“Using a gun isn’t sporting.”

Short one today.

I saw one idiot claiming that it wasn’t “sporting” to use a semi-automatic rifle against the thugs that broke into his home intent on who knows what.  (“They were good boys.  They dindo nuthings.”)

Well just as Kirk doesn’t believe in the no-win scenario I don’t believe in the fair-fight scenario. If I’m fighting at all it’s because I’m in fear of death or serious bodily injury. In that case, I have not just a right, but a duty to make the fight as unfair in my advantage as possible. I have a little girl waiting at home. She needs her father. She depends on her father for material support, for values education, for a multitude of things. Those things are not just a privilege but a duty. I would be remiss if I did not do everything in my power to come home safely so I can continue living up to that duty.

If that little girl means more to me than my life (she does) then she certainly means more to me than yours, not because I’m a “tough guy” but because I am not and have no interest in trying to prove how tough I am in some display of fisticuffs.

My one, my only goal is getting home safely to that little girl.

If you’re worried about being on the receiving end of that, well, my recommendation is “Don’t start none; won’t be none.” I won’t threaten you until and unless you present a credible threat to me and mine or to innocents in my presence.  So long as you don’t do that you are completely safe from me.  Do that and on your own head be it.

 

Enough politics, how about a snippet?

I thought I’d take a break from the politics and gun stuff so here’s a bit of an announcement.  I just finished, in first draft anyway, one of my novel projects, Alchemy of Shadows.  There’s still quite a bit of work to be done before it’s ready for release, but that’s a major milestone passed.  As a teaser, here’s the first chapter:


 

One thing about living a life as long as mine is finding something to keep oneself occupied.  I was working as a living design consultant.  I didn’t need the money.  Oh, sure, in recent decades it had become harder to just show up with a sack of gold to pay for the things one wants.  First you had to exchange it into legal currency.  That was not so difficult.  But do it too often and people, the authorities, would question from whence came the gold.  This would lead to questions I did not wish to answer.

The door to the high-rise apartment opened at my approach.  No need to call up to an apartment and be buzzed through, not here.  The door opened into a foyer.  On the right sat a large desk securely bolted to the faux marble floor.  Behind the desk sat the security guard.  Sitting down, he was almost as tall as I was.  Of course, at five feet three inches, I was short even among my own people.  This man would have been well over six feet.  He turned his face toward me, his eyes hidden behind mirrored sunglasses.

I pasted a friendly smile on my face.

“Johann Schmidt.” That was the name I was using this century. “I have an appointment with Nobuto Tanaka, Apartment 1406.”

The security guard grunted.  “Caldwell Securities” was emblazoned on the pin affixed above the left breast pocket of his dark green uniform shirt.  The company he worked for, I presumed, since I doubted his parents were so cruel as to saddle their child with such a name.

He reached for a phone with his left hand.  His bulging biceps strained the cuff of his short-cut sleeve.

Very intimidating, I thought.

He punched a number into the phone.

“Security, Mr. Tanaka,” the guard said after a moment. “I have a Johann Schmidt here.  Says he has an appointment with you?”

The guard listened for a moment, then nodded. “Yes, sir.”

He hung up then pointed. “Elevators just down the hall.  To reach Fourteen you’ll use the left hand bank.”

“Thank you,” I said.

I placed my hand on the handle of the inner door and waited.  Mr. Caldwell Securities reached under the desk.  A loud buzz came from the door accompanied by a click.  I pulled it open.

More faux marble, and a great deal of polished brass assaulted my eyes on the other side of the door.  A short hallway stretched past the double bank of elevators before “T-ing” to provide access to the various offices that occupied the first floor of the building.

I pressed the call button on the left hand bank of elevators.  The sign showed that these elevators served floors twelve to twenty-three.  A glance over my shoulder showed the other bank served floors one to twelve.  A single elevator at the end of the bank, with a keyed lockplate next to it, served floors twenty-four and twenty-five.

I could remember when three floors was positively palatial.

