The Week’s Best Cartoons 6/4

I don’t know how she does it, but our friend TokyoSand over at Political Charge always manages to find the best of the week’s political cartoons.  Not a lot to laugh about these days, folks, but the ‘toons are still awesome and depict our lives with few or no words in a way that lengthy essays cannot do.  Be sure to follow the link at the end to see the many more ‘toons she has chosen this week.  Thank you, TS, for all your hard work!

The same gun debate rages on and on, yet editorial cartoonists find new angles to cover it. I remain, as always, in awe of their talent.

See all the ‘toons at Political Charge!!!

Wear Orange Day

I would almost certainly have forgotten about this very important day and this post I wrote last year commemorating the day had it not been for our friend Larry over at Just Drive, Will You who reminded me earlier this week with his own post (follow link above).  Today, I think this post, this National Day, is more relevant than ever, given the events of the past few weeks.

I typically make fun of all the ‘national days’ … I mean, there are some thoroughly ridiculous ones like National Lima Bean Respect Day, National Rat Catcher’s Day, and National Talk In An Elevator Day.  However, there are a few of the national days that are worthy of being honoured, and today is one such day:  National Gun Violence Awareness Day, also known as Wear Orange Day.  I’ve made no secret of the fact that I hate guns and would happily see every last one of them destroyed, so it should come as no surprise that I’m writing about this day.

Until a few days ago when a dear friend emailed me about this day, I was not even aware of it … which likely means that most people are unaware.  Raising awareness is the goal of this day, and I aim to do my part to help raise that awareness.

On January 21, 2013, Hadiya Pendleton, a high school student from the south side of Chicago, marched in President Obama’s second inaugural parade. One week later, Hadiya was shot and killed on a playground in Chicago. Soon after this tragedy, Hadiya’s childhood friends decided to commemorate her life by wearing orange, the color hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves and others.

Wear Orange originated on June 2, 2015—what would have been Hadiya’s 18th birthday. Now, it is observed nationally on the first Friday in June and the following weekend each year. In the years since, participation in Wear Orange has increased tenfold.

In 2020, #WearOrange trended nationally on Twitter with over 150,000 Americans taking part along with more than 300 corporate and nonprofit partners such as Viacom, Levi Strauss & Co., Postmates, Amalgamated Bank, the American Academy of Pediatrics, AFT, and HRC, and some of the most impactful thought and culture leaders in the country—including President Obama, President Biden, Vice President Harris, Julianne Moore, Laura Dern, Jason George, Pearl Jam, and 25 individual sports teams, including the Golden State Warriors, the Boston Bruins, and the Washington Mystics. More than 100 buildings and landmarks lit the skyline orange across 40 states + DC, including a record 11 stadiums and arenas, while grassroots volunteers hosted more than 270 virtual events in all 50 states plus DC.

According to the Everytown website:

“In 2021, the 7th National Gun Violence Awareness Day will fall on June 4, the first Friday of the month. That will kick off Wear Orange Weekend on June 5-6, which will feature virtual events across the nation.  From the south side of Chicago, to community organizers in Queens, to students around the country, we will come together to wear orange and demand a change.”

Miss Goose and I were talking and we thought that neither of us owned a piece of orange clothing, but then … I remembered that we both have Hallowe’en t-shirts that are orange with jack-o-lantern pattern on the front, so if you see someone wearing a Hallowe’en shirt this weekend, don’t be surprised!

In case you don’t think that guns are a serious problem in the U.S., here are a few facts to make you stop and think …

  • The U.S. gun suicide rate is 10 times higher than that of other high-income countries.
  • The US firearm homicide rate is 24.9 times higher than in other high-income countries.
  • The US firearm suicide rate was 9.8 times higher than in other high-income countries.
  • 7% of all firearm deaths occurred in the US.
  • 7% of women and 98.1% of all children killed by firearms were in the US.
  • Firearm homicide rates in low-gun states were 13.5 times higher than other countries.
  • On average, eight youth are killed by gun violence in the U.S. every day. Another 32 are shot and injured. Mass shootings are on the rise, averaging 11 each week in 2021.

