In The Words Of Forrest Gump …

“Stupid is as stupid does”

(My apologies to Keith in advance, but sometimes you just gotta get it out of your system)

Now, I know I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer, so before I start criticizing others, I’ll tell you about my latest moment of dumb.  Our electricity went out yesterday afternoon.  I was sitting here writing when the lamp beside me went out, and I thought the bulb had just blown, but at the same time, my granddaughter screeched that her computer had shut down.  Then the neighbor came over to ask if our electricity was out, as was his.  So, I grabbed my laptop to send Duke Energy a text, but … duh … the internet was out!  So, I managed to send them a text via my phone, and they immediately responded, saying that they were aware of the outage, crews were on their way, and they estimated that service would be restored by 6:00 p.m., although they reserved the right to alter their estimate.  Since it was only 2:00 at that time, and since the temperature outside was in the 90s, I told Miss Goose that we better go get the fans out of the storage shed.  Oops … my second ‘duh’ moment, for the fans are powered by … electricity!  Fortunately, the power was back on within about a half-hour, so all was well.

So, now that I’ve fessed up to my own idiocy, I won’t feel so bad about critiquing others’ lack of brain power.  Let’s start with …


Stupid is as stupid does #1 – Ken Paxton

Let me start by saying that I have never known of an Attorney General who was as much a bastard as Texas’ Attorney General Ken Paxton.  Paxton was the one who sued the states of Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin over the 2020 election results because he claimed they “flooded their people with unlawful ballot applications and ballots while ignoring statutory requirements as to how they were received, evaluated and counted.”  Mind you, Paxton is the TEXAS AG and thus has no skin in the game in those other states, as was made clear to him by the United States Supreme Court.  Paxton, in fact, was then slapped with a misconduct lawsuit by his own state!

But do you think ol’ Kenny learned his lesson?  No, sadly he is just as obnoxious and nauseating as ever.  What’s the latest, you ask?  Well, he has commandeered the attorneys general of some 20 other states and they are collectively filing a lawsuit against … the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)!  Why, you ask?  The simple answer is because they are all idiots, but the more exhaustive explanation is that they are suing because the USDA does not discriminate against LGBTQ people!  Yes, you heard right!

It all started when Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack issued a press release in May stating that …

“USDA is committed to administering all its programs with equity and fairness, and serving those in need with the highest dignity. A key step in advancing these principles is rooting out discrimination in any form — including discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”

So, I suppose that AG Paxton and his cronies would like to see LGBTQ people starve to death if they find themselves unable to afford food for whatever reason?  Perhaps his philosophy is akin to …

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.  This, my friends, is the direction the new GOP is heading … you must be white, straight, Christian, and preferably male in order that the likes of Paxton will consider you human.  Now, I’m not worried that they’ll win their lawsuit, even with the lopsided Supreme Court of the day, but the fact that someone in such a position of trust and power … make that 20+ someones in positions of trust … can be so blatantly and unapologetically bigoted is … mind-blowing!


Stupid is as stupid does #2 – Charlotte Bergmann

Charlotte Bergman is running for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives from Tennessee’s 9th district.  Either she is related to Alex Jones or took lessons from him somewhere along the line, for she claims that nearly all mass shootings, including the one where 19 children were shot and killed in Uvalde, Texas, in May, are “false flag” operations, are ‘planned events’ designed to ‘take away people’s guns’.

On the day after the July 4th mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, in which seven people were killed, Bergmann said …

“You cannot tell me that this was not planned. The shooting is not just random. There is an agenda behind the shooting. There is an agenda. And that agenda is to make sure that our guns are taken away.”

It must be tough living in the Twilight Zone!  Ms. Bergmann, just for a bit of background, has run five times before — in every election since 2010, with the exception of 2016 — and has not yet won an election.  She is a documented QAnon supporter and even claimed that the 2018 mail pipe bomb attempts were false flags.  And yet, she is still running for the U.S. House of Representatives … THIS, my friends, is the face of the new GOP, which, by the way, no longer stands for “Grand Old Party”, for there is nothing ‘grand’ about them anymore.