The wait for an elevator to reach the ground floor was brief.  I stepped into the elevator, alone.  At two in the afternoon, most of the residents would be at work, or perhaps engaged in leisure activities.  Few would be coming or going.  The ride up to fourteen was equally brief.

The door opened to flickering dimness.  I frowned.  Only a single guttering fluorescent light illuminated the hallway.  Typical.  Money spent on fake marble and bright metalwork but simple maintenance?

Fourteen Oh Six was the third door on the left.  If I remembered the floorplan correctly that would give it a nice view of the courtyard and the swimming pool.

I pressed the doorbell.  A musical chime sounded inside.  The door opened and a wizened man stood facing me.

The man stood about five foot six and weighed maybe one hundred thirty pounds.  Grey salted his short-cropped hair, neither thinning nor receding.  He wore a dress shirt and slacks, tie loosened but not yet removed.  Mirrored sunglasses perched on his nose and concealed his eyes.

“Mr Schmidt?”

I nodded, still looking at the sunglasses.

He must have noticed my stare.  He waved in the direction of his face.

“Dilated.  Eye doctor this morning.  It’s why I was free to meet you.  Please.  Come in.”  He stepped back.

I passed through the doorway into the lower level of a two floor apartment.  A kitchen on my left opened into a dining and living area.

Tanaka pressed himself flat to the closet door to my right to allow me room to pass.  I suspected the closet storage space extended underneath the stairs to my right that led up to the loft/bedroom.

Three torchiers illuminated the living and dining area and an LED bulb in a decorative ceiling fixture cast its light in this short hallway.  Heavy blackout curtains concealed the sliding doors that opened onto the balcony.  A single futon and a small coffee table were the only other furniture visible.

“I don’t know what you expect from me,” I said as Tanaka closed the door behind me.  “Normally I work with remodelers, or even architects when people are building.  If you’re just wanting decorating, I can give you the names of some good people who charge less than I…”

“No,” Tanaka’s voice came as little more than a whisper.  “You’re the one we want.”

I froze, then slowly turned. “We?”

Tanaka reached out to a switch on the wall.  His fingers slid down, flipping the toggle.  The apartment went dark.

“We.”

I backed away.  By the dim light spilling around the edges of the blackout curtain I saw Tanaka remove the sunglasses.  Eight centuries earlier, or even seven, I might have imagined the black pools that filled his eye sockets.  Now I knew better.

Scientists say that darkness is simply the absence of light.  It’s not a thing in itself.  They are wrong.  Oh, how they are wrong.  Darkness extruded from Tanaka’s eyes, reached for me.

I scrambled backwards.  One of the tendrils lashed out and struck my right hand.  My hand went dead, frozen from elbow to fingertips.  It did not hurt.  The pain, I knew, would come later.  If I lived that long.

Another tendril struck.  I fell backward in a roll, avoiding it, barely.  Something tapped the sole of my left shoe.  My foot went numb.

My roll brought me next to the coffee table, a lightweight decorative piece, not the solid wood of my own day.  I grabbed it with my left hand and hurled it in Tanaka’s direction.  That bought me enough time to push myself unsteadily to my feet.  I could not feel my foot but it held my weight so long as I did not rely on it for balance.

My right arm still was not functioning, hanging as dead weight from the elbow down.  With my left I removed my LED flashlight from its holder on my belt.  I pressed the button on the end.

Nothing happened.

Tanaka, or the thing in his place, cackled.

“You belong to us now.”

I backed up another step, coming to a stop as my back pressed the curtains into the closed sliding door.

I smiled.

Reaching up, I took a firm grip on the curtain and dropped, bringing my full weight onto the fabric, onto the rod mounted above the door.

The rod tore loose from its mounting and the curtain cascaded around me.  Light, the diffuse light of the afternoon sky, but light, flooded the room.

The thing screamed, throwing an arm over the space where Tanaka’s eyes would be.  It retreated back into the shadows of the hallway.

I untangled myself from the curtains.

Light, welcome light, my one weapon against these creatures, these Shadows.

