Samuel Ronan the Progressive Extremist: What we learned at Lakota by the CNN star about why teachers should be armed

I didn’t know who Samuel Ronan was when he stepped up to the microphone at the very contentious Lakota school board meeting on February 27th 2017. My first impression of him was that he was just another overly emotional kid speaking against arming teachers in our public schools. The typical thing in these types of exchanges is to be respectful of the audience, even if they don’t agree with you, because it is the battle of ideas which sifts out the truth of a matter. When I spoke nobody heckled me or made comments from the audience, so I provided the same sentiment and that’s how it should be. However, there was something very fishy about the young man who quickly provided an address that didn’t seem to match anything within the Lakota district and instead of addressing the school board, the kid turned and addressed the crowd. We all sat stunned that he had crashed an otherwise civil meeting on a contentious topic. He had to be stopped because he went over the three-minute speaking limit. After Ronan spoke, the kid disappeared quickly before I had a chance to talk to him, which was fully my intention. I went out into the hall to see if he was anywhere about. He had left as quickly as he came. So I did a little checking to see who he was and what I discovered was rather revealing.

My desire to confront the kid stemmed from a couple of things he said during his speech, namely what I took as a challenge when he said that he was trained on the AR-15 platform and he doubted that any teacher would want to face him during a rampage. Those aren’t his exact words, but that’s what he was essentially saying. I’d have to watch the tape of the meeting to get the exact dialogue which actually may have been more suggestive. Of course my answer to him is “hell yeah” I’d be willing to engage an active shooter—especially if it was a kid like him—disrespectful, aggressive, showing a disregard for the rules of conduct of the established practice of a forum—those are all alarm signs that such a person is up to no good. Now, you wouldn’t shoot someone like that without provocation, but if a person will bust in on a school board meeting and not reveal what their true intentions were, taking it for granted that everyone around him would be too nice to confront him, then he made the precise argument as to why we should arm teachers. That’s what I was going to tell him until I realized after he had left that the kid was actually a progressive Democrat from Springboro, not even from Lakota, and that he had switched parties to run against Steve Chabot in the upcoming 1st Congressional District race. Even more, this wasn’t just any progressive Democrat upset about the national trend toward gun rights—especially arming teachers in schools from domestic terrorist threats—this guy ran for the Democratic National Committee Chairman seat. Not your typical anti-gun protestor.

I typically have a soft spot for young people, especially charismatic young people who involve themselves in the events of the world—but there was something creepy about Ronan that came across as startling. He wasn’t a listed speaker for the evening, he simply took the opportunity during the public comments portion, after the scheduled speakers had concluded, myself being one of them, and proceeded on with an uncomfortable rant that was misplaced for the event.  He wasn’t even speaking to the crowd, the board, or even a single individual–he was only interested in the cameras.  What was odd was that he gave his camera to a Muslim woman sitting in the middle of the crowd to record his video, then when he took the podium he addressed the crowd directly instead of the board and during his speech he edged as I said on confrontational language talking about his military background and how he knew how to use such dangerous weapons giving him an advantage over average teachers. It was an odd mix of euphemisms that had what to me contained ominous undertones. As he was talking I just took it as the talk of an overly anxious and political kid looking to be the next Dave Hog, maybe to get on the many television cameras that were present. Then for some apparent reason he included discrimination against Muslims which had no place in the discussion—only that he injected it out of nowhere. It wasn’t even relevant to the topic. Those of us present were mystified by his behavior which left us scratching our heads as he left.

It was only after that I did some investigation into the kid and discovered that he was quite a national activist, and that his presence there at Lakota showed to what extent the school district in my neighborhood was going to play in national politics yet again. Being one of the largest schools in the state of Ohio in a state that Donald Trump won by 11 points, which went his way even with the establishment Republicans at the time led by John Kasich working against him, the district of Lakota is conservative even for conservative standards. It would be Lakota where the issue of guns in schools would live or die, and this progressive activist put his sights on Lakota to leave his national mark. My instinct said to engage the kid, which I tried to do after the meeting and find out what his story was. And as it usually is, my instincts were correct—this was a kid up to no good.  Yet he hadn’t done anything overtly bad enough to mandate a confrontation.  We all just politely let him ramble on hoping he would come to reason on his own, which of course he didn’t.

He misled people about who he was to speak that night at Lakota. He stepped into the heart of Lakota management and trusted that we’d all be too nice to really engage him, and he was right. Even I was so respectful of his right to speak that we let him go on for over 3 minutes breaking all the rules that such public speaking at Lakota required. But even more than that he was misleading people on his printed campaign literature, listing himself as a Republican of the 1st District which includes the equally conservative Warren County, Ohio. He knows he stands no chance of winning a congressional seat unless he runs as a Republican in his town of Springboro. Yet just last year he ran for the DNC Chairman seat—the head of the whole enchilada and was on many debates on CNN. He was bold, and audacious—and very experienced at an early age in the art of radicalism. If you took away just a few layers of sanity from such a person, he might be the next school shooter—a person who pretends to be an innocent visitor to a school to get past the first layer of security, then when everyone was content that he was a safe person, that would be when the guns come out and a rampage would begin. If he was bold enough to crash a board meeting that has pretty strict rules of conduct and behave like he did, a similar person would work their way through official security protocols to unleash their ill intentions. That’s why we need that extra layer of security—a teacher comfortable with firearms discreetly hidden from view could engage such a radical saving so many precious seconds which likely would mean the difference between life and death.

