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Showing posts with label Gun Violence. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gun Violence. Show all posts

Monday, February 06, 2017

Not So Innocent

Well, President Trump finally said something that was dead on right. In his interview with Fox News' Bill O'Reilly that aired before the Super Bowl, Trump responded to Mr. O'Reilly's comment that Putin was "a killer."

"There are a lot of killers. You think our country's so innocent?" Trump replied.

He's right. We aren't innocent. About 30 thousand people die every year due to gun violence. We bomb the crap out of people all over the world although I think most of this is largely justified.

Yet imagine if Barack Obama had said this. What would the reaction be from the alt right? How many right wing blog commenters would spew venom on the forums over how much he hated America? Fox would run a breaking news segment with the headline "Obama Hate America-Thinks We are Killers!" There's barely been a peep from any conservative over these comments.

This latest interview also underscores just how much Trump is owned by Vladimir Putin. He refuses to accept the type of person Putin is and what he has done. Worse, all of those mouth foamers who warned of the boiling pit of sewage that is the totalitarian state of Russia are now suddenly rolling their eyes and shaking their heads at the silly liberals.

Can't they see that Russia is completely innocent?

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

No, I Won't Carry A Gun


Monday, July 11, 2016

"Guns Are This Era's Slavery"

I was recently asked to answer a question with prize money on Quora. There have been many interesting answers but the best one so far is from famed programmer, Ernest W. Adams. I am reprinting it here in its entirety.

The root cause (as opposed to the proximate cause) of the large quantity of gun violence¹ in the United States can be traced precisely to April 19, 1775.
By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood
And fired the shot heard round the world.
At the Battle of Lexington and Concord, the rebellious Massachusetts militia, composed of farmers and other local people, fired on British regulars who had come from Boston to search for weapons. The detachment was forced to retreat.
The opening battle of the American Revolution has been romanticized in story and song for nearly two and a half centuries. The story contains two elements that have directly influenced the culture of the United States from that day to this: first, the authority of the state (the British troops) being used to search for and confiscate guns; second, citizen ownership of firearms being used to oppose this action. Thus began the Great American Gun Myth—using myth in the sense of a body of cultural belief.
As the new nation spread westward, firearms were needed on the frontier to hunt, to protect people from wild animals, and to fight native Americans. They were also used in lawless regions by lawless people, which meant that peaceful people were obliged to keep them too. The idea began to grow up that the guns created the nation itself.
It did not take long for the Gun Myth to find expression in stories of adventure and daring. The Indian Wars were a particularly fertile source of excitement, and Buffalo Bill was adding to the legends in his Wild West show before the Indian Wars completely over, rather as we now make war movies before the war is even over. The mythologizing begins early. His shows often of featured sharpshooting skills of Annie Oakley and others.
The first Western novel, The Virginian, was written in 1901, and the first Western movie was made in 1903. There followed a flood of others. Gunsmoke began as a radio series in 1952 and ran continuously until 1975. Movies like Falling Down and God Bless Americapresent us with heroes who took up arms when “pushed too far.” Even if the film’s intention is satirical or fantasy-fulfillment, it nevertheless presents shooting people as appropriate, fun, and consequence-free. It’s impossible not to internalize some of this. People with poor judgment or intelligence want to actually make those fantasies come true.
We have now arrived at a point at which it is part of our national ethos that guns are a legitimate resort with which to solve a problem. They’re not even a last resort. Armed people don’t seek alternative resolutions to conflict; they just pull out their guns. The United States is no longer oppressed by Britain, nor is it the Wild West, but we continue to act as if it were.
The short answer to the question is this: Americans shoot people in disproportionate numbers compared to other populations because they have been taught ever since April 19, 1775 that it is an acceptable thing to do.
Many other nations—Canada, Finland—have a fairly high number of firearms in the population, but they aren’t used for homicide. Other former British colonies—Australia, India—achieved independence without warfare. They don’t have the Great American Gun Myth.
Nations that do treat gun ownership as an aspect of manhood and personal identity and a legitimate solution to problems (Pakistan, Afghanistan) have even greater rates of firearms abuse than the USA does.
The Myth has made it impossible to create a sensible firearms policy that restricts guns to the hands of those who are responsible users. The nation is awash in weapons and too many of those weapons are owned by people who should under no circumstances own them. But make the slightest effort to restrict them and the Gun Myth gets invoked: we need guns to make us free; we need them to fight tyranny; they are part of who we are as Americans and it is unpatriotic even to question this.
So many people now have a vested interest in guns that even without the cultural argument it is very difficult to reduce their numbers. The firearms manufacturing industry is worth $13.5 billion annually, and retail gun stores another $3.1 billion. There are four times as many federally licensed gun dealers as there are grocery stores in the United States, which gives you an idea of the absurdity of the situation.
Guns are this era’s slavery. They are America’s “peculiar institution.” The justifications for them are poor, yet a vociferous minority continues to announce that firearms are an inseparable part of their “way of life,” and threaten violence to anyone who would take them away.
I hope that it will not be necessary to fight a civil war over them, but ultimately I think the growing damage that firearms do in the wrong hands will lead to enough political support for controlling them properly that the gun control voters will outnumber the gun enthusiast voters. It will be solved, in answer to your final question, by political action.
Until that day, expect the deaths to continue.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Livestream!

BREAKING NEWS: A group of gun violence survivors are in the Capitol Rotunda right now committing a new act of civil disobedience in an attempt to push House Speaker Paul Ryan to vote on meaningful gun legislation this week. Here is a livestream of their Sit-In. The survivors are Christian Heyne, Margaret Eaddy, Bob Weiss, Jeanette Richardson, Pat Maisch, Nardyne Jeffries, Eddie Weingart and Camiella Williams.

One of them just held up a photo of their dead daughter who had been shot with an AK-47. That's what I'm talking about...put it in their face!!!!


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Why Gun Nuts Lie

David Smalley has a great piece up over at Patheos called "Why Gun Nuts Lie – I Know From Experience."  It is filled with many wonderful things but I'd like to start with two of the images from the comments.



















Right. He was a carpenter after all:)


























And fool them they have. Remember, a lot of these guys live in their parents basement and play video games all night so it makes sense. Here are some choice cuts from the rest of the piece.

Secondly, what if you were? I could hand you 50 AR-15s, give you 1000 illegal bombs, steal you a couple of tanks, and smuggle in some bazookas, and even let you fully train 500 of your closest friends. If the government wants your shit, they’re going to take it. You still wouldn’t be a match for even a single battalion of the United States Marine Corps. Not to mention the Air Force, Army, Navy, National Guard, Secret Service, FBI, CIA, and Seals. So stop acting like your little AR-15 is going to stop tyranny..

And you will give it to them without any sort of fight. Internet comments bravado is largely BS. Gun bloggers and their commenters like to brag about how they will never hand over their guns and would welcome a shootout with the federal government but they are completely full of shit. These are people who have families and children in their house and they will avoid any sort of conflict. And honestly, they are cowards at heart. The louder the protestation online, the quicker they will be the ones giving up their guns willingly.

The only reason you want to protect your second amendment now, is to justify buying an AR-15 or weapons for your home. I understand. I have them. But is it worth it? Does it really make you feel safe? If it does, it’s a false sense of security that statistically puts us in more danger.

Yes, it does. And, unlike the Gun Cult, I actually care about what happens to other people in my society. More guns mean more chances for accidents...accidents, btw, which happen more often than defensive gun use as study after study has shown.

Treat guns like cars. Mandatory licenses License renewals Mandatory training Mandatory insurance Operating laws Operating age limits Restrict some models Require safety inspections Mandatory registration Background checks. 

Amen. It's not all that I want but I'd go along with it for now to see how it would work.

Perhaps Smalley is the start of a trend and the ultimate defeat of the gun lobby will come from within. Isn't that what happened with tobacco? Reading this, I can see a few folks breaking ranks at first and then some sort of event will trigger a larger group breaking away. And then we might actually get some real progress.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Another Gun Rights Activist Goes On Shooting Rampage

Texas mom Christy Sheats liked to post stuff like this on her Facebook page.







































Sounds familiar, eh?

Well, two days ago she called a family meeting and proceeded to shoot and kill both of her daughters before finally being gunned down by police. It turns out she had a history of mental illness but thank goodness she retained her constitutional right to carry a firearm.

Two beautiful young women are now dead and why? Because...ground stood!!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Banned?


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Real Leaders

House Democrats, lead by civil rights icon John Lewis, are staging a sit-in on the floor of the US House of Representatives demanding a vote on new gun legislation that will expand background checks and prevent terrorists from acquiring firearms.

A live feed of the sit in is available here.

This is what real leaders do. They fight for what is right despite any minor discomfort they may feel. Poor leaders, like Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan, chicken out, refuse to call a vote, shut down the cameras, and go on summer vacation...while continuing to allow terrorists access to whatever firearms they choose.

Do Republicans really think they can fuck with this guy?
















He's the one about to be cracked across the head on the Edmund Pettis bridge in Selma, 1965. Today, in 2016, he's doing it again.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Hold Them Accountable

When United States citizens are polled on guns, a majority (57%) want more strict gun laws and that includes Republicans. A massive majority (89%) want background checks on all gun purchases. A majority wants a ban on assault weapons (57%). With voting set today in the Senate on four separate pieces of gun safety legislation, keep track of who votes and how they vote.

Hold them accountable.


Sunday, June 19, 2016

The Arrogance of the Gun Cult

Here's a great example of the arrogance of the Gun Cult.