The creature cackled again. “You are trapped ‘Schmidt’ and we are patient.  You have assaulted me in my home.  The police will come.  And you will have nowhere to run when we come to take you at last.”

I looked left, then right.  No exits.  Up.  The loft?  No.  I knew the floorplan of these apartments.  I’d reviewed it before accepting Tanaka’s request for a consult.  No exit up there.

Working behind me, I slid open the door.  I backed onto the patio.  Fire escape?

Mounting brackets but no ladder.

I glanced over the railing.  That was a long way down.

“You have lost.  You are ours at last.”

“Will you shut up?”  I fumbled in the inside breast pocket of my jacket for my emergency vial.  I held the cap in my teeth and spun the vial under it.  Once it opened I spat out the cap and poured the liquid within the vial down my throat.

I turned and backed to the doorway.  I dashed forward and leaped.

“This…”

I got my good foot on the rail of the balcony.

“…is going…”

I propelled myself out into space.

“…to hurt.”

It takes just under three seconds to fall fourteen stories.  You hit the ground at just under sixty five miles per hour.  Even for me that could, probably would, be fatal.  If I missed the pool.  Even if I hit it, it would not be deep enough for what amounted to urban cliff diving.

Three seconds does not sound like much but it’s a long time when you are falling it.  I twisted in the air.  I hit the pool feet first.  The water slowed me.  Then I hit the bottom.

The bones in both legs shattered, tibia, ulna, femur, not to mention the splinters the impact made of the smaller bones in my feet.  My left arm twisted, dislocating my shoulder.  two ribs broke.  One drove deep into my lungs.  Just enough energy remained when my head struck the cement, face first, to break my nose and knock loose two teeth.

Then the elixir began to work.  Bones realigned and knit.  Torn muscle wove together.  Marrow burned as it poured new blood cells into my veins.  I stood, gasping.  My right arm still hung limp, my left foot remained a nerveless lump at the end of my leg but of the damage from the fall, only the pain remained.

Coughing as my lungs expelled bloody water, I staggered through the spreading pool of crimson to the shallow end and rolled onto the deck.

Above, I could see people at windows and on balconies.  Pointing.  Shouting.  There would be calls for the police, for an ambulance.  I had to get out of here.

I struggled to my feet and looked, spotting the gate.  Limping heavily on my numb foot, I stumbled toward it.

Time for Johann Schmidt to disappear.

The Shadows had found me again.

#

I made my way to my car, a late-model BMW sports-sedan in keeping with Johan Schmidt’s status.  As I reached for the door handle feeling finally started to return to my arm.  Pain stabbed along my nerves, like severe frostbite, the after effect of the Shadow’s touch.

No pain medicine, not my elixirs and not modern medicines, relieved the Shadow pain.  I just had to endure.  I stopped and tried to clench my right hand.  The fingers moved, but lacked strength.  I shoved my hand in the pocket, trying to scoop out my keys.

“Hey, buddy, you okay?”

I looked back.  A young man stood, stopped in the middle of stepping off the sidewalk in my direction.  Mid twenties, average weight for here and now which meant he was quite a bit overweight by my standards, a weight that would have indicated great wealth in my childhood.  Beyond him two women stood, their eyes wide, the brunette whispering to the blonde.  Still farther others were turning in my direction.

I was drawing too much attention.

“I’m fine,” I said, putting gruffness into my voice in the hope of discouraging further interest.

I managed to rake the keys out of my pocket but my fingers would not close on them.  The keys fell to the ground.

Cursing in German, hoping no one would notice the obsolete dialect, I supported myself with my right elbow against the side of the car as I squatted to pick up the keys with my left hand.  I stood and got the door open.  At least my left hand was working.

In the car, I got the seat belt fastened one handed, managed to get the key in the ignition and the engine started.  Steering with my left hand I put the car into gear, thanking the All for automatic transmissions.

Traffic was light and I soon left the curious crowd behind.  I wondered if any of them thought to get my license number.  Yet another reason that I had to disappear.

