Save Your Prayers For The Living

angry-godThey profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.

Titus 1:16

 

Your prayers are useless. Your prayers are insulting, always coming after the fact and as an afterthought. Want to pray? Pray for a change, pray there are no more victims of gun violence, pray the NRA becomes known as a criminal enterprise, and pray Congress finds their heart and starts to do something to change the vicious and violent nation we live in. Then when you get off your sanctimonious knees find your heart and demand change, do something, take action.

I am tired of it all. Aren’t you?

I am weary as hell of turning on the news and seeing another mass murder, another report of a school, church, theater or mall shot up and dozens dead. I am mind numb with the senseless death 11202102_486110584889188_3832410922166378229_nin every city, of the thousands of our youth, lying on cold streets in pools of their own blood. I am shattered by the number of guns bought and sold daily in this nation without a single thought to how they will be used, without a background check or any other validation or identification. I am stunned that we still can’t do even the simplest of things, a national background check versus what we have today the useless state by state checks that allow for loophole after loophole to be casually meandered through by those who would do grave harm.

I am exhausted by the excuses presented by the media, government Representatives and of course those spokespersons for the gun manufactures the NRA, for why yet another mass killing has happened.  Everything from ‘Beta Male Syndrome’, just what the hell is this anyway? Boys don’t feel they are getting enough female attention so they buy guns and blow shit up?  To the random, mental health issues; okay everyone has a bit of crazy these days. Then we have the easy to identify, my wife left me so I am going to kill her and everyone else around her, there are a few of these. Of course, we have the failing to make the grade so let me kill those professors and students who might be better than me. Finally we have the just plain old racist, bigot assholes who think there is a need to kill those ‘not like them’ out of what, fear and hate.

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The face of the mass murder from 1984 to today

It isn’t getting better, it is getting worse. This ignorance, the pure unhealthy love affair this nation has with violence is making our small bit of this world a terrible place to live and to raise our children. From mass murders in theaters, churches, classrooms and malls to the random murders on the streets; it is getting worse. Fear and violence, children lying dead, by the hand of a parent, classmate, cop or random drive-by. Truly does it matter how a child dies? I can tell you it doesn’t matter to the parents who must search for a small casket to bury that child.

Your prayers are useless. Who needs or wants your prayers? Surely, though they might be polite and thank you, not those who are left behind. Not those who must bury their beloved family members, their children, siblings or spouses because some asshole with access to a guns and more rounds of ammunition than a platoon needs on maneuvers decided today was the day they would kill human beings. Not the walking wounded who must live every single day with the nightmares and physical results of the shots fired by a random stranger or loved one, who must face their changed circumstances and the even in some cases their shortened life expectancy, not because of their poor choices but because they were in the were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

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Your offer to pray for any of us, yes us, without action is an insult. If I hear one more person tell the victims of gun violence they are praying I believe I will scream.

For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.

James 2:26

Let me help, please let me help your understanding if there is any confusion at all. Guns have no purpose but to kill. Killing is the only purpose of a gun. Don’t try to make it out to be anything other than what it is, those who want to paint lovely pictures about skeet shooting, range shooting and target shooting need to step off, you only do this so you are better killers with guns. Guns, allDomestic-Violence-9Women-1_Meme-noURL guns from the smallest ladylike pistol to the biggest cannon have one single purpose, to kill; whether killing people or animals for food. Guns are designed to kill as efficiently as possible, depending on their design they kill one thing or have the potential to kill many things with a single pull of the trigger. Guns are tools of murder and destruction, this is their single and only purpose. They cannot be compared to anything else, nothing else at all. I have seen in social media guns compared to many other things over the years as the debate for gun control rages, let me try to set the record straight:

Cars ≠ Guns

Knives ≠ Guns

Baseball Bats ≠ Guns

Explosives ≠ Guns

Fire ≠ Guns

Poison ≠ Guns

Water ≠ Guns

Narcotics ≠ Guns

Hammers ≠ Guns

All of the above have been cited as things people use to kill with, things people would use to kill with if they didn’t have access to guns. This is true, these are all things you might use to kill another human being with if you didn’t have access to a gun or guns. The difference between these things and guns? All of the above have a purpose other than to kill another living creature, all have a reason to exist, yes even poison has a purpose other than to kill a living creature, in some cases it is to kill weeds in your yard, in some cases it is to alleviate pain. It is impossible to make the argument that guns and any of the above are in any way, shape or form equal any of the above they are not.

