Archive for the Legal / Laws Category

Patriarchy vs Matriarchy

Posted in Critical Commentary of Civilization, Military, Philosophy, Religions, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 6, 2017 by Drogo

My thoughts on why Feminism and Hermes/Aphrodite rights are so critical today –

I believe there are many types of relationships, friendship being most important. I tend to find that males can usually handle aggression better than females because of testosterone, but with gender such statements are of course generalizations. I do think that civilization has operated on the chemical and role differences in militaries and most power systems, allowing men to dominate politics and religion as well. Predatory Capitalism also seems based on competitive aggression more than compassionate sympathy. These patriarchal power structures may be why cultures tend to be so homophobic; as to admit to feminine ‘weaknesses’ like love and care are vulnerabilities that opponents can use against us. I think many of our problems in the World today are a result of our inability to place humanitarian leaders in power, that would balance the lop-sided ‘titanic’ systemic dynamic that has perpetuated demagogues over democracy.

West Virginia Coal Mine Wars

Posted in Economics, History, Military, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on April 5, 2017 by Drogo

Chronology of the WV Coal Mine Wars

1912 – West Virginia Miners strike in Paint Creek and Cabin Creek, and are evicted from their houses; tent colonies are set up.

1913 – The Blue Moose Special train passes through the encampment of Cabin Creek and opens fire on the unarmed inhabitants. A reconciliation between the coal operators and the miners leads to the right to organize in Cabin Creek and Paint Creek.

1919 – An armed march by some 5,000 miners is organized on Lens Creek with the intention of overtaking Logan county and establishing a union. The march was abandoned some days later when the miners learned that federal troops would be sent in.

1920 – Seven Baldwin-Felts detectives, two miners and the Mayor Testerman are killed in the Matewan Massacre. Sid Hatfield, the Chief of Police of Matewan who was involved in the shooting, is charged with the deaths of the detectives.

1921 – Matewan Chief murdered in public. Sid Hatfield and Ed Chambers are gunned down on the steps of the McDowell County courthouse by C.E. Lively, a Baldwin-Felts (Pinkerton) detective. Lively is never convicted of the crime.

Though tensions had been simmering for years, the immediate catalyst for the uprising was the unpunished murder of Sid Hatfield, police chief of Matewan, At a rally on August 7, Mother Jones called on the miners to march into Logan and Mingo counties and set up the union by force. Armed men began gathering at Lens Creek, near Marmet in Kanawha County on August 20, and by four days later up to 13,000 had gathered and began marching towards Logan County. Meanwhile, the reviled Sheriff of Logan County, Don Chafin, had begun to set up defenses on Blair Mountain.

The second armed march of the miners took place, with the same intent as the first; to reach Logan County, overthrow the crooked Sheriff Don Chafin and organize a union. What would become known as the Battle of Blair Mountain was composed of some 10,000-15,000 armed miners in total, marching from Lens Creek in Kanawha County, to Logan County, some sixty-five miles away.

The WV Mine Wars end at the Battle of Blair Mountain where Don Chafin and 1,500 men were waiting for the miners. There was sporadic fighting for a week with hundreds of deaths. The miners eventually disbanded when 2,000 troops, aerial forces as well as chemical warfare troops converged at Blair Mountain. The rebellion was forced to surrender, and lay down arms.

The Battle of Blair Mountain was the largest armed insurrection since the Civil War, and the largest organized armed uprising in American labor history. It led almost directly to the labor laws currently in effect in the United States of America. It was the final act in a series of violent clashes that have also (confusedly) been termed the Red Neck War, from the color of neck-scarves worn by the miners, and the likely impetus of the common usage (originally Scottish term Red-neck) in the vernacular of the United States.

*

During the American Mine Wars of the 1920s, and the period that followed, liberal Union moderates (Democrat Centrists) argued they could produce concrete benefits for workers much sooner than radical Socialists who planned to overthrow capitalism in the future. Left Wing politics began to move right towards Center, as unions negotiated with company bosses; union leaders began to get paid more as they demanded more dues from paychecks, and workers began to see less effective representation.

