Thomas Wictor

Thinking is hard

Thinking is hard

If there’s anyone who understands how tough life can be, it’s this guy. The one writing this post. I perfectly understand your desire to maintain an even strain. Thinking is hard. It forces you to make decisions that you feel will violate your personal codes of conduct. Well, there’s your problem. Adopting rigid, arbitrary standards and sticking with them no matter what is really no different than an animal acting out of instinct.

People don’t like the fact that I own guns. I’ve always been very clear about why I bought them: to protect my parents after they became victims of increasingly violent crimes, including a home invasion. Mom and Dad were completely defenseless. Both of them utterly denied their health issues, making them ripe for victimization. Mom could barely walk, due to a hip problem she ignored.


Dad was weak as an infant from out-of-control diabetes, circulatory collapse, and metastasizing bone cancer.


After the home invasion, the cops told us that the travelers had clearly put the house under surveillance. Since there’s nowhere on the street to hide, that demonstrates their skill. They carried out the invasion with military precision. First they drove their car all the way up the long driveway to Dad’s shop, thus making sure nobody would see. Then they went into the house through the back door. One stood guard at the front door while the other explored.

Some internal alarm bell went off in me, and I called Tim to help figure out what was going on. When he went inside our parents’ house, the traveler at the front door intercepted him with a story about how she was a friend of Mom’s and needed to use the bathroom.

The research for my next novel has taught me that career criminals always obfuscate. That’s their main defense. We simply could not get a straight answer from this fat, ugly cow. When her leathery, biker-mama partner came out the front door, I knew exactly what they were doing. My plan was to block them in with my car and hold them at gunpoint until the cops arrived, but Tim and Dad told me to let them go. I obeyed.

See how easy that was? I’m a gun owner, but my brother and father said, “No,” and I agreed. That was it. I didn’t shoot Tim and Dad so that I could get to the travelers. See, I live in the real world, not a movie. Firing bullets into people is something I never, ever want to do.

We got the travelers’ license-plate number and called the cops, just to make a report. That way we could help future victims.

Someone recently told me that if I “thought” I needed guns to protect someone, that was my (stupid) opinion, but she herself protects people with love. Period.

When people insist that they don’t need guns to protect the helpless, I always ask a question. The details of the question change, but here’s what it basically is.

If you were responsible for children or elderly people, and someone intent on murdering them was breaking down the front door, and if a loaded gun magically appeared at your side, would you use it to defend your charges?

To this day not a single gun opponent has answered me. Not one. The reason they refuse to answer the question is that they don’t want to think. It’s much easier to be like the chickens in George Orwell’s Animal Farm and chant slogans.

“Four legs good, two legs bad! Four legs good, two legs bad!”

The problem for me is that rigid adherence to a strict moral code often leads to immorality. What’s moral about allowing someone to murder the helpless because you won’t use a gun? A gun itself is neither moral nor immoral. It’s simply a device. Like all devices, it can be used for immoral purposes.

My own position is that the fetishizing of guns on both sides of the debate needs to stop. I neither love nor hate guns. People are allowed to love or hate whatever they want, but basing laws on love or hate is how prehistoric societies operated.

“Must not do bouncy-bouncy with Groog clan! All Groog clan smell of caca and steal we’s mastodon jerky! Do bouncy-bouncy with Groog clan, head be bashed until no move no more! King Mblaaaa have spoken!”

Even though Mom and Dad are gone, I’ve kept my guns. The reason is that I get messages like this all the time.


Okay. I’ll be here, puacgysm. Love will allow us to work out our differences.

While puacgysm and I dialog, the rest of you can read this letter, one of the greatest tributes ever composed.

Najim Abdullah Abid Al-Jibouri

In the Name of God the Compassionate and Merciful.

To the Courageous Men and Women of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, who have changed the city of Tal ‘Afar from a ghost town in which terrorists spread death and destruction to a secure city flourishing with life. To the lion-hearts who liberated our city from the grasp of terrorists who were beheading men, women, and children in the streets for many months. To those who spread smiles on the faces of our children and gave us restored hope through their personal sacrifice and brave fighting and gave new life to the city after hopelessness darkened our days and stole our confidence in our ability to reestablish our city.

Our city was the main base of operations for Abu Mousab Al Zarqawi. The city was completely held hostage in the hands of his henchmen. Our schools, governmental services, businesses, and offices were closed. Our streets were silent and no one dared to walk them. Our people were barricaded in their homes out of fear; death awaited them around every corner.

 Terrorists occupied and controlled the only hospital in the city. Their savagery reached such a level that they stuffed the corpses of children with explosives and tossed them into the streets in order to kill grieving parents attempting to retrieve the bodies of their young.

This was the situation of our city until God prepared and delivered unto them the courageous soldiers of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, who liberated this city, ridding it of Zarqawi’s followers after harsh fighting, killing many terrorists, and forcing the remaining butchers to flee the city like rats to the surrounding areas, where the bravery of other 3d ACR soldiers in Sinjar, Rabiah, Zumar and Avgani finally destroyed them.

I have met many soldiers of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment; they are not only courageous men and women but avenging angels sent by The God Himself to fight the evil of terrorism. The leaders of this Regiment, COL McMaster, COL Armstrong, LTC Hickey, LTC Gibson, and LTC Reilly embody courage, strength, vision, and wisdom. Officers and soldiers alike bristle with the confidence and character of knights in a bygone era. The mission they have accomplished by means of a unique military operation stands among the finest military feats to date in Operation Iraqi Freedom and truly deserves to be studied in military science.

This military operation was clean, with little collateral damage despite the ferocity of the enemy. With the skill and precision of surgeons they dealt with the terrorist cancers in the city without causing unnecessary damage. God bless this brave Regiment; God bless the families who dedicated these brave men and women. From the bottom of our hearts we thank the families. They have given us something we will never forget.

To the families of those who have given their holy blood for our land, we all bow to you in reverence and to the souls of your loved ones. Their sacrifice was not in vain. They are not dead but alive, and their souls hovering around us every second of every minute. They will never be forgotten for giving their precious lives. They have sacrificed that which is most valuable. We see them in the smile of every child and in every flower growing in this land.

Let America, their families, and the world be proud of their sacrifice for humanity and life. Finally, no matter how much I write or speak about this brave Regiment, I haven’t the words to describe the courage of its officers and soldiers. I pray to God to grant happiness and health to these legendary heroes and their brave families.

NAJIM ABDULLAH ABID AL-JIBOURI, Mayor of Tal ‘Afar, Ninewa, Iraq

People always tell me, “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.”

Agreed. And one man’s knuckle-dragging gun user is another man’s lion-hearted avenging angel.

Operation Iraqi Freedom

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