A Few Answers To Questions You Always Wondered About

November 1, 2017 | 19 Comments » | Topics: Answers

Why do we sometimes create morbid hypothetical situations that play out in our head when doing something normal?

These are intrusive thoughts.

Essentially they are a result of the fact that the brain doesn’t focus on/remember good or bad thoughts, but extreme thoughts. A beautiful woman walking past you and you think about her, that’s a REALLY good thought, you will think about it later. Getting a 25% raise is a great thought, it will stick with you. For the same reason if you happen to think about killing your own child (you don’t always get to choose what pops into your head) Your brain will recognize it as a terrible awful thing that you don’t want to happen. It’s so far to one side of the spectrum so your brain emphasizes it.

Sometimes the brain has to identify what the wrong thing is in order to not do it. When you think of somebody shooting up a movie theater your brain is just "indexing" it into the bad category.

The reason the thought seems so important is because your brain is telling you "make sure this doesn’t happen! this is a bad thing! Don’t let this happen!"

I have talked to a lot of people about intrusive thoughts and the big problem most people have with them is that they obsess over them. THey blame themselves for having the thought and feel like they are a terrible person for having the thought, but really all that’s happening is your brain is indexing it.

If somebody tells you not to think about killing your own mother, you will think about it at least for a moment simply to recognize what the person said. The thought will probably bother you and make you sad, and that’s what it SHOULD do. If more people just learned to recognize that the pattern of "have bad thought—>feel sad about it" is perfectly reasonable and normal, and move on, these thoughts would not bother us nearly as much.

My dad always told me I will never have full control over what I think, but I will ALWAYS have control of what I do. And that’s what matters.

 

 

 

What are my rights when I get pulled over by the police?

Police can’t pull you over without probable cause.

Cops can’t just randomly stop you and look for drugs in your car. They need a reason, or “probable cause,” like speeding or a broken tail light.

Let’s say you are speeding, the police do pull you over, and they do find drugs in your car. But let’s say the officer wants to give you a break and forgoes a speeding ticket. Cops don’t need to ticket you for speeding to provide probable cause for the stop in court; their notes from the situation would provide enough evidence.

“It’s not enough to just not have a ticket as proof. The officer would have had to fail to write it in his narrative,” Daniel Kron said.
You don’t have to pull over until you can do so safely.

You should still pull over when you can do so safely, Martin Kron said. And if you can’t, you should notify the officer with a hand signal and drive the speed limit.

“The sooner, the better though. Don’t upset the officer. Sometimes you might end up with three tickets instead of one,” he added, implying officers might look for extra infractions if you made them angry.

You have the right to stay in your car.

“It’s perfectly legal for you to say in the vehicle, but doing so looks bad to the officer,” Martin Kron said.

Officers often ask people to “step out of the car” as a safety precaution — to make sure the driver doesn’t have any concealed weapons. But it’s probably best to get out of the car to avoid a tense situation.

It’s not a good idea, but you can refuse a breathalyzer.

Most states, including New York, have a statute called “implied consent.” When you get your driver’s license, you agree to a breathalyzer when pulled over. You can technically still refuse a breathalyzer, but in many states you could get your license suspended for six months if you do.

Now, if police suspect you of drug use, the protocol changes. Based on probable cause, the officer can take you back to the station for either a blood test or analysis from a drug recognition expert, according to Martin Kron.

You are required to stop at checkpoints.

Yes, drivers do have to stop at checkpoints. Police departments plan checkpoints ahead of time, but they must have a specific plan, such as stopping every third car (or every car), according to Martin Kron.

Cops can only search your car without a warrant for these 5 reasons.

1) If you consent, police naturally have a right to search your car.

2) “Plain view” also gives an officer the okay to search your car. “If an officer approaches your car and on the passenger seat he notices a baggie of marijuana … based on regular activities — meaning he doesn’t have to search too hard” then the pot is considered to be in plain view, Daniel Kron said.

3) The third reason is “search incident to arrest,” according to Daniel Kron. Basically, if an officer arrests you with probable cause, he or she can then search your vehicle.

4) Your car can be searched if an “officer has probable cause to suspect a crime,” Daniel Kron said. For example, it’s not illegal to have blood on your front seats, to have a black eye, or to have a ripped-up purse in the car. But all those things in conjunction could be suspicious to an officer.

