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Voluntarism, Understanding & Acceptance

My good friend Crystal is participating in a public art tribute to those (like herself) who suffer from chronic health conditions, and those who are survivors of conditions such as cancer (like Guffaw).

Being a big believer in voluntarism, I support her in her efforts to get the message across that folks who suffer are not victims, but are simply trying to be understood and accepted.

She is 49% funded in her efforts, and supporters get original goodies when they contribute!  She has 10 more days left in this effort.

(at the link below – I HAD it embedded, then it went away!  DRAT!)

http://rkthb.co/42899

50% of Americans have a chronic illness that they don’t talk about. As a society, we’re uncomfortable with less-than-perfect health. When you fund this public art installation, you acknowledge the elephant in the room and celebrate the resilient people who surround you and their caretakers, mentors and sponsors. – Crystal Daigle

(I get nothing from her, save her friendship.  I much prefer this approach on a more personal level than large bureaucracies or government funding.  Please view her message even if you cannot participate.  Thank you.- Guffaw)

Is ANYWHERE Safe?

(Courtesy of The Armed Lutheran)

Last week I responded to a fan who wrote me asking for advice on how to convince his anti-gun wife to allow him to buy and carry a handgun. This week I got similar questions from a fan who is debating whether to carry concealed: is anywhere safe?

I find it difficult to justify carrying around a weapon at all times. True, I understand that crime can happen anywhere, but to be honest, it would be difficult to justify carrying around a gun to a place where no crime has happened, ever.  Do you honestly think that you’re going to need your firearm to protect your family if you’re out in ‘safe‘ areas?

anywheresafe_01The blanket assertion that no crime has happened, ever, is far fetched. But, lets accept the hypothetical. Let’s assume that no crimes have ever occurred in your house. Fine. Do you intend to ever leave your house? If your neighborhood is crime-free, that’s wonderful. Mine is too. Do you every leave the neighborhood to get gas for your car or to get groceries or to go shopping? Unless you are completely self-sufficient, home-schooling your kids, growing your own food, sewing your own clothing, you probably need to leave the house and your neighborhood from time to time. And I guarantee that the places you go are not “safe.”

Do you then limit your excursions outside the home to places where crimes have never been committed. I’m not sure how you determine that, unless you scour through police reports for every place you go, before you go there. Crimes happen everywhere, every day. Just because it hasn’t happened yet doesn’t mean it won’t.

Let’s look at this another way. I’ve never had a house fire, my home has never burned. Yet I keep a fire extinguisher in my house. How can I justify the expense of having multiple fire extinguishers in a place where no fire has happened, ever? My kids have never drowned in my swimming pool. Neither have I. Nor has my wife. Yet I paid for swimming lessons for my kids. How could I justify the expense of private swimming lessons? My car has never broken down in a snow storm like the one that hit Atlanta recently, leaving thousands of people stranded. Yet I keep a “get home bag” in both of my cars. How can I justify the expense of those supplies when I have never been stranded, ever.

Nobody had ever driven a truck into the Luby’s Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas, before George Hennard did it on October 16, 1991. He then proceeded to shoot 50 people, killing 23. Ask Suzanna Hupp how it felt to watch her parents shot to death, while her pistol was locked away in her car. If only she had been allowed to carry it, maybe something could have been done to stop the slaughter. That event sparked the passage of Texas’ shall-issue concealed carry law in 1995.

Ask Amanda Collins, about how it felt to be unable to defend herself at the University of Nevada when she was raped at gunpoint on campus, in a so-called “gun free zone.”

Ask Holly Adams, whose daughter died in the Virginia Tech massacre, how she feels.

How many people — lying in pools of their own blood, suffering through the indignity of rape or torture, hiding in a closet from an active shooter, breathing their final breaths — thought to themselves “I can’t believe this is happening to me?” How many people do you see at night on TV, interviewed after some horrific crime, telling reporters that they just can’t believe it happened in their neighborhood.

When asked why people decide to buy or carry a gun, they give a variety of answers. Some decide to do it in response to a crime. They’ve been attacked or had an incident which left them feeling vulnerable, like the incidents I recounted in my previous post. Some do it because they live or work in a crime-ridden area. Most do it to be prepared, so that IF something happens, they won’t be defenseless. It’s not paranoid to want to be prepared for the worst.

symptoms_01You are ultimately responsible for your own protection. The Supreme Court has ruled that police have no duty to protect you. So, when something bad happens, would you rather have the means to defend yourself and your family or would you leave it to the police? If you choose the latter, that’s fine. Just realize that calling 9-1-1 means someone else with a gun will come to your rescue, but will most likely show up in time to question witnesses, gather evidence, and draw a chalk line around your carcass.

The bottom line, though, is that nowhere is safe. Deranged lunatics have proven time and time again, that everywhere is safe until it’s not. Luby’s Cafeteria. Sandy Hook Elementary School. The Aurora theater. Columbine High School. Virginia Tech. Northern Illinois University. Santana High School. Bath Township. Dunblane. University of Texas. University of Nevada. Fort Hood. All of these places, and thousands of others were thought to be safe until someone made them hunting grounds for violent criminals.

“Safe areas,” “Safe Zones,” “Gun Free Zones,” simply do not exist. The safety you think exists is a facade and ignoring the realities of the world doesn’t make you safer. It leaves you vulnerable. Evil exists. And it doesn’t look like a gun. It looks like Dylan Kliebold. Charles Manson. Jared Laughner. James Holmes. George Hennard. Jeffrey Dahmer. Adam Lanza. Andrew Kehoe. Charles Whitman. Thomas Hamilton. Seung-Hui Cho. Evil looks like man. And it’s not deterred by signs or laws.

