Tag Archives: Gun control

“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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Vote Out These Cowards

You’ve no doubt heard the news from last night.

The GOP voted down four different measures designed to protect you and me.  Designed to keep folks on the terror watch list from getting assault weapons.  They did this in spite of the fact that:

A new poll from CNN shows 92 percent of Americans support expanded background checks and 85 percent support preventing those on terror watch lists from buying guns. As we’ll explain in the post below, though, none of the below proposals aimed at these things are likely to pass. (Washington Post — https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/06/20/the-senate-will-vote-on-4-gun-control-proposals-monday-heres-everything-you-need-to-know/Emphasis added.

Senator Chris Murphy, who I am proud to say represents my home state of Connecticut in the Senate said the following:

“We’ve got to make this clear, constant case that Republicans have decided to sell weapons to ISIS,” [Senator Chris] Murphy said, using an alternative term for the Islamic State militant group. “That’s what they’ve decided to do. ISIS has decided that the assault weapon is the new airplane, and Republicans, in refusing to close the terror gap, refusing to pass bans on assault weapons, are allowing these weapons to get in the hands of potential lone-wolf attackers. We’ve got to make this connection and make it in very stark terms.” (Daily Kos — http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/6/21/1540914/–ISIS-has-decided-that-the-assault-weapon-is-the-new-airplane).

Senator Murphy made clear that he will look to November, to make sure that those opposed to gun sanity don’t return to the Senate.  That’s just what I’m going to do.  So here’s where to start:

All Democrats favored the Democratic version of a bill to restrict assault weapons from folks on the no fly list except the following:  Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Jon Tester of Montana, and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota.  ALL Republicans voted against sensible gun laws except Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.)  who backed it; he voted with Democrats on all four measures.

Elections matter.

Vote the bastards who refuse to protect us

OUT OF THE U.S. SENATE

Photo from NBC News

Senator Murphy, talking about Dylan, one of the 20 6 year olds who died in Sandy Hook, CT.  Photo from NBC News

 

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What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Perhaps I am just an unusually smart person. Or especially practical.  Or maybe, just maybe, I haven’t hit my head so many times that I routinely need to do stupid things.

But for most of my life, I have tried my best to not put things near my head that would make my mother panic.  (I was an incredibly thoughtful child.)

I never, for example, played football.  I never did bobsledding that would have me plunge head-first down an icy mountain.  I will admit to skiing headfirst into a stonewall in France, but I can assure you that was unintentional.

So when I read that some genius had developed the perfect “concealed weapon” well, I had to scratch my head.  And thank my lucky stars that my head was still on my shoulders while I was at it.

You see, this genius developed this gun:

Cell phone gun

Google Image

Because what could possibly go wrong with putting a cell phone/gun  against your head?  Perhaps that way you can answer when God calls and suggests you run for public office.

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I’ve Got to Hand it To Trump

Size matters.  Especially if you’re being screwed.

And if this man is elected, we all will be.

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Water, ummmmmmm

Am I the only one who thinks that this waterfall might just be a metaphor for the way the world is going right now?

Back-asswards if you ask me.  Which of course you didn’t.

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Guns: A “Right” or an “Addiction”?

Who do I think I’m kidding.  You already know, without anything to back it up, which side of the title question I come out on.

About a month ago, I came across an editorial in an online medical journal that has been on my mind ever since.

Is American Gun Ownership a Form of Addiction?

In it, George D. Lundberg, MD, persuasively argued that maybe the vehemence of gun owners protecting their so-called “right to bear arms” isn’t so much an intellectual argument as one fueled by addiction.  And I think that Dr. Lundberg may be on to something.
He first listed the nine symptoms of substance addiction:
  • Availability of the agent for experimentation;
  • Initial use producing pleasure followed by subsequent pleasant episodes of use and positive secondary reinforcement;
  • Psychological dependence or habituation;
  • Tolerance, with need to use more to get the same effect;
  • Chemical physical dependence;
  • Withdrawal symptoms when the agent is taken away;
  • Drug-seeking behavior;
  • Continued use even when obvious harm has been experienced; and
  • Rationalization and denial.

Then, Dr. Lundberg states that, like addictions to gambling and sex, with an addiction to guns, there is no physical/chemical addiction.  But the other symptoms?  Check, check, check.  Check-mate.

Here, in fact, is Dr. Lundberg’s gun addiction checklist:
  • Availability? Check;
  • Positive reinforcement? Check;
  • Habituation? Check;
  • Tolerance? Big check. Once someone becomes a gun owner, adding guns is usual; one is not enough. The average American gun-owning household includes 8.1 firearms, up from 4.1 in 1994. The NRA goes bonkers about any suggestion of limits;
  • Chemical dependence? No;
  • Withdrawal? I have not personally seen a convulsion in a gun-owning doctor when confronted with the possibility of losing his or her guns, but pretty damn close. I mean….;
  • Weapon-seeking behavior? Check;
  • Continued use despite harmful results? Check; and
  • Rationalization and denial? Check.

I think that Dr. Lundberg is on to something.

I think the issue of gun addiction deserves some attention today, as President Obama unveils the measures he can take towards sane gun control laws because Congress won’t.

Obama and gun control

President Obama hugged Mark Barden, whose son was killed in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, before announcing his executive action on gun control in the East Room of the White House.  Photo Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times

Thanks, Mr. President.  Because 90% of Americans believe in stronger gun laws.  And because 100% of us remember this:

Sandy Hook Elementary

Sandy Hook Elementary School, 2012.  Wikimedia Image

The Medscape article, with the video of Dr. Lundberg delivering his editorial, is free, but by subscription.

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The NY Times — Right on Target

On the front page of today’s New York Times is an editorial I could easily have written. If I could write that well.  If I worked for the NYTimes.  If I had millions of readers who’d nod and say “Right On!”

Silence on Guns - Eiko Ojala NYT

Image credit:  Eiko Ojala – for the New York Times, 12/4/15

Actually I’m mixing this image from an editorial published yesterday in the NY Times.  Because like me, the NY Times believes that we need sensible gun laws.  And so they, like me, keep beating that dead horse.

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

Here’s today’s front page editorial reproduced in full:

End the Gun Epidemic in America

Half staff - Doug Mills - The NYTimes

Doug Mills for the New York Times

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