Some Pictures Of My Hand (While You Wait For A New Post)

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See that? That’s what happens when you spend all Sunday catching really hard round objects at ridiculous speeds.

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Tryout Day!

Right, so some of you are wondering how that went I guess. Well, sit back because I have a story for ya!

First off, Just as I said I would the night before, I did in fact show up a couple of hours early to check out the field we’d be working out on. Needless to say, it had a few problems. The first of which was that it’s February in Northwest Oregon. For those of you not native to this part of the country, allow me to explain that the late fall to late spring is pretty much the rainy season. And by “rainy” I mean to say “You better have evolved some flippers and gills, otherwise life’s gonna pretty much suck”. Thankfully it didn’t rain last night. But it had been pretty much pouring non stop for the last couple of days beforehand, which leads us to the next problem. 

You see, Westmoreland Park (The place we had the tryout) is pretty much built right alongside the Willamette River. Because of this, the ground is already moist and heavy with river/ground water. Now, if you combine this with the already constant flow of rain we experience here during the cooler seasons, and you begin to wonder who’s brilliant idea it was to build a baseball stadium atop a swamp. Whoever it was, if you are reading this, then allow me to say congratulation- a retard is you!

The final problem were the ducks. I swear by all that’s holy, there were HUNDREDS of the little fuckers. They were all over the field, doing whatever it is ducks do. As my luck would have it, one things ducks definitely do is shit. This is something they do a lot of. And they do most of that all over baseball fields it seems, since the ENTIRE area was covered in a thin green layer of mud and shit. Now mind you, it doesn’t reek or anything like that. But still… we’d have to be running around, diving after line drives, sliding into bases and such in  something that came out another creature’s butt. Awesome.

Another thing I learned about ducks: They’re strangely territorial. As I approached the field, most of them stood their ground. But there were a couple that thought it’d be a brilliant idea to charge toward me, wings all spread out and quacking maniacally. I’m also pretty sure they understand English too: When I muttered to them that it might not be a smart move to get pissy with a guy holding a thick wood baseball bat, they quickly quieted down and went back to the others. Hmm…

So with all that out of the way, I figured this to be as good a time as any to warm up a bit, get loose before festivities really get underway, and get my pitching mechanics to where they needed to be.

Except for one thing: Barring the flock of ducks on the diamond, the pitcher’s mound had somehow taken on the likeness of a miniature replica of Crater Lake. There was no way I was going to attempt throwing off that without water wings. And since I was led to believe there wouldn’t be a need, I left my set at home. Oh well. I figured I’d check out the bullpen mounds. And then I find that the entryways to both bullpens were locked. Okay… guess I’ll be throwing from flat ground. Good fucking luck trying to find a patch of flat ground that I didn’t sink three inches into. I opted for the sidewalk instead.

After doing some tossing off and on for an hour or two, I noticed that people began slowly filing in. At first, there were maybe one or two others. But then right around noon, people began to just appear out of the blue. It looked as though things were gonna really start happening. I went ahead and got ready. As I was putting on my cleats, a younger fella asked me if I wanted to long toss with him after he jogged the field. “Sure!” I said, my most game smile plastered upon my face. But inside, I was shitting myself with fear.

See, as I’ve explained in the past, it’s rather tough for me to throw overhand without pain, dislocation of my arm, or a complete loss of control. And when you long toss, that’s what you’re doing. When the kid came back, I let out a deep sigh and went out onto the field with him, figuring that as soon as I uncorked that first painful wild throw, I was going to be sent home.

But then, something happened. And by something, I mean nothing bad. My first throw was not only smooth, loose and pain-free, but it was actually dead on target. So was the second. And the third. And so on. The only thing that actually hurt was my left hand from catching this kid. He had a gun arm, for sure.

And so it went for about twenty minutes or so, until the both of us decided to do some jogging and warmups. At this point, I was feeling pretty damn good about things! And then, finally, the guy running the league called everybody in.

This guy and the league’s respective managers stood together in a group as the league president explained how the format of the tryout would be: Some (more) long toss, and then he’d call all outfielders to the field to do some fielding drills, the infielders would go to the second base area to work on grounders, while the catchers would throw to one another. Another group would take ten swings of batting practice. Which is great and all, but what about those of us who are pitchers?

