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?

Americans Need to see Graphic Mass Shooting Images

My friend and sometimes writing partner (we’re working on it!) has written about what it just might take to wake up this nation to the horrific scenes we are enabling when we cast a vote for a politician who cares more about his own bank account than our children’s lives. And Jeff has a suggestion that I think is spot on! Thank you, Jeff!

On The Fence Voters

As the old saying goes, desperate times call for desperate measures. Two more mass shootings within days of each other present an opportunity to finally do something – anything, for crying out loud about the pathetic and useless gun laws that make the United States a laughingstock in the civilized world.

The anger we’re seeing right now, from politicians to sports celebrities and most of our fellow American citizens, is palpable. It’s not as if we haven’t seen this level of anger before. We certainly have. But this time feels different. I hope it’s different.

Time will tell, of course, because the attention span of folks in this country continues to get shorter and shorter. And that is why we must go where we have not gone before. It’s time for the American people to see the vile and horrific photos from mass shootings like the one experienced at Robb…

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Only Two Very Snarky Snippets

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


2nd Amendment freaks!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


And speaking of really, really stupid laws …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

An International Embarrassment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What a guy, eh?

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

Reset the clock… Again

Since I find myself wandering in the depths of the rabbit warren today, I’ve decided to share Brosephus’ post of two days ago. I actually meant to share it before now, but … the best laid plans of mice and women. As I have this week, Brosephus is weighing in on the latest mass shooting, and his words come from a very personal perspective, for he has literally “been there”. Thanks, Bro, for this heartfelt post.

The Mind of Brosephus

1. Mass shooting.

2. Sadness and grief.

3. Thoughts and prayers.

4. NRA fearmongering.

5. Nothing.

6. Repeat steps 1-5.

It’s not like we don’t know what’s going to happen. It’s not like we don’t know it will happen again. The only thing we can’t pinpoint is the exact time and location of the next mass shooting. America has a gun problem, and we are like the world’s crackhead when it comes to gun violence. We have people who refuse to acknowledge we have a fatal addiction that kills, and that refusal is killing tens of thousands of Americans every year.

This particular topic is personal for a number of reasons. First, I’ve been at places where someone decided to shoot, one time even being close enough to the shooter to know he was shooting a revolver and seeing the sparks coming from the barrel. I’ve seen a person with…

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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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AGAIN, DAMMIT!!!!!!!!! 💔💔💔

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Week’s Best Cartoons 8/8

It’s been a busy news week, and as usual it’s kept the cartoonists busy! Luckily for us, our friend TokyoSand has also been busy picking out the best of the best. Just the thing for a Saturday afternoon! Thank you, TS!

Political⚡Charge

ByMike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Long before I read op-eds, I was reading editorial cartoons. Truth be told, I liked them so much I found the opportunity — TWICE — at college to write a paper about editorial cartoons.

This week we had a lot of news, so I’ve got more sections than normal. Here’s how some of the best cartoonists in the country covered the biggest stories. I hope you enjoy their work as much as I do.

Election 2020

BySteve Breen, San Diego Union Tribune

ByLalo Alcaraz

ByNick Anderson

ByMatt Davies, Newsday

ByAndy Marlette, Pensacola News Journal

ByMike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

ByKevin Siers, Charlotte Observer

ByBill Bramhall, New York Daily News

ByKevin Kal Kallaugher,Kaltoons (Referring to the Hong Kong election)

GOP Senate & the Next Stimulus Bill

ByMike Luckovich

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The Solution Is NOT Guns!

Back in 1787, the Founding Fathers drafted a brilliant document that would become known as the Constitution of the United States.  Unfortunately, they also made some mistakes, one that has cost hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of lives, unnecessarily.  You see, the nation was a fledgling, only a few years past gaining their independence from England after a bloody war that they damn near lost, so the framers of the document were leery that a foreign power might see the nation as vulnerable and try to take it while it was still learning to stand on its own.  So, after ratifying the original document, they added a “Bill of Rights”, the 2nd Amendment of which gave citizens the “right to bear arms”.  This, my friends, was a lethal mistake, one that every one of us have paid for in one way or another.

Now, the Founders figured the best way to protect the nation from foreign interference was to maintain a militia … everyday men … farmers, shopkeepers, etc., who could grab their rifle or musket and march off to defend and protect the nation if the need arose.  Thus they wrote the Second 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.”

That’s it, folks, the entire text, all 27 words of it.  Sadly, though, the Founders only familiarity with ‘arms’ were muskets and such … never in their wildest dreams could they have imagined AR-15s and AK-47s, weapons that can mow down hundreds of people in less time than it took me to write this sentence.  And because of that lack of foresight, the U.S. Supreme Court has been trying ever since to define just what ‘arms’ are to be protected and to what extent.

Unfortunately, long ago common sense flew out the door of the Supreme Court and Congress when the word ‘gun’ is mentioned, and the elements that have determined the ‘law’, such as it is, are those with a vested interest in the weapons industry.  Public safety is entirely overlooked in the debate over guns.  The only consideration is … $$$$$$$$$$$$$$.  I won’t bore you with the lengthy list of cases that have first teetered, then tottered, back and forth, regarding what, if any, regulations should be placed on who can own a gun, how many, what type, etc., but suffice it to say that the U.S. is the only nation on the globe where a person’s right to own a gun is more protected than his right to drive a car.

And as a result …

One week ago yesterday, on May 9th, a sunny afternoon in the small town of Griffin, Georgia, a 12-year-old boy was killed … shot dead by his 5-year-old brother who found a gun that had been tossed into the bushes the day before by three men eluding the police during a chase.  According to neighbor Tom Whitehead …

“The little one found a gun, had to be right here… somewhere in these bushes he walked over here, found a gun. Turns around. Thinks he’s playing, says ‘bang bang’. It was loaded and killed him.  Think about that mother. The next day, Mother’s Day, and one boy is dead by the hand of his younger brother.”

And as a result …

The total number of deaths by gun violence in the U.S. as of May 16th is 14,815 … a number that is sure to have already increased by the time you read this.  84 of that number were children under the age of 11, and 322 teens under the age of 18 are also included in the number. gun-violence-5-2020

And as a result …

In March 2017, a mother and her two-year-old toddler were sitting on the bed, while the nine-year-old was sitting on the floor, playing a video game.  The mother had a loaded gun in her hand, but couldn’t find her holster, so she placed the gun (loaded with a round chambered) on the bed next to the two-year-old while she got up to look for her holster.  The two-year-old then picked up the gun, pulled the trigger, shot and killed his nine-year-old brother.  The mother had, in the past, allowed the toddler to pull the trigger on the gun when it was unloaded.

I could go on, but you get the picture … this is happening every day in the United States. Look at the chart above … already this year, not even five months into the year, we are on track to tie or beat previous years.

The gun culture in the U.S. is beyond crazy.  This is not in any way, shape, or form what James Madison meant in 1791 when he proposed the Second Amendment as a way to empower state militias.  Today, there are no state militias.  None.  There are juveniles in grown men’s bodies who believe that they must own a firearm in order to feel like a ‘man’, but these men do not belong to militias and they are doing not one damn thing to keep this country safe, but instead are making it the most dangerous nation in the industrialized world.  People in other nations are aghast … “What are you Americans thinking???”, they ask.  What are we thinking, indeed?

The wealthy arms manufacturers fund the National Rifle Association who in turn *buys our legislators, thereby ensuring that guns will continue to be a part of what they call “The American Way of Life”.  What a joke!  “The American Way of Death” would be more apt.  And thus it happened that in March, while people were beginning to die by the thousands from the coronavirus, it was the single biggest month for gun sales.  WHY???  WTF are people thinking?  In April, gun lobbyists convinced the federal government to list gun shops as “essential services” so that while people in some states could not purchase a bottle of wine, or a pack of toilet paper, they could go out and buy a gun.  Five states’ governors had the cojones to order gun shops closed anyway, but April’s total was still the fourth highest ever. In three of the five states where gun stores were supposed to be closed, the numbers were higher than they were in April of 2019.

The United States is facing more problems of a greater magnitude today than since the end of World War II, the coronavirus pandemic obviously being at the top of the immediate list.  I would rank numbers two and three as racism and gun violence … problems that far outweigh even the sinking economy.  And yet, Donald Trump wastes every waking minute ranting, calling out his imagined enemies, denigrating the press, dreaming up conspiracy theories, and patting himself on the back for successes that exist only in his own mind.  We’re in trouble, people, and guns are not going to solve the problem, for they ARE a big part of the problem.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has taken NRA donations of $1,267,139 during his congressional career, but the leader of the pack is Mitt Romney, who has taken $13,647,676 during his time in Congress.  Interestingly, the 2nd highest in NRA donations is Senator Richard Burr, who is currently under investigation for insider trading violations.  Senator Burr has collected a handy $6,987,380 in his twenty-five years in Congress.  Source:  Brady United Organization

Snarky Snippets — Where’s The Logic?

I have two or three pieces started … good topics, I think … but too much detritus is crossing my radar for me to find my focus, so … sigh … you know what that means, right?  Yep, it’s time for snarky snippets.  Once I share the angst with you guys, then perhaps I can clear my mind and focus.  It’s worth a shot, anyway.


