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I’m going to miss Fraud                                 By: CHAOS www.sportsourway.com

         April 14, 2016 I was listening to as much sports talk radio as I could, and as many shows and different takes as I could possibly absorb.  A 20-year legendary career had come to an end just the night before.  Outside of winning a championship, this was the greatest send off I have ever seen a player have.  Peyton winning a Super Bowl had to be the best, as he channeled his inner Trent Dilfer and managed the game all the way to a championship.  Brett Favre, now I remember more the season before his last when he took a mediocre Minnesota Vikings team to the NFC Championship game, with Adrian Peterson fumbling the game away.  That final season was riddled with injuries for Favre.  As far as the NBA goes, well who was the last player you were like, this is it.  Even Jordan snuck out of Washington like a congressman running away with a lobbyist.  This just doesn’t happen, where there is a farewell tour.
         Look, lets talk about this for a minute, some people think that when Kobe announced he was going to retire at the end of the season, that it was a selfish act to just draw attention to himself. WHAT??!!!  This is the polarizing Kobe Bryant, hey most of us figured that this would be it.  Just in case some people weren’t sure, Kobe fans, young Kobe fans in cities like New York, Minneapolis, Miami, etc. now knew that they had 1 last chance to see him in person.  There was no “I can catch him next year” and they knew that for sure so they had to get their ticket and get to the arena.
         Why do I say I will miss Fraud?  Well as I listened to almost every radio/TV talk show host I could and almost all marveled at what they saw on April 13, 2016.  Kobe’s last game. From nowhere Mamba dropped both 60 and the mic that night.  There was a couple with the standard, “Typical Kobe takes 50 shots.”  I mean really?!  I was pissed he had 4 assists! The Lakers were a 16-win team and this was the last time we would see Kobe on a NBA court.  “I sure hope DeAngelo Russell shoots 20 times” said no one ever on that day, not even DeAngelo’s mom and especially not Nick Young.  So you can complain if you want, but at least make some sense in your argument.
         Enter Jason Whitlock, who is a solid columnist for Fox Sports but I think he was on Fox and friends, their jank morning show filled with takes just to incite an audience.  He opened the show with 2 things that made me go “who is this assclown?”  How hungover was he? (Which is phenomenal when you are 25, not 35 fat and bald.)  He opens with the NFL trade of the day, and don’t get me wrong that’s a big deal, but that’s your lead?!  The only time that makes sense is when Kevin Dyson gets tackled at the 1 by the Rams in the Super Bowl, not a trade of draft picks.  When he finally gets to Kobe, he prefaces it by saying, “I am a wolf and I have sharp teeth, I am about to cut into people right now.”  You’re a what?!  I have never seen a middle aged fat wolf, profess on a constant basis how much money they have and how they love the Bunny Ranch in Vegas more than you. “Kobe Bryant is a fraud.”  I about drove off the road into a lake.  My jaw dropped, but I had to hear why.  “All he ever did in his career is act like Michael Jordan, pattern his game like Michael Jordan, treat the media like Michael Jordan, everything about him screamed “I can’t be like Mike.”  That is when I laughed.  Ok I get it.  He wants to cuddle with Mike, snuggle up to him just a little more and is a flat out Kobe hater.  I felt better at that moment; this is someone with a take that just wants to get clicks.  I could see the Internet headline “Jason Whitlock calls Kobe Bryant a Fraud.”  That would do it (Turns out I was wrong the headlines actually read Jason Whitlock calls Kobe Bryant the most fraudulent celebrity athlete ever).  I get it, I am just a random dude with a podcast and a blog.  Who doesn’t have that anymore?  Everyone seems to, and clicks are what keep you relevant.  I just hold the ones on a show with millions of listeners and a company with the resources Fox has to not play the “let me get clicks” game.
