Ralph Higgins

Ralph Higgins
color pencil sketch by Gayle Higgins

Quotes I Like

“Everyone is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

-Albert Einstein


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A Christmas Story

December 25th is the date Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.  The reasoning behind the choice of this date for celebration is not as important as what it represents to Christians.  It’s unlikely that December is the month of Jesus birth based on a number of factors, but the fact of his birth is historically indisputable.  The calendar is based on the birth of Jesus, separating history into BC and AD.  Celebrating the birth of Jesus is Christmas to Gayle and me.

            There was another birth that occurred on Christmas Day, but much less than 2000 years ago.   Little Gayle Cross, my wife, was born on December 25th and although she wasn’t born in a manger, it falls on me to remind her occasionally that the celebrations aren’t for her.

            I can understand why, when she was a child, all the colorful lights, the joyful music, people celebrating and exchanging gifts would cause little Gayle to think that this was all for her birthday.  But to wake up on Christmas morning, peer out her window and not see camels, shepherds and kings bringing her gifts must have been a tremendous disappointment to her as she grew up.  I think it may have been some time in her thirties when she stopped looking for that bright star and finally got rid of her “swaddling clothes.”

            To say that there has been no residual effect of these delusions of grandeur would be to ignore the fact that she still waits for a wise man to bring her gifts.  She’s had to settle for a dumb guy with bad taste.  Actually, when I married her, I thought I could get away with one gift that would cover both Christmas and her birthday, but that idea died a quick and merciful death the first year we were married. 

            I’m lousy at buying gifts for women.  Always have been.  Early in our marriage I bought Gayle a ring that had a beautiful artistic design.  I liked it and she loved it.  A few years later I bought her another ring.  Unfortunately, this ring was almost identical in design to the previous ring.  That may have been the beginning of a change in our emphasis on gifts.

            We’re finally at a point in our lives where gifts to each other have evolved into travel, special restaurants, or items for the house. The initial requirement of two gifts at Christmas has evolved or dissolved.  We are more practical now.

            Dr. Walter Williams, the well-known economist and one of my favorite writers, takes the gift thing a step further than even I have taken it.  He buys his wife things that are practical.  For example, I once heard him say that he bought his wife a pair of golf shoes so that she wouldn’t slip when she washed his car.  In another magnanimous gesture, he bought his wife a small snow shovel so that she wouldn’t strain her back when shoveling the snow in his driveway.  I think he bought her a chain saw one Christmas. Now there’s a thoughtful man.

            So here we are – a day or so away from Christmas and Gayle’s birthday.  When my kids and grandkids were little I dressed up as Santa Claus.  Since Gayle and I have been married, I have to appear outside the kitchen window on Christmas morning dressed as a shepherd with a donkey from the ranch and a goat.  Talk about embarrassing . . .

*  *   *

            Gayle and I wish all of you a wonderful Christmas. 

P.S. - Gayle wanted me to tell you that she doesn't really think she's God. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Three Generations of Santa

That's me delivering gifts to Dwight Klassen's grandchildren.

            Christmas is just around the corner.  Yes, “Christmas.”  Some people seem to be offended by the word, "Christmas."   When the true meaning of Christmas is discarded, all the "holiday" amounts to is a shopping spree.  No one will ever hear me say, “happy holidays” or refer to a Christmas tree as a “holiday tree.”  You'll notice that "Christmas" is a word that has dropped out of America's vocabulary almost entirely. Years ago I predicted that after Christ was taken out of Christmas, the next to go would be Santa Claus.  It's already begun.

            Since I got personal in my Thanksgiving post and my "tongue in cheek" depiction of men in the kitchen, I thought I’d give you a glimpse into another tradition in the Higgins family.  This goes way back to a time when I was just a few years past the fetus stage.  In other words, I was just a little tike.  Unfortunately I don’t have photographic evidence of those early years.  Cameras hadn’t been invented yet and the cave paintings we left on the walls are buried under a shopping mall, but I’ll describe the scene.   

            On Christmas Eve my brother Tom and I would anxiously anticipate the arrival of Santa Claus.  My mother had briefed us on the fact that if Santa heard us or saw us, he’d leave without dropping off our presents.  We scurried around the small house on 24th street in San Jose looking for a hiding place and waiting for the sounds of reindeer hoofs on the roof.  My dad would say that he had to leave the house to get a loaf of bread, but promised he’d try to be back in time to see Santa. 

