Saturday, September 27, 2008

all the right/wrong reasons


I was raised Lutheran (ELCA). It was pretty much an unsaid rule in my house that Sunday School was a must. Until my junior high school years, church services were like torture. Well, except when I got to sing. I was the star in our congregation (which, at its prime was probably well over 400 on a Sunday, no small feat for a ‘country church’). I was the lead in every church musical. I sang solo after solo. I was the special music for every major holiday.

Sometime around Junior High I started taking church more seriously. I’m not sure if it was that it was a safe, social thing to do (as a whole, I was a loser during my school years) or that I really felt pulled, spiritually. Looking back, I think my motivations were based on the church kids being more accepting of me; after all, Jesus loved everyone, right? I wasn’t annoyingly Jesusy, I don’t think…

Much to my parent’s chagrin, I went to the before-school Bible study, youth group, sang with our church’s worship team, went to some other church functions, spent time online in Christian chat rooms, etc… other than orchestra, it was my social outlet.

Again, looking back, I think my intentions were mostly pure, though maybe my motivations weren’t. I think I got “saved” twice or maybe three times during high school.

The day after high school graduation, I packed my car and moved to Kansas City. Though I could expand hugely on this story, I met some Christians while there, and found myself joining what some label as a cult – the International Churches of Christ. The next few months introduced me to the darker side of Christianity – where people abuse and control others using the Bible as a weapon. At the point I realized what I was involved in, it was too late – I was already broke, depressed and completely convinced that my departure from the ICC would spell certain damnation.

But I left.

Over the next few years, I tried desperately to hold to the good parts of things I learned in the ICC. To love others, to love Jesus… I started an organization that helped others get the gumption to leave the ICC and gave them support once they left, I met my husband (he’s also a former ICC member), I believed my call was into full-time ministry to others in some capacity. I was trying so hard to fill that space in my life that was so controlled by an organization, I lost sight of God. The experience I had in the ICC spiritually scarred me. And those scars I have to this day.

As much as I hate to admit it, I was really na├»ve. I believed that Christians were only there to help me, to support me and to love me – and I, them. But I found most of my experiences to be one-sided… with a whole lot of taking from them and not much giving – except from me. I did a short stint in Bible College, but honestly, I felt the whole thing was contrived. I’ll be the first to admit I was a bit more of a head case back then, but Bible College, like most churches I’ve been involved in, wasn’t about ministering to anyone except themselves.

At the same time, I had an obvious void in my life because of my love of church and, whether a product of or vice versa, God – so I filled it with more church, more church activities. I went into full-time ministry as a youth director and worship leader. I was on paid church staff, worked at church camps and dedicated my time and energy to God’s work. It was troublesome, though, that the imperfection of God’s people became an excuse to treat people badly – because people were imperfect, it made it somehow ok to treat people like total crap.

At one church, I was accused of stealing money from my own youth fund – over $2000. Though I managed to prove beyond all “reasonable” doubt I was not the thief, a few angry parents managed to convince the Christian education board not to remove anyone from suspicion. I resigned immediately upon receiving the letter that was sent out to the entire congregation, on a Saturday afternoon, leaving the church with no worship leader or youth director for the next day. Then there was Fellowship Church – who made me one of only 17 worship team members in a church of 15,000. Until my career (my work on an Oprah-esque website) and my weight made me unfit to be on the platform… I was removed from being a worship leader. Then there was COS, where the gap between the traditional and contemporary worship styles was not to be bridged and traditional “won out”. Then Bear Valley – my last straw – where I came in at the right time, when the founding pastor’s wife wanted a break from leading worship/playing keys… but when she was rested up, and when I voiced my upset after being treated badly at a retreat, I was removed from the worship team – I guess I went out at the right time, too. Their time.

I have just watched too much horribleness at the hands of Christians to look past it and to find a way to get past it to go back. I’ve watched as dear friends have been told that they aren’t good enough to be Christians, much less church members. I’ve watched as my friends on church staffs have been abused. I’ve watched as people have been used for money, talent and their giving hearts. I’ve watched as Christians use Jesus and God as an excuse to get out of sticky situations – God as a scapegoat – nice.

I truly believe that churches are nothing more than businesses – they have products and services to offer and a congregation that works for them – so that the leaders can get richer and gain acclaim in Christian community. Numbers are all that matter – whether offerings or membership or conversions.