Somebody asked him this, and his response began with “Oh…..”. Yeah. Real good sign there, Boss. 

“Well… alright. Pitchers line up at their secondary positions” he finally managed to say. And you know what? That makes perfect sense. Let’s wear out the guys who make their mark pitching before they even get a chance to throw bullpen. Guy’s a regular George S. Patton all up in here! Judging from the quiet groans in the crowd, I wasn’t the only one thinking this. Or maybe it was Zombies among us. Whatever. As long as I get to pitch I thought as I jogged to the outfield.

I lined up with the rest of those waiting to do fielding drills. And as we waited, I could overhear bits and pieces of conversation in the line.

“They’re not even gonna have us run a 40?”, came one voice.

“Is the guy running this even watching us?”, came another.

“It doesn’t make sense to have pitchers line up and work at another position. Our arms are gonna be fucking jello by the time we’re done!”, a younger kid who looked fresh outta high school exclaimed.

“Gonna be?”, said the guy standing next to him. “Mine already is”

I didn’t say anything to this, but I had to admit to myself, if not anyone else: After almost an hour and a half of long toss, my arm was feeling really wobbly too.

Here’s what I DID say aloud though, to nobody in particular: “I’m way too old for this shit, I think…”

The guy standing next to me asked me how old I was. When I told him I’d be 39 this coming June, he looked wide-eyed at me. “Goddamn! I thought I was old!”. When I asked him his age, he said he was thirty-two. Yeah that’s me: Methuselah Hudson, Lord Of Greybeards! Now get the hell off of my lawn!

And then, it was my turn to shag flyballs. And yeah, here’s another great idea: Let’s go ahead and show off the WEAKEST part of my game first. Wanna thrill to the sight of an old fart overrunning deep flies? I got that! Wanna ooh and ahh at the spectacle of this man as he loses balls in the sun? I can give you that too! Bloody hell…

There was only ONE positive thing I could take away from that. After every turn I took, whether I actually caught the ball or not, I’d hear somebody comment to the effect of “Holy shit! Old dude’s got some wheels!” Which means that while I may be a shitty outfielder, I’m at least quick about it. It’s the little things.

After this, we were all called back. This time, we were told to rotate; My group of outfielders would now be taking batting practice. We were also informed that due to the condition of the field, we wouldn’t actually be playing a game today. So after the respective drills, we’d either be picked to play on a team or sent home. Would it have really killed these people to put up some tarp on the field beforehand? I mean, we’re not in Nevada here. We’re in FUCKING NORTHWEST OREGON! You know… that place where it RAINS 200 DAYS PER YEAR ON AVERAGE!? I’m not saying y’all are incompetent or anything. But this has already been a clusterfuck of a day. And ya know, a little bit of foresight coulda helped.

Honestly, I think my frustration stems from the fact that me and the other boys are doing all of this work, and it’s all going to come to nothing since we can’t show what we know where it counts: In a game.

In any case, I grabbed my bat and helmet and lined up to take my swings. And I can tell you this: Whatever was left of my arm that didn’t slough off from hours of longtoss followed by thirty minutes of fielding flyballs and throwing them to a cutoff man finally just went as I swung away. And I wonder if this is normal or I’m not nearly in as good of shape as I’d thought. I don’t ever seem to remember it being this hard when I was young…

I wasn’t too terrible though; I smacked a couple of decent line drives. Nothing too major or anything. But hey, it’s better than swinging, missing, and falling on my ass. Right? 

Finally, the coaches told us pitchers to go to another spot on the field to throw bullpen. But we were more like an afterthought. The attitude was more like, “Alright, you guys go over there and do something while we look at the REAL players”. I realized my presumptions were correct when I lined up to take my turn and noticed that NOBODY was watching us. It was pretty depressing too. I mean, if they were watching at the exact moment I was thinking the above to myself, they woulda noticed that the kid pitching ahead of me (The kid who was echoing my sentiments about the logic of having pitchers drill in the outfield) had a pretty decent curve. 

And so, it came time for me to start. My heart started pounding, and my thoughts turned to panic. My arm felt deader than Cobain. I wondered just how much I’d have to give. But then I took a deep breath and remembered that I’m working on a knuckleball. I’m not exactly trying to be Nolan Ryan and burn that shit in at 100mph. And indeed, if I’m throwing a knuckler at speeds like that, I’m doing it wrong.

