Short, Angry, and To The Point

Republican House member Steve Scalise spoke about the Nashville school shooting earlier today:

“The first thing in any kind of tragedy I do is I pray. I pray for the victims. I pray for their families. I really get angry when I see people trying to politicize it for their own personal agenda, especially when we don’t even know the facts. We’ve talked about things that we can do, and it just seems like on the other side, all they want to do is take guns away from law abiding citizens, before they even know the facts. The first thing they talk about is taking guns away from law abiding citizens. And that’s not the answer, by the way. So why don’t we number one, keep those families in our prayers.”

I had not intended another post today, but after reading Mr. Scalise’s words, it’s either verbalize my frustrations here, or punch a hole in the wall!  There is so much to rebut here that I don’t know where to start.  A word of warning, this is a rant on my part and I will not mince words, nor will I apologize for what I say or how I say it.

  • You can pray until the cows come home, Mr. Scalise, but that is NOT helpful. Millions of people have been praying for decades about the severe gun problem and related deaths, yet the numbers keep rising instead of falling.  You can believe whatever the hell you wish, but don’t shove your rhetoric down MY throat.  Keep your useless prayers, take comfort if you wish in the myth that if you just pray hard enough, no more children will die.
  • “We don’t know the facts …” he says???  We know that a person bought 7 guns, took three of them into a school and murdered three children and three adults.  That’s a fact.  It’s also a fact that over 10,000 people have died by gun violence in less than three months, more than 400 of them children!   And to say that we are ‘politicizing’ it for our ‘own personal agenda’ is disgusting, offensive, and proves that Scalise is not mentally competent to serve in the United States Congress!
  • The incessant call for ‘thoughts and prayers’ by Mr. Scalise and others in Congress is naught but a sorry distraction, a sorry excuse for the fact that THEY are NOT doing their jobs!  Much easier to sit on their fat arses and mumble a few words of prayer than to go against their big donors in the NRA and pass laws that actually protect children!  Their job is to legislate in the best interest of this country.  Having more guns than people in the country, including millions of assault weapons that can mow down a crowd in under a minute is NOT in the best interest of the nation!  It is getting people killed EVERY DAMN DAY!
  • Scalise says we, the people with both brains and a conscience, want to take guns “away from law abiding citizens.” Law abiding citizens, Mr. Scalise, DO NOT purchase seven guns, as did the Nashville shooter!  Law abiding citizens DO NOT own AR-15s!  Assault weapons are purchased with only one thing in mind:  to kill humans!  You yourself were a victim of a mass shooting, and yet you foolishly refuse to even consider any form or fashion of gun regulation!  What a damn fool you are!

BAN ASSAULT WEAPONS NOW!!!  There is no other starting place … if you want your children and grandchildren to live in a safe place, then demand that your representatives and senators take action this week!  NOW!!!

Beyond Words

May 14th – 10 killed, 3 injured in a grocery store in Buffalo, New York

May 15th – 1 killed, 5 injured at a church in Laguna Woods, California

May 24th – 19 children, 2 teachers killed, 17 injured in a school in Uvalde, Texas

June 1st – 4 killed at a hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Two weeks.  These are just the ones that made the headlines.  In the two weeks following the Buffalo shooting, there have been 36 other mass shootings in the U.S.  With the exception of the church shooting, the incidents I mention above were all carried out with military-style assault weapons … weapons that civilians have no business even owning.

A grocery store, a church, a school, and a hospital.  American Exceptionalism?  Oh yeah, we’re #1 alright … the only nation on the planet where it’s no longer safe to buy food, worship, go to school, or seek healthcare.

No Sympathy For A Cold-Blooded Killer

A 17-year-old punk leaves his home in Illinois, travels to Kenosha, Wisconsin, where there are protests against the police brutality that left Jacob Blake paralyzed from the waist down, and walks up and down the street carrying an assault rifle.  Seventeen years old.  He should be home studying, or working at the local McDonald’s to save for college, but instead he is about to become a cold-blooded killer.  He did not have a permit for the gun, and in fact was too young to obtain one … he was not legally allowed to have that weapon in his possession.

As Kyle Rittenhouse walked down the streets of Kenosha with another armed man, a police officer in an armoured vehicle asked him if he needed some water, then tossed him a bottle of water, saying, “We appreciate you guys, we really do.”  A short time later, Kyle Rittenhouse used his AR-15 to shoot three people, two of whom died.  Since police were all over the place, it only makes sense that he was arrested on the spot, right?  But no … even though at this point, people were shouting to the police that he was the shooter, and even though he walked right up to the police, police officers simply waved him away and told him to get off the streets!  He returned to his home in Antioch, Illinois, a short time later, without any interference from law enforcement in Wisconsin.  He was arrested by Antioch police the following afternoon.

