Archive for the ‘Violence’ Category

Simplistic Thinking about Mass Shootings   4 comments

Perhaps it is human nature to blame something other than ourselves for the events we see in the world. The South Carolina church shooting shows that tendency in full view.

  • Guns caused the shooting. Their very existence demands that they be used for the mass killing of folks.

Do we really believe that? Certainly our president and some pundits say they believe that, but isn’t that the equivalent of saying “the devil made me do it?” I’ve been around guns my whole life. It’s stupid to go into the woods where there are bears, wolves and moose without a firearm. I shot a 22 when I was 7. I first handled my mom’s 357 when I was in junior high right after three soon-to-be rapists tried to break into our house and Mom (all 95 pounds of her) scared them away.

My guns have never whispered to me that I should go out and shoot up a church, a movie theater, a shopping center. Guns are inanimate objects. If there’s any whispering going on, it’s coming from the mind of the shooter, not the guns. Guns are simply a tool for keeping users safe. Make them illegal and it leaves law-abiding citizens at the mercy of law-breakers, because law-breakers won’t be obeying the gun laws.

  • Racism caused the shooting.

There may be some validity to this argument in the case of this particular church. It was a historically black church and the shooter seems to have had some racist beliefs. He was also high on drugs and may have been mentally ill. So is that racism or mental illness or some other problem not yet identified. The shooter spent an hour in that church during Bible study before he opened fire. If it were my church, I’d be asking “What happened during that hour that escalated rather than de-escalated his violence?” Maybe it was nothing. Maybe he was just bent on killing people and it took him an hour to get the courage, but … as I said, if it were MY church …. Is it possible they weren’t very welcoming to the weird white guy in their haven for the dark-skinned? If you think that’s a racist question, note the number of fingers pointing back at yourself before you pop off.

  • Mental illness caused the shooting. Lock up all mentally ill or make it illegal for them to have guns and all will be better.

I worked in the mental health field for 15 years. I’ve met some mentally ill people who would mow down a church group because the voices in their heads told them to do it. Not the gun, not racism — mental illness. But I’ve also met mentally ill folks who would never hurt anyone (except maybe themselves) and others who stay on their meds because they don’t want to ever hurt anyone else. Delusional disorders are not all the same and it’s wrong to treat some folks like criminals because they are ill.

  • Churches are at fault.

I actually heard this from an atheist neighbor this weekend. If churches weren’t these monolithic structures that judge people, he said, they wouldn’t become targets for crazy people. Do away with all churches and people would be free to love one another and violence would be reduced immeasurably. Wow, you just can’t make that up.

All of those simple causes are probably partially at fault. Churches ought to be more welcoming to those who are odd. Yes, that puts them more at risk. Jesus never said being His followers would be safe. There is a lovely man who occasionally comes through our church. We call him John the Baptist and I can’t say his real name because I signed agreements years ago. He is a Christian who is also bat-crazy with schizophrenia. Often when you talk to him, it’s like reading Alice in Wonderland on acid, but he also cuts right to the truth of the gospel in a way that sane people rarely do. He knows his Bible and his application is spot on. And (some people find this creepy), he seems to know things about you that he shouldn’t know, but he uses that knowledge to help the Christians he meets. I wonder if he’s not talking to angels, who are the demons who chose to obey God. Yeah, I worked in the mental health field for 15 years and I believe in demons. That’s another topic. Churches should be more welcoming to people who are not stereotypically “church” people.

Mental illness is a tough nut to crack. Europe and other nations handle it by doing what we used to do — locking folks up and forcing them to take their meds. There is a growing movement in this country by mental health advocates to never force anyone to take medication against their will. Did you know that? Yeah! So maybe there’s more to these mass shootings than just undiagnosed mental illness. But maybe in a country that prides itself on individual liberty, we really don’t have a right to force others to be medicated against their will. There are some folks who think we should treat mental illness like a crime. I don’t, but I also acknowledge that some people won’t stay on their meds and they aren’t John the Baptist motivated by God’s spirit to share the gospel. Some of them are scary scary people and we need to have a discussion about what to do with that. Currently, if you call for help because you think someone might be developing schizophrenia and about to harm someone, you have to show that they really are an imminent risk to themselves or others. In essence, they have to mow down a church group before the police will act.

Notice that I’m sitting on the fence with this because I’m an individualist who has experience with both good people who are mentally ill and scary people who are mentally ill. I’m not sure what the answer is here and I suspect there is no “good” solution.