That’s not to say Samuel Ronan is a terrorist—I think he’s a very progressive radical looking to make a name for himself. But if you consider his behavior and the way he exploited goodness, and the trust of good people there in the room with him at Lakota—a seriously deranged person would use the same tactics to get to kids in a school to satisfy whatever instability might inspire them into such a dire action. And instead of making the case for why teachers shouldn’t carry guns in the school, Ronan showed us why they should. When people can’t function on the basic elements of trust, our protocols rooted in honesty make us all vulnerable to villains who don’t observe such rules of conduct, and that is the way of our modern world, like it or not. People like Ronan who don’t tell you honestly who they are and pretend to be something when they are really something else are obviously up to no good—otherwise there would be no reason to mislead people.

The reason we are required to give our name and address as speakers before the board is to protect the process of debate for just this kind of outside intrusion of politics, and Ronan was no small-time flunky from Springboro. He was a regular on CNN who had no intention to address the school board of Lakota—he went there to record himself on a stump speech trying to cause trouble. And he came and went largely without confrontation. The point of the matter is that good people trusting that everyone attending that night had good intentions either for or against the debate in question and were operating with a basic level of respect. What Ronan taught us at Lakota is that–it is that very trust a school shooter would exploit to make a menace of our children contained within our buildings. And by the time we figured out who they were, it would be too late. That’s how 17 people died in Parkland, Florida and many other places, because there wasn’t someone there on point to stop a hostile agent of terror—even as they stand sometimes right in front of us with an offering of peace and civility, when they really intend carnage.

Rich Hoffman

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‘The Cloverfield Paradox’: Coming to terms with quantum entanglement across a multiverse reality

It’s sad that Hollywood anymore can’t make a movie about science without endeavoring on the tired, and very limited viewpoint that everything ends in environmental disaster. For instance, in Blade Runner 2049 which isn’t that far away, mankind has destroyed the planet to the point of over industrialization, and near extinction where artificial humans are rising up to become a species of their own. I would argue that the future is much more hopeful and much less dark than that, but in an artistic setting where a bunch of liberals try to put their ideas on paper in the form of a screenplay, it makes sense to them. And that is pretty much the position of every science fiction thriller released to the silver screen for many years now. I enjoy the movies, but completely disagree with the basic foundations of the premise for these stories, so the intriguing concepts that are introduced are cheapened greatly as a result, and that’s a shame. But one science fiction franchise that I enjoy immensely, even if it too suffers from some of the same liberal stupidity is the Cloverfield films. It took me a few weeks to get around to it, but the latest film, The Cloverfield Paradox was released directly to Netflix after the Super Bowl in 2018 and it was quite an interesting project.

The Cloverfield Paradox is about nothing short than the complications that can take place during episodes of quantum entanglement, where elements of the multiverse are thrown together in a manner that defies the known laws of physics. Even though the particle accelerator that was put in space during the year of 2028 was built to save earth from its running out of energy problem—which isn’t even close to being a problem in real life, the story line wasn’t distracting enough to really rob a viewer of the fun of exploring this very interesting idea. When the particle accelerator manned by an international crew on a space station conducting the experiments in the vacuum of space fails it opens up a tear across the fabric of time and space to unleash monsters and other versions of themselves into the suddenly unstable multiverse.

I found it very intriguing to watch a story that actually has as a plot line which deals seriously with the problems of multiverse travel. For instance, the main protagonist had lost her children in her version of reality, but at the end of the film had a chance to go to another universe to live in a reality where her children are alive and well—but the only real problem is that the other version of herself that exists in the particular universe is alive too, so how could two of the same people joined quantumly across the mysterious connections of reality between multiverse existence co-inhabit the same reality? Those are the very important questions that science fiction and art should be asking, because behind that comes real answers that lead to real science. That is also why I love the Cloverfield movies so much, they are very smart and big thinking in their scope. Yet because of an entertainment culture that is also becoming very flexible there are opportunities for risk and great rewards that are present for which the producers of these movie can capitalize on.

Mostly, the Cloverfield films are made on low budgets, and given that The Cloverfield Paradox had a super-secret production where even fans looking online for every little hint of a release date were unable to discover much, were all surprised when Paramount released the movie directly to Netflix stepping over a theater release all together. To me that was an alarm that said the film wasn’t of the right quality to have a theater release, so I didn’t invest my time in it right away. But as it turned out, it was a pretty good science fiction entry with decent special effects and production value. Apparently, there is more rumor that there are at least two more Cloverfield movies in production and given the way The Cloverfield Paradox was speculated about, then brought to reality on Netflix, we have to assume that there is merit to the rumors.

I talk a lot about how the Hollywood model is dying, and it is. Big movies hitting theaters are a dying thing, and so is the monopoly that left leaning producers have on the industry. While a guy like J.J. Abrams still has his feet in both small and large productions, most filmmakers are going to have to focus on smaller budgets with much more creative ideas if they want to compete with everything that’s out there. With all the media content, between television, movies, Amazon video, HBO, Showtime, Netflix, Hulu, video games and generally the worldwide internet there are a lot of competing media trying hard to capture the minds of viewers. To me the Cloverfield films represent the best of what filmmaking should be about, and the ideas that come from the films are very thought-provoking, and that’s what counts for me. I think its great that The Cloverfield Paradox was so quick on its feet that it could just make a decision to do a direct to Netflix release to essentially set up all these rumored upcoming movies about supernatural forces founded on actual scientific contemplation.

Not that we should take any of these stories all that serious, it is fun to think about the possibilities which is what science fiction is supposed to do. Few people realized that with a verbal approval from President Trump’s White House Elon Musk started his Boring Company to digging the Hyperloop tunnel from New York to Washington D.C. It won’t be long before we turn on the television and discover that a 20-minute commute from those two big cities is possible using the Hyperloop and that just like that we’ll have a brand-new transportation system that many never would have though possible. Things are happening these days so fast that a grand fortissimo of all these ideas is colliding into each other faster than we’d traditionally be able to deal with it. And I think deep down inside all of us we already know……….the future isn’t about depleting resources, it’s what do we do with the abilities we have developed to define the very nature of existence, and not just in our present reality behaves, but across all the folds of time and space, into even the multiverse. How do we deal with the magnality of those concepts, the mind-bending reality that whatever we might be doing now could be happening across thousands, if not millions of versions of that same reality only tilted slightly to represent some subtle change in that reality that has a consistency connected across all those fields of observation—and why.

What’s best, you can turn on all this magnificence right on your television right now. You don’t have to get dressed and even go to the theater, you can just turn it on and have something like The Cloverfield Paradox delivered straight to your eyes, which I think is a miracle in and of itself. It’s a powerful step in communication that wasn’t even possible prior to the release of Stranger Things showed how powerful a home delivery platform like Netflix could be in bringing content small-scale in production but big in ideas directly to viewers successfully. It gives me the feeling that the particle accelerator shown in The Cloverfield Paradox is more than a metaphor, it’s an artistic rendering of the nature of our very lives in the here and now, the fabric of space and time is being ripped open and we are coming face to face with a reality we never thought possible. And it’s here now staring us straight in the face.

Rich Hoffman
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Stand and Fight: Boycotts, Planned Parenthood, Scott Israel Corruption and people deciding to be lions, not sheep

I don’t typically pay attention to boycotts but this one against the NRA by Alamo, Delta and many others bothers me due to the hypocrisy. Why is it that large organizations will rally behind a cause that is conservative, but will continue to do business with people who support Planned Parenthood? Those same people will say that the NRA is killing our babies in schools when Planned Parenthood is actually killing our babies! Can someone illuminate this topic more succinctly? Planned Parenthood is all about relieving the responsibility off a female who happens to get pregnant by killing the child that she may accidentally find herself impregnated by while the NRA is about defending life with the Second Amendment—protecting value. Yet companies like United Airlines, Metlife Insurance, and First National Bank will take a stand against the NRA due to “customer feedback” but they will continue to do business with many thousands of customers who have recently had abortions at Planned Parenthood. Doesn’t that seem just a little hypocritical?

I take it personal when I see people attacking the NRA. It’s a group I happen to love. I don’t require everyone in the world to think the way I do, but if you attack something I care about, there are going to be problems. I’m alright with public assembly and protests if that’s how people want to spend their time, but I’m not OK if those protests turn against something I care about, like the NRA. Personally, I heard enough last week regarding people blaming the NRA for the school shooting in Parkland, Florida to last me a lifetime. Boycotts bother me because they run counter intuitive to some basic ideas I have about the world. I’m a person who keeps like a Bible everywhere I go around my home a copy of Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations which articulates free market ideas in a very pure way. Many years ago when I was working on public education issues from a financial standpoint a series of mad mothers who wanted to pass higher taxes threatened to boycott the restaurant of one of my supporters which changed forever my tolerance for such people. It was the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen in my life, packs of angry supercharged moms demanding free things for their kids in school that we all had to pay for, then threatening a legitimate business owner who supported a cause I was responsible for with financial ruin if that owner didn’t comply with the demands of the mob. After that experience it forever changed how I viewed public education. And in a very similar way, this Parkland shooting has changed how I view a lot of things especially those who support abortion with great fanfare, yet point to the NRA and proclaim death. It’s the other way around, and we’re not going to let this one slide. If those big companies cutting their support of the NRA really mean it, they’ll cut ties with anyone who participates in the death and degradation of life at Planned Parenthood with the same gusto.

What fueled this anti-NRA hatred in the aftermath of the Parkland shooting was the Sheriff of Broward County, Scott Israel essentially blaming the NRA for the intent of the shooter—for allowing an anti-NRA dialogue to develop as if the gun advocacy group had inspired and trained the shooter to commit the action, when in fact it was the failure of that Sheriff’s entire department which drove up the death county—needlessly. Scott Israel did not have his employees prepared to deal with such a crises, because when it did happen four of his deputies that were on sight at the shooting took up positions outside of the school and failed to engage the shooter. Meanwhile the shooter was inside the school taking the life of 17 people, and this was the fault of the NRA? It should come as no surprise that Scott Israel is a registered Democrat, so mismanagement is to be expected to a certain extent. But to deflect that failure away from him and to the NRA is reprehensible.

The NRA as an organization has stood for morality and good clean American lifestyles for as long as I can remember. My son-in-law as soon as he became an American citizen signed up to be a life member of the NRA because that was one of the things he most wanted to do as an official American. In England where he came from people don’t have guns and they certainly don’t think to defend themselves in the midst of aggression. A typical Englishman might send a strongly worded letter to their local law enforcement if some villain harasses them and their property but they don’t have something like the NRA to protect their right to do anything about a crime. They just endure it in the way that the criminal underworld was portrayed in the film A Clockwork Orange. Scott Israel when he was confronted for the high salaries of some of his employees in a corruption allegation that was politically motivated the Sheriff said, “lions don’t care about the opinions of sheep.” That’s why apparently his office failed to take action 18 times regarding the behavior of the shooter Nikolas Cruz—because he viewed the complaints as coming from the sheep of his county.

In a lot of ways, the stupidity of Scott Israel is why we need the Second Amendment, because the way he functions as a person helps breed the behavior of killers like Cruz. The NRA is there to preserve our right to be the last line of defense in protection of our own lives. Because all too often there are idiots like Sheriff Israel out there who bring danger to our doorsteps just because they mismanage the affairs around them. Scott Israel, because he was a bad sheriff that let a killer destroy the lives of many people in a school shooting should have never been on CNN arguing with Dana Loesch trying to deflect the responsibility of the killings onto the NRA, he should have been cleaning out his desk in disgrace for the many failures he contributed to the matter. And as the crowd cheered after that set-up CNN debate for which Israel participated, it was these many companies pulling away from the NRA to show the public they were on the side of the Sheriff—a failure of a person who couldn’t even train his men how to engage in an active shooter situation, that acted based on his public statements. I mean if you are going to wear a gun on your hip, you better damn well be willing to use it when danger presents itself. Most five-year olds would have done a better job in that situation than Israel’s men, because they at least know right from wrong instinctively. These slobs of the Broward County Sheriff’s department were too busy thinking about lunch, they surely didn’t want to get killed saving a school full of kids.

