First a poem on this. It is not a good one but does gun toting require or inspire good poetry?
Nothing ever charmed us more
Than feeling safe
We send our sons and guns ashore
Then send our missiles, jets and drones
To make it safe.
We crossed out maps and towns
We took down kings and clowns
We bombed and plotted
Overtly told them off
Wishing that, would keep us safe.
We marched in arms with great delight
To keep our rifles is our right!
What if a burglar comes at night?
We’d be ready t’ wake up and fight
Our freedom, was feeling safe.
Within our homes and on our streets
At point blank to 400 yards,of yore
The booming noise of shots says more
We know what kept us feeling safe
Can be far from any where secure.
Take what we know, then how we feel
Defiance, ping pong in between
The game in which one can’t just kneel
Go on don’t let me interrupt
(If ) You’re, feeling safe.
Statistically, it is much more likely for women to be killed by intimate partners who own guns or whose households have guns. For such studies you look at total number of women killed or injured in attempted murder by intimate partners and then check history, gun ownership etc. The above article I linked to, in the Atlantic, states: ‘In fact, not a single study to date has shown that the risk of any crime including burglary, robbery, home invasion, or spousal abuse against a female is decreased through gun ownership.’ I say let the single or unattached men fight it out, women take self defense lessons, use pepper spray and run to safety and then call 911.
There are several stories published by NRA stating how guns were used in self-defense during home invasions and self-defense remains the reason 60% gun owners say they have them, as expected, it is not to exercise their second amendment rights that they own them. Apparently, it is good guys with guns that can stop bad guys with guns and anecdotes are not data: the reality of successful self-defense, forget public defense by a private citizen, using hand guns is not very convincing and not at ALL convincing for semi-automatics! In the article above by Politico (‘The myth behind gun ownership’) one of the most often cited (by NRA) digital-dial based surveys studies by Gary Kleck and Marc Getz, is torn to shreds in three points as the numbers of how many times gun owners have used them in self-defense are ridiculous: the main one being that the alleged numbers proposed by the gospel study of Kleck, the number of actual instances of legitimate self defense firing has never been verifiable, and in some cases been mathematically impossible. For example, it would need 65% of all burglary attempts be thwarted by gun owners using their guns, most if not all the burglaries would then have needed to target homes that owned guns (even in 1992, that when the Kleck and Getz study was conducted, that was 42% of households in the US ), been at home and awake at the time of burglary. We KNOW that in the US only about 28% of all burglaries happen when there are people (at least one person) at home (we don’t know how many burglaries target home owners owning guns but logically about 42% of this 28% would, but I am ignoring that for now) in other words:(~) 65% of all burglaries cannot be thwarted by people at home using their guns, as they are not even home for that percent of time during a burglary. ON THE OTHER HAND, actual data indicates reduced suicide rates especially in children as gun ownership declines in households. All life is precious right? Oh, and to spice this up a little this study states: ‘It is noteworthy that in prison surveys, about half of convicted felons who have fired a gun claim to have done so in self defense.‘
Without getting into even more complexity of reports where using guns has harmed an innocent bystander, or is illegal in itself, I will just ask you to think of the least competent person you know at work and then try to imagine them trying to protect you using a gun. I think a real competent protector will understand statistics and the unpredictability of human nature and circumstance.
And forget all that, if one has 10 burglars in the house, it is unlikely they will need something that fires 100 rounds a second. So semi-automatics are an overkill, to put it mildly. The Las vegas shooter had 23 rifles of which he had modified several to upgrade their firing speed. He carried out the largest mass shooting in US history.
In context of events going on right now, NFL players are being labeled unpatriotic as they kneel to support their ostracized colleague: Colin Kaepernick who brought to national notice (or tried to anyway) the plight of black children growing up in underprivileged neighborhoods. In 2017, apparently showing solidarity to a colleague in team spirit is no longer part of sportsmanship and of course any respect for the PEOPLE of the country is far less important than PERCEIVED (feelings of some other people, clearly not of the ones making the sign) disrespect for the flag /anthem, while remaining within their First amendment rights. People apparently don’t make a country great.
To everyone who has been a victim in one way or another of a gun crime, I have no worthy words of consolation..
Did you ever break
Something you could not lose,
Did you ever make
Something you could not use?
Do you know the frame
The one atop our hearth,
The one we left behind
When our ‘palace’ kissed the earth.
I saw it landing where
Our sisters’ dolls had wed,
That is where I want
My ashes to be spread.
You know, I heard their call
In every child’s cry.
Dug out of mud and rubble
In every golden eye,
Small hands and rainbow bubble.
And there it must still stand
Awaiting our return
For song to touch this land
May wheels of fortune turn.
Though they turn for me no more
Don’t weep my dear, so..
I found my comrades here
As every building fell,
Our helmets brought us near.
He who brings me back
Is my brother, same as you
If his helmet looks aworn
You must let him use our glue.
Our planes don’t need it now
I have them here with me,
They fly as good as new
And they have set me free.
I have often tried to recall if there was a first scene in a movie that has stayed with me. Nothing comes to mind offhand, and there I used to think I had a great memory.
But, yesterday I think I filled in the blank with the first scene of a movie (that I haven’t watched fully yet, because it just stalled all thought right after act 1). There is a girl’s voice over in it trying to describe the memory of someone precious. The background in the scene is that of a cold, frozen landscape, chilling just to look at and a girl racing over frozen ground, bare feet, in a flight for life.
The girl whose voice we hear is wishing a meadow alive where winter never sets foot.
In her dream, I can see her tree and feel its shade. I almost wait for it to change colors in my reverie. This is the place in us that guards all memories that make us. Where she holds every memory of someone dear.
But it is the last line of this act that holds me, ‘And when I find myself, frozen, in the mud of the real-far from your loving eyes, I will return to this place and close mine, and take solace in the simple perfection of knowing you.’
While I do go on about how not much is simple, the solace in the perfection of just knowing someone: that is simple. I don’t actually think that everything is complicated, I only think even achieving simplicity needs a complex path to have been traversed first and there are very few people who go through this distillation and form their soul’s pool again, drop by drop. Anyone who thinks they are simple at birth (or more likely, from) is delusional.
Therefore, it is natural that anyone who has met with true: disappointment, betrayal, accomplishments and losses sees the simple perfection of knowing some one and to find solace in that. Writer of such a beautifully simple line: take a bow.
The movie is Wind River.
And this is a short grook I wrote for the other “simple” people in my life who categorize my hard-earned simplicity as contrived complexity.
I thought I’d like the simple
The straight and the wholesome
Then I met your wife and you
I’d rather chew some gum – ID
Some days I just want to hide within me too. But I probably won’t look this good in black and white.
These are, what I believe to be the best images of birds I have taken, IN THE WILD. They are also, concomitantly, a collection of my most favorite birds till date. I have the year the photos were taken in the watermark, as I like to remember the chronology. Other details are in the caption.
(Title inspired by L.Cohen’s song)
These photos have three types of birds I have photographed: