I just got off one of the local news rags; out of the comment section on yet another "evil guns" story. Folks, a lot of us aren't doing the cause of freedom any favors.
Now I can just hear you thinking "Boy, there's the pot calling the kettle black", but give me just a second. Here, I'm pretty much preaching to the choir. I have seen very little evidence over the years that those who hate our civil rights visit this obscure little corner of the blogosphere. And since my audience is gun nuts and freedom freaks, I'm writing both to vent my feelings and to gin you guys up into taking action.
But when you're in the comment section of one of your local news orgs, what you write is going to be seen by thousands, tens of thousands, possibly even hundreds of thousands of people. A spittle-flying rant has no place there. You have to calm down and present facts and well-reasoned opinion backed by facts. This isn't because you're going to magically reach the antis,but because we're trying very hard to reach those who are still on the fence and those who haven't really considered the subject in depth.
We're going to win this battle not only by being louder than they are (difficult, considering they control the media) but by being smarter than they are (not so difficult, I think) and forcing them to play our game.
Around work, I have one of my staff who bought the last AR at Walmart after having checked every one in a 100 mile radius, and who has spent most of the day trying (and pretty much failing) to find magazines and ammo. Before anyone complains about the purchasing venue, every gun store around here seems to be sold out of ARs and .223 ammo has assumed the appearance of a myth, as have AR magazines. The kid really felt he had little choice. He's afraid that if he doesn't get it now, he never will. I can sympathize, having felt that way in 1993, right before the AWB took effect and I couldn't get an AR for love or money. This is a new area for him, and I'm trying to guide him along as best I can.
I'm not quite so worried about a ban getting through as he is, although it is a very real possibility. Politicians, being politicians, are not going to risk their re-election of an issue of our Constitutional rights--at least not until we persuade them that failing to stand up for them is even more dangerous to their long-term residency at the public trough.
One of our best and brightest, Michael Bane, has still not broken radio silence. He says in this post that he has friends in Newtown, and I have to wonder if one or more has been a victim of the events. He further delayed comment via his podcast until Friday. When he finally talks, I suspect it's going to be worth our time, though I fear what he might have to say.
I've been listening to the podcast version of Gun Talk, which devoted the entire 3 hour show last Sunday to the subject of what we do now and more importantly, how to do it.
This is not a time for "Here we sit, waiting." What it is time for is advocacy of our position. I know some disagree with that, and say we should wait for mourning, for things to settle down a bit. Bullshit. Our enemies didn't miss a beat of their traditional dance. Distasteful that it may be to some, we're going to have to get out there.
It's time for us to play them the song of our people. Time to start writing, calling and talking. Write and call your Congresscreatures with an appropriate message. Talk to your friends and more importantly, reach out to those who can be persuaded. Be kind, be gentle and lead them slowly along the way toward knowledge. (Believe it or not, I save the spittle-flying ranting for the Intertubz. Usually.) If you aren't sure what your message should be, listen to that 3 hours of Gun Talk from last Sunday. Gresham really does have some good things in that one that will help you get started.
All of us who have been around this for years are going to have to step up our game, and reach out to the younger generation and get them involved. Most of us don't start advocating for our rights until we're much older, and that's a mistake. We need to grab our young and incorporate them into this process. We need our enemies to see that this isn't a bunch of fat middle-aged white guys saying this, but young men and women of all colors from all parts of this country. We need to inundate them with numbers and be sure that they know that this isn't going to go just like the last time.
This time, we're fighting back. We're saying no, but rather than stopping there, we're offering our own solutions to the problems. Yes it's a tragedy that these shootings have occurred. It's a shame the police couldn't be there to stop it. It's a bigger shame that everyone who was present in two of the incidents was legally barred from possessing the ability to defend themselves effectively, and it's time for that to be changed.
It's time for schools to do more than lock the doors and hide the kids when a mad man shows up to kill. It's time for the teachers, administrators and staff be allowed to take an active part in their protection.
It's time to deal with a mental health system that cares more for the rights of the mentally ill than it does for their victims. The latest killer's mother knew her son needed help, but she wasn't able to get it fast enough. That's got to stop forthwith. The dangerously mentally ill are a health hazard to all of us, and have to be dealt with accordingly.
Let's go people. What have you done today to preserve our freedom? What do you plan to do tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after that? Don't just sit there, get up and act.
In Haters Gonna Hate news, it seems denizens of the Twitterverse (a neighborhood I studiously ignore, being that it violates the prohibition against going to stupid places and doing stupid things with stupid people) think that the NRA and it's members should be murdered.
Really? You might want to remember that a lot of us have concealed carry permits, are armed and will defend ourselves.
I do, except when at work. You see, I too work in a legislatively-mandated disarmament zone. Like the folks in Sandy Hook, I have to depend on statistics and the police for my protection during the work day, as well as on my way to and from work.
But unlike our current nut job that the media is busy glorifying, I actually follow the law. No gun for me at work. I'm relatively defenseless against the nut jobs and haters.
Thank you, gun controllers, for putting me in this position.
I'm being a really cranky old guy on this subject. We don't give up a freaking inch and we use this opportunity to mount an offensive to get schools, malls, theaters and all the rest opened to concealed carry holders. This has gotten beyond stupid. People are dying because idiots absolutely won't believe facts. Time to move the idiots out of the way and put the adults in charge.
As an Endowment Member of the NRA, I'm serving public notice that I am sick and tired of how the NRA awards grades and endorsements. Both of these oath-abrogating jackasses hold NRA "A" ratings and were endorsed for their current positions.
NRA, you need to seriously get your shit together on this subject. Stop being so concerned about whether a given politician has "pull" because of tenure, and start worrying about will the bastards vote the right way every time. It's either that, or we aren't going to need you--because they really will take our guns.
You can spend quite some time running down all the references and concepts in the Wikipedia article, and you probably ought to. I have, and it's an interesting if disturbing subject.
But what I take from it is an affirmation of something else I have considered in light of current events. In the aftermath of one of these shootings, not only should the alert individual be extra alert when out and about, but should give special consideration to avoiding the sorts of locales where the recent events have take place--in our current case, shopping malls and schools--if possible. If the theories are correct, those are the locations where the likelihood of a copycat act are the highest.
Not a comforting thought when you have to send your kid back into a potential killing zone Monday morning. I think we're going to review my instructions on what to do if you hear gunshots. Short version--get the hell out of that school, even if you have to do it while they're screaming at you to stop. Head for the trees, call 911 and me in that order, and make your way home under cover as much as possible. Avoid any police at all costs (face it, this will look suspicious to them).
I'll deal with the fallout with the school. I don't want to deal with burying my son.
A lot of folks think that if they pay for everything with cash, if they avoid buying guns that require "paperwork", if they disguise everything about themselves, their beliefs and their way of life, that they can stay off the magical "list" of people who might become targets of an out-of-control government.