Friday, October 30, 2009

Fatal Coyote Attack

At one time, Ten Ring almost became a coyote blog (just go to the Google search on the sidebar and enter coyote, you'll see what I mean). A reader, Drew458, pointed me to this story.

A woman was killed by a pair of coyotes while she was hiking alone in Canada. Coyotes rarely attack humans, but they are wild animals. Their victim, singer Taylor Mitchell, was young and petite, based on the photo in the story. She was hiking alone and apparently unarmed.

Other people were close enough to call the police who responded quickly (if one of the bystanders had been armed the response would have been even quicker). The police wounded one of the attackers, but they got away.

It's possible that the coyotes were a coyote-wolf hybrid or rabid according to expert speculation in this article. Whether or not they are pure coyote, is not germane to my point. Humans are not equipped to meet a wild animal attack. Our teeth are not big enough. Our fingernails make lousy claws. We're not too good at fighting when we get knocked to the ground. Instead, we've used our giant brains to develop tools--we can turn a branch into a club, a sliver of metal into a knife, a billet of steel into a gun. That's how we defend ourselves.

In this modern world, we've become leery of weapons. We want to be at peace with nature and meet all its wonders in an innocent state free of knifes and guns. The same holds true for our relations with our fellow man. Many "progressives" want a civil society where carrying a weapon runs counter to our norms (see the end of this post for a brief discussion of just that point).

Well we may love nature, but nature doesn't give a fig if we live or die. The same holds true of many criminals. Hell, for that matter, it's true of aliens, zombies, werewolves, and any other imaginary creature (it's close to Halloween, so cut me some slack).

We don't live in a perfect world or have a civil society. We face criminals and animal attacks. Our elected representatives at many levels of government have passed laws that have no contact with that reality.

In some places we can't carry a gun at all, we can't own a gun, we can't carry a useful knife (one with a long blade and opens with one hand). Such laws disarm us in the face of predators. These laws are wrong and news stories about beautiful but dead young singers prove it.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Today in History

128 years ago a small event in the great scheme of things happened. This event launched several movies, books, cowboy action shooting "handles," and saved a town from extinction. Yes, today is the anniversary of the "Gunfight at the OK Corral."

If you look at the actual fight, there is little that should resonate so many years later, but it does. Yosemite Sam and I were in Tombstone, Arizona in May. We'd like to go again not because of something that is linked to Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, the Clantons, or any of the other bigger than life figures that roamed the town's streets. We liked it because it felt like America.

We are a nation that values our wild west heritage, even if it didn't happen exactly like we think it did. The values of self-defense, independence, gun ownership (and yes I know that the Earps wanted to disarm the Clantons and their relatives while they were in town) are important and being lost. Still, long may that heritage last.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Interesting Article on Hain and Open Carry

I only have a few minutes for a quick post here--while the boss is away, yadda yadda.

I stumbled on a story in Salon Magazine about Meleanie Hain. For the most part it's a dispassionate story about her recent murder, her involvement in the Open Carry movement, and that movement.

The author, Steve Kingaman, obviously doesn't like open carry and warns that it may be coming to a town near you. He mentions the laws that exists in 43 states and that 7 states ban open carry pointing out that most of them are in the South and the laws "...were enacted precisely to prevent African-Americans from carrying weapons in public."

The article is not snarky about Ms. Hain's murder, although that's not true of many of the commenters. Klingaman does show his true colors at the end. He refers to a handful of postings on a pro-open carry site that he considers ugly with their cites of "Molon Labe," confederate flags, etc. From that, he concludes, "The problem with open carry is that you never know who is on the other end of that holster. It comes down to competing visions of what constitutes a civil society." He advocates that people who don't want to see gun-toting on their streets advocate for their vision.

My biggest takeaway: Klingaman is less concerned about open carry per se than he is about those who carry and have views he finds repugnant. He would ban the whole thing than to have "those people" be armed. This attitude is little different from Southern states passing laws to disarm blacks.

Let's close with "civil society." That's progressive-speak for wanting a world where lions lie down with lambs. They fault Republicans, gunowners, hunters, and many others for not allowing them to move closer to that vision. We believe that such a society does not and cannot exist. There will always be criminals who will happily relieve you of your money, goods, "sacred honor," life.

We can strive to improve society, but we must realize that being armed doesn't prevent a civil society, it's only being realistic.

Friday, October 09, 2009

A Better Candidate for the Nobel

So, they gave the Nobel Peace Prize to Barack Obama. A president who has mouthed platitudes about international cooperation and basically blamed America for every world problem. A president who has continued the foreign and security policies of his predecessor--a predecessor who was reviled when he left office for those very same policies. What was the Nobel Committee thinking? Hell, even Cindy Sheehan deserves it more than the One.

In the spirit of international diplomacy and cooperation I submit that Cooper the Wonder Basset would be a more suitable candidate. Just look at him, his cuteness has done at least as much for world peace as Obama.