Stupid is as stupid does #3 – Donald Trump

Trump put out a statement through his “Save America” PAC saying he’s “notified CNN” of his “intent to file a lawsuit over their repeated defamatory statements against me.” He also said he does, in fact, plan to go after other media outlets …

“I will also be commencing actions against other media outlets who have defamed me and defrauded the public regarding the overwhelming evidence of fraud throughout the 2020 Election. I will never stop fighting for the truth and for the future of our Country!”

And all I can do is laugh!  🤣  First, he would have to prove that whatever “defamatory statements” the outlet made were false!  It isn’t illegal to call a spade a spade … unless it’s a diamond, and Donald Trump sure as hell ain’t no diamond!

In a 282-page letter that Trump’s lawyers sent to CNN executives on July 21st, they claim that Trump’s …

“… comments are not lies because he subjectively believes that the results of the 2020 presidential election turned on fraudulent voting activity in several key states.”

Bullshit.

We Have Met The Enemy …

Numerous things are weighing on my mind today and as I was scrolling through the latest news today, that old Pogo saying came to mind …


Georgians love ‘batshit crazy’

I foolishly believed that people, even republicans, still had some values, some sense of right and wrong, but that notion was dispelled this morning when I read that despite every horrible thing Margie Greene has done, the voters in her party still think she is great.

At the Georgia Republican Party convention this weekend, many attendees were seen wearing “We love Marjorie” pins and when asked about her appeal, more than 20 party activists and officials mentioned her disregard for political correctness and approach to politics as a “Washington outsider.” Many said they appreciate her willingness to say what she believes, even if it is inaccurate or dangerous — the same traits they admired in the former guy.

Some of the comments …

“If that were me up there, I’d be doing the same thing. Though she probably does it with more tact.”

“She’s very dynamic, very personable. She’s someone who’s different from the typical politician.”

“When you go to her district and talk to people about her, they’re going to tell you, ‘we like the job she’s doing.’”

My advice is to stay out of Georgia … there’s something toxic in the air there!


Da judge is WRONG!!!

I don’t typically purport to have greater intelligence or better knowledge than judges, but in this case I do.  On Friday night, U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez of the Southern District of California overturned California’s longtime ban on assault weapons, saying the state’s law was unconstitutional and that prohibiting such firearms for decades was “a failed experiment.”

The judge not only said that sections of the state ban in place since 1989 regarding military-style rifles violate the Second Amendment, but he compared weapons such as the AR-15 to a Swiss army knife, saying …

“Like the Swiss Army Knife, the popular AR-15 rifle is a perfect combination of home defense weapon and homeland defense equipment.”

BULLSHIT!!!!  Now tell me, which of these two would you rather confront?

              

California Attorney General Rob Bonta plans to file an appeal on behalf of the State of California.  I agree with Bonta when he says …

“Today’s decision is fundamentally flawed. There is no sound basis in law, fact, or common sense for equating assault rifles with Swiss Army knives — especially on Gun Violence Awareness Day and after the recent shootings in our own California communities.”

Let us hope that the appellate court has better sense than Judge Benitez!!!


The fox guarding the henhouse

You remember Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, right?  He’s the one who attempted to overturn the results of the 2020 election by filing lawsuits against four states – Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – claiming that pandemic-era changes to election procedures in those states violated federal law and asked the U.S. Supreme Court to block the states from voting in the Electoral College.  He wanted the Court to simply throw out the votes of every person in those states!  His efforts failed, for even then-U.S. Attorney General William Barr, another Trump toadie, stated that there was no evidence whatsoever of the voter fraud Paxton and other blind fools were claiming.

At any rate, Paxton is back in the news and in my book should be investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice and charged with treason.  Why?  On Friday Paxton appeared on Steve Bannon’s program and said that if he hadn’t blocked a large number of postal votes in 2020, President Biden would have won in the state of Texas!  He openly admits to rigging the election!!!

“If we’d lost Harris County—Trump won by 620,000 votes in Texas. Harris County mail-in ballots that they wanted to send out were 2.5 million, those were all illegal and we were able to stop every one of them. Had we not done that, we would have been in the very same situation—we would’ve been on Election Day, I was watching on election night and I knew, when I saw what was happening in these other states, that that would’ve been Texas. We would’ve been in the same boat. We would’ve been one of those battleground states that they were counting votes in Harris County for three days and Donald Trump would’ve lost the election.”

