Posts Tagged With: guns

RIDING THE HORSE OF FEAR.

Yesterday, I blogged the high cost of gun violence. Making people aware of the hidden costs of guns and their danger can help people realize that something has to be done. I was thinking kids shouldn’t have to be dodging bullets on their way to school in poor neighborhoods. And, shouldn’t it be considered a hate crime when Gabby Gifford was gunned down? And, when young adults shoot down children in schools? Shouldn’t the CIA or the FBI be involved in hate crimes?

I watched Frontline last night for answers and none of those things were discussed. I was right when sometime back I called out the NRA as the new MAFIA.

After Reagan was shot, he didn’t touch on the subject of reigning in the proliferation of guns.

President George H. Bush, when the NRA called federal officers and cops “…jack booted government thugs kicking down doors…” by the NRA’s most successful fear monger, Lobbyist Wayne La Pierre, Bush resigned from the NRA. La Pierre publicly apologized and was chastised by the NRA Board for “backing down”.  And from that point on, he very effectively got his message of fear moving forward and never backed down again.  What is the message?

THE GOVERNMENT WILL TAKE AWAY YOUR GUNS.

Is that what the American people bought into?  Yes.

When Clinton became President, he got gun legislation passed barring the sale of assault weapons, the Brady Bill, requiring identifications and some success toward other regulations. When Gore ran for President, the NRA pressed hard in their home states and won Arkansas and Tennessee to shame them. Their message? Fear.

THE GOVERNMENT WILL TAKE AWAY YOUR GUNS.

During George W. Bush’s terms, the subject never came up.

Now, Obama. After Columbine, he was warned not to buck the NRA. Any attempt would be met with no legislation passed by the Republican house. He shamefully walked away.

But, later, one Democratic senator, a member of the NRA, got movement toward closing the gun show loophole. And the NRA was actually talking compromise. But another gun organization, with 300,000 gun owners warned the NRA that they should never compromise. Always win. The NRA walked away from the table and speared one of their own.  They dropped the ball even though polls show that 91% of Americans believe our gun laws are too lax, and, 80% of NRA member households feel that better gun control is needed.

The assault weapons ban has, in the meantime, expired and was not renewed.

But, by Sandy Hook, Obama could no longer ignore his conscience. He moved fast hoping for some momentum after little 6 and 7 year old kids were gunned down in their school. Five white Republican senators killed that bill.

THE ONLY WAY TO PROTECT KIDS IN SCHOOLS FROM A BAD GUY WITH A GUN IS TO HAVE A LOT OF GOOD GUYS WITH GUNS.

That was La Pierre’s response. And, gun sales rose with fear the government was going to take them away. Get them now before they come after us.

What Frontline investigations showed is that is doesn’t take thousands of people to keep that fear moving. It only takes 100’s of dedicated members to call politicians, show up at meetings, to be outside the senators office, to be passing out NRA publications of fear that promise to defeat anyone who supports even basic gun controls. Then with a fat pocketbook, the NRA spreads that fear on television with well targeted ads.They are trying to get legislation passed to prevent lawsuits against them. “Get the government off our backs.”

They ride the horse of fear for the sake of ultimate power. They brag with pride that they stand up to presidents and control government.

The people whose children were gunned downed, and thousands of other gun violence victims feel betrayed by a government that is hobbled and refuses to protect them.

One woman from the gallery when the vote came up 5 short, shouted YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF.

Joe Biden had to quiet her but in his heart he agreed:  “How could they vote down legislation for identifications at gun shows, the gun show loop hole, back ground checks and bans on assault weapons in public?”

And Frontline?  They did not name the five senators. They are as scared as our government.

The future?  All of the new Republican’s sworn in this month are white, Christians. Not exactly a cross-section of American demographics.

 

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RVER’S, DO THEY CARRY GUNS?

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Do RVers carry guns for protection? Since there are millions of RVers out there, that is a loaded question. Pun intended. But, how safe do RVers feel on the road? I gave both of my husband’s service revolvers to my son after he died.  I was uncomfortable with them in the house where a potential assailant could steal it, use it on me, or a grandkid could find it and have an accident no matter how well I’ve hidden it.

One of those revolvers was stolen from my son’s garage. It was, he thought, well hidden. He still has the second one. He doesn’t carry it and doesn’t go to a shooting range, or use it. It has sentimental value to him.

Jim traveled 17,000 miles, across Mexico and through every country in Central America, in his motor home, in 2004, without a gun. It was clear before he started, you don’t carry a weapon or you’ll end up in a jail. Period. He has been a full timer for 18 years and has never felt the need to carry a gun. He does carry a weapon, of sorts. He has an ice pick just above the door. He has a small, narrow, hardwood bat also near the door by the passenger seat. He used to carry a loud noisemaker air horn. He has never felt the need for a more serious weapon.

Having just read about another lone gunman attack, shooting an automatic rifle at an airport yesterday,  makes me think about the lunacy of selling automatic rifles to anyone who wants one. Let’s face it, the supposed screening process does not work which is exactly the way the gun manufacturers likes it. (The NRA is now a gun manufacturer in case you didn’t know.)

Jim and I have had one incident where a “weapon” was used. We were parked at a bus station waiting for an early morning shuttle to take me to an airport. We were in Arizona and three drunks came knocking on the door about 10 p.m. waking us up.  Jim opened the small kitchen window and asked what they wanted. They were pretty incoherent and kept up some babble, have you got some…, whatever. I’ve forgotten what they were asking for.  He took out his weapon, his cell phone and said, leave or I’ll call the cops. He had to say it repeatedly and hold up the phone and pretend to press a couple of buttons.  They went away, and awhile later they came back. Jim used the same weapon, they backed off a second time and went away for good.

My weapon of choice at home is a can of bee spray by my bedside, and an air can of loud noise in my car small enough to conceal in my hand. Pepper spray small enough to have on a key chain is available if you work where you have to walk to a dark parking lot at night.

The best weapon, is being careful not to put yourself in a potentially dangerous situation, but, as we all know, shit happens.

Our good friend, Randy Vining, a fellow full timer,  does carry a weapon. I’ll come back to his story. And, I’d like to hear from other RVers about weapons.

 

 

 

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We Visit Dirty Miller in Grand Chenier, Louisiana!

NO INTERNET SIGNAL AT LAST NIGHT’S LOCATION…LATE POSTING THIS MORNING.

Yesterday we drove the motorhome the about 40 miles from Holly Beach to Grand Chenier, Louisiana. The yellow line on the below Google Earth image shows our route…

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The day started with a beautiful sunrise over the Gulf of Mexico…

As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view…

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The gulf was nearby on our right as we drove east along the shore route…

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We were also on the Creole Nature Trail…

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We took the ferry from Holly Beach across the Calcasieu Waterway 1/4 mile to Cameron on the far shore…

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About 25 miles later we came to the Mermentau River Bridge where we stopped to take a few photos…

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We started along this narrow road following the river shore…

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About two miles later the road narrowed to a single lane and a sign saying PAVEMENT ENDS. I said to Mary…I don’t think I want to do this. Looking to the left we saw our only escape…a circular driveway…

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As we made the circle we could hear someone shouting at us. I asked Mary we he said and she replied she did not know. So, I decided to stop…and that’s when we met him…DIRTY MILLER…a crazy, Cajun Coonass…

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As we approached his shed…he shouted…it’s not done cooking yet! I asked him what was cooking and he replied…Cowboy Stew! With him was his girlfriend Rachael whom he calls Ray-Ray and several other friends. He introduced himself as Dirty Miller. His real name is Pravato Miller. He works for Cameron Parish and has lived there all of his life.

He explained the concrete slab in front of his shed covers the remains of his house which was destroyed by Hurricane Rita in 2005…

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Next thing we knew he was giving us the grand tour of his utility shed which includes among other things…a refrigerator, cooking stove, washer and dryer, a great sound system and numerous photos…

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He had had a little to drink by then and kept repeating…I love life and having fun and I’m one crazy Cajun Coonass! He also told us that he was a guide who has had a number of famous people as clients…including Hank Williams, Jr.

He and the crowd were super friendly and a barrel of laughs. We were fast becoming friends…so much so that Mary shared a tobacco chew with him…

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All the while the French Cajun Music was blaring away and dancing happened…

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As time passed it was time for delicious Cowboy Stew and coleslaw…

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As he was stirring the stew, I asked the ingredients and you can enjoy his Cajun accent by clicking this link…
http://youtu.be/t2LCubq0RCA

He’s a gun collector and showed Mary the largest handgun made…a Smith & Wesson 50 caliber…

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He wanted to show us how loud it was and we were absolutely amazed when he actually hit the beer can…

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This dog wasn’t impressed…

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Nor this dog…

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He offered to show us the scenery along the gravel road that included cattle…

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And lots of birds and ducks of which Mary took many photos…

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By now we were fast friends…

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He invited us to spend the night in his driveway…which we did. Here’s the dinette photo…

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He and Ray-Ray insisted on cooking us a breakfast…

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So at 6:00 AM they served us a tasty shrimp, crab and crawfish omelet complete with home-made hot sauce…

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Here’s the view from Dirty Miller’s shed just before we left this morning…

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Needless to say we had a ball visiting Dirty Miller and his friends. He really did not want us to leave and he actually had tears in his eyes as we made ready to depart.

A whole bunch of that great Louisiana Cajun hospitality. Thanks y’all for a great visit!

Enjoying meeting fun and interesting people is another joy in the life of a full-time RVer!

The red dot on the below map shows our approximate location in the State of Louisiana. You may double left-click the map to make it larger…

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Enjoying 65-75 degree temperatures most of the year is a primary joy in the RVing lifestyle!