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Save your prayers, they are useless pandering. Save your tears, they are frankly too damn late.

Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.

Psalms 34:13

http://timelines.latimes.com/deadliest-shooting-rampages/

http://www.gunviolencearchive.org/

http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2015/09/us/the-loneliest-club/?sr=sharebar_twitter

Hope and Apathy

soapboxpilePlease read here for the best synopsis of Fridays mass killing, my friend Jueseppi has done a spectacular job of putting it all together: http://theobamacrat.com/2014/05/25/university-of-california-santa-barbara-isla-vista-shooting-rampage-7-reported-dead-including-22-year-old-shooter-elliot-rodger/


 

I had planned to stay silent over the killings in Isla Vista on Friday, what is one more voice after all. The truth is I planned to stay silent because it is impossible for me to write through my heartache at more young lives lost. As I write this, my heart is cracking, tears periodically leak from my eyes and stream down my cheeks. I cannot help but think of the families of those who lost their lives. I cannot help but think of those who will have the long road ahead of them toward recovery, the fears they will face, the triggers they will have to overcome, the nightmares that will awaken them in the future all because we failed them, because one man with a gun decided to take retribution for his failure with women.

I think this father’s grief says it best:

Twenty-two years ago, I got lucky. I lived when I wasn’t supposed to. Friday night six young people lost their lives. Yes, I am aware the killer also lost his life, frankly I do not care that he is dead. I am sorry for his parents, they lost their child but he took the lives of six others before he died, he attempted to take the lives of seven others. Had he been successful his minimum body count would have been thirteen, had he achieved his true aim it would have been much higher.

Already in much of the mainstream media, this mass murderer is being referred to as a ‘child’ with psychological problems, trying to excuse his behavior, trying to give him an out for his spree. Not only will I not name him, let the Devil do that while he burns in hell, I will not excuse him or anyone else I blame for the lost lives on Friday.

So let’s clear some of the excuses off the table, first this is not a ‘child’ this was a twenty-two year old man, a fully grown man, in college, living in an apartment, with a car (a BMW no less) and an income, albeit likely one he didn’t earn. The next thing we should be clear about is the childhood diagnosis of High-Functioning Asperger Syndrome, while he might not have been as socially adept as his peers due to Asperger Syndrome; his family had the means to provide him the very best treatment and education throughout his life. It is unlikely he was that far behind unless the diagnosis of High-Functioning was incorrect, based on his videos and his ‘manifesto’ he was simply selfish, spoiled and self-centered. I accept the diagnosis of Asperger, it appears he wasn’t a ‘normal’ twenty-two year-old, this does not however, make him mentally deficient, insane or otherwise incapable of knowing right from wrong.

Let’s be really clear, he was a twenty-two year-old man who believed the world and women in particular owed him something, in this case owed him ‘sex’, the fact that he remained a virgin at his age bothered him immensely. That he believed he was a ‘god’ compared to others who he saw with the women he wanted, as seen from a quote from one of his videos:

“I see so many beautiful, blonde haired girls. So many beautiful blonde-haired girls walking around everywhere. In your revealing shorts. Your cascading blonde hair. Your pretty faces. And I want one for a girlfriend… I’m 22 years old and I’ve never had a girlfriend. I’m still a virgin. I’ve never had the pleasure of having sex with a girl. Sleeping with a girl. Kissing a girl. I’ve never even held a girl’s hand,”

Or another quote:

“Girls gave their affection and sex and love to other men but never to me”

Now, six young people are dead and seven others will have to live with his actions, because this man, believed he was owed and took it in his head to follow through with his threat:

“If I had it in my power. I would stop at nothing to reduce every single one of you to mountains of skulls and rivers of blood,” adding “You deserve to be annihilated, and I will give that to you,” he said, speaking of what he termed his “day of retribution.”

When it all goes wrong, this is what happens. This is the aftermath, this is what happens to communities.

How many must die before we get right with our children? How many times does this have to happen before we stop the insanity of out of control gun laws that allow massacres on the streets of our nation to happen indiscriminately? When are we going to demand change and why aren’t we asking the relevant questions such as, where did he get a gun?

That last question isn’t as obvious as it might sound, as someone with a ‘disorder’, not insane but not entirely normal either, he would be on a list that would bar him from gun ownership in a sane world. We don’t live in a sane world though, do we?

