Friday, October 26, 2007
In the past week, I haven't seen a single person ... student, staff or faculty ... wearing an empty holster on my local campus in protest of the "no concealed carry" laws endemic to colleges in this country.
It may be due to the Oregon law (166.291, 166.360, 166.370) which permits concealed carry in this state. Or it may be due to student (and staff and faculty) ennui.
Fox News has an article, and there was a letter to the editor of the local student newspaper in favor of concealed carry on campus. It referred to an article titled "Guns On Campus", which is a likely original source but I can't find it on the school website.
At this point, I must concede that the "Concealed Carry on Campus" question is not a big issue here. I had hoped to present some evidence that it was, but I can only conclude that the fact that it is not news ... is news.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
But today --- today is Saint Crispin's Day.
This is the day to celebrate the brotherhood of men who would lay down their lives for their family, their country and their honor.
Although our fighting men and women, our warriors, are daily denigrated by the rabid monsters of politics, we can take this day for our own to honor them for their devotion, their determination, and their sacrifice.
.... he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
And crowns for convoy put into his purse;
We would not die in that man's company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is call'd the feast of Crispian.
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam'd,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian.'
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say 'These wounds I had on Crispian's day.'
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words-
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester-
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb'red.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Sure, I don't spend all day standing on "The Quad" watching students march through the rain. I walk to the office from the parking log, take a break outside, look through the windows from time to time, trudge back to the car ... I don't see empty holsters.
Deciding that a little research is in order, I look through the student newspaper. Nope, no articles about Empty Holster Week, let alone Islamic Fascist Awareness Week. Could it be that I reside in a Politically Unaware Student Environment (PUSE!)
In Other News ...
I voted today in the November 6, 2007 Oregon State Elections. Easy ballot (they're mailed to us here in Oregon, you know) with only three issues:
State: Ballot item rejecting Measure 37, which originally refused The State to impose zoning restrictions on property owners which were not in effect when the property was originally bought. VOTE: No (Sorry, Fish, don't mean to make your life harder).
Too many stories about property owners (farmers, mostly) wanting to build a second house for The Next Generation, and being forbidden; or trying to dry up a quarter-acre marsh because the mosquitoes were eating up the grandchildren, but forbidden because it was a 'protected Wetland.
State: Ballot measure to change the state constitution to impose an even more exorbitant tax on tobacco. Vote: NO! This state has been receiving millions of dollars from The Tobacco Industry, presumably to use in treating citizens who have health-problems due to tobacco-product usage. But this is the same argument used to justify this measure. The Tobacco Industry funds received have NOT been used for this purpose, yet this is the same argument used to justify this measure. This is the first time a Constitutional Amendment has been proposed to impose a tax on a product. With any luck, it will be the last time. This is Oregon, the state which has infamously rejected Petition signatures and then unilaterally redefined procedural objections to review the objections of the petition signers who can prove that their signatures were in fact legitimate. (Complex subject, see here for a more understandable explanation.)
The bottom line is that this Red State is ruled by a liberal Democrat Governor, who historically as ALWAYS used the Bureaucracy to undermine the expressed will of the people. He's turning this green haven into Kalifornia North. I won't vote for anything that appears on his ballot.
Local: County measure to add 5% to the property tax to pay for improvements in police and 'other' county Support Services. Vote: NO! It breaks my heart to vote against anything that might help SWMBO (a county employee) earn a decent living, but the County is as Red as the State.
"This is just another Peyton Place and we're all Harper Valley hypocrites!"
The Wonders of Amazon.com -- good deal on Miami Vice Seasons 1 & 2
Good deal on the Jack Reacher (author Lee Child) book that I've read but don't actually own -- Running Blind. (The link is for the audiobook - no current amazon listings for the hardcover, which I just bought and AM reading as soon as I sign off here!)
Got 'em both, I'm spending more time blogging than I am reading or Pastell-a-visioning.
Must -- Resist -- The -- Fisk -- of -- Death!~
I remember the United Nations when I was a kid. Dag Hammarskjold was UN Secretary-General , Jonas Salk was giving the world a vaccine to immunize children against Poliovirus, and we went Trick-or-Treating for UNICEF.
I remember making the rounds in the neighborhood with my UNICEF collection cannister, before I went home and got my candy bag to revisit the same doorways.
I can't say it any better than Sondra K.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
This video demonstrates the Buyer's Remorse of a people who have been convinced to give up their personal firearms ... with little or no compensation .. due to a governmental program which is wholly arbitrary.