So, do I honestly think I am going to need my firearm to protect my family? I pray that I never do. But I’m not so naive as to think that I never will.  (The Armed Lutheran)

INDEED!

Taoist Law Enforcement?

tao“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”

From John Lott:

People in one Oregon county are substituting private for public provision.  From Fox News:

. . . The government in Josephine County, where nearly 70 percent of the land is owned by the U.S. government, had long relied on federal timber subsidies to pay the bills. When the feds terminated the funds, county officials scrambled to pass a May 2012 tax levy to make up a nearly $7.5 million budget shortfall.

However, the county’s residents voted against the levy, and as a result the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office was gutted. The major crimes unit closed, dozens of prisoners were released from the county jail and the department reduced operations to Monday-Friday, eight hours a day.

What do you think will happen next?

Guns And Ammo, We Hardly Knew Ye

Well, G&A is well on it’s way to going the way of Newsweek.

Magazines.  Not the spring-loaded ammunition feeding apparatus, but the old-school print media.  Sure G&A has a website, but still relies primarily on subscriptions for advertising revenue to make a buck.

And it just shot itself in the foot…

Dick Metcalf (the long-time editor) just wrote a piece (In the December issue) regarding gun control.  ‘REASONABLE’ gun control.  In a magazines devotes itself to the proliferation of…Guns and Ammo!  What?

Most gun owners are reasonable people.  But, if riled, they will get steamed.  And take action.

NOT violent action, but political action.  Like taking their hard-earned dollars elsewhere.

Shooting Times?

This just in - Mr. Metcalf has been FIRED from the writing staff of G&A!

Best you know from whence your bread is buttered, Bubba!

Mark of The Beast – Disney Edition

Big Brother Watch tells us the tale of a mouse – a big, internationally corporate mouse.

It appears DISNEY is planning on using RFID technology on it’s lab rats customers!

Today’s Independent reports on the latest front in retail convenience and privacy, with Disney’s plans to utilise RFID technology. 5436253998_eefbd95f25_b

“The latest kerfuffle has resulted from Disney’s plan to introduce an RFID wristband – “the MagicBand” – at its parks during 2013. It would function as a room key, a parking ticket, a pass for certain rides, a payment system and, if you opted in, a personal ID that would, say, allow Disney characters to greet you or your children by name. The online reaction to this plan ranges from “awesome” to “terrifying”.

Disney says that it’s trying to “appeal to customers more efficiently” in a way that’s “transformational” to its business; critics say that it enables the company to “monitor, track and analyse your every activity”. When the plans became public, Congressman Ed Markey complained to Disney about the “surreptitious use of a child’s information”, a claim that was deftly rubbished by the company – but the move still furrows the brows of privacy campaigners, including Nick Pickles, director of Big Brother Watch.”

Go and read the whole article at the above link.  Perhaps it IS a small world after all – and a less private one.

h/t Independent Reports, BBW

Differences of Opinion

I used to be ‘on’ Facebook a lot more.  I located a number of long-lost friends there, and even connected with high school reunion (and junior high!) folks there.

But, as I became more of a blogger, my time there has been limited.  I usually stop by daily, just to check-in though.

While there is occasionally conflict or a difference of opinion in the blogosphere, my experience in FB has not been the same.  You see, persons of more diverse opinions tend to make theirs known on Facebook.  I’ve no problem with people not being on the same page.  That’s one of the things that makes life interesting.  I’ve posted about such friends (Ralph).  Life would be incredibly boring if we were all in lock-step.

My objection is people who aren’t even on the same planet or in the same universe.  These folks concern me.

As an example, I’ve known a guy for about 20 years.  We worked together @ TMCCC.  We had some similar interests.  I liked going all out for Halloween, so did he (for example).  But, we never really got political.  And he moved to Australia.  And back here.  And he visited me in the hospital after the accident – a good guy.  We’ve reconnected on Facebook, and he’s made noises about getting together for a drink, or lunch, or something.  A laudable idea.  But…

He obviously not only has no idea where I stand (he doesn’t read this blog); he (re)posts stuff on FB, without any knowledge of the subject, or researching it to see if it makes any sense. One (of many) examples:

This adjacent to a bunch of comments from like-minded folk also piling on, and not understanding either The Constitution or the subject matter.  Complete with ‘you don’t need a machine gun to deer hunt’ comments!

How can I possibly make nice with this guy?

I have friends who are liberal.  I have friends who are independent.  And we’ve had healthy, sometimes heated discussions.  I’m just not certain I can do so with this guy.  And that ticks me off, as he’s a friend.

sigh

"One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas - how he got in my pajamas I dunno!" - Groucho Marx as Captain Spaulding in Animal Crackers

This election is not about who gets voted off the island.
It’s about who is at the tiller of this Republic’s Ship of State. - Guffaw

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The Four Rules

1. ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED.

2. NEVER POINT YOUR MUZZLE AT SOMETHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY.

3. KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET AND YOU ARE READY TO SHOOT.

4. KNOW YOUR TARGET AND WHAT'S BEYOND.

Certified EVIL!

FEAR

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain." - Bene Gesserit, from Frank Herbert's Dune

Penn Jillette

“F**k Civility. Hyperbole, passion, and metaphor are beautiful parts of rhetoric. The marketplace of ideas cannot be toned down for the insane.” - Penn Jillette

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I'm currently on disability, unable to work, and receive marginal benefits. I've been advised by SSDI I may receive some additional income. Based on their statements, I'm adding a bleg to this blog. Effective 03/06/2012. Thank you for your kindness.

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