         Fraud, lets look at that for a minute.  Kobe was the heir apparent to 23.  He talked like him, walked like him, defended like him, developed a mid range game, had his toughness.  So pretty much we had that player from 1984, when Michael was drafted by the Bulls to 2016 when Kobe retired from the Lakers.  32 years of the most amazing player we would see in our generation.  A combination of Kobe/Michael, with supreme toughness.  The best players in the game at the time Michael scored 38 against Utah with a 103 degree fever, or when Kobe dislocated his finger a couple times in a game.  Timeout is called to pop it back in and he didn’t miss a play.  When he tore his ACL, shot free throws because he thought he would be back in the game and walked off the court.  Lebron has cramps is carried off the court. In his first home game of his first Finals, Paul Pierce banged knees with Kendrick Perkins, and was taken off in a wheelchair. A little later he comes running back on the court to finish the game.  Kobe and Michael had to be saying, “what the hell is wrong with you guys. Cramps, really!! You were healthy enough to come back in the game and play so no way you needed to be taken off in a wheel chair!”  If Kobe is fraud, I vote that we need more fraud in the NBA.  What we don’t hear now is who is the heir apparent to Kobe Bryant is, because there isn’t one. That player might never arrive.
         So just to be clear Jason Whitlock, you are a moron, but also correct. Kobe patterned his game after Michael, he wanted to be the best player in the world.  What did you expect him to do, pattern his game after Slava Medvadenko?  Who is he you ask, exactly my point.  You pattern your game after greatness if you want to be great.  Shaq called it right in May of ’97 when the Lakers where playing Utah in the playoffs.  The Lakers were about to be eliminated, swept even.  Kobe was the one shooting the air ball 3 pointers, but he kept shooting.  He was trying to get them back in the game.  Shaq said “this kid is going to be great, he showed he isn’t afraid to take the big shot and soon they will fall.”  36 game winning shots later, you can ask Indiana in the finals what they think.  The Suns in the playoffs, or the Blazers in the Western Conference finals.  Good thing he didn’t pattern his game after Slava.
         His career is over, but who is the next Kobe/Michael?  It’s hard to find a player like that anymore.  Lebron just doesn’t have the same toughness, but is still amazing.  Steph will blaze his own path, but his game is more Steve Nash.  (Before you think that’s a bad thing, he has 2 MVPs and was one of the most creative guards and best shooters in the game.)  Steph is going to be better, but their games are the same.  Kevin Durant, CP3, Anthony Davis, Karl Anthony Towns? None of them. Really seems like the player with the closest game might be Russell Westbrook.  Time will tell, I hope that we find him, but it just goes to show, Fraud IS GOOD, and I am going to miss FRAUD.

​For The Love Of The Game???                                                   By:Chaos

         You are here on this site, reading this blog because in some capacity you love sports.  You may have 1 favorite team or 15 favorite teams, and you know what, it doesn’t matter.  We have a friend who just loves football.  His favorite team is whoever wins the Super Bowl and that’s ok too.  He just loves the sport and doesn’t need a team.  It may not be as romantic as being a Laker Fan, Celtics Fan, Cubs fan or a fan of any team, but its still sexy because its sports and he’s a fan.
         What is the best sports story of all time?  Is it the Miracle on Ice?  Buster Douglas knocking out the freight train that was Mike Tyson?  Hank Gathers, just the story of LMU, what they did and who he was.  Bo Kimble finished the season shooting free throws left handed and continued to do so as a pro.
         One of the most amazing sports stories that I have ever seen, and one that no one likes to talk about because of the righteous attitude of not talking about it because drugs are involved.  People forget they had teenage years, were a young adult and could conquer the world and would try anything once.  Get off your high horses and acknowledge what Doc Ellis did.  He dropped acid and not just a small dose but a grown ass man dose of LSD.  People in this day and age can’t walk and text much less bust out a no no while most likely seeing pink elephants flying by sorting coke through crazy straws, oh and the guys with bats staring him down not get a hit.  Yet it doesn’t get spoken about much.
