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Monthly Archives: January 2013

A Conversation With Gun Control Advocates

yelling_anger1    Recently the topic of gun control has been coming up everywhere. Being a supporter of the 2nd amendment myself and an advocate of less government there is no surprise what side of the argument I am on. My question is though: is “argument” the correct term? Cannot we have an intelligent discussion about the topic?

Too many times when this subject comes up people get into heated debates and let their emotions take hold. What I try to tell my fellow 2nd Amendment supporters is we must find common ground with people who are on the side of gun control. One way to go about this is to ask them a few simple questions to see exactly where they stand on the issue.

A few questions you can ask are:

-What are you feelings about guns in this country?

-Why do you feel that way?

-Have you ever had an experience with a gun? -etc

If you engage the person this way instead of throwing random facts out or treating them like they are an idiot you may actually get somewhere. In order for this to be effective you actually have listen to what they say. Let them speak and ask them more questions.

We must note that there are two major types of anti-gun people or should I say two types of reasoning behind the belief. From what I have seen the two types are: 1.) Peaceful people who want to see less violence in the world, and 2.) Figures of authority who think it’s ok for you to not have a gun, but ok for them to have a gun, or as in the case of politicians, ok for people protecting them and their family to be armed.

Most of the people we come in contact with on a day to day basis are in the first group I mentioned. These are everyday people who through love of their fellow human beings are against guns and the violence wrongly associated with them. It is important to note that they have this stance based on their concern for others’ well being. It is important because they differ vastly from people in the second group. People in the second group believe that they are better than the average citizen. They believe that they and their families are more important and are some how privileged. This way of thinking is very dangerous to the American way of life. A way of life where everyone is supposed to be equal and the people are supposed to have the real power.

The other issue is people in the second group are using people from the first group. They use their compassion and love for fellow humans against them with fear. Which brings me to my main point. Most anti-gun people have the feelings they do toward guns because of misplaced compassion due to fear and misinformation. Once you realize this you know where to start.

The goal here isn’t to change people’s opinions, but just to get them to open their minds. Show them how fear and propaganda from the second group could be effecting them negatively. Show them how the second group doesn’t really want to abolish guns, they just want to take them out of the hands of average citizens(who in many cases are safer than most with a firearm). Remind them how the second group would never give up guns themselves for protection of their family or property.

If this post helps just one person it was worth my time!!

Topics I plan on talking about soon include: How to talk to anti-gun people about the differences between assault weapons, assault type rifles and the need for these weapons and high capacity magazines for the average citizen.

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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A Letter in Response to Proposed Gun Legislation in CT

0130-senate-gun-hearing-630x420#MoreLawsMoreProblems

Here is a letter I wrote to all my reps at the state level, and I will be sending a modified version to my reps at the federal level:

Hello State Rep,

I am a citizen of Milford, registered voter and veteran of the United States Marine Corps. I am also a local DJ who works 4 nights a week in local establishments here in Milford. I talk to a lot of people on a daily basis and have a pretty accurate sense of the social climate here in the area. And when I say talk, I really mean listen. I don’t try to talk over people or push what I believe onto them. I genuinely want to know how people feel about topics in the community. So most times I won’t even state what side of a particular argue or topic I am on. I believe this is what gives me a true accurate sense of how people feel.

The reason for this email as stated above in the subject line is the recent proposed legislation aimed at guns, the owners and control. First off I would like to express my disgust in the way that gun control proponents are using the terrible tragedy in Sandy Hook as a platform to spread lies, fear and hate. These proponents were advocates of gun control before this senseless act of violence, and are using it to there advantage. They are trying to blur the lines between fact and fiction when it comes to firearms.

That all being said I would like to share my feelings on the proposed legislation. I believe most of it is a knee jerk reaction. I understand that legislators need to do something so the public knows they care. I understand elected officials have to accurately represent there constituents. I understand there is a lot of propaganda on both sides swaying pubic opinion. BUT most if not all of the people I talk to believe that there are enough laws in place. CT is one of the strictest states as far as guns go. These laws are working. It all comes down to the old saying: “If you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns.”

Then there are issues such as limiting magazine(clip) size on semi-automatic weapons. Honestly this is only going to hurt the law abiding citizen. Criminals are not going to obey these rules. Please don’t misinterpret me, I believe the Milford Police Department does a great job! Very tactful and respectful of citizens. I see this on a daily basis in downtown Milford. That is more than I can say for some members of Law Enforcement in other cities where I have DJed (That is a whole other topic). Even with all my respect for the police here in Milford I know that they cannot be every where at once. So, as slim as the chance may be, it may be up to the law abiding citizen to protect her or himself until the police arrive. Also it is great to be prepared in the unlikely event of a major natural disaster, civil unrest or likewise scenarios. In the Marine Corps we always trained for the worse just as a back up, and as a boy scout I remember the motto which was “Be Prepared.”

