Should the 2A Community Embrace Humility or Activism?

I was listening to a lecture offered by Dr. Jordan Peterson the other day in the shop.  I often have some sort of lecture or podcast going, and I usually pay partial attention to it while working with my hands.  This particular subject surrounded humility and activism.  Essentially, Jordan was poking at the young pseudo-intellectuals that arrive at college and are instantly militarized into various activist roles within organizations.  The fundamental problem is, that most folks are so young they have no idea what they’re doing and have no business working themselves up into a tizzy 7 days a week.  This isn’t to say that issues don’t matter and they shouldn’t participate.  However, it should be noted that lacking humility, all the youth (both high school and college-age combined) manage to accomplish when activism is placed first in terms of importance, is a draw towards two very bad things – grappling for power or assertion of victim status.

It took some time for that fact to sink in.  I was then compelled to evaluate myself against this premise to see just how far I had wandered off the path.  While I’m arguably one of the most flawed people I know, I believe I’m neither power-hungry nor prone to claiming victim status.  Maybe, just maybe, my upbringing and experiences taught me humility.  Or at least enough of it, to properly prioritize the order of multiple good things.

As an aside, you must ask yourself when determining the rank of two good things such as loyalty or truth, which you’ll offer chiefly to those in your life.  If the answer is “loyalty” then you’re well suited for political office.  If your answer is “truth” then there just might be hope for you yet…

Because I learned humility early on and had practiced it routinely, I believe a case can be made that I, and many like me, are well suited to be activists.  You see, there is a distinct need for activism in our culture.  There are aspects of our society that need significant change.  This requires activism.  However, when we’re looking at the choice among things like humility or activism, one requires the other.  I don’t believe we can truly advocate well, or with a purity of spirit as well as purity of outcome, if humility isn’t present in us.

As Second Amendment advocates, we tend to be more caring than our counterparts.  They often, if rarely, agree with this, but that’s the truth.  We’re concerned with the preservation of life and liberty.  It isn’t that they don’t have hearts.  Many truly weep for the pain of others.  But they hold a flawed understanding of what is true of a thing, which pushes them into the “feel” category too quickly when formulating crucial precepts.  We too, “feel” plenty, but it is in a different place.  Our feelings come at the front end, which motivates us to love and consider others.  Through those motivators, we apply the logic of the application and perceived outcome.  Our opposition?  They do this, generally speaking, in reverse order.  They come up with an idea or a stance, then use emotion and all the feelings that accompany them to move their premise forward.  This is a big problem.

I’ve often said we need to take the moral high ground in our 2A battle.  This notion was offered to me by a mentor and I’ve never forgotten it.  The other side, just as we, are applying morals to the equation.  They apply moral feelings.  We apply moral thoughts.  Moral feelings stem from the Latin, “conscientia” or conscious. Moral thoughts stem from the Latin, “synderesis” or scholastic philosophy. The synderesis, or thoughts, were understood by the ancient world to be nearly 100% fail-safe, whereas the conscientia, or feelings, were almost 100% failure oriented.

Have we become a world that feels or one that thinks?

Our humility is necessary for us to communicate with others and understand concerns we may not have considered or even share.  Humility precedes our activism.  We absolutely need this in order to do well for our mission and the beneficiaries.  Once we act and think with humility, the activism picks up a tone of clarity and genuineness.  There are times I see that lacking in our actions and responses, which means it isn’t in our thought.  …And it should be.

Believe me, I understand.  We’re grappling with an enemy that will enthusiastically tromp all over our civil rights.  …And not because you or I have done anything to disallow the use and exercise of our core human rights, but rather, because they themselves can’t fathom the use and ownership of a gun.  These are truly their shortcomings, but they project them onto us.  I truly understand why we get so prickly over this so quickly.  Our outrage is justified.  There is a place for outrage too, and that day may be looming larger for us.  But for the purposes of bringing folks who don’t understand this into the fold, humility will go a long way in shaping their view.  …And perception matters.

Once we have humility well in hand, I believe we’re better suited to take on those who have only learned they need or want power in order to Lord over us.  The same group of people who can’t achieve power will assert victim status and immediately vilify us.  After all, this is a zero-sum game to them.  If they claim they are victims, then we automatically become the aggressor.  As aggressors, we now owe them, right?  Whether that debt is money, status, or whatever, they have been taught, indoctrinated if you will, that immediately pivoting to victimology when they don’t get their way will shame us into giving them what they want.  …And it often works.  Being labeled hurts us, and depicts us as things we aren’t.  But, by acting with humility, we subvert those claims in large part.  Sure, false claims are going to happen, and cancel culture is running rampant, but having a track record for humility is akin to a Teflon coating proactively applied.

