Gun Nuts Shooting Themselves in the Foot

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Like most passionate reactions I feel, this one came from a Facebook post shared by one of my friends. When I saw this photo, I was amazed that someone who tried to create a clever analogy was killing their own argument without realizing it. A smile crept onto my face when I realized I could counter this so effectively.

Coming from the uber conservative, opinionated south, I am bombarded with ignorant ideals everyday. One becomes numb to it after years without relent, but every now and then a post such as the one above is so bad that I can’t help myself. We all know the south loves guns of all kinds and they’re willing to fight if you try to take them away. I remember being in middle school hearing people say how Obama was going to “take all our guns away” and “he can try if he wants but they’ll have to go through me”. Yes, these are actual statements one hears daily in the rural south.

The photo above tries to be clever and use different types of pencils as a metaphor for different gun types. What the author of the post didn’t realize is that the image very well proves that high capacity assault rifle (i.e. mechanical pencils) are totally unnecessary. Everyone agrees that a standard wooden number two pencil will put words onto paper just like a mechanical pencil will. There’s no denying it. Where the arguments will start is about the “efficiency” of the mechanical pencils. Sure, the mechanical pencil will hold more lead and you don’t have to distract the whole classroom with a sharpener but it still writes just the same as a standard pencil.

Now let’s transfer this back to the guns. A perfectly legal pistol will stop an aggressor or threat just as efficiently as an assault rifle in almost every scenario. People use the excuse of self defense on assault rifles because they see them as toys and no one wants their toys taken away.

The fact of the matter is that assault rifles being readily available to the public has obviously shown itself to be detrimental. Assault rifles are for soldiers and war. Even the very name of the gun shows this: “Assault (verb) – to make a physical attack on.” They aren’t called “civilian defense rifles” for a reason.

Being southern, I have an appreciation for guns. I do think they are fascinating machines and they are fun to shoot. I think everyone has their inner Rambo moments when they just want to blow stuff up (not humans hopefully). No guns are toys and tweaked versions of the rifles issued to soldiers definitely aren’t. Fun shouldn’t come at the expense of human life and it rarely is in other situations.

I almost can admire the effort put into the image above but the lack of thought about a counter argument takes it away. The image is perfect for the ignorant bigot-type who wants a clever metaphor for their cause. They ALMOST had it… almost. I can even see the smile they made when thinking how clever it was to refer to a mechanical pencil as having a “large capacity of led.” (It’s graphite, but nice try again.)

A sincere thank you goes out to the author for further weakening the cause.

Remembering The King of Gonzo: 10 years later

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Ten years ago today, one of the most unique, badass humans of all time chose to end his own life. Hunter S. Thompson lived harder than anyone and sadly extinguished his own flame. As a Sophomore in high school, a kid who felt different and strange discovered a powerful man who encouraged living life till it burst at the seams. I’m that kid and Hunter S. Thompson was the man. Never in my life had I ever seen anything like him. Booze fueled, with cigarette dangling from his lip, Thompson left an astounding first impression on anyone who read his work.

As a 16 year old living in the years when I thought I was wild, I was totally blown away by this mysterious entity that wrote incredible stories and did ungodly amounts of drugs without a second thought. HST became my idol, someone to look to as both a writer and adventurer.

The concept of Gonzo shattered all formal beliefs I had of what it meant to be an investigative journalist. When I found Hunter Thompson, I found what I wanted to do in my life. None of the questionnaires or career surveys at school had Gonzo Journalism as a choice. The thought of immersing yourself and becoming a part of the subject struck me hard and investigative journalism remains my career choice to this day.

As I looked more deeply into Thompson’s personal life, I discovered that he was dead. He had killed himself at his ranch in Colorado on February 20, 2005. I was angry that I hadn’t discovered him before he died, as if it would make his work different to me. The thought of such a free spirit with such talent taking their own life was something I couldn’t easily digest.

As I’ve sat and thought about the impact he’s had on me, I feel so happy that he lived his full throttle life, but so sad that he chose to end it. He’s yet another sad addition to the list of reasons suicide shouldn’t be ignored.

I doubt any literary figure will ever have the impact Hunter S. Thompson has had on me. Through his stories of crazy adventures, I almost feel like I’ve become friends with him. If he were alive today I would write him and make sure he knew. The beautiful thing is, even ten years after his tragic end, his work is still so impactful to most everyone who reads it.

So everyone raise a glass to the King of Gonzo, the wildest man that ever lived. RIP Hunter S Thompson

Stay weird my friends.

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Male Scarves in Alabama: The cause of Rednecks? (Pun Possibly Intended)

Imagine your face when seeing this, then apply it to a normal sized scarf.
Imagine your face when seeing this, then apply it to a normal sized scarf.

I’ve always been a fan of style. Not someone who attends fashion shows and such, but I can appreciate clothes looking good on someone. With that, comes the respect of accessories; scarves being very high on the list of things deemed cool. One thing I’ve noticed in my nineteen years as an Alabamian, is that my fellow citizens rarely have such appreciation and often criticize those who do.

As of this morning, it was 18°F outside with a windchill of 4°F. In other words, it is absolutely freezing outside (by Alabama standards anyways). The mass hysteria that comes with these temperatures leaves our bread aisles empty and most people in their homes, naturally. But for the ones who do venture out of their humble abode, I would honestly give a 5% chance of seeing a small town Alabama male wearing a scarf. They’ll usually just stick to their Carhartt jackets, boots and baseball caps to provide warmth. I have never understood why, If it’s freezing, someone would not want to stay warm and possibly even look cool doing so at the same time?

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The issue stems from wanting to look “manly”. People from here will seriously rather freeze and pretend to be warm, than wear a scarf. I don’t exaggerate whatsoever. The times I’ve worn a scarf in public and not received a strange look from someone can be counted on one hand.

The biggest confusion to me comes from seeing photos from the fifties and sixties, of men in suits wearing scarves. Back when men always looked badass and it’s safe to say they were more conservative, they wore scarves. Somewhere between then and now, southern men evolved to resist cold and the scarf became unmanly and shunned. What a shame…

Regardless, I’m gonna keep my neck warm while looking cool (or at least I like to think so) and you guys can keep your red necks (no pun intended) and false warmth for the sake of manhood. You do you, fellow Alabamians.