From my perspective, I didn’t see anything wrong with my first few pitches; All were in the strike zone. And all were really, really soft. But after pitch number two, the catcher exclaimed, “Holy shit! What the fuck IS this?”. He had trouble catching up to the pitch. By the time the fourth pitch started off high, only to wind up bonking him atop his helmet did he stop and stand. He took his mask off and asked me if I was pitching a knuckler. I confirmed that indeed, I was. “Well… could you just throw some fastballs? I can’t catch any of these” he asked. And I figured I might as well. If the coaches couldn’t be bothered to give a shit, I certainly wasn’t going to. And it’s at this point where my arm fatigue showed. I was overthrowing everything, and my pitches were sailing entire timezones away from the strike zone. But then after a deep breath, and some time to collect myself I was able to get it back. Velocity wasn’t the greatest, but my pitches still had nice movement, and they were in the zone. And then, on my last couple of pitches, I decided to experiment with a curveball (Something that believe it or not, I’d never really been able to throw). And to my surprise, it worked perfectly, with that beautiful loopy diagonal break to it. My catcher was pretty impressed too, judging from his words of encouragement.

But alas, it was time for my session to end. I went back to the bleachers to stretch out the kinks and just chill before things wrapped up. And it was here while I was snacking on granola and chugging gatorade that I’d noticed that my bullpen catcher had taken a seat next to me and struck up a conversation.

“You really ended the day on a good note, bud.”

“Thanks,” I said.

“Yeah… too bad we’re not going to be picked.” He sighed and shook his head.

“Why do you think that?” I asked, though I had my ideas as to why.

“We’re too old. The guy running this thing was talking to me about it. He said we can practice and have fun, but it’s too competitive for us.”

Wait…. WHAT!? So, lemme see if I got this straight: Even though baseball is a sport, and therefore inherently competitive, it’s TOO competitive for us!? How does that even make sense? Just because I’m old, I can’t compete? Wow. And how the fuck would he know anyway? From watching me shag flyballs? From watching me hit? Newsflash, Einstein: I’m a pitcher. Yes, I may occasionally be called upon to hit in a tight spot. And yes, there will be times where I’ll be needed to field a flyball or comebacker to the mound. But make no mistake: In order to effectively gauge a pitcher’s worth, you ACTUALLY HAVE TO WATCH THEM PITCH! 

“Well, I’m going to stick around.” I told the catcher (whom I’d soon learn was named Ken). “Who knows? Maybe he can offer us something. I mean, isn’t there a 30 and over league too?”

“Yeah, that’s what I was thinking I was trying out for!” he retorted.

At that point, the mind-boggling foolishness of it all struck me and I said to myself: “Fuck it. I’m going to have a smoke right here” And smoke up I did.

Almost immediately after my smoke, as though waiting for my cue. The League Owner/President/Whatever called us all back. He told everybody that those who were getting drafted will be taken aside by the individual team managers. And for those who didn’t get drafted, if they could pay a league fee today, he’d get them hooked up with a team. But to four of us, he immediately said “You guys would be at a disadvantage.”

At a what now?

He went on to elaborate: “There are young players here. We got ex-pros (True: I saw a guy work out in full Lansing Lugnuts gear), we have young college players, and stuff. You guys need a league that’s more suited for your (read: Old) style”

Long story short: He gave us some info about another indy league in the Pacific Northwest region, told us the name of the guy we’d need to contact, and then he said he’d put in a word for us.

I contacted the league first thing when I got home, and I got a response this morning saying that I’d definitely be contacted when tryouts began.

Why am I doing this again?

 

 

 

 

Less Than 24 Hours To Go…

Until my tryout and draft day tomorrow. 

Something I haven’t said until just now: My nights have been sleepless, to put it kindly. It’s been pretty much a common occurence since this last Tuesday. I’ll wake up every hour on the hour, or worse yet, I’ll sleep maybe two to four hours and then wake up with the oppressive presence of blazing hot fear still lingering in the thoughts. Fear is a strange sensation; It’s both hot and cold at the same time. You sweat, but at the same time the goosebumps tingle along the skin as if caught in a stiff ocean breeze.

In case none of you have figured this out yet, I’m scared. I’m pants-shittingly, heart stoppingly, face-twitchingly scared. 

And I shouldn’t be this way. It isn’t like my entire career is riding on this or anything like that. It’s pretty simple: Either I make it, or I go back to my normal life and job. Big whoop. I really don’t have anything to lose here. Also, it’s not like I haven’t tanked one of these before. So I know what to expect.

Honestly, I think the difference here is that my expectations have been raised now. Before, I came into these things with absolutely no confidence in my ability or talent. Recently though, I’ve seen enough progress with my new pitching style to believe, no matter how false this belief may be, that I have plenty of ability now. And for the most part, my confidence in this ability has risen dramatically. The knuckleball I’ve been working on has been incredible to see coming off the fingers, and I’ve little doubt as to it’s ability to get batters out, especially from my new underhanded pitching style.

Still… I know that practice is a different beast from the actual games. In practice, I can give myself enough time to find my pitch, to find my mechanics, and find the strike zone. In games, hitters won’t give you that time. It’s not like they step back and say, “Hey, I’ll just wait right here, and you let me know when you’re comfortable throwing!” Sure, I WISH they would. But you know the saying about wishes and shit. I think I covered that in a previous entry.

You know, I forgot what a bitch goddess baseball can be. She giveth in one hand, and cockpunches you with the other. Its cute like that. What I’m worried about is whether I’ll get more gifts than cockpunches. I’m quite allergic to the latter.

There’s a part of me that knows on a purely logical level, that this is ridiculous. I know that I’m being a drama queen needlessly. But I can’t help it.

So I know what I’m going to do.

Later today, I’m going to do one final practice. Nothing intensive. Just a nice game of catch with my catcher. And after that, I’m not going to do anything baseball related. I’ll play videogames. I’ll watch films. Maybe I’ll read a good book. I might even watch porn on the internets and cry furiously into my free hand. Who knows?

Tomorrow, I plan on getting to the tryout/draft early. Like 3-4 hours early. Give myself some time to stretch, do some running, and check out the mound I’ll be working from. 

For now though… how are you guys? Hit me back. 🙂

Random Crap I Type As I Slowly Wake Up

The other night, I had McDonalds for dinner. Last night, it was Burger King. My bowels are now thanking me in the loudest, smelliest way it can. It’s already gonna be a LOOOOONG day. I swear, I’m fucked if we eat Taco Bell tonight. And so is everyone else.

Speaking of last night, while at the BK drivethrough, got stuck behind a van full of retarded folks (There is a group home located very close by). As we were behind them, I absolutely couldn’t get this song out of my head. Yep. If there’s a hell, I got my reservations. And considering my picture on here is me wearing a pink piggy hat, should I REALLY be talking crap about the mentally disabled? I mean, really?

Wow… for all the shit I also talk about Starbucks, I sure go there an awful lot. Just now, I realized why. First is the obvious: In Portland, you can throw a rock and you’re guaranteed to hit one of three things- A strip club, a microbrew pub, and a Starbucks. And since I’m way too lazy to walk to a good place for overly caffeinated goodness at 7AM, the Starbucks just down the block from my place works. Besides, if I’m there at the right time, a certain employee gives me my five dollar espresso, chocolate, and whipped cream coated monstrosity for free. I’ve no idea why she does this, but hey! Free coffee.

Some of you might be wondering why I haven’t rambled on about baseball in a few days. Well, that’s because when I tried throwing off a mound last Tuesday, I pulled the fuck out of my hamstring. My right one this time. It’s feeling better today, so I’ll probably give it another shot. Not at the last place though- The mound there is a deathtrap. I’ll have to show you next time I’m in that area.

So just to let y’all know, Wizard World (Like the Wal-Mart of conventions, only much more appealing) is coming to Portland this weekend. Among those in attendance will be none other than one of my best friends and the illustrator/writer of Naked Man Comics, Illya King!

By the way Illya, I totally see what you did with the comic. Especially LMAO at The Black Knave.

You want to hear something scary? I want a kid now. Like, badly. This is a feeling that has been kinda creeping up in the back of my thoughts for a couple of years now. But it hit me this morning as I was walking for java and passed by the day-care center along the way: I’m going to be 39 years old this June. I look at most of the friends I had growing up, and they’re all married and have children. And they seem to enjoy it. Also, despite the fact that I’m something of a wreck in terms of my personal life, I can’t help but feel I’d make a great dad. Oh well. There’s a bridge I’ll blow up when I get to it, I suppose. But I’d better get to it quickly, because I think I’m running out of time.

