Saga of the Jasonite

The continuing adventures of that eternal man of mystery…


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Star Trek episode reviews: Reunion and Future Imperfect

Reunion

Reunion

Episodes 7 and 8 from season four are on tap this time, Reunion and Future Imperfect. One of them is great, and one less so.

Reunion is terrific from start to finish. Seems like most of the Worf-centered episodes are good and this one is no exception:  Picard is asked to arbitrate the rite of succession for leadership of the entire Klingon Empire, and one of the two claimants is our old friend, Duras! K’Ehleyr is back too, and she’s brought a surprise:  Worf’s son!

This episode introduces the iconic bat’leth, major recurring characters die, a new Klingon ship is seen here, and the rich Klingon mythos is expanded even more. Believe it or not Jim Morrison, lead singer of The Doors, is even indirectly involved with this episode! I compare this episode to a combination of The Princess Bride and Game of Thrones, see why in my review.

Future Imperfect

Future Imperfect

Future Imperfect is the next episode, and while it’s interesting, it’s also far more forgettable. On an away mission, Riker passes out only to come to and find that 16 years have passed, he’s the captain of the Enterprise, and he remembers none of it. As the episode progresses as realize something’s wrong, and after being a little bit fooled by the Romulans we get fooled again!

What’s ironic is that a lot of the “future” changes that appear in this episode actually end up happening in future Star Trek years. A Ferengi does become an ensign on DS9, B’Elanna Torres is a female Klingon in Starfleet in Voyager, Geordi does get better eyes in First Contact, peace talks with the Romulan actually happen in the Nemesis film, and Troi starts wearing a standard uniform in season 6.  To read my review click here, or the picture above.


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Star Trek episode reviews: Remember Me and Legacy

remember-me-hd-236

Remember Me

I’ve just finished up reviewing episodes 5 and 6 from season four:  Remember Me and Legacy, respectively.

Remember Me is just a cool episode. It’s all about Beverly Crusher, and for a change it’s interesting! She’s in the spotlight and does a great job with the crazy situation she’s place in. Friends and crew members of the Enterprise are disappearing and she seems to be the only one who notices or remembers them. One of the few episodes in early season four that isn’t about family, this is a fantastically creative episode that could only be told in science fiction, and is well worth your time.

It was during the shooting of the episode (where she did all her own stunts, BTW) where Gates McFadden discovered she was pregnant. Originally planned to be a subplot for the episode Family, there was so much here they decided to make it it’s own episode, and I’m glad they did. Read my review to discover more behind-the-scenes info and trivia, and feel free to comment!

Legacy

Legacy

Legacy, the episode that marks TNG surpassing the total amount of air time of the original series, is a landmark episode from that viewpoint alone. Unfortunately, other than a great poker scene in the teaser this is a low point so far in season four. The Enterprise crew runs into Tasha Yar’s sister Ishara in the course of trying to rescue some Federation freighter pilots that crash-landed on the dangerous colony where Tasha grew up. In my opinion this episode falls a bit flat, but I can’t deny some nostalgia regarding Tasha.

For Voyager fans, this is the first episode written by Joe Menosky, who’d pen over 50 episodes for that series. This is another episode where the theme of family is invoked, which about half of season four is dripping with. Here’s the link to my review, or just click the picture above. Come see why this colony didn’t believe in bras for some reason!

That’s all for now. Keep checking back because I’ll have reviews for the next two episodes, the terrific Reunion and the episode Future Imperfect, very soon!


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Brothers and Suddenly Human

brothers

Brothers

Episodes three and four of season four are what I’ve just finished writing reviews for, and as usual I’ve had a lot of fun.

Brothers is a favorite of virtually everyone who likes TNG or Data. Data hijacks the Enterprise and takes it to world that is the current home of his creator, Dr. Noonien Soong, for a little family reunion. Things are going well until his brother, Lore, shows up. Season four leans heavily on family themes and this one is about family, with all the drama of two androids, their dying father, and a tantalizing emotion chip thrown in.

Brent Spiner plays three different roles in this episode, and the only way they could reasonably do it was to have him play one character per day of the shoot. In my review I also point out an Easter Egg that I just found out about. Take a look and see for yourself!

suddenly-human

Suddenly Human

Suddenly Human is a definite step down from the terrific start that season four gets. It’s not all bad though. When rescuing alien teens from a training exercise gone wrong, the crew discovers that one of the aliens is actually human, and the son of Federation officers that were killed by those aliens. It’s an exploration of cultural identity that was pretty decent, but could have been better.

Suddenly Human was actually the first episode made after Best of Both Worlds II, but it was aired fourth in the season instead. I don’t know all the reasons, but I do know that LeVar Burton was still recovering from his emergency surgery. His one scene is actually stock footage. It was not shot for the episode at all. I cover this and more reasons why I consider this a sub-par episode in my review.

That’s all for now. Keep checking back because I’ll have reviews for the next two episodes, the excellent Remember Me and the landmark episode Legacy, very soon!


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“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy”

sabbath

Those of us of any Christian faith believe in the Bible, and are generally agreed to keep the commandments contained therein. The purpose of the Sabbath dates back to the creation of the world, when after six days of labor the Lord rested from the work of creation as recorded in Genesis. It’s importance has been underlined by prophets, presidents, and the Lord himself.

In Moses’ day, God revealed the Ten Commandments and He commanded: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days thou shalt do all they work:  but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God:  in it thou shalt not do any work… For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day:  wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.” Exodus 20:8-11.

Down through the centuries Sabbath day worship continued to be practiced, both in the Old Testament and after the coming of our Lord and his Apostles.

In fact Isaiah called keeping the Sabbath “a delight.” “If you turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Lord… and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:  Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” Isaiah 58:13-14.

We learn from Ezekiel that the Lord gave the Sabbath to His people “to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them…hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God.” Ezekiel 20:12, 20.

The Lord Himself endorsed the Sabbath, and its importance. What did He mean when He said “the Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath”? To indirectly quote a living Apostle, He wanted us to understand the Sabbath was His gift to us, giving us a break from the rigors of daily life and an opportunity for spiritual as well as physical renewal. God gave us this special day. He didn’t give it to us for our own amusement or for work but for a rest from our duties, with physical and spiritual relief. Our Lord declared Himself Lord of the Sabbath. It’s His day! He’s repeatedly asked us to keep the Sabbath or to hallow the Sabbath day.

As many of my readers know I’m a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. In our faith there is modern revelation that re-emphasizes the importance of the Sabbath: “That thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day; For verily this is a day appointed unto you to rest from your labors, and to pay thy devotions unto the Most High… And inasmuch as ye do these things with thanksgiving, with cheerful hearts and countenances… the fulness of the earth is yours.” Doctrine & Covenants 59:9-16.

Think about the blessings promised in the preceding verses. We will ‘delight ourselves in the Lord,’ ‘ride upon the high places of the earth,’ be fed ‘the heritage of Jacob,’ we will be sanctified, and the ‘fulness of the earth’ will be ours. Those are some great promises! Every commandment the Lord gives us is to bless us, and to help us become more like Him. The Sabbath has been observed by many people down through the ages, but is it a commandment we are keeping today?

Scripture is pretty clear that while Sunday is a day of rest, it’s not necessarily a day of recreation. Recall the scripture asks us to “turn away from doing thine pleasure” and “not do thine own ways.” It’s also not a day for work according to Exodus, except in cases where this is unavoidable. I’m not advocating shutting down the police or fire departments, or other emergency services. Too often, though, we think of Sunday as a day for partying, shopping or working. I read of a man who was a barber, and as he drew closer to the Lord realized that his profession required him to work on the Sabbath, which is when a large proportion of his business was generated. He prayed about it and changed his profession. THAT is faith, and a willingness to please his Lord by obeying his commandment.

So how are we to make the Sabbath a delight? What does He want us to do? What does He want us to refrain from doing? Certainly worship has always been a component of Sabbath Day observance. One of the most important and significant things our Lord did was to organize a church, both in the Old Testament and the New. The Apostles appear throughout the book of Acts as observing the Sabbath, and if you think about it, what better way can you spend the Sabbath than by attending church and worshiping? Consider making this a priority on the Sabbath. Reading your scriptures on this day is a great use of time also and highly recommended, especially if it’s hard to find time during the week.

How else can we make the Sabbath a delight? Sabbath days are a wonderful opportunity to strengthen family ties. Wholesome family activities are in short supply these days, and time to engage in them is in short supply also. Visiting relatives, renewing ties with them through phone calls, emails or letters is a great way to spend some of your day!

Here’s one many of you will be happy to hear about:  sleep! Nothing wrong with napping and getting some physical rest. According to a recent Gallup Poll, 40% of Americans are getting 6 hours or less sleep per night, which is insufficient. Rest and restore yourself.

Serve others, especially those who are not feeling well or those who are lonely or in need. Our Lord famously healed a man on the Sabbath, which angered the Pharisees. Rendering service or assistance to others is emulating our Savior Himself.

Not pursuing our own pleasure on the Sabbath requires self-discipline. We may have to deny ourselves of something we might like. If we choose to delight ourselves in the Lord, however, we won’t permit ourselves to treat it as any other day. Help yourself by arranging your week so you can reserve the Lord’s day for activities that are appropriate for it. A guiding rule is “what sign do I want to give God?” This question may help make your choices about Sabbath day observance crystal clear.

lincoln


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The Best of Both Worlds Pt II and Family

wolf359

Wolf 359

I’m happy to have begun reviewing season four of TNG, my favorite television show of all time. It’s with great pleasure that I get to review TNG episodes as fine as these. Season four started off the strongest of any season so far, and we get two first-class but very different episodes.

First up is the Best of Both Worlds, Part II. As I state in my review, no episode of Star Trek has been met with more anticipation than this one. How could the Enterprise crew possibly defeat this enemy? In part one they slapped down the Enterprise pretty thoroughly, and even kidnapped her captain and assimilated him! How could it possibly be resolved? Part II does the virtually-impossible, and that’s finish this story in a satisfying way to everyone.

If you noticed that Geordi wasn’t in much of this episode, it’s because he had to have emergency surgery while they were shooting. This is why he only appears in close-ups, and why O’Brien’s role was expanded. I also include a link to bloopers from this episode in my review.

brother

Picard’s brother. Not the warmest of men!

Family is a special episode, because it changes how Star Trek is presented from here on out. It’s the first episode that is serialized, or part of a story that you had to have seen previously to understand. Because this episode was done we get to see more serialization through this series and all of the Star Trek that follows. It also kicks off what is a large part of season four, episodes that are dedicated to family. We follow how Picard recovers from his virtual rape by the Borg, Worf dealing with his adoptive parents visiting, and Wes gets a visit from his long-dead father. It’s a standout episode in its own right, and one of the finest in a season of top-caliber episodes.

Did you know that Roddenberry was completely opposed to this episode? He hated the idea of conflict among the crew, and was especially antagonistic of conflict among family. It took some magic from Michael Piller and Rick Berman to get this episode aired the way it was written. Take a look at my review to see more behind-the-scenes info.

That’s it for now, more episode reviews are coming!


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Season Four overview is here!

 

s4_cast

They’ve arrived

 

As promised, my season four overview of Star Trek: The Next Generation is here! Season four is where many people, Michael Dorn included, felt TNG really hit its stride. Coming off a huge amount of nationwide speculation about its season three cliffhanger, season four hit with some of the highest ratings ever for a syndicated show.

After Best of Both Worlds Part II season four was off and running, with some of the finest episodes in the series occurring. Standout episodes also include Family, Brothers, Remember Me, Reunion, Final Mission, Data’s Day, The Nth Degree, Qpid, The Drumhead, In Theory and the season finale Redemption. They had 10 Emmy nominations and 2 wins, which would continue to increase as the series progressed.

Season four saw a change in emphasis in two ways:  they began telling serialized stories, and family becomes one of the main themes. This season we spend time learning about Picard’s family, Worf’s family, Data’s family, and even a dead crew member’s family! Miles O’Brien really becomes part of the Enterprise family this season, gaining a first and middle name, and having several episodes where he is featured. Spot, Data’s cat, also joins.

We also lose a member of the family, as Wil Wheaton left the series after the episode Final Mission. I discuss his reasons why and give a behind-the-scenes photo of his going away party in my article.

