Monday, June 18, 2007

For What It's Worth

Local events that don't seem to have made national news have me taking a trip down memory lane.
"There's somethin' happenin' here
What it is ain't exactly clear"
The lines float up from my memory. Despite hearing them a million plus times on the radio the memory they stir is rooted in hearing them live. Not from the original group but some not terrible tribute group called Buffalo Springfield Revisited. They were the opening act for the Guess Who on the night I did my one and only stint as a bar bouncer.

The police recently found explosives, including nitro, in a home in the Denver metro area. The owner had to be tear gassed out for the search. The police initially interviewed and then released him. Later they arrested him when he tried to re-enter the house.

The search and arrest seem linked to loud explosions heard by this guy's neighbors but some digging this morning pointed to a larger story than some guy cooking up nitro for fun.

Earlier this year someone was laying explosive booby traps in a clinic parking lot in the same area of the metro region.

After the cops started to look into this there were more reported explosions out in the county at large, out where fewer witnesses could spot something. Someone seemed to be testing something.

What is weird is that the cops aren't claiming these incidents to be linked. At least that is the story today. They are claiming he had a stockpile of weapons and ammo, but to the press a stockpile is one .22 rifle and a box of cartridges.

If this guy ISN'T part of the other incident do we have a rash of mad bombers? Did someone hold a bomb maker's convention and not put out enough flyers?

A few casual searches on this guy turned up info that he had a patent or two to his name and had participated the local charity race a couple of times a few years back. So far he seems to be a lone operator.

If I hear more I'll post more.

It's still not exactly clear what is happening here.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Unequal treatment

I'm usually bemused by people who work in the media. This type normally finds themselves somehow able to believe that they are morally superior to me without ever meeting me. They know all the facts without ever visiting a place. They know what is important on instinct and are never wrong. They are, in point of fact, legends in their own minds.

What is evident is their unequal treatment of two inanimate objects. A story I found on the news this morning illustrates this point.

SELMER, Tenn. - Investigators were trying to determine what caused a drag-racing car to lose control during a parade and careen into a crowd, killing four people and injuring up to 15 others.

The crash occurred Saturday night during an "exhibition burnout" at the Cars for Kids charity event in Selmer, located about 80 miles east of Memphis, according to a drag-racing organization. A burnout is when a driver spins a car's tires to make them heat up and smoke.

Witness Scott Henley said the vehicle started burning off its tires, then began to fishtail and slammed into a utility pole before spinning around into the audience.

Selmer Police Chief Neal Burks said, "bodies were flying into the air when it happened."

Tennessee Highway Patrol spokesman Mike Browning said at least eight people were taken to three hospitals. The fatalities were all adults, he said.

The identities of the victims and the driver, or the driver's condition, were not immediately known.

Compare and contrast that example of reporting with coverage of firearms deaths. What we have here is a machine that is very likely not legal on a public street being used in a parade. There is a human operating it. It matters little whether the vehicle was street legal. The same issue applies to all news coverage of automobile related deaths.

If a person had shot 4 people fatally and wounded 15 this story would be major headlines. Since it wasn't done with a gun it just barely rates a story. If it hadn't been at a parade it might not get mention at all.

You can bet money that if these same people had died from a single shooter's actions, accident or intentional, there would be accompanying stories calling for more restrictions on gun ownership. If it happened in a place where citizens aren't allowed to own guns, such as Washington, D.C. there would be calls to restrict guns in nearby places.

But every single day more people lose their lives to automobiles than guns. Every single day. Day after day. It doesn't matter what age group you are looking at more people are killed in auto-related fatalities than by all the firearms out there. And there are many times more cars, trucks and buses than there are guns.

But there are no calls to restrict ownership of automobiles. If drugs or alcohol are involved there might be some preaching related to the publics' consumption of these. No one demands that the driving age be raised. No one is insisting on background checks on purchasers of automobiles.

This is a honking-big example of hypocrisy.

"But you can't conceal a car, you can conceal a gun!"

Having something concealed doesn't make it more deadly. No one, not even those who choose or can not afford to buy a car can avoid being near cars and people in them on a daily basis. Consider this "open carry". Employers who try to ban firearms from employee vehicles have no problem at all with those same employees each arriving in their own vehicle. They don't try to regulate the size, fuel capacity or safe use of such vehicles. I can think of at least two co-workers of mine that I've lost due to automobile fatalities and zero to firearms. Both employers allowed automobiles and banned firearms.

"But everyone needs transportation!"

True. But does everyone need to own an automobile? Our country is laid out in a way that encourages automobile use. Outside of major metropolitan areas there is usually no subway, often no passenger trains at all. Bus service is usually slow and sketchy. That is why the automobile has risen to become so ubiquitous. We are set up to employ it that way.

At one time you would have searched far and wide to find a home without a firearm. That was before the self-described journalists started telling people how evil guns were. Telling them how a gun in the home is more likely to be used on the owner or their family. I still want to find the liar who made that one up and introduce him to Louis Ville Slugger, Proctologist. Since no one collects data on how many crimes don't occur because the owner displays a weapon there is no way to ascertain how often a gun in the home is "used" without any injury to prevent crime.

How often does displaying a car to a criminal prevent a crime? Something close to zero?

"Guns don't prevent crime!"

Another lie. Every bleeding heart liberal bemoans capital punishment. They would rather 100 guilty men live out their full lives than possibly execute one innocent man. They proclaim this while glossing over the many, many stories of people who prevent crimes and sometimes put a permanent end to the careers of many very, very guilty people. All without resorting to DNA evidence. Those people who use a gun to defend themselves and their families aren't "taking justice into their own hands". They are preventing innocent people from being victimized by the guilty. You don't need a judge and jury present to determine that someone trying to beat you up is guilty. You don't need a judge and jury present to determine that someone attempting to rape you is guilty. You don't need a judge and jury present to determine that someone coming into your home and attacking you is guilty.

If those guilty people don't like to face the instant death penalty from their victims then maybe they WILL be deterred. No one ever measures that in asking if the death penalty deters crime. They only ask it in regards to one applied by the State. If the victim gets to do it while the bad people are preying upon the good people the bad people will probably avoid acting in bad ways. If not then they won't do it again. I call THAT deterrence.

There is no point of logic wherein gun banners can win. The problem is that gun banners aren't logical. Since they know they can't win on logic they lie.

Free Wayne Webring

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