The Life in My Years

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Indulge me for a few moments while I waste my time.

There was another mass shooting in America yesterday. It was the seventh one in seven days. Hell, mass shootings have become so ho hum that I only knew about two of them; the shootings at the Atlanta spas last week and the shooting in Boulder yesterday.

The others?
Five people shot in Stockton, California on March 17th. No fatalities.
Four people shot in Portland, Oregon on March 18th. No fatalities.
Five people shot in Houston, Texas on March 20th. No fatalities.
Eight people shot in Dallas, Texas on March 20th. One fatality.
Six people shot in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on March 22nd. One fatality.

I’m seriously not being flippant when I ask a few pointed questions.
In America should we establish a specific number of victims when we want to call something a mass shooting?
Does a mere four or five victims qualify as a mass shooting?
And what about fatalities. Is it really a shooting if nobody died?

Again I’m not being flippant. That’s because mass shootings, however you want to define them, long ago stopped being tragedies. They’ve become America’s national sport.

That isn’t to say that we’re absent of any tragedy. Let’s put the rat on the table, the real tragedy is America’s response to shootings.

The tragedy was made crystal clear when twenty children, ages six and seven, were murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School and the best response that America could muster was the now moldy, “thoughts and prayers.” Beyond that, N-O-T-H-I-N-G.

Pardon me, allow me to clarify that N-O-T-H-I-N-G, comment. Something was indeed done. Before the world could wrap its head around the Sandy Hook shooting, a troll by the name of James Tracy, floated the notion in a blog post that the shooting was a hoax. Tracy was an actual professor which goes to show that book learning doesn’t translate to a functioning moral compass.

Alex Jones claimed that Sandy Hook was trumped up in order to create an excuse for confiscating America’s guns. He called the deceased children “child actors.”

So the result of Sandy Hook wasn’t gun legislation. Sandy Hook resulted in grieving parents being compelled to prove that their children were indeed dead. Sandy Hook resulted in conspiracy nuts dogging parents with probing questions aimed at proving an abomination.

Where are we eight years after Sandy Hook?

Well, besides over 2,940 mass shootings later, we’ve come to the point at which the gun lobby and their legislative mouthpieces and paranoid gun owners don’t even bother with thoughts and prayers after a mass shooting anymore. They point straight to the Second Amendment and the ridiculous notion of gun confiscation.

The almighty second
I’ll say this for the Founding Fathers, when they fucked up, they really went all out in their fuck up. Aside from the nods to slavery, the Second Amendment is almost unparalleled in the annals of legislative blunders.

Americans have raised the Second Amendment to a de facto status of being the eleventh commandment.

The Second Amendment has afforded damn near every GOP candidate, for the position of everything from dog catcher to President of the United States, the opportunity to promote the absurd notion that they, THEY, are going to take away your guns. First it was Bill Clinton is going to take your guns. Then it was Obama is going to take your guns. Now it’s Biden is going to take your guns. And guess what, everybody still has their guns.

The paranoia is absolutely breathtaking.

Just yesterday, just before news of the shooting in Boulder broke, South Carolina Senator Tom Corbin introduced legislation that would make every citizen in that state over the age of seventeen a member of a militia.
Proponents argue that if everyone is a member of a militia, then they all fall under the opening clause of the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution that starts “A well regulated Militia.”
Said Corbin, “That would prevent the federal government from ever confiscating any of your weapons. Because at the end of the day, the federal government cannot disarm a standing army.”
Just to point out a small detail, a militia is not a standing army. But go ahead senator, don’t let a fact stand in the way of promoting nonsense.
By the way, Corbin is a Republican.

The bodies in Boulder weren’t even cold when the National Rifle Association tweeted out the text of the Second Amendment.
Senator John Kennedy (who out of respect for John F. Kennedy should seriously consider a name change) of Louisiana suggested that gun violence is on par with drunk driving and should be put in perspective.
“We have a lot of drunk drivers in America that kill a lot of people. We ought to try to combat that too. The answer is not to get rid of all sober drivers. The answer is to concentrate on the problem.” Kennedy didn’t elaborate on his notion of what “the problem” is. Go have a drink, take a drive and mull it over and let us know, senator.

I’m certain that the usual nonsense is being spread like manure over social media; guns are simply inanimate objects; if we outlaw guns then we should outlaw knives and baseball bats.

One of my all time favorites though, is the notion of MORE gun ownership so that a good guy with a gun can stop the bad guy with the gun. Because there’s nothing like more lead flying around in the local supermarket followed by the police showing up and then having to figure out who the good guy is and who the bad guy is.

And then there are the assertions that are just flat out wrong.
“Every time there’s an incident like this, the people who don’t want to protect the Second Amendment use it as an excuse to further erode Second Amendment rights. Their ultimate goal is to abolish our rights,” said Cynthia Loomis, the GOP Senator from Wyoming.

This is all part of the fear factor bullshit that the GOP squirts out like diarrhea in response to gun violence; the notion that sensible legislation is going to lead to the unlikely abolition of the Second Amendment.

Abolishing the Second Amendment requires an amendment to the Constitution. That requires drafting an amendment which is the easy part. After that comes the impossible part. For the proposed amendment to be adopted, two-thirds of the House and Senate would have to approve the proposal, followed by ratification by three-fourths of the states.
Find me 38 states that will vote to abolish the Second Amendment.

Legislators like Loomis know that it’s an easy thing to dupe an electorate that’s ignorant when it comes to basic civics.

Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, “In the dialogue about gun control, we rarely consider how many Americans are united in their advocacy and enjoyment of this right.”
Grassley is either lying or ignoring the polls, such as a 2019 poll by the Pew Research Center that reveals:
Those who favor background checks for private gun sales and sales at gun shows:
93% of Democrats
82% of Republicans

Favor banning high-capacity magazines:
87% of Democrats
54% of Republicans

Favor banning assault-style weapons:
88% of Democrats
50% of Republicans

And finally there’s Colorado Representative Joe Neguse. Neguse is a Democrat who is also wrong. Following the Boulder shooting Neguse said, mass shootings “cannot be our new normal”
Sorry Joe, you’re wrong. It’s long been our new normal and it will continue to be normal.

That’s why writing this piece was essentially a waste of time.

15 thoughts on “Just Another Day in America

  1. Paulie, don’t give up. Keep wasting your time. Maybe somebody will listen.

    1. Paulie says:

      Hi Marie,
      Well given that I spent hours on this post, I guess I haven’t given up.
      Thanks for reading and commenting. Always appreciated.

  2. Jane Fritz says:

    Paulie, you speak the truth as so many see it, and so eloquently. I hope you are read far and wide. I left the US to attend university in Montreal in 1963, when I was 17. I had never heard of a mass shooting growing up. Two months after I left JFK was shot. Less than 5 years after that, when I was living in London, MLK Jr and Bobby Kennedy were assassinated. As it turned out, I never returned to the US to live, but along with the rest of the world I recoil in horror at how gun worship and mass shootings have become part of what defines America. It has not always been like that, not to this extent. I can’t help but think that some answers could be found by “following the money”. 😥

    1. Paulie says:

      Hello Jane, Back in the sixties this sort of thing was unheard of. Over the years we became immune. Over the years myths about confiscating guns became truths that were born out of lies and misinformation.
      It’s all driven by money and power.
      Unfortunately I don’t see an end to it.
      It’s ridiculously ironic that we have a wild west mentality in America yet Morgan Earp banned guns in Tombstone back in the wild west.

      1. Jane Fritz says:

        True. Sad beyond belief.

      2. Jane Fritz says:

        So. Damn. Sad. 😥

  3. Hettie D. says:

    I don’t know why people are not getting it :(((

    1. Paulie says:

      Because people in power want to keep power and so they promote the myth, to the people who don’t know better, that the Democrats are going to take their guns away.
      Power and money, money and power.

  4. eden baylee says:

    Hi Paul,

    We’ve had an exchange on guns already, so I won’t repeat things here. I am so sorry for this heartache in your country. I abhor guns and cannot understand the fascination with them and how easy it is to buy them.

    Kinder eggs are banned, but guns are not. WHAT?!

    And … guns for protection? Why does any citizen need a semi automatic? Who is the enemy?

    I just don’t get it. 😥

    1. Paulie says:

      Hi Eden.

      So, I had to look up Kinder Eggs. I guess I understand that ban.

      Guns? They will never be banned in America.

      Fine….I guess. But can we meet part way and set up some reasonable restrictions? Apparently not.

      The gun lobby applies its own version of a multi-purpose twisted logic that has dogged America for decades. The domino theory.

      It’s what got us into the Vietnam War. If Vietnam falls then all of Asia will go Communist went the argument.
      It ruined Central America. If Nicaragua went Communist, the Communists would soon be at our southern border.
      It’s the argument that keeps America from having national healthcare. It’ll lead to Socialism.
      Regulate assault rifles and pretty soon they’re going to confiscate all your guns.

      >>>>Who is the enemy?<<<< You are too young to remember the cartoonist Walt Kelly and his strip Pogo; a cartoon which was steeped in political satire. In one of his most famous pieces done in commemoration of Earth Day in 1971, Pogo Possum, the main character utters the line, “We have met the enemy and he is us.” It was a commentary on litter but the line has gained a universal application.

      Take care Eden,

      1. eden baylee says:

        Ok, no Kinder Eggs for you. 😀

        The domino theory … ok … sounds like the slippery slope theory or the give em an inch and they’ll take a mile theory …
        It wouldn’t be so twisted if the other examples you cited supported this theory, but they don’t, so …Guess we shouldn’t let truth get in the way of a good argument. Infuriating.

        Pogo looks familiar, though I didn’t read the comics. The line “We have met the enemy and he is us” is familiar to me, but I never knew the origin. I’m getting an education on your blog!


        1. Paulie says:

          The original quote was by Major Perry in the War of 1812, “We have met the enemy and they are ours.”

          As far as I’m aware, the domino theory only works in…..wait for it –

          I’m more of a jellybean guy.

  5. mavimet says:

    I can’t even begin to understand why many people in the US are legally carrying concealed weapons and a portion have assault weapons and/or high capacity magazines. In Canada, hunters have rifles for hunting and they are registered and when not in use are locked up. That is not to say that some of the criminals here don’t have access to guns. Shootings are not completely unknown – but they are thankfully very rare – especially when compared to south of our border. I do envision an uprising if anyone in power is brave enough to ban Americans from owning and carrying their weapons though.

    1. Paulie says:

      There are a lot of Americans, myself included, who can’t understand why people feel the need for the hardware that gun owners feel compelled to own/carry.

      There are states where it isn’t uncommon to see someone in a checkout line at the supermarket, holding an AR-15.

      Why? I haven’t the foggiest idea. You never know when there’s going to be a tussle over the last pack of toilet paper, I guess.

      Seems, contrary to logic, but whenever a mass shooting like the recent ones in Atlanta and Boulder occurs, there’s a surge in gun and ammunition sales. Fear that legislation will get past making it harder to buy guns.

      Right now though, there isn’t the political will/courage to get that legislation done.

      You are right about an uprising if certain bans are enacted.

      Bottom line in America, is politicians are more concerned with staying in office than doing work that benefits the general good; and that holds for guns, voting rights, healthcare and equality.

      It’s a mess that I can’t imagine being cleaned up in my lifetime.

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