The question was, could I go back to my apartment or would the Shadows be waiting?

And what had happened to my flashlight?  Light, bright light, was the one weapon I had against the Shadows.  The invention of those brilliant lights that one could carry in a pocket had given me a sense of security.

A false sense, it would seem.

Response to a Brit on Gun Control

Over on a Social Media net I responded to someone who talked about how you have to have licenses to buy cars and have the cars licensed.  I pointed out the specific cases where such licenses are necessary:  to operate, and only to operate, the vehicle on public thoroughfares.  Want to buy a Formula One racer and drive it on your own property, or someone else’s private property with their permission.  No license required.  Want to buy a Main Battle Tank (demilled since we’re talking the “car” part not the “gun” part) and do the same?  Go for it.  Want to build your own super delux mega awesome monster power car?  As long as it’s on private property, you’re golden.

In his response I found out he was a Brit.  He said that motor vehicle regulations differed between there and here and then went on about dead kids and the old “if it saves one life” canard.  My reply (slightly edited–edits shown in italics):

“I guess motor vehicle regulations differ significantly between here and there.” Which is yet another way you demonstrate that you are used to being subjects, taking orders from your “betters” than self-directed citizens.

It would take more than 5000 years of murders for people using privately owned firearms to kill as many as governments have killed their own people in the last century. I’m not willing to bet that we will go 5000 years without the need for armed revolt against a government willing to do that again.  5000 years historically takes us from centuries before the pyramids were built to today and all the changes that have happened between.

We got the idea of an armed citizenry from Great Britain, an idea that still had power when George Orwell said: “That rifle on the wall of the labourer’s cottage or working class flat is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there.”

You’ve abandoned that principle, to your cost. We haven’t.

And we didn’t become the world’s only remaining superpower by copying everybody else.

As for your emotional rant about dead kids (wave that bloody shirt!) what about the people who come home safely because they were able to defend themselves effectively because they were armed? Department of Justice figures show that 83% of people in the US can be expected to experience at least one attempted or completed violent felony in their life (defined for purposes of the study as age 15-70). The vast majority of those felonies (murder, robbery, rape, and aggravated assault) aren’t committed with firearms. It’s not the guns that’s the problem. 83% and about half of those crimes will be completed, not just attempted.  Another study using DOJ statistics shows that in the vast majority of cases resisting reduces the chance of injury from the crime over the “compliance” that is so popular to advocate. Armed resistance works better. Armed resistance with a firearm works best. There was one form of resistance that increased chance of injury–unarmed resistance against an armed opponent (sorry martial arts proponents you’re really better off with a weapon, preferably a gun).

Numerous people have studied the use of firearms in defense against crime. In serious studies, the lowball estimate is about 800,000 times per year. The high end is 2.5 million. Most studies run between about 1 and 1.5 million. Even with the low estimate guns are used about as often to defend against crime as used to commit crimes. The “middle”, where most studies fall, guns are used about twice as often to defend against crime as used to commit crimes. Oh, people will point to the low number of “justifiable homicides” to try to rebut that but the goal of the defender is _not_ to kill the criminal but to stop the attack. If the criminal becoming aware that the putative victim is armed causes them to back away, crime stopped. Successful gun defense. If a shot is fired and misses but the criminal runs away. Successful gun defense. If criminal is wounded and rendered unable to complete the crime but survives. Successful gun defense. Any result which leads to the victim going home safely is a successful defense. Most of them never get reported to the police (which is the reason for the wide range of results from the studies).

So, while vents like those in Florida are horrible, there are many other events that don’t make headlines. Apparently you’re willing to trade my daughter being found dead in an alley, strangled with her own stockings, a rapists semen dribbling down her thigh instead of alive and explaining to the nice police officer how the rapist got several .45 caliber holes in him.

One of my favorite economists, Frederic Bastiat talked a lot about “the seen and the unseen”. He was talking in an economic context but the principle applies elsewhere as well. You see this misuse of guns because it makes headlines. The other side, the husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, sweethearts, sons, and daughters alive and unmolested because they were armed don’t make headlines. They remain the unseen flip side.

