Friday, June 27, 2008

funny old men, guns

I run a cafe of sorts in a health club for my "day job." In my days, I take a lot of abuse from the old men that come and "workout" and then sit and drink coffee for an hour. The conversations range from politics and sports to history and current events. One of them stood up this morning and said, "Well, I suppose I should actually work out this morning!" Steve, another regular, said, "What?!?! I've been workin' hard for a good ten-fifteen minutes!" The banter makes my mornings worthwhile working here.

I don't know if I've expressed my opinion for the news in this blog so I thought that DC vs Heller would be a good place to open. For those not in the know, the District of Columbia vs Heller is the court case that went to the Supreme Court over the right to have a gun in Washington DC. Now, there has been a ban on firearm possession there for some time.

Now, I read the news when I have time or just find a minute between hazings of the old men! I also try to keep up generally on how the stock market is doing and why. I also try to read several different "publications" as well. The reason I do this is because it is difficult to find any "news" source that isn't skewed and is completely objective. I have to kind of giggle at Fox News' "Fair and balanced" stories. Then I outwardly laugh at when a liberal tears at that same thing for the reason that they support the news from CNN or MSNBC. I'm rather blown away that so many people will only watch one of them. I'm not a whole lot better, but I try by reading the Economist, BBC, and once in a while the Guardian as well as the American news sources. I really have a solid disdain for the American news. I'm sure that there are a lot of good people working for these companies. But it's hard to believe everything they say and take it word for word. It's like bashing President Bush. I know a lot of people do it and that's fine. One thing I love about this country is that we have freedom of speech. We can rip on anyone for any reason. There are laws against libel, etc. However, if we disagree with someone, we are free to express that. SO! If you don't like Bush, cool! But WHY do you not like Bush? Is it because he is trying to assist a country in turmoil? Is it because he has used the veto power only on a few rare times? Is it because of his economic policy? I have no problem if you don't like him. Personally, I think there are better leaders. But I have reasons for not liking him. SPECIFIC reasons. I don't bash him because of his imperfect grammar/word usage.

Now that I've said that. DC vs Heller was a pretty controversial court case. It is yet another example of the fundamental idea of the right to own a specific type of weapon as a normal citizen (as opposed to a police officer or military). I think that this is an interesting debate and it really comes down to how comfortable you are personally with a gun.

I grew up in small-town, Wyoming. The state has battled with Alaska for last place on the population list for decades and is recently losing by a good margin as I understand it. It is a land of farmers and ranchers. There are plenty of cowboys around. As a result, livestock theft can be a problem at times. There are people who actually defend their cattle, etc with a shotgun! Even today, this really does happen. To most of the city-bound population, this seems crazy. Imagine making $200/cow each year. At a rate of50-200 cows a year, that isn't much when you have to support a family and farm equipment. Now, $200/cow is on the low side I believe and 100 cows is probably only a bit below the average. But trying to take care of two or three kids on $25k/year is anything but rare. Try stealing $1,000 from a man who works the ground and see what happens! If you avoid prison, you will be lucky.

Now, to flip into the city and ask the same question.... Give a man a responsibility and say nothing to him of leadership and you will have a child with power. This is where that phrase about power and corruption comes from. Give a child a country and you will get a ruthless dictator. Fill that country with children and you will have civil war. Try to take that country back and you are France! Back on point, I really believe that education is the answer.

I've shot guns, even as a kid. I'm certainly not afraid of them. I suspect many city goers are. The only time they see them are when they see law enforcement or someone who is in a gang or the mob. That's not very encouraging to me. I believe that given some good gun safety classes for the general public, things will not be so anti-gun/gun-control oriented in the future. We have the 2nd Amendment for a reason. I believe in that reason.