Thursday, October 8, 2015

guns and roses: me and guns and other weapons. 92 days

92 days left. Today I desire to facilitate logic, reason, respect and serenity in this discussion and I am not open to any other form of discussion here. I grew up with guns in Manhattan. My father hunted and had a few rifles in the closet. I had no interest. He taught us to never point a gun at anyone and to never play with a gun. I never did. They were not loaded. There were bullets in the house as well, but I never thought about them or thought about putting the bullets with the guns. Many people on both sides of my family keep guns.

My father also kept a concealed knife on him at all times. He had a special belt buckle with a blade on it. The buckle served as the knife handle and the blade lay flat against the leather belt, slipped into a leather enforced sleeve sewn onto the inside of the belt. He was arrested once and the cops did not find the knife because it was so well designed to conceal. He was way too fear based for my taste but to each his own. He had his reasons. I have mine.

I have shot guns at a shooting range. It was incredibly fun, great sport, like playing pool, all about precision and aim. My first shot  was dead on right between the eyes of the paper target. I felt incredibly proud of my skill and glad to have it in the, god forbid, event that I might need to use that skill

There was an incident at my daughter’s preschool and we wound up getting a security guard for a spell. My emotional reaction to it was that I wanted the guard to be armed, but them I thought about it calmly and realized that that would be insane. The only people that should be armed are experts and guns at school would lead to more accidents.

In Malcolm Gladwell’s amazing book Blink, he talks about what makes someone an expert: People who have worked on and developed their taste buds and thus can name every flavor in a cola or a wine; People who can look at a work of art and know if it is a fake or not in a glance, just from a gut level message to the brain; Soldiers or law enforcement agents who in a crisis actually slow down time in their mind and experience everything in slow motion, can see what is happening and what needs to be done, and can do it with percision. His book deals a lot with police procedure and race and is an essential read in my humble opinion. The book’s studies actually helped change police procedures, which, when implemented, help to steer cops away from getting caught up in the herd mentally that has lead to a gross amount of bullets in a body, and instead,  help keep them in that sound decision making place. So I would never think that guns are a good idea in schools, because teachers and security guards are not experts in crisis and because where there are guns, there are accidents. Just like more children drown in families that have pools (1 see source below) in their homes. It is a fact that more children die in accidental shootings in homes with guns (2). And I would extend that logic to be places (like schools) with guns.

All that being said, I have no strong attachment to the second amendment and the right to bear arms. I am not interested in having a gun. I do however respect other people’s rights to have guns but I do not think they should have unlimited freedom, because that would, and does, infringe on everyone else's freedom, yes? I believe in the right of pornography to exist, (freedom of speech, 1st amendment, yeah?) but not in a way that imposes it on people who don't feel like viewing it every time they leave their home. EVERYONE has a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Alas, most “freedoms” need to be regulated until we evolve into anarchic utopia of self regulators who unconditionally respect other people’s views and space. Sorry Charlie, we are not there yet. We must learn to live together. But how?

I can see that there is some serious propaganda and agenda on both sides of this issue. It is a difficult matter to digest. I invite everyone to slow it down and speak intelligently and check the sources of your information. I have no answers, but I do support reform and I do not understand the resistance to having guns be like cars, with licenses, records, restrictions and accountability. Jeepers, even pools are regulated. There is something wrong (and scary) with the lack of statistics on government sites and with the hysteria that comes up around the mere mention of reform. 

Brothers and Sisters come-on now.

1 Children ages 1 to 4 have the highest drowning rates. In 2009, among children 1 to 4 years old who died from an unintentional injury, more than 30% died from drowning.1,2  Among children ages 1 to 4, most drownings occur in home swimming pools.-Center for Disease Control and Prevention

2  Every year 1,500 children die from guns and many more are seriouly injured. The American Academy of Pediatrics believes the best way to prevent gun related injuries to children is to remove guns from the home. Half of all unintentional shooting deaths of children occur at home and almost half occur in the home of a friend or relative. Most of the victims of unintentional shootings are boys. They are usually shot by a friend or relative especially a brother. –Center for Injury Research and Policy.

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