The NRA has about 5 million members, and that number should be greater not less. I look forward to everything I get from the NRA because I respect what they do. If not for the NRA gun laws would have been wiped out a long time ago leaving us completely at the mercy of losers like Scott Israel who think they are lions among men and the rest of us are sheep to be slaughtered at will. As much as we’d like to trust authorities to do that right thing—and many around the country are good—we can’t always expect them to do so. Israel’s department is the perfect example, they were commissioned to protect our society and when danger came, they hid behind their cars allowing many people to be killed and wounded in a school of all places. Then when they were caught they threw their aggression toward the NRA. The logic would further deteriorate drawing out a sinister hypocrisy, how could a bunch of anti-gun protestors point at the NRA and declare them to be an advocacy group for death when many of those same people support abortion and the efforts of Planned Parenthood? It is in that kind of logic that mandates we must always have the NRA to defend our rights against those very kinds of encroachments from corrupt administrators who are so grossly incompetent that they are a danger to themselves and others. When they fail, it is not our burden to follow them into the depths of oblivion, it becomes our task to Stand and Fight. Because we as American gun owners certainly aren’t sheep—the people who decide to join the NRA make quite explicit decisions to be fellow lions—which is what people like Sheriff Israel are really afraid of.

Rich Hoffman

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The Answer to Sam Zeil’s White House Question: Why we can buy “weapons of war” at the local store

I was impressed with the 18-year-old Sam Zeif who spoke at the White House after the Parkland, Florida school shooting. He lost his best friend and was very sad about it. He spoke very intelligently and was extremely articulate. But he asked a question that deserves an answer, and a lot of people who don’t shoot much, or understand the philosophic premise of the Second Amendment are asking the same question. Young Zeif said it a couple of times, he wanted to know why he could still buy “weapons of war” at the store and suggested that we’d all be better off if America adopted a similar policy as Australia—and had a general gun confiscation policy. I heard that and a natural tension went up my spine wanting to defend the basic assumption. However, I don’t blame the kids so much for not understanding the scope of the situation, they have learned it in their schools and in the temperament of their intuitional interaction. Yet most gun owners know and understand otherwise, and that knowledge is often traditionally transferred from generation to generation for a reason that is specific to American culture and is why we can go to the store and buy weapons of war. Young Sam apparently has not had the benefit of this generational exchange, so I’ll offer it here for him and those of a like mind.

Whenever I buy a new gun it is always a magical experience. I love every single new one and the thrill of it never stops. Guns always represent power and strength and the bigger and meaner the better. Being weapons of war is a very foundational way to look at them, but what they represent is aggression and defense. Yet ultimately, they stand for freedom, freedom from aggression, freedom from authoritarian rule, freedom from any sinister forces that might want to steer your life in a direction of their choosing, not yours. Having big, mean, powerful guns means you are on equal terms with even the most vicious aggressor out there in the world that may have ill intentions toward you, and having an option against those forces brings about freedom that only a gun can yield.

The world that many rock stars have sung about, and what Sam Zeif by default articulated does not exist. There is no institution in the world that is completely trustworthy, especially with our lives. We may wish for that to be the case, but even in the Parkland school shooting there were so many hired people who failed from the institutional point of view that no reasonable argument in their defense can be made. We would be fools to trust completely that the FBI would do their jobs 100% of the time. We’d be idiots to assume that local law enforcement will get it right in every circumstance. In the Parkland shooting there are reports now that up to four officers near the incident failed to confront the shooter, so even those officially sanctioned to use guns get it wrong a lot of the time—more than is acceptable. That doesn’t mean we should scrap our society into anarchy, but it does mean that we need another layer of security in our lives that is individually driven. We should leave it to the professionals—those we pay to worry about security and the laws we make as a society, but we should always look to ourselves first.

To assume that if all the guns in the world were confiscated that we would all by default fall into a society of peace is just ridiculous. Human beings probably have at least 100,000 more years of evolution before the basic natures of our existences change for the better, where aggression isn’t part of our interaction with each other. People are always competing with one another, there are always bigger people, smarter people, faster people, better looking people, etc., who will leverage their talents and abilities against others to acquire what they think they need to live. It was only through the invention of the gun and the general distribution of reading through the printing press that freedom from static institutions began to falter and the cultures of individuality began to spring up around the world, most notably in the early American colonies for which our Constitution was written. Before people could read things for themselves and defend what they acquired through that knowledge with personal defense, societies were strung together through kingships and nobility. The gun freed us all from that enslavement.

But go to any corporate environment and you will see the same primitive mechanisms at work, people using whatever skills of superiority they have over others to acquire advantages for themselves. War is a trait of human beings, even two nicely mannered women will fight over who has the best flower bed, the best pie, or even the largest diamond ring. It is in the nature of human beings to be competitive, even if the foundations are rooted in destruction. But when a person has a gun and they are smaller than another person with a gun, they are both suddenly equal. Guns are the ultimate equalizers, having guns puts everyone on the same footing essentially making firearms a major contributor to the furtherance of a human species working toward objectives that supersede the typical primitive motivations of past millennia. Many of the advancements made in America are because of the gun, not in spite of them. People who might in any other society be pushed to the back of the pecking order line were able to profess their ideas about things knowing that they wouldn’t be gunned down in the street for professing them, because everyone is armed and retaliation is always a possibility. For the first time in the history of the world, individuals had power over the institutions so they could contribute to the nature of existence. If the threat of retaliation is not present, such as a big person being tempted to abuse a person of smaller stature, too often with humans an abuse of that relationship will take place because the larger person can, then the smaller person will find themselves in a weak position individually. If the smaller person has a gun, suddenly the size of the other person no longer gives them an advantage and a more equal exchange of information is possible leading to a better relationship.

Owning weapons of war even though nobody of a right mind ever thinks of using them for a destination of violence eases a mind that may always be concerned that the size of institutions may inhibit their options in life. Having big scary weapons in personal possession means that the big scary authorities who have lots of weapons of war will think twice before kicking down your door in the middle of the night to abuse their authority—just because they can. When there are people out in the world carrying around big scary weapons to prevent terrorists from attacking the foundations of our society there must also be checks in place to keep law enforcement from using that power to abuse their authority to take the possessions of people they are supposed to be watching over. We all hear of cases where traffic cops pull over a car full of girls and have forced them to perform sex acts to get out of expensive fines. Or cops detain an attractive woman and force them into a state of undress accusing them of carrying dangerous weapons just so they can have the power to strip down a beautiful woman. It happens much more than it should. The people we pay to protect us are much less prone to abuse that relationship if they have to worry that people might shoot back if they abuse their authority. We’d hope that such a thing might never happen but just looking at the abuse of the FBI against the Trump administration tells us that even at the highest levels of our government that trust is only as deep as the threat of danger that might come back at the perpetrators. Without that threat, abuse often happens in any relationship.

Ironically weapons of war are the foundations to a civil society. You will never see a lot of pushing and shoving going on at gun events where everyone is armed with a gun. Big people, small people, smart people and dumb people all treat each other respectfully because in those meetings everyone is truly equal because it’s not the biological gifts that we have which make us that way, it is the invention of the gun that takes over and puts everyone on equal footing. By taking away the temptation for aggression it forces everyone to treat each other fairly and with great respect. That’s why you don’t see mass shootings at gun shows or NRA events—and why those people tend to be very polite and respectful. The gun is an invention of equality and it works wonderfully.

So to answer Sam’s question, why can he go to the store to buy weapons of war, well, because those weapons are needed to keep human beings on an equal playing field. Institutions by themselves cannot be trusted, they often do abuse their power and so long as that is the case, which isn’t necessarily a learned behavior, but a biological one, equality must be achieved between people through an inventive process. The beauty of a fine weapon that is big and scary is that it gives the owner the ability to function in life with a level of equality that has never been possible prior to the invention of the firearm. Having that firearm forces others to deal with you at a level of respect that is unmistakable and takes away the temptations to abuse relationships for the gain of a one-sided exchange. If young women had more guns in an open carry part of their fashion, they would get harassed sexually a lot less. Because the natural relationship between a large man of 250 pounds is to show superiority over the 120-pound woman. But when she has on her hip a nice Glock or a Smith & Wesson revolver, the large man will treat the woman differently because his size and strength are no longer assets that he can claim superiority over. She is just as strong as he is just because she has a gun. If he has a gun as well, then the two are truly equal.

Traditionally when a father or grandfather gave a young man his first gun, the gift wasn’t just a weapon of war, it was an assignment of equality that let the youth engage with the world on an equal footing—even among his parental peers. For instance, the implication of the dad to the son, “you are now as strong as I am and I trust you enough to give you this gun.” Many such people never use their guns in any kind of aggressive manner, but they know if they needed to, they could and that leads to a society of greater respect in personal exchanges. If the behavior of Nickolas Cruz, the shooter in the Parkland massacre, were to be studied correctly it would be revealed that the kid was small, had been picked on for much of his life and his parents failed to give him a good philosophic foundation to live with. So he turned to the gun to become superior to his oppressors. If people at the school also had guns, then Cruz would not have such a claim to superiority that he had on the day of the shooting. But taking guns away doesn’t solve the problem—Cruz was still a kid who was picked on for being such a small person, humans are always looking for leverage over one another. Only in an equally armed society do we actually have the basis for a proper interaction based on fairness. That is why we have weapons of war for sale at an area store. They are essential to a proper and justice-based society.

Rich Hoffman

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Why to Love the NRA: Give Wayne LaPierre the credit to stand tall when everyone else failed

If you really want to piss me off then drag me into the insanity of what I would consider very stupid people desiring to engage me into their bad decisions. I’m pretty open-minded about what people do with themselves and how they live—that is, until they try to make me a part of it. Then I have no tolerance, because if there is one thing I truly desire in life it is to live well, and the way I want to. My life is not the possession of anyone else. Its mine, and I love it. Honestly, I don’t need a firearm to protect myself. But if someone threatens my life they’d be an idiot to think they are going to walk away from that engagement alive whether or not I happen to be carrying a gun or not at that moment, because I know how to protect myself and the people I care about. However, a gun is the most efficient way to equalize a conflict with someone with ill intentions, and these days due to many social breakdowns, that threat is greater than its ever been before. Even in a week when President Trump has let us down with a move to the left on gun control and I find myself at odds with people like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity on the issue, it was so nice to hear Wayne LaPierre speak on behalf of the NRA at CPAC.

My membership to the National Rifle Association is one of my most treasured memberships. I am proud every time I see the words, “NRA.” I am equally proud of my membership to the Cowboy Fast Draw Association, which is an NRA affiliate. Those are some of the finest people I know and not to brag too much, but I know a lot of people. I’m a business professional that does work with many hundreds of people all over the world so I’m not living in some cave in Montana when I say how much I love the NRA. It’s not some wacko group of right-wingers like the gun hating press would like you to believe, they are good people who want what America has always been about, the pursuit of personal freedom—and the support of guns is the most efficient way to protect that freedom.

The gun haters want, and expect that society at large has all the answers that an individual may need in their life, which is pure fantasy on their behalf. If you’ve ever been to Europe or get a chance to go you will quickly get an idea what left leaning people want to do to the United States, they’d like to replicate European culture. But what Europe has is a deep history that is at the heart of everything that they are—they are a people always looking back at what they were, not what they want to be. America is different, it is a country always looking forward at what individualized potential might drive forward culturally. And to facilitate that optimism, individual freedom is encouraged and treasured, whereas in Europe its frowned upon. Even on the topless beaches of France and Spain where women declaring themselves liberated and equal to men sunbathing with their breasts exposed we see the basic foundations of collectivism, because the women are cheapened into a collective entity as opposed to a sanctimonious specimen of a treasured loved one holding her treasures for the father of her children in the most idealistic individual fantasy of love, honor, and privacy. In America we don’t necessarily like to share ourselves with the world as we guard against the unwanted appraisal of others as innovation pours forth from our minds hoping to ride the waves of capitalism to a better life, and we protect that life from encroachment by parasitic personalities with a gun.

If we look just at the case of the many institutional failures of the Parkland assassin Nikolas Cruz, who was rejected by his school, kicked out so to preserve the sanctimonious public school. Over a seven-year period the local sheriff’s office visited Nikolas Cruz 39 times due to concern over the kid’s behavior. 39 times! The FBI directly had tips on Cruz and failed to act on those observations. When the shooting happened a hired gun that was supposed to be protecting Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School by the name of Scot Patterson took up a defensive position outside the school never engaging the active shooter for over four minutes. Patterson resigned in the aftermath in disgrace. His failure cost 17 lives. But then there was the tape delay on the security cameras and the slap stick cops’ scenario of the police radios trying to figure out what was happening. While Cruz had already killed his targets and was having a sit-down meal at a local McDonald’s, the police were viewing videotape that they thought was live of the shooter moving from the third floor of the school to the second, only to be embarrassed by the revelation that they were watching something in past tense. The killer had already come and gone. It was only by luck that one alert officer an hour later thought correctly that he had spotted Cruz apprehending the killer. It wasn’t just one failure that caused the death of 17 people and wounding many others, it was several—really a failure at every level of the supposed safety nets that were supposed to be in place. Yet the anger leveled at Marco Rubio at a CNN anti-gun forum was astonishingly brutal as everyone there advocated for more of that kind of mess. More laws, more police, more mental health screening, more, more, more institutional control mechanisms when we just observed that even the ones in place had failed at every level.

When it really comes down to it we are all we really have. We must guard our own lives with responsible action and through that effort, others around us are saved. The only real solution to most of our modern problems is an improvement of individual action. If everyone took care of themselves and declared responsibility for their lives, then a lot of these problems would go away. We don’t have a gun problem in America, we have a responsibility problem. And the reason things are so dangerous these days is that responsible people, good people are at risk from the many lunatics out there especially on the political left who are starving for attention and salvation created from their rotten lives and they want what good people have. Guns have always provided a barrier of protection for individuals against those who would seek to take from them what they personally possess—even their very lives. At the most fundamental level, our lives are our most treasured possessions, and the destitute of our species do not have any collective right to the merits of our lives. They don’t get to walk across our yards unimpeded, they don’t get to drive our cars. They don’t get to molest our children, our wives, even our mail boxes without the threat of engagement—because all those things are products of our individualized lives and the hours of hard work it took to build such a life. The world of our institutions may have good intentions, but as we have seen, when lazy minds inhabit those institutions from the FBI to the local police, to the ultimate failure of Scot Patterson we can’t trust them and there has never really been any evidence that we ever could.

Every gun grabber who ultimately wants to confiscate all our firearms in America and send us to the league of nations around the world drowning in socialism and repressed governments perpetually looking into their own pasts—to their better days—expect us to trust completely the many intuitions that failed in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School case. They have president Trump’s ear about stricter background checks, but what about the crazy ex-wife who wants to burn her husband with false accusations of misconduct because she is jealous of the next woman? Would that husband pass a background check if there is a pending case with a traumatized former wife? What if she is really jealous of his guns and she makes up some story of abuse, and acting on that the police come and take all his guns away? Is that fair to the man who did nothing but decide he didn’t want to be married to the woman? And those are just a few examples that most people can relate to in some way or another—there are countless ways that someone’s background check could be corrupted to lose their Second Amendment rights, and that is what the NRA is fighting against. The NRA stands against all those left leaning encroachments because ultimately the gun is there to protect individuals from a world that has a tendency to fail under institutional control. Our best hopes for the future are always in the conduct of individuals. So even if a man makes a mistake and runs off with a girl half his age and the ex-wife is upset about it, he shouldn’t lose his right to possess firearms. He may need that right for other things going on in his life—because all life has value, and deserves to be protected from the aggressions of others who might have intentions of dark design.

It is for all these reasons that I love the NRA so much and because of this aggression against the gun culture of our nation, I feel compelled to make more gun purchases, to support the industry. Gun makers, sellers, and the people who buy them are some of the best people you will find anywhere in the world. Not very long ago I was on the balcony of a very rich man in Japan overlooking some of the most expensive real estate in the world. This was a guy at the top of the world and could literally have anything he wanted, but do you know what he desired? He was in love with images of a Montana rancher who had a big pickup truck and a shotgun in the back window, and even a concealed carry gun under a warm jacket overlooking a vast plain of endless horizon. The NRA protects that very specific lifestyle from the jealous hordes around the world who secretly want what America has, and will do anything to get a piece of our lives. And the only real protection we have is ourselves and the guns we carry. Because as much as we’d like, we can’t trust anything else.