5) Lastly, “exigent circumstances,” allow a warrantless search. Before an officer receives a warrant, he can “break every rule if he suspects the evidence is about to be destroyed,” Daniel Kron said.

This happens more often in specific locations, like residences, instead of vehicles. For example, if the police want to conduct a drug search and they hear a toilet flush, they can reasonably enter your home, Daniel noted.

You have to let the cops search your car if they have a warrant.

You have to let them search your car if they have a warrant, but some limits apply to the areas they can search.

“If a police officer believes you have a gun in your vehicle, he’s not allowed to search in an area too small to hold it,” Daniel Kron noted. In that case, the glove box may be fair game but not the cigarette lighter.

Even if police find something incriminating the warrant didn’t stipulate — like drugs in the glove box while looking for a gun — the “plain sight” exception applies. They’ll still charge you.

You should still pull over when you can do so safely, Martin Kron said. And if you can’t, you should notify the officer with a hand signal and drive the speed limit.

“The sooner, the better though. Don’t upset the officer. Sometimes you might end up with three tickets instead of one,” he added, implying officers might look for extra infractions if you made them angry.

If you’ve been stopped (but not arrested), you have the right to ask the police whether you’re free to go.

If they say yes, you should calmly walk — not run — away from the scene.

If you are arrested, you have the right to ask for an attorney and should do so immediately. 

If you have only been stopped temporarily, you’re not entitled to an attorney at that point. But if you’re being held for an extended period of time, either they’re going to have to let you go or place you under arrest.

 

 

Who was Martin Luther? What were his main contributions?

Martin Luther was a German monk and priest. He was a devout Christian. In 1507, he was ordained as a priest and in 1508 he began to teach theology.

During his lifetime, the Western Church was raising money to rebuild St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. That in itself was a pretty well thought out plan. However, the methods by which they collected money were intolerable to Martin Luther.

The Roman Church taught that in order to be justified before God, you have to do charitable deeds. That too is a pretty well thought out piece of theology and many Christians believe this today (and many who don’t, do charitable deeds anyways because charitable deeds are just good overall). The problem with this is that the church said that if you donated money to the church, you could buy forgiveness from God in the form of what is called “indulgences”.

Many people today can see the problem here. The pope was one of the richest people in the world at the time and he even controlled a huge section of land in Italy and France, yet instead of paying for the Basilica himself, he got the poor people to give him money for forgiveness.

Martin Luther argued that the pope has no authority to give forgiveness and that the indulgences are a highly corrupt practice. Additionally he argued that forgiveness and justification for sins can only be given by God through faith in Jesus Christ.

Of course the indulgences were only 1 of numerous corrupt practices in the Catholic church that Martin Luther noticed.

Martin Luther being an educated priest not only knew how to write but he also knew how to read Latin and Hebrew, the languages that the Bible was originally written in. Most people at the time couldn’t read for themselves, so instead they just took the priests word for it and assumed that everything the priest said was in the Bible. Martin Luther compared the facts in the Bible to what the church officials at the time were saying and found numerous differences.

Martin Luther then took all of the ideas and wrote them down in a letter we now know as the Ninety-Five Theses. While we cannot be sure, legend has it that Martin Luther went to a major church and nailed a printed copy of his theses on the door.

In addition to his theses, Martin ended up translating the Bible from Latin and Hebrew into German so that everyone could read it for themselves. He then went to numerous towns and handed out copies of his theses and the Bible so that there were many copies.

Many people agreed with him about the problems in the Catholic church and protested against the church. This is why one of the religious denominations of Christianity is called Protestantism. Throughout Europe, the ideas of Martin Luther and other similar priests spread.

The pope was livid and on January 3, 1521 he excommunicated Martin Luther from the church. But it was too late! Martin Luther’s ideas had spread, printing presses around Christendom were copying his theses.

It is fair to say that Martin Luther never intended to split the Roman Catholic Church. He called for reform, the end to corruption and the teaching of factual statements that are in the Bible. However Martin Luther lost control and the church was forever split.

Today numerous Christians around the world believe different things. Many fight with each other about it in wars and persecution. But the fighting should not be blamed on Martin Luther, that is not his doing.

Martin Luther should be known as the guy who brought transparency to the church.

 

 

What is the ‘dark side’ of the Dubai justice system?

I lived in the sandpit for just under a year and most people have no idea how bad it is, and I want more people to know what the less fortunate experience there. What the migrant women experience there is what real oppression and real “rape culture” look like. The things that the locals get away with there are beyond your imagination:

4 Emirati men kidnapped an Ethiopian maid, gang-raped her twice in different locations, then ran her over with a car and then proceeded to stone her to death with large rocks which smashed her skull into pieces. After paying 200k dirhams ($50k) “blood money” in total (so around $12.5k each, a few months salary for an Emirati), they were released from prison. One of the attackers 13 years prior had raped and murdered a Pakistani little girl, but her father who was an imam forgave him.

So just to be clear, 4 Emirati men, one of whom was already a known rapist and murderer, gang raped and then brutally murdered an Ethiopian housemaid, smashing her skull into pieces, and they were released after paying just over $10k each. Because in the UAE foreign victims are practically forced into accepting blood money by their lawyers (always Emirati), none of them received their sentence. This was the “Al Dhaid murder”, I strongly insist people look it up because it’s even worse than you think. Search “Al Dhaid murder” on google for a proper set of results on how serious it was, it’s even more grotesque than you think. So basically, this disgusting crime is not as bad as just normal consensual sex because as we know, Emiratis can do no wrong.

Here’s a story of how a French 15 year old teenage boy “Alex” was gang-raped by 3 Emirati men and it turns out that they gave him HIV/AIDS. Anyway, before outcry from human rights groups, it was he, rather than the rapists, that was arrested and blamed. The boy was actually quite lucky his mother was well connected with the diplomatic circles otherwise like the vast majority of other cases he would have been jailed for being raped.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/01/world/middleeast/01dubai.html

A doctor examined Alex the night of the rape, taking swabs of DNA for traces of the rapists’ sperm. He did not take blood tests or examine Alex with a speculum. Then he cleared the room and told Alex: “I know you’re a homosexual. You can admit it to me. I can tell.” Alex told his father in tears: “I’ve just been raped by three men, and he’s saying I’m a homosexual,” according to interviews with both of them. The doctor, an Egyptian, wrote in his legal report that he had found no evidence of forced penetration, which Alex’s family says is a false assessment that could hurt the case against the assailants.

In early September, after the family learned about the older attacker’s H.I.V. status and the French government lodged complaints with the United Arab Emirates authorities, the Dubai attorney general’s office assigned a new prosecutor to the case. Only then were forensic tests performed to confirm that sperm from all three attackers had been found in Alex.

Alex stayed in Dubai in order to testify against his attackers, and went back to school in September, despite suffering unsettling flashbacks. In early October, however, the family said, their lawyer warned Alex that he was in danger of facing charges of homosexuality and a prison term of one year.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/01/world/middleeast/01dubai.html

There was another case involving a French girl where an Emirati singer, Saoud Abou Sultan, lured the girl to his room, spiked her drink and gang-raped her with others while she was unconscious. She woke up in the middle of the desert found by a police officer and apparently she had bruises all over her stomach and private parts. Anyway the most shocking thing about this was that Saoud Abou Sultan, being an Emirati, was not convincted of rape but for “consensual sex”. He did receive 6 months of jail time which is impressive for a local who usually get nothing, but it was only because of “consensual sex” not rape. How the fuck is spiking a girl’s drink, gang-raping her and dumping her in the desert consensual”? Is that worth 6 months in jail?

Rape victims, usually maids, are arrested for “seduction” or “extramarital sex” in the UAE while the rapist Emiratis have impunity: https://news.vice.com/article/rape-victims-are-being-jailed-under-extramarital-sex-laws-in-the-uae One BBC article apparently showed a rape victim being chained up after revealing her rape: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/26/hundreds-of-women-prosecuted-for-extramarital-sex-in-uae-finds-bbc  Apparently one Ethiopian servant who was raped was arrested and when they found she was pregnant, chained her to the hospital bed to prevent her from absconding from her crime of being raped.

