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The Path to Hell: Trump Proposes Right Ideas in Worst Possible Way Making Things Worse
Mar 12th, 2018 by Admin Mugsy

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Trump hosted a rally over the weekend for a Republican candidate for Congress in Pennsylvania, where he bragged about himself (natch) more than the candidate. Trump bragged that “Obama, Bush and [Bill] Clinton all talked about sitting down with North Korea, but only *I* got it done!” Yes, because those other presidents demanded concessions from North Korea first, and when they didn’t get them, THEY had the good sense to say “No”. And Clinton/Bush/Obama didn’t say No following a year of breakneck nuclear testing and the appalling death of an American hostage (Otto Warmbier) like Trump had. I keep thinking about the message Trump is sending other rogue nations like Syria & Iran by agreeing to meet with Kim Jong Un after such behavior? “Develop your nuclear capabilities, kill an American hostage, and threaten Washington DC, and Trump will meet with you too… without preconditions.” Good intentions. Worse outcome. I’m all for talking with your enemies, but you get CONCESSIONS first. And you send envoys first. Not the President himself. North Korea isn’t suddenly agreeing to talks because they fear Trump’s “bluster” (as Trump himself claimed over the weekend), they are agreeing because they want the SANCTIONS lifted (and seeing life in South Korea during the Olympics probably made them think a lot about their own miserable lives.)

Trump also declared… with no apparent forethought… to impose a blanket tariff of “25% on all steel and 10% on all aluminum imported into the United States” without regard for country of origin. Tariffs can be a GOOD thing… when applied on a case-by-case basis to deny impoverished nations an excuse to underpay their workers. But applying the same 25% tariff on German imports where workers are paid more than most American workers, as you impose on China where workers earn pennies a day, is wildly unfair. You’re punishing trading partners whom do us no harm. In fact, you punish some nations which we have a trade-SURPLUS with. And they WILL retaliate.

After an outraged Canada (our largest steel exporter) pointed out this was in violation of NAFTA, Trump amended his impulsive blanket tariff to “exclude Mexico & Canada”. Great! Now he just created a MASSIVE incentive for foreign steel exporters to move to Mexico. I’m sure Mexico is happy about that. American steel-workers? Not so much. So in the end, cheap foreign steel will continue to flow into the United states, but instead of by boat, now it’ll come in by truck/rail across our Southern border, lowering their export costs even more. Excellent work, President Dumbass. You may have just made things worse.

Following the (latest) school massacre in Florida, in a highly-staged meeting with both Republicans & Democrats on the subject of “gun control”, Trump bragged about how HE would “stand up to the NRA”, that HE wasn’t “afraid of them” and that HE would succeed where all his predecessors failed. Then he impulsively proposed “if someone is believed to be a danger, he’d even support taking the guns away first and “worry about Due Process later” (right sentiment. Wrong policy. If a Democrat had said that… OMG! Republicans would be rioting in the streets!), pretty much ensuring nothing gets done on gun control as Trump is forced to walk back his impetuous remark. So then he talks to a VERY upset NRA and they convince him the “solution” is MORE guns and to arm every teacher. Once again, right idea delivered in the worst possible way, resulting in a “compromise” that may actually end up making things worse. What did THE NRA concede? Nothing… though they did “lose” the fight to protect “Bump Stocks”… though they didn’t really put up much of a fight. I’m sure they are delighted that’s ALL they lost. They gladly soldout “bump stocks” (giving Trump his faux “victory”) to save the AR15.

Trump also declared recently that we need to invest in “infrastructure”. Democrats said this for a decade but Republicans repeatedly obstructed them (If you recall, just three days before the 2008 Republican National Convention in Minnesota, a bridge collapsed in MN killing four and injuring dozens more, yet STILL Republicans refused to support the Democratic call to invest in infrastructure. Then Trump starts making ridiculous promises of how we can get all of our infrastructure rebuilt on the cheap and Republicans swoon. Never mind the details. So then Trump announce his big plan on how to rebuild our infrastructure for very little money. We basically SELL-OFF OUR INFRASTRUCTURE TO CORPORATE AMERICA, who then turn our roads & bridges into TOLL roads & bridges, public schools into private schools. If you live in rural America where it would be harder for corporations to make their money back, tough luck. Your infrastructure is just going to have to wait. Once again, the right intentions implemented in the worst possible way, only ensuring to make matters worse.

He never actually “repealed” ObamaCare BTW. His followers think he did, but all he did was undermine it in a way that ensures MILLIONS of Americans will find themselves with no insurance (or inadequate policies where every claim is denied.) People were complaining that “costs had gone up too much” and (despite Obama’s assurances), if their doctor was not on their new plan, they could NOT keep their doctor. Well, policy prices went up because insurance companies could no longer sell you worthless “junk” policies where every claim is denied. And you COULD have kept your doctor if Conservatives hadn’t stripped out The Public Option. But now, thanks to “TrumpCare”, insurance companies can sell you worthless policies once again. You can even go totally without insurance if you so desire (driving rates up for everyone else.) But at least you’ll save a few bucks (until you get sick or injured.) And just like that, once again, Best Intentions resulting in a “solution” that makes matters far worse.

Trump rolled out his 2020 Campaign Slogan yesterday. Maybe he should consider “Trump 2020: Best Intentions Going Lousy Yesterday”… BIGLY.
 


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Listening to Gun-Rights Advocates Reveals Why They Oppose Denying Guns from the Mentally Ill
Feb 26th, 2018 by Admin Mugsy

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I was confronted on Facebook by a terrified Right-Wing gun owner whom took issue with my calling Assault Weapons “Weapons of War” because they are not actually issued by the government to soldiers for use on the battlefield, and just couldn’t resist (right off the bat) calling me a “pussy” for not wanting MORE guns in our classrooms as an answer to protecting our children (he also called me a “Nazi” presumably b/c he believes the Nazi’s took the guns away from their own citizens… which they did not (Hitler was adored and had nothing to fear of an armed uprising against him.) But clearly, my Facebook friend is terrified that if we take away his assault weapons, he’ll be defenseless when the jack-booted government comes knocking on his door to… to… I really have no idea. Make him eat tofu?

And that’s pretty much the problem in a “nutshell” (intentional metaphor). The most fearful, paranoid, irrational, DANGEROUS people are the ones setting our nation’s policy on guns.

Donald Trump thinks the solution to stopping gun violence in schools is to arm the teachers. (“Some are ex-military!” he declared. I’ve been a teacher and not a lot of ex-military go into the profession.) An NRA “solution” to be sure. Any “solution” that results in INCREASING gun sales is their goal as lobbyists for the gun industry. We won’t give just ANY teacher a gun of course. Just a select few who are willing to undergo “training” and WANT to bear the responsibility of engaging in a firefight in an enclosed classroom (“Shootout at the OK Classroom”, teacher and gunman firing at each other from behind overturned desks) full of kids with a crazed gunman wielding an assault weapon… possibly even wearing body armor… with multiple 30-round magazines and is NOT concerned where he fires. Quite honestly, any person who thinks they are capable of handling a nightmare scenario like that is exactly the kind of person I believe should not be allowed to own a firearm.

One Republican congressman, Rep. Masse of Kentucky, went on “Meet the Press” yesterday to repeat his belief that instead of raising the age to buy an AR15 from 18 to 21 like handguns (I still can’t fathom who thought that made sense), the age to buy a handgun should instead be LOWERED to 18 (why not 16?). The NRA of course also opposes raising the age at which you can buy an assault weapon because it will cut into gun sales… and that is, after all, what the NRA is all about. Forget the nonsense about “protecting the Second Amendment” or “the right of people to protect themselves”. If a gun restriction made the gun companies more money, they’d be all for it (during the debate over the ’94 Assault Weapons Ban, one of the items included was a requirement for “trigger locks”. Most gun owners opposed them, but the NRA didn’t fight them very hard because it was another accessory for gun manufacturers to sell. As a result, “trigger locks” successfully made it into the bill.) Just about every rational gun owner supports a ban on “bump stocks” like the one used in Vegas that basically turned a semi-automatic weapon into a FULLY automatic assault weapon that mowed down over NINE-HUNDRED concert-goers, yet the NRA opposes such a ban. They also oppose and a ban on “silencers” too (a ban Don Jr publicly opposed online last week and stared in a promo video for last October… as if you needed another example of the link between mental illness and a love of guns.) According to the NRA’s own poll:
 

Over three quarters of Americans support a ban on assault-style weapons (79%), a ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds (78%), and a ban on firearm attachments like bump stocks (82%).

 
The Second Amendment does not protect your right to own “bump stocks” or a silencer (nor high capacity magazines.) They are not “arms.” But they ARE money-making accessories for the gun industry.

Trump and the GOP will make sure such restrictions never reach the floor of Congress.

I first wrote about my idea for “bullet control” (Taxing Gunpowder) about a year ago, and noted back then how ludicrous some of these gun rights advocates are, believing that if THEY were in that darkened movie theater in Aurora, CO when an insane man wearing body-armor, armed with multiple assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, whom had tossed in canisters of tear-gas prior to opening fire, THEY would of been able to “save the day” and take the guy out with their trusty side-arm with one… maybe two… shots to save the day. That kind of delusion is an excellent example of the kind of mentally ill people whom should not be allowed to own a firearm.

And that is EXACTLY why they are so fearful of denying guns to the mentally ill. Repealing that ban was (after all) one of the very first Executive Orders signed by Trump upon taking office. Just WHO though THAT was a good idea? Just WHO pushed for him to do that?

And now Trump is bemoaning “metal illness” as the cause of mass murder involving assault weapons. Way to go, Dickhead.

The NRA of course waited their requisite one week (as per their pattern) following the latest horrific mass-shooting before they started attacking the victims. NRA President (and Vietnam draft-dodger) Wayne LaPierre began by accusing people whom have had enough of the unnecessarily bloody aftermath of mass shootings that result from the availability of assault weapons, of “politicizing” the issue. His toady, Spokesperson Dana Loesch has been making the rounds accusing anyone who argues in favor of restricting guns as the REAL threat to the safety of our children. On ABC’s ThisWeek yesterday, Loesch had the gall to blame lax gun laws and the police for failing to do their jobs (from “heeding warnings” to the armed security officer at the school who failed to enter the school to confront the shooter.) Steph-O challenged her on her hypocrisy of complaining about lax/unenforced gun laws and political inaction, and the expectation that an armed teacher will respond more effectively than a trained officer. As if we don’t already expect too much from our teachers. Now they expect them to be Rambo too? But you can’t reason with an unreasonable person. (I’ve worked as a Substitute teacher, a teacher’s aid, and a Lab Proctor, and I’ve seen plenty of situations where I’m glad no teacher had easy access to a gun. And teachers can go nuts too BTW.)

“Politicizing” the issue indeed. Demanding lawmakers take action against rapid-fire weaponry isn’t “politicizing” an issue. Claiming the Second Amendment protects your “right” to own an assault-weapon (it doesn’t) so that they can continue to make their blood money… THAT is “politicizing” an issue. I tweeted after the Parkland school shooting:

 

Guns over Kids

 

At least one person took issue with that statement, trying to claim the people defending gun rights only do so out of a desire to protect their children… from guns. I find it a bit like telling someone to get over their fear of handling snakes by telling them to drink more poison… not simply say, “Hey idiot! Stop handling snakes!” Actually, I find little evidence that the people who want assault weapons to remain legal are actually worried about an erratic gunman attacking their family with an assault weapon. More often, they are like my “You’re a Nazi” friend who thinks the government is out to get them.

Now, as I wrote in that Op/Ed last year (ibid: “Taxing Gunpowder”), I am NOT advocating “gun confiscation”. Few people are (and they too are not totally rational on this issue.) But I DO support reinstating the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban. Given enough time (which Dubya did not by refusing to renew it in 2004), the production and availability of these weapons will decline over time. Republicans (natch) lobbied HARD for years to repeal/end the ban arguing that the April 1999 Columbine massacre using assault weapons… a mere 4-1/2 years into the ban… PROVED an assault weapons ban does not work. It takes years… perhaps even decades… for those weapons to eventually fade from society. We didn’t ban fully automatic machine guns until 1986. “Tommy Guns”… those machine guns seen in old 1930’s gangster films with the circular magazine… were legal until 1986. Where are they now? Museums mostly. Eventually, “fully automatic” machine guns faded from our streets (and the government never came busting down any innocent civilian’s door knowing they’d be unable to protect themselves without their trusty machine gun.)

In 1986, Reagan signed the ban on “fully automatic machine guns” and Armor-piercing “Cop killer” bullets (which he championed) that could rip through Kevlar vests (Damn those Democratic gun-grabbers!) One of just 21 members of Congress to vote against that ban was then-Representative Dick Cheney. Cheney was also one of only four members of Congress to vote against “plastic guns” that could slip past metal detectors, and voted to end the 7-day waiting period to buy a handgun in 1988. (If you ever needed more evidence of the connection between dangerous people and an irrational need to protect guns at any cost, I can think of none better.) The 1994 Assault Weapons Ban expanded Reagan’s restriction on “armor piecing” bullets to include not just “metal” bullets, but “polymer” rounds that were invented to evade that very ban. When Bush-43 allowed the ’94 Ban to lapse, that included that ban on polymer “Cop Killer” bullets. But Reagan’s ban on fully automatic machine guns and fragmenting metal rounds is still in effect… because, as you know, IOKWARDI (“It’s OK when a Republican does it.”)

Most people don’t remember anymore that back in 2004 when people were arguing over whether or not the ’94 Ban should be renewed, there were a LOT of Right-Wing gun nuts rights advocates (mostly online) defending “so-called cop killer bullets”, arguing “there is no such thing as a ‘cop killer’ bullet“… that it was just a term made up by Ted Kennedy to give good bullets a bad name (just Google: “cop killer” bullets 2004.) They distracted from the point so successfully that people stopped asking “Why” such ammunition was even necessary, and instead wasted time debating the definition of what constituted “a ‘cop killer’ bullet“, allowing the ’94 Ban on them to lapse.

Someone made the point last week (I forget who) that: “The moment you start arming teachers is the day you legalize teachers killing black students.” Because there WILL come an instance where some teacher claims they felt “threatened”, and justified in shooting & killing young Jamal because he appeared to be “reaching into his waistband” for “something”. We already don’t prosecute COPS for shooting & killing unarmed black kids. You think a teacher is ever going to be convicted when their defense is: “I was worried about the safety of my students!”

Now let me be clear: I am NOT claiming everyone whom owns a gun is mentally ill. By now, you have undoubtedly seen on the news footage of a mother & daughter operating a liquor store in Oklahoma when a masked gunman attempts to rob them. Instead, both mother & daughter pull out guns of their own and fire upon the would-be robber, striking him numerous times and thwarting the attack. The tearful duo appearing everywhere on the news this weekend crediting each other with saving each other’s lives. The video is being shopped everywhere as PROOF of the necessity of guns in the wake of the Parkland school shooting. I’d like to point out a few observations of my own:

1) The gunman had a handgun. Not an assault rifle. If the two women had attempted to take on a maniac with an assault rifle who entered firing, the outcome likely would have been very different.

2) I’m willing to bet this was not the robber’s first offense (no confirmation yet.) How does a repeat offender get his hands on a handgun? Answer: He buys one. Legally. That needs to change.

3) Screen-grab of the robbery:
 

Daughter fires at robber... AND her mother.
Daughter fires at robber… AND her mother.

Mom decided to take on the robber herself and a struggle ensued as she attempted to wrench the gun away from the robber. The daughter then points her gun at the two of them and fires, striking the robber in the back, narrowly missing her own mother. In fact, the bullet COULD have passed though the robber and struck her mother. And a spit second after being hit, the robber twists, tossing the mother directly between him and the armed daughter. Had she of fired twice in a row, Mom might be dead right now by her daughter’s hand, not the robber’s.

Now, of course, a gun-rights advocate would look at this and say, “Yeah, but none of that DID happen and both women are alive today because they knew how to handle themselves.” No. I’m sorry, nothing about that footage cries out: “Good Judgement”. Firing in the direction of the gunman with the person or persons you are trying to protect directly in the line of fire? This is EXACTLY the kind of reckless bad decision making you’d almost certainly see if we started arming teachers who THINK they know how to protect themselves. Things could just as easily turned out very bad for our heroes.

These same gun nuts will also “do the math” and argue “the mistaken death of ONE child is acceptable if it saves 20 others.” Are you willing to take that gamble with the life of YOUR child? And once again, anyone who thinks the accidental/preventable death of one (or maybe more) students is “acceptable” if it saves the lives of even more children is just the kind of person I don’t want to have access to a gun in school.

Listening to the gun nuts on Facebook & Twitter, one gets a sense they are terrified children whom without their guns would likely be huddled in a dark corner of their home, terrified of the outside world. That’s why they want Trump to build that idiotic Wall… even if WE end up paying for it despite telling them over & over again he could provide them with security from Mexicans at no charge. And they want Trump to protect them from “Muslims”… even that bloodied 3 year old boy photographed in the back of an ambulance that touched so many hearts last year. And now they want to arm the teachers because the surest way to protect children trapped in a classroom with a crazed gunman with an assault rife is, of course, crossfire. And any attempt to take away their blankie guns will be seen as the first step towards a government that comes knocking on their door to… to… again, I have no idea. The people most supportive of gun rights are clearly the most fearful, the most irrational, and know that if they were evaluated by a psychiatrist, their overwhelming fear of the outside world would be the very basis for which they would be labeled “mentally unstable” and prohibited from buying a gun.

And THAT, dear reader, is the REAL reason they oppose any gun ban.
 


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“Now Is Not the Time to Talk About Guns.” Yes. Yes it is.
Feb 19th, 2018 by Admin Mugsy

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“Now is not the time to talk about guns.” We’ve heard that exact line so many times it’s practically a Republican catch-phrase. And we all know its intent: to suppress the issue until public interest/urgency wanes and people are distracted by other more “immediate” issues, ensuring nothing ever gets done so that the people who profit off the deaths of children can continue to make money. Remember all the talk about “Bump Stocks” following the Vegas shooting? Those spring-loaded rifle butts that use a gun’s recoil to fire like a fully automatic machine gun? Everyone… gun opponents and gun supporters alike, seemed to agree that something like “bump stocks” should be illegal. It seemed like a compromise everyone could support. Gun opponents get rid of a device that clearly serves no purpose other than to circumvent the ban on fully-automatic machine guns, and gun supporters get to pretend like they are actually doing something about gun control without actually removing a single weapon from the streets. Remember that?

That law never passed. It never even came up for a vote in the House (despite passing in the Senate.) House Republicans killed it in Committee (Senate Republicans often vote to support things they otherwise wouldn’t because they know House Republicans will bail them out.) Several state legislatures then tried to pass it on their own. Washington and Colorado succeeded. Virginia where the deadliest school shooting in history took place (“Virginia Tech”) a decade earlier, the bill was killed in a “Public Safety” subcommittee by a Party-Line vote (4-to-2… that’s right, just FOUR Republicans is all it took to keep bump stocks legal for the entire state of Virginia.) In Nevada where the massacre took place, state law actually forbids the banning of gun accessories like bump stocks. Insane.

Here are some of the most notable gun events in recent memory (and after each, nothing was done):

  1. “Virginia Tech” – 2007 (32 killed, 23 wounded)
  2. Northern Illinois University Shooting, 2008 (5 killed, 21 wounded)
  3. Fort Hood #1, Tx – 2009 (13K, 30W)
  4. Hartford Beer Distributor, Manchester, CT – 2010 (8K, 2W)
  5. Tuscon, AZ “Safeway Rally” shooting killing 6 and wounding 13 including Rep Gabby Giffords, 2011 (6K, 13W)
  6. Aurora Movie Theater shooting, CO – July 2012 (12K, 58W)
  7. Sandy Hook Elementary, Newtown CT – December 2012 (27K, 2W)
  8. D.C. Navy Yard shooting – December 2013 (12K, 8W)
  9. Fort Hood #2 (yes, a second shooting at the same place), TX – April 2014 (3K, 12W)
  10. Isla Vista mass murder, Santa Barbara, CA – May 2014 (6K, 13W)
  11. Charleston church shooting, VA – June 2015 (9K, 1W)… only the THIRD deadliest of seven mass shootings that year.
  12. Umpqua Community College, Roseburg, OR – October 2015 (9K, 9W)
  13. Planned Parenthood, Colorado Springs, CO – November 2015(3K, 9W)
  14. Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, CA – December 2015 (14K, 21W)
  15. Pulse Nightclub, Orlando, FL – June, 2016 (49K, 53W)
  16. The attempted murder of Congressman Steve Scalise on a DC baseball field last June 2017 (0K, 2W)
  17. The Vegas massacre last October 2017 (58 dead, 851 injured)
  18. Sutherland Springs church shooting, TX – November 2017 (27K, 20W)

…And now the horrific murder of 14 students and 3 teachers at a Florida high school last Ash Wednesday (which was also Valentine’s Day.) Lord only knows how many shootings I missed. (“Mother Jones” documented NINETY-SEVEN mass shootings in the past 35 years.)

According to the Gun Violence Archive, as of today, there have been 7,050 incidents of gun violence (where one civilian kills or injures another civilian using a gun)… not “in the past decade”, not “since Trump was elected”, not even “last year”, but in just 2018 ALONE. And we are only halfway through February. That’s nearly 147 SHOOTINGS PER DAY! That’s nuts.

Lately, I’ve begun to feel like everything there is to be said about certain subjects… be it guns, Trump/Russia or Republican hypocrisy in general… I’ve already talked about till I’m blue-in-the-face. This was one of those weeks.

But even more fascinating is that somehow, Republicans actually found a way for all three to overlap this time! According to Trump, the reason the FBI… a massive agency with thousands of agents investigating tens of thousands of crimes… “missed the warning signs” regarding the Florida shooting is because “they were too busy investigating him for collusion with Russia.” The man’s narcissism knows no bounds (Please note, despite all the tweeting acknowledging the FBI’s findings, not one word about responding to the ongoing Russian attack on our democracy. Not even a harsh word for Putin.) That photo of 12 Trump tweets in the upper left? All of them posted since the shooting on February 14th, and not a single mention of guns. Five of those tweets were posted just this weekend.

Guns, Russia… and then there’s the hypocrisy.

Republicans have been flooding the airwaves to attack Democrats for “politicizing the issue” by calling for action on guns while emotions are still running high. I don’t know about you, but the ONLY people I see “politicizing” this issue are REPUBLICANS accusing others of “politicizing” the issue in order to once again shut down any debate on the subject of gun control (ie: “Bullet Control.“) As I’ve repeatedly said, “When a Republican accuses you of something, it’s because THEY themselves are either doing it or would do it if they were in the same position, and naturally assume everyone else is/would too.”

No Corporate Lobby is making huge campaign contributions to Democrats in exchange for tighter gun laws. There’s no profit in that. But the NRA spends tens of millions each year on campaign contributions to politicians willing to kill off (pardon the phrase) sensible gun restrictions that might cost the gun industry millions. (I’m reminded of Republicans who try to claim “greedy scientists and colleges” who receive all that “Climate Change research funding” are actually the ones behind the “Global Warming Myth”… yes, there are Republicans who seriously believe that. Not the Trillion-dollar oil industry spending billions to sough seeds of doubt and quash any such legislation.)

Here in Houston, the 2018 primaries are rapidly approaching (March), and we already have one Republican woman candidate (whose name I won’t mention) who is running ubiquitous ads comparing herself to Trump, bragging of his “accomplishments” and her promise to help him fulfil his campaign promises (including that wall.) The same ad ran for weeks.

THE DAY AFTER the Florida school shooting, she released a new ad, posing with a (simple lever-action .22) rifle, touting how she “learned to shoot as a child” taught by her father, and how she would “fight to protect the Second Amendment.”

Seriously. The very next day.

If your FIRST reaction to the mass murder of 14 children and 3 teachers is to worry more about protecting GUNS than KIDS… YOU ARE THE PROBLEM! (Shall we talk some more about “Democrats politicizing” the gun issue?)

I can’t imagine what kind of hole a person must have in their soul if their first reaction to such a tragedy is to rush to pander to gun nuts to reassure them that you’ll protect their right to buy yet more guns… because you KNOW that audience already has them. That’s beyond disgusting. I pray I’m not the only person who noticed and was wildly offended by that.

After the Pulse Nightclub massacre in 2016, I pointed out that after every mass shooting, there’s always a parade of Conservative Gun Rights defenders claiming that if THEY had been “there” when the latest shooting was taking place, THEY could have taken down the shooter with their trusty handgun. I’ve NEVER heard one say they would have needed an assault weapon to achieve this amazing feat. Never has one ever said it’s impossible to stop such a crime unless THEY TOO had an assault weapon on them. I NEVER heard anyone claim it couldn’t be done without an extended clip holding 30 or more rounds, either.

Not once.

All they needed was a simple handgun. So why again do they need an assault rifle with 30 round clip “for protection”?

I actually heard Republican Senator Jim Lankford claim on “Meet the Press” yesterday that “some people actually DO hunt with an AR-15 rifle.” No, I didn’t make that up. In case you are wondering, Yes, you DID just hear a Republican senator argue that the weapon of choice of most mass murderers needs to remain legal because there are people who are such miserable shots they need an assault weapon to take down a moose. If you need a gun capable of spitting out 45 bullets/minute in order to hunt, you probably have no business firing such a powerful weapon… unless of course you just love liquefied deer meat.

Every time there is a mass shooting, we are told “Now is not the time to discuss gun reform.” Why? Because “emotions are running high” and gun-opponents might not be open to a “rational” discussion on restricting guns. But then, people soon forget about it and another important issue steals the spotlight. And should you bring the issue back up a month or two later (assuming there hasn’t been another mass slaughter since then), the issue is no longer seen as “urgent” and quickly falls by the wayside… until the next mass shooting and we are told once again, “Now is not the time”. In an age where people are developing the attention span of goldfish, “waiting” is to “issues” what “assault weapons” are to “human lives”: death.
 


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Discussion we’re having on sexual assault is the discussion we should of had about guns
Nov 20th, 2017 by Admin Mugsy

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As you may or may not know, I live-blog the Sunday political talk shows on Facebook & Twitter every week, and yesterday I was growing increasingly agitated listening to perplexed pundits on both sides of the aisle bemoaning the recent spate of men accused of sexually assaulting women, asking, “Why does this keep happening?” and “What… if anything… can we do about it?” I asked myself, “Why does this sound so familiar?” Oh yeah, it’s the same questions everyone was asking about JUST TWO WEEKS AGO following the mass shooting in a Texas church. And one month before that, it was another mass shooting in Las Vegas (ad infinitum). Except when people tried to ask those same questions back then, they were immediately shut down, told it was “too soon” to discuss the failures that facilitated those horrific acts; ensuring that nothing would be done about them.

“Was the Texas church shooting really just two weeks ago“, I hear you asking yourself? Yes. Yes it was. How quickly we forget… and that’s the point. Is it still “too soon” to discuss the most recent gun tragedy? Maybe not. But now that the public has a new distraction to keep them occupied, no one is thinking about the last mass shooting anymore. All attention is on the sudden rash of accusations of sexual misconduct by men in positions of power. Distraction accomplished. The urgency is gone. And that’s the entire point of the “too soon” talking point. Wait it out and soon everyone will just forget about it. Well, I haven’t forgotten about it, and you shouldn’t either.

It’s easy to forget this started with Donald Trump himself thirteen months ago with the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape… at least many might have forgotten if #ToddlerTrump hadn’t decided to attack Al Franken on Twitter for groping a Playmate during a USO event. People asked members of Trump’s staff, “Why on Earth would he attack Senator Franken for doing something he himself has been accused of, only to revive scrutiny of his OWN misbehavior? “He just couldn’t resist!” was the unanimous reply. Funny, he has resisted commenting on the FAR more serious charges being made against Judge Roy Moore these past few weeks. Yet he couldn’t resist attacking Franken (even calling him the childish name of “Frankenstein“.) Undisciplined, immature and lacking impulse control. What does that remind you of? A toddler, perhaps? White House Press Secretary Huckabee-Sanders defended Trump’s decision to selectively attack Franken but not Moore with the justification, “Franken has admitted wrong-doing while Moore has not.” I find it hilarious that anyone might think that was a rational defense. That’s one of those answers that earns a confused head-tilt from my dog. So the guy who has stepped forward and accepted responsibility is the one worthy of criticism, not the serial pedophile who is claiming a giant joint Media/GOP/Democratic conspiracy against him where his nine accusers are all lying and he’s the most persecuted man-of-God since Jesus himself?
 

“We live in a country where the president of the United States has yet to come out and forcefully condemn the sexual predation of children.” – Megan Murphy, Editor Bloomberg Business during ABC’s ThisWeek yesterday.

 

Before Trump we had Rep. Anthony Weiner. After Trump we had Bill O’Reilly and Rodger Ailes of Fox “news”. And since then, a laundry list of celebrities & politicians from Bill Cosby to Judge Roy Moore, and now Senator Franken (BREAKING: And now actor Jeffery Tambor… whom I’ll always remember as the stuffy neighbor with the hot wife on the short-lived “Three’s Company” spin-off: “The Ropers”.) Clearly, “sexual assault” has no party affiliation. The only thing these men have in common was being in a position of authority over the women (and men in the case of Spacey) they assaulted.

But it’s the helpless cries that have gotten under my skin. Not because of anything having to do with any lack of sympathy for the victims, but just knowing more is likely to come out of asking THE EXACT SAME QUESTIONS to prevent more incidents of sexual assault than following every mass shooting. It’s maddening. People were being mowed down by automatic gunfire barely six weeks ago… and then again two weeks ago, and yet more immediate action is likely to take place prosecuting these men for things they did decades ago than will be done to stop the next mass murder using an assault weapon that is likely to occur again any day now.

When each shooting rampage takes place, Gun Rights Advocates cry that it is “too soon” to talk about how to stop the next one. And when someone is accused of sexual misconduct that took place years ago, the abusers’ defense is “Why did they wait so long?” And in the time in between, we get distracted by the latest Hollywood/political scandal. There’s just no way to win.

“Why does this keep happening and what are we going to do about it?” Well, we KNOW why “sexual abuse” keeps happening, and “what we’re going to do about it” is force some resignations while some of the more powerful people will voluntarily check themselves into therapy. No real changes will take place, and in the meantime, another delusional crazyman in a position of power will assault another dozen people.

Huh. Same questions. Same consequences. I guess the two situations aren’t that different after all.

Never mind.
 

Famous predators

 


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Yet another mass shooting. 27 dead in a Texas Church. Conservatives send prayers, oblivious to irony
Nov 6th, 2017 by Admin Mugsy

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Donald Trump tweeted (natch) from Japan on his Asia trip, “May God be w/the people of Sutherland Springs, Texas.” As I type this, news has broken of yet another mass shooting, this time in a small church in the tiny mid-Texas town of Sutherland Springs (described by the mayor as a “one flashing light town” with a population of less than 500 people. I was raised in such a town. Everybody knows everybody else and there are almost as many churches as people. So I know of what I speak when I talk about Conservatives and their guns, and trying to make sense of people with a Glock in one hand and a Bible in the other. Reports as of this writing are that as many as 27 people have been killed and another 24 injured. Texas Governor Greg Abbott tweeted out, “Our prayers are with all who were harmed by this evil act.” Texas Senator Ted Cruz likewise tweeted, “Keeping all harmed in Sutherland Springs in our prayers.” I doubt a single one of them probably pondered the irony for a micro-second of “praying” for the well-being of people who were just shot in a church. Damnit! “Thoughts & Prayers” aren’t enough! We need to get serious about gun control and it needs to happen yesterday! The same people who believe “Just say ‘No'” is an adequate policy response to drug abuse and teen pregnancy, and that hurricanes are God’s punishment for immorality (yet they never seem to hit Las Vegas), also seem to believe “thoughts & prayers” are an adequate response to every mass shooting… and we’ve been having quite a few of them lately.
 

Thoughts & Prayers: The Game
(Click to enter The GOP Arcade)

 

Of course, there are a “significant” number of people (disconnected from reality) who believe every mass shooting is a government conspiracy to “take away their guns.” These frightening people will scream at you, get in your face, accuse you of endangering their lives by wanting to deny mentally disturbed people (like themselves) from owning enough guns to start their own Pan American army, and then threaten your life in return (the brother of the Vegas shooter said his brother was such a Second Amendment zealot, he believed anyone who DIDN’T own a gun was a danger to the country, unprepared to defend it. One might wonder if his motive for the shooting… yet to be determined… was to convince more people of the need to arm themselves?) And because these crazy people with guns are so frightening & so dangerous, they are also the people Republican lawmakers listen to most when setting gun policy for the nation. Angry, paranoid gun nuts buy a LOT of guns, making the gun lobby extraordinarily powerful. Because in a government where “money” has been raised to the status of “speech”, and a controlling Party on the brink of imbuing Corporations with Constitutional Rights as “people”, ACTUAL people now have fewer rights than does “money” (you can’t lock up a dollar bill, and who was the last CEO to go to jail?)

Now I’m not saying we must ban all guns. I don’t think any rational person can/would make that argument. To me, people who think we could ban all guns, confiscate every weapon and repeal the Second Amendment are no more rational than the paranoid “False Flag” gun nuts. Short of going back in time and asking the Founding Fathers for a little more clarity when writing the Second Amendment, we’re stuck with it. The genie is out of the bottle. Pandora’s Box has been opened. Pick your metaphor. The guns are out there and there’s no going back.

The question then becomes, “How do we move forward?” Do we continue to do nothing… or worse, WEAKEN existing gun laws… ensuring the problem only gets worse, or do we finally get serious about Common Sense limitations on the types of weapons we continue to sell, their destructive power, and availability? Or do we finally say “Enough is enough” and stop allowing the most paranoid among us set the policy for the rest of the nation?

Right after the Vegas shooting (less than a month ago), I (again) proposed the idea of taxing gun powder as a Constitutional means of getting around the Second Amendment. You may have the Constitutional right to own more guns than a Panamanian drug lord, but nowhere does it say you have a right to a cheap, uninterrupted supply of ammunition (high capacity clips). Yet, there is more we can do than just tax bullets.

Like restore the “Assault Weapons” ban… particularly the ban on high capacity clips. Few details of the Texas church shooting have emerged as I write this, but there is no doubt in my mind the shooter was armed with an Assault Weapon with high-capacity clip (update: reports are the shooter was finally stopped “when he stepped outside to reload”… after killing 27 and injuring 10-20 more. That’s roughly 50 uninterrupted shots.) As I noted earlier, I grew up in a small Texas town much like Sutherland Springs, and I guarantee you at least a half dozen of those parishioners were packing. “Good guys with guns.” Problem is, no number of “good guys with guns” are a match for a nut with a semi-automatic and the element of surprise on their side.

“Mass shootings” are so prevalent in this country, we feel the need to put them into categories simply to tell them apart. This latest “mass shooting” may be “the fourth deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history” (with 27, just behind Sandy Hook with 28), but it has already been sub-classified as “the deadly mass shooting… in a church. If all we do after each mass shooting is simply “pray” it doesn’t happen again, it’s going to happen again. If a mass shooting in a CHURCH of all places doesn’t highlight the worthlessness of relying on “prayer” as a strategy of dealing with continued (and escalating) gun violence, then I’m not sure what will.
 

Post-script: Before news of the Sutherland Springs shooting broke, I was preparing to write about DNC Chairwoman Donna Brazile’s “revelation” that they “colluded” with the Clinton campaign (and defiantly telling her critics to “go to hell”), and the fact that readers of this Op/Ed (and most Sanders supporters) were already well aware of this fact when I wrote well over a year ago my June 6th & June 20th, 2016 Op/Eds regarding DNC misbehavior.
 


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Self-Proclaimed Protectors of America Hold Everything it Stands for in Contempt.
Oct 16th, 2017 by Admin Mugsy

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I think I’m running out of ways to say “The Far Right hates America.” Which is ironic because it’s the Far Right who continually accuses “The Left” of “hating America” for complaining about the direction it’s heading (headlong into Fascism.) I’ve been writing this blog since the end of Dubya Bush’s first term in office, and one thing I’ve noticed is that people have disturbingly short memories. I actually heard a progressive radio host last week say that he “didn’t remember the Bush Administration having as much contempt for the Freedom of Speech as the Trump Administration.” “SERIOUSLY?” I barked out loud. You don’t remember “Free Speech Zones”, “Loyalty oaths”, and “fake newscasts with actors pretending to be reporters using fake names” being produced in-house by the Bush Administration and distributed to small market low-budget TV stations across the nation who then played those fake newscasts without ever revealing their source and clearly unaware the reporters were actors? You telling me you don’t remember ANY of that? None of this is new. Trump’s contempt for “Freedom of the Press”, “Freedom of Speech“, “Freedom of Assembly” and a “Freedom of Religion” that only applies if you are Christian, are only the latest depths of Conservative anti-Americanism. Trump’s supporters openly spoke of “secession” when Obama was president, and hate immigrants (ironically, in a nation of immigrants… of which their forebearers almost certainly were) to a xenophobic level. Not only did Trump launch his campaign calling Mexican immigrants “drug dealers and rapists” (which his supporters cheered), and not only has he called for a ban on all immigration from the Middle East (to which he later tried to amend with exceptions based on religion), but they even tried to rewrite the story of the “Statue of Liberty” to claim the Lady with the Lamp guiding “the wretched refuse to our shores” was NOT intended to “welcome” immigrants, but instead was merely a monument to our greatness, adding that the famed poem describing the purpose of the statue “was added later.” If your hatred of the outside world is SO extreme you feel you must even rewrite Lady Liberty’s legacy, that’s beyond living in denial. They wave Confederate flags (the flag of rebels who broke apart from America and declared war upon it), hate half of the people who live here (blacks, minorities, non-Christians, Democrats) and think the purpose of the Second Amendment is to protect them from their own government. And the biggest problem is that the people who support all this anti-American activity ALSO claim to be America’s most fervent defenders/supporters.

As I’ve noted many times before, our Constitution mentions the word “TREASON” seven times and says the purpose of the 2nd Amendment is for its citizens to PROTECT AMERICA from those who seek to attack it. If you live here, it’s the FIRST Amendment that grants you the power to speak out against the government, petition it to redress your grievances, a free press to air those grievances and speak out against it, and a right to freely assemble/protest to bring about change. NO WHERE does it say “If you don’t like it, you can shoot your Congressman.” It’s there to guard against fascism (the merger of corporations, church & state). Guard against people who might seek to deny you your right of free speech. Guard against people who might do this country harm… by militarizing the police, polluting our air & streams, or keeping the nation in a perpetual state of war. The most fervent Second Amendment supporters are typically the same people who most live in fear of their own government, are the greatest supporters of those very same policies I just listed, and the quickest to threaten the use of force against it if the government strays from those very policies or endangers their right to own as much firepower as they can possibly amass over several lifetimes. The great irony in this country is that today’s Second Amendment supporters are the very people the Second Amendment was intended to protect us from.

These self-proclaimed “Protectors of America” hold everything this nation stands for in contempt: Immigrants, free speech, tolerance and a separation of Church & State.

With Trump’s new call for “Compulsory Patriotism” (demanding NFL team owners “suspend” any player who refuses to stand for the National Anthem in protest), we join the ranks of reviled dictatorships like Iran, North Korea, Nazi Germany and (of course) Soviet Russia. It should come as a surprise to no one that Trump admires dictators… fascists who don’t have to answer to anyone… and bemoans the fact he can’t just run the country the way a corporate tycoon runs his company… the lone decision maker where his word is law and everything is done by decree. (We all remember how bitterly Republicans accused President Obama of “acting like a dictator” by issuing “Executive Orders” to circumvent an obstructionist Congress. They declared that “Executive Orders” in and of themselves were “unconstitutional” for that very reason. So imagine my shock (sarcasm) when Trump did EXACTLY THAT, issuing an unconstitutional “Executive Order” of his own last week (for fun, type “Trump executive order” in a Google News search and see how many options come up) “decertifying” a key provision in “ObamaCare” to provide subsidies to help the working poor afford their insurance. And imagine my further surprise (read: none) when Conservative pundit Michael Needham on Fox “news” Sunday yesterday dared claim “Nobody ever said Conservatives oppose ALL “Executive Orders”, just the “unconstitutional” ones.” It’s not THEIR fault every single one of Obama’s “Executive Orders” just happened to be “unconstitutional” (because they were used to circumvent an obstructionist Congress, while Trump’s EO was done because… ah… oh… uh…)

Now, if you are a Conservative, you’re probably calling me a hypocrite for not yet mentioning recent college protests seeking to shutdown guest speakers who wish to perform/talk at their school. Typically, the object of their fury are Conservative hate-speech bomb-throwers like Ann Coulter or Steve Bannon, but they’ve also protested Left-Wing stand-up comics like Bill Maher whom they criticize for his criticism of Muslims as followers of “a hateful ideology”, though to be fair, he says the same thing about the religious Right (as do I.) So, “the Left” has its intolerant anti-free speech zealots as well. But while “the Left” has a few intolerant young college kids who should know better but don’t, the Right has ENTIRE ORGANIZATIONS (like The Family Research Council who just hosted Bannon’s latest little fascist-fest, the “AEI: American Enterprise Institute“, and most famously “The Heritage Foundation“) with multi-billionaire backers funding them dedicated to undermining the very principles of Democracy. A few intolerant kids at a select few colleges just doesn’t compare.

If you claim to “love America”, then you must also love everything it stands for. If only those who claim to be ready to fight to the death to protect the Second Amendment were as fanatical about protecting the First.
 


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Can’t ban guns? Try taxing gunpowder.
Oct 9th, 2017 by Admin Mugsy

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In 1999, comedian Chris Rock had a brilliant comedy routine called the “The $5,000 bullet”:
 


 
I don’t know how serious he was, and I’m not sure Rock appreciated how brilliant his idea was at the time, but every time there’s a mass shooting in this country (the murder of four or more people by a single gunman takes place in the United States more than once a day), people are directed to Rock’s routine by others equally impressed, looking to spread this brilliant idea, and viewers wonder why no one has thought of it before.

“We don’t need gun-control. We need bullet control. If a bullet costs $5,000, there’ll be no more innocent bystanders”, Rock declares. Random indiscriminate rapid fire weapons would be incredibly costly to use and ammunition difficult to come by.

Rock’s brilliant solution has one minor flaw: A large number of gun enthusiasts make their own ammunition (my father being one of them.) If you fire lots of bullets target shooting, buying commercial ammunition can already get quite expensive, so many will pack their own bullets for pennies on the dollar. Simply making pre-made bullets more expensive will only drive more people to make their own ammunition, even foster an underground market for homemade bullets. That’s the last thing we want or need. We should instead focus on the propellant. And I’m not sure “$5,000/bullet” is realistic either. But that’s a minor detail people can work out later.

When I first suggested “taxing gunpowder” about then years ago (and still, few have heard of the idea), I was informed that most bullets don’t use “gunpowder” any more. They use a more powerful powdered propellant called “Cordite”, so since then, I’ve always made sure to include “Cordite” in any proposed ban. You can’t just focus on one and not the other because all you’ll do is make the untaxed propellant more popular. Ideally, ANY explosive or propellant that can be used to make bullets should be heavily taxed, including liquids (like nitroglycerine) and clays (like C4.) If it goes “Boom” when ignited, it shouldn’t be cheap or easily available. Seems pretty obvious if you ask me.

Last week’s mass shooting in Vegas was just the latest to leave us all scratching our heads asking “How do we fix this?” As a result, I sent the following request to Senator Bernie Sanders:
 

Subject: Can’t ban guns? Try taxing gunpowder.
 

All attempts to “ban” any type of weapon always runs into “2nd Amendment” issues of violating the “Right to bear arms”. But no such right extends to “unlimited ammunition.”

PLEASE propose a steep tax on gunpowder/cordite to make bullets too expensive to be fired indiscriminately and/or in high quantity as an alternative to a prolonged & ultimately futile debate over a “gun ban”.

Placing such a tax on the propellant and not just the bullets themselves serves two purposes: One, many gun enthusiasts pack/make their own ammunition, and two, it would also impact “bomb creation”. And if someone purchases a large quantity of gunpowder/cordite, it will raise flags at the FBI whereas ammunition purchases typically do not.

People can own as many weapons as they like. But there is nothing in the Constitution guaranteeing a right to a cheap/endless supply of ammunition. I think this is an alternative way around the always contentious fight to ban a particular weapon (which is always followed by the minutia of deciding what weapons specifically qualify for the ban and which don’t.)

Thank you.

 

In 1994, Democrats passed the “Assault Weapons Ban” that made many (but not all) rapid-fire rifles (but not handguns) illegal. Included in the ban was a provision to make “high capacity magazines” that held more than 12-rounds illegal. No one needs a clip that holds more than 12 rounds and allows them to fire indiscriminately just to hunt deer. And if there are so many bad guys on your doorstep that you need more than 12 rounds of uninterrupted firepower to protect yourself, you aren’t going to win that fight without help anyway. Not only was it a brilliant move (focusing on the ammunition instead of the guns), but it also turned out to be quite effective. A 2016 investigation by the Washington Post found that the number of “Assault Weapons” recovered by police at crime scenes fell from a high of 16 percent in 1997/98, to a low of just 9 percent (and falling) when the Bush-43 Administration repealed the ban in 2004, calling it “a failure” (we heard this lie repeated again yesterday on “Meet the Press” as representatives of the Trump Administration claimed the ’94 ban “failed”… using the same logic that if a medicine doesn’t cure 100% of the patients who take it, the drug is clearly “a failure” and therefore needs to be prohibited.
 

Effectiveness of 1994 AW Ban

 

The only way Democrats were able to pass the ban in 1994 over GOP opposition was to insert a ten year sunset-clause into the bill, so when the bill came up for renewal during a Republican presidency in an Election year, its fate was sealed. It didn’t matter if it was a success or not, it’s mere existence was more offensive to Republicans than the lives lost without it. So the ban was dropped and the criminal use of assault weapons took off like a bullet.

If you do a Google search on the effectiveness of banning “high capacity” magazines, the results look like a search on whether or not Global Warming is real. Nine results supporting the claim for every one opposed. And by no coincidence, Republicans make up the minority on both. Yet, despite majority support, the minority opinion rules the day… much the way an exhausted parent gives in to their screaming toddler throwing a tantrum in the middle of the supermarket: sometimes it’s just easier to let them have their way if you are to ever get anything else done.

Almost immediately following the Vegas massacre, Republicans started looking for ways to deflect public outrage long enough to ride out the storm so that once again we do nothing. One incredibly offensive popular Conservative meme repeated after every mass shooting (including this one) is, “It’s just too soon to start talking about gun legislation.” Really? As Rep. Jim Hines (D-CT) pointed out last week, “No one said after 9/11: ‘It’s too soon to ask what happened and talk about how to prevent it from happening again.” (When IS the right time to talk about gun restrictions in this country? When Trump is busy threatening to nuke North Korea?) As others have pointed out, the day we allowed 20 First Graders and 6 teachers to be brutally gunned down in cold blood by a nut with an assault rifle and did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to prevent it from happening again is the day we decided the rights of gun owners was more important than the lives of children.

In January of 2013, one month after the Newtown massacre, Democrats tried to bring back the ’94 Assault Weapons Ban. It failed despite having majority support, blocked by 41 Republicans and five Conservo-Dems:
 

46 voted to do nothing after Sandy Hook

 

One of the things included in the failed 2013 Ban were those “Bump/Slide-fire stocks” like the ones used by the Vegas shooter last week.

Earlier this year, another mentally deranged lone gunman opened fire on politicians (of both parties) playing softball in a friendly annual inter-Party game, nearly killing Tea Party Republican Congressman Steve Scalise. I wondered following the Vegas shooting if Scalise would emerge “a hero” and kick the NRA to the curb by finally conceding that something needs to be done about the easy availability of guns, or would “blind partisan ideology” reign and continue to defend the practice? Guess which path he chose? Scalise: “Why doesn’t the Media report the Good News on guns?” If you ever needed proof the love of guns is a mental disorder, now you have it.

On one Sunday show yesterday, one Right-Winger hailed Scalise’s inability to see the consequences of making guns as ubiquitous as Tic Tacs as “a triumph of not allowing his emotions cloud his political judgement.” Seriously. I’m certain if this man’s son jumped off the roof with a towel tied around his neck thinking it would give him the ability to fly, this pundit would praise his son’s persistence for trying again the moment the cast was removed from his fractured skull. Failing to recognize the consequences of your actions isn’t an act of courage. It’s an act of stupidity. It’s ideology over common-sense and DEFINITELY not worthy of praise.

Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update” was inspired last weekend, pointing out that anyone owning 47 of anything is the sign of an unwell person. “If you had 47 cats, they’d call you ‘Crazy Cat Lady’, take the cats away from you and have you treated by a court-appointed psychiatrist.” Also pointed out, “38 of his 47 weapons were purchased in just the past year, yet it raised no red flags?” That’s because the NRA (and gun nuts) are absolutely paranoid of a “national gun registry”, because they don’t want the gub’mint knowing how many guns they got. Ask them “Why?” sometime and prepare to dive down the rabbit-hole of government conspiracy theories of how the government plans on rounding everyone up, taking away their guns, and locking them up in “FEMA Camps” where they’ll be forced to eat Tofu and drink soymilk with every meal. Or maybe the government simply wants to “take their land” (because the use of “eminent-domain” laws have been so unsuccessful?) Never look for logic among illogical people. Remember, these are the same people who thought “Jade Helm” was an Obama plot to “invade Texas”… a U.S. state… via underground passages beneath vacant Wal*Marts (with a governor who sent National Guard troops to the Texas/Oklahoma border to keep an eye on them.)

And these are the people we allow to dictate our gun policy.

If you buy 38 guns in one year… or even one DAY… there are no “red flags” to be raised because the Gun Rights advocates won’t let gun retailers record who buys what & when. So while buying 38 guns in one big purchase might lead a concerned retailer to contact the authorities, buying 38 guns over the course of a few hours from multiple retailers wouldn’t raise any red flags. NO ONE… not even the Federal agency running the background checks… is allowed to keep a record of who bought what, when & where. There would be no way to know all those weapons were being purchased by the same person because of the NRA paranoia over a “gun registry”.

Master of Distraction Trump used the old racist GOP chestnut of pointing to “Chicago, with it’s tight restrictions on gun ownership yet having the highest gun murder rate in the country” as “proof” that “gun control laws don’t work.” NRA Executive Director Chris Cox repeated the half-truth as well during Fox “news” Sunday yesterday.

If Chicago has such tight restrictions on gun sales, then where are they getting all those guns? Ever look at a map? The distance from Chicago’s “East Side” to deep Red state Indiana can be measured in Raisinettes. Neighboring Indiana… the state where Mike Pense just left as governor to be Trump’s VP… has some of the most lax gun laws in the nation. You could literally walk out your back door on Chicago’s South-Side and make a strawman purchase of a dozen guns from someone living in Indiana, and there’s be no way for the authorities to know. Or one could drive ten minutes down the road and across the border to any of several gun retailers (or several Wal*Marts) to buy your guns legally. Is it any wonder Chicago continues to have such a problem with gun violence despite tight restrictions on gun purchases when circumventing the law is as easy as crossing the street?

Off course, ALL of the Sunday shows yesterday bemoaned the rise in gun violence, talking about our apparent inability to “come together as a nation” regardless the tragedy to agree upon “common-sense gun legislation.” “What,” they ask, “can we do? As long as the gun nuts will fight to the death to protect the Second Amendment, then all hope is lost!”

Well, there ARE things we can do, and we should start by focusing less on the guns and more on the ammunition.

The 1994 ban on high capacity clips was a step in the right direction, thinking outside of the box. The Constitution (arguably) protects your right to own a firearm. It does NOT guarantee you the right not to be inconvenienced by having to stop & reload after firing more than a few rounds. The Republicans only defense against the ban on high-capacity clips was to lie and claim the ban “didn’t work” after just a few years. They couldn’t argue the ban was “unconstitutional” or that people had an inalienable right to not to be inconvenienced (if that was a right, all those Conservative voter suppression laws would be toast), so all they were left with was to lie.

We’ve tried banning certain “types” of guns and all it did was make gun makers more creative in finding ways to circumvent the law. We banned “fully automatic weapons”, so someone invented “the Bump Stock” that allows a semi-automatic rifle to fire like a fully automatic one. They say “Guns don’t kill people!” Well a gun with no ammunition doesn’t kill anyone (unless they use it like a club to beat you to death.)

Background checks… while crucial… have a high failure rate. The Vegas shooter passed his background checks with flying colors. No criminal history, and despite (reportedly) being a pro-Second Amendment zealot who believed anyone who did NOT own a gun was a danger to society (mull that irony over for a moment), there were no warning signs to give anyone reason not to sell him his arsenal in the first place. And there’s no “waiting period” or “background check” to buy tons of ammunition or aftermarket modifications like a “bump stock”.

The kid who murdered nine parishioners in Charleston, SC two years ago would have failed a background check, but was still allowed to legally buy his guns because the background check process “took too long” (over 36 hours) and by law, you can’t force anyone to wait more than 36 hours to buy a gun.

The Newtown murderer got his gun from his Mom… another gun nut. She trained her socially awkward son how to shoot because she feared Obama was coming to take her guns and wanted to give him confidence… which he apparently found as he used her own Bushmaster to murder her in her sleep before trotting off to his old Elementary school where he had been teased as a child nearly a decade before.

The “2nd Amendment is there to protect you from your government” myth is probably THE most pervasive/destructive misconception about guns that the NRA & Gun Rights Advocates have been working overtime to convince the already paranoid anti-government low-education demographic for decades is why they need an arsenal in their home. They truly believe that the only thing keeping the government from coming into their home (for no clear reason) is the fact they own 47 guns. The military may have tanks and Hellfire-armed drones, but Bubba with his AR15 and a cooler full of Coors is going to turn them away if they come knockin’.

Pro-gun rights groups love to claim “the Nazi’s banned the Jews from owning guns” to suggest that the only thing standing between Fascism & Freedom are gun-loving ‘mercuns like themselves (who then vote for rich corporate fascists who show nothing but contempt for The First Amendment & Voting Rights and call actual Nazi’s “very good people”.) While it is true Hitler denied the Jews the right to own guns in 1938, the idea that it was responsible for what happened to them is a stretch. Much like these same gun-nuts here who think they could fend off the entire United States military if they showed up on their doorstep, Jewish people armed with a few handguns and rifles would have been no match for a military that came close to conquering the world… much of which DID have weapons… fully armed militaries with tanks & planes. In 1943, the “Warsaw Ghetto Uprising” took place where thousands of Polish Jews who were walled off from the rest of Germany attacked the German army from behind their walled off neighborhood. They lost. 13,000 Jews died while only a few Germans were killed. The uprising was the subject of the Academy Award winning 2002 film “The Pianist”

As I’ve cited on this blog several times, the Constitution uses the word “treason” SEVEN TIMES. Not once does it say you have the right to shoot your congressman if you disagree with them. Instead, they gave us the FIRST Amendment, which grants us the right to free speech to redress our grievances, and the ballot box to vote out anyone we don’t like. It even says the purpose of the Second Amendment is to “secure a free state“. Protect the country from those who seek to attack it. Yet amazingly, Second Amendment zealots are quick to ridicule the Right to Free Speech (“How dare those people disrespect the flag by kneeling during the anthem!”), find new & creative ways to deny people their right to vote, and threaten to attack the government if they feel threatened by it (“Yeehaw! The South shall rise again!”)… arguably, today’s Second Amendment zealots are the very people the Second Amendment was intended to protect us from! If only supporters of the Second Amendment were as fanatical about protecting The First.

Never look for logic where none exists.
 

RedRidingHood banned for bottle of wine on cover

 

Stricter background checks by themselves are not the answer. “Mental health checks” & “background checks” only catch people who ALREADY have problems and personally purchase their weapons through a licensed dealer. Roughly 45% of all gun sales do not go through a commercial dealer in a gun store. We’ve all heard of the “Gunshow Loophole”, then there’s the “gifting” of weapons, the sale of “used” weapons person-to-person, and most Internet sales. None of which are subject to a background check.

Banning certain “types” of weapons doesn’t work because gun manufacturers and “after-market” equipment makers simply find legal ways to circumvent the law.

But all guns need ammunition. It’s not a protected right that is not immune to regulation or restriction.

When Justice Roberts infuriated Conservatives by declaring the “ObamaCare mandate” to be legal, he justified it by saying the government can legally tax you for ANY reason. “If it wants to, the government can tax you for breathing”, he said in his decision. And such is the case with “ammunition”. The Second Amendment does not guarantee you a right to a cheap, unlimited & uninterrupted supply of ammunition. If the government wants to tax the hell out of bullets to make them too expensive to be fired indiscriminately and making mass murder by rapid fire weapon too costly, then there is no law against it. Conservative Justice Roberts says so.

Focusing on devices/mods like “Bump stocks” is a distraction. It’s a sacrificial lamb the Right will willingly toss to the wolves to protect unfettered gun ownership overall. Not only are “bump stocks” a small and obscure market, they’re actually only ONE OF SEVERAL aftermarket modifications you can attach to any semiautomatic weapon to make it perform like a fully automatic. There is also a device called a “Gat Crank” that basically turns any semi into a Gatling Gun (I wonder how readily the guy in the video would have cranked off between $3,000 and $30,000 worth of ammunition for the 5 seconds of fun he had showing off his new toy?). Another device is called the “Hellfire Trigger”, a simple spring that makes pulling the trigger easier so you can fire faster. And that’s just the two I personally know of (and I know next to nothing about guns.) So restricting/banning just one particular gun mod isn’t enough either. It’s time to think outside the box on this one.

I’ve always found it slightly ironic that the “Party of Life” is full of gun zealots who think Jesus was born a Republican with a gun in one hand and a guide to Capitalism in the other. But then I remember that “Conservatism is a Death Cult” and I remember once again why things are the way they are.
 

GOP is a Death Cult

 


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The Subtle “Implied Racism” of Trump’s Presidency
Aug 14th, 2017 by Admin Mugsy

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“On many sides.” Three little words that speak volumes.

After a White Supremacist “Nazi sympathizer” plowed his car into a crowd of counter protesters, killing a young female counter-protester (two police officers were also killed in a helicopter crash patrolling the protest) and injuring dozens more, it was HOURS before Trump responded to the attack, and when he finally did, reading from a printed script (because teleprompters are bad and prove you’re stupid), appeared to blame “both sides” for the violence:

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence… on many sides… on many sides.”

 

…never once using the terms “White Supremacists”, “Nazis”, “White Nationalists” or “terrorism”. Recall that all through the presidential campaign, Republicans roundly condemned President Obama for refusing to utter the words “Radical Islamic terrorism”? Trump himself repeatedly argued that “If you can’t say it, you can’t defeat it!” So what do we make of Trump’s inability/refusal to condemn Nazi’s and White Supremacists by name?

Does the tactic of plowing a car through a crowd of people sound vaguely familiar? That’s because that is the EXACT same tactic used by ISIS sympathizers across Europe over the past year to commit acts of terror. Is there ANY doubt that if the person driving the car in Charlottesville had been a Muslim, this would have been labeled a “terrorist attack” and condemned by Trump within minutes of it happening? So what’s different? You know, and so do I.

But it should comes as no surprise. Since the very day Trump announced he was running for president, his entire campaign & presidency has been peppered with subtle (and sometimes overt) acts of racism. As we all remember, Trump’s candidacy announcement included calling Mexicans “Drug dealers, criminals, rapists… and some… I assume are good people” (the qualifier tacked onto the end to avoid being overtly declared a racist.) And it was because of this (wildly overstated) rampant crime wave being committed by “illegals” that we needed to build “a wall” clear across our Southern border.

And so began the Trump campaign. And the racists swooned.

20 years ago, there was a lot less public tolerance of racism, and it remained mostly in the shadows. The election of the first black president started to provide racists with some cover, couching their overt racist hatred as merely being “political differences” with the Commander-in-Chief. They’d claim: “I don’t hate that Kenyan Muslim in the White House because he’s black! I simply have a legitimate difference of opinion on political issues!” For eight years, Trump stoked that racist hatred of Obama by championing the insane “birther” conspiracy theory that Obama was actually “born in Kenya” and therefore ineligible to be president of the United States… ergo, it was okay to hate him because his presidency was illegitimate.

I won’t go back down the “Birther” rabbit hole. You know the story: birth certificate, “long-form” birth certificate, newspaper birth announcements were “fakes”, Ted Cruz… who was ACTUALLY born in another country… was eligible because “his mother was an American”… unlike Obama’s mother who was born in Kansas. Never look for logic among illogical people.

Long before Trump became known as “the Birther Guy”, there was “The Central Park 5“. In 1989, a group of five black & Latino teenagers were accused of “assaulting and raping a white woman in Central Park.” Trump spent $85,000 of his own money taking out full-page ads in the four New York City daily papers, calling for the return of the death penalty for “muggers and murderers”, never mentioning the boys by name but everyone knew who he meant. 14 years later, the boys… now all grown up… were exonerated by DNA testing, yet Trump never apologized, citing the fact that “the police said they were guilty.”

Trump’s campaign rallies started to look like… well… maybe not “Klan rallies”, but unquestionably angry, with lots of shouting and peppered with violence. When protesters began showing up to condemn the racist dog-whistles Trump was sending out at every campaign event, his supporters grew violent, and rather than condemn the violence, Trump egged it on, saying things like “Throw the bum out,” “Get them out of here,” “Take his coat and throw him out in the cold,” and most famously, promising to pay the legal bills of anyone who might be sued for roughing up a protester.

That was his campaign. From birtherism, to demonizing Mexicans, “Black Lives Matter”, and Muslim Bans, Trump’s entire candidacy was catapulted by racists who heard a kindred spirit in Trump’s rhetoric… emboldened by how he’d “unapologetically” say exactly what they were feeling. For years they were made to feel embarrassed & ashamed for their primordial beliefs. Now they felt America had legitimized their beliefs by electing someone like Trump.

Trump’s first (and for a LONG time only) Congressional endorsement was Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions of Alabama. A Deep South congressman with a troublesome civil rights record of his own, once calling the NAACP and ACLUun-American“, criticizing “The Voting Rights Act”, and most famously (supposedly) saying he once admired the Klan till he found out “they smoke pot.” In any case, despite his record, because of his loyalty, Sessions was Trump’s very first appointee… naming him Attorney General, which put him directly in charge of enforcing the very Voting Rights Act he once criticized.

During the campaign, Trump was endorsed by none other than “David Duke”, the openly racist former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klowns Klan turned politician turned RW Talk Radio host. When Trump was asked if he accepted the endorsement of Duke, he feigned having any knowledge of who Duke was and did not directly reject the endorsement (at first) fearing to offend like-minded racists who make up a large proportion of his base. It was only after repeated & prolonged criticism that Trump… weakly… finally rejected Duke’s endorsement THREE DAYS LATER. CNN reported:
 

“David Duke is a bad person, who [sic] I disavowed on numerous occasions over the years. Do you want me to do it again for the 12th time?” Trump said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” – March 3, 2016

 

“A bad person”? Whoa there, Mr. Trump! Give a guy some warning before you go using language like that! “Who I disavowed on numerous occasions over the years” twelve times? Just three days earlier, he denied even knowing who Duke was. Now suddenly he recalls disavowing him “12 times over the years”? Which is it?

Duke “took credit” for White Nationalists like himself helping get Trump elected, responding to Trump’s (muted & delayed) condemnation of the events hours earlier in Charlottesville by criticizing Trump’s criticism, telling/threatening Trump to “remember who got you elected”… clearly implying Trump owes his election to the very White Supremacists and neo-Nazis he just condemned (albeit half-heartedly, evenly distributing blame for the violence and murders equally between the protesters & counter-protesters alike.) Trump never used the words “White supremacists” or “neo-Nazis” in his scripted response to the deadly rampage in Charlottesville.

Trump’s favorite show “Fox & Freaks Friends” (we know based on the number of times he comments & tweets about them) declared that Trump’s “both sides are to blame” condemnation of the Charlottesville riots & murders “nailed it”, repeating his “both sides” criticism, suggesting the Klan marchers might have a legitimate grievance that deserves being listened to, and asserting Trump’s remarks were the perfect response to the neo-Nazi march the day before that killed three.

When Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort was forced to step down, Trump hired the editor of the most popular “Alt-Right” online publication and his biggest fan/defender… Steve Bannon of “Breitbart News”… to be his new campaign manager. Bannon has been described as one of the “foremost peddlers of White Supremacist themes and rhetoric” on the Internet. Trump was a fan of Bannon for taking up his “Birther” attack on President Obama and carrying it to new heights. Once the election was over, Trump appointed Bannon to be his “chief strategist”… the job once held by Karl Rove in the Bush-43 administration.

As mentioned above, Trump had already announced Jeff Sessions as his pick to be AG. Another of Trump’s disturbing political appointees was “Stephen Miller” to be an “advisor”. You might know Miller as the “White Power” hand-gesture guy (see photo inset at top.) Vanity Fair magazine did a disturbing expose of Miller last month, from his early days as an unliked political provocateur (all Conservatives are. They get off on making others angry/upset) in High School, rising to fame defending the 2012 Duke University Lacrosse Team members in their Rape trial (where three white players were accused of raping a black stripper, chasing her (and another stripper) down shouting “N*gg*r, N*gg*r, N*gg*r!”, to his appointment to the Trump White House (where he ended a royal defense of Trump, declaring “The powers of the president to protect our country are substantial and will not be questioned! ending with that awkward aforementioned hand gesture.) And two weeks ago when Trump tweeted that he intended to institute “means testing of immigrants to the United States”… a slap in the face to the “Give me your poor…” poem placed on the Statue of Liberty, Miller was quick (without pause) to point out that poem “was added later” and not part of the original statue (does that matter?) which he said was merely meant as a symbol of America’s “guidance” of the rest of the world (Bullcrap. Liberty’s torch is the light that guides the world’s “wretched refuse” to our shores.) Anti-immigrant white supremacists like Miller & Bannon love to rewrite history to fit their personal views. Why they continue to do so in the age of the Internet when confirmation is just a key-click away, is a mystery. Still, they persist.

Another Trump advisor, his deputy counter-terrorism advisor, Sebastian Gorka, made news when he attended the Trump’s Inaugural Ball wearing the honorary medal awarded his late father by Hungarian nationalist organization Vitezi Rend, who are “believed to have been complicit in the murder of some of the hundreds of thousands of Hungarian Jews toward the end of World War II.” Gorka claims to have “distanced himself” from any white-supremacist or Nazi ideology [ibid]. Yet still, these are the people drawn to Trump, and whom Trump himself is drawn to when staffing his White House.

This is the bubble Trump lives in.
 


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Tell me how More Guns would have prevented crossfire shooting death of Wade’s cousin?
Aug 29th, 2016 by Admin Mugsy

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Over the weekend, Donald Trump was rightly excoriated for politicizing the death of Nykea Aldridge, cousin of Chicago Bulls superstar Dwyane Wade, after tweeting (natch) that such incidents would win him the African-American vote. Now, Trump rightly deserves condemnation for politicizing Aldridge’s death (and no, I’m not doing the same. I’m attributing no benefit/harm from this tragedy), but no one seems to be asking the bigger question: Just HOW does Trump’s position on guns… the NRA’s position that “more guns make us safer”… translate into less violence that might have prevented this tragedy from happening?

In case you don’t yet know the story, Ms. Aldridge was pushing her baby stroller down a Chicago sidewalk when two gang members attempted to chase down & kill a driver for a rival gang. Details are sketchy at this point, but this mother-of-four was caught in the crossfire, struck in the arm and head, killing her (her baby “unharmed”).

Supporters of the NRA… like Donald Trump… have attempted to link/blame “strict gun laws” in states like Illinois, to the rise in gun violence there, arguing in effect that somehow knowing their victims are less likely to be “packing” makes them ready targets for gun violence, and “if only more people carried guns, there would be less gun crime” as criminals would be more fearful their victims might shoot back.

Nice theory.

Only in this case, the intended target was a gang member. The killers in this incident clearly were not concerned whether or not their target might be carrying a gun. He almost certainly was. And Aldridge? How would carrying a gun have prevented her from being caught in the crossfire and this tragedy from happening?

Let’s imagine for a moment a completely different scenario… a robbery. Picture an armed mother pushing her baby stroller up the street when she is suddenly accosted by a man demanding money at gunpoint. At what point does this mother… child between her and her attacker… pull out her own gun (preferably an AK47 semiautomatic assault rifle with folding stock) and start threatening to reenact “Gunfight at the OK Coral” from behind her infant child? Even if guns were ubiquitous, do criminals start mulling over whether or not a mother with baby-stroller might be crazy enough to brandish a gun around her child? Or perhaps the pro-gun crowd thinks an innocent bystander with a gun would have rushed to her defense, pulling out his own gun in front of the child ready to start a firefight with two gang members in order to protect a stranger with her child? And also, have we now just inadvertently made “people with children” preferred targets for armed robbery?

It would be ridiculous if it weren’t so tragic. We have a 14 year old prepubescent Twitter junkie trapped in the body of a 70 year old man running for President of the United States who will say stupid things off the top of his head, and when later confronted, tries to spin his statement in a way in which “that’s what I meant all along” to avoid admitting a mistake (I’ve often pointed out Bush’s “Can’t get fooled again” is a textbook example of Republican paranoia over even entertaining the possibility of admitting a mistake. Palin was likewise paranoid about this when she ran for VP in 2008, resulting in a steady stream of ridiculous word-salad as she desperately tried to sound smart on camera.)

But, that’s hardly unique to Donald Trump. How do you think we got into Iraq without an Exit Strategy? Republicans just don’t think things through. If they did, they wouldn’t be Republicans.

During ABC’s “ThisWeek” yesterday, Conservative radio host Alex Castellanos… an advisor to the Trump campaign… became visibly agitated by all the criticism of Trump “flip-flopping” (or as he put it: “Change & Grow”) on his signature issue of deporting 11-million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S., and tried to change the subject by bringing up what he felt FOR CERTAIN was an issue Democrats have no good argument against: “School Choice”.
 

Castellanos thinks Democrats who oppose school choice are hypocrites (2:26)

 

“Why not let students pick what school they wish to go to?” he kept asking over & over, clearly believing he is exposing some undeniable Liberal hypocrisy. “School choice” is an upper-middle-class pipe-dream. In Republican Utopia, every child lives relatively close to a high-achievement, low-cost, efficiently run private school (or perhaps a public school in a more affluent neighborhood with better teachers and less crime.) And the tiny government voucher every parent receives covers 100% of the costs, every child is guaranteed admittance, and the parents have plenty of time to drop the child off on their way to work (because buses can’t be crisscrossing routes all over the city). That’s Republican Fantasy-Land.

The problem with Castellanos’ “challenge” (beyond the unrealistic belief private schools don’t reject under-performing students and charge more to keep out “the riff-raff” to maintain those high ratings, and aren’t always conveniently located), the fact is most privately run schools are RELIGIOUS schools. I’d REALLY like to hear Castellanos make the case to Republicans that their tax dollars should go to funding an American madrassa, or even a “Church of Satan for troubled youth”.

Trump thinks another shooting death will convince blacks to vote for a man whose solution to gun crime is “more guns.” And Castellanos thinks there’s no legitimate argument against “school choice” (so long as it’s the kind of school THEY approve of.) Republicans never think things through (because thinking is hard and tiresome.)
 


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Dallas and The Slippery Slope of Allowing Police to Play Executioner
Jul 11th, 2016 by Admin Mugsy

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Last week was another tragic week following the deaths of two black men at the hands of police under dubious circumstances and five police officers in Dallas by a disturbed black man using a #BlackLivesMatter protest as cover. But just as disturbing was the method used to “stop” the Dallas shooter… not “capture”, “arrest” or “subdue”, but the outright “execution” of the gunman… former military and possibly suffering from PTSD. After shooting and killing FIVE of Dallas’ finest, the man HAD to be stopped. There is no question of that. But the “final solution” (pun intended) was to bypass DUE PROCESS and simply execute the gunman by sending in a robot to plant a bomb and detonate it with him inside.

Now, NO ONE is defending the life of the gunman over the lives of the officers he killed. If you think that’s what this story is about, you’re sadly mistaken. No. This is about the “slippery slope” of granting an already overly-militarized police force the power to perform summary battlefield executions without benefit of trial.

Back in the 1976, an obscure British comic book anti-hero was created called Judge Dredd (you’re more likely to know the mediocre 1995 Stallone film of the same name [or its 2012 remake].) Dredd was a future police officer in the far-off year of 2000. Thanks to an over-burdened court system due to too many criminals thanks to the collapse of society, officers like Dredd were bestowed the power of “Judge, Jury & Executioner“. Don’t bother arresting a person if caught red-handed, simply sentence them to “death” and execute them on the spot based solely on the officers own judgement. No muss. No fuss.

Police officers in this country have the SOLE job of apprehending criminals to stand trial. Officers may carry guns to protect themselves and others. They may NOT simply execute a suspect, denying them “due process”, and certainly not by planting a bomb. to blow them up when they won’t surrender.

Again, I repeat my point about not defending the shooter nor his actions. That’s not the point. His crime is not the point. Whether he deserved what he got is not the point. This is about power we are ceding to an already over-militrized police force that is looking more and more like an occupying army with each passing year. Gone are the days of “Officer Bob” patrolling his beat… the same city-street day after day, getting to know the residents by name. Urban sprawl has made that all but impossible today. And with a Congress that is unwilling to deny the mentally impaired or even terrorist suspects from purchasing a firearm, no wonder our streets look more like warzones and our police like soldiers.

The late Pierre Salenger, former Press Secretary to President Kennedy (later reporter for ABC News) once told the following story: “Back in 1962 during The Cuban Missile Crisis, President Kennedy had to leave an event early to deal with an emergency. Rather than tell the Press he had matters to attend to without the inevitable Q&A, Kennedy instead lied to the Press about why he had to leave early. A little white lie. No big deal, and no one would think twice of it today. But it marked the first time a president willfully lied to the American people.” And so the “slippery slope” began. Soon it became totally accepted that a president may just lie to the country and no one thinks twice about it. We may even tell ourselves “they’re doing it for our own good.”

Following the scandalous Nixon presidency, Jimmy Carter ran for president vowing to “never lie to the American people”. No way to know if he kept that promise, but we KNOW no one else since has. Whether or not it is ever justified is not the question. It’s a power we surrendered to those who have proven they can’t be trusted with that kind of power.

Right now, there are several million paranoid white NRA members that are stockpiling guns & ammunition for the day “the gub’ment” is coming to “take their guns away”. How different are THEY from the “Black Lives Matter” people in fearing for their lives from the government? And how many of those white NRA members do you think sided with the government against the BLM protesters? (I reiterate that the Dallas shooter was NOT affiliated with BLM. Reports are that he had been planning an attack on police for months, well before the killings of Alton Sterling and Philandro Castile. The shooting may have triggered him to snap, or he may have simply used the protests as cover.)

In the Dallas Shooter case, WHAT IF police had instead pumped the building full of tear-gas or sleeping-gas, allowing them to take him alive? If that were an option, would you STILL have advocated the use of a BOMB sent in by robot to execute him? Would it matter to you if this were a former soldier suffering from PTSD? We’ve all seen police in riot gear with bullet-proof plexiglass shields. If the police could not go in after him, could a “hostage negotiator” have talked him into coming out with his hands up (don’t shoot)? Was the weaponry he was using too deadly to make that worth risking? And if so, whose fault is THAT? If you’re asking why an irrational man committing an irrational act didn’t rationally surrender to spare his own life, that in itself is not rational. And just how certain were they he didn’t have a hostage or that no one else was in that building before setting off that bomb?

I stress again that this is NOT about defending the man who killed five police officers. It is about deciding whether or not we want to confer the power to deny Due Process… a right established in our Constitution and reserved to the COURTS… to a police force that already behaves like an occupying army in the middle of a warzone (and further justifying the sale of military-grade hardware to the general public). It’s a slippery-slope… or so the gun nuts keep telling me.
 


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Pro-Gun Supporters ALREADY Told Us They Don’t Need an Assault Weapon to Stop One
Jun 13th, 2016 by Admin Mugsy

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“If *I* had been in that (latest mass shooting location), *I* could have taken that guy out!” You’ve heard them too I’ll bet. Those chest-beating low-brow far Right gun nuts telling us how if THEY had been there with THEIR pistol/Glock/etc when all those people were being shot, THEY could have taken out the mass shooter with all the precision of SEAL Team 6 and saved Lord knows how many lives. We heard it after the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado, we heard it after the school shootings in Newtown & Oregon, again after the after the attacks in Paris, and we are going to hear it again after this latest mass murder in Orlando, Florida yesterday… the largest mass shooting in American history with “50 dead and 53 wounded.”

How come no one has ever pointed out the fact that NOT ONCE did anyone hear one of these armchair heroes ever claim, “I would NOT have been able to stop the shooter UNLESS I too were wielding an assault rifle.” Never. Not once. Each and every one of them were confident that all they needed to take down a maniac firing 50 rounds/minute was “Old Blue”, their trusty Red Rider BB Gun semi-automatic side-arm. Hell, I never even heard anyone say they’d require even “an extended clip” to do it! Nope! Just one clear shot is all they needed. Am I right? Every damn one of them insisted all they needed to take down a lunatic with an assault riffle spitting out bullets like a Pez dispenser in a darkened auditorium as people ran around screaming is an ordinary unmodified handgun (and their rock-steady nerves.)

Well, if you don’t need an assault rifle to take down a nut with an assault rifle, WHY THEN DO WE NEED ASSAULT RIFLES???

It’s not rocket science. Such weapons are good for only two things… obliterating targets at a shooting range, and obliterating people… as many as quickly as possible.

It’s time to reinstate the “Assault Weapons Ban” from the ’90’s. And that includes the ban on extended magazines/clips. If you can’t hit your target in 10 shots, you probably have no business firing a gun in the first place. I’d also suggest imposing a stiff tax on cordite/gunpowder. Taxing bullets is no use when people can pack their own ammunition in their garage (many sports-shooters do so to save money). And home made pipe-bombs aren’t sold at your local gun store. I assure you, Mr. Maniac isn’t mixing gunpowder in his basement. Both bullets & bombs require purchasing gunpowder, and a heavy tax means fewer sold/made.

Now, the “No limits on the Second Amendment” crowd who decry limits on clip-size argue that “no one has the right to deny someone their right to fire 50 bullets without stopping to reload just because they’re a lousy shot!” (Note: There is NOTHING in the Second Amendment that says the “convenience” of a gun owner must be taken into consideration.) And while most Americans are not THAT unyielding to common-sense gun restrictions, those voices are the loudest thanks to the “Industrial sized” NRA-bullhorn they carry with them everywhere. It’s also why nothing ever gets done in Congress every time we have another mass murder.

The gun lobby & their Congressional puppets sold their souls when they decided the mass murder of twenty 7-yearold children & 6 faculty members was an acceptable price to pay for doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING following the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT. They again did nothing following the mass shootings in Charleston & Chattanooga.

Snarky Right wingers joke about Democrats wanting to pass “more useless gun laws every time there’s a mass shooting”. “What good would it do?”, they ask. “Criminals don’t follow gun laws!” Their fallacy is that… while we demand new gun laws… typically targeting gun manufacturers not “criminals”… THEY NEVER GET PASSED! Dems call for them. Republicans block them. Nothing happens and no new common-sense restrictions are instituted. Worse! Existing gun laws are weakened, repealed or allowed to expire (eg: the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban). So when it happens again, the gun nuts decry, “Every time there’s a mass shooting, you demand more useless gun laws!” Yes! And one of these days, we’d actually like to see one of them PASSED!

If you ask a gun nut why anyone “needs” an assault rifle (once you get past the inevitable, “it’s not about need! It’s about my right to bear arms” nonsense), their justification usually comes down to: “fighting off the government when they come knocking on my door” (and why would they do that? To take away the gun I need to protect me from them taking away this gun!” The circular logic is mind-numbing.) The second most popular rationalization is the “in case my home is attacked by “a gang”, mob or “rioting hoards”. First off, if you live in a neighborhood where a street gang declares war on your home, you’re probably not one of those law abiding gun owners to begin with. The second/third excuses… the “desperate hoards looking to break into their Emergency Shelter when the Nuclear/Zombie Apocalypse comes” excuse only highlights their paranoia. Why are crazy people setting our gun policy? None of these excuses are rational justifications for owning military-grade weaponry for use in civilian life. And I’ve already explained a multitude of times that THE SECOND AMENDMENT DOES NOT PERMIT YOU TO GO TO WAR WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. Nowhere in the Second Amendment does it even HINT that you could conceivably turn your weapon on your own government. That’s called “TREASON”, and THAT word appears in the Constitution SEVEN TIMES. All those times you demanded we “Read the Constitution”, it’s your turn. It’s the FIRST Amendment that exists to protect you from your government, granting you the power to redress your grievances… via the Press, Protest (speech), and meetings (Assembly), NOT the Second. The Second Amendment does NOT protect your right to get into a gunfight with your neighbor, “Weekend-warrior Bob” serving in the National Guard, sitting atop an M1 tank as he threatens to knock down your door (or whatever your fevered imagination has dreamt up.)

At the Far Right end of the spectrum, there are the Libertarians who believe there should be no limits on Constitutional rights. If you want a shoulder-fired surface-to-air missile to shoot down those U.N. Black Helicopters coming to put you in a FEMA Camp, you should have that right. A paranoids paradise where the sane get caught up in an arms race with the INsane because no one is willing deny the delusional their right to any weapon they desire.

By Sunday afternoon, the news was reporting that the Orlando gunman called the police just prior to his rampage to tell them he had “pledged allegiance to the leader of ISIS.” But this was no ISIS-trained radical that traveled 10,000 miles and snuck into the U.S. with an AR15 or AK47 assault rifle in his knapsack. No, this yutz was a security guard for a gated community in South Florida who had a gun permit and purchased his weapons legally in a state with some of the most lax gun laws in the country. The ONLY link between the Orlando shooter & The War on Terror is that our 15 year long war is radicalizing domestic nuts with easy access to guns. We need to bring back the ban on Assault Weapons. Opponents say, “If you ban assault weapons, only the bad guys will have assault weapons!” Fine, but you’ve already BRAGGED to anyone willing to listen that you don’t NEED “an assault rifle” to stop a maniac with “an assault rifle”. Over time, as fewer assault rifles are produced, their numbers will eventually dwindle (as they stop functioning, become valuable collectors items, or are destroyed.) And with no new ones being made or sold, as they become more & more rare, so will the mass carnage they create. That will take time, which is why the more immediate step of taxing the explosive material (cordite/gunpowder) that makes such mass shootings possible will have more of an immediate impact until the weapons ban bears fruit 5/10/20 years down the line.
 


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Texas Lt.Gov Cites Ridiculous Disprovable Facts to Defend New Open Carry Law
Jan 4th, 2016 by Admin Mugsy

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“He was a real asshole.” So remarked my Conservative father about his former neighbor Dan Patrick when he announced his bid for Texas Lieutenant Governor in 2014. Patrick, a former TV Sports anchor turned far-Right radio host, turned Tea Party darling State Representative turned Lieutenant Governor, appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press yesterday to defend the state’s controversial new “Open Carry” gun law, citing a litany of easily disprovable lies and half truths to make his case. I really think someone needs to sit down with every Conservative politician in the country and explain to them that there’s something called “The Internet” (nod to the late Ted Stevens R-AK), which stands ready to fact-check whatever ridiculous claim they make in the blink of an eye. Patrick was brought on yesterday as the “rebuttal guest” to Astronaut Mark Kelly, husband of Gabbie Giffords, whom together started an organization to promote “responsible gun ownership” and sane gun laws (Kelly/Giffords both own guns and support ownership).

Capt. Kelly spoke about the need to close “the Gun Show loophole”, “rising gun violence”, and the fact Background Checks work.

Then comes on Patrick (you can see most of the interview here). Host Chuck Todd barely finishes his introductions before Patrick injects that Kelly is “totally wrong about gun ownership in the inner city” and on the number of legal permits being issued. I had to go back twice and rewatch the Kelly interview to try and figure out what he was talking about because NOT ONCE did Capt. Kelly mention “inner-city” or “urban” gun ownership. I still have no idea what Patrick thinks he heard Kelly say. I suspect he had a speech already worked out about what he thought the Captain would say and didn’t want it to go to waste. But Kelly never said a thing about a “decreased demand” for guns… not in urban areas or anywhere else. In fact, he instead made the case of “rising fear” promoting gun sales.

Patrick continues, citing that Texas is now “the 45th state to permit open carry”. True. Sad & Frighting, and not exactly a strong argument for helping “Quick-draw McGraw” stick a gun in your face two seconds faster than before, but true. Regardless, Patrick is implying that “Open Carry” is already common in almost every state in the union and not a factor in gun crime. Later in the interview, Patrick tells Todd with absolute certainty that “Everywhere we have more citizens carrying guns, CRIME. IS. LESS.” and that in states with “Concealed Carry and particularly Open Carry, crime is down 25% percent.”

Is that true? ARE states that permit Open Carry any safer than those that don’t? PolitiFact (notorious for their squishy ratings) rates the claim as “Half True”, but they note the difficulty of comparing dissimilar states that only permit “rural” areas to open carry, vs states that only allow those with “concealed” permits to open carry, vs states that allow ALL licensed gun owners to OC. And what was crime like BEFORE OC was permitted? Even Patrick notes Michigan has had OC for “175 years” and Vermont “has always had it”, so we really don’t know what effect OC has on crime in those states. Politifact concludes by citing a 2010 report that found that more legal gun owners resulted in no reduction in crime:
 

“The best available evidence suggests that “right to carry a concealed weapon” laws are associated with increases in aggravated assaults with guns, but have no measurable effect on population rates of murder and robbery.

 
(a more recent report conducted by Texas A&M last September came to the same conclusion.)

Todd asks Patrick (poorly) about the difficulty of discerning a legal “Open Carry” citizen from a criminal looking to do harm and the “chaos” that might create. Todd phrased his question terribly, giving Patrick plenty of wiggle room. He didn’t ask Patrick “How are the police… or for that matter other gun owners… are supposed to distinguish between the proverbial ‘Good Guy With a gun’ from ‘a Bad Guy With a gun’?” When the bullets start flying and “Officer Bob” arrives on the scene only to spot Captain America over there with his shiny new Glock firing at someone, not only might this numbnut end up with an air-conditioned colon, but the time Officer Bob wastes stopping our “Good Guy with a gun” is time Mr. Psychopath can spend killing another 20 people before the smoke clears.
 

Can she tell the Good Guy from the Bad Guy ?

 
Instead, Todd asks Patrick if people might erroneously “call 911” to report legal OC owners they spot in the Mall or Super Market as a possible threat, tying up police resources. Actually, this isn’t much of an issue because most people don’t keep 911 on speed dial and report a man with a gun to the police the moment they see them. After only a few seconds, you can typically tell if someone with a holstered weapon (the law states it must be holstered) is looking to use it. By concern-trolling over such an unlikely concern, Todd gave Patrick a gift, giving him something he could dismiss without needing to make any substantive case against.

Instead, Patrick cites a statistic that “people with a Concealed Carry permit are twelve times less likely to even commit a misdemeanor.” I don’t know where Patrick obtained this figure. Even using the broadest possible search phrase (“guns ‘less likely’ misdemeanor) on Google turns up nothing other than Patrick himself making the claim yesterday on the show. I checked the FBI website and they don’t carry such statistics, but I think it is reasonable to assume Patrick did not obtain that figure from any legitimate source. (I did find this unsourced blog comment claiming gun owners were “5 to 10 times less likely to commit a violent crime“, but that’s as close as I got.)

Patrick went on to say that he “respect(s) those who don’t like guns” adding “but don’t stop those of us who love guns…” Not “like” guns or “want” guns but “love” guns? They talk about them like they are crystal unicorn figurines or puppies. It makes the term “Ammosexual” seem all the more legitimate. But Todd does make a good point about different standards for gun ownership. Guns are deadly weapons whether they are on your hip or safely tucked away in a cigarbox on top of the TV. Why not just have one standard for ALL gun licensing? Patrick goes on a non-sequitur about the “Second Amendment”, which has nothing to do with different standards for laws regulating gun ownership. Patrick says gun laws are “an evolving issue”, suggesting that eventually we may reach a point when ALL gun laws are relaxed to the same level, permitting anyone with a gun license to Open Carry.

Now for the whopper. Patrick ends his interview claiming “Every one of the mass shootings except two in America since 1950 have been gun free zones.” Complete and total bullshit (it appears he got the feux stat from this Right-Wing website that got it from two moonbats on a local Conservative radio show with no sourcing. Now, of course, if you go all the way back to 1950 before most states even HAD open carry laws, nearly the entire country was a “gun free zone” (outside of your own home), so saying “all mass shootings before 1975 took place in gun free zones” is essentially saying “all mass shootings before 1975 took place outside the home.” It’s a meaningless statistic.

Since numbers going back to “1950” are hard to come by… and clearly unnecessary… we can go WAYYY back to, oh, I don’t know… the Obama Administration… to debunk this bit of nonsense:

  • November of 2009, the Ft. Hood shooting. A military base. NOT a “gun-free zone”. While general soldiers on premises did not carry weapons, ARMED GUARDS on the premises DID. Back when the shooting took place, a Right-Wing falsehood was circulated that “President Clinton” was to blame for making military bases “gun free zones” back in 1993 (not true, but even if it were, 1993 to 2009 would qualify as a pretty good record of safety), but the military merely instituted a policy in March of 1993 set by the G.H.W.Bush White House the year before instructing soldiers to lock up their weapons when not in use. The weapons were still accessible and on the premises. Not a “Gun Free Zone”. A better question might be how it happened again at Fort Hood in 2014 AFTER the restriction was lifted?
  •  

  • Ditto for the “Navy Yard” shooting in 2013. Ban lifted, yet a dozen civilians & personnel were murdered on a military based filled with “good guys with guns.”
  •  

  • January 2011, 6 killed, 11 injured in Tucson, Az. in a Supermarket parking lot where Congresswoman Gabby Giffords was delivering a speech. Super Market parking lot. In Arizona. Not a “gun free zone”.
  •  

  • October 2011, 8 killed, 1 injured at a hair salon in Seal Beach, Ca. – Private business. Not a “gun free zone”. (even if a business owner requested it, it wouldn’t be enforceable.)
  •  

  • August 2012, 6 killed, 3 injured at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wi. – Again, a private organization without a legally enforceable gun restriction. If someone wanted to carry a gun into the temple, they were free to do so. Obviously. The killer did, no?
  •  

  • September 2012, 6 killed, 2 injured at a sign makers offices in Minneapolis, Mn. – Not a GFZ. Minnesota, an Open Carry state.
  •  

  • June 2015, 9 dead at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. by a racist kid that believed black people were taking over America. He didn’t target an all-black church because it was a “gun free zone”.
  •  

  • July 2015, 5 dead, 3 wounded at two Navy-Marine recruiting centers in Chattanooga, Tenn. – The killer, a radicalized young Muslim, opened fire on the centers… located in strip centers along the road… from the parking lot. Not a “gun free zone”. Not selected because it was a GFZ. If the officers inside had been wearing their weapons, it wouldn’t have made a bit of difference because it was a surprise attack from the outside.
  •  

  • October 2015, 9 dead, 9 injured at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Or. – Despite being a school, while the school requested guns not be carried on campus, several students DID have guns on them at the time of the shooting. Not only is Oregon an Open Carry state, but it is actually illegal to prohibit guns anywhere, including schools, and the local sheriff notoriously wrote a letter to VP Biden following Sandy Hook angrily refusing to enforce any new law in his town that would restrict the right to carry guns anywhere people wanted.
  •  

  • November 2015, 3 dead; 9 injured at a Planed Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Co. – Again, not a “gun free zone”, and definitely not selected because he thought it was. “No more baby parts” he droned, referring to a deceptively edited Right-Wing video. (Now if Patrick wants to argue Planned Parenthood staff should be allowed to protect themselves from Pro-Life nuts, I look forward to that conversation.)
  •  

  • December 2015, 14 dead, 21 wounded at a rehabilitation clinic in San Bernardino, Ca. – A Muslim man and his radicalized wife targeted the clinic where he once worked. Again, not selected because he believed it to be a “gun free zone” (which it legally was not.)

Of all five mass shootings that took place in 2015, not ONE took place in a “gun free zone”. Patrick is full of crap. Here is a map of all the mass shootings that have taken place just in 2015. You’ll notice that a lot (most) of them took place in states where it is legal to carry a firearm. Are these all “gun free zones”?
 

Mass Shootings in 2015

 

But even in cases that WERE “gun free zones” like “Sandy Hook Elementary” in Connecticut, the killer’s didn’t select their targets BECAUSE they were “gun free zones”. The Sandy Hook shooter was a nut that had just murdered his mother in her sleep and then attacked the last school he attended before that same mother… a teanut who taught her troubled son how to use an assault weapon to prepare for the day “Obama would bring about Armageddon”… pulled him out of public school to be home schooled. Many other school shootings were also committed by former students targeting the people they knew. They didn’t pick some random school out of the phone book because schools were “gun free zones”. Mass murderers don’t select their targets that way, and it is disgusting to suggested otherwise (“Your kid is dead because your kid’s teacher was not allowed to bring a gun into your child’s classroom.”)
 

Who's buying all the guns?

 


Writers Wanted Got something to say? Mugsy’s Rap Sheet is always looking for article submissions to focus on the stories we may miss each week. To volunteer your own Op/Ed for inclusion here, send us an email with an example of your writing skills & choice of topic, and maybe we’ll put you online!

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