Thursday, August 28, 2014

Prayer For Salvation

                        A Universal Prayer For all Things Necessary to Salvation
by Pope Clement IX
                O my God, I believe in Thee; do Thou strengthen my faith.  All my hopes are in Thee; do Thou secure them.  I love Thee with my whole heart; teach me to love Thee daily more and more.  I am sorry that I have offended Thee; do Thou increase my sorrow.

          I adore Thee as my first beginning; I aspire after Thee as my last end.  I give Thee thanks as my constant benefactor; I call upon Thee as my sovereign protector.

          Vouchsafe, O my God, to conduct me by Thy wisdom, to restrain me by Thy justice, to comfort me by Thy mercy, to defend me by Thy power.

          To Thee I desire to consecrate all my thoughts, words, actions, and sufferings; that henceforward I may think of Thee, speak of Thee, refer all my actions to Thy greater glory, and suffer willingly whatever Thou shalt appoint.

          Lord, I desire that in all things Thy will may be done, because it is Thy will, and in the manner that Thou willest, and as long as Thou willest.

          I beg of Thee to enlighten my understanding, to inflame my will, to purify my body, and to sanctify my soul.

          Grant that I be not puffed up with pride, moved by flattery, deceived by the world, or duped by the devil.

          Give me grace to purify my memory, to bridle my tongue, to restrain my eyes, to mortify my senses.

          Give me strength, O my God, to expiate my offenses, to overcome my temptations, to subdue my passions, and to acquire the virtues proper for my state.

          Fill my heart with tender affection for Thy goodness, hatred of my faults, love of my neighbor, and contempt of the world.

          Let me always remember to be submissive to my superiors, condescending to my inferiors, faithful to my friends, and charitable to my enemies.

          Grant, O Jesus, that I may remember Thy precept and example, by loving my enemies, bearing with injuries, doing good to them that persecute me, and praying for them that slander me.

          Assist me to overcome sensuality by mortification, avarice by alms-deeds, anger by meekness, and tepidity by devotion.

          O my God, make me prudent in my undertakings, courageous in dangers, patient in affliction, and humble in prosperity.

          Grant that I may be ever attentive at my prayers, temperate at my meals, diligent in my employments, and constant in my good resolutions.

          Let my conscience be ever upright and pure, my exterior modest, my conversation edifying, and my life according to rule.

          Assist me that I may continually labor to overcome nature, to correspond with Thy grace, to keep Thy commandments, and to work out my salvation.

          Help me to obtain holiness of life by sincere confession of my sins, by devout reception of the Body of Christ, by a continual recollection of mind, and by pure intention of heart.

          Discover to me, O my God, the nothingness of this world, the greatness of heaven, the shortness of time, and the length of eternity.

         Grant that I may prepare for death; that I may fear Thy judgments, escape  hell, and in the end obtain heaven, through the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Southern Hospitality

While driving down to Florida from my home in Virginia, this week, I was amazed by the large number of cars driving down I-95 bearing license plates from New Jersey and New York.  My unscientific estimation put the cars from those two states to be equal to the sum of the cars from everywhere else, including whichever state we were passing through.  It was remarkable.

I am glad that the citizens of New Jersey and New York like to come down to the south for vacation and relaxation.  I welcome them and wish them all a great time.  I trust that they found our southern states peaceful and hospitable.  I expect that the vast majority of them experienced no concern for the proliferation of guns in the south.  Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida all have concealed carry laws and a few have open carry laws.  They all allow us rednecks to possess those ugly battle rifles which the liberal anti-gun media have called "assault rifles" and which have been banned in New York and Connecticut.  I myself was sitting in the restaurants and buying gas right beside these vacationers from the north while wearing my .45 automatic handgun in my belt.  I was aware of other southern state natives wearing their handguns as well.  I trust that we did not intimidate the northern visitors.  In fact, I suspect that the idea that they were in the room with gun totin' rednecks never crossed their minds.  But that's OK.  We wouldn't think of hurting them and we sure as hell weren't gonna let anyone else hurt them.  So this picture of the beach is how they see our states, the ones with the guns.

Unfortunately, they are not so hospitable to us.  If I were to travel to either New Jersey or New York and caught by their police, I would be locked up for three years and branded for life as a felon.  Such is the plight of Shaneen Allen, a 27 year old mother of two children, who was legally permitted to carry a handgun for protection in her home state of Pennsylvania.  She naively drove into New Jersey.  During a traffic stop, she volunteered the fact of her handgun and was shocked at the reaction.  It was arrest and felony charges.  She is awaiting trial now.  Pray for her and her children.  This picture is how we see their states and I will not be visiting them.

Again I say to the good people of the northern states, "Welcome to the south."  However, here is one word of advice.  Be careful while visiting our states because, like everywhere, we have criminals.  Criminals like easy targets.  Why do you think we are carrying?  Those criminals can recognize your license plates as easily as I can and will be confident that you are not armed, because your state's gun restrictions are not exactly a big secret.  So our criminals may see you like this:

But then again, you may be used to such treatment from your own homegrown criminals.

Bucket List Item 1

I took my first ever helicopter ride.  The biggest thrill of all came from the fact that my son David was my pilot.  He took us over to the practice area of the Orlando Executive airport and showed me several types of approaches to landing, several different take-off techniques (helicopter pilots need different take-off and landing techniques for different situations such as available area and or wind conditions) and hover taxiing.  Following that impressive demonstration he flew us out over downtown Orlando and further west for some sight seeing.

As a professional airplane pilot I was both personally helpless and impressed with David's competence with his aerial machine.  His use of checklists and confident execution of procedures told me that he has benefited from very good instruction and that he has applied himself to mastering his chosen craft.  Hats off to David and HQ Aviation Services.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Weird Looks...

Here is a picture of me in typical attire.  I am definitely a blue jeans and boots kind of a guy.  Oh, the gun?  Yeah, I wear that constantly and everywhere I legally can.  I conceal it most of the time I am in public places, but almost never while at home.

When I am out working in the yard or walking down the neighborhood streets I am aware of the weird looks I get from neighbors.  I can imagine their thoughts on the matter however I am not sure they can discern mine.  So, I will explain.

Dear Neighbor:
What if some trouble making strangers came into our neighborhood and began verbally assaulting you and when you tried to walk away, they start beating you severely?  While witnessing this I have four choices.  Firstly, I could rationalize that you and they had some prior dealings, that the whole thing was none of my business and try to ignore it.  That would, of course, be rank cowardice and I would be just as guilty of your injuries as the thugs.  A second possibility would be to call 911 and hope, for your sake, that the cops arrive before you are killed.  If they fail to arrive in time, again, my cowardice did you no good.

Pop quiz for those who consider themselves informed:
Question:  (True or False)  Upon receiving a call for help by a person who is under great personal stress and who maintains that they are threatened with imminent severe injury and/or death, or by a person witnessing such an attack, the police are required by law and the courts to respond with efficacious dispatch.  Failure to respond in time to prevent injury places the police agency under civil liability for the injuries done after receiving the call.

Thirdly, I could bravely enter the fray with bare fists and righteousness.  If that were enough to chase them away well, good for us.  If I am unsuccessful then we are both in trouble, so again, I haven't really helped you at all.  Lastly, I could demand that they stop beating you while holding my immediately accessible (wearing it) handgun.  Nothing gets a thug's attention faster than an angry victim with a gun.  This time there will certainly be positive changes for you.  One way or the other the beating will stop and stay stopped.

