Random Thoughts on Fear, Feminism, Gunfighting and Self Defense

training fear fighting guns feminism

Elaine D. for TTAG

“Acknowledging fear is not a cause for depression or discouragement. Because we possess such fear, we are also potentially entitled to experience fearlessness. True fearlessness is not the reduction of fear, but going beyond fear.” – Chögyam Trungpa

I have been reflecting recently on the level of fear in our culture and what I would call a cultural addiction to safety in this country. I notice how safety and the pressing need to be safe are an obsession for a lot of people.

When I come home from having traveled overseas, the biggest question I get is, “But is it safe to do that/go there?” As a motorcycle rider, I’ve been lectured countless times about how I shouldn’t ride a motorcycle because it’s not safe, or I should trade it in for a scooter because a scooter is supposedly safer.

As a gun owner and student of weaponcraft, it’s clear to me that much of the discomfort that people have with my possession and use of firearms has to do with the fact that guns are not considered “safe.” I’ve encountered that discomfort from people on every side of the political spectrum.

There is also the problem of conflation. If I do or own a dangerous thing, I become a dangerous person in the minds of many and am treated accordingly. Clearly, I somehow missed the memo about how the most important thing in modern life is to be safe. I must be a little unhinged, or close to a precipice, if I actively engage in something that involves risk or danger.

To these people, I must not know any better. I must need to be told that which I clearly do not understand, that there is no need for Dangerous Things in this world. It’s simply barbaric. We live in the first world, and the biggest problem I should have is choosing where I want to buy my organic, fair-trade, cruelty-free coffee.

My interest in guns is an aberration, along with my love for motorcycles or my penchant for bringing home suitcases full of random bags of Vietnamese coffee that contain nothing about their origins on the packaging.

What I notice, when these conversations unfold, is how similar they are to conversations I’ve had many times with addicts about their substance use. Addicts have told me over and over that the primary reason they use whatever they use — whether it’s coke, meth, heroin, alcohol, prescription opiates, or weed — is mainly to avoid two things: fear and pain.

The drug of choice is not as relevant as the commonality of the attempt to numb and deny the various perceived threats to feeling afraid and uncomfortable.

Note that I use the word “perceived,” because when we work through it, it turns out that most of those fears are not based on real occurrences. They are “what-ifs.” They may be things that have happened in the past and are long over. They may be negative fantasies based on television and media.

There are a lot of places that fear can arise in a 24/7 media culture that never, ever runs stories like, “In this beautiful town in Wyoming today, nothing bad happened. Kids played with dogs, gardens grew, and Mr. Jackson down the street found a baby possum hiding in his rosemary bush.”

Many people in this country are steeped in fear, even though this is a much safer place than most others in the world. Paranoia is actually a fairly common trait in human beings and, to a point, it helps you survive. After all, the slightly more alert/wary person will more quickly avoid the speeding car or the vicious dog than someone who’s perpetually in condition white.

But at what point are we being played? At what point is our fear being used against us in order to create false realities that take us down rabbit holes? At what point are we taking our hands off the steering wheel rather than thinking our own thoughts and making our own decisions?

Within this cultural matrix, I am training as a gunfighter. That’s the term my teacher uses and the driving force behind an expensive ammo habit, an expensive range membership, and expensive training courses.

The fact of the matter is, I’m training in the art of war in the same way someone would train in sword fighting, martial arts, and the like. Although I originally came to guns in the interest of self defense, as many women do, I am quite aware that as I have developed, much of the training I have pursued is not purely defensive in nature, particularly when it comes to rifle training.

In many of these courses, next to LEOs and military personnel, you’re training in skills that equip you to not only retreat but pursue. That’s the truth and it’s not one I am afraid to acknowledge. My ongoing training includes not only hard work on my marksmanship, but courses that require me to move, practice gun-handling skills, react to the unpredictable, and perform under stress.

I refuse to hide or soften the fact that I own and use guns to learn tactical techniques. I’m not apologetic about this, and I am fully aware that it makes a lot of people uncomfortable.

Discomfort is not the end of the world. Being afraid of something is not the end of the world. Not understanding something is not the end of the world. If you let your fear stop you from understanding things, you will live in a very small world indeed, one where the only things you accept are those that promote your comfort and assuage your fears.

In the current culture in the United States, you can numb out all day long to a combination of things: TV, weed, porn, shopping, food, online dating, alcohol, drugs – you name it. You can have most of the poisons that kill your mind delivered right to your door or downloaded in the privacy of your home.

It doesn’t matter who you are or how you vote. The choice to check out is always available, always there, just a click away. It’s always ten degrees closer than facing yourself and your weaknesses and fears.

Training as a fighter, any kind of fighter, is the opposite of numbing out. It requires me to be constantly failing, constantly growing, constantly self-evaluating, constantly asking hard questions that don’t have easy answers.

The women of my mother’s country picked up rifles, organized into militias, trained, fought, and took prisoners in order to protect their villages and families. In Vietnam today there are still many images of women holding military rifles on calendars and posters. Perhaps that’s part of why all of this feels so natural to me. Who knows?

I think of fighting, and the right to fight, as a feminist issue. The right of a woman to take up arms to ensure her viable chances in this world. There are those who have chosen to conflate women’s rights with an entire soft-sell agenda of civilian disarmament. In my family, this would be the opposite of the power, strength and grace that women are revered for.

I sometimes have to point out that imposing the view of women as constant victims is the opposite of putting our hands on the steering wheel and finding our ability to fight, and is the product of one particular subculture. Where I came from, women are seen as being able to nurture and fight. There’s not a dichotomy between the two, nor a false alignment of women’s rights with the idea that no one needs to protect themselves once everyone arrives in a state of magnificent un-attainable yogic kumbaya.

It’s a nice idea. I’m a peaceful person. I don’t go around being an aggressor. In fact, I heal people for a living. But I am also realistic about the brutality of human nature, the tendency toward selfishness, the consequences of unbridled narcissism and the rapid rise of that narcissism in our current time, the weakness of the human ego when influenced by unbridled power and adulation.

Were it not for these things, no one would need to fight. It simply wouldn’t be necessary. But as long as those things exist – and I believe they’re hard-wired into our survival mechanisms – there will need to be fighters in our world.

Weaponcraft requires me to constantly ask questions, examine myself, my intentionality and skills. It requires me to further the practice of self-restraint and self-discipline. The study and practice of gunfighting demands that I do my best to attain and maintain the maximum level of physical, emotional and mental fitness that I am capable of. It requires me to be humble in order to be taught, to endure embarrassment and having my weaknesses mirrored to me, and to practice steadily.

Self defense skills are a nice byproduct of this, but they’re a byproduct. Just as if I were studying kickboxing, the byproduct would be losing weight and getting in shape. That’s great, but it’s not my primary reason anymore for doing this. No one who was only interested in self defense would have the kind of ammo habit I do or spend so much time at my local range.

I figure that as this path continues to unfold and I lose all the liberal, conservative, libertarian, independent, and un-defined political cards along the way, the point will come where I A) finally woman-up enough to join Jeff Gonzales’ Gunfighter Club and B) I’ll finally start sketching out designs for a line of fully-functional, field-tested tactical couture that looks so good it would make Ann Demeulemeester break a sweat.

See you at the range.

comments

  1. avatar California Richard says:

    Welcome to the nanny state.

    1. avatar Napresto says:

      A serious question for the author (relevant to the comment above): your premise, which I agree with, is that too many of us live in a state of perpetual, often artificial, often intentionally manipulated fear. Your personal response has been to try interesting and possibly hazardous things, and to take ownership of your own risk – when to engage in risk and when not to. You also make some great and necessary points about modern feminism. The feminists I know and respect best don’t use the word, because in the modern context it has come to mean something other than empowerment and personal freedom for women. Often, it means embracing victimhood to harm others.

      You’ve said in previous articles that you are a democrat/progressive/pick your term. Yet the message you espouse in this article stands in 100% contradiction to the philosophies of the left: that too many people are victims who have no say or control over their lives. That life is too dangerous (financially, physically, emotionally) for too many people, and that the world would be better if we just each sacrifice a bit (our money, our freedoms, our speech) to ensure that everyone has what they ought instead of what they do.

      My question: How do you reconcile your stated alignment with this leftward ideology and your essay above, which espouses personal responsibility, the need to accept risk, and the importance of individual freedom? Historically speaking, the two views are diametrically opposed and totally unreconcilable, and yet you seem to be claiming both positions.

      Again, a serious question, an answer to which I would find most interesting if you’re willing.

      1. avatar Elaine D. says:

        @Napresto

        I was a feminist way, way before people started using it the way it is being used right now. I’m going to be a feminist long after the SJWs are gone. Meaning I support the human rights of women to live freely. To be able to access food, water, medical care, birth control, to not be sold as sex slaves, to own businesses and have their own money, to be able to manage their reproduction, to be able to worship and walk in public and drive and do the things that people do without restriction or disbarment just because we were born with one set of sexual characteristics vs. the other.

        Many modern feminists don’t remember or weren’t alive for the times when women could not do many of these things. There are still many places in the world where women can’t do these things.

        I am also a lifetime Buddhist who believes that the truth is found somewhere in the middle, not at the extremes of a thing. Another term for Buddhism is “the middle way.” I don’t believe that either the Dems or Reps are completely right because there is no such thing as being completely right. Because I am interested in things like marriage equality and accessible healthcare, I choose to cast my vote to the left. If the Reps were to pick up such issues and present policies in line with my views, it is entirely possible I would change my vote.

        Regarding gun rights, the restrictions facing gun owners right now have bipartisan supporters which is why they are rolling though like waves. I don’t believe that people are automatically “for” gun owners just because they vote Red. I have met plenty of Red voting people who think that only hunters should own guns, that people like me who study the art of war do not belong in this fold and should be banned.

        There is party platform – fine -and then there is actually how party plays out. So far, the Democrats have come up with a little more of what I like in terms of social policy, and the party is starting to fracture into liberal moderates, “New Democrats” and progressives. There is already discussion of whether these factions can work together or if it’s going to cause Balkanization. We’ll see. Time will tell. Parties change and change again. I think pretty much everyone realizes at this point that an overly repressive gun control legislative approach is not going to be popular with a huge segment of the country. Now it becomes a question of how to back out of the corner you painted yourself into without being accused of being murderers, or whatever it is that such people come up with.

        Being Texan probably has a lot to do with this. Most Texans own guns, period, regardless of how they vote. It is an accepted thing here, not protested by many, and that’s the world I grew up in – what some people would now call Blue Dog Democrat. Dance with your gay boyfriend in your pointy boots if you want, who cares, but don’t tell ME what to do, and everyone’s got guns. Not sure what that would be today.

        I’m a liberal, in the dictionary sense of the word:

        lib·er·al
        /ˈlib(ə)rəl/Submit
        adjective
        1.
        open to new behavior or opinions and willing to discard traditional values.

        (of education) concerned mainly with broadening a person’s general knowledge and experience, rather than with technical or professional training.
        synonyms: wide-ranging, broad-based, general
        “a liberal education”
        Or

        a person of liberal views.

        I mean, no matter how you cut it, I’m liberal socially. I’m pro choice. I don’t believe everyone has to be or should be monogamous. I support marriage equality for all. I’m Buddhist, so technically don’t believe in God. I’m a multiculturalist. All that.

        I’m also conservative in some ways. Fiscally. Personally, my relationship values are totally old school. I don’t really drink much, or use drugs. I like guns and motorcycles. I believe in family, community, honest work, spirituality, and creativity.

        So how to put it all together? These musings are part of that. I don’t think real human beings or real life usually fit into tidy little packages. I think that part of the fear we are being sold is that things ARE supposed to fit into these pre-designed packages and that anything outside of that is aberrant. I think that very view of things needs to be questioned and looked at much more closely. It’s easy to divide people and make them hate each other when you turn everyone into a star belly or not star belly Sneetch.

        There are more than two choices in life. Moshe Feldenkrais said, “A dog can make two choices. Do a thing or not do it. To be human, we need to find the third, fourth, and fifth choice. That is what it means to be human: to be creative, to think outside of black and white.”

        My Buddhist teachers have said the same kind of thing over and over.

        1. avatar Napresto says:

          Interesting answer, thanks. I must admit, to my ears (well… eyes) I think you sound a lot more like a classical liberal than a modern one, save for certain contemporary social issues. I can see why you’d vote Democrat on those issues – the disagreements here are pretty fundamental – though I do think voting that way means that you’ve decided to accept the very things you criticize in your essay (victim culture, group as opposed to individual rights, and limits on many personal freedoms) as a cost of your support. Having accepted that cost, I’m not sure it’s entirely fair to criticize. You really can’t have it both ways. By promoting the social issues you care about through the heavy hand of government, you are forcing – yes, FORCING – people to adopt certain beliefs and values (or to at least shut up about disagreement). Government, after all, doesn’t persuade; its only power is coercion: law, backed, in the end, by threat of violence.

          To be fair, I won’t claim the Republicans do much better here – coercion is coercion, even if applied to different issues. No political party is able to resist coercion once in power. Power is what political parties want, and coercion is the finest form of power there is. Both parties use and abuse government to coerce as they see fit. However, I would submit that the IDEOLOGY of the left actually has coercion built right in as a feature (with its focus on group identity and equality of outcome as opposed to individual identity and equality of opportunity). No matter how high minded the ideals of the left, they always require, in the end, that things be taken away to make things fair: money, speech, firearms, property, religion, freedom. Both parties are terribly flawed, but only one of them is foundationally predicated on an ideology that actually REQUIRES coercion to sustain itself…

        2. avatar Elaine D. says:

          @Napresto

          The thing is, there ISN’T true “groupthink” in the Democratic Party. There’s all kinds of infighting that goes on about who gets to define what and whose agenda is more important. It’s very contentious, and that’s part of why it’s interesting to me. It’s also why the Dems were not able to pull our shit together for quite a number of years here and there. Focusing on too much little stuff and no cohesive front.

