Hey, guys. Hope ya'll are doing okay.
Not much to report.
Jennifer is going to Amsterdam today, on vacation with her family. I wanna go to Amsterdam.
So we've apparently managed to talk the Czechs into letting us build a radar base for our missile defense shield in their country, and now the Russians have piped up and said that they will feel compelled to resort to military action if an agreement for such a base is ratified and the base is deployed.
I don't really know how to feel about this. I'm not sure how badly we need a missile defense shield, or what the chances are that such a system would really work the way it's supposed to. On the other hand, a radar tracking base for a missile defense shield system doesn't exactly sound like the kind of thing that poses any kind of real offensive threat against the Russians (plus, of course, there's the fact that this is a military defense agreement between The Czech Republic and the U.S., two sovereign, allied nations, so it's really not up to the Russians to dictate whether or not this action is "acceptable").
Anyway, as I said before, I don't know much about this missile shield defense system, but it better be fairly necessary and work awfully well in order to justify the bad karma and ill will that it's stirring up.
The number of people in Texas who are applying for a concealed handgun license is at an all time high, apparently. More guns, more guns.
Guns scare me. I had a friend in college who used to keep a loaded gun in the night stand next to his bed. Given the number of times that I went over to this guy's house late at night and found him intoxicated, combined with the number of times that I went over to this guy's house while intoxicated myself, banging on his door to get him to go out with us at one in the morning, it's sort of a small miracle that I never got shot in the head. Of course, it probably helped that I would yell things like, "Don't shoot me!" when banging on his door. I tried to get him to get rid of the gun a few times, but he was dead set on having it. Second amendment. Shoot the robbers. Shoot the government troops who are coming to round us up in the middle of the night. That sort of thing. I asked him if he was concerned about the possibility of inadvertently shooting a friend or about someone getting ahold of his gun at one of the many parties that he threw at his house, but he reassured me that he took precautions against those sorts of things. I'd seen his gun laying around, though, and I sort of doubted it.
And I don't want to freak anyone out, but there's at least one other reason guns make me nervous (besides the possibility of an accident or the possibility of accidentally shooting an innocent person). Shankar Vendantam touches on it in this Washington Post column. Quoting from his article, "There were 32,637 suicides in the country in 2005, the latest year for which statistics are available. That year, the collective homicidal mayhem caused by domestic abusers, violent criminals, gang fights, drug wars, break-ins, shootouts with cops, accidental gun discharges and cold, premeditated murder produced 18,538 deaths.
Even the risk of terrorism doesn't begin to come close to the risk of suicide.
Only a tiny fraction of the 400,000 suicide attempts that bring Americans into emergency rooms each year involve guns. But because guns are so lethal, 17,002 of all suicides in 2005 -- 52 percent -- involved people shooting themselves."
So there you have it. It's hard to broach the topic of suicide without having people immediately want to put you in therapy. I'm going to honestly tell you here and now that I've never given any kind of serious thought to killing myself.
But there have been times when I've been depressed. Very, very depressed (I know some of you know what I'm talking about- those times when it's just really hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel). And you know what? I'm fairly glad I didn't have a gun around during those times. I'm glad that there wasn't the knowledge in the back of my head that there was a weapon somewhere in my house that could make all of my despair go away in an instant.
Those times have been thankfully few and far between, but, nonetheless, they still outnumber the times when I was experiencing a home invasion and wished I had a gun in my possession in order to defend myself (an event which has thus far never occurred- knock on wood).
The reality is that we live in a society which is chock full of people walking around on anti-depressant medication and people who are in therapy for depression. Home invasions, on the other hand, are statistically very unlikely to occur while the residents of the house are actually at home (most burglaries occur while people are on vacation or at work, and sadly, most violent crimes are committed against people by acquaintances, family members, etc.).
I'm not saying that there will never come a time when someone who reads this blog may need a gun to defend themselves.
But I don't like guns.
I will always be of the opinion that they create many more problems than they solve.
I guess if someone breaks into my house I'm just going to have to reach for the baseball bat under my bed and hope for the best. But at least I know I'm not going to be looking to beat myself in the head with my bat if I start feeling blue.
Sorry if this post was a little depressing, but it's sort of hard to write about suicide while keeping it light and peppy. Maybe tomorrow I'll write about bunnies.