Unplanned Trip to Vance’s

Oh, I forgot one other thing that I did a couple days ago. There has been an ammo shortage pretty much since the point when COVID became a thing, and it has gotten worse as people have been watching the riots and craziness in various cities across the nation. ๐Ÿ˜ So when I was window shopping on Vance’s site and saw that Blazer Brass 115g 9mm was in stock, I went for a ride to see if I could snag a couple boxes. ๐Ÿ™‚

I figured I would get there and there’d be maybe a case or two that was put out on the shelves, already partially picked through, but nope… they had half-a-skid of the stuff. ๐Ÿ˜ฒ๐Ÿ˜ƒ Granted, at $22.99/box it was more than it normally would have been, but beggars can’t be choosers at the moment. (There are GunTubers that are still travelling hours for theirs. ๐Ÿ˜ฒ) I ended up talking “gun stuff” to a fella behind the counter, getting some education from ex-law enforcement, for about 15 minutes… and he mentioned that even they were surprised when they saw how much showed up in that one delivery.

But I feel pretty good with the amount that I’ve got now. Especially given everything that I just described about my shoulder’s reaction to a little bit of landscaping, it’s obvious that I do need to get out to a range to practice when I’m back to normal. Just so I know how my shoulder and neck will react to shooting, and to make sure that I can still be safe and capable if needed. ๐Ÿ˜Ž But not this weekend, that’s for damn sure. ๐Ÿ˜… But after the recent trip to Vance’s, I’ve now got plenty of target/extra ammo now (for whenever I end up going) to go along with the two mags’ worth of home defense rounds it’s normally loaded with. ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

Bizzaro World Rant

(This entry ended up being way, way, way too long… heh… so I’m gonna skip most of the italics, bold, and emojis. You can probably figure out where I’d have normally stuck a smirk, shocked, or scowling yellow little face.)

Okay, so what’s been going on the past three weeks or so?

Some of us did end up meeting up at Rising Park for Jim’s birthday. In his tradition of always doing stuff for his friends for his own birthday, he brought pizza and subs from Pizza Crossing and we were able to hang out in the main shelter house for about an hour before him and Brad had to leave to go up and see their Dad. Oh, and he even gave me a couple Switch games to get me started. I got him a Nintendo eShop gift card, that way we could both buy Mario Kart 8 and eventually play online. Flashing back to the era when we were roommates and played Battle Kart on the Nintendo 64 almost every day.

I’m surprised that in the middle of the day, one day before the 4th, nobody even came up and even acted like they were hoping to have the shelter house for their gathering or event or whatever. The mood in the town, approaching the holiday, was rather “meh” though since the planned fireworks display was trimmed down to three minutes’ worth, shot only from Mt Pleasant, to avoid motivating people to gather.

Speaking of COVID, while our county still has relatively low case numbers, apparently the rate of transmission made a big enough spike to where we were labeled a “red” county and therefore masks are mandated by the governor / health department when in public and unable to socially distance. In response to that you’ve got folks who started wearing them or who were already wearing them, you’ve got the ones who quietly refuse to wear one, and then of course you have an oddly angry, vocal group who refuse to wear one for any number of reasons. The virus is a hoax, the virus dies when it’s 70 degrees, the virus was released by the government (of the world?) to kill and / or control its citizens, and then the more common “The government won’t tell ME what to do!” and “I’m an American! I have rights!” crowd.

And what’s weird is that people are really choosing that hill to die on, when it comes to relationships with friends and family. Now, I’ve worn a mask when around people in public both because I’d like to lessen my chance of catching it, but also because if I happened to be an asymptomatic carrier – I obviously wanna reduce the chance that I’d unintentionally spread it to anyone else that may not be able to fight it off. I just think it is the considerate thing to do, and something that could greatly reduce the spread if most people would do the same. But without even interacting with my cousin about any of it, I know from his countless posts on Facebook that he thinks I’m a sheep. So, okay…

His mom is old, my dad is old, plenty of people in our family aren’t in tip top shape when it comes to health concerns… but okay, my wanting to reduce the chance that they (and anyone else) be exposed to a virus that can still make someone extremely sick, even if they don’t die, is viewed by him as being weak or just following orders. Almost all the posts he has made in the past several months have been various conspiracy theories or “proud American” type puffery, so there’s no sense in trying to convince him otherwise. It’s just weird that just because you don’t want to wear a mask that you’d alienate your friends and family that do. But looking at his posts as a whole, it seems like the world is an even scarier place for him, where the hospitals, media, and government are all out to get you, despite him having a particular fondness for Donald Trump. Meh… I don’t get it, but he’s made his opinion clear.