We’ll be better off short and long term for embracing humility at every level of our mission.  Now, don’t hear what I haven’t said.  No place have you heard me advocate for weakness or some sort of retreat.  Quite the contrary.  Each of us may have a different idea on the subject of transcendence, but for me?  I want to stand tall before Him and offer my account.  After all, the destination we all seek together is important, but greater yet is the journey.  We must do so with purity, thus our best activism contains humility.

In Liberty,

Michael Ware

Buy Ammo?


Do we really need to discuss this further? When the cowardly shooting at Sandy Hook became reality, the community was tossed into a cocked hat. And frankly, the market has been a mess ever since. Things are going to ebb and flow, and I question if things will stop rippling. There are tons more owners now, and the typical person who was not interested in firearms or the exercise of the 2A has become aware they’ve been lied to by progs and politicians.

The need and desire for more arms will continually fuel ammo buying.

My advice? Even if prices are high, you should buy some ammo to have for what you need – bare bones. Then, when you have the expendable income to buy more ammo and the price is ‘good’ then you better be doing it. I warned people two years ago to buy up some ammo because it was finally reasonable again, and then COVID hit, and people rioting, and all kinds of calamity. ….And prices shot up and folks bought everything they could find.

It used to be “buy it cheap and stack it deep” but things don’t look like that any longer. Instead, “buy what you can when you can…” 😉


Mob Mentality and the Retreat from Truth…

Here’s my problem.  I find myself, naturally, falling squarely into one camp when it comes to the brutalization of public property.  …Specifically the idea surrounding the destruction of monuments and history.  Instead of jumping headfirst into my typical posture, I want to step back for just one moment and consider as objectively as possible the core of this.

Recently, at the Iowa State Capitol, there has been a push through social media by a group or groups to tear down both the statue of Christopher Columbus as well as the “Pioneer” statue.  Inside the Capitol is the “Westward Mural” – a massive and beautiful depiction spanning a huge wall.  Some posts call for a presence to “insist” they all come down.  Other posts are calling for people to swarm and physically destroy them.

I don’t see what some see apparently.  To my understanding Christopher Columbus never stepped foot into America.  He explored and made several trips across the ocean in a ship I wouldn’t float on my pond, but I’ve never understood the connection some make in this instance. 

In the case of “Pioneer” statue, which I’ve gazed upon many times, it includes three characters.  An adult male settler, youth male settler, and an American Indian.  Some are claiming because the Indian is ‘behind’ the two “settler invaders” that he’s depicted in a “less powerful, dejected position” to the others.  I’ve never considered that in all my years pondering that statue.  My takeaway?  The symbolism surrounding the ‘father/son’ duo was a duality for me.  It shows the idea that settlers were families and they homesteaded together through thick and thin.  Additionally, it bestowed upon me the idea of generational progress.  Iowa wasn’t settled in couple weeks, just like Rome wasn’t built in a day.  It took, and continues to take time and effort.  Thus, the youth are engaged to continue forward. 

The American Indian?  I find that significant as well.  Why?  Because the settlers needed a guide.  My daughter and I are watching a series on Amazon Prime called:  Expedition Overland.  A bunch of trail junkies basically put together a well-planned series of trips all over North and South America.  Crossing multiple countries as they drive, explore, blaze trail, and camp, they routinely and consistently enlist the help of local guides.  They’d be stupid not to.  The local guides help them with communication, interpret customs, and unlock otherwise hidden experiences.  The X Overland folks either wouldn’t get far or would miss countless life altering experiences without local guides.  When I look upon the American Indian in that statue, I thank my lucky stars they collaborated.  I’ll bet they had some unbelievable stories to tell around the campfire, right?

The “Westward” mural?  This work of art is 40 feet wide.  It was commissioned and painted 120 years ago.  Each time I look at it I see what appears to be a group or family of people making the trek west.  Angels are sewing in front of them.  To me, that symbolizes seeding the way.  This is a concept within the sharing of Gospel to many.  One person plants a seed with the ‘good news’ about Christ.  Another comes along and sprinkles water on that seed.  Yet another comes along with sunshine, so that seed may sprout and grow and bear fruit.  This analogy instantly springs to mind when I gaze upon that breathtaking mural in arguably one of the most beautiful buildings in the Midwest.  I don’t see strife or dejection.  I see hope, and the beginning, and the promise of more to come little by little.

