Snarky Snippets Volume 100+

Some days my head simply spins on its axis (my neck) trying to keep up with everything happening in the nation, the world today.  There are days that I can pick a topic, focus, and write a relatively coherent post on a single topic.  Other days, however, I simply cannot gain that level of focus that is requisite, so instead I toss out a few snippets, usually snarky ones.  Today is such a day.  The week is topsy-turvy and my mind is spinning at somewhere around 136 rpm (revolutions per minute).  Thus, today I give you another episode of Snarky Snippets …


Will Congress find their conscience, or will millions be living on the streets soon?

The current eviction moratorium, that prohibits landlords from evicting tenants who have fallen behind on their rent, is set to expire tomorrow.  This means, in a nutshell, that millions of people could be without a home soon … millions, not hundreds, not thousands, but millions, the majority of them children.  It was hoped that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) would extend the moratorium, given the new surge in cases due to the Delta variant (and the anti-vaxxers), but last month, when the Supreme Court upheld the current moratorium, they also made it clear that it could not be extended again except by an act of Congress.

President Biden called on Congress to act “without delay” to extend the eviction moratorium. Biden’s request prompted House and Senate Democrats to begin exploring whether they could rally enough votes to approve the new protections for renters. It remains unclear if Congress has the time and support to act ahead of the current July 31st deadline.

I have very little doubt that the members of the House of Representatives will rally and manage to vote ‘yea’ on a hastily prepared bill that will keep millions of people sheltered.  However, once such a bill reaches the Senate, possibly even sometime today, it will almost certainly go into the “Dead Bills” bin along with the For the People Act and probably hundreds of other pieces of legislation that the senate Republicans, along with Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema are holding up in a game of roulette.  Let’s hope I’m wrong, for with the current heat wave that is affecting some 20 states at the moment, this is no time to be living on the streets.


The Four Stooges … or the Four Gs

Yesterday, Representatives Matt Gaetz (the sex trafficker), Margie Greene (QAnon member in good standing), Paul Gosar (white supremacist extraordinaire), and Louie Gohmert (the idiot in too many ways to count), went to the D.C. Department of Corrections (where they should all be standing on the other side) in an attempt to visit some of the prisoners who have been arrested in connection with their role in attacking Congress and the Capitol on January 6th.  They were turned away by jail officials.  The Four Gs claimed they were there to inspect the treatment of suspects.  Funny, isn’t it, that at least tens of thousands pass through the prison system each year, yet these three never came to check on those people.

Now, I may have a suspicious mind, but given that the four were accompanied by cameras from right-wing news organizations, I have a sneaking hunch that this was intended as a photo op, as an excuse to rile the masses yet again, as they surely knew they couldn’t just waltz in and visit with the prisoners of their choice.

When told that they were “obstructing entrance into this facility,” Gohmert responded …

“We’re the people that vote on whether or not to fund you, at what level, and we’re trespassing?”

WHOA … can we say ‘abuse of power’ or throwing one’s weight around?  For the record, Congress has ZERO influence, for the D.C. Detention Center is not a federal facility and is fully funded by Washington, D.C. taxpayers.

The action at the jail was the group’s second this week, after they barged into the Justice Department on Tuesday trying to ask questions about the detention of January 6th suspects awaiting trial and whether any were being held in solitary confinement. Gosar called them “political prisoners” who are being “persecuted” and unjustly punished.  Oh wait … pobrecitos … were they not the ones dressed like maniacal cavemen carrying clubs, bear spray, and other weapons on that fateful day?  Were they not the ones that scaled the outer walls of the Capitol, beat police officers, broke windows to gain access, and caused millions of dollars in damage to OUR property?  Excuse me, perhaps I’m thinking of a different bunch of bozos.

Gohmert seemed to be the spokesperson for the bunch and said …

“The supervisor came down and was standing right here and turned her back on me. The other one said she won’t talk anymore and that we’re trespassers. We’re in totalitarian, Marxist territory here. This is the way third-world people get treated.”

Get a life, Louie!!!

And of course, ol’ Margie also feigned indignance …

“We suspect there is a two-tier justice system in the United States, for Trump supporters that are charged for Jan. 6 and catch-and-release for BLM rioters.”

Yeah, that’s right, Margie … when a cop pulls a person over, the first question out of his mouth is to ask whether the person is a trumpeter or not … if he is, then he is carted off to the Gulag, never to be seen or heard from again.  Sheesh, but how did we manage to get so many dumbasses in Congress this time ‘round???  And four of ‘em whose surname starts with ‘G’.  One media outlet, The Hill, referred to them as the ‘seditious four’ … sounds about right to me.


A dangerous thing to say

One of the Four G’s, Margie Greene, made a very dangerous statement when speaking to the Alabama Federation of Republican Women last week.  First, she told the group that President Biden “is going to be sending one of his police state friends to your door,” referring to the volunteers the president has mentioned sending to rural areas to help people better understand and have access to the vaccination.  But the worst part was when she told them …

“We all love our Second Amendment rights, and we don’t like the federal government coming on our property to tell us what to do. You have HIPAA rights and you do not have to tell your medical information and you can tell them to get off your front porch and get off your front lawn.”

