The Lolife Podcast No. 79: Repeal the 2nd Amendment

In the wake of the Orlando mass murder, a crime enabled by the murderer’s legal purchase of an AR-15, high-capacity clips and ammunition, we would be idiotic not to debate what we should do, as a nation, to prevent future mass murders with guns.

In this podcast I explore the idea that the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution is no longer relevant and in fact creates a fictional rallying cry for people who think that guns offer protection. In fact, guns are a hazard that kill more people in the US than automobiles. The world of automobiles is highly regulated. The world of guns is less regulated than Sudafed™. This is due to a culture that ignores the realities of 21st century America and puts fictional hero scenarios above the reality that accidents, suicides and homicides are a thousand times more common than life-saving actions by armed citizenry.

A post-2nd Amendment world could still allow for hunters, target shooters, collectors and people who truly require personal protection to have guns. We would simply restrict gun ownership to people who demonstrate they are responsible, trained and have the aptitude and background to own, handle and store guns safely. We would only “take guns away” from people who cannot demonstrate these attributes. Law-abiding gun owners should have no problem with a highly regulated gun market and should agree with the goal of reducing the availability of guns to people without the training and aptitude we collectively require.

The notion that you can defend yourself against the US Government is demonstrably false. The notion that guns protect you is false. The people you love are the most likely victims of the gun you own, through accidents, suicide, domestic violence and homicide. The least likely thing your gun will do is protect you.

Can we put away the failed strategies of inaction and rhetoric? Let’s look at the facts and meaningfully address a senseless hazard made ubiquitous by a bankrupt ideology of the Old West.

Listen now: No. 79: Repeal the 2nd Amendment

More podcasts: The Lolife Podcast


The Lolife Podcast No. 79: Repeal the 2nd Amendment

Comments on the book Lone Survivor

I ripped through Marcus Luttrell’s book Lone Survivor in a couple of days. It was fascinating and captivating. I’m amazed at what people go through to become Navy SEALS and part of me wishes I had decided many moons ago to pursue that occupation, one that I see as the most serious and demanding there is. The book goes on to give a very detailed and personal account of Operation Redwing, a disastrous mission in Afghanistan that left 19 service men dead and a single survivor, as the name suggests.

There are a couple of main themes in the book as I implied above: the rigorous training of the SEALS, the life of a professional warrior, the brotherhood of the service, the complexities of the Rules of Engagement (ROE) and the unbelievable chaos of a mission gone very wrong. I congratulate Petty Officer Lutrell on his service to our country, his bravery and professionalism in the execution of that service and for writing a very honest and chilling account of the operation.

Where he goes wrong has been oft-commented in the reviews I’ve seen: his blame of the ROE on “liberals”. I personally am totally willing to trust highly trained professionals like the Navy SEALS to make decisions in the field. I don’t think that alleviates those professionals from being accountable for their decisions. It is clear from the language expressed in the book that Luttrell has nothing but contempt for the local people. The fact that he was saved by these local people is ironic. I personally would gladly trade the lives of 3 Afghan shepherds for the lives of 19 US Special Forces. The problem is: you can’t know that in advance. There have probably been a lot of shepherds killed who posed no threat, who held the same good will towards the US as the people who saved Luttrell. Others have probably been spared with no ill outcomes. Hindsight on one disastrous mission is not in any way proof that the ROE are unreasonable.

Here I am, a liberal, who basically agrees with Luttrell, being blamed for creating the situation that he survived. Yet he says that all of the members of the team had doubts about the mission. Why were those doubts not acted upon? Why did they not have a communications plan, a drone or plane keeping them in contact? Why didn’t they have a plan in case they were spotted by locals? Why wasn’t the Quick Reaction Force  (QRF) ready for insertion? Why didn’t they have a plan to insert them in the safest possible way?

I know hindsight is 20/20 and I know I have no business second guessing the Navy SEALS. Nothing goes right all the time. This was bad luck, somehow, and I personally hold Luttrell and his entire team blameless. They did the best they could and I doubt anyone could have done better. We’ll never know.

I only wish that Luttrell was a bit less accusatory towards half of the people of this country who supported his missions and his  buddies just as much as the other half. The worst sin we can make is deploying our service men and women without specific, achievable goals. We are duty-bound to scrutinize the violent arm of our country, the one that the Navy SEALS fulfill. I don’t understand why Luttrell seems to disagree with this.

Read the book. It’s a valuable insight into the front lines of Afghanistan. Men like Luttrell deserve our respect.


Comments on the book Lone Survivor

Smart, educated and well-informed people should run this country

Micadelic said:

What I am pointing out also goes to why you Obama cultists are so clueless. You all do not understand America, or the American electorate. You elitists long for this country to be something that (hopefully) it will never be. You don’t understand the majority of “gun-loving, bitter, religious, stupid people” that must be won over in order to be elected to lead them. You just do not get it. You all are so smart you’re stupid. You live in these bubbles where your views are continually reinforced, so much so you start to believe they are mainstream.

The problem with this point, Micadelic, is that it is really 50/50 in this country, as we saw in the last couple of elections. I agree, there are many people who disagree with me. There are also many, many people who agree with me.

I am wondering about the word “elitist”. I think your average gun-loving, pro-life, fag-hating redneck is wrong about a lot of things. That is not to say they are bad people, they are not, and I know and love many a gun-loving, pro-life, fag-hating redneck. But I argue with them and I argue based on thinking. I admit it! I base my arguments on thinking. I try to gather facts and information and think about all sides of an issue. Then I try to use my best judgment, based on balancing my principles with what I think is practical and achievable.

Let’s use guns as an example, the data is in and the US has more guns deaths, by far, than any other westernized country. The US also has the most gun proliferation in the westernized world. Prior to discussing what our policy should be, you have to be an idiot if you don’t see causation between the vast proliferation of guns in the US and the vastly higher incidents of gun deaths.

I’m not anti-gun. I have no desire to deprive rednecks of their guns. But the streets of Minneapolis are very different from the farms of northern Minnesota. Cops are in grave danger every day due to the proliferation of guns. Do you think we can take that into account when we debate gun policy? Am I an “elitist” because I think that, yes, god dammit, we have to be able to debate gun policy?

The 50% of the people you are supporting in the above paragraph think that gun policy should be off the table. They hated the Brady Bill and they’ve worked to thwart any effort to debate gun policy. They are wrong and I’m not going to pander to them to get their vote.

If you think gun policy should be off the table, that doctors should be thrown in jail for performing abortions and that gay people should be denied spousal rights and benefits, you’re wrong. I can’t care if you have a majority or not, you’re wrong. A majority of people were in favor of slavery, too. Populism can be just as bad, or worse, than elitism.

I think smart, educated and well-informed people should run this country. I think ignorant, uneducated and uninformed people should not. Do you disagree? One could argue that “smart, educated and well-informed” constitutes an elite. If so, I’m an elitist.

Smart, educated and well-informed people should run this country

Always treat all guns as if they are loaded

Otherwise you might wake up dead like this guy:

Andreous Robinson, 20, went outside around 1 a.m. and shot a few rounds into the air. Police said Mr. Robinson then came back inside and thought that he’d discharged all of the rounds, so he put the gun to his head and pulled the trigger, said Sgt. Bruce McDonald, a homicide officer.

Mr. Robinson was taken to Parkland Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Always treat all guns as if they are loaded