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Filibuster on guns. Have you had #Enough?

From Lady V in the comments:

9 pm Weds: Live stream of gun control filibuster happening now in the Senate:http://livestream.com/accounts/300260/events/4963928

“Senate Democrats led by Chris Murphy of Connecticut ground the Senate floor to a halt Wednesday, vowing to speak as long as necessary to force the Senate to take action to address gun violence.
‘I am prepared to stand on the Senate floor and talk about the need to prevent gun violence for as long as I can. I’ve had #Enough,’ he tweeted. For hours, Murphy and other Democratic senators took turns demanding the Senate take up a variety of gun control measures, though it is not clear any of them would have the votes to pass.
Murphy listed off mass shootings and talked about expanding background checks for gun buyers and banning gun sales to people on terror watch lists.’ (USA Today)

Since Orlando shooting, 100 people have been murdered with guns.

This is going to be a tough nut. Fox News and other right wing media has promoted an atmosphere of Learned Helplessness where gun control is concerned.

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Religious Extremism, Guns and Public Safety: Pick 2

You can’t have all three.

Discuss.

BTW, when I say “Religious Extremism”, I am referring to any religion. There are many more Christian extremists in this country than there are Muslims. A lot of them have guns.

Mountain Meadows Massacre? 120 people killed

David Koresh? 76 people killed

 

Unsurprised and Ballet Season

I’m not surprised that we have terrorists in this country that have decided to go after soft targets. It only surprises me that it took so long. This is what happens when you destabilize a region by going to war unnecessarily. The Islamic State is a product of the Iraq War.

And then there is the easy access to guns and ammunition in the US. It’s almost like we are asking for it.

Anyway, we should probably get used to this until 1.) the noise machine stops beating the war drums for every possible reason 2.) we start controlling guns and ammunition and 3.) we stop using so much oil.

Yeah, that’s the ticket. You want to get the Saudis and Iranians to crack down on the terrorism and destabilize the region? Stop using oil. That will focus their attention.

In the meantime, here’s something more pleasant to watch. Joy Womack is touring Russia with a troupe of Russian ballet dancers. She’s currently a principal at the Kremlin Ballet but right now, she’s only dancing one of the fairy roles in Sleeping Beauty for the  Kremlin. So, what do you do when your roles are on hold and you need to keep your body in good shape? You tour to places you have never heard of and can’t pronounce. This is a great view into what Russia is like outside of Moscow.

Take it away Joy!

 

And Part 2

 

 

I might even try the Prima Bar. I’m only dance in my dreams but I’m damn hungry at my desk and my company puts nothing but flavorless and healthy snacks in the vending machines. (What?? There’s no chocolate in the vending machine?? Nooooo!!!)

Joy makes a living from her Prima Bars because salaries for dancers is pretty crappy, no matter where you live. So, if you like her videos, and I do, think about buying some snack bars.

 

Politicizing gun control? Are you kidding me??

This is more dangerous and political than….

Update: Here’s a new article in the NYTimes about the candidates’ reluctance to talk about gun control.  What I get from this is that both candidates think they have more to lose from pissing off the gun nuts than half of the voters in this country.

It’s the biggest slap in the face to women who have been bumped down to second class status by the relentless discussion of personal reproductive matters, as well as dismissive of anyone who cares about unregulated access to guns and ammunition.  Do voters have ANY say at all in this country anymore about what is important to them?

I caught up with the Daily Show this morning and did you know that if we want to discuss regulating access to guns, even just sloooooooowing the process down so that murderous paranoid psychotics can’t get their hands on them without raising suspicion, that we are “politicizing” gun control?

Yep, not only that but it’s an “unpopular” position for a candidate to take.  Really? And how do we know it’s unpopular if no one is allowed to discuss it publicly?  Can we take a vote on that?

The New York Times is a master of understatement on the issue:

Responding to the tragic shooting in Aurora, Colo., Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York,called on the presidential nominees Barack Obama and Mitt Romney to come up with a comprehensive gun control policy.

That might require political courage. Despite feelings of outrage over the horrific loss of life from shootings like the one on Friday, support for gun control has declined. Can a politician, particularly a presidential candidate, buck conventional wisdom and show leadership by calling for an assault weapons ban, even if it might not be popular?