WHOA NELLIE!  This is a lawmaker, a member of Congress, advising people to get their guns out … this is incitement to violence, plain and simple!  In my book, that statement alone is grounds for her immediate expulsion from Congress.  Mr. Kevin McCarthy damn well better take action … it is long past due.

Bang!!! Bang!!!

A few of yesterday’s headlines …

  • At least 150 people fatally shot in more than 400 shootings over the Fourth of July weekendCNN
  • More than 90 shot in Chicago on Fourth of July weekendChicago Tribune
  • Shootings at two Indianapolis shopping malls over July 4 weekendWTHR News
  • Chicago weekend shootings: 92 shot, 16 fatally in Chicago since Friday nightChicago Sun-Times
  • At least 140 people died in shootings across the US over Fourth of July weekendBusiness Insider
  • At least 150 killed in nationwide shootings this July 4th weekend: dataNew York Post

There are more, but … you get the picture, right?  In case you don’t quite get it, let me paint it for you.  In the

Most of the

Think their right to own a

is greater than our right to

I’M SICK AND DAMN TIRED OF THIS, FOLKS!!!  Give the fucking guns up … throw them in the ocean for all I care but get them out of the hands of ordinary people who tend to be fools and idiots from time to time, and as my mother-in-law used to say, “Ain’t got no sense.”

Take your 2nd Amendment and shove it where the sun doesn’t shine!  For that matter, you can put your guns there too!

{Filosofa takes 10 deep breaths}

Okay, let’s talk about this calmly now that I’ve gotten my fury out of my system.

Fact:  guns outnumber people in the United States

Fact:  humans sometimes get angry and act out of emotion rather than coherent thought

Fact:  guns kill people … or rather, people kill people WITH GUNS

Fact:  the 2nd Amendment does NOT guarantee that every person has the right to own a gun and carry it in public, nor does it address such things as automatic weapons that have the capacity to kill hundreds within minutes

Fact:  gun violence in the United States surpasses that of any other nation on earth

We can no longer feel safe going to the grocery store, much less a shopping mall on a holiday weekend.  We cannot feel safe in a movie theater, restaurant or bar.  We are not safe walking down the street, even in broad daylight.  We are not even safe in our own homes.  Something needs to change and it needs to change NOW!

Republican members of Congress, who are largely owned by the National Rifle Association (NRA), have long resisted even the most moderate legislation that would affect gun ownership, such as expanded background checks.  They have absolutely refused to even discuss a ban on assault weapons such as the AR-15 and AK-47.  I think the family of every single victim of gun violence from this point forward should file a federal suit against every Republican legislator who has naysaid gun legislation.

A favoured talking point of the NRA is that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”  Yes, but to the stupid who buy into that phrase, might I remind you that people kill people WITH GUNS!  Rare in the U.S. is the killing with fisticuffs or Swiss army knives.  Almost every damn murder is committed with … a gun!  Just how damn hard is it to understand that people who don’t have guns generally don’t kill?

Yes, I know I’m spitting in the wind, preaching to the choir, and the gun nuts will go on being just that … NUTS.  But I cannot be silent on this issue!  This is one of the three biggest issues that is threatening to destroy this nation from within, the other two being racism and money in politics.  And yes, I know that I’ve already said all of this before, more than a few times.  But PEOPLE!!!  WAKE UP AND SMELL THE GUNPOWDER!!!  It’s right outside your door!  Two of the fatalities this past weekend happened within a few miles of my home, likely a couple happened near you, too.  Our children are not safe in their classrooms, and we are not safe even in our workplaces.  How can the gun nuts even begin to justify this?  More to the point, how can our elected officials, men and women who are supposed to have our best interests at heart, justify taking bribes from the NRA and refusing to even discuss laws that might save lives?  Does anybody have an answer?  Hell no, for there is no logical answer.  It’s all about profit … profit for the gun industry, corporations such as Smith & Wesson, Glock, Beretta, Remington et al, and profit (money + power) for our not-so-illustrious elected officials whose salaries, I might remind you once again, WE PAY!

The right of a person to own a gun is about as far down on the priority list in my mind as anything could ever be.  And yet, it is the defining ‘right’ of far too many fools in this country.  The next holiday weekend will be the three-day Labour Day weekend, September 4th thru 6th.  Anybody want to make any bets how many of us will end up dead by guns at the end of that one?

Starting The Week With A Grrrrrrrrrrr

I can tell already that it’s going to be a great week for snarky snippets and mini rants!  This afternoon’s post is one of each …


One man’s ignorance …

I have no idea what Joe Manchin’s game is, but he seems to be trying to be a one-man wrecking ball.  First, he refuses to so much as alter a single hair on the head of the filibuster, let alone kill that toxic animal.  Then he refuses to support the For the People Act that would protect our voting rights.  And now, he has set his sites on climate change … apparently hoping to help hasten the end of human and other lifeforms on Planet Earth.  Way to go, Joe!

