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Subject: Chalkhills Digest #11-47


         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 11, Number 47

                Wednesday, 31 August 2005

Topics:

                       Perspective
            Guess this is the end of the pier.
                    Here comes the sun

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Apples and cherries / Are varnished in water.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: Wed, 24 Aug 2005 18:40:39 -0500
From: Chris Derfler <cdpine@xnet.com>
Subject: Perspective
Message-ID: <7A475921-14F8-11DA-910F-0030657F9C5E@xnet.com>

The wheel goes round here at the mystical Chalkhills site. (Of course,
I remember the sun--and the cow (sheep?) pies--climbing those real
chalkhills a few weeks ago.)

So here we go:
I only wish that every body/mind on every side would keep a couple
things in mind as they defend so deftly and/or viciously (or
compassionately, I hope) their positions during their debates, and wars:

I/You/We
create
My/Your/Our
reality/realities
with My/Your/Our
thoughts, beliefs, desires, intents, and purposes.

"Reality" is filtered through:
the abilities and limitations we bring into this life,
who our parents are and what they teach us,
other teachings we accept along the way,
and mainly, after adulthood, what we choose to concentrate upon.

In other words, we see and experience, perceive--physically, mentally,
emotionally, spiritually--what we want to see, experience, perceive...
for reasons known only to the prime identities involved--sometimes
consciously only after death.

Awake and through dreams, en masse and by agreement, we form this event
called Life on Earth... for general, specific and ultimately conscious
purposes.

There is a lot to be learned from it all, every day and night. "It"
occurs from the inside out, and we ants on the anthill are not All That
Is.

Some day we'll talk about indirect versus direct experience. (Living in
fear, say, based on news reports or Chicken Littles versus actually,
physically being in a threatening situation.)

Having read all the posts, I just had to get that out. Flame on.

Peace, Love, Ecology, and XTC,
Chris (stupidly happy) Derfler

------------------------------

Date: Thu, 25 Aug 2005 14:16:29 -0700
From: "Pastula Aaron" <pastula12@hotmail.com>
Subject: Guess this is the end of the pier.
Message-ID: <BAY109-F30C349F733E1F2BDE6DCC9A2AB0@phx.gbl>

At the request of Mr. Relph, I'm laying down arms, so to speak.  This will
be my last reply on the gun issue, but a few last tidbits...

Todd said,

>The difference being, of course, that engines and guitars are not made to
>kill things.

No, the difference being that, regardless of what they're made for or not,
hardly any guns, statisically speaking, will ever kill anyone.  This is,
again, why you can't possibly discount personal intent when it comes to a
debate on gun usage and gun ownership.

>Take the guns away, and gun violence will stop. It's as simple as that.

Except that every time it's been tried, the opposite effect of what was
intended is actually achieved.

>Why is the NRA consistently against such control and regulation of
>firearms?

They're not.  They're against *unnecessary and ineffective* regulation and
control.  There's a huge difference there.

>And the vast majority of those preventions are carried out by law
>enforcement officers, I'd wager.

Nope, these are numbers of *private citizens* who use their guns
defensively.  Depending on which study you support, the number is somewhere
between 800,000 and 2.5 million, but the one that I believe is generally
agreed upon as being the most accurate puts the number at 2.5 million.  The
DOJ's own study lowers that number to about 1.5 million, which is still
pretty impressive.  Your mileage may vary, I guess.

>Answer me this, Aaron: Do you think the families and loved ones of the
>11,829 lost to gun violence in 2002 take any comfort in the fact that more
>people were killed by alcohol or cars, or any other means?

No, but answer me this, Todd: Am I supposed to give up my rights because
someone else abused theirs?

I know you didn't intend it to be, but this is ultimately an argument for
taking pity on criminals and letting their actions determine the course of
social policy, NOT some heartstring-pulling way of sympathizing with gun
victims.

>but will point out that a group of U.K. scientists -- *not* the British
>government -- has
>recommended that the sale of long, *pointed* kitchen knives be banned. The
>government has not accepted and is not "advocating" a ban.

