• Parkland – Don Quixote Rides Again

    With yet another horrific incident of mass murder, Don Quixote rides again. I say this not to make light of the anguish shared by the families of the seventeen slain at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, or for those who now suffer from survivor guilt. This was an abominable act and my heart goes out to those who are grieving. I say this because the solution proposed by many is about as practical as stabbing at windmills. The proposed solution is to tighten up our gun laws and to ban so called assault weapons. I think the real solution is to relax concealed carry laws and reexamine gun free zones.

    In referencing the Second Amendment, the question has been asked, “What would our founders think of our current state of affairs?” Shouldn’t the effort, even if it makes little difference in addressing the real problem, have virtue in and of itself? People who are advocating for this don’t want to hear “old and tired arguments” against stronger laws. I suppose it does not matter whether or not these “old and tired arguments” are true. The virtue lies in the effort. In an effort to avoid these “old and tired arguments," my appeal is an honest attempt to address our real problem. In order to get to the real issue we have to ask the question, if we didn’t have a gun problem thirty years ago, what has changed?

    I am sure that many, if not most of our founders would be horrified by our current state of affairs. One of these issues might be the fact we have concealed carry laws, which didn’t exist then. Why can’t anything that we legally own be placed in a pocket if it fit? I’m sure many, if not most, would be horrified by how far our federalist power sharing scheme (between the states and the national government) has slipped away in favor of a powerful national government. I’m sure that most if not all of our founders would be horrified by how much of our liberty has slipped away with the addition of each new law and regulation. The biggest thing that might horrify most, if not all of our founders, is how they used to be the masters of their own government, and how the government now believes it is the master of us.

    One can only imagine where we might be today if not for a well-armed public. To demonstrate just how badly the government can behave, we need to go no farther than to review the circumstances behind Ruby Ridge, Waco, the Bundy Ranch, and Standing Rock, to name only a few. This was the purpose behind the Second Amendment and remains as valid today as it did on December 15, 1791. Rumors of an armed uprising from any of our modern political factions encourage our representatives to find compromises that are the least offensive to all.

    The Second Amendment is not the reason behind mass murders. A society that refuses to discipline our youth is the reason. A society that believes we are special just because we are we is the reason. A society that glorifies violence in cinema and video games is the reason. A society that believes everyone owes us stuff we haven’t earned is the reason. A society that is horrified when they show up to a new job and only then realize the boss actually expects his or her employees to labor is the reason. The themes of ease, hedonism, and entitlement permeate our entire culture.

    How many movies exist that require the hero to actually work at something? Movies like the Karate Kid are becoming rare. The modern narratives seem to suggest that we don’t need to work at anything. We simply need to learn how to be a kung fu expert with a quick program in the Matrix, or to discover we are really a princess in Disney’s Maleficent. In many other movies, the main character may simply have a natural power or ability as portrayed in the Harry Potter movies. Then people who prefer to live in this fantasy discover to their dismay that life is a lot harder. Some people with emotional or psychological challenges may react violently to this new reality because they lack the ability to empathize. This inability to empathize is because of yet another mass social problem, it’s all about me. We are taught that we are the center of our own universe and other people are simply playing cameo roles in our reality. Somehow we deserve an equal share flipping hamburgers with a surgeon who has spent most of his or her life in school, or the CEO of a major (and evil) corporation. Our whole society has gone totally, and completely bonkers. The increasing number of mass murders is symptomatic of a society that is in the process of self-destructing.

    I choose this terminology with care. Notice that I said mass murders, not mass shootings. Personally, I prefer mass shootings to other forms of mass murders. At least if I am carrying, I have a reasonable chance of getting the mass-murderer before he gets me. This is not true of other kinds of mass murder such as a truck speeding through a crowded pedestrian walkway or a bomb. In fact, it does happen that armed civilians occasionally prevent mass murders, but you never hear of those. You don’t hear of those because either they don’t fit the narrative of the gun grabbing media, or because they are not sensational enough for the ratings, or perhaps both.

    How many people remember the armed guard who killed the would be mass murderer at the New Life church in Colorado Springs, Colorado? How many people remember the incidence at yet another church, the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Spring in Texas? Why do you suppose would be mass murders pick on churches? Could it be that Christians are presumed to be meek and turn the other cheek? Yes, churches are presumed to be soft targets, along with other gun-free zones such as schools. Yet no one reports all the people saved in the same way Obama once reported how many jobs he saved. This would be a number picked out of the ether. In cases of people killed, you have hard and fast numbers along with all the wonderful pictures of the grieving parents. It’s sick. I have about as much regard for the media as I have with that mess my dog threw up the other day.

    Another thing I despise about the systematic chipping away of our Second Amendment is how Liberals play with language. They use euphemisms such as freedom of choice to describe the mass murder of unborn children and they use dysphemisms such as assault to demonize what is essentially a varmint rifle, as I will explain shortly. Just so you know, I’m responding to this biased characterization with my assault keyboard and my assault laptop because they are BOTH scary black. Yes indeed, sometimes the assault pen is mightier than the sword.

    The United States Department of Defense does not refer to any of their weapons as assault weapons. The Army’s TM 9-1005-319-10, the Air Force’s TO.11W3-5-5-4, and the Navy’s SW 370-BU-OPI-010 Rev 1, refer to the M16/M4 class of weapons with the following description: “The M16A2, M16A3, M16A4 Rifles and the M4 and M4A1 Carbines are lightweight, gas-operated, air-cooled, magazine-fed, shoulder-fired weapons that fire in automatic, semi-automatic, or (three-round) burst.” Only the M16A3 Rifle and the M4A1 Carbine has the ability to fire in automatic mode. On the fire selector switch, the other weapons only offer: “SAFE-SEMI-BURST.” Nowhere do these TMs, TOs, or SWs mention an assault weapon. The civilian AR-15 has even less capability as it is only a semi-automatic rifle. In fact, it is my understanding that it was Hitler who referred to his weapons rhetorically as “storm” or “assault” weapons. In other words, if you own or defend an AR-15, the Liberal media makes you out to be Hitler.

    The reality is the 5.56mm NATO round, which is used in the M16 and M4 series weapons, and the AR-15, is woefully underpowered for 150+ pound targets. This is why NATO militaries teach their warriors to fire a controlled pair. Beyond 200 meters, or roughly two football fields, the 5.56mm ball is too small and loses too much speed to have any real energy, or knock-down power. In places such as Afghanistan where you can see the enemy (and they you) at greater distances, the U.S. Army is attempting to make sure each squad has at least one larger caliber weapon such as the venerable M14 (30-06). In other words, the AR-15 is not the elephant gun Liberals would have you believe. What makes them dangerous is close range, the fact they are semi-automatic, and 20 or 30 rounds in most magazines. This capacity and semi-automatic functionality actually makes sense if you are trying to eradicate annoying and costly pests at some distance while on your own property (check first to see if you need a permit). However, the AR-15 appears to be the weapon of choice for so many of our crazies. Perhaps this is because it is more like a toy than other far more capable and dangerous weapons. Perhaps this is because the AR-15 is a scary looking weapon that people especially fear, I wonder why?

    What we should be asking ourselves is why must we be forced to display weapons we can legally own and carry according to the Constitution and other laws? Many people won’t open carry because they rightfully understand that displaying firearms can be provocative. Townes Van Zandt wrote in his song Pancho and Lefty, “He wore his gun outside his pants, For all the honest world to feel.” People get this. With concealed carry, no one needs to know. The nice thing about concealed carry is that a potential mass murderer won’t know who is carrying and who isn’t carrying either. This makes all targets potentially hard targets. While Florida does make it generally easy to conceal carry, remember this shooting took place in a gun free zone. I believe in lieu of the long-term solution of fixing our entire society (Don Quixote), the short-term solution is to relax concealed carry laws, not to tighten gun laws and ban varmint rifles. I also believe we need to take another look at gun free zones; they don’t seem to be working. Maybe it’s because mass murderers . . . can’t read?

    Edited on February 2, 2018 to improve flow and correct one factual error. The song Pancho and Lefty was attributed to the wrong writer.

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