I don’t want to be one of them – I don’t want to be around them… and I believe they are more the rule than the exception.

Recently, however, I’ve realized that I do have a void in my life. I realized that in some strange way, at those moments I was on the platform, in front of a congregation, leading worship – those were the moments I connected with God. It was never about being in front of anyone, it was never about there being a group of people hearing me or watching me… in those moments, it was completely and totally about me and God. It’s not a connection I got being in the congregation, I didn’t find it when I was rehearsing or in Bible study or anything like that… but there was an inexplicable connection for those few hours a week – where it was just what it was supposed to be: me connecting, truly, with God.

I’m not saying that was it – but those were the times I was keenly aware of God and His massive part in my life. So aware and tuned in – that I think it became a craving… a strange drive to make it from those moments to those moments… which made me have more drive between those moments to fill them with service to Him.

But that’s not enough – that “feeling” or that “awareness” to convince me to go back to church. Quite honestly, the thought of going back to a church makes me physically ill. You see, I can’t just go – I have to be involved. And I can’t be involved without people in the church being involved in my life. And I can’t be involved and lead worship without being a member. And membership comes with the necessity to let people into my life.

I don’t want anyone at any church to be more than casual acquaintances. I don’t believe have anything to glean from them, and they probably don’t have anything to glean from me because, frankly, I’m not willing to offer anything. There’s enough of Christ in the folks I know outside of a church, for me. I see more of Christ in those in my day to day life that I am friends with and am close to. There’s enough accountability and discipleship and all those Godsquad buzzwords without faking it and lying to be able to get that connection I miss.

So that’s it… the void and what to do about it. I want all the right reasons… but it seems the reasons are really all wrong. If I go back to church, I will be forced to lie to others. If I don’t go, I’m lying to myself.
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Monday, August 18, 2008

blinded by the fries...


To celebrate the launch of a project, we went out for lunch today at a local fast food restaurant (the project was for said restaurant, so that's why we went there, not because we're gluttons or gluttons for punishment) to celebrate.

5 of us are in line -behind the corral rail thing - and there's a group of folks in front of us who had ordered and were waiting for food. They were mostly teenagers (school's not back in yet here). There was also a lady with white pants on (I'll call her "WPL" from here on out).

So we're standing there, chatting, waiting in line forever, and this kid turns around and starts walking like he's blind - I mean arms out, eyes wide open - If he were faking it was the best fake ever. Give this kid an Emmy. My first thought was he was blind and just was disoriented. He was reaching for his friend -but the kid to his right didn't know him and said "Hey man, what's wrong?"

The kid kept kinda reaching around and walking and said "I'm really sorry I just kinda can't see anything right now, like I'm blind!" He wasn't overly animated... or excited or just - it was just weird.

So I said "Can you see anything? Are you blind normally?" He said "No, just now. I just need a glass of water." I asked if he's had this happen before, is he diabetic or has he had a seizure before.

I start calling 911. The kid says, "No, don't do that, I'm fine." His lips are kinda blue, he's shaking - more like trembling.

So Justin, my co-worker goes and gets him a chair and WPL gets him a glass of water. I should say here that the staff staff were totally not caring. WPL had to ask 3 times for a cup for water!

So the kid kinda comes back to and says "I'm fine." I'm already on with dispatch.

So then WPL hands the kid the cup of water, he kinda goes out again - with the whole stare/blind thing and obviously cant' see me or the water or WPL.... and WTF?!? I'm talking to dispatch... he kinda comes back and is like - "No, it's ok... I don't need an ambulance". And then WPL takes him over to sit at a table and eat his lunch.

Dispatch says that if he leaves to call them back and let them know where he headed.

So I go tell WPL that paramedics are coming. Kid seems kinda nervous, but not upset or anything. But seems to be seeing fine. He eats his lunch, WPL eats lunch with him. Kid says he'll stay to be checked out.

EMTs arrive in record time. They do the basic checks. Meanwhile WPL has convinced kid to call his mom. WPL talks to mom. Sounds like he's had this happen before. Kid tells EMTs he has no medical issues. EMTs continue checking basic vitals. Then Kid's dad calls kid's cell. Dad talks to EMT who ask dad if he's on the way o get his son. I'm at least 6 feet away waiting for my food and I can hear the dad yelling at the EMT asking how the kid got there.

Kid says he rode his bike. Dad yells at EMT something like "Well if he rode his bike there he can fucking ride it home". EMT relays the message to kid though the EMT obviously thought the kid should have a parent there.

