Sunday, December 30, 2012

Piers Morgan: dont let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

I was going do something on our out of control debt and the "looming" fiscal "cliff" but I was distracted reading this piece written by Piers Morgan of CNN published 12-29. The heading states he may deport himself if "America won't change its crazy gun laws". Now given such a heading filled with hyperbole you can expect the rest of his viewpoint will be littered with more attention whoring exaggerations and boy does he not disappoint. 

He starts out with his experience with guns. This, being a singular event, was a trip to
Prague where he and some friends shot targets for a few hours and he said afterwards that the experience "quite demonstrably guns are killing machines".
I find that rather meaningless. For I, have never owned or shot a gun at any point in my life. I grew up in a single parent house with my mother and three sisters. Hunting is something I have never done either. But I don't have to hunt nor own a gun or to even have shot one to know guns are killing machines. After all, I have watched thousands of movies and played call of duty until the wee hours of the night (I’m just sticking with the meme). 

After setting up his "experience" he then proceeds to name drop his relatives who are employed in
England with exposure to weapons as some type of twisted street cred:

"Well, I do know a bit about guns, actually. My brother’s a lieutenant colonel in the British Army and has served tours of duty in Northern Ireland, the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan. My sister married a colonel who trained Princes William and Harry at Sandhurst. My uncle was a major in the Green Howards."

I find this rather humorous. I have an Aunt & Uncle who both work in one of the biggest state universities in Pennsylvania in science. Both have their PHD's. I have three other Aunts who are teachers. I have a grandmother who retired with an MBA in accounting and a step father who has worked in a foundry for 35 years. I have a brother in law that is a barber. Do you know what i know about what they do?? Jack-shit. I would also find it disrespectful to assume that i know about what they do, in what, conversations over Sunday dinner at Nana & Papa's house? Please. 

 Mr Morgan demonstrates his arrogance and obvious agenda to make the world England when he uses the reasoning for owning the AR-15 Bushmaster (used in Newtown)  

"The only apparent reason anyone seems to offer up is that using such weapons is ‘fun’. One gun-rights guy I interviewed last week even said admiringly that the AR-15 was ‘the Ferrari of guns’."

When you see someone cite "One guy I interviewed" as backing you know to take that not with a grain of salt; but probably a quarry. Because the bullshit meter is broken. And if you say the "only apparent" reason "anyone" seems to offer up is 'fun' without any evidence, it just compounds the fact that you are basically making it up. What’s next, an "anonymous quote" from a “high ranking official” in the NRA doesn't “really like guns”? Wasn’t  'ol Piers an editor at a newspaper one time in England
Well, that doesn't surprise me. Have you ever read a newspaper from England? Look at the link for his piece; it’s plastered in 'tabloid-celebrity' nonsense. Hard news does not exist over there. How do I know? The paper 'has ads for other story's'. It 'apparently' must be devoid of hard news because I cant find a paper in England that doesn't cater to 'tabloid-celebrity' nonsense... see this subjective, make it up as see fit game can be fun and effective!

So, we have established Mr. Morgan's experience and his relatives with guns are bunk or meaningless to the discussion and probably just a cheap way to fill a word count commitment. We also know he has no reasons why people own guns, other than he says, they said: 'its fun'. So there is no opposite side in this piece with relative viewpoints, just his opinions.

Pictured in this article is a picture of a gun show. It also has statistics with gun sales exploding after these last few instances. It has a picture of a man at a gun show holding an AR-15. There is also the statistics that Americans own more guns per person than anywhere in the world outside of Yemen. Do you see the link? These gun sales are going to create more crime. But is that really true? 
According to the 1997 Survey of State Prison Inmates, among those possessing a gun, the source of the gun was from -
  • a flea market or gun show for fewer than 2%
  • a retail store or pawnshop for about 12%
  • family, friends, a street buy, or an illegal source for 80%     

During the offense that brought those offenders to prison, 15% of State inmates and 13% of Federal inmates carried a handgun, and about 2%, a military-style semiautomatic gun.

