Archive for July, 2012
For those of you who haven’t been following the news, a maniac shot up a movie theater during the Dark Knight Rises. Maniac was a 24 year old male from Colorado. He used some of the more popular firearms available in the US, and was decked out in body armor to protect himself from being shot at. The choice of a dark movie theater would have also made it more difficult to engage him. Apparently he used a smoke device of some kind. He turned himself in to the police after the shooting without resisting.
As of this writing 12 are dead, 50 wounded. He was wearing a gas mask and other gear. He booby trapped his home. This wasn’t a simple Postal Worker who lost their mind – he’s on the “John Doe from Se7en” end of the spectrum of lunatics.
-Piers Morgan (via Twitter) has been a useful idiot, chiming in with the same non-wisdom that the British have applied in the face of violent crime – the white flag.
-King Bloomberg has reiterated the ultimatum that serfs are not to be entrusted with their own defense.
-This morning ABC started the Tea Party – to the shooter link. To be fair this had to do with the man’s name, this “hiccup” was explainable. I’m surprised no one has said “Palin” yet (like the Arizona Shooting’s coverage.)
Bloomberg’s “point” about America vs some parts of the world:
King Michael mentioned that a few cherry picked European countries have lower gun related crime rates (IIRC The UK’s violent crime rate has continued soaring since their gun banning started) to “make a point”. It’s long been a meme on the left that there’s nothing wrong with America that can’t be fixed with Epcot-Europe’s features.
Just one problem: NY had a higher crime rate than the UK even before* centerfire firearms were widely available. The gun tool did not change that feature. But that’s history, history is for people interested in reality, and reality has no place in the world of a “White-Knight”, here to save society from itself via feel good laws and taxes. Gun control doesn’t have a great track record elsewhere. Especially in the cases of communist governments (The ones that killed millions of their own citizens during the 20th century). A more modern example is in nearby Mexico. You can see how well the very strict Mexican gun laws
have disarmed their law abiding public leaving only the cartels free to carry guns have solved their gun problem. With 50,000+ people dead in 2 years, one would think that Mexico would go back to their square wheel with revisions. They have not.
2) Facts to remember about this shooting:
-This theater, was apparently a “gun free zone”.The shooter was not informed that he was not allowed to bring guns into said theater.
-Murder is illegal
-So was shooting at people
-So was shooting in the movie theater.
-It is illegal to build bombs
-It is illegal to booby trap one’s home with bombs.
None of these things stopped the events of today. Solution: More laws like these.
Against my better judgement I watched MSNBC, from time to time I’m curious and wish to see what the inhabitants of Mars believe. MSNBC had on Bloomberg, “the Brady Bunch”, former PA Governor Ed Rendell, really a who’s who of prominent “gun-grabbers”. The debate centered around all the assumptions that the left has about the gun issue, this was an entirely one sided non-debate.
3 False Memes brought up today:
The deregulation meme: For every ill, the left has the cure – more government. See regulation isn’t actually a complex process, it’s simply a dial one turns. When things go “bad” or “wrong-bad” or “bad-wrong-ick”, one turns the dial to regulation, and happiness, sunshine, and unicorns come out of the regulation machine. The ONLY way bad things happen is if we turn the dial back or forgot to turn the machine on, because we have THAT much control over not only our own lives, but those of millions others too. It’s this line of thinking that supports a “bigger government is a good thing, comrade” ideology.
NRA Bogeyman meme: See, in state after state voters have tossed out anti-gun Democrats (and* Republicans in some cases) at all levels of Government. This has happened in election after election since the early 90s. The geniuses at the think tank at MSNBC have boiled this down to the “gun-lobby” and the NRA.
The “Lobby” meme is one “The main stream media monster” only brings up in conjunction to causes of the right.
Oil Lobby. Corporate lobby. Gun lobby. For any issue on the right, there is a lobby-name the media will use to dismiss it.
One never hears about the small but very loud environmental lobby, or the trial lawyers lobby that prevents tort reform, the anti-gun lobby that repeatedly uses tragedies to raise money and push political agendas, the teacher’s unions who have never ceased lobbying politicians for greater benefits at the cost of the tax payer, etc. We do not hear about lobbyists in these situations, they are referred to as “The people”. When voters vote down the prize bills of the left, it is often assumed that ____ lobby MUST have been the cause. MSNBC has a talent for Orwellian names.
