Elsewhere

If I’m going to be funny on the internet, I should really make with the funny here.

and

And a thought for my readers, now that Oklahoma has to recognize marriage licenses from New Jersey, how long until New Jersey has to recognize my carry permit? I mean, it’s not like civil rights should apply to everyone, everywhere. Particularly those rights actually mentioned in the Constitution.

Personally, I’m for consenting adults marrying who they want, smoking what they want, and having the right to protect themselves with an assault rifle if they so choose.

The Intersection of Sports and Politics

I grew up as a not-exactly-white girl in Oklahoma, so naturally it was always assumed I must be Native American. No seriously, I had to explain to my second grade teacher** that Filipino* is, in fact, not a tribe. Still, I was assigned to wear the feathers in the school plays. They were very authentic, you know. Dark hair, olive complexion, kinda slanted eyes, no nose bridge-totally pass for one of them Red Men that call this state home. *eye roll*

The only thing worse than terrible stereotypes is being incorrectly cast as a pawn for someone else’s terrible stereotype. Close enough, right? Terrible stereotypes aside, they were at least making some effort at paying respect to the culture. I suppose it’s the thought that counts.

Don’t feel sorry for me here. I got to be on stage***. I wasn’t feeling especially ‘discriminated against’ at the time. The attention! It’s Mine! Precious….

Where was I going again?

Oh right! I was meandering around to find a tie into LabRat’s excellent piece on the brouhaha over some sportball team and their lamentable name and mascot. (And I got an excuse to work ‘brouhaha’ into a blog post.) She’s absolutely right, and I agree with every word. You’re going to have to go over there to read them for yourself.

No, there is no ‘white guilt’ at play here. Just an expectation that although people should have every right to be assholes, more would choose not to be.

*Yes, I do have a very little Native American heritage mixed into my proudly mutt pedigree, but it is far less than my red-haired, pale-skinned hubby has in his.

**She gave me a packet for my parents to fill out so I could ‘get on the rolls’ . 

***I also once played a squirrel with a speaking part. I said, “Look! Here come the ducks!” I lacked shame from an early age.

Defensive Gun Use

I may have told this story before, but today’s entry over at Hell in a Handbasket got me thinking about it again. I think I might just have more words about it or at least some lessons learned. And hey! Content! I am ostensibly a blogger, after all.

James shares a story of his recent defensive gun use, and it has several things in common with the one and only time I have ever gone for my handgun for anything other than training or practice. Go read it.

Like his encounter, mine was with a dog and ultimately, no shots were fired. Unlike his story, mine does not include injury and medical treatment. Good for me, bad for James, but he’s going to be alright.

A couple of dogs had gotten loose in my neighborhood. I had successfully wrangled one of them and put it in the backyard and was very carefully attempting to corral the other. I’ve done this countless times with many different dogs without issue and assumed the chocolate lab would be no different. For those playing along at home, this is what we call the first mistake, and thankfully the only one. Unfamiliar animals have a tendency to act in unpredictable ways.

I held out my left hand in a non-threatening way and encouraged the dog to approach me, which she did very cautiously. (Left hand because I am right-handed and that allowed me easy access to the snub nosed revolver holstered on my hip that day. I may have been overly assuming, but I was not stupid or unprepared.) The dog sniffed my hand and visibly relaxed. She even allowed me to pet her head. This seemed like my opportunity to slowly crouch down to inspect her collar for identification.

It was at that point that her demeanor did a complete 180. She went from frightened but calm to a mass of teeth and snarls. I jumped back and shouted something forceful (I have no idea what I said). I made multiple observations, calculations, and decisions in that moment. I observed that there were no kids playing in the street that day. I decided that should she lunge at me, my choices would be to shoot her or be attacked. I pivoted on my left foot ever so slightly so as to have a solid backstop if it came to that (down into the yard). I raised my left arm so it was between the dog and my face. I’d far prefer to be bitten on the arm than the face and the corduroy jacket would have mitigated some injury . I swept my right hand back brushing aside my jacket and gaining a solid grip on my handgun. James noted about how time compresses, and I found that to be true. All of that happened in a matter of seconds.

And lunge she did. She raised up on her hind legs and just as I was beginning to draw, she dropped back down and ran away. It was over. I pushed the revolver back into the holster and made certain she was really gone before taking a deep breath and assessing the situation. I don’t know if she just sensed that my aggression was bigger than hers and decided to back down or if she heard her owner arrive home. Her behavior was more erratic than any dog I’ve dealt with before or since. All I knew is that thankfully, I didn’t have to shoot a dog in my own front yard that day.

A couple of points I want to highlight. It’s important to be aware of all threats, not just the two legged variety. And also that this didn’t happen in the ‘bad’ part of town. It happened in my front yard. My castle, if you will. The place I should be able to let my guard down. Yes, I carry at home. Finally, I’ve been carrying a firearm on my hip for over 5 years. I’ve been in several heated arguments in that time (one with the owner of said dog. Now I know where the erratic behavior comes from), plenty of road rage incidents, and had some crazy woman get in my face threatening to ‘kick my ass’ even, and yet, the one and only time I’ve reached for it was when there was a clear and present threat of severe bodily harm. From a dog. I know, I totally fail at the whole trigger happy gun nut thing.

And again, no shots fired so it will never count as an official defensive gun use. I didn’t even get fully drawn, so it’s not even brandishing territory.

Activism: Ur Doin It Wrong

I’m a fan of open carry. I think everyone should have the right to do it if they so choose. I support the various efforts to make it legal in places where it currently is not.

