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The Daily Life of a Compulsive Writer

Tragedy and the Question of Timing December 17, 2012

Filed under: In the News — katblogger @ 4:23 PM
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We all know what happened last Friday, so I won’t go into details. Suffice it to say that it hit me – as it hit most people – very hard. I have grown up in a world where tragedies like this have become increasingly common. I do not plan on having children, but I would like the children of my friends and younger family members to grow up in a better world than this. To do so, we need a change.

I posted an admittedly vague and angry call for change on my Facebook page and was almost immediately chastised for my temerity. Political posturing – if that was what my desire for a safer world was – has no place after a tragedy. I was placing a soapbox upon the bodies of the dead, and that was beyond wrong – it was sickening. I should go sit in a corner and think about what I had done.

If a plague leveled a city, we would immediately search for a cure. If a plane crashed killing everyone on board, we would try to figure out what went wrong and fix it. It is only with incidents involving guns – or so it seems to me – that we are told it’s too soon to talk about gun control. But you know what? It’s not.

It is far, far too late.

Whenever people I know call for gun control, people jump to the conclusion that we want to take all guns away. Proponents of regulations are told that ‘only criminals will have guns’ and ‘we have rights’ and ‘it’s people, not the guns’.

We are not taking your toys away.

Although I would love to live in a nation where guns did not exist, I understand that is an impossible dream. However, there is no need – NONE – for civilians to get their hands on assault rifles, guns that shoot rounds faster than I can blink, or bullets that tear their victims apart. That is not self-defense. The only thing those are for is mass slaughter.

This article, I think, is a very good discussion on the topic. I hope that someday soon we can follow other countries and create meaningful regulations to cut down on the amount of lives lost. It is a tragedy in itself that we seem to need dead children to even hope for change, but that’s how it is.

I would really love to stop seeing shootings on the news.

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The Colorado Tragedy and Weapons July 22, 2012

Filed under: In the News — katblogger @ 3:43 PM
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Another shooting tragedy has hit the nation. As always, this will reignite a bitter debate on gun control that will soon peter out again. One side advocates for personal freedoms, the other public safety. Neither is prepared to compromise, so nothing will ever change.

I have never liked guns. No matter what else they may be, they have always struck me as implements of death. They make killing easy – a sport. When a man can end a dozen lives in a few minutes, maybe it’s time to look at what we’ve created and ask whether it’s necessary.

The shooter was armed with multiple weapons, including an assault rifle capable of holding up to 100 rounds. He could fire 50-60 rounds per minute. Over the past 60 days, he purchased four guns and 6000 rounds of ammunition.

I’m aware people want guns for hunting and self-defense. But this level of weaponry is not applicable for either. No one machine guns deer into oblivion. These weapons are made for one thing and one thing only: to kill large amounts of people very quickly. There should be no reason for the general public to have them.

I have seen people say that if the moviegoers had been armed, one of them would have killed the shooter. Neer in a situation like this has that actually happened. The shooting didn’t last that long. Unless someone had their gun in their lap, loaded and with the safety off, they would have been hard pressed to react in time. That’s ignoring the freezing effect shock often has. More guns do not prevent gun deaths.

I don’t know what to suggest that hasn’t already been suggested and dismissed. We could monitor weapon and ammunition purchases to make sure no one is stockpiling arms, but people would probably resent that. We could stop making mass-slaughter weapons available to the public, but killers would get their hands on other deadly things. (And we can’t trample the God-given constitutional right to have an AK-47 in the basement, right?) Those steps might help if they were taken. At the end of the day, though, we will have disasters like this as long as we have people. It’s not the fault of video games or poor parenting or a curse from God. Some people are just terrible. All we can do is try to keep them from hurting others.

(You might find this article amusing… or depressing. http://www.theonion.com/articles/nra-sets-1000-killed-in-school-shooting-as-amount,28352/ )

 

Just Another Slot on the College Checklist January 10, 2011

Filed under: In the News — katblogger @ 9:08 AM
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Who knows? Maybe someday soon, I’ll have yet another factor to use to help me cross whole lists of colleges of my list.

I’m talking about allowing guns on college campuses. I’ve said to my family, “I will never set foot on a campus where they allow you to have concealed – or heck, unconcealed – weapons.” I know only Utah currently has this policy, but eleven states have bills pending: Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington. You can believe that if any of those pass bills, their schools are off my list. Why am I making such a fuss about this? Well, I’ll tell you.

