Tuesday, March 20, 2018

You Can't Defend Yourself Any More

So have I become a Right-Wing Gun Nut? Have I become ‘political?’ No. Not really. Kinda and “Houston, we have a problem.”

How’s that for being as clear as mud? Let me put it to you this way. I have some really bad news. I’m not being political because I want to. I’m doing it because politics have come to violence. But far worse, your ‘right’ to defend yourself is damned near gone.

Gone not like a Great White Shark that eats half of you in a single bite, but gone like a piranha feeding frenzy. Death comes from countless little bites from many sources. This time though the bites have been taken out over the years. Some of them are political, some are legal, some are ideological and a thunderin’ herd of them are bureaucratic (ass covering and careerism). Now if that isn’t bad enough, there’s a rise in behaviors that lead to violence. Putting it bluntly you’re losing your right to defend yourself at the same time there’s a growing need for it.

That is going to take some explaining, so I ask that you bear with me. As this is a long post you might want to go get some coffee.

I am now and always have been about helping people be able to defend themselves from violence. Furthermore, I have spent my entire life dealing with and studying violence. Not only the act itself and the circumstances under which violence happens, but what leads up to it and the aftermath. eight points about that.

 # 1 - When you know the processes and behaviors that lead to violence, you can see when trains are heading for a collision.

The same goes for attitudes, beliefs, rhetoric and justifications that typically end up with blood on the floor. What you’ll also recognize is the emotional and self-righteous look in the eyes of most people doing them – just before the floor gets wet.

I’ll give you an analogy, back in the day when someone put “Dirty Water” by the Shandells on the jukebox, you knew the rougher elements were past working their way up to a rumble and things were about to kick off. Well, with certain groups, we’re past the opening riff and someone wants to tell us a story... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5apEctKwiD8

Put a push pin in this... we’ll come back to it.

#2 - Over the years, , I’ve looked into the heart of darkness...uh ... I mean our legal system.

Which, in case you don’t know, has a lot to do with what is– and isn’t– allowed as self-defense. With the rise of intolerance towards violence, I’ve seen a correlating free fall of being able to effectively claim self-defense. While still legally allowed, it’s almost impossible to meet the ‘standards’ they’ll demand of you. Basically, if you can’t afford a top of the line defense attorney, then you have to be an expert in violence and explain how you knew you were in danger. If you can’t do either, don’t claim self-defense and accept the plea deal they’ll offer.

#3 - Somebody has to go to jail.

Let me tell you about life back in the pterodactyl days. A great deal of violence was resolved with the cop giving fighters a choice, go home or you’ll both get arrested. Kids ‘fighting’ both got detention, the cops were seldom called. A low level domestic was handled by telling the guy to find another place to spend the night. If he returned and the cops were called again he’d not only be arrested, but get his ass kicked on the way to jail. Now this isn’t pining for the good ol’ days, it’s to point out that cops were allowed a lot more discretion about arresting back in the day. Now, it’s not just ‘mandatory arrest’ laws, but CYA– including the police departments covering theirs. See here’s something you might not know, while the police can’t be successfully sued for not protecting an individual, they can be sued if they had grounds to arrest, let someone go and later that person comes back and does something based on that arrest that didn’t happen. (For example, letting a drunk driver go and he/she later kills someone in an ‘accident.’) Now what do you think that’s going to do to what the Brass tells patrol officers? I’ll give you a hint, there’s a lot less slack being cut out there. In fact, I tell people – and it’s a clumsy sentence so read it slowly – “It’s harder for an officer to not arrest someone and explain that decision to his superiors later, than it is to make a weak arrest.”

You also need to know that once the arrest is made, you’re in the jaws of the system. A system that makes pitbulls look like wimps when it comes to letting go. But, and this is important, you are no longer that cops problem. You’ve been passed along and are now –officially and rubber stamped– someone else’s problem. That same sentiment applies to school districts and zero tolerance. Instead of handling things in house and risking liability, call the cops and get your kid arrested.

Oh and add in the local government using police as a form of unofficial taxation. The raw truth is a big part of the reason Ferguson Missouri went up in flames is that sixty percent of the city’s funding came from the police tickets and fines. Busting you for carrying a weapon ‘illegally’ is a good way to make money and keep you disarmed.

#4 - ‘Violence never solved anything.’

Never mind how stupid this attitude is, have you ever considered that it’s an extremist position? I’m serious, that sweet sounding cliche is absolutist propaganda. The problem is we’ve been beaten over the head with it so much that we don’t realize it anymore. ‘Never’ is an awfully big word. One that not only covers every living person on the planet, but through out all of human history and everyone who has ever lived. Yes. It’s that big. Also given that it is presented as an absolute, using the associated ‘classical logic,’ if there’s one exception, then it’s false. So starting with me, I can say “Yes, yes, violence has solved a number of problems for me,” which makes that absolute statement false.

The problem is people have been indoctrinated into believing it’s true – of even if they don’t, they’re afraid to stand up to it and call ‘bullshit.’ (Yeah, I kind of missed that memo.) It’s a short step from believing that to believing that all violence is wrong. Unfortunately, many people haven’t just taken that step, but did a running leap. Despite all the wailing and gnashing of teeth about how our society glorifies violence, most people are really uncomfortable about the subject. To the point, they don’t believe in self-defense, but view all violence as bad and only ‘bad people’ do it. This is especially true, if they’ve drank the Kool-Aid that all violence is abuse (excepting their own, of course.)

Sound hyperbolic? Let me ask you, what do you think your chances are for going to prison for defending yourself are if the jury consists of people who believe “Violence never solved anything?”

#5- And now finally we get to ‘gun control.’ Which is flat out, no holds barred, political.

But more than that, it is very much an attack on your right to defend yourself. Never mind all the bullshit about resisting tyranny or saving the children that the gun control is normally framed in. Gun control disarms the people who needs them the most.

#6 - And if it doesn’t disarm them, it makes them criminals...

You know the kind of people who get arrested for breaking the law. (Brace yourself -- this is a big one.) To truly understand how screwed up this is, we have to go back to the framers of the Constitution. Oddly enough, it does relate to tyranny. See back in Merry Old England you had the nobles and the powerful. Now things had changed a bit and they weren’t in absolute power anymore, but they had this work around. It was called having someone on the police force and in the legal system ‘on their side.’ Basically, if you pissed them off, they’d have the cops and courts screw you. One of their favorite tricks was to throw out a bill of attainder that declared you an outlaw. Not in the romantic sense that evokes in our media baked minds, but outside the protection of the law. Without a trial you were officially labeled a criminal, your lands and properties were seized, your family given the boot, and well not to put too fine of a point on it but, anybody could kill you on sight and not face charges. You were ‘outside the law,’ and straight up, there was nothing you could do about it. All it took was a pissed off noble and you were criminal and, while we’re at it, screw you.

This is why Article I, Section 9, paragraph 3 of the Constitution reads: "No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law will be passed." That is an incredibly important protection of citizen’s rights and part of our legal system. (Where you can only be charged, tried and punished [if convicted] for a specific crime.) Citizens cannot be stripped of their rights, thrown into prison, or executed without due process and on specific crimes. There’s just one little problem...

We actually do have a professional criminal class– and they are armed and violent. This is a really mixed bag of good news, bad news and just plain old ugly news. Good news, there’s nobody more likely to get shot and killed by a violent criminal than another violent criminal. Bad news, while a nearly 100% of people who are killed every years have recent criminal records and involvement in criminal lifestyle, there’s enough slop over that innocent people also get killed. Ugly news is even though we know what they are and what they’re doing, we can’t just throw a bill of attainder on them and execute/imprison them ‘just because.’ That means there’s all kinds of ugly out there roaming the streets. It has to be allowed to roam free because of the abuses that happen when the government can just rule someone an outlaw and/or deserves it. More ugly news, you know all those ‘children killed by guns?’ Well, look at gangs. Most of those dead ‘children’ were gang members. Oh and for those who say “What about all the five year olds who die by guns, were THEY in a gang?” Go look into those deaths with an eye towards relationship and/or proximity with a gangmember. I recommend buying a bottle of brown liquor before you do. You’re going to find these evil bastards will open fire on their gangsta target even if he’s holding a baby. (Whether that baby is his own or a sibling.)

Another fun filled dash of bad news is the very people who need guns the most are innocent folks who live in high crime areas. If you understand how crime happens you’ll understand were owning – and even carrying– a gun isn’t just a good idea, it is, literally, a survival strategy. This without being a criminal yourself.