The “start the conversation” meme: The left doesn’t want to have a conversation about maniacs who build bombs. They do not want to have a real conversation about what gun laws work (like the NICs system) and what gun laws don’t work (Assault weapons ban, bans on concealed carry, 1 gun a month (for law abiding citizens, not for criminals who do not go into gun stores in the first place). The elite’s belief is that “now people will pay attention to this “problem” that I have the fixes for, now they have to do what I say, we have to pass our stuff now while people are paying attention!”
What they want, is for people to read the preambles of their bills, see step 1 of their thinking, and lock step with them.
They do not want a real debate on these bills or these issues. The 40minute circle jerk on MSNBC made this abundantly clear. Failed gun bills like the fallaciously named “assault weapons” ban were touted as fixes to our problems, the conclusion that has already been reached by our genius TV hosts who would not be able to tell the difference between an “Assault weapon” and a “non-assault-weapon” if it was sitting in their hands. Their pretenses of empiricism or fair “debate” is really just a marketing slogan in this case. They already have the script they want their opponents to follow.
“I wish guns weren’t real”: In an “ideal” world to the left, guns would not exist. (In this “ideal world” communism works too, because people being rewarded equally for unequal work isn’t a flawed premise to some). See, guns in the hands of criminals and rampant stabbings are preferable to an educated and armed public. It’s also more “fair” for elderly men to face multiple younger men that are armed, or a woman in similar shoes to have those same odds. (These things happen, every day – perhaps not in gated communities, college campuses, or nice suburban neighborhoods, but they do occur).
Even in a world where only knives existed, women, the elderly, and some men are at a decided disadvantage in knife fighting, as they were for quite some time. It was even worse in the fist/clubs only world that was human existence for quite some time. Think of a world where the ultimate power was decided by those with the most physical power, and will to use it? There was no sense in protesting Barbarian Clan Ugh-Egh’s leader if he did not see your grievance as worth his time. The first non-violent protest was likely met with a mammoth bone to the skull!
Think of the world when swords and armor were the weapons of war. Those who could afford the best armor, swords, training, and diet to maintain muscle mass – these people were at a decided advantage over the serfs. It was through this that elites could both protect their power and impose their will. (Funny, as many left-wing elitists believe what’s wrong with society, is that the elites are not allowed to rule in private) There is nothing that is preferable or more desirable about this existence. The firearm, while merely a tool, was one that changed world – no longer would a man be able to do as he pleased merely for being taller, stronger, and more aggressive than his countrymen. Whether the gun was in the hands of a police officer, or one of a citizen who did not wish to have their fate determined by scum, this tool has been a positive introduction to the world in many cases.
That banning “hi-capacity” (standard capacity) magazines will fix everything: No it won’t. What this is, is disgusting ignorance and people getting wrapped around the axle on details. Shooting someone in the first place the problem!
They’re more or less accepting the fact that people will be shot because they’re unarmed. They’re accepting the fact that shootings can take time. Instead of wondering how to stop shootings when they happen, or before they happen (using a means other than feel good laws or bans on legal* concealed carry) they’re more concerned with the perceived amount of deaths per unit time. See, when a shooter can merely take out a second gun or reload a magazine, the shooting will continue. There is not only no guarantee that a magazine capacity ban will prevent a mass shooting or limit the total death count, there isn’t even proof that this idea works in the real world.Yet, a magazine ban is supposed to be merely accepted at face value as an idea that works, when it is absolutely nothing of the sort. (But remember: questioning that stupid idea makes YOU the one who is un-tolerant, comrade.) Keep in mind that a magazine ban would be more likely to affect those legally carrying guns for their own defense. This thought doesn’t even enter the discussion.
Suicide and Guns meme: This is a meme of lesser popularity, one that’s more popular among social scientists. Today Chris Hayes brought it up. See, when someone attempts to strangle themselves, it may not work. If someone jumps off a bridge, there’s a tiny chance they make it. Aiming a shotgun at one’s own face at close range has a slightly higher % of “working”. Most of the gun deaths in the US are in fact suicides. I believe 2/3s of them are, last I checked. A young psychology student once stated adamantly to me that they would ban all guns tomorrow, simply due to the “fact” that if guns were to simple un-exist tomorrow, then many people would survive suicide attempts. Such people have understandable frustrations- but it’s such emotions and frustrations that lead people to do dumb things with good intentions.
It’s sad to watch smart people become snared by their own words, I routinely watch others with greater mental horsepower than I fall into these ditches. They use the words “gun control” as if they believe that the laws will actually prevent guns from killing people, or prevent criminals (who break laws), from obtaining guns illegally (as they always have), to kill more people and break more laws (which is, again, illegal). I can picture Jon Stewart (“fake” news man) matter of factly attempting to state that these laws are “common sense” – though there’s nothing logical about enacting laws that would criminalize normal people and fail to solve the problems that prompted their discussion. Why do I bring up Stewart? I remember his “matter of fact” defense of another one of the left’s unassailable pet causes, green-energy-anything. His defense of it amounted to gluing paper wings to a cinder block and calling his opponent’s irrational for being skeptical of the block-plane’s performance, or lack there of. What bothers me, is the fact that this is likely going to be again the left’s meme do jour during this debate. They have the light the truth and the way, those who oppose them MUST be stupid or unreasonable for not agreeing with their false assumptions – when in fact they’re best served by throwing their criticisms into a mirror.
In thinking about this, I realized I had enough for a blog post! I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed sharing it.
1) Thomas Jane made the best Punisher of the 3 films.
I personally feel he sold the role the best. I would very much like to see him reprise the role.
For those who were unaware, Dolph Lundren did star in a Punisher film once:
2) The Punisher, to me, is the hero/”anti-hero” that makes the most sense.
For me he requires the least “leaps of faith” or suspension of belief. I say this as someone that loves the “ridiculous heros”, an Ironman, Hulk. or the uber powerful last son of Krypton – Superman himself. He doesn’t have piles of money. He doesn’t have a super-genius intellect. He doesn’t have some kind of cutesy ”sick nasty throwing knife trick” he relies on exclusively (even though a person with the pre-requisite physical gifts like super hand eye coordination and eyesight that are necessary to perform the feat of throwing a knife effectively over 5 city blocks – would be infinitely more dangerous with a rifle) or any nonsense like that. He can’t fly, eat bullets, use metal claws to climb, none of that either. He’s a former Green Beret with a mountain of experience when it comes to doing bad things to bad people. He’s got several sets of skills that allow them to do this, he’s a world class warrior, one of the baddest dudes on the planet.
3) His former occupation.
I’ve had the great privilege of having conversed on many occasions with men of Frank’s occupation. Many former Special Operations warriors live normal lives upon their retirement from serving our nation. Their neighbors usually know these men as the “quiet guy at the end of the street. You see him jogging from time to time – he’s in pretty good shape, especially for an older guy. Keeps to himself, doesn’t bother anyone.” Knowing what I do about these guys, I enjoy seeing them represented with their own hero, the one that gets the job done. Of course he is different from his real life counterparts in several ways, but such is the reality in the fantasy (read: not real!) world of comics!
So many heroes, Kal-El and Batman included, are unwilling or unable to “kill” their villains. They would rather throw them in ComicGitmo or Super-Supermax, to allow them to escape for the 11th time, kill dozens more people, add a few more concurrent life sentences for their next 3 week stay, etc. As I understand it, the comic-book Punisher is sort of the same way. But in them Punisher films, he ties up loose ends. Frankie doesn’t have any silly rules that don’t allow him to stomp out villains like cigarette butts. Big mafia meeting at the local Italian restaurant that’s a front for money laundering? Frank has no problem crashing through the front door, and ventilating them with a Mk46 machine gun. In broad daylight, with 50 witnesses.
5) You don’t need to yell at the screen, Frank delivers.
I mulled over labeling this 4a! The Punisher films satisfy the movie goer’s appetite to see bad guys get obliterated. At the end of some vigilante movies you find yourself wanting more, “the bad guy got away”, or the feeling that they got off lightly. I know a lot of people were pissed off with how “Law Abiding Citizen” ended. The Punisher doesn’t let this happen, not while he can breathe.
6) No real mental road-blocks
The Sentry is a Marvel hero that doesn’t want to leave his house. In some comics, Bruce Banner does not like being the Hulk. Spiderman puts on mascara and does a Saturday night fever strut down the block. They cry, they stop being heroes for a while, etc. The Punisher? Everything he loves is gone. He’s got no real internal obstacles.
7) Analogous to the Terminator
Think for a moment – other than the robot part and the things associated with it, what separates the Punisher from the Terminator?
-Iron willed determination to complete the mission
-No sympathy for opponents
-Good one liners
-Wide array of tactics used
-Explosions, mayhem, and gore
-No mental hindrances/non-conflicts
As a Terminator fan, having a former Green Beanie ass-kicker that’s practically analogous to the Terminator is icing on the cake!