          I think the irony is that when you promote diversity as heavily as we do, you really can’t have a cohesive front, because diversity means people with very different cultural beliefs quibbling about it. Thing is, I rather enjoy that process. I rather enjoy mixing it up like that, not because I think there’s an “answer” but because I think the lack of an answer is where the life is.

          I’ve also never been against moderate Republicans and thought of voting for a few here and there back in the day. I do think a lot of the current stuff is about people really, really, really hating Trump on a personal level, the man himself, rather than his politics. I’ll also admit that his anti-Constitutional stunts i.e. “I’ll just take care of that there thing I don’t like or want to get off my desk by issuing an executive order” are rather worrying and I hope they don’t tank the more moderate conservatives in their attempt to balance things out.

      2. avatar Miner49er says:

        The idea that all leftests are members of a monolithic group is not reality. I’m a liberal, a progressive at that, but I still believe in essential liberties. And the idea that all of those on the left are communist is ludicrous.
        I believe in socialized fire protection, socialized police protection, a socialized jurisprudence system, and a socialized education system.
        Just like trump, I think Australia’s socialized medicine system is excellent.

        I bought my first SP1 in 1981, many Liberals not only exercise their right to free speech, freedom of assembly or freedom of the press, but the right to bear arms as well.

        And in my opinion, those who openly discuss assassinating LEO’s acting under the law or court order are much more dangerous to our rights then some brown woman wearing a headscarf in Congress.

        Now that it’s clear that Trump is only interested in self enrichment, while ignoring due process I’m even more glad that I didn’t vote for the MFer.

        1. avatar Elaine D. says:

          I go back and forth about that, Miner. As a gun owner who spends a lot of time around guys who talk like this, I know that most of that is just talk. I mean, I doubt that any intelligent person would actually post on a public blog, in a traceable format, about killing LEOS who meant it. I dunno. It just seems like part of that exercise of free speech that isn’t great but is also necessary.

          I do agree that at this particular point in time, this is not great for gun owners overall. Still, I’m very reluctant to “PC-ize” the conversation, know what I mean? PC – ness is the death of true dialogue, true debate. You can only work with things if you’re willing to honestly acknowledge the truth of people’s experience even if that experience led to beliefs or opinions that you find puzzling or difficult to take in. I’m just salty like that, I guess.

        2. avatar Miner49er says:

          Just like Jackie Gleason saying “to the moon Alice“, It’s a rehearsal conscious or unconscious, makes no difference. The word is often followed by the deed.

          And how does it look to normal people who see these words, does it instill confidence in sane gun owner ship or does it erode the idea of reasonable gun ownership?

        3. avatar California Richard says:

          Unfortunately liberals don’t get elected these days on a platform of capitalism and the bill of rights. When I have these conversations the term “living and breathing constitution” comes up a lot. My response is always, “How much living and breathing do you want the Bill of Rights to have with Trump in the White House, Republicans controlling the Senate and Judicial appointments, and with a conservative majority in the Supreme Court?” It always seems to strike a nerve and explains why they have Trump Derangement Syndrome. The liberals I talk to don’t believe in inailiable rights. In their world the government is meant to protect them (and their rights) while simulataneoulsy crushing people they disagree with who are “literally Hitler”. We’ll pay attention to Trump and fight his dictatorial whims just as much as if it was Hillary in office…. The sad thing is, I never hear that sentiment reciprocated by the left.

  2. avatar The Last Melon says:

    Hmmm…I used to not care for this writer. Now I kinda like this writer, lol. For many, many years, my wife and I lived 80 miles out on the prairie from the nearest town. No law enforcement, constant exposure to marauders, thieves, etc.. What I learned is that women MUST change their expectations in such environments and women in such conditions emerge as very obviously adept at being savage and forceful when necessary. Women are fantastic fighters and always have been. What is different is pampered womanhood, which has lately been presented to western women and is poison. As an historian, I recall reading a passage many years ago about the first white women to go west, how they were a constant burden to their guides, needed many stops, meals, medicine, etc.. All the while in that same party their were two Indian women who WALKED the entire journey and fed themselves. Cultural training and circumstances of youth….

    1. avatar Anonymous says:

      Hmmm…I used to not care for this writer. Now I kinda like this writer, lol.

      It depends on what she writes. LOL!

      1. avatar Elaine D. says:

        Yes. Being creative means that you totally sign up for the right to have everyone tell you you suck ass. I’m OK with that.

    2. avatar Elaine D. says:

      @LastMelon

      (Dying to ask about the user name btw…)

      I’d say that actually, the view of women as being weak, delicate and needing guidance, pampering and “saving” is kind of integral to certain parts of Western culture. The woman is a prize, a delicate flower that the man gets to defend, protect, and hold dear. It’s Lancelot. It’s the White Knight. I don’t know what happens to Lancelot if Guinevere pulls out a battle rifle and starts blowing away her opponents. You know?

      My mother was straight off the plane Vietnamese, so I was raised much more like a Vietnamese woman than an American one. The expectation was that I would endure pain stoically, not complain, be tough, and stay true to moving forward in bad situations. That’s what her mother did, and her family did. It was not an option to whine or cower or be self indulgent. One had to manage oneself and also think always of others. The VC called this “criticism and self criticism.” My grandfather was a VC general and a very hard man, and even though his family turned against him in the war, he trained them all in the duty of self reflection and self correction.

      I also think affluence contributes to this picture. When humans run out of real threats, we make up stuff to worry about. That’s part of our natural paranoia.

      1. avatar The Last Melon says:

        Ok, I agree in part with your response, but urge you to reconsider another: you say the idea that women are pampered and need saving has always been present in Western society – possibly, but what I found when I really started to look at the historical record is that it is MUCH more likely a product of the 19th-and-early-20th centuries. Look at the examples of womanhood from the start of western civilization: Penelope, who is described over EIGHTEEN times in the Odyssey as possessing “THUMOS” – or the courageous characteristic of the heart so dear to ancient Greek heroic culture. Look at Esther or ANY number of women in the Bible, up and to including Mary the mother of the Lord herself. Look at Rebecca from Ivanhoe, ANY female character in Shakespeare. Look at even the story YOU cite: Lancelot!!! Have you ever read any of the more well known accounts?? Take even Le Morte D’Arthur, read it, and come away telling me that Guinevere is a pampered, over-indulged lady-in-waiting. I mean, I see it in Disney films and Hollywood of the 1930s and 40s. I see it in Victorian religious pamphlets. But I don’t believe hardly at all anymore that one can find a clear line of it in Western culture. I find that much more to be a bias of the late-20th-century academy, which has operated mostly from historical caricatures since it decided to abandon the serious study of history in the mid-20th century.

        1. avatar Elaine D. says:

          That’s very interesting to me. Where do you think it changed, if there was a point you can identify?

          I was a bit obsessed with French literature in my early college years. The delicate flower was absolutely part and parcel of French gallantry during certain time periods. The more fragile and ethereal she was, the closer she was considered to God and purity. Of course, this was highly correlated with being of a wealthy social class. Salty, strong women with opinions and voices were always portrayed as household servants or peasants.

        2. avatar Geoff "You'll shoot your eye out, kid!" PR says:

          “Salty, strong women with opinions and voices were always portrayed as household servants or peasants.”

          Watch the old HBO series ‘John Adams’, when he and Franklin and Jefferson spent considerable time at the French Royal Court.

          Ben Franklin enjoyed many ‘baths for two’ (and other ‘activities’) with a French socialite woman who was decidedly very non-‘ladylike’ in her mannerisms…

        3. avatar Elaine D. says:

          Oh interesting Geoff. I don’t watch a lot of television, but I will have to look that up.

    3. avatar frank speak says:

      noticed lots more women showing up in these cc classes…..

  3. avatar Underdog says:

    This mind numbing, long, rambling essay has “trained” me to never glance at another post by this author.

    This is almost as bad has the liberal girl of the gun drivel.

    1. avatar Yepnope says:

      I was waiting for the point but, alas, the point never came

      1. avatar Alternator says:

        You were looking for a certain thing, and you failed to find it. More importantly, you missed what was there and what was offered to you.

      2. avatar Alexander says:

        So sorry, gentlemen, that you seem to be capable of understanding only points.

      3. avatar Miner49er says:

        “Some men ya just can’t reach.”

        SAD!

  4. avatar Yarbles says:

    Things that make you go hmmmm….

  5. avatar Anonymous says:

    My interest in guns is an aberration, along with my love for motorcycles or my penchant for bringing home suitcases full of random bags of Vietnamese coffee that contain nothing about their origins on the packaging.

    Trung Nguyen G7 Gourmet Instant Coffee! LOL

    1. avatar Elaine D. says:

      Ah, you like the instant stuff? I prefer the ground, myself.

      1. avatar Anonymous says:

        My mom really likes it. We use it when we are in a hurry, pretty often.

        I prefer the little metal can on top of the glass with the ground coffee + condensed milk + ice.

        1. avatar Elaine D. says:

          Ca phe sua da! A staple along with a “house special” banh mi!

      2. avatar Artie says:

        I prefer to grind my own.

      3. avatar bontai joe says:

        Just an interesting tid-bit, We ALWAYS ship or bring coffee from America when we go to my wife’s village in the Philippines. They claim it tastes so much better than the coffee they can get locally. They literally fight over it, so we try to bring enough cans to give each family at least one.

  6. avatar Andrew says:

    “Discomfort is not the end of the world. Being afraid of something is not the end of the world. Not understanding something is not the end of the world. If you let your fear stop you from understanding things, you will live in a very small world indeed, one where the only things you accept are those that promote your comfort and assuage your fears.”

    The truth of this should hit everyone who reads it like a kick in the gut. This applies to everyone, not just gun-grabbers and liberals

  7. avatar Slim says:

    Blah blah blah this…. Blah blah blah that.
    Conflate this… Conflate that….

    Btw… Vietnamese women carry rifles to protect the village… Its on calendars too…..😂😂🤣🤣
    🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣😂😂😂😂😂😂🤣🤣🤣🤣

    Keep these posts comin’!

    1. avatar Elaine D. says:

      Yes. I have some postcards and so forth that have those images on them, Vietnamese women in battle uniform, holding AR-15s. I thought about including one of them with this, but these images also contain American planes falling out of the sky and I figured folks wouldn’t like that.

      Sorry to be hard on you the other day, I had too much coffee that morning.
      Thanks for reading.

      1. avatar Slim says:

        @Elaine

        You tryin’ to kill me with kindness??? 😂
        No need for apologies…

        Forgive my analogy, I’m not religious nor do I care about abortion… A pro gun democrat that votes party line is like a catholic priest that works part time at Planned Parenthood. So hopefully you can see why folks have a hard time taking you seriously here.

        On another note I spent 2 years working in Southeast Asia, mostly based in BKK. Traveled to Hanoi, Ho Ch Minh and Dalat a bunch for work and enjoyed it. Vietnam is laid back with friendly people. The sea of scooters weaving in and out of traffic was like watching a symphony. While I was there in saw some bomb damage from the war and wondered “why the hell were they bombing these people…..”

        No hard feelings….

        1. avatar Elaine D. says:

          I agree that I inhabit the same uneasy territory as pro choice Catholics. And I know quite a few of those, mostly from the Vatican II camp. They do lots of good things 🙂

      2. avatar Geoff "You'll shoot your eye out, kid!" PR says:

        “Yes. I have some postcards and so forth that have those images on them, Vietnamese women in battle uniform, holding AR-15s.”

        One of the toughest opponents Marine Corps sniper Carlos Hathcock (the NVA called him “White Feather”) ever went after was a young Vietnamese female platoon leader known by the US as “The Apache”…

        1. avatar Elaine D. says:

          That’s a story I have not heard. I am not surprised. I have a file folder of photos of women bearing arms from the Vietnam war. I don’t know enough about guns to know what they’re all carrying, it’s quite a variety. In fact I was hoping that someone on TTAG could help me identify the various weapons and where they came from at some point. I just don’t know enough about vintage guns to even know where to start.

        2. avatar possum says:

          @ElaineD…- – – … I really wish that you could refrain from your Vietnam heritage introspective’s, . Your families history, How to say this? Well from these eyes, it’s like me bragging to the Germans that I’m Prussian heritage? Everything wasn’t so sweet and the NVA did , done, more way nasty things then I. I do not know what is going on with TTGA, there are a lot of Vets on this site, regrettably Elaine, given the chance I would have killed your Gen. Uncle and had a party because, yes. I do and try to get very much along with my prejudices, your pouring salt in wounds. ‘eliceted response’, ? Are you searching for hate? ,,Later post,,, ” Why did we bomb these people?” ( tears fall as I write this) . Goodness, and it comes, “Why did We Quit” ,, I do not know? If you want my opinion of Vietnam ask a Cambodian ” Don’t spill the Masters tea” ,,,, then I had Mike telling me “pigs before babies” and the girls I saw that General nYen Ding gap, whatever, troops did. ,,,, Whaaaaaat. It was a bullshit war with bullshit people, as it always will be, but Elaine damn girl, USA, USA, USA, a melting pot, our culture is us, not what we was.

  8. avatar former water walker says:

    Meh…it DOES matter who you vote for and what you believe. It’s only safe if it’s safe. My neighborhood is going to hell with rape,robbery and burlary. It’s gone downhill after being here for 18years. As has TTAG…

  9. avatar spartan357 says:

    what a pile of rambling bullshit

  10. avatar TrueBornSonofLiberty says:

    The modern democrat party are THE domestic enemies our Founders warned us about. Those that would conflate them with the imperfect GOP are just as dangerous as the leftist terrorists.

