Thursday, July 18, 2013

An Open Letter to Those Opposing "Stand Your Ground"

To the folks talking about trying to get rid of the "Stand Your Ground Laws", I think we should clarify exactly what you are doing.  This is a longer post but read it.

You see, Pennsylvania has a similar law that activists helped to pass just a few years ago, and it was truly a great thing for us.  Before this law, if you were attacked, you had to prove, in court, that there was no way for you to retreat before defending yourself.  Now some may agree with this, thinking it is prudent, why wouldn't you try to retreat?  Let me paint the picture:

You are eating lunch with your family at one of the many restaurants in our area that has outdoor seating.  A man a few tables over becomes belligerent and the focus of his anger seems to be your family.  He starts yelling, you ignore him, he continues yelling and you and your spouse and your child continue their lunch as the staff tries to handle the situation.  Suddenly he is standing up and now walking towards you and continuing to yell profanities. How did this situation escalate so quickly?  Why is he so angry?  You and your wife stand to protect your child and he shoves your spouse and then grabs the steak knife off of your table.  He is mere feet from your spouse that he shoved to the ground and to your child that is currently strapped into the high chair.  You, a gun owner with a License to Carry a Firearm (Concealed carry permit or whatever it is called in your State), draws your concealed weapon and shoots the man that is feet away from you.

Good shoot?  Self defense? That depends on the prosecutor because now you must face him or her in court and prove that you had no other option.  So you were in fear for your life and that of your family? You had no other option?  What about the gate that was behind you and your family leading into the outdoor eating area? What about the doors leading back into the restaurant?  What about the set of stairs leading to the storeroom?  You could have retreated to all of these places and yet you chose to MURDER this person instead of retreating.  Of course, in all of the chaos that happened in a matter of minutes you did not take note of every place available to retreat.  And what about your child in the high chair?  Could you have safely unbuckled him or her before this man with the knife attacked?  What about your spouse that was just shoved to the ground?  Up until a few seconds ago staff seemed to be dealing with the situation but now your family is in danger.

Now, a judge or jury may or may not sympathize with the prosecutor and you may even beat those charges, but at what cost financially, emotionally, personally?  How many of us have $10,000+ to hire attorneys good enough to defend us in court from this charge?  How many of us have bosses understanding enough to not fire us if we miss time off of work because we are being held without bail, even if only for a few days?  How many of us have occupations where we have a license that can be revoked or suspended by a governing board, even if only until the trial is over?  Before these laws were passed many people that were found innocent in legitimate self defense shootings never ended up in jail but they end up having severe financial trouble.  Even if the court finds you innocent, the family of the person that you killed can sue you in civil court and a lot of them win.  That was, until, this law went into effect.

You see, my family and friends that advocate for the undoing of these laws, you misunderstand exactly what you are asking to happen.  In reality, what it means for these laws to be undone is that I can no longer defend myself, defend Ashley, or defend Harrison without the threat of spending the rest of my life in prison.  What you are asking me to do is for me to make a choice: do I lose my family to some psychopath trying to do them harm or do I risk losing my family to some Prosecutor looking to make a name?  What would you do?  Defend your family or allow someone to seriously harm them because the law does not protect you?

Many of you took the death of Trayvon Martin personal, saying that it had a direct effect on you.  Well my family and friends, your advocating that I not be able to defend myself and my family really is personal and actually does have a very real and direct effect on Ashley, Harrison, and myself.

Many of you love my family dearly; think about that the next time you want to ask your Legislators to strip away my rights.  Think about whom your actions really effect.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Have we lost our manners?

Image Source: Google
As I sit here and write this, my one year old is sitting next to me eating his lunch.  We already work on manners and appropriate behavior with him, although his age does not cause me to expect him to be a gentleman at this point.  However, we do work on the manners that he does grasp, such as using the American Sign Language Sign for "eat" when he is hungry, as opposed to just screaming until someone gets him what he wants.  Does it always work?  No, but when he does start yelling, and I know he probably wants food, I will show him food and he will either do the sign or he will mimic me doing it and then I will give him his food in response to that.  It is certainly a start in the manners category.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Addressing bullying

Tim, a friend that I have come to know via online means through various gun organizations, and the owner of the blog Mental Brushfire, wrote today about bullying.  The post, "When good men do nothing" tells a story that rings true for many adolescents in this country that are bullied and have found no answers in their school and public officials that are supposed to provide a safe place for children to learn.  The post ends with this (emphasis added)
Would someone please stand up and do something before another life ends too early and another family suffers such a loss?

