And You Give Yourself Away

Chris Colwell is an emergency room doctor in Denver, Colorado. This is the world that he sees:

“I see patients every day that are right on the edge of being unstable and are out there emiliein the environment, and they describe problems with access to medications, problems with access to psychiatric care or substance abuse care, problems with access to homes or to shelter,” says Colwell. “But they don’t describe problems with access to guns.”

This is how this man lives his life:

He sees gun violence victims on a weekly basis. When those cases are fatal, they are hard for him to forget.

“They’ll come in, and they’ll look at me, and they’ll talk to me, and then they’ll die.”

Hoorah. Second Amendment. Freedom. Semper fi.

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37 Responses to “And You Give Yourself Away”


  1. 1 roger March 22, 2013 at 9:30 am

    Gunz are dangerous and people are unstable, but the percapita problems are mostly jobs and health care and housing, not gunz.

    • 2 bluenred March 22, 2013 at 9:32 am

      Utterly and completely and totally and monstrously false.

    • 3 mieprowan March 22, 2013 at 11:38 am

      I don’t keep guns, Roger. I am depressed a lot, not because of chemical imbalances, but because I see clearly the trouble we’re in as a culture. I have engaged in suicidal ideation (never planning) because I cannot, even with my much-vaunted intellect, find a solution that most people will accept.

      Guns are just too easy. Guns don’t kill people, but they sure as hell make it easier to kill people, including one’s self.

      I am not as anti-gun as blueness is. Feral hogs really are dangerous. I’ve lived with a guy who kept a shotgun and a .22 and that didn’t particularly bother me.

      But I also used to have a friend (who has unfriended me, sadly) who spends a lot of time in the wilderness, and has historically done so alone a great deal. Yeah, you’re not supposed to do that.

      He told me once that he would never consider carrying a gun into the wilderness, because doing so changes your relationship with the world you’re in.

      Thst really stuck with me. Guns aren’t just tools in our culture. They are powerful – and lethal – symbols of Control.

      And that’s why I don’t keep guns. Because I’m not a big fan of controlling. Respecting boundaries, a resounding Yes. Control is way overdone, though.

  2. 4 mieprowan March 22, 2013 at 11:47 am

    Blueness, is that the same choir/conductor that performed “Smells Like Teen Spirit?” dbug linked that one to me on DK years ago.

    Thanks for this. Absolutely lovely.

  3. 5 mieprowan March 22, 2013 at 11:54 am

    Reblogged this on There Are So Many Things Wrong With This and commented:
    Yes. But make sure you watch/listen to the beautiful video.

  4. 6 roger March 22, 2013 at 11:57 am

    roger does not permit gunz in his house

  5. 7 roger March 22, 2013 at 11:58 am

    and doesn’t care who does…

  6. 8 mieprowan March 22, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    Oh, also, about feral hogs. Gotta be honest. While I have heard about humans being threatened by them, the recent buzz in the local news is that human efforts to eradicate them are made difficult by the overall impossibility of finding them. Seems we have got ourselves one smart bunch of feral hogs in these parts.

    I will freely admit that this is difficult to reconcile with the idea that feral hogs pose a direct threat to humans, though they definitely are competing for food. Who isn’t?

    And then there is all that stuff about running off trashpicking bears with marbles and slingshots.

    And then there are big cats, who occasionally take out a jogger. A deceased friend told me once about confronting a cougar at a stream, wherein he did the bear thing kinda, where you make yourself big, avert eye contact, and make growly noises. He died of cancer, not cats.

    I once asked my presumably still extant ex-friend what he would do if he ran across a cougar in the wild. His immediate response: “Feel lucky.”

    Okay, so we need guns to protect ourselves from each other? Same species? We can’t talk this shit out?

    “Put down the gun and let’s talk…”

    • 9 bluenred March 24, 2013 at 2:03 am

      I lived with “wild boar” for three years. We got along fine.

      Mountain lions will take your cats. Not you.

      • 10 mieprowan March 24, 2013 at 11:15 am

        Annual human fatalities from cougar attacks are, last I checked, comparable to those from spider bites, i.e. in the low single digits.

