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I was digging through old notes, making a list of things to do, when I found an early rant about my martial art practice. With mass shootings a monthly occurrence, and Russian troll farms influencing American thought, it is time to revisit my steadfast belief in non-violence and skepticism.

Before the last century internal martial art–or neijia–masters taught their students orally. Students who practiced hard and served the master well passed the art to the next generation. At the start of the last century, some masters published books about taijiquan, baguazhang, and xingyiquan. Publishing this knowledge was expensive, so only a few tried. Those that succeeded grew their schools, and their lineage survives to this day.

The Internet gives us an opportunity to access these teachings in a way the old masters could not imagine. But the business model for martial art masters has not changed. Emphasis is on the old waysand traditional methods. They insist that you cannot learn from the written word or video instruction. Their argument is that there is a secret transmission that is impossible to capture in a video or the with the written word.

Following my post about the NRA being co-opted by the gun industry to expand and protect its market, I wanted to share some of the better articles about our national gun conversation.

The first comes from the always thoughtful Nick Kristof at The New York Times. Titled Do We Have the Courage to Stop This? Mr. Kristof reminds that about 300 Americans a year dies from a ladder falls, while guns kill 30,000. Yet, we have pages of regulations about how to build and sell a ladder, and almost none for guns. You might think that's because guns are mentioned in the Constitution, and ladders aren’t. But don’t forget that to maintain a well-regulated militia part, I know the gun industry hasn’t.

When I say the NRA, what do you think? The National Rifle Association, but what does that mean? What do they do?

I am aware of the NRA’s long history, but the NRA of today is not the NRA your grandfather, or father joined fifty years ago. Today’s NRA is the lobbying arm for weapon manufacturers. That is all. They are not a great American organization defending your rights till their hands are cold and dead. They are a lobbyist for a trillion-dollar industry that represents everything wrong with our government.

Copyright Troy Williams & The Walking Circle LLC