So, I've decided to try my hand at blogging! I'll be writing about all things literature! This means I'll be doing book reviews, talking about life as an English Major, talking about writing short stories/poems/articles/essays/etc, and just talking about anything and everything to do with literature! I'm super excited!
The gun thread has been buried since the last time I've been able to go online for fun, and rather than resurrect it and get into another argument with the most obnoxious bullshitter on the internet along with his disciples (all of whom know next to nothing about firearms), I thought I would just make a journal entry to explain my reasoning for those who are willing to read it.
I like guns. They're fun to shoot at inanimate objects and, yes, they can also be used for self defense in some cases. Mainly, I own guns because I like going to the gun range. I don't like this pointless legislation around them because, like some of the people in that thread, those guys coming up with these gun laws, know nothing about guns.
It's like someone who has never driven a car before saying what the rules of the road should be. Or someone oblivious to metal music making distinctions on which bans are recruiting people into the Church of Satan. There's just no rational thought behind it.
In any conversation about guns, two things have to be established, or else a civilized discussion can't take place.
1.) Guns have a practical use: sport shooting.
2.) They can be used to defend oneself. But no, they don't make anybody "safer."
There was one smart person who inboxed me about this. I'm not saying who they are because I don't want to involve them. But they politely asked me what my objection was to this "assault weapons ban" and everything else gun related. I think I did a pretty decent job of answering their questions. They may still feel the same as they always have about guns, and that's fine, but I think maybe they got a little bit of perspective from my side as well.
Anyway, here's the response that I gave to them, which I think might be helpful to anyone else who's interested.
There are two things to understand first. There are two terms: assault rifle and assault weapon.
An assault rifle is any rifle that fires a high caliber (.223, 5.56, or 7.62) round, but more importantly has a "selective fire" switch; that means the user can change it from semi automatic (one round fired per trigger pull) to fully automatic (rounds continue to fire as long as the user is squeezing the trigger) and sometimes "three round burst" which is like fully automatic, but only fires a maximum of three rounds per trigger pull.
They've been illegal since 1986. You can still get one in most parts of America if the one you're buying was manufactured prior to the ban; but it's a lot of work, there are many legal steps involved, the rifles themselves are very expensive and, as you can see from the video, you go through ammo pretty fast. That guy in that video didn't stop shooting because he was bored; he ran out of ammo. That magazine holds 30 rounds. Most gun owners see little point in owning one.
An assault weapon is a purely political term. The way the law defines an assault weapon is if the weapon meets two of the following criteria:
A semiautomatic firearm that feeds from a detachable magazine:
A flash suppressor on the end of the barrel:
Pistol grips as handles:
A collapsible stock on the end:
If it also comes with a grenade launcher:
Nobody actually has that.
And that's it. That's how we define "assault weapon." It has nothing to do with the power of the weapon or how many rounds it can fire at once. It's purely aesthetic.
Now, here's where it gets funny.
This is my rifle:
It's a 30-06 bolt action rifle. 30-06 is an extremely powerful round. This is what it can do at 115 yards:
It's considered a hunting rifle, but I don't hunt. I just like shooting it at the range. However, under the "assault weapons ban" it's 100% legal.
Then there's this:
Notice the detachable stock on the end, the flash suppressor over the barrel and the pistol grips? By law this is an assault weapon.
But that's the same exact rifle as I have. It's just been decked out to look menacing.
This is why I oppose the "assault weapons ban." It's basically a bunch of people in Washington who know nothing about guns and say, "Well that looks kind of scary. Let's ban it."
Now you know what 90% of non gun owners know. And hopefully you can understand why, though I'm very sympathetic to people who have genuine concerns about guns and probably get more angry about Sandy Hook type incidents than non gun owners, I can't get behind any ham fisted gun legislation. It's like they don't want to prevent people from being killed, they just want to prevent them from being shot.
It’s been a while, but obviously after a postcard thread is over is when people thank, complain or question the meaning of certain cards, so here’s mine.
Before the original thread was deleted, I curiously asked how I alienated all the RT regulars because that was news to me; and if an actual answer was posted, it was in the six hour or so period that I last looked at it and when it got taken down.
At the time, I had a pretty good idea who did it, and it turns out I was right. But I’m still curious as to how I “alienated” everyone who regularly posts on the RT forums.
I came up with three possibilities.
1.) My opinions on gun ownership might have rubbed people the wrong way.