That is until laws are passed saying you can’t or that the government either
a) makes it impossible for you to comply to their standards
b) sets restrictions and then stonewalls anybody who tries to meet them. (This is actually more common than the first – especially in ‘may issue’ states).

Those ideas set the stage for the biggest bad news of all. It has to do with that blind eye America has.

While the government cannot officially declare someone guilty of being a criminal just because who they are, lock them away the key, we –and the government– know these suckers exist. The blind eye comes in to main flavors:

A - We’ve turned it towards all the laws that have been passed to nail them and keep them in line.
The government can’t do a bill of attainder, but it can pass so many laws that you can be arrested for breathing too hard and looking cross-eyed. The idea being that it gives them reason to arrest, harass and keep the ‘criminals’ in check even if they can’t get the criminal on what they’re doing. Think Al Capone getting nailed for income tax evasion instead of murders, bootlegging, and other crimes. The natural problem with that is those same laws are being used on different sections of the population. Sections, who, if you remember point number one, are flat out furious about how they’ve been treated.

 B - Is how we’ve let the legal system ‘take out the trash for us’ – at the expense of your right to defend yourself.

Let me ask you a question. Can a criminal act in self-defense? It turns out no matter how you answer it comes back to the idea of a professional criminal class and no bill of attainders. (It’s why we spent so much time on them). See legally, it’s not that cut and dried as you might think. While you cannot claim self-defense if you are in commission of a felony, at the same time, the law can’t say you’re a 24/7 criminal (hence you have no right to self-defense). To throw another level of complexity on it, this includes the consequences of an alleged, other crime.

The example I use is let’s say you’re a drug dealer. I – and maybe a few friends– decide to rob you. Criminals ripping off other criminals is arguably more common than other kinds of robbery. (Arguably because surprise, surprise, these aren’t reported to police.) Wearing a mask you don’t recognize me, the robbery goes down and I get away. Later, while trying to impress a woman into sleeping with me by bragging, someone else over hears me, comes to you and says I’m the guy who ripped you off. You’re so infuriated, you grab a gun, come looking for me, and when you see me, you try to shoot me. Unfortunately, luck is not with you and I’m quicker on the draw. Was that self-defense? Legally speaking (not the legal system, but how the laws are written) that would be yes. At the time you tried to shoot me, I was not committing a felony. I was trying to get laid. As to the previous robbery, that is an alleged crime that has not been proven. So looking at that incident independent of anything else, you came in and tried to kill me. I shot first and killed you. Viola! Self-defense I’m going to walk out of that court room a free man and go back to me evil and violent ways.

Yeah, except people and the legal system don’t work that way. Evil people must be punished. This isn’t just the Prosecutor, this is the jury too. So if there is any way the Prosecutor can get the evidence introduced that it was two ‘ebbel drug dealers’ guess who isn’t going to walk? Now you got one dead drug dealer and one drug douchebag in prison for murder. Problem solved for society, right? Umm sorta. See after SODDI (Some Other Dude Did It) ‘self-defense’ is the most common claim for illegal violence. Yeah, right sure... you stabbed the dude 27 time, 11 in the back and you’re claiming self-defense?

So between denying that self-defense exists for criminals and actual ‘what you did wasn’t self-defense’ our legal system is a slaughterhouse if you actually did act in self-defense. How bad is this? I actually had a public defender in the second largest city in the state tell me, “There’s no such thing as self-defense in _____.”

That brings us to...

#7 - You can trust us. You, on the other hand, can’t be trusted.

I have personally witnessed a woman state, in the presence of nine officers with holstered pistols openly carried, “I wouldn’t be comfortable around guns.” Wait, what? Nine guns in plain view. (And those were only the ones visible. There were at least ten cops in plain clothes, the Mayor himself* and– since this was about repealing a gun ordinance– maybe 50 permit holder, legally carrying in the room.)

Ummm Sweetheart. I think your less concerned about guns than who has them. Or maybe your statement should be, “I’m only comfortable around people with guns when I think I think they’re my servants.” Because I’m pretty sure all those pistols hanging from the cops’ hips didn’t magically become invisible. Now I’m not going to go into all the problem with farming your self-defense and personal safety out to third parties. But I will point out that if women get pissed off when a guy patronizes them with, “Well now little Missy, don’t you worry your purdy lil’ head about that” then that same attitude is just as infuriating (to both men and women) when you’re told your safety will be taken care of.

