I am amazed whenever a mass shooting happens like the one at Oregon's Umpqua Community College, people in government, on both sides of the aisle, rush to the podium and proclaim, "We need new laws to ensure this never happens again." Or, "If only more armed citizens had been present this act could have been prevented."
If government can solve the world's ills, then like Jesus, it can also walk on water. If armed citizens can apprehend criminals before they commit crimes, then we are living in a pre-crime state. Welcome to MINORITY REPORT.
We do not need new laws. We have plenty on the books, and many others that are together incomprehensible, or ineffective; enforced by fallible, morally flawed people. Government can legislate. It can enforce. It can even confiscate and incarcerate. But it can’t change hearts. Government has a role to play, sensible legislation has a place, regulation can be a good means to a better end, but it will never make a people moral.
We do not need more guns. There is no shortage of firearms in this country. There never has been. I have no issue with guns. Guns are a-moral; it’s the hand and heart holding the weapon that animates it. I trust law-abiding, trained, responsible citizens to look after each other. The 2nd Amendment needs no defense from me. But "more guns, less crime" won't fix this problem.
The issue isn't guns, be it too many or too few. The primary solution isn't legislation. Laws will only ever be faithfully followed by law-abiding citizens.
The root issue is flawed people. The real war isn’t on guns or crime. It’s between good and evil; the human heart stands at the crossroads.
The best defense against evil is a strong, moral people. And that's built person by person, one soul at a time, by mothers and fathers who raise their children with a clear understanding of good and evil; not just external evil. I'm primarily speaking of the evil that resides in every human heart. Growing up, my parents taught me that my biggest obstacle in life wasn't some inequity or wrong committed against me, but rather, my biggest obstacle in life was William Carl Bauers. ME. William was William's biggest obstacle in life. He still is.
My greatest challenge, daily, is to bring the darkness within me into the light, and put it to death. Some days I die more than once. Darkness manifests itself in many forms: unkind words spoken to a loved one in the heat of the moment; an out-of-control temper that lashes out; a proud spirit that puts another down; an absent or emotionally distant parent; a workaholic who sacrifices his family for the pursuit of material wealth; a friend who looks the other way; a hardened heart that refuses to help another soul in need; and a sick, ill, or embittered soul that takes the life of another.
People are flawed, everyone. You only need to look around the globe, or in your own backyard, to see that something is desperately wrong with the world.
There is good and evil in this world. Bad things will continue to happen. All the government in the world won't change that. A gun in the hand of every American citizen won't stop the bloodletting.
But I do know what can change, with one hundred percent clarity: ME.
I'm raising my sons to be a force for good in this world, by understanding how evil operates, by knowing how to kill it:
I grieve for the family's who lost loved ones. They are in my thoughts and prayers. I grieve for our country. Something must be done. But the answer isn't guns or legislation. The answer is a hard look in the mirror.
The problem is not guns or laws.
Cover Reveal! INDOMITABLE, a Hardcore Cover for a Hardcore Military SF novel, hits shelves July 2016
Award-winning artist Stephan Martiniere hit the cover of INDOMITABLE out of the stratosphere. I'm over Montana's three moons about this cover, which features Lieutenant Promise Paen of the RAW-MC in her mechsuit. The rifle depicted is the Marine Corps, 3rd Evolution, Extended-Range Pulse Rifle, or MC3-ERP (pronounced Mc-Eerp) - standard issue light weapon of the RAW-MC ( in case you were wondering).
Wow, wow, WOW!
INDOMITABLE hits shelves July 26, 2016. Let the countdown begin! Three weeks before that, Tor releases the paperback of UNBREAKABLE.
To Stephan: Brillian. Mechtastic. Makes me want to suit up and go three rounds with Iron Man.
To Tor Books and my intrepid, cosplay-wearing editor, Marco Palmieri: Thanks for the bang-up job. Truly top-drawer publishing.
Please check out my newly redesigned website, www.wcbauers.com, for more information on the book and for the latest news about Promise and the RAW-MC.
- W. C.
God help me if I'm ever in this situation. See the link below for context. Then, read on.
Now, I need a dummy-gun and a training partner. Master Hong, are you game?
For the record, the best defense is not to be there. Then, compliance. Here's my wallet...you can have it. My life is more important than my Visa. Run away if you can.
Fighting isn't cool. I know...there is a certain coolness factor to a Chan or Lee film. Five-on-one: cool X 5. Ten-on-one: that's cinematic magic. It's also a twisted distortion of reality. We root for the good guy while the body count piles high.
Fighting is dangerous and in many cases morally questionable, if not wrong. Trying to take a gun from someone will likely get you hurt, perhaps seriously, perhaps permanently, perhaps fatally.