Fortunately, we don’t have to choose between the two, dead school-kids and my daughter and the many others who are or might be victims of crime that don’t make national and international headlines. There are approaches to address the problem of violent assholes like the guy in Florida (refuse to name him) without stripping those fathers, mothers, et al of the means to defend themselves. But they don’t serve the real purposes of the people advocating “gun control” so they won’t be applied. Better to wave bloody shirts to push policies that won’t solve the problem they’re presented for but will serve other unspoken (because unspeakable) ends.

It Can’t Happen Here: A blast from the past take two.

It seems that the same things keep coming around.  Now, the same people who were telling us that Trump was a new Hitler and his supporters all Fascists are screaming for Trump and his party to disarm the people.  Right, like having a Fascist (so they say) disarming the populace never goes wrong.  (Never mind that if Trump is trying to be Hitler, he’s doing it wrong.

But I’ve written before on the subject of “It can’t happen here.” I reposted it just this past December second.  But here we are again because people are making the same stupid arguments.

Nothing really needs to be changed about it except what I wrote last year about depriving people of their property without due process of law, Civil Asset Forfeiture.  I’ve added a few lines here and there, but that’s about it.

Note that this was originally written in 2015, before the current administration, when people were oh, so sure that “It couldn’t happen here.”


The Second Amendment is Obsolete, some say.  The idea that the United States could ever turn tyrannical is pure paranoia, some say.  The thing is, there’s nothing but faith that that’s the case.  We’re not that far, as history goes, from the Wounded Knee and Sand Creek massacres.  And if you think that Ruby Ridge and Waco were okay because you don’t like the people who were targeted in those cases, I’ll remind you of Burkhead’s First Law of Government:  Anything government can do for you it can do to you.

So, let’s look at that. Rounding up people and sending them to concentration camps (whether called “reservations” or “relocation centers”). Check. (Treatment of Native Americans.  Japanese-American “Relocation Centers” during World War II).

Illegal medical experiments involving infecting people with diseases, not treating them, and observing the effects done on people without their knowledge or consent. Check. (Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment–and particularly interesting how that was “explained” to the victims as they were getting free health care from the US Government.)

Arbitrary searches of American citizens’ households aimed at the seizure of property without either probable cause or any kind of warrant. Check. (post-Katrina gun Confiscation)

Laws passed allowing the indefinite detention of American Citizens without due process of law. Check. (NDAA 2012) (Hasn’t been rescinded as far as I know.)

American citizens going about their daily business being stopped and searched again without probable cause or any kind of warrant (or even the “reasonably articulable suspicion” for a “Terry Stop”). Check. (TSA, not just at Airports, but at bus terminalsrail and subway terminalshighways, even High School Proms.)

“Can’t happen here?” It has and is happening here.

Tell me again how the Second Amendment is obsolete since it’s not needed to defend against tyranny.

Look, if you took all the homicides in America, not just those committed using guns but all of them.  It would take more than 5,000 years for that death toll to match the number of people killed by their own governments in the 20th century.

Our history is a drop in the bucket next to that.  If you have confidence that the people will never, not once in the next 5000 years, need the power to resist a government gone rogue, one that no longer responds to votes or any “will of the people” (for that matter, how sure are you that the “will of the people”, the majority, will have your interests at heart, will not decide that you need to disappear for the “greater good”?) then you are incredibly naive.

But “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.”

Yet, still, “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

Addendum Chicago police are instructed to shoot people for obeying the law. Background:  Illinois, the last state in the Union with no provision for legal handgun carry for self defense, had its “no carry” law struck down and was given a timeframe in which to come up with some kind of carry law before the existing law went away entirely.  So, Illinois now has provision for concealed carry.  But the Chicago police Chief vowed to train his officers to shoot people obeying that law.

Addendum 2 EPA exposes people, without informed consent, to high levels of toxic chemicals to track the effects.

They Lie.

The anti gun troops are out in force today.  And, as always, they lie.

