Archive for February, 2018

Trump vs the NRA…and the Constitution

Posted by Troy on 28th February 2018 in Current Events, Political

I’ll give the guy credit, when he decides to do something, he decides to do something.  However, I now officially disagree with a lot of what he is trying to do regarding guns.

I cannot advocate for an age restriction on all guns.  I might be willing to do so for “assault weapons,” but that really won’t change anything.  How many school shooters are over twenty-one?  How many bought their guns vs used their parents?  Even if you take that off the table, couldn’t they just use other guns?  I do not like the idea of an age restriction for all guns.  I’m sorry, once you are off on your own, you should be able to buy a gun for your own protection.  This is especially important for teen girls as a gun levels the playing field against rapists and other predators.

I do like the ability for someone to be flagged due to exposure to law enforcement or if multiple people petition the court due to concerns about safety.  However, under no circumstance can the government take the guns and then apply due process.  Due process must come first in a free society.

Trump is a solution oriented guy.  Honestly, these and his other suggestions shows that he is trying to come up with solutions.  He shoots from the hip, and there is a “common sense” aspect to taking someone’s guns immediately if you think they are an immediate threat.  However, I fear the government way more than the random crazy person.

I suspect that his base is letting Trump know how they feel about this issue.  Trump realizes that his base is the one calling the shots, not him.  I am sure that he will realize the error of his ways and walk it back.

Long Live the Constitution!

Of School Shootings and Economics

Posted by Troy on 27th February 2018 in Current Events, Political

I was discussing various safety measures with a friend who is a principal.  The thought occurred to me: If the cops went into the school, it would be best to launch into door nooks and behind lockers as they made their way into position to take out the shooter.  Well, maybe they should know the layout of the school.  You know what, they should run test runs over the summer so that they are familiar with the game plan and the layout.  And then I had a realization:

SCHOOL SHOOTINGS ARE RARE AS ____.

Sorry.  They are.  We have over 100,000 public schools in America.  We have over a hundred million weapons.  We have a handful of school shootings and most of those are targeted (ex-husband killing wife who is a teacher, kid shooting his bully, spurned lover, etc) not mass shootings like Parkland.

Let’s assume that we go with one security guard per school (which would be overkill in some schools and pathetic in others).  If we paid that security guard $30,000 a year, that would mean a cost to the taxpayers of $3,000,000 per year.

It’s rare, but let’s assume that every year 50 school kids (way overstated) are killed in these attacks.  Let’s assume that having these security guards shuts down any attempt to attack the kids (way overstated, I’m sure it’d only cut deaths 90% at best, but still).  So that means for a MERE $60,000,000 a year, we can save one child.

That’s…well, that’s pathetic.  Bear in mind that if you used $3,000,000 in food programs, medical treatment, water treatment, or a host of other areas, you could have a much greater impact.

Every choice is a cost benefit analysis.  I hate to say it, but Trump is right.  The only cost effective measure you can adopt is to allow teachers with CCWs to carry.  Anything else blows the cost benefit analysis and we are better off just accepting that these rare, tragic events are going to happen from time to time.

Let’s remember how rare these attacks are before we do anything stupid.

Long Live the Constitution!

What Happened to the Winter Olympics

Posted by Troy on 25th February 2018 in Entertainment, Political

You no doubt heard that the ratings for this Olympics was way down.  So, what happened?

1 – Of course, there are a lot of choices for people’s entertainment.  It used to be that the Olympics were pretty much the only thing worth watching on the six channels your TV actually picked up.  Now, there are countless sources of entertainment.

2 – We weren’t doing so hot.  It’s much easier to tune in and watch when you feel like your people are winning, but when you’re losing… meeeeeh…

3 – We don’t have the Cold War anymore.  Let’s be honest, when it was East vs West, it was a substitute for a hot war.  Our passions could really come out because we had to beat those commie bastards!

4 – The coverage was boring.  It really was just God awful.

5 – But I think the real reason the ratings tanked was because the reason people watch the Olympics isn’t to see the finest athletes compete.  It’s to cheer on their country.  It was very unifying.  We could chant USA USA USA!  Over and over.  We felt the sense of pride every time our anthem is played.  But that was downplayed completely.  We had athletes taking pot shots at the President and others in the administration.  We had the media glowing about a murderess outshining our Vice-President.  They sucked all the joy out of it.  It wasn’t fun anymore.  And so people switched channels.

Long Live the Constitution!

A Call for Forgiveness

Posted by Troy on 24th February 2018 in Current Events, Human Nature

I have been thinking of the Parkland shooting.  We have two people who I have decided to forgive.  I have decided not to address them by name for a variety of reasons.

The first, is the Resource Officer.  It’s easy to judge him.  However, I would like to think that he never thought that he would chicken out like that.  I would like to think that, if you had asked him the day before, he would have said, “If something happens, I’m going to do everything in my power to save those kids.”  However, it’s pretty easy to say that when you’ve never been under fire before.  Maybe we should only take Resource Officers who have had combat experience.  Naturally, he should be fired for doing a crummy job.  However, he has to live with that shame forever.  While seventeen dead is a terrible number, I don’t want it to be eighteen.  I do not wish for him to feel so ashamed that he takes his own life.  And for that reason, I would like people to forgive this man.  He wouldn’t be the only person who was tested and came up short.

The other is the Parkland shooter.  This kid had so many mental problems.  There were so many warning signs.  There were so many people that abused this kid.  There were so many points that he could have been saved, should have been saved.  And at no point, did anyone care to save this kid.  As a result, the blood of those seventeen people is on everybody’s hands.

What I will not forgive is the FBI and Sheriff’s Department.  I cannot forgive the systemic failures that resulted in these needless deaths.

If you ask me, “How can you possibly forgive these people? What if this was your child?”  Yeah, it would be hard.  However, what would Jesus say about the situation?  I think he would say that I should have saved the shooter, thus saving those kids.  Bear in mind, forgiveness does not preclude justice.  However, understanding and temperance must  be used when determining what is just.  Blood for the sake of blood, is not justice.

Long Live the Constitution!

Of Dog Fighting and Gun Control

Posted by Troy on 22nd February 2018 in Current Events, Political

People fight dogs.  It happens.  They take them as puppies and train them to fight to the death.  It is horrible, but it happens.  However, when a dog fighting ring is discovered, we do not say, “It is horrible how some people mistreat dogs.  We can prevent these abuses if we just get rid of all the dogs in America.”  No.  We understand that dogs are a good thing.  We understand that the people that abused them are the the bad ones.  We punish the humans for their offenses.  Even the most vicious dog in these circumstances is innocent of any crime other than being abused by a human with evil in his heart.  And yes, there have been cases, while decidedly rare in modern times, of murder by dog.

Statistically speaking, there are about 33,000 gun deaths in America per year.  Over half are suicides.  Once you whittle it down, it comes down to about 5,000 homicides a year.  Statistically speaking, this is nothing if you want to compare it to drug overdoses, death by medical malpractice, or a host of other causes where a fraction of effort could reduce deaths by 10% and easily outpace cutting gun deaths to zero.  You can say, “Every gun death is a tragedy,” and I will disagree.  When a rapist is killed by an innocent woman who is being attacked, that is NOT a tragedy.

Going back to the dog analogy, I compared these school shooters to a dog that’s been kicked.  I liked that analogy.  Let’s go back to the dog fighting example.  Some of these dogs, when they are discovered, are too vicious and have to be put down.  That is what these kids are.  Maybe the bullying had pushed them to these dark deeds, much the same way the abuse pushes these dogs to be killers, but that does not excuse their nature.  Their nature, at that point, is real and must be dealt with.  However, when they put these dogs down, there is nothing but sadness at what must be done.

That is how we need to execute people when it is necessary.  There should be no joy.  No self-righteous anger.  There should be a calm sadness.  It should be more like “And so it’s come to this…”  A sense of pity that we have failed these individuals.  We failed to identify that they needed help.  We failed to steer them back to the righteous path.  In so doing, we may learn to identify those who need help, to prevent such failures in the future.  This would be my fondest hope.

Long Live the Constitution!

Trump’s Round Table Discussion on Gun Control

Posted by Troy on 21st February 2018 in Current Events, Political

My God… how can people claim that this guy is some sort of irrational, Nazi, bastard?  He may be the single most reasonable person I’ve ever seen.  He had people there from different points of view.  They all had the personal tragedy happen to loved ones, and they all had something to contribute.  More importantly, everyone was respectful.  Contrast that to the group of students that came off as attention whores, more interested in their own voices, casting insults, and basking in the glow of media love and their own self-importance.  One meeting was about solutions.  The other was about attention, about community organizing.  Oh, I know what you are going to say.  “How dare you!  Do you know what those kids have been through?”  Sorry, I made it through three of their speeches, and they came off as attention whores, not as those who lost beloved friends.  There are women out there that poison and even kill their children to bask in the attention of other people’s sympathy.  In this “look at me look at me look at me” generation, yeah, I totally think it was about attention.

Here are my thoughts on what was discussed:

People are talking about banning “assault rifles” or attaching an age restriction on it.  I’m not totally against it.  I would be willing to tie it to the voting age, but that is never going to fly…so let’s attach it to the drinking age.  That way there is always going to be pressure to keep it low and prevent Democrats from raising the age to 65 or something.  Just know this…it will accomplish NOTHING!  If someone wants to shoot up a school, they are just going to use a different weapon.

I love the idea about identifying people with issues and HELPING THEM!  That one chick was screaming about getting blamed for ostracizing the guy, “You didn’t know him!  We did!”  Well, crap, maybe part of the reason he was the way he was was because you mistreated him.  Kick a dog enough, and he will bite you.  When a human bites back, we somehow forget about those who did the kicking.  Bear in mind, the Columbine shooters were bullied as well.  That doesn’t excuse what they did in retaliation, but when someone is talking about taking away my rights due to the actions of another that was driven by being mistreated, I have to wonder if the best course of action isn’t to have people be nicer to one another.

I am also not against having armed guards or having select teachers have access to a gun.  It is a bizarre argument to me that you are going to say “people may lose their temper,” or anything else.  You know how many CCWs are out there?  You know how many snap and kill someone?  It doesn’t happen.  If we do go this route, the teachers in question should be CCW permit holders, should have to be able to shoot with a greater degree of proficiency, and must do four training sessions a year and re-qualify every year and have a psych evaluation.  All of this would be volunteered, and I am sure that psychiatrists would also be willing to volunteer their services on this point.

It is true that this kid did not break the law, but there must come a certain point where someones words and actions and the frequency of contact with law enforcement attaches.  At that point, law enforcement may seize that person’s weapons and place a hold on their ability to buy additional guns.  This is not the end of the story, however.  That individual MUST have the right to challenge this in court wherein they will be subject to a psychiatric evaluation.  If cleared, their weapons must be returned to them.

We should harden soft targets.  This could involve metal detectors in some schools, where appropriate.  As one person pointed out, why was the gate open to the school prior to school being let out?

Why must ANYTHING be done at the national level anyway?  I don’t understand the obsession (well, I do, actually) that the Federal government must do something.  The states can do anything they please.  The laws that are in one state may or may not be appropriate for another state.  Why can’t we just let the states handle this problem in the best way they see how?  That way, if people in Wyoming want to buy AR-15s, and the people in Maryland don’t want to be able to buy AR-15s, there’s no trouble whatsoever.

The real reason that they push for Federal gun laws is that they want to ban all guns.  Let’s be honest.  If you made it so Cruz could get a AR-15, he would have gone in with a shotgun and a couple of pistols.  The Virginia Tech shooter had pistols and killed 33 people.  Do you really think that if this had happened, the Left would have said, “Well, there’s nothing we can do.  People have the right to get shotguns and pistols.”   No!  They would go after that as well.  They would say “Well, why do you need a pump action shotgun that can shoot 3 shells?  A break action with 2 shells is plenty for duck hunting.  And there is no reason for someone to have an automatic pistol when a 5 shot revolver will do!”  Let’s be honest.  This isn’t about stopping school shooters.  This is about stopping private gun ownership.

Now, if you want to be honest and say, “For the safety of the children, we must confiscate the hundreds of millions of guns that in the hands of peaceful citizens.  Doing so will be guaranteed to trigger a civil war.  Even if a civil war does not break out, at least a million Americans will die over their right to keep in bear arms.  So tell me what the justification of a million American deaths would be, because that would be the price of the gun ban.  And the sad thing is, that the hardcore Left would be cool with it, because they are ends justify the means types.  The sad thing is, if we ever get to that point, there is no turning back.  Once the government decides they can use armed forced to shove unpopular laws down your throat and you no longer have guns of your own, welcome to an authoritarian hell.

Long Live the Constitution!

In defense of the AR-15

Posted by Troy on 19th February 2018 in Current Events, Political

Let’s be honest: this is a failure of the FBI.  Holy crap, how many people have to report a kid?  How many times does he have to say he wants to kill cops and be a professional school shooter before you say, “I’ll look into it?”

Okay, so people are all up on the AR-15.  Here’s my defense on why average Americans should be allowed to have these weapons:

1 – Just like drugs, if someone really wants an “assault rifle” for nefarious reasons, they are going to get it.  Sorry, but that’s the truth.  You can make the argument “Yeah, but why make it easier for them?” which does have some merit, but I will continue.

2 – For the most part, if you want to kill multiple people, a sawed off shotgun with a followup .45 pistol will give you similar numbers.  [exclusion for the Las Vegas shooter... in that kind of scenario with a packed field of people and a long distance, an "assault rifle would be ideal, but this is just one instance.]

3 – School shootings are statistically unimportant.  “HOW DARE YOU!  It is a tragedy!  What if that had been your child?!”  It was my child, I’d cry my eyes out.  Likewise, if my child drowned in a 5 gallon bucket (happens 20 times a year), I would be devastated.  However, I would also realize it is statistically unimportant.  As such, I would not push for federal anti-bucket laws.

4 – If you want to say, “If we save BUT ONE LIFE!  JUST ONE TEEN,” I will counter with: Do you know how many die from drug overdoses?  From alcohol related accidents?  What if we lowered the speed limit to 25 miles per hour?  What if we increased the age for driving to twenty-one?  Think of all the lives that would be saved.  But all of these have costs, and we are unwilling to pay for these costs.  The uncomfortable truth is this: “The way we live our lives, kills people.  We know this, and we are willing to accept a certain number of deaths to maintain our lifestyle.”  Think of it this way: the five-year old girl that got hit by a car and died may have lived if we had a fifteen mile per hour speed limit, or if we required that children stay indoors at all times, but we don’t.  Getting to places quickly helps us get more done per day.  Going outside is fun and healthy for the child.  We feel sad that the girl died, but we do not do away with cars that she may live.  We don’t make her parents keep her inside so that she will be safer.

5 – Murders are mostly caused by handguns.  Demonizing the AR-15 or any other rifle doesn’t’ make it so.

Long Live the Constitution!  Long Live the Second Amendment

School Shooting Solutions

Posted by Troy on 15th February 2018 in Current Events, Political

This kid was on Youtube saying that he was going to be a professional school shooter.  He was reported to the FBI.  Everyone that knew this kid knew that he was dangerous.  They knew that this was going to happen.  But I guess the FBI was too interested tracking down Russian collusion than following up on some kid threatening to shoot cops and school kids.

This kid was screaming out for help, and no one listened.  That’s why 17 people are dead at his hands.  Plain and simple.

You want to stop these things?  Identify people with mental issues and get them they help they need.  I am also a fan of increased CCW.  You say that schools should be a gun free zone.  Yeah, it was…until he brought a gun there.  Then it was suddenly NOT a gun free zone.  At larger schools, one or two armed guards would be a good idea as well.  Frankly, I am sure that there are plenty of retired military that would gladly volunteer their time tot he community in this service.

If you want to point to the “assault rifle,” as the issue, I hate to break this to you… a sawed off shotgun and a 1911 .45 would have had a similar body count in those packed conditions.  So either be honest and say you want to total gun ban or understand that your solution really isn’t a solution.  Let’s also be honest, there are over a million “assault rifles” in circulation.  How do you plan on getting rid of those?  Are you going to kick in people’s doors and take them?  And what if the people take offense at that and are willing to die over it?  How many law-abiding gun owners are you willing to turn into criminals and subject to fascist tactics and/or kill?  Just curious.  I want to have an honest conversation here.

Ask the people of France how their ultra-strict gun laws protected them from the AK-47s used by the Muslim extremists.

It’s like I always say: “Guns should be illegal.  That way, no one will be able to get them…just like drugs.”

Long Live the Constitution!

FISA and Why It Matters

Posted by Troy on 3rd February 2018 in Current Events, Political

Oh, and what a tangled web we weave!  Who knew that what would bring neo-cons and liberals together is their hate of Trump.  Besties foreva’ ya’ll!!!!!

Take Trump out of it.  Take him completely out of it.

If there was a racist cop.  He KNOWS that this black guy is dirty.  I mean, he just KNOWS it.  So the cop has his cousin start spreading rumors that the guy has child porn on his computer.  Based on all of these rumors the cop is hearing, he requests a search warrant.  In searching the man’s house, he finds a dime-bag of pot.  The cop was right…that guy was dirty.  The cop arrests the guy who goes to jail for drug related charges.

If you are against the above, I demand to know how this scenario is any different than what is being alleged by the memo?  Swap out “racist” for “radically partisan,” “cop” for “agent,” and the “rumors” for the “dossier;” and the scenario matches up nicely.

If the memo is correct, this is beyond troubling.  These are the types of abuses that you see in communist countries and dictatorships.  What’s scary is that if Trump had lost, we never would have heard about it.  I will grant you that this memo was written by Republicans.  As such, I feel like we must demand a full investigation into the matter.  If a search warrant was obtained on knowingly false grounds, people need to go to jail over it.  PERIOD.

Long Live the Constitution!