EMTs finish up, leave and the kid rides his bike home. WPL thanked me, I thanked her, and we are both convinced something is not right... ate lunch. Got shakes to go.

But he rode is fucking bike home. I hope he made it.
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Sunday, August 03, 2008

wrestling with vapor


We all get them - the spam-like friends requests on MySpace and Facebook from folks who want nothing more than to make a few bucks... I got one of those requests the other day, and instead of doing my standard "report as spam and delete", I decided to reply.

This one came from a profile created by a group who apparently do websites for entertainers (I'm not going to bother saying who this was or giving them any free advertising here). They were advertising a $99 website. I looked at their profile (which is broken, by the way) and then at their website, which is nothing but an unreadable one-pager with links that don't work, banners that don't link anywhere and use of typography that could only be described as ridiculous. Not to mention that there was no personal identifiable information on anyone who worked for this company, their history or experience as web professionals or the like.

So, I replied:
"It's people like you who are wrecking the name of true web marketing professionals."

I was amused (and surprised) when I got a reply...
"and what makes you think that we are not true web marketing professionals? tell me, better yet call me, and tell what you know about our company or what we do. we are a legitimate company helping up and coming artist and we are doing it right. sorry that we tried to extend our services to you. we were just trying to help you. We guarantee you if we were to help you, you would have an increase in booking and a bigger fan base. were not the ones you should be mad at, for what ever reason you are angry I don't know. we are working comedians, actors and musicians who know exactly what we are doing and we use our skill and connects to help promote and book talent to build a bigger better scene for up and coming entertainers. what are doing to help the scene?"

Besdies the aforementioned issues with their work - which was, in fact, limited to their own masturbatory creations, they don't have a portfolio, don't list the websites they have created or anything that is fairly standard in the web development community (freelance or otherwise).

Not one to back down from a fight, I went ahead and again replied:
"$99 websites? Please.

To begin with, I use correct punctuation and grammar. I'd never, ever, hire a company or "professional" who could not even communicate in a way that is reflective of business pursuits.

Furthermore, your "guarantee" is, frankly, baloney. You can't guarantee that a $99 website will increase bookings or a fan base any more than you can guarantee that using the word "professional" makes you one.

I'm not angry at all, I just find it very suspect and extremely questionable that *ANYONE* claiming to be "professional" would advertise a $99 website and then claim to guarantee results with no measurable data to back up such a claim.

As for what I'm doing to help the scene, I have spent years helping folks understand web marketing and how it can help them build their brand. And I spent countless hours with clients who have been taken by claims like yours. $99 is a lot to an emerging artist - and should be spent towards a long-term marketing and branding plan, not a one-shot pony company who will take the money and offer little value in return. And any company that charges $99 is just that.

I wish you the best of luck, truly - it just makes me sad, more than anything else, that people will fall for your cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all approach that I later have to fix. I have to fix not only their perception of the web marketing industry, but also have to help them with the harsh reality that you get what you pay for.

Best wishes and best of luck to you -"

I think I did a pretty good job staying on-topic, eh? I mean I didn't get insulting of their persons, or their mothers, or their unadequate penis size. I simply pointed out the defects in what they were offering and how they were offering it.

For those of you still reading... a bit of a background on me. I'm originally a musician - was a music major in college, but realized it wasn't much of a career path. Not because I'm not good (I am good), but it was either performing or teaching, and I wasn't interested in teaching. Not to mention performing was a tight industry and I wanted to do things and have things and acquire masses of stuff I will never possibly be able to use. So, I continued doing music semi-professionally for a number of years, but not as my career choice.

About that same time, the internet was just taking off. I spent countless hours learning about HTML and web servers and code and "design" and got to be adept at coding and ok at design. I've never claimed to be a designer, but I'm a pretty damn good all-around web professional. Over the years I've done sites for clients that range from the mom-and-pop next door to projects you have seen and heard of - the US Air Force, Burger King, Mountain Dew, Pizza Hut, American Airlines, to name a few. And right now I work full time in the industry as a web project manager - managing projects for big clients. And in my spare time, I have a few freelance clients and help out individuals with simple sites.

