Thursday, December 3, 2015

Spare Us Your "Thoughts and Prayers", REEPOS. We Need Serious Gun Laws!

It was pathetic to behold the refrain of all the Reepo presidential candidates in the wake of the San Bernardino massacre. As if on cue, Carson, Rubio et al dispatched tweets to the effect: "Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims"

What a cowardly, hackneyed and putrid response in the wake of the worst mass shooting since Newtown-Sandy Hook!  As we know, thoughts are useless unless directed toward action, and "prayers" lack efficacy because well, ....there's nothing out there to accommodate them! Which is why if anyone prays he or she does it for his or her own mental stability, say like using valium in an anxiety -provoking situation.

That's why Chris Murphy's (D-CT) tweet reply to this GOOPr palaver is one of the best I've seen, e.g.

"Your 'thoughts' should be about steps to take to stop this carnage. Your 'prayers' should be for forgiveness if you do nothing again."

And make no mistake they won't do a damned thing, since the NRA has their balls locked up and won't release them anytime soon. Meanwhile we now have more than 350 mass shootings this year alone, as Chris Hayes pointed out last night. And it doesn't matter who the fuck is doing them - family member, psycho, Islamic or just a mean- spirited worker nursing a grudge with his ego in tatters and out for revenge.

So I say, enough of this violence is enough! I am sick and tired of the NRA's screeching puppets making excuses for any kind of effective gun control - including the sale of smart guns - which can only fire if the actual owner has possession, or genuine universal background  checks. After the latest gun massacre in San Bernardino with 14 killed and 17 wounded, it is time to get serious. Also, with this incident it's time to stop throwing up the stupid smokescreen of  "mentally ill" gun nuts.

NO, this massacre was choreographed by two renegades in body armor equipped with "long guns" who methodically and deliberately opened fire on a holiday party at the Inland Regional Center where 200 were in attendance. What? Both coincidentally happened to be nuts at the same time? Oh no, they were calculating, violent killers - despite the Wall Street Journal's editorial on Nov. 30 belaboring 'The Next Mad Gunman'.  Hello! What if it is two, non-mad but evidently very angry people with vengeance in their hearts?

In the same editorial the WSJ pontificated about the GOP getting bipartisan mental health legislation passed. But while that may help with the odd wacko, like Adam Lanza the Newtown killer- it is useless against a team of trained murderers decked military armor and set to kill on sight. (Also it doesn't address a person who is sane when he makes a gun purchase but later goes off the rails.)

Of course, the Right's loons will focus on the perps (Syed Farooq & wife, Tashfeen Mailk) and their Muslim-sounding names (despite the fact he was a U.S. citizen) and blame it on "ragheads". They will then erupt in even greater sound and fury about why we must not allow Syrian refugees in - despite the fact Farooq wasn't a refugee.

But what do you expect from those who can't think? It's also an easy escape for them after the right wing terror unleashed here in Colorado Springs by one of their dutiful nuts - upset by "baby parts" rhetoric to go into a Planned Parenthood Clinic and commit mayhem. (Note: By "right wing terror" I don't mean Robert Dear was necessarily a "card carrying" Right winger, i.e. member of the John Birch Society. No. I mean his brain was marinated and fucked to a far-thee-well by right wing rhetoric about abortions and "selling baby parts". I will have more to say on the latest outrageous comments made by the Right soon.)

The "nut" (mental illness) story won't fly this time, first because it was done by two people -clearly the prime motive being he was infuriated by an altercation at a holiday party held at the Inland Regional Center. We don't know yet what was said to him, but it likely was the proverbial "straw that broke the camel's back". Probably something like, "Why would a raghead want to come to a Christmas party?"   This also likely followed years of anti-Muslim abuse he took. Of course, this doesn't justify the slaughter, but it would show ego-based rage that followed and led to he and his wife donning tactical gear and then coming back to the party to meet out vengeance.

In any case, it doesn't follow the mentally ill script that even Paul Ryan was trying to peddle this morning, though not necessarily for this case. But like the WSJ  editorial he parroted the Right's usual response: "We need new mental health legislation".  Well, sure, but we also need tough gun laws, which is also why Ryan tap-danced when asked about those on the terrorist watch list being able to purchase any kind of weapon they want. (Nearly 2,400 on the terror watch list have purchased weapons since 2011. THAT is what 'Muricans ought to be pissing their panties about, not fretting over 10,000 seriously vetted refugees!)