You might never guess that Manchin is a member of the Democratic Party, nor that he is the Chairman of the Senate Energy Committee, given that much of the responsibility of that committee at this point is to find alternate sources of clean energy so that we can break our reliance on fossil fuels.  But then, Manchin does come from a state that is almost completely reliant on the coal industry to support its economy, so perhaps he’s been bought and paid for by the coal barons.

“I know there’s a change coming, OK?  But I’ve always been very, very cautious about this. I’m concerned that they’re setting a very aggressive timetable.”

The “very aggressive timetable” to which he refers is President Biden’s commitment to cut carbon emissions in half from 2005 levels by 2030.  Um … excuse me, Joe Manchin, but that is NOT what I call an aggressive timetable, especially given that we have known the problem for decades while we ignored it, happily driving our gas-guzzling SUVs, keeping our homes the perfect temperature, never bothering to turn off a light.  Rather like that old saying, “Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.”

Those of us who listen to the scientists, who understand that life on earth could very well be in its final stages if we don’t act quickly to start to reverse the damage we humans have done, know that we cannot delay.  Those of us with consciences care about what sort of world we are leaving behind for our grandchildren and their grandchildren.  And those of us with an IQ above 50 know that we can no longer dilly dally and play games with this.

Mr. Manchin … if you are so damn concerned about the people in your state and their economic future, then I suggest you get with the program and help them help themselves by promoting renewable energy, retraining coal miners in other jobs, rather than attempting to help the Republicans destroy our lives!  For your stupidity, your perfidy, I award you Filosofa’s double thumbs down!  👎👎


Guess how many?

Guess how many mass shootings occurred in the United States over the weekend?  No, not five … no, not seven … ELEVEN!  Yes, my friends, there were eleven mass shootings in this country from Friday evening thru Sunday night.  And the weekend before?  Ten mass shootings as defined by four or more people being shot.  To date, the U.S. has had 293 mass shootings since January 1st.

This weekend left 8 people dead and 49 injured, with at least 3 children among the victims.  Last weekend left 12 people dead. What the SAM HELL are people thinking???  Let’s take a closer look … make it just a bit more personal …

Friday

5 wounded in Minneapolis Friday night

A shooting in Minneapolis Friday night left five people wounded.

1 killed and three injured in Cincinnati, Ohio

A 16-year-old is dead and three other people were injured in a shooting Thursday night in Walnut Hills.

Saturday

2 dead, 4 injured in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Two people were killed and four others were injured in a shooting early Saturday morning in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

1 dead, 4 injured in Anchorage, Alaska

Police in Alaska are investigating an early morning shooting that killed one person and injured four more in Anchorage Saturday.

4 injured in a shooting in Newark, New Jersey

No details

1 dead, at least 6 wounded in Oakland

One person was killed and at least six others were wounded in a shooting Saturday evening near Lake Merritt in Oakland, California.

Sunday

2 children among 8 injured in Dallas shooting

Eight people were shot, including a 15-year-old and 10-year-old, after a gunfight broke out between partygoers at two separate celebrations in Dallas just after midnight Sunday.

4 injured in Richmond, Virginia

Four people were injured in a quadruple shooting in Richmond, Virginia, early Sunday.

1 dead, 4 injured at Indiana Juneteenth celebration

One person was killed and four others were injured during a Juneteenth celebration in Granger, Indiana early Sunday morning.

1 killed, 4 injured at Juneteenth Celebration in Colorado

Police responded to a shopping mall parking lot in the Denver suburb of Aurora after receiving at least 50 calls reporting shots fired at a Juneteenth celebration just after 4 a.m.

1 killed and 3 others injured in Atlantic City, New Jersey

One person was killed and three others were wounded in a shooting Sunday evening in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Am I the only person in this country who sees how utterly stupid it is for guns to be so easily obtained by any Tom, Dick or Harry?  NO, the 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution does NOT give fools the right to own an assault rifle, it does NOT guarantee that fools can own an arsenal, and it does NOT give people the right to carry a gun around with them wherever they go!!!  Members of Congress and of the U.S. Supreme Court need to read the damn Constitution!  This is the stupidest interpretation of a part of the Constitution that I have EVER seen!  Get rid of the damn guns, get them out of the hands of people on the street!!!  But no, instead states are making it so easy to get a gun that before long you will see vending machines on street corners and in bars where for a $20 bill you can get a gun, and for another $10 you can get 10 rounds of ammo!  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

The Religion Of The Gun — A Guest Post By Roger Jacob Llewellyn

A couple of days ago, I asked if any of my non-U.S. readers would be interested in writing a guest post about how they view our gun culture from outside our borders.  I had a couple of takers, and Roger was first in line with a historic view and an opinion of where we are today.  There is a saying that sometimes we “can’t see the forest for the trees”, and that is why I value the views of those outside this nation, who often see our situation far more clearly than we can.  I’ll let Roger tell you in his own words … Thank you, Roger, for this very thoughtful, honest view!


The Religion of The Gun

A Brief Opening Statement on Humanity

All belief systems have a historical start bred out of a perceived necessity. This is embraced by followers who in turn are part of a population. In time the belief system becomes ingrained into a culture and often forms its own symbiosis with other sympathetic or empathetic beliefs, until it is hard for the outsider to separate one from the other, while to the insider they are all part of the identity.

Within The American Lore

At the start of the American journey there was an idea that in too much central government lay a path to tyranny and that the ideal was in a combination of communities coming together for the common good when the need required this, otherwise independence would be the norm. Being realists of that time it was understood self-defence would be a requisite, for there were perceived hostile European empires ever predatory and natives seen as alien savages. A standing army was viewed with suspicion as this could be the tool of a central government which might see fit to impose its will. In addition in an ever expanding nation local defence was seen as a wise stance against lawless elements. Thus was born the notion that a citizen should have the right to bear arms and be on call to come together with the rest of the community for that common good. It was assumed the community would be the one best to decide what was the common good.

Frailties of All Belief Systems

At this juncture it should be noted all belief systems start out with a set of simplistic ideas as to what is the best solution. All accept that Humans have flaws, some maintain strict adherence to their idea of the belief is the true and only way. This misses the point of an old saw that in one version says ‘The Rule Book is for the guidance of the wise and the adherence of the unfortunate’

In The Beginning Was The Gun

A measure of Brevity requires we move on two centuries and a few decades and consider the current state of the evolution of the right to bear arms and suspicion of central government in the development of the USA as the two are linked in one political symbiosis which has become cancerous.

The growth of the Legal Gun Culture is of course linked to that mis-used part of the Constitution ‘Right to bear arms’. To quote the full sentence “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”  does not actually help the Gun Control argument, because the Gun Lobby has enough followers who are willing to subscribe to the ‘Suspicion of Central Government’ belief and that guns are necessary just in case Central Government tries to impose its will on them, ignoring the fact that the said body is imposing its will on a daily basis because that is how government works. The events of January 2021 in Washington is sufficient evidence of effects of the cancer.

The Gun Lobby also are content to see gun ownership as a defence against mob (ie other races) violence coming near their community; the term ‘violence’ being very elastic in their view; such as say a BLM march. It is difficult for the Gun Lobby to argue against this, when most of their own marches are groups composed of ‘White Folk’. It is a nascent racial/cultural aspect prevalent around the world. The problem being in the USA there is a very efficient commercial arms manufacturing and distribution network.

Add to this the tragic entrenchment of sections of the White Communities into the idea that they are under threat, a view fostered and encouraged by extremists, and opportunists with an excess of media outlets and you have a replay of the Cold War mentality. Thus the manufacture and sales of guns is seen as part of an insurance scheme- ‘because you never know’  is in the back of minds fed by all manner of febrile propaganda.  From this breeds another fear, from those in communities who feel they are under threat from the perceived ‘White’ Gun Lobby, that being they had better arm themselves…’because you never know…’ A Cold War without government and diplomatic channels to damp down any heating up.

In this febrile and fractured social situation it becomes a near impossibility for government to impose the required sanctions to limit the gun owners and the amount of weaponry they can legally hold. For the ever opportunistic opposition to such laws need only raise the twin spectres of  ‘Central Government’ and ‘They’ taking our guns away’ and out come the proverbial torches and pitchforks. Never mind that such access allows volatile folk means to a violent solution to their disaffection. Never mind that in even the most disciplined and trained army in a battle zone when shot and shell are flying there will be those struck by their own side, thus forget the ‘good guys’ carrying guns solution.

The View From Outside

Any Gun Lobby supporter reading this will tell me I don’t understand America. Actually I understand their part of America all too well. It is a place of fundamentalist views, of narrow-eyed suspicion, angry that there are still heretics and ‘those people’. It is a place of a fiery unforgiving warped version of core beliefs. It is a place which is willing to accept other people dying needlessly so that it can cling to its obsessive bitterness. A place where as far as it is concerned all ills and woes are down to a corrupt elite and their effete lackies. It is the mirror image of views you would find in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria, vast swathes of Saharan and Sub-Saharan Africa, in areas of South East Asia, all hiding behind religions they claim they follow but never bothered to study in depth; all who see the gun as the final arbiter in any argument.

These so-called Americans, who care nothing for the Nation but only their enclave. They are little different from the chanting mobs in any of the aforementioned locations. I would like to think these fine white folk are offended by being likened to ‘those people’. Because here is the kicker folks. We outside of the USA are inured to the news of suicide bombs and attacks on villages, we lament them and then move onto the next news. And it is now the same on the gun killings in the USA, we shake our heads, we are sorry for the dead and their nearest but then move on, because we can’t get ‘Those Gun Freak types’ to see any sense. ‘Those people’.


Be sure to check out Roger’s blog, Writing Despite Computers and Programmes!