You're right; I misspoke.  But I still see it as endemic to the British
culture (and anti-gun America) that the response seems to a problem like
guns or knives seems to be to ban the item rather than find a way to use it
responsibly -- and there are plenty of laws that the British High Court has
already passed that support this.  By all accounts I've seen, Britain's gun
laws haven't done anything to negatively affect that country's gun violence,
which continues to rise despite their efforts.  Now, it's proportionally
smaller than in the US, of course, but it does show that banning guns
doesn't make gun crime simply go away.

Kevin then said,

>It's okay that hundreds of people die from gunshots because thousands of
>people die from drowning in a bucket?

No, but if things like automobiles and buckets kill more people than guns,
why are we not more concerned with them?  Because that would be silly, and
because we already regulate them as much as we can to keep people as safe as
possible, and we can, for the most part, accept the risks when weighed
against the benefits, right?

So then why, when it comes to guns, is it never a question of regulation to
the point of acceptably safe standards, but of too many people feeling that
there *still* isn't enough regulation, or that guns should simply be
eliminated altogether, when they're already statistically far less dangerous
than cars and buckets?

This is what frustrates me about people who are anti-gun -- they don't
advocate sensible gun laws (of which about a total of five would be
necessary to close all the loopholes) or acceptable, legal usage; they
advocate either absurd, ineffective and unenforceable, "politically feel
good" measures that will only impact law-abiding gun owners (many of which I
saw firsthand while working for the California governor's office in '99), or
they want guns banned altogether.  It's not a question of getting it to an
acceptable level for them -- it's that, no matter how statistically
insignificant the number of gun deaths and gun crimes are, no matter how
many law-abiding gun owners there are, no matter how many times guns are
credited with preventing a crime or how many other, more critical elements
there are to criminal behavior, *nothing* will ever be enough when it comes
to gun control or the advocation of outlawing guns.

>The point is the number of firearms which exist in the United States,
>regardless of whether they are obtained legally or not, leads to
>yet another kind of culture.

No, firearms are incidental.  Look at gun ownership rates in Finland,
Norway, Switzerland and Israel, which are very close to the US, against
their firearm homicide rates, which are much lower than in the US.  Then,
look at a country like Ireland, which has a stastically higher rate of
firearm homicides, but a low rate of gun ownership.  Interesting also to
note that gun ownership has been on a steady rise in the US over the last
decade, but gun crime has been on a steady decline.  Bottom line, it's
impossible to say that number/ownership of guns is directly responisble for
increases in gun crime; there are too many other factors -- economics, race,
culture, etc. -- that come into play.  It's not so simply black and white.

Guns are not the problem, people.  They do not magically influence a culture
to begin killing itself, nor does their removal, confiscation, or
unnecessary regulation suddenly make everyone start to behave.

Anyway, "round goes the wheel."  I think you're all daft, but it's been fun
:).  Now, can we talk about something relative to XTC again?  Someone
extrapolate a lesson from the lyrics to "Crosswires" and let's get off this
topic.

If guns kill people, then my pencil is responsible for all my misspelled
words,

AP

------------------------------

Date: Sat, 27 Aug 2005 13:57:31 +0100 (BST)
From: Paul Culnane <paulculnane@yahoo.co.uk>
Subject: Here comes the sun
Message-ID: <20050827125731.39049.qmail@web86904.mail.ukl.yahoo.com>

Okay, I know it's off-topic, but can I please get some space to
present this, from "the quiet one".  Here  goes  (from Oz-Paul):

      ++++++

Beware Of Darkness

By George Harrison c Harrisongs Ltd

Watch out now
Take care, beware of falling swingers
Dropping all around you
The pain that often mingles in your fingertips
Beware of darkness

Watch out now
Take care, beware the thoughts that linger
Winding up inside your head
The hopelessness around you
In the dead of night
Beware of sadness

It can hit you, it can hurt you
Make you sore, and what is more:
That is not what you are here for

Watch out now
Take care, beware of soft-shoe shufflers
Dancing down the sidewalks
As each unconscious sufferer
Wanders aimlessly
Beware of MAYA

Watch out now
Take care, beware of greedy leaders
They'll take you where you should not go
While weeping atlas cedars
They just want to grow-
Beware of darkness!

------------------------------

End of Chalkhills Digest #11-47
*******************************

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