Racism is a swinging door. The first time I ever saw racism directed at me was not because I’m an American Indian and white folks don’t like Indians. It was a black man who had decided I was white and he didn’t want me in his shop. Racism doesn’t have a color. A traditionally ethnic church of any stripe might think its meeting separately because that’s how white folks want it, but in reality, in this day and age, they are meeting separately because they feel most comfortable with that. Guaranteed, if a group of any ethnicity showed up at 90% of traditionally white churches, nobody would turn them away and most might not even notice the color of your skin. Racism and reverse racism are not excuses for mowing down a church group, but it is certainly something churches need to consider. And, not just churches. Society as a whole exhibits this problem. When you’re pointing a finger at someone else as a racist, pay attention to how many fingers are pointing back at you.

Guns do not kill anyone by themselves. They are simply a tool. If we didn’t have guns, mentally ill people and racists would find other ways to kill people. Knives, gasoline bombs, cars, baseball bats, bow-and-arrow, hammers …. As a small woman, I’m not going to go mana a mana with a man swinging a baseball bat or wielding a knife. With a gun, I become his equal and therefore, equally able to protect myself and those around me. If you disarm me, you relegate me to the role of victim, leading to my death.

I know we don’t want to hear this. We want simple causes and simple solutions, but we don’t have those and until we accept that the issues are more complicated than we want to believe, we can’t hope to solve the problems.

A community grieving: The village of Tanana needs Alaska’s support – Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Editorials   Leave a comment

A community grieving: The village of Tanana needs Alaska’s support – Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Editorials.

Good for Tanana for cleaning up its own act. If it were me, I’d think about also punishing the deadbeat who didn’t pay the couch. He’s not a victim. He was the one who actually started the aggression by not fulfilling his obligations. I don’t know if his crime rises to the level of banishment, but it should be severe because if the village continues to allow this sort of deadbeat behavior, it is inviting the sort of violence that follows it.

Sad that the State Troopers are now in virtual military occupation of their village, driving home the point to the innocent that they will punish the guilty … or just subjugate the peaceful.

Just a hint the the Troopers … your behavior may well be what is causing the violence aimed at your officers. You can’t go around violating people’s natural rights to be secure in their persons without reaping some push-back.

And, no, I don’t condone the violence. I just understand it.

Pumped Up Kicks   Leave a comment

Brad and I were watching American Idol the other night and one of the contestants sang the song “Pumped Up Kicks”. We’d both heard the song on the radio before, but we’d never really listened to the lyrics. Earlier that day, our 15-year-old son had told Brad “This song is not what you think it is. It’s an evil song!”

Boy, is he right! I don’t know what Foster the People were thinking when they wrote the song, but does it really matter? For the uninitiated, the song features a protagonist (a cigarette-smoking cowboy kid, of course)  who is planning to shoot his classmates … maybe his dad too. The lyrics are dark. That doesn’t bother me. They remind me a bit of the POD song “Youth of the Nation” and I’m okay with that. However, Jennifer Lopez noted that there is a frightening disconnect between the lyrics and the cheery bubble-gum pop tune.

Once in a while, there is something that happens in pop culture that just points out everything that is WRONG with our society. This song is emblematic.

http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/fosterthepeople/pumpedupkicks.html

Posted March 21, 2014 by aurorawatcherak in Violence

Tagged with , ,

What is Wrong with the English?   7 comments

My son and I were talking last night. He’s 14, getting to be a young man with a masculine voice and hair in his arm pits. He grew up in Alaska, so he’s not afraid of “stuff”. He’s white-water rafted the Nenana Gorge, dip-net-fished the Copper River, and regularly walks through a grizzly bear’s back yard to berry pick. He can shoot the shoot gun and the 357 and he’s done his share of swinging a machete for brush clearing.

And, he wants to know — “What is wrong with people in Woolrich, England?”

imagesWhen he heard that a large crowd of people watched as two machete-wielding Islamists killed an unarmed soldier in broad daylight, he asked me — “Why didn’t anyone do anything?”

I explained that people in England don’t have guns and even the cops who were in the area were unarmed. He stared at the dashboard of the car, young face furrowed with thought.

“That’s not an excuse,” he finally said. “Two guys with machetes against a large crowd. Okay, so they didn’t have guns. Were there no rocks available? Trash cans? Gym bags? I think it’s stupid that they stood around and did nothing. If there were a lot of them, they could have just tackled those guys. Maybe someone would have gotten bruised, even cut by the machete, but that’s not an excuse to do nothing when somebody is in trouble.”

I checked his sister’s Facebook page this morning — she’s traveling the Lower 48 on a dime and keeps us posted through updates on FB — and she wrote to a friend who brought it up — “In Alaska, someone carrying concealed would have pulled out a 45 and the attack would have been over, but England thought it best to ban private gun ownership. Yea for the opposable thumb!” That’s her catch-all harangue for Darwin Award winners. She then went on to write that she could think of a half-dozen weapons of opportunity that could be found on a public street with which to disarm the assailants.