In short we have the correct laws in place. They work! I am including a list of proposed bills and my stance on each of these. I copied and pasted these from the Connecticut Carry Defense League’s Website. I have carefully read through all these bills and agree with all there stances except for HB-5269. I listed my reason below:

HB-5112 AN ACT CONCERNING THE DISCLOSURE OF THE NAMES AND ADDRESSES OF PERSONS HOLDING HANDGUN PERMITS. Official Position: Oppose
HB-5165 AN ACT CONCERNING THE DEFENSE OF A PERSON’S HOME, MOTOR VEHICLE OR BUSINESS. Official position: Support
HB-5176 AN ACT CONCERNING THE APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS FOR A TEMPORARY STATE PERMIT TO CARRY A PISTOL OR REVOLVER. Official position: Support
HB-5179 AN ACT CONCERNING ACCESS TO THE INTERACTIVE VOICE RESPONSE SYSTEM OF THE SPECIAL LICENSING AND FIREARMS UNIT OF THE DIVISION OF STATE POLICE. Official position: Support
HB-5268 AN ACT REQUIRING THE MAINTENANCE OF LIABILITY INSURANCE BY FIREARM OWNERS AND ESTABLISHING A SALES TAX ON AMMUNITION. Official position Oppose
HB-5269 AN ACT INCREASING THE PENALTY FOR CRIMINAL USE OF A FIREARM OR ELECTRONIC DEFENSE WEAPON.
I personally disagree with this one. I believe it should be interpreted on a case by case analysis by law enforcement and the judicial branch.
SB-1 AN ACT CONCERNING THE PROTECTION OF CHILDREN, FAMILIES AND OTHER INDIVIDUALS FROM VIOLENCE. Official position: Oppose
SB-21 AN ACT AUTHORIZING BONDS OF THE STATE FOR AN ETERNAL LIGHT IN MEMORY OF VICTIMS OF GUN VIOLENCE. Official position: Oppose- amendment for all victims of violence not just firearms. SB-42 AN ACT CONCERNING THE CRIMINAL POSSESSION OF AMMUNITION. Official position: Oppose
SB-122 AN ACT CONCERNING RESTRICTIONS ON GUN USE. Official position: Oppose
SB-124 AN ACT BANNING LARGE CAPACITY AMMUNITION MAGAZINES. Official position: Oppose
SB-140 AN ACT CONCERNING LIABILITY INSURANCE FOR FIREARM OWNERS AND SALES TAX ON AMMUNITION. Official position: Oppose

Thank You for taking the time out of your busy schedule to read my email. it really does mean a lot to me, and I would love to hear how you feel about these issues and why. Being very opened minded I value different opinions.

Sincerely,
Brandon S.
Concerned Citizen of Milford, CT

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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My Experience as a Sheep.

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This is me right before I graduated Marine Corps Boot Camp in 1994 at Parris Island, SC.

Lately on social media I have noticed a lot of comparisons between people and sheep. Often when I open up my Facebook or Twitter people post articles or videos which state: “Wake Up” in the header. Not to mention you can click on any number of websites, blogs or channels and hear people ranting and raving about conspiracies. Now more than ever people can share massive amounts of information while on the other hand other people are finding it harder to cover up and hide other information. Never the less there are still people who don’t want to see what is right in front of their own eyes. Maybe the truth scares them. Maybe they are afraid of what this information could mean to their everyday comfortable lives.

As I previously stated there are many sources of information that challenge the world view of your average everyday American Citizen.  Most choose to ignore it and follow the pack. This is where the term sheep comes into play. Let’s break it down into two sides: A) the “informed**” and B) the “Sheep.” Much arguing occurs when these two sides debate including fact throwing, name calling and/or  ignoring of the other person all together. The only thing accomplished here is building an even larger divide between the two sides. This often results in throwing around labels such as “crazy” “stupid” or even worse.

This is no way to open a persons eyes. I propose if you really want to open someones eyes you have to challenge yourself. You must do something that the “informed” person normally wouldn’t do or even talk about. Go back to the time in your life when you were part of the flock of sheep. A time when you believed everything you saw in the news. A time that if you traveled back to in a time machine even your former self would think you were crazy. This is the only way to gain true perspective on how the so called “sheep” thinks, feels, perceives events, and reacts to fear.