My aversion and subsequent griping about a $99 website is because in all of my years in this industry, I have never seen a $100 website that was worth the money put into it. You see, a site is more than just a page with some unreadable text... you need hosting (where your site lives) - which, for a reputable server, will run you about $100 a year, and a domain name which is running about $10 a year. Right there, you're over the $99 tag. I think saying you get a website for $99 is misleading and doesn't give an accurate representation of the cost of actually having a website and keeping it online - not even to mention the design or development that goes into making something useful that works (for my clients and their users).

So, back to the point - I didn't get personally nasty at any time, but this group of "professionals" replied and spewed a bunch of nonsensical venom that I will post below. Of course, instead of this being about websites, it had to become about how I am a hack (and as an upcoming comic who works very hard to write her own material, even though she's surrounded by phonies), of course, is a ridiculous claim. Also, this company felt it necessary to lump me into the all-too-huge group of female comics who aren't funny. Well I know better. I am funny. I'm fucking hilarious. In fact, I'm sitting here right now and stroking my very own funny bone until I get a laugh ejaculation. Oh yes, that's how I roll.

So here's the nasty/nonsensical reply I received for your reading enjoyment:

"First off, we hate grammar. that's between us, and grammar and that beef started long before you sister! second off, "taken" what the hell? You REALLY dont know what youre talking about. and FIFTH, EVERYTHING we do is originally designed for these artist. You are really talking out your ass on this one. Allow me to educate you in a few areas.

We charge 99 bucks because people like YOU feel the reason to charge up the arse for something that really shouldnt cost that much. we are WORKING entertainers who know whats its like to struggle. we would NEVER do any of the things you are accusing us of.

I know you might think were new but we have running this game for years without any complaints from our actual clients. some of who you would recognize on MTV or Comedy Central, a place you will only ever hear of and never experience Im sure.

As far as cookie cutter, You must be referring to your act. Im grateful though, its women like you who have the whole world thinking that there are no funny female comedians. Its ok, just makes us work twice as hard. Its okay though, really.

I have been cleaning up after unfunny woman like you for years. I am now rolling in it! as a matter of fact I'm such a rare gem that I was able start this company and afford to help out a community I understand. Not only that ALL of our volunteers are pretty big, eating up the top ten spots in plenty of the comedy genres here. which is why we like to keep anonymous. I'm sure one day you wont understand.

You're someone I would encourage to, "quit while you're ahead" Here is a guarantee for you, I guarantee you if you EVER get anywhere outside of your hole in this business I will be on the other side of the table. The comedy community is a small one in lala land and the genuinely funny rule it. Like my partners and myself. You see, when were not designing websites, or writing, were sitting in the front row of the Hollywood Improv on Melrose booking theater shows across the country. see me ruling it. taking away your business. why dont you go work on a joke you read from your email this morning. Im sure youre a hack, you stink of it. Youre obviously projecting right now.

Sorry if our low prices unveil "designers" like you to be what you really are, thieves. You're blocked until you get better jokes. we couldn't help you anyways. we don't supply writers. that would be cheating.

pppps.

You're so great at both comedy and web design that your page is as hot as your act. Grow up, get a life, and write some jokes. even if we aren't here tomorrow we will be back and wont stop pumping out original shit for our clients. Funny anyone who has gone through us has nothing to complain about. Its always the pissed off web masters who realize the days of charging five hundred dollars for templates are dying. Guess you'll have to get a real job."

Wow. Heh. At first I wanted to write a lengthy reply defending myself, but then I thought, why the fuck do I care (oh and *I* am blocked, from *them*)? This is a nameless-faceless group of spamming fuckers who have convinced themselves that they are everything to web marketing and to entertainment. And so, they sit on their throne of idiocy and machismo and watch over this wonderful country, ummm, "ruling it" and "pumping out original shit". God. Damn. That is poetry.

You see, I never claimed to be great at comedy or web design. I never claimed to be anything other than someone who was offended by the audacity of an offer and guarantee that would only lead to struggling artists forking over a hard earned $99 to a group of spammers who aren't even willing to say who they are or show what they do.

So, my friends - and consumers, just a friendly "Buyer Beware." It's an old adage, but you get what you pay for. $99 is a small investment, yes, but it's better spent working with someone who is going to help you establish your entire web marketing plan and how it fits into marketing who you are and what makes you unique. And no, I'm not saying that you need to spend $500 or $5000 on a web project, but I am saying that there is never, ever a one-size-fits-all package that you should be put into. Your brand should be important enough to you to make it unique and different... whether that's your business cards, your head shots or your website.