When they say they only want “Reasonable compromise” and “common sense gun control” they lie.

After all, they’ve said that before.  They’ve said “we just want this reasonable restriction, just that” time and time again.  And every time, they’ve lied.  The ink wasn’t even dry on the agreement when they started talking about it being a “good first step.”

When the “Brady Bill” was passed it provided for a 7 day waiting period on buying handguns so that the police could perform a background check on the purchasing individual.  I bought my first handgun (a little .22 semi) under that law.  Later, in 1998, the waiting period sunsetted, NICS “instant check” went into effect, and the background check provisions were extended to rifles and shotguns as well.  Immediately howls went up to put the waiting period back into place (and some States did so at the state level).  They had the background checks that they insisted were what they wanted, really, but that wasn’t good enough.

Nothing ever is.

When they say “just reasonable, common-sense gun laws” they lie.

When they say that gun control is to combat crime, they lie.

When the Federal “Assault Weapons Ban” was passed, it had no detectable effect on crime.  To be expected since rifles of all types, let alone those with the cosmetic features that ran afoul of this ban, were only used in a tiny number of crimes in the first place.  When the AWB sunsetted, we saw no corresponding rise in crime.

Indeed, none of the more than 20,000 gun laws currently in existence (counting Federal, and various State and local crimes) have had any positive impact on crime.  Indeed, we see that starting in the mid-80’s where Florida’s “Shall Issue” carry permit law (the permit must be issued unless there is a clear legal reason not to) restrictions on people carrying guns have lessened.  And yet violent crime is down.  If gun control were about reducing crime, then lessening that control would have to lead to an increase.  It doesn’t.

The best they can come up with is a shaky study where the States that have fewer gun laws have fewer “gun death”.  What they don’t tell you is that the largest number of people killed by gunshot are suicides.  And when a person is suicidal the availability of guns may affect choice of method; it doesn’t affect whether they’re suicidal.  Where gun are more restricted the suicides are just as dead.  They just choose other methods.

And, really, gun deaths?  You want to go to the funeral of someone who was stabbed or bludgeoned or choked to death and tell them “at least they weren’t shot”?  Please don’t.  One, I don’t want you to inflict yet more pain on the bereaved with that ridiculous “comfort” and two, I don’t want to be responsible for the beating you might receive in response.

When they say it’s about crime, they lie.

When they say other countries have “solved” their violence problem with gun control, they lie.

Anti-gun folk love to point out that X nation has strict gun control and gun bans and has a low violent crime rate.  What they don’t want to tell you is what things were like before the strict gun control was implemented.  Ask them for a case where a country starts out with high violent crime rate, passed gun control/bans, and ended up with a low violent crime rate.  At best they’ll point to Australia, where, after its semi-automatic weapons ban, the general declining trend continued.  Oh, they’ll pick a high point in the random year to year variation before and a low point in the variation after, and that can hoodwink the unwary (and is an intellectually dishonest argument).  Generally speaking, however, the whole “other countries solved their problem with gun control” evaporates when you look at what effect gun control actually affected the violence in that country.

Also, they’ll always limit their argument to “developed countries” or “western nations” or another cherry-picked list.  What they don’t want you to realize is that by doing so they tacitly admit that other factors than “gun control” are far, far more important than gun control.  They wouldn’t have to limit it if that weren’t the case.  What they also don’t want you to realize is that the difference is only in degree between the nations they include and those they exclude.

So when they say that “other countries have solved violence with gun control” they lie.

That’s the sum of the gun control movement, lies upon lies for their own ends.  Whenever they open their mouths on the subject, lies emerge.  Oh, the person speaking may sincerely believe what they are saying, they may be an honest person who simply has been misled by the movers and shakers of the gun control movement.  But those movers and shakers?  They lie.  They lie deliberately and with a straight face.  They play to your emotions to get past your logic filters to get you to accept the lie, but they lie.  The truth is not in them.  And, unfortunately, because of their play to emotion, the ever-present willingness to wave a bloody shirt to get what they want, even admitting that the laws they push won’t affect the crime that bloodied the shirt they want it passed anyway because….look!  Bloody shirt!  They are the vilest form of political opportunist.

And they lie.

 

This and That Today

Just some assorted scattered bits for today.

It’s been more than a month now that I’ve been on the APAP. I _should_ have received a replacement nose pillow for my APAP but I haven’t so I called. Turns out billing is shown as “pending”. This appears to be just a paperwork hold up and the existing component seems to be working okay still so no great crisis, just something to keep an eye on. According to the folk at Lincare, there isn’t a problem, just a paperwork delay. I want to be clear on that.

I don’t know if it’s the APAP or other stuff, but I’ve been burning up the keyboard on my writing, cranking down on finishing up the first draft of Alchemy of Shadows (other WIPS set aside while I bear down on finishing this one). Generally 2-3,000 words a day which is simply phenomenal considering my earlier productivity. This one’s going to be rather short as novels go, probably on the order of 60,000-65,000 words as Word counts them (75-80,000 using the “traditional” method).

Over on FaceBook had someone bleating the “Confiscation is wrong, we just want reasonable gun control” “Reasonable” like “universal background checks, requiring individual sellers to maintain records of personal sales for X years, ID like Illinois’ FOID, expanded background checks” yadda yadda yadd.

I kind of lost my temper:

Bullshit, (Name withheld to protect everyone). All this “reasonable compromise” and “common sense gun control” is nothing more than another step toward the eventual goal of complete prohibition. I know it. The readers here know it. And you know it however much you may want to deny it. The only question is whether you’re lying to us or to yourself when you say otherwise.

No level short of that will ever satisfy the gun grabbers. Ever. Every single time they’ve said “we just want this reasonable little common-sense restriction and then we’ll leave you alone” they lied. Every. Single. Time.

None of the restrictions they’ve ever passed have worked for their stated goal. None. Yet they continue to double down swearing “this time for sure…” They do it knowing it won’t have the effect they claim. But they keep doing it so their must be some benefit that they’re getting that remains unstated. And pretty much everybody here knows what that benefit is. You just object to people saying it.

But sometimes, in unguarded moments, you can get them to state what they actually want, times like these:

https://thewriterinblack.com/2014/09/20/nobody-wants-to-take-your-guns/

Well I, for one, have had enough and if you can’t deal with that truth bomb, you know where the unfriend and block buttons are.

It’s been about a week on my program of cardio exercises.  My BP (even with the aggravation) is down.  The cuff I have reads high compared to what I got at the doctor’s office, but I figure I can track trends with it even if the absolute numbers are off.

Don’t know about weight (will see next time I’m at the Dr.’s office).  Still stress-eating which may well counter any improvement from the exercise.  Still, all in all, progress.

Here we go again.

So, some asshole (no, I’m not going to name him) shot up a school in Florida.   And the instant something like that happens people come out of the woodwork citing their pet causes of the issue.

I get it.  People want some simple fix to avoid horrid things like this, but that simply isn’t the case.

First, let’s cover the big one.  Guns.  If we didn’t have guns (or “assault weapons” or “semiautomatic weapons” or whatever the cause du juor is today) then we wouldn’t have these mass shootings.

Maybe.  If you magically made all guns go away (and that includes all guns owned by governments as well) along with all the ability to make guns, then it follows there will be no shootings.   And if you had magical peace-farting unicorns flatulating love and happiness there wouldn’t be any either.  The latter is as likely to happen as the former, maybe more so.

There are on the order of 100 million gun owners in the United States owning between 300 million and a half billion guns.    Gun owners outnumber law enforcement all law enforcement, by on the order of 70 to one.  They outnumber the entire world’s militaries and paramilitary organizations by three to one.  There isn’t enough force in the world, short of leaving your nation a burned out husk to get rid of them by force.  And most of them aren’t finding your attempts at persuasion (which largely consist of name calling and accusations of everything from raping puppies to killing off the dinosaurs) don’t seem to be working.