Some people argue that this is for defense only, that the people who use guns to commit murder have them illegally. Apparently, if you have a gun license, that means you’ll never use it unwisely. I don’t know what it takes to get such a license, but I’ve heard plenty of cases when registered guns have been used unlawfully. And it turns out, the registered ones kill people just as permanently as the unregistered ones.

                                                                                                                             http://www.seton.com/gun-prohibition-signs-security-notice-concealed-weapons-prohibited-94499.html

For example, the story of a man driving who saw a cyclist with his son – wearing no helmet – along for the ride. So angered by this lack of child safety, the driver pulled out a gun and shot the cyclist. The gun was his and he had a permit. I’m sure the kid was very grateful.

Or the kid in Nebraska who was suspended and came back to school with his father’s gun. His father owned this gun legally, but did that stop someone else from taking it and using it? Nope.

What do these have in common? The shootings were products of emotion – out of control emotion. If you have easy access to guns, you can do something stupid before your mind clears and you think twice. Young adults can be unstable. A girl breaks up with a boy, someone gets a bad grade on a test, a fight breaks out at a frat party…. for an unstable individual, the response could be to come out shooting. If they had to go off campus to find a gun, they might cool down. If there’s a pistol in their backpack, there may not be time.

Maybe I’m overreacting. I’m sure many will say that I am, that I need to remember how ‘seconds matter’ and ‘responsible armed people can save lives’. Sure, but in the words of Stephen Colbert “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people. But the guns definitely help. If you point your finger at someone and say ‘Bang!’, they’re not going to die.’

So, most accurately, people with guns kill people quite efficiently, and I don’t want them on my campus.

 

Oh Gosh, Fred Phelps Again… October 7, 2010

Filed under: In the News,Politics — katblogger @ 8:05 PM
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I know, I know… how many posts have I devoted to this cretin? Media coverage is what he wants. We should all ignore him, and maybe he’ll go away.

But oddly, I’m on the same side as him in this one. Well, not exactly on the same side… but in the general area.

If you’ve been living under a rock, with a handy internet connection that only leads to this site, let me explain. A father of a soldier killed in Iraq is suing the WBC. And although no one actually likes them, we have to support them in this case. Let’s go over the facts.

The first amendment guarantees citizens the right to free speech, and the right to protest peacefully. However annoying this protest was, it was peaceful. And it was speech. Therefore, it’s a double whammy from the Bill of Rights.

If the Supreme Court decides this isn’t allowed, what next? Will it be illegal to protest the Iraq War on 9/11, because it would offend the families of the dead? Would atheists not be allowed to speak up on Christmas? We can’t censor speech just because it’s annoying or rude. That’ll lead in all sorts of unpleasant directions.

 

I Guess I’m Losing… July 9, 2010

Filed under: In the News — katblogger @ 3:05 PM
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So if you’ve been watching the news – which is a fairly pointless pasttime these days, considering most of it is Entertainment Tonight and stuff about Brittney Spears – you may have heard about the US-Russia spy swap. Now I’m at a loss as to why exactly we need to spy on each other, but whatever. What really got on my nerves was when one anchor asked, “Which country won/ is winning?”

Yes, life is all about who wins. Board games, video games, sports – everything in our culture is about a victor and a loser, sometimes multiple losers. And it doesn’t stop there. The Olympics is all about countries beating each other. And war… that’s the biggest competition of all. And in war, it seems that you’re winning or losing based on how many people you’ve killed. During the Vietnam War, body counts were released to make it look like the US was winning. For a while, it worked. Why does the idea that our side killed more than the other side please us? The loss of life becomes just another scoreboard.

I wonder if there is a certain number of lives lost until you ‘win’. Not the war, or the game, or anything particular. Just win. And then, when there are thousands of bodies to your name and the world is soaked with blood, will you be happy? You should, because you won.

Am I taking this too far? Maybe I am, but the patterns in our culture, in our world, are there. When everything is competition, nothing good can come of it. We’ll be Panem before you know it.

By the way, the correspondent said the US won. The spies we’re getting back are more important, and we got better information. Does that make you feel better?