The Everlasting Phelps

For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

Reconsidering — no, wait, same considerations as always

October 19th, 2007

Another woman tries to convince me that I am a dangerous idiot. That’s the only real conclusion. It’s my rights she wants to restrict. Therefore, she must think that I am the problem.

A couple weeks ago, my boyfriend told me something that nearly brought me to tears.

“I bought a gun,” he said.

All I could think of was, why?!

“For protection,” he replied.

Ok, so you had an emotional reaction to a physical object your boyfriend obtained, and he’s the one that doesn’t make sense? Do you think that he is going to go rob someone? Planning a murder? Suicidal? I’m betting you don’t. Therefore, you had a completely irrational response to an object. That makes you seem dangerous to me.

It didn’t make sense to me. Why would anyone, who lives in the suburbs of Temecula-a city where its citizens feel safe enough to leave their doors unlocked, find the need to purchase a gun for safety?

Because he is rational, and just because some people feel safe enough doesn’t mean you should ignore the very same crime rate you decry later on in the article.

His purchase is the result of his interests in guns and his job which involves shooting things. Both factors fueled his desire for a gun of his own. To break the tension that instilled our conversation, he joked that he’ll need it when he drives down to Long Beach to visit me. So amusing was his joke that I forgot to laugh.

I have lived in a grim part of Long Beach for the past 15 years of my life, yet I never once thought of turning to a gun for safety.

Of course not. You outsource your safety to him.

There are criminals and devious people everywhere. In some locations there are more than in others, unfortunately. And in more places than others, guns fall into the hands of thugs, rather than the people who are responsible and learn how to handle a gun. I’m not worried that my boyfriend doesn’t know how to use a gun-I know he is properly trained to handle a weapon, but unfortunately, not many people are trained properly.

Yet you still almost cried when he told you he bought one.

I’m in full support of stricter background checks at gun stores and gun shows, something that the NRA believes is a plot to eliminate gun shows entirely.

What exactly is a “stricter” check? Do you mean more thorough? Where is the background check that you believe wasn’t thorough enough? Or do you mean simply taking the rights of larger segments of the population away by making more people inelligible?

I recognize that Americans have a constitutional right to own a gun. The second amendment of the Constitution states that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Yet I think that just because you have a right to own a gun, doesn’t mean you should. Every citizen has the right to vote, but not everyone chooses to fulfill that right because they sometimes don’t deem it necessary. So is having a gun necessary?

Everyone has freedom of the press. Yet just because you have the freedom to publish doesn’t mean you should. So why is having a computer necessary?

I think that every American who is mentally capable of owning a gun should have the right to do so-so if you pass a strict check than you have nothing to worry about. Although it will postpone the time until you have a gun in your hands, if you know you are mentally capable of having a gun, then you can wait-whether it takes a week, a month or 3 months.

I think that every American who is mentally capable of owning a computer should have the right to do so — if you pass a strict check “than” you have nothing to worry about. Although it will postpone the time until you have the computer in your hands, if you know you are mentally capable of having a computer, then you can wait — whether it takes a week, a month, or 3 months.

Then there’s the case of guns ending up in the wrong hands-whether illegally to street criminals, or accidentally to children. In 2005, the American Medical Association reports that between 36 and 50 percent of male 11th-graders believe they could easily get a gun if they wanted one.

Then there’s the case of computers ending up in the wrong hands — whether illegally to spammers and libelers, or accidentally to children. In 2000, the University of Maryland reports that 21 percent of the internet is under the age of 18, with all the pornographers and child molesters.

The United States has gun laws yet guns are easy to obtain. Ammunition can be bought at Wal-Mart, and although the stores must be licensed, it doesn’t take much to purchase them. The bullets used in the Columbine shootings were bought at Kmart.

Would you feel better if they had been bought at a gun store?

If you want a gun, buy one. But don’t complain about the background checks and necessary precautions you have to take in order to get a gun. If you have nothing to hide, then think of the measure as a way to ensure that psychos aren’t able to get a gun. And when you do have a gun, you need to be responsible and store it in such a way that no one but you, whether children or thieves, can access it. Safety first.

Listen up, biddy. I’ll complain about whatever the hell I think is wrong. You’re not going to shut the debate down like that, unless I can tell you not to complain about me carrying a gun once I’ve jumped through your hoops and gotten my CHL. I’m all for gun safety and proper storage, but I don’t need the ‘tude.

Many people have guns because hunting is their hobby and although I don’t understand such a hobby, I acknowledge that it exists. If the main reason why American’s own guns is safety, than the core of gun control policy shouldn’t be about restriction of available arms, but informing people that they may not need a gun.

Yeah, good luck with that. Like the saying says, “when seconds count, the police are only minutes away.”

If we are so scared of our neighbors that we feel we must protect ourselves against them, there is something wrong with our society. The media and businesses scare us into paranoia that our safety, whether from walking down the street, to getting cancer from deodorant to terrorists invading our country, is at stake. People buy guns because they feel that having one will give them control over fear.

I don’t know about other people, but I buy guns to kill threats with. When someone is breaking into my house, I’m not going to huddle in the corner petting my bang-bang for comfort. Gun control is something people do to give themselves the feeling that they are in control. Gun owning is something people do to give themselves real control.

Gun supporters state that guns bring safety. So why is it that the United States, where gun sales have increased in the past couple of years, is not the safest country in the world?

Gun control supporters state that gun control brings safety. So why is it that every study conducted shows absolutely no link between gun control and a reduction in crime?

Why don’t citizens in other countries fear for their safety? Many argue that it is cultural factors that provide these differences. Looking northward lays Canada, a country whose citizens enjoy firearms just as much as Americans. Yet gun violence is not as prevalent as in the United States. Independence Institute researcher David B. Kopel said that Canadian gun laws closely resemble those of the United States. Hence why the difference? Kopel states that Canadians are more inclined to negotiate and cooperate with others when faced with a problem than Americans are.

Uh… Canadian gun laws do not resemble the US, to the point that the US revoke reciprocity agreements with Canada on gun laws. Short-barreled pistols are flatly prohibited, any other pistols are highly restricted, every gun has to be registered, you cannot store the ammunition near the firearm (you can’t even bring them together to look at), and you have to keep a trigger lock on it almost all of the time.

Maybe the difference is that Canada’s population is smaller than the population of Texas, over five times as much area.

I asked my cousin in Europe why is it that gun violence and the need for safety among Americans is so much greater than in Europe.

“The difference is cultural,” she said, as if echoing Kopel. “We see the same American violent films, have the same crimes that occur in America and have the same right to have guns for self-protection as Americans do. But the difference is that we just don’t have an instinct to pull out a gun whenever our own butts are threatened, like Americans do.”

The difference is cultural. America is a country of free men. Europe is a continent of peasants.

I’m intentionally skipping the crappy movie review and BDS.

In one of his comedy performances, Chris Rock poked fun at gun control and instead suggested we should have “bullet control,” with each bullet costing $5,000. “People would think before they shot someone. ‘Man I will blow your f***ing head off, if I could afford it. I’m gonna get me a second job, start saving up, and you a dead man. You’d better hope I don’t get no bullets on lay-away!’”

Chris Rock is a comedian. He doesn’t intend for you to take it seriously. Between this and the bit about your boyfriend’s joke, I’m beginning to think that your problems begin with the whole “sense of humor” thing.

As silly as this idea may be, it’s an exaggeration of an idea of limiting the ability to obtain ammunition for the guns-and I doubt that would put Kmart and Wal-Mart out of business. One’s right to bear arms would not be infringed upon. And if you only need a gun for protection, there is no need for purchasing bullets all the time, since the gun would just be sitting underneath your bed, waiting for a possible intruder to enter your home.

One’s right to freedom of the press would not be infringed on if ink cost $10,000 a pint and internet connections were $1000 a month by this logic.

And there are words of wisdom in the comedian’s spoof-”people would think twice before they shot someone.”

Yes, because people shoot each other without a second thought all the time.

I guess what you really mean is that poor people shouldn’t be able to defend themselves. People in the highest crime, lowest income neighborhoods should just suck it up and be murdered by a home invader because you thought it would be cute if bullets were unaffordable.

Also, this brings up the issue of training. You want to preach gun safety, but you want to make it prohibitively expensive to actually engage in training? You want people to own guns that they never shoot because they can’t afford to? I want anyone who owns a gun to be very familiar with it — because it trains them in proper firearm handing, and it makes it less likely that they will hit something other than the target when they do have to use it to defend themselves.

Of course, you are blathering on and on about a subject that you have no personal knowledge of, so I don’t know why I expected more.

“I dream dreams but am, at the same time, an intensely practical person,” Franklin D. Roosevelt said.

Like Roosevelt, I dream of a perfect world where there is no need for guns, yet I know that isn’t reality. No matter what, people are going to own guns, and eliminating guns entirely is foolish. People who are capable of upholding their constitutional right to bear arms should be able to do so. The more practical approach would be to conduct stricter background checks to determine if they person is capable of upholding his second amendment right. Gun shows should be required to have background checks because they are selling tools used to kill, not toys.

“Gun shows” don’t sell guns. People at gun shows sell guns. Dealers already to background checks, even at gun shows. Therefore, you want to regulate private sales.

I have a response prepared for this suggestion. Ahem. “Fuck you.”

People shouldn’t be able to stumble upon ammunition and guns while they are shopping for household necessities, hence why gun sales should be restricted. And gun dealers should be upheld to the gun laws that they break. If the government is able to perform drug busts and catch sex solicitation in public bathroom stalls, they have the means of busting illegal practices by gun dealers.

People should be able to buy what they want from whoever is willing to sell it to them. I don’t think that there should be a law prohibiting slacks and ammunition from the same building.

And the government has plenty of power for investigating gun dealers. So much power, in fact, that they regularly abuse it and still can’t come up with substantial violations. They aren’t coming up with illegal practices from gun dealers because they aren’t investigating enough. They are failing to come up with illegal practices from gun dealers because gun dealers don’t engage in illegal activity.

Also, as a nation, we must work on eliminating the fear we have that drives us to purchase guns. The media has done a good job in instilling paranoia into our minds, hence it can also be a useful tool in showing that there are other ways of dealing with fear and that neither the Y2K bug at the beginning of the millennium, nor the Africanized bees are going to kill us. What is going to kill us is our mentality that reaching for guns is the way to solve problems.

Also, as a nation, we must work on eliminating the fear that drives us to demonize guns. The media has done a good job of instilling paranoia in our minds, hence it can be a useful tool in showing that there are other ways of dealing with fear and that neither the Y2K bug at the beginning of the millennium, nor the Africanized bees are going to kill us. What is going to kill us is our mentality that banning guns is the way to solve problems.

I’m not going to dignify the bumper sticker politics. (Seriously. Bumper stickers.)

So as I made sure that my boyfriend will store his gun in a proper compartment, away from the wrong hands, I wondered if the guns presence makes me feel safer. It doesn’t.

I wonder why you think that him not having a gun would make you feel safer.

(Via Says Uncle)

Silly Lawyer

October 17th, 2007

Silly lawyer, she wasn’t really ticketed for disorderly conduct, she was cited for Contempt of Cop.

Herb doesn’t recall exactly what she said, but she admitted letting more than a few choice words fly near an open bathroom window Thursday night.

Her next-door neighbor, a city police officer who was off-duty at the time, asked her to keep it down, police said. When she continued, the officer called police.

She didn’t respect the neighbor cop’s authoritah, and therefore the neighbor’s buddy wrote her a ticket for whatever he could make up.

“A police officer who did not tell me he was a police officer just yelled, ‘shut the f up.’ I yelled back, ‘mind your f’in business.’”

Now we will see if the judge decides to hold up the good ‘ole boy system and zap the single mother to make the neighbor cop feel better.

Overreaction, Inc.

October 12th, 2007

So we have a kid who owns some scary books and has access to a couple of mediocre firearms. And now people are in full-on PSH because another kid says he tried to recruit him for a school massacre plot. I don’t see Columbine. I see the Duke Lacrosse deal.

He had access to a .22 handgun, a bolt-action .22, and a 9mm carbine. None of those are your dedicated man-killers. In fact, I would be hard pressed to nominate any of them as even worthy survival weapons. They are practice weapons. Like you would give a teenager who is interested in marksmanship. (A skill supported by the US government, in fact.) He also had a bunch of toy rifles and toy grenades. This is what all the hysteria about improvised grenades comes from. Toys that use a non-pyrotechnic chemical reaction (think volcano science project) to fling some plastic pellets around. Pack gunpowder and shrapnel in, you say? Shit, ban Coca-cola bottles, then. And if he was using the Anarchists Cookbook that I saw in the photos for instructions, well, we won’t have to worry about him blowing up anyone but himself.

The kid needs to talk to someone about his problems. But even what I see about the myspace page doesn’t tell me that he is dangerous, just that he wants people to think he’s a badass. And I think that when the fumes from the PSH clear, we are going to find out that the kid who informed on him set him up.

(And I think it is worth noting that owning the books is protected under the 1st Amendment, owning the firearms is protected under the 2nd Amendment, and talking to another kid about it is protected under the 1st Amendment. Maybe the founders had something different than what these assholes see as a perfect world in mind.)

Nobel Peace Prize

October 12th, 2007

So Algore won the Nobel Peace Prize.  Here’s my question.  Nobel’s will left the peace prize

“to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between the nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses”.

So they gave Gore the prize because

“Al Gore has for a long time been one of the world’s leading environmentalist politicians…”

Now riddle me this:  what in the hell does raising “environmental awareness” have to do with promoting “fraternity between the nations” or any of the rest of it?  Nobel formed this prize because of his guilt over inventing dynamite which was used to create many weapons.  I don’t think turning the Nobel committee into just another leftist propaganda funding machine is what he had in mind for his legacy.

The Everlasting Phelps

For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.