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.

I Bet You Didn’t Know …

I bet you didn’t know that there were nine mass shootings in the U.S. last weekend.  NINE!!!  I bet you didn’t know that last month alone, 1.81 million guns were purchased in the U.S.

Nothing wrong with this economy if that many fools can throw away money on that many guns!  If your senator or representative is a Republican, odds are good that he/she has an ‘A’ rating with the NRA.  Only one Democrat, Minnesota’s Collin Peterson, has a NRA ‘A’ rating.  Last year, Mr. Peterson declared that, “If I hear the words ‘common-sense gun legislation’ one more time, I’ll throw up.” 

In the 2016 election cycle, the NRA spent $52.6 million buying Republican candidates.  Imagine how many children could have had healthy meals for a year for that amount of money.  Instead, some of those children will likely be shot dead by guns because of the NRA and members of Congress.

The only one of the weekend’s minimum of nine mass shootings to make widespread headlines was at a birthday party in Colorado. Six people were killed in that one, and the suspected shooter—believed to be the boyfriend of one of his victims—also killed himself.

In other mass shootings, three were killed and one injured in Woodlawn, Maryland, in a bizarre incident that involved a man shooting and stabbing his neighbors, setting fire to his own home, and ultimately being shot and killed by police. Two people were killed and three injured in St. Louis County, Missouri, when a truck pulled up and bullets started flying. In Compton, California, two people were killed and two injured, while one person was killed and five were injured in a Los Angeles shooting. One person was killed and at least seven were wounded in an altercation at a Phoenix hotel. Four people were injured in each of three mass shootings, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Newark, New Jersey; and Citrus Heights, California.

We have apparently become so complacent, so inured to it all, that these weren’t even widely covered in the press.

Never again, as long as I live, will I vote for a single Republican and I will work to see as many as possible defeated next year.  I don’t wish to live in a country where lunacy is supported by the government, where it is no longer safe to even shop in the grocery store or walk down the streets.

Note to non-U.S. readers:  I welcome any of my readers who live outside the U.S. and would be interested in writing a guest post about how our gun culture is viewed in your country.

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.

The Week’s Best Cartoons: Where Are The Good Apples?

Where are the good apples?  A good question to ask after this past week, isn’t it?  As TokyoSand says in her opening remarks to this post, this was a very bad week for this nation and while this week’s batch of ‘toons may reflect a rather dark humour, they are a reflection of this country today.  Sadly.  Still, the talent, the ability to say so much with a single drawing, is amazing as always.  Thank you, TS, for finding the best cartoons for us, as you always do!

See All The ‘Toons!

Yes, Mass Shootings are a Uniquely American Phenomenon

Our friend Jeff, like myself, is still reeling from the recent mass shootings. And, as our friend Keith so often reminds us, while the mass shootings get a ton of notice, many more die in other, less publicized shootings and suicides. I want guns gone, but realistically will have to settle for some sweeping gun legislation that reduces the number of incidents, injuries and deaths. Good post, Jeff … thanks!

On The Fence Voters

But so is the cultural and right-wing media obsession with guns

In 2008, during his rough and tumble presidential primary campaign against Hillary Clinton, former President Barack Obama got into some trouble at a fundraising event when hemade these commentsabout working-class voters:

“They get bitter; they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

Clinton, of course, nailed him for the comment, hoping to resurrect her campaign. And Republicans were all over him as well, but that’s no surprise. To them and Clinton at the time, it was a way to further the narrative that Obama was an out-of-touch elitist.

But rather than break down the quote word for word, which by the way is 100% accurate, for purposes of this post and the recent tragedies in the news, let’s…

View original post 973 more words

How do you know who the good guys are? (a repeat post)

Two of my favourite blogging buddies wrote about our problem in this country of far too many guns in all the wrong hands, and I couldn’t decide between Keith’s and Brosephus’ posts, for both are thoughtful and thought-provoking. A coin toss made the decision. This is Keith’s post from more than 8 years ago, but it is eerily apt today. Thank you, Keith. I would like to wish that we won’t have to write these posts someday, but … we both know that would be a lie.

musingsofanoldfart

This is a repeat post from over eight years ago. With yet one more mass shooting in the United States, on top of the usual gun deaths that happen every day reported in any newspaper, this message sadly must be sounded again. We cannot solve a problem, if we don’t admit we have one.

There have been many excellent posts on the need to lessen gun deaths in the United States. I have been thoroughly impressed by many blogging friends, in particular Amaya at www.thebrabblerabble.wordpress.com who in the face of well-armed relatives will not back down on the need for smarter gun control. Yet, the purpose of this post is to address a series of questions I have, one in particular, in response to the infamous comment by Wayne LaPierre of the NRA.

“The only solution to a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”

My…

View original post 1,442 more words

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.

You May Have Missed This One …

Did you all know there was another mass shooting in the U.S. on Saturday morning?  It happened in Lancaster, South Carolina at a sports bar – 2 people were killed, and 8 others injured.  There was no “breaking news” update on my phone, I saw nothing in the usual places about it, and even once I saw brief mention of it on the Associated Press (AP) website and went in search of further information, I found the story only in the back pages of the New York Times and Time magazine.  Nowhere else.  Why?

Is it because only two people were killed?  Because it took place in a bar?  Because it was South Carolina?  Or because we are becoming so inured to the news of mass shootings that this wasn’t really considered by the editors to be ‘big news’?  Or … more ominous still, was it suppressed intentionally?  I don’t know the answer, and I’m not trying to put forth some conspiracy theory, but folks … 10 people were shot!  Why was this not ‘breaking news’???