Only Two Very Snarky Snippets

There are days when I feel there is a large contingent of people in this nation that truly do not have functional brains.  No, none of you, dear readers, but others seem not to understand this concept of rights being accompanied by responsibilities.  I’ve long said that my rights end where they begin to infringe on somebody else’s, but in the United States today, that concept has flown out the window!  I often feel these last few years that this country, has gone, as my grandpa used to say, “to hell in a handbasket!”


2nd Amendment freaks!

When I first heard a day or two ago that Texas has passed legislation that would end the requirement for Texas residents to obtain a license to carry handguns, I thought surely this must be wrong … how can Texas do such a lunatic thing?  It would mean no background checks would be done, no license to even know who owns what guns.  But, a bit of research shows me that … Texas would not be the first state to enact such a lunatic law!  The bill has passed both chambers of the Texas legislature and Governor Abbott has already said he would sign it, so it’s pretty much a done deal … all over except the shootings, the tears, the useless ‘thoughts and prayers’.

The following states, for example, to not require a permit to carry a concealed handgun:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Idaho
  • Iowa (as of July 1, 2021)
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • North Dakota (residents only and concealed carry only)
  • Oklahoma
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee (as of July 1, 2021)
  • Utah (as of May 5, 2021 for concealed carry only)
  • Vermont
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming (for open carry and concealed carry for residents only. Concealed carry will be legal for all legal U.S. residents as of July 1, 2021.)Source

This means that in those states, people who have never passed a background check, who may be child molestors or domestic abusers, may have serious mental health issues, are walking around with guns in their pockets.  Is this not the craziest thing???  Is it any wonder people are opening fire in grocery stores, on the streets, and at birthday parties?  If I lived in any of those states, I would never leave my home, and nobody would ever be allowed in!  In fact, I’d move!

This nation has gone way too far off the rails when it comes to guns.  The 2nd Amendment that the gun nuts love so much was never intended to be abused in this way.  The Founding Fathers would be horrified to see what a mockery we have made of the 2nd Amendment, how it has been so badly and intentionally mis-interpreted over the years.  I blame the gun manufacturers who put their own greed above our lives; I blame the NRA who have riled the masses, told them blatant lies about what the 2nd Amendment intended, and then bought and paid for members of Congress, largely Republicans, in order to ensure that no sensible gun legislation can ever pass;  I blame those same members of Congress; and lastly I blame the fools and idiots in this country who think their right to own a lethal toy supersedes our right to safety.

Is it any wonder that people in every other nation on earth look at the United States and laugh at what bloody fools we are?  No, it is not.  Were it in my power, I would take every gun in the hands of private citizens and throw them into the ocean!  Enough said … my blood pressure just hit a new record high and I must calm down now.

For more information on state-by-state gun laws, or more appropriately lack of gun laws, check out Wikipedia.


And speaking of really, really stupid laws …

You have no further to look than Florida, where it is now against the law to ask employees or customers if they have been vaccinated against COVID-19.  This is ridiculous and is a tremendous disservice to both employees and customers!

Last week, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed executive orders canceling all Covid-related restrictions for the entire state, including mandates for facemasks and rules limiting capacity in public places. At the same time, he also signed into law legislation prohibiting vaccine passport requirements in the state.  Said the guv …

“This legislation ensures that legal safeguards are in place so that local governments cannot arbitrarily close our schools or businesses. In Florida, your personal choice regarding vaccinations will be protected and no business or government entity will be able to deny you services based on your decision.”

It should come as no surprise that, per an ABC News report just two days ago …

“Variant COVID-19 infections skyrocketed following spring break in Florida and there have been more than 10,000 variant cases reported throughout the state, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported based on data from the Florida Department of Health.”

In addition to all the lives DeSantis has put at risk with his greed and foolishness, Florida may well have another reason to regret this foolishness, as some cruise lines are already considering moving their business out of Florida.  Most cruise lines require proof of vaccinating from both employees and customers.  This isn’t discriminatory, it is for public safety, for Pete’s Sake!  Do you want to be in close quarters for days on end with somebody who may not show symptoms but may have the coronavirus?  I don’t!  At least one company, Norwegian Cruise Line, has made its position clear when CEO Frank Del Rio said …

“That’s an issue, but at the end of the day, cruise ships have motors, propellers and rudders, and god forbid we can’t operate in the state of Florida for whatever reason, then there are other states that we do operate from. And we can operate from the Caribbean for ships that otherwise would’ve gone to Florida.”

I would bet money that other cruise ship companies will feel the same, for I seriously doubt they want all the lawsuits that could evolve as a result of just one infected passenger or employee.


And now, Filosofa is done ranting and I shall return you to your regularly scheduled programming …

BANG … BANG … BANG

Another mass shooting overnight, this time in Kenosha, Wisconsin at the Somers House Tavern … 3 people dead, 2 injured.  Preliminary reports say the suspect wasn’t “cooperating with management” and was asked to leave but returned a short time later and opened fire.  The suspect is still at large as of this writing.  That makes 151 mass shootings so far this year, with 12,635 people dead by guns in just 108 days in the so-called ‘United’ States.  If we’re so damned united, then why are we killing each other at an astronomical rate???