NEWSFLASH … Donald Trump DID lose the election, and based on Paxton’s words, he lost by far more than we are told!  The people of Texas ought to be gunning for this asshole, ought to be demanding his immediate resignation!

Your Afternoon Dose of Snarky

I’m back with just a few more short snippets … it seems that in the time it takes me to make a cup of coffee, there are at least five ‘breaking news’ events!  How I long for peace.


Time Magazine Announces …

Time Magazine has just announced their 2020 Person of the Year!

Person-of-the-Year

Except … it’s actually two people … President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris!  Time‘s choice to name Biden and Harris over Trump, who was also on the short list, marks the first time a president-elect and vice president-elect have appeared together on a Person of the Year cover.

According to Edward Felsenthal, Time’s Editor-in-chief …

“If Donald Trump was a force for disruption and division over the past four years, Biden and Harris show where the nation is heading: a blend of ethnicities, lived experiences and worldviews that must find a way forward together if the American experiment is to survive.”


Jobs for useless people

kellyanneWith only forty days left of his term, Trump is handing out jobs like they were candy.  The one that first caught my eye was Kellyanne Conway, his right-hand bootlicker until she resigned in January.  She will now serve on the board of visitors of the U.S. Air Force Academy.  I’m not sure what that entails, or what the pay is, and I suspect it’s more of an honorary thing, like most of the rest of the jobs he’s handing out.

Ol’ Elaine Chao, wife of obstructionist Mitch McConnell and outgoing Transportation Secretary, was also given a job as a member of the board of trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, along with Lynn Friess, the wife of Republican megadonor Foster Friess.  Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union and a major bootlicker of Trump’s is to be named to the Library of Congress Trust Fund Board.

There are more than two dozen such relatively meaningless appointments including Pamela DeVos, the sister-in-law of outgoing Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos who will also serve on the Kennedy Center board of trustees.  The DeVos family made more than $14 million in donations to Trump and the Republican Party in the run up to the 2016 election.  The DeVos family, by the way, has a net worth of $5.6 billion … yes, that’s $5,600,000,000 … an obscene amount of money by any measure.

I have no idea why any of these people, all independently wealthy, even wanted these jobs, or why Trump is doling them out willy-nilly, but my best guess is simply to prove he can.  It might have been nice if he had spent as much time, and paid as much attention, to the approximately 3,000 deaths per day we are now registering as a result of the coronavirus, or if he had worked with his cabinet members to ensure a smooth transition for Biden and his team on January 20th.  In other words, if he had done any of the work for which we are still paying him.


An addendum to this morning’s post …

The case I mentioned earlier today, filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to ‘throw out’ ballots cast for Joe Biden and hand the election to Donald Trump seeks to throw out more than ten million votes!  Ten million of the people in those four states stand to have their votes negated if Paxton’s suit should see the light of day.  Fingers crossed that it won’t, but just the fact that it is a possibility should fill you with rage.  Ten million people stand to have their constitutional rights taken from them … and why?  To salve the ego of the ‘man’ who cannot stand to lose, even though he’s been losing all his life in the game of humanity.

Georgia:   2,473,633
Michigan:   2,804,040
Wisconsin:   1,630,866
Pennsylvania:   3,459,923
   Total:  10,368,462

A question I hadn’t considered, but that was mentioned in the comments is … if the Court were to order those votes to be thrown out, wouldn’t that include the other votes on the ballot … those for candidates for the House of Representatives, Senate, and state and local offices?  Talk about mass chaos!

The attorneys general for the four states involved have denounced Republican efforts to subvert the election and asked the Supreme Court to reject the lawsuit that seeks to overturn the victories in those states by President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr., calling the audacious effort an affront to democracy and the rule of law.

“The court should not abide this seditious [emphasis added] abuse of the judicial process, and should send a clear and unmistakable signal that such abuse must never be replicated.  Let us be clear, Texas invites this court to overthrow the votes of the American people and choose the next president of the United States. That Faustian invitation must be firmly rejected.”

