Insanity in the Face of Truth

Last night I watched two important testimonies to government bodies. As I watched these I pondered, with tears in my eyes and rage in my heart why we, as a nation, continue to have these discussions. I also considered the enormous strength of the individuals speaking while thinking to myself, I wonder what will the media, both mainstream and social reactions to these testimonies be tomorrow. One final thought occurred to me, as I pondered the testimony of one … why the hell wasn’t he or any person from this great tragedy in Washington.

Can you guess the testimonies I am talking about? Can you guess the issue? I suspect you can, it is an issue I have spent time on in the past and one I am passionate about.

Gun Control, or as I like to think of it Gun Sanity.

One thing I thought as I watched the testimonies yesterday, why in the Hell was there not a single person from Newtown testifying in front of the US Senate, not a single solitary parent or first responder. No, instead they had this fool of a woman who made up stories from her vivid imagination and this million-dollar lobbyist for the death by bullet industry:

 Gayle Trotter, an ultra-conservative activist who before she took on the role of pro-gun fantasy weaver, she is also a card carrying member of the far right with not a single credential that would qualify her testimony. This is the same woman who in 2012 wrote on her website a scathing piece against VAWA. But you know, high capacity clips will solve the problem just shoot those thugs as they come through the door.

 Senate Judiciary Committee Hears From Prominent Voices On Both Sides Of Gun Control Debate

Wayne LaPierre, an ultra-conservative mouthpiece for the board membership of the NRA, he no longer even speaks for the majority of the paying membership. When listening to his Testimony one has to wonder, what the Hell he is doing there. Are these people sworn in? Do they swear to tell the truth or are they simply there reading from a script to provide their effing talking points. How does this man sleep at night?  article-lapierre-1221

By the way, they do swear to the truth, they are sworn in. I don’t understand how they are allowed to make up stories, fantasies out of their heads as part of their heads or asses as part of their testimony.

What brought me to my knees and then to my feet was to see Representative Gabrielle Giffords as she slowly walked to the front of the room. Each one of her words painfully spoken, challenging the room and her former peers to do something, to be brave for once to do the job they are elected to do. I thought to myself listening to her, who among us would be as brave as her, as strong as her? Who among us would survive what she has survived and stand before them and demand justice for a nation crying out for change. My tears of compassion for her and her husband flowed freely as I listened to her.

Her husband Mark Kelly testified directly after her testimony. He was fair, he was balanced. Both he and his wife are supporters of Gun Sanity and Gun Ownership. Mark Kelly spoke well, he didn’t make up stories. He was factual in his testimony. It is my suspicion his testimony will be given less weight than both Gayle Trotter and Wayne LaPierre.

Now to the one person who should have been heard but wasn’t invited. David Wheeler, the father of Ben Wheeler, a 6 year old child and one of the victims at Sandyhook Elementary. Mr. Wheeler testified at a public hearing held by the Connecticut legislature’s Bipartisan Task Force on Violence and Public Safety. I can only ask, why wasn’t he or any of the victim’s parents or first responders of Sandyhook invited to speak in Washington?

Here is his testimony.

I can only say this today, we must bring sanity to gun control. We must stop diverting our attention to what isn’t real and isn’t the truth. Wayne LaPierre wants us all to believe it is the “crazy” among us and so we should look over there, stop trying to control guns instead “control the ‘lunatics’”. This is simply a diversion tactic, the truth those with mental health issues are more likely to be victims of violence than to commit violence. Yes, we need to make certain we are providing help and support but this doesn’t address the core issue.

Mr. Wheeler made a profound statement and I want to paraphrase it here, the Declaration of Independence wasn’t accidental in its framing. The following is from that first of our documents, one those Gun Rights Advocates all too often forget:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

It seems we have perhaps in some of our wings gone too far today. There seems a belief the correct answer is armed insurrection rather than supporting our republic through debate and the democratic processes. It seems, based on the content of some of the testimony before the Senate Judiciary these small and frankly insane minorities and their nut job spokespeople now speak for all of us, their money and voice override ours.

I fear for us as a nation and a people when the loss of tens of thousands each year means nothing and our voice simply falters.


  1. Val, Elyse is right, honey. I watched all this and could hardly breathe (G. Trotter is an A-hole and she claims to be a Christian); I can’t imagine how you dealt with it all. We will win. It’s just going to be harder than anyone ever thought because this is big money that is at play here an they won’t go down without a major idealogical war. But please step back from it for a few days because this injustice will drive you nuts. All the best.

