Archive for July, 2009

28
Jul

I am what I am.

In having faith in the beauty within me, I develop trust.

In softness I have strength.

In silence I walk with the gods.

In peace I understand myself and the world.

In conflict I walk away.

In detachment I am free.

In respecting all living things, I respect myself.

In dedication I honour the courage within me.

In eternity I have compassion for the nature of all things.

In love I unconditionally accept the evolution of others.

In freedom I have power.

In my individuality, I express the God-Force within me.

In service I give of what I have become.

I am what I am:
Eternal, immortal, universal, and infinite.

And so be it.

Category : spirit | Blog
16
Jul

Recently, a woman was attacked and robbed while walking alone around midnight on the Esplanade in Boston. The Esplanade, for those not familiar, is a pedestrian area running along the Charles river which is accessible by a number of footbridges. This is not the first such attack - I remember  numerous attacks going back to the early nineties when I first moved to Boston.

The Esplanade is, in my opinion, a mugger’s dream. Lots of places to hide, route to escape by, and spots to lie in wait and make sure no police are around when you attack. It’s a known sleeping place for the homeless who sometimes gather under the bridges.

Many people feel safe there because, during the day, there are large crowds of people. The Esplanade also abuts an affluent neighborhood.

continue

Category : news | self defense | Blog
7
Jul

Here’s a great article from the UK highlighting violent crime statistics.

Here’s the rundown - the UK has more violent crime per capita than any country in the EU, the U.S. , or even the ultra-violent South Africa. This in a country which has banned almost all firearms, knives, and weapons of any kind. Now crime statistics can be misleading as reporting standards differ, but the folks in the UK I have talked to think there is a growing problem.

The anti-gun crowd likes to point to the U.K. as a shining example of a country that has less gun crime than the US.

Here are a few important points to remember:

  • Getting murdered is bad no matter what weapon
  • Licensed gun owners in the US actually commit very few gun crimes - most are committed with illegally gotten firearms
  • In many localities, weapons bans or restriction actually correlate strngly with a rapid increase in violence with the type of weapon banned (stabbings  in London went up around 70% when knives were banned, gun crimes in Boston, MA went up around 70% after the Mayor announced increased restrictions
  • Criminals are less likely to attack when they think it is likely they will get hurt, killed, or caught
  • There is actual research that  shows counties in the US that have the most liberal concealed carry permit laws have less crime - see the reason above.
  • All crime has multiple causes - people don’t commit crimes merely because they own weapons, there are economic, social, political and other reasons that are not addressed by weapons bans alone.
  • No matter how good the police are at their job, they cannot stand there protecting you 24 hours a day. Average response time to 911 calls vary - but in most areas are measured in minutes - not seconds. The only person who can keep you safe is you.
  • Illegal or not, murderers can get weapons.
  • Strangely, people who aren’t dissuaded by the laws and social norms opposed to murder, also don’t care so much about laws preventing them from carrying weapons.
  • Virtually all spree shootings take place in government designated “no-gun” zones such as schools and post offices
  • Lawful uses of firearms in the US  prevent thousands of crimes a year.

The simple truth is this: there is absolutely zero evidence that weapons bans make society safer in first world countries.

Every time there is well publicized shooting or stabbing, there arises a senitiment that, “if only people didn’t have guns and knives this never would have happened”. That simply isn’t true, and it is an oversimplification that makes lazy thinkers feel better.

In interest of full disclosure, I am not a gun owner - but that is my choice. I have a collection of knives that I use for utility, sport, display, and training.  In the future, if I feel my family’s safety would be enhanced, I would like to have the option to get a license to lawfully carry a firearm. As a law-abiding citizen who has never even gotten a speeding ticket.

There is an irrational fear of weapons in many societies, which runs counter to a rational respect for real danger. Freud calls the irrational fear of weapons (hoplophobia) -  “a sign of retarded emotional and sexual maturity.”

Category : news | Blog