Inhumane Humanity

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed. --Herman Melville

Friday, May 30, 2014

For What It’s Worth

Once again, we are faced with battle lines being drawn; we can all see there’s something happening here.  We can’t avoid the man with the gun over there, telling me I got to beware.

For it is now a grotesquely common cultural oddity unique to the United States; more American than apple pie, baseball and even mom.

Those affected are revisited by grief with each subsequent mass shooting; reminded time and again, that they’re among the statistics that have become the line drawn in the sand.  With each mass shooting, new faces stream across the media, joining the previous; bonded with a common thread that should never have been spun.  Shouting, crying, asking; “why” and repeating over and over; I think it’s time we stop!  And oh how they wish, after every mass shooting, they could take them into their arms, warning them; children what’s that sound?

But they can’t.  They scream “I think it’s time we stop; everybody look - what’s going down?  Our children are gone; our lives are devastated.

But the killers of children, parents, lovers and siblings refuse to admit culpability in the paranoia that is theirs:
“the gun grabbers are after my precious.  They’re there I know they are; clandestinely and insidiously scheming to take from my cold, dead hands my precious. We must defend precious at all costs, even life, for that is but collateral damage, expendable; they can all die in martyrdom for my precious.  As long as that life is someone else’s; preferably the women and children we use as human shields.  After all, we wouldn’t want to die in vain without the drama of their blood flowing into the streets; what good is a bloodless show, a show of someone’s death protecting my precious?”

There’s battle lines being drawn alright, and those battle lines are; the streets of freedom, safety and liberty? 

The bearers of precious are here to guard our freedoms and will gladly gun down any who disagree with them.  Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong, so we’ll simply shoot in the name of freedom.  Oh what lovely freedom!  In the US of A; where we can roam the streets without fear of becoming another statistic!  Not a group of deranged, paranoid killers in sight thanks to those with their precious.

The parents and the lovers of those gone know all too well that paranoia strikes deep; into your life it will creep, without a moment’s notice.  But, we can let freedom ring, for we have given our young people speaking their minds; given the cause our hopes, our loved ones in the name of the second.  Wondrous freedom; such comfort to know we are safe to roam our safe streets.

What a field day for the heat.  A thousand people in the street, singing songs and carrying signs; mostly saying hurray for our side.  They lost their loved ones, but it’s worth it in the name of the second. As long as it’s someone else’s loved ones.

You’ve taken it all out of context you say?  “This is not about guns or the freedom to carry assault weapons to buy hamburgers; this is about outrage against the man.  And so are we.”

Well I MAY have taken the lyrics out of context, but you have MOST CERTAINLY taken out of context, the second amendment.

You have infringed upon my freedom to walk my streets without the fear of being gunned down by the lunatics with access to just about any firearm manufactured; the liberty to own your precious does not trump my freedom to live without fear.

Your precious is not worth one more life; not one more grieving parent whose life has been dubbed collateral damage for a “right” that you grossly misinterpret so you can find your balls while hiding behind dead women and children.”

And these are mass SHOOTINGS!  So your argument "why not control knives, or baseball bats, or steel-toed shoes, or as in one Mother Jones video; bathtubs" or any of your other lame arguments that are absurdly juvenile and utterly nonsensical.  The problem is a lack of control on firearms.  How many people have died in mass knifings?

Paranoia strikes deep

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Whose Fault Is All This?

 Elliot Rodger's Retribution

 Myrtle Beach shootings

 More Guns, More Mass Shootings

Although I avidly and vociferously support far more stringent laws regulating firearms, I worry that, like so many other issues carved out of our social environment and stuffed under some hyper-focused magnifying glass, perhaps we focus too hard on trimming one single blade of grass when the whole damned lawn needs to be mowed (or hell, maybe burned and replanted).

I’m a voracious consumer of news reported by various small, international media outlets disconnected to our completely biased main stream media.  From a perspective gained in doing so, the culture of our nation seems unlike any other among the developed nations on this planet in that it repeatedly breeds hate, violence, racism, misogyny and murder like rats receiving daily injections of testosterone.

Hell; we're even the only developed country still using the death penalty for christ sake.

I'm neither educated well enough, nor am I equipped with the natural intelligence it would take to find any single factor, or even a group of prevailing causes to pin the parade of horrific violence that streams endlessly across the idiot tube, over the radio waves and through the Net (almost sounds like a Christmas carol).

As much as I would love to blame all this on what is likely the most repulsive lobbyist group that has ever entered the lobby arena, the NRA (and make no mistake, I firmly believe that the NRA and their efforts towards massive firearms proliferation are major factors in all these mass shootings), there’s more to the problem; there must be.

And!  As much as I would love to add the following to my hypothetical causal analysis; evangelical extremists spewing ad-lib Christianity while they promulgate hate against other religions and diversity; myopic politicians owned by special interests; the apathetic white middle class living in the comfort of our indifference, I still cannot find a definitive connection to any one of them, or even collectively that explains the incredible volume of violence Americans summon from whatever "hell" there is to cast upon one another.

Is it the culture of exceptionalism we've been force-fed from the moment we could find our way to K-12? 

Or, is it the incessant barrage of all the mind-numbing drivel combined, scrambling our brains beyond the capability to organize our own thoughts well enough to fix any of them?

I’m not one to read what even looks like a conspiracy theory, much less subscribe to them, but one can't help but wonder; is there some grand manipulation taking place that would make Lysistrata herself proud?

It’s all very baffling and frustrating, especially when we continue to hear the same rhetorical horseshit coming from the same horse’s asses; all the while nothing is resolved.

The only fix, and just perhaps even a contributor to our conundrum, I can see is personal responsibility, and accountability.

Perhaps we spend too much time blaming others and seeking a fix from government, when we we should simply be changing us rather than attempting to change the world around us.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Ethics of Firearm Ownership - It's Time the NRA Return to its Grass Roots

If you're old enough, you can likely remember when the NRA supported and strongly advocated gun control measures; a time when a responsible organization promoted safety and ethics first, when the NRA's core values weren't based upon profits for, and before they became a registered lobbyist organization for firearms manufacturers.

The gun laws in this nation need to seek wisdom over obsession; advancement of ethical products over corporate profit margins.

Among the extreme polarization over gun rights and gun control, I ask one simple question; when firearms manufacturers use marketing tactics based upon fear and paranoia rather than product quality and safety, are their motives and products ethical?

I am a gun owner, but I see no validity in the hyperbolic rhetoric being spewed by extremism in ownership of firearms.  I see no value in everyone carrying firearms, concealed or openly, in public venues; there is simply no logic, no safety and no reason in doing so.

We have gone from a nation of gun owners to a nation of obsessive-compulsive fanatics.  And, I see no logic in the status of gun ownership laws in this nation.

A case in point: 

I have a brother-in-law who has been diagnosed bipolar and severe manic-depressive.  The state and federal government have both declared him permanently disabled due to his illness.  

Due to his inability to obtain and maintain meaningful employment, his extremely limited financial resources, we allow him to live in a house we own a few miles from us rent-free.  His social security benefits would make it virtually impossible for him to live anywhere and pay rent.

When it comes to firearms, strange behavior reaches epic levels with this guy.  Like many subscribing to the paranoia-marketing tactics of gun manufacturers, with unfounded vitriol he proclaims; "it's my second amendment right to own guns,” yet can neither quote the amendment nor reasonably debate the intent of the amendment.

I've watched this gun-crazed person sit on a sofa and, with the same sick look an addict has at the sight of heroin, literally caress a handgun as though it was a living, breathing being.

The gun laws need to protect people, NOT GUN MANUFACTURERS.

In the space of three years, I've removed no less than ten firearms from the house, including the absurd S&W 500 he kept under his pillow because he “hears people running around the house hitting the windows,” a fully automatic shotgun, AR15’s.  This taking place in a retirement community in which the minimum age in order to reside is 55.  Those crazy-ass old people, running around in their electric scooters and walkers, pounding on windows of their neighbors.

When he discovers I've taken them (and YES, I do go into the house and remove them.  If the law won't protect him and those around him, I must.), using his social security benefits, he simply goes to the local pawn shop to buy another.

Due to his many antics, the local police officers know him well and have been called to the house on several occasions.  But, they won’t even enter the house without their own weapons in hand and I certainly cannot fault them for doing so.

I've contacted city, state and federal law enforcement agencies with concerns about both, his diagnosed mental disorder, and this very odd behavior in an effort to have his access to firearms AND his CCW revoked.

The very government which has certified him as mentally disabled; the very government which issues his disability checks, refuses to revoke his concealed carry permit.  The law in Nevada is simple - any person not a convicted felon or forcibly institutionalized within the last five years can open carry and obtain a CCW.

The NRA, with its new leadership, needs to stop promoting firearms profit over safety.