I suppose that’s possible. However, whenever I argue this topic, whether on VF or otherwise, I’m very polite and understanding of the opposition. I’m not one of those guys who makes silly generalizing statements such as, “Well, if Switzerland can have a high number of gun ownership and very little crime, then so can the US,” or “Cars kill more people per year than firearms. Let’s ban cars!”
I don’t even take an “I’m right, you’re wrong” approach when discussing this topic. Every time I have this conversation, with friends or strangers, I’m constantly trying to find middle ground with the person.
I also don’t try to shoehorn insults into my arguments because I don’t feel I need to. I know what I’m talking about enough so that any insults would cheapen whatever it is I have to say. Of course, this is the complete opposite of what this other guy does whenever he disagrees with what anyone else says.
2.) My objection to a rookie NBA player who didn’t want to fly with his team to away games.
Well, this one wasn’t even on RT. This was on “A Hive of Angry Bees,” or as it looks like it should be called “Agree With Everything Tiffany Says, Or Else.”
The story basically goes that the Houston Rockets drafted this guy who has a fear of flying. Buzzwords like “anxiety,” “OCD,” and “panic attacks” were used in the news articles, but there really wasn’t any evidence, at least from what I can see, that would indicate he actually had those things according to the DSM IV. Based on his interviews, it just seemed like he had a glorified phobia of flying. I half jokingly asked what his problem was. I mean, shit, he got his dream job, he’s going to be making $2 million dollars a year to start (if I’m lucky, that’s about as much money I’ll make in my lifetime), he can’t make an effort to try and eventually break his fear of flying? It’s a pattern I see with young people all the time. They don’t want to handle their own problems; they want someone else to do it for them. This will create a culture where people take zero responsibility for themselves. This is the kind of mentality that I’ve dedicated my life to preventing.
Strangely, The Hive took it very personally and, for some reason, thought that I wasn’t simply objecting to this guy’s lack of initiative, but had a personal problem with people who have mental illness.
As it turns out, the Houston Rockets have suspended this guy indefinitely. He hasn’t played a single game yet, and does nothing but complain on Twitter about how the team isn’t being as accommodating to him as they should. And if you look at the comments section of this article, every fan of the team thinks that drafting this guy was a waste of time. They seem to think he’s a big cry baby who wants everyone to accommodate him, but wants to do nothing to help make it happen. Which is pretty much exactly what I said from the beginning.
Sure, you could say, “Well, everyone on that board was against you, so obviously you’re being stubborn.” Fine, but if you give any constructive criticism about Nickelback on a Nickelback message board, most people are going to be against you too. That doesn’t necessarily negate the criticism. It’s just the Bill O’Reilly method of arguing where if you do it loud enough, you win.
That board kind of sucks anyway. All they did was talk about their wedding plans and the houses they were hoping to buy. It was like reading the script to Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
3.) My ex relationship
First, I don’t think anyone really cared about my past relationship except for this guy. I was upset about it, sure. But not because the two of us had broken up, but the reasons for breaking up.
She told me that her illness was getting in the way of our relationship, and our problems couldn’t be remedied through normal means, so the only solution was for us to break up and give her time to sort herself out. We’d still be friends and everything.
I’m not saying that’s necessarily true, I’m saying that that’s what she told me.
Anyway, a month after we officially broke up, she got in a relationship with one of her male roommates. That’s pretty damn fast, especially for someone who just got out of a three year relationship because her illness was getting to be too much of a burden on the relationship. And with a roommate too.
Of course I politely and non accusingly asked her to explain how she can go from telling me what she did to being in a relationship with her roommate in the span of a month, which I think is what any reasonable person in my position would do. She got mad at me for asking (although not right away, to be fair) and that was the last time we properly spoke to each other. Then, in an effort to make herself look like she did nothing wrong in this relationship, she started telling people who I also knew that we broke up because I was “scary.” I find this insulting simply because I was very good to her and did everything I could to be supportive to her in terms of her graduate work and her health. Apparently, this was worth dismissing so that she can look innocent while in her new relationship.
If you don’t think that sounds sketchy, you’re either delusional, you know something that I don’t, or you have an ulterior motive. I don’t know what this guy’s motives could be. I mean, they’re not really friends or anything. They just talk on a message board. Maybe he has a crush on her and this is his way of getting close to her? I don’t know.
What she did was pretty fucked up. And I have every right to be upset about it and express it in a polite manner (which I did). I mean, sure, we’re not married, she’s allowed to do it, but she had to expect a reaction. She may not like it, but she has to expect it. If I cheated on her, which is pretty much what she did to me, I would expect her to rant about me to people she knew, and I would expect them to maybe form a negative opinion of me and possibly tell me to go fuck myself when they saw me. That’s the choice I would’ve made by cheating on her. If cheating on her was worth all that, then I can’t complain. If seeing this guy while she was still with me, and finally breaking up with me when she realized a relationship with him would probably work out, was worth it, then what does she or anyone care that I write about it? In a journal. To myself.
Personally, I lost a lot of respect for this guy. I used to think he was a smart and reasonable guy, but it turns out he’s just a dick.
For one thing, he takes disagreements way too personally, and they’re disagreements over things that don’t even concern him. Why would an Englishman care about what some guy in a different country thinks about his own local gun laws? Why would he care that I think a professional athlete, of a sport he doesn’t even follow, is being a sissy for not making an attempt to do his duty and fly on a plane to get to away games?
I’ve done the gun argument with many people, most of whom we’re friends. Despite our disagreements, we’re still friends. Because we discuss the issue like gentlemen. We don’t try and shoehorn insults at each other at every opportunity. Perhaps neither of our opinions have changed after the discussion, and that’s fine. But I would have learned something about the opposing side, and maybe my friend on the opposing side learned something from me. That’s why it’s called a friendly chat.
Also, this guy argues like a complete idiot. He strawmans the hell out of anyone he’s talking to and creates rules and standards with little to no basis for you to adhere.
For example, in our gun talk (paraphrasing obviously).
Me: The gun ban in Chicago didn’t do anything to prevent homicides or gun crime.
Him: According to this graph it did.
Me: Yeah, fifteen years later there was a decline, but what about the spike in from 1989 to 1994
Him: Oh, that was because of crack.
Me: Okay, what makes you say that?
Him: It’s common knowledge.
Me: So the decline in homicides nearly two decades after a gun ban was a direct result of the gun ban, but the spike that happened six years after the gun ban had nothing to do with the gun ban? Basically, that graph works in your favor when it wants to?
Him: *sarcastic response riddled with sly insults*
If you don’t know, or don’t fully understand the topic at hand, why argue about it?
What I really find weird about this whole thing is the timing of the postcard. It was one of the first ones posted. This means that when the idea for a postcard thread came up, he immediately thought of me and wrote how I’ve alienated everyone. Not only does this guy create a beef where there isn’t one, but he clings to it like a goddamn floatation device.
Maybe this entry won’t make me too popular with everyone on the site, but if I’ve already alienated everyone, what difference would it make?
It would've been a lot shorter if some douchebag Englishman A.) knew what he was talking about, and B.) didn't just make up facts and scenarios to fit his needs. But what do I know? I'm just a gun nut, right?
Well I've come to learn that when it comes to certain things, people will not change their minds. With me I will not change my mind on the death penalty. No matter what you say to me I will not believe that and cold blooded killer or child rapist deserves a second chance. Same for the gun situation. No matter what you two say your minds will not change to the other person's opinion. Honestly I just think its best if you two stop debating about guns sense it's like trying to push an unmovable object with an unstoppable force.
I never try and get people to change their opinions on any issue. Like if I get into a discussion with a Christian, I'm not trying to make him stop believing in God, but I'll try and give him some perspective on atheism. Maybe he'll realize that we're not just ornery ingrates who know a god exists but choose not to acknowledge it; we just genuinely don't believe a god exists. When discussing guns, I'm definitely not trying to make anyone pro gun. I only really want to dispel the myths surrounding the gun debate. Like how guns are for sport, or that the overwhelming majority of Americans who own guns are law abiding and would never dream of using them in an unlawful manner.
So earlier I go into GameStop. I browse as usual when this dad walks in with his kid. He went there to let his son pick out a game. I ignore the loud mouthed brat and enjoy checking out the games. Then this is what pissed me off. The kid picks up assassins creed 2 and I stare at him. Mind you, he's like ten. I listen in on them and the dad says "no no no you can't get that".
At first I had a smile on my face, but THEN the dad says they don't have that system and need to get the one for the ps3! I flipped the fuck out on him. I kept screaming about its his fault annoying people are complaining that video games are too violent for kids! He sayss I should mind my business but how can I? The games have a rating for a reason! This is why america. Yourmaking things more difficult for other gamers and just people period.
Read. The. BOX. PEOPLE!
