Do gun free zones actually stop gun violence?
Some of the most shocking crimes involving firearms in recent years have been those perpetrated at schools where the victims are children. These crimes capture the public and media’s attention like no other and are quickly followed by cries from the anti-gun crowd demanding “something” be done to stop the bloodshed. Certain politicians afraid of not wanting to look feckless in front of their constituents often propose legislation that looks like a good idea on the surface, but in practice does little to change anything and usually tramples on the rights of the law abiding overwhelming majority.
Gun free zones such as schools, and churches, civic buildings do not make the people inside them safer. Gun free zones provide an illusion of safety. Perception, that’s it. Clustering unarmed civilians together presumes no one from the outside with a gun can enter this “gun free zone” when they want to. It presumes that this zone is safer than outside the zone. This is not always the case. It presumes that a criminally deranged person would respect a sign that said “gun free zone”. Unless these zones are guarded and protected with people trained to meet force with force, providing a place where no one is armed except the bad guy is not a good idea. In almost every case within recent memory where active shooters took lives they were stopped when the shooter was confronted by others who were armed whether it was police or private citizens. A bad man with a gun is only stopped by a good guy with a gun.
When gun free zones were created they provided something tangible that community organizers and politicians could point to and say “there, we did something to end the bloodshed”. But they do not and the blood shed continues because guns are not the real problem. Our society is sick, increasingly detached and lacking in compassion. The mentally ill willing to kill as many people as they possibly can, including themselves, is the problem. The really sad part is many of these mentally ill are children too.
I would argue gun-free zones in addition to being legislatively prohibited are for many organizations the result of a risk management decision too. Does the school, church or business want to risk being sued by gunshot victims? Insurance companies are deciding this for these organizations by either not providing coverage or making the expense for covering such things exorbitant. So as in a lot of cases, money is a mitigating factor. Instead of allowing people the right to defend themselves they are prohibited for liability reasons. A quick fix to this is tort reform but that discussion is for another day.
The call for banning guns or severely limiting them outright I think is becoming more vocal due to some demographic changes in America. As our population continues to increase centered around large city clusters instead of rural communities more and more people are growing up with no tradition or familiarity with firearms except what they watch on television or see in video games. They also have grown accustom to government providing for their safety and comfort.
Hunting, a traditional American past time that produced marksman of renown is in decline in America. When the source of fresh meat is two blocks down and one block up at the local grocery chain the need to hunt for fresh food is obsolete to most Americans.
Also the expense of purchasing a firearm, buying ammunition and finding a safe place to shoot for recreation has to compete with other easier entertainment options. For a city dweller with limited resources, restrictive laws and few places to shoot a firearm seems like an expensive luxury.
Still to others not brought up around firearms or having had the honor of serving in our military, guns represent only destruction and death. The very appearance of a gun in someone’s possession that’s not wearing either a military or police uniform creates irrational fear. My mother is one of these people. I have interviewed people that feel this way too. A very high level government official I once interviewed told me he had a neighbor who had a concealed carry permit and he was truly puzzled why anyone would carry a firearm in public or concealed and thought his neighbor mentally insecure. I had to remind them that we have a 2nd Amendment but he clearly came from the school of thought that says only militia’s should have guns not individuals. I had to bite my tongue for most of the rest of that interview but clearly there is a conflict in the people’s perceptions of firearms in this country.
I come from the school of thought that says government’s responsibility is to protect my individual rights and the rights of the community of individuals. That includes my right to carry a firearm anywhere I think it’s needed for my defense. Obviously there are many Americans who do not believe in individual rights anymore and disagree and are willing to give up their right of self-defense for a false sense of security provided by government.
Everyone who owns a firearm should exercise personal responsibility for that firearm and insure that it is not accessible to those who should not have it in their possession. If this means locking it up when children are present or keeping it on your person so be it. I am not a big fan of keeping a firearm always locked up in a safe or out of reach as what good will that do when the firearm is needed to protect loved ones or property. It is an individual judgment call based upon the circumstances and not a decision for some politician who wants to make points with his fearful constituency.
