Beyond the Cusp

April 12, 2017

Are You Truly Pro-Choice?

 

One of the most misleading labels in all of American politics is the “Pro-Choice” label. These people are often the least in favor of you making any choice in your life ever. They are the people, especially the politicians, who demand to make almost every decision facing an individual in their life, and especially the most important decisions. Broadly defined, they believe that you and everybody like you without an Ivy League education and a doctorate in an “approved major field” which again is another example of taking away your choice of colleges down to less than two dozen and your choice of majors to the social and other soft sciences, are far too stupid and unaware of the world and how everything works to be permitted the right to decide for yourself. Heavens forbid you get to make any rational choice from your view point; you would most definitely damage yourself and society and upset their ability to sculpt that perfect world they are constantly attempting to carve out of our society.

 

Oh, you would like some examples. First, we define these Pro-Choice politicians and people as the supporters of Planned Parenthood and abortions on demand any-time, any-place, any-where, and for any-reason or even no reason and that is their big claim to being Pro-Choice. Well, here it comes as you asked for it. Let us look at the choice of how to best protect your home, family and everything you hold dear. Can you, according to the Pro-Choice politicians purchase a firearm, a rifle or handgun or even a scary-looking semi-automatic rifle which resembles some military styled weapon? Of course not and that is why all the red tape, forms and everything else including waiting periods and the occasional threat of being outed as owning a firearm in a public posting often by one of those from the Pro-Choice groups of people. So we now know you may not purchase a firearm to protect your house though it is legal thanks to the Constitution but don’t mention at the weekend services in many congregations that you own firearms as that could make you into some kind of pariah. The professed Pro-Choice class which is all knowing will inform you that you should buy a good alarm system and if it should sound that your house had been breached, then you should dial 911 and hide in a closet until a nice officer finds you to tell you all is clear or the intruder finds you and ends all that ails you after possible tortures such as, well, we will let you imagine the what, just realize it would be cruel, unusual and designed to be physically or mentally hurtful or both. The Pro-Choice will add that for an additional fee you can have the alarm system hooked up to a monitoring service who will call you and if you do not answer or use a code-word they will call the police presumably cutting down on your wait time. The Pro-Choice might even inform you of a service which hooks your alarm directly up to the police and this gets the fastest response but places the onus on you to prove there was a trespass or you can be charged a heavy fine for the false alarm response making this a less than perfect system. Hey, they are wealthy recipients of a doctoral degree from an Ivy League college which you should have found some way of achieving so you could be like them. You see they have a monitoring service with all the most high tech alarm systems and other means of detecting and even spotlighting, literal spotlights, the intruder as soon as they step across their property line. Also, their service includes anywhere from one to a platoon of well-trained and highly-armed professionals who will torture the intruder until you arrive to identify if this was a real trespass or just the neighbor kid trying to toss a few pebbles at your daughter’s window. Wait, to the Pro-Choice group that would be a trespass. They will point out incessantly how it is they see no need for guns in the house except in the hands of trained professionals and even if you are one of these trained professionals you may not have your firearm from your work kept in your house as there is safety in the fact that at their house you are monitored while at home you might go crazy because in unsupervised areas guns cause forms of insanity. If I ever get desperate and hold-up a convenience store, I will plea to the judge that the gun dragged me from bed to pull-off the heist which was why I was dressed in my pajamas.

 

The Ivy League

 

Moving on to the next choice you might think of taking. Let us say your industrious pre-teen child decides to do simple gardening and lawn mowing and charges rates which come to less than the minimum hourly wage. As this is not a professional and recognized area such as waitpersons in restaurants, then the minimum wage laws apply without exceptions. This would mean that your child would be required to raise the charges for his services despite their selling them for a fair price and exactly what they believe their efforts are worth. You are not permitted to estimate for yourself what your efforts are worth nor may you charge less than your competition who is charging the minimum wage set and thus gain additional business. Even more important, your pre-teen is not permitted to even fathom such an enterprise as they are not even old enough to receive a work permit with your signature permitting them to work before reaching eighteen as they are not fifteen or sixteen depending on the location. There is an exception for family farms and other recognized family businesses where the child may be permitted to work at any age and may even not receive any wages if the parent does not desire to pay the minor child, and that is more fair than them working on their own for less than the minimum wage, free choice and all that you know.

 

There is an ever lengthening list of professions one may not freely choose. Presumably, in a totally free society anybody may choose any profession they desire and if they perform well people will pay them accordingly and if they fail they are free to try something more their style and fitting their ability or fail until they luck into such a profession. Nobody would pay a hairstylist whose only style is a crewcut unless that is what they desired and they were inexpensive. But to be a hairstylist today one must take courses and then apprentice and finally get a license. The claim is to protect the public from health hazards. Truth be told, individual demands of decent ability in their choice of hairstylists would take care of such a problem just as well. The problem is by allowing the public to control such through the demand of the market would take away thousands of bureaucratic jobs, put an end to most of the beauty schools which are more diploma mills teaching the average student all stuff they probably already knew simple by styling their hair and their friends’ hair growing up. It would also take away the licensing fees for running a beauty salon and that is additional yearly funds for the government and another level of government control taking away your free choice. This also applies to cab drivers only to a much higher degree as this has become a protection racket between government and the existing cab companies and thus the big furor over Uber and other Internet ride-share apps. There are quite a number of ways around the government using apps and the Internet which is one of the reasons that government desires control over the Internet and thus these types of free enterprises which circumvents the government assisting with your free choice. Government licensing is but one limitation of your free choice but is supported heavily by the Pro-Choice people, especially the Pro-Choice politicians.

 

Taxes are another idea which the Pro-Choice politicians and, as long as they are heavily progressive and only on salaries. Many Pro-Choice individuals think taxes are a necessity and often require taxes to be raised on some and lowered on others or eliminated altogether on a select group who are determined not to earn sufficient amounts to contribute to the functioning of the government. These Pro-Choice individuals also support giving refunds to people who did not actually pay any taxes and refunds of more than what was paid in for select others. These are done all in the name of equality and altruism. Altruism used to be voluntary as was charity of giving of your funds to the less fortunate. Taxes doing this for you are another stolen choice from your long list of choices. Further, the government chooses which charitable organizations it will support and which ones it will not and the amount for each. Chalk up another stolen free choice. But the government was just getting started; there are so many more choices the government has removed from the public square in the name of your own safety. Some argue that it also weakens the gene pool as it allows idiots to proliferate. Such limits would require motorcycle riders wear helmets, car passengers wear seat-belts, natural gas include a chemical giving it its odor, toilets to flush exact or less amounts of water per flush and many other things even one which does help, it enforces the standardized measures and sizes in tools and fasteners and of course money.

 

Children’s education is probably the most regimented and least Pro-Choice industry in the United States. This is sad as education would appear to be one industry which could benefit most from competition and a great variety in opportunities and different paths leading to different results. The current public schools system is dictated from Washington D.C. with requirements such as multi-cultural sensitivity, sexual education and a plethora of the latest educational theories including but not limited to new math, whole word recognition (a theory which was first proposed as a means of limiting the words included in people’s vocabularies by removing phonics making new words impossible to “sound out” as had been taught for the last centuries to great success), racially sensitive history, and dropped little things such as civics requirement, spelling as a requirement claiming that each student be permitted the freedom to use alternate spelling (whatever that is), and math such that attempts are more important than the correct answer (no wonder many students require remedial writing, reading and mathematics when entering college with some wasting their first semester and others their entire first year learning what should have been taught adequately in the public school system). While most of the Pro-Choice use private schools and claim that if you are unsatisfied with the public school system you can also send your child to a private school. Of course these same Pro-Choice people and politicians work to limit or exclude charter schools despite their having proven often to produce superior children with a far better and broader educational experience and they are working to strangle home-schooling with regulations and requirements making the home-schooled children and their families under greater stresses and heavy burdens forcing them in some locations into using the public school curriculum including the educational requirements often from Washington D.C. and also the exact reasons the families demand their right to educate their own child as they see fit. Apparently the one size fits all education of the public school system despite it failing in every testable means simply now is claiming that testing produces stresses which rob the child of self-esteem and thus should be limited or eradicated completely.

 

These are but a select few of the limitations the Pro-Choice elite have placed upon your lives, often without anybody realizing this as they are too busy attempting to survive and make a living while not going out of their minds every April filing forms which make no sense even to the IRS as if you call for assistance and do not like the result, wait and call ten hours later and get a different person who will likely give you an entirely different set of directions and then choose which one you like the best. Well, maybe there is some Pro-Choice in the government after all and in the least suspected place possible. Imagine that.