A clue to why this wasn’t national news may lie with the statement by Lancaster Country Sheriff Barry Faile …

“This was a violent incident of huge magnitude that was witnessed by lots of people.  We don’t think this was a situation where a random person armed himself and went into a randomly selected location and shot a bunch of unknown people.”

Apparently, the sheriff believes that the shooting was the result of a local conflict.  While he declined to discuss the nature of the dispute, he said that one of those killed had been involved in the conflict, which had been going on for a couple of months.  He also said that neither the victim involved in the dispute nor the person officials were seeking as the gunman were legally allowed to have guns, both having been previously convicted on firearms charges.

So, because it was rather a Hatfield vs McCoys situation in the rural south, it’s not newsworthy?  It’s still a mass shooting with people dead and injured because … because … well, guns. I guess that since it wasn’t widely reported, the NRA and our elected lawmakers didn’t feel they needed to bother to even send their ‘thoughts and prayers’ … it’s the weekend, after all … they obviously have more important things to do, like playing golf or watching sports on television than to be bothered that people are losing their lives.

This summer, we heard about El Paso, Dayton, and Odessa … they were big news, for a few days anyway.  But did you realize that between Memorial Day in May, and Labour Day in September, there were 26 mass shootings in 18 states, leaving 126 people dead?  More than half of the mass killing suspects this summer had a family or romantic tie to at least one victim. Among them: A teenager in Alabama accused of killing five relatives, a father in Iowa who killed his wife and two school-aged sons, a man in Oklahoma charged with killing his wife and stepchildren.

A variety of scenarios and motives.  The common denominator?  A gun.  Time and time and time again we hear the tired old NRA motto that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people”.  True, but people use guns to kill people.  Sure, people also use knives and fists to kill people, but a gun does it so much quicker and more efficiently.  You stand a good chance of outrunning or outmaneuvering a man with a knife, but you cannot outrun a gun.  Make no mistake … contrary to what those gun lovers will tell you, a gun has one purpose and only one purpose:  to kill.

While several of the summer’s 26 mass shootings dominated national headlines, others — like a triple homicide in rural Pennsylvania — received little attention beyond where they happened.  WHY???  Is this nation becoming so numb to the daily toll of gun violence that it is no longer considered newsworthy unless it happens in the public eye? Or is it possible that the ‘free press’ is not as free as we believe?

With each mass shooting that did receive national media attention, the public outcry grew louder and louder.  When Ohio’s governor spoke at a vigil in August, Dayton residents drowned him out with shouts of “Do something!”  Imagine if every mass shooting had been headline news … how loud might the public be screaming for gun laws today?  Instead, most are swept under the carpet …

Think about it.

Sunday Afternoon … Humour???

It’s Sunday afternoon, a lazy sort of time when we all try not to think about getting back to the grind tomorrow.  Today is also National Grandparent’s Day, and my girls are taking me to the local ice cream stand this afternoon to celebrate! Sunday is typically a slow news day, for the subject of most news here in the U.S. is on the golf course cheating in order to turn those 25 strokes on a par 4 hole to 3, rather than sitting in the Oval Office tweeting ignorance and vitriol.  So, what better time than to see what the cartoonists have been up to in the past week, yes?


Naturally, the whole incident with Trump using a Sharpie pen to re-draw Hurricane Dorian’s projected path to include Alabama was the subject of much mirth and mockery …

sharpie-1sharpie-2sharpie-3sharpie-4sharpie-5sharpie-6sharpie-7

sharpie-8


There are still fools in this world, most of them in the United States, I do believe, who would deny that the effects of the industrial revolution and our current lifestyle have led to a phenomenon we now call ‘climate change’ and that we are within years of destroying our own atmosphere.  As if that weren’t bad enough, the Amazon rainforest that provides 20% of the earth’s oxygen is still burning and far too little is being done to put the fires out.  Sigh.

climateclimate-2climate-4

climate-5

So True!

Hurricane Dorianclimate-7


2019 has been the year for mass shootings in the U.S.  The NRA, though reportedly having its own troubles, is still adding to ours by insisting that more guns is a good thing and … well, what’s a few thousand lives, eh?  Trump, McConnell, and the rest of the republicans who are in the pockets of the gun manufacturers and lobbyists continue to make excuses for their inaction.  And meanwhile, the people of this nation continue to die at an exponentially higher rate than any other nation on earth.

guns-1guns-2guns-3guns-4guns-5guns-6


And finally, a few random ‘toons I stumbled across …

electionlibertyliberty-2terroristTrump-Boristrump-foxTrump-lies


Enjoy the rest of your Sunday afternoon, friends!

America and Guns

This afternoon’s post comes from Simeon Levine, a young man of 17 years living in Australia. Though he lives 9,500 miles away, in another hemisphere, and has only spent 17 years on this planet, Mr. Levine sees as clearly as any, more than most in this country, the culture of guns in the U.S. Thank you, Simeon Levine, for this post and for your generous permission to re-blog!

Levine Lowdown

On the 3rd and 4th
of August 2019, 32 people were killed and 51 injured in two separate mass
shootings in America. Hundreds of family members and friends left grieving, and
bystanders forever replaying the traumatic circumstance again and again inside
their heads. Communities destroyed by the loss of life, thousands fearful of
the future and millions left shocked and overwhelmed by the situation.

I am Australian. I
feel helpless. I can’t even begin to gain a comprehensive understanding of the
American system and the obsession with guns. In April 1996, the Port Arthur
massacre left 35 people killed and 23 injured, one of Australia’s largest mass
shootings, and one of the last mass shootings. After the massacre, Prime Minister,
John Howard, restricted the legal ownership and use of self-loading rifles,
shotguns and tightened recreational shooters guidelines. A “buy-back” scheme
was introduced, costing millions of dollars, but protecting the lives…

View original post 491 more words