Becoming Mr. Babypants

an unlikely outlaw is born…

April 26, 2013
Mr. Babypants

Balancing Fear & Freedom

The 1993 World Trade Center (WTC) bombings.  Oklahoma City Federal Building.  September 11 attack on the WTC, Pentagon and a foiled attempt at the White House.  And that of course brings us to Boston.  Another horrific slaughter and maiming of innocent Americans going about their day.

I was most touched by a picture circulated on Twitter from Syria.  The Syrians stood on the rubble of a building, holding a sign to show their concern for Boston.  They reminded us that they go through Boston everyday.  I can’t imagine.

This whole issue brings up mixed feelings in me.  I am challenged by the incongruity of my beliefs.  What constitutes terrorism and what am I willing to concede to try and prevent it.    

VA Tech, Aurora, Tuscon, Newtown.  They are termed mass murders and yet what could evoke more terror than wondering if your 6 year old will be slaughtered at school?

I want a response!  I want to do something about guns.  I want background checks and limits on availability of  magazines and models.  This is not about the “2nd Amendment” it is about dead children.  That is so clear to me.

And yet….

As the reaction to the bombings heats up, there is much talk of surveillance, racial profiling, new police powers.   The media has already taken to chastising the FBI for “not preventing” the bombing.   Ahh, the superiority of journalist hindsight.  

But I also realize I am not willing to be surveilled, I do not want my fellow citizens profiled by race or religion and further militarizing the police is frightening.   So much of this already goes on – surely we don’t benefit from more of the same.

Two terrorizing events – a different response to each.   I confuse even myself at times.

April 18, 2013
Mr. Babypants

Citizens Gun Registry

I don’t have a problem with gun ownership.  I also understand that gun cultures vary by state, even county and town.  I have no desire to take people’s guns (probably easier to believe me because I’m not a black guy in the white house) and I don’t want to infringe on anyone’s constitutional rights.

What I want is to make sure some guy with an order of protection against him can’t go to a gun show, pick up a Glock, hunt down his ex-wife and kill her.  They never seem to use knives those guys.

My first understanding of how fragmented information about gun ownership is was when a friend of mine was being menaced by a former boyfriend.  He threatened to shoot her numerous times – not stab her – shoot her.  Yet when she filed for an order of protection and told the court about his guns, there was no record of him having firearms.  Because he never bought them at a store.  And to make it worse, even if he had, the records in her state were kept by county.  Not even the police had access to statewide information about who owned what weapons.

Yesterday the Senate shot down legislation for something as simple as background checks on these transactions – just a few days wait for responsible gun owners to get a new weapon and god knows how many people protected.  Americans overwhelmingly supported the legislation that failed along partisan lines.  It’s bad politics for Republicans to support anything the President does – no matter what their constituents think.

The defeated Background Check Bill actually outlawed a national gun registry – despite the fear-mongering lies of the NRA.   Since it’s no longer a crime – maybe it’s time for private citizens to create one?  If we built a team across the country – state by state trying to pull together information about how many guns are out there.  We could homogenize the data – just like they do with health care information – but a record would exist.   

All the talk about the Second Amendment preventing us from being tyrannized by government.  Well, I am tired of Congress – be it the House or the Senate – acting against the desires of the American people.

I may not fight tyranny with a Bushmaster rifle, but I sure as shit have no problem loading and firing a database.

April 16, 2013
Mr. Babypants

All About Amy

Last night, someone retweeted this into my timeline:

In case you didn’t know, the tragedy at the Boston Marathon is all about Astron Amy’s feelings.

I am amazed at people’s reactions to horrific tragedy. From the Amy’s to the Alex Jones and Westboro Baptist Cult,  to the photoshopped Facebook pages and rooftop photographs – it is mind boggling to me.  

What happened in Boston is horrific – just look at the pictures on the Boston Globe – if you have the stomach for it.   Look at those helpless people, spattered in blood, their lives suddenly changed forever.  Is this really about whether or not Amy finds prayer offensive?  Is Amy really so important?  Evidently she thinks so.  

I am a Jesus follower.  I believe in the power of prayer.  I also believe that other people are entitled to their own opinions about God and they should be respected.   But then I have a basis for it – love and tolerance is part of what makes sense to me about Jesus.

Those who say there is no God like to blame him when things like this happen.  But you can’t have it both ways – God either is or he isn’t.   Some sick human being did this, some tragic hate-filled, morally righteous and completely unjustified human being.  IMHO, this is probably not the time to launch an “I’m an atheist and you’re not” debate.  

Prayer is a petition to God, to offer comfort and caring for those facing horrible tragedy.  I don’t know if the victims, their friends or families find prayer offensive, but I tend to think not.  I am thinking of them, hoping they find some way to cope and stay strong in the midst of their loss.  I am not on Twitter castigating others for their lack of faith.

So my prayers – and the prayers of countless others  - have nothing to do with her belief or lack thereof.  They are for the victims.  It’s not all about Amy after all.