His sister seems to share a similar belief, although my only exposure to her is on Twitter. She replied to one of my tweets where I mocked Trump for being proud that covid deaths had become “slow and steady” and was told, among other things, that I should look into Agenda 21, that the hospitals are lying about covid, that it’s the same as the flu, and that I can’t live in fear. It’s weird how the ones who believe all that stuff seem to be the ones who make the most noise and seem the most fearful. I pointed out that I also wear a seatbelt because I “fear” being ejected in a car wreck, that I wash my hands after using public bathrooms because I “fear” most people are dirty asses and I don’t want their germs on my hands, and that I even get a flu shot each year because I “fear” getting sick and spending a week moving only between the bed and the toilet. Putting on my mask when I get out of the car has become almost as subconscious as latching my seatbelt or washing my hands. It’s such a “non-thing” to me now, and it’s what I choose to do. Their “side” almost seems like it doesn’t even have a choice, because even if they wanted to wear a mask, that would make them a sheep, or controlled, or whatever sinister thing the wearing of a mask is supposed to represent.

One of my mom friends said it’s basically the same thing she has to deal with when she feeds her young kids. They’re required to eat what’s on their plate, but if there is something the kids don’t like they’ll play with their food and whine and complain, even though she makes it clear to them that the longer they object and stall, the longer it will take before they’ll be allowed to leave the table and get back to whatever they were wanting to do. And it makes sense… anti-mask people want life to be “normal” but the more of them that refuse to wear masks, the longer it will take to get backย  to anything resembling normal. And it’s actually win-win for them, because if they wear it and the virus drops to manageable levels, they’ll get their “normal” back. But alternatively, if they all wore masks for several weeks and there was no noticeable decline in the virus, then they could wave that fact in everyone’s faces to show that they were right.

We’re into Bizzaro World territory these days though. For example, the BLM protest in Portland has been going on for over fifty days straight now, with protesting during the day and rioting at night… but all of the people in power there have decided that they’re just going to allow violence and destruction to happen, not wanting the criminals to face any type of law enforcement opposition. There has been a ridiculous amount of property damage, law enforcement attacked even when they weren’t engaging anyone, any security fences are torn down and piled against the court house, fires are set in the street, cars have been burned, attempts to burn police buildings as well… but the mayor won’t do anything. In fact, when federal officers came to the city to at least protect the federal properties – when those officers started identifying and rounding up people who were assaulting officers or damaging federal buildings, the mayor and governor had an absolute shit fit. They won’t curb the lawlessness themselves, and now that someone else is trying to do so, they’re actually suing to make the feds stop enforcing laws. And that plays into Trump’s hands, since he can legitimately say he sent help to the “normal” people of Portland and they were told to leave.

It’s no wonder that there are a record amount of people who are registered as independent or non-partisan voters these days. When the official Democrat position (at least in Oregon) is to look the other way when riots happen and cities fall into violent chaos each night… and that the “bad guys” in this situation are the one law enforcement entity that’s trying to restore order… I mean, how can anyone really get behind that idea? People look at it in a detached way, rather than thinking how they would feel if the same protests were happening in their own neighborhoods, and it was their house that was getting spray painted, windows smashed, and sometimes set on fire. I’d bet money that folks would want law enforcement to do something about it then. Heh… it’s irritating that those particular Dems have gone so far off the rails that I’ve no other choice than to side with Donald Trump. Bleh…

There’s no honesty in discussions anymore, either. A day or two ago the protesters got together and were all singing a song, in a video that was suited for propaganda. Now, it’s great that there were so many gathering peacefully, but of course all of the anti-police people post that video to Twitter with some sort of variant on “THESE are the ‘violent anarchists’ that the police have been brutalizing for the past six weeks. Scary, huh?” Meanwhile, all of these disingenuous fucks know that the police aren’t hassling the peaceful folks… and they know that there is a criminal element that’s causing widespread destruction and violence… but rather than acknowledge any of that, they’ll say whatever they have to say to make their side seem like the “moral right.” As with conspiracy theory anti-maskers, there’s no talking to those people either. If they’re willing to lie and craft a false narrative from one of the few positive videos, they’re certainly not gonna admit that there’s a lawless element in their cause.

Democrats are almost certainly making their decisions based on what they think will benefit them most at the polls, rather than what’s best for the city or just the rule of law in general, but I don’t think they realize how much of a minority it is that they’re bowing to. Minority in numbers, I mean. They’re extremely loud, and they obviously get a lot of attention as they attempt to destroy the federal court house, but do you think the average person agrees that endless violence and destruction each night should just be tolerated or even encouraged? I doubt it. And do they think that allowing the protesters to destroy things will earn them any favor from that same crowd? They’ve been protesting against police violence for almost two months, protesting the city and mayor that have made it clear that they aren’t going to “sic” the police on them for anything that they do. It seems like that would remove a big reason for the protest being as extreme as it has been… but no, it doesn’t matter that the police aren’t being violent to them, they’re still there, protesting about how bad the police are. What’s the winning “play” for the mayor when they don’t even care that they have gotten the very thing that they are protesting for.