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”…Albert Einstein

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If you have not checked out my Ramblin Man’s Photos Blog, you can do so by clicking this link…
http://ramblinmanphotos.wordpress.com/

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2013
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/panamaorbust

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TRADITIONAL CABALGATA

Again, braving the cold, we walked into Columbus to view the Cabalgata, a tradition where riders from both countries meet at the US/Mexican border. New Mexico dignitaries invite the Chihuahua dignitaries to accompany them, and both groups ride the three miles into Columbus to celebrate their common heritage where Hispanics and Anglos have long experienced a successful blend of cultures. We estimated about 300 horses rode in this unusual parade.

Leading the way was this Mexican dignitary outfitted as Pancho Villa.

There were shouts from bystanders as they recognized various riders from Mexico. Shouts of “bravo” and other Spanish words that I didn’t understand that brought friendly responses in turn.

Riders came in established groups, some with banners, or the same color scarves allowing us to think they have ridden in this Cabalgata year after year as a tradition.

They came as families.

A long ride on a small pony.  We shouted “bravo” to them for braving the cold.

They came as single riders.

Some with dancing horses. The number of riders blew us away.

On our walk to the park for the festivities, I saw these business-man bad guys, trying to look mean.

One week after Villa’s raid on Columbus, 10,000 troops led by General “Black Jack” Pershing led the Punitive Expedition into Mexico to capture Villa.  One skirmish with Mexican Federales near Parral, and President Wilson called off the search. The expedition was  the last true mounted cavalray action by the United States Army. A man outfitted as Pershing did some play acting for the cameras. He halts this group of riders at gun point.

We think  “Pershing” is speaking to the U.S. Sheriff of Luna County from some of the voices we heard in the crowd.

And, there was friendly sword and pistol play between the bad guys and “Pancho” who we think is a Sheriff in the state of Chihuahua. Villa’s forces were dispersed and Villa vanished into the back country never to raid again. In 1920 President Adolfo De La Huerto negotiated a peace with him and he was allowed to return to his ranch in Parral. Three years later he was assassinated by unknowns who were never arrested.

Whoever he was, we were fascinated with his showy saddle-horn and the friendly interplay.

 

Then we watched the horses ride out-of-town, or pack their animals into trailers and end their ride for the day.

It was like watching the parade all over again.

We watched as another dancing horse danced his way out-of-town.

We move today to Rockhound State Park. We enjoyed the festival and the food and I’ll blog it tomorrow.

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Los Algodones, Sonora, Mexico

Yesterday Mary and I walked across the border into Los Algodones, Sonora, Mexico. Why did we do that…you ask? So Mary could visit her dentist.

It’s reputed that within a four block radius there are more pharmacies, doctors, dentists and opticians here, than a similar four block area anywhere else in the world! Daily thousands of American and Canadian Snowbirds visit Los Algodones. I’ve been here a number of times…Mary first went there with me in 2009.

It can take as long as 2-3 hours later in the day to wait in line to cross back into the United States. The secret is to go early…get your business done…leave early. I abandoned Los Algodones dentists a number of years ago. My dentist is now in San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora, Mexico…about 20 miles south of Yuma, Arizona. I visited him about one month ago.

Here are some photos I took while Los Algodones…

As always you may click upon a photo to see and enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view…

Walking towards the border crossing…

If you bring guns or ammunition into Mexico…you may never be seen again…

Immediately after crossing into Los Algodones…

There are LOTS of signs like these all over Los Agodones…

Here’s photo of Mary in 2009 standing in front of her then dentist’s office…

Thanks to Mary and her oldest son Ken, her dentist now has a nice, new office…

Right next door to her dentist’s office is Maria’s Factory…

A pretty painted restaurant…

With a nice courtyard…

A typical street scene…

In a small central plaza…

Trinkets of all sorts can be found…

You can also watch artistic painters working with spray cans painting pretty scenes on satellite dishes…

We stopped at our favorite eating place. You can see Mary in the background…

You cannot beat the house policy…

After you are done eating you can step in the back to wash your hands…

Lots of places to buy booze…

Lots of pharmacies…

Another typical street scene…

And then you get in line to return to the United States. It wasn’t too bad…only about a twenty-minute wait…

Unfortunately Mary needs one more appointment…so next Monday we’ll once again return to Los Algodones, Sonora, Mexico. Hopefully that will conclude Mary’s dental activity and we can head on out to the Great adventure on Tuesday. If you do not know what the Great Adventure is…you can find out by clicking this link…
http://wp.me/pDCku-3lE

To find out all about Los Algodones, click this Wikipedia link…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Los_Algodones

Here’s a good description of Los Algodones…

http://gosw.about.com/od/southwestmiscellaneous/a/Algodones.htm

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2012
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/panamaorbust

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