Soldier’s disrespect on display for the entire country
Recently a Ft Carson soldier posted a selfie on her instagram account proclaiming she was avoiding the flag salute. Her action has captured the attention of the entire country this week and I think illustrates my point made in an earlier blog regarding today’s youth. Her selfish narcissist behavior is on full display for the entire world to see. I wonder how she feels now. Does she still not give a bleep like her post suggested or is she ashamed? What I fear is by not saluting her blatant disrespect to all who died fighting for their country that that flag represents allows her to be recognized as some sort of celebrity now. Are we going to see her side by side with Cindy Sheehan, the mother whose son was killed in Iraq while serving in the military, who later became a vocal mouthpiece for anti-military and leftist propaganda?
The US military has a proud tradition and part of that tradition involves saluting the American flag at various times during the day. It is a duty that any patriotic person with honor would gladly recognize and perform. There was a time when I would have given anything to be able to stay in uniform but alas due to health reasons I could not. This soldier’s attitude I find disgusting. Perhaps Pfc. Tariqka Sheffey needs to be removed from the military and soon. Her type of attitude is poison to morale and in an all-volunteer force it is not needed nor wanted.
For those of you who have served this country in combat, would you want this person next to you in a foxhole, I sure as hell would not. Nor would I want her really anywhere near me. There will be some that say she has a right to disrespect the flag and that might be so if she were a civilian but not while wearing the uniform. Selfless sacrifice, commitment to duty and service with honor are what I believe our country expects from its service members. There is no place for “selfies” in our military and society could use less of them too.
Something I saw today on Facebook and had to share.
A society lacking grace and afraid of intimacy spells trouble
I was waiting at the traffic light today to take our daughter to the doctor’s office and there in front of me was a jacked up pick-up truck with a twenty-something guy wearing a cowboy hat. Country music could be heard coming from his speakers and there pasted on his back window in prominent view of everyone was the message “Porn…It’s cheaper than dating.” I suppose he thought it was funny. My daughter was unfazed by it, but frankly I was embarrassed and more than a little annoyed muttering “loser” a little too loud perhaps. Cowboys of legend and John Wayne must be rolling in their graves, if this guy is the epitome of the modern cowboy.
I suppose some will say this bumper sticker is tame by today’s standards; however I would argue there are no standards and that is indeed the problem. In society’s rush to tolerate and accept everything and everybody, good taste and decency have been thrown under the bus and replaced by the most shocking, crude, prurient communication dreamed up. Nothing apparently gets censored anymore. Everything gets a pass; all is acceptable for consumption. When did this happen? Will this young man a few years from now feel the same way about exercising his first amendment right to free speech when his eight or ten year old daughter asks him what is Porn. I wonder will she already know what Porn is? Will she already be influenced by it at some level as the culture reaches new levels of depravity? Just how decadent can American society become if we put our minds to it?
Maybe this “cowboy” truly believes dating’s only purpose is to get physically intimate. “Hooking up” is what some people are calling it these days but that is definitely not dating. Porn maybe offers him an easy short cut to self-gratification. The trouble is Porn never satisfies. How incredibly sad it must be for him, if dating is only about self-gratification. What about taking an interest in your fellow human being that you’re attracted to. Why not try and get to know them intimately through conversation first and time well spent together. That’s what the purpose of dating is supposed to be, and that takes a lot of effort, but most relationships of value do take effort. A human being has to invest in a person physically, emotionally, spiritually, and monetarily if they are going to love them. It’s going “all in” as they say in poker. That’s risky and requires patience but it’s worth it. My marriage of twenty-four years is proof of that.
Like every other electronic gadget and gizmo that has dehumanized society these days, Porn is now very high tech and I guess to some socially & sexually hungry human beings its promise of a quick fix is not unlike a drug that creates addiction. I would argue it’s cheating them of the true pleasure and romance in dating and creating instead intimacy problems for them in the future.
