Category Archives: Gun control

Keeping Our Heads for Four Years

If you were a news junkie during the George W. Bush era, you’re already experiencing deja vu.  That sinking feeling already makes your eyes roll automatically when Putin’s President appears.  It settled into the back of your neck from the whiplash as you shake your head and shout “no, no, no, no, no, no, no!” over the latest outrage or tweet.  And it’s there in the pit of your stomach, when you try not to vomit whenever you see the color orange.

Yup, it’s started.  The Deluge.  The Flood.  The Trump shit storm.

trump-and-putin

During the Bush years, I would just be ready to pounce on one issue, when another hit the fan and took the wind out of my sails. Resistance is hard if there is just so much to resist.

How, I worried in the days since November 8, will I survive Trump.  I feared a heart attack.  A stroke.  Getting so scared I’d shit in my pants.   Of course I worry about the last one sometimes during a scary movie.

Anyway, I’ve come up with a strategy for a hybrid Resister/Surviving Human.  I’m going to become a political centaur!

centaur-female

Google Image.  No shit will be given by this filly.

 

I’m going to take my mother’s marital and parental advice and apply it to my activism.  She said:

Choose Your Battles!

Me, I’m going to try to focus on issues I know about and/or that are closest to my heart.  The ones I write about here on FiftyFourAndAHalf.

But that won’t be all I do.  I will look for and follow the lead of others who are knowledgeable about other issues, and I will try to help to the extent I can.  It’s not hard, really, to make calls to Congress and the White House.  Really, it just takes a minute.  You or I can even just cut and paste and hit “send.”

But I will try my very best to keep my blood pressure — and my outrage to livable levels.

George W. Bush kept us all off balance because there were so many things to be outraged about, that we couldn’t keep it up.  Different bad presidents need different tactics.

And Trump will make the Dubya years look like a walk in the park.  And that park is in Baghdad.

 

 

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PICK UP THE PHONE, PLEASE

What the hell.  Do this.  It is just one of the ways we can express our feelings about the fact — yes FACT — that the Russians influenced the 2016 American election.

The entire reason that the Electoral College exists is to protect our nation from an unqualified candidate.  Sooo….

 

From the Daily Kos:

Call the White House: Brief the Electoral College on Russia’s sabotage before December 19

The CIA has said that the Russian government sabotaged this election with the express purpose of aiding Donald Trump. Such foreign interference is exactly what the Founding Fathers feared when they set up the Electoral College—as a final buffer before electing the President of the United States.

Before the Electoral College meets on Monday December 19, President Obama must declassify any and all relevant intelligence to Russia’s interference—and officials must brief the electors before they make this decision.

Please call the White House at 1-855-999-1663 and leave this message to President Obama:

I am requesting that President Obama declassify any and all intelligence related to Russia’s interference of the presidential election—and to brief all members of the Electoral College before they meet on Monday, December 19.

Daily Kos wants you to let them know how it went.  But frankly, I’m only asking you to make the one call to the White House.

Do I think this will work?

Do I think that enough electors will change their votes?

Do I think that Hillary will become president?

Sadly “No” is the answer to all of these.

But I don’t know about you, but I must speak up (while I still can).  For all the things that are important to me that I yammer on about all the time on this blog.

Again and again — we all must speak up.  It’s time to get used to using our loudest, most effective protest voices — not our inside voices.  We’re going to be calling this number a whole lot in the next few years.

the-russians-are-coming

Image from IMBd.  I’m pretty sure that Putin and his Pals are not the nice Russians that arrived on our shores in this 1968 movie.  Positive.

UPDATE!!!  The phone lines are very busy.  You can also email, but calling is better:  https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact.  Or do BOTH!

Please share this so that as many people call as possible.

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There’s a Big Difference

Two occurrences in the same neighborhood really point out the difference between reactions of members of the two different parties.

Vice-President Elect Mike Pence has moved into a short-term rental house in the mostly democratic Chevy Chase neighborhood of DC.  When residents realized he was living there, the reaction was this, courtesy of the Washington Post:

rainbow-flag

Photo courtesy of the Washington Post, (taken by Gary Cameron/Reuters)

They put out rainbow flags.

The other occurrence took place at a restaurant in the same neighborhood, a pizza place called the Comet Ping Pong.  As written up in the Washington Post,

A North Carolina man was arrested Sunday after he walked into a popular pizza restaurant in Northwest Washington carrying an assault rifle and fired one or more shots, D.C. police said. The man told police he had come to the restaurant to “self-investigate” a false election-related conspiracy theory involving Hillary Clinton that spread online during her presidential campaign.

This restaurant was the subject of false news accusations that Hillary Clinton was running a child sex ring from the restaurant’s bathrooms.  (Who the hell believes such stupidity?)  Other than  General  Mike Flynn, soon to be Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser:

I feel very secure now, don't you?

I feel very secure now, don’t you?

Nevertheless, the gunman was arrested, several area businesses went on lock-down.

A D.C. police report made public Monday says Welch had been armed with an AR-15 assault-style rifle. The report also says police seized a Colt .38 caliber handgun and a shotgun. One of those weapons was found inside the restaurant; the other in the suspect’s car.

Please wake me in 2020.

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Rights?!? WTF is Wrong With Us?

Look into the eyes of a terrorist.  A threat to your safety and mine.  Something should be done about her.  Ammirite? 

macie

Macie.  Photo from owner Susan R. Smith, courtesy of the Loudoun Times.

Oh wait!  Something was done about her!  I feel safer already.

Virginia, where I live, is an “Open Carry” state.  Where folks can pack their pistols and take them with them no matter where they go.

  • To the grocery store (always a terrifying experience — what if they bruise my apples?).
  • To a bar (because, really, what could possibly go wrong?)
  • When taking a leisurely stroll in the park.

Maybe your state is among them!  Wouldn’t that be great?

open-carry-map

Photo from the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, courtesy of the Wall Street Journal.  And Google, natch.

Now what connection could that picture and that map possibly have?

Well, guess what happened on Tuesday?  Just guess.

Macie, an 11 month old lab mix was running in a park on a beautiful day.  Her crimes were many.  Serious.

  • She was off the leash
  • She was friendly
  • She did not respond immediately to her owners call

So naturally she deserved to be shot.  Oh, and killed.

I guess I should back up a bit.

Macie was running off-leash in a park where she wasn’t supposed to be off-leash but where everybody lets their dog run off leash.

Smith said her dog approached the couple and jumped in the air. She said the dog was leaping behind the man but was not barking at the time.

At that point, the man yelled out, “Call your dog,” Smith said. “He said it once, maybe twice.”

Smith said she and her friend then started running toward the dogs, who were about 20 yards away.

“We called for our dogs,” Smith said. Then she said she saw the man’s arm “go to his side” and across his body. “He sees us coming,” she said. The man pulled out a gun and fired it at the dog.

The man faces no charges.  He was legally carrying a gun and reportedly “fired in self-defense.”  But really, there was no threat.  The owner was coming for the dog.  She was a fucking puppy saying hello.

Sources:  The Washington Post, The Loudoun Times

*****

This story has me pretty upset.  Because I walk Duncan not too far from the scene of Marcie’s killing.  Duncan is often off-leash, too.  Because it is a beautiful place to let him run.  There aren’t many places where off-leash is permitted around here.  Those places that exist are small fenced in dog parks that reek of pee.

Duncan is quite good at coming when I call him — he always gets a treat.  But he’s friendly, and I have to (and do) restrain him when I see an unfamiliar walker or jogger coming towards him.  He loves to say hello.

riverbend-path

Duncan and I walk here most days.  Not far from where Macie died.

To me, this man is a perfect example of exactly the problem with folks carrying around guns.  They use them.  Stupidly.  And without consequence. 