In the 21st Century, Mayor Kip Stowell of Harpers Ferry, WV and other local liberals and historians voted to preserve the Charles Town Jailhouse. The modern jailhouse building was used to jail General Bill Blizzard, during his trial for ‘Treason’ (armed insurrection terrorism like John Brown). It was scheduled to be demolished by the Republicans in office. The jail was saved by a replacement with Democrat County Commissioners.

In 2005, the West Virginia Archives and History Commission voted unanimously to recommend to the National Park Service that 1,600 acres of Blair Mountain be included on the National Register. Coal mining companies and nearby landowners promptly sued to overturn the nomination. The Sierra Club moved to join the suit, and in May 2006 a West Virginia judge granted the Club’s participation. That same month, the National Trust for Historic Preservation placed the Blair Mountain battlefield on its list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Places. The United Mine Workers union also came out in support of the National Register listing because of its importance to the labor movement.

(more research to come….)

PBS Video Documentary of the WV Coal MINE WARS – covers much of the history

Coal Mine Wars

ON DOGS AND OWNERS

Posted in Cooperatives / Communities / Networks / Travels, Legal / Laws, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on November 28, 2015 by Drogo

SCOD Community Theory regarding pets, owners, and justice laws.

Dogs have more simplistic brains than humans, but they can be mischievous, unpredictable, and dangerous in similar ways. There should be less dog owners, as most owners are irresponsible. If there cannot be less dog owners, than we need better owners. I am not sure that either can be achieved legally, unless new laws are made restricting the ownership of dogs in urban areas. In wild or rural settings, less civilized situations should be expected.

Problems with Bad Owners and Dogs

We must admit that there are both bad owners and bad dogs. Dog owners tend to let their dogs act however they want, and either cannot or do not control them. Bad dogs and their bad owners are a menace to society, as often one cannot be distinguished from the other. Bad dogs and owners act together in ways that put other citizens in danger of being threatened and bitten, if not severely mauled or killed. Saying that there are ‘no bad dogs, only bad owners’ is a false statement; as there most certainly are bad dogs, just as any mammal that is able to kill and eat other beings, can act more or less harmful to others in subjectively bad ways. Some ‘bad’ dogs are bad most of the time; some dogs may be good some of the time with their owners, and bad some of the time with strangers; and some dogs may be good most of the time, and bad some of the time. Animals can be ‘dicks’ just like humans. Im not sure why people think that animals are supernatural angels; when clearly dogs may attack and try to kill many other types of animals, not just humans. I think we have a desire to own a magical unicorn that will only give us unconditional love and have no other motives; but this is not the reality of Nature. Mammals one and all, have emotions and desires which motivate their behaviors; some are more loving and some are more hating, and I do not believe it is only one species that is capable of being ‘good’ or ‘bad’, that would be truly racist, since humans are considered a ‘race of species’ (the human race). there are WAY TOO MANY DOGS walking irresponsible owners around the sub-urbs, and many owners that should not have dogs in public. The problem is not a case of some of us ‘not liking dogs’, since plenty of dogs are easily loved, petted, snuggled, and played with by people that do not like bad dogs or bad owners. Also the problem is also not about dogs ‘sensing emotions’, as many people who are bitten by dogs were happy minding their own business, or calm and content before they get engaged and attacked by dogs that do not want to behave or listen to humans.

Solutions to Bad Owners and Dogs

Both bad owners and bad dogs should be held accountable for their behavior and actions. Leashes and walls are important to control dogs. When dogs are not restrained by walls or leash, and are out-of-control, anyone that witnesses them should call upon the owners by yelling “LEASH!”, to get the owners to secure the dog by body and collar, and apply the leash. Owners cannot be trusted by saying ‘my dog does not bite’, because dogs can go many years before biting, until they bite someone. Dogs, like humans, can change their behavior not just from sickness, but also threats to their security; such as a new dog or person that they feel competes for their attention from and influence over their owner.

First ‘problem incidents’ are identified; such as dogs aggressively threatening people that do not deserve it, or dogs barking or acting chaotically without civil control. Next it should be determined how severe the situations are, on a scale of 1-10; 1 being perhaps a one-time non-repeating minor annoyance, and 10 being the dog killed or mangled a person or animal that has some value (we might not call a dog bad for attacking Hitler). Then punishments should be determined for various levels of severity. 1-5 could be considered more resolvable, and requirements to make amends or fix the problems should be demanded with time limits. 5-10 could be considered less resolvable and will require the removal of either the dog or both the dog and the owner; if the problem was too harmful or clearly will continue despite efforts. Finally it is the responsibility of those in control of the SCOD community to deal with these issues, remove those that need to be removed, and follow up to ensure the safety of the shire.

Severity of Problem / Examples / Solutions

1 dog barking too much – muzzle the dog

2 dog chasing or barking – keep the dog contained

3 dog chasing, barking, or jumping on – muzzle the dog, keep the dog contained

4 dog allowed by owner to act chaotically – muzzle, keep contained, and mandate training of both

5 dog threatening to bite – muzzle, confine, and mandate training of both; countdown to eviction

6 dog nips or scratches – muzzle, confine, and mandate training of both; countdown to eviction; fine $25

7 dog bites, scratches, and barks – muzzle, confine, and mandate training of both; countdown to eviction; fine $50

8 dog maims another pet – muzzle, confine, and mandate training of both; possible eviction; fine $75

9 dog maims a human – muzzle, confine, Evict; fine $100

10 dog kills – muzzle, confine, Evict; fine $500; call police if needed

 

  • Human’s should be held to similar legal standards

Military Post-911 Quagmire Essay by Daniel Crimmins

Posted in Critical Commentary of Civilization, Military with tags , , , , , , on August 29, 2015 by Drogo

Veterans for Peace posted this article from Reddit television:

‘Last Week Tonight with John Oliver’


Visual-Effects asked:

How do you Americans as a people walk around head held high, knowing that every few months your country is committing a 9/11 size atrocity to other people? Imagine if the 9/11 terror attacks were happening in america every few months. Again and again, innocent people dying all around you. Your brothers and sisters. For no reason.

Daniel Crimmins (Mopecore)

from U.S. Army 3rd Infantry Division answered:

“Many of us are unable. Many of us watched 9/11, and accepted the government and media’s definition of the attack as a act of war rather than a criminal action. A smaller portion, drifting along passively thought a major war was coming, that people we knew were going to fight and die. Some of us maybe worried about our younger brother being drafted, despite being in college. Now, it seems stupid, but in the 72 hours after 9/11, some Americans, maybe suffering from depression, certainly with a mind shaped by comic books and action movies, ate up the ‘us vs. them’ good vs. evil rhetoric spouted by the cowboy in chief. After all, he was the president, and no matter how bright you might think yourself, you can still be swayed by passion and emotion, led to terrible decisions.

“Some of us, therefore, left our dorm rooms, and walked down Main Street to the recruiter’s office. Some of us were genuinely surprised the office wasn’t full to bursting of young men eager to avenge their fallen countrymen. Some of us were genuinely surprised when we had to push the recruiter to stop trying to sell desk jobs and just let us join the damn Infantry.

Some of us got enlisted, then, and went down to Georgia, head high to mask the anxiety and fear they might have. Perhaps some number of Americans in this situation discovered that maybe it hadn’t been the best idea, but would be goddamned if they were going to admit it, and let everyone back home smuggly remark on how right they were.

So they persevere. They learn to work as a unit, to look past personality issues, to see each other as Soldiers rather than as a race, or economic status, or any of the other things people hate about each other. They learn to kill.

Then some of these people, perhaps while sitting hungover in the platoon area in the Republic of Korea hear that we have invaded Iraq. They have “Big Scary Bombs”, and Saddam Hussein, the secular Arab dictator had somehow colluded with the devoutly religious OBL to attack the US. They hated our freedom, you see.

Then some of these young American men might transfer back to Georgia and be assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division, and end up in Iraq in January of 2005. And maybe these kids, still drunk on Fox News and fantasies of glory and renown being enough to win their ex-girlfriends back, are excited to go to Iraq. Sure, we hadn’t found any WMDs yet, and we had Hussein in custody, but they were still somehow a threat and had to be dragged kicking and screaming into Jeffersonian democracy. Inside every dirka is a good American, yearning to be free.

