Beyond the Cusp

September 10, 2016

How Could Gun Control Lower Gun Violence?

 

This has been a basic question where conservatives and liberals, Republicans and Democrats, gun owners and advocates against gun control advocates have wrestled and neither side has ever found the magic, pardon our word usage, silver bullet to end the violence resulting from criminal firearm usage. Every time there is a dramatic milestone reached as was recently in Chicago where they reached five-hundredth homicide of the year or a dramatic firearms related death toll resulting from firearms usage such as the Orlando club shooting or the string of homicides in San Bernardino for the anti-gun forces to rush to blame the guns even if the real culprit was terrorism as in Orlando and San Bernardino. There is the demand for long waiting periods, deeper background checks, limits on firearm purchases per person per year or any of a number from a plethora of inventive laws which would presumably end criminal purchases of firearms at gun shows, gun stores, private sales or other legal forms of firearms purchases. This begs a simple question, how many criminals are purchasing their firearms legally. Yes, there have been some tragic cases where a person legally purchased the firearms they use all too often in violent mass shootings such as too many school shootings or mass public shootings such as in movie theaters or nightclubs or as vengeance workplace violence or even terrorism. These tragic cases often are the first criminal act of the shooters and they went through all of the existing checks and even if further checks and wait periods were enacted they would have had little if any effect beyond waiting periods causing them to plan longer and delay their shooting sprees but not preventing them. Still, over ninety percent of shootings are committed by people with criminal records who already would be unable to walk into a gun show or gun store and purchase a firearm legally and most of the firearms used in these crimes are often stolen weapons which were bought illegally from nonstandard sources which operate beyond the law. The idea that making legal firearm purchases more time consuming, burdensome and legally tangled with more and more layers of paperwork and legal hurdles does nothing to prevent criminal firearm purchases and the politicians know this and the crime data records prove this. So why if these facts are well known and understood do the politicians continue to call for restrictions on firearm purchases and even have many calling now for the repeal of the Second Amendment and the complete ban of legal firearm ownership despite all evidence pointing to this leading to increased firearm use by criminal elements as they then are assured they will be the only people armed in any criminal incident.

 

There are at least two easily understandable reasons for the politicians calling for more restrictive laws. The most obvious is their receiving funds for making such demands coming from the anti-gun lobbies who will love such legislation and will spend liberally supporting political campaigns for those supportive candidates. Another reason is the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) who also favor more firearm laws as each law, regulation and licensing required by law increases the numbers of government employees required to process and handle the additional forms, research, background checks, license issuing or renewal and any other directives and requirements such legislation demands. These are two of the most active groups a candidate can get behind them in order to finance their campaign. The other reason which looms over the gun debate even more than campaign finances is the general lack of real information and education of the public, especially in most major metropolitan jurisdictions. This is largely due to the complete lack of intimate knowledge, education, training or even the slightest use of a firearm by the majority of the voting public. With a smaller and smaller percentage of the population having served in the military, especially suburban residents, and even less training in firearms in such organization as the Boy Scouts and other youth groups and there no longer having any firearms training in summer camps, the public is generally unfamiliar with firearms and many even developing a symptom bordering on maniacal fear of firearms to the point of hyperventilating at the sight of a gun other than on the belt of a uniformed police officer. Additionally, the use of firearms in entertainment venues such as movies displaying firearms in ways which are wildly inaccurate such as handguns or rifles firing well over one-hundred rounds without ceasing fire for reloading even firing six-shot revolvers twenty or thirty times before changing to another weapon or reloading, has fueled misconceptions of the lethality and practical use of firearms which if applied to swords would have the sword being capable of killing merely by removing it from its scabbard. Another misconception furthered by the entertainment industry is the range at which weapons, particularly handguns, are lethal. With shots being taken with a 9mm or a 45cal semi-automatic handgun at well over a quarter mile, 440 yards or four and a half football fields (pitch) which is a highly dubious range even for a really good marksman, but that is the short end of impossible shots as many a movie aficionado can attest. I have actually seen neighbors shrink away when friends and I would return from the outdoor public range and transport normal handguns and a few hunting rifles from the trunk of the vehicle into the house for cleaning and once had an extremely paranoid neighbor call the police claiming that terrorists were meeting in my place with dozens of guns and other weapons. The police were not all that amused but as two of my friends had Federal Firearms Licenses and one had a Class III Weapons Permit and worked at a gun store, they were forced to allow us to retain our weapons. The neighbor was frantic that we were not taken away in chains and the arsenal confiscated. Ah, reliving the good old days of my misspent youth.

