May 25, 2014

Narcissism and mass murder

A couple of important lessons we must learn from the most recent shooting:
1> Gun-free zones do not save lives, they encourage killers
2> Progressive parenting produces violently insane children

I went to high school in a small town in California populated by some of the richest people in the world. Patent holders, third generation stakeholders in major corporations, corporate lawyers, world-class doctors, even dictators in exile can all be found living the good life in my hometown. A handful of the world's elite call my hometown home. I went to school with their children. I attended parties in their homes. In addition to my high school days in the midst of this hidden enclave of the elite, my wife is banker who hobnobs with the rich and famous and on several occasions I've met them through her at Christmas parties and other inhome celebrations. I don't know everyone on the Forbes 500 list, but I know a few of them. However, I don't call them friends. No one does. Not really.

These people donate lavishly to charities dealing with every social issue imaginable. Many of these charities are some kind of outreach aimed to assist children in Africa, India, Vietnam, Myanmar, North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Philippines, Fukushima, etc., etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseam. The lives of the world's richest are wracked with guilt over their personal level of comfort in a world beset with poverty, discrimination, hatred, and violence. They really do wish for the bad stuff in life to go away and for everyone to be as happy as they are.

The downside to all of this is conformity. The world's elite only recognize two kinds of humans: "normal" people like them, and the rest of us who in their eyes are a small half-step above the animals. Is it any wonder so many of the world's elite support PETA, ASPCA, and other organizations dedicated to providing animals the same legal standing as people? In their minds, there is no difference between the poor and the animals, the poor are animals, therefore, if the poor deserve protection so do animals. And this is why to their minds murder and hunting are morally identical.

Sadly, this constant barrage of forced conformity and this insane burden of guilt is poured directly onto their children. This fellow who went on a stabbing and shooting rampage in a quiet California college town is not the exception. Many of their children feel exactly the same way. If their desired sexual partner (whether same sex or opposite) does not come begging for sexual favors, they immediately feel rejected. After all, they are rich and descended from greatness! They believe they would make the perfect sexual companion, so how is it their personal preference is not lining up and begging for their attention? It is critical to note here that regardless of whether they are male or female, these young narcissists are not seeking emotional intimacy or meaningful conversations. They just want to get laid, preferably with someone just as beautiful and intelligent as they are.

And that, dear reader, is why I am sick to death of having this same insipid pro-gun/anti-gun debate every time someone in the United States goes on a killing rampage. A young man here in Japan just killed two people and wounded a dozen others, where is CNN? Last week bombs went off in two Chinese cities, killing dozens, where is CNN? Two weeks ago a man in an Indian city (Cameroon, I think, I don't remember which one) killed a dozen people because he didn't like them preaching Christianity in his neighborhood, where is CNN? Where is the white hot outrage among American elites? Where is there any reportage at all outside of personal blogs written by people on the street as these atrocities unfolded?

Enough, already! One college kid with a personally-owned firearm could have easily stopped the latest rampage in California. Why was there no one to step up and take down this narcissist? Because the government of California under the influence of NGOs and NPOs funded by Hollywood money believes college students do not have the right to defend themselves against a narcissist armed with a gun and knife. So what do you have to say, now, Hollywood? Now when the murderer is one of your own children in one of the states that has enacted every single "common sense" gun control regulation you have suggested?

Oh, wait, let me guess: "He was a good kid, just misunderstood. The police failed to search his room and confiscate his weapons. If they had, we could have helped him!"

Pardon me, but I can no longer accept that answer. It seems to me the time has come to recognize there is only one thing that can stop a lunatic with a gun: a sane person equally armed or better.

CNN: Inside the gunman's head
CNN: Grieving father blames NRA
CNN: Killer's parents frantically searched for him Blaming NRA over killings Killer's parents staunchly anti-gun

May 15, 2014

Zombies in the Heartland Pandemic 2013 Video Recap

(As an aside, this is the first time for me to experiment with direct publishing from YouTube.)

I've been looking into firearms competitions for the past six years or so, ever since I let my father talk me into a lifetime membership in the Single Action Shooting Society. Most amateur competitions are designed to be fun and fast-paced, with close-in targets the size of dinner plates. This is the first time for me to take a look at Zombies in the Heartland Pandemic 3-gun Competition and I have to say, I'm impressed. Many of these shots will be genuinely challenging even for experienced shooters. Actual skill in aiming and handling a firearm are required to hit tennis ball size targets at any distance, but some of these shots are fifty to sixty meters away. Under the combined pressures of time, sequence, and a referee on you shoulder, this would be an extremely challenging competition. I have to say, this one looks like it might be worth signing up for. Not this year, because I don't have a proper rifle or handgun for competition shooting. Perhaps in 2016.

May 04, 2014

May 4, 1970

On May 4, 1970, four students were killed and nine wounded when National Guardsmen opened fire on anti-war protesters at Kent State University. Due to new video and audio recordings that have come to light in recent years, it now appears the protest turned violent when an FBI informant named Terry Norman was accosted while photographing the protesters. Norman panicked, drew a handgun, and fired at least three shots which the National Guard mistook as sniper fire directed at them. Several members of the National Guard opened fire, some firing into the crowd, some firing over it, and some refusing to fire. Many of the casualties were students who were not involved in the protests when bullets fired over the heads of the protesters struck students in a campus parking lot.

In no small part due to the incessant circles of blame surrounding the tragedy, the most important lessons from it have yet to be learned. The first is don't gang up on a photographer who is simply doing their job. You might not like the steps they take to defend themselves. The second is, if you are going to pull the trigger always confirm both your target and what is behind your target.

The protesters at Kent State were not "peaceful". They were violent radicals who had already burnt buildings and injured law enforcement by throwing stones, bricks, and other debris. This is the first myth that needs to be dispelled. Likewise, the FBI did not have "provocateurs" inciting the students to both protest and protest violently. The only provocateurs were members of the SDS, the very same people Terry Norman (and possibly two others) were trying to photograph. This is the second myth that needs to be dispelled.

We cannot understand history and learn the lessons she has to teach us if we insist on assigning blame to the guilty party by labeling one side "good" and the other "evil" and then building a narrative that supports these empty labels. The latter half of the 1960s was an extremely violent period where passions ran high and countless individuals made decisions based on unrealistic expectations. A century from now historians will be questioning why everyone got so worked up over things that were never real to begin with.

Wikipedia: Kent State Shootings on May 4, 1970
The Plain Dealer (May 5, 2010): New Analysis of 40 year-old KSU audio tape
Washington Post (October 8, 2010): KSU tape recording reveals sound of pistol shots
The Plain Dealer (October 8, 2010): New analysis of KSU audio tape reveals new details
Mendo Coast Current (December 20, 2010): Does Terry Norman hold key to understanding KSU shootings?
Prison Planet (November 7, 2011): New KSU video points to FBI provocateuring
Common Dreams (May 4, 2012): KSU survivors demand new independent review
Huffington Post (May 4, 2012): Many KSU questions remain unanswered
The Nation (May 15, 2013): Closure at Kent State?
Sparrow Project (May 10, 2014): Sister of slain KSU student deposed by UNHRC