When in Dallas

After 40 or so years of visiting the Dallas area, with literally hundreds of layovers at the Dallas/Fort Worth airport, I have never actually been in downtown Dallas, until today.

This morning I woke up at my hotel at 1700 Commerce Street. It was going to be a hot day, so a morning walk at 7:00am seemed like the right thing. I was within a mile of the spot where President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. I walked down Main Street heading east and soon reached the famed, or infamous, Dealey Plaza. Here is a map, and the red arrow shows the exact location of Kennedy’s death.

I was there around 7:00 in the morning and there were no tourists yet. It was all empty and quiet. Later in the day this area gets quite busy with many tourists walking around and taking pictures. I avoided all that by being there early.

The above photograph shows the location of Kennedy’s death (red arrow) and the window where the shooter sat (blue arrow). The address of the building is 411 Elm Street in Dallas. It was a book depository in 1963.

Here is another view from a little further away. You can see there was hardly any traffic that early in the morning.

Here is another view of the same spot, this time from the center of Dealey Plaza. If you click on my photograph and zoom in where the arrow points you may see a white X that is actually marked on the street on the very spot.

Bob Dylan wrote a very moving song in his last album Rough and Rowdy Ways titled Murder Most Foul. The song is about the Kennedy assassination.

Twas a dark day in Dallas, November ’63A day that will live on in infamyPresident Kennedy was a-ridin’ highGood day to be livin’ and a good day to die

You can find the full lyrics here. I recommend you listen to the song. I can’t post it here for copyright reasons.

The sixth and seventh floor of the former book depository are now a museum named The Sixth Floor Museum. It opens at 10:00am, so I had to come back later to visit the museum. I it did not regret it. There are countless exhibits of posters, photographs and audiovisuals.

This picture shows an exact copy of the rifle that was used. The actual rifle that killed the president is at the National Archives.

And most eerie and deeply disturbing, here is the window from where the shot was fired. The area is enclosed by glass in the museum, and the book boxes are of course staged. There were book boxes the shooter used to rest the rifle.

I stood there for quite a while and let it sink in. This very spot was the place where U.S. history changed when a popular president was killed by a loser with a cheap gun.

I still remember the day. I was six years old and I had just started second grade in elementary school in Germany. My mother told me about what happened before I went to school. She wanted me to be informed in the event that the teacher brought it up.

When I was in the museum I watched some video clips of the day’s events. There were the ominous clips of the motorcade rolling down Main Street in Dallas, literally Kennedy’s last minutes alive, showing him waving to the crowds on both sides of the streets. Then the car reached Dealey Plaza and turned right onto North Houston Street before turning left again onto Elm Street to the fateful spot. I looked up and saw the building and the window where the shooter sat that very moment. He was not visible, but the window was definitely open – this was just seconds before.

In another clip, it showed the Kennedys arriving on Air Force One at Dallas Love Field that morning. It showed Jackie in the now famous bright pink outfit coming out of the plane and walking down the stairs, followed by the president. Lyndon Johnson greeted them. Eventually Kennedy entered the open limousine. As it pulled away, there was a Texas Lone Star flag behind the car, and right next to that flag was a Confederate Flag.

And that also made me stop and think.


Prayer is the Most Important Thing?

In the senseless Odessa shooting yesterday, seven are dead and 19 injured, among them a 17-month-old baby. Odessa, Texas Mayor David Turner rushed home from a vacation and announced:

In a situation like this, prayer is the most important thing. We’ll get through this.

Seriously. That is what the mayor said.

Tell that to the relatives of any of the seven innocent people who died, because some nutcase went berserk during a traffic stop!

Tell that to any of the injured people!

Praying isn’t going to fix this. Making sure there are no firearms in cars driving around on our streets would fix this.

On the same day that the San Diego Union’s headline on page one was “5 Dead, 21 Injured in Shooting,” there was a small article on page 4 in the left lower column, titled: Gunfire Erupts at Football Game; 10 Wounded. A 17-year-old student started shooting at a high school football game in Mobile, Alabama. All the injured were other high school kids. Since nobody actually died this time, the article didn’t even make a headline.

Praying isn’t going to fix this. Making sure that there are no firearms in the hand of a 17-year-old high school student would fix this.

Obviously, the god all these people are praying to isn’t doing anything to protect them. Do they notice it’s not working?

And our beloved Second Amendment isn’t really protecting us, is it? The founders wrote it for these two purposes:

  1. a practical purpose, to protect people from thieves, bandits, Native Americans, and slave uprisings
  2. a political purpose, to remind the rest of the world that the United States is well-armed

I am not very terrified about thieves and bandits. And I am not worried about Native Americans and slave uprisings. And I really don’t think the rest of the world is unaware that the United States is well-armed.