Three Stooges

Three Stooges

We live in a world where Ted Nugent, Sarah Palin and Wayne LaPierre have more power to determine whether our children will be safe on the streets and in their schoolrooms than the majority of Americans.

Please note, none of them are elected officials, I can tell you what all of them have in common though:

RACISM, NRA, SYG and a complete lack of intellectual discernment.

Worse yet? Most recent polls show their messaging is getting through to the ignorant and uninformed, their constant flow of misinformation is having an impact and more citizens of this nation are leaping on the bandwagon. More Americans believe gun control laws should be ‘less’ strict rather than more strict, this coming from the most recent Gallup Poll. As gun deaths rise, as mass murder rises, as our children lay bleeding in the streets, the school yards and even in their own homes; Americans look and shrug their shoulders and say to themselves fuck it, open the floodgates.

How many more must die? How many more mothers and fathers must bury their children in the cold earth?

Twenty-two years ago, my father got lucky. Mr. Martinez and the other parents of Friday’s mass killing were not as lucky. I am heartbroken for them, shattered for them. My friend said the following to me, knowing I sign my e-mail ‘helplessly hopeful”:

Well, in “Hopeland”, things are OK. Here in reality where I live, this shit ain’t ovah. There will be many more shooting rampages to come. Get yo popcorn and get ready for the show.”

It was somewhat cruel, I know the monsters are out there, he isn’t wrong though is he; until we, as citizens get up off our apathetic asses and demand change we are lost and the victims will continue to pile up. Hope, it isn’t enough and it will not stem the tears of all the parents who lose their children. We must take our nation back from those who would destroy it. We must stand up and say no more.

What soothes my heart at times like this:


 

http://everytown.org/

http://www.webmd.com/brain/autism/tc/aspergers-syndrome-topic-overview

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/aspergers-syndrome/basics/definition/con-20029249

http://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism/asperger-syndrome

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/05/24/the-nra-s-all-out-assault-on-accurate-information-about-gun-deaths.html

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/homicide.htm

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/crime/2012/12/gun_death_tally_every_american_gun_death_since_newtown_sandy_hook_shooting.html

Remembering Chris Keith, aka “The Adventures of a Thrifty Mama”

Another woman, a mother and her son touched by violence who ultimately lost their lives, leaving three other children behind. This is the face of domestic abuse. Please read and if you can help, please do so.

Poor as Folk

I “met” Chris through my Facebook page for my personal blog crazy dumbsaint of the mind and I in turn become a fan of her blog Adventures of a Thrifty Mama in the City ‘Stead, and then later we got to know each other outside of blogging. For those  who don’t know how online friendships work, they might be confused when I call Chris my friend. Online friendships are funny things and sometimes it happens that the people you trust online with your experiences  and thoughts are these people you’ve never even had so much as a cup of coffee with.

Chris & I had a lot in common. We were both struggling to feed our families real food on a food stamp budget and defied being stereotyped as “welfare mom living off the system”. We both were striving  to create a sustainable  and secure food sovereignty for ourselves…

View original post 366 more words

Standing By

soapboxpileThere are times when the world seems to be a terrible place doesn’t it? For those of us who have soapboxes we climb on, sometimes those ladders get a bit shaky we fall on our asses more often than we would like. Those of us who follow the world of dreadful and ghastly, from the halls of the Hill to the streets of any city USA, sometimes we grow weary of the sheer volume of ugly. I know I do, it is my suspicion others do as well.

This morning as I was perusing the wise words of others, three wonderful bloggers poked my soul, my conscious and my self-respect. I am reminded constantly why I am grateful for all the friends I have made in the blogosphere these women are brilliant!

http://fiftyfourandahalf.com/2013/09/19/whoah-what-happened/

http://mommasmoneymatters.com/clyde-try-dammit/

http://deborah-bryan.com/2013/09/19/i-am-greater-than-my-fear/

For very different reasons these three entries into my morning touched off my thinking about what I have been doing lately. Why I have been remiss in talking about what bothers me about the world we live in. It isn’t I haven’t had time, I have had more than enough time; truthfully I have had more time than I would like. It isn’t that I can’t, I of course can if I choose to do so; my problem is I have become unwilling to face the storm. This leads to fear, I have become afraid of what others think and of conflict, my ability to withstand the conflict is much lower these days than it has been in the past.

This feeling of dispiritedness, it doesn’t bode well for our nation. So many of us feel this way as we stare into the future and consider our options and the world our children will inherit if we do not move our asses. What do I mean by this? I don’t know that I can fully answer my own question, what I do know is I will not give in to fear or apathy, that road leads to dead ends, obstructionist governments and failures. This is what I believe; I have been failing myself lately. I have, as my friend Red pointed out so well been saying, “I can’t” not because “I can’t” but because I was afraid, maybe I will explore this one with you all in a later post.

This is what I know, I have to stop being afraid, apathetic and foolish. With this thinking in mind, I am going to pick my mantle back up, drape it around my shoulders and start to talk about the things that matter. Maybe some of these things won’t matter to you, they matter to me though and so I am going to talk about them. I am going to stomp my feet and raise my fist and stop being afraid I might offend you or others, I hope I don’t offend you, I hope you will talk back, tell me why you disagree or spread the word if you do agree. Either way, I am going to put my boots back on and return to my roots as a wonk, an activist and someone who actually gives two shits about what happens in the world.

Today, the thing I want to talk about is one of the things that troubles me the most about this country, this is not the only thing that deeply troubles me, there are many more. Nevertheless, this is one close to my heart that plunders my spirit, so let’s talk about Guns –

Yes, I could talk about the Constitution and how most people stomping around waving it as their justification for their personal arsenals have it wrong. I am not going to do that today; I have been down that road and it isn’t necessary to repeat myself I hope. What I am going to do is talk about just one aspect of our deep love affair with violence and guns, the increase in mass murder and spree shooting. What this means for us, how we are becoming increasingly unsafe, how our children are becoming increasingly less safe:

Thirty-one years of killing. Mass murders and spree killing.

Thirty-one years of killing. Mass murders and spree killing.

Look at those numbers in the past thirty-one years. What does that mean? I don’t know, beyond the idea the more easily accessible high-powered guns are, the greater capacity of rounds the more damage and the more likely the body count.

Some of the leading pro-gun lobbyists’ and spokespeople say it is just crazy people doing all this damage, committing all these terrible crimes. Look at this next graph though, it tells a very different story.

MentalHealth_gunpurchase

The known mental health of individual, whether their weapons were purchased legally and how many weapons were used during the commission of their mass / spree killing. This graph is telling, here are a couple of important facts to take away:

• Out of the 149 guns used in the mass murders and spree killings of the past thirty-one years, 23% were obtained illegally.

• Out of the 149 guns used in the mass murders and spree killings of the past thirty-one years, 52% were purchased legally by persons with known mental health disorders.

Finally, there is an issue of gender and race; yes, this is important because we should understand who is committing these crimes so we can begin build an accurate profile of the mass murder and spree killer. Maybe with this profile we can identify them before they kill rather than after.

MassKillers_Gender

We have to stop turning away from the issue of violence on our streets. We must stop pretending it isn’t real, isn’t dangerous and isn’t affecting our quality of life. Every single bullet has a dollar sign engraved in it. Every single American citizen buried due to gun violence is money in the pockets of the NRA, munitions manufacturers and legislatures with their hands out for more. We are as guilty as they are if we continue to passively stand by and accept the excuse, “nothing can be done”.

Something can be done, we can do something; we can refuse to stand by a watch more of our citizens die.

ValentineBullet

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Other interesting sources, including the source of the data for the graphes.

http://www.motherjones.com/special-reports/2012/12/guns-in-america-mass-shootings

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/12/mass-shootings-mother-jones-full-data

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/01/pro-gun-myths-fact-check

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/09/mass-shootings-investigation

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/12/mass-shootings-victims-2012

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/01/nra-board-members-selleck-nugent

Peeking Out of My Cave, PII

soapboxpileThe world spins in the same direction and at the same speed, every day of the year. Don’t you just wish it would speed up and fling a few of the Neanderthals out into orbit, I know I do and these days that wish seems to be the one most often at the forefront of my mind. I seem to be keeping a roll of pennies in my purse for fountains and wishing wells, just so I can make that wish as often as possible. Do you think I need to up the ante, change my roll to nickels, dimes maybe even quarters?

I only know one thing for certain, the Neanderthals are exponentially increasing in number and space has not seen any of them, not a one in independent orbit. Clearly, my wishes with pennies are not doing the trick.

So let’s talk about Washington’s, hang your heads in shame day, perhaps this should be a national holiday or a new game. The day those who have sold their votes and their shriveled souls voted against 83% the people of this nation, yeah that day. Most of us were focusing on, just give us one thing we have been so beaten down we all focused on one small thing. We would have danced naked in the rain if these Azzhats had voted YEA on Expanded Background Checks (715) in the Senate. We would have celebrated in the streets knowing the long fight ahead, if those prickless wonders would have just grabbed their shriveled balls and stood up to the great and powerful NRA and their money. But no, they couldn’t even give us that one small thing, not even that one small harmless thing. These ideological Stand Your Ground Azzhats said no, we aren’t going to do a damn thing, not one thing to keep you or your children safer on the streets or in their schools. With the parents of Sandy Hook watching from the Gallery they said Nay, to Amendment 715 and a host of other Amendments. We didn’t even know about most of them, we hadn’t even heard about most of them, they had so little chance of getting past the Senate no one was talking about them.

I say, why the hell not?

Well that being said, let us examine all the other Amendments to Senate Bill 649 Safe Communities and Safe Schools, these soulless bastards (and this is an insult to bastards everywhere of which I am one) spent their time debating and voting on. Ready for a ride? Hang on, get your hanky and be ready to gnash your teeth.

Amendment Description

Yea

Nay

Status

711 To regulate assault weapons, to ensure that the right to keep and bear arms is not unlimited, and for other purposes 38-D, 1-R, 1-I 15-D, 44-R, 1-I Rejected
713 To increase public safety by punishing and deterring firearms trafficking. 53-D, 2-R, 2-I 0-D, 42-R,0-I Rejected
714 To regulate large capacity ammunition feeding devices. 43-D, 1-R, 2-I 10-D, 44-R, 0-I Rejected
715 To protect Second Amendment rights, ensure that all individuals who should be prohibited from buying a firearm are listed in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, and provide a responsible and consistent background check process. 48-D, 4-R, 2-I 5-D, 41-R,  0-I Rejected
717 To withhold 5 percent of Community Oriented Policing Services program Federal funding from States and local governments that release sensitive and confidential information on law-abiding gun owners and victims of domestic violence. 22-D,   45-R, 0-I,   3-D NV 28-D, 0-R,  2-I Accepted
719 Ensuring those who have a conceal carry from one state can carry in other states without having to re-apply or confirm eligibility. 13-D,44-R, 0-I 40-D, 1-R,  2-I Rejected
720 Extending mental incompetency to specific persons, not defined in amendment. 9-D,45-R, 2-I 44-D,0-R, 0-I Rejected
725 To address gun violence, improve the availability of records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, address mental illness in the criminal justice system, and end straw purchases and trafficking of illegal firearms, and for other purposes. 9-D, 43-R, 0-I 44-D, 2-R,2-I Rejected
730 To reauthorize and improve programs related to mental health and substance use disorders. 50-D,43-R, 2-I,   2-D NV 2-R Accepted

Yes, that is correct, you read it right two Amendments’ passed this week, but we didn’t hear much about them did we? The first passed will protect ‘law-abiding’ gun owners by withholding funds from states that release information, please note they also don’t want information released on domestic violence victims. Why is that? Could it be because it is likely this might tell someone who his or her abuser is? This might tell someone, who that likely ‘law-abiding’ gun owner is who is likely to kill them.

proverbs216

By the end of the week, the Senate had ensured the gun nuts ‘law-abiding’ gun owners would continue to buy and sell guns without restrictions. No restrictions on how guns are sold, no restrictions on what kind of guns are sold, no restrictions on to whom guns are sold, no restrictions on ammunition or clip capacity. By the end of the week the Senate, despite every single legitimate poll in the nation saying the American people wanted change, supported Expanded Background Checks, supported restrictions; this Senate pissed on America, pissed on the parents of Sandy Hook, pissed on every victim of gun violence.

Since Newtown and as of April 19, there have been 3,531 deaths by gun in America. Of these fifty-seven (57) have been children under twelve years of age. It is hard to get these numbers; Slate compiles them as no agency has them.

This week just proves we, the people have no voice. Again I weep for us, I weep for each death, each family who buried a loved one, each child who will not achieve their potential.

What now? Where do we go from here? My fury at the tone deaf Senators is boundless, what about you?