Ok, let me put it this way.  The President is supposed to be a leader.  Leaders lead.  That means they persuade people to do things they might not otherwise do. So, if the presidential candidates do not want to talk about how families’ lives and finances have been ruined as a result of free access to guns no matter how crazy the buyer is, because it *might* make them unpopular, then maybe they should find another profession.  They could become accountants or ceramic artists where leadership on public matters is not a desired characteristic.

But wait!  There’s more.

While it is completely unacceptable for us to discuss gun control because congress is exhausted by the subject and the issue is now “settled”, it is perfectly fine to discuss and find ways to regulate lady parts because that is NOT settled, even after 50 years when we all thought it was.

So, to recap: Gun control- unpopular, exhausting subject that is so five minutes ago.

Your Reproductive Organs- perpetually pleasing topic of conversation, politically popular, never goes out of style, DESPERATELY IN NEED OF IMMEDIATE REGULATION!

this. These are not at all dangerous or political.

Guns- kill human beings with jobs, responsibilities, lovers, children, parents and friends.

Your Reproductive Organ- May contain human beings that might develop all the characteristics of a gun victim.  Or it may not.  Or may be waiting for a player to be named later.  The people that potential human touches is limited to one- the bearer.

I don’t know about you but I think we could all stand to hear a lot less about the latter and a whole lot more on the former.  Gun control needs to get as much attention as possible.  You can call it politicizing if you like, like I give a f^&*.

I call it self-preservation, maturity and common sense.

We’ve got our priorities all wrong if it is so outre to talk about how gun access has changed people’s lives permanently and destroyed their futures but have verbal diarrhea every damn day about whether or not some coed should have unfettered access to Lo-Ovral.   There’s something very wrong, tribal and unmodern with American society today if we think that somehow it’s OK to treat half the population as cattle that needs to be herded but the wannabee warriors in the crowd are allowed to be as violent as possible and no one is supposed to talk about these inconsistencies.

It’s sick.

Will someone please tell me where the women’s orgs are?  Why they f^&* are we putting up with this s^&* during election season and letting the candidates get away with it?  This is outrageous.  No piece of legislation on reproductive rights should go to the floor of any legislative body without a companion piece of legislation that keeps guns out of the hands of crazy people.

Let’s make a deal: We’ll stop politicizing gun control when politicians stop politicizing our vaginas.

******************************

Tana French, the only mystery/thriller writer I read, has a new book featuring more of her characters from her Dublin murder squad.  The new title is Broken Harbor.  I love the way French writes.  Her characters are vivid and deep, the dialogue snappy and sharp.  It’s hard not to like some of these people, even the flawed ones.

Three days until my Audible credits renew.  I can barely stand it.  If you’re looking for a good beach read that is not brainless chick lit and interested in diving into mystery a la French, start with In the Woods.

******************************

Totally off topic, this is Jack Van Impe and his dotty wife Rexella talking about The Rapture.  These two are very clever.  It feels like Van Impe uses rapid fire scripture citations to invoke some kind of trance state.  There are people out there who think he has this stuff in instant access memory.  I think he’s either reading it from the teleprompter or listening to the bluetooth in his ear.  Or maybe he does have it all memorized because he’s done this schtick for so long.  But to me, I hear “Oh, we got trouble, right here in River City” playing music in the background.

So, here’s Trouble in River City.  Compare and contrast:

Two proposals for solving the gun problem

The issue appears to be how do we keep guns out of the hands of psychotic individuals, thus protecting our rights to see silly superhero movies at midnight in our costumes (because there is absolutely nothing wrong with this, Rocky Horror cultists have been doing it for decades without incident), while maintaining conservatives’ rights to arm themselves to the teeth for protection (against what, I don’t know, but they need them their guns).