The Second Amendment makes no more sense. We need sensible laws regarding guns. We need laws that actually protect our people, not from slaves, thieves, bandits and Native Americans, but from nutcases wielding guns in public places killing innocent people.

Shoes and Guns

In 2001, one nutcase tried to bomb an airplane with a shoe bomb. Nobody got hurt or killed. However, since 2001, everyone boarding an airplane in the United States has been forced to remove shoes at screening stations. With 2.25 million air travelers every day in the U.S. alone, that’s 13.99 billion times people have taken their shoes off.

Gun violence kills about 84 people a day in the U.S. We have taken no significant regulatory steps on the federal level since then.

For Shoes – one threat on no deaths causes massive regulation inconveniencing 13 billion people traveling.

For Guns – 84 deaths a day and we don’t even blink, let alone act.

I can’t find anything about shoes in the Constitution.

Letter from the Governor of New York about Gun Violence

Fellow New Yorker,

We are all sadly aware that last week, seventeen community members at the Stoneman Douglas High School were gunned down in one of the deadliest school shootings in our nation’s history.

In the wake of this tragedy, Washington has responded with the same appalling complacency and inaction that it always responds with. Plenty of thoughts and prayers. No action.

In New York, we are doing the opposite. Following the Sandy Hook shooting, we passed the SAFE Act — which banned assault rifles like the AR-15 and made it harder for people deemed to be dangerously mentally ill to purchase guns. Firearm deaths have fallen and our state is safer for it.

But our work isn’t done. I have proposed new legislation to remove all firearms from those who commit domestic violence crimes. And today, I joined the Governors of New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Connecticut in launching States for Gun Safety – a multi-state coalition to take action against gun violence in the face of failed leadership at the federal level.

This time, things can be different. The young survivors of the Parkland shooting are speaking out, demanding more from the adults in power — and their awe-inspiring efforts bring me hope.

The American people have waited far too long — but with your help, we can say once and for all that while this was not the first school shooting in America, it will be the last.

Ever Upward,

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Statistics and the Power of Thoughts and Prayers

Regulatory and Legislative Remedies – or Thoughts and Prayers


I guess our thoughts and prayers are not working too well.

I wonder what would happen if somebody blew up an airliner with an explosive bra?

Worldwide Mass Shootings

In the United States we have less than 5% of the world’s population, but almost a third of all mass shootings.

Do my gun-supporting readers and friends have any idea why that is?

I am honestly curious about their insight.


Guns for the Mentally Ill – Yeah!

I thought, I really thought, we all agreed that it makes no sense for mentally ill people to have easy access to guns.

Today, the Senate voted 57-43 to kill an Obama regulation that restricted access to guns for the mentally ill. The gun restriction rule was a policy to support federal efforts to improve detection of risky people who should not have legal access to guns.

Republicans claim that while the policy had good intentions, it actually took away the gun rights of a large category of individuals without any evidence that they pose a risk of harm to self or others, and without legal due process protections commensurate with abridging a constitutional right.

I do not understand that 57 out of a hundred intelligent successful millionaires in the United States Senate can think this is a good idea.

And of all the problems our country has, and all the hunger, and misery, and hurt, and division, and death, this is what Congress and our government decides is really important right now so they take action!

This, to me, is insane.

All this is done in the name of “rights” and the Constitution. We’re obsessed about our Second Amendment rights, when our entire government, our Congress and our executive Branch, lead by our intrepid Führer, Donald Trump, has done nothing but trample on our First Amendment rights in a massive onslaught from all direction against a hundred million dissenting Americans.

Forget our First Amendment, it’s for the “security” of the people.

But give them guns, and keep them stupid.

Bought by the NRA, they all are!

Gun Rights and Kids

I lifted this from Facebook a few days ago.



I don’t agree. This child can’t be more than eight years old. Gun rights have nothing to do with this. I cannot come up with a single reason why a child should be “properly trained” to shoot a lethal weapon.

It’s not time yet. The child is not old enough yet to make responsible decisions. I would not teach an eight year old child to shoot a gun, for the same reason why I would not teach an eight year old child how to use a condom.

Assault Rifles, our Congress, and Prayers

One child chokes on a toy inside a German chocolate egg, and all chocolate eggs are banned from the United States. In this post I suggested that we make the eggs big enough to hide assault rifles so children, and I, could enjoy them.

On December 22, 2001, one crazy guy set a shoe on fire in an airliner. Since then, 1.73 million people take their shoes off at US airports every day. That’s about 10 billion pairs of shoes taken off at airports security lines since 2001.

In both of those cases, laws and regulations were passed quickly to stem the problem.

Yet, when we have a guy who buys an assault rifle and kills 50 people in a sweep and injures that many more, all Congress can offer is prayers?

Nobody on the street, other than law enforcement or the military, should have access to weapons of mass destruction. It’s pretty simple. And the second amendment – read all about it here – says nothing about weapons of mass destruction.

A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed…



Easter Message on Gun Violence, Automobile Accidents and Islamic Terrorism

On December 2, 2015, 14 people were killed and another 22 seriously injured in a violent attack in San Bernardino by Islamic terrorists.

Statistically, every other day a child is shot and killed in the U.S. from gun violence.

Over the last three months and ten days, that’s 14 people dead from Islamic terrorism and about 50 children (I am not counting adults here) from “run of the mill” domestic shootings and accidents.

Which is the bigger threat and danger to Americans? And which does the media remind us about every day?

There you have it. I said “Islamic terrorism” because there is something very wrong with a religion that incites people to mass-kill innocent others and stone apostates and infidels. Let’s not forget, however, that Christians did just that when they burned witches and tortured heretics.

But the real threat to Americans and to dying in America as an innocent is by automobile accidents (about 30,000 a year) and domestic gun violence (another 30,000 a year, about half of which are suicides) vs. a couple of dozen due to Muslim nutcases.

That is what occurred to me on this Easter Sunday morning.

Kinder Eggs, Lawn Darts and Assault Rifles

Of the three very dangerous products below, two are banned in the United States.


Kinder Surprise Eggs have toys hidden inside the chocolate covers inside an inner plastic egg. Over a period of 20 years, there were 7 deaths of children reported, presumably when children tried to eat the toys. Kinder Eggs are illegal in the United States and border guards at airports sometimes xray packages to identify and confiscate them.


Over a period of ten years, 6700 people were injured by lawn darts. 75% of those injured were children. Three children died. One father of a child went on a crusade and got lawn darts banned.


Annually, 7,000 children get injured in the United States from gunshots. Another 3,000 die each year. Guns are legal in the United States. Even assault rifles are.

Perhaps we need to wrap assault rifles inside chocolate eggs? That’ll get them banned!

Go figure the logic.

The Second Amendment Needs an Amendment

Bear ArmsYou may be calling this “trampling on the Constitution” and yet, it’s not meant to be. Almost three years ago I wrote this about the right to bear arms in this post:

When the Second Amendment was ratified, the United States was an agrarian nation with 3,929,214 people, according to the 1790 census, of which 694,280 were slaves.



The Second Amendment states this:

  1. a practical purpose, to protect people from thieves, bandits, Native Americans, and slave uprisings
  2. a political purpose, to remind the rest of the world that the United States is well-armed

I don’t think the founders of our little agrarian nation the size of modern Oregon in population had any idea what they were doing with regards to assault weapons. They were afraid of the fact that one in five people in the country were slaves and they could  easily overcome them, should they find the will. They needed to curb highway robbery.

Today don’t need weapons to protect ourselves from thieves, bandits and Native Americans. We’re not traveling back country roads by horse or on foot anymore where highway robbery was rampant. There haven’t been any slave uprisings in a while. I don’t think that France, Spain, England and perhaps Portugal are a political threat to the United States anymore, and the guns in our closets make no difference to their attitudes. Political enemies like ISIS actually benefit from our gun-based society.

And seriously, our armed citizens are not up to defending themselves against the U.S. military, should it turn against the people. We’d need F-35s for that.

Worldwide evidence is clear. The more guns there are in the populace, the more gun violence there is. You want less violence, you need to have less guns.

We need another amendment to the Constitution to fix this. It should make assault rifles illegal for ordinary citizens. Only law enforcement and the military should have those.

And what’s this issue with not having everyone that owns a gun have a background check? We have mandatory background checks for childcare providers!

And what’s the problem with a national registry of gun owners? We have national registries for credit card owners!

Seriously, I am not trying to “take your guns away.” But I am saying that it should be way, way, way more difficult for you to obtain a gun.

And here is the good part – this WILL happen. It’s just a matter of time. The will of the people shall overcome the political obstacles currently in the way. We’ll just vote them out of office.

Shootings and Terrorism

In the aftermath of yesterday’s tragic shooting in San Bernardino, where three shooters, one woman and two men, wearing fatigues, possible body-armor, and ski masks shot people at random, killing 14 and wounding another 17, officials said the following:

Terrorism cannot be ruled out

How in the world was this not terrorism? We have a word to describe three people committing premeditated mass murder at a facility for disabled people. That word is “Terrorism.”

Maybe it was not Islamic jihadist terrorism, but it was terrorism nonetheless.

The Colorado Springs shooter a few days ago was a Christian. The media didn’t call that terrorism either. Sorry folks. That, also, was terrorism, perpetrated by a Christian. I hate to say it. We have such a thing as Christian terrorism, and atheist terrorism, and batshit crazy nutcase terrorism.

But let’s all agree to calling it what it is: