Tag Archives: guns

To Frisk or Not To Shoot? Is That the Question or the Answer?

1 Oct

Image result for what do we call the establishment of law and order without due process of rights

Donald Trump likes to accuse Hillary Clinton of plotting to eliminate the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. That’s the Amendment that guarantees Americans the right to bear arms. But I seriously doubt that she’s even considering such a proposal because:

Currently 31 states allow folks to openly bear their arms in public while 8 states allow you to bear them in secret. All of the other states allow one or the other or both, as long as you’ve obtained a permit. So here in the United States we’re pretty much in love with our arms. And by arms, of course, I actually mean weapons and not those anatomical extensions on your shoulders.

Anyway, here in the U.S. we love our weapons so much that we have over 300 million of them on hand and available to the general public. And those are just the ones in our homes without even counting the ones in our stores!

Which is why I find it most unusual that every time someone is shot by the police the police always explain the shooting by saying, “They had a gun! so we had to shoot them! Or at least we thought they did” (which is almost the same thing police-wise) But as I’ve just explained, it’s not illegal to have a gun in the United States. In fact it’s so legal that almost every state allows them to be on your person when in public.

How do the police know if you have a legal permit to own that gun that you have, while they are shooting at you, if they don’t even bother to ask to see your permit before they start shooting? It’s always “He’s got a gun! He’s got a gun!” And then Blam, blam, blam, blam, blam! (they never, ever, just shoot once)

Why do we always assume that having a gun out in public  makes one a criminal, when it’s not a crime to have a gun out in public in all but 6 states? (and it’s legal in those 6 states too, with a permit) Have you ever wondered that? How come when one police officer shouts, “He’s got a gun!” The other officer doesn’t shout back, “Maybe he’s got a permit?” Or…”We’re in a state where it’s legal to have one in public!”

So why are the police always shooting people who possess a gun, or who they suspect of possessing one, when we live in a country where the 2nd Amendment to our constitution says that they are allowed to posses a gun and half the country is absolutely gaga over that being the most important amendment to our constitution? Might the police have another reason? I’m only asking because I don’t know. Do you?

Which brings me to my next point. Donald Trump, himself a staunch supporter of the 2nd Amendment and an opponent of gun control legislation and with the endorsement of the NRA for his candidacy for the Presidency of the United States, says that he has a solution for gun crime in America. And it’s simple. All we have to do is empower the police to stop and frisk bad people and if they find a gun on that frisked person? Take it!

So, if we infringe upon a citizen’s 1st Amendment rights by illegally searching them and then violate that citizen’s 2nd Amendment rights by seizing his or her gun, and then if we deny the due process afforded to citizens in the 5th and 14th Amendments…we can solve the problems of crime and murder in America. It’s so easy you’d think that that Constitutional Amendment hating Hillary What’s-Her-Name would have thought of this already!

And it will be no inconvenience at all (to have our rights infringed) because I know that I’m not going to be stopped and frisked. Just look at me. Do I look like a bad guy? And you know they won’t stop and frisk you because…well, do you look like a bad guy? Certainly not! The police will only be stopping and frisking dangerous and criminal types like…you know, like the ones they have already been accidentally shooting lately.

The only problem I have with Mr. Trump’s plan is: The police could be frisking and disarming suspects right now to find out if they have a gun before shooting them for having a gun, but they can’t seem to get close enough to do so. They always seem to get to the shooting part before the frisking part.

And since our lawmakers, empowered by the NRA, like Mr. Trump, keep making it easier to own and carry a gun in public places how can we also make it illegal to own and carry a gun in public places? That sounds insanely counter intuitive to me. How does it sound to you? And if it is legal to openly carry my gun in 44 states, why do I need to be stopped and frisked at all? Why Can’t I just show the police my gun and be on my way?

Perhaps it is me (or maybe you) that they’re afraid of and not my gun? Or maybe it is the gun? Duh! But then again does the ownership of a gun make only certain folks more dangerous while making other folks not so much? One need only go back to the origins of the 2nd Amendment to figure that one out.

What this November’s election is going to come down to is not whether Americans need better jobs and more secure borders but rather whether or not Americans need to retain their constitutional rights as they pertain to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness!…especially women, children and all persons of color.

Unless of course for you, “Making America Great Again” means to make America great just for white men… again.

 

 

 

The 2nd Amendment Isn’t the Only Amendment

30 Aug

Image result for 1st amendment

And all Americans should know that as can be attested to by the 2nd Amendment’s name…

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s has refused to stand during recitations of the national anthem at football games in a personal attempt to protest police brutality in the United States. Consequently this has many conservative Americans up in arms, including Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Which I find quite interesting because conservatives are supposed to be the ones who have less of an inclination towards change or liberal interpretations… of, say… the Constitution of the United States of America! As in the 1st Amendment which guarantees freedom of speech and the right to peaceably protest without fear of government reprisal.

