A Toothless, Useless, Waste of Time

There are so damn many issues to claim our attention and concern today that it seems something important is always falling by the wayside.  There are some things, though, that we simply cannot afford to lose sight of – climate change, the threats to democracy, the ‘dumbing-down’ of education, the pandemic that is still a pandemic, and our massive gun problem.  Speaking of the gun crisis … I have looked at the ‘bi-partisan’ agreement in Congress and said, “pbthhhh … it has no teeth.”  In my book, it is even less than the very minimum I would expect or demand, were I in a position to make demands.  It is the Republican’s attempt to placate us, to shut us up, to brag that they took our concerns seriously, when they don’t at all.  Did you know that according to the latest NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll, 59% favor curbing gun violence, while 35% do not. That includes 92% of Democrats in favor, along with 54% of independents. However, “70% of Republicans say it’s more important to protect gun rights.” 

Yesterday, Paul Waldman published an OpEd in The Washington Post that echoes my own sentiments on the topic …


More guns in schools, and everywhere else? Have we gone mad?

By Paul Waldman

Columnist

June 14, 2022

There’s nothing like a massacre of elementary school children to get the attention of lawmakers, who will be eager to show they’re at least willing to pretend to do something about the gun carnage we Americans endure. But while Democratic states often respond to mass shootings by passing new gun restrictions, Republican states tend to pass laws loosening regulations, driven by the psychotic idea that protecting us from gun violence requires getting more guns in more places.

While there are some glimmers of hope — senators might soon agree on a few worthwhile things on guns — we might emerge from this moment realizing that the flurry of lawmaking after the latest mass shootings took us to an even darker place.

If you want a hint of the dystopian future that might await us, look no further than a bill Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) signed into law Monday.

The new law’s guiding principle seems to be that we should turn every school into an armed camp as quickly as possible. The law lowers the amount of training required for a teacher to go armed in Ohio from around 700 hours down to 24 hours. According to its text, teacher training must include “at least four hours of training in scenario-based or simulated training exercises.” Four whole hours!

Think for a moment about your schoolteachers, or your children’s teachers. Maybe a few were past their prime and not as enthusiastic as they used to be. Some were young and idealistic, devoted to the well being of children. Some were brilliant; all had a difficult and stressful job.

But I’ll bet none of them were Jason Bourne, were they?

This is the world Republicans want us to live in, where every spasm of deadly violence is met with what is essentially a military response. If we face a threat from guns, we should get more guns and put them in more people’s hands. If there’s a school shooting, it means schools are “soft targets” that we must harden. Then we’ll do the same to stores and parks and synagogues and churches and mosques — and everywhere else we gather.

It’s a tribute to the GOP’s political and communication skills that it can take any idea, no matter how deranged — we have mass shootings because schools have too many doors! — and push it right to the heart of the discussion. Yes, we could theoretically turn your neighborhood elementary school into something like a supermax prison, but what would that do to the children inside?

We already have a clue from the proliferation of active-shooter lockdown drills in recent years. Meant to tell students that “this will keep you safe,” instead it told them that “this is the nightmare you live in now.” Over and over, they were told to live in fear, that a violent death was their possible future. In some cases, officials have organized simulated attacks where murders were acted out; as one teacher said, “I felt more traumatized than trained.”

We simply don’t know what kind of effects members of this lockdown generation will carry with them. But we’re apparently going to keep subjecting more and more kids to it — better that than force anyone to suffer any minor inconvenience when purchasing their arsenal of deadly weapons.

That’s certainly how the Republicans who control the state legislature in Ohio feel. On the same day DeWine signed that bill, another one he signed took effect. This one enacts “permitless carry,” meaning almost anyone is allowed to carry a gun almost anywhere in the state — no license or training required.

If almost anyone in Ohio could be carrying a gun, shouldn’t the teachers have guns? And if the teachers have guns, shouldn’t the students have guns? Perhaps we should discuss whether a 5-year-old’s constitutional right to bear arms is being infringed if they can’t pack a Glock in their lunchbox.

What we have here is a profound disagreement about what it means for a place to feel, and to be, “safe.” You can weld shut the doors and windows, fill the school with armed personnel and make the kids think every day about their deaths, and you will have achieved a kind of “safety.” But it’s a poisonous kind, one that will terrorize every child who enters there.