    • I cannot step back, I walk with it every day of my life. Stepping back is an impossibility. I can only say sometimes to myself, I have hope and I do, hope that good people will win.

      • That’s understandable–don’t know if I could either if I had walked in your shoes. Just would encourage you to step away from the verbiage of the idiots for a little bit who are so heartless in their comments on the news, ignoring the pain and suffering of survivors like you.

  2. If nothing changes after SANDY HOOK, nothing will.
    How sad and pathetic that would be.
    I may not be a politician, but I know if our country doesn’t enforce gun control, we are up shit creek.
    That scares me. It also embarrasses me.

  3. Thank you for being courageous and speaking your own truth. Voices of the meek, the mild, the under-served, the mistreated were meant to be heard. “And the meek shall inherit the earth.”

  4. Youtube have removed the video you featured of David Wheeler. Citing copyright infridngement of all things (when you can watch countless hundreds of movies privately uploaded).

    However, you can watch it here:

  5. I think it is one step forwards and ten back,
    there needs to be more control and at the
    moment nobody seems interested enough
    to change things. I do hope that this will be
    rectified, and sooner rather than later 🙂

    A really great posting Val 🙂

  6. Val you had me in tears with both these wonderful people.
    And for people like me, far away, they reminded me of the essential goodness and decency, intelligence and sanity of most Americans… it’s so easy to forget this when we only hear about people like the crazies you talked about.
    Amazing and deeply moving post, great spirit…

    • Valerie these people, the Gabrielle Giffords and David Wheelers of the world are who is left after terrible tragedy. They are also I think are majority, people of strength and compassion. People of empathy, decency and goodness.

      These are the people I will give names and voice to from now on. I will not name the killers. I will not give voice to the idiots and fools. They are not who we are though they seem to be more prominent in the media and certainly seem to be what people around the world believe us to be.

      It has to start somewhere I suppose, that we begin to say no we are not that we are this. Thank you for listening and reading.

    • WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

      Great spirit indeed, Valentine – I do agree.

      And Valerie, I comment to you because it IS good to be reminded America is not all crazies because over here in Australia, I have two strong impressions:

      1. I never want to go through customs
      2. I wouldn’t feel safe walking down the street because “everyone” has a gun – therefore, by my reasoning, are not practised at DEALING WITH conflicts/difficulties as they just pull out a gun!

      Sorry if this sounds prejudiced or anything disrespectful to your whole nation (as it narrows it down to these two impressions) but these are strong impressions, and indeed how I feel.

      It is so good to read and see all this – thank you, Valentine.

      • Noleen, you are in Australia and Valerie is in New Zealand (I think, correct me Valerie if I got it wrong). You are nearly neighbors. Believe me my friend, there are times I am afraid to walk down the streets in my own cities, of my own nation. It is a terrible thing when you are afraid to attend the theater or a concert, to have a dinner out anymore.

  7. Last night on “The Last Word,” Lawrence O’Donnell, had Gayle Trotter on and asked her if she could provide just one instance in which someone used an assault weapon for self-defense. She never did answer his question; instead tap-dancing around the issue. O’Donnell had to interrupt and call her out for avoiding the issue. I support gun rights, but these lunatics with the NRA have warped the issue of self-protection to fit their radical view of America.

    One thing that must be understood, though, is that the NRA doesn’t thrive just on its membership, but on funding from the firearms industry itself. They can’t survive on members’ dues alone; they must have greater financial backing. I think they’re losing more members than they’re gaining.

    • I can no longer say I support gun rights, that statement carries far to much weight. I support Gun Sanity, I support regulations. Frankly though no Right is Absolute and until we as a nation establish balanced boundaries protecting citizens Rights to Life and Liberty as the first Right, over and above the right to own any gun I will never again be pragmatic regarding guns or gun rights. A persons right, my right to safely walk on a city street, attend a theater, shop at a mall, send my child to a public school is greater than a individuals right to own and carry a gun. It is as simple as that.

      The NRA has been the front of the gun and ammunition manufacturer for a decade. This isn’t a secret. They are also a funnel for money going into the pockets of our bought and paid for Congressional members, also not a secret. Until we the people demand justice for the tens of thousands of dead, nothing will change.

      I refuse pragmatism. Saying I support gun rights is pragmatism. I do not support the current standard. I do not support any persons right to conceal carry. I do not support the current standard. I do not support high capacity clips. I do not support ammunition capable killing police officers in vests. I do not support civilians with semi-automatic weapons in their homes, they are not necessary they are not used for hunting, or sport shooting.

      So no, I am not a supporter of the current gun laws.

  8. I watched the hearings live, and was in tears throughout the day. Gabby Giffords, oh, my, I still shake thinking of her bravery.

    Gayle Trotter? I want to swat her down — the way Lawrence O’Donnell did so effectively. She is an idiot, a moron. She made up stories, made up facts. Made up history (she claimed that Jefferson penned the Declaration at his home at Monticello. There is a special level in hell for folks who talk about history incorrectly — Jefferson was in Philadelphia, sweltering with John Adams.) But she is the perfect representative of those women who will die because they insist on having guns.

    There were so many reprehensible moments in that hearing — Lindsay Graham who had to reach all the way back to Rodney F’ing King riots in 1990 to show when folks want to have guns handy (can you say Senator you are a fucking racist?)

    We have a long road ahead of us, Val. But we’re gonna win. We are damn well gonna win.

    • I hope you watched David Wheeler, he was passionate and precise. He should have been in Washington.

      I am nearly hopeless right now watching those idiots in Washington. I don’t understand with all the polls saying the American people want a change, want sanity what is wrong with these idiots.

      • I did watch Mr. Wheeler. I’ve also watched other parents. I actually think that there is a benefit of the crazies putting themselves out there. Most of the country isn’t going along with LaPierre or Gayle Trotter (protecting the babies — made me want to vomit). We are going to win. They are too crazy for the average person to join. And they have started talking about how they want to go after the police. That will not go over well at all.

        • I think it was to close for me. After Mr. Wheeler, I was to heartbroken and my fury was to hot. After some of the comments from the Senators in the Committee I wanted to fly to Washington and demand to be heard, for all the good it would do.

          Gayle Trotter has never been shot. She has never defended shite but her desire to be famous and heard. Her opinion has no value. For the love of everything, she made up stories as a form of testimony.

          God it is hopeless.

          • No. It is not hopeless. But I think this is too close to you — you need a news break. No newspapers. Not TV other than cartoons (and FrankAngle is off for a break at a bad time).

            Seriously. You need to step back and breathe. And then you will be able to help again.


  9. Democracy, I believe in; killing people I do not.

    • Me too, I even believe in debate, differences of opinion and even allowing radical opinions a place at the table. But this, well this is simply beyond the pale.

  10. You can’t always tell when a moment has come, and through a change begins. Sandy Hook may well be that moment. But it may only become visible with a backward glance in years to come. I think this has to be fought battle by battle, background checks, limit the ammo, ban internet sales, etc etc. The hearings yesterday were merely a squirmish in the war ahead.

    • I keep thinking Bill, finally we will get some sanity then this. Not even one parent from Sandyhook testified before the House Judiciary yesterday, not one. Instead they had those two fools, a woman with no history or experience whatsoever in guns or gun violence nothing to recommend her as an expert except she wrote an opt-ed a couple of weeks ago and spins a good tale; and the chief flapping mouth of the NRA. Meanwhile we have a child being held at gun point, another shooting in an office park during their hearings. Today? Another shooting at a middle school. Just another day of violence in America I suppose.

  11. I tell you, after I heard about the 6-year-old child being held hostage by that crazed gunman (which is still going on to my knowledge) and the shootings yesterday in Arizona, I’m about ready to just give up. How is throwing more guns into the equation going to help? I’m usually pretty good at seeing both sides of an issue, but this one truly has me baffled. Yes, there will always be crazies whether there are gun laws or not. But why make it easier for them to achieve their goals? Using that as an excuse is so nonsensical. And some of these recent killings aren’t by ‘crazies.’ They’re by people who are disgruntled or angry and thus decide to pluck out their guns to settle the score.

    • Like you Carrie I keep thinking we, as a nation, are gaining some thoughtfulness. Then I see this and hear this and watch the news. Like you I do try to see both sides and I do try to remain pragmatic, despite my personal history. I am however running out of patience with the other side. There is nothing to recommend their side of the argument but money. There is no reason for their argument, but money. No defense for their continued line in the sand but money. No excuse for their fear mongering, but money. I grow weary.

  12. OneHotMess says:

    Gabby Giffords was fantastic and truly inspirational. I watched her testimony three times last night, weeping all of the way. I am with you!

    • Representative Giffords amazes me. She inspires me and reminds me I can stand up and get my happy azz out of bed when I think I can’t. Her survival is for a reason. I hope you watched Mr. Wheeler’s testimony.

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