Meh… I guess if they wanna let their city burn, so be it. Everywhere that this sort of thing has been happening, and where the city leaders take the side of the violent protesters, property is being destroyed, new businesses won’t go there, current businesses are leaving, and even the citizens are packing up and moving the fuck away from the craziness. If your local government won’t do anything to ensure the safety of its citizens, they shouldn’t be surprised when folks scatter and the tax base is lost. Things turned somewhat violent in Columbus at times, but once the protesters got that attention and talked with leaders about what they wanted… I dunno, there was a bit of civility in the violence. It didn’t just go on and on, with neither side talking to the other, with no sign of any goals to all of it. But even that was sorta scary, with downtown being a no-go zone for a few weeks – unless you were sorta lookin’ for trouble.

But there’s a certain element of humans that, if given free reign to be loud and “fuck stuff up” then that’s exactly what they’ll do. Look at the makeup of that crowd. Young, entitled, angry, apparently no jobs that they need to go to… they’re just not representative of your average citizen, yet people in power act as if they’re speaking for the entire population. I’m certainly not a fan of the idea of a second term for Donald Trump, so I worry that whatever these Democrats are trying to do is going to backfire on the entire party in November. Because just as they think the protesters represent all people, people are going to assume those few “leave the criminals alone” Democrats represent the views of the party as a whole.

At least when you go out into town here, other than a few grumbling anti-mask folks, it still feels like people are normal. The shows that we’re seeing in Portland and Chicago and Seattle, the way that the politicians and protesters are acting… it’s not typical of what actually goes on in daily life in southeastern Ohio, thankfully. The only thing even close to all that craziness is when our mayor decided to go on record with the paper, saying that a mask mandate is counterproductive. Masks. Counterproductive to reducing the virus in the area. This is a small town, so I don’t think people really give a shit what our dinky mayor says, and besides – people have already decided how they feel about all that. So, yeah, I’m glad that’s the biggest social controversy of our little city, at least for the moment.

What Are You So Mad About?

I haven’t posted a blog entry since all of the chaos started in the country. I didn’t (and honestly still don’t) have the words to truly express all of the things that it has made me feel. I’ve been spending a lot of time on Twitter though, basically in astonishment at how many people are willfully ignorant, blatantly lying, or a combination of both… and from all sides of the issue. Emotions and tensions are higher than I’ve ever seen in my lifetime, so I understand that people will initially be speaking mostly with their anger. But anger can’t be an indefinite excuse for spreading false information, false narratives, and generally trying to make things worse rather than better.

My frustration comes from most people digging their feet in when it comes to their own personal take, and they won’t even listen to anything that doesn’t fit their narrative, let alone acknowledge and learn from any of it. It would be one thing if it was just random Twitter assholes, but I’m also talking about politicians and people in power who are acting the same way. Tom Cotton says “The riots have nothing to do with the death of George Floyd.”ย It doesn’t seem like the best idea to dismiss the pain and rage of those rioters who have obviously gone too far, but who are still upset with police abuse.

It’s amazing to see how many people who don’t want to be generalized or lumped together into one group, how they feel totally justified in doing that to people who aren’t on their side. “All cops are corrupt, murderous assholes!” “All protesters are violent, thieving arsonists!” Many people can’t or won’t admit that there are differences between peaceful protesters, the rowdy-but-non-criminal activists, the looters, the vandals, the people causing physical harm. It’s just easier for people to label them all as rioters so they can dismiss them as not worthy of being heard.

And then of course there’s a huge amount of people on the opposite side who can’t or won’t acknowledge that there are many different types of cops within law enforcement, including naive / optimistic officers seeking change, cops that just see it as a 9 to 5 job, officers who are on a power trip, ones who absolutely abuse their power, and then ones that can calmly kill detained suspects. And I’d think the one thing that both “sides” could agree on, is that we’re seeing far too many examples of the worst at both ends of the spectrum – and all it does is damage the message that they want to be heard. Yeah, everyone is mad, but if you take it too far then people are just gonna roll their eyes.

The second most widely spread bullshit take when it comes to this stuff, is that “If you aren’t breaking the law then you don’t have anything to worry about.” First of all, this is demonstrably untrue… and even if someone is breaking a law, are we as a society ready for law enforcement to commit physical violence in realtime for those offenses? What would those people think is a “fair punishment” for crimes such as stepping off of a sidewalk, being out 15 minutes past curfew, walking near people who are causing a disturbance, flipping off or cussing out a cop? Do we really want law enforcement to be able to kick, punch, drag, or choke people for those things? How about tear gas, rubber bullets, flash bang grenades, pepper spray projectiles? All of that is fine? If you’re only gonna watch one video on this page, make it this one – and put yourself or one of your children in the place of any of the folks who are taking the abuse…

And on Twitter, some chuckle fuck would immediately reply with “Well it wouldn’t be me or my kids in their shoes because we wouldn’t be participating in that!” And to that, I say… participating in what? Exercising your first amendment rights because you’re angry that police keep killing people without consequence? How about the people that are simply walking near someone who’s causing trouble? You could never be one of those people either? Those folks need to spare us all from their bullshit “it could never be me” crap.

One of the worst things that I’ve seen was in Austin TX. A college kid was shot in the back of the head with a “non lethal” projectile while cracked his skull and caused brain damage. The cops wouldn’t help him “in the street” and told people to take him to the police station. And when those people carried that critically injured man to the police department, they were immediately shot multiple times with pepper spray balls. And yeah, I’m being more hard on the police in this blog entry… because we should be able to expect more from the police. The people who vandalize, loot, start fires, etc… of course they should be arrested, charged, and prosecuted. But when cops act like criminals, that’s when “all” starts to get lost.

President Obama gave a wonderful speech yesterday, and among the things he said – he sent out a message to the mayors of every city across our nation, challenging them to review their “use of force” policies when it comes to the police departments and other law enforcement that they’re in control of. But then Donald Trump almost immediately issued a statement on Twitter, distancing himself from the idea of law enforcement reform – and instead saying the only thing he has in common with Obama is that they both fired the same army general. (Because Trump was being salty about being called out by that general, and that’s more important than the safety of every citizen in the country.)

At least national sentiment does seem to be finally turning against Donald Trump. He has never acknowledged the reason that people are protesting, and instead keeps doubling down with increased law enforcement presence, calling in military troops and vehicles, and threatening to send them to every state in order to “dominate” with force. Talk about lack of self-awareness. Hundreds of thousands of people are protesting against abusive law enforcement, and Trump’s response is essentially… “You wanna see abusive law enforcement?” I mean, his troops were using violence and pepper spray to clear the streets of humans as Donald Trump was giving a speech just yards away, claiming to be this amazing ally to peaceful protesters.

He knows that everyone knows he’s full of shit. He also knows that while plenty of people will call him out and be rightfully upset by his actions, he knows that there’s a massive number of people who simply won’t care that he’s a violent, self-serving liar, threatening the country with his military dominance. (I’d swear that a lot of people want to be him in that instance.) The same vibe that the abusive cops give… DO AS I SAY OR FACE THE CONSEQUENCES, NO MATTER WHAT YOU’VE ACTUALLY DONE OR NOT DONE IN REGARDS TO THE LAW.

Okay, I better start wrapping it up, because I could obviously go on and on and on about it. But my take on this doesn’t feel like it should be controversial or objectionable, but boy is it to a lot of folks. George Floyd was murdered by those cops, and they should be charged and prosecuted accordingly. I absolutely support the protests. Everyone should be outraged, not just POC or people who are more likely to experience police brutality. I’m not even upset when those protesters break curfew, block roads, or protest in “scary voices” right in the face of law enforcement. If cops react to those actions with violence instead of simply arresting folks, then it just makes it that much easier to see which ones are the bad ones, and which ones will stand by and do nothing as the bad ones inflict pain and suffering on US citizens.

Yeah, I’m fucking heated about this stuff… and for the same reason as a million other people. The folks in power know what the protests are about, but they’d rather dismiss everyone as vandals, trouble makers, criminals – so that way they don’t have to acknowledge the problem of law enforcement abusing their power. The way the cops seem to be increasing their abuse, it appears that they’re scared of losing that power. Same thing with the political leaders. If law enforcement no longer has its knee on the neck of society, that makes the sketchy people in power really fucking nervous.

Politicians, police unions, etc have been praising many police departments for the way they’ve “shown amazing restraint” during all of this. And yeah, in a lot of instances that’s probably true. Shooting people “only” with rubber bullets, knee knockers, pepper balls, tear gas canisters… instead of live ammunition. But I hope the people offering that praise to the cops… I hope they realize that the people on the other side have been showing remarkable restraint as well. How many days in a row will our society watch innocent people getting the shit kicked out of them by out of control law enforcement officers? How long will they be okay with Donald Trump unilaterally deploying the United States fucking military into the streets to control us all? Yeah, there’s a lot of restraint all around, but I wouldn’t count on that lasting a whole lot longer…

Not Yet

It’s a deceptively beautiful day outside so far today, but I don’t think I’m ready to make a trip to the store like I was considering quite yet. My brain hasn’t really made it out of “weekend” mode, and after a night of bad dreams and waking up in a cold sweat a few times – I’m finding it easier to kinda just sit here with the doors open, trying to absorb some of the “nice” while I plan a few things I need to work on later this afternoon.

I think, lingering in the background processes of my brain, the way that a lot of the country is planning to “re-open” is filling me with an ominous feeling. ๐Ÿ˜ณย Since not every state practiced a well-thought, simultaneous “shelter at home” order along with every other state – the effectiveness of such precautions has already been damaged. Sure, your state will have lower numbers while they individually practice such restrictions, but if surrounding states aren’t being as careful and allow their infection numbers to grow, what do you think’s gonna happen when your state decides to relax their rules?

You may have seen the videos on Twitter or the news… where, just because rules have been relaxed, hundreds of people decided to pour into the streets, the parks, the sidewalks, the beaches… basically just because they haven’t been allowed to for so long, and now they can. Good for them? ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ And when reporters ask them why they’re out and mingling with others, it’s almost always a “Because I can!” / “Because it’s our right as ‘murricans!” type of answer. Awesome. ๐Ÿ˜ Way to prove a point. ๐Ÿ˜ Job well done. ๐Ÿ˜

If you look at the actual numbers though, you’ll see that we’re getting ready to open back up right at the time when people should be recognizing that the isolation is making a difference, and that if all states keep/start doing it, the downward trends should continue. But no, politicians are obviously gung-ho about opening up, the citizens hear the optimism, and far too many of them are now thinking and acting like the danger has passed and there’s less (or no) need for precautions. ๐Ÿ˜ž And in a further display of stupidity, our governor was going to mandate that for the time being – employees of stores and their customers must all wear masks. Sounds like a responsible idea, right? Well, he had to go back on that because of public outcry, of people being that vocal that they shouldn’t have to wear a mask, and so he not only backtracked on that – but essentially apologized for it by saying that they “went too far” with that rule.

It’s just amazing to me that there are that many people bitching about having to wear a mask. Something to protect them. Something to protect employees. Something to protect everyone by lowering the transmission rate. Who are these angry people? Who could be so selfish to angrily protest such a rule, others be damned? โ˜น๏ธ It blows my mind…

So, yeah, I was originally gonna go out today and get pop for me and Dad, along with some other stuff, but obviously with all of that stuff swirling around in my thoughts, today isn’t the day for me to go out and do that. Especially since it’s likely that there will be a lot more folks out today than before. It’s just a creepy feeling to live in a state where so many people are vocally and angrily opposed to cooperating with a very simple precaution. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ Yeah, that’s not most people, but it doesn’t take many careless or indifferent infected people to cough or smear their cooties all over the place and ruin it for everyone else.

If anything, the state starting to “open up” is more likely to make me stay at home. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ It’s like if you’re at the beach and there’s been a shark warning – but the lifeguard says it’s all clear now, and people can return to the water if they want. ๐Ÿ˜ง You’ll have plenty of people who go running in, neck-deep… meanwhile, my ass would stay planted in the sand as I watched the water to see what happened. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ๐Ÿค” That’s what right now feels like to me… the time to watch from the safety of my living room for a while, to see what’s gonna happen. ๐Ÿฅบ And if this virus is anything like what most doctors are saying, “what happens” ain’t gonna be good.

Another heavy blog entry… I’ll try to balance it out with something lighter this evening. ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป My mood isn’t actually that bad otherwise, it’s just taking me a lot longer to get mentally and physically moving today than I’d prefer. I’ve got workers comp / settlement mail that I’ve yet to read, and then wanna do some typical straightening up around the living room and bedroom… so if I’m hard to reach today, I’m probably just trying to do something to make myself feel productive and normal. ๐Ÿ™‚

Usually Goes Unnoticed

Was listening to the police scanner last night, after Amy sent me a message saying that she was in town and was seeing a lot more police activity than normal. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ I imagine these will both be things that are at least mentioned on the news today, but with the way the LEOs in town use their in-car terminals as much as they use their radios, it was hard to really tell what was going on at the time.

One of the incidents apparently involved an older man… from what I’ve heard, he used to be a doctor or dentist or something… but I guess he’s kinda older and frail now, and is allegedly suffering from some mental issues and possibly some dementia. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ But from a short video I’ve seen of the police responding, it sounds like he had a gun and actually fired a shot at the ground as the cops were responding. ๐Ÿ˜ณ People are assuming he was wanting the LEOs to shoot him… but you have to be careful with assumptions. But the video does then show him coming down off his porch, surrounded by cops, getting down on his knees and putting his hands behind his back… and then one of the responding officers comes from behind and kicks him in the back to put him face down on the sidewalk. ๐Ÿ˜ง

It’s a hard thing to watch, because you can put yourself in each person’s shoes. If someone was depressed, so much so that he wanted to die but couldn’t do it himself, that’s sad in itself. Then putting the police, people who are just trying to put in their hours and go home safe each night, in the position where they were probably this close to firing on this guy… you hate to see something that looks like excessive force, especially on someone who may be mentally unstable, but when that unstable person has already fired at least one shot, and could have another weapon in his waistband, you do understand why they may have felt that force was needed. ๐Ÿ˜” Sure would have been better to push him to the ground rather than kicking him in the middle of the back like he was a door that was being kicked open though.

The second big incident was an accident on Sheridan involving a motorcycle and two vehicles. The guy on the bike apparently went left of center for some reason, and ran head-on into a vehicle coming in the opposite direction… and then that vehicle went off the road and hit someone in a car in their driveway. ๐Ÿ™ The guy on the motorcycle wasn’t wearing a helmet, and unfortunately didn’t make it. But it was even more crappy because Amy told me about it, I was listening on the scanner, she was reading stuff on Facebook… all without knowing who was involved, and it actually turned out to be a friend of Amy’s husband. ๐Ÿ˜ช

When you listen to “this and that” going down on the scanner, it lacks that teeny bit of “real” since you aren’t hearing everything, you don’t know exactly what’s going on, so you usually end up listening to it as just “stuff going on” in town… but it sure takes on a whole different feeling, especially after the fact, when you were previously somewhat casually listening to everything – only to discover that it involved someone that you actually knew.

But yeah, I didn’t sleep for shit last night, so I slept in until around noon… and grabbing my phone, those were the first things I saw being talked about when I opened my news feed. ๐Ÿฅบ I was already starting the day without much wind in my sails, but that sad stuff – on a day where everyone else was just having a normal “meh” day or complaining about this or that, while even sadder things like that were happening – it just definitely puts a pin in theย “It could always be worse.”ย thought, when I might be feeling a little too sorry for myself about my aches and pains and depression and whatever.

It’s easy to forget that when I’m having a crappy day, that the same day was actually a life-changing day for people that I’ll likely never even know about. I guess the life-changing could be in good ways just as easily as in bad ways like I described above… but yeah, sometimes you unexpectedly get pushed out of your bubble and can’t avoid noticing and feeling it. ๐Ÿ˜’

Weaponized Stupidity

Since I’ve taken the day off, I decided to pop over to Twitter to see if David Hogg and his anti-gun activism was still making any noise. And it is… although it’s become even more divisive, and is making even less sense. His current “thing” is to include “THE YOUNG PEOPLE WILL WIN” on almost everything that he posts. ๐Ÿ˜ I suppose that’s an attempt to light a fire under their asses and make them feel special, but it’s also a great way to alienate everyone else from your cause. ๐Ÿคจย (I often wonder if the other kids / leaders in their movement wish they had never included him, due to the drama he causes.)

Young people (18-25), just as with any demographic, do not all vote the same way. The majority of them don’t even vote at all. But the new mantra isn’t aimed at people who prefer to actually think about things. The mantra is aimed at idiots, and their replies don’t disappoint. ๐Ÿ˜ I can’t tell you how many older Americans that I’ve seen posting replies about how their generation has let the youth down, how sorry they are for not creating a better world, how the young people are our only hope, and other similar bits of nonsense. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ These “self-hating adults (apologists)” who can’t wait to post and “confess” on the behalf of all adults, how awful “grown-ups” are… and ironically it’s usually the older white men who can’t stop talking about how older white men have fucked everything up. ๐Ÿ˜  It’s truly bizarre.

In attempts to stay relevant (since he’s rarely able to get on TV anymore) Hogg will make often-incoherent posts about various Senate or House candidates and elections, which then get retweeted by his followers – without them even noticing when the posts make little to no sense. ๐Ÿ™„ Invariably there will be adults responding to those posts by asking Hogg how they should vote in this or that election. ๐Ÿ˜ง Yeah, don’t do any research on your own, because it’s always better to get your election advice from someone who uses words such as “dissagree, violance, and colledge” and still struggles with the whole “there / their / they’re” thing.

(As you can tell from the way they speak, these are obviously some top-notch interviewers)

He wants to eventually outlaw most rifles and probably many other types of guns, yet he whines that the mandated clear backpacks and security searches at school violate his rights. ๐Ÿ˜’ He arranges boycotts when someone hurts his feelings, he bragged about hanging up on the President’s phone call, and his friend is still tweeting requests for $10 donations to the MSD / Parkland victims’ fund – which already has over $8,000,000 in it. He and his sister have also already written a book about the school shooting, yet they aren’t donating the sales from their book to the victims’ fund. ๐Ÿค” Instead, they say something vague about proceeds “helping the communities” or some shit. The whole thing stinks, yet there’s a huge group of people that can’t get enough of it. ๐Ÿ™‡๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

I know, this whole post may seem petty or something that I shouldn’t even concern myself with… but it’s really just touching on the larger problem of how much “weaponized ignorance / stupidity” a person will be exposed to online, and especially on Twitter. ๐Ÿ˜’ It’s like the less sure a person is about what they’re saying, the more passionately they will say it, and the more angrily they willย defend it.

It’s okay though, I’m sure “the young people” will save us all from all ofย thatย as well. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

Willfully Ignorant / Indignant

The overwhelming amount of ignorance surrounding the shooting at Stoneman Douglas and the resulting activism… it’s simply staggering. ๐Ÿ˜‘ It falls anywhere on the spectrum from people just not realizing that they’ve been misled, to people who are straight up morons. And most of them are really angry as well… like, so angry that even when people are expressing sentiments that are supportive of the students and their security, they’ll still attack those people if the thoughts don’t exactly parrot what they or the students are saying. ๐Ÿ˜  Free thinking has already become a much lacking trait in society, and boy does this movement demonstrate that over and over again.

I’m sure that I’m like a lot of people who generally support the things the students have been asking for, but who is also growing tired of being attacked by the people that we’re trying to support… so much so that their activism now feels more like a bunch of kids complaining and making noise, but not actually seeking solutions to the problems at the center of it all.

The point where the kids started to lose me was when a slew of new security measures were put in place at their school, to provide additional protections while the students continued to strive for bigger changes via gun control laws. Limited access points to the school buildings, student IDs, increased security personnel, new backpack/bag rules, etc. ๐Ÿ‘ฎ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ Not only did the students not appreciate these changes, but they actively rebelled against them – and are still doing so to this day. Most of the complaints revolve around the bag rules, which prohibit anyone from coming into the building with bags or backpacks that weren’t issued by the school. And because they are clear backpacks, the kids and their supporters have lost their damn minds. ๐Ÿ˜ญ

A woman on Twitter, when I said that I supported the clear backpack rule and noted that Nikolas Cruz used a duffel bag to bring his rifle into the school, just replied to me: “Umm… then maybe ban bringing DUFFEL bags into the school??? An AR15 will NOT fit in a backpack. Good grief!”ย This is an example of that angry stupidity. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ The school is now banning people from carrying in bags other than the school-provided ones… something that could have prevented Cruz from even making it past the gate if the rule was in place back then. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ But this woman was mad that I pointed it out, then called for duffel bags to be banned (which they are), and followed it up with a “Good grief” as if my logic was exhausting her.

But yeah, the kids are mocking the backpacks, saying that the increased law enforcement presence makes them scared, equating having to carry student IDs to being in prison, complaining that additional fences and barriers only give the appearance of security, saying their 4th amendment rights are being violated and people will be able to see their tampons in their bags now, and bitching because they have to show up to school a little earlier to get through security. ๐Ÿ‘ถ๐Ÿป All the while complaining that none of those changes do anything to protect them, with several of them going so far as to say that all of these new measures should be removed – leaving their school in exactly the same state as when they were originally attacked. ๐Ÿ™‡๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

None of those changes, in their minds, provide any additional security. Instead, their minds are laser focused on banning “assault rifles” as the change that is needed. In interview after interview, you can see that these kids don’t even know what guns the term “assault” rifle should include, with some of them not even knowing the difference between a semi-automatic and automatic gun. I’m not faulting them for this, since they’re just kids, but these are also the people that we should be listening to for answers, according to their movement. The kids who reject any and all security measures as being a “false sense of security” while also believing that banning some semi-automatic rifles will make them completely safe.

In trying to have discussions with the humans on Twitter, I’ve learned that if you want to “be a supporter” of these kids and their goal of more safety, you can’t say any of the following: ๐Ÿ™Š

  • You can’t suggest that they try to understand that the new security measures are “better than nothing” while they continue to fight for gun control. They don’t accept the increased school security, so neither can people who claim to support them.
  • You can’t point out that the clear backpack rule, if in place when the shooting happened, could/would have prevented the shooting from happening since Cruz and his bags wouldn’t have been allowed through security. You’ll be told that an AR-15 can’t fit into a duffel bag. (It can.) You’ll be told that he’d have found a way in anyway. (So all security measures should be just thrown out as being worthless?)
  • You can’t tell them that mocking the new security measures may be off-putting to people who want to support them. You’ll be told that they don’t want or need your support then. They’ll say that they didn’t ask for the new security. They’ll say that nobody has a right to say anything to the students about their opinions. (YOU WEREN’T THERE! THEY WERE!)
  • Their goal, when it comes to gun control, is to ban assault rifles. But you can’t question anything about that goal. I support some of what they’re trying to achieve, but I don’t believe that banning one particular type of gun will make them that much safer than they are now. But to support them, you have to support their goal of banning a small subset of guns, because they believe they’ll be safer.
  • And even when you are suggesting things that could help them achieve their goals, you’ll usually be told that your input isn’t needed… not by the kids, but by other supporters. “I don’t remember her asking you for your opinion!” “He seems to be doing just fine without your help!” “Your generation didn’t help when it had the chance, and we don’t need it now!” And they wonder why they’re getting less support, less media coverage, and a more apathetic response from the public in general.

One more thing to mention… they love using the age of the student activists to manipulate the whole situation. When people are dismissive of what the students are saying because of their age, hordes of people will come forth and comment how they are almost adults, almost able to vote, almost able to join the army, and are more mature than most “grown-ups” are these days. But if you disagree with something the students have said, or just appear to disagree, you’ll be blasted with post after post of people being “shocked” and “horrified” that adults would bully these children, that you can’t expect them to not act like kids sometimes because that’s what they are, and that people should be ashamed for how they are treating someone’s child. Yeah, it doesn’t matter if they’ve thrust themselves onto the public stage, and it doesn’t matter how foul-mouthed and insulting they can be… people attempt to portray them as untouchable. โ™ฟ Like a kid in a wheelchair who verbally bullies his classmates, because “Nobody will hit a kid in a wheelchair.”

I even had people get mad at me the other day because I commented about the school newspaper putting out a memorial issue, featuring the names and stories of the 17 people that died that day. I said that it was great to finally have a resource like that with all of the information in one place, because despite the activist students being on TV almost non-stop for a while, I rarely heard them mention the names of the people who were killed or get to talk about them. Part of that is because there is a limited amount of time in a TV segment, so it logistically just couldn’t fit most of the time… but yeah, I was praising the students who produced the memorial issue. One fella just wouldn’t let it go. He was legitimately mad, despite me praising the newspaper and being happy that I could learn more about the people who were killed. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ I imagine it was because he doesn’t like when something potentially makes “the people that he supports” look uncaring or whatever. So despite talking about something that 99.9% would agree with – being happy to learn more about the fallen… he just kept replying and replying, pointing out that the kids said the names of the dead at the march in DC. Yeah. They did. That’s fine. I’m glad they did. But as I pointed out to him – I didn’t say they never mentioned the people that died, I just said it was rare enough that weeks later I still didn’t know much about them. I’m surprised he didn’t start sharing YouTube clips where their names were said, or demand that I share clips where they didn’t. People are just fucking nuts, man…

I’ve never seen a group of people that actively tries to eat their own as much as this bunch of humans. ๐ŸงŸ๐ŸงŸ๏ธ Half of the people barely know what they are talking about, and half of them don’t even care if they are wrong as long as they are being loud and people are hearing them. ๐Ÿคฌ The whole goal of student safety / safety for humans in general has been lost in the cult of personality, with movement leaders wasting time on boycotts when someone hurts their feelings – even when not related to gun control or the shooting… and then when security measures are put in place to protect them, they reject it – and in a way that magnifies how immature they really are, while they shout at the world that “WE TOLD YOU TO LISTEN TO US!” etc. I know they’ve had all kinds of behind-the-scenes help when it comes to PR, finances, and organizing things, but someone is dropping the ball right now – and something that could have produced real, positive changes has a chance of being forgotten like every other tragedy. ๐Ÿ˜”

I Vaguely Remember Hobbies

Accidentally allowed myself to feel a little too good yesterday. ๐Ÿ˜ As a result I spent a good chunk of the afternoon and evening talking at length with Jim, Amy, Genesee, Ric… and here it is almost 7am the next day and I’m still wide awake. ๐Ÿ˜’ Not a big deal, I guess, since I already dealt with the pressing phone calls yesterday. I suppose I’ll just see how long I can stay up, take a nap for a couple of hours, and then hopefully get myself back onto a normal sleep schedule tonight. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ If not… meh.

I ran into Ric (online) as I was watching the Logan Police Department’s live stream. We were catching up with each others’ hobbies, or lack thereof, when he asked me if I had looked into software based radio devices. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿค“ I remember Dad talking about being able to buy cards or external devices for amateur radio use, which could be controlled by a GUI on a PC… but I realized that I never looked into it any further than that.

Well, I guess the current “big thing” is police scanners that operate in that same fashion. A few years ago, when many of the LEOs and EMTs started going to trunked or digital systems, the only real games in town were Radio Shack or Uniden police scanners that could easily run in the $300 to $400 range. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ But as Hong Kong has a habit of doing, there are now $25 devices (USB? Other?) that you can hook up to a PC that can do the same thing as those scanners (and more) once you find the appropriate software. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

So yeah, that definitely perked my ears… and after I get some rest today I’ll probably get back on the laptop and start doing a little research on those things. The info comes at just the right time too, as my portable scanner is starting to show its age. I’ll update further if I end up pulling the trigger.