Gun Violence, Gender Irrelevant Marriage, & The General Lee
I have had a few thoughts rolling around in my head over the last few weeks that no matter what I do, these thoughts are ever present. There have even been several days where I thought about writing something about what has been going on and I have always chosen to refrain. My reason was mostly because I thought that my opinion and the words that I record would somehow be offensive to someone.
The more I thought about it, the more I realize how ridiculous it is. After all, isn’t this same thought process what has helped propel us into the situation that we are in right now.
Then I was sitting in church and the message was partially about getting out of your comfort zone. This made me realize that I cannot worry about what these conjured critics might say or do. In all reality, I realize that this post is likely going to upset some folks and there may be fallout from it.
I may get some comments or emails that tell me how I have everything wrong. Tomorrow may bring an update that says everyone has unsubscribed from my blog. If that happens I will just have to deal with it. I would hope that, just like I realize others have an opinion, others realize I have an opinion as well. We don’t have to agree.
The shooting at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, SC on June 17 was tragic and there is no way around that. Unfortunately, this tragedy has given those with an agenda the opportunity to go after gun ownership again.
While I wish things like this did not happen, it is not a gun or even the tens of millions of gun owners who obey the law, are properly trained, and keep their firearms away from the crazies and criminals that are actually to blame.
These incidents are isolated cases to which blame can be assigned to gun owners no more than an occurrence of arson can be blamed on gasoline or cigarette lighters. So far, I have not heard anyone lobbying for lighters or fossil fuels to be banned because of what they are capable of doing in the wrong hands.
Better yet, arson is an intentional act, let’s look at something that is unintentional. Every year there are approximately 150 deaths from coconuts around the world. This is a problem that is such a concern that some tropical locations have gone so far as to map the locations of coconut trees on GPS maps in the hope that it will spare residents and visitors injury or even death. Once again, there has been no push for legislation to regulate coconuts or coconut bearing trees in the United States.
To frame the information moving forward, I am operating off of the statistics available for the year 2011. This was the most recent year that I could get factual data for accurate and unbiased comparisons in all categories.
I will say that I do not condone murder, regardless of whether it is by firearm or other means. However, I do believe that an individual has the right to defend themselves with reasonable means, even if that results in death.
The United States Census Bureau estimated that in 2011 there was a total of 311,591,917 people in the United States with 153,290,819 being male and 158,301,098 being female.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention’s report on Death in the United States for 2011, the number of people who lost their life in 2011 as a result of homicide by discharge of a firearm was 11,101 (0.035 murders by firearm per 1,000). That is a rate of just over 30 murders a day, or 1.25 murders per hour by firearm in the United States. That is one gun murder every 48 minutes.
In an effort to compare things as objectively as possible, taking the CDC’s Abortion Surveillance Report of 2011 (the latest year available), there were a total of 730,322 abortions in 2011 (2.34 abortions per 1,000). That breaks down to right at 2,000 abortions a day, or just over 83 unborn babies killed every hour. That is one abortion every 43 seconds.
As a side note, if abortion was included as a cause of death in the United States it would be the number one cause of death for all ages and races combined and would be equal to all other causes of infant mortality combined and then multiplied by 30.5. That is staggering!
According to CNN, the sum of the 27 deadliest single day mass shootings in U.S. history from 1949 to the present total up to 342 fatalities, the equivalent of barely four hours of work by the Planned Parenthood physicians of America. As far as the “mass” murders committed in these isolated incidents (which ironically almost exclusively occur in gun free zones) equate to exactly 5.18 fatalities per YEAR.
According to National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) statistics, from 1982 to the present there have been 2,116 fatalities as a result of commercial airline crashes in the United States for a total average of 64.12 fatalities every year over the last 33 years. The commercial airline industry is considered a high reliability organization and has proven to be the safest way to travel.
To put things into perspective, a 2013 New York Times article relayed that:
In the last five years, the death risk for passengers in the United States has been one in 45 million flights, according to Arnold Barnett, a professor of statistics at M.I.T. In other words, flying has become so reliable that a traveler could fly every day for an average of 123,000 years before being in a fatal crash.
Taking a look at the data; the chances of being in a fatal airline crash is one in 45,000,000. There are an average of 5.18 fatalities a year from mass shootings and an average of 64.12 fatalities a year from commercial airline crashes. That is a 1:12.38 ratio of mass shooting to airline crash fatalities.
To make both causes of death equal, I would have to multiply the mass shooting deaths by 12.38. Therefore, it looks like there is probably close to a one in 557,100,000 chance of dying in the United States from a mass shooting. The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot is approximately 1 in 175,223,510.
You are more likely to win the Powerball jackpot three times than you are to to be killed in a mass shooting.
Furthermore, homicides by firearm discharge were only the 49th leading cause of death in the United States in 2011 out of the 113 selected causes that were tracked for that year. Homicides by firearm discharge barely made the first half of the list. In fact, you are actually more likely to die from a large variety of other causes.
Here is a glimpse of what you may need to fear more…in 2011:
- There were 26,631 people that were killed by falls in the U.S. but ladders are still legal in all 50 states regardless of their capacity.
- 119,732 people died from a heart attack but you can still get eggs & bacon for breakfast. You can even have them for lunch, a snack, or dinner in many restaurants.
- Pneumonia killed 52, 136 in 2011 and yet cold weather has not been made illegal when water is also present.
- 16,634 people lost their lives to alcoholic liver disease and another 26,256 died from alcohol-induced deaths but you can still get a six pack of your favorite domestic beer in just about every corner store in America. To credit the feds, they tried making alcohol illegal once and we all know how it worked out.
- There are millions of automobiles in the United States and yet 34,677 died from motor vehicle accidents without Moms Demand Action screaming that minivans and sedans should be outlawed.
- Deaths as a result of illegal drug use were over 40,000. Those are illegal and it is still almost four times more likely to cause a death than a firearm is.
- Not to make light of it, but there were over 38,000 people who committed suicide. You are 3.5 times more likely to kill yourself than to be killed by a gun on purpose.
All that and the same people who generally think that guns are the problem, find it ok for an unborn baby to be killed. It is extremely disturbing to me that for every one murder by firearm, there are 66 unborn babies that are killed.
It seems as if guns aren’t as big of a problem as doctors and the United States Supreme Court that made the decision in Roe v. Wade that all states had to be ok with abortion regardless of how the states and/or their citizens felt about the issue.
Gender Irrelevant Marriage
Another recent development is the decision that was made by the Supreme Court that dictates that all states must issue a marriage license to any same-sex couple and every state must acknowledge the marriage of a same-sex couple that is performed in other jurisdictions.
There are a few issues that I have with this, mostly the fact that now many are being forced to participate in things that we are firmly against. Especially from a religious perspective. I honestly don’t know where to go from here. I understand that there is a small minority of people in the United States that feel they have the right to be married to anyone that they want to be but what about the majority?
According to a study by the Williams Institute, the number of people in the United States that identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, and Transgender is roughly 9 million, or 3.5% of the population. In comparison, a recent ABCNEWS/Beliefnet poll reveals that the number of people in the United States that identify as Protestants or Catholics is approximately 75% of the population, or about 239,250,000 people.
Why does this matter?
Protestants and Catholics believe in the Bible, which clearly outlines the fact that homosexuality is a sin and is not ok. In Paul’s letter to the Romans he wrote:
24 So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. 25 They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. 26 That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. 27 And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved.
28 Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. 29 Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip.
Romans 1:24-29 (New Living Translation)
Despite popular rumor, there are other references made of homosexuality in the Bible. This in only one of them.
The good news is that in the book of John, chapter 3, verse 16; God’s promise is revealed:
For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16 (New Living Translation)
Now I realize that there are some of my fellow Christians who say they believe that it is ok to be homosexual and there is no problem with same-sex relationships as long as “love wins”. There is plenty wrong with it though. We all know when something is not right with this, we read about it in the Bible and know that that wages of sin are death.
Religion aside, same sex relationships cannot even be argued to be natural from a biological standpoint. Most people have a basic, ethical understanding that certain behaviors are wrong because they go against nature. The facts are clear that for reproduction to happen, you need a man and a women. Without adoption or petri dishes, same sex relationships would result in the end of humankind.
Here is another look at same-sex relationships from a biological standpoint:
U.S. District Judge Michael McShane wrote in his opinion about the case that would invalidate Oregon’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage (Geiger vs. Kitzhaber) that:
I believe that if we can look for a moment past gender and sexuality, we can see in these [same-sex] plaintiffs nothing more or less than our own families. Families who we would expect our constitution to protect, if not exalt, in equal measure.
In the same article, the author highlights that:
This is an extraordinary remark. What Judge McShane calls “gender and sexuality” is the only means by which families are generated. Since families come from parents, you cannot look past parents and still have a family — because there would be no family there. Homosexual acts cannot generate families; therefore, their “families” cannot be the same. If there are children present, we may be sure that both parents of the children are not present in that family. That is a lot to look past.
Some pro-homosexuality activists argue that because an estimated 10% of the population identifies as LGBT, it is normal.
In a National Employment Law Project study published in March of 2011 arguing for reform of criminal background checks in the Post-9/11 world, it was estimated that there are 65,000,000 people with criminal convictions in the United States. That is one out of every five people or roughly 20% of the population (double that of those who claim to be LGBT).
So if being LGBT is normal, than being a criminal should be twice as accepted, right? If that is the case, we should shut down the entire criminal justice system. But none of that makes sense now, does it?
Furthermore, because of the fact that we can’t go anywhere without seeing or hearing something about homosexuality or transgender people, I am forced to address the questions of my nine year old son who is far to young to be forced to deal with the extreme perversion in our society.
What business does the government have in the marriage business anyway?
Senator and 2016 presidential candidate Rand Paul answered this question nicely in an editorial for Time magazine.
There were several key points that I took from Paul’s article.
