that weird in the grand scheme of things. I may see what it would take to set up a parallel page here where I can post some fiction work, and get some of that down. Or, should I simply create a “fictional narrative” category and post it in line here, as some other bloggers tend to do? Also, I’d love your input about the form of my write up of the previously mentioned weird dream – whether I ought to go first or third person, and whether I should rename characters or roll with it like it happened in my unconscious mind.

Honored American Veterans Afield

Linoge at Walls of the City has a fund raiser going right now to benefit our veterans. Not only is this an awesome cause, he’s giving away some pretty sweet prizes to boot! Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to donate to the prize pack on this one, but that has much more to do with scheduling than anything else. So, please do head his direction and check it out! If you’re generous and win some cool stuff because of it, I want to hear about it.

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.

When You’re Holding a Hammer…

You probably saw the title of this post and thought, “everything looks like a nail.” Anyway, I’ve been thinking about the common attitude among many LEOs that perceive themselves to be part of an elite class. Don’t get me wrong – I have many dear friends who work in law enforcement. I don’t mean this to be a blanket statement to cover them all. However, with the crap going on in LA I’ve been reminded of some of my less pleasant interactions with law enforcement.

I had to serve jury duty several years ago. I thought that I wrote about it, but I can’t find any more than a passing mention in my archives. I was out of work for three days, reading a novel and waiting. I never even got interviewed for a case. It was pretty much horrible. The afternoon that they released me, I exited the courthouse with a skip and a jump and proceeded to the office to see how badly they’d screwed up my work in my absence.

Each of those days I’d drive to the parking building where I was supposed to leave my car, I’d unload and stash my gun, and proceed into the courthouse. Just inside the front door there was a metal detector and armed security with wands. The courthouse was attached to the jail, so security was pretty tight. One day on my way in, this little female officer was searching me. I’d emptied my personal effects into a bowl along with my shoes and belt which they put through the X-ray. The officer was wanding me down and stopped at my jacket pockets.

“What’s that?” she asked.

“What’s what?” I returned.

“There’s something in that pocket,” she explained, “What is it?”

By this point I was beginning to run short on time, and was losing patience, “It’s a little cedar block,” I explained, “There’s another one in this pocket and yet another in this one.”

“Let me see,” she demanded.

So, I pulled the cedar blocks out of my pockets and handed them to her. “See?” I said, “Now can I go?”

She then asked, “Why do you have cedar blocks in your pockets?”

“I’m just trying to keep the moths out of my wool,” I explained, “this is an Armani suit and I’d like it to not get eaten.”

“You know,” she said with skepticism, “people like to take these and burn their drugs on them.”

“I wouldn’t know anything about that,” I said resolutely, “They are moth repellent to me.”

“It’s suspicious for you to have them in your pockets,” she pushed.

“No it’s not,” I posited, “it’s responsible ownership of good wool.”

She finally let me go and I did make it in time for check in. I’ve had other experiences similar to this where a LEO was treating me as an inferior, but this was the worst. For whatever reason, I never think to get the officer’s badge number and name at the time. Anyway, what strikes me is that this officer had dealt with so many convicted criminals that she had become jaded to the point of it being impossible to see a law-abiding citizen for what they were. She just knew that there was something wrong with me. She was going to figure it out, even though there was nothing there. This is a problem. I should not have to justify a harmless piece of cedar in the pocket of my Armani jacket. The very thought of it is asinine. I see this as a manifestation of the same problem that the trigger-happy cops in LA displayed last week. They’ve been so screwed in the head that everyone and everything looks like the boogeyman to them. In my opinion, if you get to that level of paranoid delusional, they should have long since taken your badge away before you shoot someone or harass someone reporting for jury duty. The little deputy who submitted me to that grilling didn’t draw on anyone that day, but she was showing a gross lack of judgment all the same.

Personal Safety and Awareness

A couple weeks ago, my lovely wife posted an entry about personal security. She relayed a story about a man we witnessed in the bank drive through who thoughtlessly announced to everyone else around that he was getting large amounts of cash. Yeah, not real bright. Her rant about his behavior reminded me of one of my personal peevs. All too often, I will see women in the store who have placed their purses in the kiddy seats of the shopping carts and have turned their backs on them. They will stand there in their own little world, staring at the goods on the shelf, with their valuables behind them, across the isle. I have literally walked between a woman and her purse, because that was the path that she left available down the isle. All too often, I have thought to myself that if I were not so honest, I could take that purse, unnoticed. Beyond that, someone could reach into the purse and take the wallet, going unnoticed for longer, thus affording more opportunity to get away. Between cash, credit cards, and identification, and often jewelry and firearms, women put all of their important stuff in their purses. Perhaps someone can help me with this because I don’t get it. Why in the world would you make it so easy for a thief to rip you off? Does this come from a false sense of security or what?