Kyle Rittenhouse would have been shot dead on the spot by police if he had been a black teenager instead of a white one.  But wait … for it gets even worse.

It may have started with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson when, rather than condemning a 17-year-old killer, he attempted to justify it …

“So, are we really surprised that looting and arson accelerated to murder? How shocked are we that 17-year-olds with rifles decided they had to maintain order when no one else would? Everyone could see what was happening in Kenosha. It was getting crazier by the hour.”

Or perhaps it started with the Facebook post by Arthur Love, a member of Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s staff, sympathizing with Rittenhouse, saying in one post …

“I’m grateful that conservatives are rallying behind this kid. He genuinely seems like a good person.”

A “good person”???  Good people do not even own assault weapons, let alone go looking for an excuse to kill!!!  Mr. Love was fired on Saturday, and rightly so.

Wherever and however it started, there is growing support for this 17-year-old murderer, and funds have even been started to help pay his legal fees!  One fundraiser, on a Christian crowdfunding website called Give Send Go, raised more than $65,000 as of last Thursday evening. People have donated $7,460 to the teen through a site called Free Kyle Rittenhouse.

GoFundMe, one of the most popular and widely used crowdfunding websites, has taken down multiple fundraisers for Rittenhouse. GoFundMe spokesperson Angelique McNaughton said Thursday the platform removed the fundraisers because they violated GoFundMe’s terms of service which specifically forbids people from using the platform to raise money for “the implicit or explicit purpose of or involving for the legal defense of alleged crimes associated with hate, violence, harassment, bullying, discrimination, terrorism, or intolerance of any kind relating to race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, serious disabilities or diseases, financial crimes or crimes of deception.”

And, according to an article in The Guardian

“Fundraisers, messages of support and celebratory memes for the alleged Kenosha, Wisconsin, mass shooter are being shared widely on Facebook and Instagram, despite the company’s assurance on Wednesday that it was working to enforce its policy banning content that “praises, supports, or represents” mass shooters.

One fundraiser for Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, was shared more than 17,700 times on Facebook, including by 291 public groups and pages with more than 3.9m aggregate followers, according to data from CrowdTangle, a Facebook-owned data analytics tool. A second fundraiser garnered 1,698 shares on the platform, including by an additional 17 pages and groups with nearly 400,000 followers.”

I encourage you to read the entire article, for it is truly shocking.

This, perhaps more than anything else, defines what is wrong in this nation today.  That people have empathy for a young punk using an assault weapon to kill people is … well, it just blows my mind.  Personally, I would like to see him tried, convicted, and spend the rest of his life in prison.  I would also like to see his parents pay a price, for it is obvious to me that they failed miserably in raising this child.  Since he was only seventeen, he was legally still under their guardianship, and it seems to me they must share some of the blame.

Rittenhouse claims it was self-defense, but he went there looking for trouble, so the self-defense argument simply does not fly.  How can people support this punk?  How can anyone justify what he did?  Those who can, it seems obvious to me, are people who value their guns more than human life, people who believe in vigilante justice, and people who are, at the core, white supremacists.  They are part of what is wrong in this nation today, and is likely to get worse before it gets better.

The Real ‘Fake News’

“Keep your friends close and your enemies closer”

It’s unclear who first said this.  It has been attributed to Sun Tzu and sometimes to Niccolò Machiavelli or Petrarch, but there are no published sources yet found which predate its use by “Michael Corleone” in The Godfather Part II.  But to the point … it is why I do sometimes pop over to such uber-conservative sites as The Daily Wire, from whence came the inspiration for this post.  ‘Inspiration’ may not be quite the right word …

I was first appalled, then infuriated by the headline I saw last night …

Democrat Calls For Gun Confiscation, Suggests Nuking Americans Who Fight Back

The story put forth by The Daily Wire, Fox News, MSN and others is this …

“Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) caused a firestorm on Friday when he suggested using nuclear weapons against American citizens who oppose his far-left gun control agenda, which includes forcing Americans to give up their semi-automatic weapons.”

Now, if that were the truth, it would be quite a “WOW” moment and I would have to ask myself if Mr. Swalwell had gone and lost his bloody marbles!  Turns out there’s more to the story that the aforementioned news outlets conveniently left out … or perhaps didn’t understand.

This is yet another example of taking a sentence out of context and giving it an entirely different meaning than the speaker ever intended.  The danger is that some people will look at that headline, believe it without ever giving it a thought or checking on its veracity, and will be all in a fizz,  running inside, grabbing the old rifle, and sitting on their porches waiting for the band of merry democrats to show up to try to take their guns!

Let’s look at a few of the comments from Representative Swalwell in response to the madness:

  • We should ban assault weapons by buying them back or restricting them to ranges/clubs.
  • Don’t be so dramatic. No one is nuking anyone or threatening that. I’m telling you this is not the 18th Century. The argument that you would go to war with your government if an assault weapons ban was in place is ludicrous and inflames the gun debate. Which is what you want.
  • It’s sarcasm. He said he’s going to war with America if gun legislation was passed. I told him his government has nukes. God forbid we use sarcasm.

And finally, his nutshell summary of the entire situation:

America’s gun debate in one thread.

1) I propose a buy-back of assault weapons

2) Gun owner says he’ll go to war with USA if that happens

3) I sarcastically point out USA isn’t losing to his assault weapon (it’s not the 18th Century)

4) I’m called a tyrant

5) 0 progress

Sigh.  C’mon, folks … get real for a minute, will ya?  Mr. Swalwell was far more generous than I would have been, or than he should have been, in offering a buy-back program.  In my mind, assault-type weapons that were designed for only military use do not belong in the hands of civilians.  Period.  No argument.  Ban ‘em.  Confiscate ‘em.  Destroy ‘em.  They do not belong in your hands, Joe Cracker!!!

No, nobody is going to nuke you, and frankly if I had my wishes, and if there were a safe way to do so, every nuclear weapon on the planet would be destroyed.  Mr. Swalwell’s comment was rather like one that I myself make every so often, when I hear of somebody who has an arsenal in their basement or garage, just waiting for that day when the military ‘comes for mah guns’.  Says Joe Cracker … “Just let ‘em try … hworf, hworf, hworf (picture Beavis & Butthead here) … I’ll blast ‘em into the next county”.  Say I … “Oh really … and when that tank rolls right on through your arsenal, taking most of your house with it …???”

There is this concept these days in both political parties that we must always look for the ulterior motive, the hidden threat in every word that is uttered by “the enemy”.  Why must we be enemies?  Because we cannot be bothered to take the time to understand one another!  Republicans haven’t bothered to ask themselves why the democrats feel as strongly as they do about gun control.  Well, dear right-wing, conservative friends, even though you didn’t ask, let me tell you …


Eric Swalwell is not a bad guy, folks.  During his congressional career he has advocated to increase spending on education, for renewable energy jobs creation, to raise the cap on the Social Security payroll tax so that wealthier Americans would pay more into the program, and he has argued against legislation that would allow people to bring knives on airplanes.  He is a strong supporter of LGBT people and is staunchly pro-choice.  In other words, he is in favour of policies to protect and enhance the common people – people like you … and me.  And he wants to see a curtailment of guns in civilian hands.  Most of us do want that.  Those who don’t?  Explain it to me, please, Mr. Joe Cracker?

The far-right and far-left media outlets play on our fears, our sympathies, our desires.  The headline at the beginning of this article is but one example.  Fox News, Breitbart and others do it every day.  The trash that can be found on Twitter and Facebook is astounding.  Americans need to grow up.  They need to learn to distinguish between news and rhetoric.  They need to learn to do their own digging, to separate the bullshit from what is real.  The Great Divide just keeps getting wider and wider … it is to the advantage of people like Trump and his minions to keep us divided, to keep as many as possible in the dark.  Are you willing to let them win?  Are you willing to believe the myth?  Or do you still care about truth?

History Lesson – by Hugh Curtler

Many have written, in the five days since the mass school shooting tragedy in Parkland, Florida, about the need for enhanced gun regulations.  It is always so, and I myself am working on a piece about the same.  Hugh Curtler’s piece, however, stands out for two reasons.  First, it is a calm, well-reasoned piece, rather than the emotionally-charged pieces some of us write.  Second, he references a book from a former Supreme Court Justice that proves beyond a doubt that stricter gun regulations, such as banning assault weapons and enhanced background checks DO NOT infringe upon the 2nd Amendment.  Please take a few minutes to read Hugh’s excellent work and leave him a comment letting him know what you think.  Thank you, Hugh, for permission to share.


daily gadfly

In the wake of the most recent spate of killings in a high school in Florida we hear once again the tired mantra “guns don’t kill people, people kill  people.” The whole thing is brushed aside as a case of poor mental health. And while there is some truth in this, since anyone who walks into a school and starts shooting innocent teachers and students has to be clinically insane, it remains a fact that guns DO kill people and automatic weapons kill a great number of people in a very short time. Let us now hush the mantra and the mindless dismissal of real causes to consider the fact that there is hard evidence that tougher gun laws do, in fact, reduce the number of gun deaths. This has been shown in the case of both Japan and Australia.