 

Dianna Rigg as Emma Peel in The Avengers

Dianna Rigg as Emma Peel in The Avengers

 

The truth is that should the anti-gun and anti-weapons fanatics get their way, we will be eating steaks with butter knives if the vegans allow us to continue to eat slabs of cows. This claim is made as there have been calls in the United Kingdom, or at least in London and other cities of the Isles to make knives beyond six inches illegal which would make a number of carving knives and my bread knife illegal and some steak knives I have seen such as the ones at a restaurant in the United States and likely elsewhere called Outback. By our figuring, if these fanatics against weapons of all venues got their way, we would no longer have forks and instead be using sporks with our butter knives. The people who wish to make life so guarded that even the roads are made soft enough that falling will not scrape an elbow or a knee really have lost all sense of excitement and see danger not as a challenge to be overcome but a peril which must be eradicated so even the most inept cannot harm themselves no matter how recklessly they address life’s challenges. Where if they desire to round every corner in their homes and pad every piece of furniture while only using safe utensils such as butter knives and sporks and eat only the most bland fruits and vegetables rushing to the doctor’s office at the first sneeze or cough, let them live such lives but do not force your phobias on the remainder of us who wish to live lives dangerously using real forks and steak knives just to eat an apple because we love the thrill of the hunt. Truth be told, the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution was argued in the Federalist Papers as being the last line of defense against and to prevent Government Overreach and assure the Constitutional limits on Government power was in the hands of the people.

 

Safe Knife and Spork of the Future

Safe Knife and Spork of the Future

 

These people who claim that the gun is evil are carrying paranoia to an extreme beyond reason. I am willing to bet any of these people that a fully loaded handgun of any caliber could be placed on my kitchen table and sit there in the open for a full year and nobody I know would pick it up or fear it and it is highly unlikely, to the point of absurdness, that it would ever injure, let alone murder, anybody during that year or any number of additional years. I am willing to bet that they could not produce one person who robbed a convenience store who was claiming the firearm walked up to them, grabbed them by the hand and dragged them to the convenience store forcing them to rob it. Yet these same people would claim it was the gun if that same person had shot the clerk and simply wounded him requiring three stitches and a band aid. The tired old phrase that it is the person who commits the crime and not the firearm is true but there are those who insist on believing otherwise. They will claim that had the criminal not had the gun they would not have committed the crime. Somehow we believe it is more likely that the criminal would easily be able to buy a gun from, wait for it, another criminal if they were without a gun and believed one was needed to commit their crime. They would not go to Joe’s Gun Emporium or the county fair gun pavilion or any other legal means, they would go to a well-known criminal world individual and purchase a gun and for a few dollars more a gun without any serial number as it had been removed. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the criminal world will sell you guns made to order for the right price. It probably comes as a shock to the gun control supporters that there exist individuals who actually sell guns illegally and if they desire making it more difficult for criminal elements to use firearms, then the people they need to prevent from selling guns are the criminal elements and not the local gun store. Are there those gun store people who might sell guns under the table? Probably, but they are a rare minority and eventually they will be caught which every gun owner will be glad and hopes such a person is put away for a very long time. Gun owners are responsible citizens and are just as abhorred at criminal gun use as the next person, even the anti-gun lobbyist. Nothing would make gun owners happier than for every gun to be legally owned and never used for a criminal purpose and for not another person to die from gun violence. As far as gun accidental deaths, when you can figure out how to end the fifty-thousand plus vehicle deaths each year on the American highways and streets, then we can worry about the few hundred accidental gun deaths. It is nice to keep things in perspective and every gun death is a tragedy as is every premature death. But please let us remain sane and address the more serious causes of accidental deaths such as swimming pools and bathtubs, honestly folks.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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August 23, 2016