“I think a lot of the fear comes from something [people] don’t understand,” said Maxwell. “They don’t understand that there is a sport that revolves around shooting. They just know that [the AR-15] looks scary on TV.”

What's not to understand? It's a toy. You guys like it a lot. And, like children, you don't want it to be taken away.

Further, it's not the gun that scares us, asshole. It's the mentality behind it...a mentality which continues to allow events like Orlando to happen on a regular basis and is directly responsible for murder.

Friday, June 17, 2016

An AR-15 Owner Has Had Enough

Daniel Hayes' recent piece says it all. He's an AR-15 owner and he's had enough. His solution?

There’s a saying that goes “when seconds count the police are only minutes away.” It’s meant to enforce the truism that we are all ultimately responsible for our own defense when the chips are down. But what it really reinforces is the importance of time. Time matters immensely when you’re defending yourself. You need time to do so. You need opportunity. Ban magazines over ten rounds. Give potential victims time and opportunity and in giving them that time we will deter murderers from attempting these mass shootings. They will fear that they won’t be able to kill enough to make their point before they are crushed by their chosen victims. They are cowards. Give them reason to fear.

My only quibble is that non gun owners have, in fact, been calling for this for quite some time. So, a little bit of the gun owner condescension aside, he's right that this would make an immediate impact. Of course, we have to do more.


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The State of Gun Violence in the United States

The video below is a fairly unbiased look at gun violence in the US. They do a great job of explaining the proportions of mass shootings to suicides etc while illustrating just how grave the problem is and how it's gotten worse.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Orlando Falllout

Omar Mateen pledged allegiance to ISIS, official says 

"In the beginning he was a normal being that cared about family, loved to joke, loved to have fun, but then a few months after we were married I saw his instability. I saw that he was bipolar and he would get mad out of nowhere. That's when I started worrying about my safety," she said.

When you support our nation's current gun laws, you allow someone like this to acquire a firearm. Thus, you are just as responsible as he is. Thankfully, there are members of Congress who agree.

“This phenomenon of near constant mass shootings happens only in America – nowhere else,” Murphy said Sunday. “Congress has become complicit in these murders by its total, unconscionable deafening silence. This doesn’t have to happen, but this epidemic will continue without end if Congress continues to sit on its hands and do nothing – again.”

It's bizarre, really, because we're talking about a threat to our national security and yet they do nothing. As a side note, it's interesting how the ISIL angle is being played up but not the mental illness nor homophobia. At this point, it seems like the ISIL connection was after the fact and merely thrown in as an excuse by Mateen in the hopes of denying his individual problems.

As mass shootings plague US, survivors mourn lack of change

"The deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history has people around the world wondering why mass violence keeps happening in America." 

Uh...because a third of our country (gun owners) has a totalitarian stranglehold on the rest of us, peddling ideological nonsense based purely on their need for empowerment?

Not Working


Sunday, June 12, 2016

The 28th Amendment

I was planning on putting up a post this week on how a 28th amendment should be added to the US Constitution that rewords the 2nd Amendment. Today seems a good day to do so given what has happened in Orlando. Thanks in advance to John Paul Stevens, former SCOTUS judge, for the inspiration.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, while serving in a militia, shall not be infringed.

Unless you regularly train for active shooter situations, other forms of combat, and get regular mental health and background checks, no guns for you. This would drastically reduce gun violence in our nation and would clearly have prevented this event.

I’m past the whole “shocked, outraged and saddened” tripe. Events like the Orlando shooting happen on a regular basis in the United States and it’s entirely the fault of the gun lobby and its supporters. Worse, international terrorist organizations are now exploiting this.

As a citizen of the United States, we are at continued security risks as long as we have a completely warped view of firearms. The shooter in this case was on an FBI watch list but because gun rights activists have used their power to maintain lax gun laws, this guy was able to procure guns.

The Gun Cult is, once again, criminally responsible for this. We need to stop them before they allow more  people to be killed.


Saturday, June 11, 2016

Guns Save Lives!!


Friday, June 03, 2016

Great Answer!



I'm wondering why we have to continue to coddle gun rights supporters as if they were self entitled teenagers. We too easily give in to their nonsense and allow them to control the conversation. We should call them out for exactly what they are: paranoid liars who should find alternate ways to soothe their insecurity and inferiority...ways that don't cause the deaths of thousands US citizens every year.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Yay Hawai!

It looks like Hawaii is moving a more sane direction regarding guns. All firearms owners in Hawaii will now be in a federal database.

The bill involves an FBI database known as the "Rap Back" that currently tracks people who are in "positions of trust," such as school teachers and people who work with the elderly. Stephen Fischer of the FBI's Criminal Justice Information Services Division told The Associated Press. Hawaii would add gun owners to the list.

It's not too surprising that bowels are being blown in the Gun Cult. Oh well. Considering they fully support mentally unstable people acquiring firearms easily, they can fuck right off.

A New Approach to Gun Violence