To be fair, I am very much in favor of “good guys with guns”.

Since I’ve had a series of counter-pro-gun arguments in a row, I think it’s time I came clean. Although I think it’s idiotic to say that the ONLY way to deal with a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun, it is ONE way to deal with bad guys with guns. 

Since we are dealing with a situation where we want a higher goodguy-to-badguy ratio, shouldn’t we be more discriminate about whom we sell guns to? 

Anyone who wants less regulation on gun sales and ownership also wants less control over the goodguy-to-badguy ratio. 

If we really want more good guys with guns and less bad guys with guns, then it is essential that we have stricter gun regulation.  Good guys shouldn’t have anything to fear from background checks, waiting periods, and buying restrictions. 

If you are a good guy, you should have nothing questionable in your background to restrict your ability to buy a gun. 

Patience is a virtue, so a waiting period would go to prove that you are a thoughtful person not given to rash actions. 

And if you want an abnormal amount of firepower, say more than out would take to defend against a bad guy with a gun, then wouldn’t that logically make it more doubtful that you are a good guy? 
All “good guys” should be in favor of these types of restrictions; the only folks who would be against it are the “bad guys”.

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Who needs an assault rifle?

I was starting a post to balance out “I am against gun regulation, and I’m an idiot” to prove that no one actually wants to ban guns either.

It was a short post since I only came up with two groups of people who absolutely need guns: hunters who hunt for food and those living in areas where they need to protect themselves from indigenous wildlife.

Wanting to make a stronger argument against the idea of banning guns, I asked Google who needs guns. This man, who seems to be the expert, has the answer. His answers are as follows, and I’ll follow up with a tally to find out his total answer.

  • Families targeted by a gang for home invasion robbery
  • Families who go camping and accidentally trespass onto a drug-dealers growing area
  • American ranchers who live near the Mexican border where the Obama administration has refused to curtail the flow of drugs, gangs, and terrorists into our country
  • Families caught in a Katrina-style natural disaster who has a violent mob trying to storm their home to steal their food and water
  • Men who defy union bosses and finds his home surrounded by a filthy mouthed mob determined to teach him and his family a lesson
  • School principals who sees a man coming to assassinate the kindergarten class and challenges him before he can slaughter the children
  • People who live in gun-free zones, the target areas for wannabe mass murderers looking to become famous

Let’s do the math:

Families targeted by a gang for home invasion robbery = X people

Most home-invasion robberies happen among drug dealers and gang members, meaning victims are not usually targeted at random. For typical scenarios, investigators point to cases in which robbers stormed makeshift marijuana labs in Miami-Dade County to steal from rival drug dealers, and gang members in Palm Beach County robbed and beat each other.

“The majority of victims have some association with their attackers,” says Sgt. George Grosso, with the Palm Beach County Violent Crimes division. “Most of our home invasions are drug-related — they know where they can get the drugs or the money.”

Families are almost never (as in a statistical anomaly) targeted by gangs for home invasions, only homes where gang members live. So unless your family is part of a gang, X=0

Families who go camping and accidentally trespass onto a drug-dealers growing area = Y people

Has this ever happened? I can’t find any evidence of this happening…so…correct my if I’m wrong, but I’m going to say that Y=0

American ranchers who live near the Mexican border where the Obama administration has refused to curtail the flow of drugs, gangs, and terrorists into our country = Z people

Prior to 2005, the crime rates of the Mexican border, except for El Paso and Laredo Texas, were very close to the national average. In 2005, the crime rates on all other areas came up while these two areas came down, making the Mexican border uncannily similar in crime rates to the National average.  So Americans who live along the border do not need guns any more Americans living elsewhere, so Z=0

Families caught in a Katrina-style natural disaster who has a violent mob trying to storm their home to steal their food and water = A people

Follow-up reporting has discredited reports of roving bands of armed gang members attacking the helpless after Katrina, as well as a 7-year-old being raped and murdered at the Superdome and dozens of bodies being shoved into a freezer at the Convention Center.