Here is my first proposal:

1.) Since conservative states are so into profiling people for a.) being here illegally, b.) looking like an islamofascist terrorist or c.) walking and driving while black, they should be onboard with the idea of profiling people who appear to be buying a greater than average number of guns and ammo in a short period of time.  We’ve seen that a lot of these mass murders are committed by males who are relatively young.  I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some kind of brain development problem that leads to a transient psychotic episode for some individuals.  This episode may be exacerbated by propaganda, stress or isolation.  Someone with a better psych background than I have can jump in here but there does appear to be a pattern.  It seems like it should be possible to identify the parameters that should get our attention and develop a model.  Then, when a person who fits this model tries to buy additional guns, he should be asked to submit to an assessment of mental fitness.  Maybe an MMPI followed by analysis and a meeting with a mental health professional.  If the individual fails the assessment, he should be referred to a treatment center before he can get hold of a killing device.  This is fair to everyone, I think, especially for the person whose mental state is deteriorating.

How could a 2nd amendment fanboy possibly object to this?  Presumably, mass murderers getting their hands on enough artillery to kill a village ruins 2nd amendment rights for everyone.

But assuming there are states that do object, let’s go to proposal 2:

2.) Secede.

No, I’m not kidding.  The grown ups of the United States have been way too permissive about anti-tax freaks, ignorance in the science classroom and a 40 year old attack on reproductive rights.  The probability of more mass murders of innocent adults and children without even a minimum of effort to keep guns out of the hands of crazy people is really the last straw.  What we have are a bunch of southern states that are passive-aggressively still fighting the Civil War and a handful of western states that are full of anti-social rugged individualists who are acting like spoiled adolescents on a power trip.  I don’t think the rest of us should have to put up with this shit, frankly.

Clearly, what we have here is a strangled cry for independence and we need to learn to let go. Give them a time out.  Let them find out what it’s like to be their own country in the world. You know, patrol their own borders, negotiate their own trade deals, maintain their own infrastructure, support their own military, regulate their own economy and create their own justice system. The rest of the country has not given the south and the west an opportunity to grow up and mature.  We would be irresponsible if we didn’t allow them to find their own way in life and develop self-esteem by actually earning it.  They shouldn’t be able to coast in the world by throwing around the word American.  If they can’t be trusted to honor that word, let them find a new one to describe themselves.  Confederate was proposed a century and a half ago.  Ok, go with it but just Go!

We could give the reasonable people who live in these states incentives to relocate and then to the rest, sayonara.  Have a nice life.  Enjoy your unregulated assault weapons to your heart’s content.  The added benefit is that the more populated, modern and progressive states will finally have some input into politics for once.  PLUS, we northern states won’t have to send our hard earned taxes to fund the freeloader southern states’ welfare programs, like roads and bridges and basic government services.

I’m tired of being treated like a sucker by the conservative assholes from both parties who represent these states.  It’s time we got tough with these out of control brats.  Get them out of the union and concentrate the Americans who want to go forward into the future into a new America.  The strength of the social conservative in the this new American will be diluted and they’ll just have to go along for the ride in a country that has a stronger social welfare state, more regulation of banks and businesses and fewer guns in the hands of the disturbed.  It’s going to be tough for them to adjust to a fairer, more egalitarian, safer country but with therapy, provided by their government administered health insurance program, they’ll get over it quickly enough.

Conservatives have gone too far.  It’s time we put our foot down and tell them they can fight us all they want, they will not win.  If they don’t like it, there’s the door.  We are fed up with having to live with their selfish demands and their tantrums.  Let’s separate, file for divorce and get on with our lives.

Tuesday: Guns for everyone (and bullets for every gun) edition

As realists we know that here in the United States we aren’t ever going to outlaw private ownership of guns. But, you might (realistically) think that this Tuesday morning — nearly 3 days after the terrible shooting in Tucson — there would be a steady stream of articles calling for more serious regulation of the guns in this country.

There isn’t. Apparently Gun Control is off the table.


With my background in programming and maintaining databases I should have known better … but I didn’t. Even with all my knowledge, I thought there was something almost automatic about that database of people who shouldn’t be able to buy guns.

I was totally wrong:

After Tucson: Why Are the Mentally Ill Still Bearing Arms?

