I’ve received emails from various folks that they can’t see updates on the site. I moved the site to a different server a few weeks ago and that seems to have confused some computers. Hopefully you’ll receive this post through email so you’ll know what’s going on.
Also, the Defensio Spam blocker is still not communicating with the site. This means that if you comment you don’t see it because they’re trapped in limbo. The comments are still there, they just need to be released. Stay tuned on that front…
I’ve emailed the guy who did the move, but he’s on vacation and it might be awhile before everything is back up at 100%. Please stay with as we work out these technical issues.
Now, on to the post!
On Wednesday I was tooling around the news as I’m wont to do after a couple of days off and ran across this story. Apparently a newspaper printed the names and addresses of gun permit holders in New York’s Westchester and Rockland counties.
Can you imagine jumping on the internet to read your local news source and finding your name as a gun owner published online for everybody to see? Good bye OPSEC!
I’ve been watching the recent developments with interest and trying to gauge the pulse of the country by watching and reading various news sources and blogs. From what I can see there are a few points of view out there:
1. The antigun folk. They’re rabidly pointing to the latest shootings as a sign that guns need to be taken away. Period.
2. There are the pro-gun folks that think if we didn’t have guns in every household the criminals would have free reign over the sheeple.
3. Then there are the fence sitters. During normal times they don’t think much about guns at all – good or bad, but after a shooting like this they lean towards thinking maybe the world would be a better place without assault weapons and high capacity magazines.
Ultimately, our gun rights are under attack and where it ends up is hard to say at this point. The political winds are shifting and the current president is in a place where supporting this kind of law won’t affect his chances for reelection. In his previous term he carefully avoided gun laws because it’s a political land mine, but now…
The Ten Percent
In the Corps we always talked about “The Ten Percent.” These were the goof offs, the screw ups, the guys that just didn’t think things through and either got themselves injured or killed or did it to others. Having said that if you were in a unit with one of these misfits it was readily apparent and you watched your ass around them because you knew what they were. There have been several occasions where I’ve snatched the rifle out of one of these idiot’s hands when they were playing with an M-16. Guess what? It ain’t a friggin’ toy! You point one of those at me and go “bang!” pretending to kill me it better be loaded ’cause I’m coming after you.
I’ve seen guys cleaning their weapon after the rifle range and when they pulled the bolt back a live round ejected and rolled around on the floor. I saw a young Marine go to Fort Bragg on a Field OP as a Lance Corporal and come back as a Private because they shot themselves in the foot with a .45 while fooling around. I saw an experienced field Marine pull the lanyard on an M198 Howitzer while standing behind the breech and take the 68 inch recoil in the chest (a good friend – he lived but hated life for awhile.) And on and on.
In civilian life it’s a far fewer percentage than ten percent that snap and go shooting at the mall, but with millions of gun owners even a fraction of a percent is too much. I don’t want more gun control laws. I want those people with firearms to be responsible with them. And most of us are. If everybody with a gun suddenly picked up and went down to the mall and started shooting it would probably cut the population of the united states in half, but we don’t. Most of us are careful, responsible, mindful of our weapons because they can kill and we know that. I just read a story about a man out hunting who killed his seven or eight year old son when they got back into the truck because he forgot his gun was loaded.
Thankfully, most of us will never have to live with that kind of pain because we check our weapons every single time. I do. I’ll watch someone check their pistol and when they hand it to me I’ll recheck it just to make sure by some sleight of hand they didn’t put a bullet back in the chamber. Too paranoid? Maybe, but I’m still alive.
Mental Health Issues
But let’s have a conversation about those few who snap and do go down to the mall, or the local school, or the post office, or the workplace and start shooting. Some blame the mental health system. Some blame the gun owners for not locking their guns up. Others blame the media for making a huge show out of it and causing a copy cat killer to go out looking for his 15 minutes of glory.
Obviously nobody in their right mind is going to plan and execute a mass murder of five and six year olds in a school. The person(s) who do this have some serious mental/stress issues going on. But it seems that in some of the cases that I’ve read about people who knew the shooter weren’t surprised by their actions. If that’s the case at least someone had some idea that the shooter was capable of their actions.
Here’s where it gets tricky. If you know someone with mental issues, but they’ve never given any indications of violence, how can you guess that they’re going to do something like that? Chances are good that you’re not a trained psychologist, so you probably don’t have any tools for detecting something like this. Even if you think it’s a possibility it’s unlikely the police will listen to you.
Which opens up a new can of worms. Remember Terry Porter? He’s a “Doomsday Prepper” (he never appeared on the show as far as I can tell – just the way the media portrayed him) and was raided by 150 police officers after someone reported he had an arsenal in his house and was mad about Obama being reelected. The police descended like the wrath of Satan on his house – he was out at the time – and recovered a couple of shotguns, a .30-.30, and a few .22’s. Not exactly a Doomsday arsenal if you ask me. His neighbors were upset because they like the guy and said he wouldn’t hurt a fly. He turned himself in the next day. Read the story for more on that one.
The point here is this: just because someone is different is it ok to report them to the police as being a menace when there’s no solid proof? Now, if someone is torturing kittens and other small animals you might want to take notice because that’s one possible trait of a serial killer, but to my knowledge there was nothing like that in the case of the Newtown shooting.
Is the government at fault for not taking better care of people with mental issues? With all the people in this country with mental health issues is the government to be held liable for someone who has thus far fallen through the cracks and goes on a shooting spree? I’m not sure how it’s possible that the government take care of all these people with the financial straits we find ourselves in these days. We simply don’t have the man power or the money to do it.
Take the Guns?
Some people think that by taking the guns it would stop these kinds of killing sprees, but I don’t think so. It might slow the shooters down, but it wouldn’t stop them completely. As people have pointed out in the comments here, they’d just use a car, or a bomb, or some other weapon to mass kill people. As I mentioned earlier, in China there have been a rash of men attacking schools with knives and killing kids that way.
Killers will always get their hands on a weapon. Granted, they won’t kill as many people with a knife as they would with an AR-15, but I think we’re solving the wrong problem here, which is how do we identify and stop a mass killer before they go off?
Answer: I don’t know. If there was a way to do it we wouldn’t have lost 27 kids and teachers recently in Connecticut.
How about if everybody locked their guns up? Seems to me if someone is willing to kill ten people at work they won’t blink an eye breaking into your house and putting a knife to your wife’s throat until you open the gun safe. Where there’s a will there’s a way.
Figuring It Out
Maybe it’s a just a dark side of humanity that’s always been around. Could be that ten thousand years ago Grok just snapped and went on a killing spree with his stone axe until the tribesmen brought him down.
Ultimately we as a society will have to figure out how to fix this problem. There are no easy or pat solutions to this issue. There are too many variables: societal pressure, easy access to weapons (of any sort), billions of people, a poor mental health system, a political structure that’s more worried about reelection than getting the job done, a broken economy that promotes crime and not enough police officers to go around, and so forth.
Until the day comes when there’s a guarantee of safety I choose to have a weapon that I can defend my family with. It doesn’t need to be an assault rifle, although I have nothing against them. Maybe it won’t save me if someone comes to my house, but at least I’ll have the small fighting chance… more than if I didn’t have a gun.
In the meantime is it helpful to post every person with a gun permit’s name and address on the Internet? No. Once again the media has gone and screwed the pooch.
What do you think?
Sound off below!