Category Archives: news

When is the Gun Violence Enough to Enact Some Real Changes?

Another mass killing in Orlando and yet some want to pass the blame away from guns and towards terrorism.

Another mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, and once again we have the pundits on Fox (is not) News going on TV and repeatedly spouting the lie that this is NOT about guns, it’s about terrorism. WTF?

Of course it’s about guns.

It’s about the ease in which one can obtain weapons that are designed to do only one thing, kill people.

It’s about knowing there are people that should never have any kind of gun, yet they can obtain any weapon they choose through gun shows and straw purchases or other means.

It’s about the attention (to a radical view be it a religious one or not) one person can attain, even though in many cases it’s posthumously, when using guns with the ability to kill dozens in a matter of seconds.

When are we going to have the balls to demand a change, to take measures to reduce this massacre?

Unless we are willing to face the fact that without some radical measures to limit the type of weapons that are legal to have, the amount of ammunition one person can legally possess, addressing the mental health issue or even the total confiscation of ALL privately owned guns, (don’t get your tidy whiteys in a bunch, that’s not what I am advocating here) there will be no change, or chance of any change.

I should go into the elected representatives, um, republican representatives that refuse to even pass one simple measure to make it harder to get any gun, won’t support a ban on assault type weapons, won’t close the loopholes that are used daily by people filled with hate and mental problems, but I believe I’ve said enough.

Oh, one more thing. Vote out all these idiots that refuse to do what a majority of Americans want and vote for those that will act on the will of the people and are willing to make these much needed changes.

Until that happens, get ready for another news flash about another mass shooting somewhere in America, maybe even in you own backyard.

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Republicans, Rights And Responsibilities

BY ON MAY 7, 2015    NEWS, POLITICS

Republicans need to take responsibility for the rights they hold dear as well as the rights they do not

Fringe groups of the Republican Party are quick to point out the rights afforded to them under the United States Constitution. Freedom of religion and the right to bear arms are two of their favorite topics. Anyone who dares to regulate either one is in for one hell of a fight. Yet the very same group is loath to admit that with any set of rights comes an equally important set of responsibilities.

Every American citizen is born with “rights’ under the Constitution. For example, we have a right to free speech. However, we also have a responsibility not to threaten people or to yell “Fire” in a crowded theater. When choosing to live in any society we are charged with certain expectations to help that society thrive. Yet it is the groups that yell the loudest about their “rights” that in turn are the most selfish about giving back to the country they claim to “love” so much. It is this denial of responsibility that is taking its toll on our country.

Taxes

No one enjoys paying taxes. However, American corporations and freedom loving Tea Party groups have taken this dislike to the extreme. Who can forget the several days standoff withCliven Bundy, the right-wing nut who refused to pay taxes for his grazing cattle for over twenty years and is estimated to owe the U.S. Taxpayers over $1 million dollars? Rather than pay the tax he issued a call to arms and gun nuts from across the country ran to his side in an effort to fight for his “freedom” to screw the government out of his fair share of taxes.

American corporations in turn are not much better than Bundy when it comes to freeloading. A corporation will go to great lengths to reduce its tax burden to the lowest percentage possible. Corporations such as Boeing and General Electric paid no income tax at all over a five year period. While the average citizen pays anywhere from 5-35% in taxes each year. Meanwhile we struggle with ways to pay for repairs to our crumbling infrastructure and provide decent public school education programs to our youth.

Health Care

When Obama introduced his signature healthcare plan nearly 47.3 million people lacked health insurance. Nearly 1 in 6 people were forced to declare bankruptcy due to mounting medical costs from a catastrophic illness that left them unable to work. Several years after the passage of “Obamacare” 9 out of 10 Americans now have some form of health insurance. The burden to hospital emergency rooms mandated to treat patients regardless of ability to pay has been greatly reduced.

Yet despite its success the Republican-controlled House has vote to repeal “Obamacare” 56 times to date. The reasons why they are so hell-bent on its repeal are many. Mostly it boils down to the simple formula that government-mandated healthcare amounts to taking from the rich to give to the poor. Even though every advanced country has some form of universal healthcare simply because it’s the right thing to do and it lessens the overall burden to society.

Voting

There are 206,072,000 people eligible to vote in America and of that number just 146,311,000 are registered to vote. In a presidential election year just 64% of registered voters turn out to vote. In primary elections the percentage of voters is drastically lower and estimated near 20% or lower. The result of low voter turnout has far reaching consequences for everyone.

Primary election voters decide who will run in general elections and when voter turnout is low special interest, fringe candidates often advance to run against the chosen candidate from the opposing party. In heavily controlled Republican districts, this radical candidate will win easily. It is how candidates like Senator Ted Cruz and Texas Governor Greg Abbott manage to win elections even though both have clearly broken with reality.

Abbott recently convinced himself that the Federal Government was set to take over Texas. He has mobilized the Texas National Guard to “fight” off an invasion meant to seize the guns of law abiding Texans. Abbott’s panic stems from routine exercises performed by military personnel over seven states. Abbott believes that this is a cover by Obama for an invasion staged from Walmarts in Texas that are closed for remodeling. Keep in mind, this is the governor…

Not to get lost in all the nuts, but the bottom line here is voting rights. If Republicans really cared about the people in this country and their so-called rights, you would think they’d be making it easier for people to exercise the most fundamental of rights, the right to vote. It is well understood that Republicans have been doing the opposite with voter ID laws, gerrymandering districts, etc.

It has become clear over the years that the Republican Party isn’t really quick to defend their rights so much as they are quick to defend their own interests. That’s why they are always willing to defend your right to own a gun and preach the gospel, but could care less about your right to an abortion or get married to a member of the same sex.

It is equally clear that the Republican Party has little desire to be responible. Their misguided beliefs in favoring war, the wealthy and trickle down economics has led to enormous deficits, massive income inequality, crumbling infrastructure, and the American corporate oligarchy.

So, when a Republican gets in you face about their rights, be sure to ask them about their responsibilities. I wonder how many will tell you it isn’t their problem. For Republicans and Libertarians, it’s always someone else’s responsibility.

Weak Without Guns: Open Carry Texas

Carrying guns openly in public doesn’t help basic logic skills

It was just an ordinary day on twitter, when I suddenly noticed Open Carry Texas was acting all smug because Moms Demand Action for Gunsense in America wouldn’t meet with them. OCT has a long history of attempting to intimidate Moms Demand of course, and I decided maybe I should call them on that.

Open Carry Texas

Yes, their members have a history of murder. Here’s the link I tweeted to them. They tried to blow that off as a one-time thing, after trying to deny it first. Hey, no big deal one of their own suddenly snapped and killed her family, it was just the one time! They’d also prefer we ignore some of the criminal records their various followers possess.

Not to mention the intimidating way they introduced themselves to Moms Demand by displaying their guns to them while they met for lunch; using female mannequins to stand in for the Moms to be shot up; along with their constant swarming of Moms Demand members on twitter and Facebook, along with whomever else supports responsible firearms legislation, this writer included.

At this point, I informed them how often I get death threats from gun lobby supporters and suggested that might be contributing to their image problems. I showed them this screenshot as an example:

Open Carry Texas

I wasn’t expecting sympathy from Open Carry Texas on this, but I did want to illustrate why Moms Demand didn’t want to talk to them. Besides OCT’s constant smear campaigns against them, that is. It took them a day to answer, and their response was that both sides were equally complicit in death threats against children, a laughable premise, and tried to dismiss it entirely:

Open Carry Texas

My answer was to say that threatening the life of a child was unjustifiable. They simply insulted me in response, and said I was the one threatening them:

Open Carry Texas

Open Carry Texas

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Open Carry Texas thinks they are the ones getting bullied. They were the ones crying “victim” in the first place, that’s what got me to engage them. Those mean Moms won’t talk to them! Why can’t anyone see that they’re nice, reasonable people!

Also, I was apparently the one threatening them, even though I’d done nothing of the sort. Unless pointing out their history and the flaws in their arguments were what Open Carry Texas considered “threats.” If so, this should bring up grave concerns as to what they see as a threat while they’re walking around with firearms.

