Tuesday, November 2, 2021

"Wait, what?!" (Frozen)

I am for gun control. I am against gun rights.

But let me clarify:
I am for gun control. As in actually controlling your gun. Locking it up in a secure fashion when not in use. Keeping it in your holster until that unfortunate day where you will need it. Not forgetting it in the bathroom. Not letting your child play with your "unloaded" firearm while you take a nap. Not shooting it off as you draw it from your holster and putting a couple of holes through your leg.

I am against gun rights. A gun doesn't have rights. It is an inanimate object. It functions solely when operated by a person, and only performs as a deliberate action from said person. Yes, there are apparently some parts failures that make the gun accidentally go off. I don't have the statistics, but I think I'd be safe in saying it happens in 1 in 300 million chances. Guns don't "just go off" as the media stories would have you believe.

I am, however, for people's rights. As in enumerated (at minimum) in the Constitution. That includes the Second Amendment. The one that says, in essence, the right to keep and bear arms cannot be infringed. The Supreme Court of the United States have ruled that rights can be denied after due process- that is, through court action. But realize this is mostly acted upon reactively. After a criminal commits a crime and serves their felonious time. Rights are removed when the court determines the citizen has been unable to exercise their rights lawfully. Not prior to.

Anti-gun people want to make everyone afraid of a gun because they think guns are bad. Guns kill and injure. Criminals use guns. And on and on. Outlawing guns will not make criminals stop using guns. Anti's have no idea what the word "criminal" means. They want gun owners to be subject to background checks, mental health checks, exorbitant taxes and fees, and have severe limitations on what types of guns people can have. 

Imagine only having the choice between a Ford truck and a Buick sedan. Those are your options, even though we have Teslas, BMWs, Audis in the world. 

It would be funny if it wasn't so freaking ridiculous. Obviously anti-gun people are no students of history. Any cursory glance of history will show that arms directly affects the restraint and oppression of freedom and independence.

Everyone can try to manipulate country comparisons. It's a moot argument, since independent countries have completely different societal ideals.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

"I'm Batman." (Revolution)

Recently I engaged in another pointless Internet discussion. Someone brought up, in essence, that if there's a home invasion, and you're home, you are to abdicate and let the invader take whatever they want. Because why escalate the situation with fighting for "stuff" or trying to protect your "stuff" with a firearm or other weapon?

I contained myself, miraculously enough.

Why, for Pete's sake, should we, the homeowner/renter/dweller, bow to the criminal element in our midst?

Why should we just put our hands up and let them take it, because after all, it's insured, and it's just *stuff*.

Why should some desperate, illogical, buffoon, druggie, initiate, or career criminal just get a free pass in order to achieve some perverse presentation of civility?

Because death is final. You don't come back from that (at least not yet, zombie industry). You don't spend months before your trial and then years in a cage if you're dead.

But it's still just "stuff." You can buy another TV. You can buy more gold rings. You can buy new silver spoons. So what if you can't buy your grandmother's silver spoon collection that was started in the Great Depression. So what if you can't buy another gold ring that was made in 1845. It's just "stuff."

Some "stuff" will be priceless to you. Priceless "stuff" does have a price, in these instances. A human life, if one was to defend their "stuff."

Our passion and emotions are tied to things we've earned. And the more time spent to acquiring "stuff" holds a deep meaning to us.

Why should someone who has slightly more power than us be able to just waltz out with your "stuff?" They don't desire it. They don't need it. They don't want it. They want the economic value of it.

And if someone is willing to melt your hopes, dreams, memories down to pure cash, does their life really trump the value of your "stuff?"

Why should we bow to the momentary power shift to the criminal element, who does not care about your "stuff" as it were their own? Why should an invader into our home, our life, our pursuit of happiness, be given carte blanche to avoid escalation of violence?

It's all just "stuff" after all, right?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

"You said you were lactose intolerant." (The Santa Clause)

Why is it that people are so obsessed with shouting their opinion they don't bother reading the actual meaning of the words on a page?

NPR did an experiment on April Fool's, if I recall correctly. It was perfect.

Today I saw this headline:
Defensive Gun Use of the Day: 14-Year-Old Son of Murdered Father Shoots and Kills Home Invader Edition
Reading the post gives the reader basic details, and a link to the original story. After that, that's when it gets interesting. The comment section.

