No Take Backs

Vectomart

Caution:  This is not a happy post.  The content contains violence.  The content may be viewed as political by some readers.  

I hear it on the news far too  often.  Someone is in an argument, and shots are fired. Someone is injured, or dead.  No take backs.

The most heartbreaking cases are the couples, who after four or five decades of marriage, get in a fight, and dementia causes the husband to pick up his hunting/protection gun, and shoot his wife.  She is dead.  (I suppose the wife could be the one with dementia, but she doesn’t usually get the gun.)

Also in the news are men who argue over a woman, until one man gets a gun and shoots the other man.   Men in bars argue, and because guns are not allowed in the bar, a shooting takes place in the parking lot.

Other shootings in the news are accidental shooting of one child by a playmate or sibling.  There are also self-inflicted gun shots, often a result of suicide.  Some people support the right of a person to commit suicide, but this is an impulse that is often fleeting.

Guns are at the center of many US citizen arguments over politics.

One side says,  “Criminals and people on the no fly list,” should not be allowed to have guns.  To help insure this they would institute background checks when purchasing guns, and establish requirements for those selling guns to verify the qualifications of those they sell guns to.  This view is attributed to the Democrats and is called the anti-gun stance.  They are believed to desire removal of guns from the citizenry, but many do have guns themselves, but are not affiliated with the National Rifle Association.

The other side says,  “You will take my gun out of my cold, dead hand.”  This group is against any registration, background checks, or other attempts to limit guns, because “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”  The other reason they are against any laws to restrict gun ownership in any way, is because criminals will have guns regardless of the laws.  The only people you would end up limiting is good, honest citizens.  This is called the pro-gun stance, and is attributed to the Republicans as well as the National Rifle Association.

All the gun safety education in the world is not going to prevent all shootings.  However, in my opinion, there are some people who just should not have guns.

Feel free to agree or disagree in the comment section.

Hate Kills

 

Photo from MarketWatch

I first heard about the shootings in Orlando, Florida during prayer in church on Sunday morning.  I spent my weekend watching home improvement shows, watching movies, and puttering around the house and garden.

As information became public about the shooter in the worst case of gun violence in our history we learned he claimed association with ISIS.  We learned the shooter may have had issues with his own sexuality, visiting the bar several times.  For any person of faith, Christian or Muslim, questions about sexual orientation are difficult. We also learned his behavior became unpredictable over the last year, perhaps due to mental health issues.

His wife, co-workers, and friends contacted the authorities about the erratic behavior  which resulted in the shooter being added to watch lists, and investigation by the FBI.  The FBI found no association with terrorists nor sympathetic organizations.  The FBI did find him “an angry young man.”  We also learned the shooter purchased his weapon during this period.

In the months before the Orlando shootings this “angry young man” listened daily to political talk about building a wall, closing boarders, domestic surveillance and/or deportation of anyone of his faith.

Also during the months leading up to the shootings was the passage of bathroom and other laws which can be viewed as state sanctioned discrimination against members of the LGBT community.  Members of the LGBT community have been portrayed as a danger to women and children.

“An angry young man” full of hate killed 49 people in the most deadly mass shooting on record.  Our political language, as well as our personal language has an impact.  There is a war going on not only against ISIL, but against hate.  It is a war defending the American experience and values.  The values of inclusiveness, and giving everyone a chance.

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Withdrawal

Watching the news has been disturbing during this season when we really want to believe in peace on earth and goodwill toward mankind.

Add to the bad news some ugly politics and I have lost my smile.  The grinchiness  and all its sourness is reaching across all aisles and is doing its best to ruin our holidays.

Analysis of the latest mass shooting continues with no solution and no resolution.  Radicalization brings violence around the world.  A leading politician calls for walls, roundups, and exclusion of those trying to escape the ISIS violence, as if just being a Muslim is the same thing as being radical.  All the hate spewed by this radical and racist position has boosted the pole numbers of the Most Radical candidate.  To me it looks like an ingredient for creating radicals.