It does my heart good to know that we raised our kids with a sense of what it right and a willingness to do it.

Reality & the Boston Marathon Bombing   1 comment

I feel horrible for the people who were killed and those who were injured, some of them catastrophically, and for those who had to witness the carnage. My first thought was a horrible one — glad I’m not there. But that’s buying into the terrorists’ primary tool of terror — OUR fear that keeps us from living in liberty allows them to put us in a state of tyranny.

si_boston_live_tweets.jpg

All those who say that ordinary people do not need (name the weapon) to protect themselves need to think about what happened in Boston today. No, guns would not have prevented the bombs going off. But it is indicative of the country we live in that the government is unable to protect us from these sorts of attacks. Whether it be bombings or drive-by shootings or mass shootings, cops are always minutes or hours away when seconds count. The less citizens are empowered to take care of themselves, the more power the terrorists (whether foreign or domestic) have. The more control over our lives we cede to the government, the less power we possess to control our circumstances.

Think about that! This should not make us afraid! It should make us angry! It should make us demand that our government accept that we have the RIGHT to protect ourselves without asking permission from the government. The government is supposed to ask permission from us, not the other way around.

Los Angeles Cops Prove Why Citizens Need Guns   Leave a comment

In an all-out-effort to stop a cop-killer, Los Angeles Police opened fire on two newspaper carriers, sending them to the hospital.

http://www.neontommy.com/news/2013/02/dorner-manhunt-beck-admits-shooting-newspaper-carriers-was-case-mistaken-identity

They’re also conducting door-to-door searches against homeowner wishes.

(Jae C. Hong/ Associated Press ) - San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies conduct door-to-door search in Big Bear, Calif, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013. Thousands of police officers hunted Thursday for one of their own: a former Los Angeles officer angry over his firing and sought in a deadly shooting rampage after warning he would wage “warfare” on those who wronged him, authorities said.   Can anybody besides me spell “tyranny”?

I’m not saying that Christopher Dorner, former LAPD officer and cop killer, is not a bad man who needed to be locked up, but his allegations of police corruption doesn’t sound all that crazy to me and ….

I have a right to be secure in my home without police coming into it without my permission unless there is strong evidence that I have committed a crime. So do the people of Big Bear. And every gun owner knows (should know) that you never fire on someone unless you’re darned sure they mean to hurt you. Talk about not keeping your gun pointed in a safe direction.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2013/02/swat-team-searching-big-bear-mountain-for-wanted-ex-cop.html

Read the comments on this one. I really think the koolaid is starting to wear off.

Obama Said If We Could Save One Life   2 comments

The gun grabbers insist a concealed carry permit could not end a mass murder. Really? So what happened in Clackamas Mall December 17?

http://www.kgw.com/news/Clackamas-man-armed-confronts-mall-shooter-183593571.html

And, what about the Aurora Colorado church shooting last summer?

http://freedomoutpost.com/2012/07/the-aurora-shooting-you-didnt-hear-about-in-the-media/

The man who stopped that shooting was an off-duty police officer. However, another Colorado church shooting from 2007 was stopped by an average citizen.

http://articles.cnn.com/2007-12-10/us/colorado.shootings_1_gunman-security-guard-casings?_s=PM:US

Did you know that Diane Feinstein, who wants to limit other citizens access to guns, is a concealed permit holder herself?

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/12/19/Flashback-Dianne-Feinstein-s-own-conceal-carry-permit-story

And here’s a 71-year-old concealed carry holder who stopped an armed robbery.

http://www.rationalityrebooted.com/2012/12/71-year-old-concealed-carry-permit.html

It happened in Wisconsin too.

http://www.wisn.com/Customer-Stops-Grocery-Store-Robbery-By-Shooting-Suspect-Police-Say/-/9374034/10936560/-/dcpmr/-/index.html

And, it’s going on in Arizona too.

http://www.examiner.com/article/concealed-carry-permit-holder-fends-off-4-attackers

Missouri too

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/robber-concealed-carry-permit-holder-exchange-gunfire/article_fe70aa12-e3c6-11e1-b1fb-0019bb30f31a.html

And, if you choose to bring a gun to a knife fight …

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2012/08/30/man-with-concealed-handgun-license-stops-vicious-stabbing-outside-texas-school/

And, for those who would like to carry at work …

http://www.cardenchronicles.com/2009/01/work-place-shooting-stopped-by.html

So what was that about saving just one life and there are no instances of concealed carry permit holders actually doing that? Most of these incidents happened in the last 12 months. Imagine if I’d spent some real time researching the subject.

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