    1. avatar Busterdog says:

      Democrats today are no longer Democrats. So to call them “The modern Democrat party” is laughable. They have splintered into 3 separate entities. 1). Liberal Democrats, 2). Progressive’s , 3). Marxists. All three are a danger to our way of life, but only the last 2 are true threats to Democracy. The author is obviously a Liberal with Progressive leanings. She seems to be a sensible in the way she sees what the reality is in this country. And she’s preparing for what will eventually occur in the not too distant future. My hat’s off to her. Hope when the SHTF, she’s on my side. Much more so than some of the so called Conservative Republicans I know, who will sell you out in a second if they can somehow gain from it.

      1. avatar Elaine D. says:

        Thanks, Busterdog.

        To me it’s always the highest compliment when a salty old guy who’s obviously been shooting since he was a kid and has been giving me the side-eye at the range or on the course, finally walks up to me and says, “Well, I want you on MY team.”

        My part is to keep on developing the skill and discipline to do my part properly should it ever be needed; which, like any peaceful person, I hope it won’t.

      2. avatar Old Rogue says:

        “They have splintered into 3 separate entities. 1). Liberal Democrats, 2). Progressive’s [sic] , 3). Marxists.”

        You omitted Conservative Democrats and Moderate Democrats.
        I am confident there are no Democrats who are Marxists.

        1. avatar PaulB says:

          Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ….

  11. avatar Anonymous says:

    The hate is thick in these posts. Nobody is addressing the content, only the presence of the writer.

    You guys should convince her why your way is better than hers, so she can become one of us. Rather than give the grimace. LOL.

    As far as content of this article, I really had zero disagreements. Which is really too bad, because I like disagreeing so much!

    1. avatar Busterdog says:

      Haters are going to hate. They go through life thinking how they’re the only ones with an answer. When the reality is, they’re just narrow minded imbeciles that are only repeating what some other older equally narrow minded imbecile told them. This site is loaded up with them now a days. Gone are the days of open discourse, and discussion, replaced with a mob mentality of mediocre ideas and statements.

  12. avatar red_dirt says:

    Excellent and inspiring article, and thank you for the Trungpa quote.

    1. avatar Elaine D. says:

      You’re welcome. The Myth of Freedom was the book that started me on the Buddhist path. Still a favorite after all these years.

      1. avatar red_dirt says:

        Excellent book. Getting ready to dig into Spiritual Materialism, I know it’s going to kick my ass. I am acquainted with one of his “bodyguards “, he is in full time retreat at our local Nygma Buddhist center, he’s also a biker, lol. He has some great stories to tell, and tremendous respect for Trungpa.

  13. avatar Shiffrod says:

    Best one yet. Waaaaaaaaaayyyyyy better than reading Male Concubine struggling to complete a sentence or a coherent thought.

    Given my family’s reproductive track record, I’m most likely to have a small army of Type A daughters. I hope to raise them to be intelligent, beautiful, and dangerous.

    My wife and I are trying to buy the farm next to my inlaws in SW Virginia. The women are made of sterner stuff out here. Hopefully, its in the water.

  14. avatar Lance says:

    “Discomfort is not the end of the world. Being afraid of something is not the end of the world. Not understanding something is not the end of the world. If you let your fear stop you from understanding things, you will live in a very small world indeed, one where the only things you accept are those that promote your comfort and assuage your fears.”

    And with a snap of my fingers, this quote is now mine.

    1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      better send her a quarter.
      and with a snap of my fingers, my beer is open and my rocks glass refilled.

  15. avatar GluteusMaximus says:

    Excellent article. I’ve been saying for years “why is everyone so scared?” I see grown men wearing bicycle helmets and I’m not talking about the spandex crowd. I always thought it’s ok you won’t bump your head.

    1. avatar Cooter E Lee says:

      When I was 12 years old riding a bicycle on a road, I was hit head on by a car passing another car going approximately 45mph. I got the hood and somersaulted over the car, hitting my head hard enough on pavement to be solidly knocked out. Clothes were torn to shreds and my skin is still road rashed on my thighs and legs if someone were to look closely. Bike looked like a pretzel and I knew how it felt to be OLD AND SORE when I was a boy of 12 the next few mornings when I woke up.

      I still to this day wear a helmet when riding a bicycle, though usually I’m wearing a full face, leather, and back protector on a motorcycle instead. I wouldn’t tell anyone else they HAD to wear a helmet, just that it’s a damn fine idea.

      1. avatar Miner49er says:

        Do you know what the ER docs call motorcycle riders without helmets? Organ donors.

        Always good candidates, usually young and healthy without chronic disease. .. Just a squashed melon.

        1. avatar Elaine D. says:

          Heh. My doctor used to be a motocross racer. He also teaches ER medicine. When I told him I was going two wheels, he sat me down and said I would need to meet two conditions if I wanted to keep on being his patient.

          1. I was not to buy a scooter under any circumstances. I was to buy a motorcycle with real wheels, real brakes, real lights, and real power to get out of bad situations.

          2. I was to buy real gear and always wear it, all the time, every time.

          I agreed to both. It’s working out well so far. I just committed to my first ever track day at Circuit of the Americas, since it’s about 40 minutes from my house. Spent all this money anyway, might as well get out there and work up some real skillz.

        2. avatar UPS Driver says:

          Plenty of dead motorcyclists breathed their last breath from inside a helmet. My own father is a glaring example.

    2. avatar Carrucan says:

      Your statement is just so stupid it hurts.

  16. avatar anarchyst says:

    It seems that “officer safety” trumps “courage under fire” almost all of the time, but especially with “school resource officers” and police officers in general. It seems that for almost every police officer, making it to a cushy retirement is the ultimate goal, the protection of the public be damned. Add to that, observe the many unjustified shootings by police that get “covered up” by police-friendly prosecutors and grand juries.
    All one has to do is look at the (in)action of the police officers during the last number of mass school shootings, where these “trained professionals” SAT ON THEIR HANDS while the carnage was going on.
    You can bet that us military veterans in such a case would be drawn TOWARD the sound of gunfire. If I had my way, I would arm teachers who wish to be armed, and would hire military veterans as school support personnel such as janitors and maintenance personnel. Janitorial and maintenance personnel have the run of the school buildings and would make an effective “reactionary force”. Us veterans would be much more effective than police, (who are only concerned about their own “safety”), as us veterans are trained to go towards the sound of gunfire and “solve the problem”.
    Today’s human nature dictates that the person with all of the “training” (especially) law enforcement DOES cower in fear, while a 90 lb. armed teacher would reluctantly, but successfully take out the shooter. Being forced into a situation also forces one to act.
    There are many examples of persons, who one would normally think, would not be capable of acting in an extremely high-stress situation, but DO come out on top-stopping the threat, and saving lives.
    Sad to say, today’s police practices dictate that the cop’s life is MORE IMPORTANT than that of those he has sworn to protect despite the cops having statutory protections that do not apply to us ordinary civilians.
    All one has to do is look at Medal of Honor recipients, who are almost always mild-mannered, initially reluctant to act, but DO act, and perform feats who most would think are normally beyond their capacity and capabilities TRUE bravery in the heat of battle. The same applies to those civilians who act during school shootings.
    Human nature has a habit of propelling (actually forcing) the normal, average person into a true hero and life saver, while showing the true (cowardly behavior) nature of those we assign to protect us. A good example of our protectors cowering in fear is the deputies who FAILED TO ACT despite having all of the equipment necessary and the preferential laws on their side (that protect them from lawsuits and liability).
    TRUE heroes ACT, while our so-called protectors (failed to) REACT.

  17. avatar possum says:

    The only thing I fear is the incapacity to kill my enemies.

  18. avatar anarchyst says:

    Here is a guest article that deserves the light of day:

    No One Cares If You Go Home Safe At The End Of Your Shift
    Posted by: Michael Z. Williamson

    Here at the house, I have a couple of decades plus of military experience. I have tools to dig in or out of natural disasters. I have extinguishers and hoses. I have a field trauma kit and bandages. I have weapons both melee and firearm. I know how to use them. I know how to trench, support and revet. I understand the fire triangle and appropriate approaches. I understand breathing, bleeding and shock. I know how to detain, restrain and control. I have done all of these at least occasionally, professionally. I’ve stood on top of a collapsing levee in a flood. I’ve fought a structure fire from inside so we could get everyone out before the fire department showed up, which only took two minutes, but people can die that fast. I’ve had structures collapse while I was working on them. I’ve been in an aircraft that had a “mechanical” on approach and had to be repaired in-flight before landing. I’ve helped control a brush fire. I’ve hauled disabled vehicles out of ditches in sub-zero weather.

    My ex wife has over a decade of service and some of the same training.

    We have trained our young adult children.

    Read the rest here: http://www.michaelzwilliamson.com/blog/index.php?itemid=441

    1. avatar Garrison Hall says:

      Ture story: Brush fire in the Hill Country. First one pickup stopped, then another, followed by sundry cars and trucks as neighbors and strangers showed up to fight a fire in someone else’s pasture.

  19. avatar Minuteman says:

    What the hell is Weaponcraft? Do we have a Rambo amongst us? This women is going to get lots of comments about her rambling posts for sure.

    1. avatar Elaine D. says:

      Weaponcraft was the term my first two shooting teachers used. One was a Vietnam vet. The other was an old school paratrooper. Gunfighting is the term Jeff Gonzales uses. More modern, perhaps, but both talking about the same thing.

  20. avatar Slim says:

    You’re conflating here….

    This is an anonymous comment section with no concrete login system. What did you think was gonna happen when they have a “pro gun” Democrat come on here and give us lectures from high moral ground? Did you think TTAG headquarters would be flooded with waves of FTD bouquets???

    No need play the “white knight.” She’s identifies as a “strong willed, feminist and Vietnamese practitioner of weaponcraft etc, etc…” The last thing she needs is an anonymous moral boost.

    I have first hand seen tame comments with honest criticism removed here with her and Kat.

    I don’t recall any censorship here before these 2 started posted. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think this blog was bought by a left leaning media out which I find a big coincidence with the gibberish I’m reading here….

  21. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

    i can’t wait for weaponcraft ll.
    honestly, what? let’s see, some gals are peaches and cream, some are rough and some are both. let me tell you, pick one and cross her. you’ll see fight.

    “You guys should convince her why your way is better than hers…” no, you.

    this is all fine for y’all reflective sorts, especially chickypoos that may be inspired to protect themselves. but in the immortal words of blumpkin rogers, “i pretty much stopped caring already.”

  22. avatar Michael Stilinovich says:

    Dan Zimmerman,
    Who wrote this article ?

    1. Elaine, just as the byline says.

      1. avatar Anonymous says:

        Commenters seem confused, LOL and they don’t know what to do. LOL

        I’ll tell you guys what to do. Convert her to your side with convincing arguments.

        1. avatar Slim says:

          @anonymous

          You sure you’re not Elaine just posting under a different handle???

        2. avatar Anonymous says:

          LOL

          Thanks Slim, for that laugh.

          No I’m not “Elaine.” LOL

        3. avatar Slim says:

          @anonymous

          Elaine is a “strong, feminist practitioner of weaponcraft, etc, etc,etc.” She doesn’t need any anonymous moral support from you. In some circles your genuine support might be misconstrued as misogyny…. “LOL”

          As Elaine would say you’re “conflating…” I’m not trying to sway her vote to one side or another.

          Just pointing out that she’s an SJW that preaches identity politics, practices weaponcraft, and votes party line against her weekend hobby….

          btw “LOL”

        4. avatar Elaine D. says:

          @Slim

          I’m actually not a SJW. In fact, I learned a new joke today that perhaps you will appreciate.

          Q: How many SJWs does it take to change a light bulb?

          A: THAT’S NOT FUNNY

        5. avatar bontai joe says:

          I had to look up what a SJW was.

      2. avatar Michael Stilinovich says:

        Sorry Dan,
        I read it immediately after it was posted and your name was there at the time, thus the confusion.

  23. this writer votes for the domocrap gun grabbers.

    1. avatar Matthew says:

      Yeah. I try to be open minded, but in the months that she’s been here I still can’t understand and it still hasn’t been explained how she reconciles being a person of the gun with voting straight D.

      She has said that there are other issues she sides with Democrats on and that’s why she votes D. As someone also in the medical field, I can understand (but not agree with) the perspective. But to be able to dismiss their blatant, stated, and published goal of disarmament and still vote for them? I’m at a loss.

      If “weaponcraft” (what?) is so integral to who she is now, then I hope Elaine figures out that our nation was built on and so-far remains the free-est in the world because of said “weapon-craft.” What makes our nation a more free place to live than anywhere else? Individual citizens ready to defend that freedom.

      By voting to put those in charge who would remove our ability to practice “weaponcraft,” she and others like her vote to destroy the foundation and security of what makes our nation great. I sincerely hope you understand this Elaine.

      1. avatar Matthew says:

        My fear is that you do understand that and are actually ok with it, despite everything that is said on this site. Call it paranoia, but as you said, paranoia is sometimes key to human survival. Maybe in this case, key to national survival.

      2. avatar Elaine D. says:

        @Matthew

        The Democratic Party was not always like this. It changed. And it can change again with the presence of people like me in it. I believe the whole SJW thing is a big overcorrection that is near its end, because people are tired of outrage culture and also tired of wealthy white women telling everyone else what we should be angry about. Which is a huge portion of the SJW contingent.

        Might not be true, we shall see in 2020. Failing that, the Democratic Party is actually trifurcating at the moment, which might be the early beginnings of more than a two party system. Again, we shall see.

        1. avatar Matthew says:

          I agree, the party had a different feel in the past. And multiple or no parties would be ideal in my book. But how is continuing to vote Democrat a good thing of it needs such radical change? Is it possible to remain and work in the party while casting your vote for those who aren’t trying to dismantle the Constitution?

        2. avatar Elaine D. says:

          @Matthew

          Well, the question is always: do you work within a thing to change it, or do you step out of that thing and start a new thing in order to change it. I’ve seen both ways work. For the moment, I’m still liking enough of the Dem platform to stay “in.” That could certainly change.

        3. avatar Matthew says:

          Well, I have to wonder if you’re actually working within the Democratic party to change it towards guns or if you hope to work within the gun community to change it to more liberal ideas. The disadvantage of trying to communicate via our new anonymous communities.

        4. avatar Elaine D. says:

          I’ve never been a believer in changing people to be more “like me,” Matthew. I can’t imagine anything worse than a world full of people who think exactly like me. What would be the interest and joy in that? I like the differences, tough as they are sometimes.

        5. avatar Thomas J. says:

          “…The Democratic Party was not always like this. It changed. And it can change again with the presence of people like me in it….”

          How exactly are you changing the democratic party?

          You can attempt to answer that question, but it is doubtful it can be answered in any meaningful way. The DNC has aligned its’ self with various old world powers, ask the Yellow Jackets about their E.U. governance from Brussels. There is a hatred for the U.S. that can not be separated from their beliefs, and needs chaos, anger, and anarchy to survive. Now with the help of the bourgeois billionaires (the newest one to enter the fray is Reid Hoffman who ran an extensive false flag operation against Republicans in the 2018 elections), poison from China, the angry female, and unlimited illegal migration, they are poised to complete what BHO started, the fundamental changing of America.

          Voting progressive is just being an enabler, if you withheld your vote until they reformed, then maybe, you might have an argument. However, after reading your article and many of your comments, it looks like the longest piece of cognitive dissonance this site has hosted.

          I have mentioned this before, JFK was a democratic… today he would be a conservative.

  24. and yes , I meant DOMocrap. because the communist that call themselves democrats are into dominating and control people. that is why they fight for people control ( gun control is just a way to control the people by taking away there power to do anything once they get complete control of this country. new progressive laws that slowly take away your freedom will come out and we will not be able to do anything about it. and we will become another venezualla).

  25. avatar Ernesto says:

    “Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself”

  26. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    ‘As a motorcycle rider, I’ve been lectured countless times about how I shouldn’t ride a motorcycle because it’s not safe, or I should trade it in for a scooter because a scooter is supposedly safer.’ – Ignorance breeds fear (and contempt) and this is a perfect example. Scooters are NOT safer than motorcycles. They are LESS safe. They can’t accelerate, corner or brake nearly as effectively as a motorcycle. As a side, when I experienced a head on collision on a motorcycle with a car at a combined closing speed of 85mph I seriously considered not riding anymore. But I had so many people come up to me and say, ‘I’ll bet you’ll never ride a motorcycle again.’ So since so many people were calling me out for cowardice and daring me to get another motorcycle, I did. Soon as I got the insurance check, the very next day, I went down and bought a then brand new 1994 Kawasaki ZX9, capable of tripling the speed limit (I can attest to the fact). I’ve been riding ever since without incident. I have no regrets.

    ‘To these people, I must not know any better.’ – Back to my point. These people are ignorant. Generally willfully so. Not just in the dangers of owning and using guns, but also in the dangers of NOT owning guns. They simply don’t want to accept the possibility that something bad may happen to them. It’s like refusing to own a fire extinguisher because the thought of a house fire is too terrible to contemplate. As if fire extinguishers caused house fires. Granted, house fires aren’t likely, but in the unfortunate case that you experience one yourself, the lack of an extinguisher will only exacerbate your problem. Violent criminal encounters are actually much more common than house fires and they almost always escalate much faster. Choose your fears wisely.

    1. avatar Elaine D. says:

      @Gov

      Yes. I don’t know if this is your experience, but I find that I go through the same kinds of dialogues as a motorcycle rider that I do as a gun owner.

      Why do you have that?
      You don’t need that.
      That’s not safe.
      It’s stupid to do/own that.

      I often reflect, during these lectures, on whether I should ask the person how condescending they sound. And these lectures come from both Blues and Reds. There just really isn’t that much difference, sad to say.

      Speaking of riding, I’m still trying to figure out how a person can transport a whole pizza on a motorbike without creating a disaster. If you have any ideas, would like to hear.

      1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        I used to carry a case of beer on my YZF-R1 but now (that I’m old) I ride a Speed Triple and the tank is too round on top. I’m sure I could do it though if the need arises.

  27. “Strong willed feminist…etc… ” she says. I used to be a feminist in college. Strong willed women have been around for centuries. Feminists are victims who blame someone else for their problems. All people have been victims of something. My people were victims of Germans, then Russians. Poor me. Men have been discriminated and enslaved for centuries, pick one. Everyone had slaves: Romans, Chinese, Egyptians, Jews, American Indians. From my experience the professional victims are usually passive-aggressive bullies. Example: D.Hogg and Blasey Ford.
    I’d go on, but even I won’t read a lengthy comment…….

  28. avatar VERNON ANDERSON says:

    No comment needed with some of the verbiage from the dummy Dem’s BS
    BUT…. My thoughts? … “My sentiments entirely Elaine!”

    1. avatar Elaine D. says:

      Thanks! I appreciate it.

  29. avatar Anonymous says:

    Face it guys.

    Elaine will never vote for democrats again, after hearing our arguments.

    Right Elaine?

    1. avatar Elaine D. says:

      I am always open to hearing everyone’s arguments. I appreciate meaningful dialogue and the opportunity to see things through new lenses.

      It might surprise some folks here to know that I actually mentor and serve some pretty brilliant conservative folks, and that my being a liberal doesn’t get in the way of that. Liberal means open minded, generous, open to new ideas. Def, I’m that flavor.

      1. avatar MD308 says:

        Wow Elaine, I rolled my eyes at a lot of your article – too many “- isms” and psycho-babble for my taste – but as others have stated, your responses here below have been well written and thoughtful. I think you might be winning me over you actually aren’t just a troll poking OFWG’s after all! And maybe we’re rubbing off a little on you too. 🙂

        I understand being a “classical liberal” but that’s a far cry from being a “Liberal” of today, not that you don’t know that, so we’ll keep working on ya.

        As a side, by boss is from Saigon – escaped on one of the last flights out as a child before the fall only because his father was in the South Vietnamese army and had some connections. He’s a remarkable human being from a remarkable people.

        1. avatar Elaine D. says:

          @MD308

          Thanks. To be honest, I’ve never understood the “troll” thing. I’m a real person. It’s my real name. I have a business website, a phone number, an email address, a job I like, a scarily kickass shooting teacher, and I’m just like everyone else here.

          I suppose in the day and age of people fabricating everything maybe it’s the “new normal” to think people are just making stuff up. Like someone asked me the other day, after seeing a photo of my motorcycle, “Is that really your bike?” I was so puzzled…to think that there might even be people who would take a picture of themselves with a bike that isn’t theirs just to be “cool.” It’s all about the “likes” I guess anymore!

  30. avatar Garrison Hall says:

    First of all, Elaine: Good For You! There is such a profusion of fear and paranoia at work in America because people are alienated. They are alienated from themselves because we live in a post-technological society were dependence is easily substituted for self-reliance. When people are prevented from being self-reliant they easily become disempowered. Not feeling personally empowered (something self-reliance supports) makes people feel weak and afraid. Because of this, they are more than a little envious of—and even a bit angry—about your self-reliance. Their sense of alienation is like a cage. They may not like their cage very much but being there feels natural and proper to them. And then you come along, open the door to your cage, and calmly and successfully start doing things they’ve always been afraid to do, things they’ve always thought were improper for people in cages to do.

    1. avatar Elaine D. says:

      @Garrison

      Great comment. Your point about technology is well taken.

      I think of it as being, in one way, a matter of speed. It’s a lot like addiction in that way. Drugs and alcohol give you quick “relief” to a problem. Learning to think through and work through a problem is a much longer process requiring reflection and maturity. Addiction promises feeling better without all of that. Of course, since it doesn’t actually solve the problem, you then still have the problem and must take another hit…and another…and then you end up with two problems, the original problem which has probably ballooned by that point, and the addiction itself.

      It’s easy to teach fear and judgment. Teaching self reliance and balanced assessment takes a lot longer. It’s easier to get people scared and on the defensive than to teach people how to think.

  31. avatar Mad Max says:

    “I think of fighting, and the right to fight, as a feminist issue. The right of a woman to take up arms to ensure her viable chances in this world.”

    Convince the Democratic Party of that.

    No true supporter of 2nd Amendment rights would vote for a Democrat. Democrats want to repeal the 2nd Amendment (and would probably like to repeal the Bill of Rights and a substantial portion of the US Constitution).

    Democrats have become the enemy of Liberty.

    1. avatar Salty Bear says:

      At this point in the game, I’d be less surprised if some democrats started supporting the 2A simply because it can easily be construed as a women’s issue – less surprised than seeing the Republican Party do anything more than pay lip service to the 2A.

  32. avatar possum says:

    Hey Doom Guy, check out the post.L OL…Game over, out

  33. avatar Ralph says:

    A climate of fear exists because the country has become feminized. Boys can’t be boys, men are toxic and cowardice is praised as a useful tactic in a so-called “active shooter” situation.

    Anyway, those are my feelings.

    1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      Yet victimhood is something to be celebrated and aspired to.

    2. avatar Elaine D. says:

      @Ralph

      There are feminists who are ‘anti men and all man things’ and that’s probably what you are talking about. Then there are feminists who are ‘for women and women’s rights’ and that’s the camp I live in. Hating men and men things does not advance the rights of women IMO; what advances the rights of women is looking at where women need help and getting that help.

      That’s just my position on it. I certainly know ‘anti man’ feminists. Some of the strongest feminists I know are Republican women who do a lot for women’s issues behind the scenes but never talk about it because they don’t want to be considered too liberal by their social circles.

    3. avatar Miner49er says:

      Ahhhh yes, the good ole days when men were men and women and brown people were scared.

      I’m reading what sounds like a man crying about being the victim.

      Some of us are secure enough in our manhood to not be threatened by strong women.

      1. avatar Elaine D. says:

        Well, as a female therapist who has a lot of alpha male clients, I understand that whole men wanting to be men thing. It’s as you say though: Men can be men without women needing to be weak.

      2. avatar Amicus Animalium says:

        I feel threatened by humanity.

  34. avatar PMinFl says:

    I was surprised (pleasantly?) to see that Elaine didn’t respond to her critics as she usually does. She is learning that some will pick on her for any phrase with which they disagree.

    BRAVO !, I don’t always agree with Elaine but I would fight to the death her right to post here. I’m kinda new to firearms but have been around for a long while and have found that there is .. usually.. some wisdom to be gained from all quarters. I’ve been a rock hard conservative, military, college student, liberal, anti war, union member, truck driver yankee who now lives in Florida. I’ve lived in the woods and in the city, East coast and West, North and South. BTW the year I spent in Elaine’s homeland wasn’t my best. OPEN UP PEOPLE!!! we all have views and feelings so be considerate of ALL writers at TTAG. gotta stop paul

    1. avatar Elaine D. says:

      Thanks, PM.

      I actually don’t mind being picked on. I think when you put something out there in the public sphere, you’re asking to be picked on, and that some forms of being picked on are enormously helpful to growth. I’m good with all that. I am not someone sporting a ton of easily hurt “feels.” Whether or not someone likes what I write is less important than whether I grow from the dialogue. I appreciate your support.

      1. avatar PMinFl says:

        Still support you but I wrote the comment before you went out and commented on half of the posts LOL .Keep writing!

        1. avatar Elaine D. says:

          Heh. You can’t win around here. If you don’t respond, you’re a wimp for not backing up your post. If you respond, you’re in a cat fight. What are you gonna do…

  35. avatar Caesar Sanchez says:

    Every weekend Elaine D. is out training with her Antifa buddies.

  36. avatar CZJay says:

    Speaking of gun fighting:

  37. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    “My interest in guns is an aberration”
    “I think of fighting, and the right to fight, as a feminist issue.”
    “The women of my mother’s country picked up rifles, organized into militias, trained, fought, and took prisoners in order to protect their villages and families. In Vietnam today there are still many images of women holding military rifles on calendars and posters”

    American girls were traditionally raised on guns just as much as boys were. But came the 1960’s and the Feminist movement, which attacked gun ownership as part of the “male Patriarchy”. I have thought a feminist was an extremely uneducated woman. Marion Hammer the first woman to head the NRA back in the 1980’s got no respect from the feminist leadership. Other women treated this female NRA leader terribly.

    Because Feminism is Socialist Progressive in its political orientation.

    I was asked by a women’s studies teacher to take her class. I had taken her sociology. She was much younger than me and very experienced. All she knew was what she learned in school, and talking to her like minded friends. She said “I’m terrified of guns”. She had come from California to Kentucky. In California I know Liberals have everyone agree with them. But not in Kentucky. I challenged her in class all the time. But in a respectful way. She had never had a student disagree in a way that she found hard to respond to in an articulate way.

    Liberals are not use to being challenged.

    The Women have always been part of gun culture in the USA.

    https://www.range365.com/aint-she-pistol-10-historic-gun-ads-featuring-women#page-6

    “In the current culture in the United States, you can numb out all day long to a combination of things: TV, weed, porn, shopping, food, online dating, alcohol, drugs – you name it. You can have most of the poisons that kill your mind delivered right to your door or downloaded in the privacy of your home”

    You are correct. But you sound like a conservative from the 1980’s. I don’t expect the Libertarians, Liberals or the Left to admit conservatives were correct on the poisons in our culture.

    Perhaps Vietnam is a polite place because people there are worried they might be forced into a boat and cast away, to the sharks, or raped by pirates and sold into slavery. The communist government there ethnically cleansed the country, just like in Rwanda. This was the second wave of Boat People.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sino-Vietnamese_War

    1. avatar Elaine D. says:

      I would say that’s not the reason.

      Many, many terrible things happened during the war. The biggest and most terrible thing, to them, is how it put family against family to the point of death.

      Vietnamese culture values family as the #1 thing. Division of family is something you try to prevent at all costs. There is huge emphasis on harmony, forgiveness, and working through things. I think the war actually strengthened these values. It took things falling to pieces, and basically having to start over, for that to happen.

      You see that wisdom, and that forgiveness, not only between Viet and Viet but toward Americans. They simply say, “The war was terrible. Many bad things happened. We’re lucky to be here, and we should all be glad.” This from people who lived through it and saw all of it, and then lost everything all over again and had to hide and change their identities in order to start over. I find it enormously gracious.

  38. avatar Rick the Bear says:

    You go, girl! Er, “woman”? 😏

    1. avatar Elaine D. says:

      Heh. I’ll take either. I’m 50, so hardly girlish, I guess!

      1. avatar PMinFl says:

        HEY!!!! maybe I was near you at your first moment of life. Turned 20 about 5 miles south of DMZ

        1. avatar Elaine D. says:

          @PM

          You were more north. I was conceived in Saigon – I even managed to find the neighborhood my mum lived in, it’s still there amazingly. She left right after the Tet Offensive. I was born a handful of months later here in Texas.

  39. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    As other commenters hinted, Elaine’s post here reeks of (gasp) conservatism!

    My addition: widespread fear isn’t the problem in our nation. The problem is the fearful people who insist that others give up their rights to assuage those fears.

    If 52% of the U.S. population experienced intense and debilitating fear every time they encountered a huge, fit, young, and muscular man (because such men could instantly break their necks and kill them), would it be okay if those people began demanding laws which required those muscular men to have one hand tied behind their backs before going out into public? After all, that would alleviate those intense and debilitating fears. And those men would still be able to do pretty much everything with one hand. Most importantly, those laws would only impact a small percentage of the population (those huge, fit, young, muscular men) so that would definitely make it okay.

    What I just described is EXACTLY what is becoming commonplace in our nation. THAT is the problem.

  40. avatar Minuteman says:

    The liberal vs conservative movement here is tearing families apart. Pitting neighbor against neighbor. As soon as the liberals feel like they are a solid 53% of the population they will really ramp up operations. Then Elaine you will start to experience what your mother did in Vietnam right here in the states. Read the constitution dear. There is no right to healthcare here. Marriage was always between a man and a woman until recently. When this country started turning from a moral based society to a free for all we started going down hill fast. Your liberal party and its socialist/ communist ways always lead to massive deaths just as what happened in Vietnam. You need to study history lady! All your feel good stuff you want to do for us all doesn’t work. Debauchery is what you and your party stand for. I smell what your selling and I don’t like the smell of it.

    1. avatar Elaine D. says:

      Okay, I’m asking. Not trolling.

      What do you consider a “free for all” and what do you consider a “morally based society”?

      Do you believe that only people who live in democratic, capitalistic societies can be moral human beings?

      As a proponent of freedom, what is your interest in restricting the right of others to marry based on their preference of partner?

      I’m seriously asking. Because I don’t get these views. Never have. That’s why I’m a liberal.

      1. avatar Minuteman says:

        Free for all is entitlements darling. People getting something for nothing. How many able bodied persons get free healthcare, welfare, phones and tax free living at the able bodied workers expense ? Millions get this. The majority of these bloodsuckers vote democrat. The hard working ball busting blue collar workers trying to make a living being responsible are paying for these programs through the tax structure. Most of these workers vote conservative. Trump has tried to bring the job markets back and relieved some tax burdens. That scares the crap out of the Dems. They may lose some voters through this and god knows we can’t do that. Also the American culture is being destroyed. Multiculturalism will best rosy a society everytime. Move here and become a American for crying out loud. As for gay equal marriage. Homosexuality is insanity. We legalized insane marriages. There are two genders and if you are attracted to the same gender you are insane. That’s just my 2 cents worth. We are teaching our kids to be tolerant of these things when in actuality we should be teaching them to stand against it. Homosexuality leads to death. It doesn’t sustain life. When something is wrong it’s wrong. You can’t say just because everyone is doing it makes it right. Democrat/ socialist/ communist. Always leads to massive deaths through control. You will either agree with them and conform or be put to death. There is no freedom of speech or God given rights in their doctrines Elaine. But that is in the history books and very easy to research. The liberals may look good to you because they seem good hearted and caring but underneath that cloak they are just looking for your vote. In the end they will turn against you and eat their own. It’s all right there in the annuals of time.

        1. avatar Elaine D. says:

          I understand that those are your beliefs and that you have what you feel are good reason for believing those things. Some I don’t necessarily disagree with. But:

          The United States has always been a mix of cultures. Texas, where I live, was actually Mexico for a long time and still is once you get past a certain point south. Mexicans were here before we were and are an integral part of Texas culture.

          There have always been gay people. I have a gay uncle and had a gay aunt. I grew up in the performing arts and have known many LGB+ people my entire life. None of them are insane. They’re just like you and me. I can’t see a case for restricting their rights to love and marry. I’m heterosexual, and I’m not married and don’t have kids. Whereas I know a handful of gay couples who adopted and raised kids. Just because you are heterosexual doesn’t mean you are a better person, that you have any interest in raising the next generation, or that you have solid morals. It’s not some kind of automatic pass to being a good person or doing the right thing.

          Honestly, I don’t think I’m the person whose lifestyle is in jeopardy these days. I think you are. Because people don’t want to ascribe to religiously based bigotry any more. If you see that as the collapse of society, I can understand that. But at the end of the day, diversity is what is becoming the norm, and I’m personally happy about that.

        2. avatar Minuteman says:

          Spoken like a true progressive Elaine. Congratulations your education is complete. I know this as being true because you are here on a gun forum.

        3. avatar Elaine D. says:

          I’m going to refer you back to the actual definition, both politically and dictionary wise, of “liberal.” I’m a liberal. As I’ve stated many times.

      2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        Elaine D.,

        I will provide some answers. Please note that I am sincere and mean well.

        The free for all has two main parts:
        (1) We are seeing a massive change in our society where FEELINGS are supreme. Timeless standards of truth, honor, and right-vs-wrong are becoming less and less relevant.
        (2) We are seeing a massive increase in entitlement mentality, self-pleasure, greed, and narcissism.

        In case you have never considered it, feelings can justify quite literally anything.

        Examples:

        Hollywood directors have intense feelings of lust for attractive female actresses so they use their power position and those actress’ desire for success to “score” with those women. And that should be okay since those power players are powerful and those women agreed to the sex.

        Many people saw a single “credible” witness statement and demanded that a nominee for U.S. Supreme Court be sent packing. There was no need to analyze her statement for errors or inconsistencies. No evidence was necessary. Any statement from the nominee was irrelevant. And that should be okay because people had intense feelings about the witness and sexual predators.

        Women at a public rally yelled out obscenities and vulgarities, which should be okay since they have intense feelings about perceived misogyny and exploitation of women.

        There are people openly advocating to legalize “adult — child” sex, which should be okay since the adults have intense feelings of lust for the children and the children have intense desires to experience pleasure and please the adults.

        There are people openly advocating to legalize “post-birth abortion”, which should be okay if the mother has intense feelings of sadness, dread, or something-or-other.

        Of course there are people openly advocating for “redistribution of wealth”, which should be okay since advocates have intense feelings about the struggles of the “underprivileged”. And that was totally justified in practice when it forced me to give over 40% of my annual income in taxes to the government one year when my family income was close to $42,000, leaving me just $25,000 after taxes which is $2,100 per month. (Hint: raising a family of four on $2,100 per month is not sustainable.) Somehow, those “underprivileged” people “deserved” $1,400 per month of MY INCOME more than I did.

        “Underprivileged” people insist that they can act on intense feeling of lust to have sex and conceive children with no means and no intention to provide food, clothing, and shelter for those children — which is okay because they have intense feelings. And child abuse and child neglect laws should not apply to such people, because they had intense feelings of lust and an intense desire for physical pleasure. So, the obvious “solution” is to let those “underprivileged” people have all the sex they want resulting in however many babies they conceive — and then take money from “privileged” people to pay for abortions or the birth and rearing of those children.

        There are people who advocate for homosexual relationships, which should be okay since the participants have intense feelings of lust for each other. Never mind the fact that homosexual relationships fail to produce the next generation, which IS NECESSARY to maintain a strong, vibrant, healthy, and secure society — and to sustain the current generation in their old age when they are no longer physically able to perform myriads of critical tasks for themselves and society.

        And we have the “transgender” movement. People with acute and relentless feelings that they are the opposite sex demand that they are, in fact, the opposite sex and that everyone accept them with open arms as the opposite sex, in spite of their chromosomes, body chemistry, and body parts. There is no need to consider whether they have a mental disorder, developmental disorder, or a brain chemistry deficit. After all, in the words of a father of a “transgender” child, their three year-old child knew she was a boy and that was all her parents needed to know. Yes, the supremacy of feelings means a three year-old child telling adults what is “real” and what is not “real”.

        Finally, people with intense feelings have openly declared that, “The ends justify the means”. People with intense feelings have demonstrated their willingness to bully, suppress, silence, tax, fine, beat down, imprison, and/or kill anyone who opposes their intense feelings.

        In other words the elevation of intense feelings to supremacy means an end to unalienable rights and a devolution where “might makes right”.

        THAT is the free-for-all that Minuteman was describing. And that will be the undoing of our society, where feelings and pleasure are supreme.

        1. avatar TrueBornSonofLiberty says:

          This is the result of the Post-modernist movement. “People” like Derrida and Focault are responsible and their ideology is being forced on college students by those with natural lobotomies. They are enemies of logic and reason, as well as Western Civilization. They are an insidious cancer who will have to be dealt with sooner or later.

        2. avatar Elaine D. says:

          Thanks, Uncommon, for being one of the few people who actually makes an attempt to explain your point of view rather than just ranting at me for not sharing it.

          I can see some of your points. I don’t agree with all of them.

          Regarding “feels”: yep, too much of that going around these days. I am with you on that. Life is not only about feels. It is also about facts. However, since we are talking about human beings and human nature, it’s always going to be a mix. There is no way of getting around that.

          I was listening to this really interesting podcast, “Science Vs.”, the other day, a segment on guns and violence committed with guns. Too Lefty for some on here maybe, but I found it fascinating, and there was a little discussion about human nature toward the end. There was a part 1 and 2 of this I think, I’ve only listened to Part 1 so far.

          https://www.gimletmedia.com/science-vs/guns

          Regarding abuses of power: that has always happened. Humans don’t handle power very well. I predict that as more women gain power we will see abuses of power and sexuality by women as well. I’ve noted that there are many more reports now of female teachers having sexually inappropriate relationships with male kids at their schools.

          Yelling out vulgarities is apparently now the norm. I’m not a fan either. On the other hand, I don’t really expect people at a protest, regardless of what side they’re on, not to yell and holler. I do not attend protests for this very reason, but the right of assembly is protected in our Constitution. Personally, I prefer reasonable and polite debate.

          NAMBLA is a joke. They are not taken seriously by the gay community either. But they’re there, just like all the other kinds of nutters in our society.

          Abortion is not desirable in general. Worth noting that many women who have abortions are married and that their husbands support the decision because the family cannot sustain another child at that time. So that is a private decision made by a couple.

          There are plenty of men who don’t want to raise a child either and pressure women to abort. It takes two to make a child, but women end up with the responsibility of rearing one. Everyone who has worked on this issue also knows that “conservative” people get plenty of abortions, even though they vote against the right to access them. In other words, if it happens to them, they’ll find a way to get one, legal or not. It’s unfortunate, that whole thing. I’m actually in favor of all forms of birth control being free and widely available to lower the abortion rate. Including sterilization. For all genders.

          Regarding LGB: there’s actually quite a bit of evidence that gayness occurs in a lot of animal populations at a pretty steady rate. No one knows why. There’s some reason to believe that gay and trans are chromosomal variants that haven’t been fully studied yet. As a liberal, I don’t see any problem with LGB people living the way they want to live. I’ve been around them a lot more than most people probably, and it’s done absolutely nothing to impact my life in a negative way. They work jobs, raise kids, pay taxes, do all the usual people things. Nothing they do stops me from doing the people things I do. Again, I just can’t see a case for restricting their basic liberties.

        3. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          Elaine D.,

          I have a couple more thoughts that I want to share — and those thoughts will have to wait for later today. Please check this article later today or tomorrow morning.

          Thank you!

        4. avatar Miner49er says:

          “Hollywood directors have intense feelings of lust for attractive female actresses so they use their power position and those actress’ desire for success to “score” with those women. ”

          I see more assaults on both girls and boys by priest and clergy then Hollywood film directors. Quite literally thousands of religious clergy have been found guilty of sex crimes. As opposed to a handful of Hollywood producers and directors, who is the bigger danger to society, Hollywood or religion?

        5. avatar TrueBornSonofLiberty says:

          No mention of the epidemic of female educators that have been raping young students by the dozens over just the last 2 years? No need to remind you that the teaching profession is almost entirely infested with progressives, right?

        6. avatar Minuteman says:

          Thanks uncommon sense!

        7. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          Elaine D.,

          Regarding the article that you linked on white socialism in the U.S.:

          First and foremost, notice the author’s attitude that government is entitled to our money — as much of it as they want — and any tax law which reduces how much money government takes from us is somehow a “public subsidy”. That is utterly and totally wrong. The fruits of my labor are MINE and government is entitled to exactly NONE of the fruits of my labor, no matter how noble the apparent reason for taking MY fruits.

          Saying it another way, letting me keep my own money which I then use to pay for health insurance is NOT a subsidy.

          An example of an actual subsidy is welfare: government takes MY money and gives it to a welfare recipient for the sole benefit of the welfare recipient. Another example of a subsidy is when government takes MY money and gives it to a solar panel factory for the sole benefit of the factory and the people who purchase those panels.

          Do you want to know why companies offer “benefits” such as pensions and health insurance? Because they think it is a nice thing to do AND BECAUSE IT MAKES THEM MORE COMPETITIVE IN THE LABOR MARKET. Nothing more and nothing less. If two companies are offering the same pay for the same job and only one of those companies offers health insurance, guess which company is going to have an easier time hiring the highest quality people and offer the highest quality goods and services?

          The “benefits” that the author of that article was describing were not the fruits of “white socialism” nor “public subsidies”. Rather, the benefits that he was describing are the fruit of a hard work ethic and responsibility. My mom’s family emigrated to the United States in the early 1950s. They did not speak a word of English. They had little education. They had no savings, no money, and no resources. Every single member of her family was responsible and worked very hard. And all of them achieved comfortable standards of living as a result. And I had a close friend at a former employer. He was one of the boat people that left Viet Nam. When he got off the boat in Los Angeles, California, he did not speak a word of English. He had minimal education. He had no savings, no money, and no resources. And, like my mom’s family, he was responsible and worked very hard. He, too, achieved an excellent standard of living as a result.

          Of course there are also plenty of people who are responsible and work hard and do not have a very comfortable standard of living. Whatever the “solution” may be for those people, I am not sure. I am sure of one thing: stealing from “successful” people and giving that money to people who are NOT responsible and do NOT work hard is NOT the solution. Unfortunately, that characterizes almost the entire aspect of “social safety net” programs that our governments administer today.

        8. avatar Elaine D. says:

          @TrueSons

          Actually, I did refer to female teachers molesting male students. See above.

          @Miner

          The world continues to have a huge, persistent problem with adults who are sexually interested in kids. Many of them men. Many of them straight, married men with families (Larry Nassar, Jerry Sandusky). The big thing is, people who are attracted to kids are the ones who make sure they sponsor, work around, and mentor kids. It makes things tough in terms of knowing who is safe to be around your children.

          There is one more book that I left off my previous list in the other post. That is Anna Salter’s “Predators.” It is a very explicit book about how sexual predators and pedophiles work – how they groom their victims, how they often choose professions and positions that make them “pillars of the community,” how they can lie and manipulate prison staff inside of prisons and bend them to their whims. It is a very, very difficult book to read so I usually don’t recommend it to people unless they have really strong stomachs and are ready for the information. It’s also a very valuable resource.

      3. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        Elaine D.,

        I want to make another important point, speaking to your interest in “social programs”, which I interpret to primarily mean the “social safety nets” that we hear about.

        I am deeply concerned about the well being of other people. I want, very much, everyone to have the basics. I am so concerned, in fact, that my spouse and I adopted an orphan at great financial, physical, and emotional hardship to ourselves. I quite literally put my money AND MY SOUL where my mouth is. And I want everyone else to have the same interest and concern for others.

        I am also wise to human nature. I know that people love to be lazy and self-indulgent. That means people will frequently choose what is best for themselves and ONLY themselves. It also means that people will frequently choose what FEELS best for themselves even though their choice is bad for themselves. Finally, it also means that people often regret their choices at a later time and do not want to be responsible for their choices.

        And I know that some people get a bad lot in life. Those people truly have little chance of surviving and thriving without assistance from others.

        My position is that we should vigorously encourage generous charity and mentoring in our society. And that charity and mentoring should be organic, emanating primarily from our core families, secondarily from extended family and neighbors, and lastly emanating from our society as a whole.

        Charity and mentoring must NEVER be a government function or a legal mandate that government enforces. Why?
        (1) It isn’t charity or mentoring if it is legally mandated: it is THEFT.
        (2) Governments are notoriously inefficient, corrupt, and unaccountable.
        (3) Governments inevitably use their “social programs” to buy votes.
        (4) Governments have a disincentive to truly help people become self-sufficient.

        In other words government is the worst possible entity to take on the core roles of charity and mentoring. Instead, private entities who bring compassion AND ACCOUNTABILITY to charity and mentoring are the answer. The very same principles that are critical to raising vibrant, balanced, responsible, and healthy children are the same principles that we should employ for charity and mentoring. And that is outside the realm of government.

        1. avatar Elaine D. says:

          I agree with much of what you have said here. However, I think that the “safety net” is very much in place already in the United States and that historically it has only benefited certain people. I would very much like to know your thoughts on this piece of writing, which I also posted in another thread.

          https://www.politicalorphans.com/socialism-for-white-people/

          I think that the reason government has “taken over” (with all of its attendant bullshit and waste) is that the structures you are talking about, family, community, church, schools, have all broken down and are continuing to break down in our society. And I don’t think that’s necessarily because of leftist ideology, though I can see how some blame that. I think it has to do with economics, the lack of clear path to success for our young people at the current time, the increasing costs of paying for everyday living and having a family which is why so many young people are opting out. The increasing rise in mental illness and the lack of a support system for mentallly ill people is also a factor in all of this.

          I really appreciate this dialogue. It’s making more sense now.

        2. avatar Minuteman says:

          Elaine what do you believe broke down the church, school, family and community? Could it be the fact that we took God out of schools? Could it be the fact that we made Christianity a bad word? Could it be we made divorce the normal? Kids need two parents at home caring for them or the family breaks down. Even the elephant community knows this. Surely the Buddha religion puts value in the family. Hollywood has made a mockery of the family and moral views. Technology has allowed for less and less communication to have to take place between humans. Video games pollute our children’s minds with violence and the parents aren’t policing them. Drugs are on every street corner calling our names. Homosexuals adopting kids resulting in a huge misrepresentation of a true nuclear family. Confusing to the kids I can only imagine. Who’s mom and who’s dad? Sick really. Anyway the government has been involved from day one in destroying the family. It is how they have gained power. It takes deep research into various programs and agendas backed by our government to see the attack they have brought against us. It is a Global agenda taking place throughout the world. The United States has been the only thing standing in the way of the proliferation of this. Hence the world wide attack on us. Our government is them also. Hang on tight and know what side of the battleground your standing on.

        3. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          Elaine D.,

          I will review the article that you linked and comment on that later.

          Regarding your recent comment:

          Government took over charity and mentoring because:
          (1) It feels good to give food to someone who is hungry. And there is an element of nobility in that, except for all the cases where the person is hungry because they chose foolishness over responsibility. But government doesn’t care if they are enabling destructive behavior. In fact government likes enabling destructive behavior because it leads to more people asking for more government,
          (2) … which leads to more government power,
          (3) … which is why Government gambled on taking over charity.

          And government has steadily enabled and even incentivized destructive behavior. Look at all the “welfare moms” who have children to increase their monthly government welfare check. Another baby means another $500 (or whatever the amount) per month — which becomes significant when you produce four children. Why should those women try to work? Why should those women look for responsible husbands? Why should the fathers of those children be responsible for those children? Why should those fathers work hard? Why should any of those mothers and fathers invest in their future? And why should any of those mothers or fathers invest anything in their children?

          Now consider some alternatives — which apply to both men and women — to the perpetual welfare baby situation:
          (1) Don’t have sex and produce a pregnancy in the first place.
          (2) Give up your baby for adoption since you cannot provide for your baby.
          (3) Go to prison for stealing when you refuse to work and pay for the baby’s delivery in the hospital.
          (4) Go to prison for child neglect when you do not work to provide food and clothing for your baby.

          Imagine how quickly our society would change for the better if welfare moms and dads were expected to act responsibly and held accountable for their choices.

          As for increasing costs of everyday living, consider my example that I detailed in a previous comment. That year that my family’s meager annual income was $42,000, government demanded that I hand over 40% of my income in various taxes which was $16,800. Instead of having about $3,500 per month to live on, I only had $2,100 per month to live on. There is a HUGE difference trying to sustain a family on $3,500 per month rather than $2,100 per month. In other words, if government would stop taking so much of our money, we could much more easily afford living costs. And if we had more money to spend (e.g. if government stopped taking so much of our money), our economy would be stronger, with more jobs and higher wages available to more people. Instead, government demands a huge amount of our money and give it to people who do not work and have no interest in working. (Which, not coincidentally, incentivizes the next generation of children to do the same thing.)

          Plus we have not even talked about hidden costs that we all bear because we do not hold people accountable. For example hospital emergency rooms treat everyone — including people who never pay. Of course those hospitals cannot run at a loss so they pass those costs on to their PAYING patients, which means the cost of health care and health insurance is higher than it would otherwise be.

          Now let’s talk about raising children. You mentioned that many young people are opting out of producing children. I want to point out that homosexuals are, by definition, opting out of producing children as well. Why? Let’s be honest: raising children is incredibly expensive and quite often an enormous burden. Thus, many people go for sexual gratification and intimacy without the “hassle”. And that would be fine if children were not utterly and totally critical to society. Our children, when they become adults, will be delivering your 200 pound sofas, staying alert on 10 hour hospital shifts, and defending our nation from foreign invasion — something that childless 75 year old homosexual and heterosexual couples cannot do. But does government do anything meaningful to offset the enormous expense and energy required to raise children? Nope. (Providing a couple thousand dollars a year in tax breaks for your children is laughable compared to the actual expense of raising those children.)

          Once again, the path to “success” for everyone is mentoring, true education (NOT indoctrination), limited charity, and accountability. But government stands to lose on all four of those elements and therefore opposes them. That is why I oppose most Democrat AND Republican “social” policies.

        4. avatar Elaine D. says:

          @Minuteman

          I wanted to respond to your shorter post first because I do understand where you are coming from in many respects. I do not agree about gayness because there is growing evidence and reason to believe that there is a consistent biological basis for LGB+ in more animal species than just humans. That, in other words, it’s just one of Nature’s genetic variations, just like some people have straighter and some curlier hair, like people have lighter or darker skin or different eye colors. The fact that human beings are not the only animals who have a significant gay population makes me think that it’s just a natural variance. Nothing to be worried about. Or, perhaps in your terms, that if people are LGB it’s because God made ‘em that way, just as God made birds of different colors, or different types of flowers. The research on gay couples raising kids shows the kids do as well as any other kids. And if the kids are adopted, these are kids who need a good home, so if they get into one, all good. That is just how I see it.

          Now about the other stuff. I have worked with many, many people abused within church communities. Church communities, unfortunately, are some of the easiest for human predators to take advantage of, particularly if they manage to come across as being the “repent and redeem” type. There is so much trust and faith, especially within small church communities – like Sutherland Springs – that it is incredibly easy for an evil person to exploit that trust and faith. I talked to an officer who worked that shooting. He cried as he talked about it. He said, “Those people were so trusting and simple in their worship that they didn’t even try to run away. They didn’t even know what was happening, and it wasn’t a part of their world, so they didn’t try to escape.”

          That conversation has really stuck with me.

          Someone can say they are Godly but it is their actions that tell you whether they are or not. I have seen some very evil actions from people claiming to be people of God against church communities, things that broke families apart and destroyed trust. I’ve helped survivors and escapees of cults that all claimed to be bringing people closer to God.

          I suppose that my view of human nature is that it is complex, with hidden depths that sometimes you only find out at a moment of truth – good or bad. Human predators have always been among us, and they like churches, a lot – look at what happens with the Catholic pedophilia scandals.

          Sometimes I think that true conservatives are maybe a bit more…I don’t know…idealistic than I am? That there is a simple faith that hard work, Spirit, and doing the right thing will put society on the right path. For the most part, those are always good things. But I have also seen how easily trusting people with faith can be exploited. Perhaps part of the reason I am a liberal is that I will always acknowlege the unfixable in human nature, that which cannot be repaired through hard work, or God, or morality. I think we have to account for those things. Not to do so is dangerous indeed.

        5. avatar Elaine D. says:

          @uncommon

          I do not believe in legislating or controlling the sexuality of adults. At all. This is something that I think liberals and conservatives strongly disagree about.

          If someone is old enough to go to war, own a weapon, pay taxes, be jailed for a crime, and otherwise do adult things, they are old enough to love who they choose, however they choose. All of the arguments for controlling other people’s sexuality are religious, and the Founding Fathers specifically set up this country so that church and state would not be mingled.

          Also, it doesn’t work. And that kind of authoritarianism is something I associate with repressive regimes like the Taliban, not the United States.

        6. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          Elaine D.,

          I never even hinted that I advocate for government to fine and/or imprison people who engage in homosexual behavior. I merely pointed out the fact that homosexual behavior fails to support a critical aspect of our society — raising the next generation.

          What I openly advocate is education which includes sharing important facts, even if some people do not like hearing those facts. If you want to infer anything from my comments about the facts surrounding homosexual behavior, infer that I advocate for discouraging homosexual behavior, nothing more and nothing less.

          Your mindset and reaction illustrates the Progressive mindset: that feelings are supreme. It doesn’t matter that homosexual behavior is a genetic dead-end or bad for society. If it feels good, do it. After all, there is some evidence (allegedly) that homosexual desire is genetic so it must be okay. Cancer and mental illness are genetic and therefore “natural” as well. Why are people not advocating that we embrace cancer and mental illness?

          Here is my position: there is no doubt that feelings add incredible dimension to life and are a powerful motivator. And there is nothing wrong or destructive in that. Our feelings only become destructive when they DEFINE and DOMINATE our lives and decisions and lead us into destructive lifestyles. That is what I am compelled to condemn.

        7. avatar TrueBornSonofLiberty says:

          Those that regularly compete in the Oppression Olympics can’t help themselves but to instantly retreat to advocating the importance of choosing feelings over facts. The combination of Post-Modernism and severe mental illness has fully devoured everyone within the democrat party.

      4. avatar Anonymous says:

        Do you believe that only people who live in democratic, capitalistic societies can be moral human beings?

        Capitalism is more moral than socialism. Yes. “Democracy” sucks, but that is the best system we have in conjunction with an implementation with other rules, such as a constitution, forming a “republic.”

        Capitalism
        Capitalism is perfectly moral, and is the default in human interactions (i.e. anarchy).

        In an exchange, the buyer, or the employer, negotiates a price, or offers one, in exchange for a product or service. If his offer is too low it will be rejected. The seller or the employee offers his product or service in exchange for a sum that he negotiates. If his offer is too high, it will be rejected by the buyer. Only when both parties are satisfied (BOTH) does an exchange occurs. So both parties have to be satisfied in order for the exchange to take place.

        Now some people have stated that in some situations when an employee can’t bargain for anything, because the employer knows about it, then the employee won’t get a good deal. This is natural human behavior. If a guy catches 10 fish wearing a loin cloth and meets another guy with a spear and a dead pig they are both going to naturally bargain for as much as they can. Which brings up the next idea – competition. If the pig traders offer for fish is too high, the fisherman says no. And why? Because he can work with someone else that sells fish cheaper. And maybe he sells fish cheaper because he has a BETTER method of catching fish that requires less labor. Now this isn’t good news for this fisherman in this situation, because he worked hard to get his fish, and now the only way he can trade is to offer it at a price he doesn’t want. The solution is for him to accept this (noting that life is hard, NOT EQUAL, and you have to work harder to compete with people who are more intelligent than you). Or alternately, he can pursue something else, like construction, or building boats, or making baskets, spears, whatever, maybe he has a talent in something else, that will give him an edge. The solution is NOT to talk to the village chief and show up at the pig sellers house demanding at spear point that he abide by some new regulations that puts things in the fisherman’s favor, just because the fisherman isn’t very good at catching fish. Now all that said, even though things didn’t go as the fisherman hoped, they went better for everyone else. Everyone. The person that provided the fish at the cheapest price, can also provide that fish at a cheap price to everyone in the village, so everyone benefits, from his competence. In a capitalist system the most competent elevate themselves to the top, and everyone benefits from it.

        Socialism
        In a socialist system, your effort, labor, or time, are taken from you, by force, from the government, who has guns, that can be leveraged against you to force you to do what they want you to do. Usually under the guise of “fairness” or “compassion” for other marginalized, disenfranchised groups. This labor (or money) is distributed by some rules or regulations, the group decides for themselves, fairly or not, depending on the definition of “fair.” In a socialist system, there is no inherent pattern of incentive to allow for the most competent to rise to the top, so oftentimes this doesn’t happen. Example – Post office. And this often arises into a problem that socialism doesn’t account for. Human behavior for the negotiation. If you are going to get paid $15/hr whether you work hard or not – why work hard??? So Instead, Socialism’s efficiency relies on wide scale same services that are easily repeatable and not complicated with variation like in a privatized system. In a socialized school system, everyone gets the same approved books. In a socialized healthcare system, everyone gets the similar care without “shopping” around. The problem is, if you want better education for your child, you aren’t going to get it. Because all the children are treated the same, when in fact, they are not. They are not the same at all.

        But the purpose of socialism is to solve some pitfalls that generally, helpless and non-competitors face:

        Disabled
        Disabled people rightly have problems competing in a capitalist system. It’s hard to catch fish, or hunt the pig, if you have no legs or arms. Similar for other fields, if you are retarded, you are going to have trouble crafting a loincloth or weaving a basket, or making a boat. So by taking money from can-dos by force, you can hand that money to can’t-dos. Granted, this will incentivize can-dos to do less, because they don’t know the people they are helping, they may not trust the system or believe their money is efficiently spent, and they may be suffering themselves from perceived poverty and so they don’t voluntarily take on the burden of these people. Had they voluntarily taken the burden, they wouldn’t feel resentful about things being stolen from them to give to can’t dos, which is the main issue. The problem isn’t that people suffer, can’t help themselves, so we need to take other people’s money to support them. The problem is that more people need to rise to the occasion to voluntarily support those truly in need.

        Socialized healthcare
        Healthcare is the bulk of costs these days, and in my opinion, should not be socialized at all, and isnt’ easily done so. It’s easy to socialize firefighting, right? They put the fire out, they don’t put the fire out. They control the fire to minimize damage. It’s pretty easy concept with the goal of simply – “put the fire out.” But socialized health is different. Because there is variance, and that variance is personal opinion. When is enough care provided? For example, end of life services. Some people are willing to pay more for more time than others. Some people’s families are willing to pay more for more time to their relative, and other people want no service at all, and would prefer to keep that money and pass it on their kids rather than hand it to a hospital. In a socialized system, they operate best and most efficient when they provide exactly the same service. And some people aren’t going to like that. And for some cases, some people would prefer better service for a task than what is usually provided. If the cost is distributed amongst everyone, how do you appease these people? You likely can’t.

        Further, the left is pushing that healthcare is a “right.” But is it??? Gun ownership is a right, but nobody provides for it. You have to buy your own guns, nobody gets free guns. Free speech is a right. But nobody is going to publish your book for free, or allow you free broadcast on their network. So I’m a little confused how healthcare is a “right” if someone else has to provide for it. If it is right, then the government must “force” doctors to provide for it, even if they don’t want to.

        Lastly, I hope you see the theme here, and that theme is, socialism is the advocacy of force. Everyone is being forced to do stuff. Their money/labor is taken from them by force for services that they may or may not use.

        What’s the solution?
        I don’t know. But socialism isn’t it for me. I don’t like socialized schools, and if I built a fireproof home, I would prefer not to pay for everyone else’s firefighting services. The solution to me, is for people to voluntarily take the burden of those who can’t burden them. Take a small community for example. Back in the day, they relied upon the church and each other’s charity. If someone was in shambles, volunteers came forth to help them and people accepted more responsibility. If you had a retarded brother, you housed him and cared for him. If you had a crimpled cousin, you cared for them and provided for them what you could to improve their situation. And the community provided for each other. They provided their time, effort, or money to help those in need. And they did so voluntarily. That is better than leveraging a tax on everyone to pay for a safety net to save those falling to their destruction. Because leveraging a tax is theft. Anytime, anytime at all, you take money, property, or time, from someone else, that is theft. And theft is not moral. Now we have this tax system in place, because it is a simple fix, but it is not moral. The founders saw taxes as a necessary evil, but as an evil nonetheless. If you are going to defend a nation against another nation, you have to leverage resources from the public for defense. That was the purpose of taxes, back in the day.
        So I don’t want socialized schools. Don’t want socialized healthcare. The only thing in my opinion that can’t be privatized is transportation. The roads we must share, there is no getting around those.

        Democracy
        Democracy sucks. The entire purpose of democracy is to gauge the victor before the blood is spilled. Suppose you have ideology A and ideology B. Group A is willing to slaughter group B and group B is willing to slaughter group A. But instead of slaughtering each other, they vote. The result of the vote is thereabouts the result of the forthcoming battle. So if one side gets 66% and the other side the remainder, then the group losing admits they would all be annihilated in the battle, and they submit to the majority, acknowledging them and their ideology would be cremated. Now, this sucks. Why does it suck? Because what if group A says that you, group B, also can’t leave. Then you become enslaved to their will. Democracy is ideological slavery of the majority. So instead of democracy, you set up some rules. Rules like, “ok guys, here are some rules that we all agree, we aren’t going to vote on! Okay!?, and to make sure of that, we are going to make it really difficult to change them.” And they made a constitution. And the constitution lays out the framework of fairness, such as the electoral college, or states, districts, and preventing small high density locales (like California) from dominating all the other states with a popular vote, thereby enslaving all the state’s to California’s will because of their population. The senate to protect land owners and low population rural areas. The founders had the foresight to see these before they happened. And they listed out some rights that they won’t take from each other – like speech, assembly, press, self defense/guns, among others. And then they famously said, “A republic, if you can keep it!”

        So straight democracy sucks. It’s two wolves and a lamb voting on what’s for dinner. The implementation of a republic protects the lamb. Further, the founders didn’t want a mob rule, straight democracy for legislation. Instead, they had regions send their best and brightest from that region (a representative) to represent the people of that region. And the reason for that is simple. A democracy represents the average, and the representative is the exceptional. One wise man, can make a better decision than the average of a populace.

        1. avatar Minuteman says:

          Excellent post Anonymous. Putting words and feelings into plain English.

        2. avatar Elaine D. says:

          @uncommon and @Anonymous

          Interesting stuff. It’s really nice to see all this laid out and how other people think about it. I have some thoughts of my own but I want to take the proper time to take in all of this material and digest it.

          One of the things I see happening is: as humans we very much get into saying what WON’T work. What we DON’T want to happen. However, what I know as a therapist is that what we don’t want, and don’t like, will not solve anything. The question becomes: out of all the flawed models, because every single one of them is flawed because we are talking about human beings here, what DO we want to happen? Are there things from several of these systems that can combine into a new model? Vietnam is trying that, with a socialist market economy. Too soon to tell what will happen long term, but short term, it’s a fit for their culture, it provides everyone with some kind of education and health care, and it’s rebuilt a country from the ground up in about 40 years, which is super fast.

          I think that when monoliths aren’t working the question becomes, does everything have to be a monolith. I don’t think it does, but solutions require thinking outside the box in order to keep up with how society changes.

        3. avatar Elaine D. says:

          @Anon

          I do want to point out that the healthcare system the Democrats are in favor of is not the type of system you describe. You can, in fact, choose levels of care within the ACA even as it currently exists, if you’re willing to pay more for it. What we’re trying to do is A) make sure that insurance must cover basic things everyone needs healthcare for, like physicals, birth control, basic meds for things like blood pressure and so forth, that insurance you pay for cannot deny you these things on a whim; B) that pre-existing conditions are covered; and that C) costs can be brought in and controlled.

          There is no reason a hospital should be able to charge $7 for an aspirin that is hidden inside of a bill so labyrinthine that no consumer can figure it out. There is no reason that the exact same procedure should cost thousands of dollars more in one hospital than another. Add to this the fact that hospitals will often not tell you what something will cost, even if it’s a planned procedure. Healthcare is pretty much the only industry in which the providers can be completely opaque about what something is going to cost you. Hell, even your car repair shop gives you a damn estimate!

          Healthcare and education may not be enumerated in the Constitution but consistently they have been shown to keep prosperous societies prosperous. Letting the private sector run healthcare has been a disaster. You don’t get care, or you can’t pay for it, or it’ll get denied on a whim (witness the massive judgment awarded against Aetna recently for refusing to pay for a cancer treatment). On and on and on. Letting insurance companies run healthcare has been a shit business for the consumer for decades now.

          You know that old thing about how a Republican is a Democrat who got mugged? The corollary to that is that a Democrat is a Republican who got sick and needed healthcare and couldn’t get it.

          I understand the points made here about family and community caring for people, but it’s just not possible or affordable for people any more. Caring for someone at home with a nurse and so forth runs about $250K for a year now. Families now have both parents having to work to make ends meet so they can’t take care of an elderly person without help at home. The costs of both healthcare and education have escalated far, far beyond what people can afford even with good jobs and insurance. The college education that cost 10 grand 20 years ago now costs 40 grand and nets you a job making $9 an hour at Starbucks because our economy has shifted toward an information skills economy and away from trades. Nothing is worth what it was. People no longer get offered retirement funds, pensions, or any of the things that their parents got offered for the same job that now pays less per hour for hours worked.

          This is why Millenials are cynical as hell. They should be. They don’t have nearly the same access to jobs and opportunities that their parents and grandparents did. It’s just the truth. I mean, they can go to college and get a job, but it’s a job at Starbucks. These things are realities. To a young person like this, a more Socalist system at least offers them the ability to get healthcare and maybe be able to pay their student loans while they try to find a better job – one they’re going to probably have to move three states away for, away from their friends, families, and communities. And those loans will mean they cannot buy a house, or have a kid.

          These are realities for our young people, many more of them than a lot of older people realize. And these are the young people who are trending toward a more Socialist way of doing things. I counsel a lot of people in this age range, and their struggles are real. I have kids who went to Dartmouth and Brown who can’t get a job paying more than 30k a year. Those same degrees would have landed them top positions 20 years ago. Things have changed. I think in order to understand why younger people are trending this way, you’ve gotta understand what they’re dealing with.

        4. avatar Anonymous says:

          I do want to point out that the healthcare system the Democrats are in favor of is not the type of system you describe.

          Maybe not, but their system operates as I described. They take money, by force, and redistribute it to those they perceive in need. And that is socialism. And I guarantee it’s by force. If I don’t pay my taxes, the IRS takes my house, sells it, pockets the money, and enslaves me in prison to make license plates for people that voted for it.

          There is no reason a hospital should be able to charge $7 for an aspirin that is hidden inside of a bill so labyrinthine that no consumer can figure it out.

          As much as I don’t like, they should be, if there is a free market, and if there is a free market I can take my business to someone else that competes better and can provide a greater value of services. Value = quality/cost. The problem isn’t their perceived extortion; it is the lack of competition.

          There is no reason that the exact same procedure should cost thousands of dollars more in one hospital than another. Add to this the fact that hospitals will often not tell you what something will cost, even if it’s a planned procedure. Healthcare is pretty much the only industry in which the providers can be completely opaque about what something is going to cost you. Hell, even your car repair shop gives you a damn estimate!

          I agree with all of that. We disagree on the root cause. The healthcare industry is a racket. And that racket is built on regulations. There are regulations on the equipment they use. There are regulations on the hospital. There are regulations on the doctors, nurses. So you are portraying them as a strictly “privatized” group, and they are not. Not at all. Nobody “shops” around for hospitals, because they are to a great degree socialized already. You are rightly complaining (and I know all too well) they are hamming up the bill with some nefarious billing tactics. But can you guess who absorbs all the cost for emergency room visits? Hospitals. The year the Affordable Care Act passed, hospitals provided about $40 billion in “uncompensated care” — that is, care they were not paid for. That was nearly 6% of their total 2010 expenses. By law (regulations), they are required to provide care for emergencies. They can’t say no. So who pays for it? Everyone else does – that’s who! That’s part of the reason your aspirin costs $7. LOL. And so to survive, and profit, they have created this warped system, where you get service first and then pay their exorbitant non-negotiable fees after.

          Now I say I know this all too well, because in 2012 my first born son I paid out of pocket, $16,000 dollars for. I got out a checkbook, and I kept signing bills until they added up to around $16,000. This was too high in my opinion, so when my daughter was born in 2014, my Vietnamese wife went to Vietnam and had our child there for a mere $3000 at the finest hospital in all of Vietnam, and she very much enjoyed that hospital more than the hospital here. But her $3000 was negotiated up front. The hospital would not accept her, until she dished out the money.

          Another time, in 2016, my father died. He was the kind of guy that didn’t like hospitals, didn’t like doctors. So all he had was “Medicare.” Medicare. He wasn’t going to spend a dollar more, because he didn’t want it. He would have preferred to take the money, hand it to his kids, and then die, rather than spend his hard earned money in life on doctors. So that’s basically what he did. During his stay at the hospital, a nurse came in, spent 10 seconds, asking his name, the year, and who the president was, and then added that on the bill as “speech therapy” for $90, each. And she did it every day. And that was for Medicare. So even if you think the hospitals are being unfair, single payer, or Medicare for all, isn’t going to change their policies. The bottom line – they are in it for the money, just like all the rest of us. They provide a service, and the only way anyone can reduce their cost, is to let them compete. They must compete. Right now they don’t compete. Nobody “shops” around for healthcare. In single payer they won’t compete. In medicare for all, they won’t compete. In Vietnam… they compete. And you negotiate up front. And that might not be all the reason, but that is part of the reason why it costs less. Competition.

          Healthcare and education may not be enumerated in the Constitution but consistently they have been shown to keep prosperous societies prosperous. Letting the private sector run healthcare has been a disaster. You don’t get care, or you can’t pay for it, or it’ll get denied on a whim.

          That’s correct. And no one is entitled to healthcare. It must be paid for, and our system is designed for the rich. Good healthcare in the US is for people who can pay for it. If we want to reduce the cost, the proper way, in my opinion, is to deregulate them and let them compete, it is to remake what has been built, not add more regulations in an attempt to socialize it. Regulations, in my opinion, made it what it is today.

          You know that old thing about how a Republican is a Democrat who got mugged? The corollary to that is that a Democrat is a Republican who got sick and needed healthcare and couldn’t get it.

          Unless you’re my dad, then you say – I’m not entitled to healthcare, I don’t want to spend my life’s savings on healthcare, so I’d prefer to just die and give that money to my kids. Which is exactly what happened. If he was forced to pay 60% income tax in a single payer system, he would have been horrified.

          I understand the points made here about family and community caring for people, but it’s just not possible or affordable for people any more. Caring for someone at home with a nurse and so forth runs about $250K for a year now.

          I would like to bring in the topic of… “living within your means.” For example, if you can’t afford healthcare, or health insurance, then you don’t get any. I chose to make them compete, and I took my services to Vietnam, because it was a better value there than here, even with the price of the tickets. If hospitals and doctors here are allowed to compete then the price is cheap. Right now, I have no insurance. Well, that’s not true, I have ACA/Obamacare, but it pays for almost nothing, because the deductible is $6000. So I shop around for service in the clinics for pediatricians. I can tell you the rates of my top three places off the top of my head for my kids, and I get to choose between them, and the cost per year is generally about half that of the deductible. I can’t do that with a hospital, because they really aren’t competing amongst themselves for the patient.

          …. (continued below)

        5. avatar Anonymous says:

          …. Continued:

          In Vietnam, everyone lives within their means, in fact, I would argue, the US is more socialized than Vietnam. In Vietnam there is no property tax. You pay tax one time for property, and that’s it (sales tax on property). If you want something, you pay for it. And you pay up front. There is no sales tax between people. There is no income tax for the common person. If you want healthcare, you have to pay. There are no safety nets, so you have to plan your actions carefully, and you form tight community relationships with those around you. In Vietnam, land is so expensive that children live with their parents all their life, many of them. But you don’t find that here. And being in tight relationships, they care for each other, because they have no other choice! Whereas here, people shirk their responsibilities because “the government” will pay for it.

          So people here don’t live within their means. It’s a bad plan to get a student loan. You are signing away your future with plans like those. Likewise, if I were to buy a sports car for 200k that I couldn’t afford, or I couldn’t pay my mortgage. It’s a bad plan. These people you are talking to seem to have made some big mistakes. When I went to college (And I’m a millennial, barely), I had two jobs, while I was getting a degree in electrical and computer engineering. I worked in the computer lab for $5/hr (which is great and why we shouldn’t have a minimum wage, the new rise in minimum wage destroyed all those jobs, so they don’t exist anymore), and I worked at “The market,” an on-campus food court, cooking fried chicken and making pizzas, also for $5/hr. My car didn’t work. It’s was broken down and smoked when you drove it, because it had a crack in the block and leaked oil. I lived in a trailer down by a smelly creek. The owner of the park had fiberglass septic pipes that routinely collapsed resulting in human waste bubbling up from under my trailer or randomly in the lot. My mother took a job at the nursing home to pay for my college. She paid my tuition, and my books. For two years my only transportation was a bicycle. Everything else, my clothes, my transportation, my food, my rent, I paid for. Now I didn’t go to a fancy college like Brown, so my education was much cheaper, but now I make $75k/yr thereabouts, and I’m a millennial! I went to “Oklahoma State University” and I’m a contractor that owns my own business. So it’s not just about your opportunities. It’s also about making wise choices.

          Families now have both parents having to work to make ends meet so they can’t take care of an elderly person without help at home.

          Move into a smaller house. Buy a small acreage outside of town, the property taxes are less. Grow a garden, buy some goats, live within your means. I grew up, outside the city on a small farm. My parents made barely any money at all, and for most of the time, my mother didn’t work except around the house to care for us. Yet they still paid off the house, and still managed to care for all of us. My grandmother died in that house, with my mother and father caring for her until she died. And my father died and gave everything he ever earned to all of us, instead of a doctor, single payer or not. That is the job of a man, to act as a consumable. To be consumed in his purpose of providing for him family.

          The college education that cost 10 grand 20 years ago now costs 40 grand and nets you a job making $9 an hour at Starbucks because our economy has shifted toward an information skills economy and away from trades.

          Were these art-history majors? Just curious. Choosing your major requires foresight and some wisdom. Disagree on the trades. The city I reside, is a city full of welders, electricians, plumbers, masons, and other trades. I know carpenters that are now millionaires because they moved from carpentry to home building, and home building to real estate. I know a Vietnamese couple, get this, that came here from Vietnam 10 years ago, spoke no English, who are now multimillionaires. They came here with nothing, they worked in nails as hard as they could for years, saving every penny, then they bought a home, not even for themselves! The home was a rent house for others, while they lived in a small cheap run down apartment. Then they bought a nail shop, then they bought two more houses, then they bought another nail shop, then they bought 3 chicken farms, and now they make $75k month, not even a year, a month. This is the American Dream. You work hard, you take aim, and you strike what you aim at. You strike it dead center.

          Your major needs to be something that is useful (that you should have a natural propensity for). My first girlfriend was an art-history major. She always complained that the most she would make straight out of school was $30k and that was WITH a master’s degree. Meanwhile, an RN with 2 years would make 65K, or myself with 5 years made $50k. People need to pick a useful and meaningful major.

          This is why Millennials are cynical as hell. They should be. They don’t have nearly the same access to jobs and opportunities that their parents and grandparents did. It’s just the truth. I mean, they can go to college and get a job, but it’s a job at Starbucks. These things are realities. To a young person like this, a more Socalist system at least offers them the ability to get healthcare and maybe be able to pay their student loans while they try to find a better job – one they’re going to probably have to move three states away for, away from their friends, families, and communities. And those loans will mean they cannot buy a house, or have a kid.

          Come-on. When I graduated I moved to Houston. Nobody is entitled to a job. You have to seek it out. Make goals for yourself and pursue them. Here, watch this important video for millennials working at starbucks majored in political science, art, art history, humanities, gender studies, or another non-useful major. Really important video, about the American dream (the opposite of socialism) – I beg you, begging. Please watch it all, it’s just 12 minutes long:
          https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mNDA-o9yJNw

          These are realities for our young people, many more of them than a lot of older people realize. And these are the young people who are trending toward a more Socialist way of doing things.

          I’m sure they are, because it’s easier to vote for free stuff provided on other people’s dime than to struggle for them yourself. It’s certainly easier – it’s just not moral.

  41. avatar Buff cousin Elroy says:

    “weaponcraft” ….haha wtf? So does that mean taking a shit is “Toiletcraft”?

  42. avatar Sal Chichon says:

    This was good article, right up until it took a turn for the old, “meteor stikes planet, women most affected,” worst. Why is that females can’t help themselves, and turn everything into another screed about, “womanhood, and muh feminism.” Ladies, here’s a tip: nobody worth a danm cares about your experience as a woman… and, frankly anybody who does, is probably an asshole.

    This article was so close to being great, so goddamned close. I want to respect you as a person, but it’s like you women have an innate disorder, which compels you to contextualize the world in terms of your femininity all the time. It’s gross. I can forgive the, “weaponcraft,” bit, afterall it’s your article… I mean… “workspace,” Rambo. The Vagina Monologue on the otherhand… spare me.

    1. avatar Elaine D. says:

      With all due respect to you, what you said doesn’t really make a lot of sense.

      Yes, women see the world through the lenses of….being a woman! Just as you see the world through the lenses of…being a man! Imagine that!

      It’s our right to do that, you know. Thanks to feminism, we are allowed to talk about our experience as women without having to make it more “manlike.” I’d be interested in why that’s so upsetting to you and why you seem to generally have contempt for all women in your post.

      Hey, it’s a free country. Hate women and our ways if you so choose, but then why were you reading a piece that had “feminism” in the title? You could just have clicked past it, you know.

      1. avatar Anonymous says:

        I’d be interested in why that’s so upsetting to you and why you seem to generally have contempt for all women in your post.

        Allow me to explain Elaine. It’s called “3rd wave feminism.”

        3rd wave feminism is just like marxism/socialism, except in the basis of power, and nothing else, on a dimension between men and women. 3rd wave feminism invented the “gender pay gap” as a marxist tactic in order to get the upper hand. Nevermind that men and women join together to form families. Women need the upper hand over men, and 3rd wave feminists subconsciously seem to hate men. They are … misandrists. They hate men. And so they employ marxists tactics. They say, that because the average of these men make this amount of money per year and the average of these women make less than these men of the same vocation positions, then the outcome proves inequality. And they make this assertion taking no other factors or variables at all, into account. And they hate men. And most of them are single, and unmarried, with no kids (3rd wave feminists). And that’s because women who have kids have SONS. And those sons grow up, and they don’t want to exact out their resentment towards men onto a world where their sons will face the punishment that they themselves enact. Further, men need women and women need men.

        Here watch this for more information:
        Jordan Peterson (a liberal) will explain all of this (to a feminist) here:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZYQpge1W5s

        And it’s obvious to me, that Sal, flipped out, when you mentioned feminism, and there is no doubt in my mind, that my above description of it reflected in his mind when you mentioned it. Sal doesn’t hate women, methinks, he doesn’t like women that hate men, which is where the modern feminist narrative is leaning.

      2. avatar Sal Chichon says:

        My, my: how quickly you went down the hackneyed, “you must hate all women,” path. It didn’t take you long, did it, Elaine? Imagine my unending surprise. What will you say next? Maybe you’ll call me an incel, ask me, “who hurt you,” or perhaps you’ll say I leave too much Dorito dust in my parent’s basement? I wait with bated breath for your next original thought…

        Regardless, your cheap-shot implication of my misogynistic ways is nothing short of a false accusation (something infamously attributable to the women-folk as of late). Frankly, if I really hated women, then somebody better tell that to my wife of 12+ years; and that’s 12+ years with no kids, mind you. In other words that’s a really long time for me to live with somebody I hate based strictly on their immutable characteristic. Don’t you think?

        Now that I’ve put that weak accusation to rest, I have already explained that I thought your article was good – and I mean that – right up to the, “women and feminism,” bit. Nobody cares. If you as a woman want to truly be treated equally, then you need to stop defining yourself by your gender. We care about content, not identity politics. That’s the point I am clearly stating. Do you think the male writers go on about, “as a man I think X, Y, and Z about shooting?” No, they don’t. Male authors don’t go on about being, “empowered as a man,” whenever they make a particularly difficult shot. If they did, I would say that’s gross, just as I did with you. The only identity that matters here is that you support the 2nd Amendment, and everything else is simply a distraction.

        Switching gears a bit for the sake of context: Several years ago there was a thriving atheist community online, and it was a great place to share ideas and find reprieve from dealing with religious people. Unfortunately that community was eroded away until it collapsed because it was infiltrated by leftists women with agendas who were supported by a cadre of white-knighting simp men. The same thing happened to the videogame and comic book industries. Hell, it even happened to the Occupy Wall Street movement. I think the 2nd Amendment community is also susceptible to the same threat. So while I do not hate women, I am specifically very distrustful of women like you. I have seen the erosion, and eventual destruction of communities both online, and IRL because a woman shaped Trojan Horse bearing veiled gifts of internal strife caused by identity politics was allowed to enter. You are not arguing with me, you are arguing with observable history.

        By the way, your initial response to me proved my point about keeping people like you at more than arm’s length away. The first sign of critique, and you go straight for the, “you hate women,” card. You are untrustworthy. I only hope other people read this comment, and understand what kind of insidiously cancerous threat people like you pose to a community.

  43. avatar bontai joe says:

    I realize I’m coming in late on this, but I’ve been away from my ‘puter for a few days. I really enjoyed the original post. Elaine, you gave me quite an insight into your way of thinking and your reasons for training with firearms. I totally agree with your description of our society’s fixation on fear and risk, and wanting everything in the whole world to be safe, and quiet and harmless. I’m old enough to remember people being allowed to smoke in stores and hospitals and stubbing out the butts on the floor. Now we are greeted with germicide dispensers and sanitizing wipes at the doors of those same stores and hospitals. Heaven forbid we allow our immune systems to become strengthened by exposure to a germ. Some interesting comments following your original post. Sure are a lot of differing opinions here, one of the wonderful things about the USA. Totally the opposite of the public social fabric of North Korea where all must agree with their divine leader. Elaine, please keep up the good work. This was some of the best reading I have done in months.

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