Second, guns are not difficult to make.  I’ve dealt with that in a recent post.  Australia, for instance, is seeing homemade machine guns turning up in criminals hands.  A blow-back open bolt machine gun is one of the easiest types of repeating firearms to make.  I was twelve when I independently “invented” one (never actually built it but looking back I’d essentially come up with the Sten gun action).  That Genie is not going back into the bottle.

If a 12 year old can do it…

But here’s the thing, even if you did make all the guns go away, or were restricted to those who never, ever, ever, would misuse them. (Who that might be, I don’t know.  Are you naive enough to trust governments?  I’m not.  If you can’t trust your neighbors enough to let them own guns, how can you trust them enough to vote to decided who gets killed?)  But let’s suppose.

  • Oklahoma City Bombing
  • Bath School Massacre
  • Happy Land Fire
  • Cinema Rex Fire

That’s two bombings and two arsons but I could go on and on.  Consider some of the fires that have killed a lot of people.  Fires that started accidentally.  Fires as bad that someone could start deliberately.

Taking away one method, even if you achieve it doesn’t make the murderous stop.  It simply makes them look for other means.

Thus, attempts to ban/restrict guns simply will not work.

So since dealing with the tools won’t solve the problem, that leaves dealing with the killer.

The asshole (again, not naming him) was on depression medications, some folk say.  Look how many of these assholes are on psychiatric medicine.  Blame the medicines.

Sigh.

The people are on psychiatric medicines because they have mental problems.  Generally speaking, when people take psychiatric medications, it’s because they have psychiatric problems. And since no medication is a panacea, sometimes despite the best efforts, they don’t work as we’d hope. And, yes, sometimes they are prescribed when they shouldn’t be. And sometimes they aren’t prescribed when they should be. All because we live in an imperfect world.

Further complicating the matter is that some people behave “atypically” to any given medication. This is why the use of psychiatric medication needs to be monitored by a competent mental health professional, why people near to the person involved need to be aware of possible issues and what to look for to get the person to competent care before things explode out of hand.

Others lay the blame on “turning our backs on God.” Well, if that’s your solution, I just have to ask what restrictions you plan to put on me as a non-believer based on this “God” thing.  If “none” then I’m not seeing how this is any help.  If not “none” then, well, you might find some resistance from myself and other non-believers or, for that matter, people who are believers but simply believe differently from you.

The problem is there is no one simple solution.  There is one thing, however, that we know doesn’t work:  Gun free zones.

Nope.  Not the least bit useful.  Most of these spree killers target gun free zones.

There. is. a. reason. for. that.

All a “gun free zone” does is ensure that the bad guys will face no armed resistance.  At most, they’ll face one or two guards/”resource officers” who can be planned for and dealt with. (Old rule of planning for emergencies:  one is none, two is one.) Declaring an area a “gun free zone” does not prevent any crime and does not save any lives.

So what can be done?

First off, stop making these assholes famous.  In many cases the notoriety is a part of their motivation.  Take that away from them.

Second, yes, mental health is an issue.  As I mention above, people on psychiatric medicine need to be closely monitored to make sure both that they’re taking the medication and that it is actually helping.  We also need to make sure people close to the individual:  friends and loved ones, co-workers, teachers and counselors, know what to look for in case the medication and treatment is not working or if they’re having an atypical result (responding to antidepressants with rage as an example).  Doing this requires de-stigmatizing getting help for this kind of problem.  And part of that means we need to be able to honestly assure people that getting help with their emotional problems doesn’t permanently strip them of their rights.

Related to that is we need to bring back involuntary hospitalization for those who won’t get the treatment they need.  I know this carries a bad name to it, and rightly so, for the abuses that were performed in its name.  But we’ve gone too far in the other direction, making it near impossible to get someone whose issues make them dangerous to themselves or others into the care they need.  Due process to protect the rights of the person being considered for hospitalization needs to be in full force, but it still needs to be an available tool.

Those would go a long way toward dealing with the spree-killing mass murder problem.