This is like the people who don’t bother to lock their doors. I have no delusions that the dead bolt on my front door will keep the boogyman out, even less so the lock on the sliding glass door in the back. However, I’m not going to make it easy for anybody to come in uninvited. I know full well that if someone wanted to force entry into my home, the door would kick in or the window would break. But, the bad guy is going to have to actually make the effort, and then they have to contend with me. I am by no means a high-speed, low-drag, gun ninja. Heck, I don’t even own any ‘tactical pants’. But, I do try to be observant. I subconsciously look for the exits and scan crowds for suspicious looking people. I don’t get called on it, so I don’t think I’m obvious about it. I’ve instructed my son to not talk to people about our belongings because I don’t want anyone to have a reason to want to take what is ours. I guess what I’m trying to say here is that low-profile is good even if I have friends that are a whole lot better at it than I am.

Don’t obsess, but when you’re out in the world, make sure you aren’t being the easy victim. Those women I’ve seen who don’t pay attention to their purses – I guarantee they’ll have purses stolen or picked at one time or another. I have been tempted to confront them and tell them how easily they could be robbed, but I’m afraid that would come across as threatening. It would be a lot of fun to print up some fliers about personal safety and just drop them in purses when I see this situation. Again, if I got caught doing anything of the sort, it would probably mean trouble for me. Similarly, you can’t very well start trying door knobs and wandering into peoples homes to warn them to lock their doors because you might get shot that way. I’m pretty sure I don’t have to say this to my readers, but please ask yourself whether you are exposing yourself to risk. There’s no need to be paranoid, but it doesn’t hurt to do a little self-analysis.

Got Ammo?

Since we still have not received the replacement alternator for the Tactical Assault Compact Sedan, and Jennifer doesn’t want to risk being stranded on her own yet again, I drove her to work this morning. On my return trip, the car lost all throttle response while I was in the middle of the busiest intersection in town. And then the light changed. Much like Jennifer’s experience, fellow motorists confirmed they saw my hazard lights with horn honking and hand gestures. What couldn’t possibly have been more than a few seconds and yet felt like hours later, the throttle response was back and I laid some rubber to jettison myself from the path of so many pre-coffee, rush hour commuters. Then, I pulled into the Academy parking lot to check my pants for stains.

I seemed to recall that Academy gets their shipments on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so I wandered in to see about picking up some .22 lr. We are not as stocked up on ammunition as I would like, but we have enough to ward off a small apocalypse. We’re not going to be doing as much centerfire shooting as we’d like for a while until the insanity comes down, but we’ll be alright. I have been wanting to pick up some more rimfire so we can have some cheap range trips. It totally creeps me out to be out of any given caliber that we shoot, and we’ve been getting dangerously close to that line in .22. Unless of course you count the low-velocity stuff that won’t cycle the semi-autos, we’ve got oodles of that stuff still.

Crossing the store’s threshold, I saw a line of probably twenty people at the customer service counter waiting to purchase ammunition. Holy smokes! It was like post Soviet Russia. But with guns and spandex. Okay, so it was nothing like post Soviet Russia. On their most popular calibers, they are limiting customers to one box per caliber for a combined total limit of three boxes of ammunition per visit. I saw some people in line in front of me stocking up as best they could. The guy in front of me got their last full sized brick of .22 lr. Darn the luck! But, they had one last 325-round Federal mini brick, and I snatched it up. I would really like to have gotten several 525-round bricks, but we can make this work.

I will note that customer service has always been exemplary at this particular location. Also of note is how courteous and orderly the patrons were, even in this ammo buying scare. Nobody pushed or acted cross. There was no panicking and there was no gunfire. Not that there would be, but some people seem to think that’s how we prefer to solve all of our problems. I really hate scare buying, but if we have to have it, at least it’s calm scare buying. Maybe I’ll go back on Monday and see if I can get any more. I really wish they’d knock down Feinstein’s proposed bill so we can start getting back to normal.

Tactical Assault Compact Sedan

We are weird when it comes to being car consumers. When Jennifer and I started dating, I was driving my first car which was the 1983 Honda Civic Wagon that my parents had bought new, and Jennifer was driving a 1993 Ford Taurus. I wrecked the Civic and wound up buying another one almost just like it. The ‘new’ Civic was also a 1983 model, but it was in far better shape, and was an attractive silver instead of the metallic brown that my parents had passed down. We wanted to get out from under the payment on the Taurus before it was worth less than what we owed on it, so we sold it and purchased Jennifer a 1982 Datsun 280ZX 2+2. Her dad thought we were crazy. Heck, half the people we knew thought we were crazy. They may have been right, but we were having fun.

I wound up getting a 1982 Civic hatchback by a weird twist of events, which after some modifications, was running so hot that I couldn’t keep it in head gaskets any longer, so I swapped the motor out for a 1.8-liter from a 1979 Accord. It received a Weber carburetor, cowl induction hood scoop, and a very abbreviated exhaust system. It breathed fire, sounded like an angry hornet, and would spin the tires at 60-mph. The Wagon got put on the back burner when its clutch started slipping and the CV joints started clicking. I knew the syncros were worn and the rings were starting to leak, and I intended to do the work, but couldn’t at the time. It was joined by the hatchback for reasons that I can’t recall right now. We had other things going on and I couldn’t really give them the attention they needed at the time.

