Taft, Snow, Gun Laws

There are some odd connections in the news sometimes.

Today the news has another “School Shooting” in Taft California.

So the “narrative” being spun is that this is just another example of why we need even MORE “gun laws” restricting guns. Completely missing from the news? That California already has the most draconian gun laws in the nation. A ban on what are called assault weapons, but really is any military ‘look alike’. Non-functional things like pistol grips and flash suppressors. (I doubt many folks will care if they are shot with a slightly smaller flash at the muzzle or not). Real Military Assault Rifles have some combination of full automatic or selective fire and full automatic. Those have been forbidden for a very long time. (Somewhere back around 1935 or so, IIRC, unless you have special licensing and pay a few hundred dollars).

So we need more gun laws, somewhat less restrictive than in California, to prevent shootings like we had in California?

OK, several times I’ve said “The shooters will just shift weapons”. In this case, we have proof of that. The kid had a 12 Gauge shotgun. He, too, understood the value of the pocket full of shells. About 20 per the news. I’m sure some fruitcakes will try to spin this that it was ‘better’ since there was only one person seriously hurt and none killed.

In reality it is just evidence that if you want to shoot someone, you need to know how to aim. The shooter completely missed one person. With a shotgun. A rifle or handgun are even harder to ‘shoot straight’. So this kid couldn’t hit someone with a shotgun? Having a handgun would have been less likely to hit someone. He was armed with one of the most effective means of close quarters combat. In W.W.I the “trench broom” shotgun was so feared that folks using one were often executed by “the other side” in retribution.

What stopped this event? One very brave teacher “talking him down” after the second shot. Nothing about the weapon limited the attack. Only a lousy shooter missing his targets and a brave teacher doing an intervention.

The Back Stories

There are two. The Context and The Snow.

First off, the interviews with the kids at the school say the shooter was “picked on” for being “different”. The real crime here, IMHO, is that we force children into a daily hell of hazing and abuse, give them no alternative, and then are surprised that they respond to it with a violent ‘break’ when they can take it no more.

How do I know this? Because I was one of those “different” kids. I was physically assaulted and mentally abused at school by bullies for years. The only difference between me, and the ‘shooters’ in the last two events, in any real way, is that I decided to use a martial arts path. I got a couple of books (there being no dojo in my farm town) and studied. My “break” was a person to person ‘show down’. Me vs. the dozen “usuals”. They were waiting for me, and I’d reached my limit. (They had just tripped another ‘nice but meek’ kid and then run off. I found out that he had broken his wrist in the fall… I used that as my “trigger”.) The crowd realized that this time I was not going to be a ‘meek nice guy’ and decided to go on back to ‘the showers’ (this being PE class). I was never bothered again.

So why didn’t I shoot someone?

Well, we had guns. LOTS of guns in my home town. I had a nice rifle with 15 round capacity. It was in my closet from about age 8? or so on up. I thought about it. Decided it was not the best approach to end the trauma. I thought about other things as well. I was reasonably well versed in poisons. I knew I could “take out a few”. I decided that poison was best held in reserve as a last ditch step. Why? Simple. I was raised Christian. It was not a Christian thing to do. Furthermore, there was risk of collateral damage. “That would be wrong” would echo… So I rationally thought through how to “fix it”.

Yes, a rational assessment of what method would be best, carefully considering options and choosing the least damage solution for all concerned.

I started with asking adults to fix it. Asking adults how to fix it. Eventually gave up on adults. (After a decade of trying their suggestions and being beaten up, and trying their suggestions and having things not get any better, and trying their suggestions and being forced to continue the ‘abuse immersion’ of school, I eventually realized “they were wrong”. 3 guys 2 years older than you are NOT ‘really scared’ inside. They just like pulling wings off flies and beating up younger kids.)

Once you decide you are on your own, each individual will reach their own solution.

Realize that means there will be a range of “solutions”. From drugs, to running away from home, to becoming a bully themselves, to joining a gang, to withdrawal and hiding in their room, to buying a martial arts book and study, to explosive violence.

Consider that last one for just a moment. I was 17 when I “confronted” the gang. At about 12 I was making explosives. (Hey, Dad was U.S. Army Combat Engineers and I was good at chemistry. At the time, lots of farmers had explosives and it was not illegal. I was just curious how to do it.) But literally, I could have made 20 lbs of explosives and arranged it for someones car to “have an accident”. Does anyone really think I’m the only “bright kid” who has had to make that decision?

