Tag Archives: rant

Shotgun Breakup

I was reading a post over at guns.com about a girl having trouble with an ex-boyfriend who wasn’t quite convinced that it was over.  It turned violent on the part of the ex and he took actions that could be considered kidnapping.  Police were called.  Then Dad was called. 

Now, reading it, a question is asked – at what point does an altercation like this cross the point where you feel that deadly force is authorized?  Was it when the ex tried to prevent the daughter from leaving?  Was it when he followed the daughter to her house while threatening her?  Was it when, confronted by dad with a firearm, he knocked dad to the ground and proceeded to physically assault him?  Each of us has a different point where someone’s crossed that line.

I’ve been thinking about this for awhile now and it’s not something I’ve hidden from my daughter or her older brothers (I’d do the same for them, but it’s more obvious and out in the open with her).  It’s been so obvious that my daughter instantly dubbed Cleaning This Gun by Rodney Atkins as my theme song the first time she heard it.  So, this isn’t a topic that I take lightly. 

For me, the point where I would start considering the use of deadly force would start at the beginning of the encounter when he tried to prevent her from retreating from the confrontation.  These actions are a clear threat to the health and safety of the girl, and should be treated as such.  When he stalked her back to the house and then threatened her dad … well, for me, let’s just say that the police wouldn’t have had to worry about chasing him and his buddy (the getaway driver) wouldn’t have had the police find his hefty stash of pot.  He would not have made it that far.  Would I have killed him?  If necessary to stop the threat.  It’s not something that I take great pleasure in contemplating, but it is on the table if it’s necessary to take it that far.  

As is covered all over the place (one of these days, I’ll actually pull the research together and put a post together about it … just toss it on the growing pile of things to get to, around here.  :), folks who attack someone unprovoked or threaten to attack someone unprovoked  break the agreed upon social contract between members of society.  Breaking the contract removes any and all requirements by me to show undue restraint.  I will act to remove the threat, using any means necessary.  Sometimes, this is as simple as a display of force.  Sometimes, this has to go farther to a limited use of deadly force (initial short prompts the aggressor to back off, etc.).  Sadly, other times, the threat cannot be removed prior to repeated and effective use of deadly force. 

Now, know what actions I might take in a given situation doesn’t mean that I am ignorant of the consequences of the necessary actions.  I’m aware of (and moderately prepared for) the legal repercussions of deadly force in a defensive situation.  I am aware of the possible mental/physical/emotional issues that might arise from the defensive situation.  I’ve studied them, to an extant.  I’ve tried to prepare myself for them.  However, never having been in this kind of situation, or other combat related situations, I have no idea about how my mind/body will react, afterwards.  But, I do know that I am going to deal with the consequences.  No matter the hell that the legal community will try to put me through, or the devestation that my mind and conscience might subject me to, I know that there is one thing make sure I will do the same thing in that situation – my safety, and the safety of my family, mean so much to me that I will act to defend them, using deadly force as necessary. 

So, to answer the question the author at Guns.com asked, in that scenario, the young man was in danger as soon as he started threatening the daughter.  When he made threatening moves against the dad at the house, well, if that was me, I’d be getting the bleach, rags, and paint and brushes to clean up the bloodstains that would mar my wife’s nice porch.


A Confused Conservative

I originally wrote this on another blog. The majority of the points are still pertinent.

I know what y’all are thinking. Any conservative person in America today has to be confused. Far be it from me to disabuse you of the notion.

I should say that I’m a confusing conservative. I believe in several things that put me in that camp.

I believe:

There is a God who sent His Son to die for us over 2000 years ago.
Every person (male, female, black, white, purple, etc.) has the right to my respect.
Every person has a right to lose my respect as soon as they prove that they are no longer worthy of having it.
Every person has the right to live their life as they choose, in the boundaries of their own values, as long as they don’t force those values upon me (see #3 above).
Every person has a right to be free of me forcing my beliefs on them. A corollary to #4 above.

Given these beliefs I tend to fit in to the conservative group.

Where things get confusing is that, while I am very conservative (Def: “Favoring traditional views and values; tending to oppose change.”, primarily the “oppose change” part), I am very much an independent thinker. I don’t fit into any one whole. I am an octagonal peg being shoved into a triangle hole.

I am pro-life. I believe that all life is sacred and special. However, I understand that not everyone agrees with me. I understand that others believe that taking that life before it ever gets a chance to start is acceptable.

I am for the freedom of speech. I won’t necessarily agree with what you are saying, but I will fight to the death to defend your right to say it.

I am all for debate prior to making a decision. However, once that decision is made, our support should be behind that decision. A classic example of this is the war in Iraq. I did not believe all of the rhetoric given for going in prior to it starting (I still don’t), but I support the effort going now, because I believe our soldiers need all of the support at home that they can get. I’ve seen what happens when soldiers return home and get scorned, tormented and abused. I’ve seen friends’ fathers withdraw from their family and friends because of this treatment. This is a lesson we need to learn from Vietnam. These men and women need our support.

