A Shot in the Dark morphs into A Shot in the Light

Guns, religion, and patriotism go together. Some Americans are bothered by that trio being mixed together.

Each tine there are murders by guns, a parade of gun laws are brought up to be passed. Yet, these laws won't stop determined killers. Effective ways to stop determined killers hasn't been developed so far.

When people make spiritual progress, some of them take on the belief that they no longer need to use weapons to protect the people of a land. All that is needed is spiritual protection.

The Bible says that spiritual things are foolishness to the nonbeliever. (See 1st. Corinthians 2:14) Let's not be foolish. If you take away all the guns from citizens, only bad guys will own guns.

There is a Pollyanna belief that when people become spiritual, they have to give up any fight or flight instincts in themselves. For example, the Amish, the Baha'i, the Brethern, the Jehovah Witness, and the Mennonite religions won't participate in the military in their own lands based on their spiritual beliefs. They aren't alone.

In modern Israel, a wall being built for its security, and citizens walking around with weapons, is interpreted as aggressive by Israel's neighbors and by some leaders in the United Nations. The alternative would be worse: No wall, less weapons, more casualties.

An example of weapons used in the Bible is the account of the Prophet Nehemiah. Nehemiah was commissioned to build a wall around Jerusalem. The enemies of Israel said that Jerusalem was safe without a wall. Nehemiah knew better and ordered all his carpenters and workman to have a tool in one hand and a weapon in the other hand readied for enemy attacks. The wall was built and protected Jerusalem. (The Book of Nehemiah, chapters 1 - 6)

In Jesus' day, there were no guns. There were swords. For self-defense against bad people attacking you for your unacceptable beliefs, Jesus "said to them, 'From this hour, whoever has a money bag should take it and thus also a wallet, and whoever lacks a sword, let him sell his tunic and buy a sword for himself." (Luke 22:36, Aramaic Bible in Plain English)

If we could get away from believing extremist positions of either too many guns or strict gun control, is it possible to find a common sense middle ground on this hotbed issue? Like it or not, guns are an important topic for the protection of a people. Weapons were so important an issue that the founders of the United States wrote a Second Amendment to the Constitution to protect gun ownership.

In 2008, President Obama said that small town Americans in Pennsylvania and the Midwest are easily fooled. These small town folks "cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren't like them." If we drop the word antipathy, we are left with the negative slant that there are Americans who are crazy because they hold to their guns and religion.

I have wondered if there is a city in the United States where gun control has reduced the number of shootings? I don't think so.

Can we make the crazy Americans who believe in guns and religion into a positive instead of a negative? Yes. Other Presidents have said "Peace through strength" and "Trust but verify." These statements are closer to a positive middle ground for having "guns and religion" work together in a protective context.

When we look closely at killers, we may realize that “It’s not about gun control. It’s about shooter control.”

"Watch" is what Jesus advised to do. Part of praying is to watch out for danger. Jesus said, "Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man." (Luke 21:36)

The Prophet Samuel prayed for people who were confused over who should govern them. Should government be by man or by God? Samuel said, "As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right." (1st. Samuel 12:23)

Gun control and gun patrol can work together. We just have to have less extremist views and find some common sense middle ground. The truck that killed people in Nice, France was the weapon used. Should we write truck control laws or outlaw trucks? No. A sick mentality drove that truck. A sick mentality is responsible for murders by guns and rifles.

[The writers of the United States Constitution had no idea that a machine gun would be invented in 1884. The Las Vegas massacre is a wakeup call that there are types of military weapons and add-ons which need regulation. Something in that Vegas killer responded to being radicalized. What was the triggering premise in him eludes police investigators. That he was a millionaire and a successful gambler has also thrown people off guard. When I was brought up, the man who lived in the house behind us was a professional gambler. He raised his family by gambling.]

Reality: The world is violent.

Insanity: All we need is gun control.

Can we decide on a compromise somewhere on the reality and insanity scale?

Gun triggers that only respond to the finger print of an owner is a creative approach to gun control.

American Icon John Wayne said, "Gun control requires concentration and a steady hand." That sounds like a hint of compromise.

Bill Sweet

Spindrift Research

The Trickster as the Trumpster

Donald Trump may be the first President of the United States driven by paranormal effects. Here's why: Trump has shared characteristics simpatico with the "Trickster" and psychic intuition.

What is Trickster behavior? It's the unseen use of chaos and tricks that disobey normal rules of accomplishing goals.

What is psychic intuition? Intuition provides unconscious foresight to know information that fills potholes in the road before you drive over them, but other people hit the potholes.

Some characteristics of people who are deeply involved in psychic intuitions are these: They get the Trickster mixed into their daily routines. In other words, several non-normal activities are engrained into their lives. They may hold down a normal job, but their thinking is not in the average center of society's thinking. Their thinking is liminal (on the dark fringes of society) where most people don't choose to go or think.

In the television series, House M.D., why does Dr. Gregory House get away with being devious, obscene, liminal, undiplomatic, adolescent, obnoxious, uninhibited, impulsive, uncontrollable, erratic, and shifting positions? The doctors and administrators know Dr. House can deal unconventionally with medical problems they can't solve without his help. His behavior revolts them until they discover he has saved yet another patient.

Dr. House and Donald Trump are doctors with bad bedside manners. But they address problems in undiplomatic ways others miss or are afraid to address because of consequences and etiquette.

That Donald Trump has no filter between his mind and mouth works to his advantage, but it's also a weakness.

Tricksters are often refreshing to see in action versus having things done the same old way.

Tricksters tend to flex their muscles to achieve goals. In the Showtime cable series Billions, the hedge fund manager, Bobby Axelrod, and the United States Attorney, Chuck Rhoades, are cunning and narcissistic Trickster characters. Axelrod, Rhoades, House M.D., and Donald Trump flex their muscles and act like mob bosses.

Critics and admirers discover that charismatic Trickster people are moving targets that they can't anticipate or figure out.

The 1999 film mystery thriller Eyes Wide Shut is an example of the Trickster operating secretly in the underbelly of society unknown to the rest of society.

How is it that many Trickster and paranormal people get away with doing things that so-called normal people can't get away with doing? It's because attraction to their charisma gives them high-status, a status which excuses bad behaviors, but not forever.

For example, Charismatic King David had high-status as King of Judah and Israel. David was effective as a leader 'despite' being vulgar sometimes or when steeling a man's wife and having the husband murdered.

The audience for Sirius Radio's Howard Stern Show anticipates Stern to broadcast taboo questions and unmentionable sexual Trickster messages.

Liminal and flamboyant thinker, Milo Yiannopoulos, is an entertaining and disruptive Trickster personality.

Few would deny that charismatic entertainer Michael Jackson was a genius. His private life was infected with the Trickster element of pedophilia.

Overall, Trickster and paranormal personalities tend to express an entertainment value. In the role of a jester or comedian, a Trickster personality can bluntly say good or bad things that other people dare not say aloud, but secretly wish they could say. Both punch lines and counter punches come forth with ease. For example, eyes pop open when Donald Trump speaks like a construction worker. In construction terms, Trump is a wrecking ball.

Get into a conversation with a paranormal person, and you will soon jump down several rabbit holes until someone says, "Wait! Did I really hear you say that bizarre thing?"

Tricksters, conspirators, and paranormalists provoke dramas. Paranormal people tend to be obsessed with the concept of conspiracy; Trump and his wall to protect the western world, for example. They think that anyone who doesn't accept their positions is part of a plan to attack them. And sometimes they may be right about that. People are out to get them.

Tricksters are easily provoked and disruptive to the established order. They point out and cause anger when corporations and politicians make decisions before country.

Few of us are able to literally "speak our minds." Most people can't or won't speak their minds. People either think a thought that doesn't come out verbally the way it was thought subconsciously, or their etiquette and defense mechanisms prevent them from saying what's really on their minds. Just about everything said is edited; evaluated for its social acceptability or its political correctness before it is spoken.

In contrast to the norm, paranormal and Trickster people often speak openly and without inhibitions from their subconscious minds. This freedom to speak openly is a "loose cannon" that sometimes gets them in trouble for saying inappropriate words similar to a child who blurts out whatever comes to mind. Some paranormal people's freedom of thought almost makes them anti-social for saying things that pop out with little or no editing. Sometimes this uninhibited, unedited speech brands them as anti-social or societal rejects. Only a person with extreme charisma can get away with this kind of loose communication, but not forever.

Just as psychics draw upon their unconscious thoughts leading to their intuitions, Tricksters tend to speak out spontaneously. For example, Trump and his impetuous tweets.

When thinking too much about what to say, psychics lose their mojo (spontaneity). The same spontaneity has to occur for comedic wit. Waiting too long discharges the effect.

A Trickster personality doesn’t necessarily solve problems through harmony; on the contrary, he prefers to be a disruptor and stir things up.

Would you agree that these above characteristics are Donald Trump's characteristics? We are asking for a President who thinks outside the box. We may get a President who thinks way out there, in the outer limits.

In summary, if you are searching for an explanation of The Donald, here's one:

The premise of Trump is nothing-normal. So what is left for us to see? Overstatement of representations, conspiracy depictions, cheeky and para-normal thinking. Maybe the times cry out for such disruptive thinking in government.

Bill Sweet

Spindrift Research

Write to Bill: sweet@spindriftresearch.org