It’s Complex

It seems like there are just a few big issues that need to be solved. And solving those issues should be simple, binary things, they are either fixed or they are not. At least that’s how it sounds when you listen to the talking heads, the flag waving, pin wearing politicians and their supporters. It doesn’t seem to matter which political party you listen to, the answer always seems to be simple and directly contrary to their opponent.

Gun advocates won’t consider any change in the law or funding model that doesn’t entirely resolve every gun related issue in a single sweep, while retaining every level of their hard fought for rights both written and interpreted. According to that group we don’t need new laws, we just need to be better as using the laws we already have, and do it with the same or less money every year. While their opponents to guns seem to say that we don’t just need new laws, we also need to dramatically change our whole approach to weapons. The views are so diametrically opposed, that in effect they feed off of each other to ensure that nothing can ever change.

The “issue” of race parity is treated the same way. We have laws and a culture that favors those of fair skin, and European descent. The process of creating an even playing field cannot be solved in days or weeks, but has to be measured in generations. If your great-grandparents owned a house and went to school then your grandparents had an advantage and were much more likely to support financially and socially the chance of your parents going to school or university, which would have dramatically improved your childhood and your chance of a solid and supportive upbringing. It takes generations before a complete extended family is in the position to fully embrace and support the social and economic needs to help a complete generation of children.

The school system in the US today is probably more segregated than at any point in any countries history. Why would a well-educated family want their children to be in the same class or even the same school of children who grow up in broken households, or have parents who are poorly educated and don’t value education? The answer is that a cycle has to be broken, and that means investing very heavily in providing accelerated high quality support to any group of people who are below a socially acceptable level. Today that often means people of color (every variety). Yes, it means actually spending more on those who need more, as opposed to spending more on those who already have most. And of course those who have most are in the best position to fight for ensuring they continue to get the most.

The US through a complex mix of drug laws, social and economic segregation, and a draconian legal and penal system have created an underclass in society that is demonstrably color-coded. An underclass that is identifiable partly by skin color, but also by a dramatic difference in clothing, wealth and accent. This underclass then gets treated poorly by employers, the government and its legal proxies, which ensures that it continues to be an underclass.

I don’t believe the police are institutionally racist, but I do believe that the markers of the aforementioned underclass are always going to be a specific target for the police.

As an officer of the law, if you were to see a youth dressed as a 1970’s punk with torn clothing, a disheveled look and a bag, you would be interested in the contents of that bag. In today’s world, a large proportion of the societally created underclass are of color, and I would expect that that means that like everyone else, the police have learned to spot these as potential trouble spots. Is this institutional racism or is this a human response to the effects of hundreds of years of race based culture and laws?

It takes incredible effort, and professionalism to change society, and that does not come easily or cheaply. But it does need to happen.

Better schools and a fairer penal system designed to rehabilitate and not institutionalize, are long term requirements.

Policing that takes into consideration the currently economic and socially disparities is a shorter term tactic. The idea that everyone stopped by the police should be treated with military level aggression seems counter-productive to me, but with so many illegal guns, and so much at stake for anyone arrested due to the draconian legal and penal system, what choice is there?

There can be no tolerance for violence, either people protesting against the government or the government exceeding its power. In fact the best place for people and officials to unite is in stopping violence.

This country needs to fix social disparity, it is possibly the most expensive , resource intensive and time consuming activity a country can undertake, but it has to happen.

Yes it is complex, but that doesn’t make it impossible.

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Somewhere

Somewhere in the world (and by the world, I mean the United States of America) there is a budding politician who believes in regulated capitalism. This person believes that there needs to be constraints on the capitalist system so that it’s preferential to hire people in America to do jobs, and that people should get a good level of education from good public schools. And low cost, high quality universities paid for by a mix of public funding, private partnership and very aggressively low cost loans.

This person believes that while we need the largest military in the world we should also be able to negotiate the best prices, and with this we can actually do a lot more with a lot less, if war profiteering was again seen as immoral and maybe even illegal.

This person believes that everyone has the same rights, and that skin color, sexual orientation or sex have absolutely no bearing on anything ever.

This person believes in free speech and doesn’t care if people disagree, their views can still be heard without restriction, and that all religious, irreligious or stupid views can be held and shared, but they cannot be used to stop anyone else living their lives as their see fit under any circumstances. Words are free, while actions cannot infringe anyone else rights.

This person believes in a baseline single payer healthcare system with private uplift insurance for those that can afford it.