If you’d like to read my season 4 overview, click here. Hang on and in the next few weeks I’ll start reviewing episodes from season 4.🙂


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Guns, Guns, Guns: Gun Ownership and Gun Control in America

guns, pistols, rifle, revolvers, and ammunition

Guns! They keep us warm at night

Is there any more polarizing or controversial topic than gun ownership in America? I suppose Trump/Hillary, but I can’t think of anything else, and the gun ownership debate is clearly present in each of our current Presidential candidates’ campaigns as well. Some folks are no doubt basing their vote on this issue alone. Gun ownership and gun control is what I mean to discuss. My tone will be one which I think is largely being lost in the shuffle these days:  respect and honest debate.

There seem to be, broadly speaking, three schools of thought on gun ownership. One says that due to the Second Amendment to the Constitution everyone has a right to almost any weapon or explosive made or available in the US. Another is that the Second Amendment was drafted at a time when the most advanced weapons available were muskets, and the founding fathers did not intend private citizens to own fully or semi-automatic weapons or explosives, these ought not be publicly available but other guns are fine. The third school of thought is that firearms of any sort are too dangerous to be owned by private citizens, and ought not to be owned or used by any but the military or police forces.

A Little History

second_amendment

We can’t proceed further without directly quoting the Second Amendment to the Constitution:  “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” It’s very brief, and different interpretations of this Amendment have caused a lot of debate. This Amendment came about due to eventual Congressional agreement that the US will have a standing army, and that citizens will not be deprived of their right to own guns just because we do.

Currently US gun laws allow a legal right for private possession of firearms to any citizen, permanent resident alien, and even “non-immigrant aliens” under specific circumstances. They must be over age 18 (Edit: or 21 to possess a handgun, thanks for a friend’s correction), and are allowed to own firearms unless they are under indictment or convicted of a felony, have been adjudicated ‘mentally defective’, have been discharged dishonorably from military service, or have renounced their citizenship. This right was affirmed by the Supreme Court in 2008 case District of Columbia v. Heller, which overturned a Washington DC ban on handguns. The Court found “the Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home…Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.”

In 2010 the Supreme Court ruled in McDonald v. City of Chicago that the guarantee of an individual right to bear arms applies to state and local gun control laws and not just federal laws. The Supreme Court has never ruled on whether the Second Amendment protects the right to carry guns in public for self defense.

Mass Shootings

Columbine

Columbine

What’s a mass shooting? The short answer is, nobody really agrees. The narrowest definition I’ve found is “indiscriminate rampages occurring in public places involving the deaths of at least 4 victims” by Mother Jones. According to this definition, there were four mass shootings in 2015. The Gun Violence Archive has a slightly different definition: “Four or more shot and/or killed in a single event [incident], at the same general time and location not including the shooter.” They say there were 331 mass shootings in 2015. That’s a heckuva large range. For brevity’s sake, let’s just cover a few of the landmark shootings.

The first significant mass shooting I’ll include occurred in 1989 and is known as the Cleveland School massacre. A gunman shot and killed 5 school children and wounded 32 others before killing himself. The weapon involved was a Type 56 assault rifle.

The next significant mass shooting was the 101 California Street Shooting of 1993 which involved a man shooting and killing 9 people (including himself) and injuring six more in the offices of law firm in San Francisco. The weapons involved were two TEC-DC9 semi-automatic pistols which he had outfitted with hollow-point ammunition and Hellfire trigger systems.

Following this was the 1999 Columbine High School massacre, in which two students murdered 13 people and injured another 21 before killing themselves. The weapons involved included an Intratec TEC-DC9 Semi-automatic pistol, Hi-Point 995 Carbine, Savage 67H pump-action shotgun and a Stevens 311D double barreled sawed-off shotgun. Columbine was hardly the first school shooting; reports of shootings that took place at schools go back to the 1800’s. However this was the case that seemed to ignite debate across America, and it’s clear that mass-murder shootings have accelerated in the US since Columbine.

Then we had the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, the deadliest up until this year. A senior at Virginia Tech diagnosed with a “serious anxiety disorder” shot and killed 32 people and wounded 17 others in two separate attacks that day. The weapons involved were a Walther P22 semi-automatic handgun and a semi-automatic Glock 19. This shooting didn’t just involve us–because the student was born in South Korea, the entire nation of South Korea responded with sympathy and a sense of national shame. Read about it here.

Another influential mass shooting was the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, in which 28 deaths occurred, including the perpetrator. The weapon used was a Bushmaster XM15-E2S assault rifle. This shooting reignited gun control debates across the country, as well as the effects of violent video games.

Most recently at the time of this writing is the Orlando nightclub shooting, the deadliest mass shooting in US history, which claimed the lives of 50 people (including the shooter), and has made world-wide headlines. The weapons involved included a SIG Sauer MCX assault rifle and a 9mm Glock 17 semi-automatic pistol. Why all these shootings? The reason for this is beyond the scope of my article, and honestly I don’t know anyway. I don’t think anyone knows for sure, though some speculation about American culture is out there.

Gun Control Laws

assaultweapon

Various gun control laws have been enacted over the years. The first major one I’ll mention was the Gun Control Law of 1968, which came about due to President Kennedy’s assassination, and the subsequent assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr and Robert F Kennedy. The President was shot and killed with a rifle purchased by mail-order, so a law banning mail order sales of rifles and shotguns (and prohibiting most felons, drug users and people found mentally incompetent) from buying guns was passed. It’s interesting that the Vice President of the NRA at the time said, “We do not think that any sane American, who calls himself an American, can object to placing into this bill the instrument which killed the president of the United States.”

In 1993 the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act was passed. This bill created a background check system which required those who sold guns to conduct a background check of prospective gun purchasers, and created a list of categories of individuals to whom the sale of firearms is prohibited.

In 1994 ex-Presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan wrote Congress asking that semi-automatic assault guns be banned in the wake of the Cleveland School Massacre in ’89 and the 101 California Street Shooting. This resulted in the Federal Assault Weapons Ban on the manufacture or use of assault weapons for 10 years.

After Columbine there were increased calls for gun control measures, as well as a radical change in security at schools. Days after the shooting, in a move that drew almost universal criticism the NRA decided to move its national convention to nearby Denver. At this convention the NRA CEO said something I completely agree with: “First, we believe in absolutely gun-free, zero-tolerance, totally safe schools. That means no guns in America’s schools, period … with the rare exception of law enforcement officers or trained security personnel.”

The Sandy Hook shooting again resulted in multiple proposals for gun laws, including background checks on all firearm sales and a renewal of the Assault Weapons Ban, but it failed. Nothing at the Federal level passed, but states began enacting their own bans. Currently 8 states in the US have some form of assault weapons ban. Following Sandy Hook, the same NRA CEO said: “Politicians pass laws for Gun-Free School Zones. They issue press releases bragging about them. They post signs advertising them. And in so doing, they tell every insane killer in America that schools are their safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk.”

What Do I Think?

gdr-vs-gunlaws

I think there have been a lot of mass shootings in the past 20+ years in the US, and a notable acceleration since 2011-2012. For a statistical analysis by a guy who knows more about statistics than I do, click here. Gun sales have reached record highs in 2010, 2011 and 2012. This can be a little misleading though, because it makes you think that more Americans are buying guns than ever before. In reality, that’s not the case. In 1973 about half of us had a gun in our homes; that’s down to 37% in 2013 according to Pew Research. Depending on where you check the number varies from 34 -41%, but it’s clearly gone down. Gun sales are going to people that already have guns, not to Americans that don’t. So what do I think about where our gun control laws should land? In general I agree with Ronald Reagan’s sentiments made February 6, 1989:

I do not believe in taking away the right of the citizen for sporting, for hunting and so forth, or for home defense. But I do believe than AK-47, a machine gun, is not a sporting weapon or needed for defense of a home.

The Supreme Court itself, as cited above, supports the Second Amendment but states it is not unlimited. We have the right to own weapons for the defense of the home, and in other common uses such as hunting. As much as I support the Second Amendment, it does not give us the right to own “any weapon whatsoever.” I haven’t yet heard someone demanding that they need their assault rifle in order to hunt deer any more than I’ve heard we need to have the right to own weapons-grade plutonium. According to Ronald Reagan and many others, we don’t need it for defense of the home either.