Up until the nineteenth century it was considered foolish for a man to travel alone.  Women were never allowed to go out in public alone.  The scourge of honest people were gangs.  Even if a man was physically strong and well trained in martial arts, he was no match for three or four thugs with intention to harm.  What changed the dynamics forever was the concealable, repeatable handgun.  With such a gun even a small woman could stop a gang in it's tracks.  The conceal-ability of such power meant that the gang could never be sure that they were not selecting their own death while sizing up potential victims.  For the first time in history gangs were neutralized and people could travel and walk the streets in safety.  Gangs made somewhat of a comeback in the twentieth century after ill conceived laws were passed that told the criminal world that the honest citizen would certainly be disarmed, thus giving them confidence again.  Now we have rapes and muggings because we cannot conceive of restricting our freedom of travel as before, though we are defenseless.

So, that's it.  I am wearing this gun not only for me and my family but for you, my neighbor, as well.  I hope you are watching my back too.  This is what ordered and functional societies do.  Can you imagine how far crime rates would drop if every honest citizen were armed and ready to respond to any criminal activity?  Finally, the answer to the quiz is False.  The police have no liability for failure to respond to an individual's  call for help.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Same Story With Different Endings

This video is an advertisement advocating for more gun control.  It is an enactment of a violent domestic dispute.  The mother of the child is at home and is on the phone with the police dispatcher.  Her "domestic partner", a strong and angry man is outside pounding on the door.  Watch this if you like, but be warned, it is ugly.   

Many people who have commented on this video came to the opposite conclusion than the writers intended.  They noticed several things about this attack. Firstly, calling 911 was an exercise in futility and did nothing to prevent a tragedy.  Secondly, while the aggressive man did pull out a gun with the intention to murder, he didn't really need it.  Picture that attack again and assume that the civil laws actually did prevent him from procuring a handgun, no matter how hard he tried to get one. That's a long stretch, I know, but let us pretend.  The door crashes in, he moves forward towards the woman and puts his hands on her neck; the result is the same, gun or no gun.  Finally, who here needed a gun - badly?  The woman, the weak innocent victim who is rapidly running out of options.  Too bad those laws which were so effective in keeping a gun out of the aggressor's hands also kept a gun out of the victim's hands.

Here is a video which has a happy ending:

Independence Day July 27, 2014!

On Saturday, July 26, 2014 Federal judge Frederick Scullin finally struck down, once and for all the complete gun bans which have been enforced against the peaceful citizens of Washington DC for over three decades.  This has been a long and costly battle.  Due to the fact that Washington is simply a federal enclave, and is not protected by a constitution as are the several states, the city government dabbled in progressive societal experimentation and banned private ownership of firearms for all reasons.  That disastrous law was enacted in 1975 and the results were tragic.  Crime soared.  The "call the police" strategy suffered a glaring failure on March 16, 1975 when three women living in Washington were subjected to inhuman treatment by two maniacs for over fourteen hours in spite of several, desperate calls made to the police for help.  In Warren v. District of Columbia  the District of Columbia Court of Appeals ruled that the police were not at fault for the unspeakable harm the women suffered.  The courts have ruled several times that the police have no obligation to come to the aid of specific victims calling for help.

In June of 2008 the Supreme Court ruled in Heller v. District of Columbia that the prohibition of usable firearms within a private residence was unconstitutional. The Washington city government quickly amended their prohibitions so as to make them appear to comply with the decision, but in reality a nearly total ban remained in effect.  Judge Scullin saw through the scheme and struck down all of the laws of DC which restricted the keeping and bearing of handguns for lawful purposes.  So, for twenty-four hours, the law of Washington DC read like this:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Then, on Monday, July 28, 2014, in response to panicked appeals by the city administrators, he issued a 90 day stay on his ruling.  HUH?!  Let me understand this logic; for thirty-nine years the american people have been subjected to an unconstitutional law which has cost them liberty, caused them bodily harm from predators, has allowed the police to incarcerate them for possession of firearms which were legal in every other state and was rightly struck down and the city gets 90 days more in which to inflict these harms, for the purpose of giving them time to write more unconstitutional laws?  What happens to a citizen who is arrested during the 90 days?  Will he face jail time for violation of a law which has already been declared illicit?  So, today the law of Washington DC reads like this:

A well infringed Militia, not being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall be regulated.