This person believes that everyone has the right, and the responsibility to vote, and that every citizen would be automatically registered to vote and actively encouraged to vote. And it doesn’t matter if they have served a prison sentence, once their out they could vote.

This person believes that prisons are for violent offenders only, and the rehabilitation is more important that punishment.

This person believes that there are real long term reasons why sections of the population are trapped in low economic, social and educational ways, and that these should be addressed directly.

This person believes that the vast majority of people are decent but that there are some people who are racist and homicidal. If these happen to wear a uniform is shouldn’t change how they are dealt with. But this person also expects those who police to support each other unconditionally and respects this.

This person believes that those who join the armed forces and follow every order given are heroes. But you treat heroes with the respect they deserve, and only send them into harms was as an absolute last resort. But when they are deployed to do terrible things they must get total support from those who sent them, this includes treating them as heroes when they return with the best of support both medial and economic.

This person also believes that all drugs should be legal and controlled, alcohol, Tabaco, marijuana and even heroine. It’s the control bit that counts. Making all drug cartels, mules and dealers into a legal framework would change the world.

This person believes that all guns should be registered, insured, owned & used by licensed users (like a car).

This person believes that taxes should be lower, but to do this means taking subsidies away from the largest businesses and the richest people, and spending less but not taking from the poorest in society.

This person believes that regulated capitalism is the best known system and that businesses are the best way of generating an economy (not government spending).

This person believes in the short-term economic benefits and the long term myriad of benefits of infrastructure spending.

This person believes in spending less than you make.

This person believes that unions are a good thing, but like anything must be moderated (as must capitalism).

This person believes that while unwanted pregnancies are sad, the best way to stop them is through sex education and not laws banning abortion or contraceptives.

This person believes that the best way to deal with an enemy is through talking and economics. While the worst way is with bombs. And that the bits in-between these extremes, have to be very clever.

This person believes that immigration is a really good thing economically & socially and supports and protects aspiring immigrants.

This person believes that politicians should be paid a living wage for their work, but not for life, and not more than 3x the minimum wage.

This person believes that money should be capped in all political races.

This person believes in actions to curb future global warming.

This person believes that the minimum wage should be set as the wage needed to not receive any government subsidies (easy to calculate as an hourly rate per electoral zone).

This person has a mix of conservative and liberal views, and couldn’t get the nod from either major political party, so has no chance of every being elected in the current system. So this budding politician will be a failure.

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Why there is no easy answer on guns.

Weapons of all kinds can serve one of four purposes.

1. Defense
2. Offence
3. Hobby
4. Fantasy

In America the right for people to keep and bear arms is not limited to the government and it’s affiliates, and while the second amendment is written as a partially formed paragraph it’s almost impossible to argue with any interpretation that clever lawyers can push.

“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.”

I find it hard to see how some fat bloke living in a mobile home, who didn’t finish school and has more firepower that Pol Pot on the Khmer Rouge’s most pissed off day can be considered well regulated, but it seems that’s how that amendment to the US constitution is now interpreted.

I get freedom, and if I was living fifty miles from the nearest police station, I could see how having a weapon for protection makes sense.

What I don’t understand is why it’s acceptable that weapons are not licensed, insured and well regulated, in a similar way to cars.

In America you need to meet more regulation to cut hair than you do to own a semi-automatic assault rifle.

In the same way that someone with bad eyes or a brain injury will need to meet extra stringent test before they are allowed to drive, I think it’s not unreasonable to make gun ownership a seriously controlled act.

Anyone can own and drive a car as long as they meet the rules, why not the same with weapons?

I think we need to separate the loony idea of rising up against a tyrannical government from the idea of sensible gun ownership, if gun ownership is to continue to be a right.

I know that America has been incrementally militarized through multiple generations serving extended times in military services. And the excess of government spending on military equipment has filtered down to domestic security , and the police now have incredible levels of military hardware.

Culturally large parts of the American culture are now heavily influenced by military ideas. From camouflage clothing and backpacks being street ware to companies selling supplies to allow those with bunkers to survive a planned zombie government agent uprising.

There are a lot of weaponized citizens and most of them seem to love their guns. I know that in just about any armed confrontation, the person who has planned it has a huge advantage. If you plan to attack someone you have control of your adrenaline production, you would only attack when you are ready. If on the other hand you are attacked and are not expecting it, your adrenaline will start flowing and you will be in the worst position to respond effectively. The best course of action in just about any situation where you are attacked unexpectedly is to retreat to a defensive position and make a plan. And the best plan is to wait for reinforcements. That’s why a good guy with a gun is unlikely to defeat a bad guy with a gun.