Even though Ohio is not one of the states named in the lawsuit, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, a republican, expressed his concern, saying that “The Constitution means today what it meant a month ago.”

Earlier this year, Trump told supporters that if he lost the election, he would leave the country.  Well, Donnie boy … you lost, now GO!  Bye-Bye Donnie!  Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out!

toon


In case you missed it …

In other news, the U.S. government was due to shut down at midnight tonight.  Normally, this story would have dominated the headlines for the past several weeks, but instead has barely received a page 36 below-the-fold mention!  But never fear …

The Senate on Friday passed a one-week spending bill that will prevent a government shutdown, giving the White House and Congress another week to negotiate a broader set of spending measures. The vote came just hours before a midnight deadline.

The bill had already passed the House of Representatives. The measure still has to be signed into law by President Trump, something a White House spokesman said Friday he is expected to do. — The Washington Post

So, a week from now it will be the same ol’ story … the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Where’s The Common Sense???

I’ve been under the weather for a few days, still not quite up to snuff, but it surely didn’t take much to get me growling with anger again …


Elon-Musk-1Elon Musk is an engineer, industrial designer and technology entrepreneur. He is a citizen of South Africa, the United States (where he has lived most of his life and currently resides), and Canada. He is the founder, CEO and chief engineer/designer of SpaceX; co-founder, CEO and product architect of Tesla, Inc., and other lesser-known companies.  He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2018. In December 2016, he was ranked 21st on the Forbes list of The World’s Most Powerful People, and was ranked joint-first on the Forbes list of the Most Innovative Leaders of 2019. As of May 2020, he has a net worth of $36.5 billion and is listed by Forbes as the 31st-richest person in the world. He is the longest tenured CEO of any automotive manufacturer globally.

Now let me tell you a few more things about Elon Musk.  He is a spoiled brat, a fool, and he doesn’t care if you or I live or die … all he cares about is making more and more and more money.  All of the above accolades do not impress me after his behaviour of this past week.

Mr. Musk has a Tesla manufacturing company located in Fremont, California.  In March, under shutdown orders due to the wildfire spread of the coronavirus, California Governor Gavin Newsom ordered all non-essential businesses, which included auto manufacturers, to close temporarily.  Those orders still remain in most counties, but Mr. Musk, having decided that since he is such a wealthy and important man, first threatened to relocate his plant to another state.  He filed a suit against Alameda County where his factory is located. When that little temper tantrum got him nowhere, he defied the law and opened his plant in Fremont anyway.

Since January, Mr. Musk has pooh-poohed the idea that the coronavirus was anything more than the common cold, citing “research” that said there would be no new cases by the end of April.  Well, we can see how well that worked out, when we have 85,000+ deaths in the United States alone, with over 1,000 deaths per day.  Musk is willing to risk the lives of his employees, their families, and anyone else they might come into contact with … just so that he can make more electric cars that, frankly, right now nobody has any interest in buying.

In a recent phone call, Musk called the stay-at-home orders “fascist”, saying …

“They’re breaking people’s freedoms in ways that are wrong and are not why people came here or built this country.”

Trump, of course, had to get in on the act, tweeting, “California should let Tesla & @elonmusk open the plant, NOW. It can be done Fast & Safely!”  And just what does HE know???  He is largely responsible for some of those 85,000+ lives that we’ve already lost!

For the time being, Musk seems to have won the battle, but perhaps not the war.  Country officials implemented strict safety regulations for the plant and if any are not followed, they are prepared to force Musk to shut it down.  Personally, I think he is evil, a spoiled brat, and wish we could send him back to South Africa where he was born, for if the making of a damn car is more important than human lives, then he is the exact sort of inhumane jackass that we do not need in this country.