Oh yeah, my friends, this country has a serious gun problem.  Some who love their killing toys have misinterpreted what the Founding Fathers intended when they wrote the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution … NEVER did they intend for people to own weapons not even heard of back in their day that can kill hundreds of people within a minute or two.  NEVER did they intend for every person to carry a gun everywhere they go, even to the grocery store or to church.  And NEVER did the Founders intend us to use those weapons to simply randomly kill people because we did not like the colour of their skin, what they wear on their head, where they came from, or because we were having a bad day.

The United States is literally the laughingstock of the world for our gun policies, or should I say lack of gun policies.  No, wearing an orange shirt today will not change that, but it is one step in raising awareness that guns in America are one of the biggest problems we have, one of the biggest hurdles to our safety, our lives.

To the gun nuts, I say this:  NO, the Constitution does NOT give you the right to own an AR-15 or AK-47, it does NOT give you the right to own an arsenal, and it does NOT give you the right to intimidate innocent people by carrying your gun into schools, restaurants, bars, grocery stores, etc.  You do NOT have a right to leave that gun unsecured where your child may get it and cause heartbreak.  You do NOT have a right to be in my presence with that damn blasted piece of machinery.  Period.  My right to safety and life in this case supersedes your right to have that gun attached at the hip.

No one is immune to gun violence, as proven by the tragic shooting at Robb Elementary School last month that claimed the lives of 19 children and two teachers.   So far this year 18,228 people have lost their lives to guns, and last year a total of 45,012 people were killed by guns in the U.S.  So far, I have yet to hear of that “good guy with a gun” that the National Rifle Association claim exists, but every single day I hear of a lot of bad guys with guns … people who should never have been allowed to own a gun.

So, if you own an orange shirt, wear it this weekend to show your support for human life, to demand change in gun laws, to demand action.

What Gun Fans Will Say …

We’ve all been there – trying to carry on an intelligent conversation with an avid gun lover, one who will argue ‘til he’s blue in the face that his “right” to own as many weapons of any type as he pleases is more important than our lives. It’s hard to carry on such a conversation, but thanks to Ben Berwick over at Coalition of the Brave, I came across this post by Eric Rasmussen that has some really good ideas for rebutting some of the asinine remarks that are frequently made by the gun nuts. Thank you, Eric, for these great rebuttals, and thank you, Ben, for pointing me in Eric’s direction!

Beauty is Imperfection

I grew up with at least three guns in my house in Oklahoma, including long guns and handguns, and learned to shoot them when I was young. So I’ve been hearing the flawed reasoning of gun rights supporters my whole life. We are hearing them again after the mass murder of children in Uvalde, Texas. I myself didn’t care much about the gun issue until 20 children were slaughtered, along with six adults, in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012. Then I realized kids were dying every day unnecessarily because people like me were not speaking up about what we knew.

The following is a list of things gun enthusiasts will say to you in the backlash as most Americans demand sensible gun laws. The assertions are going to include outright lies about history and physics, logical fallacies and cute bumper sticker slogans that talk around the substance of the argument. (“Guns…

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Harden Schools, Hardened Hearts

When someone, particularly a politician, opens his mouth and speaks, he should logically have considered the ramifications of what he says. Joseph Urban has written of a not-improbably conversation with the ignoble Ted Cruz that is at once both humorous and frightening. Is this road from Cruz’ remark about doors really such a stretch of the imagination these days? Thank you, Joseph, for this funny and yet thought-provoking post!

The Old Liberal

After the latest school shooting in Uvalde. Well, this is 5 days later so maybe not the latest. At any rate, after the regularly scheduled school shooting, the party of guns had possible answers to this national event.

