Cycling Along The Way...

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Silver City, NM, United States
Riders of the wheel. Racers, Roadies, Mountain bikers, Touring cyclists, Commuters, and others. Diamond frames, recumbents, trikes, and more. Sharing a web of connections often misunderstood or unappreciated by those who don't ride. Herewith, my attempt to share some of the more rational thoughts that flit around inside my head while bicycling, knocking back a brew or three, or just thinking about life. Reviews of bicycles, gear, touring, and more, plus some unsolicited posts about people, politics, and philosophy. Other things, too. Me: retired, gave up my TV in 1988, avid cyclist, several cross country tours completed with more to come. Your thoughts?

Monday, December 17, 2012


When this type of event occurs...(isn't it odd that I say it in that fashion?..."when these types of events..."... with the sense of history, repeat history, implied in the sentence?  Like, "Oh, this isn't new.  Remember X, Y, Z?"), I try to absorb as much of it as I can before coming to any conclusion from the event/s.  What is being bandied about now is "GUN" control.  More help for the "MENTALLY ILL".  More THIS.  More THAT.

Does anyone truly have concrete thoughts that apply to any of these events that rings true for all of them?  For any of them?  Let's be upfront here...I am a "gun" owner.  I own several pistols.  Handguns.  I am planning on getting a concealed weapons permit in New Mexico.  Since I was 21 yrs old, I've had a concealed carry permit for New York State.  Yes.  New York.  Hard to believe, eh?  So, that's out of the way.  But not out of my thinking or my life.  I do enjoy shooting my pistols.  One has particular meaning for me.  It is a .22 cal Colt semi-automatic that my Dad bought from the Glens Falls Police when he was a police officer back in the day.  A man, who was mentally ill, tried to kill my Dad with it.  It's the pistol that I learned to shoot as a very young boy.  Probably around 5 or 6 yrs old.  My Dad held the pistol in my small hands and I pulled the trigger.  Scared.  Excited.  Awed.  Felt all of those emotions and more that I don't know how to describe.  Still enjoy and fear the sense of power in a pistol.  Any weapon, really.  But, my Dad also taught me that when someone takes a pistol out of its holster, there are only two reasons to do that: one is to target practice; one is to kill someone.  There are no other reasons to take a pistol out of its holster.  Oh, sure, some do hunt with pistols, but it's a small group of hunters.  Rifles are for hunting and, again, killing people.  Assault rifles have only one purpose.  They are a military weapon and are meant to be used to kill as many people as possible.  As Samuel Jackson said in "Pulp Fiction", "AK47.  The very best there is.  When you absolutely, positively have to kill every motherfucker in the room.  Accept no substitutes."

Yes, if no weapons were available, no one would get shot or killed.  Gun laws?  I agree.  High capacity clips?  No need for them.  How many times does a hunter have to shoot a deer?  Not many if s/he wants meat off that carcass.  For a pistol?  10 round clips suffice.  Assault rifles?  Only the military needs them.

But, the question remains.  Since it is highly unlikely that most guns will be banned, it means that they'll still be around.  So, the question.  Is it truly about "guns"?  I don't have an answer here.  Just a question.  Actually, lots of questions.  Do we, or did we ever, react in the same way as people seemed to have to the Connecticut shootings to the killing of unarmed, innocent civilians in Iraq?  Afghanistan?  Vietnam?  Korea?  Watts?  New York City?  Chicago?  Detroit?  Gooks.  Slopes. Krauts.  Japs.  Beaners.  Niggers.  Sheetheads.  Muslims.  Irish.  South African.  Catholics.  Protestants.  Your town.  Fill in the blank town.  Just a few days ago, the police in Detroit fire over 100 rounds at two unarmed people and killed them?  Do we react the same to that as we do to 20 white children being murdered?  Does it matter what color their skin is?  Is there a difference between those "events"?  Can someone tell me what that might be?  When gangbangers kill each other, do we care?  Really?  Maybe?  Different scenarios elicit different emotional responses.  When I'm at a shooting range, I enjoy it.  If I was in a movie theater and someone started shooting and I had a concealed weapon, what would I feel then?  Would I even be accurate in my shooting.  Would I even shoot at the shooter?  On the range, I'm quite a decent shot.  When faced with that type of "event", that's a different experience.

While there are some knee jerk reactions to the killing of these people in Connecticut, I am not willing to point at any one thing and say, with certainty, THAT'S why this happened.  When we do that, I think we don't really look at what the true causes may be.  Maybe it is just "guns".  I am more than willing to press for more restrictive gun laws.  Always have been.  Oh, and I'm a liberal, socialist-leaning, Democrat, too.  Yes.  I live a confused life.  But, again, the question.  And the questions.  I know, we HAVE to do something, right?  Well, what about all those others who were murdered...and we've done nothing.  Did they not matter enough?  Do 20 white kids count as more than 20 kids of any other color count?

Every time I read more about these events, I am brought to tears.  Who could do that?  Why?  What intervention/s could have prevented these?  When I worked at Tucson Medical Center, I remember a teen who killed his mother with a cast iron skillet and stabbed his father with a very large kitchen knife.  How did that happen?  No guns there.  But death was there, nonetheless.  I just am not that confident in my thoughts to point at one or even two or three things and say, "That's it.  That's why X killed ???many Ys."

Maybe I'll come to some conclusion down the road.  Right now, I'm just lost in thought.

Merry Christmas.  Oh, and Happy New Year, too.  Life does go on, eh?