Surely the burglar will be charged with felony murder. That’s federal law isn’t it?
What Ralph said.
I would add that most states, even liberal bastions CA and MA have felony murder states where if anyone dies during the commission of a felony, the perp can be charged with murder. In some cases first degree murder.
This applies even if the death is a result of police shooting an accomplice. Theory being that had they not committed the felony, the death would not have occurred.

One more sledge hammer to use in getting a plea deal.
Here's the point.

Burglar gets shot and killed by a kid protecting his ailing grandparents. A second person is arrested in connection, but it's a red herring in the story. The kid's father was killed at his workplace 6 years ago by what could be described as a drive-by shooting.

The commenters quoted above have made the Olympic leap that the burglar killed the boy's father.

Anti-gun people want qualifications for people to own guns? Well I want a higher intelligence standard of people who post online.

And if you've made it this far- here's NPR's awesome joke.

Monday, October 27, 2014

"Stay gold, Ponyboy." The Outsiders

As per usual, commentary on the MPHS shooting.

1. Stop giving the killer attention. It only draws other mal-adjusted kids to the flame. It's painfully obvious that the young generation is infatuated with celebrity. And why not? That's what they grew up with. MTV reality TV (born during GenX time), American Idol, Survivor, etc. These shows that make "normal" people famous- or in some cases, infamous. Even if it's negative attention, it's still attention.

2. Everyone's so freaking sensitive these days. Buck up, life's going to be a bumpy ride. Nothing will go perfect, especially if your plans, aspirations, and dreams are firmly cemented on what you see on television.

3. The amount of information today that is available to people is astronomical. We don't have the skills- at least young people don't- to compile, analyze, and absorb this information usefully. And because we have the information at our fingertips, we believe that it's more popular, more prevalent, or more frequent. In most cases, none of that is true. We see lots of car accident videos. Are accidents happening at a higher-than normal? I don't think so.

4. Prevention. What could have prevented the MPHS shooting? The elimination of firearms in the world. That is the only thing that could have prevented the shooting. Metal detectors? Shooter would have just started shooting at the school entrance. Parents locking up the firearms? Kids are sneaky. Grab the key to the gun case/lock sometime and access it when parents are asleep. If the parents took extreme precautions, the kid would find a different gun, or a different weapon, or devise a different plan.

Monday, June 30, 2014

"How do you say 'Get the F*$# out of the way!' in Chinese?" (Transformers: Age of Extinction)

Oh, wow. Where to begin with Michael Bay's fourth installment of the Transformers franchise. I think he should have passed on it and let someone fresh take over. Jon Favreau maybe?

The good points: Autobots still fight the good fight, and giant robots fighting. Throw in some more "organic" aliens, and that's all cool.

And below be spoilers!

So years after T:DofM, the Battle of Chicago is still fresh, and plenty of political "See Something - Say Something" efforts are in action. Rewards, para-military hunting parties, etc. to round up the Transformers.

Basically, the CIA is using a inter-galactic bounty hunter, Lockdown, to hunt Autobots and Decepticons. Lockdown wants Optimus for he own reasons- something to do with "the Creators."

Meanwhile, back at the uber-techy KSI (headed up by Stanley Tucci- brill!), we find out that KSI has been able to create new Transformers from metal found on Earth and by melting destroyed Transformers. They call this metal "transformium" or something else worthy of groans. I guarantee Jim Jannard is laughing at that one.

Lockdown just muddies the story. He sole purpose is to introduce a bigger, badder "villain" in the Creators and bring about the Dinobots. Which could have been done in any number of ways.

I think the better story would have been to have the CIA/KSI develop the new Transformers from captured Decepticons. Then, under testing, Galvatron escapes with his new minions, and the Autobots need to find and fight them. To save Earth, or something.

During (or after, depending upon time) the fight, it is revealed that Optimus is being hunted by the Creators, and Lockdown appears, captures Optimus and takes him away. Roll credits. End credits scene is Lockdown flying in space, with Optimus hanging upside down behind him. Lockdown communicates with his employer about the success.

Things that really broke the escapism:
First fight with Lockdown and Optimus. You never saw it begin. Optimus driving off, cut to the "rally" car driving through old industrial site, then you see Optimus and Lockdown climbing a building. Uh, what?!

Michael Bay's fascination with females in white, that stay white no matter if they're in the desert, Cybertronian ship, or wherever.

Working on prototypes, but then finding in the Arctic the "transformium"-encased T-Rex. You would think they'd lead off with the discovery, then create the prototypes from that material. It just doesn't help with the story flow.

Overall, giant robots that fight is awesome. Seeing childhood toys on the big screen is awesome. Trying to create deep, intricate stories from a cartoon and toyline? Meh. Might as well try to make the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles aliens instead of mutants. Oh, wait...

Friday, June 27, 2014

"You an American?" "No, I'm from Kentucky!" (Edge of Tomorrow)

The biggest issue with the Internet is the assumption of anonymity. I think it's a cultural and generational issue that will not be considered an issue in twenty years (and not in a good way).

This is what's wrong with it.

People know they're not alone online, but the interaction is still one-sided. Interacting with people online takes a bit more effort to engage, in contrast to simply talking to someone in real life (depending upon the person, that could take an extraordinary effort). To begin or end a conversation, if you will, online only requires one to access a computer, or step away from one. Conversing requires finding the desired forum, topic, and people. And then you type. After contributing (positively or negatively), you have to wait for a response, which isn't always immediate. And then you have problems with composition and comprehension, which creates a whole dynamic of communication that devolves rather quickly. This is the failure in the structure of the Internet. People can't communicate effectively. And won't, until our global education level rises up.

But the failings of the structure are only brought about because the underlying myth that things on the Internet aren't real because the perceived anonymity. There's no direct reaction to something you do or say online from people. You get words on the screen. Sometimes you get hilarious pictures as a response.

An analogy is conversing on the Internet is like singing in your car. Most of the time, no one hears or sees you do it. But those times they do...
From Hyperbole and A Half. Go Allie Brosh!
Or maybe that's just the reaction from Introverts. But the point is that we don't expect to have anyone see or hear us, thus a reaction by a real person. Posting to the Internet is very similar. We're shouting to the cloud, not really wanting anyone to answer. When they do, two things happen. You get affirmation, or you get rebuked and you do your damnest to rain down acid and fireballs from the heavens in the form of defensive posts, rants, and ramblings. When that fails to appease your voice that says you're always right, you resort to insults.

Your brain tells you you're on an online forum. That you're interacting with real people. But without a personal presence, human instinct and thousands of years of interaction know it's just not true. That's why people just turn into complete idiots online. You're not just shouting at the cloud, you're shouting into a tape recorder that saves your blabbering, keeps for posterity so your parents, friends, acquaintances, little Johnny down the block, FBI, NSA, and media all can experience your Great Idiocy.

But we're never going to correct this. Generations that come later will gladly overshare or negatively react. Because they'll be raised in it. I suspect it might infiltrate into real conversations and interactions, and that's when we're going to have problems.

If you're one of those people that don't care what you write or share online, this is about you.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Baseball Statistics and Gunshows

The below image got me thinking about the stats. Notice the MDA is employing the baseball method of statistics- With runners in scoring position in the 7th inning with 2 strikes and stadium capacity at 34% less than full with 3,000 gallons of beer sold that night, the batter hits a homerun (rolling eyes go here).

So I looked at the overall stats. Homicides and guns as the weapon. Pulling data from Wiki, FBI, and http://www.governing.com/gov-data/safety-justice/gun-show-firearms-bankground-checks-state-laws-map.html, I started comparing the numbers.

Sixteen states have required checks for handguns and/or all firearms at purchased at gunshows. Those states are: CA, CO, CT, HI, IA, IL, MA, MD, MI, NC, NE, NJ, NY, OR, PA, and RI. And let's not leave out our bastion of freedom, our central government: DC (sarcasm font needed).

Pulling the by-state data, collectively these 16 states and DC accounted for 6,368 homicides in 2010, with 4,324 using firearms. Compared to the US totals for 2010, that's 49.8% and 48.8%, respectively.

These states are (mostly) our nation's most densely-populated states (NJ, RI, MA, CT, MD are 1-5). One-third of our states account for almost half of the homicides in our country. While correlation doesn't mean causation, one doesn't have to be a rocket scientist to see the "gunshow loophole" isn't really a loophole.

Copied from MDA-WA's Facebook's page: https://scontent-b-sjc.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpf1/t1.0-9/p526x296/10439526_580601208724470_3829319462561309426_n.png

Here's my version: