Hi. Howaya? I started writing the piece below on December 30th. I got busy. Plus I wasn’t really all that taken with it, so I shelved it. I also felt it was analysis with little in the way of “fun” spin, so I thought it wasn’t in the spirit of the blog. I wanted to get in my general disappointments with the administration and the lack of movement nationally toward an assault weapon ban as a sort of “end of year wrap-up”. It just seemed slight in light of the actual year.
Today, January 11, 2019, our federal government is in the midst of a record-setting-long government shutdown that is the work of one man (one immoral and vomitous man. Guess who.), in a desperate attempt to create political momentum to brace himself…to save himself from the incoming storm that will sweep over him when the Mueller Probe drops their report. If federal workers and those that rely on them, their income or services suffer, so be it. Most sickening is the support this behavior gets from the Republicans in the Senate.
I just want to make a short point here based on the news of the day, before I get to the news of yesterday.
Trump’s wall and the philosophy behind it must be fought to the death.
There is a need for a lot of funding on the border (even funding for new walls, barriers and fences, as well as maintenance and upgrades on the existing 500+ miles of existing barriers…that is what we call “infrastructure maintenance”). No one with any reason is calling for “open borders”, or removal of exiting barriers. Okay?
I just don’t trust the racist, xenophobic assholes of this administration to apply that funding. If they are really concerned about the influx of refugees fleeing Central America seeking asylum in the US, then I need to hear something in the plan about how all that is going to be addressed at the source. That really should be the main thing to talk about. I also need to hear about the investment in humanitarian solutions to help these refugees until the source problem is addressed (such as investment in better refugee handling facilities or procedures).
Instead, we just get the same old tired fear tactics about crime, drugs and terrorism as justification to push through the manifestation of that tired old 2000-mile-long-wall trope. Everything else, the source problem and the humanitarian crisis it creates, gets swept under the rug. Why? Because construction projects are easy. Finding solutions to actual problems that work…that fix the source of the problem…that’s hard. That takes real commitment, empathy, investment, sacrifice. I don’t think these asshole Republicans understand any of these things.
I’m not going to support funding some racist band-aid solution…A solution that’s only being discussed (at this level of national attention) because some asshole wants to say he kept his promise to his asshole supporters…so they’ll “be there for him” in the inevitable, upcoming impeachment fight.
Today, I see so many “band-aid” solutions to very serious issues. The southern border security issue (as framed by Trumpists) isn’t even on my radar as a crisis. We have robust, well funded border security and immigration enforcement. But this band-aid solution of a wall will do nothing to address the problems it is purported to “fix”. We will still have an opioid crisis. We will still have crime where there is poverty. We will still have shifting demographics and the insecurity and fear they can generate.
It’s really tough for me to witness this farce…to know how many people it’s hurting. All in some sick attempt to give solace to isolationist, racist and xenophobic Trumpists and White Nationalist. And the Republican Senate is totally behind it. They could get us out of this shutdown with a supermajority vote…They could, but they wont. I wonder why?
So now on to the other bit…
The “crummy” End-of-Year piece
So, this year. This fucking year. I’ve been so challenged this year. Remember when people said that 2017 was rotten? That was so cute. Well, here comes 2019.
And I know 2019 is either going to be Trump’s impeachment or the fight for Trump’s impeachment. It has to be. His behavior as president has been too disgraceful for the new House to ignore. I mean what is a “President” anymore? The construct is so degraded at this point.
Trump’s doctrine of “I alone”-ism is an affront to and assault on the constitution he swore to obey and protect. His impeachment in the House (regardless of the Senate’s support) is going to happen in 2018. Bet on it.
Trump was (shortsightedly) protected by the Republican majority in the House until now. With the Democrats taking over, things are going to get really tough, really fast. And it needs to be that way. Trump is a threat to our country through, just to start, his immorality and incompetence. You need to face a threat like that head-on. There is no other way (We don’t need a “Chamberlain” right now. We don’t need to appease him. We can’t afford it). We don’t need to live under this Trumpism bullshit; this never-ending bullhorn blasting hatred and lies.
If the Democratic house does not pull out every stop to make Trump completely transparent to the American people they will have failed.
As I see it, all presidents need to be totally financially and ethically transparent to the population they serve; we need to know every connection point, every sphere of influence. That must be the price paid to become President. If you want to serve as the President you have to come clean. No lies. You lie (specifically to hide a crime), you’ve perjured yourself to your oath of office and you need to go.
Trump’s obsession with southern border security and his popularity with the white nationalist movement are also worth feeling sick over. The child separation policy is a perfect window into the mind of this fuck and the people who support him.
So yeah, in 2019 were going to need to put all of Trump’s shit out in public and try to get the Republicans to “manage their yard”…ya know? “Pull the weeds”. We do this not because we want to, but because we have to. We have to protect this country from this treat.