In my own experience I looked back on a few key events that lead to my awakening. The first event that sticks out in my memory was the first Gulf War. I was in High School. I remember marking down on a dry erase calender all the events which lead up to the war and the war itself. I was only a freshman but i was totally enthralled. As far back as I could remember I had always been fascinated by US History and war. From the Revolutionary to the Civil War, from WWI,WWII to Vietnam. I watched movies, read books and talked to anyone I could about these subjects. I remember thinking back on the Revolutionary War and wishing I could be there to fight. As a matter of fact I imagined myself fighting all the wars in our past on the side of freedom and liberty.

So not surprisingly when my time came I joined the military. I chose the Marine Corps because of the honor, tradition and reputation as being the toughest to become a member. I chose the area of Aircraft Maintenance so I would have something to do when or if I chose to leave. This is where the second event that really sticks out in my head occurred.

It was a normal day just like any other in the Adriatic Sea on the flight deck of the Aircraft Carrier USS America. I was up on deck waiting for the planes to come back. For weeks the routine was: we would send planes up. We would go back to our shop maybe eat lunch. We would get the call hours later, head back up to the flight deck and the planes would land. Well this time was different. I had no idea what I was about to witness and it really seemed insignificant at the time. It took years to really process what had happened. This time when the planes landed i noticed something strange about the F-18s. The bombs on the wings were gone and all i could see was hanging wires.

Now as anyone in the military could attest unless you have a top secret clearance and a “need to know,” they don’t tell you anything. So we all looked at each other and were like:”well i guess we are bombing someone!” There was an excitement aboard the ship. We really felt like we were making a difference in the world, doing the work of the good guys!! Whoever we were bombing surely deserved it or it was necessary to stop some sort of “evil” in the world… right?

The weeks turned into months, and every time the ship went into port our squadron flew to Aviano Air Force Base in northern Italy. What a beautiful place!! We were just happy to see land and even though we had to keep up with our flight schedule we still found time to enjoy the town. The reason our squadron and planes were so different was because our planes jammed enemy radar. So even though the Carrier was in port, missions were still being flown from the Airforce base, and our planes needed to jam the radar for the bombers and fighters.

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EA-6B Prowler Taking off from an Aircraft Carrier

Strangely enough it was another simple event, simple words spoken by a normal person that made it all click. Just like before however, I knew that I was experiencing an understanding, it just didn’t fully comprehend the meaning of the words til years later. So there I was on the ship, down below on the  mess decks(place where we eat). I was sitting with friends. I cannot remember who. One of them was an ordinance man whose job was to load the bombs on the planes. Just then a group of other ordinance guys from the ship were wheeling some bombs past us on crates. The guy I was with was all excited and said:”Those are the new Laser Guided bombs!!” I said:”When do we start using those?” and he said:”We can’t use the new bombs until we use all the old ones.”

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Marine Corps General Smedly Butler. Winner of Two Congressional Medals of Honor and turned down a Third. Reflecting back on his career which spanned from 1898-1931 he said this:”I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country’s most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.”

That conversation always stuck in my head. I thought it was kinda funny. I often repeated it in a joking manner to my friends back home when I was on leave. As the years passed and my eyes opened I realized what a true statement that was. How that statement represents one of the main ingredients for most recent wars and further digging shows that it goes back even further than I thought. That ingredient being the need for war to support our economy. In order to drop the new bombs we had to “get rid of” the old ones. We had to create a demand for a supply that needed to be replenished constantly.

So in conclusion I Look back to those days. Re-live them to feel the emotions I felt when I believed this country actually went to war for just purposes. I try to see what exactly lead me to feel that way. The patriotism I felt when I wore the uniform. When I was younger the fear and hate I felt for the so called enemy. The enemy, people who are just like me and you, but were born on the other side of the planet so I was taught to hate them. Because fear and hate are used for control.

When I regain these old feelings along with that state of mind I have a better understanding of how the “sheep” thinks, feels, reacts. I realize that shouting facts at them and sending them multiple videos thru social media isn’t gonna change that person or how they feel. However talking to them rationally, finding out what they believe and why they believe it. Finding common ground to built a foundation for the truths that they might not want to see today, but may see in the future. We have to make time our ally in this fight against fear, hate and ignorance.

**(Now it is important to state that there is also an abundance of information that is partially true. It starts off with a truth and then is twisted to meet the demands of the twister. This is why it is imperative to educate yourself and do your own research!! I cannot stress this enough because much hate and bigotry can and has arose from these situations.)

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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