My friend Brian, aka Equinoxio21 on WordPress, made a comment today that I think covers most everything I write about lately: “Common sense has just been listed on the WWF list of endangered species …”

The latest in the demise of common sense annals in the U.S. …

The Texas attorney general, Ken Paxton (a republican, of course) moved to enforce restrictions on mail-in ballots, insisting that people who fear getting infected with the coronavirus must still vote in person.  Paxton asked the Texas Supreme Court to order election officials in five Democratic-led counties to follow state law on mail-in ballots. Mr. Paxton argued that Texas law requires in-person voting.  Perhaps Mr. Paxton has not heard that in Wisconsin last month, 67 people caught the coronavirus after being forced to vote in person?  Oh … and speaking of Wisconsin …

Wisconsin’s Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected the extension of a stay-at-home order by Governor Tony Evers, siding with Republicans in one of most high-profile challenges of its kind to the emergency authority of a statewide official during the coronavirus pandemic.  Governor Evers had extended the prohibition on most travel and operations of nonessential businesses until May 26.  Less than two more weeks.

There have been legal challenges to stay-at-home orders in Michigan, California, Kentucky and Illinois, but none of those were successful in persuading a court to fully strike down the order, as the plaintiffs in the Wisconsin case were.

And what would a circus of fools be without the biggest fool of them all?

Donald Trump pushed Wednesday to reopen the country’s schools and criticized the testimony delivered on Tuesday by Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, who had cautioned the Senate about the unknown effects that the coronavirus has on children.  Said Trump …

“I was surprised by his answer. To me it’s not an acceptable answer, especially when it comes to schools.”

Translation: “I don’t care if your kids die … kids don’t support the economy and I want businesses back up and running.  Open the schools so parents can go back to work and get the economy back on its feet before election day so I can take credit and win the election.”

Perhaps he fails to realize that the coronavirus is non-partisan and will kill as many republicans as democrats.  And perhaps he doesn’t realize that no parent who loses a child due to his lack of due diligence and stewardship will ever vote for him.  And perhaps he fails to realize that the majority of people in this nation aren’t going to go rushing out and spend money on things we’ve managed just fine without for two months now.  I’m in no hurry to go out to restaurants or shops, nor is anyone I’ve talked to lately.  Capitalism only works if people buy the stuff that producers produce.


That’s all I’ve got time for tonight … I’m sure I’ll be back later today with something else.  Keep safe out there, remember your hand sanitizer and … your common sense!

The Right To Remain Silent …

India LandryLast October, 17-year-old India Landry was a student at Windfern High School in Houston, Texas.  For months, Ms. Landry had sat quietly in her seat, rather than stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance, as is required by the school.  Her silent protest had gone largely unnoticed until one day it came to the attention of the school principal.  On 02 October 2017, Ms. Landry happened to be in the principal’s office when the bell sounded to indicate it was time for the pledge.  Landry sat.  The principal, Martha Strother, told her: “Well you’re kicked outta here.  This isn’t the NFL.”

Ms. Landry was then told to call her mom for a ride home, else she would be escorted off the premises by police.  The school district released the following brief statement:

“A student will not be removed from campus for refusing to stand for the Pledge. We will address this situation internally.”

In 1943, in the Supreme Court case of West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, the Court ruled that students couldn’t be forced to say the Pledge of Allegiance.  The rules at India’s school don’t specifically require that a student say the pledge but require students who don’t say the pledge to stand unless they have a note from a parent.

India’s reason for sitting was, “I don’t think the flag is for what it says it’s for, liberty and justice and … all that. It’s not obviously what’s going on in America today.”

During this same time, the Colin Kaepernick protest had led to a nationwide controversy, with Donald Trump ordering Vice-President Pence to leave a game “if any players kneeled”.  But India Landry’s mother was just concerned with getting her daughter back into school.  She repeatedly called the school, trying to set up a meeting with the principal, and when a meeting was finally arranged, Principal Strother told her …

“India must stand for the pledge to be let back in at Windfern.”

Strother said that sitting was “disrespectful and should not be allowed” and suggested that instead of refusing to stand for the pledge, India should “write about justice and African Americans being killed.”

Shortly after the meeting, India’s mother got a call from local CBS affiliate KHOU, asking for an interview about the “pledge controversy”.  Funny how bad publicity changes people’s minds, isn’t it?  Shortly thereafter, Ms. Landry received a call from the school principal saying that India could return to school and sit for the pledge.

End of story?  Not quite. Between India’s expulsion and the school backing down, Kizzie Landry, India’s mother, had filed a lawsuit claiming that the school violated constitutional protections of free speech, due process and equal protection.  The case has not yet come to trial, but on Tuesday, the Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton, decided to put his two cents worth in.

ken-paxton

Ken Paxton

“The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly held that parents have a fundamental interest in guiding the education and upbringing of their children, which is a critical aspect of liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. The Texas Legislature protected that interest by giving the choice of whether an individual student will recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the student’s parent or guardian. School children cannot unilaterally refuse to participate in the pledge.”  Hey, Ken … this “school child” was 17 years old, plenty old enough to decide for herself whether or not the flag represents any values today.

 

Mr. Paxton, by the way, is currently under indictment on three felony charges related to securities fraud that will likely go to trial sometime this year. But hey … he stands for the pledge!

There is a Texas state law that, in part, states:

Section 25.082  PLEDGES OF ALLEGIANCE; MINUTE OF SILENCE.  (a)  Repealed by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 851 (H.B. 2442), Sec. 9, eff. June 15, 2017.

(b)  The board of trustees of each school district and the governing board of each open-enrollment charter school shall require students, once during each school day at each campus, to recite:

(1)  the pledge of allegiance to the United States flag in accordance with 4 U.S.C. Section 4; and

(2)  the pledge of allegiance to the state flag in accordance with Subchapter C, Chapter 3100, Government Code.

Landry’s attorney, civil rights lawyer Randall Kallinen, believes Paxton’s involvement comes because it is an election year, and says he is willing to take this case all the way to the Supreme Court if needed.  While states are able to make their own laws in many areas, they are not allowed to make laws that contradict federal law, and this Texas law is obviously a direct contradiction to the aforementioned Supreme Court ruling of 1943.

You may remember the case back in February of Karen Smith, the gym teacher in Boulder, Colorado, who grabbed a student by the jacket, lifted him to his feet and dragged him out of the class because he did not stand for the pledge.

Let’s be realistic, folks.  The pledge is words … 31 words, to be exact … that children have been required to say during the school day for as long as anybody can remember.  But the children are saying the words by rote … they are only words until one stops to think about them, and when one does that, in light of the current state of the United States, it is, in my view, perfectly acceptable to say, “Nope … the words don’t match the reality”.  All you need to do is look at the last six words, “with liberty and justice for all.”  Even India Landry, only 17 years of age, can see that “liberty and justice for all” no longer exists in the United States of America.  Perhaps, until this nation finds its bearings again, the pledge of allegiance should be relegated to the annals of history.

The Ultimate Irony …

In the wake of the shooting in a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, earlier this month, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton remarked that the solution for preventing more shootings in churches from occurring in the future was “at least arming some of the parishioners so they can respond to something like this.”   I noted at the time that this was an inane remark, but apparently some took it to heart.

It happened at a church in Tellico Plains, Tennessee.  A group of parishioners were meeting in a church to discuss the idea of bringing guns into church, as suggested by Mr. Paxton, when an 82 year old man pulled out his gun to show, saying “I carry my handgun everywhere.” He unloaded the gun, it was passed around, no doubt with plenty of “ooohs” and “aaahs”, and then he reloaded the gun and replaced it in his pocket.  A few minutes later somebody asked to see it again.  The man pulled the gun out of his pocket again, saying, “With this loaded indicator, I can tell that it’s not loaded.”  Sigh.  Care to guess what came next?

The man pulled the trigger to prove his point, the gun fired, going through the man’s palm and then through his wife’s stomach. Fortunately, neither suffered life-threatening wounds and should be on the road to recovery by now.

LePierre

LaPierre

Okay, gun advocates … would you like to tell me again how, in the words of NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, “The Only Thing That Stops A Bad Guy With A Gun, Is A Good Guy With A Gun”? Or how about you, Attorney Geneeral Ken Paxton … you have a good comeback here?  Aren’t you proud of yourself for suggesting this brilliant idea?

This incident makes the point, I think, that the ordinary person has no reason to carry a gun anywhere, ever. I have no need to expound on this, for the incident carries such irony that it speaks for itself.  I rest my case.

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.