The best situation is that bad guys don’t have guns. And the best way to stop bad guys having guns is to use a mix of limiting gun ownership (for bad guys) with technical and physical methods of stopping bad guys being able to use guns and acquire ammunition.

I don’t think the semantic political games about what is an assault weapon and sizes of magazines can ever do anything useful. But over time if it’s harder for a thief to steal a gun or for a mental patient to buy a gun on the secondhand market, then the volume of weapons held illegally will drop (as has been seen in many other places in the world)

There is no quick fix, and there is no perfect answer. But a start would be the gun special interest groups taking a position that licensing gun ownership, insuring guns and gun users and providing technology to limit gun use to the registered owner and limiting ammo sales to only those who have registered weapons that need it would be very helpful.

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Why on Earth would anyone want to be a politician?

Political office is supposed to be a service to society, but today it seems that politicians get power and money.

There has always been an element of power associated with political office, and I suppose that is why most capital cities have special laws that allow things that are not allowed anywhere else, such as legalized prostitution, access to fireworks and lower than average taxes. It’s also why most capital cities are a long way from where most people actually want to live.

But recently it seems that politicians have been awarding themselves much more than their fair share of goodies. Wage increases above everyone else’s, huge pension schemes, massive benefit packages, longer and longer vacations, even the right to insider trade and take money in exchange for influence.

This has been a concern since the Greeks had an empire, and philosophers wrote about an elite class that ruled but couldn’t benefit from the rules they imposed (Plato’s Republic), and the documented corruption of the senate in Rome (the fall of the Roman Empire).

Whenever politicians throughout history have given themselves too much power, the weight of the corruption that this in turn delivers has always led to the balance being reset.

It doesn’t matter what system has been in place, various capitalist systems, different types of democracy, fascism, socialism, communism and even the sycophantic Byzantine Empire model, which used titles and awards to reward people until those very people realized there was this huge lump of unguarded wealth protected only by purely corrupt words.

We now have ridiculously wealthy and powerful politicians across Europe and America, who seem only interested in furthering their own wealth by doing the bidding of those even wealthier than themselves.

The poor don’t have enough to pay a significant proportion of taxes, and the rich have enough to be able to avoid paying a significant proportion of taxes. Those in the middle have and always will pay more than they should. But when the poorer get poorer still, and the rich get even richer, then the middle has to pay even more. And politicians who don’t spot this early enough and allow the balance to shift too far get in trouble.

They can try for a while to pander to people with words about religious fervor, or scare people with stories about terror and those of a different color, but in the end they end up in trouble. The world has moved on from guillotines and now the trouble mostly comes in the form of impeachments, fines , humiliation and prison terms (hellos Blagojevich, hello Neil Hamilton).

And yet today we have a situation in the US where an almost infinite amount of money is spent to influence the political agenda.

It’s shocking that in exchange for money politicians add clauses into laws that directly reward those who pay them. There are actual laws in the US that mean that specific job titles in specific banking jobs pay lower rates of taxes than everyone else. Seriously Hedge Fund managers pay a lower rate of tax! People who earn their money off of stock trades pay less tax (as a percentage) than people who fight fires or dig holes.

We have had politicians who have run large companies, who have actually given no bid contracts to the actual companies that used to run and have huge investments in.

We have billionaires paying politicians to give billionaires lower taxes. And then these politicians ask people who own a house to pay more to fund the schools in their town (because it’s a choice, give another billion to a billionaire or ensure that schools have enough books, there’s not enough for both).

We have billionaires paying politicians to ensure that the government buys trillions in armaments at list price, and using the words “war profiteer” never passes their lips.

The corruption is across the board.
• Gun companies pay politicians to ensure that everyone can buy guns.
• Drug companies pay politicians to ensure that the government pays list price for drugs and that consumers are banned from buying these same drugs from lower priced sellers abroad.
• Coal companies pay politicians to build coal powered power plants.
• Oil companies pay politicians to build pipelines to their oil refineries.
• Huge farmers pay politicians for farm subsidies.
• Banks pay politicians to remove regulations.
• And the list just goes on and on.

The issue is that politicians are able legally to be influenced by money. And while this happens they will always be corrupt.

On the surface different parties blame each other for the corruption, but all the pigs are feeding at exactly the same trough.

