Bullets Are No One’s Friend


Apparently not even cops getting shot over the past week is enough to move gun control legislation forward. Not even watered down bills, one sponsored by Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, passed in Congress. It’s just as ridiculous as the NRA ignoring the police killings of two black men who owned guns legally by the laws of their respective states. The shit hasn’t just hit the fan, it’s traveled into the stratosphere. Things might only get worse from here, unfortunately. It also doesn’t help that Congress is literally owned by the NRA, an organization dedicated to serving the gun lobby. Sales are important than saving lives, I guess.

Going back a decade or so I was very pro gun. What’s changed isn’t just the amount of violence that has occurred in America over that period. It’s also my feeling that things need to change, that banning assault weapons and enacting strong background checks everywhere is a must. Plus gun and even hunter safety courses (I’ve successfully completed the last one). I’m not a fan of handguns, either, or concealed carry. In fact the mayor of Dallas said that during the mayhem those open carrying made it harder to tell who was a friend or foe.


Look I get that new measures or even just stringently enforcing current laws might not be enough. Yet we have to do something, and it needed to be done yesterday. It’s not enough to simply change police culture to the point where racist officers are drummed out, or make it harder for criminals and terrorists to obtain weapons (a bill addressing that last one also failed). Black Lives Matter is a start, too, but this is only the beginning. Maybe one day the body count won’t be so high. Hopefully.

The Jack Bauer Power Hour

Back in 2001 I started watching a show that was already gathering buzz. TIME Magazine had an article on it even. The show’s name was “24.” The pilot shocked me by featuring an airplane bombing after 9-11 and entertained me. By the second, fantastic episode I was completely hooked. FOX had decided to give the show a chance and I’m glad that they never canceled it. They actually are bringing it back next year after it has been off the air since closing its 8 year run in 2010. I’m excited because this one of my favorite shows and love how its fast paced and thrilling.

Kiefer Sutherland had a successful career going when he was cast as “24’s” main character,  Jack Bauer. Bauer works for CTU-Counter Terrorism Unit-based in Los Angeles, California. Each of the seasons center around one chaotic day, where Jack is forced to deal with a crisis and must act to protect the country and LA from terrorism. Nothing ends up being that simple and politics always play a heavy part in each season. This is one of the reasons why the show ended up becoming popular by Season 4-it was rather topical and smartly focused on real world events, although of course the show itself ventured into fantasy and made up story lines. I will forever remain amused that every season a huge terrorist plot threatened the country at one point or another, just because it seems rather outlandish.

Oh and the show has a fantastic cast, with great guest stars in every season. Sutherland is amazing as Bauer, while Carlos Bernard rules in playing his friend and co-worker Tony Almeida. You have Elisha Cuthbert as Bauer’s daughter Kim, Sarah Clarke as Nina Myers, who is another co-worker of Jack’s, Dennis Haysbert as David Palmer, a presidential candidate in Season 1 who is my favorite character, and many others who round out the show. My favorite guest star is probably Arnold Vosloo from Season 4, who myself and other fans often referred to as the “Evil Version of Jack Bauer.” The show also is rather consistent in terms of quality: Season 6 is the only really bad/mediocre season, while Seasons 1-2, 4 and 5 are great. I really liked Seasons 3, 7-8 and I thought the show had a fine series finale that although now temporary had me on the edge of my seat.

I didn’t even mention the show’s amazing display of state of the art technological devices, or how it is very 21st century in its depiction of how much the spy business has become dependent on new gadgets to stay ahead of the enemies in the field. I also like how much cell phones play a major role in the show from the first season to the very last one. There will never be a show quite like 24 ever again, and I don’t mind because its wonderful unique qualities and high level of entertainment value make it one of my all time favorite TV shows. I’m glad that FOX decided to leave it on the air for 8 seasons, and I look forward to the new episodes if and when they do air.

We focus on categories a bit too much in our society. I could be known as an “Introvert” and yet I’m not sure I fit in that neatly created, tiny box with a red bow wrapped on top. Labels are an easy way of reducing people to abstract ideas and concepts, stripping them of their humanity. A fellow trivia player at my favorite bar once told me that the African Americans he met hated that title. When I asked him what they preferred to be called he told me “Americans.”

Perhaps I am not against labels per say as I am wary of their ability to make it easy to hate people. Say that an entire group is a “Terrorist organization” and you make it easier for people to hate them. Call a bunch of people “Rabble rousing anarchists” and you inspire others to think of them as a murderous collective out to destroy everything. Now if the title fits sure then use it, however there is a sad easy rush to judgment, largely inspired by the media in this country.

Words carry power, funny enough, and I guess the old kids taunt of “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” isn’t true. We should remember this quote:

“Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care, for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or evil.”Siddhartha Gotoma or Buddha (563-483 B.C.)

And take it to heart.

A Violent Act Committed by a Terrible Person or Persons Unknown

One’s reaction to the horrible Boston attacks committed merely days ago would be to argue that no where is truly safe. But then again maybe that was the point of whoever was behind this terrible act of terrorism-and other word to call it-to strike fear into the hearts of many. If you want to be paranoid your entire life than yes allow the actions of crazy people to dictate where you go. Myself I choose to not live in fear, and I suggest everyone else do the same. That’s not to say that being prepared is a bad thing, so long as you don’t go overboard: knowing safety exits, having certain supplies handy, and being aware of your surroundings is all a good idea. However if one is to enjoy life, then you cannot be afraid to go out and experience all that life has to offer.

Terrorism will always exist-hence the reason the “War On Terror” is incredibly silly and shortsighted, only responding to threats without figuring out the causes and trying to solve the problem by attacking the root and the source instead of killing innocent people in drone attacks. Maybe this recent crime of murder and horror committed against Americans can shift our notions of accepting foreign bombings overseas and being unaware of the violence wrecked by our own government on others. Its rather different when bloodshed and death is at home, able to be viewed on TV or in person, and you realize that this is what some people overseas go through everyday.

Yes I hope they catch those responsible, and for now I think it was the work of asshole extremists, attacking for whatever insane political reasons they have going on in their heads. Hopefully this is not the work of a foreign citizen, simply due to political implications but also because I’m tired of the media not treating American citizens who commit acts of terrorism as extremists instead of what they are: terrorists. Terrorism is murder and acts of aggression wielded against innocent people and those unable to defend themselves for political reasons, and that’s what the Boston attack was.

Also my prays and thoughts are with the victims and their families. Its really sad that what was supposed to be a proud day was instead tarnished by someone or some group hellbent on harming people enjoying the freedoms of this great nation.

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