Read the debates here:

Debates, April 15 part 1, Debates, April 15 part 2, Debates, April 15 part 3 .Debates, April 15 part 4

Debates, April 17, this one is worth a read, Debates, April 17 the amendment debates

Debates, April 18 Debates, April 18 and let me say I despise this coward Senator John Cornyn, Texas

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.

Hard Stop Sanity

If I haven’t visited you lately I apologize, I had a very difficult time processing my feelings after the tragedy of Sandy Hook Elementary this past Friday. I have watched social media for the week, watched friends and family make their personal stands on the issues of gun control, mental health and a host of other surrounding issues. This is a disclaimer, I am not a mental health expert, I am not an expert on the Constitution nor am I an expert on all the issues surrounding firearms, murder rates or suicide. I am a parent and a grandparent, I am a victim of violent crime, I am a survivor of domestic violence and I am a citizen of the United States. I care about living in a civil and sane society in the future and I care about the future of my children and grandchildren.

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At what point, then, is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, If it ever reach us it must spring up amongst us; it cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time, or die by suicide.

Abraham Lincoln, Young Men’s Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois January 27, 1838

We are complicit through our inaction, through our fear and our refusal to acknowledge the issues we create through greed, ignorance and ideology. Yes, I said it we created the Hell that sees our children dying in their classrooms, in the streets, in the mall. We are responsible for this mayhem, this chaos this vicious cycle.

We are a nation of paranoids, a nation of victims wrapped in flags with Bibles in one hand and high capacity military grade weapons in the other. What are we afraid of? Oh sure, the government is tyrannical and somehow we must protect ourselves (hint: even with the weapons you have they have better ones). Of course, you need these high capacity clips and assault weapons to defend your home (hint: if you have fired 100 rounds in 30 seconds Bible&Gunsyou have likely killed your own family along with the bad guys and if they aren’t down you aren’t getting out alive).

We should not be quick to jump to conclusions, we should not be quick to slap that ‘insanity’ label on giving us the excuse to wipe our hands and carry on with our mundane lives. The truth is, most spree murderers are not clinically ‘insane’, do not have long-term psychiatric problems and are not psychotic. The make-up of the mass murder is changing, what isn’t changing is access to high-capacity magazines and military guns making the death toll higher.

The meme of those who demand their Second Amendment rights remain sacrosanct:

  • Guns don’t kill people Kill
  • 64,999,987 legal gun owners killed no one yesterday
  • Know guns, know peace and safety. No guns, no peace nor safety.
  • Gun control is hitting what you aim at.
  • The right to buy weapons is the right to be free.

Don’t you just love some of those? Yeah, me too they make me all warm and fuzzy; not.

In light of the tragedies of recent years, does the above stupidity hold weight? Can we honestly stand aside and allow our nation to continue to hold the record for death by gun violence among other high income nations, is this what we should be proud of?

Just a small slice

Just a small slice

I am pragmatic; the monster is already out of the box. We cannot fix what is already so tragically broken. We cannot change the minds or hearts of those who believe the only way to a Civil society is by arming themselves, arming school teachers, arming college students in their classrooms and dorms. We cannot change a society convinced they must be armed to the teeth, in their homes, their cars and walking the streets to protect themselves from the government, those violent ‘others’ they heard about or the zombie apocalypse.

Let’s start with some facts; I think it is important to make this a non-partisan issue:

  • Gun owners are both ‘Liberal’ and ‘Conservative’
  • When the Constitution was written, guns were breach load muskets single shot
  • Slave and Land holders wrote the Constitution; in fact, within the first ten amendments slavery is ratified. We do occasionally see the error of our ways and correct them, the Constitution was not written on stone tables by a lightning bolt shot from on high.
  • Anyone is able to purchase any type of firearm, including military grade semi-automatic rifles and handguns without a background check or waiting period in the secondary market (gun shows and private sales, including the internet). Forty percent (40%) of all legally purchased firearms are purchased this way.
  • Anyone can purchase as much ammunition in any clip size as they want without any tracking, registration or license on the internet.
  • Approximately 10,000 people are murdered every year in gun violence, many of them teenagers.

There are those who say their right to bear arms, their right to conceal carry, their right to own any weapon and any clip size is inviolate. They say armed rebellion would be the result of any attempt at Gun Control, they say SCOTUS has confirmed their right in District of Columbia v Heller to be armed and dangerous under any and all circumstances and without restraint.

This is what I say; I say there must be some middle ground that satisfies all of us. There must be some middle ground that stops the senseless deaths of our children and the murderous rampages in our public places.