So you fight. You kill. Watch friends die. Its usually quick, almost never quiet, but for the rest of your life, when you remember sitting at the bar with them, they’re blown open. You picture the nights you spent downtown at Scruffy Murphy’s, but instead of the stupid hookah shell necklace, your boy’s jaw is blown off, and his left eye is ruined, and he’s screaming.

You fight, you kill, you watch friends die, and you notice a distinct lack of change. You kick in doors and tell terrified women to sit on the floor while you and your friends ransack their home, tearing the place apart, because they might be hiding weapons. There is no reason to believe this house in particular is enemy, same for the next one, and the one after that, or the seven before; they just happened to be there, and maybe they had weapons. Probably not, they almost never did. There were a few times when we had deliberate raids based on solid intel and we’d turn up some stuff, but generally we were just tossing houses because we could.

Then maybe your FISTer forgets to carry the remainder, and drops a mess of mortars on the village your supposed to protect. Maybe the big Iraqi running at you screaming was just mentally ill. Of course, you won’t know this until after you’ve but seven rounds through his ribcage, and his wailing, ancient mother is cradling his body, spitting at you.

Maybe when you get back to the FOB, the Platoon Sergeant tells you you did the right thing; next time, it might be a suicide bomber. They tell you it was an honest mistake, it wasn’t your fault. They tell you to go get some chow, take a shower if the water works, and sleep it off. You did good work that day, apparently.

During chow, the TV is on AFN, and they are rebroadcasting some Fox News show, and you’re hearing about drone strikes, and all the great things we’re doing, and you can’t help but see that poor dumb assholes face, looking past his mother as he bleeds to death. He’s in pain, obviously, but he has the most perfectly confused look on his face. He doesn’t comprehend what’s happening. Little more hot sauce on your eggs doesn’t really help.

Then you realize you haven’t seen anything to support the idea that these poor fuckers are a threat to your home. You look around and you see all he contractors making six figure salaries to fix your shit, train Iraqis, maintain the ridiculous SUVs the KBR dicks ride around in. You consider the fact that every 25mm shell costs about forty bucks, and your company has been handing those fuckers out like shrapnel flavored parade candies. You think about all the fuel you’re going through, all the ammo and missiles and grenades. You think about every time you lose a vehicle, the Army buys a new one. Maybe you start to see a lot of people making a lot of money on huge amounts of human suffering.

Then you go on leave, and realize that Ayn Rand has no idea what the fuck she’s talking about. You realize that Fox News and Limbaugh and John McCain don’t respect you or your buddies. They don’t give a fuck if you get a parade or a box when you get home, you’re nothing to them but a prop.

Then you get out, and you hate the news. You hate the apathy, and you hate the murder being carried out in your name. You grew up wanting so bad to be Luke Skywalker, but you realize that you were basically a Stormtrooper, a faceless, nameless rifleman, carrying a spear for empire, and you start to accept the startlingly obvious truth that these are people like you.

Maybe your heart breaks a little every time some asshole brags about a “successful” drone strike.

Your statement is correct enough; if all of America was one dude, that dude would not give a shit about the little brown people we’re burning and crushing and choking to death. We aren’t all like that, but it makes me incredibly, profoundly sad to see what my country actually is.” – Daniel Crimmins

*

Plant Pot Seeds – Write State Reps!

Posted in Legal / Laws, Organic Agriculture & Horticulture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 22, 2013 by Drogo

Intending fair use, here is a proposed letter to send to your state representatives:

 

“Never in modern history has there existed greater public support for ending the nation’s nearly century-long experiment with marijuana prohibition and replacing it with regulation. The historic votes on Election Day in Colorado and Washington – where, for the first time ever, a majority of voters decided at the ballot box to abolish cannabis prohibition – underscore this political reality.

The ongoing enforcement of cannabis prohibition financially burdens taxpayers, encroaches upon civil liberties, engenders disrespect for the law, impedes legitimate scientific research into the plant’s medicinal properties, and disproportionately impacts communities of color. Furthermore, the criminalization of cannabis simply doesn’t work.