It was during this exchange a fellow by the name of Gavan Boucher challenged OCT over how they must feel weak without their guns. Open Carry Texas didn’t seem to grasp his point, and went ahead and confirmed it:

Open Carry Texas

Whether it was because they realized they’d argued themselves into a corner; felt outnumbered by three dudes on the Internet; or because (more likely) they’d just given up; OCT didn’t try again until the next day. Which was curious, because they just picked right back up with the insults, even though it had gotten them nowhere:Open Carry Texas

So, as they were sticking with the whole “death threats against your kid don’t mean shit because people threaten us sometimes” angle, I stayed on them with how that’s not ethically sound. I pointed out how they could barely handle pushback against their own arguments, so probably shouldn’t try to justify death threats. The next day, Open Carry Texas made another attempt to do just that:

Open Carry Texas

Open Carry Texas had taken three days to issue these responses. Perhaps the organizational account was being handled by several people who weren’t bothering to check how the conversation had gone previously, and decided to just miss the points previously made and insult me as their predecessors had done. Perhaps it was just one person, with no idea how to present or defend an argument.

But it was clear that OCT wasn’t very good at debating. They’d been run in a circle, had utterly failed to prove they weren’t comprised of dangerous people, and certainly weren’t very pleasant to deal with. They couldn’t even condemn death threats against a child, instead trying to justify them with “Well we get threats sometimes too!”  Yet they claimed it was Moms Demand who were bullying OCT?

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Then OCT tried to “Rand Paul” their tweets, saying they didn’t say what they’d just said. I simply sat back and let them continue destroying their own arguments. Like what happened next, when they disavowed Kory Watkins, after I reminded them of his recent antics:

Open Carry Texas

Mmm. Open Carry Texas had nothing to do with how Kory Watkins got so big. Even though his picture is present on the OCT website several times and he used their platform to raise himself to greater prominence, they can’t be held responsible.

Oh really, Open Carry Texas? If you can’t take even partial responsibility for Kory Watkins implying lawmakers who oppose Open Carry’s goals deserve death; Hell, if you can’t even take responsibility for your own words, then how can you be trusted to take responsibility for a firearm?

This isn’t blaming guns, as Open Carry Texas likes to say, it’s blaming people. One simple twitter conversation easily exposed OCT’s inability to hold together a solid argument or even admit to their own words on screenshot. They are unable to condemn those who threaten the life of a child. They admitted they feel weak without guns. All they had to offer was hatefulness and insults. And they can’t even be honest about it.

Open Carry Texas

And that was pretty much it. They blocked me after that, just like John Lott did when he couldn’t out-debate me, and the blatantly racist NRA Cheerleader “Raging” Rob Kinnison did as well.

The surprising thing about the conversation was how little interference I got from OCT’s followers. No doubt they were trying to pile on, but I’d been speaking out against gun lobbies for a year now, and the worst and most awful of the gun troll accounts were previously blocked. Accounts, it needs to be said, with a history of threatening and insulting those who don’t go along with their Molon Labe viewpoints. Accounts repeatedly retweeted by… Drum Roll… Open Carry Texas!

The takeaway here is that the most vocal pro-gun people count on insults and intimidation to get their way. I’ve proven this before, here and here. They are certain to continue along these lines. For proof, just look to the comments underneath pieces like these. They are invariably jammed with gun lobby supporters trying to virtually shout me down.

Many of the commenters, it needs to be said, have had to be blocked from my personal profiles for vile attacks on my family as well as myself. That’s just how they roll. But there aren’t as many of them as they’d like you to believe. And most of them are in Texas.

Stand up to Open Carry Texas, and all those like them. Don’t let them have their way. OCT are not good guys, but bullies. They are dishonest about their motivations. They can’t even defend their own arguments. And if all they have are threats and insults, then just block them. The rest won’t be able to handle you, and they will block you.

But where you block them for threats and scorn, they will block you for the truth. You can’t get a clearer distinction of right and wrong than that.

“Knowing what’s right doesn’t mean much unless you do what’s right.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt