Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Human Value

I have continued to mull some of the responses to the Texas Vigilante shooting in Texas, both on this blog and elsewhere in the blogosphere. I find it quit interesting that many people feel that since these two men from Colombia were here illegally and had criminal backgrounds they deserved to die. It appears that their value as human beings was reduced by both demerits, to the point that being shot in the back with a 12 gauge shotgun as they were fleeing is "justice." It is important to keep in mind that these men were unarmed and committing a burglary, they were not threatening the well-being of anyone. Even the neighbor was clear that he was "not going to let them get away with this," not a concern for his safety as much as a desire to mete out justice.

This sliding scale of human value seems to be everywhere today. For instance, most of us don't blink when we hear that 23 insurgents were killed today, but we likely pause if we hear 6 American soliders were killed by a roadside bomb. In fact, I would wager that no person truly values all human life equally! For instance, a parent is biologically predisposed to value the lives of their children over the lives of strangers. I wonder if the same goes for cultures? Are we programmed to instinctively value people who are similar to us over people who are different?

Of course the social manifestation of such a sliding scale has resulted in some of the worst acts of human history, including slavery and the holocaust. In both cases it seems that the underlying racism was based on perceived differences between the human value of each respective group. As soon as we have objectified a group of people to "insurgents", "japs", "n*ggers", "illegals", etc, we have removed our own moral barriers to acting inhuman to them. It seems this human tendency to objectify the "other" is one we must continually struggle against!

If I am wrong and human value really is dependent on some extrinsic factors, perhaps we should define a worth spectrum? For instance, 1 U.S. soldier = 75 Iraqi "insurgents" in overall human value, or 1 U.S. citizen equals 20 "illegal aliens," or 1 U.S. taxpayer = 5 people on welfare. If we could establish a tidy spectrum of human value, this would greatly aid our Country in making policy decisions, enacting new legislation, allocating budgets, deciding to go to war, etc. We could simply ask, what is the human value of the respective decisions? If we go to war with Albania, we might loose 700 U.S. soldiers, but gain natural resources that would benefit millions of Americans. If this resulted in the deaths of 20,000 albanians, but the U.S. to Albanian worth ratio was 1:25, clearly the decision would be prudent and justified.

22 comments:

sonja said...

And there is the real rub. Because our stated cultural value is that "... all men (humans) are created equal." So what do we do with that? Are they created equal, but become less or more so by their life actions and choices? Or do they remain foundationally equal throughout their lives?

SgtRock said...

[SNIP]
"I find it quit interesting that many people feel that the since these two black men from Colombia were here illegally and had criminal backgrounds they deserved to die."

No, you are missing the point. They "deserved to die" because they were breaking into people's homes. These kind of people, no matter what their skin color may be, they have lost their right to be considered human and treated as such when they cross the line and invade one's personal domicile.

One must have a sanctuary in this increasingly hectic, confused and crime-ridden world. And if one cannot find it in their own homes then what have you?

Do you think that I fought for our "freedom" in Vietnam only to come home to allow vermin to break into my home, possibly endanger my loved ones and steal my hard earned possessions that I worked hard for all of my like and ALSO RISKED MY LIFE FOR IN 'NAM? Hello?

Are all of you smoking some kind of PCP or angel dust or what?

It was only a matter of time before those two pieces of human excrement broke into an occupied home and raped and/or killed some poor innocent family members.

Joe Horn the so-called "vigilante" did us all a favor!

For all of you anti-gun liberals out there. You are sleeping soundly and resting on the coat tails of folks just like Joe Horn. BECAUSE criminals know full well that there is a very good change of encountering an armed homeowner, ESPECIALLY IN TEXAS.

And that benefits you liberals who are essentially riding the skirt tails of vigilant and strong men (and women) who are armed and willing to defend themselves, their families and their properties.

And if you disagree with me then I hereby lay down the challenge to you!

Get signs made up and posted with an icon or picture of a handgun with the red circle and a slash through it and have bold RED letters in all CAPS state "THIS HOME IS A GUN-FREE ZONE!"

I dare you! I double-dare you! Put those stickers on your doors and windows and a Brink's like yard sign in your flower bed.

STOP riding the coat tails of your armed fellow neighbors. The brave men and women in your community willing to defend what's right and what's theirs!

Announce to the world that you do not have any guns and to the criminals! Don't hide your light under a bushel basket!

Bah Humbug on all of ya! None of you would have the guts. You prefer to live your lives with your twisted sardonic and pithy observations and have others do for you what you cannot do for yourself. Call your stupid 911's and cower. And pray and wait for MEN to arrive. Meanwhile let others run roughshod all over you. Bah! You disgust me!

Sgt Rock Out

sonja said...

Hmmm ... so I guess that Sgt. Rock would consider that people become less equal through their life choices and actions. I think I could even infer from his writing that people can even lose value to the point that they become of less value than the furniture in his home. Interesting perspective.

Ken said...

Sgt Rock, I need to remind you that while this is an open blog to any/all thoughts or ideas, it is not a place where I welcome intentional slander of other blog commenters. I have now enabled comment moderation for this site, and will not approve posts with incindiary comments. If you cannot keep your tone civil in your posts, please find a blog that caters to your desired mode of expression.

P.S. You throw a lot of accusations around, but you don't know anything about me or anyone else on this blog. For instance, I am a gun owner and an avid deer hunter. Kind-of blows your stereotype of me, doesn't it? Regardless, lets keep this about the issues, no more personal attacks will be permitted.

SgtRock said...

"Hmmm ... so I guess that Sgt. Rock would consider that people become less equal through their life choices and actions."

Hi Sonja, Merry Christmas!

And guess what? Our own court system consider that some people "become less equal through their life choices and actions". That's why THEY GET PUT INTO JAILS AND PRISONS and have their freedoms and rights taken away!

So what exactly is your point?

Would you consider Jeffrey Dahmer the cannibal mass-murderer to be on par and equal footing with Mother Teresa?

Cheers!
SgtRock

sonja said...

Sgt. Rock ...

Merry Christmas right back at ya :D

Punishing someone through the due process system for their crimes and misdemeanors does not devalue them.

Killing them through a process of vigilante justice (e.g. without due process of law) does devalue them.

To answer your question, yes, Jeffrey Dahmer is of equal human value with Mother Teresa. I'd warrant that if she were here to answer for herself, she'd say the same thing. Jeffrey was a deranged, sick, sad man ... but still a human being. Would I trust him alone in a room with my son? Absolutely not. But still a human being of equal value with my son and with Mother Teresa.