If I take all that I think I know, and place it neatly in a box, high up on a shelf, and for just one moment consider the very worst I could pull from these pieces, I still can’t bring myself to believe defacing or eradicating them outside due process is somehow justified.  There are iron clad pathways to accomplishing change.  This I assure you.  I’ve now been immersed in advocacy for the better part of my adult life.  I have a firm handle on how hard it can be to adhere to a law you’re working to change or remove all the while.  I know.  I’ve done it.  I’ve lived it.  I continue to.  There is no shortage of law and policy I would like to see altered or removed.  However, I’ve never advocated breaking the law we’re expected to embrace, even when I despised it. 

The concept of law provides equality, no matter what anyone else may claim.  The law lays a foundational precept upon us all.  The law provides a level playing field and universal expectations.  It begins for me with God’s law of course, but there is plenty of man’s law as well.  And when you think about it rightly, THERE IS NO FREEDOM WITHOUT LAW.  Some of my libertarian friends just popped their circuit breakers, but my statement is true.  The underlying concept surrounding freedom through law is presuppositional. 

This brings me to my conclusion.  I concede upfront and completely, the eyes through which we view these pieces of art and history differ.  They may not depict the same things for everyone.  However, two things underpin each of us, regardless of what we think we see.  The first is the context and intent of the subject at hand.  When vital context is overlooked, we’re not being honest about the subject matter.  The second is the lawful means to approach the idea of change.  We should always use the civil and democratic process to implement your change and stop the mob mentality.  When you embrace the ‘might is right’ notion, it becomes a beast that wanders the community tearing down anyone and anything it lays eyes upon with quick and reactionary flare, and often the wrong things, for the beast becomes loose from the notion of control.  It is absolutely incumbent on us all to adhere to these governing principles. 

When we don’t seek the indispensable and fundamental context of the subject matter, we’re ignoring truth.  When we raze and sabotage items of history as a mob, we’ve ignored law and the code that binds us to the civility of our communities.  That too is to ignore the truth. 

Can you and I inhabit a world without truth?

Decoration Day (Memorial day)…

Have you ever heard the term “Decoration Day” by someone in your family or among your friends?  We used to refer to Memorial Day as “Decoration Day” for specific reasons.  Sure, we decorate the graves of others over this weekend specifically, but the core of this federal holiday is slowly becoming lost I fear and I wanted to pen a note for your contemplation.  Not for a second am I suggesting we skip placing flowers, flags, and decoration atop the graves of our loved ones, family, and friends of days gone by.  However, this holiday, rightly, is specifically tailored to honor our country’s military personnel whose lives were forfeit while serving in the United States Armed Forces. 

I make every attempt this weekend each year to think about a soldier’s personal touch on our lives as he or she lived, rather than solely how they gave their life.  I have often heard my dad refer to his then best friend, Howard Cox, who served in Vietnam.  Dad has spoken freely and often about Howard.  It has been obvious to me over the many years he and I have enjoyed together that he misses his friend.  More obvious is the fact they must have been pretty tight.  This year, as I pondered that, I decided to call my Dad up and ask for a better understanding of Howard.

Howard’s middle name, Max, was applied under grim circumstances. For his uncle, Max Cox was fighting in the Pacific during WWII. Upon his birth Howard’s folks named him Howard Max Cox after his uncle who all feared would not return from the islands alive. Fate saw otherwise, wounded and bound to a stretcher that was hidden so well in the jungle even his brothers in arms couldn’t remember where to find him, Max survived his injuries to return home to his family and infant nephew. Named in no small part for his uncle Max who was looking headlong at death during battle, it was Howard who wouldn’t return home among the living.

Lance Corporal Howard Max Cox, C CO, 1ST BN, 5TH MARINES, 1ST MARDIV, III MAF, United States Marine Corps was quite a character as near as I can tell.  Just about like any energetic rural Iowa farm boy, he worked hard and played hard.  Dad shared with me several stories, all of which made me smile and a few that made me chuckle.  One or two came with an asterisk of course, “You shouldn’t share that one,” Dad would giggle and mention after he was done reliving it for me…  My Dad and Howard sounded a lot like me and my buddies as he shared some of the stories – even the ‘screwdrivers’ they mixed up in college one night with vodka and orange juice that foolishly continued to be labeled ‘screwdrivers’ long after they had run out of orange juice – that sounded eerily familiar. 

Howard was a phenomenal athlete as I understand it.  He strong and sleek, as most farm boys are, and he set records in track, baseball, and football at Bedford High School in South West Iowa.  He and my dad were best friends in High School and both worked to save up some money to attend college in Maryville, MO.  Howard mowed ditches for the county and Dad worked the farm and took odd jobs to fund college.  Howard intended on becoming a coach and from what Dad describes of his intellect, drive, and leadership qualities, he’d have been a fine coach. 

I’ve attached a couple of pictures I found and Dad verified they were most certainly Howard.  Dad joined the Peace Corps and was sent to Iran for a couple of years.  A little over a year after Dad left for the Middle East, Howard joined the Marines – August of 1967.  Howard and the 5th Marines were sent into Hue City after the Tet Offensive to drive out the NVA.  The Siege of Hue, as it is often called, was a terrible and bloody prolonged battle.  Howard was wounded by small arms fire and evacuated to a military hospital in Da Nang on February 21st, 1968.  Howard died the following day at the age of 22, on the 22nd of February. 

When I showed my Dad the pictures I had found, he mentioned something profound and solemn to me.  “The first and last time I ever saw Howard in his Marine uniform, was in his casket.”  Dad had returned from two years in Iran with the Peace Corps and was headed into the Army right after Howard’s funeral.  To see your best friend in his uniform for the first and last time, laid perfectly in a coffin, as you prepare to head off to basic training must have been a very heavy lift for my Dad.  The lowering of his voice and change in timber indicated to me he was most likely thinking of standing over his friend as he mentioned that small but enormous truth to me.  Dad and I are a lot alike, and I imagine he even remembered things as subtle as the scent of the church that day, the tear-stained cheek of Gladys Cox, Howard’s biggest and most animated fan at his ball games, and certainly Kenneth’s warm handshake and embrace as a father committing his son’s body to the Earth.  Those thoughts rattle around in my head, as they are the kinds of things I too remember when I attempt to help others through their losses.  Dad uses his five senses.  As do I.  I wonder if he occasionally wishes he didn’t, just as I. 

I seek not to come across as the bummer of an otherwise great barbequing weekend for you all.  Rather, as a reminder of the incumbent responsibility on us all to consider this day in context as we remember, honor, and mourn the loss of this brotherhood of military service.  I leave you with this from the Gospel of John.  15:13 – Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Damn the man! Save the Empire!

Somewhere, right now, teams of HK engineers are laughing all the way to the bank. There can be only one logical conclusion associated with my concern. It has become apparent to me HK owns stock in copious numbers of insane asylums. There could be no other plausible reason for the complexity within these weapon systems.

The primary conduit among the residents of these facilities you ask? …They are completely inhabited by people who were all at one time happy, vibrant, and otherwise well-adjusted gunsmiths.
Systematic trauma inflicted upon them from years working within the confines of HK product gradually wore them down to little more than eye twitching nubs.

I’m unclear whether it was Edmund Heckler or Theodor Koch, who challenged the other to fit an entire grandfather clockworks into a pistol, but the resulting complexity has diminished many full grown and well-bearded men to their lowest common denominator. I for one, found myself in the fetal position just a few days ago over a VP9 that refused to accept societal norms and come apart…

As is the case with a 3rd nipple, civilization tends to turn away with veiled horror as they gaze upon frayed gunsmiths, tattered and fatigued, from years laboring elbow deep inside HK devices. In cases where many of us are found slobbering like a baby cutting teeth slumped over a once-proud bench vise, social construct is swiftly ushered in. Humanity then locks us away, out of sight, as if we’d never existed.

This is the plight of an HK smith. …And it continues to be my burden. Stay strong my brothers! Resist the temptation to succumb or capitulate to HK’s design for inherent madness. Combat their wicked and repugnant back channel revenue scheme.

In the immortal words of my favorite mid 90s film, “Empire Records” – Damn the man! Save the Empire!


Zuck, Dr John Patrick, and Michael walk into a bar…

I offer you 3 panels, all of which appear independent on the surface, but are irrevocably intertwined.

Panel 1-Zuckerberg says, “You have someone like Elizabeth Warren thinks that the right answer is to break up the companies … I mean, if she gets elected president then I would bet that we will have a legal challenge, and I would bet that we will win the legal challenge.”

Panel 2-Dr John Patrick says, “The problem with the liberal ethos is that it is parasitic on the history it denies.  It doesn’t have to have the intrinsic strength to enforce what made it work.”

Panel 3-Michael says, “Soft-nihilism is becoming the American way.  We must resist this temptation, as it is all too easy to embrace it.”

Ok…  I’ll take my lumps up front.  I, just like you, think it creepy as hell when people speak of themselves in the 3rd person format.  So, I offer you a quick apology for panel 3.  😉

That aside, apparently Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook creator and CEO, was recorded as saying Elizabeth Warren, a liberal running in the Socialist primary, was a threat to Facebook.  She believes Facebook, a private business, should be broken up into pieces.  Mark obviously doesn’t want this.  You have a socialist member of the political class threatening to shatter a private business conglomerate run by a socialist.  Only in America folks…  Only in America.

The only way people like Zuck and Warren have to voice their beliefs, run for office sputtering their campaign rhetoric and lies, manipulate the masses all while saying, “they opted into our user agreement, didn’t they?”, and manage to sleep at night rests solely on the idea that the founding principles of this country were, and are, good ideas and are necessary. 

In order for Zuck to build a company big enough to manipulate billions of people, he has to stand atop foundational conservative principles like freedom and liberty to accomplish this monumental task.  …And with that same freedom and liberty he’s built a machine in which we’re willingly addicted.  He used conservative principles to erect a structure that works only on his terms, not yours.  …And his are socialist to the core.  There is no freedom and liberty on Facebook.  Your every move is monitored and when it is deemed contrary to his “values” which is another word for “opinion,” then you’re sequestered, or worse.

What about Warren?  She’s identical.  She’ll use freedom of speech all day long to say whatever it is she wants, but when you depart from her ideology, even in the slightest, you’re judged as someone offering hate speech, or you’re branded a bigot, or labeled unkind, etc., etc., etc.  It doesn’t matter to her if what you offer comes from your heart or head.  If she doesn’t agree, much like Zuck, your ability to project your concerns shall be squashed. 

With no small irony, you have two liberal socialists using daily conservative principles to force their view of socialism on us all.  And if you think about it, using core conservative principles is the only way they can do so.  If they adhered to liberal philosophy, they’d never get a start.  Thus, they use our rules if you will, against us to accomplish the opposite.  Is that an oxymoron or what?  Where else can you find two socialists using conservative principles to further a radical liberal agenda? 

The above shore up panels 1 and 2.  The idea that nihilism is upon us isn’t quite true.  I have heard various people, including Dr. John Patrick who I quoted in panel 2, use the term soft-nihilism.  Instead of wandering around through the cosmos void of caring or religion, we simply do so on a ‘light’ basis.  Sure, we care, and we call ourselves Christian, but we really don’t do so with zeal or consistency.  When we’re being watched by our peers, we’re pretty good.  But when no human being is taking our acts to bear, we sluff it off…  I’ve read that ethics are things people do when others aren’t watching.  With ethics practiced part time, religion something we do only when convenient, and caring the thing we act on when we can get credit for it, we’re beginning to inhabit a soft-nihilist world.  And when we do that, a series of inherently poor and irreversible things come next.

I recognize that Zuck’s responses shouldn’t bother me much.  But when the opportunity presents itself to point out the paradox, I’m compelled.  I make a statement to you, and ask a question at this point.  Piss on the paradox, as it matters little.  Instead, are you going to embrace soft-nihilism or resist it?

The truth about labor day…

Labor Day…

The day everyone goes to the lake for the end of summer bash, right? Maybe you have a big huzzah in the back yard and become the pride of the neighborhood, if only for a moment, as you grill delicacies rivaled only by the fleeting visions dancing within your own mind. Or perhaps, you just nap the day away because you don’t have to work on Monday for a change.

No matter your style, you may have missed the point. The time was the 1800s and most folks in America were working 70hrs a week. Most were largely underpaid and generally overworked. The formations of unions and various organized labor began dusting things up routinely.

The Haymarket riot and the Pullman Strike managed to make unions look like crap, but ultimately got attention. So President Cleveland did what politicians do and offered an olive branch that cost the political class nothing and bamboozled us into thinking we’d won something. (That’s why there are dozens of holidays each day in America by the way. If you squawk loud enough long enough someone slick will shut you up by proclaiming an annual date as something special, while you leave hat in hand all while thinking you’ve cut a fat hog in the ass.)

The irony contained here is as deep as the Laurentian Abyss. The ‘factory’ worker today is supposed to enjoy a 40hr week and plenty of paid leave. That is the case in some aspects, but rarely the way it plays out. Additionally, the person working for himself isn’t much different today as he was in the 1800s. I’m working 70hrs a week and I know many of you are. More over, when the majority of the country isn’t working on this holiday, the minority are forced to. Adding insult to injury, they’re probably pulling a long shift as well.

Ahhh, Labor Day. I like you. A lot. But let’s be honest about it. It’s a made up holiday by an arguably below average President. No matter what you may think, this country was built on hard work and plenty of it. I know few places on this planet that hard work and perseverance can actually pay dividends, but this is the best of which I’m aware.

So while you’re boating, grilling, and napping, think not about the union or the worker even, and instead concentrate on the idea of hard work and what it means. If and when you master that, you’ll have accomplished something. This holiday conjured from thin air to silence the cries for decency is more about the ideology behind work, as an ethos, than anything else, as it should be. Your work is a projection of attitude and almost mimics a set of quantifiable values. So make sure you understand what work is and do it well.

If you really want to your noodle baked, begin by asking yourself what ‘work’ is when applied to things besides what you do to earn the cheddar… Are you working well when you run the vacuum for your wife? How about the way you present your work when your child is the audience? …And what about the zeal you demonstrate when working on behalf of Christ?

Work means something. It truly is huge. You better have a firm grasp of what work is and isn’t, and how it is to be accomplished, if you intend to make good use of your limited time here. Ruminate on that a bit today between boat rides, burgers, and blissful yawns…

Thank you my friends… 

RED FLAG LAWS? Good bye rights and decency. Or maybe…

“Red Flag Laws” are the latest wave to crash over us here in America.  Simply explained, a person who levies a complaint against another can go before the court and a judge can then strip the accused of his or her rights and possessions. Most often, the accused is not even notified of the proceedings, much less given an opportunity to testify in their own defense.  Only after a confiscation order has been executed will he or she have an opportunity – perhaps up to two weeks later – to hire a lawyer and appear before a judge to protest the action. Put the issue of the Second Amendment and due process aside, and think long and hard about what I described above.  Can you think of any way that scenario could slide horribly sideways? 

While I’m sure it has never happened, do you think there are some ex-spouses or former live-ins with an axe to grind who just might conjure or embellish a story in order to inflict harm and/or exact revenge on their former significant other?  Yeah…  You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting someone with that precise life experience.  To be accused is one thing, but to have your rights removed without due process is to trash the founding principles of our nation. 

I want safety and security just as much, and many times more, than most of my opposition.  The problem is, I’m honest about it.  The other side?  Rarely.  They make up statistics and stick to them like glue.  With no small irony, we have them to thank for the policies which directly lead to all this trouble in our culture.  When a tragedy befalls America, you can count on a Rahm Emanuel-type to, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”

Maybe we shouldn’t kick God out of everything.  After all, ethics are a pretty big deal and when you no longer know where ethics come from and aren’t taught and use ethics, you’re in big trouble.  Even if you’re not religious, the understanding of right and wrong matter supremely.  I’m sorry, but you’re not going to pick up crucial ideologies from YouTube. 

Possibly, the systemic corrosion of the nuclear family through social attack, bad legislation, atrocious court rulings, and general intellectual promiscuity are really lousy things to do.  When we devalue family in every way possible, is it any surprise when we learn the family lives of those who sought to do great harm was akin to a train wreck?

Maybe, just maybe, the deconstruction of community has been ignorant and silly.  When class warfare, weaponization of the races, sexism as a form of power, perpetual arrangements for the purposes of self-indulgence, and homes lacking both parents are the norm, we’ve really screwed up.

You can pass any red flag law you want, but it’s a completely flawed premise and will never actually achieve its goal in any quantifiable sense.  Why?  When the dust settles in the court room, the rights have been removed, the weapons have been confiscated, and everyone takes a deep breath, do you know what is left in place to stop someone from doing others gratuitous harm?  …A piece of paper.

We’ve stigmatized mental illness in this country to the point where individuals are embarrassed or ashamed to seek any kind of help or treatment.  If someone truly is a danger to themselves or others to the point the state confiscates their possessions and removes their rights, no further damage could possibly result after a red flag order has been served, right?  No. 

Adding insult to injury, we’re also treading deeply into uncharted waters.  I have yet to find a judge that was also a trained, licensed, and well-practiced psychiatrist.  Should any of us have any comfort with a judge, whose proclivities deeply trend towards erring on the side of safety, having the keys to the mental health kingdom?  We’ve seen numbers varying in states from 65% to 95% for granting these orders.  We should all have a fundamental problem with a judge deciding what mental illness is for others, and a public that tosses that critical diagnosis around so freely. 

Will that document stop anyone from finding a million other ways to lash out?  No.  We’re creating a false sense of security for Americans in the same way those utterly stupid ‘Gun Free Zone’ stickers do on malls, libraries, and county courthouses.  The same people pushing for red flag laws may actually believe they’ve done something to rectify the cultural problem we’re faced with.  If pieces of paper and stickers on doorways did the trick, then we could easily obey the pieces of paper that outline the laws each of these people break in order to hurt others.  This idea a piece of paper will spare us harm is ludicrous, but moreover, it is extremely dangerous. 

After a red flag law is put in place, the public will let their guard down (assuming it was ever up) and go about their day under the false notion that all is well again.  They’ve expressed outrage, some Senator thought they could save us from ourselves and pick up some campaign fodder, and the executive office signed some garbage into law because they didn’t take the time to pause and use their brains, while instead listening to their precious policy advisors.  That’s often how law is made these days, by the way…  This process sends a message to the American people, “We listened and made you safer.”  But are we? 

I submit to you we are worse off, not better.  The piece of paper, the sticker on the door, or a politician running to get in front of the camera after a tragedy all offer the same thing – a LIE.  You’re not safer as a result of any of these things because we haven’t yet dealt with the core problem.  Faith, family, and community have been destroyed over the last 50 years in this country.  What can the political class be doing for you to truly help?  They can do two things and two only.  They can foster legislation and erect programs that allow Faith, family and community to flourish.  Next, they can get the heck out of the way and allow it to be shaped by the people who know best – the greatest generation would be where I’d start.  There are plenty of them left around and they know a thing or two about living and living rightly.  Maybe we should listen with their ears and look through their lenses. 

Get your family back in church.  And don’t always pick the easy churches because it interferes the least with your life.  Trust me, what you often want is rarely what you need.  Put yourself out of your comfort zone and donate your time to making meals for the poor of sustenance.  Get your kids in a church youth program or school program of some sort.  Talk with your children’s favorite teacher and ask where they think your child might best fit if you don’t already know.  When you see the neighbor’s woodpile knocked over, help him pick it up and restack it.  Volunteer to flip pancakes at the local firemen’s breakfast fundraiser.  Take a night once a week and turn off the electronics.  Play card or board games with one another.  Pull out a book or go to the library together once a week, if only for a short while. 

Each one of the things listed above you can do, and that’s barely scratching the surface.  The most important part of these vital exercises?  Involve a friend whom you know is hurting.  Engage a neighbor you know is having a rough patch.  Take your children along whenever you can.  This entire idea is based on growing in character together.  This is parenting.  This is exploring and shoring up your Faith.  This is community building.  This is love.  This is forgiveness.  No piece of paper or sticker will ever accomplish what these things do.  This is a generational alteration, not one born of the moment.  It takes time and perseverance to make a fundamental change.  And I promise you, just like the way America was built, this is the only way we will prosper moving forward.  We live in a time of instant gratification; thus, we’re dumb enough to think we can magically wave a legislative wand and cure the problems overnight.  That is fantasy, not reality. It took a long time to corrode our culture, so it’ll take more than a day to improve it.

More laws will not deter the lawless.  We must place a very personal touch on people so they don’t choose lawlessness.  Everyone reading this knows this to be a solid and profound truth.  The question now becomes, will you engage in character building, forgiveness, and love, or would you rather have the state attempt handling those three things on your behalf?

Michael Ware
Chairman – Iowa Firearms Coalition

You better be nice to me…

We’ve seen quite a few people, not just locally, that are quite willing to tell you they expect you to be ‘nice’ to them. I’m speaking specifically of the elected officials that threaten us all with taking from us rights, liberty, possessions, etc. “I’ll drop a nuke on you” or “If I were you, I’d start being nice to me” etc.

When you think about what things you can’t live without, and especially those things of which you’re completely intolerant being taken, that list tends to be long. Not only is that list long, but you’re all very passionate about the items on your lists.