 

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

 

September 21, 2013

Why More Gun Laws Will Not Work

With two shootings on military installations in the news recently, the Major Nidal Malik Hasan trial and the Aaron Alexis shooting at the Navy Yard, some of the glaring deficiencies and misinformation which exist throughout the liberal mainstream media were exposed for all to witness. The worst of the offenders were at CNN where during the Piers Morgan coverage it was reported that the shooter had used an AR-15 shotgun, a firearm that does not exist. The mix-up probably resulted from the erroneous reporting that the shooter Aaron Alexis had used an AR-15 and the fact that he originally began his shooting spree utilizing a shotgun and the liberal mainstream media preoccupation with demonizing the AR-15 as the most evil and dangerous firearm ever produced. In a warped way, the erroneous reporting that an AR-15 was used when none was found at the scene simply served to display for all to see how the news sources have an agenda which they will go to any lengths to make every shooting a case of demonic possession where the presence of a firearm, especially the most demonic AR-15, drove a poor unfortunate over the edge pushing them into a murderous rage. What these two particular shootings have proven is how poorly the authorities, even the military who should be more proficient and knowledgeable, can miss even cases where the perpetrator ends up being somebody who should have set off alarms, warning that they should not be permitted anywhere near a firearm. Major Nidal Malik Hasan had given repeated instances of having taken an interest in Jihad and the Navy Yard Shooter Aaron Alexis had numerous arrests and was disciplined numerous times while in the Naval Reserves. In both cases the authorities who should have easily caught at least some of the warning signs as there were more than enough to tip people off, but in both cases the authorities did not report or even make any records of obvious transgressions which would have prevented either perpetrator to have ever gotten to the point where they performed their murderous rampages. What these two particular shootings proved, as have many shootings over the years, is that had authorities actually done their jobs and made the proper reports when the signs of behavior problems were exhibited, then neither of these two murderous rampages would have gotten to the point where they endangered innocent people.

 

The politicians were quick, especially Ms. Pelosi, to start the call which rings out after every catastrophe for more laws against firearm ownership. The reality in both of these shootings on military installations is that if law enforcement and other public officials had performed their obligations to the public, otherwise known as their jobs, and completed and filed the appropriate paperwork instead of simply deciding that it was not that important and why ruin somebody’s life by making a permanent record, they ended up ruining many people’s lives that were taken or forever traumatically altered as a result of shootings committed by individuals who should never have been allowed to own firearms and had given overt signs that they were headed over the edge into violent rage shooting many innocents. The old adage that if only the authorities enforced the laws then there would be far less firearms violence as there are more than sufficient laws on the books to prevent the majority of shootings is quite true as these shootings prove. The other story line here is that if only we trusted our military personnel when on military grounds to carry their service weapon then such shootings would be ended before the numbers of people murdered mounted to such numbers as in these two cases. If we cannot trust out military personnel to have their service weapon with them while on duty and on military grounds, then who can we trust? A perfect example of allowing military personnel to carry their weapons at least on base being a preventive measure is proven in Israel where the majority of military personnel takes their service weapons with them everywhere, on base and into the public areas and this has proved to be a great deterrent to crime. The real crime of these two particular shootings was that they should have been easily preventable if only laws had been enforced, paperwork completed and filed with the appropriate departments and had the people assigned with doing the appropriate checks had actually taken their obligations to the public by performing their job requirements competently and completely.

 

There is one more item which people are not being informed of and it is simply because it does not serve the story line the press wishes to paint. Where you will likely hear that the number of firearm related deaths are approaching or even surpassing automobile related deaths, you probably missed the report that shows that firearm deaths have been falling on average for the past twenty years. Reporting that truth would not be as forceful to make you fearful of firearms as reporting that traffic deaths and firearm deaths are approaching parity, but the truth is that these statistics are good news for both statistics as vehicular fatalities have also been coming down as well. But as we know, in the news business if it bleeds it leads thus less fatalities is not news so they have to look for anything which they can imply that firearm fatalities are horrendous and a plague beyond your wildest fears. What is the most tragic side of firearm fatalities is where some of the worst statistics in firearm violence and fatalities are also the cities where they have the most stringent laws against firearm ownership and the average citizen can forget about procuring a concealed carry license despite the fact that these cities are the places where such a right is most needed. The shootings which have made the news recently out of Chicago have been newsworthy largely because they are taking place in President Obama’s home town and that supposedly makes these shootings more important than those in your or my town. Still, the deaths in Chicago are shocking and can be used to claim that as Chicago is our President’s hometown we should be ashamed that the gun violence is so rampant. The problem is that the violence in Chicago is actually predictable as it is in Miami, Philadelphia, New York, Los Angeles, and way too many of our large cities which sit in blue states where gun ownership is treated as if it were a criminal offense which results in criminals being the ones with the guns. What the media will not tell you is that in the 1950s often children would bring their 22 rifle to school and place them in the coat room and take them when school let out and go hunt varmints such as squirrel, raccoon, rabbit or such for sport or even for dinner for some families. Of course such would be impossible today yet I would bet there are some who wish that schools still used flashcards to teach math tables and things were more like they were back in the day when spelling counted and you were required to get the correct answer to math problems.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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