Friday, February 23, 2018

Enough

This was part of my post after the Newtown massacre. I'm reposting this part. The last three paragraphs are today.

Enough.

Watching this brought me to tears (again) this morning.  Now is the time to stop the madness of our country's gun culture.  Now is the time to let the large majority of the American public speak and have their will be done.  Only a small minority of radical gun advocates have been the ones that have controlled the debate for almost 30 years.  These radicals exist to support the gun manufacturers.  It's nothing less than the sanction of mass murder and mayhem. 

Enough.

Let's start with the five types of gun control that a majority of NRA members and the general public support:
1. Requiring criminal background checks on gun owners and gun shop employees. 87 percent of non-NRA gun-owners and 74 percent of NRA gun owners support the former, and 80 percent and 79 percent, respectively, endorse the latter. 
2. Prohibiting terrorist watch list members from acquiring guns.Support ranges from 80 percent among non-NRA gun-owners to 71 percent among NRA members.
3. Mandating that gun-owners tell the police when their gun is stolen. 71 percent non-NRA gun-owners support this measure, as do 64 percent of NRA members.
4. Concealed carry permits should only be restricted to individuals who have completed a safety training course and are 21 and older. 84 percent of non-NRA and 74 percent of NRA member gun-owners support the safety training restriction, and the numbers are 74 percent and 63 percent for the age restriction.
5.Concealed carry permits shouldn’t be given to perpetrators of violent misdemeanors or individuals arrested for domestic violence. The NRA/non-NRA gun-owner split on these issues is 81 percent and 75 percent in favor of the violent misdemeanors provision and 78 percent/68 percent in favor of the domestic violence restriction.
Guns are the problem. Period. The most recent massacre in Florida was perpetrated and caused by a gun in the hands of a troubled teenager who acquired it legally. There is no common sense in this. There is no rational reason for this. Guns are the problem.

No one has the 'right' to own a gun. A gun has the power of life and death. No one has the right to hold anyone's life or death in their hands.

Read this description of the difficulty of learning to be a good guy with a gun. Bringing lethal force to  gun free zones is insane. INSANE.

Enough.

No guns...

No guns are allowed at CPAC.
No guns are allowed at the NRA convention.
No guns are allowed at the GOP convention.
No guns are allowed at the White House.
No guns are allowed at Mar-a-Lago.
No guns are allowed in the Capitol building in Washington D. C.
No (loaded) guns are allowed at Gun Shows.
No guns are allowed in the George W. Bush Presidential Library.
No guns are allowed at most Town Hall meetings.
No guns are allowed at Presidential campaign stops.
No guns are allowed at Candidate debates.

Maybe we are on to something here.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Does Mr. Trump's profanity matter?

A challenge was issued a letter to the editor in the Daily News-Record this morning. In "Everyone Knows Trump Was Right," the writer challenged liberals to answer a question. "How is it hateful and racist to refer to African and Caribbean countries as "shitholes?" Further the writer asks us to focus on "...what immigrants have to contribute to this country and not just what we can give them." 

Challenge accepted.

Please understand that the language President Trump used is not important. The cursing and the barbaric terminology are commonly heard among folks of similar points of view. The President, sadly, is a profane and vulgar man. I’m over it. My indignation is not about the vulgarity. 

It is about the sentiment and the idea being expressed. It’s not just liberals that are offended by Mr. Trump’s racist and hateful remarks, it is every country in Africa, the Caribbean and Central America, large populations of first generation American citizens, and many of us whose ancestors came here from equally destitute circumstances from equally needy countries. All of us have spent our lives giving back to America, repaying the debt in gratitude, working hard and contributing the greatness of our country.  

Understand that the United States of America is not a country club with dues and membership requirements. It is an open society that welcomes those from other lands who are fleeing natural disasters, economic strife, and political turmoil. It’s not only humanitarian concerns but the energy and vitality of our nation that is at stake.

My challenge to you… Try and understand the value of immigration to our society, our history and culture, and our economic system. Do a little research on just how much economic activity and new wealth is generated by new generations of legal and illegal immigrants. Review the history texts concerning the term “melting pot.” Review the history of immigration reform and how badly it has been botched by our Congress. Then join in the call to fix it. We need a secure, fair and just system of accepting new generations of Americans. It is an American value. It keeps America great.

More work to do...

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

What do you mean "Time to Accept the Results?"

There have been lots of folks who are weary of the election season, who see the protests and complaints from those who voted for Ms. Clinton and over and over say "Just get over it." An Open Form in the Daily News Record yesterday (1/9/17) offered yet another plea that "Its Time to Accept the Results."  

The writer was responding to another Open Forum written on December 27, 2016 by Dr. Mwizenge Tembo, professor of Sociology at Bridgewater College who offered a very strong rebuke Mr. Trump and those who supported him in the past election. Comparing the political campaign of Mr. Trump to the behavior of an abusive spouse. He drew parallels between an abusive spouse and the way Mr. Trump bullied, lied, and used rhetorical violence to win the highest office in the land.

This writer used the same metaphor in response. Isn’t it also “spiteful” and “vitriolic?” Mr. Tembo’s metaphor is painful to think about but it effectively communicated the voice of those who believe that Mr. Trump disrespected, bullied and lied his way to the Presidency. It also voiced our concerns that many millions of Americans found his message appealing. Friends, there is real fear in the hearts of many Americans who voted for other candidates. Mr. Tembo used a metaphor that accurately described that fear.

Mr. Trump and those who voted for him will hear from all those who think he lied and bullied his way to the Presidency. They will be questioned often why they could support a person who uses his power and position to abuse the less powerful and the weak.  They will be questioned on why a wealthy and powerful businessman should be able to continue wheeling and dealing expanding a personal fortune. They will especially be questioned on why the levers of power should be handed to the wealthiest, most privileged persons on earth who have never served the public and who have always and only worked to build their own wealth and power.

We can’t get over this until at least a modicum of respect returns to the political debate, we  repudiate the “ends justifies the means” and show less dependence on excess outrage. We can't get over this until we stop referring to "mainstream Americans" and then everyone else. We can’t recover from this long, ugly political season as long as the response to the fear is to “just get over it.” Meryl Streep said it best, 
“Disrespect invites disrespect, violent incites violence. And when the powerful use their position to bully others we all lose.”
More work to do...