In some places in the world it’s illegal for politicians to accept money for influence (it’s considered a bribe), this doesn’t stop it happening totally, but it does send some to prison.

The issue is that whenever I hear a politician say that they want to get money out of politics, I still don’t trust them. I know they have an angle.

Have we reached the point where no politician can ever be trusted again?

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What the hell is going on! oh right the same as always.

What the hell is going on!

Like most kids around the world, when I was at school I learnt of the history of the Brits who travelled to America to find solace free from religious and social tyranny.

It was held up as the pinnacle of freedom. A country driven to see all people as equal and to allow each individual the freedom to live their lives as they wished.

Of course the next chapter in that children’s history book did explain that all wasn’t perfect, with oppression of native people, rampant slavery, racism and sexism issues and a history of political corruption and political cowardice that pretty much matched the rest of the world. I know now that this chapter is taught very differently in America.

It seems that maybe teaching the issues of the past more completely may have been a great way to help people to learn to stop repeating them.

The issues of today, seem to be all too familiar from that children’s history book.

Yes I’m looking at you corrupt Supreme Court, and you, paid for politicians, and you business owners who think you have rights greater than other individuals, and you irresponsible gun rights advocates, and you manufacturers who ship jobs oversees to save a buck irrespective of the long term social costs, and you climate change deniers who put your short term profits ahead of long term health and social need, and you union leaders who limit growth of your members to line your personal power bases, and you war profiteers, and you bigots who subvert the meaning of religious texts to support your bigotry…. Hmm it’s a long list when you think about it….

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Over a million!!!!

Possibly the most powerful thought I’ve heard in quite a while, was the picture of John Lennon’s bloodied glasses tweeted by his widow, with a simple comment that over 1,000,000 people have been killed with guns in America since John Lennon was killed outside his apartment in 1980.

It’s such a stunningly simple and terrible piece of data. I just cannot fathom why anyone cannot see the poison in the system.

There are reasonable limits placed on every freedom to ensure that they are not used in impinge in anyone else’s freedom.

You cannot legally shout fire in a crowded theatre, as this is dangerous.

Your right to be tried openly by your peers when charged with a crime, is not unlimited.

And your rights to have a gun is already limited (no nukes, rocket launchers, tanks, fully automatic weapons).

Guns kill more efficiently than any other commonly available weapon. And unlike dropping an anvil on the road runner, or driving a car over a prostitute in GTA, guns have a very simple and pure function, one that clearly is focused on taking away the most basic rights of others.

ONE MILLION PEOPLE HAVE BEEN KILLED BY GUNS IN THE USA SINCE 1980!!!

This is not some sort of esoteric philosophical concept.

There are about 300 million people in America, and about 30,000 die each year, by being shot with a gun. That’s one in every ten thousand people being killed by a single method, each and every single year.

There is no other form of mortality that gets less control!!!

– Food is more controlled than guns (a massive amount of carefully crafted controls to help keep the food chain healthy)

– Drugs are more controlled than guns (FDA approval required before sale, and strict controls on who can get access)

– Cars are more controlled than guns (strict safety standards, strict licensing, insurance and detailed and enforced usage guidelines)

– Building sites are more controlled than guns (licensing, high viz vests, hard hats, fences, guards etc)

– Furniture is more controlled than guns (flame retardant regs etc)

– Children’s toys are more controlled than guns (more rules than anyone could ever have imagined)

– Even my NYC dog license is more stringent that current gun law! (yearly licensing, confirmation of vaccinations)

There is absolutely no excuse for the way my rights are currently harmed by the rights of people to keep and carry deadly weapons!

johns glasses

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The way of the gun.

The gun is the ultimate show of power for the average person. If you have a gun then you have the power to kill, maim or intimidate. Of course if your opponent has a gun then they also hold that power.

So the logic of gun ownership goes like this : I cannot know that any potential opponent will not have a gun, so I need to have a gun to ensure that I can protect myself in all circumstances.

This assumes that all the risks of gun ownership are manageable. The most obvious risks are:

1. Those who are untrained and unready to use guns, get access
(eg. a crazy son steals and uses his moms weapons or a child finds a gun and plays with it).

2. In the heat of the moment a bad decision is made about gun use
(eg. a home owner kills his child by mistake while looking for an intruder at night or during an argument over dog shit on the lawn a neighbor is shot, or a scared neighborhood watchman kills a suspected intruder because be uses a gun rather than calling the police).