Justice Clarence Thomas is correct in his dissent when he says: “In the American legal tradition, liberty has long been understood as individual freedom from governmental action, not as a right to a particular governmental entitlement.”
Makes sense to me.
Can the government do its main job in the aftermath of this ruling — the protection of liberty, particularly religious liberty and free speech?
Senator Paul closed with these comments:
Perhaps it is time to be more careful what we ask government to do, and where we allow it to become part of our lives.
The Constitution was written by wise men who were raised up by God for that very purpose. There is a reason ours was the first where rights came from our creator and therefore could not be taken away by government. Government was instituted to protect them.
We have gotten away from that idea. Too far away. We must turn back. To protect our rights we must understand who granted them and who can help us restore them.
Seems to make a lot of sense. Perhaps it is time that we start to think about what we ask the government to get involved in.
There is another theory on allowing the marriage of same sex couples…taxes. Actually, it would appear that the Obama Administration stands to add $400,000,000 to the government’s coffers as a result of this decision.
Come to think of it, $400 million is enough to light up the White House like a rainbow in celebration.
So what now?
One of problematic outcomes when #LoveWins is that the redefinition of marriage makes way for other things to be redefined and leaves others wanting an exception to be made. Take the example of Montana polygamist Nathan Collier who placed an application for marriage to wed a second wife, a move inspired by last weeks SCOTUS ruling on gay marriage. His application was initially denied but as things tend to go when someone in America does not get their way, Collier threatened to sue.
When definitions are subject to interpretation, individuals all want their views and perspectives honored on the national stage and only those who are in the majority are left to suffer.
Same-sex marriage is not all that most people would have you believe either. There are several references that can be found that outline the significant tendency that these couples tend to have towards relationship practices that are considered unacceptable to most people. Practices like open relationships and even blatant encouragement towards infidelity. What is even more troubling to me is the fact that many in the LGBT community feel like this is the key to a successful relationship.
Is this what we have to look forward to from the generation we know as millennials?
What does it matter though? Does anyone ever get hurt when two people love each other? The answer is yes, people are hurt by gay marriage.
But don’t worry…much of the push for this decision is a move by the LGBT community to just abolish the institution altogether. Don’t believe me? Read what one gay man has to say about his plans to not marry in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision:
If the two people in the partnership decide how it should run, isn’t that enough? And why is the government even bothering with organizing us into pairs? Let’s just abolish the federally recognized institution altogether and let churches bless unions and have every individual file her own taxes.
You can read the whole article here.
To close out, I will end with my favorite quote on the Supreme Court’s decision that was made by Matt Walsh:
This is an embarrassment. Our nation’s highest court has just upended the institution of marriage, dismantled the rule of law, undermined the will of the people, and canceled out the legislative process entirely, and did so based on the reasoning that gay people want to find a life together. Maybe they do, but what in the hell does that have to do with the Constitution? And how was anyone being denied a “life together” simply because marriage has a definition?
The General Lee
I promise that I will be done soon, but lastly there is the issue of the outrage over the Confederate flag (it actually was a battle flag and was never used to represent the Confederacy as a southern nation.).
I understand what most people believe about the civil war; it was about slavery and the Confederate battle flag represented the desire to own slaves or oppress the lives of those who did not deserve. This is not true. The flag that most people call the Confederate flag today is actually the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia and the Army of Tennessee as well as other armies that belonged to the greater body that is known as the Confederacy.
First of all, no one can simply wipe out history with some legislation that removes a flag from the capitol grounds in South Carolina. History happened and I would actually hope that there were many that would like the reminder of the past to remain so that it can remind future generations of our past mistakes. Slavery is, was, and always will be wrong. Ignoring the fact that things happened though will not help anything.
Let’s be clear though, the southern states were not the only states where there were slaves and slave owners, many in the north owned slaves (including the leadership of the Union army). If you look hard enough, you find evidence that there were slaves in the north and even both the Union and Confederate armies had slaves that fought in their ranks.
But never mind the fact that the Civil War came about as a fight for States’ Rights and money above all else, let’s just try to rewrite history so that we can make it what we want it to be and not what it actually was.
Of course in our infinite ignorance as a nation, and the desire to make people believe only what is taught in our public schools, we have taken things too far. We know that the typical American is not going to go looking for the truth. We will believe what anyone tells us. After all, if you want to hide something from an American, just hide it in a book.
The ignorance has gone so far that the bakery a Wal-Mart in Slidell, LA refused to make a cake for a man because he wanted it to have the image of the confederate battle flag on it. He decided to put the system to the test and went back the next day. This time, Wal-Mart was more than happy to make him a cake with the image of the Islamic State flag on it.
Do yourself a favor and read a little on how to deal with civil war ignorance.
Just to make sure that things go even further, public outcry has seen to it that the iconic General Lee (the car driven by the Dukes of Hazzard) has been stripped of the Confederate battle flag that has adorned it’s roof since the Duke boys have existed.
I think that it’s all ridiculous! In a world where all guns are bad, sin and things that can be scientifically proven are ok, and history has to be removed from the record; I just want to run and hide.