So are the criminals who break the laws and break into homes for valuables. They are wrong. They should face punishment. For the record, I agree that apprehension and punishment is often too long in coming for most of them. However, here's where you and I part ways. I do not agree that stuff is more valuable than humans. Ever. And it's all just stuff ... even the house, the castle as you like to refer to it. There is nothing I own, not one thing, that is more valuable than another person's life ... not even Jeffrey Dahmer's. I don't believe that any of us own anything that is more valuable than another person's life. So I guess it's a good thing that you and I are not neighbors, because I wouldn't be entering into any pacts concerning protection of my stuff with you or anyone else. ;-)

Can you hear where I'm coming from? I don't expect that you'll agree with it ... you'll likely vehemently disagree. But I hope you can at least hear the salient points of my argument.

SgtRock said...

Hello Sonja,

Not to be a smart-aleck or nothing but in reference to your statement about "I do not agree that stuff is more valuable than humans. Ever. And it's all just stuff...even the house, the ________ I don't believe that any of us own anything that is more valuable than another person's life..."

Ahh. Yes you do --Believe things are more valuable Sonja. Because if you didn't you wouldn't even own a home or have few if any possessions because there are many suffering people in the world that you could save by selling off your assets and donating the money to help them. But yet you don't. So what you are telling me doesn't quite add up. Am I missing something? Obviously you value your property. And obviously you value it (like most people) more than just giving or selling it all away to help people in need.

How many people are on the level of Mother Teresa? No! Jeffrey Dahmer doesn't hold a candle to such a fine woman and neither was he a "human being". You are so very wrong there. Dahmer was an animal.
Putting him down with one clean shot would be no different than dropping a rabid dog. Something that unfortunately needs to be done on occasion.

Be thank-ful Sonja that there are rough men willing to go out into the night and do what they have to do so that you can rest easy and be safe in your home.

A recent poll showed that over 70% of all Texans favored the death penalty. Yet we are under fire from liberals and the like from all over the world, and not just in this country. Why? Don't we have the right to manage our own affairs? A Civil war was once fought over state's rights and the rights of an individual along with taxation without representation and government control plus micromanagement from afar. And here we are coming full circle and doing it again? Wow!

Texans need to decide what's right for TEXANS. And the rest of the world needs to zip it IMHO.

We have laws that allow us to protect OUR PROPERTY as well as our lives. If folks don't agree with that they can just as easily not come here or go and live somewhere else.

I just got a call from two neighbors asking me to check out lights at another neighbor's house that is under construction. And so I did. They were legitimate workers staying a little late drinking beer. No problem. We have five current or retired LEO's in the neighborhood (but from other counties and jurisdictions). We all look out for one another. Don't think that I went alone. Don't think that I wasn't armed. And don't think that we could depend on the local sheriff's for any real support. That's a crap shoot at best! Oh, they do the best that they can to be sure but... there ain't enough of 'em. not nearly...

Call it "vigilantism" if you will. We call it being pro-active and "common sense". If the law isn't capable of protecting you (which it isn't) then what then does one do? Sit back and cower? Allow folks to walk away with your things?

Hypothetical question: If stealing property or "stuff" as you say isn't worth the taking of a "human" life. Then what happens IF EVERYONE adopted your philosophy and views on this subject?

"Police! Put your hands up! Drop the television set (or stereo or whatever)!" And then the burglars and perps just laugh and keep walking away.

What do you propose? Tasering? Shooting them in the knee-caps?
High-velocity bean bags?

Do you know how long it takes for a crazed lunatic with a knife to get to your throat from 20 feet away? Less than 2 seconds. Tasers, bean bags, knee-shots, stun guns are just not effective in all situation at all times. Any good law-enforcement officer can explain these things to you.

Besides being a former Marine, I am also a certified police firearms instructor. One doesn't shoot somebody and try to hit them in the legs or knees. That's a good way to not come back to your wife and children at night. You go for the torso shot. The LARGEST part of the body. And you shoot to kill. Not to injure.

Anybody having enough nads to break into and rob someone's house is dangerous. There is no telling what they may do or what weapons they may have.

No ma'am, I don't cower from criminals on my property, stealing my property or otherwise. I don't call people in blue or brown uniforms whom I probably have never met before in my life to come save me and then hide and pray.

I find no joy in killing. It's just a necessity of life that is repeated all throughout nature. Do you really think that we are elevated to some high position amongst the other beasts of the animal kingdom with the likes of Jeffrey Dahmer's running around?

And if you or anybody else think that I am barbaric remember that supposedly I am "of equal human value with Jeffrey Dahmer". ;^)

I also don't eat people for dinner or snacks. And I fought a war in Vietnam even though I didn't want to because I don't believe in hiding like a coward in foreign socialist countries like Canada like so many others did. I did my job and I did it for you and all the others that are now insulting and putting down Texas and Texans because we don't think the same way that you do. And here all this time I thought that folks with liberal inclinations favored diversity??

I am sorry but I don't fathom or grok your argument at all. And try as I might. Believe me I thought about it all day today but I simply could not digest any of it.

I was ordered to kill in Vietnam to essentially protect French banking interests (how the war was really started). Isn't all of that a form of "stuff" too?

And now you are trying to tell me that everything that I worked hard for in life is not worth protecting to the point of taking some vermin's life?

We Texans can and will decide for ourselves how we wish to live our lives. The quality of life is better here than you might imagine... if you are not a criminal.

And as far as being neighbors go. I bet that if you and your family were home and you had someone kicking in your front door, and you know that the sheriff could easily take 30 minutes or more to arrive, that you would welcome my help, along with my tactical shottie and another neighbor or two. Now wouldn't you? And guess what? Even if we never even talked to each other because of opposing viewpoints. I would still render aid and help you. Even at the risk of my own life. Imagine that?

Cheers!
SgtRock

Ken said...

Sgt Rock, you deserve credit for taking the time to read and consider the opinions of others who have a very different perspective than your own, I respect you for that.

May peace be yours this Christmas season.

Ken

sonja said...

Thanks for taking the time to consider my ideas, Sgt. Rock. Here are a couple of things that I see in your writing ...

One is that I think we're talking about different things when we use the term "value of human life." I haven't been able to pin down what that difference is, but if you read my writing and read yours I think it's pretty clear that we both think of that term in different ways. That's fine ... maybe we could spend some time defining our terms and that would help us find some common ground to work from. If you're interested, that is ...

Another thing I've noticed is that you seem to assume that because I disagree with you about whether or not vigilante justice is appropriate, I am also telling the entire state of Texas what to do. Please do not make that assumption. I may disagree heartily with the decisions made by the legislature of Texas and its citizens, but I am, at heart, a states rights gal. Your state and it's citizens are free to make all the decisions/mistakes they like ;-) . Just as all the other states in the union are free to do. So, you don't need to convince me of the rightness of the states ability to make their own decisions. I'm originally from Vermont ... the other obstinate state ;-) ... but with a different political bent.

A third thing, and this is more a curiousity, is that you keep throwing your Viet Nam service into the argument. Now, I do appreciate your service. My husband is a disabled 20 year Army veteran and my father-in-law served in Viet Nam, so I am not in anyway demeaning or diminishing your service. But that war did nothing to protect our freedoms here at home. As you very rightly suggest it was about French banking interests, totalitarianism in southeast Asia and many other things that had little to do with us here in the U.S. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought that the oath of service that you took was to protect the country and the Constitution? Now then, thinking about the protections afforded us in the Constitution I'm wondering why you keep bringing your Viet Nam service into this discussion? It seems out of place. Could you please clarify that for me? Thanks.

Now that we're getting into some meat and potatoes here, I'm starting to enjoy this discussion ... how about you?

SgtRock said...

Dear Sonja,

What is the value of a human life? Automobiles are the biggest killers of young folks in this country every year. Heavens! We had all better ban the automobile right away then! But we don't. At a posted road speed of 65 mph there are 'X' amount of people that will die yearly on any given road that can be calculated mathematically. Lowering the speed to 55mph changes the 'X' factor to say 'Y'. Because it's a proven fact that speed kills. Higher speeds result in more horrendous crashes with terminal endings. We can further deduce that lowering the speed to 25mph will save innumerable lives as compared to driving 65 or even 55mph? Can we not?

Well, the only SAFE speed is 0 mph. Because even at the ol' Farmer Brown and his buggy speed of even 5mph there will be occasional deaths. Such is the nature of things and of the automobile. Such is the nature of a LOT of things.

So society in effect determines the "value of life" does it not? The value of life is not some oracle like given.

But yet, after years of the old "double-nickel" federally (and unconstitutionally too I may add) mandated speed limits imposed because of the first Arab Oil Embargo we raised our speeds back up. And in some states it's as high as 80 mph! So much for the value of human lives eh as determined by societal members? People like to go fast, especially the ones in their high dollar sports cars.

Personally I drive on the slow side. I get there when I get there. And I never get into any hurry unless it's an emergency. To each their own, I guess?

What we can conclude however from careful observation is that a certain number of deaths per year are actually acceptable to our society. It's the price that we pay for convenience. Some call it "progress". Embedded in the actual structure of our society is an assumption that the value of a human life (which is finite to begin with and has to end sometime) is not beyond consideration, and that the loss of a certain amount of lives is an acceptable price to pay for many things.

Every year I understand that over 200 toddlers (they tend to be top-heavy) drown in five-gallon buckets. Sad but true. Despite legislation to ban five-gallon buckets we still have them because people don't want to be inconvenienced. The lives of only 200 children a year is an acceptable price to pay to not be so inconvenienced and use - oh say - three gallon buckets instead.

Also, it not Vermont or Texas that's the "obstinate state". That's our sister state of Louisiana! :^) Fly a powered hang-glider over it with "I'm a yankee and proud!" logo on it and see how many holes you end up with in your kite.. ;^)

I bring up my Vietnam service a lot because I am bitter about having had to kill another human being at the ripe old age of 18 at a time when I barely even knew how to tie my own shoes. The world was just beginning for me and I ended up killing dozens of people that I didn't even know or have an argument with. And I agree with you, it had nothing to do about protecting our freedoms here at home. But I did my job and I was literally spit on once and called a "baby killer" when I arrived back home. I didn't kill babies. Others did. I did not, not that I know of anyhow.

Now, here I am, an old man (almost :^). And I worked hard, very hard all my life in the construction trades and sacrificed a large portion of my health doing so. I have heart disease.
My joints, especially my knees are shot. Asbestoses is a factor and many other things. I don't sleep much. Never more than a few hours at a time.

The one thing that the declining state of my body due to age, ailments and disease hasn't taken from me is my ability to think and to shoot straight.

The oath of service is also to follow orders. However much one may disagree. I never disagreed even at the time. I didn't have the knowledge and/or the depth to even argue a particular position. I just did my job and followed orders - FOR SOCIETY, FOR MY COUNTRY. A military unit cannot have functional cohesiveness unless everybody follows orders. And one may not like some of the 'adventures' that our military has been involved in. But that is entirely because of our politicians not the military. We would be a real bind without functional military units in this country. I am still proud to be a Marine! But Bill Clinton was wrong, one can love their country and still hate their government!

And now society wants to interfere with my affairs still again? A large and mostly hypocritical portion of it thinks that they know better than I do or we as Texans about the value of human life?? ROFLMAO! What do they know? What do ivy-league scholars, left-wing Hollyweird celebs and snot-nosed kids (not insulting anybody, in the abstract with a line on humor) who read too much, and have never even been so much as squirrel hunting know about the value of life?

And you think that like ol' Charlie Brown who Lucy sets up annually to kick a football, only to pull it out from under him, while ol' Charlie falls flat on his back, still again... that I am going to fall for that again? To listen to others while my heart tells me different? No sirree! No ma'am!

I know the value of human life. You can't really know the value until you destroy it. My confirmed kills in 'Nam were one heckuva lot less than the reality of it. And those NVA's that I killed were really in a sense just my counterparts over there. Young, dumb and just blindly following orders. They were just as heroic or as disgraceful as I was made out to be upon returning home safely. Depending on what side the person doing the judging was on or what camp rather, that they were in politically. I do however suspect that very few if any of them were spat upon, after the war or when returning home and called horrible names by their own citizens...

Nobody is going to tell what to do for the short time that I have left here on this ol' earth Sonja. I don't blindly follow orders or laws anymore. None of that is relevant to me. What matters is how I feel and what I believe. On my property I AM THE LAW.
I am the God that has never shown or revealed himself to me. The one that has forsaken me in all my years of wretched agony that I buried myself in alcohol and then Xanax to relieve.

Society cannot judge me or trick me into following it's current societal mores and political correctness. I don't believe in politicians of any party or platform. All of that changes quicker than a chameleon swaps colors. It swirls and whirls with the seasons. There isn't much that I believe in any more besides myself.

I also firmly believe that in order of importance our Second Amendment IS THE FIRST AMENDMENT. Now that I planted that seed, one day hopefully it will come...

I am the law east of the Pecos Sonja. What I have is mine and I earned it. No man may take that from me without a fight and one in which he may very well lose his life. And unlike those young men in 'Nam that no doubt their families still remorse and miss. I will have no shame, no sorrow and absolutely no guilt over dispatching somebody that looks and appears to be human, but inside is nothing but a greedy and filthy animal. And I don't care about their families or anything else about them either.

Maybe I am not "human" anymore? But I certainly feel pain, remorse, I cry, I have a conscience. But yes, I would kill again. Without hesitation if the circumstances warrant it.
And in Texas the law is on the side of the property owner and the righteous more so than any other place. This is IMHO the closet that it gets to the "promised land".

My two sons will inherit my wealth and property. As they should. And hopefully my legacy will help ease the pain of living in this sick and distorted world for my children and any children that they may have...

SgtRock
"Don't Tread On Me"

PS: You don't have a "different political bent" than me. As I don't have any at all. I do not believe in liars, worms and charlatans no matter what their party affiliations. Betcha thought that I was a Republicrat eh? LOL!

SgtRock said...

