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

Thursday, September 21, 2017

A Barber's Story

I've been going to the same barber for about 15 years. It's a classic, old style barber shop where I can get what little hair I have left cut for $16. I always pay $20 with the extra going to the gal that's been taking care of my mostly bald head for all that time. Her and her dad own the shop which they bought from her brother a few years back.

Their family is very well known in my town. So is the barber shop. People come in just to hang out, even if they don't need a hair cut. Most of the patrons are Trump fans as I pointed out recently. They all are really pissed off at the world and constantly complain about people who achieve success being "elites." They ALL believe that Trump is going to bring them great riches somehow and bring our country back to the good ol' days...whenever that was. Even though I live in a suburb of Minneapolis, it's still has a very small town attitude.

The dad is a consummate asshole. He verbally abuses his daughter constantly. He is always bitching about women, the blacks, and the people trying to bring this country down which is pretty much everyone who doesn't agree with him and do what he says. His an angry, hateful old man who is clearly afraid of the world moving on without him.

The dad doesn't get along with his son either. He bought the shop from him but there were a lot of bad feelings over that. The son developed some health problems and was living on assistance from the state. The son was always kind of an asshole too. It's not surprising, really, because of his father. The son actually cut my hair a few times. I stopped going to him because he too complained all the time. It was always someone else's fault that he had all the problems he had. The son bitched about freeloaders until he sort of became one and then he shut up about people living on welfare.

Oh yeah. One more thing. The son owned a lot of guns. I say "owned" because last week he shot himself in the head with one of them.

Most of the 33,000 gun deaths in this country are from suicides. Most of those suicides are older, white men who have very serious mental illnesses and do nothing about them. This family is so dysfunctional that any mention of mental health would have been met with howls of derision from dear ol' dad. The son just repressed everything for years until it became so bad that he wanted to end it all. I wonder how similar this story is to all the others. I wonder how many of these suicides could have been prevented if these folks weren't wrapped up in that culture of denial that exists in the Gun Cult. Somehow, suicides are OK because it's an individual making a choice. What about all the people they leave behind?

I got my hair cut today and saw his sister. She's basically a zombie. She misses her brother so much and is racking her brain to try to figure out if there was anything she could have done differently. Her dad has become more abusive. Clearly, he's blaming himself and is too much an asshole to admit how his behavior partly caused this.

Welcome to Trump's America. It's a nation filled with gun toting, abusive racists whose emotional intelligence level is so low that they can't figure out that they are their own worst enemies.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Crickets From The Blue Lives Matter Crowd

Last Saturday night, two Minneapolis police officers responded to a 911 call about domestic violence in the Fulton neighborhood. Several minutes later, Justine Damond was dead...killed b;y a gunshot from one of the officers. My first reaction when I heard the details of this case was this: here we go again. It's yet another example of  "act first, think later and justify with fear" that we've seen far too often from police in the last few years.

Of course, this case is a little different. Why? The victim looks like this.

















And the cop looked like this...














...which explains why we are hearing the sound of fucking crickets from the Blue Lives Matter brigade. It's these same folks that are probably wondering why Trump hasn't deported Officer Noor yet. Their hypocrisy is sickening.

So, we have another candlelight vigil in a devastated neighborhood, more nonsense from public officials, and shattered family members wondering why the police have so many laws that allow them to do shit like this.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Jordan Klepper Solves Gun

Here are my takeaways from Jordan Klepper's amazing special on guns.

1. Gun right activists use fear to keep the status quo which includes the insane law that states that the federal government can't use computers to track guns, even homicides. They have to do it by paper!!

2. In addition to being batshit nuts, militia members aren't going to defend anything in a forest. Worse, they are horrible shots.

3. The Michigan gun owners in this segment are the ones that Democrats have to focus their message on. Great, honest people who seem very open minded!

4. Finding common ground can be hard...especially when you can't speak the language.

5. Contrary to what gun bloggers/commenters will tell you, we have much more in common than we think. This includes a majority of support for universal background checks, waiting periods, and updating federal law in terms of tracking guns.

6. More dedicated people! More America!!

Check out the show!


Friday, June 23, 2017

Every Year


The Sound of Silence

For all their talk about supporting people of color owning guns, gun rights activists have certainly shut right up about Jerimino Yanez being acquitted in the shooting of CCW holder Philando Castile, haven't they? Nothing but crickets from the NRA about that incident but they still are foaming at the mouth about mentally unstable (white) males not being able to carry guns at Chipotle.