“It just morphed into this mythical place where the most unthinkable deeds were being done.”

Since there were no families caught in Katrina who had a violent mob trying to storm their home to steal their food and water, A = 0

Men who defies union bosses and finds his home surrounded by a filthy-mouthed mob determined to teach him and his family a lesson = B people

Again, I can’t find any evidence of this happening. There are many examples of “filthy-mouthed mobs” that are organized by union bosses: these are called strikes…and they can get violent, but I can’t find any examples of a union mob targeting a family’s house.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m going to say that B=0

School principals who sees a man coming to assassinate the kindergarten class and challenges him before he can slaughter the children = C people

In the many school shootings that have happened in this country, there has never been an example where the principal has been aware of the intruder before the shootings took place.  In no case would an armed principal have been helpful, therefore C=0

People who live in gun-free zones, the target areas for wannabe mass murderers looking to become famous = D people

Among the 62 mass shootings over the last 30 years, not a single case includes evidence that the killer chose to target a place because it banned guns or that they were looking to become famous. To the contrary, in many of the cases there was clearly another motive for the choice of location. For example, 20 were workplace shootings, most of which involved perpetrators who felt wronged by employers and colleagues.  Since gun-free zones are not an issue for wannabe mass murderers nor are wannabe mass murderers looking to become famous, D=0.

So the grand total of number of people that need assault rifles in this country?

Well, at least according to this guy, it’s zero.

Ironically his closing argument begins with the following.

“This is probably making too much sense for most liberals to comprehend since their ‘disability’ makes them think with their emotions rather than their brains. As a matter of fact, that’s how we tend to get stupid laws that tend to do more harm than good.”

Ironic because his whole argument is a list of situations that have no bearing on the real world other but are effective scare tactics which coerce the listener to think with their emotions rather than their brains…just what he will warn the listener of.  I can only assume that by this point, the listener will be so emotional that they will believe anything he says…since their emotions have overpowered their brains…or so he hopes.

Whenever someone is using scare tactics to convince you of something, they are trying to stop you from thinking with your brains and instead making decisions based on emotions, and…as the man says, “That’s how we tend to get stupid.”

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It’s our constitutional right! (but should it be?)

You know what phrase I’m real tired of?

“It’s our constitutional right to bear arms…you can’t take that away from us!”

You know what?  We can.

Just because something is constitutional, doesn’t mean that it’s a good thing.  Take prohibition.  The 18th Amendment made it illegal to produce, transport, or sell alcohol.  For thirteen years, according to to amended constitution, alcohol was a substance that should be prohibited at all costs.

…and you know what happened?

Thirteen years later, we decided that it was a bad amendment and we repealed it with the 21st amendment.

When the constitution ceases to be beneficial to the people of the United States of America, then it’s time for a change.

…and every part of the constitution is up for change.

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I am pretty sure that Jesus knows who he is.

a pastor and an ex pastor walk into a bar.

They start talking loud enough next to me so that I know that they are a pastor and an ex pastor.

I was able to evesdrop on a lot of their conversation. I’ll do I wasn’t trying to calm a 17 in particular caught my attention:

I know this buddhist.  He’s all about love, peace, and compassion…but without Jesus, I don’t think it’s enough.

I thought for a moment and was tempted to interrupt.  I’m pretty sure I remember things like “God is love”, “God is compassion”, and “God is peace” from the Bible, church, and catechism…not to mention “Jesus is God.”

I wasn’t quick enough to chapter and verse then and there, but these were the verses I was trying to remember:

1 John 4:8
Judges 6:24
Psalm 103:8

Since these were Christians I would have to believe that they believe that Jesus is love, Jesus is peace, and Jesus is compassion.

If someone is filled with love, peace, and compassion…then they are filled with Jesus…even if that’s not what they call Him.

