More on the gun issue…

A friend of mine, whom I have a lot of respect for as a person, and I were having a very great discussion on Facebook about the gun issue in general.  He made a very good post that I am going to share, along with my response to it.  To bring the context of this into light I have left the screen shot of it, starting with my response to a piece of literature he posted opining if the mass shooting in Orlando was actually done by multiple gunman.  Essentially this piece said that for a man to kill 50 and wound 50 others in a matter of minutes was so insane and so far-fetched that there is no way one single shooter could have done so.  My personal feelings for conspiracy theories aside, this is a valid thing for one to think.  It is crazy, the amount of destruction that was able to occur.  This, sadly, is also one of the heated points of discussion this country.  Why should anybody be able to carry such destructive tools?


Also, please note in the picture above I have blanked out my friend’s name and picture.  I respect this man and even more I respect his privacy.  I’ve even messaged him this blog post after submission asking his permission to use it.  If he does not want me using this, I will promptly delete this post.  Just my disclaimer.

Anyways, I wrote a lengthy response I would like to share, because ultimately many of the points I bring up are many of the same points being brought up across the nation.  He also did make great points, truthfully, in his post.  It is refreshing to have a civil discussion with another person about such a terrible and heated issue.

Right now insanity IS the norm. So far this year we’ve had over 130 mass shootings. That is averaging about 3 a week. The year isn’t even over.

15 years ago 3000 people died one morning. We didn’t take away box cutters or planes BUT we starting screening the heck out of anybody getting on a plane, this is why everybody complains so much about the TSA. Post 9/11 the regulations to get on a plane skyrocketed. Somebody tried to blow up his shoe to get on a plane, now we all have to take our shoes off at the airport.

The Titanic sank because of nature. We cannot ban nature. Icebergs, tornadoes, hurricanes, etc. will always exist. We have, however, created rules and regulations to make passenger ships safer, with mandatory safety and evacuation plans.

Creating smart, reasonable gun laws isn’t changing the game, at all, either. In Major League Baseball a few 2b players got injured due to take-out slides. Guess what the MLB did, despite players, coaches, fans, etc. being very vocally against it? This year they enacted a ban on take-out slides. They also did it a few years ago with collisions at home plate after a few high profile catcher injuries. They updated with the times, and guess what? Baseball is still great! 🙂

Our gun laws are a mess and they’re inconsistent state by state. With Omar, he was on the Do Not Fly list, but the FBI couldn’t legally do anything about it. There was a push to ensure that people on the DNF list couldn’t purchase firearms in ANY state. The NRA cried foul and the NRA backed politicians wouldn’t even let any of those bills get out of committee.

We regulate the crap out of cars, too. Is it a perfect system? NO! People still die. But guess what we have now that we used to not have? Mandatory seat belt laws. No texting while driving laws. No drinking and driving laws. Speed zones for different areas, depending on risk (i.e. you can only go 20 mph past East High School during certain times of the day). Obviously NO system is going to be perfect, but we have to do our best to ensure the MOST safety. There is no 100% safe method, but that doesn’t mean don’t try.

My personal feelings about pot and the “war on drugs” in general aside, too. We make drugs illegal. Yes, it doesn’t 100% solve the issue. It does, however, make it harder to gain access to drugs. Drugs are also way more expensive. Marijuana is fairly cheap in states such as Colorado and Washington, but prices have remained the same (so I hear) in states such as Minnesota.

Again, no system is perfect. Just because “somebody can still do it” even though it is illegal doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. There is still a problem with child prostitution, but I doubt any sane minded individual would be against creating a law that said it is illegal to pimp a child (or anybody) out, correct? It is NO DIFFERENT with any sort of crime. What happens when you make it illegal is that you make it harder to do. Sick pieces of garbage cannot just openly pimp out children on Victory Drive. There was just a child prostitution sting here in Mankato that netted three arrests. Laws made that possible. Is child prostitution still a HUGE problem in southern MN? Yes! At least we’re trying though.