Now one big thing in my favor was that ‘in those days’ they didn’t drug you up if you were bored in school. Had I been 1/2 addled by SSRI drugs for being “inattentive” and “over active” I might well have made a less challenging decision about how to deal with The Daily Hell. Not spent the better part of 3 years in study and practice and mental preparation ( including self hypnosis and how to set a ‘trigger’ to go ‘berserker’, as I knew that was the only way I could voluntarily hurt someone, being fundamentally an extreme pacifist. One of my exercises was to put a red and blue lightbulb in a pole lamp, then visually move the transition color back and forth on the wall. I got to where, at will, I could make the wall “all red” or “all blue”. After that it was fairly easy to set the “script” that would be run, to set the emotional state, to accept that we’d all end up in the hospital together and that was fine with me, and I’d likely only kill one or two of them… – throat grab, crush, ripout… by surprise from the guy who never strikes back… by then I was 210 lbs and with ‘a grip’… )

In fact, I was about 10 seconds from the non-retrievable trigger word when the ‘crowd’ gave a nervous laugh, and astonished me by running off the field. I stood there dumbfounded with an adrenaline ramp already started on command (you can learn how to do that…) and the mental trigger set, but not yet pulled.

So what can we learn from this? Some VERY important things.

1) It isn’t about banning the guns. Nor the gun laws. Not at all. I had a gun. I had boxes of ammo in my room. Actually, by then, I had two guns as we’d added a 7 round deer rifle. I could pick a walnut off a tree at 20 yards with a BB gun and had hit tossed soda cans in the air with a .22 rifle. Had I chosen to ‘be a shooter’ nothing could have stopped me. As we have had more restrictive gun laws, fewer kids have grown up knowing what guns do. Fewer have the fundamental gut wrenching regret of looking at a poor sparrow THEY have shot and realizing that they were a murderer and not liking it. I chose not to shoot people because I was experienced with guns. Because I had them.

2) It isn’t about “bad kids”. I was a model “good kid”. Church every Sunday. Good grades. Follows adult guidance well (that set me back a decade…). Yes, to some extent the stereotypical “nice quiet kid” as I tried “hide in the room” for a while. Then “escape into books”. Largely not interested in team sports as THEY were the folks beating me up. So a bit of a ‘loner’ as I avoided the Team Gang that was abusive. A ‘background check’ would find a model person.

3) It IS all about abuse of “good kids” by the average crummy kids. You want to stop school violence? It’s simple. Stop letting the petty little tyrant gangs beat up the good kids.

4) No amount of control of the “material goods” will fix a social problem. Sorry. Not going to work. I can make explosives from common fertilizer, common automotive chemicals, and cotton (or any other alcohol type molecule). So you can try banning food, cars, and clothes, but it isn’t going to work. Then there are poisons. LOTS of choices there. There’s several at the local garden shop… These are things I considered. I’m sure I’m not the only kid to ever think along those lines. Even had picked out some interesting ‘contact poisons’ and figured out a ‘blocker’ to put under them (hit me here with a bare hand, please…) but decided it “would be wrong” (not to mention a bit risky ;-) so I’d started thinking sprays… this was before the “Super Soaker” or things might have been different… I won’t go into the particulars, but just realize that “poisons” were the preferred method of “doing someone in” before guns were invented. Particularly preferred by women due to them being abused more. It is not possible to stop knowledge.

Oh, and I can make an interesting explosive using welding gas and a metal, and I can make a poison from salt and electricity. And soo much more. “Chemistry is your friend” is a lesson I learned early. Yes, it’s a Very Bad Idea to annoy the geek. You are betting your life on their self control and morals.

5) To fix a social problem, apply a social solution. Yes, that simple. The teacher talked down the kid with a shotgun. It would be FAR better to have a method that was used prior to that point. Say, for example, having a zero tolerance for bullies and providing an EFFECTIVE place where “kids like me” could go get real help from adults to stop bullies. The notion of “you need to learn to be a man and deal with it yourself” is still prevalent. Having a few million kids doing “trial and error” on how to dispatch bullies is not a very good way to do things.

6) Stop drugging up kids for being different from the average 1/2 brain dead bullies that are driving them around the bend. It has bad consequences. It’s the bullies that are driving the good kids crazy. Don’t expect drugging the victim to fix the cause of the insanity. It is structural to the social system YOU have approved.

7) Allow kids to “opt out” of the mandatory “prison and abuse of the gang” that is what our school system is (for many). Anything from home schooling to vouchers to magnet schools to “whatever” is better. I’d have learned more and been less ‘at risk’ just given a pass to the library and left alone. I’d have gone about twice as far academically and at much faster speed. Give an ‘escape hatch’ for those kids who don’t fit the straight jacket. Please.


The town of Taft is near the mountain range between the LA basin and the Central Valley. It is on the Central Valley side. A small point in the news was that the ‘guard’ who usually was at the school was absent that day due to ‘being snowed in’. I presume he lived ‘up slope’ in the nearby hills. Still, snow “down there” is something to notice.

So one interesting thing to get from this is that if you are going to have guards in school, it’s better not to have just one who can be snowed in. (Think “teachers with concealed carry”.) Also note that even having a regular guard didn’t fix the social problem that drove this kid off the cliff. Putting more guards on the prison, but leaving the gangs running the ‘yard’, doesn’t fix it. It just ends the fight quicker when it does break out.

I also heard on the news that there is unusual snow in the Levant and that much of the Northern Hemisphere is having a rough time of it. Maybe someone will notice…

In Conclusion

There is hope. I “came through it” relatively intact. Later, in college, I volunteered for a NASA program. It involved repeated interviews with a psychiatrist along with a load of psych tests. Selecting for folks who were sane, well balanced, and able to put up with a lot of abuse and not ‘lose it’. So we have a ‘certified sane and balanced’ person who made it out the other end of the process.

If you are in such a situation, take heart. There is life after high school and it can be good. Even if you think life is hell now. Look beyond now. I did. (Part of why I chose the martial arts prep rather than the shooting solution. Didn’t want to spend the rest of my life in prison. A rational choice from a certified rational person.)

If you are an adult, take a little time to ask your school what they do to assure your kid is not subject to hazing or bullies. Ask what is done to expel and discipline bullies. Even if not your kid, some kid will benefit from your probing. Put your kid in a karate or similar martial arts class. Nobody messed with the two Japanese kids in my class as they were known to be enrolled. Part of what tipped me that way. (This with a bully population that was not ‘minority friendly’.)

Even if you don’t “believe” in religion, it can be very helpful. The “moral compass” that it gave me was highly valuable and helped me make the better decisions. It also can provide a group of ‘social peers’ who can provide a place for normal social interactions in a safe and comfortable environment. Frankly, though I thought some of the “preaching” was bit daft, the weekly contrast between the church climate and school was a large part of what gave me hope there were other ‘good people’ in the world.

Do not, under any circumstances, expect that school violence will go away or end until the social problems of our bulk processed social dominance based mandatory ‘prison immersion’ experience is changed. And make no mistake about it. For many kids the daily trek to school is indistinguishable from prison. There is a powerful authoritarian cast that is in charge. There is no appeal from their rulings, no matter how loony or power driven. They control your future. There is a ‘yard’ that is dominated by the ‘gangs’ and you better be in one gang or another or you will be attacked. You hope, someday, that your sentence will end, but it takes forever. (Were it not for summer breaks, I likely would not have made it. Year round school will increase these kinds of ‘breaks’…) There are powerful gangs (the older classes) and weak gangs, and then the poor ‘nice guy’ who is totally lost in the system. Frankly, it was the kids one and two years older who were worst. Putting kids of different class ages in different places would help. Just like in prison it’s the ‘lifers’ who have the system figure out most and the most power to abuse.

In short, the way to fix this is just to stop letting kids run the social order and stop running the schools the same way prisons are run. Make them a fun safe place to go explore the world and “people like me” will spend our time exploring the world (not figuring out how to ‘take out’ their abusers and not needing to be ‘drugged up’). IMHO vouchers and school choice would go a very long way along this path. Just having the sporadic Montessori or Religious School gives an escape hatch. (Even if NOT interested at all in religion).

Find a place where the ‘quiet kids’ and the ‘different kids’ can just be quietly different together and left alone. It will be better for everyone. Even if they have a gun in the closet and can make explosives from “things around the house” and poisons from “stuff in the garden”…

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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22 Responses to Taft, Snow, Gun Laws

  1. John Robertson says:

    The behaviour of dogs when they become a pack comes to mind.
    We are a pack animal, unless we are taught better.
    Now how true that is I don’t know, but it is an observation of mine.
    I grew up on a farm, guns were stored either side of the bookshelves in the main living room.
    Lost & abandoned dogs would pack up and kill sheep, rip them open and leave them all over.
    All farmers there shot and buried any dog they did not recognize, if it crossed their property.
    Part of chores.
    Did not have your experience with bullies, got most of my full growth by time I was 12, and worked hard at home, mother would have beat me if I bullied anyone, I had to allow the first blow before acting and justify my actions at home.
    Later used to encourage the bully types to think I feared them.Shock treatment works.
    And they continue run in packs as adults.
    But same thing, grew up with guns, knives in every day use, nobody got stabbed or shot.
    Only cure I know for the bullies is beat them down, so do not know the answer. But todays schools are miserable failures, a child I know was bullied for his having seizures by one kid, when his mother spoke to the teacher, teacher said, we can keep your son in at recess to prevent the bullying. Superintendent backed up teacher. She home schools her two kids now.
    Parents have a tough task today, the helpers are most all deliberately undermining the parent.
    Crisis seems to teach that the ghoul with-in needs no encouragement and that life is grand.
    But how to help a young man in todays cult of despair, from feeling irreversibly trapped?
    Glad that teacher had the guts to talk the poor kid down.
    Bringing control of schools and responsibility for funding them back to communities would go along way to putting adults back in charge and allow us to retire these professional child molesters that pose as education experts.(mostly in the education bureaucracy I should note, many teachers are all that saves the kids from this system).
    My mother who will speak ill of few, blames Benjamin Spock for todays adults.

  2. Power Grab says:

    My heart goes out to you and others who have had to deal with bullying, whether as a youth or as an adult. I remember junior high as a tough place to exist because there was this BIG GIRL and her posse (as they call them now) who didn’t ever physically attack me, but always sought me out in the schoolyard to torment me.

    I ended up spending a lot of time with the counselor as a result of reporting the bullying, but the best thing that came from that (besides all the “free” counseling) was that she recommended that I try out to play piano for her husband at the high school, where he was the director of the vocal music program. I tried out by playing something i had been working on, then he placed “You’ll Never Walk Alone” on the piano for me to sight-read. I had never seen or heard it before, and when I finished it, he asked if I had ever seen it before. I said, ‘No.” He didn’t say anything in response. I took that as a compliment. He wasn’t one of those people who gushes, but I could tell he was impressed.

    The next year I was at the high school, and I accompanied the mixed chorus – which was a BLAST! That was a pretty fun year. But the next year (my junior year), the first week of class, my dad called us all into the living room and told us we would probably move sometime during the year, not sure yet where. I was frozen for three days. it was a devastating prospect. I had finally found my niche, and if we moved to the nearest big city, as he talked about, I was sure there would be so many competent piano players among the student body, that they would never even find out that I played. Sometime the third day, I unfroze and decided to try to graduate a year early. I had taken English Lit. the previous summer, just for something to do. That put me ahead on credits. So I went to my advisor and found out I could graduate as a junior if I changed my schedule around. So that’s what I did.

    My advisor had me apply for a scholarship to a small college on the other side of the state, and I got a one-year scholarship. It meant I actually started college at age 16(!), but that was fine. Actually, I was so undeclared that after that one year was over, I transferred to one of the two largest schools in the state. I figured I needed a bigger variety to choose from.

    Anyway, I suspect I would never have gotten to accompany the mixed chorus in high school if I hadn’t been bullied in junior high. I was never a music major in college, but the musical things I do now are a continuing source of pleasure for me!

  3. E.M.Smith says:

    @John Robertson:

    My spouse, who is a ‘special ed’ teacher, also blames B. Spock… She gets to deal with parents that think telling the kid not to act like an animal will damage them…

    My “problem” is that I”m not a ‘pack animal’. Once I learned pack animal dynamics, things were easier. My kids had little trouble. I told them that as long as they were not the bully, I’d back them up. Also gave them some insight to “pack dynamics”.

    I agree on the point that it’s the admin above the schools. The “inside talk” by the teachers shows they know what they are mandated to do is broken.

    My answer would be simply to return schools to the local level. Every single school it’s own “district” and the local parents tell the admin what to do (and decide who to hire). No Federal involvement at all. No State either. At most, a ‘district’ that is an entire city. (Even there, I’d consider having no district larger than 20,000 population.) Then let folks swap to other “districts” and take their tax contribution with them if they want.

  4. R. de Haan says:

    Once again a great article containing the real solutions to school violence.
    If only this article could reach MSM?
    The real set back on the current anti gun process unfortunately is rooted in the same soil as the climate change madness. It’s 100% political and their agenda stinks.

  5. P.G. Sharrow says:

    Many in school administration were or still are bullies and they believe in “Zero” tolerance for fighting. So if you fight back then there is a “fight” and the bully is the “Victim”. So when my son got suspended for decking a bully I said good job. When my grandson got suspended for knocking down a bully in defense of his crippled friend I cheered him. I spent my school years young for my grade and small for my age as well as an outsider due to my being moved from school to school. Bullies considered me to be easy game until I berserked on one that was a head taller and 50 pounds heavier and knocked him down. After that the bullies avoided me.
    An armed society is a polite society.
    No amount of punishment is greater then being constantly bullied. pg

  6. E.M.Smith says:

    @R. de Haan:

    Saw part of that on CNN (then couldn’t stand Piers any more and clicked to another channel). Found myself mouthing “What part of ‘maintenance of a free state’ sounds like murdering Bambi?”…

    While I was a little less worried about “free State” maintenance after watching the Russian USSR revolt ( I took notes…) where I watched a guy take down a tank with a large post and jug of gasoline, it is simply the truth that was being spoken by Shapiro. The 2nd amendment is about assuring that the politicians fear the people.

    (To take down a tank, a group distracts the ‘focus’ to one side forward. The ‘off side’ guy chucks a large block into the treads from the side. Looked like a train track tie, but I suspect a nice steel girder would work too. Gasoline bomb is then tossed onto the sight location. Tank is now blind and can’t run away. Subsequently, just add more gas bombs and baste as needed… I was impressed. Took a few minutes, but the guys inside realized they were going to be cooked, or abandon the tank. Hatches opened and they exited pronto. I think one of the gas bombs was expertly tossed onto the engine air intake killing the engine… )

    So, going to ban ALL flammable liquids and wood or metal beams and pipes?

    So now I’m not all THAT worried that, sans my own personal M-16, I’d not be useful. Also the number of army folks who ‘swapped sides’ was a nice ‘technique’ to appreciate. But still, the guys outside that tank had a handgun and rifle. That assured the crew surrendered peacefully.

    It is exactly that kind of overthrow of tyrannical government by the people that the 2nd amendment is to preserve. Having that right, prevents the need to ever use it. (See Egypt, Libya, Syria and more for recent examples of why it is an important right of the people.)

    So Peirs can kiss my buttstock and drag his sorry self back to the good old UK if he so loves the laws there. It is well on its way back to serfdom to the Royals and the EU Aristocracy. I’d suggest that this time we not bother bailing them out of their next tyrant of Europe. I think we would benefit more from having them as a good ‘bad example’ to illustrate why we have guns.

    So if Morgan and his ilk think getting rid of guns is going to prevent “violence” they really have no clue at all. It will increase violence (as bullies become more emboldened…) and it will change the form of it. That they don’t see their actions as causing the substitution of a car bomb for a handgun does not help. That they don’t see the folly in trying to control the materials is even worse. (The chemistry means that you can make ‘boom stuff’ and toxins from so many paths that you can’t block them all – think wheel weights ‘sugar of lead’ and dust on the walkway). The real solution is to embrace the people. To leave them with their constitutional duty to protect a government that respects them. To recognize that this is a land of individual rights, and responsibilities, and those of us who care to be skilled want to be on their side. All they need do is leave us alone in peace.

    Reading that, I think maybe I do need to move to Texas. ;-)

    I wonder if they never watch “The Military Channel” or “The History Channel” or “Chillers” or even “NCIS”. You can get a decent education in ways to cause mayhem just from watching selected TV shows and reading history books. Heck, just visit the hardware and garden stores and read the “Precaution!” labels….

    Can you tell I get frustrated by stupidity and stupid laws?….

  7. crosspatch says:

    I believe every US service member discharged under honorable conditions after 6 or more years of active service should be allowed to take their individual weapon with them when they leave. But look at the overall picture here:

    Violent crime is HALF what it was in the 1990’s. Why do we need to take people’s guns away NOW? Why wasn’t this being discussed in 1992? (Answer: never let a good crisis go to waste).

    We have crime rates what they were in the 1960’s. Yet we have more people in the civilian world with actual recent combat experience than we have had in many years.

    More more importantly, the gun laws have nothing to do with hunting or protecting your home against an intruder. When Biden asks who needs more than 10 rounds to shoot a deer, that is beside the point. The US Constitution is a system of checks and balances. The right to bear arms is the ULTIMATE check on a government that would attempt to rule the citizens rather than be ruled BY the citizens. The purpose of the right to bear arms is so that the federal government fears an armed population. We are to be allowed to have basic individual infantry weapons by design. Politicians are SUPPOSED to fear an armed population, that is the entire point of having it.

    These guys have the right idea:


    I fear politicians more than I fear armed neighbors.

  8. crosspatch says:

    Oh, and I listened to the author of this book speak on the radio today. He’s *amazing*. I am buying the book.


  9. DirkH says:

    E.M.Smith says:
    11 January 2013 at 7:55 am
    “So Peirs can kiss my buttstock and drag his sorry self back to the good old UK if he so loves the laws there. It is well on its way back to serfdom to the Royals and the EU Aristocracy. I’d suggest that this time we not bother bailing them out of their next tyrant of Europe.”

    UK: Interesting past persons:
    Ruskin – professor for fine arts, enamoured with ideas from Plato’s The Republic (destruction of families, selective breeding by the government which would destroy all inferior offspring, precursor to Eugenicism)
    Ruskin was a teacher of Cecil Rhodes. (Rhodes had no kids; his fortune to this day founds the Rhodes scholarships; Bill Clinton is a Rhodes Scholar)

    Ruskin also impressed the later founders of the Fabian Society (Fabius = the delayer; the idea of the Fabians was to GRADUALLY and behind the scenes transform Britain into a socialist utopia. Fabians are the puppetmasters in the labor party since its founding).

    So, the ongoing decline of the UK is the SUCESS of a strategy conceived more than 100 years ago.

    See H G Welles (who worked for the Fabians a few years, then left, “The Open Conspiracy”. The blueprint for non-democratic elitist socialist one world government.

    (What’s most interesting is that the Blueprint for Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World is 2400 years old and written by an old ancient evil Greek.)

  10. Petrossa says:

    France has very strict gun laws so only the gangsters have guns

  11. philjourdan says:

    I disagree with you in the ultimate outcome. I agree things can be done to mitigate the prison mentality of schools, but I disagree that we can ultimately eliminate bullying or bullies. They will be with us always. It is a sad fact of life that this is not edenic, there are bad people, and they will try to gain power and torment those they do can (just look at the liberals).

    Like you, I was one of the bullied. But I never got into martial arts (my loss). Instead, I listened to the adults (some of them at least), picked one of the biggest kids in the school, and started a fight with him. I lost. But from then on, they stopped bullying me (the big kid was not even a bully, and we later became friends). I guess my lesson was more costly than your solution.

    But as long as there are differences in people, there will be bullies and bullied. As long as there is life, there will be death. And until we can accept those facts, we will always be chasing snipes to solve the wrong problems.

  12. adolfogiurfa says:

    It´s just normal, as long as those kids live in a quite violent environment, of war being a current business, where they themselves will someday “fight for freedom” and become dead or surviving and crippled “warriors/heroes”, having foolishly contributed to their unknown masters´fortune , where they daily train in their x-boxes or in whatever “technological” means, to kill other people without any remorse whatsoever, as they just cause “collateral damage” or “casualties”, being in their brain washed minds as “virtual” as in their screens.
    As seen from the outside, you have been absolutely cheated, fooled, hypnotized to the core of your bones.

  13. Richard Ilfeld says:

    I found a way to get even. It was satisfying then. Not as much now, but not retribution amiss, either. Scaring a bully may work, hurting one may also. But as such things sometimes start feuds, I left town. Had I not had that option, my behaviour might have been more circumspect, but probably not different. The authorities who were the eventual agents of my revenge were not unacquainted with the victims.
    Progressives sometimes confuse civil liberties with ‘civilian freedom(from fear)’ . When the “authorities” encourage evil, taking ones safety into ones own hands is what is left.
    There is a good story of this interplay in contemporary America: http://www.city-journal.org/2013/23_1_war-on-crime.html

  14. BobN says:

    I was very lucky, I grew up in South Dakota where almost every town is a farming community. Every kid usually had a gun in the trunk of his car and everyone new it not wise to push anyone. I even remember standing in the school parking lot showing the coach my new gun from the trunk of my car. He walked over and showed me his gun from his car. I can’t imagine that happening in this day an age.
    The only incident I ever had was after a dance one night, I was with the women to be my wife and the kid nutcase was stopping cars as he was drunk and was threatening people. I didn’t see what was going on until it was too late and he was approaching the car, revolver in hand. I remember the fear and being torn between trying to talk to this kid or making a try for my gun in the trunk. Luckily it was taken out of my hands by others. In the flash of an eye there were about 6 guys with deer rifles that disarmed him and sent him home.
    The next morning I wake up to the sheriff talking to my dad. I told what happened and he left and the kid was removed from the community. The only comment from my dad was, I should have made a try for the gun in the trunk.
    Those days are gone even in the rural communities, but the system worked real well for us. Today’s social media bulling just amazes me. Just ignore it, stay off. The interchange with teachers and students seems bizarre to me. I guess bullying is a bit different for each generation.

