Philandro Castile

Here we go again.

Another cop shooting, another black guy lay dead. The black community is seething with anger, and frustration over the death of Philandro Castile. It appears all the evidence is right there for all of us to see. The video of his death has been played over and over again on the internet. A young black woman sits in the passenger seat calmly narrating on Facebook Live that her “boyfriend” has just been shot three times, his arm shot off, as he lay dying in the drivers seat.

The police officer, still pointing his service weapon into the car is heard yelling, “I told him not to pull it out! I told him not to pull it out!”

Critics on the internet claim all the evidence is right there. Jeronimo Yanez guilty. Case closed.

What we really see is this: Philandro Castile laying back in his seat, (obviously shot) and an unidentifiable police officer standing at the driver side window pointing his service weapon at Castile. That’s about it. That’s really not “evidence”. Sure, we can make assumptions on what transpired all day long. But the video lacks the officer actually discharging his weapon, and it lacks the entirety of the traffic stop.

I’m not going to pretend that all cops are in the right all the time. And we can argue all day long that Castile followed all the laws, followed all cop directives and still got shot. But was he following all the laws? Did he follow all directives given by police? The only people who genuinely know that are the girlfriend, (who has already been called out on multiple lies she has told) and the police. Mainly Yanez, (the responding officer). The girlfriend’s credibility is tarnished as far as I’m concerned, and I’m unable to believe a word she says. So I’m siding with the cops on this one.

There have been instances where a person did follow all the orders given to them by police and still wound up shot. But most of these events involving a police shooting have been because of carelessness. Police are human, too, and are, unfortunately, imperfect. Sadly, people end up dead over these imperfections.

There his a huge racial divide in America, I’ll admit. It seems as though both sides are unwilling to come together, though. Being that Jeronimo Yanez was not caucasian really puts things in perspective. Police aren’t inherently racist, and just because a black man is shot doesn’t automatically mean it was racially motivated. Police have a tough job, especially nowadays. Traffic stops are the worst, because it’s a very unpredictable situation.

I would like to give my personal opinion on this matter. I would like to point out a few things because I am an advocate to more strict firearm laws, and education on firearms. There is a mental illness in America revolving around guns. This is a gun culture. People handle guns very carelessly in this country. Castile literally had a gun shoved into his front pocket while he was driving a vehicle and smoking marijuana with a young child in the back seat. Not only that but he had his wallet and hid firearm in the same pocket. So the confusion is: the police officer asked Castile for his identification card, saw that there was a firearm, and instructed Castile not to pull out the firearm.

Being licensed to carry is irrelevant. Minnesota being an open carry state is also irrelevant. There is one more gun law in Minnesota that has been overlooked. Minnesota has a Peaceable Journey Law. The law states that a firearm must be unloaded and cased, and the case must be secured and placed in the trunk of the car. There are a couple exceptions to this law if the firearm owner is going hunting or target practice. I could be wrong about this law as some firearms laws are hard to decipher and sometimes contradict each other. But that’s what the law reads. So although Mr. Castile was licensed to carry, he was violating the Peaceable Journey law, as well as smoking marijuana in the car, and having an firearm unsecured in the vehicle. And why couldn’t Mr. Castile buy a holster and properly secure the firearm on his hip or inside his waist band. Why do people insist on putting a loaded firearm down their pants or shoved into their pocket? That right there poses a huge safety concern for everyone riding in that car including the young child in the back seat. Furthermore, why do people not know their own state firearm laws?

It’s okay for Philandro Castile to break laws but not police.


Have a nice day, America. And remember to read up on your local gun laws.




Gun-Crazed America

I’ve been thinking about this topic for weeks. Well, actually, that’s a lie. I’ve been thinking about this topic ever since the Ferguson situation went down. I’m not taking a particular side on that; mainly because I don’t have a side to take. I do, however have an opinion about Ferguson.

I can sympathize with the emotional trauma that a community might be feeling after one of their own is gunned down. I feel similar grief having been to combat and losing friends in the war. Although, the two don’t really go hand-in-hand. I do feel like there are some similarities between the two. Violence is apart of our American culture. Violence is apart of our very existence. From the beginning of time.

America, specifically, has this obsessed attitude that everyone should have a gun. And not just one gun. Many guns. Our favorite video games are first-person shooters. Our favorite actors are gun-totting mad men blowing up buildings and mowing down countless third rate rent-a-thugs. Children grow up playing with toy guns and then their parents buy them a BB gun when they turn 13 and a hunting rifle when they turn 18 and then they go get their concealed weapons permit as soon as they turn 21 because they can. For no other reason other than because they can. Or want to. It’s an obsession.

I want you to understand something, though. This isn’t some liberal rant against guns. I’m sure by now most of you are rolling your eyes thinking that very thought. This is going to be an educational, informative piece and probably the longest blog entry I’ll ever write. Please. Indulge yourself and read on.

The Bill of Rights state, and I quote, “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.”

Over time there have been laws that dictate and regulate who actually gets to carry a firearm. This done so in a manner as to not to infringe on our right to keep and bear arms. For example: if you commit a strong-armed robbery with a firearm and the police catch up with you, you will no longer be able to carry a firearm. These laws are implemented for the greater good of society because we don’t want unhealthy people carrying weapons that can harm others. I think we can all agree on that.

One thing I’m truly against are law-makers making up laws that make absolutely no sense. I’m also against police agencies trying to govern my life and I’m really against big government trying to tell me what I can and can not do. There is no such thing as gun sense in this country because everyone wants a gun and no one wants to take responsibility when something bad happens with it. So the governments answer to that is to make up laws that really don’t extinguish the problem. What we need is firearm education and firearm training.

Example Number One: You want a firearm for home defense. That means you’ll be engaging potential targets at close range, close quarters with little to no visibility. What is your training regime for that? Do you know the laws concerning firearms and defending yourself, family and personal property? Are you a Castle Doctrine state? Are you a Stand Your Ground state? Do you even know what those things are? When’s the last time you cleaned your firearm and when’s the last time you went to a shooting range? Lastly, someone breaks into your house at 2am, you’re woken up from a dead sleep. How fast can you gain your bearings and get to your firearm before something goes down? Do you keep your firearms in a safe with a combo lock or key to keep the kids out? Would you be able to open the safe up in time? Do you train to these scenarios? If not, you have no business owning a firearm to protect your house hold. Stick to a baseball bat.

Example Number Two: You are going grocery shopping and someone comes in to the grocery store with a gun to rob the cashier. You have a concealed weapons permit and you have your 9mm strapped to your side. Consider your options: do nothing or attempt to defuse the situation. Without proper training, your best bet is to call 911 and stay out of the way.

I’m not in any way trying to tell people not to own firearms or that firearms only belong in the hands of cops and members of the Armed Forces. All I’m trying to point out is that America looks at firearms as a type of novelty and people buy guns without any real form of education or training. Guns get into the wrong hands. Kids get them and shoot other kids. Teenagers bring them to school and kill other students. There are plenty of reasons (and valid ones) to strengthen our gun laws. The most important thing, though, is education and training. If you own a firearm and you think you might become a victim of a violent crime one day, get some formal training. Talk with a lawyer about your states gun laws. Know your capabilities and know your limitations.

This isn’t Hollywood and you aren’t Bruce Willis. A guy breaks into your house, you won’t be able to just shoot his leg out and that be the end of your nightmare. Make sure you understand the judicial system, understand that you aren’t safe from civil lawsuits and have a clear understanding that once you decide to pull that trigger, there is no turning back.

Give me Liberty or give me Death

Give me liberty or give me death! Give me liberty or give me death! Give me liberty or give me death!

The biggest issues in our beloved United States of America right now are gun control and abortion. The right wingers are adamant about not allowing for more strict gun laws, background checks, mental health evaluations. With all of those aforementioned new laws in place, would it really help reduce gun violence and keep wackos from shooting up schools and apartment complexes? Some would agree and some would disagree. But most say it’s an invasion of our 2nd Amendment rights. The problem with the Constitution is it’s not 1787 anymore. It’s 2013. And as we evolve as humans, as a nation and as a world, things need like the Constitution need to evolve as well. We don’t still use rotary phones, do we?

I have a few guns to my name. Two handguns and a shotgun. I love guns. I love to shoot guns and I love to carry one around town (I have my CWP, by the way). And as you look at the history of our country, we have implemented laws to keep Americans safe, right? Like, certain places guns can no longer be carried into. Gun free zones. You know, like in Wyatt Earp days where you had to hand over your gun to the bartender. In cities, you can not discharge your firearms. And when you get pulled over by the police, in some states you must declare your weapons as soon as the police officer approaches your vehicle. Isn’t all of that against our Constitutional rights? Hey, I have a right to my firearms. Who’s business is it where I have one in my car!

Abortions are another huge issue in this country. People claim it’s murder. Some claim it’s not murder because a fetus isn’t a “human being” yet. Everyone has a different opinion of when life actually begins. Some claim when there’s a heart beat. Others would say as soon as the egg is fertilized. You know what I say? I don’t give two shits what you think. If someone wants to abort their child, baby, fetus, egg, it’s not your decision. It’s theirs. It’s not like we have a herd of American women running around having a blast, drinking margaritas, aborting their babies. It’s probably not an easy decision and it’s probably pretty traumatizing. But people have their reasons. And you probably have nothing to do with any of it.

When I think about the United States, I envision a bunch of whiny, spoiled brats, bickering at each other to do this and not do that. What’s best for you may not be best for someone else. And vise versa. We have freedoms in this country. We aren’t ran by dictatorship or tyranny. We aren’t North Korea. You have the freedom to shop at Wal-Mart or not. You have the freedom to buy a firearm or not. And you have the freedom to abort your child for whatever reason. Whether it be from being raped or falling on hard times or getting drunk at a frat party. Do I advocate abortions? Not so much. But I’d rather a child come into this world with a fighting chance instead of being raised by some irresponsible dead beat mother who got fucked at a drunken frat party, wound up pregnant, dropped out of school, can’t hold a job, and wound up on the welfare system for the rest of her life and her childs. And then her child repeats the process.

The thing with both of these issues is no one seems to be able to provide a solution. People are going to have sex in this country. And people are going to buy guns and shoot up schools in this country. It’s going to happen. We’ve identified that, at least, right? So let’s provide solutions to the problems. With irresponsible sexual relations comes unwanted children. Who ends up paying for all these unwanted children? Mostly tax payers. I’d like to pay for my own kids, thanks. I’m for contraceptive (obviously I’m not a Christian or Catholic, go figure). I’m for safe sex. I’d like to think I’m responsible. The unfortunate aspect of this is; you might be responsible but your neighbor may not be. So we prepare for the irresponsible ones.

Gun control works the same way. Although you may not like extended background checks, waiting periods, mental health evaluations, you’ll probably be all for that shit when your fucking kid gets waxed by some asshole on a murderous rampage. Or are you going to play hero, strap on your piece, tramp on down to the local school and put two in his chest and save the day? Probably not fucking likely. Washington State has a three-day wait on firearms purchases if you don’t have a CWP. Three days. You think I’m happy about that shit? Fuck no. But if it keeps some low-life scum bag from buying a gun from a local dealer and killing people because someone cut him off on I-5 that day, then hell yes I’m for it!

The whole point of reducing magazine rounds in magazines from ten to seven or whatever the fuck they wanted to do was to force the gunmen to reload more often hence giving police or whoever more time to take his ass down. Too many people have said, “well, what’s that going to do? What difference does three rounds make?” Maybe a life or two? I don’t know. I’m just spit-balling here.

The whole point of America is freedom. Personal freedoms. I like my freedom. I like to wake up everyday and stretch out, sip my coffee, read my newspaper and not have to do shit if I don’t want to. I don’t want to live in a country where I can’t do something because some other asshole American doesn’t believe in or because he/she doesn’t think it’s right. If I want an abortion, I’ll get an abortion. And I don’t need YOU up in my face about it because YOUR opinion doesn’t mean shit to me anyway.