And a real professional will work with you, no matter your limitations or your abundances.

But hey, THEY are "ruling it." What the fuck do I know? After all, I'm not in "lala land." It is obvious they are, in more ways than one.

Well, back to my Sunday! I enjoy my weekends off from my nearly six-digit paying day job that I've worked very hard to get and am great at. And I have a pile of emails with jokes in them I need to get to. Such a busy life.
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Monday, April 21, 2008

hey texas friends, i miss you. love, me



There aren't many things I miss about Texas. Chicago's just a much better fit for us - money-wise, weather-wise, opportunity-wise.

But I miss my Texas friends. And this weekend I missed them more than I have since I moved, I think.

Not that my Illinois friends aren't great, they are - but I'm just so fucking frustrated.

There's tons going on right now. We bought a house, and the hubby has a horrible schedule (10-7 in the city - so he's gone from 8a - 9p every day), so I'm left to do everything, really. I have to pack the house, do all the errands, work on the new house -except for Saturday and Sunday, when Mike is home. And to afford said house, I have to work my regular day job and do freelance. So I'm working 8:30-5:30 then doing freelance every night for a couple of hours and then eating dinner with the hubby, then an hour of freelance before going to bed.

Spreading things thin, I am - which is leaving me no time to do anything I really enjoy (like starting back at doing comedy again, or singing/writing music).. but that's life, and I chose what I have.

I guess yesterday I just got upset as I stood in my front yard, raking it all myself - hubby was off to pick up a friend from the airport... knowing that I have to pay movers, paying a painter to finish the house, paying a friend of mine to help me pack the house. I guess it just all got to me.

I guess I just feel like my Texas friends were more of the hand-lending type. More give and take. They would offer to help and show up and do what needed to be done. They weren't too busy for me. They didn't expect to get paid to lend a hand.

But I have it so easy, right - what with no kids to worry about, a good paying job, a new house... And I'm just frustrated right now. And overwhelmed. And feeling as though I really can't count on anyone to just be there for me when I need them.

It's fine, really - just frustrated and I needed to get this out before I took it out on anyone and regretted it.

So yeah, I miss my Texas friends. Not because they'd do things for me and more importantly with me - but because with those friends I guess I just feel there was give AND take.

And before anyone asks, this is not directed at anyone in particuloar or any situation in particular.- it's just how I'm feeling right now, in general.
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Thursday, March 13, 2008

just because you're a "doctor" doesn't mean you're not a douchebag

My dear friend, boogerphobe recently ran into a case of a very bad veterinarian. I wanted to post my thoughts (and emails) here.

You can read boogerphobe's related posts - here, here and here.

Also, our mutual friend, invisibelle, posted a good backgrounder (DO READ THIS!!) and her email in this post.

I decided to send an email to the vet clinic the other day.

Here it is...

To Dr. Hulka and the staff of Green Oaks North Pet Hospital Arlington, Texas

I think what you did to the *Smith*'s regarding Odin was just completely horrible. You treated that family like they are bad pet owners and made a very difficult decision even harder. I will be sure to tell everyone I know about what you have done (including your misleading the *Smith*'s regarding reporting the bites) and what terrible people you are and what an unethical business you run. I am going to post all over the internet and in every community related to animals and animal care that Green Oaks North Pet Hospital in Arlington is a dangerous place for both their pets and their family. I am also going to contact the local newspapers and reach out to all the local media about this horrible injustice.

*Mr* and *Mrs* *Smith* are two of the best people I know, and two of the most responsible pet owners I've had the pleasure of knowing - and for you to take the decision of how to handle their pet out of their hands to do what is best for both Odin and their own safety - how dare you! Odin is a beautiful dog who was brought up on a family of immense love. The decision to put Odin down was one that *Mr* and *Mrs* came to as a very last resort. They had taken lots of time, money and different routes to help Odin's behavior, only to come to the last resort - having Odin put down before he hurt himself or someone terribly.

Dr. Hulka - they trusted you. You were a great vet to Taffy and Odin - *Mr* and *Mrs* raved about you. And for you to take that trust and for your staff to do what you did to Odin and the *Smith*'s in the this situation is just so incredibly horrible and disgusting. How dare you betray that trust!

For you and your staff to turn Odin's last days into a horrible time in a cage and strange place is just completely unacceptable. What you have done is not only turn the last few days of an exceptionally loved and cared for dog into a nightmare - both for Odin and his owners, but you've also managed to take a relationship between pet owners and their vet into a hostile one.