This is what I believe must happen if we are ever to begin to heal this nation:

  • Require national registration
  • Demand Conceal Carry permits only in the following circumstance and make this a federal mandate:
    • Show true need (e.g. over the road truck drivers, certain security personnel, off duty police)
    • Attend regular training
  • Require same background check and waiting period in secondary market as in gun stores
  • Create national mental health registry
  • Update criminal background check registry to include domestic violence
  • Do not allow restoration of civil rights after time-served to allow gun purchase for violent criminals
  • Update background check to include Terrorist Watch List
  • Limit Clip Size to 10 rounds
  • Do not allow private purchase without background checks, make private sales illegal even between family members
  • Shut down internet sales of ammunition
  • Require gun safes in the home of all gun owners with children under 18
  • Raise the age limit to 25 for legal purchase and gun ownership
  • Require gun safety class before purchase
  • Change Stand your Ground laws to apply only to personal property / personal homes make this federal rather than state by state
  • Create a federal buy-back program to get illegal guns off the streets of our cities, give it two (2) years. Within the scope of the buy-back program, strengthen the laws and penalties for owning an illegal gun, selling a gun illegally and for using an illegal gun in the commission of a crime.

I don’t want to take your guns. I want sanity and safety. I would rather not call it gun control, I would rather call it Gun Sanity. These days I am afraid to go to the theater, the mall or anywhere else. If you are a gun owner, frankly I am afraid of you. Is this really the world any of us want?

http://www.academia.edu/1199492/Hegemonic_Masculinity_and_Mass_Murderers_in_the_United_States

http://www.bradycampaign.org/facts/gunviolence?s=1

http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/18/in-gun-ownership-statistics-partisan-divide-is-sharp/

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2012/jul/22/gun-homicides-ownership-world-list

Hunting Goodwill

560px-DespondentAngelMetCemHeadWander the malls festooned with fake glitter and false boughs of pine, blasting Christmas carols of peace on earth and goodwill towards all men. Peace and goodwill, one has to wonder how we accomplish this wondrous peace and goodwill when one of our nation’s most dominate and viciously protected rights is the ‘right’ to bear arms.

“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.”

Goodwill indeed, twenty children under 10 years of age dead, twenty-eight people in all but TWENTY CHILDREN shot to death in their classroom. Twenty mothers and fathers, who will never again kiss their children goodnight, never again tuck them in at night. Twenty parents, who will not see their children grow to adulthood, who will not watch with pride as their children graduate, marry and have children of their own. All their dreams lay wasted at the end of a gun wielded by a twenty year old with access to the legal guns of his mother. LEGALLY OBTAINED GUNS.

The Second Amendment is ensconced in our national psyche, come hell or high water we will hang on to our effing guns. No matter the innocent lives laid in the cold ground, the families in mourning, by God and all his Angels we will keep our guns and our ammunition and our rights to bear it all without interference of any kind. No one will touch those rights, no matter what. My and other people’s personal right to safety on the streets, in the mall, in theaters or in the classroom will sgen577hnever be considered, we do not count in the grand scheme and neither do any other gun violence victims. So long as the Neanderthals in the NRA can convince enough people it is viable they might someday need to protect themselves from the government, or save a life during a mass shooting, or battle a zombie horde by keeping a well-stocked arsenal in their basement and a side-arm concealed, just in case.

Without Registration and without Limitations, we will by all that is holy and by Hell and the Damned, protect our Right to Own our Arsenal, to Conceal Carry and there is not a damned thing anyone can do or say to limit this right. If anyone suggests otherwise they will be demonized, they will be called fanatics; they will be debrided, sometimes painfully so. They will certainly be taken to hard task for their unpopular position; friends and family will drive them into corners with meme that are not defensible in the face of the innocent lives lost.

I have been lashed with it all before and those who have lashed me both friends and family forget sometimes I was left on a dark road with three bullets in me bleeding out and dying but they by God thought it important for me to know I was an effing idiot for my position. So be my guest in the future, call me a fanatic. I am sick in my soul of hearing about gun rights and the Second Amendment. Call me a fanatic, those of you who believe your rights outweigh my rights or the rights of the following:

  • the twenty children and six adults dead today at Sandy Hook elementary school
  • those wounded in the mall last week in Oregon
  • the twelve dead Aurora victims
  • the two teenagers victims of Stand your Ground killings in Florida in this past year (Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis)
  • or tell Nick Rainey the 30 year-old salesman also killed in Florida, with a defendant also using the nefarious Stand your Ground defense
  • Gabby Gifford and the six dead in the same shooting victims of the Arizona shooting
  • the victims at the Sihk Temple in Wisconsin
  • the Chardon victims, Daniel Parmertor, 16; Demetrius Hewlin, 16; and Russell King Jr., 17

These are just 24 months’ worth of random killings or attempts at them. We thought Aurora was terrible, we mourned for a brief moment social media blew up for a minute, apparently not hard enough or long enough. We demanded justice for Trayvon, but barely blinked for Nick or Jordan. The Chardon victims barely made the news, and the Ohio mall was not even a blip on our radar likely because there was no massacre, no random death to titillate us or incite the media for hour upon hour, day upon day.

There are more, there are always more aren’t there? The children lying in the streets of our cities mowed down by illegal guns. The women and sometimes their children, lying in pools of their own blood murdered by their partners by legal guns in fits of rage.  Yes, please call me a fanatic, call me a zealot, call me anything at all I simply do not give a damn what you call me because I am all those things. I will become all those things, I will stop here and now trying to strike a balance between politically correct and my honest belief guns are no longer needful things in the hands of private citizens without limitations, regulation or oversight.

I am tired of all of it, the senseless death, the random violence the terrible and horrifying loss of life. I am tired of children losing their life before they reach adulthood. I am sick of the politics of money taking the front seat to the lives of people. I am tired and worn out, heartsick as I watch news of the shooting of Sandy Hook Elementary and the 26 deaths at the school, plus the shooters mother in her own home and by one of her own legal guns. I am sick to death of those who wrap themselves in sanctity and patriotism, scared to say no more, it is time to change the rules and be damned the NRA and the love affair with violence and guns.

I am bored with the idiotic motto of fools with guns and a love of random and unnecessary violence, ‘Guns don’t kill people, people kill people’.

Well, I guess Sandy Hook Elementary School just goes to show what happens when a Human is wielded by a Gun doesn’t it?

I am effin’ tired of the idiots who suggest a car is an equally dangerous weapon. Or murder would still happen with a knife if a person wanted murder, yes you azzhats that is true however, a lunatic with a knife could not kill TWENTY CHILDREN in less than 5 minutes.

This morning the bodies of the Sandy Hook Elementary School victims have not been moved from where they fell. The children remain on the floor of the school, unreleased to their families, as the school remains a Crime Scene under investigation.

I weep for the families, all of them. I know what my family went through when I was shot and left for dead. I know what I go through even now twenty years later. These survivors, the children will need enormous support systems for years to come. The families who lost children will never fully recover, their loss is unspeakable what they have lost will never be recovered.

I tire of hearing ‘now is not the time, each and every time a tragedy happens and we see terrible loss’, I must ask if not now then when?

Nevermore Forever

I sat back yesterday, I watched and I wept. Yes, I wept. In fact, I am still weeping, I can’t stop my tears from falling.

Israelites encounter undrinkable, bitter water on their journey

Every single time I read anything about the Sikh temple murders I start crying again. Not because I am personally related to any of the victims, rather because I am connected through my humanity, through my empathy and through my compassion for their loss.

We should, all of us be connected to them, weeping for them and reaching out to them in their pain with our sympathy. We should all be standing shoulder to shoulder with them offering our human compassion. We should all be offering to mourn with them.

When will it be enough?

When will there be enough innocent lives piled at the door of the NRA and those who do their bidding for sane people to say ‘no more’.

When will we say we have seen enough senseless death on our streets, in our town squares, in our public buildings, our schools and places of worship to demand change and stand up to the bullies. When will we stop, as a nation and a people, kowtowing to these tyrants with corporate money and an agenda that has nothing to do with our safety, our peace of mind and everything to do with xenophobia and fear-mongering. When?

Isn’t enough?

What will it take for us to change the hearts of the heartless?

I am not going to throw statistics out there of all the innocents dead this decade, or even this year; these numbers are easily found. I am not going to rail at those who demand their rights in the face of the horrifying and senseless violence; this clearly falls on deaf ears. I will only say this; I am speechless, heartbroken in truth at the depths we have fallen, the bitter water we drink and call it sweet.

I leave you with this, because this is what the victims will not have –

525,600 minutes or another Season of Love

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