Luckily I was able to catch the attention of Ted Cruz. It wasn’t hard since I had a camera. This is the same Ted Cruz who cleverly escapes the frequent Texas electrical grid failures by flying to Cancun. The guy whose father helped assassinate JFK. Not what I say, that’s what former President Donald says. The man Trump called an “unstable person”.If anyone should know…

So, I asked Ted to explain how he would make schools safe.

Ted: We need to make schools safe. As my good friend President Trump as said, schools need doors that lock. From the inside. Doors inside the school that lock.

Me: As a teacher of over…

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“If I Thought It Would Help …”

The lawman’s words at the end of the press conference were …

“If I thought it would help, I’d apologize.”

Rather like a spouse trying to end an argument saying, “Okay, fine, whatever it is you’re mad about, I’m sorry for whatever it is I did.”  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.  Or that old classic, “I’m sorry, but …”

Law enforcement of every stripe that showed up in Uvalde, Texas last Tuesday deserve no kudos, no thumbs-up, for they were cowards … to a man, they were cowards.  When you put on that badge, you are expected to do everything in your power to protect the citizens of your city/county/state, even if it means putting your own life at risk.  You are expected to be courageous.  The response by law enforcement to a shooter murdering children inside Robb Elementary School that day was reminiscent of Keystone Kops.  The bungling Toody and Muldoon of Car 54 Where Are You were one thousand times braver than the police in Uvalde that day.  And as a result, 19 children died … children!!!  Children who might have grown up to be president someday, who might have found a cure for cancer or saved lives in some other fashion.  But nope, because the cops spent well over an hour wringing their hands and debating what to do, those children have no future and their family’s hearts are broken.  The collective hearts of this nation are broken.

Since the spate of police killing unarmed Black men over the past decade or two, I’ve largely lost much of the respect I once had for officers of the law.  This week, I lost whatever small bit of respect remained.  They tell us to respect and honour our ‘men in blue’, but how can we when we know they are more concerned with their own safety than with that of our children?

Our ‘men in blue’ are oh-so-brave when facing an unarmed Black man, or an unarmed Black woman asleep in her bed, but when faced with a man with an assault weapon, they freeze, they wonder around scratching themselves saying, “Duh … whaddya think we ought ta do?” … while children are being murdered.  78 minutes.  It took 78 minutes from the time the murderer entered the school until law enforcement officers found the janitor with a key to the classroom, entered the classroom, and killed the gunman.  How many of the 21 people killed might have lived if it had taken them, say, 4 minutes instead of 78 to get off their arses?  How many of the 17 wounded might have come out unscathed?

Those cops have blood on their hands just as surely as the gunman.  Oh yes, folks, there is lots and lots of blood to go around … Ted Cruz, every Republican who has voted against gun legislation, Greg Abbott, Donald Trump … they all have blood on their hands, a stain that will never wash out.

This is the post I hoped never to write, but the facts are there, and even law enforcement isn’t denying them, even Governor Abbott has verified the facts.  Cowards all.  I hope that every single one of them lose their jobs and end up digging roadside ditches for the rest of their lives.  I hope their consciences keep them awake every single night for the rest of their pathetic lives. Vengeful?  Me?  Yes, indeed I am.  I am furious because a) that stupid 18-year-old child should never have had access to a gun, and b) the men and women we pay to protect us simply shrugged their shoulders and determined that their own lives had more value than the lives of the children and teachers in the school that day.

But the worst thing I have heard said amidst it all were the words of Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McGraw … “If I thought it would help, I’d apologize.”  What a slap in the face to every single one of us in this nation and especially the people of Uvalde.  No, asshole, your apology wouldn’t bring back the lives of those 19 children and two teachers, but it might go a long way to showing you are a human, that you at least give a rat’s ass about our kids!!!  But no, that was too much trouble for you, wasn’t it?  I wonder … if those children had not been mostly Hispanic, but had the same skin tone as Mr. McGraw if he might have felt differently?

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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A Few Mini Snippets To Start The Weekend!

Just a few very short snippets de snark today – I’m trying to clear out the detritus from my mind before the start of a 3-day weekend!  Speaking of which … to all my friends in the U.S., be safe and sensible this weekend, okay?  I really don’t want to read about drunken driver crashes or other tragedies because someone felt the need to celebrate a bit too much.

Want to know just how low the GOP is willing to go?  Look no further than the state of Michigan, where the Republican Party is trying so hard to unseat the current Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer.  There were initially ten GOP candidates for the position, but five were disqualified in one swoop yesterday when it was discovered that their nominating petitions contained thousands of forged signatures.  Thousands, not a few hundred, but thousands … of forged signatures.  In other words, they couldn’t even get the support of the requisite 15,000 people without lying and cheating!  Two of the five were leading contenders, James Craig, a former Detroit police chief, and Perry Johnson, a wealthy businessman.  Wait … isn’t it the GOP who’s always screaming about ‘fraud’???  Yet another example of Republican corruption, dishonesty, and willingness to do whatever it takes to gain power and wealth … at the expense of We the Taxpayers who keep this country afloat.

Boris Bondarev is a 20-year veteran of Russia’s diplomatic service … or, should I saw ‘was’, for Bondarev resigned his post earlier this week, saying …

“For twenty years of my diplomatic career I have seen different turns of our foreign policy, but never have I been so ashamed of my country as on February 24 of this year. The aggressive war unleashed by Putin against Ukraine, and in fact against the entire Western world, is not only a crime against the Ukrainian people, but also, perhaps, the most serious crime against the people of Russia, with a bold letter Z crossing out all hopes and prospects for a prosperous free society in our country.

I regret to admit that over all these twenty years the level of lies and unprofessionalism in the work of the Foreign Ministry has been increasing all the time. However, in most recent years, this has become simply catastrophic. Instead of unbiased information, impartial analysis and sober forecasting, there are propaganda clichés in the spirit of Soviet newspapers of the 1930s. Today, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is not about diplomacy. It is all about warmongering, lies and hatred. It serves interests of few, the very few people thus contributing to further isolation and degradation of my country. Russia no longer has allies, and there is no one to blame but its reckless and ill-conceived policy.”

As far as I know today, Bondarev remains safe in Geneva, Switzerland for now.  I hope he remains so, given that Putin has made it clear more than a few times that he ‘will not tolerate dissent’.  Our own former guy was the same … couldn’t tolerate any who disagreed with him.  Apparently, it is a trait of small, cowardly ‘men’.

Irma Garcia was one of two teachers murdered in the horrific shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, last Tuesday.

Yesterday morning, Irma’s husband, Joe, had just returned to the family’s home after venturing out to leave flowers at a memorial set up for the victims outside Robb Elementary School. He was in the kitchen when he suddenly seized and fell over.  Despite attempts to revive him and keep him alive, Joe Garcia died yesterday of heart failure … or a broken heart💔, more likely.  Yet another casualty of yet another mass shooting.

And just a few ‘toons to start off the weekend …

I Can’t Stop 🤬 … Luckily, Max Boot Can!

For over 24 hours I have been alternately growling, grumbling, and had @#$%& coming from my mouth over Tuesday’s school massacre in Texas and the horrid responses of some public figures.  I tried twice to put my words to paper, but I ran out of symbols 🤬 and quickly realized that my anger might be just as toxic as the responses that were driving it.  Then I came across an OpEd by The Washington Post’s Max Boot who said most of what I was trying to say, but did so without nearly as many 🤬

The deceitful dodges Republicans use to resist gun controls

By Max Boot, Columnist

May 25, 2022

We are now embarked upon a distinctively American ritual such as the Super Bowl or the Fourth of July — only much, much grimmer. We are, for the umpteenth time, in the immediate aftermath of a mass shooting. Nineteen children and two teachers were just massacred at an elementary school in Uvalde, Tex., by a teenager who had been able to legally purchase two AR-15-style assault rifles — weapons of war — as soon as he turned 18 years old.

We are now embarked upon a distinctively American ritual such as the Super Bowl or the Fourth of July — only much, much grimmer. We are, for the umpteenth time, in the immediate aftermath of a mass shooting. Nineteen children and two teachers were just massacred at an elementary school in Uvalde, Tex., by a teenager who had been able to legally purchase two AR-15-style assault rifles — weapons of war — as soon as he turned 18 years old.

To deflect gun regulations, right-wingers offer their own, increasingly outlandish proposals for how to avert school shootings. One former FBI agent interviewed on the Fox “News” Channel suggested that parents, instead of buying their kids toys and games, should invest in ballistic blankets — as if that would stop a determined shooter. Why not dress kids in bulletproof clothing too?

A retired detective suggested on another Fox News show that the answer is to install “man traps” in all schools: “a series of interlocking doors at the school entrance that are triggered by a tripwire … and it traps the shooter like a rat.” He did not, needless to say, offer any suggestions for how to pay for this elaborate idea or offer any evidence that it would prove effective.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) opined that “We need to return to God,” as if religious fanatics never perpetrate violence. She also echoed a common refrain on the right: “Our nation needs to take a serious look at the state of mental health today.” No doubt that’s true, and she’s Exhibit A. But (a) there is no evidence that the United States has more mental health problems than any other country and (b) Republicans consistently oppose more funding for mental health services. Indeed, conservatives are targeting mental health programs in many schools for elimination.

Another popular, if self-refuting, GOP talking point is to argue that the answer to widespread gun violence is to make guns more widely available. Sean Hannity suggested a tax break to retired soldiers and police officers who patrol schools. His colleague Jesse Watters called for using covid-19 relief money to hire more school security guards. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton wants to arm teachers.

Its advocates don’t care that this theory — “the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun” — has been invalidated time and again. In the Buffalo mass shooting less than two weeks ago, a store security guard shot at the killer, who was clad in body armor, but did not stop his rampage. In Uvalde, a school district officer shot at the gunman but could not prevent him from entering the school.

The Federalist, a right-wing publication, might deserve some kind of booby prize for the most ludicrous alternative to gun control. It ran an article headlined: “Tragedies Like The Texas Shooting Make A Somber Case For Homeschooling.” So if you don’t have schools, you won’t have school shootings? Genius! But weren’t Republicans just complaining about covid restrictions that kept kids out of school?

Of course, none of these suggestions should be taken either literally or seriously. Republicans have shown repeatedly that protecting “gun rights” matters more to them than protecting the right to life. They aren’t actually trying to prevent mass shootings. They’re simply tossing out farcical ideas to distract the public and fill the airtime until public anger dissipates and gun legislation stalls. Then, very soon, we will have the next mass shooting and we can repeat this same pathetic ritual all over again.


Our friend David lives in Wales in the United Kingdom, some 4,000 miles across the big pond otherwise known as the Atlantic Ocean. And in the UK, they have their own problems right now, as I’m sure most of you have read. And yet … David sees so much more clearly the causes and reactions to our deadly school shooting yesterday that killed 19 small children, as well as two teachers. Quite frankly, our friends across the pond ALWAYS seem to have a better grasp on our situation than at least half the people in this country do! I appreciate David’s … and others in the UK and EU … views and clarity. Since David is currently having some WP issues with his comment box, please leave any comments for him here and I will see that he gets them. Thank you, David, for your compassion, your caring, and your insight.


I cannot send my thoughts and prayers to the people of Uvalde, this term of regret has been debased so much in recent times that it’s almost worthless and is like a slap in the face to those suffering the Devastating loss this community is feeling. Two adults and 19 children who won’t be going home to their families yet again despite the warnings of previous abominations like Sandy Hook. I’m left wondering how long it will be before the Conspiracy Theorists start to say this was just another play enacted by Government actors in an attempt to thwart the Second Amendment, that Gilt Covered piece of legislation enshrined in law that gives Carte blanche to some members of the population to own more guns than they have fingers to pull triggers and to use them as they will.

That this slaughter has happened in Texas is quite telling really…

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