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I regularly hear from viewers who like to watch the videos, but don’t like to hear me pontificate on political issues. This is because they don’t agree with them, but worse, my take on it generally makes them extremely uncomfortable with their own dearly held views on the topic at hand.

Now as I don’t find it particularly important that they agree with me or not, and I’m not running for any particular office, and that the primary concern regarding my popularity is sort of limited to me my wife (not doing well there these days I’m afraid), my dog (deceased now for some 30 years) and my kids (all grown and finding all this hilarious), what an I supposed to do with that?

All my children are extremely bright people. They particularly find it hilarious watching me try to interact with the real world and even more hilarious when the real world tries to interact with me. It’s kind of worth throwing these missives out there once in awhile just to keep them entertained.

This morning, the young socialist club on MSNBC, who have now actually converted Joe Scarborough, who first named them, are in full throated howling rage over a National Rifle Association Advertisement. They are incessantly chanting that the polls show America is with them in their view that all our ills are caused by gun owners, entirely oblivious to the role they play in forming those views so polled. And somehow, if enough cattle want to go over the cliff together, it must be a cliff to go over.

The child mind senselessness of this is depressing. A classic don’t know, and don’t know they don’t know circular spiral.

I suppose the reason I am moved by all this is the spectre of some 27 families, home grieving at the moment for the loss of a six year old child they had sent to school trusting that our government and schools would make them safe. And instead they have made them dead. And everyone agrees SOMETHING should be done.

I cannot imagine anything more painful. I don’t think I ever would recover or even have an ABnormal life had this happened to any of my own six children. I just don’t think it would work for me. No possible recovery.

And to watch men cynically grasp for political advantage and their own agenda, using this incident as an advantage, raises the sour taste of vomit in the back of my throat.

The NRA ad rather succinctly noted that the President of the United States knows FULL WELL how to fix the problem. In the case of his own daughters, who he did mention he wanted to “hug a little closer” that night, are escorted to school by three Secret Service bodyguards, at our expense of course, to protect them, with guns.

That pretty much wraps up the debate. End of discussion. We all know the answer. And have for 300 years. The only “protection” from bad guys with guns, the evil and the deranged, is good guys with guns. It might be worth driving the point, that prior to that, the only way to protect against bad guys with swords, was with good guys with swords. And that prior to that, the only way to protect from bad guys with sticks, was good guys with sticks. And this goes back to the beginning of the history of man.

At the national level no one really questions that the only protection we have from other countries with guns, is guns of our own. We like them to be bigger guns, faster guns, that fly higher, land vertically, orbit the earth, or by deploying any technology that we can, are just better guns. It is no different at the local level.

This is the heart of the entire question of whether or not you want to be “safe” if that is the mission. We already know the answer. It is not really arguable.

We live in a democracy where we purportedly rule by ballot. And as a nation of law, we send the best and the brightest (I know, but in theory) to carefully consider and pass those laws.

But ultimately, if we don’t obey the laws, chaos ensues.

Many of us believe in the rule of law. Those who advocate the MOST laws are always the elitists who do not feel those laws actually apply to THEM. They are there to regulate THOSE people. But there is a core of America that believes in the rule of law and that it should apply equally to all and that they should be observed and obeyed, even when inconvenient, as part of the price of cooperatively forming a nation and deriving the benefits of such, instead of remaining a squabbling bunch of individual clans spread across the land in a constant state of war (Iraq, Iran, Afghanastan).

And then there are those who do not feel bound to observe the laws. They are in it for themselves and will break any law that at all keeps them from doing what they want to do. We have always had such. In every country, and in every society.

The laws our leaders pass are ONLY effective with those who voluntarily obey them, and in proportion to our ability to ENFORCE them.

Sadly, the much lauded “first responders” portrayed as heros, are not heros. They are hired guns cynically employed by the state to collect revenues. They enforce child support and other court decrees, and prosecute reveunue producing “crimes” like “failure to register a motor vehicle.” The vehicle is of course in all cases “registered.” This is a euphanism for “haven’t paid the tax on the car this year.” DUI stops take up a lot of time, and have led to an entirely new revenue stream for states, counties, and cities across the land.

They have NO time for any investigations of rape, murder, assault, burglary, theft, fraud, embezzlement, or any of that UNLESS it it somehow a media event. They simply don’t have the manpower or resource for it.

The utter, stark, and central truth to the events at Sandy Hook is it was, and always was, against the law to murder 26 children. The law was not obeyed, and by definition the pathetic figure of the young man that did this is an outlaw.

Now if the laws against murder, and the deterrence of capital punishment, had no effect on this young man to dissuade him from this heinous crime, what note will he take of gun control laws?

And so we are not talking about passing a law to prevent the crime. We are talking about passing a law that maybe the LAW ABIDING will follow, to somehow prevent this kid from getting a gun to conveniently commit the crime.

This kind of one off backup and try again with a law that maybe someone WILL follow is precisely what got us here in the first place.

You see, if it’s a gun free zone, I would be very reluctant to carry a gun there. It’s against the law. The young man was not persuaded. But I am.

Indeed, it kind of “against the law” for me to walk down the street with a pistol strapped to my hip in plain view. And so as a habitual and unrepentant law abider, I just don’t.

And while its true that that makes YOU safe from ME, it rather fails to make you safe from HIM. Because he neither knows or cares about the law.

And I can’t help you. I’m disarmed.

In truth, I DID join the NRA last week. And hundreds of thousands of OTHER Americans are joining them every day now. But I don’t have a gun. You see, I don’t particularly like guns. Like I don’t like them at all.

I was in a war briefly and a long time ago. It wasn’t a good war or a popular one like WWII or the recent ones. We were a long way from home. And most people didn’t think we should be there. And people got killed a lot. And I found it mostly unpleasant when not in a bar chasing women and drinking beer.

In watching video games and movies today, there is something satisfying and exhilarating about blowing people away, and of course in some detail. While I’m aware of this, I don’t personally share it. If you have ever watched and felt, and you can both watch and feel, the spirit remove from a living human being, it is a rather distinctly different event than what you see on video games or movies. I suppose different individuals react somewhat differently to this. My personal reaction is not very good. It has great sadness at the utter finality of it, leaving whatever the purpose was that lead to the event flapping in the breeze in a kind of ridiculous counterpoise of irrelevant almost silliness. Our silly notions of everything embarasingly exposed in the light of the face of God.
And a kind of resounding, almost ear shattering silence of the finality of all that will never be in the future of the dead. You do NOT find comfort that they are now in a better place. The air shimmers from the pronounced sense that they are GONE from THIS place, with their remains starkly before you, a totally empty and discarded shell. When it comes suddenly and violently, it is a doubly impressive moment.

So I don’t carry a gun. Don’t even own one. And if they want to shoot me, I’m ok with that. I probably wouldnt’ actually shoot them if I could to prevent it. But I might, if it was to prevent them shooting YOU.

But I am now a member of the NRA.

In my father’s generation, this sort of thing didn’t go on in quite this way. He, and many Humphrey Bogart types like him, just wouldn’t allow it. Picture John Wayne in Sandy Hook. He just doesn’t put up with that kind of shit. And so it mostly doesn’t happen.

My grandfather is an interesting story. In the 1920’s he took a crew to New Madrid Missouri to build a sidewalk system for the then burgeoning town. He had several black laborers and New Madrid was kind of a southern culture cracker town. He sent one of his laborers down the street to get somethign fom the hardware store. Apparently he offended some of the locals, eight of which beat him half to death and retired to celebrate at the local tavern. The laborer was brought back down to the job site. My grandfather went to his truck and pulled out a horse pistol, walked up the street and entered the tavern. He asked who was the main guy there and the first to speak got a 45 caliber bullet through the bridge of his nose. He then turned his back on the rest and walked out of the tavern, back down to the job site, and returned to work.

Ironically, my great grandfather on the OTHER side of the family was the sherriff. He went down to the job site and asked my grandfather what had happened. He told him in about 10 words. Some of your boys roughed up one of my laborers Sir. If it happens again, I will take it poorly.

My great grandfather eyed my grandfather, still wearing his pistol, and noted that he would pass it on. No arrest was made. And nothing further was said. There was no inquiry, nor grand jury indictment.

But 30 years later, my father proposed marriage to my mother. Her grandfather, the same Jesse Bledsoe who served as sherriff, was by then the local judge in New Madrid. He informed her in no uncertain terms that she was not to marry anyone named Rickard, but she wasn’t even to be seen around one. He noted that they were all crazy as a sack of cats and they would shoot a man over the least little thing…

They married anyway. And here I am.

New Town was not POSSIBLE in 1920. It was not possible in 1950. It is now COMMON today. What’s different. Tom Rickard would have spent years in prison today. Never mind that everyone knew the crackers who had beat up the black were known troublemakers in the community anyway, and that Tom Rickard was 57 years old and a respected owner of a long traditioned construction company. Today we have laws. Yesterday we had John Wayne.

And today we have New Town. And that is why.

Gun control laws cannot prevent New Town in the future. Gun control laws are what CAUSED New Town. And Aurora. And Columbine.

So the solution is MORE of them?

IF your mission is to protect children in school from crazy demented people with guns, then LaPierre’s solution is the only one that works. You recruit and train and arm grandfathers to each volunteer a day a month at the local school to play John Wayne.

If you have a different solution, then you have a different mission. Because our President knows best. And that’s what he does for HIS daughters – send armed men to protect them.

The Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States does NOT say we have a right to keep and bear arms. It says rather specifically that the government has NO RIGHTS to even INFRINGE on our right to keep and bear arms. And it was passed overwhelmingly NOT so we could go hunting or target shooting. No one would have thought of restricting hunting in 1776. It would be like trying to pass a law regulating bowel movements today. Target shooting was unheard of. Why would you shoot a gun at something that wasn’t an animal to eat or another person. They just werent’ that angry at cans and paper targets in those days.

The Second Amendment had ONLY one purpose. That was to remind our government that there was a limit to tyranny, and they were NOT safe from the anger of the governed. It was specifically a right to keep and bear arms as a check on GOVERNMENT, not personal safety.

In the context of the day, it made perfect sense.

If you believe that this absolute guarantee, an intrinsic part of the agreement to govern ourselves, is no long relevant to a modern society, that should be pretty universally evident. No problem. Pass its repeal through the House and Senate, and get 35 states to ratify. Simple enough that we’ve done a dozen amendments SINCE the Second.

But it would still be a poor strategy. We have 280 million guns in the United States. Worse, I can make one in my shop in a long weekend, without knowing much about them. In two weeks, I’m pretty sure I can gen up a passable semiautomatic assault weapon. It’s a 19th century technology. In a world of 3D printers.

SO how are you going to assure me that once you take my gun away, that the criminals lose their’s as well?. You can’t. Not without making steel illegal. Or brass. Or gunpowder. Or sulphur. The one=off requirements never end. And even if you have ALL the law abiding totally controlled and having dutifully reported to prison camp, you will still be LEFT with the criminal element, with guns.

And if ALL of you believe otherwise, in concert and together, it won’t change one atom of any of that at all. It doesn’t MATTER what you believe. It just is what it is. You have the mental acuity to grasp it, or you do not. But nothing changes in the face of it.

What would John Wayne think….

Jack Rickard