Why avoid the death penalty?

No death penalty

No death penalty (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve heard it more than once, but a story on the news headlines this morning made me think.  The headline said that a man on trial which would carry the death penalty if convicted is trying to get multiple life sentences to avoid death.

My question to these actions is this: why?  I’ve never understood the thinking in preferring living in a prison cell for decades instead of just ending it.  Why is it better to live like an animal rather than die and be done with it?  Do the convicts that choose this path have a hope that they will be set free somehow?  Or, is it a fear of what’s on the other side of death?

Let me take a moment to postulate an answer.  Let’s take me as an example.  I have accepted Jesus as my savior.  I have no fear of death.  I may have some fear of the pain involved in the dying process, but not in death.  I don’t fear dying because when I do I get to go home.  I go home to God because Jesus made a way for me.  Death for me as a Christian is a release to something better than I can imagine.

Now, if I had not accepted Jesus then maybe my attitude would be different.  Maybe I would be scratching and clawing to hold onto this life with all that I had.  I don’t even think I would have to believe in Jesus’ existence to feel this way.  I feel that when faced with imminent death a person knows what’s coming, good or bad.  I think some things that were hidden are revealed in those moments prior to dying when you know you’re going to die.

But, back to my question.   If you know that Jesus is your salvation, if you know that He has provided a free way out, then why fear dying.  Why fight to stay here?  Of course this line of questioning is rather specific to prison and the death penalty.  I don’t believe God is looking for anyone to just walk out into traffic just to make it back to Him.  He controls the timeline of each persons life, not me.

p.s. You can pray to Jesus today and ask him to forgive you for your sins and ask Him to come into your life and be your savior.  If you don’t know exactly how, then contact a Christian friend or call Christian church.  They can lead you.

Advertisements

Time is running out

I think that most people would agree that things in the world are changing.  Rapidly.  I’m not just talking about environmental issues.  I’m talking more about the heart condition of men and women around the world.  There is a coldness that wasn’t there before.  At least not to the extent that it is now.

Yes, there has always been violence and other depraved behavior.  But today is different.  The coldness that exists now is more pervasive.  It has reached into every corner of the world.  Every country, state, city and suburb.  Have you noticed that most people would just as soon run over you as let you go in front of them in line at the grocery store?  Do you wait forever and a day to turn onto a road because every driver is so absorbed in their own activity that they don’t even see you?  Have you noticed that the news, any news, is about things that you never thought would happen?  People of all different races and backgrounds are angrily trying to remove any reference to God out of public view.  News organizations that once prided themselves on dedication to the truth are now perverting the truth to suit their own needs and philosophies.  There are more murders on any given day than any one person could keep track of.  Wars and rumors of wars that have no end in sight.

God is allowing more and more of the wrong in the world to come into full view.  From the top leaders to the lack of common courtesy things have changed and it cannot be denied.  A country that was extinct for nearly 2000 years suddenly is reborn.  This happened just in 1948 and already most have forgotten, or no longer care.  Here’s what I don’t know:  I don’t know how much time we have left here and I don’t know how to make those that are blind to the truth see.  God has been proven to exist over and over again.  Things have happened that have no other explanation other than by the hand of God.  And yet the hearts of many only grow colder.  This too was predicted in the Bible and it’s growing more pervasive by the day.

Here’s the bottom line:  I am not a great orator.  I’m not a bible scholar.  I don’t know how to get the lost to believe.  I do know that God has placed it on my heart to do what I can with the tools available to me to sound a warning.  To sound a warning that time here on earth is drawing to a close.  My particular tool is social media.  There are many like me that are issuing the same warning.  Some online, some on the street, some in writing, some on a stage, some person to person.  Please accept Jesus before it’s too late.  If you don’t know how, then find a Christian that can lead you.

 

A night in the life of PTSD

Insomnia again

Insomnia again (Photo credit: Foodie In Disguise)

 

PTSD is a weird thing.  It’s hard to explain to someone who doesn’t have it.  I’ve tried and never been able to fully explain it.  I usually get a response like, “Yes, I understand, I have problems sleeping sometimes too!, or I understand completely! Sometimes I forget things.”  But, unfortunately the person that says this only thinks they understand.  They’re well meaning, but they don’t truly understand.

 

Here’s an example.  I had difficulty sleeping last night.  I have these nights every so often.  Some times more often than not.  But, it’s not just insomnia or I’m just thinking about things.  During these nights my brain is running scenarios that don’t exist or haven’t happened.  These scenarios are combined with visions and feelings from the past.  Some nights I remember that thoughts or memories and sometimes I don’t.