Here are some interesting reactions...

The NRA Shuns a Second Amendment Martyr

The NRA's Silence on Philando Castile's Death Is Shameful

NRA Honors Philando Castile with Unending Moment of Silence

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

14 Crucial Facts About Gun Violence

The Trace has up some great information up about gun violence. My favorite fact?

06. The NRA is dominant at the state level.

They are dominant because NRA members vote. So, let's get more people to vote than they have. Only a third of our country owns guns and an even smaller percentage of them are gun rights activists. I would imagine there are more folks that support common sense gun safety regulation than don't. But this majority doesn't vote as intensely and we need to figure out why.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Bitch To Your Elected Representatives, Vote Every Year, Run For Office

Yesterday, Officer Jeronimo Yanez was found not guilty on all counts Friday in the death of Philando Castile last year. The aftermath owas livestreamed by Castile's girlfriend on Facebook but that still wasn't enough to convict Yanez. Many folks were arrested last night as protesters took to I-94 upset over the verdict. This one hit me particularly hard as Castile worked in a school and knew all the kids by name. By all accounts, he was a great guy who absolutely did not deserve to be shot seven times for expired fucking tabs.

Yet, I look at the protests and can't help but feel frustrated. Yanez was found not guilty because the law offers multiple layers of protections for the police. Don't  like it? Start bitching to your elected representatives, vote EVERY year, or run for office yourself. Anyone who was out on 94 last night should be organizing in offices and figuring out how to get more people to vote to change this law. These same people should be running for office so they can then vote to change the law. Protests don't do shit unless you are protesting the office of your elected representative. If you want the law to change, you have to dedicate more time and consideration than a few hours of protesting.

Deal with reality otherwise reality will keep dealing with you.


Friday, June 16, 2017

Virginia Gun Laws Explained

Since the shooting in Alexandria on Wednesday, we've heard the usual nonsense from  the Gun Cult regarding strict regulations and how if only those members were allowed to carry a gun, things might not have been so bad. They seem to forget that the Capital police (armed) were on the scene and did their job.

Further, gun laws in Virginia are pretty lax. No permit is required to purchase a long gun or hand gun. There is no registration. Virginia is a "shall issue" state for concealed carry. Permits are not issued to non-residents and training is permitted online or in person. Open carry is allowed although Alexandria has an exception for this on assault weapons. These restrictions do not apply for concealed carry permit holders. They have no background checks for private sales and no magazine restrictions.

So, what the fuck is the Gun Cult talking about? Anyone at the baseball game could have been armed to the teeth but they weren't. Why?

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Anger, Hate, and Fear Come Home To Roost

GOP Congressmen felt the wraith of a psychotic yesterday in the form of one James Hodgkinson of Belleville, Illinois. In ten gut wrenching minutes, Hodgkinson shot up a baseball field where many House reps were practicing for a charity game. At this point, the only fatality is Hodgkinson himself although House Majority Whip, Steve Saclise is still in critical condition after being hit in the hip.

As I suspected, the blame for this is being laid at the feet of the "hateful rhetoric" of the left. That's like the pyromaniac accusing someone suffering from pyrophobia of starting a fire. Worse, the relaxed attitude towards gun violence and total instransigence on enhancing firearm regulation lead to events like this every day. I'm reminding of the following verse from the Bible.

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap ( King James Version of the Bible, Epistle to the Galatians, 6:7).

It was only a matter of time before some angry, nut job on the left easily acquired firearms and went after the folks who made it easier to do so. This guy would have never had the guns he did had Republicans taken steps over the years to restrict access to firearms. Under current law, however, he legally purchased the assault rifle used yesterday in the shooting. Rand Paul, who was present at the shooting, said were it not for the Capital police (trained, armed professionals), it would have been worse. I'm wondering if they will learn anything from this horrific event.

Sadly, I doubt it. What will likely happen is a call for Congressmen to arm themselves at all times. Or more about how liberals are all incendiary revolutionists bent on taking down the state. I've been saying for years that this kind of event is what will change the minds of those folks who don't recognize the reality of gun violence.

The reality of their epistemic closure tells me otherwise.

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.