  15. Zeke says:

    Amid Federal Land Grab in Brazil, Whole Towns Evicted at Gunpoint

    Federal Brazilian police and military personnel, some wearing United Nations insignia, are forcibly relocating whole communities in Brazil at gunpoint under the guise of returning huge tracts of land to a small group of Indians whose ancestors were allegedly there at some point. Thousands of local residents who have lived in the area for decades or were even born there, however, are fighting back, with critics saying the government’s actions smack of Stalinism and may constitute crimes against humanity.

    Since the latest controversial operation began in November in the state of Mato Grosso, according to authorities and news reports, citizens opposed to being stripped of their property and homes have been doing everything in their power to stop the assault — setting up road blocks, battling heavily armed federal forces with stones, sticks, and Molotov cocktails, torching government trucks, protesting, and refusing to leave. Others cried as they tore down their own simple houses under armed guard.

  16. John Michalski says:


    It´s just normal, as long as those kids live in a quite violent environment, of war being a current business, where they themselves will someday “fight for freedom” and become dead or surviving and crippled “warriors/heroes”, having foolishly contributed to their unknown masters´fortune , where they daily train in their x-boxes or in whatever “technological” means, to kill other people without any remorse whatsoever, as they just cause “collateral damage” or “casualties”, being in their brain washed minds as “virtual” as in their screens.
    As seen from the outside, you have been absolutely cheated, fooled, hypnotized to the core of your bones.

    Sounds like a synopsis of “Enders Game” by Orson Scott Card. Quite an interesting read. Encompasses everything that is being discussed on this thread.

  17. Gail Combs says:

    Bullying doesn’t just happen with guys.

    I was the runt in class and worse was lamed at age 6. On top of that we move a lot. Like ChiefIO I just wanted to be left alone but I was an instant target because of my lameness coupled with being dainty and small boned. My Mom finally convinced me to catch the lead bully alone and let her know some time, some where I would catch her alone off school property and beat the crap out of her. I was quite capable of doing it too so it worked quite nicely.

    As far as females and poison go, simple I have a ton of this out in my pastures belladonna and there is always the death angel.

    Guys go for stuff that goes boom, gals can be more subtle.

    Just don’t let any put upon young person read Dorthy Gilman’s ‘The Clairvoyant Countess’

    As ChiefIO said, although I am Agnostic, I would raise any child I had within the church (and home schooled). My Husband’s family is atheist and all raised within the Christian church for the last three generations.

    Benjamin Spock was to blame but before him was John Dewey

  18. E.M.Smith says:


    Our farm town was 13 miles from a major “game reserve”. When pheasant season came, a lot of folks came to the area to hunt (and our business picked up at the restaurant).

    One of my “odd memories” is High School. Kids parked their cars on a large open dirt area in front of the school (street / driveway in between). In fall, you would see, frequently, guys with the trunk lid up. Sometimes checking that the vest, shotgun, boots, etc. were in the trunk. Sometimes showing their new shotgun to friends. One occasion I mentioned something about it to my math teacher. Turns out he had a nice pump shotgun in his trunk. Not only in pheasant season…


    I don’t think I ever said bullies could be eliminated. Just looking for reduction and stronger control…
    Now? Now 100% of those folks would be classed as “criminals” for the same thing.
    Then? Then folks were real polite in the parking lot…
    NOBODY was ever worried about a ‘school shooting’. (IIRC one of the other male teachers had a flat small semi-auto pistol under his coat most of the time. I know the ‘spouses of police and sheriffs’ along with any cop and game wardens regularly came on campus with guns in purses and pockets. ( I saw them. )

    It was pretty well known that at any time there were a half dozen guns on campus, maybe more. Heck the old DMC marksmanship program had kids practicing shooting as a sport in some schools (that had the program).

    The whole gun paranoia is just crazy. Then again, a lot is these days…


    Looks like a standard communist agenda item and in conformance with past history and the Manifesto.