        I wrote a piece once in which I looked up a variety of ways humans managed to get themselves dead in one year, 1988 I think. Also in the low single digits were falling off a ladder on a boat, and falling into an open sewer line. Simply tripping while walking down the street was three or four times as dangerous.

        Considering how clueless so many humans are about the natural world around them, I’d say it’s really quite considerate of cougars and boars and spiders to be so restrained.

        Hymenopterans can be difficult to cohabitate with in some cases, and possibly pose the biggest risk to humans in the wild. But, again, it’s a matter of paying attention. Bee hives, like rattlesnakes, are audible.

        I live in close quarters with Polistes wasps (moderate sting) and harvester ants (nasty sting). I don’t think I’ve been stung in five years.

        • 11 bluenred March 24, 2013 at 11:22 am

          Once upon a time we had two wasps who lived in the skylight over the shower. Their names were Heckle and Jeckle.

          • 12 mieprowan March 24, 2013 at 11:36 am

            I ran across a book years ago that included a black and white photo of a hornet’s nest suspended above some fellow’s dining room table. The accompanying text indicated this was a live hornet’s nest.

            I can’t source this or vouch for the veracity, but if real, now *that* would impress me.

            I do believe that other animals can pick up on our feelings about them, because we smell differently depending on how we’re feeling, and behave differently, move differently. So failing to feel aggressive or frightened would therefore draw less attention, cause less alarm, be less triggering.

            Some might consider this unscientific, but I think that’s just projection – we are unaware of non-humans, therefore non-humans must be unaware of us, or we feel threatened, therefore they must be aggressive.

            • 13 bluenred March 24, 2013 at 11:45 am

              I do know that it is a True Science Fact that a squished wasp puts out a smell that says “I am dead, and I am pissed,” which other wasps detect and hone in on, looking to Avenge the dead one, on whatever creature might then be around.

              • 14 mieprowan March 24, 2013 at 11:58 am

                Yes, I suspect this is true of other hymenopterans as well. Highly social species are more likely to have evolved complex methods of intercommunication including warning systems.

                Though not all hymenopterans are social.

    • 15 Alexa March 25, 2013 at 11:52 pm

      though i applaud the sentiment and honor you for wanting to talk it out, Miep, i am pretty much convinced (after many efforts) that a conversation with LaPierre’s merry band in other venues is like hitting a cement wall over and over again. i can’t find even one who’s willing to listen with an open mind and get reasonable.

      • 16 mieprowan March 26, 2013 at 12:13 am

        People engage within allowed parameters, fight to break out of them at times, and either effect change or get run off. Or leave, when there is somewhere to leave to.

        I’m not really having that conversation here with blueness. It’s more like an extrapolation of conversations I’ve had in the past and also currently with others who have a more peaceful perspective about what’s possible, among those who aren’t hopelessly infected with the wetiko.

        There is life beyond Mars, beyond Orange…furthur… ; )

        • 17 Alexa March 26, 2013 at 12:25 am

          HAHAHAHAHAHA!! she said: wetigo.

          p.s. don’t take it personally. blueness tunes me out when i find a nice comfy-cozy place on his nerves. 😉

          • 18 mieprowan March 26, 2013 at 8:48 am

            I didn’t know there was an alternative spelling, thanks.

            I find the concept useful for explaining all sorts of things. I do think of it as a kind of illness of the spirit that has infected this culture, that manifests itself via different entities to different extents at different times.

            I just hope there’s some cure for it other than ekpyrosis.

            I remember reading about the kali yuga when I was about nine years old and thinking “uh-oh.”

            I seriously doubt that about blueness. Guys just don’t always answer as much as women do. In my experience, at least.

            • 19 Alexa March 26, 2013 at 7:10 pm

              i dunno . . . some guys can just be super-snotty for no apparent reason, que no, hermana

              i think it is time for blueness to post up a video. i almost pretend to be him last night so we can have some musica.

              • 20 mieprowan March 26, 2013 at 7:19 pm

                I found this the night before last. May not be up your alley but I thought this was pretty hot.

                • 21 Alexa March 26, 2013 at 7:59 pm

                  i like it! considering i’m a ghetto rat, i was hoping blueness would post some Jay-Z but it’s complicated (one track at the 39 minute mark), and i reckon i’ll just watch it by myself ‘cuz i’m the Village Idiot of Word Press.

                  • 22 mieprowan March 26, 2013 at 8:19 pm

                    I went over to YT and watched Empire State of Mind, which has three hundred ninety gazillion views.

                    I don’t find anything particularly objectionable about this fellow. He comes off as more resigned than enraged, he moves well, doesn’t seem hateful, has a good sense of how to be part of a production instead of dominating it. Smooth piece. I liked it.

                  • 23 mieprowan March 26, 2013 at 8:35 pm

                    Also, I am still figuring out WordPress by my traditional lazy ass method of “throw shit at it and see if it sticks,” though I will occasionally bring myself to type questions into the Google search bar, which usually works very well. (It’s also striking that it’s generally faster to search a page using Google than it is to use the site’s internal search engine.)

                    In any case, should you not know, WordPress has some link translation capacity. I got the video above not by copying the embed code, but just the link. Also if you copy links with images it will (sometimes?) pick up the photo and display it.

                    I’d be further along if I was still using my desktop but I hardly ever do since I got the ipad. The ipad is limited in many ways, but this is all offset by instantaneous on/off and being able to use it on the couch, in bed, next door, etc. I find most Internet refinements less than mandatory. I’m surely capable of making elaborately formatted blog posts with images neatly aligned, and I admire those who do. But mostly I just like to write and occasionally draw a big arrow pointing to something.

                    • 24 Alexa March 26, 2013 at 8:44 pm

                      well, what browser are you using? i love Firefox but every different thing needs a different plugin. l don’t want to assume you’re using a Mac browser on iPad . . . . there will be more questions. sorry. 😉

                    • 25 mieprowan March 26, 2013 at 9:04 pm

                      I use Safari, it’s an iPad 2, the OS is out of date, I have had trouble trying to dl other stuff, big problem is my ISP is way too slow and it times out after a few hours with big software dl’s. It doesn’t always handle youtubes without stallingout, though it can handle Netflix fairly well.

                      It’s a genuine wireless one and I like it a lot because cable and landline telephone ISP’s around here fall apart when the weather sneezes, but I’m going to have to break down and sign up for something much faster. I’m just stalling. I looked around some a few years back and nobody had anything good to say about anybody, so I went for this local wireless company for awhile.

                      I like Firefox too, I run it on my desktop, but that’s hopelessly out of date too. I use computers like clothing; when they get so many holes in them it’s embarrassing, I buy new ones, but meanwhile patching brings out one’s creative side.

                      You are way more into IT than I am. I am somewhat less clueless about it than I used to be, though.

                      I’m hanging onto the desktop because there are a few things I need to do that I haven’t figured out how to do on the ipad, also I’d need it to initialize a new ipad, also the printer may still work and it has USB ports. But it’s close to history. On the bright side, I only have $300 in it after seven years ; )

      • 26 bluenred March 26, 2013 at 9:21 pm

        The folds of their brains are clogged with gunpowder.

        Sad, really.

  7. 28 mieprowan March 22, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Blueness, I’m trying to remember the name of a musician. I have been off and on for some time. Searching google for song lyrics doesn’t help.

    I saw him perform at McCabe’s in west Los Angeles about 20 years ago. He’s white, had long light brown hair, was an excellent harmonica player.

    What I’m remembering of his music is as follows:

    A song the chorus of which was “Put down the gun, put down the gun, put down the gun, (repeated) and let’s talk.”

    A song about a woman who was working for a place called “The Garden Of Earthly Delights” and was being abused by someone, like the owner.

    “at the Garden of Earthly delights the show must go on..” and something about having one card to play. She calls the protagonist because she’s in trouble but she still has to put on the show.

    The musician in question was a really good songwriter and I can’t track him down. All I get is Al Yankovitz.

    Any ideas? Thanks.

  8. 36 Alexa March 26, 2013 at 12:16 am

    hey, blue: isn’t that Emilie Parker in the foto?

    i know you have written a little about Noah Pozner’s father, but i crave more. you understand him in a way i cannot. loved what you said about his capacity for forgiveness and his grace.


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