Unfortunately, we’re going to see a lot of that in the near future, because “hardening” schools is one of the only ideas Republicans will agree to in response to mass shootings. Money for “school safety” will be in the bipartisan gun bill (if it passes), and states will offer the same, so Republicans can say they responded to the endless wave of mass shootings.

Heaven forbid we should say someone has to be 21 years old to buy a military-style rifle designed to kill as many human beings as possible in the shortest amount of time. But if your school wants a grant to install more metal detectors? Step right up.

And Mrs. O’Neill, the kindly librarian at the elementary school? Put a gun in her hand. That’ll make everyone safe, won’t it?

WHOA … The Hypocrisy!!!

What, exactly, is the ‘Right to Life’?  Whose life?  To what extent are we willing to go to preserve life?  And what, exactly is life?  I’m frankly sick of hearing people say they are “pro-life” when all they really mean is they are against abortion.  Something in the news yesterday, though, connected some dots and made me stop … and after a bit of cursing and punching the coffee pot for not heating quickly enough, I sat down and said, “WHOA … the hypocrisy!!!!”  What was that something?  The second mass shooting of the weekend yesterday afternoon in a grocery store in a predominantly Black neighborhood in Buffalo, New York, where at last count, 13 people were shot, 10 murdered.  Folks, let me make something perfectly clear here:  the nearly-uncontrolled right to own guns is completely inconsistent with the right to life.  Completely.  If a person buys a gun, he or she does so with the intention of using that gun to kill.  Guns literally have no other purpose than to maim and murder.

Next time someone tells you they are ‘pro-life’, ask them if they own a gun.  If they say ‘yes’, then you can inform them that they are a potential taker of life, so no, they are not pro-life at all, they are just using the term to justify their stance on taking away women’s rights.

The shooter in Buffalo was an 18-year-old white male who apparently hates Black people for some reason, for the government is treating this as a hate crime based on his ‘manifesto’.  Gee, I wonder where he got that prejudice from?  Look first at the parents, but then look at society today.  Wonder why an 18-year-old kid even has access to a gun?  Last Wednesday, a judge in ruled that California’s ban on the sale of semiautomatic weapons to people under 21 is unconstitutional.  What’s next … will it be ruled unconstitutional to ban giving guns to children age 14?  Age 10?  Age 5?  The gun culture in this nation is truly insane.  In no other nation is a civilian allowed to own an assault weapon, let alone an arsenal!

If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, you know my stance on guns … they do not belong in the hands of civilians.  Full stop.  Need further proof?

In Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Friday night, there was yet another mass shooting that left 17 people injured, but no fatalities thus far, miraculously.  This one took place late Friday night shortly after fans left a nearby NBA playoff game.  Two other shootings in the same general vicinity took place earlier that evening, leaving an additional four people injured.

My message to every single member of the United States Congress is this …

Do not offer ‘condolences’ to the families of the victims in Milwaukee or Buffalo.  Do not offer meaningless ‘thoughts and prayers’.  DO SOMETHING!  Initiate and pass serious and meaningful gun legislation to get the guns out of the hands of people!  No 18-year-old child has the need for a gun.  Nobody who has EVER been accused of abusing another person in any way should be allowed to own a gun.  And NOBODY anywhere, ever, for any reason has a need for an assault weapon!  Shut down the gun shows where even the most basic rules are openly disregarded.  Override with federal legislation the individual state laws that allow for carrying concealed weapons, for possession of a gun without a license, and make the federal law ‘One Strike, You’re Out’!

But alas, mine is a pipe dream, for those very people who claim to be ‘pro-life’ would scream, yell, and threaten any who even suggested such laws.  No matter that gun violence is the leading cause of death in the U.S.  You have a roughly 1-in-315 lifetime chance of death from gun violence.

For those who would claim that the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives them the right to own as many guns of any sort as they wish, let me clarify the exact wording of that Amendment:

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.

NOWHERE does it say that people should be allowed to keep a gun in the glove compartment of their car or walk into a grocery store with one concealed in pocket or purse.  NOWHERE does it say that guns should be freely available to teens.  NOWHERE does it say that a person should be allowed to own an assault weapon that didn’t even exist when the Constitution was written in 1787!  Those who believe that abortion is an infringement on the right to life, better wake up and look at the gun culture, the lack of gun laws in this country, for already this year 15,862 people have lost their life to a person with a gun.  That is more than the total gun deaths all year in 2016!!! But yet, do you hear anybody speaking for the ‘right to life’ of those victims?