    Yeah, saw some surprising ‘cat fights’ over the years…

    Oh, and we have Jimson Weed and Queen Anns Lace near most of the local streams. Can’t get it eradicated… Then there’s Foxglove and Monkshood and … One of my favorites is a little bean like seed used to make junk bracelets in some typical tourist areas. They have had a few deaths from folks who drill the holes in them with a needle getting a tiny bit of dust in their mouthes. You can wear these trinkets through TSA and not even raise an eyebrow…

    And so many more… (Anyone with a botany book and flower garden has choices… Heck, even sorghum has HCN in it when young. So take young stressed sorghum leaves and make a water extraction… Not like there isn’t a lot of sorghum around. Or rhubarb leaves or just take some potatoes and leave them in the sun. Green skin and solanine. Though you can get a lot more from the leaves and stems. It is more a matter of choosing which one and amount and best delivery… And deciding on dead vs damage vs bother vs…)

    For not all that lethal, but very damaging, there’s ‘sugar of lead’. Wheel weights and minor chemical treatment. Was used as a sweetener in the ancient world (before folks knew it caused brain damage). How many folks would notice a white sweet material in their sugar?

    Frankly, I’d rather the “bent kid” come on campus toting a visible gun than put ‘special dust’ in the sugar bowls in the cafeteria…

    On one occasion when in a dark mood, I figured out an entire meal that would be lethal in any part. Fish (fugu) with mushroom was the center of it… Side of “carrot roots” that were Queen Anns Lace. “Mixed greens”… Most of it I could make rather tasty too… (though ‘adjusting the seasonings’ has “issues” ;-)

    As you pointed out: Men are about show, women are about quiet effectiveness ;-)

    @Richard Illfeld:

    I’d have loved to leave. Unfortunately, not an option. Went to school with the same kids from kindergarden to high school graduation… Not a lot of chance to redefine yourself.

  19. BobN says:

    @EM – It sounds like our backgrounds were similar as kids. Rural Community with farming and hunting. The difference between then and now just amazes me that society could change that much and much for the worse. It seems that common sense on most things have just disappeared.

    The school AG teacher was the guy that taught gun safety so you could get a license. He held the classes after school, so any kid taking the gun safety class just brought their gun to school and of coarse the teacher made them park it in the corner or in the coat room. Can you comprehend that happening today. Back then it just seemed natural.

    As an aside, my son-in-law raises Pheasants for the game lodges. When he started the business the hardest thing was catching them to take for delivery. He used nets as every one did, but an old timer told him to herd them into a building and turn on a blue light, they just stand there. What used to take 2 hours and help he can now to in 20 minutes by himself. Every business has tricks of the trade, to be successful one must keep learning. ;-)

  20. E.M.Smith says:


    Well, your bird comment lead me to discover that birds see UV. Who knew? Wonder if the ‘blue light’ was putting out colors we didn’t see but the pheasants did? Or if they have a blank at ‘just blue’? Or ….

    Bird colour vision differs from that of humans in two main ways. First, birds can see ultraviolet light. It appears that UV vision is a general property of diurnal birds, having been found in over 40 species using a combination of microspectrophotometry, electrophysiology, behavioural methods, and gene sequencing. So, are birds like bees? Bees, like humans, have three receptor types, although unlike humans they are sensitive to ultraviolet light, with loss of sensitivity at the red end of the spectrum. This spectral range is achieved by having a cone type that is sensitive to UV wavelengths, and two that are sensitive to “human visible” wavelengths. Remember, because ‘colour’ is the result of differences in output of receptor types, this means that bees do not simply see additional ‘UV colours’, they will perceive even human-visible spectra in different hues to those which humans experience. Fortunately, as any nature film crew knows, we can gain an insight to the bee colour world by converting the blue, red and green channels of a video camera into UV, blue and green channels. Bees are trichromatic, like humans, so the three dimensions of bee colour can be mapped onto the three dimensions of human colour. With birds, and indeed many other non-mammalian vertebrates, life is not so simple. As well as seeing very well in the ultraviolet, all bird species that have been studied have at least four types of cone. They have four, not three, dimensional colour vision. Recent studies have confirmed tetra-chromacy in some fish and turtles, so perhaps we should not be surprised about this. It is mammals, including humans, that have poor colour vision! Whilst UV reception increases the range of wavelengths over which birds can see, increased dimensionality produces a qualitative change in the nature of colour perception that probably cannot be translated into human experience. Bird colours are not simply refinements of the hues that humans, or bees, see, these are hues unknown to any trichromat.

    Bizarre as it might sound, they could perhaps be so used to ‘4 color vision’ that monochrome or a ‘hole’ at ‘just blue’ could leave them feeling blind…

  21. BobN says:

    @EM – How interesting, I had no idea birds had that ability. The reaction no seems baffling. I think I will get some other colors and see if they react the same. Would love to know what they are experiencing. I checked the Yellow Pages and no Pheasant Psychiatrist listed! LOL

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