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


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.”  

*   *   *   *   *

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.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

America – She Ain’t What She Used To Be

     I intended to come up with something light and humorous for this posting, but it’s difficult to set the latest events in the news aside and put my mind in a frivolous and light-hearted mood.  The world is going nuts, but most Americans seem to be oblivious.  Young people are busy texting and most of the networks just keep the masses sedated and uninformed. 

            Now beheading westerners is the rage among the uncivilized barbarians who operate under the banner of Islam and Sharia Law. Beheading has been a tradition in militant Islam throughout history, but now it is hitting home with several westerners, among others, beheaded by ISIS. One woman was beheaded by an ISIS disciple this past week in Oklahoma.

            ISIS is beheading children, burying innocent victims alive, and committing other atrocities too gruesome to mention.  This is the practice of radical Islamists used to generate terror and fear in the civilized community.  Now some mental midget in Oklahoma, emulating his stone-age heroes, beheads an innocent woman and starts on a second. Out of political correctness the beheading is called, “work place violence.”

            Guess what prevented the Oklahoma killer from continuing his murderous rampage.  Yep.  A gun. This Oklahoma killer was in the process of killing his second victim when a man with a gun saved her life and probably saved the lives of many others by shooting the perpetrator.  And yet there are people who want to disarm law-abiding citizens, like the hero in this story. 

            Maybe it’s time for the civilized world to become less tolerant.  Aristotle said that “Tolerance is the last virtue of a dying society” and G. K. Chesterton said, “Tolerance is the virtue of a man without convictions.” 

            Why do western countries allow pockets of Muslims to practice Sharia Law while ignoring the laws established by the host country?  There are areas in Malmo, Sweden where even emergency vehicles won’t venture, because infidels don’t come out alive.  I only use this example because I’ve been there. 

            This trend is taking over Europe and has begun here. Take a stroll through Detroit, or better yet, Dearborn, Michigan where Sharia law is in force.  But, bless us, we are tolerant.  Oh so wonderfully tolerant and very, very politically correct.  Isn’t that special.

            We seem afraid to call evil “evil” and have a president who won’t even refer to Islamic terrorists as “Islamic terrorists.”   How do you fight an enemy if you can’t even define them?  Tolerance and politically correct nonsense are destroying our country.

            Amazingly, the world, including our administration, is critical of Israel for defending its very existence while it is surrounded by countries bent on its destruction. Benjamin Netanyahu said, “If the Arabs put down their weapons today, there would be no more violence.  If the Jews put down their weapons today, there would be no more Israel.”  Netanyahu also said, “Hamas uses children to protect their weapons.  We use our weapons to protect our children.” 

            Israel is a culture of life, but they are fighting a culture of death for their very survival.

            Why does the world hate Israel, the only democratic country in that part of the world?  Why does our President side with the enemies of Israel?  Why is he allowing Iran to move ahead with their nuclear weapon program putting the problem on Israel alone to solve?  Is Israel the only country left with courage?

            Freedom must be terrifying to primitive countries where leaders, religion, and laws keep the people in servitude to an ideology.  Freedom is anathema to Sharia Law.  Certain theocratic cultures are not ready for freedom and democracy.  They need a strong dictator for control.  Yet we want them to eat their vegetables, so they can grow up and be like us. Vegetables don’t appeal to carnivores.

            Islam is not simply a religion.  It is a complete, all-encompassing system of life that includes economics, religion, politics, law, social, military and other components. That’s what makes it so dangerous.  Religion is only one part of it, but the part that is used so effectively as a strategy.    

            I’ve heard some intelligent “moderate” Muslims speak out against the radicals that they say are hijacking their religion.  They should speak louder.  Unfortunately, I don’t know enough about the Koran or the nuances of the Muslim religion to be able to talk intelligently about good and bad Muslims.  But I do know that this radical and virulent strain of Islam seems to be very contagious and is metastasizing beyond its incubator.

            Albert Einstein said, “The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.” 

            Lock and load.