I am an avid gamer. I play all kinds of computer, board, and role-playing games. Yes, role-playing games. That’s a whole OTHER rant. I’ll probably get to that tomorrow.

My politics are even more confused that my personal beliefs.

I believe in a small, minimally interfering government. However, I believe in a state supported welfare system.
I believe in a state supported welfare system. However, I believe that it should be limited in scope, time, and have responsibility on the part of the recipient to earn/work for these benefits.
I believe in a strong, well paid/supplied military. However, I think that some of the decisions made by said military are down right stupid.
I believe that killing people is wrong. Period. Full stop. HOWEVER, comma, I believe that the death penalty is a viable punishment for certain offenses. One way that my thinking has changed over the years since this was first written. Anyone who threatens my life or safety or the life/safety of my wife and children are taking their lives into their own hands. I will not refuse to use force, up to and including the use of deadly force, if my life, or the life of my family is endangered. While this might seem like a stretch, it’s just a tweaking of my thoughts on the death penalty. It’s just a little more immediate. If someone chooses to violate the social contract to the point of jeopardizing me ore my family, well, they made their choice. I’ll deal with the consequences to my conscience, but I’ll still have my family around to help me with that.

In this past Presidential election, I was in a bit of quandary. I disagreed with all of the candidates. And I agreed with all of the candidates. See what I mean about being confused?

Oh, well.

*wanders off scratching his head*

— sham

A Guy in a Skewed World: Intro to FMS

For a good number of years, I dealt with issues that baffled me.  You see, my family has a history of autoimmune disease.  My grandmother suffered from Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) for many years before passing away due to complications. Several years back, I started feeling chronic fatigue (often even after a full night’s sleep), muscle spasms, frequent and excruciating muscle cramps, frequent muscle aches and muscle weakness. I went to my normal doctor to see if we could figure out what was going on.  With the family history and being the primary means of support for my wife and family, I was concerned about what could be happening.  Fibromyalgia (FMS) is diagnosed, not through positive test results, but an elimination of other conditions. My doctor ran tests (and reran the tests) for lupus, RA, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and other autoimmune diseases.  Over the course of several years, the symptoms only got worse.  It got to the point where I was going to work maybe 3 days out of 5 due to dealing with the symptoms.  My boss was very … lenient … where my absenteeism was concerned.  After approximately 3 years of trying to figure out what it is, my rheumatologist tested me for the 18 tender points usually associated with FMS. Out of the 18 points, I was (and still am) tender in 16 of them.  She then diagnosed me with FMS.  Not that having a diagnosis made life any easier, but it did set my mind at ease.  I had some idea of what I was dealing with.

For those that aren’t aware, Fibromyalgia Syndrome is called a syndrome for a reason.  Not everyone who has FMS has all of the same symptoms.  Some deal with muscle aches, sleep deprivation, depression, joint aches.  Others deal with the muscle aches, muscle spasms, cramps and fatigue.  Others mix and match the symptoms in different ways.  That’s part of why it’s so difficult to diagnose FMS.  It’s also part of why there are still doctors today who don’t believe that FMS is real.  If you’d like more information on FMS, check out the nice WebMD article about it.

As a male with Fibro, I’ve managed to beat the odds rather dramatically.  It’s a disease that’s currently diagnosed in females more than males.  Depending on which set of statistics you pay attention to, it’s either 95% or 10:1.  Now, this could be a gender bias on the syndrome.  My take (and this is backed up by some studies that I’ve managed to lose the links to), it’s probably more common in men than is currently diagnosed, but due to male pigheadedness (aka machismo), help is not sought, so no diagnosis.  Most of the symptoms, taken separately, are all things that men are taught to ignore or work through.  Men don’t admit (to themselves, much less others) that they’re hurting, tired, weak or any of the other myriad symptoms.  It’s seen as being weak.  It’s seen as being less of a man.  It’s. Just. Not. Done.  Ergo, fewer men get diagnosed with fibro. 

Even with the limitations on my activities due to the fibro, I’m still working.  It’s been hard.  Some days, it’s all I can do to climb out of bed and get ready for work.  I’ve been blessed with a boss that’s been extremely lenient and willing to work.  I’ve come close to being fired several times, especially during the period where I didn’t have a definitive name to put on what I was dealing with.  There were several times where I think my boss stepped out on thin ice to give me the time to work through it.  I’m glad he did.  Earlier this year, I hit 16 years with the company. 

I will say that a good part of why I’ve managed to make it and get back to a semblance normalcy is my family support system.  Through it all, I’ve had the unconditional support of my loving wife and our children.  My-in-laws and my parents have all shown considerable support over the years.  Between their support and a wonderful doctor (who also happens to be one of the last old fashioned country doctors), I’m back to something that vaguely resembles a normal life.  I do have to be careful in what I do because overextending is very easy.  I’m back to working 19 out of 20 days.  Which, as an American Male – I’m glad for it.

Looking at it, I’m looking at turning this into an extended series.  Look back for more.

— sham

Days that suck

You ever have one of those days that just truly suck? Days that suck your energy, patience, and desire to accomplish anything right out of you? Well, today is one of the days for me.

My fibro limits me in various ways. When I overextend, like I did this weekend wtih laying tile in one of my mom’s bedrooms and the helping my son stay up prepping for a sleep deprivation EEG and then taking him to said EEG. When I overextend, my body reminds me of it for several days. Aches, dizziness, cramps and muscle spasms, heavy fatigue, and loss of appetite all are ways my body (because of the fibro) remind me that I over did it. The flare hits worse the day after but normally lasts for several days. The severity diminishes somewhat as my body manages recover from the overwork that I out it through.

That’s something that a lot of folks don’t understand. I can do a lot of things that are considered normal. They don’t see the torment that I go through on the following days. That’s why I have to be careful and pick and choose which activities I will do.

Now, while this is a bit of a rant, I want to make it clear that I do not ever intend for this disease to keep me from doing what I want to do. I will do what I need to do and accept the consequences. At that point, it’s my choice to be a stubborn, pigheaded Polack. Everyone else just needs to get out of my way. I don’t need to be babied. I am learning the new limits that my body has decided to enforce. I am also aware of the consequences of going beyond those limits.

I will not let this disease beat me. I will not let it dictate to me how I should live my life. I acknowledge the limits and their consequences. I will not let them stop me from helping my family and doing things with my family. My family is too precious to me for me to allow it to take them and activities with them away from me.

I apologize that this is a little ranty and a lot incoherent. I’m dealing with the consequences of overextending this weekend. My brain and body are barely functioning today. I’m lucky to have made it into work today.

— Sham

Originally posted at http://shamandin.blogspot.com on October 25, 2011.

Stupid People are Stupid

I really don’t know which part of this story gets my goat more – the fact that the local NBC station is going into PSH over it or the guy thought he could bring a loaded weapon (even if the weapon itself was not loaded, his magazines were, ergo…) in his carry-on luggage. Note – I wanted to include the TSA in that little rant, but it appears that the TSA found it during screening, before the passenger could board a plane.

To summarize – a passenger attempted to bring a Ruger .45 and ammunition past security at Richmond International Airport earlier this morning. Why this qualifies as BREAKING NEWS 5 hours after the fact … I’ll leave that for y’all to figure out.

Now, the guy could’ve very easily forgotten it was there if he routinely carries in the bag he had on the plane. I know I’ve had items in my laptop bag that would’ve made airport security rather … excited … if they’d found them. 😛 While explanatory, it’s not exculpatory. It was a stupid move. If you’re transporting your weapons (and yourself) by plane, follow the rules and procedures. Yes, it’s a pain in the butt. Yes, it’s an intrusion into privacy, etc. etc. But (and it’s a big but), it prevents you from violating any number of federal laws. Which means, you’ll be able to keep that nice, shiny CHP (oh, and the firearms, too) that the Commonwealth of Virginia was nice enough to issue to you.

The local station is starting to get on my nerves with the hysterical rants about guns, lately. Now, I know this isn’t a change for them, it’s just that I’ve started paying more attention to articles/stories about gun usage. We’ve had several stories over the past couple weeks that the hysteria became in-your-face-obvious. The first was a local deputy that used a personal weapon (not even his duty sidearm) to defend himself and his home from a burglar. The local papers and TV news tried to play the story off as a vigilante mission by the deputy and were making calls for something to be done to the deputy. Now, VA is NOT a Castle Doctrine state (yet, that is). The legal precedents in the local courts strongly lean that direction, however. The deputy was doing what any homeowner should be allowed to do – protect himself. Almost two weeks later, the state police are still investigating, but likely won’t do anything to the deputy. However, the article makes it sound like the homeowner was in the wrong for shooting someone WHO BROKE INTO HIS HOUSE and THREATENED HIS FAMILY.

The second story happened just this past weekend and is making the rounds of the gun blogs. Sebastian at Shall Not Be Questioned is just one example of the reaction. Now, the guy was carrying a loaded Glock in his waistband without a holster. Definitely falls into the category of Less Than Intelligent Moves. Guy did something stupid and paid the price. His wife is quoted as seeing him move it around when it went off. GAAAAH! Modern firearms (yes, even Glocks) don’t just “go off”. On a bad day, surrounded by idiots, *I* am more likely to “just go off” than your standard firearm. Holsters, in this case, are good for two things – making sure that the weapon doesn’t randomly drop out and keeping outside objects from interacting with the bang switch. Especially your finger. The local coverage of this story played up the “evil gun decided to take the guy’s life” angle instead of using it as a reinforcement of the importance of safety. Yes, the man was less than bright for carrying that way. A $10 piece of cheap plastic would’ve done him better. Playing to peoples’ fear, instead of using it as a means to instruct, is just sad.

I better stop this here, because the more I think on this, the angrier I get, and my co-workers would rather I keep the angry mumbling to a minimum.