Don’t judge me man. That’s what I hear some of you reading this are saying. That’s what my kids tell me too when I have a critical comment to make about the clothes they wear, their appearance or manners. Don’t judge, really? This is the message being taught to the youth today. Well guess what, the world does judge you and me and everyone else. Whether you like it or not, whether you think it’s fair or not, it’s a fact of life and the older you get the more you realize that prejudices and judgments exist. Everyday human beings make first impressions with their fellow human beings, and things like physical attractiveness, clothes, smells, grooming, speech, intelligence all play a role in making that first impression.
If you don’t think people judge you by appearance or actions, or you say well I’m not a judgmental person, think again and be honest. Ask yourself what you would think of a daycare provider who was watching kiddie Porn on their computer the moment you walked in to leave your kids with them. Or perhaps you need a good lawyer because your wife is divorcing you because you believe Porn is cheaper than paying attention to her. When you get to the lawyer’s office he’s dressed in pajamas sitting on his desk smoking a doobie, with a Twinkie in his other hand. Are you going to hire him? Don’t tell me you don’t judge people. We all do. It is human nature and we are hard wired to be discerning.
So why then if impressions do count and we know people judge us, do some continue to flaunt their dark side in public. Do they just simply not care or do they just not know any better? Those from the generation whose motto was “if it feels good, do it” must really be proud. For feeling good seems to be what their offspring are into these days. More and more of American society seems to exhibit this kind of detachment from their fellow human beings. Crude and rude behavior toward others is becoming more the norm instead of the rare occasion. Texting has substituted physical conversation. In person office communication to address concerns is avoided and replaced by electronic mail communication. Intimacy is replaced with pornography. Marriage is replaced with live in arrangements or “friendship with benefits”. Recognize the trend?
Just how prepared do you think this coming generation is for the tough times ahead of us if they are afraid of criticism, refuse to be held accountable or judged by their actions, and are afraid of physical human interaction and true intimacy ? How easily will they be manipulated by a government that tracks all of their electronic communication now?
Today’s American society lacks social grace and has definite intimacy issues. People of the baby boomer and my generation “the x generation”, I think have failed the youth of today in their responsibilities with their selfishness, and complacent attitudes. We failed to model that which our fathers and grandfathers did without even trying. We all can and should do a better job at being fathers and mothers, business people and leaders of our families and communities. It all starts with the man in the mirror.
A warning from the past
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can exist only until voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse’s from the public treasury. From that time on, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s great civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through this sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependency; from dependency back again to bondage.
The Scottish Jurist and Historian Sir Alex Fraser Tyler: Year 1810
Big Brother is watching
Every day we are reading stories where the President of the USA, the pre-supposed champion of American Democracy and protector of the Republic is actually doing everything he can to dismantle its framework. His hope and change promised is giving more Americans pause and have them scratching their head saying “is he really trying to do that?” Yes my friends he is.
For those who are paying attention the 1st Amendment appears to be on his radar. Freedom of the press is a bulwark to our form of government. If the press do not have the ability to print stories at their choosing objectively (not saying they always do, just saying they have the ability now) then the press and media become nothing but propaganda tools for this and any future administration. The press is supposed to be the people’s bulldog, but the Obama administration is trying to put the dog on a leash and kept inside.
As reported by the Wall Street Journal last May
FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai revealed a brand new Obama Administration program that Pai fears could be used in “pressuring media organizations into covering certain stories.” The FCC proposed an initiative to thrust the federal government into newsrooms across the country. With its “Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs,” or CIN, the agency plans to send researchers to grill reporters, editors and station owners about how they decide which stories to run. A field test in Columbia, S.C., is scheduled to begin this spring. The purpose of the CIN, according to the FCC, is to ferret out information from television and radio broadcasters about “the process by which stories are selected” and how often stations cover “critical information needs,” along with “perceived station bias” and “perceived responsiveness to underserved populations.”
There is no place for the federal government to determine what stories are important to America and what bias if any, exists. Bias in the newsroom is the editorial staff’s right. In a free Republic the people get to decide what is interesting and important not the government. If the people choose to watch Fox News over MSNBC that is their business. If Honey Boo Boo holds their attention more than Obamacare, that is the citizens business not some bureaucrat in Washington.