Jesus knows who he is, you don’t have to call him by name for him to be there.

I daresay that if you are filled with love, peace, and compassion, you are filled with Jesus…even if you don’t believe in him.

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I’m against gun control. I’m also an idiot.

With another store of a mass shooting on the news, another round of people that say that they are against gun control make the rounds of facebook and twitter.

Listen for a second to what you are saying, because you’re not against gun control.  Trust me.  You still think you are?

If you really were really against gun control, you would want no law restricting anyone’s rights to buy, own, or shoot a gun.  This would be describing a world where a seven-year old can stop at the deli on his way to school to buy a semi and some rounds of ammo.

I’m assuming you don’t want to happen…which means that you are in favor of gun control.

Let’s just get that on the table.

Everyone is in favor of gun control.

Now instead of a inane conversation about whether or not we need gun control, we can have a nuanced conversation about how gun control laws are worded, enforced, and what other factors effect gun violence besides the law and enforcement thereof.

Gun control laws are not a lightswitch, that once flipped gun violence will turn off. 

  • There are many examples of locations with strict gun control laws with very low gun violence.
  • There are many examples of locations with strict gun control laws with very high gun violence.
  • There are many examples of locations with very little gun control regulation with very low gun violence.
  • There are many examples of locations with very little gun control regulation with very high gun violence.

None of these facts or the examples of them prove anything, so stop throwing them around as if they do.  Gun violence is a very complex pandemic in our society, and we all want less gun violence. (Trust me, and don’t make me go through another proof.)  So can we have the conversation “How do we reduce gun violence?” rather than “Is gun regulation good or bad?”


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A Lot Of People Are Very Upset That An Indian-American Woman Won The Miss America Pageant

A Lot Of People Are Very Upset That An Indian-American Woman Won The Miss America Pageant

Okay, I read the series of tweets and had an interesting reaction to it.  Every category of tweet as broken down by this article (unsurprisingly) me made me very upset except (surprisingly) the section of tweets called “outright racist”.  Which I guess means that racism doesn’t bother me as much as…what?

If the sight of an Indian America makes you think of 7 11 or Subway and that’s you’re knee-jerk reaction.  I don’t really have a problem with that.  We all have prejudices both subtle and gross that make us have immediate and unthought-out reactions.  In fact (although I’m sure it’s not popular to say) there is a correlation between Indian-Americans and 7-11’s.  The latest census shows a huge growth of small businesses run by Indian Americans, particularly convenience stores, hotels and motels and in the health-related fields.  It’s a statistic.  It’s out there.  Discretely taken without any other information, it can lead to stereotyping…but at least it’s based on something true.

I know…somehow prejudice based on some morsel of truth doesn’t bother me that much.  Partially because prejudice is a spectrum that we all fall on somewhere between one extreme and the other, but we’re all somewhat guilty of it.  That and the fact that some people will always be jerks and use information as they see fit, as unpleasant as that might be.

What bothers (okay, infuriates) me is if you are not just a jerk using some past experience as a catalyst of his jerkiness, but an ignorant jerk that creates jerkiness out of thin air.  I guess some examples to illustrate; if you’re not an idiot…you don’t really bother me.

CHEEZ-IT @JPLman95 tweets “Miss America? You mean Miss 7-11.”

You’re obviously trying to be funny.  I guess some people would find that amusing.