Read the rest of the story

No, It Is NOT Too Soon …

Yesterday, a man named Devin Patrick Kelley entered a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, and opened fire on the people inside the church, killing at least 26 and injuring many more.  He performed this atrocity with a gun.  The gun was a Luger assault rifle, a German weapon designed for warfare, not self-protection..

There are those who will say that it is too soon to discuss the relevant fact that this crime, this mass murder, was committed with a gun.  They would say that it is disrespectful of the victims to use this atrocity to launch a discussion of gun regulations, or lack thereof.  NO, it is not too soon and it is not disrespectful.  It is exactly the right time, when perhaps a few people get angry enough to make some changes around here! What is disrespectful is to fail to heed what is happening in this nation, to allow people to continue to bring guns into public places and shoot people.  All the recent gun atrocities should be a wake up call, but instead there are those who want to keep saying, “hush, hush now, don’t upset anyone”.  What is disrespectful is Donald Trump’s comment …

 “We have a lot of mental health problems in our country, as do other countries, but this isn’t a guns situation [emphasis added] … we could go into it but it’s a little bit soon to go into it. Fortunately, somebody else had a gun that was shooting in the opposite direction, otherwise it wouldn’t have been as bad as it was, it would have been much worse.”

This is, indeed, a “guns situation”.  Granted, Mr. Kelley had a history of violence, having been court-martialed in 2012 on charges of assaulting his wife and child. He was sentenced to 12 months’ confinement and received a “bad conduct” discharge in 2014.  So yes, he was obviously mentally unstable, so why was he allowed to own a gun?  And an assault rifle, one that was banned for ten years until 2004 when the NRA convinced Congress to allow the ban on assault weapons to lapse.

Yes, Donald Trump, this is precisely a “guns situation”, for without the gun, Mr. Kelley would have been unable to kill 26 people.  Had he entered that building with a knife or even a machete, he would not have been able to murder 26 people.  Just as Dylan Roof, Charles Whitman, and Stephen Paddock, to name just a few, would not have killed anybody, but for their guns.

This nation is indeed under attack, but the threat does not come from Middle-Eastern refugees … the threat comes from our own backyard.  The threat comes from those who go about uttering the same tired old phrase “guns don’t kill people, people kill people”.  Yes, people kill people … mostly with guns!  Typically white, male U.S. citizens with a grudge against somebody or something, real or imagined, and with a gun!

To add insult to Trump’s inane statement, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton made equally inane remarks, calling for more armed security guards in church or “at least arming some of the parishioners so they can respond to something like this.” The same ol’ spiel we hear from the NRA … if some guns are causing mass shootings and deaths, then more guns must be the solution.  Paxton also used that other tired old NRA adage: “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” Well guess what, folks?  That one has been disproven time and time again, but the NRA and its proponents always manage to put a different spin on it.  Not to mention that they manage to put enough greenbacks in the pockets of Congress to sway their votes. Let me ask you a question:  You own a gunshop.  A man walks into your shop, wants to buy a gun.  Is he a “good guy” or a “bad guy”?  You don’t know, you cannot know.  And frankly, even if he is a good guy today, there is nothing that says he won’t turn into a bad guy under a given set of circumstances.  All you know is that he is a human, subject to the foibles that have plagued mankind since the beginning of time.

Gun laws in this nation are a joke, for truly, there are few laws and they are not uniformly enforced. It is obvious that We The People do not matter, for some 80% of people in this nation are in favour of tougher restrictions on gun ownership, including re-establishing the ban on assault weapons and denying gun ownership to the mentally ill and to those with a history of violence.  Those are bare-bones minimum requirements, and yet even though the vast majority support those regulations, Congress is unwilling to pass such laws, for the NRA is buying their vote.  If you are satisfied with this situation, if you are sitting back saying how terrible this tragedy was, but believing it cannot happen to you or your family … then you are part of the problem.

As for me, I am not going to wait for “the right time” to shine a very bright spotlight on this issue, for there will never be a “right time” in the minds of those who don’t wish to hear what I have to say.  I can only say that at this point, I am thoroughly disgusted with the so-called president, with Congress, and with those who sit back and allow the status quo, who support unlimited gun ownership.  I am very seriously considering taking my family to another country, one where it is understood that, human nature being what it is, guns do not belong in the hands of every Tom, Dick and Harry.

