For every Republican Senator and anyone running against them.
What’s an acceptable level of gun violence?
There have been 212 mass shootings in the US so far this year, 27 of them in schools.
Imagine if there was some perfectly legal way to make money based upon people’s mutual antipathy for one another.
Introducing Conservative Move whose message is simple:
WE’RE MOVING YOU
TO VALUES, PROSPERITY, & SAFETY
When your community no longer reflects morals and values, it might be time to move. We’re an organization of real estate agents here to help you sell your home, organize the move, and buy a home in a community where you feel safe, valued, and at home.
They emphasize three things that liberals make damn near impossible . . . great schools, safe streets, and lower taxes. Because any rational person knows liberals stand for crap schools, dangerous streets, and high taxes.
They could’ve gone with “no longer reflects YOUR morals and values,” but chose instead to tap deeper into their potential customers inner hate.
Then a kicker:
TIRED OF YOUR WOKE WORKPLACE? WE CAN HELP!
I prob deserve some blame for this entrepreneurial effort for writing about gun control back in the day on this way too liberal blog.
“Maybe we should just divide the country into 25 “hawk” and 25 “dove” states. Pick one representative of each view and have them take turns picking states for everyone else. Since I disagree with almost everything in paragraph one, I nominate myself for the doves, and my first pick is Washington State. Clint Eastwood, representing the Hawks, will no doubt take California which I’m not happy about at all. My second pick, Oregon.
For practical reasons, residents of hawk and dove states will be allowed to travel freely into ideological enemy territory; however, they will have to agree to adapt to life in ideological enemy territory. For example, Clint will have to leave his gun at home when he flies to Seattle and I will have to avoid committing a violent crime when visiting California lest I be fired upon by private citizens and/or executed by Ahrnold. Social scientists can do longitudinal studies on the quality of life in each set of states.”
So I guess you have me to blame or thank for Conservative Move, depending upon your perspective. Now certainly, it’s only a matter of time before every conservative finds every other conservative and they fix their children’s schools, eliminate the crime in their community, and lower their taxes.
. . . read headlines. Recently, I’ve been diagnosed with “CEFS” or Current Events Fatigue Syndrome.
Some recent headlines are funny enough that I don’t even have to read the article. My spirit is already lifted.
I Became Extremely Hot In The Pandemic. My Husband Did Not.
Okay, so maybe I didn’t read it because I was afraid the Good Wife wrote it.
Some recent headlines are so cringe-worthy I can’t bring myself to read the article. This is CEFS in action. In increasing order of cringe:
Misinformation Is A Pandemic That Doesn’t Have A Headline
Tie for First. . .
Election Offices And School Board Meetings Could Become Weapons-free Zones In Washington
Report: World’s 10 Richest Men Doubled Their Wealth During COVID Pandemic
And sometimes since I know how the story is going to turn out, it’s unnecessary to read on.
Help! My Husband Throws Away My Things Without Asking In The Name of “Minimalism.”
Dude’s wife divorces him. He moves into an apartment a few steps below the one he lived in during college. Can’t afford any real furniture to speak of, any art, anything. Shortly thereafter, dies from loneliness in his minimalist “paradise”.
Okay, so maybe I didn’t read that because I was afraid the Gal Pal may have authored it as well.
By the number of people killed in Indianapolis. Or Boulder, or Atlanta, or Orange, or Rock Hill, or Essex, or Allen, or Muskogee, or Chicago, or Evanston.
I caught him on television yesterday, guess the channel, referring to the “so called mass shootings”. I repeat, “The so called mass shootings.” Let that sink in.
Like an automaton, he said the President can’t do anything about “the so called mass shootings because of the Second Amendment to the Constitution.”
Bill Bennett’s well-regulated Militia is working out fine for him.
He’s written a lot of books. At least one of which sold quite well. It’s called, “The Book of Virtues”.
Yesterday, before “Parkland”, I read this story. I can’t help but wonder how little the public probably knows about similar stories of averted shootings, meaning the problem is worse than we realize.
Related, sometimes the Onion isn’t funny, just damn perceptive. “No Way To Prevent This,” Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens.
Out of respect for the Parkland families, can we stop the “Make America Great Again” bullshit?
“From 1985 to 2004, the percentage of people who reported having at least one friend on whom they could rely and with whom they could discuss important matters dropped to 57 percent from 80 percent. Today, more than half of all Americans report feeling lonely, especially in their professional lives. But study after study has shown that those who are seen as grateful, warm and justifiably confident draw others to them. Because these emotions automatically make us less selfish, they help ensure we can form relationships with people who will be there to support us when we need it.”
“Admitting we have flaws just like anyone else keeps us connected to others.”
Brings to mind my favorite sentence of recent days, compliments of Jason Zweig, “If you think you’re the smartest person in the room, you must not have talked to everybody in the room yet.”
“Saving the lives of law enforcement and the abused is a nonpartisan issue. . . We can take reasonable steps to prevent deadly acts by people who already have a violent record with firearms.”
“I don’t feel like I’m living the American Dream, especially not here, in Southeast Arkansas, being a black female with a big mouth. You’re looked at funny when you want to be something more than just a wife one day and you live in Dumas. . . . If you have dreams beyond what other people feel like you should, you can’t live the American Dream in a place like this.”
What if we all adopt the same resolution for 2018, to support and cheer young, ambitious people.
Dreams by Langston Hughes
Hold fast to dreams For if dreams die Life is a broken-winged bird That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams For when dreams go Life is a barren field Frozen with snow.
My dream is that in my lifetime, the right to keep and bear Arms will be limited to “a well regulated Militia”. But maybe my future just holds broken-winged birds and barren fields frozen with snow.
Another high schooler takes a gun to school and uses it. Washington State voters consider an initiative to tighten gun ownership regulations. I still have no idea about how to talk about gun ownership.
One approach would be to study the historical context of the Second Amendment. For example, we could turn to Michael Waldman’s “biography” of the Second Amendment. Here’s an excerpt of a Mother Jones interview with Waldman.
MJ: What preconceived notions about the Second Amendment did the history that you uncovered confirm or debunk?
MW: There are surprises in this book for people who support gun control, and people who are for gun rights. When the Supreme Court ruled in Heller, Justice Scalia said he was following his doctrine of originalism. But when you actually go back and look at the debate that went into drafting of the amendment, you can squint and look really hard, but there’s simply no evidence of it being about individual gun ownership for self-protection or for hunting. Emphatically, the focus was on the militias. To the framers, that phrase “a well-regulated militia” was really critical. In the debates, in James Madison’s notes of the Constitutional Convention, on the floor of the House of Representatives as they wrote the Second Amendment, all the focus was about the militias. Now at the same time, those militias are not the National Guard. Every adult man, and eventually every adult white man, was required to be in the militias and was required to own a gun, and to bring it from home. So it was an individual right to fulfill the duty to serve in the militias.
MJ: You point out that the NRA has the Second Amendment inscribed in their lobby, but with the militia clause removed.
MW: Yes. That was first reported in an article inMother Jones in the ’90s. But I didn’t want to rely on just that, so one of my colleagues went out to the NRA headquarters to look at the lobby. And she had her picture taken in front of the sign so we could confirm that it was actually still there!
MJ: Based on the history you’ve uncovered, do you think the founders understood there to be an unwritten individual right to arms that they didn’t include in the Constitution?
MW: Yes. And that might be noteworthy for some. There were plenty of guns. There was the right to defend yourself, which was part of English common law handed down from England. But there were also gun restrictions at the same time. There were many. There were limits, for example, on where you could store gunpowder. You couldn’t have a loaded gun in your house in Boston. There were lots of limits on who could own guns for all different kinds of reasons. There was an expectation that you should be able to own a gun. But they didn’t think they were writing that expectation into the Constitution with the Second Amendment.
MJ: So then why focus on the Second Amendment and not the English Bill of Rights or other things the framers drew on that more clearly address individual gun ownership?
MW: We are not governed today, in 2014, by British common law. Law evolved, the country evolved. It was a very rural place. There were no cities. There were no police forces. It was a completely different way of living. So gun rights activists turned this into a constitutional crusade. Those who want more guns and fewer restrictions realized they could gain some higher ground if they claimed the Constitution.
When I learn about the historical context of the Second Amendment, the question I’m left with is this: Is the threat of a federal government take-over at the hands of anti-American insurrectionists so great that local police, state troopers, and the National Guard can’t be expected to repel it?
But no matter how reasonably the “historical context” argument is made, the pro-gunners will never accept Waldman-like interpretations of the amendment because doing so would impose limits on gun ownership and that is an anathema to them. Making that approach a complete dead-end.
What about appealing to safety in public spaces? Also a dead-end. Most pro-gunners believe school cafeterias, legislative buildings, movie theaters become safer as a greater percentage of people in those places carry licensed guns. The thinking being upstanding private citizens will gun down the evil ones perpetrating acts of violence on innocent bystanders before authorities are able to respond.
For example, if the food service workers in the Marysville High School cafeteria were carrying, one of them could have killed the shooter from across the cafeteria before he had the opportunity to kill and injure any of his classmates. I guess we’re supposed to assume that she hits the perp, but no other students because she regularly receives expert firearm training.
What about pointing out the loopholes in gun ownership laws, the propensity of some parents not to hide or lock their guns, the uneven training gun owners undergo, and the number of mentally ill people that manage to get ahold of guns. Dead-end. The pro-gunners think that if they give into any tightening of gun ownership requirements it will lead to more, and eventually, the confiscation of their guns.
What about comforting those most afraid of dying at the hands of violent criminals with what we know about how most people die?
Number of deaths for leading causes of death—2011 (Center for Disease Control)
- Heart disease: 596,577
- Cancer: 576,691
- Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 142,943
- Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 128,932
- Accidents (unintentional injuries): 126,438 (1. poisoning; 2. car accidents; 3. gun violence)
- Alzheimer’s disease: 84,974
- Diabetes: 73,831
- Influenza and Pneumonia: 53,826
- Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 45,591
- Intentional self-harm (suicide): 39,518
A dead-end too because pro-gunners will argue that if you’re more likely to die while driving than at the hands of violent criminals, it’s proof that the status quo of relatively uninhibited gun ownership is working. My reading of those statistics is that no amount of weaponry will protect the mostly sedentary masses from what and how much they eat.
One dead-end after another.
I was too young during the Civil Rights movement to appreciate the participants’ sacrifices and accomplishments firsthand. We’re in the midst of another, admittedly more subtle, radical social transformation.
The U.S. is tilting left, in large part because younger voters are more liberal on a host of social issues including gay marriage, women’s rights, immigration, gun control, and legalizing marijuana. As one especially illuminating example of this transformation, read not-so-young Republican Senator Rob Portman’s explanation of why he now supports gay marriage.
The key word in the previous paragraph was “tilting” as in 55%. There’s still a Grand Canyon-like partisan divide on social issues. Case in point, Portman is getting ripped by the Right for abandoning conservative biblical principles and by the Left for a too little too late conversion.
This is what I was thinking about in church Sunday when Melinda, our twenty-something year-old intern, started her sermon, a history of St. Patrick, and what his life might mean for our church today. It was excellent. I drifted as always, but more purposefully. I was fast forwarding, thinking about how bright her pastoral future is. I was picturing her taking future calls and serving a series of churches extremely well. A life spent modeling the gospel; providing spiritual counseling; teaching and preaching; rallying people to serve those in need; thoughtfully baptizing, marrying, and burying the young and old; and the community and larger Church, being better for it.
And then I thought about a religious organization that’s been in the news a lot lately as a result of a change in leadership. And how, despite accelerating social change in the U.S., that religious organization is passing on thousands of Melinda’s the world over every year. How, I wonder, does any institution in the 21st Century take a pass on the leadership potential of half its members?
Also listening to Melinda was our district’s congressman who flies home every weekend to see his wife. Looking at him made me wonder, what if Congress passed on the leadership of half the population? What if schools of medicine did? Or your workplace? What if (fill in the group or institution of your choice) did?
How do my feminist friends, both male and female deal with the church’s patriarchy? That’s only one of my many questions about the Church in the news. My friends would undoubtedly say that’s just one of a long list of unresolved challenges facing the Church. They oppose the Church’s official stands on a litany of issues, but remain committed to it.
How does that work? Does religious tradition trump discordant hearts and minds? How does it hold together?