Will you?
 Tim's story started me thinking.  My son, Harrison, is turning 1 in a few weeks and has a long way to go before he heads off to school on his own, without the watchful eye and protection of my wife and myself, but yet this story seemed to touch me deep in my gut.  Perhaps it is because I am a parent that any story about the tragic loss of life of a child tends to stick with me.  What will I do?  How do I address this very real issue that Harrison may have to deal with?  How do I make sure that he does not become a bully himself?

I remember school, and while I had a good group of friends, I was not the most popular kid to ever grace the halls.  In general, I have good memories, and while there were a few people that made disparaging comments about my struggle with being overweight, I would not call myself bullied, and certainly not physically bullied.

So what about Harrison?

I do not pretend to have all of the answers, and parenting is not the type of thing that you can do by mapping out your child's life and your response and then following said map; it changes and you have to adapt, but I also will not pretend that I have not thought about how I will deal with issues that could arise in his lifetime. That is part of my job as a father.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

You Fight Like a Girl!

Some universities are telling women that they should urinate or vomit on themselves, instead of defending themselves, when they are faced with a rapist
Courtesy of University of Colorado

And some politicians think that women should not have guns because they may shoot their attempted rapist

And then there are the parents that are raising this 13 year old girl in the video.  I bet this girl, if ever faced with the threat of being violated by a rapist, will know exactly what to do...she will FIGHT LIKE A GIRL!  Her name is Katelyn Francis and she is a phenomenal 3 gun competition shooter; her parents should be proud.

Happy Shooting

Monday, February 4, 2013

Playing Cowboys

I secretly, okay maybe not-so-secretly, can not wait until Harrison is old enough to play "make believe".  When Harrison was born I told Ashley that having a boy was great because now I actually have an excuse for all of the "childish" things that I want to do, but the truth is, they are childhood adventures and I am thrilled to be able to share them with Harrison.  Every little boy should spend their life as a cowboy, a pirate, a pilot, a soldier, and an explorer escaping the hot lava (DON'T TOUCH THE CARP...HOT LAVA!!!) and every parent should relish being invited into and included in this life of their child.  At this age Harrison and I only play rocket ship, which means I get a mean arm workout as I whip him through the space above my head.  He laughs and smiles and he does not know it but he is spending his first year as an astronaut, orbiting planet daddy.

I am sure we will have at least one daughter and when we do I will oblige her to have afternoon tea, after all, a cowboy never turns down a pretty lady.

How about you parents out there; what are some of your favorite games of make believe or pretend that you and your children love to play?


Friday, February 1, 2013

Triaminic and Theraflu Recall

Novartis, the makers of Triaminic and Theraflu have issued a voluntary recall of these two products because some of the child safety caps are not functioning properly and there has been an incident where a child has accidentally ingested the medication.  Novartis is asking that people return the product for a full refund.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The difference between an AR-15 and a Military Assault Rifle

The Gun Control crowd has done a great job at confusing the public as to what an assault rifle is and what a modern sporting rifle, such as an AR-15 actually is.  I hear a lot of people saying that they want a ban on military style rifles and weapons.  What I believe they mean when they say military style weapons are those weapons that fire multiple rounds with one pull of the trigger BUT they believe that an AR-15, an AK-47 and similar rifles are these rifles as well, and the truth is, they are not.

The video below, found at Arms Vault, was done by the Military Arms Channel and does a great job at explaining the differences between an assault rifle used in the military and an AR-15 and rifles like it as well as showing that a magazine ban on 30 round magazines for 10 round magazines makes a 1/2 second difference in shooting time.  The video is short.  If you are confused by all of the talk going on about banning certain guns, or if you think you know what you are advocating, take the 6 minutes and watch the video.