For example… Most of the things that truly matter most to us can’t be held in the tangible sense. Can you live in a world without trust? What about a world without justice? Truth, honor, and fidelity? What happens when your world no longer contains those?

Without those vital things your world isn’t fit to inhabit, is it?

Now put yourself in the position of an elected official that seeks to take from indiscriminately and often, much of which is born of either spite or contempt for you simply because you’re different from them. What they’re robbing you of isn’t only your liberty and your freedom. They’re not just voiding trust and justice in our world. No. They’re placing themselves in the position to rob your core autonomy.

…And no red-blooded American seeks to take from another their autonomy for any reason when it falls in ethical and moral parameters.

When you hear any politician, regardless of their party, proclaim the virtues of something like the second amendment, and their sentence doesn’t end with a period, or better yet and exclamation point, you’re in trouble. Any statement made about the 2A that pauses with a comma, means they have footnotes, details, or circumstances in which they seek to deny you, in full or part, your autonomy.

People who support you and trust you and love you make blanket statements like, “I completely support the 2A” and then they shut their yaps. Anyone who follows it up with, “but I think we need to balance it with public safety” or “I also believe in common sense gun control measures” etc. tell you in no uncertain terms they actually have zero trust in you, they don’t support you, and they sure as heaven above and hell below don’t love you.

NEVER put yourself in a position to take another’s autonomy. NEVER support a person who does. NEVER shirk from an opportunity to call the person that does a pathetic excuse for an elected official.

After all, if they hold this level of disdain for you and your family, children, parents, friends, fellow parishioners, and Americans, do you want them in a position to control you? Call them out often and with vigor. Then vote them out…

The Second Amendment as a Litmus Test?

I found this troubling at first. But the more I contemplated it, the more it became clear the issues surrounding the Second Amendment are virtual “see through” scanning techniques for the rest of us to use as tools… I ended up coming to a realization I’d been flirting with but hadn’t been able to convey well. Let me explain:

Most of the political class hates being asked about anything “gun” related. Why? Because the issue itself is a looking glass into their core ideology. When ANY member of the political class isn’t truly energetic or enthusiastic about your ownership of this tool, they’re signaling you in no uncertain terms they have ZERO trust in you. None.

And when they place no trust in their constituents all while proving to you they’re quite willing to deny upholding the highest law of the land, The Bill of Rights, knowing they took an oath to obey and defend it, why would any of us ever trust them for any reason?

What you’ll hear from many of these folks are examples of side stepping. My own local House Representative does this frequently. He’ll use an example that because there are crazies out there, curtailment of inalienable rights is just. Think about that. He admits there is a danger present, and his response is to remove my defense against danger. That’s his plan? “Victim Creation through Legislation” should be his campaign slogan. When he speaks about how some people shouldn’t have this or that, what does that have to do with you and I?

Is there a compelling reason you and I are made to suffer for the actions of another?

The reason this doesn’t make sense to you and I is really quite simple. It isn’t about us. This has never been about you and I. It’s always been about a political class that doesn’t trust you and will peel you back a layer at a time until they think they can trust you. Think on that. What woeful existence would you need to occupy in order for a politician like this to trust you? Seriously. Read what Senator Celsi wrote and ask yourself what circumstance you’d need to inhabit in order to be worthy of her trust?

I don’t know much about Senator Celsi. But what I can tell you boils down to one confirmed thing. She doesn’t trust you. Any of you. You’ve broken no laws all while participating in the political process in an ethical manner. As a professional politician she’s either naive enough to assume you and I won’t notice her complete and total disrespect of every law abiding citizen, or her brutal honesty about her disregard for your basic civil and human rights shows how brazen she is towards the fact she’d prefer you didn’t exist. Possibly both.

With no small measure of irony, my friends and colleagues in the House and Senate Galleries yesterday were probably armed. The ironic part? We have a mindset she can never understand. When we make the conscious choice to wear a defense weapon, what we’re really saying is, “I’ll defend you as my own family.” It won’t matter who voted for what. We import “to save life is good” into every equation. …And in response she provides us all with the cruelest cut of all by stating she doesn’t trust any of us unless rendered innocuous…

From this point forward we should be using the 2A as a litmus test on every politician in every realm. If they can’t get the basics of trust and loving kindness right, you should not only fear them, but work actively to remove them from a place in which to rule you. When they don’t trust you, they intend to rule you whether they realize it or not… And is that good governance?