Rich Hoffman

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Guild Socialism: The real problem behind schools, activist students, and gun control debate

I understand what President Trump is doing listening to anti-gun advocates and the really sad stories of loss that have come from recent school shootings. But it is deeply disturbing to even let the anti-gun forces gain just a small victory in how they are exploiting children to advance the general public-school position against an armed society. The only term that comes to my mind that properly articulates the situation as that of guild socialism which is the rule of, by and for mediocrity. “When brute force is on the march, compromise is the red carpet,” which Ayn Rand stated many years ago in response to the Berkeley riots. “When reason is attacked, common sense is not enough.” What is going on is that children raised in these public schools have been taught all these progressive positions and have been loaded like guns themselves for an awaiting target to spring forth at a moment’s notice—all funded by our tax dollars to work against us. Then when a crisis like the Parkland shooting does happen, these kids wherever they reside are ready to strike at their targets in behalf of the education institutions that created them. Suddenly its OK to have kids skipping school to protest our American gun culture, and out of thin air, expensive buses are on sight to bus these students turned activists to state capitals to wreak havoc on our governmental process through the brute force of demonstrations. The primary culprit is a brand of guild socialism that is at the core of our education system for which we are all instructed, and corrupted at early ages, and it is the real crises for which we are challenged.

After all the events of the past week it was good to hear that President Trump was supporting concealed carry in the classroom for teachers who are inclined to meet this very specific 21st century challenge. It is even better that my local sheriff in Richard K. Jones of Butler County is leading the nation-wide charge on the issue. If we are looking for an immediate solution to the crises of school shootings we must put guns in those gun free zones and be ready to defend our lives and the lives of our children when required. The obvious next step is to attack the problem culturally. For instance, watch the old western The Gunfighter from 1950 starring Gregory Peck. It’s a great classic western about the pressures of being the absolute best gunfighter from his time, where every young man looking to make a name for themselves wants to challenge the aging legend. The older and wiser gunfighter just wants to retire to a good life in California with his wife and son, but his legendary status chases him to the ends of the earth until he meets an eventual death. There are a lot of very good lessons about life in that movie which would serve our youth today. But what do they get as a cultural reference point in their art? They get The Hateful Eight—a movie about nothing but killing and betrayal set in the West, but having nothing to do with values of any kind. Watching movies like The Hateful Eight, can anybody expect an adopted kid like Nikolas Cruz, who lost his new father at a young age, then lost his mother just a few months before he went on the killing rampage in Parkland, Florida now causing so much commotion? He was kicked out of school because the institution there rejected him leaving him virtually defenseless in the world. It doesn’t take much to feel sorry for the kid, but once he turned that anger toward society in general he deserved to be shot dead just for being a menace. What is really tragic however is that in a different time under similar conditions if the young Cruz had exposure to films like The Gunfighter and a barrage of films by John Wayne, he may have chosen a different path in life—and maybe have stayed at his employment at The Dollar Store and worked his way through to some level of success at life. Instead, everywhere he went there was something negative, including the school he attended, which was more concerned with guild socialism than in individual development of their students.

Whenever you hear from someone, “it’s not my job,” you are dealing with the resulted education of a participant in guild socialism, where a guild of occupational endeavor rally to each other’s cause for the benefit of a collective whole—such as a labor union or even a baseball team. When people accept a position of mediocrity in favor of comfortable lack of responsibility for greater issues, the villain ultimately is guild socialism. The kids being used in these school shootings have a foundational premise that is rooted in the guild socialism that they learned in their public schools—that they are students/activists for progressive causes and should not be expected to be anything else—least not defenders of themselves or are responsible for the way they conduct their lives. They were taught that other people out there in the world are in charge of their safety and thus need to be coerced through mass force to change their behavior if the kids are to survive into the future. And for most kids, they don’t know any better, so they accept that premise without question. The premise of guild socialism however was taught to them by the public education institutions to begin with, which is where all these problems begin.

We are guilty as a society in giving a blank check of value to our public education system. We want to believe that educating children is of a high, moral endeavor. But we seldom concern ourselves with what we are teaching our children, and this has had a terrible effect on many generations of students who have now accepted guild socialism as the ethical behavior in a competitive world. This means that nobody is really responsible for anything, including behavioral issues, and that through thuggish protest individual rights can be destroyed through group assimilation. Case in point, if enough kids scream at politicians with CNN running the cameras to bait the debate, then the assumption is that change is mandated because of the democratic process of majority rule. It is never considered that every one of those children might be wrong, and that they were taught incorrectly from the beginning to believe what they do while a minority in the world may actually have the true answers. Guild socialism practices over many years has devolved our social awareness to such a degree that nobody is responsible any longer for anything, only groups can mandate the morality of our world—and that is a false premise that will only lead to epistemological destruction of the basic foundations of our civilization.

I support Donald Trump on most things he’s advocated, even through times of intense controversy. I think contextually you might say I have great love for him as president of the United States. But I don’t support everything, his yielding to age limits, back ground checks and bump stock restrictions will only fuel the gun haters by thinking that they can continue to use children and the power of guild socialism to change our society. Like it or not, the Second Amendment is there to keep our own government in check, because as we learned with the FBI, government does go bad and can be used against us. In my view, the government is a lot better off with Trump running things than at other times, but we are still a country with massive debt and a society on the verge of panic if they lose their electrical power and access to food for more than a week. Guns, “military equivalent” grade weapons are needed for a civil society because if government goes bad, and natural disasters erode away the basics of all humanity, there is no other way to protect our private property—including our very lives. Guild socialism believes the opposite so of course they will not support the position I’m advocating, but that doesn’t make them right and me wrong because they outnumber my opinion, it simply makes them advocates of change from what we are as Americans into something else using the masses to sell it—and that something else isn’t good.