2019 is going to be intense. You throw a recession on top of that and we’re talking fun city. It’ll make 2018 look like a fucking daydream.
Anyway, I really came here to write about guns. Which is something I think about at this time every year. I’m always seeing a “Year’s Biggest Stories” news special around this time of year and there is always a section about the mass shootings that happened in the last year.
I’ve always been sensitive to this. If you aren’t you are a sick fuck (IMHO). But I became more sensitive in 2012. I became very rigid on this subject when the Newtown massacre happened, when twenty 6 and 7-year-olds where slaughtered, literally blown to pieces, in minutes (seconds) with an AR15. I recall watching the news that day, ELEVEN DAYS BEFORE CHRISTMAS, holding my newborn son in my arms. I saw the truth with such clarity that day, I never will be moved off of it. The voice of GOD! This truth I saw? All assault rifle style firearms need to taken out of public circulation NOW!
I hate all guns. I prefer no guns at all. That said, I appreciate and respect that people want to have the right to feel protected. They want to have access to a lethal weapon that can afford them that protection. I say we can meet that need without the assault weapons.
I’ll give you the common arguments I see (arguments I have had to answer) and my responses.
Argument 1) “What you call assault weapons are really semi-automatic firearms; a category that includes handguns and hunting rifles. You, as someone who doesn’t own a firearm, don’t know what you are talking about. There are no differences between semi-automatic firearms. You outlaw one and it’s a slippery slope. Your ignorance is going to impede my right to protect myself and my right to bear arms”
So, this one is easy. AR15 style weapons have a long barrel, high muzzle velocity and ammunition that explodes inside the body. It is not a hand gun. It is not a hunting riffle. It is the semi-automatic version of a military assault weapon designed with one purpose, to kill large amounts of humans efficiently.
In that way it is its own category of weapon and ammunition. See? People with reason or brains understand the concept of categories. Like “because this item has these specific pre-determined attributes, it belongs in such-and-such category”…Go to an online firearm retailer, they seem be able to determine categories. See? https://www.cabelas.com/catalog/browse/semiautomatic-centerfire-rifles/_/N-1114861/Ns-CATEGORY_SEQ_105524280
Militaries choose this weapon and ammunition type over handguns and hunting rifles (and their related ammunition) for a reason. They want to inflict maximum casualties, to bring maximum lethality. They choose a long barrel gun with a high muzzle velocity that causes the bullet to explode and shred the organs inside the target…to insure not just “incapacity” but death.
When the bullet hits your body whether it comes from a fully automatic version of this weapon type vs semi- automatic hardly matters. Your organs explode…You die.
To go one further semi vs full auto doesn’t really slow the shooter either. Per some self-confessed firearms expert on Quota (https://www.quora.com/Do-you-prefer-3-round-burst-or-full-auto-in-a-military-rifle):
“Suppressive fire is the classic reason one uses a weapon in full automatic configuration, but continuous fire from a skilled operator firing a semi-automatic weapon can create the same desired effect.”
This 60 minutes story lays the facts out pretty well (if you care to know them):
So, no. AR15 type weapons are not the same as other semi automatic firearms, they are a type or category of firearm and ammunition and, as such, can be singled out and banned based on pre-determined attributes that would not affect access to other categories of semi automatic firearms.
Argument 2) “Assault weapons only account for a small fraction (2%) of firearm related deaths. Singling them out is foolish, unfair and unreasonable.”
I’m not sure about the accuracy of firearm death statistics because the CDC isn’t funded to get all the info. I want to see their full report, when it is funded. I think it will be very illuminating.
When we get these reports and records, I want to see these deaths put into very specific categories. For example, if we make a category for “unhinged shooters” I think we will see that the percentage of murders committed using assault rifles goes up.
Bottom line, I don’t care if it’s 2% or 0.2%.
The day we have a mass shooting with an assault rifle that was illegally acquired because it was against the law to own such a weapon will be a sad, tragic day. But it will be a day I’ll be comforted to know that we, as a country, did what we could to stop it from happening with our system, legally.
I’ll be comforted to know that we will able to prosecute every link in the illegal/black-market supply chain that delivered that gun to that killer.
Argument 3) “Regulations don’t stop the criminals from getting banned firearms.”
Okay…That is the dumbest argument of all. Following that logic to its natural conclusion means we shouldn’t have any laws at all, because all laws can, and will, be broken.
People who have an understanding about reality, understand that laws do not keep immoral, antisocials from committing crimes. Instead these laws give law enforcement and the judicial system the ability to create programs to fight the black-market, collect and destroy contraband and punish people who break the laws related to owning, trading or committing crimes with banned firearms.
Laws don’t stop crime; they define what a crime is.
I’m a dreamer. I want assault rifles gone. I want Trump and Trumpism gone. Is 2019 gonna get me any of this?…Well, probably not the assault rifles, anyway.