            Time passed slowly, then we heard it.  The sound of sleigh bells ringing from somewhere outside.  My mother hurried us into our hiding places where we could see without being seen.  Santa was coming to our house.  I could hear my heart beating like a jack hammer.  My little brother wet his pants.

            Suddenly the front door creaked open – we didn’t have a chimney – and slowly a guy with a huge white beard and a red suit crept into the living room.  Lit by the lights on the Christmas tree, the scene was well staged and it was very effective.  Very dramatic.

            Santa looked around to be certain the kids were asleep.  He moved silently to the tree and slid the big sack off his back, slowly placing colorfully wrapped packages under the tree.  Occasionally he would quickly turn his head as though he heard something, but would then go back to his task.

            When all the packages were under the tree, Santa turned and left the house, darting furtive glances over his shoulder to be sure no one was observing.  After we heard the sleigh bells again, we knew that Santa and his reindeer were in the air and on their way to the next house.  At that point it was pandemonium. We rushed the tree as our mother tried to control our brutal attack on the presents.  She tried to save the wrapping paper, but her efforts were futile.

            So that’s what Christmas Eve was like when I was a kid.  Years later, my brother Tom and I used the same formula and took turns being Santa for our own kids.  By the way, Tom didn’t wet his pants as previously reported. 

            Tom and Sharon have two daughters, as do I.  I’ve included a photo of the four girls peeking over a barrier at my parent’s house in Los Gatos as one of us played Santa.  My mother made the costume, which we still have.
Daughters Kimi, Shannon, Juliane, Keri waiting for Santa

            I always enjoyed playing the role of Santa and I remember the excitement when I began the charade.  Fear of my cotton eyebrows falling off and trying to see through the antique glasses that belonged to my grandfather were challenges.  The kids would leave cookies and milk out for Santa, so I had to try to eat and drink through my phony beard.  If you’ve never tasted cotton mixed with chocolate chip cookies and milk, you don’t know what you’ve missed.

My brother Tom getting help from our mother
A younger me getting ready
 Then came the grandkids.  By this time I was pretty good at playing Santa and I actually resemble him with my beard and “jolly old elf” ways, but it was shocking to discover that I didn’t need a pillow to pad the suit anymore. 

      So far that tradition of enacting Santa’s visit has spanned three generations, just as it was started by my dad back in the ‘40s.  He was the best.  I did the Santa thing for Gayle’s grandkids, as well as mine, and the grandchildren of my old buddy Dwight Klassen.  I only have one little granddaughter left to entertain. 

Johnny, grandson Gabriel, daughter Juliane spying from our balcony
            Whether anyone picks up the ball to carry on the old Santa ruse is a question, but if not, this mini-drama entertained three generations of kids. 

         I know the kids enjoyed it, but not as much as my dad, my brother, and I enjoyed being Santa and seeing their reactions.  But I could have done without trying to eat a cookie through a milk-soaked cotton beard.

 Standing for inspection by Gayle


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Believe it or Not.

Are honesty and truth obsolete in America?  Has there ever been such dishonesty and duplicity in American government prior to this President?  There has always been corruption in government, but never to this degree in America. 

            The way our country is being run provides numerous topics for discussion.  But I want to focus on honesty, integrity, and what has been referred to as the “big lie.”  Actually, the many big lies.  

            We are fed an almost daily dose of untruths, without qualification or apology.  False statements are made by the President, the Attorney General, Secretary of State, head of the IRS, Reid, Pelosi, and others.   
            A compliant lap-dog media never questions, but reinforces policies and statements to the point that, with the exception of FOX News, talk radio, and voices on the internet, the media is nothing more than a public relations arm of the Obama administration.

            Take Obama’s health care program.  This monstrosity was passed by the Democrats in the Senate with not a single Republican vote. Not one.  And none of those obsequious Democrats had even read the bill.  It was marketed to deceive the public, as was revealed recently.  We heard lies from our President, spoken emphatically and repeatedly.   

            “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.  Period!”  
            “If you like your insurance you can keep your insurance.” 
            “Your insurance cost will go down over $2000 per year.”
 These are just three of the many lies the President used to sell Obamacare to the public.

            Recently the so-called architect of Obama’s health care system, Jonathan Gruber admitted that the public had to be fooled to accept the health care plan due to the people’s stupidity.  But now Obama, Pelosi, and others say they don’t even know this guy Gruber, yet he visited the White House 21 times and met with Obama in the Oval Office.   

             And the IRS dishonesty:
            “The IRS doesn’t target Conservative groups and individuals.” 
            “The documents needed for the investigation can’t be found.” 
            “The IRS computer hard drives all burned up at the same time.”  

            The attack on our embassy in Bengasi was caused by an internet video that no one has ever seen.  This myth was stated five times on national television by National Security advisor Susan Rice and confirmed by Hillary Clinton, then Secretary of State, and even the President.  These people knew this was not true, but that didn’t stop them from lying to the public even after the truth had finally come out.

            Obama says that ISIS has nothing to do with Islam, despite the fact that the acronym “ISIS” stands for “Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.”  Why would he say something so obviously untrue?  His affinity with the Muslim religion has been confirmed by Obama himself many times. 

            These are just a few examples of the continuing series of lies emanating from this government, primarily the office of the President. 

            So what’s the motivation?  Why is the deception so pervasive, so loud, so repetitious, so “in your face?”  This technique of control has historical precedence, particularly in dictatorships.

            Joseph Goebbels was Adolf Hitler’s Propaganda Minister.  He is remembered as saying that the bigger the lie and the more often it is repeated the more it will sink in with the public and be believed.  Goebbels said, “The principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it.  It is the absolute right of the state to supervise the formation of public opinion.”

            Goebbels’ use of propaganda is based on the idea that the bigger the lie and the more often it is repeated, the more likely it will be accepted as truth by the public.  He and his boss believed that it was government’s job to control the minds of their people, since the people were too ignorant to run their own lives. Gruber’s selling job was based on a similar perception of the stupidity of the American public.

            Adolf  Hitler said, “The lie must be so ‘colossal’ that the public would be confident that no national leader could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.”  

            Hitler also said, "In the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature . . . and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victim to the big lie than the small lie.”

            Hitler shared the belief of both Communism and Islam that a lie is acceptable if it leads to the desired end. This is something to seriously consider when you hear the next lie.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Skeleton Soup and Thanksgiving Residue

Now that Thanksgiving is over, there are packages of sliced turkey, frozen turkey soup, home-made cranberry orange relish, and all kinds of things to munch on for a week or so.  Gayle says she doesn’t like to cook, but when pressed into it, she does a great job. 

            I always add some personal embellishments, like my world-famous turkey skeleton soup and my mother’s cranberry orange relish, which is fantastic.  The problem with Thanksgiving dinner is that you get full before you want to stop eating. I hate that.  Now that it’s over, I’ve vowed to never eat again.  I think I may have said that before . . .

            I’m always hesitant to “get in touch with my feminine side,” which Gayle doesn’t think exists.  I doubt that I could change her mind even if I rode a horse side saddle or spent time blow-drying my hair or getting a pedicure.  Estrogen looks good on women and that’s where it should stay.

            Despite all of that, my wife is better at some home repairs than I am.  I’ve mentioned I melted a screwdriver while changing an electrical outlet with the power on.  I think that’s when she lost confidence in me.  And no matter how I hang the Christmas lights or load the dishwasher, it’s never right.  I shouldn’t be loading the dishwasher anyway.  As my Indian friend, Rajinder Singh would say, “That woman job.”   The lines in Indian culture are clearly defined.

            Gayle can scamper up and down a ladder and hit a nail without including her thumb, so maybe I should trade jobs and spend more time in the kitchen.  Gayle doesn’t like to cook anyway and I love to eat, which is the primary reason that “buffed” weightlifter from yesteryear is buried so deep inside of me that I can no longer hear him screaming to be let out.   

            Don’t get the wrong impression here.  I’m not pulling a Bruce Jenner.  I’m just trying to rationalize the fact that I’m about to give you a recipe for my famous “Turkey Skeleton Soup” and “Cranberry Orange Relish” when only women share recipes. But I’m doing this without wearing an apron or having my nails done. In any event, don’t tell anyone.  That would destroy my image.

