Trump and me

Trump had a rally in Raleigh tonight.  So much fun.  Kind of like seeing a famous monument in photos versus being there to see it.  Nothing surprising to it– all the self-aggrandizement, immigrant bashing, fear-mongering, Obama-hating, etc., you’d expect, but very fun to experience it in person and see how the crowd responded in various ways to his various points of attack (and oh boy had this crowd had enough with illegal immigrants).  It was also interesting to see how much throwing out protesters was really just part of a big show.  Trump took long pauses so everybody could focus on and enjoy protesters getting thrown out (probably about half a dozen times).  Rather than be annoyed by the protesters, he was clearly reveling in it.  In fact, he reveled in the whole thing.

It is quite obvious to see why Trump is running for president– he loves it.  Most people don’t get to just spout off any old thing and still be leading in the polls.  But Trump does.  And the crowd loves him for it.  And he showed a little discipline to prevent a negative viral moment.  One questions asked whether all the refugees would become “priests and celibate” to keep them away from our women.  Indeed.  Once Trump understood the barely coherent question (how not surprising) he just said “I’m not going there” and moved on.

And, of course I’ve seen the shtick in bits and pieces, but it really was amazing how the first 5-10 minutes were purely about his own awesomeness and how he leads in all the polls.  Unlike any other political speech I’ve heard before.

In the end, it was just great political theater.  Not that I agreed with about a single thing he said, but damn was that fun.

Oh, and rather than have hugely sub-optimal cell phone photos, I took along my Canon G7x, connected it wirelessly to my Iphone, and was able to post the quality photos to Facebook during the rally.


Not a bad shot for inside an modestly-lit arena well over 100 feet away.

Good guys and guns

So, I’ve been thinking a lot about how all these good guys with guns are supposed to protect us from bad guys with guns.  You know what?  They already are– they are called police officers.  As for the rest of the good guys with guns?  They are already out there and not stopping the now-regular drumbeat of mass shootings.  Pretty much everybody who wants to pack heat in their daily life and be one of those “good guys” can quite readily do so.  Concealed carry laws are everywhere and pretty much anybody can buy a gun.  So, why aren’t more “good guys” saving us?  Because the truth is very few Americans actually want to live in a Wild West society where the only thing protecting us is an absurdly high frequency of ordinary citizens armed with guns.  The vast majority of Americans don’t want to be that guy carrying their gun everywhere in case there is a maniac about.  Again, those that do probably already are because there is nothing in the law stopping them.  And clearly, there’s not nearly enough of them to stop the disturbingly regular mass shootings (not to mention all the far more common and far more “ordinary” gun crime).  So, the “more guns, less crime” argument (already pretty well shot down by research) just does not hold up to logical scrutiny under our present legal regime.  What might help?  Less guns and a far more serious approach to regulating them.

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