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Me and My Empty Holster

So many Wisconsinites seem to be gun happy these days. Now they even want them allowed in local public government facilities. I simply shake my head.

There has never been a moment in my life when having a gun on my person would have helped or saved me or my loved ones in any way. And before assuming my life has been a sheltered pile of roses, I will assure you that is not the case. I was once choked to the point of neck bruising by an ex-con. I spent a few nights sleeping in a car. I walked home (near downtown Milwaukee) alone in the middle of the night several times. There have been a number of situations of which could have led me to much harm. In none of those circumstances do I feel that carrying a gun would have helped me.

Yes, women can be as strong as men, but let’s get real. My upper body strength is that of a newborn fish. Had I ever pulled a pistol from my Levi’s, it would have been quickly taken or twisted in my direction. I was even worried about that with my glow-in-the-dark pepper spray, but at least that wouldn’t kill me.

In 2009, 249 people died in Wisconsin due to drinking and driving. 38,215 Wisconsinites were arrested for driving under the influence that same year. You will be hard pressed to travel through most of our communities and not find a tavern on every other corner. We Cheeseheads like our booze. And what goes ever better with beer than deep fried curds? Well, a bright, shiny Glock! That’s what! OOooooo. And even better, let’s add in a tense, hostile and polarized community of emotionally charged citizens. That oughta sweeten the punch.

Honestly, what are people thinking?

Recently, during the Tea Party Debate, the audience cheered excitedly at the high Texas death penalty statistics. A few shouted with glee at the prospect of letting an uninsured young man die opposed to paying for his healthcare. There are far too many “typical” citizens who have no respect for the lives of others. Putting guns in those hands and allowing them to roam as though we are in a war zone is INSANE.

After the State Fair rioting incident, there were many comments on Patch and elsewhere expressing the joy of being able to legally shoot future suspects. Gun fire in the family-filled streets of Milwaukee during a riot. Yes, that would have been the ultimate sundae cherry. What a master plan.

In 2007, there were 613 fatal firearm accidents in the United States. In 2007, there were approximately 15,698 emergency room visits for non-fatal gun accidents. How many of these fatalities or near death experiences were had by victims of self-defense shootings? How many were victims of stray bullets, suicides, accidents by children or domestic dispute participants? I am willing to bet there is a considerable gap. And when weighing the benefit-to-risks I cannot for the life of me understand why anyone would think it is worth it.

Yea, I get it. The bad guys have guns and do not play by the rules. So because the scum of our society want to play cowboys and Indians we should all join in the game? Because MORE guns is the solution to firearm violence? Where is the logic? I suppose since so many people smoke and create the potential for second hand consequences, I should simply smoke my own cigarettes just to make it fair? Or since so many choose to drink and drive, I should throw a few back before each ride just because THEY are? Honestly, how many documented cases of “successful” self-defense gun shots have there really been? How many lives have been saved by concealed carry and other lax gun laws?

Again, I cannot think of a single time in my life when carrying a fire arm would have benefited me. But I can think of probably about a thousand when it could have caused great detriment. I would likely be dead or in prison. And then you wouldn’t be able to argue with my liberal, lefty, socialist views and that would just be a shootin’ shame.

James R Hoffa September 16, 2011 at 07:33 PM
Full disclosure, I am politically independent and do not consider myself a member of the Tea Party movement or any other political party. I was briefly registered as a member of Ross Perot's now defunct United We Stand/Reform Party before the Party disbanded following Governor Ventura's election in Minnesota.
James R Hoffa September 16, 2011 at 07:42 PM
There is an abundance of information about Goetz easily available online. Just type his name in any search engine and start reading. Although Goetz never claimed to be influenced by the film, his actions of vigilante justice aboard the New York City subway train bear a striking resemblance and similarity to the events depicted in fictional character Paul Kersey’s, played by Charles Bronson, first vigilante kill aboard a New York City subway train in 1974’s Death Wish. However, the film preceded Goetz’s actions by a decade. An example of life imitating art?
Duane Michalski September 17, 2011 at 01:10 AM
hrg...all you have to do is go to any official state website and look for the numbers. They are all there. Most states require these records to be published. In fact most states do so as a matter of law. A good reporter would gather facts from the only source that can't sway facts either way. And that would be the state office that is held responsible to keep such records. I should also let you know that i have lived in states where CC is allowed. I have NEVER seen an incident. However when i am out late at night plowing, I have witnessed several crimes being committed. I always called the police but by the time they got there...it was too late and it was just another victim.
Rees Roberts September 17, 2011 at 02:47 PM
At a point in time when Ms. Geyer's "Opinion" article had 19 comments Mr. James R. Hoffa had 11 of them. Mr. Hoffa, you protest too much. That is my opinion. So shoot me. sheesh. Heather, thank you for your opinions. I personally agree with them and pray we do not become victims of our society. The United Kingdom cops do not carry guns. Yes, there are special units that do but the regular street "Bobby" does not carry a gun. And it's illegal for people to have them. I personally felt safer as a result when visiting them. That is MY opinion. Now go argue that. Take to the streets Mr. Hoffa. Protect yourself from my opinion. Bang Bang. (will he ever see the light?) Violence begets violence.
Duane Michalski September 17, 2011 at 06:34 PM
rees roberts....if you liked the UK so much and it felt so better to be there....by all means go back. And for that matter don't come back. This is after all America or at least what is left of it. So for those of us that choose to exercise our rights...well...we will. And there is not one bloody thing you can do about it!
jt September 19, 2011 at 02:32 AM
the guy using the james hoffa name to convey a conservative point of veiw sickens me! have some gonads and use your own name!
James R Hoffa September 19, 2011 at 05:00 AM
I didn't realize that just because someone possesses a gun automatically makes them predisposed to beget violence with violent behavior. Interesting position, but a highly illogical analysis (or lack thereof) and conclusion. Oh ya, and I apologize for wanting to intelligently comment beyond a mere sound-bite in trying to add to the discussion - so sorry that I upset you! But not really :-) If you actually took the time to read my prior statements, you'd see that I never claimed to have the right answer pertaining to this issue. I merely attempt to use facts and logic to add to the discussion. I have a very open mind. Apparently, you do not. Try again.
James R Hoffa September 19, 2011 at 05:14 AM
Why do my views, when coupled to the JRH screen name, 'sicken' you? I tried using my real name on other boards. This allowed people to look me up online and start a tele- harassment campaign against me. Needless to say, I did not enjoy the experience, so I decided to take a screen name instead. The late James R Hoffa is a personal HERO of mine. And guess what - 1) he didn't agree with the concept of PUBLIC SECTOR unions any more than the late FDR did; and 2) he was a very CONSERVATIVE man, even going so far as to endorse and vote for REPUBLICAN Richard M. Nixon in all three of his Presidential runs. The liberal Kennedy's were a destructive force to the true American way. They attempted to soil Hoffa and others in a way far worse than anything that Joseph McCarthy ever did, and yet for some reason or another McCarthy is vilified by history while the Kennedy's are celebrated. That is what makes me truly SICK!!!
jt September 19, 2011 at 10:42 AM
you really need to check your facts ! dues paying public sector teamster right here! jimmy hoffa you will never be!
Hudsoner September 19, 2011 at 11:26 AM
Great discussion killer this :if you don't like it here, go........ What has "this is after all America" to do with Mr. Roberts point that he feels safer in the UK? You should go back to the corner tavern and continue your discussion there!
Hudsoner September 19, 2011 at 11:31 AM
JRH You say that Kennedy's were a destructive force to the true American way. Would you please explain to me what the true American way is? I might have lived all my live believing I was an American but yet never lived the true American way???? I just wonder, what way I might have lived???
Sandy September 19, 2011 at 03:38 PM
I would rather have a criminal stopping to wonder if I have a gun and am prepared to use it should he/she invade my home. I believe it does prevent crime. I have a father in another state that had his house broken into while he was away and many things stolen, especially sentimental things. It was determined that the meth lab loving neighbors were the ones who broke in but it couldn't be proven substantially enough to charge them. He went out and bought a handgun for him and his wife and they went to the shooting range to learn how to use it properly. A couple times of him going out back and doing target practice made the neighbors decide it wasn't a good idea to mess with his house again. It works. That doesn't mean everyone SHOULD carry a gun - there are those out there who really shouldn't - it just means that those who are responsible can carry a gun. We have the right to so let it be. Someone said recently that the Japanese didn't invade our country back when Pearl Harbor was bombed because they believed that everyone in America had guns and they would not have had a chance. If that is true, then the point made that if criminals know you have a gun, they are less likely to mess with you stands true.
Rees Roberts September 19, 2011 at 04:33 PM
Sandy, thank you for your thoughtful comment. We are about to transition to a society no longer an economy based on fossil fuels. That is a whole other discussion. But I fear that because of the consequences of this transition we will be feeling a whole lot of friction and hurt in our daily lives. It will touch all of us. As a result, people will be more prone to taking violent risks, even if they realize others may have the fire arms to protect themselves. A society loaded with guns versus a society with relatively few by comparison is what I meant by "I felt safer in the UK". When people are pressed by economic and resource loss, it will create friction unless we are prepared for it. To simply be prepared by having a gun is not what I had in mind. We need to build relationships at the neighborhood, getting to know people, watch out for each other, etc. Google the term "Peak Oil" for more info on why I feel this way. Google "Transition Racine" for info on how to prepare for this coming resource depletion. I am a big supporter of this country and I hope everyone can come together and not bicker about things. It will become more important as time goes by.
James R Hoffa September 19, 2011 at 06:58 PM
Oh really, and which of my 'facts' is inaccurate? You may want to read 'Hoffa: The Real Story,' as written by the man himself. If you do so, you may just be surprised by what you learn. The Teamsters of today is nothing like it was under the leadership of Hoffa, Sr. Are you even aware that in the recent history of your union, the Teamsters have endorsed both Ronald Reagan (in both bids) and George H.W. Bush (in both bids)? And yet, all contenders in the current Republican field are trying to embody Reagan's aura in making their respective bids toward getting the 2012 nomination. So why aren't the Teamsters now endorsing who ever the Republican candidate may be instead of Mr. Obama? Why did you guys like Reagan so much in the '80's, but apparently not today? Remember, the Teamsters still endorsed Reagan in his re-election even after he broke the air-traffic controllers strike. I'm very confused here. Could you help me out and explain this to me.
James R Hoffa September 19, 2011 at 07:17 PM
I never said that the Kennedy's succeeded, but that they were merely destructive in the same fashion that the former George W. Bush was - unlawful wiretaps, unauthorized political assassinations, etc. And the Kennedys were far worse communist mongers than McCarthy ever was - just look at the McClellan Hearings. And yet, they had the veracity to vilify McCarthy!!! The Kennedys were HYPOCRITES to the extreme!!! And if Robert Kennedy was so honorable, then why didn't he jump from the Capitol dome after Hoffa was acquitted the first couple of times like he promised he would? The Kennedys were masters of the 'do as I say and not as I do' philosophy. And do I have to even mention all of John's womanizing and infidelity? What a wonderful leader by example. And yet, this man was idolized. Is it just a coincidence that divorces really started their now historic rise during and immediately following his administration? No wonder the divorce rate is so very high today. In the words of the great Jimmy Hoffa, Sr., the Kennedys were nothing "but a bunch of rum runners!"
Heather Rayne Geyer September 19, 2011 at 07:23 PM
Many of you clearly have a greater grasp of history than I do. This is just for the sake of giving another side, so I thought I would share. http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/11/12/myth_of_the_reagan_union_vote/ I feel that a good percentage of Union workers who vote republican do so because of their religious and social views. For me, one issue may rank as a higher priority than another - which could sway my vote. Maybe some people cared more about abortion than workers rights. I know several union members (and even some of the higher ups) who vote republican because they are Catholic, because their parents do (seriously), because they dont want a black president, because they are against gun control or gays or whatever else Dems typically support. There is much more to consider than whether or not someone is simply part of a union.
Hudsoner September 19, 2011 at 10:45 PM
JRH thank you for your elaborations on the Kennedy's, the only oproblem I see with them are possibly low ethics and questionable morals, but I do not see anything they did that would destroy my way of living (I hope it is the true American way??) You guys are always so quick with throwing big phrases out and gneralizing the world around us. Boy, I hope people would start big stuff with: In my opinion......
Hudsoner September 19, 2011 at 10:49 PM
But what if this leads to the situation which could convince the thugs to shoot as soon as something moves in the house? They might want to do this, because they know that they could be shot at. this would mean, the entire gun violence would escalate, and everything would be like before, only on a much more dangerous level?
James R Hoffa September 19, 2011 at 11:37 PM
Of course, no one can really say how each individual union member cast their ballot, and as you've pointed out, a variety of factors go into that choice. I was merely responding to john's comments wherein he inferred that union people, especially ones with the celebrity of James R. Hoffa, could never be politically conservative. I merely pointed out that the IBT endorsed Nixon, Reagan, and Bush Sr. (something that Newman apparently selectively forgot about in penning his propaganda). Another thing that Mr. Newman selectively forgot to mention is the highly questionable credibility of F.C. Duke Zeller, who's book Newman premises his entire analysis and conclusions upon by accepting Zeller’s assertions as facts. This is highly irresponsible. Respected critics have noted that the book is "short on verifiable fact, while big on conspiracy theory," that " Zeller adds very little of substance," that his "writing is leaden," and "that the book appears to be more a work of fiction than reality." It would be like using the new anti-Palin book, which has been slammed as nothing more than a propaganda piece written by an opportunist by even the most liberal of critics, to formulate a thesis, analysis, and come to intelligent conclusions about her character and persona. How does the old saying go... "garbage in, garbage out." Perhaps Newman should go back to journalism school and learn to be a little more selective with his sources. Not to mention his grammatical errors.
Duane Michalski September 19, 2011 at 11:48 PM
Hey John, how does it feel to know that by the year 2016 or so....teamsters will be gone. After all, the guy that bought out Yellow, Rodeway, and USF Holland is doing a splended job of killing it off. Last i checked the stock was under $1.00 a share. Now ABF is looking kinda weak as well. They (ABF) trtied something called "express" and it didn't work so well. Oh well. I f I were you, I would retires ASAP!
patchreader 123 September 19, 2011 at 11:52 PM
Interesting. I assumed you the chose the name based upon irony. I guess you learn something new every day.
James R Hoffa September 19, 2011 at 11:57 PM
So, I guess you're OK with unlawful wiretaps (of which they set the precedent) and unauthorized use of American resources to carry out unauthorized political assignations (Castro, who we were never at war with). I guess it really depends on what your definition of 'living in America' is. To me, I don't think of it as being very American for our political leaders to be able to live outside and above the same set of laws that the rest of us are bound by under threat of capture and prosecution by the very same government that makes those laws. And in fact, if I’m not mistaken, that was one of the primary concerns of our founding fathers as well. But if you’re OK with this, more power to you! Just like you said, it's all a matter of personal opinion and preference. Personally, I don’t like the government unlawfully invading my privacy, as I view our right to certain privacies as being a tantamount and integral part of what it means to be an American. Your view to the contrary is very interesting to say the least.
Mrs. R September 20, 2011 at 01:05 AM
I liked you comment and unlike Duane you backed it up with verifiable facts. Amazing that he doesn't understand short and factual reaches more minds......... Thank you.
CowDung September 20, 2011 at 01:19 AM
The new Concealed Carry Law did not change anything in that regard. People have always had the right to have a weapon in their home and use it against intruders...
jt September 20, 2011 at 02:07 AM
as i said before, the guy callig himself james hoffa is a big bag of wind who chose his name just to tick off union members. he's a political baitor who has nothing more to do then troll the internet trying to fnd like minded idiots who agree with him because he would get tossed out of any other social function for being an idiot! no wonder he feels safer with his gun! the great manhood equalizer!
jt September 20, 2011 at 02:11 AM
btw james, most of us already own guns! you just want to show yours off so you can feel more manly. crime isn't yor problem, your personality is.
Hudsoner September 20, 2011 at 04:49 AM
JRH But weren't Nixon and Reagan the absolute masters in those things you complain about?
W. David Heller September 23, 2011 at 04:02 PM
thank you, Mr. Hoffa. I thought I was losing it.
W. David Heller September 23, 2011 at 04:03 PM
Facts are WAY TOO scary. Why would we want to do that?
Mrs. R September 25, 2011 at 01:42 AM
I concur with the above response. As usual, we have many lazy commentors here. I would appreciate some fact checking not the opines of ignorance. Quick to chime in without realty based knowledge.

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