As far back as the Gun Control Act of 1968, there have been federal laws against selling weapons to mentally ill individuals. But the Virginia Tech tragedy in 2007, in which the shooter Cho Seung-Hui was able to pass two federal gun background checks even after a state court ruled that he was dangerously mentally ill, highlighted the need for better record-keeping and interagency communication to enforce those laws. (More than 30 people died in the incident.) Saying that unstable individuals are disqualified from buying firearms is meaningless if the national background-check system, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), has no record of their illness. That’s why the Brady organization was proud to announce on Friday, just a day before the Tucson shootings, that the number of records of mental illness in the NICS database had more than doubled since Virginia Tech, to more than 1 million records.
. . .
But there’s a problem with that: there should be more than 2 million records in that database, if all the states cooperated fully. According to the Brady organization’s records, Arizona was not even the worst offender — at least the state ramped up its reporting somewhat in the wake of Virginia Tech. But still, Arizona’s own estimate is that the state has 121,700 records of disqualifying mental illness that should go into the NICS database. From the beginning of 2008 to October 2010, however, it submitted only 4,465 records. Worse than Arizona were states like Louisiana, which submitted only one record during that time frame, and Nebraska and Pennsylvania, which didn’t submit any.


I just don’t get this.  We’re willing – sometimes eager – to regulate all sorts of things (drugs, speech, activities) but, don’t even think about controlling guns:

Support for Gun Control Has Dropped in Recent Years

In the wake of Saturday’s shooting in Arizona, there are likely to be new polls out this week measuring the public’s support for stricter gun control laws. Until they surface, it is worth noting that support for stricter gun control has significantly dropped over the last couple of decades, and there is little evidence to suggest that major gun crimes change opinions on the issue.
. . .
The number supporting stricter laws has been gradually declining over the last 20 years. When Gallup first asked the question in 1990, 78 percent favored stricter laws. That was down to 60 percent in 1999, 54 percent in 2004 and 44 percent in 2009 and 2010.

The 1999 Columbine shootings and 2007 Virginia Tech shootings appear to have had little, if any, effect on these views.

The scary thing?  Almost half of us don’t support the national ban on assault weapons!!

There is, however, substantially more support for a ban on assault weapons and semiautomatic firearms, like the one used in Saturday’s shootings. In a 2009 Times/CBS News poll, 54 percent of Americans, including about half of respondents who have a gun in their home, said they favored a nationwide assault weapons ban.


A Right to Bear Glocks?

If Loughner had gone to the Safeway carrying a regular pistol, the kind most Americans think of when they think of the right to bear arms, Giffords would probably still have been shot and we would still be having that conversation about whether it was a sane idea to put her Congressional district in the cross hairs of a rifle on the Internet.

But we might not have lost a federal judge, a 76-year-old church volunteer, two elderly women, Giffords’s 30-year-old constituent services director and a 9-year-old girl who had recently been elected to the student council at her school and went to the event because she wanted to see how democracy worked.

Loughner’s gun, a 9-millimeter Glock, is extremely easy to fire over and over, and it can carry a 30-bullet clip. It is “not suited for hunting or personal protection,” said Paul Helmke, the president of the Brady Campaign. “What it’s good for is killing and injuring a lot of people quickly.”


Do you ever read news stories and see a little movie as you read it?  Since reading this, I keep imagining the scene where Arizona Legislators debated and passed the legislation allowing guns in bars:

In Tucson, Guns Have a Broad Constituency

Arizona’s gun laws stand out as among the most permissive in the country. Last year, Arizona became only the third state that does not require a permit to carry a concealed weapon. The state also enacted another measure that allowed workers to take their guns to work, even if their workplaces banned firearms, as long as they kept them in their locked vehicles.

In 2009, a law went into effect allowing people with concealed-weapons permits to take their guns into restaurants and bars.


And I’ll close today’s list with these thoughts from Bob Herbert:

A Flood Tide of Murder

Excluding the people killed in the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, more than 150,000 Americans have been murdered since the beginning of the 21st century. This endlessly proliferating parade of death, which does not spare women or children, ought to make our knees go weak. But we never even notice most of the killings. Homicide is white noise in this society.

The overwhelming majority of the people who claim to be so outraged by last weekend’s shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords and 19 others — six of them fatally — will take absolutely no steps, none whatsoever, to prevent a similar tragedy in the future. And similar tragedies are coming as surely as the sun makes its daily appearance over the eastern horizon because this is an American ritual: the mowing down of the innocents.