The previous post has been up for five days now.
Three days ago I added an addendum.
The post, if you haven’t read it, was about gun violence.
On the surface, it was about the horrific events in Aurora, Colorado, when James Holmes dressed up like his favorite comic book villain and stormed into a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises and started killing people. Using a variety of semi-automatic weapons, he managed to gun down twelve people and wound nearly seventy more. He then surrendered to the police. Since then, Holmes has appeared in court for arraignment, hair dyed orange, looking exactly like the muddled, deranged, murderous cartoon character that he pretended to be.
Specifically, as noted in the addendum, I predicted that this most recent slaughter would change nothing and that the subsequent national narration (I was going to say national dialog, but dialog indicates a reasoned two-way conversation and that is emphatically the wrong word) was tediously predictable.
A week on and I think I’m entitled say: See? I told you so.
It’s like those Hollywood remakes that have become popular in recent years. Where movie studios suddenly started redoing not films from the middle of the last century, but rather films that are only a few years old or so – say like Total Recall, Spiderman, and, of course, Batman. Yes, that’s it, It’s exactly like being doomed to a rerun of Batman every four or five years. They updated the special effects and move the locations around and change the furniture, but it’s the same plot, same story, same lines said in slight variation by the current Hollywood A-list.
You know the stories by heart and you can predict exactly who they will cast.
See if you can identify this reality TV actor:
“The bad guys, the criminals, don’t follow laws and restricting more of America’s freedoms when it comes to self-defense isn’t the answer. Not when you consider what the reality is. Bad guys don’t follow laws.”
Who said that?
Oh it’s a toughie, isn’t it? Who could it be? Who could it be?
Yes, of course it was Sarah Palin. No surprises there. Anybody could have predicted within a word or two exactly what the Sourdough Shill was going to say.
The bad guys, those criminal guys, well they don’t follow those laws, you know.
No Kidding? Really? Thanks for pointing that out, Grizzly Mama. Criminals don’t follow the law? Is that sort of like how teenagers don’t follow abstinence-only birth control? But I digress.
Criminals don’t follow the law. Wow, you think maybe that’s why we call them criminals in the first place?
Funny thing, James Holmes did actually follow the law.
Well, right up until he started killing people, that is. But all the rest of it? The guns, the thousands of rounds of ammo, the precursor chemicals for the bombs and the ballistic armor? All that was legal.
And that’s sort of the whole damned point, isn’t it?
But, hey, why spoil a thing with logical fallacies, right?
Speaking of Hollywood movies due for a remake, how about Split Second? What do you mean you’ve never heard of this early 1990’s SCIFI/Horror masterpiece? Rutger Hauer in his steely-eyed prime as detective Harley Stone, hunting a murderous alien monster through the sodden streets of drowned future London? Co-starring Kim Cattrall and Michael J. Pollard (Bonk bonk on the head!). Seriously, you haven’t seen this?
Harley Stone and his new partner, Dick Durkin (Alastair Duncain), have just barely survived a battle with the monster, who just might be Satan himself, in the flooded metro tunnels beneath London. Dick wasn’t a believer until now. He thought the killer was just another murderous psychopath. Turns out, whoa, Satan. Stunned and shaking, Dick turns to Harley and screams the movie’s best line, “We need to get bigger guns! BIG FUCKING GUNS!” Split Second opened during the weekend of the L.A. Riots, you’d think with a line like that it would have done better at the box office.
We’ve got monsters.
Satan, maybe even.
We need to get bigger guns. Big fucking guns. Yes, that’s what we need. Bigger guns and lots of them.
Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson opined:
“It's certainly one of the rationales behind conceal and carry. Where criminals actually have to be a little concerned before they commit a criminal act that maybe somebody could stop them. And I think that is the truth. That somebody, a responsible individual, had been carrying a weapon, maybe, maybe, they could have prevented the death and injuries. I mean, that's just the truth. “
You keep using the word “truth,” Senator, I don’t think that word means what you think it means. I’m pretty sure what you meant to say was “my unsubstantiated opinion” or perhaps “talking out my ass.” Also? It’s “concealed carry,” Ron, not “conceal and carry.” You’re thinking about shoplifting. But, hey, I’m sure everything else you know about firearms and shooting it out in a darkened theater in the midst of a panicked crowd of screaming kids against a heavily armed and armored attacker is valid.
Let’s go ask a few experts, you know like cops, if they think a civilian firefight in a crowded theater is a good idea, or if they want to walk into one.
Sure, they’ll say, all we need are some more guns, that’ll cut down on the carnage. Sure. More guns. Big fucking guns.
Point of order: by Senator Johnson’s logic, shouldn’t there be less violent crime in places where the threat of imminent return fire is common? Wouldn’t criminals, say like gang bangers or drug cartels or organized crime “actually have to be a little concerned” when confronting other armed criminals on the streets of LA, or on the Texas border, or on Chicago’s South Side? I mean by definition they know the other criminals are armed, right? Oddly, far from making criminals more cautious, what seems to happen instead is that most of them just go get bigger guns and start shooting first. Same thing with those outlaw separatists and white supremacists and those crazy wild-eyed end-of-the-world religious cults. Remember those two bank robbers in LA a couple years back? Fully automatic machine guns and full tactical armor. They expected return fire. They planned for it. The one guy stood in the middle of the street shooting at the cops, impervious, like a fucking Terminator. They called it the North Hollywood Shootout. Remember? Even the SWAT team couldn’t take these guys down, the cops eventually had to break into gun stores and borrow military grade assault weapons. It was a full on battle in the street. I guess those criminals never met Senator Johnson, eh?
Oh yes, what we need here are more guns. Big fucking guns. And lots more of ‘em. Hell, everybody should have enough firepower to take down a terminator! That’s the America I want to raise my children in! Oh yes, let’s do that. Hoorah!
But I digress again.
A number of well spoken concerned citizens wrote to me, or commented on various forums and Facebook postings where I was linked to or quoted, and said something similar to this gem of NRA brilliance that I found in my inbox yesterday morning:
“Those twelve ‘dead kids’ as you called them (not all of them were kids, you might want to stop trying to manipulate peoples emotions with your overally dramatic writings!!! are patriots. Just like solders they died for our freedom from Tranny. If there had been just one lawful person there with concealled carry he could have been stopped right there. Yes that is true. Holmes is a sick MONSTER!!!! no matter what law you libtards pass because your scared to defend yourselfs, criminals will still get guns and use them to kill innocent people!!! Look its just like drunk driving. No matter what laws you pass peoplw eill still drive drunk. You will still have accidents! But you don’t stop drivings do you? If we followed your socialist libtard thinking you libtards would ban cars just because some kids got drunk and killed some other people. That’s libtard logic!!! Learn to think before you speak!!!”
Learn to think before you speak.
I’m going to manfully resist the urge to ask what this guy has been doing that he feels the need to defend himself from Trannys and I’ll just take the high road here. I will, however, take a moment to boggle at the fact that we let people who can’t even operate something as simple as a spell checker have guns. Jesus Bulletproof Christ, I hope this guy is a little more reserved with his ammo expenditure than he is with the exclamation points. I will also resist the urge to point out that by his “conservatard” logic, basically what he and Sarah Palin and Senator Johnson are saying is that the solution to vehicular deaths and drunken driving is for all of us to get drunk ourselves and get in our cars and do some demolition derby on the lawbreakers. Right? However, that said, he brings up a comparison that must now have propagated from one end of the NRA to the other. I’ve heard it at least a hundred times in the last five days, including from the blowhard expert of all things conservative that sits in the office across the hall from mine. And that is drunk driving, or rather cars in general.
The gun nuts do have a point.
We do indeed accept a certain number of vehicular deaths each year, including those caused by drunk drivers and crazy people, as the price we pay for mobility. And nobody is willing to give up cars are they? And nobody is suggesting that they do.
It is a valid comparison.
But here’s the thing, even though we do accept a certain number of vehicular deaths each year, we constantly seek to reduce those fatalities through mandated improvement in the state of the automotive art and road engineering, through laws and regulations and increasingly uncompromising enforcement and stricter punishments, through vigilance and observation and monitoring, though mandatory training and testing and licensing, though tracking those who habitually break the law. We don’t let crazy people drive. We make drivers buy insurance.
Interesting side note: We don’t let blind people drive, or pilot airplanes, we do however let blind people buy and operate guns without restriction. Think about that. I’ve got nothing against the blind, but seriously, think about that.
We hold people who sell alcohol responsible, at least in some aspects, for enabling drunken driving. We hold auto manufacturers responsible, at least in some aspects, for the safety of their product. We hold state licensing agencies responsible for administration of standards. We hold the drivers themselves responsible for their actions. We set rules and limits and we work to improve them every single day.
And we, both left and right, drivers and non-drivers, drinkers and non-drinkers and reformed drinkers, engage in reasonable dialog and conversation without hysteria or accusations that the other side is coming to take either our booze or our cars.
But what we don’t do is say stupid shit like, well now you retards, there’s just nothing we can do about drunk people and/or crazy drivers who kill people with cars, uh, uh, uh. Hey, every once in a while crazy people drive buses through pre-schools. Dead kids, that’s just the price you pay for freedom to drive. Herr derr derr!
So, cars. Good example. Thanks for bringing it up.
I assume that since this is your example, you NRA types are now willing to talk about similar actions we can take to reduce the number of gun related violent incidents each year? You’re all about exploring options for law and regulation, mandatory training, licensing, and a database of people who abuse the privilege of owning a gun or who use one recklessly? Maybe we should make all gun owners have gun insurance and be able to show a license and registration?
What? Hey, don’t get all pissy because you didn’t think your analogy through – just like you didn’t think through your whole batshit crazy shooting it out in the middle of movie theater idea either.
And speaking of not thinking it through, you’d really think that the guy who has to speak at twelve funerals caused by gun-violence this month would have given some thought to his words before opening his mouth.
And if you thought that, you’d be dead wrong.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper:
“Even if he didn’t have access to guns, this guy was diabolical. He would have found explosives. He would have found something. He would have done something to create this horror.”
Ah yes. Like the monster in Split Second, or maybe like Freddy Kruger, you can’t stop him. It’s fate. He’s the devil. Part of God’s great plan, no doubt. We can’t stop it, can’t even slow it down. We should be grateful that it’s not worse, right? We should be thankful that that God didn’t just decide to randomly kill every goddamned body in that theater and burn the son of a bitch to the ground and salt the earth under it, right? After all, this is the same loving deity that whacked every first born kid in Egypt. Compared to tens of thousands of dead kids, what’s another twelve? Talk about retroactive abortion. This is the same guy who had his winged minions level whole cities right on down to the bedrock. This is the guy who routinely tosses the vast majority of the human race into a fiery pit so that they can be tortured alive forever, for the next billion billion years or until he gets bored whichever comes first. No disproportionate punishment there, oh no Sirree. That’s the guy we’re talking about here, right? This is his plan. So, yeah, I guess the survivors and the families of the dead can take comfort in knowing that, well, heck, diabolical gun violence is better than the alternative. Thanks, Governor, you’re a peach. Guess you won’t be signing that drunk driving law either, since people who are determined to drive drunk and kill people will always find a way to get shitfaced and behind the wheel. It’s just fate, I guess. Diabolical fate.
This is the cost of civilization, right?
Twelve more dead kids in a movie theater. That’s freedom, right there. That’s liberty. That’s America goddamn it. That’s what I spent my whole life in uniform defending, the right to have twelve more slaughtered innocents and blood running in the streets.
You just can’t stop it. Crazy people with guns and random carnage are the price you pay so that the rest of us can be free.
And the only way to combat it is, well, to literally combat it, with more guns. Big fucking guns.
Seriously? That’s your solution?
Armor up and shoot it out?
I call shenanigans.
I randomly fished through the pile of hate mail currently clogging my inbox like so many undigested jelly donuts in Glenn Becks’ large intestine. Once certain trends became obvious, I stop reading. I pulled out some select quotes and the basic gist of each idea and dumped the rest. I’m going to be honest, I’m not going to read any more of this illiterate crap. After this post, I’ll just hit select all/delete and go get myself another cup of coffee and stare out the window at my mountain. So if you wrote to threaten my untimely and painful demise, or to call me a faggy communist, or to otherwise enumerate my many failings as a father, patriot, and human being, and you don’t see yourself reflected below, well, sorry about that. Go ahead and write to me again, this time be sure to put “Charlton Heston Can Suck My Hairy White Ass” in the subject line and the Stonekettle Station email system will file it appropriately.
These shootings are staged. And the reason is simple … Obama and his socialist attorney general will use this incident as an excuse for gun confiscation. He is a traitor to the Constitution. I know that you don’t believe that your precious savior is a traitor but he has sold the United States of America out to the socialists in the UN. He has signed a secret treaty with the UN to disarmed Americans … [blah blah New World Order. Bilderbergs. Nazis. Communists. Satan. LOOK IT UP!]
The same Attorney General who, according to conservatives, is so incompetent he couldn’t even keep from giving automatic weapons to Mexican drug cartels? The same president who, again according to conservatives, is so incompetent that he screws up every single thing that he touches? That Attorney General? That President? Really? Those guys so incompetent, but they are so clever that they’re scheming to disarm America, right? They so dumb, but they’re smart enough to outwit Congress and the rest of the country (except for you, of course, nothing gets by you) and take over the world? What? Is it like a secret identity? A bumbling Clark Kent to Superman sort of thing? A Bruce Wayne to Batman sort of deal? What’s that say about conservatives in Congress? Being as it is the Senate’s job to ratify treaties and all, how did this pair of screw-ups manage to slip a secret UN treaty past them without Mitch McConnell being the wiser? Doesn’t say much about his competence now does it? Also, I’m pretty sure that if the Senate doesn’t approve of the treaty, the rest of us don’t have to obey it.
Look, I’m just saying it’s a shame you guys don’t put as much effort into the rest of the Constitution as you do the Second Amendment, that’s all.
A semi-automatic rifle is NOT an assault weapon, Moron!
Oh, well, then I guess it’s ok.
Just FYI, assault weapons can be semi-auto or fully auto, and if you really want to get technical about it they could even be a single shot weapon like a pump shotgun firing flechette rounds. The term assault weapon defines the weapon’s intended purpose, not it’s rate of fire. It’s a combination of the design, the ammo load, and how it’s used. A flamethrower can be an assault weapon. So can a high power microwave beam transmitter, if you’re close enough and you know how to use it and you don’t mind the smell of sizzling flesh and the screams of people being burned alive from the inside out. The definition has changed over the years and exactly what the term means depends on the user and the context. That said, I think that no matter how you slice it, the way James Holmes used his rifle last week was in an assault mode – but hey, let’s argue about that, because that’s what is important, right?
Whenever liberals want to "discuss" guns, what they really mean is that they want to take away our rights!
Yeah, the same way discussion of speed limits means we’re coming to take your car.
You can’t stop people like this. Using a gun probably saved lives. He could have used a knife. People who want to kill people will find a way.
Really? He could have used a knife? I’m curious, when you talk, do you actually hear the words coming out of your mouth? Or is it more like a buzzing noise? I’ve got to be honest with you, I’m having a damned hard time picturing this guy all bulked up in ballistic armor and orange afro managing to kill and wound nearly a hundred people with a knife. How does that work? Does he throw the knives? Does he lumber after the fleeing crowd in his stiff body armor? Or does he methodically go down the aisles? Excuse me, stab stab, excuse me, pardon me, can you move your feet please, thanks, stab stab. What? Down in front? Sorry. Stab stab.
No really, it’s the buzzing noise, isn’t it?
Least you think that it’s just my email, let’s look at some Yahoo and Fox News comments, shall we?
the more dangerous we make the world the better we have a very big population problem there is already way to many people on this planet at one time we should start making murder legal for like one day a week
Right. Good idea. That’ll cut down on the mayhem. You go first. Don’t forget to bring your kids, let’s get all of your unique genetic material in one place. And don’t forget to pick up your complimentary Darwin Award at the concession stand.
some logic is just too hard for people to understand...when a child is young and parents worry or even if the child wants to for fun, he will take karate for "self defense". SO he is learning to fight, in order to defend himself. It is a hard fact that in order to defend yourself you must FIGHT. Fire meets fire. so the same logic goes for a gun... if you are affraid of someone having a gun... the best way to protect yourself is to get yourself a gun!!!!! i know i know it is very hard logic to follow. So instead of makng sense of it... lets just yell louder that people should not use guns to kill people.
Let me ask you something, in a theater like the one in Aurora where the vast majority of the audience are teenagers, in a school like Columbine where everybody is a kid, who exactly is it that you think is going to be carrying a concealed weapon and returning fire? Kids? We teach them karate, I guess arming them isn’t too big a stretch, what do you figure is a good age to start? Kindergarten? It’s going to make recess interesting though.
Laws do nothing, they are just words in a book. That is why there are crimes. No law has ever in the entire history of law, has ever prevented anything!! It's against the law to kill people which has a very steep punishment. Changing gun laws doesn't mean a thing, except that people who might have been able to defend themselves against individuals that break the law, are now not able too! The 2nd amendment was to protect us against a tyrannical government. The English had their own army. CITIZENS created a militia to defeat this army. Our modern day army works for the government. They will not protect us from a government. That is why our right to bear arms was introduced.
And they say kids don’t learn reasoning skills and American History anymore. I believe that statement is an exact quote from Benjamin Franklin or maybe it was Chuck Norris. No law has ever in the entire history of law ever prevented anything. Yep. Where is it that they’re printing the textbooks now, Texas? Yeah, I’d never guess.
Historically, gun control vs. the right to keep and bear arms can be explained, but who really believes this pseudo-science? "Trust in God," said Oliver Cromwell, "but keep your powder dry." So there's even a religious argument for keeping and bearing arms, placed in an historical context.
Oh good, a biblical reference and pseudo-science in the same sentance. Wasn’t Jesus the guy who said, “Kill ‘em all, let God sort it out?” Can one of you bible scholars help me out here, I can’t remember if that was from the book of Mathew, Mark, or Glock.
the problem for the liberals is they want somebody to tell them what to do. In Nazi Germany they burned those Jews with gusto as somebody told them to do that, In Uganda they hacked the Tutus with gusto as somebody told them to do it, In Iran they killed as many Sunnis as they could because somebody told them to do it, in the American South they hanged all those blacks as somebody told them to do it. Perhaps the rest of us do not think government is all that nice and full of justice and that criminals in and out of government are going to say pretty please before they rape and rob or kill you.
I was afraid we’d get all the way through this without somebody invoking Godwin’s Law. Liberal Treehuggers = Murderous Nazis, folks, that’s a fact. You can look it up on the Internet, start with RushLimbaugh.com.
The guy that kiled all the people in the movie theater also has an apartment full of explosives. Even if he didn't have guns he still could have killed a bunch of people. Guns are not the issue, crazy people are the issue.
Actually, I’d argue that that crazy people with guns are the issue, but at this point I’ve just decided to go get another beer and lock my doors.
I would rather be shot, than cut. I would rather be shot, than poisoned. I would rather be shot than bludgeoned. The reason? There's a higher chance of survival.
OK, let’s test that, shall we? Here, stand right here in front of this target. I’ll be right back.
Seriously, I’d rather be shot than… For fuck’s sake, who thinks like this? And why would we ever let this guy have a gun? Ever?
No military will set foot on our soil because why? Even if you somehow manage to take out the military, the public will turn on you from every direction. At least I know we would here in Texas. And don't forget, we may have to turn on our own government someday. Stop electing communists and we wont have that problem. Let them take our guns and we are helpless. Also don't be a fool and think if you make guns ilegal that the criminals will just turn them in. They will be the only ones with them. I wish someone would have been packing in that movie and returned some of that fire.
Just so I’m clear here, you’ve bought yourself the biggest, most powerful, most heavily armed, most technologically advanced military in the entire history of mankind, complete with nuclear weapons, stealth bombers, tanks, and many other advanced capabilities too numerous to count. You’ve given them a full decade of intense combat experience in multiple theaters under a vast variety of conditions from mountain terrain, to forest and jungle to desert, right on down to door to door urban warfare. They have more than ten years direct experience in counter-insurgency tactics against multiple heavily armed, experienced, and utterly ruthless civilian militias engaged in guerrilla tactics. But you figure that an invader that can take that mighty force down can be beaten by you and your drunken rednecked beer buddies and a couple of Chinese knockoff AK-47 replicas, do you?
Good luck with that, Wolverines. Ditto the other thing. No really. Word of advice? Don’t forget to fill out a will first.
And finally I got an even dozen letters from people quoting, or paraphrasing something, from Thomas Jefferson, or Ben Franklin, or Chuck Norris for all I know.
About that. Thomas Jefferson was in France, he didn’t write the Constitution.
He also didn’t write the Second Amendment, though as Secretary of State he did authenticate the final form of the Amendment.
And he had all kinds of thoughts about it and the other amendments and the Constitution itself. And he wrote those thoughts down, some of them, yes he did, so you could misquote him in an email two hundred odd years later. Jefferson liked to offer his opinion, so did a whole bunch of the other Framers. Some liked the idea of bearing arms, some hated it, some didn’t consider it all that important one way or the other. Look around and you can find a quote from some powered wig wearing Founding Father to support whatever position you like.
But you know what? It doesn’t make one damned iota of difference what the hell Jefferson, or any of the rest of them, thought.
It doesn’t matter if Old Tom Jefferson had managed to stop boffing the help long enough to actually pen the Constitution and each amendment personally.
See, here’s the thing, we didn’t ratify some hoary old quote from Thomas Jefferson or George Washington or Chuck Norris. Woulda shoulda coulda. Quotes from Founding Fathers, no matter who they were, mean exactly jack shit.
What matters is the Second Amendment as written and ratified. Period.
And what the Second Amendment actually says is:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Well regulated militia. The right to keep and bear arms. Now you can argue about what exactly those terms mean until the next time some nut slaughters a bunch of innocent people. However, if you look closely you’ll see that no where in the Second Amendment does it say that you’re being given the right to keep and bear arms so you can overthrow the United States government whenever you damned well feel like it.
Nowhere. No goddamned where in the Constitution or the laws of the United States does it say that.
It’s a myth.
It’s a complete bullshit myth. It may have been the opinion of a couple of Founding Fathers and state legislatures, but that idea holds absolutely no water at all under the Amendment as written and ratified by those self same Founding Fathers and the citizens of the newly formed United States. Period. This idea of taking up arms against the government and your neighbors is complete pseudo-patriotic bullshit.
The Framers codified a methodology for changing the government in the Constitution itself and that didn’t include armed insurrection.
As spelled out in general terms in the Constitution and codified in more specific terms by law, you have many rights here in America but armed rebellion isn’t one of them.
Here’s the thing, so pay attention: You can quote Thomas Jefferson to me all damned day and if you engage in armed rebellion against the government and you win, well then history will call you a Founding Father and a patriot. But if you lose, history will call you a traitor and spit on you grave. A hundred years ago we Americans settled this question once and for all, we called it the Civil War.
Note also that the right to keep and bear arms does not give you the right to engage in a firefight in the middle of a crowded theater, or a school, or in front of a Safeway.
And the Second Amendment wasn’t included in the Bill of Rights so that crazy people could buy guns and go around slaughtering kids and innocents so other crazy people could then claim that as the price of freedom. You are a hysterical idiot. Your argument is invalid. You fail at America. Sit down and shut the fuck up.
In all the nonsense this week, I’ve heard one politician who actually seems to understand reality:
“I, like most Americans, believe that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual the right to bear arms. And we recognize the traditions of gun ownership that passed on from generation to generation, that hunting and shooting are part of a cherished national heritage.”
That politician then went on to say that given the partisan gridlock in Congress, “our focus is on the steps that we can take to make sure criminals and others should not have those guns, to make sure they cannot attain them.” There are things that we can do, he said, short of legislation on new gun laws to reduce violence in our society. And we will continue to press the Department of Justice to try to enhance the enforcement of existing laws and try to further develop our background check system so that it prevents criminals and those who should not have weapons from getting them under existing law.
Want to guess who said that?
It sure as hell wasn’t Sarah Palin or Ron Johnson or Chuck Norris.
It was the President of the United States of America.
Attention: Since Stonekettle Station is experiencing a higher degree than normal of raging Guns & Ammo fever, before you get all soggy and hard to light and go all Soldier of Fortune on me and decide that the author is some kind of weeping socialist America hating anti-gun Nazi, and before you embarrass yourself by making some ill-informed idiot assumption in the comments section, there’s probably something you should know: I’ve been around guns my entire life. My dad taught me to shoot when I was a kid – in fact the very first gun I ever fired was my dad’s prized black powder .75 caliber smooth bore Civil War trench piece when I was about four years old (It was braced on a bench and still knocked me ass over teakettle). I still own my very first gun, bought from Meyer’s Thrifty Acres in Jenison, Michigan, for me by my dad when I was fourteen years old – a lever action Winchester 30/30. I got my first deer with that gun. I grew up shooting, at home, in the Boy Scouts, hunting, target shooting, plinking, with friends and with family. Thirty years ago I joined the military and spent my entire life there. I’m a retired US Navy Chief Warrant Officer. I know more than a little about guns. I’m a graduate of the Smith & Wesson Rangemaster Academy. I’m a Colt certified armorer and gunsmith. I’ve attended pretty much every boarding officer and gun school the military has. I hold both the Expert Pistol and Expert Rifle Medals. I’ve taught small arms and combat arms to both military and civilians for nearly thirty years now. I’ve fired damned near everything the US military owns, from the old .38 revolver to a US Navy Aegis Guided Missile Cruiser’s 5” main battery – and everything in between. I can still field strip a Colt .45 M-1911 pistol and put it back together in under a minute, blindfolded – I happen to own several of them, along with numerous other semi-auto pistols and a number of revolvers. I used to shoot professionally and in competition. I helped to design, test, field, and fire in combat US Military weapons systems. I’ve spent my entire life in warzones around the world and in places where gun usage is extremely, extremely, common. I have a Concealed Carry Permit and an FFL. I’m an Alaskan and I typically carry a gun in the wilds of Alaska on a regular basis. If you feel that I’m ignorant of guns, or that I’m anti-gun, or unAmerican, well, you’re welcome to speak your peace – just so long as you can live with what comes after that. Make sure you read the commenting rules first. Read and adhere. This is my place, my private property, I pay for it, you are a guest and you have no, repeat no, First Amendment rights here. Be polite or else.