So Mr. Kaepernick would like to protest, which is his 1st Amendment right to do so, in front of America’s football fans, just like he has the right to carry a gun and shoot himself in front of America if he so chooses. And you can bet that Conservatives all across this great land would defend his right to do just that (after having staged the appropriate moment of silence before prying said gun out of his cold dead hands)

But when Mr. Kaepernick exercises his 1st Amendment right to free speech and protest, so called Conservative pundits are going hog wild with apoplexy and are making comments like. “How dare he!” “He’s UN-American!””He must be a Muslim!” “But I thought his parents were white?”(which of course is a prerequisite for American contentment?)

And then even that great Constitutional scholar, Donald Trump, chimed in with “Why doesn’t he go find another country?” (Also his immigration policy)

Yes, we live in the land of the free and the home of the brave but how dare anyone be brave enough to exercise their freedom  by protesting that which they find disturbing or inequitable about their government or country.

This is America after all so sit down and shut up… or rather stand up and place your hand over your heart and shut up…no don’t shut up. Just sing! About the ramparts and the red glare and about how the country fought for its freedoms because freedom isn’t free and that’s why we have the 2nd Amendment, which is the only really true and important amendment, so when you get frustrated and angry with your government that you feel no longer serves the people you can go out and get your gun and then just shut up and shoot someone…

No wait…that can’t be right can it???

Damn liberals!

 

 

Rhetorical Question

18 Jul

This week is the opening of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland Ohio.

Ohio is a traditional open-carry state. The open-carry of firearms by those who legally possess the firearm is a legal activity in Ohio with or without a license.

But this week, in the wake of gun violence across the country, the head of a Cleveland police union called on Ohio’s Governor John Kasich to declare a state of emergency and suspend the open carry gun law, during the Republican convention.

The union head said that he was concerned about copycat shootings at the Republican convention, but a spokeswoman for Governor Kasich said that the governor did not have the power to suspend Ohio’s open carry law.

However, as everyone in the Republican party knows, guns do not kill people. So why should there be any problem?

We Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet!?

25 May

This past Sunday morning on Fox News Donald Trump declared “I don’t want to have guns in classrooms, although in some cases teachers should have guns in classrooms, frankly.”

Therefore: If guns aren’t allowed in classrooms

But: Teachers should have guns in classrooms

Then: Teachers should not be allowed in classrooms.

Just like the “Newspeak” of George Orwell’s 1984… Welcome to Trump-Speak 2016… where all that is spoken can be interpreted to mean all things to all people. Is he for it or against it? Yes! Of course he is!

And how about hoisting life size posters of the new first lady Melania at the entrances to all public school buildings to let would be attackers know that they should beware what awaits them inside, and to let all school children know that “Big Mother” will be protecting them?

And these are real photos…albeit taken 15 years ago but still… Not even George Orwell, nor “The Fonz” while jumping that shark, …could see this coming!

<p>If the Donald makes it into office, he won’t need to bother with hiring secret service: he’s already married to a lingerie-clad “Terminator.” <i>(Photo: British GQ)</i></p>

Welcome to 1984!

18 May

I think that President Obama has done a good job as President of the United States. I know that not everyone agrees with me and even though I don’t agree with everything that President O. has done, our 44th elected President is about to do something that no other president in the history of the United States has ever accomplished.

He is about to become the only president who has been at war during all 8 years of his presidency! And when you consider that President G.W. Bush had the nation at war for the last 6 years of his presidency then the United States has been at war for the past 14 years, non stop…with no stopping in sight.

Hillary Clinton, should she become our next president, is well known in Washington for being a “war hawk” herself… and Donald trump, should he become our next Commander in Chief, has vowed to “Bomb the shit out of them!” Whoever “they” may be…but does that matter anymore? Who they are?

Does anyone know why we fight everywhere and for always these days? We’ve been at war now 7 times as long as we were involved in WWI and almost 4 times as long as we were involved in WWII. And Vietnam, our longest war, was a matinee short compared to our current involvements in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Even President Lincoln was able to bring about the conclusion of our very own Civil War in one third of the time that it has taken for our present day armed forces to secure the fighting “Over There”against nations that don’t even have governments, let alone, armies.

So why do we fight so long and so hard and at such great expense to our nation and our citizens? We are currently over 19 trillion dollars in debt and a 2011 Brown University study concluded that the cost of war since 2001 will reach 5 trillion dollars, or $16,000 per American; $64,000 for a family of four…by 2020. And that was a 2011, Pre-ISIS, estimate!

If you are voting this year for a political party or person who you think will reduce our national debt…good luck with that! Unless you are hoping that our government will trade Social Security and Medicare spending for a reduction in the debt, it will just never happen. And even then the ever increasing costs of our never ending wars will simply chew up that savings and add more debt to our society anyway.

And then what would we be left with… but war, debt and absolutely no societal programs for our society that we have been fighting to protect? What does it avail a nation to spend a fortune and lose it’s soul?

But now, at 19 trillion dollars in debt and rising by the minute, how will we, without war, keep the peace… and the economy? Our dollars now remain strong because we back them up not with gold (we ran out of that in the 1970s) but with guns instead.

In 1960 President Eisenhower admonished us to “beware the military-industrial complex”, and we apparently have not, for it seems to me that war has now become peace in the minds of many if not most Americans. So shall our ignorance become our strength too?