The 2nd Amendment is the single worst mistake the framers of the Constitution made back in 1787.  I understand the rationale back then, but times have changed, technology has made guns far more lethal than the Founding Fathers could have imagined even in their wildest dreams, and it’s time to remove the 2nd Amendment.  In my opinion, there is NO REASON for any law-abiding civilian to own or carry a gun.  Period.  Full stop.

I’ve heard all the excuses and they all ring false in my ears.  Self-defense?  Bullshit.  Hunting?  The killing of animals for sport should be a felony that carries a life sentence.  There are a lot of good people in this nation … they don’t own guns.  There are a lot of lunatics in this nation … they own arsenals.

I’m past the point of arguing for ‘sensible gun legislation’.  The gun nuts in this country have turned me into a fire-breathing dragon and I will settle for nothing less than the complete and total repeal of the 2nd Amendment.  The gun nuts had an opportunity to act reasonably, to support sensible legislation such as a ban on assault weapons, more stringent background checks, testing and licensing … but instead they put their desire to own bigger and better killing machines ahead of our lives.  So now, they should lose their privileges.  How many more people will die with a bullet in their body this year?  Will I be one of them … will you?  It’s not even safe to go to the grocery store in this country anymore, let alone to a restaurant or bar.

Care to argue with me?  I wouldn’t advise it at this moment, else you may walk away with singed hair, for I am a fire-breathing dragon at this moment.

Absolut Biden

Today’s Claytoonz is just too spot-on not to share! Isn’t it interesting that a political cartoonist understands the scope and sequence of the U.S. Constitution better than those who have taken an oath to defend the document?

claytoonz

Cjones04162021

I love that people who identify themselves as Constitutionalists don’t know shit fuck about the Constitution.

Usually, when a “Constitutionalist” screams about the Constitution and the rights it guarantees, it is really only talking about one Amendment, and that’s the Second. In case you don’t know what that Amendment guarantees, ask a “Constitutionalist.” The other thing I love about “Constitutionalists” is that they’ll tell you only part of what’s in the Second Amendment. Not only will they NOT tell you what the entire Amendment says, but when they tell you the part, “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed,” they won’t even tell you the entire sentence.

What does the rest of that sentence say? It says, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State…” and then it gives you, ” the right of the people to keep…

View original post 1,369 more words

An International Embarrassment

Most people reading this blog likely drive a car.  In order to do so, you must have a license issued by your state, and in order to obtain said license, you had to pass a written test to prove that you understand the laws that govern all drivers in order to make the roadways as safe as possible.  You also had to pass a road test to prove that you have the skills needed to drive safely.  And after doing all that, you want to know that the other drivers out there are also competent.  Even under the best of circumstances, accidents will sometimes happen, but we all … well, most of us anyway … do our best to avoid them.   A car or truck can be a lethal weapon in the wrong hands.

So, why is it that there is no testing required to own a firearm, another lethal weapon?   Why is there such an uproar among gun owners (likely prodded by the NRA) whenever any form of regulation on guns is proposed?  They don’t want a person stoned on drugs or drunk behind the wheel of a car, yet they are happy for that same person to be behind the trigger of an AR-15?  I’m sorry, folks, but I honestly just don’t get this!

I know that to some I sound like a broken record, but … are we no longer horrified by mass shootings?  Do we no longer care that it’s as safe to walk across an eight-lane expressway as it is to enter a bar or restaurant where somebody almost certainly has a gun in his possession?

This is the 11th day in April, and already there have been 16 mass shootings that caused the deaths of 21 people and injured another 64.  But the mass shootings aren’t even the worst of it.  Thus far this year, 101 days into 2021, there have been 11,671 people killed by guns in the U.S.  Do gun owners, NRA members and congressional Republicans honestly think this is what the Founding Fathers envisioned when they wrote the 2nd Amendment into the U.S. Constitution?

On Thursday, President Biden announced a series of executive actions to curb gun violence, and he pledged to push for sweeping change to the country’s firearms laws — his first substantive response to a pair of mass shootings last month that left 18 dead.  He was spot on when he said …

“Gun violence in this country is an epidemic, and it’s an international embarrassment.  The idea that we have so many people dying every single day from gun violence in America is a blemish on our character as nation.”

Unfortunately, there is very little that the president can do on his own in this case, but here are the four measures his executive orders call for:

  • Serial numbers for guns made at home from kits. Biden called the homemade weapons “ghost guns” because they’re hard to trace and because kit buyers don’t have to submit to a background check.
  • A new annual report from the Justice Department about gun trafficking. There had previously been a report done by Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, which dated back to 2000.
  • Stricter treatment of handgun stabilizing braces, like the one used recently in a mass shooting at a Colorado grocery store. The change would require the modification be reported to the Justice Department, just like a silencer. There would be a $200 reporting fee.
  • Finally, Biden said he wanted to make it easier for states to enact “red flag laws,” allowing the police or family members to petition for the temporary removal weapons when a person in crisis is a danger to himself or others.

