Which Came First??

2015-11-14_08-20-08

“Which came first, the chicken or the egg??” has been the question of the day for as long as I remember. But I have a different version now. Which came first a ranting populace or radical right radio?? Lets look at that question some in this post.

I know that Rush Limbaugh has been around a long time now.  He has made millions of bucks ranting about almost everything. I also know that there is a faction within our population who simply adore him and listen to him constantly. He is without a doubt their hero.  He has been so popular that now there are look-a-likes everywhere you turn.

I also know that ranting in the comments section of most Internet new sites has been viral for quite some time. Are all these ranters simply screaming what Limbaugh taught them are is Limbaugh listening to them for his rants? That is the question.  But sadly we seem to be approaching a tipping point of these folks.

It seems that if the nation is to survive we progressives are going to have to save it. (oh I can hear the ranters scream with this one!!!)  It is going to be up to us to put some sanity back into our political processes. The GOP is simply getting way too out of hand to save themselves let alone our country.

I must admit I never gave President Reagan much credit for anything good that happened in the 1980s. He just seemed to be a B-class actor reading the script that people (read Rumsfeld and Chaney) put in front of him. But now I realize that he was much more of a forward thinker than I ever imagined. Little did I realize that when he went about about shutting down all the mental healthcare facilities in this country  he was actually  using those cast out to fill the base of the GOP in the 21st century.  Go figure…. 🙂

 

 

Good Guys With Guns???

“The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun.” LaPierre and gun-rights advocates point to research that supports this argument, chiefly a 1994 study by Gary Kleck, a Florida State University criminologist. Based on a telephone survey of about 6,000 people, Kleck concluded that guns are used defensively to stop a range of crimes, from simple assault to burglary to rape, up to 2.5 million times a year. But other academics and statisticians have criticized Kleck’s conclusions, saying he relied on firearms owners’ self-reporting their defensive gun use — problematic because some respondents might have categorized aggressive, unlawful gun use as self-defense — and then extrapolated that unreliable data to cover the entire nation. Those critics point to other figures that suggest defensive gun use is actually quite rare….

 

Will a gun make you safer?
Most Americans think so. According to recent Gallup polls, 63 percent of adults believe having a gun in the house will make them safer and 56 percent think the country would be safer if more people carried concealed weapons. But numerous studies suggest that owning a gun can actually increase a person’s risk of bodily harm and death. Research published this year in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that the 80 million Americans who keep guns in the home were 90 percent more likely to die by homicide than Americans who don’t. A paper in the American Journal of Public Health, meanwhile, determined that a person with a gun was 4.5 times more likely to be shot in an assault than someone who was unarmed…

 

What about home intrusions?
Having a gun close at hand might make you feel better protected against violent burglars, but in fact the annual per capita risk of death during a home invasion is 0.0000002 percent — essentially zero. On the other hand, a 2014 study from the University of California, San Francisco, shows that people with a gun in the house are three times as likely to kill themselves as non-firearm owners. More than 20,000 Americans shoot themselves to death each year, accounting for two-thirds of gun fatalities. “It’s not that gun owners are more suicidal,” said Catherine Barber, who heads a suicide prevention project at the Harvard School of Public Health. “It’s that they’re more likely to die in the event that they become suicidal, because they are using a gun.”

Source: The truth about guns and self-defense

For the most part I will let the quote above speak for me on this topic. The overwhelming evidence shows that the prevalence of guns in this country make us less, not more, safe.   I know the NRA and their supporters can hire someone who “proves” that is not the case by using very biased statistics.  I know that the same way as the climate-deniers can show that everything is fine even when 95% of those knowledgeable in this field say everything is not fine and if we don’t change our ways we are eventually dooming our planet.

Just look at  murder rates, suicide rates, happiness statistics in countries that have stringent gun control laws in place and it will be hard for even the most avid gun activist to deny that guns are a problem.

 

When Is ENOUGH, ENOUGH

2015-12-03_19-36-06

The epidemic of gun violence in America has become the new normal. We can’t just blame it on the brokenness of the world, pray for peace, and move on, worried that anything more will be seen as politicizing tragedy. What is tragic is that those who have the ability to DO something about this crisis refuse to offer more than simplistic sentiments on Twitter before getting caught in a circular argument about our rights as Americans….

Tell your elected officials that while the NRA may give them a positive rating — and bankroll their campaigns — they’re failing the American people by refusing to offer any semblance of common sense measures that could save lives.

Source: Sojo Mail from Jim Wallis

They haven’t finished reporting on the nut who went into a Planned Parenthood clinic and killed people before the next one occurred. This one is the 350th or so mass murder this year in the U.S.  while mass murders in countries such as Britain which has strict gun control is in the single digits.  It totally confounds me how all those gun lovers seem oblivious to the almost daily carnage.  I just can’t understand how so many can turn a blind eye to all this preventable violence. It is just beyond words…… and anything even resembling sanity… only in America….

Stuff Happens….

Mr. Obama ordered flags at the White House on Friday to half-staff to honor the victims of the shooting. “When Americans are killed in mine disasters, we work to make mines safer,” he said on Thursday night as early reports of the dead and injured in Oregon reached the White House. “When Americans are killed in floods and hurricanes, we make communities safer. When roads are unsafe, we fix them to reduce auto fatalities. We have seatbelt laws because we know it saves lives.”

Source: Obama Rebukes Bush on ‘Stuff Happens’ Reaction to Oregon Shootings – The New York Times

2015-11-04_07-43-09The above quote comes from President Obama in the aftermath of one of our seemingly weekly mass murders in this country.  Presidential candidate Bush’s comments on the topic were “stuff happen”. All the other cart full of GOP candidates pretty much said the same thing.   All these guys need hope that their loved ones are not in the wrong place at the wrong time when “stuff happen”.

If a terrorist from outside our country had killed nine and injured several more of our citizens I’m sure all those in congress would immediately rush to increase our military spending so that we can go after the perps who conspired to kill. Instead when it is a domestic terrorist they silently sit on their hands. The tragedy of that bi-polar response is numbing to me.

I am proud to be an American and to be able to live in this country but that does not mean that I can’t criticize it when we do dumb things and this lack of adequate gun control is definitely a dumb thing.

I will get off my soapbox now and wait a week or two until the next time innocents are killed by our obsession for guns before I bring it up again.

Even In Small Town America…

2015-07-31_07-02-31

Pope Francis recently spoke out about “unbridled capitalism”. A good example of that is the unregulated sales of guns in this country. Even my small town of 2,000 now has a gun shop where anyone can buy just about any weapon they choose.  Capitalism is the best economic system in the world but when it is unfettered from any moral requirements it is perhaps among the worst…