But, sometimes, the only option is to fight for your life. In those instances, do what you must to keep yourself and the ones you love alive. Hopefully, you've got training to fall back upon.
Don't court the unforgiving minute. The Martial Arts aren't white-magic voodoo. Disarming a gunman isn't cool ( well, okay, it kind of is). But that prospect should also terrify you. It terrifies me. Most people don't have the proper mindset to attempt it, let alone the training to begin with. Including me.
I have a 2nd Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo and I've only just begun learning. I've trained little in gun defense. But I want to do more, much more. The more I learn the more I come to terms with my own frailty; the more I come to terms with how little I know. I've only just begun.
But, I'm open to learning more.
Start there...if you're interested. Stay humble. Stay teachable. Get training. Become a student and pass on what you've learned.
Never use your knowledge for self-gain. Develop might to do right, and walk humbly. Be an ambassador of peace. Confront evil with good, speak life. But, when you must, stand firm.
Today, my late grandfather, CPO William Coates, has been on my mind.
What are your thoughts on a mandatory military service requirement, also called the Draft?
Periodically, this subject surfaces, often in connection with Israel. I saw it surface again last week. Israel has a mandatory service requirement for women and men. Should we?
I'm opposed to the draft for two principle reasons.
1. Forcing people to go to war seems to me to be an intrinsically bad idea. The all-volunteer military is the obvious alternative, and my personal preference.
2. I'm for freedom. If the state has the power to force you into harm's way, or possibly order you to surrender your life for the greater good, then you aren't truly free.
"The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few." Mr. Spock said as much in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. To an extent he's right. The fate of a ship or a nation is more important that that of any single crew member or citizen. But, remember, Spock made the choice to sacrifice himself for his crew. He wasn't forced or compelled to do it. The needs of the many - in our case the state - might outweigh the needs of the few. But, in the course of defending its interests abroad and even its homeland, the state should never strip away the rights of the people it's sworn to protect and serve.
Philosopher and noted author Ayn Rand [and others] have argued - and rightly so - that all other rights hinge upon personal property rights and, I would add, are given to us by our creator. See the Declaration of Independence for more on that. My body, my property. I lose that then I've lost everything. My rights don't come from the state, they come from God. I am not a ward of the state; the state doesn't own me. My life is a gift from God. The state may not cash it like common currency.
Note: For this post, I'm specifically thinking of wars fought upon foreign soil. If America was invaded, I'm confident that, without being asked, tens of millions of the body politic would open their closets, take out their Remington bolt-actions and AR-15s, and refresh the tree of liberty with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
Okay...let me know what you think. And thanks for reading.
You're wondering, I'm sure, what these Military Science fiction novels and Neil Patrick Harris's abs have in common?
Isn't obvious? Rock-hard writing and mil-spec'd action...er, abs. Besides appearing in bleach-white skivvies for the 2015 Oscars, Harris appeared in a military SF movie years ago, which will remain nameless because it ruined one of my all-time favorite novels. Oh, okay, because you asked: Starship Troopers.
But, back to the abs...the mil-spec'd novels. Please check these out including my own, UNBREAKABLE, at B&N's SF/F blog, HERE.
Why Promise? Where'd I get that name from? Promise is an odd name for a character, don't you think? Couldn't you have come up with something else besides Promise Paen? Really?
Before I hike into the weeds you should know a bit of back-story about Promise. My kid sister is named Promise. No, I didn't set out to name my character after her. I don't see it that way at all. The name fit my character so I went with it. “Promise” just happened to be my sibling's name too. It is an unusual name, I'll give you that. But, to me it's no more unusual that Katniss or Hermione or Triss.
Someone will inevitably raise this point so I'll make it now. Sigh. My sister can be a PITA. All kid sisters are at some point. Mine is a blunt, no nonsense lady. She's a killer mom and wife. She's a fierce friend. I'd gladly take a bullet for her.
Now the weeds. I have a tragic view of life. Pain is inevitable. Maybe it's now, maybe it's later, but life is going to suck at some point. BUT, and it’s a big one, I'm an eternal optimist too. Life is ahead; it always is. Life is dualistic. It's tragic and hope filled. It's full of pain but also great promise. That duality is at the heart of my character.
Promise loves the suck. She thrives on it.
UNBREAKABLE is in some ways as much a critique of suffering as it is a romping-good military SF read. Yes, it's about the mil spec'd hardware, the Marine ethos, and peeling back the fog of war. Bullets fly and beams slay aplenty. I love mil history so you’ll get a bit of that in the book too. But, on a primal level, it's also about thriving in spite of tragedy and maybe even because of it.
What doesn't kill us makes us stronger, right? For Promise, what doesn't kill her also makes her more lethal.