This whole piece written by Mr. Morgan is centered on the use of semi-automatic weapons. So we are talking about 2% of felons using these types of guns. Two must be the magic number because only 2% of felons using a gun - get said gun, at a flea market or gun show. Talk about living on the margins? Maybe Mr. Morgan should spend some time in Switzerland where households pack fully automatic rifles and experience less crime than England, where he says there are only 35 deaths per year due to handguns.

Which I find odd considering this article written in the Wall Street Journal the day after Christmas by Joyce Lee Malcolm, a professor of law at George Mason University Law School - who has written several books on the subject including: "Guns and Violence: The English Experience" 

In this article Ms Joyce points out that: 

"Within a decade of the handgun ban and the confiscation of handguns from registered owners, crime with handguns had doubled according to British government crime reports. Gun crime, not a serious problem in the past, now is. Armed street gangs have some British police carrying guns for the first time. Moreover, another massacre occurred in June 2010. Derrick Bird, a taxi driver in Cumbria, shot his brother and a colleague then drove off through rural villages killing 12 people and injuring 11 more before killing himself."


If that wasn't enough Mr. Morgan points to a recent Gallup poll showing that: "58 per cent of Americans now support new gun-control laws, up from 43 per cent in 2011" He then says "that's a big jump"? 
You think? Does he even understand that his network is one of many that help perpetuate these acts by these deranged nut jobs and fears of the public by sensationalizing them at every waking minute to push their filthy ads? Mr. Morgan even takes aim at video games and movies... does he have no culpability in this? No of course not, because you're on television, dummy. Sixty million people watch you every night of the week, Monday through Friday. You make the news. You're God
Now allow me to weave this all together all nice and tight for you, using Mr. Morgan’s own words:

"This gun debate is an ongoing war of verbal attrition in America – and I’m just the latest target, the advantage to the gun lobbyists being that I’m British, a breed of human being who burned down the White House in 1814 and had to be forcefully deported en masse, as no American will ever be allowed to forget – Special Relationship notwithstanding. It’s no exaggeration to say that America’s unique fondness for guns pretty much got cemented by hatred of us Brits and the War of Independence. But the main reason the more fervent gun-rights activists give is a fear of their own US federal government using its army to impinge on their freedom"

Americans don't hate British citizens or look at them with disdain nor reject them simply because of their birthrights. We do have a problem thou with someone from another country telling us how we should change our laws and be more like the country that we fought from our independence from some 200+ years ago. Americans had to use guns to fight off tyranny in the form of the British government. Now you supported using guns to fight tyranny before:

" I’m not a pacifist. Guns win necessary wars and defeat tyrannical regimes like the Nazis"

I find it ironic you do not see the British government circa 1770 a "tyrannical" government. We agree the Nazi regime was just that. This, being the same Nazi regime that took the US and her (gun loving) involvement to keep England from being bombed into oblivion? You know what they say about history don't you, Mr Morgan? If its written by the victors and while we know who won WW2 and the Revolutionary War; maybe you're in need of a history lesson, chap?

Now i saved the best for last:

"Obama should follow up by launching a Government buy-back for all existing assault weapons in circulation (as worked successfully in Los Angeles last week). I would go further, confiscating the rest and enforcing tough prison sentences on those who still insist on keeping one. He should also significantly increase federal funding for mental health treatment for all Americans who need it."

Piers... lets scrap the history lesson, instead lets do a real quick American Civics primer. "He" is just a President, nothing more than a mouth piece for the corporate elite, like the guy before him and the guy before him and the guy after him and so on and so forth. We may elect lackeys and "yes men" but we don't elect Kings. Here all men are created equal; we don't value one person’s blood more than another.

You claim to "love" this country, despite the fact that it’s obvious you don't understand our financial situation as you are directing for "King Obama" to start "buy backs" and additional spending of revenue via mental health (has he not heard of Obama Care), when we are facing two trillion dollar deficits annually. You don't respect our history or even understand it. You want prisons sentences for people wanting to uphold their Bill of Rights. Your views are based on fringe ideas and failed data from
England, the country you left - to obviously pursue something better for you and your family. 

 Let me offer you some parting advice courtesy of one, Mahatma Gandhi:

"Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest."(Gandhi, An Autobiography, p. 446 Beacon Press paperback edition)

Friday, December 28, 2012

Jesse Jackson at his best - the spinning never stops.