The Hondas eventually left my life. Jennifer’s 280 got T-boned by some idiot driving a brown Buick in the rain with no lights. We bought a 1991 BMW 318i convertible off the credit union’s repo lot. That car had 250,000-miles on it when we brought it home, and we put in excess of 100,000 additional miles on it before we passed it on. Shortly before we got rid of the BMW, we were shopping for something a little less used, that would be practical for our family. We wanted something with four doors that had more leg room in the back than our convertible. We wanted something with some pep. Understated looks would be good, with overstated gear under the sheet metal.

I was working at the Ford dealership at the time, and some guy had just traded in his 2004 Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec-V in on a new pickup. It was black. I’ve always hated black cars. This is the little, unassuming Sentra body with the tuned version of the Altima’s engine shoehorned in, mated to a six-speed close ratio gearbox. I saw a technician driving it across the lot. It even had the optional Brembo four-piston brake calipers! So, I asked about it. The used car manager quoted me a price that was allegedly 10% over what they had in it. The mileage was low enough that it still had factory warranty, and the price was low enough that we could afford it. We consolidated some old credit card debt into the loan. I decided I could live with black.

Originally, I vowed to never fall behind on maintenance and always use synthetic fluids, and make this car last forever. That was before all of the accidents. We had most of the body damage fixed, but had an emergency come up that we wound up using insurance money on instead of bodywork. The car still ran good and we had just barely had to do anything mechanical in the 100,000-miles we’d had it. And just before the 150,000-mile mark, the engine blew.

As it turns out, Nissan had had problems with the ‘pre cat’ on this particular engine. In an attempt to make good even better, they had mounted an exhaust catalyst in the exhaust manifold, with the thought of it getting to temperature faster, thus increasing efficiency. Since this was the tuned-up version of the engine, the computer is programmed to run the fuel/air mix a little richer, thus the exhaust will pop and backfire from time to time. When it was popping into this forward-mounted catalyst, some particles of ceramic were blown back into the combustion chamber, and destroyed the rings in short order. I located the necessary parts to rebuild the engine in our driveway, committed a week off from my work, and borrowed Grandpa’s pickup.

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Everything came apart more easily than I was afraid it would, even if I did have to borrow an air compressor and impact wrench from a neighbor, who just seemed tickled that I’d ask to borrow such things from a total stranger.

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The timing marks were a mystery that I eventually unraveled, but there was some head-scratching first. It seems that not even the fanbois in the Sentra forums can make much sense out of them.

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That little sprocket with the chain on it is the balance shaft. I pulled that out and didn’t reinstall it. The Sentra kids on the internet say that it robs power and doesn’t help much with anything. I haven’t missed it.

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You might be a car guy (or gal) if this is a familiar sight. The weather was beautiful for most of the week.

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Not only are the main caps fully girdled, but the whole engine is glued together with gray silicone. There are literally like three or four actual gaskets in total under the hood. I was dubious, but it hasn’t leaked since the rebuild, so I guess it really does work.

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I honed out the cylinders, but nothing was in need of machining. Thank God! The head gasket came off cleanly enough that I probably could have reused it.

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The shop manuals say to separate the head and intake manifold. I didn’t find this to be necessary, so they stayed mated up.

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Teen Bot helped. I think he got bored at times, but it was a very educational experience for him. He thought reinstalling the pistons with the new rings and bearings was interesting.

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I said it would take a week, and it took a week. That’s the first time that has ever happened to me on any project. The car now has around 10,000 miles since the rebuild. It has more power now than it ever had before. There are a couple of things it still needs including a motor mount insert, a new radiator, and a muffler. With the many hours behind the wheel and many miles traveled in various cars with nothing but straight pipe, I finally actually got pulled over for the lack of muffler a few weeks ago.

On Tuesday, Jennifer called me and said that the car had done something strange. There was a pop, and an acrid smell, and the dash lights all went out for just a second. Hmmmm… She brought the car back and I poked around at it. Apparently, the alternator had gone out. This is a close-up of the side of the alternator, and you can see the stator windings inside of the case:

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Toward the right, you can see the wire is reddish and coppery in color like it’s supposed to be. Toward the left, it’s blackish and burned looking because it’s all burned up. That’s not good. The local parts houses could order an alternator to fit for around $200.00, but we found one online for more like $50.00. It hasn’t arrived yet, so I’ve been hooking the trickle charger to the battery overnight until I have the replacement part in hand. Jennifer called me again this morning to tell me that she was stranded with a car that would not run.

I arranged to borrow a spare car from my parents, retrieved Jennifer, pulled the battery, dropped Jennifer off at work and the battery at the auto parts store to have it charged on their commercial charger. My friend Sean called and offered to come and help (God bless him). We ultimately got the battery back, replaced the terminals which were badly corroded, and reinstalled it into the car. Upon arrival back at the house, I figured out what the most recent problem was. If you hook your trickle charger to your car battery, but mistakenly bump the control switch to “6V”, that battery will never charge. *facepalm* I figured I’d see the replacement alternator by now, but I’m nearly certain I’ll have it by this weekend. At any rate, the drama is getting a little old.

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.