I've said it so many times, so many ways, and yet I don't think I would ever be able to say it so well as these British
I started out keeping track of the sound-bite / Bumper Sticker quotes, and soon lost track of them. The message from a people who have been forced to give up their guns for a pernicious Governmental program is this:
We will never give in. Never ... never ... never give in.
Churchillian, perhaps. More appropriately, reminiscent of "Rule Britania":
"Britains, never will be slaves!"
But today they are, and their message is clear.
When we accede willingly to governmental bans on firearms, we lose more than our right to own firearms. We lose our freedom to decide for ourself what is right, and what is not right. Only when we experience the consequences of our decision do we understand how wrong it may be.
It's not about controlling guns.
It's about controlling the people.
It's not about who wins; it's about who loses.
Either we do, or they do; and we always, always lose when we allow them to convince us that we are being 'selfish' because we are not willing to 'compromise'.
For them, the word compromise means that we lose, and they win.
It's not about safety. It's not about crime.
It's about who makes decisions in the way we live our lives.
Either we do, or they do.
I'm still feeling puny, but my voice has changed from a croak to a growl to a really sexy basso profundo.
Maybe I'm being overly generous to myself here, but after a week of being unable to speak at all (Laryngitis caused by, according to my physician, "a combination of two or more flu bugs" which I prefer to call a "Flu Cocktail") it's really nice to be able to speak intelligibly ... if softly, very softly. Talking too much or being too active still causes coughing jags as it breaks up the bronchial congestion.
Um... okay, that's what they call a 'digression'.
Empty Holster Week
I did get to walk around on campus for a while today. I saw not one single student prominently displaying an 'empty holster'.
I'm disappointed. I thought this was going to be A Big Thing, and I was beginning to consider my home university campus to be more 'socially conservative' than most. Perhaps I was wrong. Perhaps it's a matter of the local university student body being more caught up in 'practical' matters, which might be expected in an institution which was originally named an 'Agricultural College'.
Or it may be a matter of ennui.
To summarize, here's the plan:
This week, you might see students around campus wearing empty holsters on their belts. Don’t be alarmed – it’s part of a harmless Rights Awareness protest. You'll probably see Ladies and Gentlemen both.IFAW
The point of any empty holster presence is to call attention to the gun owners whom you may not know. This is important for those who believe they are ‘uncomfortable’ with another adult student carrying their personal weapon on campus anywhere near them.
But one’s fellow student is the same person now they were before one found out they are a gun owner.
The thing non-gun owners can do is to inquire. The gun owner is usually well informed on U.S History, sovereign rights, personal authority, personal liberty, and tactics - and is a superb source of information on how it relates to heads of household who would like to learn more about household safety planning and considerations.
I'm still hoping that the local University Students will jump on the bandwagon, so I'm thinking ... maybe they've been distracted by the (inconveniently timed) "Islamic Fascism Awareness Week".
During the week of October 22-26, 2007, the nation will be rocked by the biggest conservative campus protest ever – Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week, a wake-up call for Americans on 200 university and college campuses.
The purpose of this protest is as simple as it is crucial: to confront the two Big Lies of the political left: that George Bush created the war on terror and that Global Warming is a greater danger to Americans than the terrorist threat. Nothing could be more politically incorrect than to point this out. But nothing could be more important for American students to hear. In the face of the greatest danger Americans have ever confronted, the academic left has mobilized to create sympathy for the enemy and to fight anyone who rallies Americans to defend themselves. According to the academic left, anyone who links Islamic radicalism to the war on terror is an "Islamophobe." According to the academic left, the Islamo-fascists hate us not because we are tolerant and free, but because we are "oppressors."
Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week is a national effort to oppose these lies and to rally American students to defend their country.
So I'm wandering around the campus looking for flyers, demonstrations, protests and counter-protests.
Hmmm ... nope. Nothing to see here folks. Move along.
Campus Activism: Not Entirely Absent
I'm disappointed. Last year I was walking to lunch and ran into a battallion of Lyndon LaRouche supporters. As I passed by, they shouted "Hey, are you ready to impeach Bush and Cheney! Let's put them in prison. Better yet, they should be executed for treason!"
I admit, I was fascinated by their fascist fanaticism and spent a few minutes talking to one of the rabble-rousers. I asked him "Hey, is he out of jail yet?" The guy was a case-study in campus activism. As we talked, his eyes began to gleam and he started panting. Finally he shouted "It's you and your generation who are responsible for all that's wrong with the world today!" Too much for me, I went on to lunch and was happy to escape without punching the young gentleman in the nose. Or being punched in the nose myself, as in "Operation Mop-Up". Funny, I thought LaRouche was dead. No such luck, I guess.