Last night Chicago seen its 500th homicide for 2012, its highest total since 2008 and up from 435 last year according to the Associated Press. Out of these homicides 87.5% are via the gun which i find curious because Chicago, Illinois has some of the strictest gun laws in the country.

After all this is a place where you can own a handgun (1) but it has to be in your home. It has to be broken down when transported (forget the right to carry) yet even after the modification of its laws in 2010 via the Supreme Court the murder rate is on the rise. Before 2010 it was illegal to own a handgun period in Chicago and the murder rates were through the roof. We are seeing the murder rates back at that level despite the fact that bill in 2010 was aimed at encouraging self defense allowing the right to own a firearm in your home, how so?

Simply put, the bad guys don't live in your home. They are out on the street or in the alleys, where its illegal to carry a weapon. Imagine that, a criminal not minding his local authorities and respecting its laws... why the good citizen does, unarmed.

This morning "Reverend" Jessie Jackson was on CNN discussing the murder rate in Chicago, his hometown. Now normally, when he opens his mouth, hes on the offensive, spitting out venom, bigotry and lies but here the Rev was on the defensive as he tried to make sense of hate crime rates in areas with strict gun laws. When he was asked why Chicago, despite her tough laws, still have exorbitantly high murder rates his first response:

“I think about Newtown, for example, they have three or four gun ranges. There are no gun ranges in Chicago

Now, he also addressed socioeconomic reasons, and while those are contributing factors for the high murder rates, it doesn’t change the fact that gun laws restricting law abiding citizens to carry them only create more gun deaths. When asked again the same question regarding the gun laws on the books that don’t work, Jackson replied:

 “The guns are not coming from Chicago

Well pull me up a chair, good Rev. So you are actually acknowledging that even despite strict laws severely restricting gun ownership and forbidding the right to carry; weapons are flowing into Chicago beyond the city limits resulting in spiked homicide rates? But i thought they were illegal, how can this happen? Where have we seen this before? Sounds a lot like the Federal governments "war" on drugs, doesn't it? As I asked yesterday, how is that working out?

Prohibition doesn't work because it does nothing to address why people need or want things others feel is too dangerous or destructive to own. Its simply one person (in a form of a bureaucracy) telling another person they know better than they do. It not only infringes on freedom of choice, prohibition also dissolves the natural existing relationship between supply and demand by simply chocking off supply. Again, nothing is done about the demand. This is how people like Al Capone became legends.

Now, if I could just take a minute to clear up one tidbit of misinformation courtesy of "Revered" Jackson. I did a quick search and found at least three gun ranges in the Chicago area. Remember, when Chicago City Council voted on the new ordinance back in 2010 after they were neutered by the Supreme Court, one of the requirements before owning a firearm is:

One hour on the range and four hours of training in the classroom

Maybe, someone would be kind enough to point out to Reverend Jackson the location of these firing ranges. But, he doesn’t need it. Why would he? He has bodyguards. Funny isn’t it? Kind of like the irony of the Pope Mobile. Where’s the faith Reverend?

Drag the waters some more...

Well, it’s been exactly two weeks since the senseless tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. I said to myself as that day unfolded, I would not be a part of the problem anymore. Regardless of how small my voice may be, regardless of how much impact media has or has not on events such as this... I decided that day, no mas.

As a fellow human, you cannot grasp the horror those kids and teachers faced on that morning. As a father, I will not even allow myself to even attempt to fathom the emotion of the loss of a child, sitting innocently in a kindergarten class room, counting down the days to Christmas. My heart truly goes out to those families involved. Only a small percentage of us have to bury our own children and for these families to have to do it because of something like this, is truly unspeakable, so I won’t even waste my words to do so any longer.

As soon as this happened everyone (and rightfully so) are looking for answers. Its human nature, we are creatures so dependent on emotion. However, with human nature and emotion come mistakes. The media fans the flames with its inaccurate reporting, hyperbole and this desire to beat the other guy to the punch. It wasn’t even 15 minutes into the breaking news report, not even into the three minutes of rolling ads for boner pills, Forever Lazy's and Pepsi commercials before we seen the graphics up.