            Neither of these formulas is unique and I’m sure you can find identical recipes online, but, unfortunately, these were my only contribution to our annual Thanksgiving dinner.  I will admit to brutally carving the dead turkey like a rabid Cossack while holding a turkey leg in my teeth. During this type of radical surgery my dog is always by my feet, snatching flying pieces of meat and membrane right out of thin air.  

            Here’s the deal – After the turkey has be decimated - torn limb from limb and ravished by carnivores - you take the skeleton, clean off the usable turkey, break up the bones in sections, and put the bones in a huge pot with plenty of water.  As the cook, you’re free to chomp down on tempting leftover flesh, but do so in moderation or you won’t have any soup. 

            Boil that sucker until the remaining meat falls off the bones.  Using those “clamper deals” reach in the boiling water and pull out individual bones and scrape off the remaining meat. Chop up the meat in small pieces.  When all the bones are squeaky clean, put the meat back in the pot and toss the bones in the garbage.  (Never give a dog turkey or chicken bones.)  Check to be sure that there are no bones or pieces of bone in the water.

            Add seasoning “to taste,” as they say.  I add chicken or turkey broth and a few other things, but don’t over-season.  Chop up raw vegetables, like celery, including the leafy part, carrots, mushrooms, and other stuff and toss it all in the pot.  Add a small package of barley then boil the hell out of it for a few hours.  That’s all there is to it.  Behold!  Skeleton soup.

            Now to my mother’s old cranberry orange relish, which goes great with turkey.  You need one of those “food chopper” things, because you have to chop up a lot of stuff.  Start with a package of fresh cranberries.  Chop those suckers in the “food chopper” and dump them in a bowl.  Quarter a couple of oranges, take out the seeds, decimate the oranges in the chopper thing, and dump them in with the berries.  Oh yeah…don’t peel the oranges.  That’s what gives it the “kick.”  Chop up a handful of walnuts and toss ‘em in the bowl too. The next step is sinful, but after thanksgiving a lot of people pray for forgiveness anyway.  Add two cups of sugar then mix it all up real good.

            Don’t cook it. It has to be raw and fresh. Chill this concoction for several hours in the ice box…oops, the refrigerator and it’s ready to go.  You’ll love it.

            I know those two recipes are nothing new.  I also know you can find similar things online, but I just wanted to demonstrate my sincere attempts at reaching deep inside me to “get in touch,” as it were, with the “feminine” in me in order to prove that I’m “well rounded”. . .wrong word.  A Thanksgiving dinner can make an anorexic “well rounded.” How about “well balanced.”  Wait a minute - Aren’t the best chefs men?  Wow. I feel better already.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Gayle's art

      I've received many emails complimenting Gayle's pencil sketch of me, so I've decided to brag a little on my wife's artistic talent. Since my personal talent as an artist never got past the stick-figure level, I'm always impressed by Gayle's talent and ability to capture the "personality" of the subjects in her paintings or sketches, giving them life.

          I'm posting a "mini" art gallery of a few of her creations.  Most are pencil sketches, but some are water colors or gouache, which is an opaque type of water colors. Some of the horses depicted and the two Australian Shepherds were ours.  The first portrait is our Thoroughbred, Tanny, with Gayle jumping, which was her "thing." Gayle is sometimes commissioned for her art work on a variety of subjects.

The end of a Chisholm Trail cattle drive.




Granddaughter Emily after she rode the pinto depicted above.

Glen Dennee


Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Man by the Window

     Fall is my favorite season.  Here in the mountains, the colors are magnificent, but the chill in the air reminds me that snow is on its way.  The horses at the ranch seem to enjoy the season as much as I do.  Temperatures between 15 degrees and 60 degrees are within the comfort zone for horses.  The view of the mountains with a dusting of snow rising above green valleys filled with grazing horses and colorful trees remind me that life is good.

            There is always new information on the political scene in the U.S., with duplicitous politicians, government corruption, and the dictatorial behavior of Obama, who seems bent on destroying America.  But I want to look beyond that today.   

            Gayle and I were hiking in the forest with Dakota when I was reminded of a great story that you may have heard, but one that deserves repeating.  I don’t know if it’s true, but it provides a profound respite from negativity. 
            The story involves two men who were both seriously ill.  They shared a hospital room and one man was allowed to sit up for an hour each day to receive his medical treatments.  His bed was next to the window. The other man was forced to spend all his time flat on his back.  The two men talked for hours on end about their lives, jobs, families and other things.