Infuriating that is unless you’ve bought into it. Up to and including the point where people get pissed at the idea that they are responsible for their own safety. Which if you think about it, the folks who want to take away your ‘right’ to defend yourself are usually the ones who not only have drank that Kool-Aid, but like the taste.

What can I say, I just have a hard time when someone tells me I don’t have the need to defend myself so I should have the means to do so– because I can’t be trusted with it.

#8 - You aren’t allowed to defend yourself if we have the moral high ground.

 Remember that pushpin? The one about ‘knowing what it looks like when violence is coming down the tracks?’ Also how certain attitudes tell you that violence is nigh? Folks, I gotta tell you, I’m seeing that a lot more than I’ve ever seen before. Not just in the sense of individual cases, but entire groups giving the world the hairy eyeball – but especially members of groups they’ve ‘othered.’ One of the things I’ve learned after a lifetime of dealing with violence is there needs to be five components
1- Othering of another
2- A way of thinking that allows for a violent response
3- Justification/Casus belli
4- Opportunity
5- Belief that it will work to get what you want (not just get away with it)

There’s a certain light in the eyes of folks who are collecting these or have them already. Or as I once heard it put “The enemies of reason have a certain look to them. ____ has that look.” There’s a lot of noise over big political ideas, history and wrongs. Take those five components I just told you about and hold those ‘big political ideas’ up that light. Yes there is cause for concern. Big picture wise you might want to keep an eye on that. Because when it comes to big issues, I’m not talking about someone who is pissed over a specific thing, I’m talking about folks who have stewed in and carefully nursed those five components. Sometimes to the point of building their entire identity around them. This typically results in a kind of moral fervor. Whether you call it a crusade or jihad, you have holy warriors –even if it isn’t a religious cause (as you understand the term). And it’s even worse when it’s a mob of like minded people.

Oh and when you have large groups protesting guns? And violent groups that hate other group (for the other’s hate and violence)? Yeah, think about that for a second. I’m not going to go too much into this except to say there’s a ‘switch’ in people’s heads that once it is flipped people not only participate but approve of mob violence. Mobs are flat out dangerous – especially if they’ve targeted you. While due process tends to keep mobs to a minimum, when you have them coming at you, you need a gun and even then that may not be enough. Oh and for the record, before you tell me I’m wrong about mobs, I’m going to suggest you try going through a riot or two. (You’ll still be behind my number, but just one or two so you can speak from experience instead of another orifice.)

Despite all this talk about group ideology and mob mentality, it’s actually a lot more individual and self-defense related. Despite all the rhetoric and denial, there are a great many violent people who justify their violence through their ideology. Big ideology gives them an excuse to go out and attack individuals. This isn’t big, social change. No, this is the kind of fanaticism that comes at you in the parking lot and away from security cameras. Because to that person, you aren’t human. You’re the label he’s hung on you. Basically it’s a monster who thinks he’s right with God because he’s got the right to lash out.

So knowing all these, does that mean I’ve ‘become political?’ Well it kind of depends. How secure do you think your right to self-defense is?

Where I’m sitting I’ve seen it dwindle from a lake to a pond and onto a puddle. Why do you think I’ve shifted my focus from the physical to helping keep you out of prison for defending yourself?
M

* The Mayor would later give me one of the biggest insults of my life saying. “You’re good. You should go into politics.”

1 comment:

  1. Mr. MacYoung these two last posts you have written are awsome. The pìcture is as awful as you describe it. And is global. Me living in a third world country in south america know what you are talking about. Progressivism is destroying self defense rights to the point of making the world Sweden. These totalitarians are up to the task and are naysayers for every reasonable argument you try to put foward to them. In their adolescent self-righteous way of thinking they believe they can perfect human beings, ignoring everithing that history has shown us, anthroplology, psychology, psychiatry, neurology, and biology too.

    After years of reaserch into these subjects, I can tell something that you seem to know... And that is Human Nature can Not be repressed nor combated, but only channelized into accomplishing certain goals... Sigmund Freud called it Sublimation, which is the only response humans have for dealing with the anxiety of living.

    These progressividiots seem not only to ignore this, but also are after this with hook and claw, because they think that education can solve anything, which is wrong. If it were true, by this time in history, the world wold be very different, and I mean that for ALL human beings.


    Always thankful for your insight and wisdom. My regards to you and your own. Sebastian.

    ReplyDelete