Anyway, I think that’s it for me. Time to run some errands and stuff. Maybe I’ll be back by later. Maybe not. Who knows? 

Until then, go and enjoy your life!

We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Blog To Wax Political About Gun Control

So I was on Twitter today (Just as I was on yesterday, and the day before that… Don’t worry, the cool newness of it will fade), and I couldn’t help but notice that #WeDemandAVote has been trending pretty highly so far. 

“A vote? On what?” I asked myself. “Gosh, I sure hope it’s a vote to make the McRib a permanent feature on the McDonalds menu!”… Well, that was the hope anyway.

Well, you know what they say: Hope in one hand and shit in the other, and you’ll get a debate about gun control. Okay, that last bit was something I said just now. But you get the idea- The #WeDemandAVote trend is a call for a citizen vote on gun control laws. And to me, that seems personally reasonable, and I’d love to vote on such a thing if not for that pesky felony record thingy.

I think it should go without saying: This trend is causing a shitstorm of epic proportions. The left is wailing and gnashing their teeth about how we need stricter laws in place because if such laws are passed, no gun will ever be used to kill another innocent person in this country ever again. And of course, the right counters with “SECOND AMENDMENT! FREEDOM! NAZIS HAD GUN CONTROL!”

Now, liberals, conservatives, Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Whites, Blacks, Everyone: If we can’t come together on a gun control discussion, I hope you at least can come together to read this. I’ll make it easy. It’ll all be in big bold print:

IF YOU ALL WERE ANY MORE FULL OF SHIT, YOUR EYES WOULD BE BROWN!

I’m not trying to say either side of this debate is dumb, or that both sides don’t have good arguments. Because objectively speaking, you do have them. My only problem here, and the thing that makes me frustrated and angry with you all, is that you’ve buried these salient points in all sorts of alarmist bullshit (from the right) and idealist claptrap (from the left). And that’s what I want to do today: I want to try and cut through the shit from both sides and get to the real crux of the matter.

So sit tight Right, because I’m going to start in on you and your arguments here first:

 

1) YOU’RE TAKING AWAY MY SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHTS!

Well… no. 

Nobody is doing this. Here is the original text from The Constitution (from archive.gov):

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Somehow, you seem to argue that this means you get to have ALL the guns and any attempt to control or you know, regulate (note the key word there?) this infringes on your right to carry. Which begs two questions: First, how is it you trumpet the right to carry, but you completely gloss over the “well regulated” bit? And second, who were you expecting to DO this regulation, if not the Government? God? Your parents? The weird guy who harvests garbage in the park? Seriously. Who?

Another point that is disingenuous with this argument is that you tend to act and speak as though gun control is the same thing as “O NOES! THEY’RE TAKING ALL MY GUNS!”. This is the same thing as condemning the forest for burning when no one has even struck a match; One does not mean the other. And you don’t know that it will, so stop acting as though this is the case.

 

2) HITLER, HITLER, HITLER!

True story: If you recite the above while looking in a mirror, the ghost of Anne Frank appears behind you and facepalms.

But here’s the thing: A favorite bon mot of the right is to cry that in Germany under the Nazis, Hitler enacted strict gun control policies to weed out undesirables. As somebody who has a degree on the topic of history, and a person who specialized in twentieth century history as their major field of study, I can without a scintilla of doubt, inform you and anyone else reading this that such claims are in fact, only half right at best. And total fucking bullshit at worst.

Yes, there were strict gun controls in place in Germany in the time of Hitler. That much, at least is true. But Hitler and the Nazis had nothing to do with that; We did. 

If you might recall, after the kick-ass beer and chlorine party that was World War I, the Triple Entente (Russia, France, and Britain; The USA unofficially joined in 1918 after the October Revolution effectively took Russia out of the equation) forced the the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Germany to sign the Treaty Of Versailles. Article 169 of the treaty specifically states:

“Within two months from the coming into force of the present Treaty German arms, munitions and war material, including anti-aircraft material, existing in Germany in excess of the quantities allowed, must be surrendered to the Governments of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers to be destroyed or rendered useless. This will also apply to any special plant intended for the manufacture of military material, except such as may be recognised as necessary for equipping the authorised strength of the German army.

The surrender in question will be effected at such points in German territory as may be selected by the said Governments.

Within the same period arms, munitions and war material, including anti-aircraft material, of origin other than German, in whatever state they may be, will be delivered to the said Governments, who will decide as to their disposal.

Arms and munitions which on account of the successive reductions in the strength of the German army become in excess of the amounts authorised by Tables II and III annexed to this Section must be handed over in the manner laid down above within such periods as may be decided by the Conferences referred to in Article 163.”

There are more to it, but the gist of it is this: The United States, Great Britain, and France enacted Gun Control law in Germany. NOT Hitler. 

Did Germany enact their own strict policy? Why yes. Yes they did… in 1919, under the Weimar Republic. So unless Hitler had somehow found a way to simultaneously affect domestic policy whilst struggling to get into art school (which is what he was doing at the time this was going on), he had nothing to do with that either.

The 1919 law remained in effect until 1928, when the German Parliament passed the Law On Firearms And Ammunition in response to Hitler’s Beer Hall Putsch of 1923. After that, the Weimar Republic greatly feared an armed insurrection. Fortunately for them though, they never had to worry about that, as the Nazis never took up arms against the government after that: Hitler got voted into power. Sooo…. yay for democracy?

3) FREEDOM! WE NEED OUR FREEDOM!

Well, okay. Fair enough. I like freedom just as much as the next guy. If I didn’t, I’d relocate to the lush utopian society of North Korea and feel safe and secure knowing that Pulgasari and somebody named Kim will protect me from imperialist douchebaggery.

Only question is: Did the Founding Fathers equate gun control with loss of freedom?

Well, to answer this question, let us look at the Bill Of Rights that Britain drafted in 1689: 

“…The subjects which are Protestants may have arms for their defence suitable to their

conditions and as allowed by law.” 

To this end, the motherland forced gunsmiths to provide exact records to show everyone for whom they crafted and sold rifles. Also, they were required by law to produce updated records each week. In other words: Gun Control.

Oh, but that didn’t stop when we left Britain for American shores. In fact, the law I listed above remained in place… even AFTER our nation’s Founders signed The Constitution. And instead of being voted out, states elected to add to the law. In 1821 for example, Kentucky passed a law outlawing concealed firearms. And later in 1837, Georgia passed a law calling for the outright ban of all guns, period. A year later, Virginia passed a law that forbade “habitual carriers” from carrying concealed weapons (by this, they meant criminals, rowdies, duellists, and so on: Most of the above laws were drafted to curb duels however. Yeah, that was a pretty big hobby for us.). So looking at this, we can see how even this argument fails under the scrutiny of historical precedent.

4) CRIMINALS WILL STILL FIND WAYS TO GET GUNS

And here’s my concession: You’re totally right in this, Righties. And just because we pass more gun control laws, criminals aren’t suddenly going to go, “Well gee, I had this AK47. But since the new laws say I can’t have it, I’ll just go and turn it in now!” (The left might want to pay attention to this argument as well)

Because here it is: Criminals may be a cowardly and superstitious lot. But they are also quite clever. You take away their ability to get firearms lawfully, and they WILL find a way to work around that. That’s what makes them criminals. Even if they can’t find a way to get guns either legally or not, all it takes to make a gun is some tubing, duct tape, a spring, and a nail and you can make a gun of your very own! Who knows? If you ask nicely enough, I might even teach you how. I’m generous like that.

But this brings us to you folks on the left…

Listen, Liberals? Look… you know I’ve had your back many, many times in the past. And you know that if you ever need someone to stand up with you for gay marriage, pro choice, freedom of speech and all that, I’m your dude. 

But seriously: Have you listened to yourself on this? I mean, have you stepped back and really looked at some of the things you’ve said in regards to this? Because from where I’m standing, you sound as though you all just warped into our universe from another plane of existence where “Heidi” is a documentary. 

But enough on that. Let’s go over your main arguments, shall we?

 

1) MORE GUN CONTROL EQUALS LESS VIOLENT CRIME

Well, as with most of the arguments from the Right side of things, you’re only half right. While it IS true that violent crime rates have been almost cut in half since 1991 according to the FBI, the rate of gun usage in violent crime has in fact remained the same (Right around 50%). So in a way, we can see how the gun control laws already in place haven’t done much to reduce the percentage of gun-based violent crimes. Add that to an already dropping violent crime rate, and the data shows that in fact, MORE violent crimes have been committed with firearms then without since our current laws were in place. And as I’ve already stated, since criminals don’t really have many fucks to give in regards to laws, placing more and more restrictions really isn’t going to help you do anything more than sleep a little better at night, knowing that you’ve done your part to metaphorically put a band-aid on cancer.

2) IF WE GET RID OF ASSAULT WEAPONS, MASS SHOOTINGS WON’T TAKE PLACE

Listen… I really don’t know how to break this to you. But do you know guns? I mean, do you really really know them? I’m not asking if you take guns for moonlit walks and call your pistol “Honeypants” or anything like that (I do, but this isn’t about me)? What I’m asking here is do you know what actually constitutes an assault rifle? I’m guessing you don’t, or I wouldn’t have asked.

Well, an assault weapon is simply put, an automatic rapid-fire weapon designed for infantry use. For example, the M-16 is an assault weapon. And you or I can’t get access to one of those unless we steal them from the US Army. Granted, the AK47 IS an assault weapon originally, but they aren’t sold to US civilians as fully automatic. Thus technically, for the purposes of legitimate purchases, they too are not assault weapons.

No, what you’ve been seeing in Newtown, Columbine, and Clackamas is in fact, Assault-STYLE weapons. Basically, manufacturers give normal semi-auto rifles the APPEARANCE of assault weaponry to satisfy the gun-boner we get in our pants when we see Rambo for the 47,000th time.

Now granted, the AK47 (or the more advance AK74) is semi-auto as it is sold to you or I. But those are very easy to turn into fully automatic 39mm cannons of blazing death. Again, if you ask VERY nicely, I might show you how. 

The question here is: How many violent crimes are actually committed with Fiery Russian Bullet-Jizzing Deathcocks? Brace yourself:

In a 2004 study done by the University Of Pennsylvania, it was shown that 2 to 8% of gun-related crimes were attributed to TRUE assault weapons. 

Now I don’t know about you, but by arguing against assault style weapons, it looks as though you want to punish 100% of the civilian populace for the actions of only around 8% of violent criminals. Even from my perspective, this smacks of wild overreaction.

And here’s another point: Let’s say we DO enact these laws. Do you really believe everything will magically change for the better? Because looking at the logistics of the thing, it just is not terribly feasible. 

First, what do you propose we do about assault style weapons and high capacity magazines already out there? Do you want the government to go door-to-door to get said guns? If so, are you willing to pay the incredible amount of taxes it would take to hire the fed goons, arm and equip them whilst sending them throughout the nation to get all of these weapons and magazines? Because in the end, this is what such a task would come down to. The federal reserve, despite rumor to the contrary, is not a magic money machine. The currency has to come from somewhere. And it’s going to have to come from you and I. 

Unless you want to take out yet another loan from China. We’re good for it, aren’t we?

If you don’t want to cover the cost, we have no choice but to grandfather the guns and mags already out there. And if we do that, than we’re really no worse off than we were before the ban. gain, the band-aid on cancer metaphor applies.

Which begs the final question: What CAN we do?

Sad answer is that there’s no answer to this. The cat’s already out of the bag, and we really can’t stuff it back in and toss it in a lake. And there’s nothing we can do about violent crime- No matter what sort of laws we put on the books, we can’t legislate morality no matter how much people say we can. There will always be an aberrant portion in every society that will gladly find a way to end you, should they decide your life is worth ending.

Also, as I write this I am aware of a massive loophole in such a law as proposed. While we now KNOW what an assault weapon truly is (Thank me later), we don’t know what constitutes an assault-STYLE weapon. The definition of that is very unclear, and if exploited, this could very well be a thing that opens the door for an outright assault on second amendment rights.

Were I able to vote, I’d vote to keep things as they are. Not only does it keep that loophole closed, but it would be much more cost effective in the long run to put more funds toward better enforcement of the laws we already have.

In closing, let me just thank you for reading this shit if you actually are. Also, I’m hungry. McDonalds, anyone? On you, of course.