Where are campus activists when we need them? They're never around, and I still haven't figured why Lyndon LaRouche campaigns were being conducted in a non-election year. Well, that's Campus Life for you --- fickle, peripatetic, and either spontaneous or a non-event.
Moving on, looking for a reason for living, I discovered that early editions of Day-By-Day cartoons are available as FREE downloads by Wowio.com, which you can find by going to the DBD website. I downloaded the first three 'books' (4th quarter of 2002, 1st & 2nd quarter of 2003) after establishing a Wowio subscription. It's a lot faster than going through Muir's website and accessing each individual day's entries. Wowio.com only allows 3 downloads at a time, and six 'books' are currently available.
UPDATE on "Empty Holster":
The Real Gun Guys has (have?) a bit more information.
In a departure from our usual firearms-related ranting, I note today that the Liberal U.S. Senate is pushing a new immigration bill, which may be voted on as soon as tomorrow (Wednesday, October 24, 2007).
WRITE YOUR SENATOR
The Senate's Contact website has a quick, easy form by which you can email your senator.
Go there, then select your state. The websites for both of your senators will be linked.
Click on either of your senators (or both, one at a time) , fill in the simple identification information, find "Immigration" on the subject list, and type in your message.
I suggest you keep your message system, such as writing one of the following brief notes:
DREAM Act - NO
DREAM Act - YES
It appears that this is as close to a vote as we are likely to get on this issue.
Monday, October 22, 2007
I did have a comment on that article, referring to a co-worker who "never saw any reason why anyone would want to have a gun." I started to reply in the comments section, but it started to get a little "Geek-Length" so I decided instead to reply here.
If you're reading this, you are probably a recreational shooter. Chances are, you shoot IPSC and are more or less competitive. Statistically, it's a toss-up whether you have a gun because you want to do a particular kind of shooting ("I need to hunt elk so my Elk rifle doesn't get rusty!"), or have a gun and just want some reason or excuse to go shoot it.
I actually shot my first IPSC match because at age 38 I had recently bought an army surplus 1911 from my father and was wondering what to do now that I had it. (I had never been a pistol shooter; some say I'm still not.) Someone at my office had posted a sign about "competitive pistol shooting" being available at a local range - Tri-County Gun Club - and I showed up the next weekend for training and certification.
Yesterday, home with the flu, was one of the few months times I missed a TCGC match. It takes a reason for me NOT to shoot.
You and I need no better reason than to shoot for sport -- an excuse to go to the range in nasty weather and embarrass ourselves in the company of good friends. We do have other reasons, including personal defense and hunting, but it's all of a package.
We just do not commonly associate with people who have NO personal firearms experience, who quite possibly have never handled a gun and aren't sure they remember if they've ever seen a "real live gun". The person of whom I wrote was one such individual, and was not only indifferent to an invitation to come out and try shooting one, but acted skittish about it.
It is a fact that there are people who are literally fearful of guns. The reasons for their fear are not easily understandable to me, I can never tell whether it's Nature or Nurture. That is, they're essentially timid or fearful people, or they have been taught to scorn and/or fear firearms. I suspect it's more often that their family was much different from mine, when they were children they were discouraged from a 'morbid interest' in guns.
I see this 'nurtured' abhorrence of firearms less often in my own generation than in the generation which was raised in accordance to the concepts advocated by Dr. Spock. Spock's best-selling book "Baby and Child Care" was first published in 1946, but his radical political ideals became more evident in the 1970's when my generation started families. Spock was a
Not to put the blame for timidity about guns, if blame there must be, on the shoulders of one man; many families consider firearms to be 'instruments of violence' and reject the ownership and/or usage of firearms as they reject violence. Some do this for religious reasons, some because it is a connection they have made independently.
I refer you to Kevin Baker's blog The Smallest Minority, and specifically to one article which in part discussed the two types of violence.
I refer to this as an inability to differentiate between the two "gun cultures" - the "violent and predatory" and the "violent, but protective." His type (exemplified by the British press, and it would seem, the majority of the British populace) sees only violent, and all violence is, by their definition, bad - unless that violence is carried out by an authorized member of the government, where it is instead referred to as force. And there is still some ambivalence even about those acts. I'm heartened to see what appears to be a growing public support for what they term "have-a-go heroes" - those who fight back against attackers - but they've got a long way to go after almost ninety years of a disarmament culture.[Emphasis in the original]
I warn you, The Smallest Minority is (a) addictive and (b) almost invariably "Geek Length". The difference being, of course, that Kevin can put more concept and information into his writing than I do, he is a better writer, and a much better researcher.
I agree with Kevin's proposition, that people who object to guns on the basis of an abhorrence of violence do so indiscriminately. Literally, they don't see any difference, for example, between, a man who initiates a home-invasion burglary and the home-owner who defends his home and family by the use of violence. These are the people who say "only the police and the army should have guns."
And that is the fast-track to Gun Control, which is a growth industry which parallels the Information Age both in time-span and the increasing prevalence.
You ask: "Geek, a few minutes ago you blamed Dr. Spock for teaching parents to be fearful of guns, now you're blaming computers for gun control?"
Good question, and I'm glad you asked that. The answer is no.
The only way computers lend to the gun control movement is in the same sense that computers have enhanced the information-sharing ability of us all. Again, this is indiscriminate and allows strong opinions to be shared with like-minded individuals. You can not name a Gun Control Organization that doesn't have an active website, and you can't find a Gun Rights Organization that doesn't have an active website. The breaking point is that there are a lot of private blogs (such as this one) which allows individual Gun Rights activists to spout their own personal opinions on the subject. There are fewer personal blogs specifically devoted to advocating Gun Control than there are devoted to Gun Rights, by a factor of 1000%. (Yes, I made that up. Gun Control advocates make up their own statistics, I guess I can too.)
That private, individual alternative is part of the reason why the Gun Control controversy is becoming more intense in recent years ... say, fifteen years. In the same way that blogs such as Little Green Footballs (LGF) have exposed Main Stream Media (MSM) inaccuracies and slanted reporting (LGF was instrumental in exposing both the Dan Rather "Bush Letter" and the photo-shopping of TWOT photos from Iraq and Afghanistan), other blogs help us to become aware of anti-gun legislation such as the recent Kalifornia Microstamping Technology. We, as private citizens concerned with our Second Amendment Rights, can't always stop the passage of such wrong-headed state and local laws, but we can help ensure that legislatures don't push these bills through without the scrutiny of an informed citizenry.
And in a way, as we talk about these issues between ourselves, we are encouraged to talk privately to people who "never saw any reason why anyone would want to have a gun." We can at least act as an example of a rational person who sees no reason why they should not be able to have a gun, in careful distinction to not want to have a gun.
To not want to have a gun is to exercise personal choice.
To not be able to have a gun is an exercise in tyranny.
It's not a matter of safety. It's not a matter of culture. It's not a matter of "if it only saves the life of a single child".
It's a matter of who makes our decisions.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
In my day, Student Activism consisted of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS, which actually still exists in a much watered down form), and The Weathermen.
Phooey! Those campus radicals were Idealists (read: Anarchists). Today there are new students with new ideals ... individual freedoms.
The Students for Concealed Carry on Campus (SCCC) has called for a week of passive demonstrations. During the week beginning October 22, 2007, SCCC has called for students to wear empty holsters on campus.
I'm tempted to join them. Maybe I will. I'm getting long in the tooth, and my priorities are doing my job and earning the generous salary I'm provided from the state University System.
But I would like to support this drive to convince College administrators that students really care about their right to defend themselves on campus.
After the massacre at Virginia Tech, it's clear to most clear-thinking Americans that "Gun-Free Zones" don't protect college students against predatory madmen. What some may consider a protective policy, predators consider a 'target-rich' environment. If students don't buy into either concept, who are we to deny them the right to self defense?
The public outcry against "School Shootings' probably started with The Stockton Massacre.
It was brought most emphatically to the forefront of our attention by the Columbine High School Massacre,
but none of us are likely to feel comfortable with supporting the arming of juveniles, although allowing faculty and staff to arm themselves may be a good second step.
The first step just may be to acknowledge the right of adults on college campuses to defend themselves.
SCCC's position is that adults (21+ years old) with a Concealed Carry license should be permitted to carry concealed firearms on campus, for their own protection and for the protection of their fellow students.
Yes, in this state there are no laws forbidding an adult carrying a concealed handgun on campus. But school policy ... is inconsistent state-wide. Well, perhaps not so inconsistent; where policy exists, it is decidedly anti-gun.
When I consider my own participation, I have to consider two issues:
- This is a 'student-driven' movement. If the students don't care, is it my place to make their point for them?
- And if they do care ... if some students DO show up on campus with empty holsters ... would I be undermining their self-determinism by participating in a student-organized event?
Many of my co-workers, all of whom are aware that I shoot pistols in competition, are already vaguely uneasy with having a 'gun nut' in their office. In casual conversation, at least one co-worker has already stated that he 'never saw any reason why anyone would want to have a gun'.
On the other hand, I've already taken two co-workers to the range, and they seemed to enjoy themselves.
Stay tuned. I'll let you know what happens this week.