These are a start, but much more is needed and only Congress has the power to enact legislation such as a ban on assault weapons, expanded background checks, competency & skills testing – all things that the NRA and those lovers of their 2nd Amendment “rights” will fight tooth and nail.  And because they fight it, Congress won’t pass it and thousands more people will die needlessly this year … and the next … and the next.

What does it take?  Will Mitch McConnell change his tune when his own grandchild is killed by a man with a gun?  Will Lauren Boebert suddenly become an advocate for gun laws when the life of one of her own children is taken at gunpoint?  I doubt it, for remember Representative Steve Scalise, who was shot and nearly died in 2017 during a congressional baseball practice?  A year later he said …

“I was a strong supporter of the second amendment before the shooting, and frankly, as ardent as ever after the shooting …”

What a guy, eh?

Every year, the number of guns in the hands of civilians increases and predictably, every year the number of people in this country killed by guns also increases.  Even the smallest steps taken toward reducing the number of guns that will, potentially, be used to kill is met with rage and indignation from those who believe their ‘right’ to own a gun is more important than your ‘right’ to live.  President Biden is right … we are an international embarrassment.

AGAIN, DAMMIT!!!!!!!!! 💔💔💔

Yes, my friends, it has happened again.  Another mass shooting in the United States.  Last week, it was 8 killed in Atlanta, Georgia, and this week it’s 10 killed in Boulder, Colorado.

Boulder-shootingI don’t want to hear “thoughts and prayers” from anybody.  Keep the damn thoughts and prayers … they won’t bring back the dead, and they won’t stop the next one, probably later this week or next week.  ACTION is what’s needed.  Action on the part of our inert Congress to pass emergency legislation banning any further gun sales, effective immediately.  Action to shut down the National Rifle Association, aka NRA.  Action to ban assault weapons and to require rigorous background checks on every single damn gun sold, no matter who the seller.  Action to begin removing guns from the homes of the mentally unstable, the domestic abusers.

The shooting, for any who may be unaware, took place yesterday afternoon in a grocery store.  Police are, apparently, still trying to figure out the motive.  The shooter, last I heard, was injured in the leg and was “being treated for his injuries”.  WHY is he being ‘treated’ for anything … throw the son-of-a-bitch in a jail cell and let him writhe in pain … or die … doesn’t much matter which to me at the moment.

Boulder-shooterWhile he is being treated for his injuries, let me note here that if he had been Black, he would be dead now … there were SWAT teams at the store within minutes of the shooting and they would no doubt have killed the shooter if his skin had been darker.  Instead, he is gingerly put on a stretcher, placed in an ambulance, and taken to a local hospital.

Welcome to America, land of opportunity.  Opportunity to get killed while picking up a gallon of milk on your way home from work.  Opportunity to get killed while working in a spa, or a grocery store, a bank, or a news station.  Opportunity to make less money in 2021 than you made in 2009.  Opportunity to graduate from college with so much debt that you will be nearing retirement age before you pay it off.

When are people going to wake up and realize that we have a critical gun problem in this nation?  Perhaps when their own child or grandchild is killed while at school?  I have written before about people who, when confronted with a choice between their children and their guns, chose their guns.  This is not human, people!

And guess what, folks?  Just 3 days before the shooting, as a result of a lawsuit filed against the city of Boulder, Colorado by none other than the NRA, Boulder’s ban on assault-style weapons such as the AR-15, was deemed to be unenforceable.  Guess what the shooter used?  Yep, an AR-15.  It’s only a damn shame that NRA head Wayne LaPierre wasn’t doing a bit of shopping in that grocery store yesterday, or having a massage at a spa in Atlanta last week!

Funny, there is a certain element in this nation who believe that mass voter fraud is the most important issue to deal with, that restrictions must be placed on voting such that Blacks, Hispanics, women, and the poor will find it almost impossible to vote.  This, despite the fact that it was overwhelmingly proven last year that there was no mass voter fraud.  However, those same people are all about making it easier to buy a damn gun.  Something is seriously screwed up in this nation, so much so that I seriously doubt we can continue as a democratic republic.  Our headlines read much more like a third-world country, with people being shot at random in a grocery store, and our politicians appear to favour a plutocracy – a government by and for the wealthy.

I will likely be suspended from Twitter again by morning, as I responded hastily and in a fury to a post by none other than the consummate gun looney, Lauren Boebert, who posted she was sending those damn useless “thoughts and prayers”, when she is part of the problem with her arsenal pictured behind her during a congressional Zoom meeting.  I let her know my feelings in no uncertain terms … just waiting for an email from Twitter to slap me on the wrist … again.

