some thoughts about guns, and on prison reform

Guns

As we are voting with our feet and leaving California by year-end, one of the first things I plan to do upon getting settled in a new home in a pro 2nd Amendment state is to buy another gun.  When our newly elected governor, Gavin Newsom, talks of “California values”, he does not speak for the 40+ per cent of the state’s citizens who do not share such hard left or progressive “values”.  Current state laws here make it very difficult for residents to legally purchase firearms and to purchase ammunition for their guns.  Bear that in mind: for those who already own guns legally, acquiring ammunition for their guns is being made needlessly difficult through state legislation that infringes upon our 2nd Amendment rights.  A gun without ammunition for it is as useful to you as owning a car for which you cannot purchase fuel.  This is by design, folks.  (Gun safety requires acquiring a working familiarity with your guns.  You need to go out to the gun range now and then to become confident and comfortable with handling and firing your guns.  Without ammunition, there is no point to going to a gun range.)

My advice to law abiding conservative and independent and libertarian folks is to buy guns now while you can.  And, stock up on ammo, too.  No need to go overboard here, but owning 2 or more guns and having several boxes of ammunition for each is a good idea in these times.  Look, it does not matter what color your skin is and what color the skin of home invaders is.  The police almost always arrive on scene after bad things have gone down.  Make no mistake, you have a God-given right to defend your life and the lives of other innocent human beings.  For liberals, I do not advise them to buy guns as it has been documented that it is largely liberals who, either while on or off their anti-psychotic meds, are doing these lethal mass shootings around the nation.  With the street thugs of the Left becoming more aggressive, more out of control over time, these are becoming very dangerous times in this country.

I have handled guns and fired them since the summer that I was 12 years old.  My late father, a US Navy veteran, and a hunter, had me take a gun safety course that year.  After passing it, he took me out shooting a 20 gauge shot-gun, and then took me with him and one of my older brothers out in the autumn of that year duck hunting (I then had a state hunting license).  I grew taller quite a bit in junior high school and was soon shooting a 12 gauge shot-gun (for ducks and geese).  A few years previously, my father gave me the after school chore of reloading shot-gun shells for trap and skeet shooting.  From my memory, images of replacing the metal primer followed by adding the gun powder, then a divider (called at that time a “wad”) followed by the lead (now, likely steel) shot (solid spheres), and lastly crimping the shell closed flash across my mind’s eye.

 

 

Prison reform and rehabilitation of inmates

Prison inmates can be thought of as a forgotten segment of our population.  From time to time, the local TV news crews visit San Quentin State Penitentiary which is located across the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin County.  Once these prison inmates are off the damned drugs, they appear to be quite lucid and rational.  They do not appear to be stupid individuals.  The sad fact is that when they are released at the end of their sentences, they usually have very few job prospects or possibilities.  That box on the job application where an applicant is asked if he/she has ever been convicted of a felony is – in a large percentage of cases – a disqualifier for former inmates.

We need as a society to do more for inmates in the area of preparing them for re-entering society and living a productive, law-abiding life.  Some prisons now offer some form of skills training, even in the use of computers.  Do not think this is a bad idea because the prison inmates have done some very bad things.  It may be, and likely is less expensive in the long run to prepare these inmates for their transition to a productive life outside the prison walls.  If these individuals can be gainfully employed, they are less likely to relapse into old habits of criminal behavior.  That means fewer crimes, fewer victims of crime, and fewer former inmates becoming again current inmates.  (We recognize that not all inmates will be willing to reform their patterns of behavior.  There will be some gang bangers, who will cling to their gang mentality while in prison, and be looking to their release date as a time for continuing criminal behavior.  But, such programs in the prisons can help the many individuals who do wish to reform their lives and not be incarcerated again down the road.)

As well, there needs to be some outreach to employers as to recognizing the potential contributions of former prisoners given the skills they have acquired in such prison skills enhancement programs.  Consideration of the record of the individual’s behavior while incarcerated is also important, and can be a better indicator of future behavior than past criminal actions now years distant.

There was a television program several months back that was about a state prison in South Carolina that had partnered with a local animal rescue shelter in an intriguing way.  Cats and dogs were taken to the prison where they were cared for by inmates.  This reduced over capacity at the shelter and saved these animals from being euthanized, if memory serves me correctly.  Eventually, these cats and dogs were adopted by individuals in the surrounding communities.  For the inmates, it was a learning experience in caring for and bonding with animals that helped serve to melt the hardened hearts of some pretty tough, mean hombres.

Prison inmates are human beings and we must not forget that.  They have human potential that can benefit society if they can be successfully rehabilitated.

That said, I still believe in capital punishment for those individuals convicted of capital crimes.  My conviction here is based on the premise that punishment should fit the crime (the retribution theory).  Deterrence is secondary to me in capital punishment.  Yes, capital punishment does deter some capital crimes.  Liberals and progressives will tell you that as a deterrent, capital punishment is not 100 per cent effective and therefore there is no point in capital punishment.  That is sophistry to me.  There are probably no measures of deterrence that work in 100 per cent of cases.  That is no reason to abandon deterrent measures.  The lock on your front door may not deter all potential intruders, but it will deter many of them.  (Libs and progs use the same fallacious thinking in telling us that abstinence based sex education for adolescents ought not be introduced into schools because it is not effective in all cases.  Yet, studies show that it is effective in reducing teenage sexual activity (and STDs) and teen pregnancies where it is introduced into the schools.)

copyright 2019 – larrysmusings.com

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