Philippine President Duterte Against the World

 

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte took office on June 30, 2016, elected partially on his promise to bring an end to the drug trade which was destroying his nation and the people’s nation. He has gone directly to work on this promise but now is facing threats from the United Nations as well as the United States State Department. Just yesterday we were giving the United States Department of State credit and now we face the great let down as they join the United Nations Human Rights experts all of whom are denigrating the efforts of President Duterte in freeing his people from the ravages of the illegal drug trade. His efforts to clean the Philippines of this scourge has run into a difficulty which the United Nations Human Rights experts and United States Department of State as they protest the deaths of five-hundred drug suspects have who have been killed in gun battles with police. If this number shocks you, then we might ask a simple question. What part of the statement distresses one? Is it the fact that gun battles have broken out between suspected drug criminals? Is it that these suspected drug traffickers were killed extra-judicially without being found guilty by a trial in a court of law? Was it the number of drug suspects killed is so high at five-hundred? Was it something we may have missed in our quick summary? Perhaps we should slow down in the rush to judgement and place this number into perspective of the accomplishments Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in his eight weeks in office first and then discuss these introduction statements in context.

 

Yes, five-hundred were killed in gun battles in eight weeks, a total of nine suspected drug criminals each day. We agree that such is a bit shocking but what is even more shocking are the success numbers of efforts thus far which place all in sharp contrast. Thus far over four-thousand-four-hundred drug suspects have been arrested and are awaiting trial. That is a large number of arrests and that is not even the slightest bit of the success. Between those arrested and those who chose to resist arrest and died in violent gun battles approach five-thousand drug suspects out of action, that is nothing compared to this final statistic. There have been an astonishing almost six-hundred-thousand drug suspects and related operatives who have turned themselves over to authorities simply surrendering. This astounding and likely unexpected success has resulted in overcrowding in Philippine jails which were never expected to hold such numbers. We believe that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will find some alternative by which these suspects will be housed at military bases or other emergency facilities and many will likely be processed, then charged, followed by some very reasonable bails being set and the least offenders freed on their own recognizance and told they will be notified of their court date which they will be expected to present themselves or face additional and likely more serious charges of disobeying the courts. Meanwhile, after taking in the scope of the problem, is there any doubt that those who decided their odds were better in a shoot-out than a trial were actually the most guilty and the highest ranking drug lords and their security forces, the central core of what was obviously an enormous problem in the Philippines which President Duterte has delivered on a dangerous and difficult promise and done so spectacularly.

 

The one important and further ramification of the United Nations and United States State Department charges of human rights abuses and extra-judicial executions prompting threats to charge President Duterte with crimes against humanity and potentially genocidal practices are as ridiculous and they are familiar to us here. President Duterte had gone after and looking like having cleaned-up some dangerous and hard-core criminal enterprises which likely were costing the Philippine population numerous lives and making for a society where lawlessness was posing a threat and difficulty for those desiring to live in peace and security. Such a drug problem had to result in challenges to the authority of the government and pose serious threats to the Philippine citizens, especially those trying to be law abiding. Further, such a criminal enterprise must have been a huge drain on the economy and further made life difficult for the average law abiding citizens with lives threatened by such lawlessness in a similar manner as faced in Israel from terrorism and President Duterte and his government was threatened with the exact same threats as Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Israeli governance is threatened with as Israel fights terrorism. Even spookier was that the charges emanated from the United Nations human rights experts and the United States Department of State, the identical entities which make Israelis fighting terrorism appear to be a criminal enterprise against innocent terrorists just as the Philippine fight was criminalized as they brought innocent drug lords to justice.

 

The difference was the reaction from the Philippine President when compared to the passive and almost acquiescing apologetic Israeli reactions. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte took on his detractors from the United States and United Nations head-on and bluntly called them out. He challenged the United States on their fatal and very public shootings of black men in the recent past challenging to know how what he was doing was any different than these shootings by the police in the cities of the United States. He also brought up the viral picture of the five-year-old Syrian boy, Omran Daqneesh, which has gone viral online (see montage below). He stressed the lack of any progress and the lack of evidence that the people of Syria were being relieved of the heavy toll from the civil conflicts encompassing every corner and area of Syria where numerous disparate groups are warring each against the others with there being at least four distinct groups, Russia, Bashar Assad, Hezballah, Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps, Sunni Fighters, Islamic State and the Kurdish Militias for starters plus who knows who else. The big threat was that perhaps the Philippines would be better served separating from the United Nations as their efforts in Syria, Darfur, Libya and formerly in Rwanda, Central African Republic and the myriad of other trouble spots past and present which the United Nations had proved less than effective and in many cases where United Nations troops caused more problems than they relieved including running food for sex scandals in numerous places and their inability to enforce any order and being basically nonfunctional. President Duterte challenged the United Nations threatening to set up a group of nations initially with suggesting China and African nations to form a new international body. Perhaps Israel should assist with the formation of an actual international group of like-minded nations as a replacement for the United Nations though simply making agreements with select nations on a one-by-one nature and forge alliances more directly.

 

Five Year Old Syrian Omran Daqneesh sitting in Ambulance in Aleppo Syria After Being Pulled from Beneath Rubble of Collapsed Building from Bombing Attack

Five Year Old Syrian Omran Daqneesh
sitting in Ambulance in Aleppo Syria
After Being Pulled from Beneath Rubble of
Collapsed Building from Bombing Attack

 

Those who have followed or had direct experience with the United Nations and/or the United States State Department realize how much these sanctimonious organizations have rules of their own and definitions which they adjust to fit their preferred targets. Both organizations would rather target democratic states as their accommodations are often of a higher level of comfort and these targets are far more sensitive and less likely to shoot first and ask questions rarely. These organizations would prefer Israel to Gaza, Syria or most other areas in the Middle East. They would prefer to inspect Egypt from Alexandria or Cairo than the Sinai Peninsula or anywhere in Libya or the Sudan. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the Gulf States are preferable to Yemen and almost anywhere is preferable to northern Nigeria where Boko Haram works their horrors. Europe is preferable to anywhere in the Third World.

 

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte

 

Their field inspections are more tailored to five star hotels than actual trouble spots. Their hypocrisy is only out done by their padded expense accounts’ and even that is a close race. They both avoid making accusation about police states such as China, Turkey, Myanmar or Turkey outside the main cities and even those are losing their luster. With the fine beaches and five star resorts in the Philippines and Israel, it is no wonder these two organizations have redundant subgroups all but assigned to giving first class air fare, placing these inspection bodies with reservations along the Tel Aviv beaches or the gorgeous resorts all along the northern Philippine Islands and Manilla. It is difficult to take almost anything either the United Nations or United States State Department accuse certain nation of being guilty of when these adjudications are more attuned to vacation season than actual criminal activities. What a world we reside in and we owe President Duterte a tip of our hats for making such needful accusations against the two grandest fraudulent hypocritical organizations on the planet.

 

Beyond the Cusp 

 

June 30, 2016

Different Visions and Angles on Terror

 

Whether attacks by a group on another people is definitely terrorism depends upon if they include attacks upon innocents as defined by the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the United Nations (UN) as well as numerous other entities, governments, international bodies and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). The most agreed upon definition of innocents are noncombatants, especially women, children and the elderly who are clearly not military and are unarmed thus relatively defenseless. The Palestinians claim that every child and Jew is potentially an Israeli Defense Force (IDF) member and thus legitimate targets and no Israeli is to be considered an illegal target. Courts and the United Nations have defined a number of Israelis to be innocent noncombatants and as such out of bounds and whose murder is a crime against humanity and the perpetrator of such crimes to be terrorists. A further definition of a terrorist act is any illegal action taken on a population with the intent of affecting the political realities existing in a nation changing them in order to meet a political desire. Where things get fuzzier are the attacks upon military and political leadership especially of an occupying force and only enforcing troops and leadership and not other people from the occupying power such as businessman, members of the family of soldiers or family members of the political leadership who have no part in the presence beyond being relatives of those serving in the occupying power’s ruling and enforcement arms. The final difference between a terrorist and a freedom fighter has a very subjective answer where the side which wins, especially in Biblical times when any challenge or war, whether your side was the victor or vanquished, very often the vanquished were forced into slavery or their entire existence destroyed bringing their existence to a formal and often complete end. This is very often a matter which is decided by those who write the history and thus depict their enemies as utilizing whatever horrific tactics in order to justify what some might describe as horrors as an afterthought despite the many famous individuals who often referred to warfare as a destructive and messy affair, especially in wars where asymmetric fighting was used by the presumed weaker forces.