I have seen reports of the Muslim community coming out against the violence, but it doesn’t get nearly the press that the violence itself gets, and many don’t even seem to be aware, as proved by discussions with those in my circle prove.  Muslim’s themselves are the major target of the ISIS violence.

My small voice doesn’t seem like much of a weapon against this hate.  My one vote doesn’t seem like it can make much difference.  Discussions with those in my circle don’t seem to change any minds and leave me feeling  ineffective.

A friend suggested I was letting terrorists (or maybe politicians) win by giving up on my blog.  I may withdraw at times, but I think I will try to hang in here.

 

 

 

If You Don’t Want Gun Laws to Change

This image posted by a friend on Facebook started a discussion.  This is one of many photos being circulated by LegallyArmedAndProudOfIt.  Going to the site and reading some of the comments I see little agreement.  In fact, the first comment I read was by a person siting historical problems with everyone being armed and getting drunk, angry, or generally going nuts and instigating shootouts.  We have seen the westerns, bullets were flying everywhere until the law, or The Rifleman brought peace to the town.

Studio portrait/gallery shot, April 1958
Chuck Conners as The Rifleman, wild west rancher who wields a rapid fire Winchester rifle.

This topic is back and is not going away, because there has been another mass shooting.  Christopher Harper-Mercer, 26, was taught to shoot by his Mom and loved hunting, and collected guns.  He took six guns from his collection of 14 and went to Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon.  The police were on site within 5 minutes and engaging the shooter within two minutes after that.  Harper-Mercer killed 9 people and left 9 others injured.

This discussion got me curious about what guns used in these mass shootings (defined as 4 or more).  A quick search showed me that handguns, not assault rifles, are the weapon of choice.   To those of you teaching your children to respect guns and people and making sure they behave responsibly you might want to look back at Safety Dejavu.

In the meantime, if you don’t want gun laws to change, then we have to find another way to stop mass shootings.  Both sides of the issue are eager to express what doesn’t work.  It is time to share your ideas to stop mass shootings.   Maybe together we can make a difference.

Have a Plan

Americans are standing a little taller these days.

With the words “Let’s go,” three Americans tackled and hog-tied a man armed with an AK-47 and a box cutter on a high-speed train traveling from Amsterdam to Paris.  Army National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos, 22, US Airman Spencer Stone, 23, and Anthony Sadler, 23, grew-up together and took action together secure in the knowledge that each would do his part.  Stone was stabbed in the neck and had to have his thumb reattached.  I don’t know if these men ever actually talked about such a situation, but these men now called heroes worked as one to avert many injuries and death.

Hubby and I had a talk after September 11, 2001, when passengers caused the premature crash of United Airlines Flight 93 in Pennsylvania while trying to regain control of the flight  This plane is believed to have targeted either the White House or the Capital Building.  Hubby was flying frequently in those days, and we agreed that if action was needed to prevent a larger tragedy, he would do whatever he could, with my blessing.

If someone walks into a public place with an AK-47 and other weapons,don’t ask what his/her intentions are.  In a place where weapons of any kind are usually banned, only the criminals have guns.  Getting out the nearest exit and calling for help is my first choice of action.  If a quick exit isn’t possible, I will assume my cloak of invisibility and hide.  If I am close enough, I will throw something, swing something, and do anything I can think of to interrupt his/her plans.

I have had no military training, no martial arts training, and I am not even that fit, but I can swing a mean purse.  I can’t believe I don’t have back trouble from carrying all that stuff around.  My purse, traveling at enough speed, could rip a gun from a person’s hand, break an arm, knock someone for a loop.  Plus I have meant to pick up some wasp spray to carry around and keep by my bedside, because I heard wasp spray is an effective deterrent if you aim for the eyes, and has a good reach, which means I can keep my distance.

Can you imagine a gunman in a room full of people screaming, “Let’s Go!”  Can you imagine this gunman having to deal with multiple projectiles, and women using their purses and bags like bolas, while multiple people are aiming wasp spray at the gunman’s eyes?  Hubby doubted my plan till he picked up my purse.

I hope neither of us are ever in a position to put this plan into action, but if we are, I’ve got your back.

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