Friday, March 30, 2012

Why using a gun in self-defense should be a last resort

I'm sure you've seen the media coverage of the shooting in the gated community in Florida.  I'm not going to comment on the event itself other than to say it's disgraceful how the media outlets and other groups have hyped it up and spun it to promote propaganda.

But let's say for purposes of discussion that despite making some bad calls, Zimmerman was justified in using deadly force.  I'm not suggesting that he was or wasn't- just asking you consider that he was justified.

Look at his life now.

He has groups offering bounties on him.  He's going to be ostracized in his community, and maybe even by his family.  Imagine how he's treated at work now.  He's had to engage the services of a lawyer and he's at risk of a civil suit for years to come.  The financial impact is huge and that doesn't address the mental impact of having killed someone.  Imagine the impact of that.

Was this the best possible outcome in this situation?  I think we'd all agree that for Zimmerman it was not.

That's the point I'm trying to make here.  If you have to shoot someone in self defense, your life is going to suck in ways you likely don't imagine right now.  You'll likely be arrested and processed by your local police department.  Maybe you'll even have to post bail.  They will certainly take the gun used as evidence and you're unlikely to get it back, even if there is a trial.  You are going to be subject to civil suits and your legal bills required to fight those could easily run into the tens of thousands of dollars.  If the event makes it into the press you will likely experience scrutiny by peers and employers, perhaps even resulting in losing your job.


It's a great big world out there and very rarely does a single approach work best for everyone.  From education to financial matters to wardrobes, there are many different philosophies that work well for different people.  As people travel on their path through life they select the approaches that work best for them.  Some people are cut out to be mathematicians and other people musicians.  Some people enjoy both.  Humanity varies in size, physical ability and mental acuity.  We are raised and educated by disparate methods and philosophies that offer similar results.  This is what makes people interesting- we are amazing in our diversity.

So it seems odd to me when a society imposes a single stricture on all people.  We don't think all people should be pet owners, or commute a certain distance to their job or only shop at a specific store.  In many matters society is very accepting of variations.  Accepting of many approaches that is, until it comes to adult romantic relationships.  Most societies on this planet have very strict definitions of what an adult romantic relationship should be.  People who don't adhere to this norm can be ostracized or worse.

In the first world we are raised in our youth to believe there is a single way to find fulfillment and happiness in a Relationship. (capital "R" intended)  One day we will find our prince or princess, the only person in the world that is right for us, a soulmate.  We will fall in love and enter into a lifelong committed monogamous relationship and live happily ever after.  We see it in stories for children and adults, in movies, in school and religious teachings.

Except this almost never works.

Life is a Journey

I see life as a journey and I often wonder why people stick to the safety and monotony of the highways. I've found the good things and the adventure you find on the backroads, unmarked paths and alleys outweigh the bad by a long shot.
And once in a while you may get wet or dirty or get afraid and have to head back to the main road. That's OK. It's all part of the journey.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Why I'm a libertarian, part 2

Because both ruling parties support the TSA, an agency that does nothing for safety, costs a ridiculous amount of money and is an affront to civil rights.  This pleasant graphic points out many reasons why they are worse than useless. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Why I'm a libertarian (notice it's an "l", not an "L")

It's simple really.  Throughout history mankind has shown us a number of things.  One of the biggest is people cannot be trusted with power.  People who gain power over others trend towards abusing that power.  Governments given power trend towards tyranny.  I think this 10 minute youtube video really highlights the common forms of governments and how they evolve.  The first time I saw it I thought "YES!  Why don't more people get this?" and promptly made my daughter watch it.

Topics like this should really be a syllabus for classes in high school.  I think how our world governments work is much more useful to people than remembering which general won which battle in some war 200 years ago.

Monday, March 19, 2012

All Hail the Police State, part 3

You remember that division of government we didn't have until a few years ago and got along fine without?  Today's hope for the future is brought to us by the Department of Homeland Security, who just inked a contract for 450 million rounds of pistol ammo.  That seems like a lot to me.

Shotgun selection

This is a pretty decent video comparing the two most popular shotguns in the US, the Remington 870 and Mossberg 500.  I agree with the reviewer, both are good choices, it really comes down to personal preference.