 

The recent stabbings, rock assaults, and suicide bombings all used by Islamic State and Hamas in Turkey, Israel, Syria, Iraq and beyond all qualify as terror acts as they murdered randomly and largely targeted civilians and were not targeting things which were of any military significance. These attacks were also planned to be executed in such a manner as to attain the highest numbers of casualties in areas known to be frequented by in large civilians and very low probability of these attacks destroying anything of military value. Both Islamic State and Hamas are proud of their targeting of civilians and even more-so murdering children as noticed in the video below where the woman terrorist, who is in Israeli prison when the interview was recorded, was asked if she knew how many children were killed (murdered) in the suicide bombing of the restaurant. Her response is, “Three children were killed in the operation, I think.” When she is informed that there were eight children murdered her reaction is one of pride and great joy and amusement. Many Arab nations and terror groups objected to the airing of this clip claiming it was doctored to make the Arabs appear to be blood-thirsty murderers. We will allow our erudite and perceptive readers watch and figure out who had what motivations and whether revealing the pride this woman, a mother, took at the death of eight children, five more than she had estimated and she is filled with pride and exudes a celebratory emotional reaction. Of course this video was never shown on any European or American news media as it does not match their intent in their coverage of the Middle East, especially under the current administration.

 

The reaction to acts of terror presumably performed in your name has brought signs of shame and remorse from others who the terrorists claim to be representing. One such reaction was the reactions of the Zionist Congress to the terror acts of the Stern Gangs and others who while fighting against the British presence in the holy land and their anti-Jewish actions often indiscriminately struck areas frequented by British troops, their political class and the families of the British which were caught in the crossfire of an assault on the restaurant during the lunch time rush killing numerous innocents and drawing a sharp rebuke from the leader of the Haganah and the Zionist Congress. That was one thing about resisting the British that the Israelis are split over with many believing that there were actions which did loose harm upon innocents and that was not to be condoned. Too often there are some from Europe, the United States, the Arab Palestinians and other anti-Israeli groups and individuals who have pointed their finger at Israel claiming the Jews were just as evil and terroristic in their efforts to be rid of the British occupation going so far as to point to the Stern Gang and a couple of other extreme groups. The difference is the main body of the Jewish people and governance were against these acts and that Israel did not name streets after these people nor did Israelis lionize these terrorists as have the Arab Palestinians. The Jews, no matter what, immediately mourned and sympathized with the American people and offered condolences as individuals while at the same time as the twin towers of the World Trade Center were struck and felled, candies and sweets were passed out in the streets in the Arab Palestinian neighborhoods both in Gaza as well as Judea and Samaria. There is the stark difference between the Israelis and the Palestinian Arabs, the Jews love life while the Arabs idolize the nineteen hijackers and the almost three-thousand deaths they caused.

 