Ryan's response? We "can't be sure those on the list (which also covers the TSA's 'No fly' list) really deserve to be there".  So get this: While the Right uses dumb analogies like, "Would you really take a chance of eating an M&M from a giant bowl of 10,000 if one was laced with cyanide?'  Ryan's response to not closing the terrorist loophole amounts to pretty well the same thing:  "Well, many law abiding Americans were put on that list by mistake." But offers no proof or rationale to be able to distinguish these law abiding citizens - somehow mislabeled- from real terrorists. So he's prepared to take a chance no terrorist will get through.

Hmmmm.......Hey, Paulie, might a cyanide -laced M&M have been dropped into a bowl by mistake? The point is, it is idiocy if you're going to fret over "one Syrian in 10,000" and you have no problems with allowing a person on a terror watch list to purchase heavy ammo. You are again being a hypocrite, or at least inconsistent. But again what do you expect from people who can't think critically..

So, the first step in sane gun  regulation must be to close, once and for all, the existing loophole that allows those on a terrorist watch list to purchase weapons, (The FBI has stated all the guns purchased in the San Bernardino attack were legally purchased. This is crucial to note if it turns out the two killers were Islamic inspired terrorists.) NRA or no NRA,  fuck the NRA! And no, I am not "anti gun" or "anti- Second Amendment" (though I do fight for the 4th amendment as strongly as for the 2nd) e.g.

 That image was taken of me in 1986 with an AR-15. I've also owned other "long guns" and used them for target practice as well as killing the occasional varmint. (Also used them to test the Warren Commission's nutty "jet effect" theory back in 1968 by firing at ripe watermelons, coconuts etc., and testing back reactions)

As I said, I am not "anti- gun" but rather pro rational gun regulation, which includes - in my book - allowing the sale of "smart" guns, as well as closing terrorist loopholes! We also need to resurrect the Brady bill against the sale of semi-automatic and other military style weapons.  If one is against those, he cannot be rational in my book. He is more a zombie for the NRA.

Given the horrific number of mass shootings in this country, I also believe we need stiffer regulation and that implies following Australia's model.

Recall, the Aussies (of whom my WWII dad was very proud as he fought alongside them in the Battle of Buna, New Guinea) acted after a gunman opened fire on tourists in a seaside resort in Port Arthur, Tasmania. By the time he was finished, he had killed 35 people and wounded 23 more. It was the worst mass murder in Australia’s history.  The Aussies realized then and there they could not afford any more gun insanity. What did they do?

Twelve days after the horror, Australia’s government . led by newly elected conservative Prime Minister John Howard, announced a bipartisan deal with state and local governments to enact sweeping gun-control measures. A decade and a half hence, the results of these policy changes are clear: They worked really well.

At the heart of the push was a massive buyback of more than 600,000 semi-automatic shotguns and rifles, or about one-fifth of all firearms in circulation in Australia. The country’s new gun laws prohibited private sales, required that all weapons be individually registered to their owners, and required that gun buyers present a “genuine reason” for needing each weapon at the time of the purchase. (Self-defense did not count.) In the wake of the tragedy, polls showed public support for these measures at upwards of 90 percent.

There is no reason such a law couldn't work in this country, but even as the Aussie law was first broached - after the Umpqua mass shooting, all you heard on the Right's airwaves was hysteria about "fascist governments like Australia's"  taking people's guns.   Never mind, they weren't "taking" anything. A buyback isn't "taking" and also, if done for the good of the nation, it is fully justified the way the Aussies did it.

You can't pound your fists, cry in your soup and wet your panties about being frightened of terrorists, if you don't do a damned thing to halt the main agency of gun violence terror which has killed more than any ISIS bunch could, even in the past year. 355 mass shootings!

Hence, to provide ballast against all eventualities - whether home grown nuts or violent, stone killers,  we must get real about gun control in this country!

Failure to act is no longer an option, and simply passing mental health legislation is not enough!

And let's stop blaming Muslims for all our ills, when this country's insane gun culture is to blame. The unholy truth is that most shootings are  NOT ideological or random but rather domestic (in people's homes) - either suicides or one spouse (usually male) killing the other after a fiery argument.   Assaying all mass shootings between 2009 and 2015, the Huffington Post found that 70 percent occurred in the home. Of these, 57 percent involved a family member or current or former intimate partner. 81 percent of the victims were women and children. These killings were not done by 'crazies' but usually normal people who simply lost it in the midst of a heated argument and reached for the weapon nearest and dearest - a gun.

See e.g.


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