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.

World Issues

As I sit here on this mid-afternoon, warm day in July sipping on my coffee in the confines of my own apartment living area, it literally astounds me of the issues in America. On a much grander scale, world issues are much more complex and serious than some of these trivial problems we Americans encounter daily.

Kendall Jones– Who is she? But firstly, who cares who she is! The memes, tweets and Facebook posts I’ve seen about this girl literally blow my mind how wrapped up our society is over some Texan cheerleader going on wild hunting adventures. Her main goal is to probably get some media attention and a reality show (like everyone else). How clique and boring.

Hobby Lobby– This issue actually had to be address by congress. Sad. It kind of reminds me of the whole steroids in baseball thing that was tied up in congress for months on end (which, by the way, didn’t solve a f**king thing because players are still getting popped regularly for performance enhancing drugs. Not to mention it was a total waste of money). Businesses/corporations don’t seem to have any freedoms anymore. Target can’t tell its customers who carry guns around to not carry guns around and Hobby Lobby can’t tell it’s employees it will not provide birth control within the benefits unless they get some official ruling from the government. Hobby Lobby is a known religious business. People know this.

Furthermore, Hobby Lobby is a joke. It’s pretend religious values make me sick. They buy the majority of their product from a country (China) who has a strict one-child law which in turn forces families to have abortions (which China seems to be totally fine with) and they invest in companies that make the very conceptive they’re against! If you didn’t know any of this, you’re an idiot.

Benghazi– still hearing about this, although, mainly in meme fashion on Twitter and Facebook, it’s still tired and old. Blame former President Bush who released a “terrorist” (Abu Sufian Bin Qumu) responsible for Benghazi from GITMO years back- oh, and President Obama apparently drone-striked his ass. So he’s dead now.

Gays, Guns, and Sarah Palin- There are millions of non-religious people in this world, most of whom don’t care anything about what others believe in and vise versa. So the religious teachings of this “one man, one woman” thing doesn’t exactly apply to everyone. Get. Over. It.

Guns aren’t going away any time soon and for most of us that’s a blessing. For the other half who hate guns, well, this is America. Or ‘Merica, rather. President Obama is not trying to steal your guns away but if you walk around with an open carry side arm/rifle strapped to your back, expect some police attention and try not to act too much like a douchebag when the cop wants to check things out.

I wish Sarah Palin would go away. She’s a mental burden on our country and she’s making those who listen to her more dumb every day. If you’ve ever invested any time paying attention to her, please walk off a cliff now. You’ll be doing our society a giant favor by purging yourself from the world and not being able to spread her idiotic-ness.

 

 

‘Merica, right?

Open Carry

Target is now asking their customers to leave their guns at home and joining a long list of other retail stores that are doing the same thing.

Whether you agree with Target or not, there are a couple things to consider; we live in a pretty diverse world now. We aren’t so black and white anymore. We are divided, opinionated, and free thinkers. We believe in different things, we support differences and we typically aren’t always in agreement with each other. With that being said, not all customers want to walk into a Target or a Starbucks and see a bunch of gun-toting civilians walking around with assault rifles and handguns on their hips. By a legal standpoint, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Which I am in agreement with. By a society standpoint, it induces panic, creates chaos and stirs the pot.

For the record, pretty much wherever I go I carry my P95 Ruger 9mm handgun concealed under my shirt or jacket. Nobody knows I have it. That’s the point with a concealed weapon. I don’t want people to know I have it on me. And I certainly don’t go around flaunting the fact that I am armed. I served in the United States Army for ten years, I’ve fired and trained with multiple types of weapons from 9mm handguns to M16 rifles. I have had the training and I occasionally put a few rounds down range to make sure I am up to par on my shooting skills. I’m not as dedicated with my firearms as I’d like to be but I make sure they are clean and serviceable at the very least.

The big question I have for some of these open carry activists is this; what’s the point of carrying your weapons around in open carry status? To say that you can? To say you are simply exercising your rights as a U.S citizen? How about exercising a little bit of common sense and good judgment. We don’t live in a world of kitty cats and rainbows anymore. We have school shootings almost weekly in this country, we have armed subjects shooting at cops, etc. And if that’s your argument to open carry; that you’re afraid of becoming a victim, then that’s what you need to promote. Aside from that, some training (not just plinking beer cans in the woods training, either) would also suit you. Try some combatives training, maybe some close quarters urban training with your firearms, too. Walking around with a rifle strapped to your back wearing flip flops and a boonie hat through Walmart trying to get the attention of management and the local cops doesn’t help your cause.

Target, and like many other retailers that aren’t on board with the whole walking-around-the-store-with-guns, aren’t exactly taking anyone’s “rights” away, either. Private businesses have the right to refuse service to anyone. Including you. You aren’t special. Nobody cares that you’ll no longer be shopping at Target because they don’t allow assault rifles inside the store. Mind you, this is a carefully strategically thought-out statement issued by the companies regarding no more guns in the stores. They didn’t just spring up one afternoon and say, “hey, no more guns”. That’s now how it works. Of course the sales strategy is taken into consideration because they don’t want to lose business. If they knew that issuing this kind of statement would hurt the companies sales, they wouldn’t have issued it.

Your rights are important just like anyone else’s. You saying you have the right to walk around with a gun and no one can tell you differently make you look like a self-absorbed hypocrite. Target can refuse you just like you can refuse them. You don’t like their rules? Don’t shop there, right?! This is still America last time I checked.

 

We need to try to keep guns out of the hands of these morons:

 

 

Lastly, trying to gain the attention of local law enforcement makes you look utterly foolish. Why go looking for it and then complain and whine when they come after you? That’s called being childish. Law enforcement has a job to do and when they get 911 calls regarding someone “walking around with a gun” they have to respond. Like it or not, that’s what they have to do. Most people who call 911 are panicked and probably say things like, “there’s a guy walking down the street with a gun.” Most 911 calls probably don’t go something like, “Hey, I see this clean shaven American citizen with a .45 caliber handgun securely fastened to his hip while walking down the street. He looks like he is legit, probably just walking around exercising his 2nd Amendment rights but I thought you’d like to know.”

Otherwise, prepare to be owned by the cops: