Hey y'all ...
Just got back from a great zero-tech vacay with the family in New Orleans. Catching up here to see what Seattle happenings I've been missing.
(On that note, New Orleans at various [probably most] times is the homicide-by-gun capitol of the nation--sure you've heard--and there's been a half-dozen or so times when a hand gun in the bedroom has been advantageous during house break-ins among my family's abodes. I actually couldn't imagine *not* owning a firearm if I lived there [in the house--I'm not interested in "packin'"], but the crime in general does seem to be sloooooooo...wly improving [not an opinion based on statistics, just the general climate you feel in all the neighborhoods]. Shotguns and rifles are overly common, but they are solely for purposes of hunting--big-time hunters down there and I'd guess those weapons are outnumbered only by fishing rods. This of course is part of the "conversation" due to the homicide numbers, but no one down there is gearing up to take on the government per se with "assault weapons," that I know of anyway, although there is a huge "mind your own g-d business" mentality." Perhaps this reflects the true meaning behind the Second? Now Texas! [a state I do adore]--mom's side of the family--entirely different story. They're totally gearing up but perhaps ironically they're a much less "excitable" group of folks [except of course when I showed my aunt her "bunker" on Google Earth *lol*].) --And when the heck does a parenthetical go from an aside to a sidebar to a sideshow? And why am I so brackety, too, to boot?
Anyway ... honing in on the "assault weapon" subtopic (and I do wish folks would be more specific on "assault weapon"--tossing around banning "all semiautomatics" would include my two-round shotgun for clay), I really, sincerely appreciate your thoughtful, earnest responses, including the conviction behind them (redblack, JoB). Something that really causes me to move toward my natural and/or taught extreme is *how* people speak to others on the topic. Those calling for a ban on "assault weapons" (whatever the extremity, or lack of, their ban suggestions take) completely lose my attention the moment I hear or read "idiots," "crazies," etc. when it's being thrown at me or someone like me--i.e., someone whose opinion differs. Same is true when, say, posting on a forum and follow-up posters throw out semi-cryptic one-liners addressed to others but not to the person about whom they're wanting to insult--it's like middle-school lunchroom behavior (JKB, HMC Rich). I don't go around the real world poking on the subject but when asked I answer honestly what I'm thinking, and I've had two folks since the Sandy Hook tragedy go off on "my stupidity" and disown me as a friend (I want to stress--I just briefly answered what my thoughts were and didn't argue at all). It's a turn-off and wholly unproductive, and I can't respect their opinion anymore since I can't respect them, and that puts me back in a hole of being less open to considering all sides, particularly the sides involving regulation, ban, and so forth. So ... thank you for keeping me thinking and engaged and in a space of what can at minimum be a compromise for me, if not eventually a wholesale change of heart and mind. And I guess in the bigger picture my suggestion would be this is how you should continue to approach your side of the issue to make a real difference.
Ironically, those two work colleagues of mine who absolutely could not handle my "not completely in their camp" opinion are at this same moment vehemently posting everything they sniff up about video games *not* being an issue (this is the business we're in). I'm actually not entirely in that camp, either, despite my self-interest in there being no connection between video games and real-world violence. In summary, there's this psychology going on of extremism at any cost--in this case, if the NRA objects to weapons legislation *and* questions the association between video games and real-world violence, the whole damn baby is going to go out with the bath water. I just can't get behind this "perfect thinking."
Redblack ... Your explanation of militia versus police is a great one for me. I agree. The key difference for me and how I react to it is I actually don't like the police--I will not say I *dislike* them either, as I understand their role, humanity, and job description but, first-hand experience with them, in all my 49 years, has been somewhat over-the-top horrible--this from someone who's biggest "crime" has been three speeding tickets in her life (I spent 29 hours in the King County Jail for one of those due to their botched paperwork). The first- and second-hand tales comprise an extremely long and epic list (I could of course type it all down "to prove it" but that would seem a narcissitic exercise); therefore, I think the only thing I do disagree with you on in an absolute way is that the intimidation (or racism or abuse of power or what have you) is limited to "high-profile exceptions." I do know for a fact that problems with police "honor" are profuse and insidious--in my list, the rule rather than the exception. And thinking about all this now, I think it leads to a common opinion perhaps: Give a human a weapon and he/she has just elevated his/her self-worth to the more righteous, or more powerful. I think that works to both sides of the argument in some ways.
I'll leave world history for another blather. *lol*
Okay ... have rambled enough. I'm not a debater type or terribly articulate on a forum. In the end, however the country goes is how it goes, but I hope to be on the "righteous" side without the attitude or even realizing it.
Great weekend to all ...