3. The loaded state of a weapon is incorrectly assessed and an accident takes place
(eg. Opps I thought that shotgun was unloaded or the safety was on when I shot you in the face by accident).

4. Gun thefts place weapons in the hands of criminals
(eg. I keep guns for personal protection, but don’t lock my house at night because I live in a safe neighborhood or I have a gun-safe/trigger guard, but the thieves stole the safe or the key to the guard with the guns).

These are all direct examples I have read about, spoken to gun owners about or have seen on the news. These risks have proven themselves to be too great.

It is extremely rare (but not non-existent) that guns held for personal defense are used effectively for personal defense. While the errors listed above are all caused by gun ownership, are well documented and occur very regularly.

rambo

Quite simply if someone goes out to perform a crime and takes a gun, they have taken days or weeks to mentally prepare themselves. While anyone thrust into a situation with a gun-wielding criminal cannot have known even a second before that this was going to happen. So they are mentally unprepared and will be suffering from the effects of immediate and intense adrenaline release. This makes decision-making and effective aggression difficult. When attacked in this way the human body is much better at flight than fight. It takes soldiers and professional security forces years of intense training to be able to deal with this, the most difficult of all situations. And even most of them will find it hard to achieve a “win” in these situations. The best action taken by these experts is to find cover and build a defensive strategy.

Pundits that propose that more guns would have in retrospect saved any particular situation have never been in a similar situation. If they had they would know better.

In the cases where weapons are required for personal protection, I suspect most of the time non-lethal weapons would work better, as they remove many of the risks. But where lethal weapons are required then their needs to be an increased level of regulation and professionalism employed.

I question why the average city dweller should have a gun, but I can see why people living a long way from society may have a need. But I cannot see why military type weapons are needed even then. The risks to others are just too great.

stripper

Guns are not toys. I know that many people see them in the same way they see hot girls wearing little clothing and baby oil, excellent rock music, or a six-pack of domestic beer. Guns are not the same. I know hot girls can be dangerous, head banging holds the risk of brain damage and beer doesn’t mix well with thinking or driving. But guns have a unique and terminal purpose.

What is it going to take to ensure that crazies and criminals can’t get their hands on guns?

And please stop talking about the need to have guns to protect us against the government. That kind of thinking is so below the concept of American exceptionalism. Conspiracy theorists have their rights of course, the right to a tin foil hat and to put Hitler mustaches of images of those they don’t like. I don’t like or agree with them but I accept they have those rights. But they don’t have the right to stop strong regulation to protect us all from crazies and criminals.

tinfoil-hat-guy

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Cowards Fear

Building a wonderful society demands that we express the best attributes that we wish society to be. Long lives, healthy people, great education, ever expanding knowledge, care for the needy, fulfilling and rewarding work for everyone, equality for all, tolerance of all others, crime free, blind and fair justice, rehabilitation along with punishment, defense against tyranny, equitable rewards for honest work and the strength to be brave and not scared.

This last point, the strength to be brave and not scared is critical. Scared people feel the need to own and carry weapons, brave people do not!

Brave people believe in the ability of others to follow their example, and live a decent and honorable life.

Brave people are ready to act when a situation demands it, but brave people don’t live their lives nervously waiting for a reason to act. Brave people live their lives aspiring to be the best they can be and the best they can make society.

people sil1

Cowards fear, while brave people do not fear. And fear can be infectious. It’s easy to listen to scary stories and feel they have some merit. While it’s much harder to aspire to be better than those stories and those story tellers.

Being afraid is a biological response to the sum of a situation. It’s the body’s way of heightening your responses to conditions that could lead to danger. Certain chemicals start to course around the body that aid flight and potentially defensive action (blood leaves the extremities, allowing arms and legs to be bitten without too much loss of blood, etc.).

But the bodies fear mechanism is not particularly good for aggression. It limits thought, and is really designed for running away.

People who are able to fight effectively in a truly dangerous situation are those that are able to conquer their fear and act rationally.

If you think that everyone is out to get you, and that you need to be armed at all times, you are clearly a very scared person.

If you are scared all the time, you are not the right person to truly deal with a dangerous situation.

People who are afraid of everything are those least capable of dealing with a truly dangerous situation.

Every day millions of brave people strive to build our wonderful society, we give them titles by the jobs they perform, teacher, EMT, fireman, garbage collector, carpenter. Every now and again one of them is called upon to show their bravery overtly, and they just act with the same brave grace they do every single day.

The land of the brave does not need everyone to be armed at all times.