Rich Hoffman
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The New Han Solo Book Covers Look Great: But isn’t Disney against guns?

To say I’m looking forward to the new Solo: A Star Wars story would be a mild understatement. I am enjoying each new piece of information that is coming out now rapidly for the upcoming May release of the highly anticipated movie. Just yesterday the new books for the movie were teased which largely come out in May and on most of the covers were images of Han Solo holding his famous blaster in what I think are very traditional cowboy artwork reminiscent of the 1940s to 1950s0—the “golden age of Hollywood.” They are the kind of thing that many of us older than 50 grew up on as kids and I find it refreshing to see. But the mother company of Disney who is benefiting greatly from all this Star Wars merchandising, everything from Star Wars figures sold at Target and Walmart to the films themselves has positioned themselves in this new #onelessgun movement prominently and most disgustingly where another one of their companies, ABC showed a lady cutting up her gun in a workshop so that nobody could use it again. The anti-gun stance of Disney is extremely hypocritical and is worth a bit of analysis.

As I’ve said, I’m a fan of the Disney product and I like Disney as a company—especially in the traditional sense. But what is disgusting is that the head of the company doesn’t seem to understand what the tail is doing, they don’t connect cause and effect at all. Concerning the new Han Solo publication art, what if they didn’t have characters holding guns in their promotional material—do they think they could sell the movie? If kids couldn’t buy action figures to shoot at each other would they even want to play with them? Of course, Disney knows that young boys aren’t going to by Star Wars toys unless there are cool guns to play with. Kids aren’t buying Star Wars toys to simulate cooking, or domestic needs in playing house. Guns are as much of what makes Star Wars popular as anything is, and without guns, the story would be pretty boring.
This brings us to the broader issue of Hollywood taking a stance against guns yet producing in nearly every blockbuster they make a story that prominently features guns. It’s kind of like a porn actress preaching celibacy before marriage. You can’t play this issue both ways. The stories we like as human beings are typically about the drama of life and death situations for which the gun plays a key narrative. To the young boy who looks at covers of Han Solo brandishing a powerful looking gun, the fantasy is to use that gun to fight for the kind of personal independence that everyone wants. The gun is the means to personal protection and asserting oneself in a dangerous world. This is typically what is at play when children play with guns to shoot at each other, they are creating the roots for their primary foundations of independence which will go with them for the rest of their lives. Disney understands this basic concept in marketing strategy which is meant to reach into people’s subconscious and inspire them to go see the new movie that has a cool gun on the poster.

Yet out of the other side of their mouth they support these gun control measures which run counter to everything that the human race stands for. From their elevated progressive vantage point that isn’t based on any kind of reality, but only in hope and personal desire from their timid vantage points, Disney hopes to use their media position to change human behavior—which is where they go wrong. This is also why the mainstream media and entertainment companies that have moved so radically left of center are struggling to figure out why they can’t move the needle on Donald Trump or the gun issue in the slightest. Not with all the protests, or all the programming they commit to the matter, people love guns wherever they are in the world. Guns sell movies, books, comics—just about anything they are put on because what the gun represents is personal freedom which every human being craves in some form or another. Therefore, we can conclude that companies such as Disney are not culture shapers so much as they are cultural reflections. They can make money and benefit off the art they produce so long as it is aligned with human need, and guns are. But if they think they can change the human need from their art, they don’t appear to be able to.
Disney as a company has not had much success with original material, often they have made most of their money off pre-created ideas—fairy tales that had already made their mark in our human mythologies. What they’ve done best is to take those stories to the next step of marketing and consumer reach—which is what they are doing with Star Wars. True, the new Star Wars films and television shows are not as good as they were original creations from George Lucas, but they still offer people something in the realm of entertainment and mythology. Disney isn’t powerful enough to change people’s minds about guns, violence, or political desires, but they can feed the needs that are already there.

That’s of course is not always the case, sometimes a truly great artist can change the minds of people and they often try, such as in the case of the musical group, The Beatles. They were obviously advocating for a left of center political world, and they did pull people in that direction. What seems to be happening in entertainment is that artists judge each other based on their social impact in the art they create. For instance, people might look down their nose at Dwayne Johnson because he makes so many blockbuster action movies and is getting very wealthy off them, but he doesn’t seem to be trying to change human culture for the better, and until he announced that he wanted to run for president against Trump in 2020 he was not considered much of an “artist” in Hollywood. In the entertainment community being an “artist” means being a “change agent.” It is the ultimate power of their ability to manipulate mass audiences—to actually change the behavior of the human race, and it appears to be a grand fantasy that most in entertainment have. Even with all their wealth, they still judge each other based on their “change agent” appeal.

This obviously seems to be the case with ABC News, they want to think they can move the needle on gun control by featuring some overly emotional woman who cuts up her gun in a workshop and wants to be featured prominently as a hero for it. That might be fine if ABC and their parent company Disney were consistent, but they aren’t. On the very same day that ABC featured the crazy anti-gun lady, Disney put out the art work for the new Han Solo movie which featured the hero on all the book covers holding a gun. You can’t have it both ways Disney. Unfortunately, you have to pick. Do you want to give the public what they want and hope they continue coming to your theme parks, which I enjoy doing? Or do you want to be a “change agent” using your media platform to change the human race? In doing so you will likely lose most of your core audience, because they will reject your philosophic premise. I will go see the new Han Solo movie enthusiastically, because he is a hero who uses a gun to instill a brand of justice that I can agree with, and its good entertainment. But if Han Solo were to become a bleeding-heart liberal and anti-gun zealot—you can bet that I’d be the first person off the ship. Because that’s not entertainment to me, its political propaganda from a bunch of spoiled brat artists. And I don’t want anything to do with them—or their beliefs.

Rich Hoffman
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