Is he really trying to kill us all?

When I read yesterday … or was it the day before? … that Trump ordered meat-processing plants to remain open and continue operating, declaring them critical infrastructure, I shook my head.  This is puzzling, for … he is perfectly fine with farmers trashing their entire harvest, plowing their crops back into the ground, throwing billions of gallons of milk away, fruit left rotting on the trees (because he has deported the migrant workers), and yet he orders meat-processing plants to remain open.  Where’s the logic???  Fruits, vegetables, milk, dairy products, etc. are a far more important part of the human diet than meat!  In fact, most people in the U.S., perhaps in all western nations, consume far much more meat than is healthy.

So, what to make of the fact that Trump is happy enough to have healthy foods destroyed, but is determined to shove more meat down our throats?  The only conclusion I can draw is that he wants us all dead, or at least in such a diminished state that we cannot do much.  This theory is supported, also, by his determination to have all businesses up and running again long before it is safe to do so.  He has been warned that to open businesses to the public just now will … not ‘might’, but ‘will’ … result in a resurgence of the coronavirus and that the second wave might be even more lethal than the first.

Trump also said he would also shield meatpacking companies from legal liability from worker claims of not being adequately protected … a gross violation of the law, and one that is going to lead to so many lawsuits that I’m beginning to wish I were a lawyer!

At least 22 plants processing meat from pork to chicken have closed at some point after clusters of employees tested positive for coronavirus.  You remember that old saying, “you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink”?  I think that will apply here.  You can order a plant to remain open, perhaps, but you cannot force employees to return to work.  It is my sincere hope that the employees present a United Front and take up the mantra of Vietnam War protestors in the 1960s, “Hell no, we won’t go!”


Oh, what could possibly go wrong?

I’ve written numerous times about Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, who I consider to be one of the most awful human beings in the country, a man whose campaign ad shows him pointing a rifle at his daughter’s boyfriend!  However, here he is again, back on my radar, and this time I’m … floored at the stupidity.

Kemp announced in his most recent executive order that — provided they meet all other requirements — those holding instructional permits can qualify for their driver’s licenses without the “comprehensive on-the-road driving test.”

That means teens can get their license when they turn 16 without getting in a car with a test administrator.  That means that in the State of Georgia, by this time next year, there will be tens of thousands of teenagers driving cars who have never proven that they were capable of driving the car.  My recommendation is that every person who is involved in a crash with any of these illegitimate drivers must sue Governor Kemp for millions of dollars … it seems that money is the only language these jackasses understand, for human life surely carries no weight with them!  Where’s the logic???

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And speaking of the insanity that reigns supreme in the United States today …

On Thursday, New York became the second state to be sued by … wait for it … the National Rifle Association (NRA).  Why?  Because New York decided that gun shops, contrary to what Trump & Co determined, were not essential services and were therefore closed down during the shutdown of non-essential businesses in an effort to protect its citizens.

The NRA is, of course, claiming that shuttering of the gun shops along with schools, restaurants, retail stores, etc., is an infringement on the 2nd Amendment.  They have also found other imaginative ways of turning the coronavirus pandemic to their own advantage … or at least trying to.  On their website, you will find articles titled “COVID-19: Threat to Second Amendment”  and “Pandemic Exposes Dangers of So-Called “Universal” Background Checks”   Seriously???

Let’s talk about this for just a minute.  A gun is manufactured with only one purpose:  to kill.  Hunting rifles and shotguns are used to kill animals, all other guns are used to kill humans.  There is no other purpose … guns do not make pretty decorative planters, nor are they useful for peeling potatoes.  They kill.  That’s all.  So, think about this for a moment … in the midst of a pandemic that is killing thousands per day every day in this country, the NRA believes it is essential that people in this country have unlimited access to buy a gun to … kill.  Isn’t the damn pandemic doing enough killing???  And … libraries are closed, bookstores are closed, music stores are closed … the things that bring us pleasure and enhance our lives are closed, but gun stores must remain open.gun-salesIn other states, where gun shops have remained open, gun sales have soared.  SOARED!  3.7 million background checks were performed in March.  The previous record was 3.3 million in December 2015.  The highest number of guns sold in this country in a single month was this past March, when businesses were first shuttered and the death toll from the coronavirus skyrocketed.  WHAT THE HELL???  Did the gun nuts think they were going to shoot the virus???  Do they think it will break into their homes in the middle of the night and steal the good silver? gun-toonI have never understood and will never understand the gun culture in the United States, but this one just blows my mind … there is absolutely zero logic behind it.  Surely the courts will have the good sense to throw the cases out, or at the very least rule against the NRA.  If not … then I have no more hope for the sane people of this nation.