“Gun Culture”

2018/03/03 at 12:41

I find this op-ed infuriating. The writer explains the change in mindset that takes place as you learn to use a gun for self-defense:

Your thought-process starts to change. Yes, if someone tried to break into your house, you know that you’d call 911 and pray for the police to come quickly, but you also start to think of exactly what else you’d do. If you heard that “bump” in the night, how would you protect yourself until the police arrived?  You’re surprised at how much safer you feel with the gun in the house.

He may feel safer, but statistics show that he isn’t, in fact, safer. People who mistake perceived safety with actual safety really get my goat.

But even worse, he’s describing the culture that leads a nmentallyunstavle individual to hoard guns and think about using them against those who they perceive as having wronged them vs some other–possibly equally horrible but less deadly–outlet for their feelings.

At the end of this process, your life has changed for the better. Your community has expanded to include people you truly like, who’ve perhaps helped you through a tough time in your life, and you treasure these relationships. You feel a sense of burning conviction that you, your family, and your community are safer and freer because you own and carry a gun.

The guy really needs to join a church or even a bowling team.

As a redditor commented recently:

Many people own firearms in America to protect themselves from ‘bad people.’ This could be a range of people from home invaders to a potentially tyrannical government. When gun ownership for the purposes of killing bad people is a cultural norm, then you cannot be surprised when somebody shoots who they see as the bad people, even if you don’t think those people are bad people.

Family portrait

2018/01/10 at 08:56

Taken on December 25, 2017, in Bandera, Texas

I love me some reverse-engineering

2017/12/20 at 12:06

This is a really interesting analysis of recent developments in Google Maps.

New canine distance running record

2017/09/30 at 07:46

This morning, we had some early fall weather, so I ran 9 miles with Charlies the wonder dog, which is about a mile more than his previous longest run. And I declare myself on track to run a half marathon this winter, for the first time in 13 years.

Runkeeper record



Rufus goes to work

2017/07/01 at 13:24

Welcome to the neighborhood, motherf*cker!

2017/06/26 at 07:06

There are bobcats living in the green areas among the houses in our suburban area. I saw one once myself. This photo is the clearest one yet, taken in front of the model home of the next subdivision over from us. Keep your house cats indoors, Pflugervillains, lest they become a snack for this guy and his family!

Pflugerville bobcat

Quote of the day

2017/06/26 at 07:00

“[T]here are two groups responsible for Trump’s win: those who yearn for an America that never existed, and those who yearn for an America that can never exist.” –from a BuzzFeed profile of Sherman Alexie

Artsy-fartsy Texas Capitol

2016/08/20 at 07:45

I took a walk at lunchtime and took a mediocre photo of the Capitol (I like the composition, but the cloudy day is what made it mediocre). So, I did what everyone does these days with mediocre photos: manipulate it!

Artsy fartsy Texas Capitol

One of the good guys

2016/04/29 at 07:44

A couple of years ago, I really stepped in it in a local Crime Watch Facebook group. Someone posted a link to a local news article about some burglars who had been caught. When Facebook processed the link, it displayed an image from the article along with the link and article headline: the mugshots of the two burglars, who were both African-American. As was unfortunately typical for this Facebook group, several members posted short, nasty comments, one of which was just the word “Thugs.” I responded to this comment with “You may not want to use that word. It’s racially charged.”

I thought it was an extremely mild rebuke, but I was totally unprepared for the onslaught of responses that I got. In addition to some really nasty name-calling, several comments were self-defensive: “I can’t be racist; I’m Hispanic,” or “I didn’t mean it racist.”

My takeaway at the time was that I was viewing this interaction in the context of systemic racism: you don’t have to have racist intentions for your actions or comments to contribute to a racist atmosphere. The defensive commenters, on the other hand, viewed racism as a conscious act of hatred. Therefore, by their definition, they were not racist.

Today, my favorite blogger Fred Clark posted OotGOism: ‘Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it …’ (That’s One-of-the-Good-Ones-ism). In his post, he explains that if you see yourself as a good guy, that limits your ability to take criticism, to better understand your intentions, actions and the environment in which they exist:

He’s talking about the temptation to want to be seen as “One of the Good Ones,” and the insidious way that desire will trap us in our idea of our selves, of our identity, such that we’ll never be able to become anything other than that — someone trying to be perceived as good. And that’s not the same thing as actually being good, or becoming good, or even just becoming better.

We white liberal types fall into this trap all the time. Well … not so much fall as leap into it, tripping over ourselves to reassure people of color that we’re One of the Good Ones. This often leads to earnest but awkwardly cringe-worthy gestures that aren’t so much products of good intentions as they are desperate pleas to be perceived as having good intentions.

This explains the defensive nature of the responses that I saw in that Facebook group.

Have a nice poop

2016/03/24 at 16:42

Have a nice poop