Another recent story in the UAE where an Emirati woman gruesomely tortured an Indonesian maid for months and then starved her to death. The police recovered her starved, battered and bruised body with torture marks everywhere and found blood stains all over the house. They then realized the Emirati woman had been torturing and starving maids for a decade but they did not punish her or even arrest her, because the maids did not end up dead. Only when the Emirati finally managed to starve a maid to death did the Emirati police bother arresting her. There was a similar case which happened slightly before, where an Emirati tortured an African woman to death after months of abuse. Neighbours siad they heard screams and wails for months through the walls. Read it: http://www.emirates247.com/crime/local/woman-starves-maid-to-death-dubai-court-told-2016-02-26-1.622369

Another case of what Emiratis are allowed to do with impunity:

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2015/oct/24/the-vanished-filipino-domestic-workers-working-abroad

“My employer was like a lion with no mercy,” she says. Marina says she was forced to work 22 hours a day without rest. She woke at 4am to start cleaning the family’s fleet of cars and worked through to 2am the following morning. “I had no time off, no time to rest ever. Even when I was trying to eat, she would be calling me: ‘You are not here to rest. I paid a lot of money for you.’ To her, I was a slave. I was not a human.”

After a month of working constantly on two hours sleep and little food, Marina’s health was deteriorating fast. She lost sensation in the right half of her body and couldn’t use her hands. “I was so tired it felt like I couldn’t control my brain. After a few weeks I was in so much pain, I couldn’t walk or lift anything. I didn’t know if my children were OK. I felt so alone.”

Yet her female Emirati employer told her, ‘You can’t go back to the Philippines because I paid money for you,’” Marina says. She claims her employer threatened to get her sent to jail, or kill her, and screamed that she would dump her in the desert. “She told me, ‘If I killed you, nobody would care and nobody would find you.’ I said, ‘Madam, if you want to kill me, go ahead.’” After this, Marina says, her boss tried to poison her. The husband of the house then threatened to beat her with a baton, and locked her in a prayer room for three days and nights with no food or water.

“I would just say to anyone who is thinking of going to work abroad, don’t trust anyone,” she says. “They will kill you and nobody will do anything to help.”

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2015/oct/24/the-vanished-filipino-domestic-workers-working-abroad

In short what I am trying to say is that if you are not an Emirati, you are a subhuman slave to them, a beast of burden. The Gulf states are truly the most racist and dehumanizing places on earth for non-locals. Anyone who has lived in the Arab world for more than a few months knows full well that many of them genuinely and sincerely do not view migrant workers from Asia/Africa as fully human and treat them as animals. E.g. http://www.99media.org/slavery-in-the-arab-world/  “The host, the mother of my acquaintance, reeled around laughing. “This is not a human being, she [her maid] is an animal and will be treated as such” Sometimes the level of prejudice is actually quite amusing because it’s so farcical. For instance (and if you don’t believe me on this, ask anyone who has lived in the Gulf), the way the police figure out who is responsible for a crime is not based on evidence but based on nationality. So for instance, if an Emirati man crashes into the car of an expat or migrant worker etc, that would be the fault of the expat because he’s not Emirati and the former would be arrested.

Always remember these incidents before you go to Dubai. Or just don’t go at all. Don’t give these kinds of people your money. Make sure people know things like this happen.

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  • Josh Gordon

    My uncle was in Saudi Arabia for work for a little over a year, man does he have some stories. Islam is not a religion its a cult of death destruction and brutality. Everywhere there is Islam you will find women oppressed, everywhere there is Islam you will find being gay is illegal some nations will execute you for your gay sexuality, Islam actually has a large problem with inbreeding and its something the media never even talks about, everywhere there is Islam you will find conflict violence and fucking cowards blowing themselves up in crowds of people.

    Fuck Islam and fuck the middle east minus the Jews Christians Assyrians Kurds Yazzis etc etc etc. Turks are probably the worst followed by Saudis. Dont go to the middle east, you could pay my uncle all the gold in the queens vault to go back to that craphole and he would still say no.

    • Lynda Gutierrez

      Oh, FFS, virtually ALL religions are cults of death, destruction, and brutality . . . and repression of women–certainly the three Abrahamic religions: Judaism, its spin-off, Christianity, and ITS spin-off, Islam are.

      I realize it’s very smugly satisfying to “other” people, beliefs, and things, but there is very little difference between what you believe and what other people do. Religions themselves (while silly superstitions) aren’t the real problem. The problem arises when religions are allowed to get their nasty little fingers into politics–theocracies (of any type) are invariably brutal and repressive (and, while always overly concerned with OTHER people’s sex lives, are virtually certain to be fraught with perversion themselves.)

      Please, a foreigner coming to the United States could say the exact same things about our country. We have SERIOUS amounts of inbreeding in rural pockets — hey marrying your cousin is allowed in a lot of places! We have an insane amount of child brides (many of them from extremist Christian sects.) We have a massive child porn industry and a hell of a lot of pedophiles. LGBTQ people might not be executed by the state but they are way too often targeted for murder by “concerned citizens.” And, as for women . . . representatives of an international commission found America’s treatment of women horrifying. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/foreign-women-assess-us-gender-equality_us_566ef77de4b0e292150e92f0

      You want to follow your religion? How about pondering this text: “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”

      • Yahya

        Both of you are truly delusional people. Neither Saudis, Emiratis nor Islam has even come close to the number of people killed/raped/tortured/atrocities of the Holocaust nor either of the World Wars nor the legacy of Stalin nor Mao. The latter two of which were militant Atheists who actively persecuted religion

      • jay

        Can you give us a few examples of LGBTQ people murdered by “concerned citizens”? Please don’t tell us about Matthew Shepherd. The people who killed him confessed, and said they killed him over a drug deal gone bad, not because he was homosexual.

        The “horrifying treatment” of women cited in the HuffPo article you cite was:

        Number 1: Many Americans oppose abortion. This has nothing to do with “hating women”, it has to do with opposing a particular action. Considering that most of the leaders of the pro-life movement are women — including the presidents of Right to Life and the American Life League, for example — this is not about men vs women, it’s about some men and women versus other men and women. If someone protests against rape, that doesn’t mean that she hates men, just that she hates rape.

        Number 2: The US does not have laws requiring companies to give female employees paid maternity leave. Yes, this is horrifying oppression! Women in Muslim countries are raped and tortured with impunity, but American women suffer the real horror: not being paid by their employers to take time off to raise their own children. The US has fewer regulations about employer/employee regulations than many countries. This is just one example. Americans call it “freedom”.

        Number 3: A woman in America is more likely to be killed with a gun than women in some other countries. This, of course, is not about women but about crime and gun control in general.

        Number 4: The government does not give women politicians money for their political campaigns. The US government does not give men politicians money for their political campaigns either.

        I could go through the rest of the list, but you see the pattern developing? None of the complaints is about discrimination against women or anything specific to women. The complaints are that the US is not politically liberal enough.

        • Lynda Gutierrez

          You’re not serious, right? You do realize that people are murdered continually in the United States because of their LGBTQ status by people who think killing them is a moral imperative.
          http://www.refinery29.com/2017/08/167707/lgbtq-deaths-murders-2017 There are MANY, MANY cases. Matthew Shepherd is one of the most-famous cases but there are innumerable others. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/oct/26/the-truth-behind-americas-most-famous-gay-hate-murder-matthew-shepard

          (And the Evangelical Christian nutbags currently holding the US hostage wouldn’t even agree to speaking out against other countries’ government executions of LGBTQ people https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/united-nations-resolution-death-penalty_us_59d3cc6ae4b0218923e5a4f8 )

        • Lynda Gutierrez

          BTW, the claim that the murder was drug-based is questionable at best. Trutherism at worst. Please read the article cited.

        • Lynda Gutierrez

          As to 1. No one WANTS to get abortions. No one is PRO-abortion. What pro-choice proponents have always wanted is for abortion to be safe, legal, and rare. The best way to do that is to provide GOOD sex ed (none of this ridiculous faith based BS of female “purity”) and free and freely available birth control. The fact that the vast majority of anti-choice people ALSO oppose birth control is clear evidence that this is not about “protecting babies” — it’s about controlling women.

          Women who make the wise and compassionate decision not to bring a child into the world that they lack the physical, mental, emotional, and/or financial resources to bring up should be commended, not scorned. And don’t bleat about adoption. There are tens of thousands of living, breathing, feeling children desperate for homes that are not being adopted. (Funny, all those “protect the children” screamers don’t give a crap about children once they’re born!)

          Pregnancy has greater ramifications than just bringing a child that can’t be cared for into the world. Many states are allowed to fire women for being pregnant. And GETTING a job while pregnant is almost impossible. How is this woman supposed to survive during her pregnancy? And since MANY women who get abortions already have other children, who is going to feed, house, and clothe them? And if their mother dies in childbirth, who will adopt them? You?

          And that doesn’t even go into the situation that is the reason for nearly all “late term” (20-24 weeks) abortions, that the child is either already dead or will live either a short and painful life or a long one that will require EXCRUCIATINGLY expensive care for years and decades to come.