We didn’t used to be so frightened about losing our guns. Let me be clear: Nobody is coming for your guns. This is a lie perpetuated in large part by the NRA to keep their organization thriving. As much as I want to like an organization that is supposedly there to lobby for defense of the Second Amendment, the typical magazine issue has articles that are clearly fear-mongering. To make it clear again, I am totally in favor of civilian private ownership of guns such as handguns, hunting rifles and shotguns. There are no laws on the books that will rob a citizen of their right to own these. It would never make it past Congress, and even if it did the Supreme Court would shoot it down (heh). If any laws were to come up, I will be voting against it just as much as I urge my reader to.

To those who say that guns don’t kill people, people kill people, I say I agree! However, automatic and semi-automatic weapons help kill a lot of people a lot quicker. Orlando just could not have happened on the scale that it did without an assault rifle. Assault rifles have one purpose:  to kill people. It is a weapon of war, intended for soldiers who fight in war–not civilians. As cool as it can be to shoot one, that is not a sufficient justification for owning one. A recent study looking at 30 years of homicide data found that for every one percent increase in a state’s gun ownership rate, there is a nearly one percent increase in its firearm homicide rate.

Some will say, if you take guns out of the hands of civilians then only the criminals will have guns, look what happened in England! In England the Firearm Act of 1997 was passed after the Dunblane School Massacre, where a gunman killed 16 children and a teacher with Browning and Smith & Wesson pistols before killing himself. This act went further than banning assault rifles, it banned virtually all handguns. A recent analysis shows that violent crimes had increased, as some have pointed out, but after 2004 it has decreased every year. The violent crime rate now is comparable to the rate before it was first enacted.

Then there’s Australia, where they enacted the National Firearms Agreement in 1996 after the Port Arthur massacre in which 35 people were killed and 23 wounded. The weapon involved was an AR-15 assault rifle, so they banned semi-automatic and pump-action weapons and forced civilians to sell them back to the government. There had been 13 mass shootings previously; none have been recorded since. Here is a news article on it.

(Edit: this paragraph was added recently) Finally, some believe the 2nd Amendment gives us the right, whether implicitly or explicity, to ‘fight back’ against our government if we need to. I’m not sure I agree with this interpretation, or even in which circumstances this would justifiably apply. First of all, most Americans do not fear the armed forces, and virtually no one thinks that an armed populace could defeat those forces in battle. This is not the age of the flintlock rifle. If “the government” decides you are dangerous to the public, owning any kind of gun will not allow you to win against highly trained tactical teams or military forces, I don’t care who you are. Justifying owning fully-automatic weapons, for example, for some hypothetical doomsday scenario is not enough of a reason. I’m a Christian. If I died defending my innocent family, we’d go to heaven and our Lord would take any necessary vengeance. So that’s not a good enough reason for me, not when actual mass shootings continue to happen so frequently.

My Conclusion

The NRA CEO has said that the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. Do you know how many mass shootings have been stopped by armed civilians? As far as decades of records show, 0. None. Whether it’s a disgruntled employee, a mentally deranged person, a gang member or a terrorist, it doesn’t matter. A good civilian with a gun did not stop Orlando, anymore than he stopped 9/11. I have no problem with gun ownership for home defense, hunting or sporting. I support and will defend the Second Amendment, as I would the entire Bill of Rights. But I do not believe people have the ‘right’ to own military and paramilitary weapons or explosives. (Edit: I recently inserted this next sentence to clarify my position) I don’t think civilians should be able to own fully automatic weapons, or semi-automatic ones with larger magazine capacities–say, over 15 rounds–and no detachable magazines. These guns do not save lives, and the fun of shooting them does not justify owning them.

I don’t consider myself a liberal any more than I consider myself a conservative. I hunted with my dad throughout my entire growing up years, and had a good time. While I believe some gun control would help, ultimately the shootings and massacres aren’t about guns. I like to think this is not an extremist view on one side or the other, and I hope that mainstream America shares my view. Why do we have to many mass shootings in America? As I stated earlier, I don’t know. If I were to hazard a guess, in large part I think it’s due to the break down of the family in so many societies around the world, and the hyper-individualism in the US. But that’s just my opinion, and I could be wrong.🙂

yeah

Too far?