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Guns are fun, Mad people are interesting, Just not so sure they should be mixed.

Like all boys and men (I suspect) I have a fascination with weapons and fighting. War movies are good, but zombie movies with guns and axes are often a lot better.

There is something very exciting about playing with weapons; it’s probably an evolutionary survival of the fittest thing. The apes that were better at whacking other apes over the head were more likely to procreate and so those genes have become a part of us.

Well the modern form of having the bigger stick to threaten other with is still something we all desire deep down.

But along with the genes that favor violence, we have also inherited those that allow for rational thought. And when we think about violence, we tend to also think about the possibility of us being hit over the head with an even bigger stick, and that doesn’t seem all that appealing.

In fact the more that you think about it, the clearer it becomes that not everyone can manage their anger, and maybe there are some very good reasons to limit “big stick” availability.

I used to belong to a gun club when I was at university. We fired a range of target rifles and handguns. I wasn’t bad at it, and played in a couple of friendly competitions. The care by which we handled this weapons was probably excessive, pre-training before firing was mandatory, the weapons was stored in very robust safes, and the rounds of ammunition was audited, and there were zero accidents.

A few years later a crazy lunatic in a small town in Scotland, took one of his (legally owned) handguns into a children’s school and shot and killed a multitude of innocent victims. There was an investigation into this nutcase, and while the results of the investigation were slapped with a government secrecy order of a hundred years, action was taken to ensure that this kind of thing would be drastically limited in the future. I suspect that someone very high up in the incumbent government of the time was in someway culpable, hence the secrecy, and the drastic response. But all guns in the UK were taken from the general public. There are now no legally held handguns in the UK by the civilian population, and very restrictive controls on hunting weapons. So quite simply anyone with a gun is going to find the response from the highly trained armed police unit’s rather immediate and unequivocal.

I believe this response to a terrible crime was a little excessive, but it was a response, and the results in terms of weapon-based crime have shown it was effective (some may debate this).

Quite simply there needs to be very strong controls on the access of dangerous weapons by crazed people, no loopholes.

It’s pointless to restrict access to weapons through some legal means but not others, and it’s pointless to stop access to legal weapons when huge numbers of illegal weapons are in circulation if you don’t also control the access to ammunition.

If I wanted to get a gun today (I don’t, this is hypothetical), I know that just by travelling for an hour in any direction I can find an illegal weapon and stock up with legally purchased ammunition at any Wal-Mart store. I know that to avoid waiting periods for legal weapons I could visit a gun show or buy a weapon that has been made unusable, and just by visiting the Internet get information on how to make it usable again. I’m sure there are even more ways, but that’s enough.

The point is crazy people can and do have access to lethal weapons, and that is just nuts.

It’s actually quite easy to limit the access to ammunition, put in place much stricter controls on weak minds, and force people to be much more responsible with the weapons they do own.

The concept that people can carry loaded weapons around in their cars or on their person, for “personal protection” is dangerous. It takes training both physical and mental to be able to use a weapon effectively, and even those who receive regular training find in very hard to be affective in the heat of a confrontation.

The chance of a trained person with a weapon being effective in an unexpected confrontation is very small. More people are likely to be hurt, the more weapons that are in play during a confrontation. And the level of training seems to have very little impact on the outcome.

What does seem to have an impact is the mindset of the participants. If a crazy person takes a gun to a location with the intent of hurting or killing someone then they are mentally prepared for the fight. They may have taken hours, days or weeks to mentally prepare, thinking through what they are going to do. While if you witness a crazy person start to shoot, you are not physically and mentally prepared. And the chemicals released in your body and mind at that moment are not designed to prepare you for rational decision-making. Even the best trained police officer or soldier will confirm how difficult it is to take control of a situation that you were not prepared for. The best can do it, but it takes incredible fortitude and decades of work to get to that point.

The average person who enjoys weaponry is not a professional, they (like all of us) are generally rational and love the machismo fostered in movies, books and computer games. The average person who would carry a concealed weapon into a public place is much more of a danger to themselves and those around them, than any weak minded lunatic with psychotic tendencies.

I like guns, I really do. But I realize that it’s better that as few people as possible take them out in public, own them or use them.

I recognize the fun element, and I recognize the power of them in the hands of soldiers, and the police. But I also recognize that I would do a lot of careful checking on exactly who has them and how they get ammunition, if it will save just one persons son, daughter, husband or wife.

And there are many people being killed by many guns every day.

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