Michael's Dispatches

Be a Palm Tree: Tobacco, Rebel Flag, 2nd Amendment

22 Comments

13 July 2015

image001A few palm trees remain standing in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), the most powerful storm in history. Tacloban, Philippines. (1)

Michael Yon
Tokyo, Japan

Opinion

Across the globe and many cultures, the humble palm tree has been a symbol of wisdom, resilience, and the successful warrior.

There is a reason why great banana farms are not found in areas prone to frequent typhoon strikes: Banana trees are soft and they bend too much and break and are flattened by a tropical sneeze.

Likewise, harder trees such as pine are flattened by the thousands during storms, while the palm tree, hard, but bending with the winds, remains standing even by the very edge of the sea the morning after a hurricane. 

The trick is not to be too soft, or too unyielding.  Stand strong but sometimes yield.

Yet there is a thinking-weakness in some parts of the world, encapsulated by the idea, “Give them an inch and they will take a mile.” 

There can be truth to this, but there is also truth that sometimes if we do not give an inch, we will lose a mile, or we can even lose it all. 

When I was a child in America, people smoked and chewed tobacco nearly everywhere, even on airplanes and in elevators.

Pipes, cigars, cigarettes, and they chewed and spit their goo on sidewalks and out car windows, sometimes plastering the car behind them.

And if you dare raise a hand in protest – as I often did – larger adults would talk down derisively saying it is their right to light up anywhere and anytime.

Hotel rooms smelled like bars.  Cigarette burns on upholstery and carpets and tables were normal, while cigarette butts were carelessly discarded even in stores, parking lots, and flicked out of car windows, sometimes causing great forest fires.

People regularly died and burned down their homes after falling asleep while smoking.  They set apartment complexes ablaze and left people homeless.

Nasty ashtrays rested on every restaurant table, filled with butts, stained with lipstick, often still smoldering as the white smoke curled and filled the room and embedded in our clothes, hair, and lungs.

But that was their RIGHT!, they demanded.

They had a right to smoke anywhere, anytime, whether at the office or on a public bus or train, in restaurants and in cars filled with children. 

Many people could not eat in restaurants or work in smoky environments because the toxins caused immediate medical problems. 

Smokers called them weak, and said tough luck, proposing that the rights of millions of smokers outweighed the rights of a few weaklings.

And then began the pushback.

Contentious arguments were broached about second-hand smoke, and smokers denied it all, saying their rights were under attack, as they arrogantly blew smoke in our young faces, and created animosity in our hearts and minds, and a taste for revenge. 

And when they mindlessly argued that second hand smoke was not dangerous, and continued to blow smoke in our faces, we learned that they not only were arrogant, but dull. 

They were smug in the land of the free.  Nobody could take rights away to smoke in an elevator.  They thought.

We would have our revenge.  It would take time, but surely there would be a payback.   We began fighting back as much against their arrogance as against their smoke. 

And as we encroached, they became nervous or even angry.  It was their RIGHT!, they demanded, and some veterans would wave the flag and say they had fought for those rights to pollute our air. 

What about veterans who fought and did not smoke, and who wanted clean air? What about their rights? What about rights of children not to be burdened in elevators and stairwells with toxic smoke?

The smoke was bad enough, but the arrogance and sense of entitlement were the coffin nails.  Some smokers said they would ignore the new laws.  We said fine, ignore the laws, and go to jail.  We do not care.

They thought their rights trumped our rights. 

They did not care because they thought they were strong enough to withstand any pressure, and they pretended that non-smokers were weaklings for complaining.  And they were wrong.

They would not yield an inch, so we took a mile, and then another mile.

The more they demanded their ‘rights’ while ignoring our own, and their unwillingness to show consideration for others and even give an inch…well, we grew up, and now they smoke in the cold and pay exorbitant taxes and we do not care.

If the government charges $100 per pack in taxes, we do not care. Because they were arrogant, and they treated us badly, and now this is revenge, and we have better air. 

In some places it is even illegal to smoke outside.  That is taking it a little far, but after the way I was treated by smokers while still a child, this citizen offers no defense for their right to smoke outside.

They used to tell us to go outside to avoid the smoke.  We fought through the huge tobacco firms with their lobbies that supported indoor smoking, and collectively we banished smokers to the same fate they previously cast upon us.  The courts taught big tobacco that even big tobacco was not invincible.

They stood unbending like pine trees and now are shattered matchsticks from the hurricane of public outrage that is now largely forgotten because we won. 

Revenge complete, we moved on.

image003Palm tree on South Carolina flag: Symbol of wisdom, strength and resilience.

Be the Palm Tree.