Its not about what the can handle. Its a waste. The little kids wont be able to understand the plot if the game or the little details. The ratings are good. I mean...saaaaaaay...you.let a 4 year old play assassins creed. There's so much story behind it that they'll miss. Plus, some games can traumatize kids, lol. Seriously, i've seen T and M rated video games do messed up things to kids. My cousin beat up some lady outside cause he played grand theft auto and wanted money. XD
It was just after 4:30 am and my doorbell rang like seven times. I’m thinking that there might possibly be an emergency on the street and someone needed my help (my light was still on), but I’m mainly thinking A Clockwork Orange. So I grabbed my gun, but put it on a chair next to my door under a blanket.
I opened the door to this black guy in a wife beater, and he’s pretending to cry. I said to myself, “Well, this should be good.” Through the storm door, he said, “Please sir, you gotta’ help me. My car just got a flat and I need money to get home.”
I told him, “I can’t help you, buddy. And it’s probably not a good idea to ring people’s doorbells at 4 in the morning.”
He said, “Please, that’s my car right there. The white one.” I looked at the car he was referring to and told him that it wasn’t his car; it was my neighbor’s. Then I said he needed to leave.
He took out a wad of keys from his pocket and said that those were his car keys. I said, “Great, but that’s not your car over there. Get the hell off my stoop.”
Then he told me to watch as he tried pressing the remote lock hoping the headlights would flicker, which of course they didn’t because it wasn’t his fucking car. Then I told him that I asked him twice to leave, and now I’m getting my gun.
I thought just saying that would make him leave, but instead he put his face right up to the glass of my storm door, and started fumbling for the door handle still begging for me to help him. That’s when I grabbed the gun, pointed it at him and flicked off the safety.
I didn’t think it was possible for humans to run that fast.
For those of you not from this country, the Chicago Cubs are a major league baseball team, and they play at a place called Wrigley Field which is arguably one of the most historic ball parks in America. It’s a Mecca for baseball fans, and for douchebags as well.
It looks like this:
Although I’m not from Chicago, I’ve always liked the Cubs simply because my first baseball game was at Wrigley and it just stuck to me. I mean, it’s a very beautiful park, and next to Fenway, it’s probably the best place to watch a baseball game.
Oh, also, the Cubs haven’t won a World Series since 1908. So we’re kind of known as losers throughout Major League Baseball.
If you’re American, you can start reading here.
I went there yesterday with my friend. He’s a huge Cubs fan despite being from San Diego. The Cubs were playing the Detroit Tigers which doesn’t happen very often because both teams are in two different baseball leagues. Because of this, there were a lot of Detroit fans at the game. However, because they’re in two different leagues, this game didn’t matter a whole lot. That doesn’t mean there wasn’t any good natured ball breaking going on. I mean, if you can’t handle that, then professional sports just aren’t for you.
But sitting behind us was a Yankee fan from New York (likely upstate by the way he talked) and he wouldn’t shut the hell up about how much he hated the Cubs. My friend and I knew that he was doing it to try and rile us up; partly because he told the girl he was with that he was deliberately trying to rile us up. For the rest of this story, we’ll refer to him as Riley.
In the 8th inning, a series of events began that could’ve resulted in breaking a 3-3 tie. All of a sudden, Riley turned into the world’s most perceptive umpire. Every call made in favor of the Cubs was wrong according to him. At one point, there was a very close call throw to first base. The umpire ruled the runner safe, albeit marginally, and this guy just went ballistic. He was certain the runner was out despite our vantage point.
Then the following dialogue happened.
Riley: I bet they won’t even show the replay on the monitors. This team just sucks so bad! He was out by a long shot.
Me: How do you know he was out?
Riley: Weren’t you watching? How can you call that safe?
Me: The umpire called him safe. And he was five feet away from them. I’d trust his call before I’d trust someone in the upper deck.
Riley: Then why won’t they show the replay on the monitors?
Me: Because they’re used to show replays of home runs and base hits. Not to prove points to skeptics with alleged Superman vision, especially when they don’t care about any of the teams playing.
Riley: No, it’s because they don’t want everyone to see how shitty your team is.
Me: So let me get this straight: Instead of just acknowledging that your vision isn’t that accurate when looking at something over 500 feet away, you’d rather believe there’s a massive MLB conspiracy that wants to brainwash everyone into thinking that the Cubs are only sort of terrible instead of flat-out terrible, and they do this by not showing replays only to those who have come to watch the game?
Then he just shook his head and waved his hand at me, which of course is universal sign language for “just won the argument.”