Apr 22·edited Apr 22Liked by Bill Astore

Roger's comment is apt. He could have empowered himself, but he didn't and was glad of it. He could have dished out injury or death and instead has lost $20. That's smart.

But I think of a big change in mindset. The vigilance thing and the irrational fear that drives it.

When I was a kid and a young adult, one never thought about being vigilant or as they say "prepared" for danger to oneself. Do what you want, go where you wish, not a thought of danger. Nobody thought of guns, far less of having one. If something did happen, confusion would be the first thing - surely this can't be happening to me - followed by - what do I do to get out of this ASAP? Though it might be possible to overpower a threat, that was secondary to just being gone.

Now vigilance and suspicion are becoming obsessions in a search for personal justice. Look out for the worst and most of all never, ever be a victim, make the person assumed to be or actually being threatening pay for it, most of all because one should never under any circumstances be a dupe to be taken. Running away? That's for cowards and so we have the perfectly named law for our time - stand your ground. John Wayne in the head.

I ride a bike and occasionally have people notice that I am not locking my bike. They warn me to lock it. I tell them, truthfully, that I have not been locking it for many years and it hasn't been stolen. They can't believe it. I tell them that I'm being logical rather than fearful. Bike theft is a crime of opportunity. Yes, locking it is insurance, but the crime requires a person looking out to commit the crime. And this is the big thing - I trust that my fellow citizens are most unlikely to have a thief among them. Were I in downtown Chicago with thousands walking by, then I'd use the lock. So far, I've not been disappointed and the big benefit is the subject has left my mind, a real freedom from something that seems to dominate thinking now.

I asked one woman what she thought of trust, that the idea is to extend it rather than be looking for violators, assuming they are all around. She proceeded to tell me of her mother-in-law who was a retired police officer who listened to the police radio and reported on what she would hear. I recommended the police radio be turned off. TV news does for everyone what the police radio does for the MIL, ingrain distrust and suspicion based on listening to points of collection for bad behavior. I worked in TV and the news area always had several police radios going.

We are losing our sense of civilization, where trust is required. Fear and what I call toxic individualism are taking over.

I'll continue to leave my bike unlocked and risk being called a dupe. Do I need to say I don't watch the news? Call me an ostrich, but I base my daily behavior on my experience and my desire to be civilized.

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When I was in my late 20s, and working at the time for the municipal PD, I had a pistol concealed carry permit, "just in case". I infrequently carried the pistol, but the permit made it easier to do so without fear of legal trouble.

On one occasion, going to meet a friend at a bar in a notoriously rough part of the city, I contemplated taking the gun along for protection; but in the end left it home. After parking in the back lot, a fellow young man came up to ask for a match. Having seen this scenario before, I was immediately wary, and sure enough, in my peripheral vision I caught his two partners approaching from the sides. The robbery was in progress. As there was no escape, I handed over the $20 bill from my wallet without much protest.

It was a bit later, when I reflected on this, that I counted my blessings for having not to carry the gun. For if I had, I'd have had the immediate dilemma, upon being approached, of either trying to keep it concealed (and risking having it taken), OR of pulling it out in defense.

If I'd done the latter, it's possible it would have deterred them. But if they doubted I'd use it, or if one of them was armed himself, I might have had to shoot one or more. And I had already been trained well enough to know that if it was dangerous enough to pull the weapon, it was important to shoot to kill.

Somehow, I had made the right choice before setting out. I didn't have any killing on my conscience, 3 punks got home alive and my gun wasn't stolen so wouldn't be used in some other shooting. And I paid $20 for avoiding those bad outcomes... pretty cheap, if you ask me.

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In our office we had a wise old, retired police officer who was really into guns.

He always used to lecture......

"If you have a gun you need to be ready to kill someone if you unholster it. If you are not - you should not have it."

I have thought about that for many years - sometimes it makes sense to me - other times not!

I went with him to the range once - just to fire a gun - but I never bought one.

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The Ideology and Propaganda "Castle America" is under threat by Russia and China wanting to physically invade and occupy the US is preposterous to begin with.

PROPAGANDA as Investigative Reporter John Pilger explains in this video interview is well worth watching as Nuclear WAR threats keep on popping up in the POWER conflicts of this World.


FEAR and IGNORANCE could set the process in irrevocable in motion. Invasion armies not needed!


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"Castle" I think comes from the saying, "A man's home is his castle." The sentiment (in writing) dates back to Roman times (as noted in Wikipedia):

quid enim sanctius, quid omni religione munitius, quam domus unusquisque civium?

(What more sacred, what more strongly guarded by every holy feeling, than a man's own home?)


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As we blast away, we are a perfect reflection our nation as it uses force versus statecraft to force its authority in the world. Until this changes, we will only see violence escalate in communities. Violence is our very ethos.

I don't own a gun (and never have) or a baseball bat and yet somehow I can answer the door without fear. Someone tried to get in my car at the hardware store a couple weeks ago (before the parking lot shooting), and she and I had a good laugh. Just sayin'....

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As i just posted to Bill's previous piece "Shootings Are Us":

This about says all that can or needs to be said about all of this: https://www.reuters.com/news/picture/our-top-photos-of-the-week-idUSRTSIDOCO .

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Yes..., "Gentle Ben" there Spiderman's Unc., but when a Armed to the teeth's Nation namely US meets fear & paranoia-- this will keep happening again, and again, and again ad nauseum!!! Where will it stop? Maybe being executed for using harsh language, or taking a buddies Cigarillo without paying. A uniquely American problem.

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Here's an article about the guy who killed 5 people at a Louisville bank and who was motivated in part by a desire to demonstrate that guns are too easy to obtain: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11995155/Louisville-bank-killer-left-13-page-manifesto-revealing-three-motives-shooting.html No wonder the story disappeared so quickly from the pages of the news media.

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