Tuesday, August 28, 2007

National Day of Protest

So, today is Reverend Jesse Jackson's National Day of Gun Protest and, conversely gun owners are marking the occasion with their National Day of Gun/Ammo Purchasing. While I've seen the Reverends protest labeled as 'against guns' and 'against illegal gun trafficking', I wanted to do a point and counterpoint to some of the article's statements:

RJJ: “We have the right to live safe and secure, no matter where we live in America.”
Me: Agreed, though definitions may vary. I'd like to live safe and secure, but knowing that there will always be criminals on the streets, I also want to be prepared.

RJJ: “Our marching does not kill people; people who buy guns from gun shops kill people.”
Me: Agreed. So, why fight against the guns?

RJJ: "We choose life over death, and we want to close down merchants of death.”
Me: Tobacco? Fast Food? The DMV?

RJJ: He favors tighter restrictions on who is allowed to buy guns, better background checks, longer waiting periods for gun purchases, and restrictions on how many guns an individual may buy within a calendar period.
ME: People who've been institutionalized or convicted of a felony may not. Citizens/nationals of the US (generally 18+ or 21+) are allowed. When I purchased my handgun, I had a state *and* federal background check done. Restricting commerce of any type is really just a bad thing for the economy in general.

A large part of this is, I'm sure, in response to the Newark, NJ slayings and, while a small part of me is all for 'protecting the lives of America', it keeps coming back to the fact that if one or all of those four college students were armed and lawfully carrying:
  1. They would have had a fighting chance to live.
  2. Their assailants might've been deterred in the first place.They would have a choice.

Now, granted -- I'm all for the punishment of illegal gun trafficking. Jose Carranza, one of the suspects from the shooting, is an illegal immigrant from Peru. Considering background checks are done, I can almost guarantee you that he didn't get his gun legally.

There's a reason why the Bill of Rights covers this topic -- this freedom... this protected right was put into place to prevent misconstruction or abuse of the government by infringing into the lives of the people who put this political system into place.

At one point in my life, I wasn't pro-gun... I probably wasn't anti-gun as much as I was ambivalent about the whole thing, but, having purchase a firearm, gone through the checks, have undergone training, knowing I'm a responsible person and that I can be prepared to protect my children and wife if need be is something I don't want to give up.

I think I'll try to hit the Walmart before I start teaching tonight to pick up a box of ammo.

Amendment II: A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment IV: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Edit: Mission Accomplished...

Monday, August 27, 2007

An Introduction of Sorts

I've had other blogs in my lifetime: LiveJournal, MySpace, FaceBook... hell, I even have a YouTube Channel for my music, but nothing I've stuck to religiously throughout the years -- I'm hoping to have this be a bit of a change. I'd like to devote a bit of time to actually putting my thoughts down on paper, so to speak. Something I can look back on a few years from now and just know that it'll be around for a while. So, myself in a nutshell... I live in Delaware:

I Work: My day job consists of web and database development, mostly with PHP and MySQL. I do linux administration as well -- programming may seem like a boring job, but it can be meditative at times: you sit down with an idea and start writing and testing and, after what feels like a few short minutes, you look up and see that it's time to go. Sure, sometimes it's a bit draining mentally, but it's a great sense of accomplishment when you actually complete a milestone or finish off a project.

I Teach: During some evenings, I teach college courses related to the Computer Science field. I've been teaching 'officially' for about 4 years now, though ever since high school I've been teaching music in one form or another. Sadly, those times have passed when I actually started to need money more than I wanted to donate my time. This year is particularly exciting for me as I've been given an Introduction to Programming course... I've been waiting to teach this for some time as it's giving the kids their fundemental start to this degree -- I love the subject matter so much, that I know they'll do well. I always did when the professor had a love for the subject matter.

I Perform: Ever since elementary school I've been playing a musical instrument of some sort: saxophone, drums, flugal horn... I did drum & bugle corps for four years and also played with the University of Delaware Marching Band for two years. In my life I was the principle timpanist for the Dover Symphony, a general percussionist for the Brandywine Pops Orchestra and the principle percussionist for the Diamond State Concert Band. In the past 8 years or so, I've gotten into Irish music... the history, culture and language is just intriguing and interesting, so it's been a huge part of my life, especially for the past 4 years of playing. I play regular and low Irish Pennywhistles, octave mandolin, DADGAD guitar and bodhran, which is an Irish frame drum. Most Wednesday nights you can find me at A Piece of Ireland in Newark for their session.

I Game: Yes, computers and geekdom do go hand in hand. Aside from having played tons of pen and paper RPG's in my lifetime (D&D, SWRPG, Gamma World), computer gaming has been a large sink hole of my time. Several FPS's (Rainbow Six, Ghost Recon) but, yes, I've sucumbed to that which is the World of Warcraft -- level 70 Warrior on Medivh. God, I'm pathetic.

I'm a Gun Owner: I've taken a step into the world of the 2nd Amendment by recently purchasing a pistol -- I own a Smith & Wesson Sigma 9mm, Allied Forces model. It's my first firearm and, while its got a great feel to it, the trigger pull is probably upwards of 12lbs, making for a difficult squeeze. I've seriously considered open carrying my firearm at some point as I do wish to exercise my right to; however, I'll be the first to admit that I'm somewhat afraid... I've got the full-time job, wife and two kids -- being put into a difficult situation, even though I'd be in the right, would be hard to bear in terms of making sure my family was taken care of.

I'm a Political Moderate: My political views are quite amunge here, but I strongly believe in points on both sides of the political line. Basically, I'm all for conservative fiscal policy -- less taxes, give me my money to spend my way. Yes, I also prefer Republican foreign policy, even though it's rather unpopular, some things need to be done that are tactically sound instead of emotionally motivated. On the left side, I'm all for freedom of rights: let gays marry and let people live thier lives how they want... If anyone wants to get married and be as miserable as the rest of us, more power to them. [;)] I believe that in order to understand our current political and world status, children should be taught about religion in schools -- mind you, not taught a religion; let them understand the fundemental differences in Christianity, Budhism, Islaam... as of now, most people exiting your typical high school just doesn't understand.

That's it in a nutshell -- I'm hoping to post more often, whether it be on gaming, local political issues, a range report when I head out target shooting... Keep an eye out!