I don't usually wish bad things on people, but I will do everything legally that I can to be sure your business suffers as a result of this. If even just one pet owner decides against using your services, it will be time well spent and I will consider it a win. Unfortunately, no amount of suffering your business could endure would be anything like how you've made the *Smith*'s suffer.

AverageJane


Dr. Dye (the counterpart to Dr. Hulka) at Green Oaks North Pet Hospital in Arlington, Texas replied to me today.

You can read his reply here...


And, with that -
Here is my final reply...

Dr. Dye -

Thank you for replying to my email. I know you have already received a reply from Mrs. *Smith*, so I will try to keep this brief.

First, your assertion that the *Smith*'s situation may have been one of convenience only goes to show that you and your staff are, indeed, the shallow doctors I believed you to be when I initially heard Mrs. *Smith*'s recalling of the events relating to Odin. Clearly your office is only skilled to deal with routine pet issues. I think that is valid information for the public to know.

Next, your claim that the law requires you to report any bites is, in fact, false. Before my last email to you - and before looking up the law in Arlington myself (which is available on their site), I spoke with a dear friend fo mine with over 10 years as a veterinary technician. She informed me that she knew only of a law that required a report if there was broken skin or a means of rabies to be transferred. As a layperson who does not work in pet care, I find it completely absurd that you would, based only on a phone conversation that you were not first party to, relay not only false information about said law to the *Smith*'s, but also to the authorities. If a simple person, like myself, can understand a black-and-white law, then you, sir, a veterinary health professional with doctor credentials, should have known this.

Third, based on the facts as relayed in your email - I am even more convinced now that not only did you and your clinic/staff act unprofessionally - you defrauded the *Smith* family by relaying false information to them about the law you used to have Odin impounded. That, sir, is misconduct and unprofessional I hope, armed with your very words, the *Smith*s pursue every avenue they have available to have you and your staff formally charged with such misconduct.

In closing - libel and slander are only such if the information relayed is false. I am confident that the information I have is true, and am further backed up by your email response, where you misquoted the very law in which you caused Odin and the *Smith*s to unjustly suffer. Please know that I will be happy to quote you in any communications about this matter as I surely want people to be able to decide for themselves, based on the facts you presented.

You see, Dr. Dye, whether or not you "tolerate" my actions to warn others of your potential to to not act in an ethical or professional way does not negate the fact that you and your staff were wrong - provided false information and, subsequently caused harm to the *Smith*s.

Thank you and have a very nice day -
AverageJane

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

the gun debate

Too many shootings. Just too many. *shakes head* In what seems an instant, a cold-blooded coward takes the lives of innocent people. And, as if to snub Justice, turns the gun on himself - the most cowardly act of all.

We've all heard the debates...
  1. Guns are too easy to get. Guns should be under tighter restrictions or banned altogether.
  2. There should be more guns available to law abiding citizens.
I have to say I am more of the side 2 mentality, but not because I believe that these instances would have a different outcome (though partially, at least, I believe that the number killed could be at least partially mitigated). It's because I believe that by law abiding citizens having the ability to carry their weapons concealed and for personal defense, and not be restricted as to where they may carry, it would stand as a major deterrent for these nutjobs.

But, of course, we're talking about crazy mother fuckers here, so with that in mind, I shall continue with my thoughts...

When is the last time you heard of a cowardly killer going to a police department or a military base or an NRA meeting and carrying out a shooting? That's right, never. Because in all of those instances, even a messed up wannabe murderer knows that there are no easy targets in those situations.

These campus killings, store shootings, etc, all have one thing in common - they happened in situations where sane, law-abiding citizens were prevented, by law, from protecting themselves or others. These innocent victims were asked to place themselves in a situation where they were fish in a barrel - ripe for the picking by whatever crazy-ass lunatic burst through the doors.

Getting rid of guns, having stricter gun laws does NOTHING to prevent whackjobs from carrying out these horrific murders. Because criminals will always be criminals. They don't care about tighter gun laws any more than they care about gun-free school zones any mroe than they care about paying sales tax. They will find guns, they will kill people with them, and it's just the average Joes and Janes who will be left with absolutely no recourse whatsoever to fight back. And don't even get me started on knives, mace, etc.

Just you try bringing a can of pepper spray to a gunfight.
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