This idea that bias exists and that the media should be regulated is not new. In 1949 the FCC established the Fairness Doctrine that required anyone with a broadcast license to present controversial issues or public importance in a manner that was honest, equitable and balanced. The doctrine was upheld by the Supreme Court in 1969 agreeing with the FCC’s general right to enforce the Fairness Doctrine, recognizing that broadcast channels were limited and a need was present. But the courts did not rule that the FCC was required to do so. Over time however technology and innovation has allowed for a great diversity of media and communication outlets and rendered the doctrine obsolete. In 1987 the FCC eliminated the doctrine and in August 2011 they removed all of the language that implemented the Doctrine. Efforts in recent years by the Left have attempted to resurrect the fairness doctrine but have been unsuccessful.
The main objective of the doctrine of old was diversity in viewpoints. It would appear however that diversity in news is really at odds with this new President. President Obama has openly showed his disdain for Fox News during a Bill O’Reilly interview Super Bowl Sunday. One only has to listen to most other new outlets these days and see that they are stumping for the President. Their talking points almost seem like they came from the White House press room. Fox usually stands alone, harshly critical of the President and his political party. Talk Radio’s Rush Limbaugh one of the most successful radio broadcasters ever is a staunch supporter of Conservatism and the most vocal critic of this President.
Could it be that the real objective of this President and its FCC’s snooping is to silence its critics. If so do you think that’s a good idea? I am greatly concerned about what this President and his minions are doing to this country but even more concerned what a future President regardless of political affiliation is going to do with power that dangerous precedents have established.
If you feel the Bill of Rights is as important today as when it was drafted, and the US Constitution still matters to you, than I challenge you to speak up. Let your elected representatives hear from you. Let your apathetic friends hear from you. Our way of life is being threatened subtly and will continue to be threatened in the future. You and I and our opinions, matter. Be Heard!
The American Center for Law and Justice has a petition they are putting together to let government know they have no business in America’s newsrooms. Sign up here http://aclj.org/free-speech-2/no-government-monitors-in-newsrooms
Words of wisdom and wit
Opinions are like backsides, everyone has one, but some are shaped better and more attractive than others. Consider the source.
The statist’s false promises
There are also those who delusively if not enthusiastically surrender their liberty for the mastermind’s false promises of human and societal perfectibility. He hooks them with financial bribes in the form of ‘entitlements.’ And he makes incredible claims about indefectible health, safety, educational, and environmental policies, the success of which is to be measured not in the here and now but in the distant future.
For these reasons and more, some become fanatics for the cause. They take to the streets and, ironically, demand their own demise as they protest against their own self-determination and for ever more autocracy and authoritarianism. When they vote, they vote to enchain not only their fellow citizens but, unwittingly, themselves. Paradoxically, as the utopia metastasizes and the society ossifies, elections become less relevant. More and more decisions are made by the masterminds and their experts, who substitute their self-serving and dogmatic judgments — which are proclaimed righteous and compassionate — for the the individual’s self-interests and best interests.
— Mark R. Levin (Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America)
Utopianism also finds a receptive audience among the society’s disenchanted, disaffected, dissatisfied, and maladjusted who are unwilling or unable to assume responsibility for their own real or perceived conditions but instead blame their surroundings, ‘the system,’ and others. They are lured by the false hopes and promises of utopian transformation and the criticisms of the existing society, to which their connection is tentative or nonexistent. Improving the malcontent’s lot becomes linked to the utopian cause. Moreover, disparaging and diminishing the successful and accomplished becomes an essential tactic. No one should be better than anyone else, regardless of the merits or values of his contributions. By exploiting human frailties, frustrations, jealousies, and inequities, a sense of meaning and self-worth is created in the malcontent’s otherwise unhappy and directionless life. Simply put, equality in misery — that is, equality of result or conformity — is advanced as a just, fair, and virtuous undertaking. Liberty, therefore, is inherently immoral, except where it avails equality. — Mark R. Levin (Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America)