 

 

 

 

Some Things Never Change…

24 Mar

A while ago, after writing several blogs about guns and gun violence in America, It was suggested to me that I take a look at the homicide by firearm rate to get a clearer perspective of violence in the United States and how perhaps it isn’t all that bad.

So I checked out the statistics collected by the UNODC ( United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) from their 2011 Global Study on Homicide.

According to their statistics The US has the highest gun ownership rate in the world – an average of 88 per 100 people. That puts it first in the world for gun ownership ( the number two country, Yemen…(great company we’re in)… has significantly fewer  at 54.8 per 100 people)

The united States also ranks 1st in the total number of all civilian firearms with 270 million.

We are also #1 in rate of ownership.

But, say gun proponents, the US does not have the worst firearm murder rate.  In fact, the US is number 28, with a rate of 2.97 per 100,000 people. Isn’t that good news? Even though we have all of the guns we don’t have the highest firearm murder rate. We’re only 28th!

And here are the winners…

Honduras…El Salvador… Jamaica…Venezuela…Guatemala…St. Kits…Trinidad and Tobago…Columbia…Belize…Puerto Rico…Brazil…South Africa…Dominican Republic…Panama…Bahamas…Ecuador…Guiana…Mexico…Philippines….Paraguay…Anguilla…Nicaragua…St. Vincent…Zimbabwe…Costa Rica…Argentina…and (wait for it)…Barbados.

Not exactly the major leagues of industrialized and sophisticated 1st World countries is it?

And don’t even ask who #29 is!…all right you asked…it’s Gaza and the West Bank.

Yes, gun advocates have something to be proud of. At least we don’t kill each other like they do in Gaza and the West Bank.

In fact you have to go way down the list before you’ll find any other 1st world countries

Switzerland was at 45, Italy 48 and Canada came in at #56…but remember this is a list of the percent of murders by firearm. Switzerland had 57 gun murders, Italy 417 and Canada 173. The United States had 9, 146…so statistics don’t always paint the entire picture.

When it comes to the total number of murders by firearms we’re 5th. Brazil, Columbia, Mexico and Venezuela beat us out…but again which of those countries would you say out civilizes us? Interestingly enough they are also all in our hemisphere (in fact 25 of the top 28 are)…you know….the one the Monroe Doctrine told the rest of the world to keep their hands off of back in 1823.

But I digress because here is the most sobering statistic of all:

9,143 Americans were murdered with firearms in 2011 but At least 31,940 people died from gun injuries in 2011. That means that 22,797 citizens of the United States died from gunshot wounds that were what?

Accidents! Unintentional! Suicide!

This is what the proper and mathematical reading of statistics tells us.

Although outlaws kill over 9,000 people every year in the US, regular law abiding citizens like you and me kill 23,000 more!

Guns do not save lives. They kill the people who own them or their loved ones or their neighbors more than twice as often as they kill intended victims…and guess what?

And as we have increased gun ownership and the number of guns in our country over the last 30 years those numbers and ratios  have been rising…and most sadly…with a bullet.

*** I wrote this post about guns in America 3 years ago and since then Congress has done nothing to attempt to reduce gun violence even though first-graders were horrifically shot and killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. What in fact they have done is to criticize and block common-sense gun safety measures proposed by the President… until, that is, 14 more Americans were shot by 2 Muslims with guns in southern California last December. Then they decided to criticize the President for having done nothing to prevent it…like propose new laws and gun safety measures?

Now Republican presidential hopefuls, namely Mr. Donald Trump, are proposing measures to make our country safer from gun violence by making our country “Muslim free” or by eliminating the immigration of any new Muslims into our country. 

Statistically speaking you have a .000099 chance of being shot by a gun in the US. Maybe that’s why we don’t care so much about gun violence…But you have about a .0004 chance out of that .000099 chance of that person who shoots you being a Muslim… And that’s what frightens us?

Here in the United States more than likely killing people with guns at home and around the world rather than spreading democracy at home and around the world, will be our ultimate legacy. Let’s face it, Guns R Us! It’s what we do. We like to own them. We like to use them. It’s the 2nd most important thing we could think of to add to our Constitution.

So If we don’t care very much about who gets shot…why do we care so much about who does the shooting?

Child’s Play

29 Dec

So this is what is turning out to be a typical day in the United States of America in the year of our lord 2016.

In this land of over 300 million guns, a 12 year old child picks one up (or a reasonable facsimile thereof) and starts to play with it.

A concerned onlooker calls 911 to report his concern about what looks like one of our 300 million citizens waving one of our 300 million guns about and pointing it at other people.

Soon the cops arrive and within 2 seconds gun down the gun pointing child, in this land of 300 million guns, because…

they are fearful for their lives.

And to a Grand Jury, in this land of 300 million guns, in the United States of America, in the year of our lord 2016…

That sounds quite reasonable.

If the police are afraid of an armed citizenry, and our courts all agree with them…then what chance do the rest of us have?

Many American citizens and most of our political leaders believe that, according to the infinite wisdom of our founding fathers, the only answer is…

In the land of 300 million guns…we need at least 300 million and…1 ?

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