 

Last night I don’t remember what the thoughts or memories were.  What I do know is I woke up this morning with an elevated heart rate and the overwhelming feeling through my whole body that something was horribly wrong.  Problem was I had no idea what was so wrong.  All I knew was that it was bad, very bad.  So the first thing I did this morning was try to rule out any ‘real world’ problems.  Was something really tragically wrong, or is it just my mind running wild again?  Turns out it was just in my head.

 

But, once I figured out that the threat was not real I still have to deal with the physical issues that the night has caused.  My mind is still reeling and my body is as tense as if I was in a physical fight.  My heart rate is still very elevated.  I haven’t tested my blood pressure, but my assumption is that it is too high as well.

 

So, now I will need to spend an hour or two trying to ‘come down’ from the imaginary fight I’ve been in.  That process will take a while.  Depending on the day, it may take hours to get back in control.  Hopefully, I won’t have to take a zanex to aid the process.  I prefer not to take that medicine.  Although occasionally I have no choice.  Sometimes I think it would be better if I woke up and actually met a threat of some sort.  At least then I’d have a target to direct my anxiety towards.

 

 

Why do gun owners feel guilt?

Glock model 22 (.40 S&W) in the new olive drab...

Glock model 22 (.40 S&W) in the new olive drab frame (with magazine) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I watched a video on youtube this morning from Mr. Colion Noir.  He had a great point that I hadn’t really put into concrete thought or words.  Because of current social waves I was feeling that the fact that I own a gun was something to be hidden.  Almost something to feel ashamed of, or guilt.

 

But why?  I have done everything required by law in order to own a gun.  I’ve had training, extensive training, in its use.  I’ve had training and practice in safety practices.  I feel a strong desire to protect my family and those that may be around me.  So why do I feel any guilt?

 

I’ll tell you why.  It’s because I fell into the trap that has been created by those that are antigun for a variety of reasons.  I let the words of a few get into my head.  A vehicle is as deadly as a gun, but yet I feel no guilt for driving.  Knives can inflict great bodily harm and death, but one of our kitchen drawers are full of them.  Gasoline is highly flammable and explosive, but I go to the gas station with no permit from anyone.  No background checks.  No concealment requirement to carry a gas can to the gas station.

 

I can drive less than a mile from my house to Target.  For much less money than one gun and no government permits, I can buy bats, knives, hammers, screw drivers, rope, etc.  All of these items can be deadly weapons.  But, I feel no guilt and society doesn’t try to give me any.

 

So, why is there gun guilt?

 

PTSD Elitism

Regions of the brain affected by PTSD and stress.

Regions of the brain affected by PTSD and stress. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I was searching, like I often do, for any new information on PTSD.  If you’ve read any of my older posts you know that deal with PTSD.  But, although my time in the Army contributed to my current state, there were other contributors as well.  Traumatic experiences for me, and many, started in childhood.

 

Now, on to my point.  In my web search I came across a message board on one of the hundreds of PTSD sites that have sprung up lately.  One of the first posts was a very long and venomous post from an Iraq war veteran.  It is apparently his belief that ptsd only exists in military members that have been in a combat zone and have seen people die.  By looking at the comments, he was not alone in his beliefs.  Other apparent veterans had commented with their approval of his post.  Let me be clear, that this was not a friendly, this is how I feel post.  This was a “anybody that wasn’t in the Gulf region and claims to have PTSD is worthless and a liar” post.

 

I tried to comment on the thread, but it had been closed to any further comments.  So, I’ll put my opinion here.

 

First, yes, war is horrible and it’s unfair that anyone should be sent to a foreign country and come back changed.  Never to be the same.

 

Now, on to my point.  I have diagnosed with PTSD three or so years ago.  I was in the Army, but not in a declared combat zone.  So, why do I have ptsd then, if I wasn’t in a war?  Because wars do not just happen on foreign grounds.  Wars are taking place in violent and abusive homes everyday.  Is it hard to watch a friend get killed in combat?  I can only imagine.  Is it hard to know when the next beating will come and from where and why?  That I can attest to.  Yes, it is hard.   Is it hard to watch you mother be abused in various ways and be too small to help?  Yep, it sucks.  Is it hard to be sent out on an unknown stateside mission in the early morning hours only to find yourself knee deep in a swamp picking up body parts for the next week.  Yep, I was there, not fun.

 

So, if you are a veteran that was in a foreign war, I thank you for your service and I’m truly sorry that you have seen the things you’ve seen and that you came home changed.  But, before you jump onto some type of PTSD pedestal and accuse others of being fakers or human trash, you may want to educate yourself on more than what you read in a VA pamphlet or what your battle buddy said he heard from this other guy that went to the VA.  Do some online searching for statistics on PTSD and who can be diagnosed with it.