Despite more than 70 years of federal marijuana prohibition, Americans’ consumption of and demand for cannabis is here to stay. It is time for state lawmakers to acknowledge this reality. It is time to stop ceding control of the marijuana market to untaxed criminal enterprises and it is time for lawmakers to impose common-sense regulations governing cannabis’ personal use by adults and licensing its production. A pragmatic regulatory framework that allows for limited, licensed production and sale of cannabis to adults – but restricts use among young people – best reduces the risks associated with its use or abuse. I encourage you to support our movement to regulate marijuana, not criminalize it. ”

 

–  modified quote from the NORML website, to help the movement to legalize Cannabis (Marijuana).

US Man

Medical Marijuana – Yes I Can!

Posted in Critical Commentary of Civilization, Medical, Military with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 24, 2013 by Drogo

“ok this is my blog what grind’s my gears

– by SFC Peter A Manuel United States Army Ret.

“Ok there has been a huge debate over medical marijuana ,well here is mine. I suffer from combat related PTSD i have been to a number of programs for this where they used both counseling and medication to try to help me with this, none of which worked at one time not to long ago the Veteran’s Administration had me on trazadone, seriquil, xanex, lisinopril, prozaserin, lithium, welabutron, and a number of other’s . the results were i still had nightmares, social anxiety, and hyper vigilance, hyper tension, and still had sleep issues and i still was in a great state of deprssion but what these med’s did do was cause me to gain weight my triglisrydes were high and so was my blood sugar and i lost all interest in the thing’s that i enjoyed to do and turned into a zombie.

So me being one to question and critically think i decided that i was going to do an experiment on myself b/c i figured i had been a lab rat for the VA, that what would it hurt at this point, so when i left the VA i stoped all med’s immediately, i went to a friend we will call him Cleidus and purchased some marijuana and started to smoke 3 small hit’s puff’s whatever you no what i mean in the morning and did the same around 9pm. I regimented this b/c of an article i read by an Israeli doctor and the result’s were i slept better my deprssion went away and lost all the weight i had gained and even my nightmare have decreased or i have none at all, so what i am saying is that for me this plant is a miracle drug that has not only helped me but may have saved my life , now i am not saying go get blazed up all day long well unless you have nothing to do; then well whatever floats your boat; but it has helped me and remember holistic is always better and prescibed drug’s only weaken your immune system. i am no longer on any medications.”

“And that’s what grinds my gear’s”
SFC Peter A Manuel

If you never change your mind, why have one?

Posted in Critical Commentary of Civilization, Legal / Laws, Politics on August 19, 2012 by eposognatus

A guide to discussing gun control and other divisive topics.

In the wake of the recent Aurora, CO.,  Oak Creek, WI., and other mass shootings I’m sure your Facebook newsfeed and workplace watercooler conversations are saturated with both pro and anti-gun rhetoric. It is undoubtedly circular and and divisive, with each side nodding their heads sagely and thinking the other quite insane. Despite generally being a rational person, the subject drives you to a degree of utter inflexibility that no other can aside from perhaps abortion, religion, or Obama’s country of birth. Well, personally, I’ve rather had enough of all your choir-preaching and utter inability to concede on any point whatsoever or hold a logical, productive discussion.

So, in light of your continued and undying cyclical arguments, I present some observations and guidelines here in the vain hope of bringing some common ground. If you find any of them offensive, you’re probably too thin-skinned to even bother discussing the issue anyway.

For everyone

1. Broaden your perspective. Be critical and open-minded. Question and Factcheck. Don’t just read/listen to/watch the propaganda of your own party/group – pick up the newspapers and magazines of “the other side.” Maybe you have to secret yourself away in some dark corner of the basement in order to turn the pages of American Rifleman or Mother Jones but whatever it takes, read up. Know thy enemy, as they say.

2. Educate yourself. Bone up on history, politics, and law. And I don’t mean sit and watch the “History” Channel. Crack the spine of an actual book. There are these fantastic buildings called libraries which are full of them and staffed with wonderful people known as librarians who can help you find a title worthy of your time.

3. Discuss. Talk to friends, family, co-workers, strangers – about what you think and listen to what they have to say. Don’t go looking for an argument or make one yourself. Don’t discard other’s beliefs out-of-hand just because you think them “crazy.”

4. Be active. Don’t just bitch about how things are or aren’t or how the NRA is too powerful or the “Liberal Media” has brainwashed everyone. Vote. Write your Congress-person. Protest. Make a website or Youtube video. Whatever you need to do to get your word out and see what others are saying.

 For the anti-gunner/(non-gun-owning) Democrat/Liberal

You’re a latte-swilling, long-haired dirty hippie/commie/atheist tree-hugging vegan who – if you have a job at all – works at some liberal arts college. You like to whine, whine, whine!

You wouldn’t go to a foreign country without first learning at least a few phrases and checking up on the customs, right? In the language of firearms, right now you can’t even ask where the bathroom is. You are an outsider and you’ll have to make an effort to understand the culture before you can hope to have a conversation, nevermind negotiate a contract. What’s more is that a little book-learning doesn’t replace experiential knowledge. Just because you “know” something doesn’t make you “right,” so be wary of becoming too much like your opponent in this regard.

1. For the love of all that is holy, learn how firearms actually function. You may have a degree in English Lit, but when you talk about guns you sound like a moron. If you learned terms like “high-powered rifle” and “machine gun” from watching CNN and don’t know the difference between a magazine and a clip, get thee to some firearms education.

A. Ultimately, you should probably even find a competent instructor and take a basic course on firearms safety and handling, culminating in actually firing a gun.

B. Taking such steps is not only beneficial to bettering your own argument(s) but substantially improves your own safety and awareness should you encounter a firearm or (unthinkable as it may be) have need of one.

2. Understand why people own guns. There are as many reasons as there are guns – some more reasonable than others – but it is a very personal matter. Ignoring why someone does something or how much they care about it won’t win you any points in a debate, nor will it help you work out solutions.

3. Be calm. Do you find it frustrating how your conservative gun-toting opponent seems so smug and at ease, despite obviously being so WRONG? Aren’t liberals supposed to be the smug ones?! I hate to tell you this, but you do tend to be a bit excitable. They get a kick out of riling you up too (it’s so easy!).

4. Forget the statistics. Numbers are great, and I know how much you love to throw them around (X number people die from guns each year, etc.) but as Stalin is attributed to have said “The death of a single man is a tragedy – a million – a statistic.” Don’t talk about numbers and abstractions. Make it personal. How would a person feel if their husband/wife/son/daughter/friend were shot and killed? What would they do? They may deny that it would/could happen, but suppose it did?

5. Realize that you can’t just “ban guns.” Why not, you ask? A ban is fine, but I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.” As tired as it may be, this is true. Let me ‘splain:

A. There are as many firearms in the US as there are adults. Something between 30-40% of persons own a gun or guns. Suppose they were banned tomorrow. How do you propose to collect them all? There is no existing record of exactly who has what (since private sales and hand-me-downs are unrecorded). Do you expect everyone to just quietly hand them over? Do you intend to go door to door with the Police and Military and conduct a Search and Seizure? Do you find this thought unsavory? (you should).

B. As Prohibition shows, banning something that people want just drives it underground. A black market for guns and ammo will undoubtedly be created, with attendant organized crime and – you guessed it – murder.

C. Assume for a moment you have a magical gun magnet that can suck every gun in the country out of stores and homes and cold, dead fingers. What then? Let me put it this way: Cocaine is illegal and yet every year upwards of a thousand TONS of it is smuggled into the United States. If we can’t stop drug-runners from bringing in multi-ton shipments, how are we going to stop gunrunners from bringing in guns?

6.  Realize that the raison d’être for the gun lobby’s incomprehensible aversion to even the most reasonable legislative measures is rooted in a fear of the domino effect. The idea that if one thing is banned their freedoms of ownership will quickly erode until it is impractical or impossible to have a gun at all. This is not a groundless fear as it has happened before their eyes in Britain and Australia. You may not have any problem with this thought, but you’ll never win your case or pass a bill unless you can figure out how to assuage that fear.

 For the gun-owner/Republican/Conservative

You’re a beer-swilling cowboy/redneck/hick who drives a pickup for Jesus and watches NASCAR when you’re not at Walmart. You like to say “Mine, mine, mine!”