Are you an idiot?  Do you know what a terrorist means?   Has Nina Davuluri ever implemented a systematic use of violent terror as a means of coercion?  No, she hasn’t.  Learn what terrorism is before opening your mouth.
anthony ridgeway @anthonytkr tweets “#MissAmerica ummm wtf?! Have we forgotten 9/11?”
Are you an idiot?  No, we have not forgotten 9/11.  What does an Indian-American Miss America have to do with 9/11?  Let’s form the closest connection that we can.  9/11 was committed by al-Qaeda.  Al-Qaeda is an organization run by Muslims.  10% of the world’s Muslims live in India.  DESPITE THIS FACT al-Qaeda has made no headway in recruiting Indians.  If we want to remember 9/11 in a truly patriotic stand, having a Miss America with a heritage that as been nothing but a hindrance to the growth of al-Qaeda’s growth in Asia is a perfect commemoration of our alliance against them.
Are you an idiot?  This tweet is an action that reflects your “belief that humanity is divided into distinct biological groups called races and that members of a certain race share certain attributes which make that group as a whole less desirable, more desirable, inferior, or superior.”  You are, by definition, a racist.
You are an idiot on several levels.  Are you an idiot because you don’t understand what the word “foreigner” means.  A foreigner is a person in a country who is not a citizen of that country.  This does not apply to Nina Davuluri, who was born in this country.  Or perhaps you’re an idiot because you’re unfamiliar with the 14th Amendment of our country’s constitution (a document that truly makes our country great).  I’m not going to explain it to you; go look it up.  Are you an idiot because you think Indians are Arabs?  I admit that since Arabs are a panethnic group, it’s not as cut and dry as a distinguishable, self-identified and self-sustained ethnicity, but since the people of India do not have direct or partial ancestral relation to the nomadic indigenous inhabitants of the Arabian peninsula and the Syrian desert they are clearly not Arabic…and you’re an idiot if you think they are.
I guess what I’ve learned from this backlash is that I can deal with you if you are an asshole, just don’t be an ignorant asshole.
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Just War Theory-a 9/11 reflection

Since I’m down to blogging just once a year, I usually take 9/11 just to re-post my original thoughts on “remembrance day”.

I’ve had new thoughts since then mostly because of a move down to the Bible belt (after living in Manhattan during and since 9/11) and the friends I’ve made here.

One of the friend that needs here is the patriarch of a very christian family and pastor of a Lutheran church.  because I was making friends come out of the septic of politics was purposely avoided. But I knew that they were a very military family and this fact disturbed me. 

thanks to a conversation with my wife I can fast forward through the normal debate. Christianity means love, and the loving push is the path of peace…not war, but we also have a responsibility to take care of our brothers and sisters in this world. 

This princess to “just war theory” that was taught in our religion class in my Catholic High School.  In short it says that as a last resort, war can be considered just and should be entered into if it saves a number of lives greater than the number of lives likely to be lost in its fighting.

the classic example of this is dropping the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Everyone knows and admits that a tremendous number of civilians died in our action against Japan. But it is also decided that without dropping the bomb the war would go on possibly for years and cause more deaths and suffering than would have been carried out had the war not ended quickly.

with this bit of math, it seems that possibly we should have even dropped the bombs earlier. Perhaps we should have targeted a German city and ended the Holocaust much earlier by intervening sooner in the war.

how great would it have been especially from a Christian point of you to save millions of Jews by dropping a single bomb. God would surely have loved this act of heroism.

except of course the fact that war goes against everything that Jesus ever said or stirred for according to the New Testament.

but surely it also goes against christian values to allow suffering to continue and grow.

so it’s true we do have a responsibility to protect our brothers and sisters in this world and also try to leave yet and and suffering whenever we can.

but this does not mean that we are allowed to stop being Christians to do this.

Christianity is not something you can take a vacation from even if it means you can save the lives of millions of people alleviate the sufferings of the many.

so no, you cannot commit murder to save another life you cannot even commit murder to save 10 lives or hundred or thousand…

and yes this sucks

it sucks as a Christian to watch suffering and not be able to take the easy road to fix it.

being a Christian is hard. No one ever said it was easy.

so when faced with death and suffering you must approach these things as a Christian and not as someone who does not value the lives of every person that God has created.

the best-case scenario of this is refusing easy path and embracing war as a solution, is it forces us to be more creative problem solving in find truly christian solutions in encountering pain and suffering.

the worst case scenario is that we will not be able to solve pain and suffering in this world north depot to do anything about its growth.

to make you feel better about the worst case in area, reflect on the life of jesus christ.

Jesus Christ actually did not do much good in the world while he lived.  He healed a good number of people, but only those that he happened to come in contact with.  he never really sought out to solve any amount of sickness or suffering in any widespread solution although he surely could have wiped out leprosy anytime if you wanted to.

wars and battles were fought in his lifetime, and he didn’t do anything to stop them from happening.  in fact how many people did he actually protect from being persecuted? The woman that was about to be stoned? maybe one or two others that I can’t think of off the top of my head.  jesus did not do that much to stop persecution in his lifetime.

Christians may be offended at this point, but there with me. Jesus didn’t do that much to stop persecution suffering for war in his lifetime.

what he did to you and what is so amazing about him is that he took the long view.  the life of Jesus Christ had an amazing wake in which persecution was lessened, suffering was relieved and the world slowly became better place in the decades, centuries, and millennia that followed.

Jesus easily could use his power to crush the despots of his time and killed the persecutors of the week, but he could not stop being Jesus to do so.

in the same way christian Americans can push to use our weapons to kill those using weapons of mass destruction, push back against the terrace that push us first, and yes kill a small amount of people to end war and save a life of a greater amount of people. But we can not stop being Christian to do so.

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I am convinced that Mitt Romney is more qualified to be president than Barack Obama

Given Mitt Romney’s experience in the world of business and Obama’s fair-to-middling handling of the nation’s economy, I think that it is clear that a business mogul is the better choice of president than a constitutional academic.

Mitt Romney will always put his ability to make money ahead of all else, so you can be sure that he will do the same for the American economy.

For example, Mitt Romney invested $75 million in a company that disposes of medical waste including aborted fetuses from planned parenthood.  Although he is staunchly anti-abortion, he doesn’t mind making money off of other companies other people who perform abortions.

Another example is the 2002 winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, which Romney oversaw.  If you remember these Olympics, they were criticized for its extreme expense and financial waste.  Obviously with Romney’s experience, he would have been able to run these games effectively.  Instead he chose to funneling money into absurd deals which gave Utah billionaires (who happen to be his friends) sweet deals and allowed them to make millions off portions of the game that should have cost a percentage of that.  That’s what happens when you put a shrewd businessman whose priority is on making money in charge of the Olympics.  His main priority will not be the Olympics, but how he can create profit off of it for himself and his business partners.

Although it’s clear that Mitt Romney is more well-equipped than Barack Obama to handle the job as president, I’m not sure why we should expect him to to the country first after decades of business practice that puts himself as a greater priority than the business he is in charge of…or even his own morality.

So yes, if Mitt Romney wanted to I’m sure that he could balance the budget, erase the national debt, and reform the country’s practices to put America on the right track to prosperity.

I’m just not convinced that he wants to.

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Really? We’re now holding presidential candidates accountable for what they do in high school?

This was the question was posed to me when I re-posted the news about Romney’s malicious bullying in high school:big-bully-and-little-bully

Really? We’re now holding candidates accountable for what they do in high school? Most people outgrow the stupid things they say and do in high school and become productive members of society.

Oh, America and its binary way of thinking.  Why do we insist on categorizing things down to two compartments rather than considering things as a spectrum?

The above example begs the answer “Of course not!  If we only considered candidates that never did anything wrong as a kid we would have no viable candidates.”

The real answer is more nuanced than an on/off switch.  Binary thinking is limited thinking, more complex thinking takes stepping outside of the trap of the binary.

The question shouldn’t be “whether or not we should hold candidates accountable for what they did in high school” but rather should be “What did have the candidates done at each stage of their lives and should they be held accountable for it?”  Where on the spectrum does it fall and how accountable should the individual be held based on the age that the act was committed?

For example I once set off a stink bomb in my history classroom.  One of my classmates stole a car and went on a joyride.  Another date-raped a girl and went around bragging about it.