Bottom line, though, is right now there are only two options being floated around to something we can all admit is a problem. Option one is to create reasonable gun laws. Option two is to continue to do nothing. So please, if you have any other reasonable, viable options, please speak up. I and the rest of the world would be more than happy to listen to ANYTHING that could potentially help this situation. Also, good guy with a gun isn’t a viable option. More guns isn’t a viable option.

I made sure to go through every point, piece by piece.  Please let me know your opinions.  I welcome them all, even if we disagree, just so long as we can be civil.  If anybody out there has any other reasonable ideas to fix this terrible issue, please, we need to know.


Something about being “well regulated”

All things Orlando aside, I am just going to start off this post quite simply:

“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.”

Militia is loosely defined as: a military force that is raised from the civil population to supplement a regular army in an emergency.

Well Regulated (i.e. regulated thoroughly)-To regulate means to control or supervise. To do that well, means to have some strict control or supervision.

In other words, regular, untrained citizens aren’t a part of any “well regulated militia”. This leads into the question of, “Why do I need an assault rifle if I am untrained, unregulated, and not a part of a militia?”

We’ve been seeing far too often citizens of our country take up arms in the name of killing innocent people.  Often times they do this out of the name of religion (ironically, when it is out of Christianity, the media ignores it) but mostly out of the name of hatred.  Maybe they hated Doctors giving women the proper healthcare they deserved, maybe they hated African-American men, women, and children praying to God.  Maybe they hated homosexuals.  Maybe they hated school children.  Whatever it is, it is all senseless.

It is time that this country does something about this.  We’ve lost more people in the past week to mass shootings [defined as 3 or more subsequent killings] than Canada has in the past two decades.  One side tries to tell us that we cannot compare America to Canada, or to Australia, or to Japan, or to Great Britain.  I ask, “Why not?”  Is our culture so much more different where lives matter less here?  Is our obsession with guns that intense that we cannot realize that they are created with one purpose and one purpose only?  Anybody who denies that guns are not an invention purely meant to take lives is living with their head underground.  The Chinese did not invent gun powder purely to have parlor tricks and entertain children.  They knew that they needed to have the most effective stick for killing their enemies to stay alive.

We live in a world where it is perfectly acceptable for the government to ban WalMart from selling two boxes of Sudafed, yet you can go into WalMart and buy one box of Sudafed and two dozen boxes of ammunition to go along with the firearms you also purchased there on the same trip.  Are we that delusional to say “THIS!  This is where the line of control is!”  People give the argument with guns that it won’t stop the criminals.  Will limiting Sudafed stop the production of meth?  It won’t work anyways, right? I mean, people are going to make meth no matter what. Plus they can easily make meth in Mexico and bring it over. Plus people will still take meth. Now replace the meth with firearms and all of a sudden it’s too much control. At least with meth you cannot go and kill 50 people in an hour.

One of the saddest pieces of this whole Orlando business is that many of those politicians who are “offering thoughts and prayers” are also the very same politicians who fought so hard to prevent these LGBT individuals from having their God given rights, all to make sure people have their “God given rights” to carry a firearm.  Any firearm they want.  While these politicians are accusing LGBT individuals of being monsters and perverts in the bathroom they’re also failing to protect them from the real monsters.  And we’re okay with this?  Where the f*** are our priorities?

People need a little lesson in the amendments.  Yes, amendments are essentially set in stone.  Once it is there, it is always there.  But, you can also make amendments shutting other amendments down.  We created this amendment banning alcohol, because we, as a society, decided alcohol was evil.  A few years later, we realized this was a stupid amendment and we could just regulate alcohol, instead of banning it all.

There was once a time when it was somebody’s right to own people.  They used the same arguments, too.  It is my God given right to own slaves, you cannot take them away from me.  Just because somebody else abuses and mistreats his slaves doesn’t mean that mine should be taken away from me.  What did we do, however?  We created an amendment saying that slaves are actually just human beings, like the rest of us.  This was meant with a ton of resistance.  Not sure if any of you recall, but we fought a war over this.