But this?

Moms-Demand-open-carry-slobs-2

No, just no. Stop helping.

You want to normalize the sight of guns in public? Great! Act normal. Like Tam says, “There’s a difference between just carrying a gun and carrying a gun AT people.”

Just like Starbucks just wants to peddle overpriced coffee, Chipotle just wants to sell overpriced burritos (and there are much better sources for both). Neither establishment is asking you to hunt down and kill the beans yourself.

 

Combating Evil One Hashtag at a Time

…with signs? on Twitter? For the love of…

Just go read Larry’s post.

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Oh! You came back. I can’t really add anything here, but that’s never stopped me from trying before.

Seriously folks? Signs and hashtags and selfies? Really? I’m sure those big bad kidnappers that had no problem abducting innocent girls with the plan to sell them are kicking themselves now. I mean, their evilness is totally trending. They’re never going to bring up their Klout score now. #unfriend #unfollow #uncool

I bet they are totes going to give those girls back now. And they’re going to film it so it goes viral on YouTube. #winning

Dance Monkey makes pouty face, changes world. #filmat11 #firstworldsolutions

Because that’s exactly how brutal warlords do things. They make sure they are in consensus with popular opinion and act accordingly so as not to be shamed. #howitworks

#eyeroll #facepalm #sarcasm

Fun fact: This post contains more hashtags than every other entry combined #uselesstrivia

 

And Here I Was Working Up A Nice Rant

So I was listening to NPR* on my way home from the office on Friday, and they were talking about the whole botched execution** in Oklahoma story that just won’t die. I really had very little intention of ever commenting on the story, certainly not before all the facts came out, but I learned that our esteemed President showed no such restraint..

I was ticked. How dare he even weigh in on this? And not only did he insert himself where he doesn’t belong, but he connected it to the inherent racism in the system? You know, as if the violent death of an innocent white girl wasn’t important. So he’s going to have his chief gun-runner, Eric Holder, investigate the racial bias in the prison system. How dare he?!

Except, that’s not what happened. He didn’t insert himself into the story. He was asked to comment during a press conference. And he didn’t say the death penalty wasn’t warranted and in fact acknowledged that the crimes were indeed heinous.

Obama said at a news conference Friday that he believes the death penalty is merited in some cases and that Lockett’s crimes were heinous. But he says the penalty’s application in the U.S. has problems, including racial bias and the eventual exoneration of some death row inmates.

I can’t really disagree, particularly with the last point. I agree that the death penalty is merited in some cases, but we have to be VERY careful in the application. I am continuing to lose faith that we have a system capable of justly handing down death sentences.

There is a disproportionately large number of black men in prison. Whether that is due to racism inherent in the system or a culture that lifts up criminals while deriding those trying to make better lives for themselves as “acting white” would be a worthwhile investigation and discussion. Are all black men criminals just because black men are over-represented in the prison population? Absolutely not. Do they have to overcome pressure from within their community and their peers to be better than the thugs the rappers venerate? For far too many, I believe the answer is yes.

Being a fine, upstanding member of society doesn’t have a color. Neither does being a thug. My own lily white nephew is a thug because he grew up in a community that celebrated the thug lifestyle. Now he’s in prison where he will more than likely stay for the foreseeable future. Besides, facial prison tattoos make for interesting job interviews. As for me, I will continue to judge people by who they are and not the color of their skin.

We cannot be a just society and accept that sometimes we execute the innocent. Whether that be lethal injection, swat team, or drone strike. Collateral damage in war is one thing, the calculated killing of an individual is another. That’s not a mistake you can correct after the fact.

*Yes, I know. There’s my problem. It’s my regular pressure test of the old circulatory system. As if rush hour traffic couldn’t do it.

**Dude certainly qualifies under my definition of Needed killin’ and wound up dead. I’m shedding no tears. Yes, it was ugly, and we should do better. Not for his sake, but for the sake of our own humanity. He deserved to be beaten, shot, and buried alive just like his victim, but we should not become the animal to punish the animal. We gave him better than he deserved because we are better.

Andrew Branca on Stand Your Ground

This is perfect. Andrew Branca of Law of Self Defense recently debated Stand Your Ground at UC Berkeley. Here are his opening remarks.

Honestly, there is nothing more to be said here. He explained it clearly and succinctly, and in my opinion, won the debate before it even started.

If you care about self defense and the laws surrounding it*, you should be following Andrew Branca.

*This should include roughly 150% of my readership.

And The People Said, “No!”

It is said that there are three boxes to effect political change.

  • The Soap Box
  • The Ballot Box
  • The Ammo Box

The situation in Nevada made people go for the third box. My friend, Peter, has an excellent run down on it and I agree with his thoughts here.

I’m not going to debate whether or not Mr. Bundy is in the right. Honestly, I don’t think I know enough about all the twist and turns and intricacies to make a judgment there.

My takeaway here is that the natives have gotten restless. The people stood up and the feds backed down (at least for the moment. I’m sure it’s not over). This is a bit beyond lighting off a Roman Candle in city limits level of civil disobedience.

The government said, “Respect mah authoritah!” and the people said, “No!”

And that attitude is far from unique. In fact, it seems to be spreading. New York said, “Register you guns,” and the people said, “No!” Same thing happened in Connecticut.

Taking up arms and standing in the way of the uniformed men with guns is a pretty loud “No!” don’t you think? Not a single shot was fired, but I imagine it was heard, nonetheless.

What’s next? I don’t know, but it won’t be the last time the people say “No!”