Already we have a pretty wide spectrum of actions, but the spectrum extends wider than that.  There are things less serious than setting off a stink bomb and things more serious than date-rape.  The spectrum of “dumb shit” that we do in high school is incredibly wide, and where on the spectrum the “dumb shit” lands will lead an intelligent thinker to decide whether to hold a presidential candidate accountable for what they did in high school.

So the short answer is “Yes.  We should hold presidential candidates accountable for what they did in high school.”

The long answer is “Depending on the severity of act committed by a presidential candidate in his past, we will decide whether or not it is a part of his character or an aberrant act that is similar to acts we have all committed in our pasts.”

The snarky answer is “Depends.  Let us know what this incident is and we’ll score it on a scale where

1 = cutting school on senior cut day

5 = humiliating a classmate in a series of incidents that climaxes in having four friends hold him down and attacking him with scissors

10 = bringing several firearms to school and shooting down many of their classmates on cold blood.

and we’ll get back to you.”

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Bedbugs have given me a deeper understanding of God.

Well…maybe they were bedbugs…maybe not.

A couple of weeks ago my wife was getting bites on her arms and legs while she slept.  From what I knew of bug bites, these looked like spider bites.  After a week she found a strange bug in her clothes.  From what I know of entomology, it looked like a medium-sized tick.

We decided to crowdsource and posted the picture of the bites and the bug to Facebook.  The responses were definite:

“Dude. You have bed bugs.”

“It’s not a bedbug; it’s a tick.”

“I think you are in Denial….Deep Denial…That’s a bedbug, for sure.”


“It’s not a tick.  I’m dang sure that’s a bedbug.”

…and thirty-two other comments definitively declaring that it was a tick (or not).  Some people went so far as to bet their lives on it…one on each side of the fight, so someone owes me a death-pact.

Of course, I didn’t stop at crowdsourcing on Facebook.  We called in a real exterminator, and he gave us the real answer to whether or not it was a bedbug.  Everyone wanted to know, but I was so disgusted with everyone’s (and they are all my friends) arrogance that I didn’t want to give any of them the satisfaction of being right.  They all thought they were right, so I thought it was best to let them all wallow in their arrogance than proving half of them right and letting them be even more so.

This seems like one thing all major religions have in common, not that everyone things that they are right (although this is another similarity of all religions…not every religious person can be right, although they are all willing to bet their souls [and in some cases their lives…and the lives of others] on it), but that in all the holy books I know of (the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Qur’an, the Bhagavad Gita, the Pali Canon) the higher powers that be used to be a whole helluva lot more active than they are now:

God doesn’t flood the earth anymore, lepers aren’t being healed en masse by the followers of Jesus, Gabriel hasn’t made a public appearance, Demons aren’t kidnapping virgins by the thousands, and there hasn’t been a birth-without-intercourse in a while.

That isn’t to say I don’t believe in all of these things, just to say that God (and the Buddhas and the Demons) has been awfully quiet for a while…and thus people argue and fight and get pretty damn arrogant about what they “know” to be true about God.

Perhaps God and I are not that different in our response to arrogance.  We’re different in almost every other way, to be sure…but maybe when we see people (our friends especially) overly arrogant in what they are positive to be true, perhaps we get to a point where we just don’t want to give the answer yet.

I could very easily right here announce whether or not we had bedbugs, but I won’t.  My friends annoyed be to the point where I don’t want to give any of them the satisfaction of being right, and thus I remain quiet.

Could it be that God (or Allah or Krishna) are just so annoyed at our arrogance that we are so sure that we know something (or anything) about Him that at some point He just decided, “You know what?  None of you get to know anything.  You don’t deserve to.  At one point I wouldn’t have minded you being wrong, but now even the ones that are right are pissing me off.  Go on…keep fighting about it…maybe at some point I’ll speak up, but for now I’m keeping to myself.”

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