          Inserting yourself into those very personal and very life-affecting decisions because of what you THINK your magic sky fairy/grandfather in the clouds believes (with no proof whatsoever) is beyond insane and, yes, it is brutally repressive to women.

        • Lynda Gutierrez

          As to 2. Apples and oranges. Virtually every other civilized nation on earth manages to provide maternity leave. But the “advanced” “city on a hill” “best country in the world” “Murrica” chooses not to. Yes, that’s a problem. The mark of value of a nation is the care it gives to its people, particularly the most vulnerable — and there’s almost no one more vulnerable than an infant.

          And no. Allowing corporations to treat employees badly is not “freedom.” Treating employees badly is what happens under unregulated capitalism — it’s what happened before unions and activists forced the end of child labor, the institution of health & safety laws, and even the 40 hour week. It’s not “freedom” to submit to brutal corporations or starve to death.

          Of course, you realize this, of course, and that you have no argument so you descend to “whataboutism” — news flash: women are raped and abused in the US with impunity as well. You know how many rapists in the US do ANY prison time? You know how many rapes are not even reported because reporting means getting smeared in the media and the community? It’s an absurd argument. I doubt the numbers of rapes vary much between Muslim countries and non-Muslim countries.

          • jay

            I repeat, the substance of the objection is not that the US discriminates against women, but that the US is not politically liberal. We could debate each of these issues point by point, but even if we all agreed that liberal policies are better, that would not make conservative policies “anti-woman”.

            Yes, of course there are rapists in America who get away with their crime. Are you telling me that in other countries, every single person who commits a rape is caught, convicted, and suitably penalized? That’s absurd. Some number of bank robbers get away with their crimes. I don’t suppose that that’s because the government is a bunch of communists who hate banks, but because law enforcement is never 100% effective.

            • Lynda Gutierrez

              Well, yes, we can agree that conservative policies are “anti-women” when they virtually all are anti-women. Any policies that unduly penalize women for BEING women (e.g., insurance not covering birth control but covering Viagra) are, by definition anti-women. But, in truth, conservative policies are really more anti-equal rights — against anyone who isn’t a straight, cis, white, wealthy, Christian man.

              And I never claimed other countries are better at punishing rapists than the US. America’s rape record was brought up in response to your bizarre claim that since women were raped elsewhere, women in America shouldn’t complain about the lack of maternity leave or some other irrelevant issue.

        • Lynda Gutierrez

          3. Yes, thanks to America’s cult of toxic masculinity and gun fetish, the lives of women and children are worth less than the “right” to own a weapon which is exponentially more-likely to be used to kill a wife/girlfriend than it ever is to fulfill gun owner fantasies of being Rambo or John Wayne.

          (Why is it, I wonder, that so many American men are so much more cowardly than men around the rest of the world? Everyone else manages to protect their lives and homes without guns. Hell, my 96 year old grandmother lived fearlessly alone without a gun. Why the constant, pants-wetting terror among so many men?)

          • jay

            Do you have a fire insurance policy on your home? Why do you do that when it’s far more likely that you will pay premiums your whole life and never get a penny in return than it is that you will actually be reimbursed for damage caused by a fire? Could it be … here’s an idea … that the cost of losing your home to a fire is so high that you consider it worth going to the trouble and expense of buying an insurance policy? Likewise, yes, the probability that I will ever need to use one of my guns in self defense is low. But if that happened, the cost — my own serious injury or death or that of one of my children — is so high that I take reasonable steps to protect myself against it. I have intentionally harmed my ex-wife or a girlfriend, and it’s hard to imagine how owning a gun for self-defense is going to suddenly turn me into a violent maniac.

            If you think I’m going to cry that you hurt my feelings by insulting my masculinity, try again. I think you missed the part about me being a conservative male. We don’t have fragile egos like your liberal girly-man friends. I’m not about to ask you out on a date and I presume you wouldn’t be interested if I did — just for starters, you’d probably be afraid to go out with someone who carries a mean nasty gun and drives a big ugly pickup truck — so I really don’t care what you think of my manhood.

            • Lynda Gutierrez

              Wow, that’s a silly comparison! A man having a fire insurance policy doesn’t increase the odds that he will set his wife and children on fire. A man having a gun DOES increase the odds he will kill his “loved ones.”

              I really do feel sorry for people who live in a perpetual state of irrational fear. The actual chance of the scenario you posit happening is microscopic to the point of invisibility. (The chance of your being able to stop it, a la the American hero in a white hat fantasy a minute fraction of even that.) You really might want to take a course on analytical thinking and statistics. Or maybe just read up on it: https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/01/16/wrong-about-risk-blame-your-brain/

              If you’re really that afraid, or you live in such a dangerous neighborhood, a FAR more effective form of protection would be a metal door and fortified windows. What you’re talking about with a gun is more along the lines of a security blanket — it makes you feel safer, but you aren’t.

              And, LOL, no I wouldn’t be afraid of someone who carries a gun or drives a pick up. It’s just my standards are far higher than that! Rednecks don’t appeal to me at all.

              • jay

                A study published in the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology found that Americans used guns in self defense approximately 2.5 million times per year. Gun control advocates often use the misleading statistic that only a few hundred people are killed in self-defense each year. But that’s because most defensive uses of a firearm don’t end with the criminal being shot and killed. Most of the time the criminal runs away when he sees the gun — at which point it is illegal to shoot him, it is not legally “self defense” any more if the person is no longer an immediate, active threat. (https://www.gunowners.org/sk0802htm.htm) A study by the Clinton administration said the defensive use of firearms was only half that. Even if the Clinton study is right, that’s still over 1 million per year.

                So is it your position, then, that it should be illegal for a woman to defend herself from a rapist? The average unarmed woman against a healthy 20-something man has a high probability of becoming a victim and almost zero chance of doing him any serious harm. But a woman with a gun, even if she’s inexperienced in its use, is very dangerous. So you are arguing for laws that would make women easier targets for rapists. Well, you made comments about the low incidence of criminal violence in America. Perhaps you think that rape is just too rare to worry about?

                BTW I don’t think I qualify as a redneck. I’m middle class, born and raised on Long Island, New York, and a software developer. Not saying that there’s anything wrong with being a redneck. I’m not bigoted enough to look down on people based on where they were born or their occupation or social class.

                • Lynda Gutierrez

                  The number is flawed beyond belief, being based on self-reporting and the study similarly flawed:
                  http://scholarlycommons.law.northwestern.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=6936&context=jclc
                  “K-G derive their 2.5 million estimate from the fact that 1.33% of
                  the individuals surveyed reported that they themselves used a gun in
                  self-defense during the past year;15 in other words, about 66 people
                  out of 5000 reported such a use. Extrapolating the 1.33% figure to
                  the entire population of almost 200 million adults gives 2.5 million
                  uses.
                  Many problems exist with the survey conducted by Kleck and
                  Gertz. A deficiency in their article is that they do not provide detailed
                  information about their survey methodology or discuss its many limitations.
                  For example, the survey was conducted by a small firm run by
                  Professor Gertz. The interviewers presumably knew both the purpose
                  of the survey and the staked-out position of the principal investigator
                  regarding the expected results.”

                  And, LOL, that rapist argument is laughable. If that held water, states with high proportions of gun ownership would have lower rape numbers. Doesn’t happen. A gun might be really handy if a man were trying to rape you from across the street. Other than that, not so much. Again, it’s all Rambo fantasy (or Rambo in drag, in this case.) But life isn’t the movies. Real life doesn’t work that way 99% of the time (there’s always the chance of a fluke.)

                  • jay

                    The liberal war on science continues. Yes, the study took a small sample and extrapolated it to the entire population. That’s how all statistical studies work. If you don’t believe in math, then by the same reasoning you have to reject any study that did not interview 100% of the relevant population. In any case, if you reject this study for extrapolation and assumed bias, then by the same reasoning you have to reject all the pro-gun-control studies, so where are you?

                • Lynda Gutierrez

                  Your feeble attempt at moral superiority about “not looking down on people” would have carried a bit more weight had you not JUST said, in the previous comment “We don’t have fragile egos like your liberal girly-man friends.”

                  And, BTW, redneck isn’t determined by occupation or socio-economic indicators. It’s a mindset. I know at least one investment banker whose take-home is in the multi-millions who is a redneck in outlook.

                  And I’d like to see you stand up to some of the liberal “girly-men” I know. : )

                  • jay

                    I believe in a world where people are judged, not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. Or in this case, not by their birthplace or income, but by their character.