As mentioned, attacks made against military targets or command and control facilities, even if they are manned by civilian personnel, are warranted and defined as military targets as they are used as the central controlling function and thus mostly effecting the military and its operations. The reasons that most of the terrorist functions used against Israel are terror is due to their targeting of civilians and this is often the stated goal and not simply a side effect. Additionally, these terrorist murderers are lionized and portrayed as heroes to be emulated and the anniversary of their deaths, often at their own hands in order to produce a new set of rules which need be followed which will assure that any actions made by Israelis be seen as provocative in any manner. Israelis are reminded almost daily that they are residing, working and building their own national homelands upon the graves of the Palestinian people. First, jumbled up are names which appeared in the Biblical era so the Jews often felt a strong attachment to these places. Then there are many which have changed names yet the Jewish People will be tasked in recalling them before they are gifted away. The heart and soul of Israel lies in the hills and valleys surrounding Jerusalem and such places as Shechem, Bethlehem and other places holy to both Christians and Jews. These places have been written into the history of Islam with Abbas telling lies once again about the history where he reveals that the Palestinian people have resided in Judea and Samaria for nine-thousand years they invented the Palestinian-Canaanite language. This is all part of the claim that Jesus was the first martyred Palestinian when the Jews left him to be crucified. Never mind that crucifixion was a Roman form of execution and had little if anything to do with the Jewish scribes or most of the Jews of the time as they were all celebrating Pesach, or should we say commemorating Pesach further proven as Jesus held a Seder which became known as the Last Supper. The violence the Palestinian Arabs perpetrate against the Jews and the Christians within their areas of control are horrific when compared to the treatment worldwide by Jews and Christians have reached. The Arab Palestinians who throw rocks into car windscreens in the hopes of smashing through the glass and killing the driver or otherwise cause them to lose control of the vehicle smashing it into a building or a tree as was the case in which Asher Palmer and his infant son Yonatan both died when a rock crashed through the windshield likely killing Asher resulting in the car careening off the road smashing into large rocks and a tree killing little Yonatan Palmer. That is terrorism.

 

Yonatan & Asher Palmer rock attack victims

Yonatan & Asher Palmer rock attack victims

 

Yonatan & Asher Palmer's Wrecked vehicle after rock attack Arab terrorists

 

Terrorism does not need to kill directly as it can be economic in nature such as the BDS Boycott, Divest and Sanction Israel which was started by Yasser Arafat as an Arab boycott of Israel and was expanded through the instructions of Mahmoud Abbas and handled by the brother of terror mastermind Marwan Barghouti, Omar Barghouti. This form of terrorism is also extremely anti-Semitic as the sole nation singled out for this has been Israel, the sole democracy and nation with human rights and equality for all no matter their religious faith, race, gender, social class or any other item which are often used as a means of subjugating or singling out for blame in her neighbors in the Middle East and Northern Africa. The aim of the BDS is to economically starve Israel forcing her to survive solely on what she produces domestically. This is done as it is known that Israel does not produce sufficient food in either quantity or variety to feed its population. The problem is by starving Israel the boycotters will also be starving Arabs who also reside in Israel and this includes a number of Muslims. Further, the storied basis for the BDS movement is that Israel is an Apartheid State, another lie which is never refuted by the media and who repeat the claims and accusations while ignoring the truth as should they refute the claims their reporters would no longer be trusted by the Arabs and they would lose a major source of anti-Israel, anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic tropes and malapropisms with which to fill the pages of their editorial to prove their mettle and maybe win a Pulitzer Prize along the way. What more can we add beyond the picture below.

 

BDS Was Never Meant To Free an Inch of Palestine It Was Always Meant To Destroy Every Inch of Israel

BDS Was Never Meant To Free
an Inch of Palestine
It Was Always Meant
To Destroy Every Inch of Israel

 

And the story has only just begun as Israel is not even seventy years old and has only liberated the occupied Judea and Samaria from Jordanian control in the last forty-nine years. And how is that for a surprise that the only time the lands of Judea and Samaria, which Jordan renamed West Bank to remove the obvious Jewish links to the land, especially Judea, are used in reference to these lands by Zionists speaking truth to the lies as that is where the word Jew originated as the people were referred to as Judeans and over the years Judean became simply Jew. The occupiers were the Jordanians and are now calling themselves Palestinians using the Roman renaming of Judea to Syria Palaestina in order to infuriate the Jews, well Romans, you may have passed into history and we Jews remain and your curse of the name Syria Palaestina has most certainly infuriated us and it is still a curse. The real problem is most people have little if any knowledge of history past breakfast yesterday morning, if they can remember that far back. The old proverb which has many claims but no actual known author states a truism just the same and it really applied to the way the world is headed currently. It goes, “You cannot know where you are going if you do not know where you have been.” And that is a thought on which to end this rant.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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