A challenge to my readers

There is a lot of breath being expended on guns, gun control, and all associated issues, and all stemming from the shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. 

Opinions abound.  Heck, if you search this blog, you’ll find mine, including a notable profanity-laden offering, following previous such attacks. 

Do me a favor, will you? BEFORE forming an opinion, BEFORE making a suggestion, BEFORE claiming this or that action will keep our schools safe, how about you read what there is to know about one of the most infamous attacks?

I mean it; read all these links. Every word, no matter how difficult. 

After, sit down and put down on paper — actual paper, words that you can read back to yourself aloud — what you would have done to prevent that act. What laws would have stopped those kids from putting their plan into action? 

I mean it . . . on paper, written words that you can read back aloud. 

Then take another paper, and write down what we might consider going forward. I don’t mean pie-in-the-sky stuff. I mean an actual plan of action, point by point, encompassing the host of legal, medical, and constitutional questions that need be answered when considering what we might do to curtail these attacks. 

While you’re are it, see if you can come up with a plan that would mitigate these acts right now. I don’t mean a year from now or ten years from now. I mean now. Tomorrow; next week, at the latest.

Then, and only then, should you feel confident to engage anyone in a discussion about school shootings and what should be done. Know that you may be challenged, but at least, you’ll know more and discussion is productive when the two sides are informed. 

The Columbine event:

You don’t have to read any of the following . . . but, you know, if you really feel these topics are important (guns, gun violence, gun control, school shootings), it might be of benefit to you. That way, instead of me thinking you are talking out of your lower posterior region, we might actually have something we can discuss with an approximate level of understanding about the issues if not an agreement of what to do about them. 

Mind you, you don’t have to agree with anything written below, but you should at least be aware of the arguments you might not agree with.

However — and this is important — if you think we should just ban all guns, stop reading right here. Also, unsubscribe from this blog. Seriously, there’s nothing for you here. 

Bonus reading (Key Finding #10 is interesting but the whole Secret Service report is worth a read):

Bonus reading #2 (stuff I’ve linked before; the first one is well-written and — surprise! — talks in favor of gun control):
This next link is by someone I don’t hold in high esteem for other reasons . . . but is worth reading:

Bonus Reading #3 (What do cops think?):

Bonus Reading #4 (worth reading, but what do I know?):
The Truth About Violence (excellent advice, November 2011)
The Riddle of the Gun (the original written post, January 2013)
FAQ on Violence (his response to criticisms to Riddle of the Gun, January 2013)
Note: read point #8; this is somewhat analogous to my recent discussion of guns and alcohol, but there is a lot of other good information here.
Self-Defense and the Law (very informative, and occasionally baffling, August 2013)
Fighting (peripheral information but useful for understanding violence, April 2015)

For the record, I’m in favor of regulating guns. Also, for stricter regulation on booze. I’d really like to regulate who can and can’t have kids. I’d prefer more stringent regulations and requirements for people who operate a car. The list goes on and on, but people’s eyes glaze over after a few minutes, so I’ll stop here. 

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


Note: if you are not reading this blog post at DisperserTracks.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.


Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Finally, if you interpret anything on this blog as me asking or wanting pity, sympathy, or complaining about my life, or asking for help and advice, know you’re  likely missing my subtle mix of irony, sarcasm, and humor.

About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
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16 Responses to A challenge to my readers

  1. I have spent an hour trawling through all that stuff and my opinion remains unchanged. Gun control is a private matter for the USA, external opinions are mostly ill-informed or based on ignorance. On that basis I will keep clear of the debate save for one comment – we don’t really understand why you insist on carrying guns but how could we, it simply wouldn’t occur to us!


    • disperser says:

      I can’t help you there. All I can explain why I started, and it’s pretty simple.

      I got an anonymous threat (although I’m pretty sure it was a disgruntled employee). I went to the police who told me that they couldn’t do anything until . . . you know . . . something happened. The detective I spoke to strongly suggested taking precautions; precautions like house alarms, situational awareness when leaving work, and basically look over my shoulder. BUT, he also strongly suggested getting a gun for protection (a carry gun; I already had guns at home). This was especially applicable because disgruntled employees often attack at the workplace.

      For me, then and now, it’s a no-brainer; I rather have a gun and never need it than need a gun once and not have it. I really don’t get why people don’t feel the same way, but then most people don’t receive threats on their lives.

      I suppose we could ask all the politicians, movie stars, or rich folks in general why they feel the need to hire security or themselves have guns . . . but I think I already know the answer and I then have to ask myself what makes them more valuable than me or my family. Frankly, I find them less valuable, but that’s another story.


    • disperser says:

      I should also add the fact that it was an option I had. I don’t think your police would suggest the same.

      In fact, if I read the laws correctly, violent self-defense is discouraged if not criminalized. That, to me, makes absolutely no sense, so there we are at par . . . it’s simply not in my nature to think (or accept) that I can’t defend myself from harm.


    • disperser says:

      By the way, I knew one active cop, and know one retired cop and one federal agent. . . . none of them are anti-gun. And by that, I mean none of them object to guns in the hands of civilians and none object to concealed carry by civilians.

      If you read the links above, that is consistent with the majority of cops who also appear to have a poor opinion of gun control measures as proposed.

      The only people I’ve met who are adamantly anti-gun are people who’ve had little to no personal exposure to violence and crime. These are people who believe if you give criminals what they want you won’t get hurt. I hope they never have to find out otherwise.


  2. Perhaps you can explain to me how the first 13 words of the 2dn Amendment seem to have disappeared from the discussion and it is all about personal safety now?
    Warmest regards, Ed


    • disperser says:

      Well, Ed, you’re not taking up the challenge of this post.

      I just answered a similar question in the comments of the previous post, so you can read my answer there. The short answer is that it’s always been about personal safety.

      But, let me turn it around . . . I already said I’m in favor of regulations. Even robust regulations. This post, however, is about what we should do now.

      What do we do while we debate how to best keep children from being shot in school. Yes, yes, let’s debate banning some or all guns and why that might or might not be a good thing. But, even you must agree whatever the outcome of that discussion, it’s not something that will be resolved soon and that it behooves us to take steps to minimize the problem at hand.

      Think of it as triage; you have a bleeding wound. What’s the first thing you do? Should we argue whether it’s better to stop the bleeding with whatever tools we have at hand, or is it better to go search for a cause of the bleeding and debate how we stop future wounds?

      Again, this post is not about the second amendment. And, if you think banning one type of gun is the answer, then we don’t have a basis for discussion. This shooting:
      happened after England passed strict gun laws and was done using a shotgun and a .22 rifle, neither of which is even in consideration for a ban.

      Please, don’t misrepresent my arguments as me callously not wanting gun regulations.

      The whole point of all my posts is there are multiple discussions to be had and we’re not having the right discussion with regards to mitigating this particular problem.

      Think of a couple, one person wanting pizza and the other wanting hamburgers and neither budging and unwilling to consider pasta with meat sauce. They’ll eventually starve.

      The greater argument, how to plan meals going forward, is a longer and more involved discussion.


  3. Gun control in the US is impossible
    The only thing that surprises is that with the number of guns, the number of people owning said guns, that there isn’t much more slaughter on the streets, in the schools, in the theatres.
    It’s just a very small, maniacal few, who perpetrate these crimes and the chances of weeding them out before they embark on their tour of murder and self destruction has Buckley’s chance of success. They are too cunning and for the most part keep their intentions hidden from what is possibly the few that know them.
    It is seemingly something that Americans must now learn to live with,


    • disperser says:

      I don’t agree . . . it is possible and even likely. What is impossible is the removal of all guns and the elimination of gun crimes.

      What mystifies me is the thinking that if we get rid of certain guns we’ll be OK. I guess people don’t remember the bombings not just throughout history, but even here in the 60’s and 70s. In 1971-1972, there were 2,500 bombings in the US. An average of 5 a day:

      Now, granted, those were protest bombings with relatively few direct casualties. Forward to the Oklahoma bombing . . . a different matter.

      By the way, the Columbine killers referenced the Oklahoma bombing in their writings. Had their bomb went off in the cafeteria, we would have had upwards of 400 casualties.

      Here’s the scary part . . . those two killers — that I won’t name here — have fans. I mean, true fans who admire what they did and talk about emulating them and besting the body count.

      To think that dedicated killers would be stymied by a gun prohibition or ban is . . . well, nuts.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Caity Marsh says:

    Guns are not totally banned in the UK, but the types of gun are severely restricted and limited to hunting or sport (ie air-guns). When the Dunblane school massacre happened in the 90’s the government moved straightaway to ban hand-guns and while it inconvenienced some people, there was hardly a murmur of debate, it was just evident this was the thing to do. Here it is not a political argument between conservatives vs liberals, just nigh-on universal agreement we don’t want the right to carry guns. Here, legally, there is no scenario where you can walk around the streets carrying a gun, self-defence is not an argument the police would accept. Mind you, they wouldn’t be keen, as apart from special squads, our police are also unarmed.

    I’m not saying this as arguing against what you are saying, but trying to show there is a vast gulf in the two cultures on this subject, that goes beyond reasoned arguments and is more of an evisceral feeling. I would say that 99% of Britons will never see a gun, outside of TV, in their life, do not want the right to carry arms and do not want armed police, because we have never had that history or culture; whereas, the US because of it’s history and geography has always had guns as part of its mind-set. Therefore, it is an argument that non-Americans should not get involved with.

    Liked by 1 person

    • disperser says:

      My only comment is that reality will eventually intrude into this difference in cultures. There are significant differences in culture, yes, and there are major differences in how the two societies are structured.

      What’s not different is human nature. In that, I’m a pessimist, and I can guess what the response of reasonable individuals will be.
      Also note that Northern Ireland already has armed officers. I’m sure we can trace back the justification for that.

      I’m not pointing this out to argue one way or the other. I’m saying that reality has a way of intruding into what we do in our everyday life, whether we want it to or not.


      Honestly, I’m hoping that I’m wrong. Unfortunately, I’m seeing the unrestricted and unregulated increase in the sheer numbers of humans. It doesn’t take a genius to look a bit ahead and see population and resource pressures on orderly societies. Add the advent of real consequences of climate change, and nothing looks secure to my pessimistic eyes.

      Brexit, I think, was a knee-jerk reaction to that pressure and England being an island might even work at insulating it for a while . . . but it could backfire. It could increase internal pressures on the population as a whole. I could go into long dissertations of economic, educational, and social problems and how they manifest in different layers of the economy and society. Oh, I forgot one other thing . . . the coming AI revolution. Look to many jobs going away and then think about people with few resources and opportunities and an even larger gap between the have and have-nots.

      Ah, heck . . . I’m wandering far afield of the original discussion, but that’s because nothing exists in an insular environment. I sure hope I’m wrong and that fifty years from now — after I’m dead and gone — the world will be a better place. To be clear, not a better place because I’m dead and gone, but because it will have solved the problems we face.

      I have trouble seeing it, this favorable scenario, in no small part because we can’t seem to have fruitful conversations about any of the challenges we face.


  5. I really admire you for taking this on…sharing this blog and being willing dialogue with your readers. Thank you!


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