            The man in the bed by the window would describe the view outside during the hour he was sitting up in bed.  The man in the other bed began to live for that hour when the color and activity of the world outside was described to him.  He could picture the lake with ducks swimming, the flowers, the children playing, and the exquisite details depicted for him by his friend in the bed by the window.

            One morning the nurse found that the man by the window had died peacefully in his sleep and the attendants took his body away.

            A short time later the other man asked to be moved by the window.  He wanted desperately to see the beauty outside that had been described to him is such detail.  He raised himself slowly and painfully on an elbow anticipating the scene outside.

            He was shocked to see that the window faced a brick wall.  He rang for the nurse and asked her why his friend would have described the wonderful things outside when all that was there was a brick wall. 

            The nurse was surprised by the question and replied that the man by the window was blind and couldn’t see anything outside.  She suggested that maybe the man describing the beauty outside meant to encourage his friend and provide something positive, beautiful, and uplifting for his bedridden friend.

            There are several pieces of wisdom that can be gleaned from that story.  The blind man was able to lift the spirit of his roommate by describing beauty that he himself could not see.   Maybe it reminds us to look for beauty and the positive where it may be difficult to see; perhaps in a chaotic world or in a person.  The beauty the blind man saw came from within him and was projected onto something not so beautiful.  It’s a reminder that we should count our blessing; look for the beauty in the world, focus on the things that money can’t buy, and try to bring joy to others.  The brick wall will always be there. 

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I need to be reminded of these things. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

The Election is Almost Over

     Well, the election is over.  Or almost over.  It was a great night for Republicans from the bottom up.  It was tough on Democrats. From the governor races to the House of Representatives and the Senate, the country turned red.  Red = Republican.

            It seems like I get caught up in every election cycle.  As usual, I watched the reporting to the end and then got up early to see if there were changes.  In addition, I must have been hyped up because I didn’t sleep much at all.  And it’s not over yet.

            I think there should be a warning to anyone with an uncontrollable urge to get involved with an election to check with their doctor to make sure they are healthy enough for political activity.  If the election lasts more that four days, call your doctor.  

            At this point in time it appears that there may be two more Senate seats to go Republican, which gives the Republicans the numbers they need to slow our Dictator down a bit. And it also gets them past the Palace Guard and megalomaniac Harry Reid.  As you know, we hear about the “do-nothing” Congress, but the House has been passing bills left and right.  Reid simply tables them.

            The Senate has received roughly 300 bills from the House of Representatives, but Obama’s chastity belt, Harry Reid, has refused to even allow these bills through the door.  They sit on his desk.  That is unconscionable, since the House members are close to their constituency, reflecting the will of the people. Reid is committed to an ideology.

            To inhibit bills from reaching the floor of the Senate should be grounds to justify firing Reid.  But now the plug has been pulled and maybe something will get done that will reflect the will of the people more than the will of Obama, Dirty Harry and his cohorts.  (I still blame the NRA for backing Reid in his re-election to the Senate.)

            The variable that concerns me is the lack of backbone Republicans have demonstrated so consistently.  With McConnell leading the pack and John Boehner on the verge of tears, I’m not sure The Glorious One’s executive orders can be overcome.  Time will tell.

            I hope you’ll allow for my political bias.  I’m more of a Conservative with Libertarian leanings than a typical Republican or “Republicrat,” as some refer to the Republican Party.

            There is some optimism that we have a few young newcomers in the Senate who may shake the “go along to get along” Republican Senators out of their slumber.  Unfortunately, so much damage has been done to America during the past six years that to reverse the downward trajectory is a challenge at best.  Obama claims that the two thirds of eligible voters that didn’t vote are his voters.  My feeling is that maybe they shouldn’t vote.

            When potential voters can’t read English or vote on skin color alone, how can we expect them to have even the most basic understanding of the issues and the qualifications necessary to pick our leaders?  Watch “man on the street” interviews of random citizens, including college educated young people.  They can’t identify the Vice President, but they can vote.