"Now that we're getting into some meat and potatoes here, I'm starting to enjoy this discussion ... how about you?"

The discussion is actually quite painful for me but it helps get out my frustrations so it isn't necessarily a bad thing...

:^)

SgtRock
"Fear the government that fears your guns"

sonja said...

Hi again Sgt. Rock ...

First I want to say that I really do appreciate the fact that you’re taking the time to talk with me about these things. I’m not just saying that. You are being courteous and thoughtful and I really do appreciate that.

Now, on to our terms ... I think I’m beginning to see where we’re missing each other, even though we both have good ideas about what we’re saying.

When you are discussing the “value of a human life” I think I hear you talking about very physical, tangible terms ... i.e. life vs. death. Or whether or not someone has committed crimes, or been in accidents or had their life taken. Would you agree with that? So in your paradigm (and if I were using this paradigm, I’d agree with you) Jeffrey Dahmer would not be of equal value with Mother Teresa to use the example we’ve been working with.

On the other hand, when I talk about the “value of a human life,” I am talking about more intangible things. Here is what I believe. I believe that I am equal with Jeffrey Dahmer and Mother Teresa because I am a child of God and so are they. I believe that they are equal with each other because they are children of God ... created in His image and bearing His imprint. That can never be removed by any behavior, crime or misdemeanor. I believe we are all equally depraved and equally saintly; we have equal potential within us for good and for evil because of our creation in God. Does this make sense?

You are very correct that as a society we have placed a monetary amount on how much a life is worth. It is a sliding scale too as you might also agree. A white life is worth more than the life of a person of color from a bad neighborhood. As you so astutely pointed out, the life of a toddler is not worth much more than the price of a bucket in some places. Nor are the lives of some people worth more than the price of one more drink at a bar. Or the cost of rehab to insurance companies. We definitely do cost/benefit analysis on how much a human life is worth to us. And we have decided that some lives are worth more than others.

Our lives here and our stuff (as you pointed out in your earlier post) are more valuable than the lives of many Africans who are dying each day for wont of cheap medicine and food.

Thank you for sharing about your service in Vietnam. I get the sense from reading your account, that you might share some of my beliefs in the inherent equality of the human condition.

I was too young during Vietnam for anything but memories of the newsreels on the evening news. But I do remember being horrified about both the deaths in the field and how our soldiers were treated on their return. I remember that my parents made it very clear to me that most of the soldiers were doing their duty and had very, very few choices in a very bad situation. I cannot imagine it.

Now, here’s something that troubles me, Sgt. Rock. You’ve said this a number of times in so many words, “I am the law east of the Pecos.” There’s the part of me that loves westerns (particularly Lonesome Dove and the Texas Rangers) that is strangely comforted by that statement. And, I will also say, that after walking through this with you the past couple of days I am beginning to see that you are probably trustworthy with your use of firepower ... despite your reliance on vigilante justice. But here’s the rub ... not everyone who believes like you is as trustworthy as you are. And what you are advocating looks like anarchy to me. Worse, it looks like a violent gun-infested anarchy to me. One where I wouldn’t be safe (which I am now), but worse off, because people could be shooting at shadows.

So, believe me, I am not trying to tell you what to do. But here’s where I just can’t see how your way of life actually makes the world a safer place. Yes, your guy killed those two varmints, er, men who had robbed his neighbor’s house. But it’s a drop in the bucket. And, the thing is, statistically speaking it’s an anomally. It is far more likely for a gun owner to find that his/her gun is a liability in a home break-in and it will be used on him or her. Guns are much more likely to be used against their owners, because not many of them are like you (i.e. have used them on humans before). That’s not my belief, that’s a statistical fact.

I guess what I’m asking is how do we avoid anarchy and live in system of laws and justice with the system that the Texans are proposing? I’m asking because when you take matters into your own hands and kill someone, you have usurped several amendments to the Constitution. And while we’d like to, we don’t get to pick and choose which ones we’re going to follow. Or which ones are more important than the others.

For instance, to follow your example ... without the first amendment in place, the second amendment is pretty worthless. There’s not much reason to keep and bear arms, if you can’t congregate, or you don’t have freedom of religion or freedom of the press. What would be the point? You can have guns. To what end? In order for the second amendment to have any teeth, you must have the first amendment and our founding fathers knew it. If you think about it, they all work together. That’s why this form of government has worked for so long ... until the freakin’ lobbyists got a hold of it (but that’s another story).

Well ... I’m starting to ramble which is a sure sign I need to bring this an end. Thanks for listening and I hope to hear back from you.

Sonja
... don’t tread on me (either) ;-)

SgtRock said...

The police or the sheriff's are also not trustworthy all of the time. Their crimes and corruption are legion. Such is the nature of man. I don't consider being self-reliant and acknowledging that the system simply just doesn't work most of the time to be "vigilantism" and protecting one's self, their family and/or their property to be "vigilante justice". It just is what it is. A logical response to a lack of other choices.

The police do not have any official duty to protect individuals, let alone your property! They mostly serve AFTER THE FACT as paper processors, crime scene investigators, etc.. etc... AFTER the crimes have been committed.

http://www.firearmsandliberty.com/kasler-protection.html

And if that tired old myth (not being mean, just being honest) about a firearm being more likely to kill it's owner was true, then I would have been dead at least twelve times or more by now... LOL! I have handguns located in strategic places all throughout my house plus a shotgun. All loaded. Unloaded weapons are of no use. They are however only readily accessible to myself or my wife. I also keep a holster with a large caliber revolver with me,
it's right next to me right now in my computer room/office. If I go into the living room to watch TV I keep it on the coffee table in front of me. When I go to bed I lock it up because I switch over to a shotgun at night. This is also my firearm of choice when I travel. I also check into my luggage when I fly (Southwest Airlines) and take it with me just about everywhere that I go. And guess what? I am still alive and kickin', either that or this is my ghost talkin' to ya! ;^)

http://www.strike-the-root.com/3/chapin/chapin10.html

Anti-gun propagandists and misguided individuals continually repeat that long discredited "study" or claim by Dr. Kellermann like a mantra - That "a homeowner is 43 times as likely to be killed or kill a family member as an intruder". That is a total fallacy (folks still fall for the Nigerian Internet letter too ;^) :^). And unfortunately it was created using tax payer dollars and it is one of the most misused slogans implying "statistics" of the gun prohibitionists.

Not all that long ago, ol' Kellermann rescinded his original claim and is now stating that his "estimate" is "guns are 2.6 times more likely... blah..blah..blah..". The man is just another charlatan and a fraud. He has zero credibility and his methodology has been completely discredited. What was that saying about "if you repeat a lie, long enough, loud enough and often enough, it becomes the truth to many people"? Zealots from the left (right-wing too) know this very well... I ain't buying any of it. Kellermann even used data such as folks that committed suicide with a gun to compile his wacky "statistic".

Like it or not Sonja, as in that famous quote your own world is much safer because "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf" (Orwell). Your behalf too Sonja, you are included whether you wish to acknowledge this fact or not.

Criminals are not as stupid as one may think. They know full well that any home that they may break into may contain an armed homeowner ready to defend it with deadly force. And
that in spite of your opinions or feelings about human lives and God or spirituality makes you safer.

Anarchy? Hardly. You want to see anarchy? Let us all adopt a policy of putting away our firearms, calling 911, depending on police to arrive faster than Dominos pizza and praying to one's God of choice for divine intervention to stop criminals from raping, robbing, murdering and pillaging our neighborhoods, homes & families.

Unconstitutional? Usurping? What is unconstitutional? Exercising my rights to keep and bear arms? Exercising my right as a Texan to defend my property, even with deadly force if neccessary? And where in the constitution does it bar somebody, any man or woman from defending one's self and their property, by any means neccessary? Please elaborate further.

And there isn't any "system that Texans are proposing". Our right to defend property is a rather old one, that goes back over 150 years or more.

The Texas Penal code statute was originally enacted back in frontier times, when there was no 911 to dial. A man lived in the middle of no where, without any neighbors for miles. He had to be able to legally and effectively deal with any situation or problem. As someone else has pointed out, loss of tools or other property could cause loss of income, or ability to tend cattle or raise crops. These were serious issues. By the time you found a sheriff or Texas Ranger to report the crime to, it could be days or even months old. So you as a homeowner could LEGALLY deal with nearly any threat that came along. That was the spirit this section of law came from. 150-plus years later, the people of the Great State of Texas have not seen any reason to change this law significantly.

For nothing has really changed except the increase in animosity and meddling from folks in other states, usually northern ones that look down upon us, insult us (generalizing, not directing at you personally) and think that they know what is best for Texans.

Well they don't!

And I also live out in the middle of no where and it's by choice. I prefer the company of feral hogs, coyotes, mountain lions, bobcat, deer and snakes to most humans. My nearest neighbor is a 1/4 mile away and I own almost a half-a-mile of frontage on the road that I live on. If you come in peace at reasonable hours I will give share my wine and break bread with you, and I am not religious either. If you are in need I will share (to a degree) what I have or help out as best that I can. If one comes with ill-intent they will consider this to be "Hell's half-acre"....(I own considerably more than that..)

Btw, anti-gun lobbyists and their ilk, pick n' choose what constitutional amendments that they follow all the time. And the 2nd certainly ain't one of them!

Folks owning firearms who are decent and law-abiding are not the problem. Criminals do not traditionally obey laws so all the gun-control laws in the worlds will not change their M.O.
one iota. Yes, we Texans probably have more firearms than all the other states combined. I know that we have more F.F.L. (licensed Firearms Dealers) than any other state (Pennsylvania has the most N.R.A. members however :^). However I wouldn't exactly use the word "infested" to describe the situation. That's goes along with using the word "spray" to describe semi-automatic fire to induce emotional and irrational responses from the ill-informed, something that anti-gunners and the media are very skilled at. Why play into their hands?

Guess what? It's also a myth that more firearms equates with more crime. It depends in who's hands that the firearms are in.

Almost everybody that I know around here is armed and has sizable firearms collections. I don't feel uncomfortable when I visit with them or stay at their homes.

Why is it okay for a police officer or other law-enforcement agent or member to carry firearms with everywhere they go, even when they are off-duty? They carry because of the nature of their jobs instill in them the harsh realities of today's society. They don't live in a idealist dreamland. They know the truth.

We had three "drop-off's" out here last summer. Where somebody pulls up in front of somebody's woods (it's all for the most part PRIVATE property in Texas, we have very little public land like other states) and dumps a body. They often come from Houston out here to the country to dump a body.

So when I find a van or a truck, car or whatever parked on the side of the road in front of my woods or property I call it in to the sheriffs for a license plate check. If nothing comes up, no red flags or outstandings, the sheriff may or may not send out a unit to further investigate. Depending on how busy that they are. It's a low priority for them. However somebody that is potentially running around in MY woods is a very high-priority for me. I cannot leave my home during that period until I know that the situation is clear. I have to also know that there isn't anybody on my property and in my woods. So guess what? It becomes basically a DO-IT-YOURSELF project. My dogs are very adept at flushing out game from the woods....the latest generation of night-vision scopes and goggles do too. :^)

Whether you think that the world is a better place or not because of Texas laws or prevailing custom, or attitudes. You should at least check out and compare Texas crime rate statistics with that of all the other states. And then compare the states that have large amounts of firearms in the hands of law-abiding citizens (like the state of Florida) with states that are less likely to have an armed populace. You might be amazed...

Merry Christmas!
SgtRock

"An armed society is a polite society" -- Robert A. Heinlein

Ken said...

No offense Sgt Rock, but you seem to have a clear sense that an "enemy" is continually pursuing you. That seems like more a result of your traumatic war experience than a reality of American rural life. My wife and I both grew up in very rural areas, we were an hour from the nearest "big store." We had lots of pot growers and meth heads in the area, the cops were constantly making busts. Their were plenty of stories about people back in the woods shooting folks with shotguns if they wandered onto their grow plot.

That said, I never carried more than a BB gun growing up and my parents never owned a gun. We never feared for our safety and even though we had a few things stolen over the years, it never amounted to much. I have always opted to live life without fear. To me it takes more courage to live as if you had nothing to fear, than it does to barricade oneself inside an armed fortress. We all die eventually...why spend our days fretting over it?

Ken

"We have nothing to fear but fear itself" FDR

SgtRock said...

No Offense taken Ken.

However as I have stated with the last six months out of approximately 13 homes in our little neighborhood here out in the woods, we have had two home invasions - one with intent to do bodily harm. The other was an attempted burglary where they didn't know that a woman was home with her 7 month old baby while her husband was out of town.

Within a 7-mile or so radius there was three confirmed body drop-offs in the woods out here 'that I know of'.

I don't live in fear. I routinely take my 22 foot center-console 50 to 75 miles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico fishing by myself. Fear isn't part of my psychological profile. But of course I go prepared (like I do when I drive and around the house). One must have the 'right equipment' in proper working order with them at all times.

With me it's more of a case of being extremely pragmatic. I face the facts. Not what I wish the world would be, just acknowledging basically what it is or isn't.

It isn't just human varmints that one carries a firearm with them for out here. We literally have thousands (and that's probably an understatement) of feral hogs that run rampant through the area. The record boar in this county was 450lbs. 150-200lb ones are extremely common. And if you get between a female and her young they are even more vicious and/or dangerous.

I personally have had confrontations (with my dogs) twice in the last year with wild hogs. Both times in the daytime. Hogs are extremely curious and noises will cause them to come investigate. And because our society has changed quite a bit with respect to gun ownership, increasing urbanization and less hunting, the hogs, coyotes and other dangerous animals have totally lost their fear of humans.

