Stand Down

Stand down before someone stands their ground.


It’s that which seizes us that grabs our attention. It grips on our hearts and clenches and applies momentum to every situation. The impulse of fear is the impulse of survival which is our earthly tether to life. The same impulses that compels men and women to kill each other manifest digitally through the gatekeepers of the internet: the social media (31%), and search (73%) giants like Facebook and Google.

Take Florida Man and Florida Woman as our case study…

When their dilemmas arrive on our screen, it’s often hilarious. We can justify the Schadenfreude and sinister comments because we’re not looking these people in the eyes. Many of us preface the gatekeepers of our minds with the thought that “they deserve it, they brought it upon themselves” before we stop to consider our own mistakes in life. Many of us simply see ourselves in them, to varying degrees, and wish them good fortune for their wacky antics.

A common thread is suffering. Nearly everyone who shows up on this site in the “News Articles” section is, or was, suffering. Save for the occasional happy story. I try to seek them out once in a while, but unfortunately for good news, the people demand chaos. That same chaos which seizes us and grabs our attention.

Bad news reigns supreme. It’s the bread winner of advertisement. Major news outlets scour police reports and blow things out of proportion and have big budgets to make it all look very convincing. Some are worse than others, but they all take turns publishing propaganda. WTFF News is only here to make fun of Florida to help relieve the suffering of living here, and to make life more enjoyable for all through the gift of laughter, and interesting information. That’s our lofty goal, but really it’s just angry sarcasm most of the time. We will try to always do better. If our stuff comes across as propaganda, it’s only because our writers are simply regurgitating the same fuckery that’s really out there. Hopefully that mimicry will allow us all to catch and block real fuckery in the gatekepers of our mind before it grabs our attention next time.

As for that chaos, let’s take an example from all these Florida stories and walk away from bad situations. Florida’s a de facto “Stand Your Ground” state, so if some angry idiot blows your brains out during an argument, he will never spend a night in jail if he has the right combination of luck and money. Meanwhile, you’re dead, and everyone you love is left behind crying at the funeral. While your killer is still out there. Probably watching your wife and kids cry at the funeral, just to get a little more satisfaction from the kill. Because of anger, a stupid emotion.

That’s one example of what could happen. Or you could just stand down.

Stand Down is more important Stand Your Ground. All problems start small. Whether it’s a bad parking job, an obnoxious driver, or a tiny little pet snake that you can’t afford… just avoid little problems before they become big. People out there are mindless. They don’t care if you live or die. They watch inflammatory news and stock up on weapons and are always ready to kill.

They seek and manifest chaos because it’s the one thing they’ve spent their lives preparing for.

Or they’re just really fucking high on Flakka, which might require you to shoot them to stop an assault. While spiritually it’s always wrong to kill, morally you have the right to defend yourself if you really need to.

Either way, they give way less shits about life than you, so even if you do happen to pull the trigger first, what good does it do? Now you’re a murderer, and must depend on that jumbled combination of luck and money to escape jail time now. You might walk. You probably won’t. Florida’s getting a tiny bit more consistent about indicting murderers for murder. Back in 2005, our infamous Stand Your Ground law was inserted into Florida’s rect- um, I mean statutes (776.012) Watch how it spikes after that, then dips down slowly over the years and back up. Our little Stand Your Ground addition resulted in more than 31% more firearm-related homicides by 2014.

gun deaths chart

 

This isn’t a gun control argument article, this is a plea for people to stop being so fucking stupid. Guns can be a part of our life without being a problem, but we need to be reasonable about licensing, and very strict about demanding gun owners undergo gun safety training. We set far lower standards for gun ownership than we do for a job application or a driver’s license. That means lots of stupid people with tempers and poor trigger control are buying stockpiles of guns. That’s not a good thing. It’s an unhealthy gun culture.

On the flip side, not all gun nuts are bad. In fact, most of them will know how to safely operate a gun. These are the people you want around guns, not the reckless rednecks who’ve watched too many Clint Eastwood movies. Now, discerning between the two is difficult, if not impossible, which is why all gun arguments fail in the end. Who are these clearly determined “good guys” and “bad guys” with guns? Haven’t we as adults figured out yet that life is way more complicated than that?

Members of a Florida survival group get ready for a training exercise near Old Town, Fla., in 2012. The group passionately supports the right of U.S. citizens to bear arms, according to its website. (Brian Blanco/Reuters)
Members of a Florida survival group get ready for a training exercise near Old Town, Fla., in 2012. The group passionately supports the right of U.S. citizens to bear arms, according to its website. (Brian Blanco/Reuters)

So fuck gun control. What we need is control of our emotions. If we don’t get the latter part figured out, then nothing will ever improve. If we ban guns then people will just stab each other. If we ban knives then people will just beat each other to death. Our gun laws prohibit felons from legally owning firearms, but no law can determine who is the “good guy” and the “bad guy” before they buy a gun. There are many good guys who have made mistakes, and many bad guys who have never been caught. We can’t really do much about our laws anyway, those matters are a globally-sensitive monetary issue and popular vote will never sever that revenue source from the infernal machine.

Just be more mindful and stand down from confrontation when possible. Be the bigger person if it means staying alive to see your family grow. This is a call to responsible behavior. Let’s do this, Florida. Stay alive and stop shooting each other.

Aside from those incidents, you also have the bandit types who commit home invasions, robberies, and murder for fun. You have every right to defend yourself by any means necessary, and no government should ever intervene with your ability to do so.

Which is why gun arguments will never be solved.

All we can do is be better people, and try to stop shooting each other.

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