Straddled across the screen like some stripper who is about to perform her 17th lap dance of the night (with 24 more to go) the slogan and graphic were dawned. "Tragedy in Newtown" - "Tragedy in Sandy Hook" - "Connecticut school massacre" etc etc etc. Hurricanes, school shootings, dead celebrities, Presidential speeches, court verdicts... yhea, we got a graphic for that.

Who can get there first? Who can take the best photos of the kids coming out, who can get the most exclusive interview with the person closest to the massacre? Get the Aunt of a dead teacher... or how about the step-mother of a child? A survivor?? Now, that is a real prize.

From media sensationalizing comes the blame game. Blame the guns (as if you need a link or a cite for this). Blame the games and the movies. Blame the mental health community or the lack thereof. Blame the devil. Blame Marylin Manson. Oh, wait I'm getting ahead of myself. Nobody listens to Manson' anymore... gonna have to find a new whipping boy in music I suppose. Can we use Eminem?  Even the conspiracy crowd has officially claimed the attack never happened. In fact "them" are said to be all in bed together to take over the world and all of the dead must be living happily ever after at the north pole. Lots of blame - but no solutions.

The truth of the matter will not require a retro fit band-aide that we as Americans like to use for everything. The wound is much larger than that but yet so small at the same time. That's because the wound is us. We as a people are the problem. Individual responsibility is the best cure for any problem we might encounter from mounting fiscal national debt to education failures in our schools to school shootings.

Individual responsibility is hard in this case because we depend on the schools to keep our children safe. And unless your child just so happens to be attending the one school  of a sitting Presidents children, no school is safe from this type of act, as it is, right now.

But do we have to settle for how things are right now? Or should we demand more? Buzzing people in and out of locked schools is a nice idea, but all someone has to do is smash the doors or windows to gain access to hundreds if not thousands of unarmed innocent people. That’s how these turn into bloody massacres. If we can’t turn back the hands of time and (un) invent the gun, the only solution is to fight fire with fire. And do it in every school in America. It’s done in many inner cities already and it’s obviously done for the President. If it’s good for the goose, it’s good for the gander.
This however isn’t the topic for those in mass media; instead their focus seems to be centered on the weapons and motives of past killers instead of focusing on protecting future victims. Making guns illegal in any way shape or form will not keep guns out of criminal’s hands. Don't believe me? Tell me.... how’s that "war" on drugs working out for you? A law or ban or restriction only creates a bigger black market and thus only supports more crime and senseless deaths. This is simply supply and demand.  Yet all we hear is  #guncontrolnow. Puzzling, it is, the inability for so many to not grasp simplistic approaches like cause and effect.

Switzerland has some of the highest gun ownership in the world with 45.7 guns per 100 residents yet their gun related crimes are so low they don't even keep records according to a piece written in the BBC last year. And many of these guns are fully automatic military grade rifles (M-57 Assault rifle pictured below). Those type of weapons are already ILLEGAL here and were not used in this case... yet we have a gun problem, and the Swiss do not?

Again, restricting certain guns or outlawing guns all together even will not stop senseless gun violence or school shootings. Only a gun can stop a gun. Kids in a school are locked up sitting ducks, thus security in the form of a regular beat cop should be in place at every school in the country. We put a man on the moon, invented the automobile, invented the computer... yet we cannot protect our children while at school getting their shitty education? And for those of you who say: "what are we supposed to do, put cops in the mall as well"?

The answer is simply, no. Because if we focus on individual responsibility (including but not limited to) on things like more concealed weapons permits for those that qualify; the coverage and overlap would police itself. If you put a gun in every school office in the country it would save more lives than it would ever take by just their presence alone. Not to mention, probably foil many attacks from happening in the first place. As time goes on, we are seeing battle lines drawn between people who want choice and freedom while others want to be directed and told what to think, what to believe and when to do it. Lets not let the second amendment be another victim when in reality its the only solution. We have too many Indians, we need more chiefs.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

'If Jovan Belcher didn't possess a gun he and Kassandra Perkins would both be alive today."

With last weeks murder/suicide of Kansas City Chief Jovan Blecher and girlfriend Kassandra Perkins, people from all walks of life often found themselves involved in this discussion in some way shape or form. While many of the details and motives remain a mystery, one thing remains clear - guns, do not kill people, people kill people. Many in the last week that have used this tragedy as a vehicle for their own agenda regarding gun laws and gun control and to my surprise it wasnt just the usual suspects on the "left". NBC's Bob Costas used the quote in the title to lead into his viewpoints of gun ownership in the country in an NFL halftime segment in last weeks Sunday night broadcast; 24 hours after the tragedy occurred. 

Agree or disagree with Costas using a sporting event to tout his political beliefs isnt the issue i have. Anyone familiar with sports knows Costas isnt one that hates the sound of his own voice. So if anyone in sports would be ignorant or arrogant enough to wade into such a controversial issue as gun control; Costas would be the man for the job. My issue isnt with him doing so from a network that is pretty decidedly liberal when it comes to their news, after-all "Lean Forward" is not just a slogan - as a verb it quite literally means to "Progress" and "Progressive" is the new word for Liberal... thus there is no hiding that networks news affiliation.

No, my issue lies squarely on the back of this notion that taking guns out of the hands of individuals will have some type of magical impact on stopping murders. The liberal mind that is hell bent on gun control and this cockamamie idea that this tragic murder could have been prevented if Belcher did not own a firearm is absurd and its a mindset closer related to the book & movie: Minority Report, as opposed to reasoning and logic.

Jovan Belcher wasn't a felon, he wasn't known to be mentally unstable nor did he even have a record. There was nothing that could have been done to keep Mr. Belcher from owning a legal firearm and obviously there is nothing that could have been done to keep him from owning one illegally either. So the issue isnt gun control or tighter restrictions; it is obviously gun ownership... period. That is not only an attack on the 2nd amendment its also a mistake on those that advocate such; as its the road to tyranny. Taking guns out of the hands of the public will not reduce crime, if anything, it will only create more of it and a bigger black market that already exists to support it. Dont believe me, ask the government how the war on drugs is going? How did the prohibition of alcohol work out?

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, in a report from the 1997 Survey of State Prison Inmates, among those possessing a gun, the source of the gun was from -
  • a flea market or gun show for fewer than 2%
  • a retail store or pawnshop for about 12%
  • family, friends, a street buy, or an illegal source for 80%

Some nut can get a gun legally or illegally and nothing will stop him from executing his despicable act before it happens. Some law abiding citizen can become emotional and beat his or her significant other with a bat or use a knife or shoot them with a gun and nothing will change that, the means that are used are of ill consequence. Crimes of passion and fits of rage are human problems, its not the choice of the instrument used to carry it out that's at fault. Trying to isolate one weapon as a problem where 99% of its owners never have to use it is just plain irresponsible. Bottom line: its just not possible in an open and free society to protect everybody from themselves.  

You want to stamp out gun violence? Allow and encourage more people to carry one. Every time there is a tragedy concerning gun violence the knee jerk reaction is the guns and the access are the blame and it couldnt be any further from the truth. The reason that one gun in a crowd of people can do so much damage is that not enough law abiding citizens carry a weapon. An overwhelming majority of gun related deaths are involving one person being armed and another person not being armed. How do you make these situation less damaging? Again... allow and encourage more people to carry a firearm.

If Mr Belcher didnt own a firearm would it have prevented her death? No idea, who knows what he may have picked up or did to her with his hands... and NFL linebacker doesnt need a gun to cause bodily harm to a women. If she had been carrying would this have prevented the death of Kassandra Perkins? Maybe, maybe not. But one thing is assured... it would at least bettered her odds, without question. And that is the point, its basic mathematics... guns are the great equalizer and ill use this Ronald Regan quote to kill (pardon the pun) two birds with one stone:

"The gun has been called the great equalizer, meaning that a small person with a gun is equal to a large person, but it is a great equalizer in another way, too. It insures that the people are the equal of their government whenever that government forgets that it is servant and not master of the governed. When the British forgot that they got a revolution. And, as a result, we Americans got a Constitution; a Constitution that, as those who wrote it were determined, would keep men free. If we give up part of that Constitution we give up part of our freedom and increase the chance that we will lose it all."