            Even many Democrats secretly disagree with some of the policies pushed on us by this administration, so maybe securing the borders, energy independence, lower corporate and personal tax rates, a stronger military, and other logical adjustments may have a chance to see the light of day.  We’ll see.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Dilemma

     My previous post ventured into the controversial topic of allowing law-abiding citizens to carry weapons for protection or have a gun in the house.  I don’t want to beat this topic to death, but it is indeed a sad commentary that the moral breakdown in America requires citizens to resort to arming themselves in order to protect their families and themselves.

            Law has replaced morality as the determinant of right and wrong. The game then becomes how to get around the law. When enforcement and punishment are lax, naturally crime increases.  But laws only put restrictions on the law-abiding. Criminals don’t obey laws.   

            Generally speaking, the liberal philosophy would have all guns banned.  Even in the military, rules of engagement restrict our soldier’s use of weapons in combat, which has resulted in many America deaths that could have been avoided if our soldiers were allowed to fight.  For a lesson in lunacy, check the “rules of engagement” that hamstring our military. 

            The Canadian guard who was killed recently carried an unloaded gun.  Islamic radical Nidal Hasan killed 13 people and injured 32 on a military base where people trained in the proper use of weapons yet were prohibited from carrying loaded weapons.  This Islamic terrorist act is called “workplace violence.”  To imply that this had a tie to Islam would be politically incorrect and threaten the administration’s suspected affinity with the Muslim Brotherhood.

            Gun-free zones are politically correct, but children are murdered in school shootings because schools are “gun free zones.”  I would like to see someone who endorses this policy put a sign on their home that says, “This is a gun-free home.  Welcome.”  

            The United States is ranked 3rd from the top in Murders throughout the World.  But if you remove just 4 cities from the statistics: Chicago, Detroit, Washington, DC, and New Orleans, the United States would then rank way down to 4th from the bottom in the entire world for murders. 

            It is significant that these 4 cities also have the toughest Gun Control Laws in the United States.  I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but these cities are also run by liberal Democrats.  Ooops.

            But we never hear the statistics that demonstrate the large number of potential victims whose lives were saved through the defensive use of a firearm.  We’ve seen several high-profile cases recently where lives were saved by someone with a gun, but that point is lost on the media.

            Some places in the U.S. are starting to “get it.”  Since Illinois began issuing concealed carry permits to law-abiding citizens, Chicago’s violent crime rate has dropped significantly.  Robberies are down 20% since last year, motor vehicle theft is down 26%, and burglary down 20%.  Even in Orange County in loony California, the Sheriff has issued 700 permits to carry in the past 6 months.  This seems to be a growing trend across the country.

            There’s something wrong when parents can’t allow their children to play outside unguarded; where homes need alarm systems, where college girls are subjects of rape on campus, where mini-marts consider robbery the cost of doing business, and on and on.

            Look at the irrational hysteria surrounding a young police officer in Ferguson, Missouri who was attacked by a huge man who had just committed a strong-arm robbery, physically assaulting the store manager.  The officer was himself assaulted and beaten when this so called “gentle giant” reached through the squad car window punching him in the face and reaching for his gun. 

            Evidence so far indicates that the officer fired in self defense, but, like wolves attacking a wounded animal, everyone including the President, the Attorney General, and that paragon of virtue, Al Sharpton, rushed into town to stir up racial animosity and threaten riots.  Whose side would they take if the races were reversed?  This young officer’s career in law enforcement is most likely over, if they don’t jail him for defending himself.

            With pressure from the United States Attorney General and the President, it would take a Grand Jury of immense courage and integrity to conclude that this was a case of self defense by the police officer.  The minority community is poised and ready to burn down the city if the verdict is in favor of the policeman.  Burning down cities is always productive and a lot of fun.  They can’t wait and will probably burn it down regardless of the decision.

            In my previous post I indicated that there is a serious responsibility attached to gun ownership and concealed carry licenses.  As I said, the law and the legal system jump at the chance to hang you even if you used a weapon for self defense, but more and more people are taking that risk. 

            If you don’t protect yourself, do you have confidence that the police will protect you?  And if you do protect yourself and your family, do you also have confidence that the government and legal system will stand by you?  You can’t win, but you can cut your losses.

            It’s a serious dilemma, but conditions in our society require a decision. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

What Would You Do?

     Retiring Attorney General Eric Holder recently admitted that his greatest regret is not putting more gun control measures in place. You will remember the gun-running operation known as Fast and Furious run by the ATF, which allowed guns to be smuggled into Mexico so they could be traced to drug cartels.  It didn’t work.  Those guns got to the bad guys who killed several people, including an American border guard, but the ATF lost track of them.