We also had a time in our country when women could not vote.  What did we do?  We updated with the times.  We realized that women are just as capable of thinking as men.  So we created an amendment that allowed them to vote.

Why it is, then, that we cannot keep with the times and the technology with guns?  When the 2nd amendment was created, guns were muskets.  Even the most skilled marksman could maybe take out 3 blokes in one minute with a musket.  These days, however, most people can walk into a store that sells guns and walk out with one.  Even without much training, somebody can upgrade the parts on their gun to hold more bullets, give it a better sight, add better aiming and maneuverability, etc.

An example I like to give is transportation, since people like the excuse, “you can kill somebody with a car!”  When the Constitution was created, transportation was essentially by horse or foot.  That was it.  Fast forward 150 years.  Now we have the automobile.  Sure, it’s not that quick, yet, but it’s coming.  These days?  There are speed limits.  There are limits on who can drive.  There are limits on where you can drive.  You also must register all cars.   You also must take a written test to use this car.  You also must pass a practical test to use this car.  You also must have X amount of of “behind the wheel” while you’re training to use this car.  Imagine if we treated guns like that?  Insurance, registration, having to buy “gun tabs” every single year, etc.  Personally, I think your “behind the trigger” training would be a blast.  Wouldn’t gun enthusiasts love that, too?  Having a trained instructor taking you to the gun ran for 30 hours before you’re licensed to use your gun on your own.  Also, keep in mind, there are restrictions on how powerful cars can be on the road.  I cannot buy a NASCAR or Indy car and take it out on the streets.  Why should guns be any different?  We can reasonably restrict the intensity of the guns, much like vehicles.

By the end of the day, the underlying issue ultimately is that guns are much to readily available.  A good friend of mine, from Canada, on Facebook opined, “As a non-American living in America your gun regulations and laws are an absolute joke and a huge factor in the massive lead your country has over every other developed nation in gun violence. I’m not legally entitled to work in your country [for about a month] and yet I can purchase a weapon. Good call.”  The nutcase from Orlando?  He was on an FBI watch list, but thanks for NRA backed politicians, his “God given right” to own a firearm, purchase firearms, and purchase ammunition was more than protected.  How is this right?

Ultimately, in the end if we want to realize what the problem truly is in America and how to solve it we need to not focus on who suffers from the problem, or even who is committing the problem.  We truly need to focus on who is profiting from the problem.



Now what do we do?

Just got an email from the Clinton Campaign (Yes, I signed up to receive emails from Clinton, Sanders, and others, to be informed) saying that she has won the Democratic nomination.
This isn’t true yet. California isn’t even close to being counted. Sanders has won North Dakota (by a HUGE margin) and Clinton has won New Jersey. States that are still counting: California, New Mexico, South Dakota, and Montana.
This is some shady politics here. First we have the media, yesterday, reporting that Hillary has secured the nomination, which is blatantly untrue (as Super Delegates do NOT vote until July) and now we have Hillary trying to do the same. This is, in no doubt, an attempt to get Sanders to either quit or to get people to drop out of the Sanders’ camp. Imagine the Sanders supporters who didn’t turn out to vote today because the main steam media had told them it was over? How is this democracy?
Throw on top of that the disgustingly unproportional amount of super delegates already throwing their support behind Hillary, even in states where Sanders had landslide wins. There were states where Sanders won by over 20% but didn’t get a single super delegate vote. This isn’t democracy. This is disgusting.
Regardless, now that the Democratic nomination is rolling to a close we still need to keep our eyes on the bigger picture. Yes, Clinton isn’t the best choice to be the Democratic nominee. Clinton is, however, still leaps and bounds better than that bigoted, sack of garbage, known as Donald Trump. Allowing this guy to represent our nation would be the single biggest mistake the United States has ever made. Sanders supporters, if Hillary does win the nomination there are bigger things at stake here than your pride. I will be the first to swallow it and support Clinton.