Common sense and restraint don’t enter into the picture.

We need to do something about our society where folks feel the need to carry a gun, and feel entitled to use it.

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Here We Go Again

When it happened, it was barely in the news.  I tried to write about it, but couldn’t.  I still can’t.  What more can be said that wasn’t said before.  The fact that it still happens says it all.

It could just as easily have been somebody I care about.  Or somebody you care about.

It WAS somebody named Jacob, which is eerie for me since I have a son named Jacob.

Another shooting of children.  Another death.  Another funeral.

If there was ever a way to fight back, though, to show that the guns don’t really win, this was the way to do it.  With superheroes.

Superheroes Gather To Mourn 6-Year-Old Boy Killed In Townville School Shooting

A young superhero is dead.  At his funeral, his mother encouraged everybody to come dressed as a superhero, because Jacob was a superhero and wanted to save people. It was a touching tribute to Jacob, and a wonderful, heartfelt gesture by his Mom.

His family, his community is devastated.  We are all diminished.

Because we do nothing.  Again and again and again.

Fucking guns.  Fucking second amendment.  FUCKING NRA.

Elections matter for a whole lot of things.

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No Balls

If this isn’t a metaphor for today’s GOP, I don’t know what is.

Balls are not allowed at next week’s GOP convention where the politicians who haven’t had the balls to stand up to Little Fingers Don until now will nominate him to be their candidate for President of the FUCKING UNITED STATES!

tennis-balls-1932897

Image from thumbs.dreamtime.com

Of course, in another expected metaphor, these same folks responded to the latest mass shooting of police officers in Dallas by adding language stating opposition to restricting magazine capacity & banning AR-15 rifles. There was no debate.

Here.  I’ll help you pack.  Other things that you can’t bring to the GOP convention (since I know you’re going) include:  knives of all sorts, lumber, coolers and cots.  Num chucks have to be left in the hotel room, as do your fireworks.

I did not notice rotten tomatoes on the list, so stock up!  There will be a run on them in Cleveland, I’m sure.

But because Ohio is an “open-carry” state, you can bring guns.

Guns guns and more guns

What could be better than drunk GOP ammosexuals with their guns?  Image credit epano.com

What could possibly go wrong?

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“A Way Out of No Way”

Breaking news that you may or may not see on the news.

The Democrats, led by Congressman John Lewis, are staging a sit in on the floor of the House of Representatives, demanding action on gun control legislation.

Sometimes old methods work best. Photo from CNN.com

Sometimes old methods work best. Photo from CNN.com

Sometimes you have to do something out of the ordinary. Sometimes you have to make a way out of no way. We have been too quiet for too long,” the Democratic civil rights leader said. “There comes a time when you have to say something, when you have to make a little noise, when you have to move your feet. This is the time. Now is the time to get in the way. The time to act is now. We will be silent no more.  (CNN.com)

In case you don’t know who Congressman Lewis is, here’s how Wikipedia opens his biography:

Lewis is the only living “Big Six” leader of the Civil Rights Movement, having been the chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), playing a key role in the struggle to end legalized racial discrimination and segregation. A member of the Democratic Party, Lewis is a member of the Democratic leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives and has served as a Chief Deputy Whip since 1991 and Senior Chief Deputy Whip since 2003. As Senior Chief Deputy Whip he has led other Chief Deputy Whips and serves as the primary assistant to the Democratic Whip.

This 76 year old man is sitting on the floor to force the House of Representatives to take some action.  There are chants of “No Bill, No Break” referring to the upcoming Congressional adjournment/recess, which is extra long this year allowing members to go to their party conventions.  Or, in the case of the GOP, not going to their party conventions.

The cameras that normally broadcast House action are off; they are controlled by House Speaker Paul Ryan who, naturally, won’t let it appear that either (1) he has lost control of what is happening on the floor of the House; or (2) that Democrats are trying to protect the lives of American citizens.

All I can say is:  We Shall Overcome.

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