Friday it was Milwaukee, Saturday it was Buffalo … will your neighborhood be Sunday’s statistics?

Already In 2022 … Guns And Death

As I write this post, it is just after 10:00 p.m. on January 1st 2022 in the U.S. and already 99 people have lost their lives to gun violence in the first 22 hours of the new year.  One of my New Year’s hopes I wrote about in a previous post was that reasonable gun laws would be enacted by Congress before the end of the year.  Had I taken a moment to write to members of Congress after seeing today’s statistics, my letter would have started with …

Hey, you STUPID Jackass, take your head out of your arse and do something right just for once!!!

But, as our friend Keith reminds me from time to time, that isn’t the right approach. It is certainly the one I felt at that moment in time, though.  There is something wrong with a nation, a society, whose citizens demand to be allowed to kill people, and that is exactly what the gun nuts in this country are doing.  Guns are intended to kill.  Period.  The only reason any fool wants to own a gun is to kill, whether they wish to kill fellow humans or animals.  And they will fight for the right to own an arsenal so that they can kill lots of people, before they will fight for the right for their children to get a good education or be able to live healthy lives.  Their guns mean more than their children, spouses, co-workers, neighbors, or dogs.

When I mention ‘reasonable gun legislation’, it is because I know that the sort of gun laws I would really like to see will never pass muster in this nation.  So, by ‘reasonable’, I am willing to compromise and settle for serious background checks on ALL gun purchases, disallowing anybody with a history of violence from owning a gun, and a cessation of conceal carry laws.  You want to carry a gun into Wal-Mart?  Fine, but make sure it can be seen by us all so we can exit and do our shopping elsewhere.  You’ll have most of the store to yourself … just you and your gun.

Last year, there were 42 school shootings in this country.  FORTY-TWO!!!  Thousands of children’s lives were in danger as they attempted to get an education!  Only in the good ol’ US of A.

In 2021, 44,768 people died as a result of gun violence.  Granted, Covid took more lives in the same time frame, and that is also the fault of the people in this nation who refuse to take precautions, but it is a story for another day.  Also, in 2021 there were 693 mass shootings, 310 children killed, 746 injured, 1,223 teens killed and 3,368 injured!  And yet, people just roll their eyes, shrug their shoulders, and go back to watching their televisions or grilling steaks on the backyard barbeque!

Every single year the number of mass shootings, the number of children and teens killed by guns, increases over the prior year.  EVERY YEAR!  No other nation on earth has such an abysmal record!

Last month in Oxford, Michigan, a father purchased a gun for his 15-year-old son.  The next day, the son, Ethan Crumbley, took the gun to school where, with malice aforethought, he shot and killed four of his classmates and injured seven others.  He is being charged as an adult and will likely spend most of the rest of his life behind bars … as should his parents.  The parents are cowards who ran and hid, leaving their son to shoulder the blame by himself.  What parent in his/her right mind puts a killing machine in the hands of a teen???  A gun nut, that’s who.

No other country turns a blind eye, permits almost anybody to own a gun, as the U.S.  In essence, this nation tells people that it’s okay to kill … just don’t get caught!  In 1994, Congress actually got off their collective arses and passed the Federal Assault Weapons Ban that prohibited civilian use of certain semi-automatic firearms that were defined as assault weapons as well as certain ammunition magazines that were defined as large capacity.  Unfortunately, by the time it expired ten years later in 2004, enough members of Congress were bought and paid-for by the NRA that the law was allowed to expire on September 13, 2004.  Every time that reinstatement has even been mentioned, the gun nuts go berserk and the members of Congress tuck their tails between their legs and slink off to safer turf.

I don’t know about you folks, but I’m sick and damn tired of walking through the grocery store not knowing whether that man perusing the bell peppers is carrying a gun and might just go off on a tangent if somebody accidentally bumps him with their cart.  I’m sick and damn tired of worrying about the children I see walking past my house in the morning on their way to the school bus, not knowing if they will be safe and return home all in one piece in the afternoon.  I’m sick and damn tired of reading about multiple shootings in my city every night, two of which were within a few feet of my front door last year!

DO SOMETHING, Congress!  The gun nuts in this country are destroying our peace of mind, not to mention our safety!  You have a responsibility … a grave responsibility … to every one of the people in this country.  Instead, you are owned, lock stock and barrel, by the wealthy arms industry and cowed by the gun nuts in the nation.  What about the rest of us?  Think about it.

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…

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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…

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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.