Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Just For The Record ...

I too commented on Heidi Yewman's Ms Magazine blog entry and, taking my cue from Joe Huffman I reproduce my still-awaiting-moderation comment from Sunday afternoon here:
@ Ms Yewman
(although, from the articles photo credit, I’m assuming it’s properly Mrs. Yewman)
As one of those hairy guys (who actually wasn’t at Starbucks because I think they make horrible coffee) who also routinely carries a concealed firearm (and would open carry if I could), may I offer a genuine technology user tip? Which is, whenever you find occasion to buy a device about which you are honestly ignorant (or only just not as well informed as you would desire) as to the safe/normal function of the tool, the responsibility for becoming so is on you, not the person (or website – Hello Amazon) selling it to you.
Basically, the law exists to prevent abuse of others person or property and the 2nd Amendment makes acquiring ownership of the means to do so for one’s self as widely available to Americans as one’s demonstrated willingness to avoid doing abusive things to others. Which logically extends to your ownership and use of potentially abusive tools or devices.

Tony (and your friendly neighborhood cop) had no obligation to make you safe in your ownership, you did – and do. In future, would you please make certain you understand the function and safe use of any other devices you might purchase or otherwise come into ownership of? Before you leave the sales counter? Tony will be remarkably patient and helpful in answering your questions for at least as long as the money remains in your hands instead of his. As would most other sales people I would imagine and not just those who are licensed Merchants of Death.
BTW your choice of a Glock in 9mm was indeed a good one. I encourage you to wear it with pride – not only in the quality of your property, but in the certainty of your (hopefully to be acquired real soon now) mastery of the basic laws and practices governing the safe and accurate use of it. From personal experience (as a client, not through any actual need thankfully), I recommend these fine people as a resource any gun owner should be familiar with.
Welcome, fellow gun nut. :)
Now I'm assuming she lives in the Pacific northwest region, so emulating Joe's offer of assistance learning about her new gun is right out; it's just too long a commute from there to Texas.  Oregon and Washington states both are open carry states so either is a possible setting for her project. 

I'm not prepared to second-guess her intentions in writing this series of articles, her history of anti-ownership of firearms notwithstanding.  I won't be surprised if reasoned discourse breaks out in up-coming pieces (not to mention the comments section the magazine provides), but I also wouldn't be surprised to read she discovers she both likes the actual shooting experience and discovers some measure of merit to the (from her previous experience) opposition position.  Should she do so, writing about it in some depth would certainly create added interest from the more usual readers of Ms magazine I suspect.

Whatever her personal final judgement regarding ownership of a gun might prove to be, I hope for both her and her audiences sake that she is as completely honest and forthright about her experience over these next few weeks as she can be.  Doing so, and perhaps equally importantly being seen to do so, is what will give her judgement worth and merit to all of us, so I truly wish her well in this endeavor.

Who knows, maybe she'll show up for next years Boomershoot and write about that journey of discovery. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Away Game Stats

Phil Bowermaster takes a good look at the flag as table cloth spectacle in HGTV's recent "unforced error".  I particularly like his assertion that "... concerns about flag desecration are just a highly specialized instance of political correctness" and a version of hate speech laws, which led me to opine:
I think this entire controversy can be summed up as, “How much should we regard the flag used in the HGTV presentation as a re-iteration of THE Star Spangled Banner?”
Leaving aside the whole just how large of a table are we talking here question, I think it an honest statement that Americans generally regard our national icons as possessing unique and, if not precisely sacred then at least desirable and due-of-respect, patriotic qualities. The question would seem to come down to, how far does such expression of respect extend?
If HGTV had made it explicit that the table setting was “… a piece of cloth with [flag-like] colors on it”, there wouldn’t have been anything like the response received. Far too many Americans have had family members buried beneath just such a re-iteration of a cloth with colors on it for such a casual display to be anything other than profoundly insulting to the memory of their honored dead.
At the very least, HGTV should have been aware of, and taken pains not to offend, such wide-spread and deeply felt sensibilities. As too should the commenters making light of the offense being expressed.
As if …
The Smithsonian link is an interesting source of trivia on a whole host of fronts, but what it also explicitly makes plain is that The Star Spangled Banner wasn’t always a national treasure and icon and that the progression of events that lead to it becoming so was and remains a process we Americans continue to develop. HGTV just happened to wallow all around in that process and now probably wishes it could wipe it back off again.
Cable bundling will no doubt save them, but I bet a whole bunch of network execs are calling into question the thesis all publicity is good publicity right about now. :)
 In an effort at full disclosure and all that, HGTV has announced:
"This was a regrettable use of our flag and it never should have happened,” HGTV said in a statement late Wednesday. “We sincerely apologize and have removed the post from our website. We want to assure our fans that HGTV is proud of the American flag and everything it symbolizes for our people.”
All of which pretty much only makes the whole thing worse.

I'm sure they do regret it, if only for the reasons I point out above.  Just as a quick strategic aside, when you puke on your plate in public like this, don't sweep it off the table, cover it decently with a transparent effort to make amends by pointing out something like the Smithsonian website I did and make a teachable moment of your apology.  Thank your audience for their assistance in expanding your base of knowledge and encourage them to do so when you inevitably prove your humanity (which is "to err") yet again on some future occasion.

Not bury it away from plain view and hide behind the sack cloth (which is colored how?).

Finally, and on a much more important note; Happy Birthday, Dad.  Our shared uncertainty about the impact of humanities carbon footprint on the world around us notwithstanding, asking anybody to blow out 80 candles all in one go still seems a bit much, so this instead.