And now with the ‘rebel flag,’ or whatever one wishes to quibble over calling it -- some of us for years have said that this flag should not fly over government property, even while we strongly defend peoples’ rights to fly it on their hats, cars, or over their homes. 

For many of us, the rebel flag is not a symbol of racism but of pride.

For others it is a symbol of racism and oppression. 

Like it or not, this is reality, and the government should not be used in taking sides on this argument.  Taxpayer resources should not be used to fly the flag other than in museums. 

Sometimes the political and social winds are incredibly powerful, and on sunny calm days, it is easy for an oak to imagine how strong he is, and how many lightning storms he has survived, and to start thinking that he is strong enough never to bend to the winds.

But he never was hit by a proper hurricane, and when it comes, he risks being flattened, chopped up for firewood and eventually his memory flows out the chimney.

Now for the people who arrogantly refused to give an inch in the face of reasonable requests to remove the flag from government property, who thought their rights were immutable or that they were so tough and strong that the winds of public opinion only ruffled their branches – the time has come.

image005Category 5: Hurricane Hugo smashed Charleston.

A category five hurricane of public ill will is upon us.

Had reasonable people given an inch and years ago taken the flags down from government property, we would not today be facing the specter and proposals of digging up bones of Confederates, renaming military bases, taking down statues, and removing toys from Wal-Mart that sport the flag that many people hold dear and without racism in their hearts.

But many people did not possess the wisdom and resilience represented by the palm tree. 

There was a time when many Americans thought they had a God-given right to own slaves, and our magnificent but imperfect Constitution did not prevent this. 

Slave owners refused to give an inch on slavery and other issues and before it was over they lost it all.  They were left with some flags and sad songs as a consolation prize.

Yet no matter how sharp the lessons, these people and their thoughts are reincarnated in different forms generation after generation, always carrying the broken idea that to bend like bamboo or the palm is to lose it all, and that their rights trump the rights of others.

They never learn.  So they get smashed flat, and the next generation gets smashed again.  Unfortunately, the storms they create hurt many innocent bystanders.

During the Iraq war the Coalition ordered under severe penalty that Iraqis stop flying sectarian flags.  If they did not take down the menacing flags, we would do it for them.  If they resisted, we would be satisfied to kill them.  In Iraq, this was common sense.  The flags were used specifically to intimidate people about who was in charge.

Today, since many people rigidly supported flying the rebel flag over government property, reactionary people have finally seized the advantage and are preparing to dig up and desecrate rebel bones and remove statues from the capital. 

This Hurricane Rebel Flag is so severe that it would not be surprising to hear howls to toss out the entire Constitution because it was written under the hand of slave owners.

After all, the reactionaries might argue, why should Americans in 2015 listen to slave owners from more than two centuries ago? 

What do white slave owners know about modern America, and what gives them the authority from the grave to tell us how to live?

Constitution smashers already voice such objections.

image007In Canada with my old .300 Winchester Magnum – it packed a wallop. This was during a time when we could drive straight into Canada with a hunting rifle.

And next comes guns. The 2nd Amendment that many of us hold dear is under perpetual attack.

Yet many 2nd Amendment supporters – having learned nothing from history – are flaunting their ‘rights’ at the expense of other peoples’ rights and sentiments.

Many of the people they are offending are today still children, but soon enough they will be adults, and they will remember the ignorant people who carried shotguns into Wal-Mart and into restaurants and frightened their mothers, during an age when mass shootings were part of the common psyche.

They will remember these taunts just as many of us remember the constant self-importance of so many smokers.  And by the millions the lungs of future generations will fill with the winds of change until another storm unleashes.

Political typhoons do not limit themselves to the original target, be that tobacco or an offensive flag.  Typhoons wreck the whole landscape.

Just as smokers literally blew poison in our faces, and others figuratively rubbed the rebel flag in peoples’ faces, thinking they were so politically strong that rebels were invincible, yet others are abusing our 2nd Amendment, refusing to give an inch.  They risk – nearly assure – that one day a furious storm will barrel down on the 2nd Amendment. 

So far the 2nd Amendment has withstood only thunderstorms, leaving many supporters with a false sense security, and others feeling smug and arrogant, while flaunting their rights and intentionally causing alarm.  These taunts will carry a price.

A disorganized storm has been brewing for many years.  We are never more than a moment away from some event or series of events that so shock the sensibilities that a great gun grab can begin.

Recently a man loaded and racked a shotgun in a department store. Many ignorant, arrogant people said that is their right, and if others are frightened by this, that is their problem.

That unyielding arrogance is our problem. 

Everyday the American demographic changes a little.  Americans born today are increasingly taught that guns are evil, and that only bad people will touch a gun.  Chewing a Pop tart into the shape of a pistol is grounds for suspension from school and even psychological evaluation.  Playing cops and robbers may be grounds for psychological examination.

image009I have not known life without cats, dogs, and guns.

Those of us who responsibly support our 2nd Amendment while respecting our fellow citizens rights and views, will be saddled with the bill. 

As with the smokers who actually did show respect for non-smokers, today the respectful and sensible 2nd Amendment supporters are being roped in with the abusers.

Those of us who support the 2nd Amendment must speak up now – open carry people who intentionally cause alarm should be arrested and we should support their prosecution.  Some open carry advocates do so with no intention to cause alarm.  They are not the problem.

Those of us grew up with guns are not alarmed by firearms.  A rifle in itself is no more alarming than are cars, but some people should not have their hands on either.  This is a reality.

Those of us who have seen people shot both intentionally and negligently – I have seen plenty – do not like to be in the presence of goofballs with guns in their hands.

image011Negligent discharge waiting to happen: Open Carry Texas members, led by the convicted criminal CJ Grisham who engaged in stolen valor and published that he hears voices in his head.

Even trained US combat troops regularly shoot and kill fellow troops through negligence.  British forces also do this. 

I was making a radio interview by satellite phone from Sangin, Afghanistan, when BAM!  A British Soldier negligently shot his buddy, and severely damaged him for life.  This is normal. 

Loaded guns in peoples’ hands lead to negligent shootings.  Bottom line.

Hundreds of troops have been killed and wounded since 2001 by gunshot ‘accidents,’ which the military calls negligent discharges. 

Before the wars, General David Petraeus himself nearly died from a negligent discharge.  A Soldier shot him during training.

US military commanders do not allow most troops to carry loaded weapons on any but the most dangerous bases: we typically take more casualties on bases from negligent discharges than from insider attacks.  And this is from trained troops. 

Are we to trust some random yokel with a shotgun in Wal-Mart?  I do not, and that is based on much experience, not the fear-factor.

Other people are afraid of guns.   And they are afraid of people with guns.  We must understand and respect that they also have rights, and we must not gratuitously demean or offend them for being afraid.  There is basis in fact for their concern, and to try to explain this away makes one sound ignorant, as if launching the 2nd Amendment equivalent of defense of secondhand smoke. 

A ‘secondhand smoke’ of firearms is accidents that involve innocent people.  A mother has a right to take her children shopping without encountering bedraggled knuckle-draggers carrying shotguns down the baby food aisle, and to call her names for showing concern causes 2nd Amendment supporters like me to agree with her that knuckle-draggers are infringing on her rights by overly-asserting their own. 

They accuse her of fear mongering, yet they are so afraid that they carry shotguns into Starbucks.  Typical bully behavior. 

The Open Carry Texas mob planned to march through a black neighborhood on a ‘can drive.’  (Southern slang: Mexi’can’, Puerto Ri’can’, Afri’can’.) 

This was designed to gather attention and intimidate blacks, but when members of the New Black Panthers warned them to stay away, the criminal leader of Open Carry Texas got cold feet and cancelled the march.  They will intimidate unarmed women, but are afraid of armed men.

If we do not behave like the palm tree and distance from lunatics, we risk losing the 2nd Amendment. 

Think this is impossible?  Slave owners held such thoughts.  As did smokers. 

Just a month ago South Carolinians said they would never take down the rebel flag.  The flag was taken down last week, rolled up and retired. 

And today the PC mobs are preparing to dig up rebel bones and topple statues as if they are invading Baghdad.

Even I, a staunch supporter of the 2nd Amendment, who grew up with guns, and who was a Special Forces weapons specialist, who spent years in combat, will be alarmed to see goofballs with shotguns in Starbucks. 

Many people say that 2nd Amendment advocates and open carry advocates are more responsible with weapons.  This is a lie. 

This is also the age of YouTube – a person so inclined can spend weeks watching videos of accidents with firearms.  People shooting themselves and others, blasting holes through cars and ceilings and walls. And yes, these same goofballs carry shotguns around children in McDonald’s. 

Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot his hunting buddy.  The sight of Dick Cheney with a shotgun would cause me to take cover. 

In Afghanistan, Canadian Army Brigadier General Daniel Menard negligently fired two bullets from his rifle and nearly hit one of our Blackhawk helicopters. 

Menard was commanding Canadian, US, and British troops in part of Afghanistan, yet even he did not control his rifle.

One day I was talking with Lithuanian Soldiers in a trailer in Afghanistan when BAM!  A Soldier shot a hole through a wall.

It never ends.

When even a US Vice President and a highly trained Canadian Army infantry General are subject to randomly launching bullets, and knowing that hundreds of service members have been killed or wounded by negligent gunshots since 2001, nobody should be expected to trust random sofa-warriors in the ice cream store who invariably appear to be less than saturated with social responsibility or wide-angle thinking.

image013

Some open carry groups appear to be honestly trying to assert their rights but are avoiding causing undo alarm.  Others provoke citizens and police and engage in heated belligerence.  The more belligerent groups truly scrape the bottom of the social barrel.

image015

image017

Just months ago, an open carry fanatic in Texas committed a double homicide.  The open carry group then lied and said that Veronica Dunnachie was not a member.  Dunnachie was a member and the evidence is a mile wide and a mile deep.

Not only did the open carry group harbor a murderer, the Tarrant County group then lied about it.  The lie was constructed with all the skill of a third-grader:

image019Veronica Dunnachie (left) – open carry fanatic and double-murderer. Open Carry Tarrant County denied she was a member despite abundant evidence on social media.

Fanatics are being allowed to hijack 2nd Amendment issues.

The leader of Open Carry Texas is a convicted criminal who engaged in stolen valor in Iraq, and was sent home from Afghanistan after seeing no combat.  The criminal has published numerous times about his mental illness, including hearing voices in his head.  What are those voices saying?

Open Carry Texas and other groups have used economic coercion to pull or force large businesses to take a stand on open carry, threatening economic backlash if their members are not allowed to open carry shotguns and AR-15s into McDonald’s, Starbucks, and more. 

No doubt this coercion will ultimately backfire as one chain after another forbids open carry.  Property rights trump 2nd Amendment rights.  No doubt that the companies will remember the intimidation.

Just in the past few days, the Whataburger restaurant chain with 780 stores in 10 states broke the ice and banned open carry in its stores.

The convicted criminal who runs Open Carry Texas responded with threats of economic repercussions.   The reality is that Open Carry Texas cannot rally more than a small number of people who would be better off staying home playing video games.

None of the open carry leaders who cause trouble seem particularly successful at anything other than causing trouble.  Their education and income levels appear to generally be low.  They possess few organizational skills beyond small local groups.

Again, there are more responsible groups, but the groups causing trouble are not in any position to cause economic pain for any of the store chains.  (Unless they shoot up a store.)

Unfortunately it is the irresponsible trouble-makers who get the press, which is perfect for people who wish to revoke the 2nd Amendment.

It is doubtful that banning open carry in Whataburger will carry any significant economic impact.

If Whataburger loses every open carry fanatic, the accountants likely will not notice, and 2nd Amendment supporters like me will applaud Whataburder for keeping the stores safer from these sorts.

image021Last month, open carry fanatic Alex Kozak shot and killed a young women he allegedly was stalking.

Too many 2nd Amendment supporters are arrogant, taunting millions of other Americans with their ‘rights,’ which happen to be our rights. And they think, like many people before, that they can withstand any storm. And they are wrong.

image023Special Forces Weapons training, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. M-60 machineguns. Even special operations people like Delta Force and SEALs sometimes negligently pop off rounds.

Many of us want to keep the 2nd Amendment strong.

We must pay attention to our political environment, and to history.  We must be the Palm Tree, and understand that no right is absolute, and that our rights never trump the rights of others.

 

 


 

(1) by DFID - UK Department for International Development - Uploaded by russavia. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:A_few_palm_trees_remain_standing_amid_the_destruction_caused_by_Typhoon_Haiyan_in_the_city_of_Tacloban,_Philippines_11290331484).jpg#/media/File:A_few_palm_trees_remain_standing_amid_the_destruction_caused_by_Typhoon_Haiyan_in_the_city_of_Tacloban,_Philippines_(11290331484).jpg:A_few_palm_
trees_remain_standing_amid_the_destruction_caused_by_Typhoon_Haiyan_in_the_city_of_Tacloban,_Philippines_11290331484).jpg#/media/File:A_few_palm_trees_remain_standing_amid_the_destruction_caused_by_Typhoon_Haiyan_in_the_city_of_Tacloban,_Philippines_(11290331484).jpg

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  • This commment is unpublished.
    Tom Colangelo · 3 years ago
    Mike,

    Your perspective is thoughtful and should be taken to heart by 2nd amendment supporters. Well done.

    VR,

    Tom
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Elaine · 3 years ago
      I was born and raised in Texas. My mother was one of 8 children. My Father was one of 13 children.

      We were taught "the rules" at home to respect any and all weapons. You NEVER pull it out unless you intend to use it on someone breaking into your home.

      I was taught to shoot at the age of 10 yrs old although I was never a gun nut. It WAS and IS my right to own one...and be WISE.

      I am glad I bought my Confederate Flat a year ago. It stands tall on one side of my fireplace. On the other side of the fireplace is my American Flag.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    bobsteele1962 · 3 years ago
    The problem is always the fanatics in any group. They are not capable of compromise. My saying to my daughters was to research both sides then to make up your own mind any time they asked me what I thought on any issues. I would then share my thoughts and feelings and make them defend the position they came to.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Pete Flynn · 3 years ago
      I told both my daughters the same thing. It is unfortunate that many of the people so fanatic about the 2nd haven't even read it or the rest of the US Constitution.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      tiny · 3 years ago
      Well said. It can also be said those who can reach large audiences should not be preaching their own opinions but be presenting all sides fairly. This article disappoints me, however, respect the fact this is opinion. Here's mine and also expect my opinion to be respected. #2 Amendment means the right to bear arms. Period. If one is afraid of the sight of a gun...education is in order.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    ST Dog · 3 years ago
    We gave a little and they took more, and more and more.

    In the past you could mail order a firearm from Sears. They have slowly added more an more restrictions such that now they don't even want to allow my to buy my son a rifle, or give him one of mine.

    I remember shotguns and rifles in the back windows of tucks in the fall at school, and even talking to a teachers about plans for hunting that afternoon or about what I caught that morning.

    I remember at 12-13, waking from my house with a shotgun on my shoulder to the woods at the end of the road to squirrel hunt after school.

    Now the compromises you suggest we continue have made all that impossible, even illegal. And you think we should compromise more?

    When do you say enough? When all you can own is a single shot musket, and then only after years of training, $1000s in fees, and the approval of your government masters?

    Sorry, you showed above how the slippery slope has taken freedoms away. Evey inch we give them has them come back taking more and more.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Pete Flynn · 3 years ago
    It is certainly too bad that the battle flag was hijacked by haters. But for generations the non-haters tolerated it until it was too late. Based on the behavior and statements made by people flaunting the battle flag has led to the widespread belief that _anyone_ with a battle flag displayed is a hater.
    As far as that nutcase CJ Grisham, he is a nothing. A useless idiot with followers even dumber than he is. It amazes me that any news about Open Carry Texas can be without the tagline "CJ Grisham: leader of Open Carry Texas, a convicted criminal who engaged in stolen valor in Iraq, and was sent home from Afghanistan after seeing no combat and who hears voices in his head."
    We need to keep on doing the right things and intelligently discussing them with others. Don't give up.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    A&N · 3 years ago
    We Americans have compromised ourselves right out of a country. I own neight a gun, a Confederate flag nor do I blow smoke in anyones face. I smoke on my front porch. I'm an American and have seen my country taken by a bunch of criminals, corrupt politicians and illegals....all because of compromise. and people coming to our country who know nothing about freedom or our Constitution. We are no longer a Nation of laws but instead are a lawless Nation. How do you like Communism so far Mr. Yon??? How is a Godless country working out for you. Wait...you are not here putting up with this bull....like I am. You are in Japan. Sorry....I forgot.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    outfoxed J. gorman · 3 years ago
    Mike I agree with your position to a degree. If you take the liberal states of New York, New Jersey, Calif and places like Washington D.C. it is obvious that their laws totally disregard the 2nd amendment. In New York it is almost impossible to own and carry a handgun legally opened or concealed.
    Other States like Texas have gone overboard the other way. The laws are a mixed bag of good and very bad when it comes to guns.

    You seem to be addressing one aspect and applying a broad brush using the fringe elements as examples. This seems to be a States rights issue with the Federal government playing referee through the Supreme Ct.

    The advocates for gun control are TOTALLY against the 2nd amendment and are going to if possible trample EVERY citizens ability to legally own a firearm. People see open carry as the canary in the coal mine. Maybe yes maybe no.

    The hurricane you speak of blows both ways. Many sane and decent laws are being lost in this fight between two fringe elements on this issue. Polls show a wide diversity of thought. I don't think a tidal wave is building on either side at this time. Open carry is a very small movement of little or no importance in most of the country.

    Open carry is a minor movement that might, as you say be swept away at some point. Hopefully the baby will not be thrown out with the bathwater. Make NO mistake the advocates for total control will use these fringe movements to make a larger point and conflate the issue of gun ownership with open carry.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    John - Capt in ANG · 3 years ago
    That flaunting analogy with smoking, however falls flat in other contexts, and so I disagree that flaunting it with guns will necessarily go the same way.

    For example, in the 70s gay rights "flaunted the mainstream." Gay Pride parades were often subject of the very same scorn you talk about happening to smokers. Yes, smokers are now relegated to small areas, but gay rights just got US Supreme Court acknowledgement of full marriage. Same actions, same reactions, same claim to rights, 180 degree difference in outcome. Keep in mind, more people smoke than date their own sex.

    It's also a false flag to talk about military and negligent discharges. Millions have died due to car accidents, should we outlaw driving? More military members die from training accidents than negligent discharge. Try getting across the idea we should stop training. The profession of arms involves arms. Mistakes will happen. Marines die on the firing range from incorrectly fired mortars, Army people have died from incidents live-firing tanks, and Air Force aviators have died while flying in training exercises. It goes with the territory.

    With civilians, they die from bad choices all the time. A girl is facing federal conviction and life sentence for accidentally running over a pedestrian. Do we outlaw teen driving or pedestrian crosswalks?

    No.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    William Kemp · 3 years ago
    I have much more than the bit below to say. I would appreciate the opportunity to say it. WMK

    That is why the Second Amendment is in place, and why it is absolute-- shall not be infringed means precisely that. It is not a bulwark that can in any way be allowed to be deconstructed nor undermined. We have seen the results of poly-tick-ians being poly-tick-ians. And I simply scratched the surface, herein.
    (William) Mike Kemp
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Pat · 3 years ago
    Yes, its the fools that will get our rights taken away. These people in your post that do are perfect examples, especially Grisham. I could see open carry in Texas in sparsely populated or rural areas but not in cities. I will remain concealed. You can see what happened with the nut in SC whose photos with the Army of Virginia battle flag surfaced after he murdered the black worshipers. Total mass hysteria and mob rule to erase any trace of the Confederacy just like ISIS erases ancient history.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Rudy · 3 years ago
    Do not trust any government who tacitly sanctioned the murder of 60 MILLION unborn children.. Jesus will avenge this soon enough. He is coming.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Rey · 3 years ago
    Mike, although I see your point, I must humbly disagree. You are purposely using extreme examples to prove your point (the strawman argument).
    I live in New Mexico, an open carry state, and regularly carry a Glock on my hip. I do not carry to intimidate or coerce, I carry for my personal safety. Mind you I will not carry in places where the owners of the establishment have posted a no gun sign. Even in one occasion, I did not see the no gun sign (in my defense, the rule was buried among a dozen posted rules at the entrance) and when notified by the security person that carrying was prohibited I smiled, apologized and walked off the establishment.

    At the end, it is about common courtesy and respecting others. If you are uncomfortable with my gun you can ask me about it and I will be courteous and caring. If you ask me not to carry in your home or establishment, I am responsible to either leave or disarm.

    What I don't abide is accepting slowly creeping mandates by those who will use the violence of the state to impose their opinions on me. They find it fine that a uniformed enforcer from the state can and should carry everywhere, yet I may not. Police officers in New Mexico have killed more people than I have (and I am a combat vet).
    We blindly accept that an officer of the state can be armed yet a citizen should not.

    We are slowly loosing our natural rights to propaganda, indoctrination and our own willingness to fit in.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      ST Dog · 3 years ago
      Amen.

      The point I see is that the "extreme" side is trying to get people more accustomed to seeing it (see John's comments above w/r/t the homosexuals).

      It's not that people want to carry a long gun to those places, it that long guns are all they can carry without government permission/registration. If a simple revolver or semi-auto and gun was an option, they would take that route (as has been done in other states). But it's not. And in same states it impossible to open carry a handgun at all. So it not possible to introduce people to the concept outside of long guns.


      Is it the right tactic? Will it work? I don't know.

      But a lot has changed since the days when I walked through my neighborhood with a shot gun on my shoulder or when the high school parking lot was full of deer rifles.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Cruzer · 3 years ago
    Was the cry they heard. Why? I wasn't there to witness it, but the Patriots screamed this so they could GO TO WHERE THE ARMS ARE. So, I would submit that the Founding Fathers didn't intend that you should be able to brazenly brandish your weapon however, whenever, and wherever you want.

    Furthermore, I think a lot of people really don't get what Michael is saying. To sum: don't be stupid. Don't purposefully try to intimidate the citizenry around you. With ANY issue. If you think that brandishing a shotgun doesn't intimidate SOMEONE, then you aren't smart enough to carry in the first place. When the ability for teachers and other educators to discipline children was removed, there is no longer a dis-incentive for these idiots to NOT take compassion into account in life. They like to see people uncomfortable, and will do as they please.

    I could go on this topic ad nauseam, but if you can't see the necessity for reasonable compromise, then you aren't worthy of hearing the rest of my opinion. If you CAN, then do your own quiet thing to educate and inform people. Not scare the crap out of them that the Boogeyman Gun Owner is going to shoot them or that some politician is going to take their guns. Neither one is probably more likely than the other, yet we'll continue to have idiots on both sides of the argument.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      ST Dog · 3 years ago
      The "unreasonable" request today will be the "reasonable" compromise tomorrow.


      The NFA was reasonable when passed. Just a tax on machine guns and short barreled weapons.

      Then we added the GCA, another reasonable compromise. Prohibit bad people, no mail order firearms, and add licensed dealers.

      And now they have stopped new automatic weapons, the prohibited person list gets longer and longer, magazine limits, even bans on cosmetic features (aka assault weapons) and calls for a transfer tax on all firearms (the net effect of "universal" background checks)

      Most of today's restrictions would have been called unreasonable when the NFA and GCA were passed.

      Who can guess what unreasonable thing today will be a compromise in the future.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Arlene Cole · 3 years ago
      This is to Cruzer - I'm guessing this is NOT your real name, which is required. on 7/15/15 you commented:

      "To arms, to arms....Was the cry they heard. Why? I wasn't there to witness it, but the Patriots screamed this so they could GO TO WHERE THE ARMS ARE."

      Why do you assume (we all know what that means) the Patriots had to go somewhere to get arms. My interpretation of 'to arms, to arms...' simply means 'grab your weapons'. Now, that weapon could be on your person, resting against a tree or fence, or locked in a safe somewhere where you can't get to it when you need it. As far as a shotgun intimidating someone, in the 1960s I grew up in an affluent town in Westchester County, NY, and was a member of the Riflery Club in high school. I shot a shotgun for the first time when I was 7 years old. I've been carrying for 36 years and haven't killed anyone yet, although there were times I had cause to draw my revolver and hold a criminal until the police arrived. When you are properly educated about what a gun is and how to care for it and use it (as kids used to be), then intimidation is not an issue. Substitute the word horse (for example) for gun in your argument, and we'll have to ban horses for Heaven's sake! As far as "some politician is going to take their guns" being a false argument for gun owners, if they were not trying like hell to do that, we would not be fighting like hell to stop them. Guns don't kill people - people kill people - and most of the time they don't use a gun to do it!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    truthteller · 3 years ago
    I've always been puzzled: what responsible gun owner would WANT to open-carry? Concealed carrying, keeping it private and secret unless and until needed, makes so much more sense to me. Why be the obvious target, unless working a security or military or police detail? Why keep your valuable hardware out and exposed where it can be damaged or stolen, or might be grabbed and used against you? Makes no sense to me. And to protect my life and my family, I will always carry concealed, legal or otherwise; defending life trumps complying with abusive laws.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Arlene Cole · 3 years ago
      I've been (concealed) carrying for 36 years. The only times I open carried was when I left my business at 4am so anyone sitting in a car in the parking lot would know not to approach me, or if I had to go to the rough side of town at 2am to pick up ice for my bar. Like anything else, you have to use common sense when you carry, and sometimes that means letting others know they better leave you alone. Of course this is only my opinion, and I'm only speaking from experience - are you?
  • This commment is unpublished.
    tom L · 3 years ago
    I believe in the second amendment, the right to bear arms. I believe in most of what you said but how much more do we give up? It seems like minorities stir up more visibility to the problem than the majority. Look at the gay movement. Only 2% of the American people are gay and yet look at what they have accomplished. Look at the abortion issue. the majority didn't want it the minority made such a stink about look at where we are. Now a minority of people are making themselves known and that is who the government is basing there decisions on. Are the politicians who make these decision going to be exempt from them like other laws that have been passed lately. Are they going to give up all there weapons? Doubt it
  • This commment is unpublished.
    marQc · 3 years ago
    Excellent article and I agree with all the major, salient points; however, according to the Kenedy County Sheriff's Deputy investigating Vice President Cheney's shooting accident, it is not true that the Vice President was “randomly launching bullets”; in other words, this was not an accidental discharge as you imply in the context of your original passage. From the report, “After the group shot at the first covey he [Vice President Cheney] and Pam Willeford proceeded to the second covey because Harry Whittington was looking for his downed birds. Mr. Cheney told me he and Pam Willeford had walked approximately 100 yards from the first location and met up with Oscar Medellin and the hunting guide Bo Hubert. There was a single bird that flew behind him and he followed the bird by line of sight in a counter clockwise direction not realizing Harry Whittington had walked up from behind and had positioned himself approximately 30 yards to the west of him.” See http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/crime/texas-cops-release-cheney-shooting-report for the full report.

    It appears to me that this was a hunting accident, more the result of a failure to communicate, than it was any sort of "random" discharge.

    This comment, in addition to being misleading, is inflammatory and adds nothing to the substance of your post. In my mind, it raises the question of whether or not this passage is simply pandering to the narrative of Mr. Cheney’s-most rabid-political opponents. Personally, I would trust Dick Cheney to have my back over all but perhaps a handful of other politicians in your country; and this, despite his ailing health.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      tiny · 3 years ago
      Great points, MarQc....enjoyed your points as it's always a relief to see others really ARE paying attention. The silent majority theory again....and we're out there.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      ST Dog · 3 years ago
      That doesn't meet the accecpted narritive of the incedent. It will never be accecpted as the truth.

      The left pushed their version and that's all most will ever believe.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    okiquit · 3 years ago
    Nobody here has bothered to quote the actual words of the 2nd Amendment, especially the fist part which is ignored by gun lovers near and far.

    "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."
    • This commment is unpublished.
      ST Dog · 3 years ago
      What about it?
      What do YOU think it means?

      I recommend you consult a dictionary and make sure you look at all the definitions of those words.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Brian Bonner · 3 years ago
    The 2nd Amendment is redundant, it is EXTRA protection in case some ppl start to think like you Yon.

    Look up UNalianable Rights -cannot be taken from cannot give it away. Can be taken only by coercive force

    Progressivism is a disease, find a cure!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    whamprod · 3 years ago
    @okiquit, "well regulated militia" refers to the irregular militia made up of the people, found in 10 U.S. Code § 311 - "(a).....
    (b) The classes of the militia are—
    .....
    (2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia."

    For the founding fathers, there WAS NO national guard at the time. There was the militia, made up of able-bodied men, and the standing army. The militia, by definition, was "irregular", and the term "well-regulated" simply meant that the militia should be on the same logistical page as the standing army. Well regulated meant "in synch" not "tightly controlled". That meant that, if one wanted to participate in the militia, he would have to provide at his own expense a rifle similar or identical in pattern to the one used by the army, in similar caliber, his own powder, bullets, and other supplies. The purpose of the army was to defend the nation from external threats. The purpose of the militia was to defend the nation from tyranny. That is why a "well-regulated" militia was considered "necessary to the security of a FREE state".

    When the national guard was created nation-wide in 1903, Congress did not eliminate the militia, nor does it have the authority to do so without a Constitutional amendment. And today, just as voting rights have been extended over the years to the disabled, minorities, women, etc., there is no longer a Constitutionally valid reason to exclude someone from the irregular militia.

    I have a Texas CHL. I am in favor of the right to carry openly WHEN IT IS APPROPRIATE. I may on occasion, discretely open carry myself. Texas weather is a bitch, and covering up can be hot and uncomfortable. But if/when I do, you can count on my weapon being properly holstered, in a retention holster, on a true gunbelt so my pants don't fall down, and I'm most certainly NOT going to OC with a crowd of nutburger OCers, and I'm sure as hell not going to OC one of my AR15s or SCAR 17 into a dining establishment. Those two clowns with the AR and SKS are exactly the kind of representation the 2nd Amendment does not need.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Andrew · 3 years ago
    Palm trees sway. The wind blows, they bend. The wind stops, they straighten. I don't think this analogy fits the situation.

    In my experience, rights rarely come back once the mechanisms of control are institutionalized.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    David L. Chute · 3 years ago
    This one has bothered me since they started doing it. They've railed against Starbucks and others who didn't want their other customers being alarmed at meeting total strangers openly carrying scoped "tactical" rifles with single point slings, trying to live out the fantasy of being a real spec-ops operator while looking like they escaped from their parent's basement after an all-nighter playing Call of Duty. If I was a business owner just scraping by, I'd be upset too if half of my customer base was scared away by that kind of behavior. I carry concealed for more reasons than not wanting bad guys to get the drop on me. Little old ladies won't get a case of the vapors, mothers with small kids won't be hurriedly moving them away from me in mortal fear and I won't have to deal with the police that have been called on me by well intentioned or possibly malicious people.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    chelsa · 2 years ago
    This typhoon left many people homeless. Not only that the economy of the are totally went worst from bad. I can say the national government clearly didn't helped the local government because of the corruption. Until now, no progress. Sadly, the donations did not go to the right people. I hope somebody will investigate about that matter. You will find tons of goods stocked in the DSWD offices, money that went in the wrong way with proper recipients. (can you believe that) Poor Philippines that wasted millions of $$$$$$$ to host the APEC and forgot their own people. Again, after APEC there's no development. Investigate just how much is the cost of one "Barong Tagalog" cost.Tharts a classic example of legal corruption. wWith proper receipts.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Terrell · 4 months ago
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