Once you are attacked by a 150 lb boar or two or three females along with your dog or dogs as I have (and my neighbors) you learn to carry a sidearm with you at all times. Am I being irrational?

I have driven through soundings of hogs of up to 70 at one time in my truck, at night, on my road, with a Q-beam on, blowing the horn, my Blue Heeler barking and almost leaping out the window, and the hogs had me totally surrounded, they were headed in the other direction but blocking the road completely, on both sides and in front of me. And taking their sweet time. Almost indignantly. This is no exaggeration on my part. Believe you me.

And then there are the mountain lions that grow to over 8 feet in length and can leap up to 20 feet at a time.

This is densely wooded bottomland area that is part of the western edge of the famous "Big Thicket".

Here is but one account of an incident in Grimes county where a Joe Horn would have done society a great service if this "Demon" was taken out long ago. I am sure that he didn't just suddenly start his crime spree on a spur of the moment thing that particular evening.

http://www.tdcaa.com/node/1363

Do you carry a tire jack, spare tire and other emergency equipment in your vehicle with you? I bet that you do! Why? Just in case.
Who looks forward to a flat tire or an accident where flares would come in handy? But it happens, so a wise man is prepared for such contingencies. How many folks don't bother to carry flares? Now who is wiser, the one's who do, or the one's who don't? Are the one's that do paranoid or fearful?

What happens if I were to run into a Marcus Demon on the road one night? What happens if such a man attempts to kick in my front door and I have no firearms to defend myself? I am getting too old to hit homeruns with baseball bats, :^).

So let's be real here.

And as I have already stated. My AC condensing units (2 of them) that cost almost 3g's a piece were stolen TWICE by scumbags that simply drove up to them in their trucks, cut the lines, threw 'em on their truck and took off.

Is fortifying my property with 1,000 pound boulders trucked in spaced close enough to keep out trucks along the front of my house that is exposed to the road, plus planting razor sharp holly and hiding cast iron poles filled with concrete in them. Plus putting up a 6'wrought iron fence with sharp spikes on top and an electronic sliding gate an irrational response to you? It's worked! I just checked and I still have two AC units outside! :^)

How may insurance deductibles do you think that I should have to pay or how many times to you think my insurance company will continue to renew my policies with such frequent claims?

Sorry, I built a custom dream house out here in the country in the woods Ken. I worked hard my whole life for this. You may throw caution to the wind and not "fret over it" as far as your property and possessions are concerned, that is entirely your prerogative. However it is not mine.

Besides, the holly and the rocks with the wrought iron look very nice. I had it professionally landscaped. :^) :^)

The cameras with the built-in IP addresses (Internet devices) I installed myself and I also built the DVR.

I like it out here. At night I can see the Milky Way when there isn't a bright moon or cloud cover! The meteorite showers like the Perseids in August! They were outstanding! I saw my first green meteorite. A very large and bright one! Wild horses couldn't drag me back to living in a city or suburban environment.

Merry Christmas!
SgtRock

"Paranoia is the essence of a free society" -- SgtRock

sonja said...

Wow ... Sgt. Rock, that’s a way of life that sounds completely foreign to me. I grew up in the woods of Vermont. Our nearest neighbor was a quarter mile away as well, but we never ever had to fear from anyone. I had more to fear from the snowmobilers not seeing me in the woods, than I did from any person actively doing harm to me or my family.

When I graduated from college I moved down to Washington DC and lived in one of the roughest neighborhoods going ... alone. I never had a single problem. I rode my bicycle or walked everywhere I went. Or rode the public bus. My apartment was never broken into, I was never mugged. In fact, (knock on wood) I’ve never had anything stolen from me.

I live two blocks from a barrio neighborhood in my city now and our crime rate is impossibly low. The only reason we lock our car at night is so we don’t lose our GPS ... but frankly, I think we should leave it unlocked so no one will break the windows if they want it.

I learned how to properly operate and maintain weapons when I was young, but I’ve never owned one. It’s likely that I never will. In my area of the country it’s just not necessary. But perhaps it is in yours. Which is another great argument for the value of states rights!

So, I took your challenge and went digging for some information on the correlation between gun control laws and crime rates. To the best of my knowledge there ain’t none. http://www.swivel.com/data_columns/show/6813369 This chart was about the most concise I could find and as you can see there is very little correlation between gun control (either pro or con) and crime rates. Gun control laws are all over the place and so are crime rates and it looks as though there is very little correlation between the two. So I’m not certain that I would want to conclude dogmatically that gun control lowers crime, nor would I want to conclude that gun carry laws control crime. It may well be that either argument could be like clapping your hands to keep the polar bears away ... it seems effective, but there may be other factors at play that we are unaware of at this time.

So, to get back to some of our original questions, what if anything can we conclude after all of these words about the value of human life in all of this? Have we found any common ground to stand on? What do you think?

Merry Christmas!

Sonja

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

SgtRock said...

"The value of human life" is to a large extent determined by society as a whole. However, it is different for each individual depending largely on their life experiences and their basic moral philosophies, if any - and foundations.

What is your particular value of human life when you live at a certain comfort level, that can no doubt be downsized to the point of living frugally as Jesus Christ did? Did not Jesus live as a pauper? Do you really need all the luxuries that you have and enjoy, when you know that you could use that money or resources that you can generate to save human lives, literally both here and abroad? All over the world? Obviously you have your own sliding scale of human life, just like everybody else does.

Essentially our difference lie in that you like many others draw your own lines in life and you won't sell off most of your wealth and materialistic trappings to help save the very lives that you hold sacred but you will proselytize to others including me that it is inherently wrong to defend one's materialistic trappings by the use of deadly force.

Philosophically I don't see much difference between us. You are not really putting a higher value on life than I do, in a strictly virtuous sense.

I am very happy to know and hear that you have so far escaped life relatively unscathed from harm from others. However, that is often not the case. My own sister was raped. I have friends who were murdered. I have been robbed many times and this was before I even moved to Texas, living in Detroit. Look up statistics on how many women are raped and it goes largely unreported. Where do you draw your lines? If you truly believe in the sanctity of life then a rapist shouldn't be shot, even if caught in the act and he tries to run. We shouldn't have revolted against the tyranny of King George and fought the Revolutionary War either. Where is your cut-off for the drawing of your lines? Is it just with property that "thou shall not kill"? Why stop there? Why have armed police then? Why have armies?
Why bother?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Kates

Mr. Don Kates summarizes the consensus reached by criminological research into gun control thus:

"Unfortunately, an almost perfect inverse correlation exists between those who are affected by gun laws, particularly bans, and those whom enforcement should affect. Those easiest to disarm are the responsible and law abiding citizens whose guns represent no meaningful social problem. Irresponsible and criminal owners, whose gun possession creates or exacerbates so many social ills, are the ones most difficult to disarm.

One's interpretation of statistics is largely irrelevant. The bottom-line is that regardless of statistical interpretation, the general trend in the U.S. has been towards much greater permissiveness of concealed carry. Florida is a prime example. They were the first I believe to introduce "shall-issue" concealed carry reform legislation, crimes occurring against residents dropped remarkably upon the general issuance
of a couple of hundred thousand concealed-carry licenses to law-abiding citizens. Remember that criminals who don't traditionally obey laws ALREADY were armed and carrying. An interesting thing happened next, it put tourists in Florida coming to visit Disney world and the like with their families at grave risk because they were driving then MARKED rental cars - Avis, Hertz, Alamo... At risk from criminals who had an obvious instinct for survival and creatively discovered that since now so many native law-abiding motorists and residents are now trained and armed, picking on UNARMED tourists directly off of airplanes was much safer and easier prey. That is why I fly Southwest Airlines which lets me check my handgun of choice and box of premium hollow-points in with my checked luggage. I am
not going to be noob fodder for savvy criminals when I visit Florida, Detroit or elsewhere. Btw, Florida reacted by immediately passing laws prohibiting the marking of rental cars.

Here in Texas it took a Luby's Cafeteria massacre in the early 1990's for us to pass a similar concealed carry law. Please note that if even ONE person in that restaurant was armed, be they a police officer
or a civilian they could have dropped the armed assailant that crashed his pickup truck into the cafeteria and massacred 23 people and wounded 20 others then thankfully killed himself. The disgusting and truly sad part was that out of EIGHTY PEOPLE in this restaurant not one was armed and could fight back. Folks cowered like sheep. One man smashed out a window with a chair and then instead of helping women and children escape HE WENT OUT THE WINDOW. What have we as a society become? To have become so cowardly is utterly shameful. What was the "value of life" to most of those in that restaurant that fateful day? It was MY LIFE IS WORTH MORE THAN EVERYBODY ELSE'S! And their cowardliness showed it. To give full credit where credit is due, at least one person there was a man as I recognize one, he threw HIMSELF through a plate glass window and then allowed others to escape. A Mr. Tommy Vaughn. He suffered severe lacerations in his shoulders but survived.

One cowardly employee actually hid in the kitchen's oversized dishwasher where he hid until he "was rescued" THE NEXT DAY! The liberal media labeled this coward as "clever". Ha!

Any number of MEN could have rushed
Hennard the gunman and taken him down. Was it better for the males out of those 23 dead to have died cowering under tables in fear than to have died staring death in the face and laughing and trying to disarm the gunmen? I ask you? Do you really know the value of life Sonja? Did they?

Now here, you are trying to win me over to your pacifistic line of thinking? And thinking that you know better than I the value of a human life? I am a man Sonja. Not one that cowers under restaurant tables or would go down without a fight even in the face of an armed gunman whether or not I am armed or unarmed myself. I have no fear of anything, as some others may suggest. I am not a fearful person. I just have completely lost my faith in our government, our society, the world in general and the God that supposedly left us those dusty old books written by men and hasn't seen fit to visit us in a few thousand years. I don't see shades of gray. I see black and white. I don't distinguish between somebody robbing my home for what I own or someone attempting to kill my family and I. Why should I? What if I am wrong in my assessment? Do you think that burglars do not kill or murder in order to escape or when discovered? It's my home and my land is my property. Other "humans" know the rules and the risks. Anything that happens in a negative way including their deaths are the result of their own actions.

As I said before, one cannot truly know the value of a human life until one destroys one. I have destroyed many. It was my job at the time. I know the value. The value just isn't there Sonja with certain members of our society, that includes thieves, rapists, pedophiles, murderers and other deviants. You couldn't possibly ever see things from my viewpoint because you haven't lived the same life that I have. But rest assured a lot of the safety and comfort that you have enjoyed throughout your life has been brought to you by men such as myself and the fact that many others both men and women, both law-enforcement and civilians are armed and willing to use deadly force whenever neccessary.

I have killed on the battlefield worthy opponents whom I still lose sleep over 40 years later. I would kill again to property my life, my wife, my children, my friends, my dogs, my trucks, my house and my other personal property. In a heartbeat. And I would not feel any pain or remorse over it. I could go to a good dinner afterwards and then sleep comfortably. To be truly "human" isn't just to be born into it as a Homo-sapien. There are many animals out in the world in human form. Demons perhaps. If one believes in such things.

SNIPPED FROM WIKIPEDIA:

"Currently, 48 US states allow some form of concealed carry and about half provide for some variant on non-concealed "open-carry". In 13 states, the same permit or license is required to open-carry a handgun, but most states do not require a permit or license to carry openly; in six states, most of which have concealed-carry licenses or permits, open-carry is prohibited.".

Sing praise to your God that common sense sometimes prevails still in this sad ol' country of ours. And I assure you, it isn't armed homeowners that are fed up with the spiraling decay of society that are the root of the problem.

Cheers!
SgtRock
"The Constitution of most of our states (and of the United States) assert that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed." --Thomas Jefferson.

sonja said...

I thought this poem/song was appropriate to our discussion.

The Rebel Jesus
by Jackson Browne
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOALofnjqpg

All the streets are filled with laughter and light
And the music of the season
And the merchants windows are all bright
With the faces of the children
And the families hurrying to their homes
As the sky darkens and freezes
They'll be gathering around the hearths and tales
Giving thanks for all God's graces
And the birth of the rebel Jesus

Well they call him by the Prince of Peace
And they call him by the Savior
And they pray to him upon the seas
And in every bold endeavor
As they fill his churches with their pride and gold
And their faith in him increases
But they've turned the nature that I worshipped in
From a temple to a robbers den
In the words of the rebel Jesus

We guard our world with locks and guns
And we guard our fine possessions
And once a year when Christmas comes
We give to our relations
And perhaps we give a little to the poor
If the generosity should seize us
But if any one of us should interfere
In the business of why they are poor
They get the same as the rebel Jesus

But please forgive me if I seem
To take the tone of judgement
For I've no wish to come between
This day and your enjoyment
In this life of hardship and of earthly toil
We have need for anything that frees us
So I bid you pleasure
And I bid you cheer
From a heathen and a pagan
On the side of the rebel Jesus.

Ken said...

Sgt Rock, the United States has the highest rate of gun ownership of any country in the world. We also have a very high murder rate(currently #24 in the world). I am no fool, if gun ownership made us safer we would be doing better than countries with very limited gun ownership (like the U.K.), but the reality is we are not. Obviously there are more factors at play here, as a high rate of gun ownership does not translate into a high murder rate (Switzerland is a good example).

By the way, I do own three pistols, two shotguns, and two rifles. However they are always cased and the pistols have trigger locks.

Murder Rates: http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_mur_percap-crime-murders-per-capita

Gun Ownership comparison: http://www.allcountries.org/gun_ownership_rates.html

By the way, your argument that one cannot know the value of a life without taking one is a fallacy. That is akin to saying that one cannot know the value of a house if you haven't burnt one down...it just doesn't fly in the face of logic.

My two cents,
Ken

SgtRock said...

Ken,

What did you experience when you took your first deer? How did you feel? What did you learn?

Having a firearm that is unloaded or locked up in some fashion is totally worthless for defense purposes and IMHO senseless.

Obviously you don't feel the need to be able to defend yourself? I sincerely hope that when you have to call 911 that your local LEO's have a better response time than Dominos pizza.

Why the trigger locks? I thought that you faced life without fear? What are the trigger locks for?

Firearms are inanimate objects. If I load one up and lay it on my coffee table and a "human" doesn't touch it, it will stay there, for decades or longer with a round still chambered. What fears do the trigger locks help assuage?

You are absolutely correct about "more factors at play" with regards to murder rates. One is the loss of homogeny in our culture and societies. The "melting pot" often becomes a crazy quilt of opposing forces all tearing at the seams and instead of working in unity with each other, it often breaks down into distrust and dislike of one another. Every culture seems to distrust or despise one another to some degree, sometimes even envy is a factor.

As the population of once peaceful countries such as Australian, Canada and UK become increasingly less homogeneous they are seeing their civil unrest and crime rates skyrocket. Case in point - The Muslim rioting and disturbances in France, the UK and Australia. We i n the United States just happen to be a little more advanced in the melting pot department. It isn't our firearms ownership rates of law-abiding citizens that are the root of our murder rates and other problems.

When I was a kid we would often take our hunting rifles to school with us and have them hung in rifle racks in the backs of our pickup trucks during deer season. After school we would often go out with teachers and even hunt behind our school. Nobody thought of pulling a Columbine back then to settle a score.

That's like saying that poverty causes crime, if that were true then the Great Depression would have ushered in one of the greatest crime waves in history! But it didn't. And everybody kept a shotgun or a .22 rifle behind the front door or in their closet back in those days. Most of America was rural and that's how they put food on their tables.

It is a HUGE fallacy and mistaken notion here in the United States that the UK with all of their gun control is a much safer place with regards to crime than in our country. Propaganda and lies are the tools of revisionists and zealots in the anti-gun camp. They are very effective in misleading people.

In fact the opposite is true. There are many variables but the violent crime rate in the UK is at least FIVE TIMES HIGHER that our rate, even with all of our gun ownership.

http://tinyurl.com/ylfg3s

Outlaw guns and only the criminals will have guns.

Crime figures and "facts' or statistical data given out by British and Canadian officials quite frankly can't be trusted. Their offices of disinformation purposely distort and skew their numbers. How come the UK doesn't include crimes of members of it's society under 16 years of age in it's data and statistics for example?

Did you know that Japan which supposedly has one of the lowest murder rates in the world does not include "Hari Kari" in their data that they compile? And Japanese, the women especially often will not only commit suicide themselves but they will often take the lives of their children too. We call that "murder" here and rightly so! We would also put that in our statistical data while the more "honorable" Japanese would not. That isn't murder in their way of thinking and in line with their own cultural mores.

In fact, the mad Doctor Kellerman, famous for his "guns are 43 times more likely to be used against their owners" etc... would snap that up here in the US and include a woman shooting her children and her self in his statistics. Certainly one wouldn't put trigger locks on one's firearms in anticipation of this would they?

Do firearms cause suicide:
http://tinyurl.com/yq2szh

In reality the crime rate is rapidly falling in the United States (corresponding to our concealed carry reforms and increase in gun-ownership by law-abiding citizens) while it's rapidly INCREASING in Great Britain, Australia and other counties with increasingly stricter gun-control. However they also have the increasing melting pot factor so granted, it's hard to separate all the forces at work here.

In Australian where it's citizens where almost totally disarmed by it's fascist government, criminals are increasingly attacking the poor convenience store owners with knives, sickles, axes, machetes and Crocodile Dundee type blades. And the poor worker or store owner cannot legally possess or use a firearm to defend themselves. Is that your idea of a Utopian society?

Meanwhile Australia races to outlaw even swords, they already imposed severe restrictions on knives. What's next? Farm tool? Rakes, Tines? Hoes? Pickaxes? Machetes?

http://tinyurl.com/25d7e3

Obviously disarming honest law-abiding people doesn't make society any safer? In fact it isn't hard to connect the dots and see that it actually has the opposite effect. Disarming people allows the criminals to operate with increased impunity. And there will never be enough police to go around to protect everybody, everywhere, all of the time. What kind of government disarms it's own people? What are THEY AFRAID OF? Why?

You are six times more likely to be mugged in London than New York city.

http://tinyurl.com/y5qrfm

Question? I routinely carry a firearm with me like an American Express card, locked n' loaded. Just in case of any unforeseen contingencies. You lock up your firearms to render them useless. Now isn't that essentially the same mind set? You lock them up in case of unforeseen contingencies as well do you not? Is the real fundamental difference here as basic as viewing a glass as either half-full or half-empty??

You also cannot know the real value of a house until you have lost one either Ken...

Cheers!
SgtRock

"Are we at last brought to such an humiliating and debasing degradation that we cannot be trusted with arms for our own defense? Where is the difference between having our arms under our own possession and under our own direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?" --Patrick Henry

SgtRock said...

Putting politics aside for a moment, I would like to remind us to reflect on what our brave men and women in our military do for us while we sit here comfortably in our homes and debate philosophical and other issues . They have no such luxury. A lot are but children, our brothers and sisters, our son's and daughters and more.

Merry Christmas to all of you and especially to our soldiers, airmen, seaman and Marines!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=982tT4qQZJE

Cheers!
SgtRock Out

sonja said...

Merry Christmas everyone ...

Sgt. Rock, I will admit that I have not visited your links, I have merely read through your two posts. But as I did two thoughts came to mind ... and I thought I'd share (in the Christmas spirit of course ;-) ).

The first is this ... as I read through your epistle on how crime is moving and changing in our world, I thought this: We can continue to make laws (we do have that option), but laws do nothing to change hearts. The problem at the bottom of it all is that for one reason or another people desire to harm each other. They will bring that to pass no matter what laws we have in place and the more naive people will end up being the most hurt.

The other problem is that bigger firepower really doesn't change people's hearts either. The underlying problem still exists. People want to harm other people. So I guess my question to you is how do we go about changing or curing that underlying problem of stopping people from wanting to harm others ... so that we do not have to carry guns ... or knives, or pickaxes, or rakes, or what-have-yous anymore? So that we can each value the other at least as much as we value ourselves ... how can we go about changing those things?

The other observation I had for you is that it's interesting to me that as societies become more heterogeneous it seems that they become more violent. But as they are more homogeneous they are less violent. That kinda damns the whole melting pot theory doesn't it? I prefer the stew pot theory anyway.

In any case, Sgt. Rock, I hope you will accept Christmas blessings from me to you and your family. I hope you find God's grace in unexpected places in 2008 and may it be a happy one for you.