         I know these are all milestones, events that happened yesteryear.  Think about what we have been force-fed just over the past 18 months.  Seems like twice a week, ESPN shoots an alert, something new is going on with Johnny Manziel.  He is spotted somewhere drinking, trouble with the police, or maybe even a sex scandal.  You know what alert I don’t get from ESPN about him, I don’t get anything related to football.  Not how his workouts have looked, how great a football player he is/was or might be, just a reality TV show similar to catching up with the Kardashians.
         Think of all the other headlines we have seen, and the other stories that have dominated our time.  Greg Hardy, the human filth.  He might be a African American football player but he is no more than white trash.  Other stories that took our time away from our families: Ray Rice and the domestic abuse, Adrian Peterson’s incident with his son.  How much time have we had to endure “deflate gate?”  This might be the dumbest story we all have ever seen.  You would think at this point Tom Brady laced the entire NFL’s food with ebola. Owners, players, scouts, cheerleaders everyone.  I mean this has been to the courts twice and is on its way again. No one even knows for sure he did this.  Its forced down our throats though.  Minnesota, Carolina and San Diego all did something similar but just got fines.  Lebron James “goes dark” on twitter, HGH all over the place and Josh Gordon cant take 2 and pass.
         Now I love sports like I have said but I do not love all this bullshit.  You know what I do love.  Chris Singleton and his story.  Know it?  Some of you may but I get most of you don’t.  He’s a baseball player, Yankees are looking at him but he isn’t big time, not yet.  His story is more of one about family.  He didn’t beat anyone, he love his mom.  She was his best friend.  He played college at Charleston Southern, 7 miles away from where he lived so his mom could go see his games. On a Wednesday night while he was playing a road game.  His mom was at church, where she always was, as a ordained minister.  A man came in with a automatic weapon and just out of pure hate, killed 8 people in the church that night, his mom being one.  It’s a horrific story, one that can bring someone to their knees and make them want to quit.  Chris however didn’t go down a path, most people would have, hell that I would have. In one of his first public address, the day after the shooting, everyone expecting him to ask why, call for vengeance or just lash out.  He did none of those, he said that he forgives the shooter.  That is what his mom would have done, and there was no room for hate.  It became the mantra “No matter how much hate there is in the world, its no match for love.”  Why wasn’t this story on 24/7.  Where were the updating tweets on how he just wanted to make sure his siblings were going to be ok.  I didn’t get one, did you?  How his faith, and his mothers teachings were going to carry them through. Just checked my phone I don’t see that.  That is why I love sports.  I know its not just sports its humanity, its triumph and overcoming all the hardest odds you don’t think you can get through.  Its Warrick Dunn building 145 homes for single mothers.  I should have a tweet for every new house that goes up.  Let me see if I have one, nope but hey Johnny Manziel, you know the quarterback that started 5 games in his career is in a disguise in Vegas.  Good to know.  Charles Woodson gave $2 million dollars for a children’s hospital.  Pau Gasol stat line is 5 charities and 10 causes, almost all around children.  Unfortunately all we hear is Penn State and children not the work he is doing.
         I know fundamentally this is how we are wired, but sometimes we eat what we are fed and that’s all we know to eat.  Let always go get the story that shows the worst in the athlete and not the best.  That’s not what I love about sports, why I watch, talk about and write about sports.  I hate that what we are shown is the worst, and I get it its not just sports.  You can’t watch the news for 15 minutes and not be depressed.  We wonder why the nation is on so much antidepressants, Ritalin, oxy, any upper to start the day and any downer to get some sleep.
         Sports though, the best times are at the game when its just you and the action.  Game 7 of the western conference finals, Blazers at Lakers.  I was there with friends, I was devastated when the 4th quarter started. Lakers were getting killed, by the end of that quarter Kobe throws the alley oop to Shaq, they take the lead and I am on a natural high for days.  That’s the love story, those moments.  When we all can say we beat our arch rivals.  We say we because we love that team and should love Chris Singleton, Warrick Dunn and others who do more than they need to but there is no live tweeting of it.
         This was more for me, I had to get this out, maybe you agree or maybe you have just been ok with it all. That none of this makes much of a difference.  Just think about this, if the family of Michael Brown took the attitude Chris Singleton did.  Ferguson would look entirely different, and when it was found out he attacked a cop and went after his gun.  People have to look back and know the rioting they did, as usual was for them only and not a protest over a cop that for no reason shot a teen.  So watch sports, love sports and root for your favorite team like it’s the last game they will ever play, because the major media is more inclined to update you on Johnny Manziel not Tim Tebow or your favorite team tomorrow when they send out their alerts.

The Ming, I Mean Popovich Dynasty

By: CHAOS www.sportsourway.com

            I grew up in Manhattan Beach, California.  I was/ am a huge Laker fan.  How awesome was it for me to see Magic throw some of the most amazing passes to the best scorer in NBA history.  Yes, I mean Kareem Adbul Jabaar.  All the talk of greatest players in NBA history and his name is always left out of the discussion, in a lot of cases even by me.  Magic being maybe the most enigmatic player I have ever seen.  Throw in a complimentary cast of Michael Cooper, Byron Scott, Mychael Thompson, Kurt Rambis, and Coach Pat Riley. Sure beats growing up a basketball fan of say, anywhere else really, SHOWTIME.
            November 1991, when Magic announced that he was HIV positive, Laker fans - all basketball fans worlds’ came to a screeching halt.  Back in the 60’s and 70’s, the NFL was not the major sport.  It was Boxing, Horseracing and Baseball.  By the 90’s the NBA had taken center stage: Bird, Magic and Jordan taking the league to new heights.  Real rivalries were born through Bird laying a clothesline on Rambis; Bill Laimbeer and Rick Mahorn just being themselves and the introduction of the “Jordan Rules”
            But in a galaxy far, far away, in a “small market” of San Antonio, they were quietly about to build a giant.  Jordan was winning championships, little kids in China were making his Nike’s for 11 cents an hour, and I was buying them for $150 a pair.  We all were wondering what he was going to do next.  Spurs hired Greg Popovich in 1994 as their GM and Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations.  A move no one cared about at the time but changed that franchise forever.  His first move: he traded Dennis Rodman to the Bulls for Will Purdue, knowing character mattered.  Over the next two years, Spurs went 121 – 43.  Then it happened: David Robinson, the last player in the league to record a quadruple double was out,along with Chuck Person, Vinnie Del Negro, and Sean Elliot who all had season ending injuries in the 96 – 97 season going 20 – 62, getting them the first pick in the draft, Tim Duncan!
            Popvich fired then coach Bob Hill and became the coach, VP and GM of the team.  I remember thinking what a dirty move - you get the best player in college basketball, your three stars are healthy and you take that cake job.  Jordan was winning what would be his last title four games to two against Utah.  The NBA was about to face a lockout and the Spurs were about to reign.
            The Lockout came and ended.  The NBA played a 50 game season that seemed like it was on hyper speed.  Teams played three games in three nights with regularity - as a fan it was amazing.  It was the NBA’s version of porn for the diehard fan.   Spurs would go 37 – 13, dominating with Duncan and Robinson anchoring the team.  It was their first trip to the finals where they would meet the 8th seed out of the east: the New York Knicks, led by Allan Houston, Latrell Spreewell and LJ with his 4 point play, Grandmama.  A bitch slap was coming.  Spurs would win their first title four games to one in the Popovich era.
            So right about this time I was heading to Vegas (Just roll with the story for a second), flying that luxurious airliner Southwest Airlines from Los Angeles.  Had my copy of Sports Illustrated to read on the plane, where Duncan had just taken it to Shaq on the cover.  Again, being a diehard Laker fan, I hated that cover.  Getting on the flight after I was already on was Derek Fisher and Sean Rooks - backup point guard and center for the Lakers.  I had met a few Lakers in the past but I had to talk to these two.  If you have ever flown to Vegas you know that the walk to baggage claim may as well be a trek across Ethiopia for six grains of rice.  So I catch up to Fisher, with my S.I. in hand, asking him about the Spurs.  “What happened?  Are they really that much better than us?”  He looked at me like the assclown that I was being and gave a polite answer: “They were in this series.”  “Yea but Duncan is a bum and the Spurs, c’mon really?” (again, my “fandemonium” coming out).   He just sort of stopped and looked at me and said “Duncan is a bad man.”  I then asked him and Sean Rooks to sign my Sports Illustrated, which they did.  Looking back at it later, it did seem like a dick move on my part because I mean it’s the cover of them just being eliminated from the playoffs by the best team in the league.  After that conversation of course all I took from it was what the hell does anyone who went to Arkansas Little Rock know anyway?  Duncan, a bad man?  Yea right.  Oh and as far as the dick move, I feel good about it today knowing what we know about Derek Fisher being a pile of trash.
            Back to the Spurs and Pop.  So the Lakers finally found their stride winning the next three titles as Kobe came into his own with Shaq.  Spurs though were always lurking.  Some of the best playoff series ever between the two in 2000 and 2002.  2001 Lakers just lost one game the entire playoffs.  Spurs over those three years went 169- 77, just insane.  Now it was their turn winning three titles in five years.  Duncan being the dominant force behind what was about to be the class franchise in the NBA.
            Looking at a team like the Philadelphia 76ers, from the 2012 to the 2015 NBA draft they had 19 draft picks.  Seven just in the 2014 draft.  They have had the 3rd overall pick twice, 10th, 11th and 15th overall.  They drafted five centers in that time, three just in 2015.  Which by the way, in 2011 they also drafted a center named Nikola Vucevic 16th overall who they traded in a 4 team deal to get umm Andrew Bynum…oops.  Spurs are the antithesis of the 76ers.  Here are just a few of their draft picks, all again while being one of the best teams in the NBA and never in the lottery.  1999 Manu Ginobli pick 57, 2001 Tony Parker pick 28, 2002 Luis Scola pick 55, 2003 Leonardo Barbosa pick 28, 2005 Beno Udrith pick 28, 2007 Tiago splitter pick 28, 2008 George Hill pick 26, 2008 Goran Dragic, pick 45 and 2009 Dejuan Blair pick 37.  Some names better than others but all great picks at the spots.  Traded Dragic on draft day to the Suns for a bust but did trade George Hill for Kawai Leonard, one of the best all around players in the NBA.  They kept signing veteran free agents and star free agents along the way because of Pop and the culture.  For as much winning as they have done, now with LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard, they aren’t going away anytime soon.
            It was a weird transition for me to go from Spurs hater because of all the battles with the Lakers, to respecting and appreciating the franchise.  Over the years I couldn’t find a reason to really hate them, other than that awesome reason of “They are just always so good.”  The character of their team could never be questioned; Tim Duncan’s wife cheated on him, so he left her.  Take that statement in for a second - while Shawn Kemp was out procreating like a gremlin; MJ was getting BJ’s at every stop on a road trip; Kobe was ahem in Colorado; 21 was just being a good dude.  Avery Johnson was preacher Johnson and Tony Parker was snuggling up to Eva Longoria.  There were no scandals.  They were a boringly awesome squad that just kept winning.  Then it became Superman vs Bizarro: Spurs vs Heat in the NBA Finals.  This for me is when I became a fan.  The team that was built vs the team that was bought.  2013 was when they lost in seven games.  Game 6 they could have closed out the series up 75 – 65 after 3.  Up three with seconds left, Lebron missed a 3, Bosh climbed to get the offensive rebound and Ray Allen tied it to send the game to OT, where the heat would win 103 – 100.  Bizarro, team bought won this series but 2014 Superman, the Spurs would face the Heat again and destroy the Heat so bad (4 games to 1) they would send Lebron crying all the way back home to Cleveland.  One of the most amazing things to me that year wasn’t just that the Spurs won the title but with a regular season record of 62 – 20 and not one player on their team averaged playing 30 minutes a game or more for the season.
            To say it’s a Spurs dynasty is just too easy; the founder, the creator and architect of it all is Greg Popovich.  Game 6 of the Finals in 2013 he said numerous times “How much fun is this!”  He coaches his superstars, his role players, and his coaches.  His coaching tree has more branches on it than Red Auerbach and Phil Jackson.  He puts together quality people to scout, run daily operations and this is where Jerry Jones should take notes, he lets them do the job they are supposed to do - coaching everyone along the way.
            I cheer for the Lakers still, in all their infinite sadness that they are, but in all of sports there isn’t many people like Popovich.  Someone who when asked who he was going to go see when midnight strikes for free agency he replies “I’ll be asleep, I wouldn’t want anyone to wake me up that late - why would I wake someone else up that late.”  A couple weeks later he signed LaMarcus Aldridge and David West.  This will be the year the Spurs beat a team that broke the season wins total for the season, you know in a ho hum boring way to a championship.  I mean would you expect anything less from POP!

Gun Control, it’s an Anomaly

                        It really is something isn’t it.  Tragedies happen, they just do.  Who wouldn’t want to live in a world where every light is green, the 1% is the 40%, middle class is sustainable and no man, woman or child is ever hungry.  You see that in writing and it seems like it should only start with “Once upon a time”; like every other fairy tale.  The past couple of weeks, it seems the narrative has been more about gun control then anything else.  Orlando was a horrible incident that happened.  The biggest mass shooting in US history they were saying.  How quickly the Civil War is tossed aside.  Yes, I know the Civil War wasn’t a terrorist attack but getting clicks is the way of the world so why not just leave out anything to slow the hype train down.
                        This will not be a sports blog, just some insight into the world as I see it.  Now I don’t share the same love for guns that many of my friends have.  I have a friend who owns over 800 guns, and is at a gun auction almost every weekend.  His feeling is who can trust the market, and guns hold their value.  Its his retirement plan.  Even the guys from Sports Our Way love their guns.  They are always talking about who is getting what and what the other guys think.  Hollywood, Gov and Snowflake may start their own militia.  I will support their right to do so but at most I’m sticking with a water pistol.
                        I think I was about 14 years old, kickin’ it at my buddy Jamie Bowden’s house.  I have to say kickin’ it because no self respecting 14-year-old is playing at his friend’s house, he is most definitely kickin’ it.  We lived in a rural area; Acton California.  I had moved up there when I was 12.  (My parents wanted to get away from the busy, high traffic area of South Bay.)  We heard sirens, and in our neighborhood any commotion was interesting.  We went outside and Police cars, fire truck and an ambulance were all next door.  A fairly religious family, the Murads lived next to Jamie.  Carolyn was a year younger then we were, she had a brother Jim who was maybe a year or 2 older, I forget exactly.  No idea what their parent’s names were.  Carolyn was quiet, barely talked at all.  On the bus to school in the morning she would sit next to her friend Alison.  They were inseparable.  Alison talked for both of them.  Jamie and I would play a game and see who could get Carolyn to talk, he would win much more often than I would.  She was like most at a young age, shy unsure of herself but a smart very sweet girl.
                        I believe it was initially told to the police that someone was cleaning the gun and it discharged hitting Carolyn killing her shortly after.  13 years old, sweet as can be and just gone like that.  I think it was later discovered that one of Jim’s friends was over at the house with Jim.  They were messing with the gun didn’t know it was loaded.  His friend pointed it at her made a threat, pulled the trigger and sure enough the gun was loaded.  Something no one thought it was.  One of the worst accidents that could possibly happen did.  Unintentional, no malice just horrifying.
                        My senior year in high school I moved from Acton back to Manhattan Beach, but I wasn’t going to graduate on time.  I ditched school too much and just didn’t apply myself.  Went to Palmdale High School for 3 years and to give you a idea what it was like, when I go back there now, just to drive by there are iron bars up all around the school now.  A place where I saw one of my friend get jumped and stabbed in the leg with a screw driver, another friend as he was walking to his 1st period class got tazed because he had sex with a gangbangers sister (he had no idea and she pursued him) and he was of a different race, was then told to stay away. You get the point, I won’t drag the point on.
                        I graduated on time, made up all the credits that I was behind.  I did ok, I wasn’t stupid I just didn’t work hard, I didn’t try.  One of my biggest regrets now.  Issue I had was my closest friends weren’t in Manhattan Beach they were back up in Palmdale.  So off I went back up to Palmdale.  Literally days after I graduated, to hang with “my boys.”  Now back in this time tagging crews were the new gang. Everyone had their “handle” and as you drove down the 14 freeway you would see everything drawn on.  This is where it went from hearing the stories to reality.  All my friends were doing this and the ONLY reason I didn’t get involved is I have the artistic ability of a dude with no arms so I just didn’t even try.  Worst thing you could do is write up over someone else’s work.  That’s is exactly what started to happen my friends were doing it and it was being done to them.
                        One night at about midnight we were all out just being stupid (something we excelled out) and one of our boys (we’ll call him Nick, not his name) jumped out of the car, “that mother fucker there he is” Nick saw one of the guys that wrote over his work.  In all places the drive though at Del Taco.  Nick runs up to the car, opens the passenger door and starts swinging on the guy in the passenger seat. By this time everyone else in our car was caught up.  We had them outnumbered by a couple.  Everyone was out of the 2 cars.  Looking back now I cant imagine what was going through the minds of the people in line behind the car we went after.  Nick pulled a gun, I knew he carried, most of my friends up there at that time did.  I still couldn’t believe it when I heard the shots go off.  As soon as I did, I was going the other way.  Guys in the other car they had guns too.  Nick was killed, 2 guys in the other car were as well, and one of our other guys was shot in the leg. 17 – 19 year old kids.
                        I was visiting a friend maybe a year later, somewhere in that time frame.  He lived out of state.  He had lived there for awhile at that point.  There was a party someone at his school was having.  We went, me him and a couple of his new friends.  There were a lot of people there.  Didn’t take long for me to be a person of interest.  I was someone that nobody knew.  Couple of the girls came over to talk to me.  I look at that more as exploratory research, as  I don’t think they were coming over to hook up in mind more of, hey he’s not ugly and new blood lets investigate. This however didn’t work well for some of the guys there.  I was a threat to take their girls.  Its like they couldn’t club them in the head and take them back to their cave if I had them distracted.  One guy in particular started to come up to me. “Who the fuck are you and why are you talking to my girlfriend?” Quick note about me.  I am not much of a fighter.  I am quick witted, very funny but throwing down back then was never a good plan.  I told Lurch “I didn’t know she was your girlfriend, she just came up and talked to me.  No worried bro I am not trying to take your girl.” Eventually he walked away and my friend and his 2 friends came up to me, “Lurch was an amateur boxer according to them.  So in my mind he could have been a white belt in Karate and I would have been in trouble.  Back to the party, we had a few more drinks.  Of course talked to a few more girls and that angered Lurch again. Look at this point it became clear, he was trying to be the alpha dog and had to assert that on the new guy.  I was in the living room standing and Lurch came up to me again.  This time he was just saying “lets box” and he started swinging at me but not hitting me, just making sure to be a few inches from my face.  Now this is where most people would fight back but I looked around at a room full of his friends, the 3 I came with cowering in the corner and this wasn’t going in my favor at all.  Eventually that dissipated everyone went other rooms including Lurch and I realized I was in a no win situation and it was time to go.  I walked outside friends scurrying behind me and then I was surrounded and my friends vanished.  If it were Palmdale those friends would have enjoyed those odds.  So Lurch steps up and artificially creates a reason to kick my ass “ I told you to leave my girl alone” Again I looked around, everyone from the party was out there and the inner circle was Lurch and his crew as they should have been.  I was done so I did what I always do, starting talking. “So let me get this right, you the amateur boxer wants to fight me, some random dude that can’t fight for shit.  That’s a great idea” Lurch kinda stopped, I can only assume this was an approach he didn’t expect.  He thought it would be best to just yell “Fuck you, I’m going to fuck you up” again I came back now loud enough like it was a presentation “Yea you will and if some strange miracle happens and I get you, all your boys around me will jump right in and beat the shit out of me. So let it be known if you are a new face talking to any girl, you got to piss on the girls to mark their territory and beat some ass makes sense.”  Again he was puzzled “You’re a smart ass mother fucker” well now I cant stop. “Maybe so but I know all this makes no sense, 6 on 1, if you guys all need to feel like bad-asses go for it, do what you have to do.  This party tomorrow will say wow did you see how bad that dude got fucked up by those 6 guys.  THANK GOD YOU ALL ARENT NEW’ I don’t remember the next couple exchanges but they were similar, the last one was something along the lines of me saying “If she really was your girlfriend why was she talking to me” Not that exactly it was much less confrontational than that sounds.  I am not a total moron, antagonizing wasn’t what I was going for.  Either way Lurch was frustrated and he pulled a gun.  Looking back it makes no sense, he could have just destroyed me by kicking my ass.  My presentation just had gone too far.  So I am there with a gun in my face thinking I am going to die.  Nothing shut someone up quicker than that.  He got out “Not so much of a smart ass now are you” again if not that it was something to that effect.  I have never been so scared in my life.  All I could do is walk away and hope he didn’t shoot.  So I started to walk away, nobody tried to stop me and he just kept calling me a “fucking pussy.”  Yep I’ll take that all day long.  Next day I was back in Palmdale.
                        Over the next year it was some rough times, friends got in more fight, a few more instances of shootings.  I did lose a couple more friends to it over the next few years, usually over the stupid tagging shit.  My grandparents may have saved my life and took me in when I was 20, back in Manhattan Beach where things were much calmer.  Then on May 15th 2013, I got a message from a old friend from High School.  One of our friends from Junior High was shot and killed.  He was 39 years old, had a pregnant wife and 2 kids.  This wasn’t gang violence or stupid kids at a party.  This was a business owner whose employee had his work truck parked on a dirt road that made it difficult, for cars to get around.  Chris the owner came down to try to calm the situation down.  Scott Shipley pulled his gun; I believe a shotgun and shot Chris in the upper torso, killing him.  In my mind I thought that’s the Antelope Valley for you.  Now it turned out the shooter did have some mental instability but still doesn’t change the result.  Family left behind, main source of income is gone and what to do now.
                        These are just some of the accounts I have had in my life that give me the opinions on this topic that I have.  People react in funny ways when they think their civil liberties are being taken away.  2nd amendment right people scream about. “I have the right to carry a gun.” You know what else the 2nd amendment talks about, is a well regulated militia.  Yet that part seems to be left out.  We spend more money on defense than the next 24 countries combined.  Most are our allies.  So what regulating are we really doing.  As far as guns go, you see where my history is.  I will not carry a gun.  I have seen that when it comes out more bad happens than good.  There is a meme talking about a guy in a supermarket legally carrying a gun and not being a victim if a shooter comes in and shoots up the place.  If that ever happens to me and I am not carrying a gun, its ok I am not a victim.  I made these choices and so be it.  All this being said, guns are not the issue.  A gun is an object, if the mentally ill guy who shot Chris was the one that pulled the gun on me at the party I would be dead.  He didn’t, it was someone else but in both instances guns were involved 1 man lived and another died because of different human decisions the inanimate object can’t be blamed.  Maybe stricter laws but people got drunk during prohibition.  Meth is illegal and is a growing problem in America.  As usual people are the issue, for that there is no cure.  If its not a gun it’s a car, how many people are killed in car accidents each year, so do we take automobiles off the road? No of course not.  To take them away or talk gun control is just senseless though. Make it harder to get one, regulate it more but bad will always happen.
                        There will be another mass shooting, it will be awful and this talk will happen again.  Education and safety is always a good way to counter to senseless acts. Try to make the day better as much as you can.