People … this has to STOP!  This nation is eating its young, so to speak.  We are killing for no good reason.  We are a nation peopled with bigots … gun-owning bigots … and our Congress is in such a stalemate that no legislation is likely to be passed this year or next, no matter how urgent, how sensible.

We the People voted for the fools who are currently playing games with our lives.  Yesterday, ten people lost their lives, one a police officer, because this is a nation that cares more about their “right” to own a gun than they care about this country and the lives of the people who live here.  Let’s all do some serious thinking and study the issues, and before next year’s election, let’s make some wiser choices.  Let’s vote for people who do NOT have an A+ rating with the NRA!  Our lives depend on it!  Instead of sending useless ‘thoughts and prayers’, let’s send some people with brains and consciences to Congress!

KILL The 2nd Amendment!

Think about this one for a minute:

More than 2 million guns were sold in January, an 80% jump and the second-highest monthly total on record.

According to The Washington Post, the surge is in line with the record pace set in 2020: Nearly 23 million firearms were bought, representing a 64 percent jump from the previous year.

gun-stats

Said one Florida resident who tried to buy ammunition for his semi-automatic but found the gun stores had sold out …

“With the lockdown and a president who is saying things like ‘gun reform,’ there’s a fear within the gun community and people that are responsible gun owners that they’re going to be made into felons just by nature of law.”

gun-stats-by-state

According to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) …

It’s common for gun sales to jump when a Democrat takes over the White House. In January 2009, when Barack Obama was inaugurated for his first term, the total number of firearm background checks registered through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) reached 1.2 million. That was a record at the time and a nearly 29 percent jump from January 2008.

In January 2017, when Trump was inaugurated, more than 2 million background checks were recorded, a 20 percent drop from 2016.

Biden pledged during his campaign to reinstate a ban on the manufacture and sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. He also proposed a buyback program for assault weapons and high-capacity magazines that would require owners to sell them to the federal government or register them under the National Firearms Act.

In three individual weeks in January, there was a record number of background checks, climbing into the top five spots since the FBI began tracking in 1998.

Why … just WHY does the average Joe need an assault weapon that can kill or maim dozens of people within a minute?  Would somebody please explain this to me, for I frankly think it is utterly stupid, and I know for a fact that more innocent people have been killed by lunatics with assault rifles than have been saved by a non-law enforcement individual with an assault rifle.  NOBODY outside of law enforcement or the military needs one.  In 1994, a ten-year ban on assault weapons was judiciously passed by Congress, but at the end of ten years, the damn fools said it ‘violated people’s constitutional rights’, and it has, despite multiple efforts, never been re-implemented.

Interestingly, but not surprisingly, firearm stocks spiked in the days leading up to the January 6th domestic terrorist attack on the Capitol and on Congress, inspired by Donald Trump and his witless minions.   I have seen enough pictures of those bozos with their assault weapons storming the Capitol to literally make me ill.

Today is February 4th, and already just this year there have already been 24 mass shootings in the U.S.  But that’s only mass shootings, involving multiple victims.  In total, there have been 3,976 deaths due to guns, and 3,026 injuries.  Take a look at this chart by the Gun Violence Archive

gun-violence-archive

I have a few thoughts on all of this …

  • Personally, I hate guns and would very much like to see a total repeal of the 2nd Amendment.  The Founding Fathers never … NEVER intended every person in the nation to own multiple assault weapons that could shred numerous people within a minute.  No, the intent was to form local militias that would have the right to own guns in case of something akin to a coup or hostile takeover.  The 2nd Amendment, like the 1st Amendment, has been so abused that if any one of the framers of the Constitution were to return to earth and see what is happening, he would be horrified.

  • I think that for the most part, those who feel a need to own a gun and carry it with them to the grocery store, restaurant, bookstore, etc., are cowards. If they think it makes them appear strong or macho, they are very much mistaken. I chuckle and roll my eyes when I see a man with a gun stuck in his belt, and then I leave the store, but not before informing a staff member that there is a man with a gun, that I am leaving because of this, and that I am not purchasing anything at this time.

  • Guns and gun owners are in the top five biggest problems with the United States today. How many parents will go to sleep tonight with a loaded gun somewhere that their child can access? How many school shootings will this year bring?  How many women will be killed by their significant other or husband because dinner was late and he was in a foul temper?  How many crazed people will go into a mall or other public venue with a chip on their shoulder and just start shooting for any or no reason?

  • Anybody who is an advocate of the 2nd Amendment and who is against any reasonable gun legislation is the problem … the biggest problem … in this nation.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t buy into that old NRA slogan about a ‘good guy with a gun’, for in my mind, if that ‘guy’ is toting a gun, he is NOT a ‘good’ guy.  I have zero tolerance for guns, they are not allowed in my home, and I refuse to occupy the same building as a person who is ‘packing heat’.  The good people of this nation, those who value their children’s and grandchildren’s lives over their ‘right’ to own a weapon, need to make it clear to all — Congress, state legislatures, gun owners, and anyone who has the power to make changes — that we will not continue to live in a nation populated by gun nuts.  Period.