            You may also remember that Holder lied to Congress about this scandal.  Valerie Jarrett led the cover-up and Obama hid evidence against Holder by executive order. This is only one example of our lawless and duplicitous administration.

            Obama, the anointed one, is releasing droves of illegal immigrants with criminal backgrounds out into our communities. Naturally, many of them have returned to their normal criminal behavior.  Watch what Obama does by executive order after the election. 

            Following the lead of ISIS we now have psychotic Muslim fanatics killing at random in the U.S. and Canada.  If not for men with guns, many more lives would have been lost.  But many in government and outside government want to remove guns from law-abiding citizens. The young Canadian guard who was killed this week carried an unloaded gun. Politically correct, but dead.

            The average time for the police to respond to a call is 20 minutes.  Generally the police won’t even respond until a crime has been committed. So how do you protect your family?  

*   *   *

            I have a true story for you.  This comes from a friend and is an example of why the law-abiding citizens should consider carrying a loaded weapon.

            I’ll call the man and wife in this story, Dick and Jane.  Dick and Jane were on their way to Oregon for a vacation and had pulled into a rest area for the night.  The rest stop was very close to the highway, which had a drainage ditch between the north and south lanes. 

            Dick happened to look out the window of his camper and saw a Highway Patrol officer walking from his patrol car to an abandoned car on the side of the road.  As the officer looked in the car with his flashlight, a man emerged from the ditch, walked up behind the officer, and put a bullet in his head.  The killer then looked around and became aware of the rest area with possible witnesses and began to walk toward to the campers.

            A young couple, who had evidently witnessed the killing, tried to run from their camper, stumbling, falling, and rolling in the bushes, but managing to escape as the killer shot at them.

            Seeing a light on in Dick and Jane’s camper, the killer began to walk toward their camper.  Dick had a 38 caliber revolver, but it was unloaded.  Big mistake.  He grabbed the gun and finally found the shells, but the killer was closing and staring intently at the small window in the camper.

            Dick’s hands were shaking uncontrollably as he tried to load the gun, but the shells kept falling on the blanket. He frantically fumbled to pick them up and load them in the cylinder but was getting nowhere.   Dick knew he and Jane were in trouble when the killer, only steps away, pointed his gun in their direction, but Dick’s gun was still unloaded.

            Suddenly, an elderly man in a motor home parked nearby, stepped out holding a 44 Magnum with both hands.  The man fired one shot.  The killer flew several feet though the air, his lifeless body landing within feet of Dick and Jane’s camper. 

            The old man quietly turned and went back to bed in his motor home, while Dick held his unloaded 38 in his still shaking hands. I love the part where the old man went back to bed.

            I may have some of the details of this story wrong, but the point is that an unloaded gun is as useless as boobs on a nun.  You hope that you will never need a gun, but we have seen more than one case lately where a man with a gun shot a perpetrator and saved the lives of innocent people.

            In a life or death situation like the one described in the story, a potential victim is normally in a panic state and will not have time to search for a gun, open a gun safe, and load the gun. A potential victim may only have seconds, if that.  The gun should be easily accessible, yet out of a child’s reach.  It should be loaded and ready to go.  Many will disagree, but that’s my opinion.

            Gun ownership and a license to carry require serious thought.  Regarding the Second Amendment, Joyce Lee Malcolm, Professor of Constitutional Law rightly said, ...leniency toward criminals contrasts starkly with severity toward the law-abiding citizen's right to defend himself or herself."   It is true that the law will not be on your side even if you are justified in defending yourself.  You may face trial, a lawsuit, adverse publicity, and other problems.

            But ultimately, it’s our responsibility to protect ourselves and our families.  The law may not be sympathetic to that philosophy, but, as someone said, “I’d rather be judged by a jury of 12 of my peers than to be carried by 8 pallbearers.”  

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I’ll write more on this subject in the future.  Gayle and I are both licensed to carry concealed weapons.  We’ve been through the training, testing, and vetting process with the FBI and the County Sheriff, so the authorities have cleared us and are aware that we are gun owners. In today’s climate, I’m not sure I’d write on this topic otherwise.