You tend to be inflexible. When traveling you are easily discerned by your loud, obnoxious manner, swaggering gait, and bone-headed remarks on the superiority of your own nation. You make no effort to understand other cultures because you’re already written them off as inferior. You need to chill out, man. If your fear of not being seen as powerful and in charge was as tiring to yourself as it is to others, we’d all be much better off.

1. Skip the mantras. “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” Yes, yes, we’ve heard it before and repeating it doesn’t make it anymore relevant even if it is true. You may also famously declare how far more people die from car accidents than guns. You do realize these are avoidant, insensitive, bullshit arguments, right?

A. People always have and (presumably) will continue to find unique and innovative ways of offing one another, but they do often use guns for this purpose. Admit it. Guns may not be the problem in and of themselves, but the US is ranked right between Mexico and the Philippines by rate of firearm deaths and that’s not cool.

B. Saying that firearms deaths aren’t a problem because X many more people die from something else is basically saying that those deaths don’t matter. More people die from heart disease than car crashes – does that mean we do nothing about making cars and driving safer?

2. Get some grey. You’re very often a dichotomous thinker – seeing things in black and white. Your oversimplification of the world may make it easy to be uncompromising, but it is also a symptom of mental illness.

3. The whole truth, please. You do tend to have the “facts” right more often than your utopian opponents, but you like to mangle the context to suit your whims.

A. The 2nd Amendment. You know how it goes: “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” You love that bit, but you often leave out the first half. The part about “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state.” The liberal yokel you’re talking to will surely bring that up, and how the National Guard is that very militia of which our Founding Fathers spoke! That is a long and heavily written-upon debate which I’ll not comment upon here, but consider that in those few words they wrote what is – taken as a whole – a clearly conditional statement.

B. Speaking of conditions… at some point you’ve certainly thought that some person or other shouldn’t be allowed to drive a car. Why then do you continue to defend an absolutist stance on gun ownership? There are definitely people out there – not just criminals – you wouldn’t want anywhere near a gun. Recent illegal uses of legally-purchased firearms weaken your arguments for unrestricted purchasing.

4. You’re very spoiled. For as much as you whine about attempts to restrict your access to firearms, you really can have just about whatever you want. Ok, fine, so you need a Class III FFL to play with the really fun stuff, but it’s not an impossible task to get one. And honestly, you have your pick of thousands of different models of handguns, shotguns, rifles, all in innumerable calibres with infinite customizations and so many accessories you probably spend more on them than on the gun itself. A few comments on this point:

A. Grandad did just fine taking deer with his .30-40 Krag and iron sights. He was probably a better shot than you too.

B. You have to face facts – when the anti-gunners say there is no “legitimate use” for 50-100 drum mags, they’re spot on. Unless of course “fun” is a “legitimate use.” They ARE fun, but with 5.56 at .60 cents a round do you really want to feed that thing anyway? And Slide Fire systems. Come on. Really? There is no way to justify this other than “it’s fun!”

5. Be not Afraid. You’re afraid of a lot of things. The Govm’t, Terrorists, Carjackers, Gays, Zombies, and non-Christians. You may have legitimate reasons for any or all of these, but bringing them up just makes you look like an insecure paranoid nutcase. Also, disguising your fear with disdain doesn’t fool anyone.

6. The hypocrisy of tradition. You love the idea that we have always been a nation of gun-owners. That it is a part of our American heritage. You invoke images of Revolutionary minutemen, 19th Century frontiersmen, and Civil War soldiers. All of whom were shooting muzzle-loading blackpowder flintlock and percussion lock arms. Have you ever even shot such a thing? Or is your idea of a muzzeloader some awful in-line job you only break out once a year to extend your deer season? If you truly love the past then practice what you preach and realize that muzzleloaders, single-shots, and bolt-guns are the bulk of what our forefathers survived with. If they were good enough for them, what excuse do you have for your over-love of black guns with quad rails?

While I speak specifically to the issue of gun control, much of this applies to any divisive issue. Stop following the rhetoric of your party leaders and moderate yourselves. Everyone sounds so crazy because they repeat what is told to them by increasingly crazy people, seeking to out-do their opponents through ever increasing hyperbole. The further each side goes Right or Left, the more they resemble each other, so do yourself a favour and take the middle ground.

UPDATE: Part II