Little Donnie’s New Playmate …

A week or so ago, I was not happy with the quality of my writing (I imagine we all go through that from time to time) and for a brief time (perhaps an hour or two) I considered giving up my blog.  But then I had an epiphany and I realized that if I did not write this blog, if I did not have this opportunity to pound the keys and vent my frustrations with today’s world, I would explode into a million little pieces and be scattered for miles!  So, the moment passed, and I am glad, especially when I see things like today’s latest in the ongoing saga of da trumpeter.

gun1Little Donnie Darkness got another … totally unexpected [sarcasm fully intended] … endorsement today.  Yes, folks, the NRA now thinks that Donnie Rump is the next best thing to sliced bread!  Okay, so it really is no surprise, given that there wasn’t a snowball’s chance in hell that they were going to endorse Hillary Clinton who has been vociferous in her support of stronger gun regulation and declared that she plans to ‘take on the NRA’.  What is curious, however, is that, just as so many other groups have done this year, the NRA seems to have developed amnesia.  They forgot that he once supported an assault weapons ban and expanded background checks. In his 2000 book The America We Deserve he wrote that “The Republicans walk the NRA line and refuse even limited restrictions.”

So, what convinced the NRA to come out in support of Trump?  Granted, Hillary is their ‘public enemy #1’, but they could have abstained from endorsing either candidate just as easily.  Well, Trump promised them, just as he has so many others, a heaping dish of hogwash that he cannot deliver on, but I guess it sounded good to Wayne LaPierre, acting CEO of the NRA, and Chris Cox, chief lobbyist. Trump says he has a concealed-carry permit, he wants to rescind President Obama’s executive actions expanding background checks, he thinks assault weapons are tremendous, and he wants to make any permit you get in any state valid in the 49 other states, so people can bring their guns even where other states don’t want them. And as for gun-free zones, “My first day, it gets signed, okay? My first day. There’s no more gun-free zones.”  Sorry to inform you, Donnie, but there will always be gun-free zones … I know this, because my home is and always will be one of them.

Let us, just for the fun of it, pick apart Trump’s assertion about signing ‘it’ to do away with gun-free zones on his first day.  Interestingly, Huffington Post reporter Sam Stein contacted several Trump-owned properties, including his Palm Beach estate and private club, Mar-A-Lago.  Turns out that Mar-A-Lago, as well as Trump Hotel in Chicago and Trump Winery in Virginia are all … ready for it … gun-free zones!  All that aside, Trump will not be able to declare a moratorium on gun-free zones with the stroke of a pen, since gun-free zones exist as a result of legislation passed by Congress some twenty years ago, and the only thing that will reverse it is another act of Congress. And, given the hostility so many in the nation feel toward Trump, I should think he would welcome gun-free zones!

The NRA was once an organization dedicated to promoting gun safety, but that noble idea went by the wayside in the last few decades, and now they are just dedicated to promoting a culture of guns.  “They’ve encouraged people to think that gun ownership makes you self-reliant, independent, masculine, strong, capable, and patriotic — and anyone who thinks that 30,000 Americans killed by guns every year is a problem worth addressing must not be any of those things.” (Waldman, Washington Post, 20 May 2016).  Well, I guess that makes me helpless, dependent, feminine, weak, inept and a traitor to my country, because I absolutely abhor guns and will not knowingly occupy the same space as somebody with a gun.  When my daughter was but 5 days old, my husband’s brother came to our home to see his new niece.  He was drunk and brought his new gun with him to show it off to my husband.  I ordered him out of our home that day, much to the annoyance of my husband.  That is an example of how adamantly I hate guns, just in case anybody had doubts!

gun2.pngSo, the NRA has jumped into bed with Donnie, and I hope that it will be a very happy relationship for them.  Donnie will not be able to keep his promises, the NRA leadership is undoubtedly smart enough to realize that, but it really does not matter, as there is already very little gun regulation on the books in this country, and what there is more often than not is ineffective or not enforced.  It should be noted, however, that 90% of the people in this nation are in favour of stricter gun regulations, and that includes NRA members.  It seems to me that an organization that lobbies for policies that are contrary to those supported by their members is out of control.

Meanwhile, back at the reality ranch, even without the endorsement of the NRA, Hillary Clinton is also a candidate for president, and I hope that, if she wins the election, she will remain true to her promises to challenge the NRA and work toward more sensible gun regulations than we currently have.  The NRA tells its members that Hillary wants to abolish the 2nd amendment, but while she has certainly spoken out in favour of additional gun regulation, she has never given any indication that she would consider amending the Constitution to abolish the “right to bear arms” clause, nor would she likely be able to even if she were so inclined.  So, the NRA is also lying.  They and Trump actually make logical bedfellows, don’t you think?