A Quick Thought on Gun Control

The 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is a hallmark of American society. The right to keep and bear arms makes the United States unique compared to many countries, and could possibly be the reason we haven’t been invaded since the early days of our history. I’m not saying that our great military could not stop an invasion; I dare any enemy of ours to try to land troops on our shores and see what happens. But in the off chance a few enemies do make it past our forces they certainly will not get very far. To modernize the Japanese saying from World War II, there are several rifles behind every blade of grass here in the United States.

Sadly, with the morals of society degenerating as they have, gun violence has been on the rise. Naturally, the response of many is to implement stringent gun control laws (on top of the severe regulations already in place across the country and at the federal level). “Common sense gun control” is the term being thrown across the board by politicians, activists, and the media alike.

Guess what? We already have common sense gun laws. And on top of that, every military service member and many students of CCW and other gun permit classes are taught basic weapon safety skills and rules that must always be followed, and if people all across the country (including law enforcement) were to remember and follow these at all times then it would not be much of a stretch to say that we could eliminate the vast majority of gun-related crimes and accidents in this country.

Allow me to share with you the Four Weapon Safety Rules, as taught by the United States Marine Corps.

1) Treat every weapon as if it were loaded. This means pretend that any gun has a bulletproof in it at all times and don’t do anything with it you would do if there was a full magazine loaded with a round in the chamber.

2) Never point your weapon at anything you do not intend to shoot. Going with the first weapon safety rule above, don’t point a gun at anything you don’t want to risk shooting at on accident or having a round accidentally discharge at. In other words, don’t point your gun at your kid, dog, car, and sure hell do not put the barrel in your mouth.

3) Keep your finger straight and off the trigger until you’re ready to fire. Same thing, going along with the first two rules. Do not put your finger on the trigger or worse pull the trigger unless you want to take the chance that the gun is actually loaded and that you’re willing to risk hitting whatever your weapon is pointing at.

4) Keep your weapon on safe until you intend to fire. This does not mean lock the weapon on safe and completely ignore the first three rules. Safes sometimes fail and then you’re really up shit creek if the gun ends up being loaded and you’re pointing at something while pulling the trigger. No defense, no excuse, and no amount of head-slapping and ass-chewing will save you then.

Common sense, people. We do not need further laws reinforcing the very basics of gun safety. Just follow those four simple rules and you will be a responsible and safe gun owner. Write them down and tape it to your gun case so that whenever you open it you will be reminded. If you choose to be an asshole and ignore them, then just remember that 99 times out of 10 you will never own or use a gun again if you get caught.

And to the activists and politicians who think the vast majority of gun owners who follow the laws to the letter deserve even more restrictions, we know what we’re doing, thanks. Now how’s about you worry about the tiny fraction of idiots out there breaking the laws, huh? Because I GUARANTEE you that “common sense gun control laws” won’t mean a damn thing to them.

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Link Loves: Prequel Hate, Anime on Mental Health, & the Doctor’s Regeneration

Thank you for the wonderful mention! I’m so glad Megan liked my little thinky pieces and stuff

A Geeky Gal

Welcome to the eleventh installment of Link Loves. These posts are all about my favorite links of the week! It can include bloggers, articles, news, clothing, accessories, and other cool links I’m enjoying.

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CrapPile is blog that I just recently started following. John has quite an opinion on a lot of things which is something I can appreciate. His recent post on the Star Wars prequels caught my eye. As someone who loves the prequels (and even named her dog after Padme Amidala), I enjoyed reading what John had to say.

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I’m a huge fan of the blog The Time Ladies and its many writers. Thoughts on Regeneration: A Trans Perspective immediately drew me. Emma is a phenomenal writer and reading her post brought tears to my eyes; it’s a worthy read for anyone and everyone.

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Asiana Circus is another new blog I’ve added to my Reader! Like Gloria, I…

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Tips for Nerds on Their Way to Marine Boot Camp (Part 2)

6) Don’t be afraid to ask questions. The old saying, “the chain is only as strong as the weakest link,” is nowhere proven more correct on a day to day basis than Marine Corps Recruit Training. If you don’t know an answer or am not sure how to do something, ask a fellow recruit first. If they still can’t help you, request knowledge from a drill instructor. They might be vicious, blood-sucking animals but it is their job to train you and teach you, and reaching out for help shows your initiative (another of the 13 Leadership Traits.) They night call you an idiot but you won’t be when they are done teaching you.

7) Take advantage of every single PT session you have. This includes delayed entry program nights before shipping out for boot camp and every physical event while you are there. Unfortunately, this also means the inevitable IT sessions. As hard as it will be, if you’re ever ordered to the sand pit or the quarter desk make the most out of it. They’re only allowed to punish you that way for anywhere from five to ten minutes, if that. It’s a great workout opportunity. Give your all when surmounting the obstacle courses or on runs. Put your heart and soul into the martial arts training sessions. Do a few extra pull-ups and crunches during square away time. Because anything you can do to harden your bodies will be put to the ultimate test during the Crucible, and for those Hollywood Marines such as myself, there’s also the Reaper at the end. Even the strongest in my platoon struggled to get up that mother fucker. Make the most out of your physical training.

8) Practice your handwriting before you ship so you don’t get writer’s cramp easily. There are no phone calls home while on board the depots. The only method of communication you will have with the outside world is through letters, and you only get an hour a night to write home and a few extra on Sundays. The faster you write without getting cramped the better, because there’s no greater feeling than hearing your drill instructors call out your name during Mail Call and throwing a piece of mail at you. Letters from home will become your most treasured possessions, and any letters you send to your parents or grandparents or significant others will be treasures for them, as well.

9) To make it easy on yourself, break your time down into chunks so that it helps you keep treading on. Take it one chow at a time. Three chows a day times seven is twenty-one chows, and multiply that by however many weeks you have left and it will be easier to progress. Watches (time pieces) are not allowed and there are no clocks on the bulkheads, so there is no other way of keeping track of time. Or if you have a little more motivation than I did, take it one day at a time. Every night when square away time comes around, check off another day in your knowledge book. Congratulations! You have successfully survived another day in the harshest boot camp in the United States armed forces. It really is an achievement and it does wonders for your morale, if you let it. Just take it one day at a time and never stop pushing.

And finally, the last piece of advice I have for you nerds out there wanting to be Marines is this–don’t forget who you really are. You’re a nerd. You’re intelligent, smart, and you carry the strength of mind. The Marine Corps NEEDS you! The vast majority of Devil Dogs only care about getting drunk, screwing around, and being jackasses to anyone and everyone. No offense to my brother and sister Marines, but most of them are stupid. But you are not. You make up for what they lack in a CRUCIAL way. They might not respect you or acknowledge you, but that’s their problem. Without smart men and women like us the Marine Corps will fail. And those with brains are the ones who really get ahead in the military, even the Corps. So in a way, you have kind of a step up because you have a brain. If you put it to use, you can make some outstanding things happen for yourself while you’re in. Who knows, maybe those grunts who laughed at you during boot camp will end up throwing you a salute one day when you have brass on your collar instead of bars. And never forget that the most dangerous enemy in the world is a smart Marine.

Semper Fi, geeks!

Tips for Nerds on Their Way to Marine Boot Camp (Part 1)

Do you consider yourself a member of the geeky persuasion?

Did a fast-talking, dress blue-garbed man or woman convince you that you had what it takes to join the greatest fighting force on Planet Earth?

Did you sign the papers with a shit eating grin on your face thinking you were going to be a bad ass but are now days or hours away from shipping out to Parris Island or San Diego and are feeling super anxious about recruit training?

Fear not, young nerds. I, John Siebelink, am not only one of the biggest geeks around but also a veteran of the World’s Biggest Gun Club. Let me tell you everything you need to know on how to not only survive boot camp, but possibly even excel at it.

1) Pay attention to what your recruiters and the newly graduated assistants tell you about boot camp, but at the same time take it with a grain of salt. The recruiters are sergeants, staff sergeants, and possibly even gunnery sergeants. They’ve been in the fleet and out of the recruit depot for years. Things have likely changed quite a bit since they were recruits. As for the E-1s and the E-2s, they are probably the most reliable, having just been through it all, but still try to have some kind of open mind going in. Every company, platoon, and drill instructor team has their own unique culture and way of doing things. Daily life in their platoons might be a lot different than the platoon you end up assigned to. Just don’t be surprised if they tell you something and it ends up being radically different. Be prepared for anything.

2) Practice speaking in third-person right away. As I’m sure you already know by now, once you are board one of the recruit depots you will not be allowed to refer to yourself or anybody else in first-person until you earn the title of Marine. Failure to do so will likely result in ruptured eardrums and a pack of cannibalistic green belt drill instructors in your face “mentoring” you in protocol. Your head will hurt, you will be disoriented, and your white skivvies will be just a little bit green. “This recruit,” “Recruit Last Name,” “These recruits,” “Yes, sir,” “No, sir,” and “Aye aye, sir” are IMPERATIVE to your survival during those thirteen weeks of hell away from home. You’re nerds, though, so you should be able to remember all of this.

3) Fill your trays up at chow as full as they will go. Drink Powerade. The food isn’t nearly as bad as you may have been led to believe, so eat up. You will need it.

4) Study your knowledge every chance you get. You might not be the strongest, fastest, or end up being the best shot but as nerds we have our own key to success–our brains. On Day 1 you will be provided a tiny green binder filled with Marine Corps history, trivia, rules, regulations, and other crucial information. This is called the Knowledge. You will also get a laminated sheet that goes in your breast pocket that contains REALLY crucial information that you will spend countless hours reciting out loud as a platoon during the chow line and in formations. Memorize it all as quickly as you can. Then help other recruits who are struggling to do the same. This will not only prove to your DIs that you’re not a useless sack of shit that slipped through the cracks (though they will continue treating you as such) but it will also demonstrate your leadership and esprit de Corps. Plus in the end when it comes to the knowledge test and the inspections you will shine, which only helps the platoon out.

4) Don’t go out of your way to piss daddy off. What I mean is, don’t do anything to make the senior drill instructor want to kill you. Out of the three, four or possibly five DIs in your team, the senior is the saving grace. He has done his time as a green belt and now has a chance to mentor and guide recruits without tearing his throat up even more than he has in previous training cycles. He also doesn’t have to run around soaked in sweat jumping up and down raining hell fire on recruits who don’t get on line fast enough. He’s also the one who will likely rescue you from a vengeful IT session on the quarterdeck if he’s in a good mood, ordering you to “go away” instead of allowing the kill hat or the J-hat to torture you for hours. This is not the man (or woman, if you’re a female recruit) you want to rub the wrong way. Because he or she has all that time of experience behind them that they can unleash on you or the whole platoon (only the SDI has that authority) and make you feel pain in ways the younger DIs only wish they could. And because they hold such a high place of honor, if the Senior hates you, the other DIs will hate you, and in turn the rest of the platoon will hate you. Then you really will be in hell…

5) If you fuck up and no one is around to catch you, report yourself to the DIs. Yes, you will likely pay for it on the quarterdeck, but you will not believe how much respect you will (secretly) earn by being honest. It’s called integrity, one of the 13 Leadership Traits. It’s also one of the items in the pocket knowledge that you will be reciting many times a day, so showing that you’re not only committed to the Marine Corps values but also the leadership traits will put you in really good standing with the drill instructors. Just be prepared to empty out your pockets immediately after reporting.

Rejected

I was bracing myself. In my mind I sort of was expecting it, but one of the two stories I had written and submitted was rejected by Nanoism.

I responded by submitting another tiny piece I had been working on.

Life goes on…

Star Wars’ Rose Has a Thorn

Many of them, actually.

For those who don’t know (SPOILERS) Rose was a brand new character introduced into the Star Wars franchise in The Last Jedi, played by Kelly Marie Tran. The sister of a Resistance bomber killed at the beginning of the film, she embodies everything that the rebels stand for. Her hated for the First Order borders on the fanatical, she fiercely opposes slavery, and enjoys peace and freedom. Her entrance added another source of diversity to the already-diverse sequel universe.

Unfortunately, Tran’s performance and the overall direction of the character led to enormous backlash that is still being felt months after the movie came out. Die-hard Star Wars fans have criticized everything from her bubbly personality to the misplaced, out of the blue love profession for Finn at the end of the movie. She has essentially become the Jar Jar Binks of The Last Jedi, and fans have been relentless in pointing that out.

The outrage has gotten to the point where it was just announced that she deleted her Instagram account because she couldn’t handle the harassment anymore. As a geek and former Star Wars fan myself, I thought I’d say a few words about this news.

My feelings towards harassment, bullying, and discrimination have always been the same. There is absolutely ZERO excuse for it, and those guilty of it are a special kind of asshole. Kelly Marie Tran is an actress and was playing a part. She was under the direction of Rian Johnson, the one responsible for the rest of the movie sucking ass (not financially, of course, because let’s face it, it’s Star Wars). Hey choice of portraying Rose the way she did fit well with the style and storytelling that Johnson chose to incorporate. She flowed nicely with the other actors and actresses and added a kind of character not yet seen in the Star Wars universe. She did ok.

Look, I get it. A lot of us hated The Last Jedi. A lot of people hated Rose. A lot of people wish the movie had never been made or that she was killed off in a horrifyingly fiery death instead of surviving to grace the screen next December in Episode IX. The fact is, she didn’t, and that is the future we all must accept.

Being part of the Star Wars experience is something very few of us mere mortals has a chance to do, and I’m sure that Tran had the time of her life playing Rose and being able to be a part of The Last Jedi. She does not deserve to have butt-hurt fanboys blowing up her social media accounts with every sort of vile nastiness imaginable because they were upset with her character. She CERTAINLY does not deserve to be threatened for being an ACTRESS playing a PART in a MOVIE. Grow the freak up, nerds. Your Geek King commands you!

Seriously, though. As we used to say in the Marine Corps, go fix yourselves.