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.

Trump, the President, and the Second Amendment

Trump keeps trumpeting that “Hillary Clinton Wants to Abolish the Second Amendment.”

Alright: Repealing a constitutional amendment requires a 2/3 vote by Congress and ratification of 75% of all states.

The president has nothing to do with it and gets no vote.

The Supreme Court also cannot repeal a constitutional amendment, since it is a judiciary body, not a legislative one.

Does Trump not know such basic tenets of our system of government?

Or does the just figure we’re all uneducated enough to just believe his sound bites?

Whichever it is, it’s alarming and it is insulting to our intelligence.

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…



Controversy Over Mass Shooting Statistics for 2015

Recently there were headlines that there were more mass shootings in 2015 than days in the year. Senator Chris Murphy is one of the most outspoken politicians against gun violence, and I found this vilifying post in a website called Truth and Action, which basically claims that there were not 372 mass shootings in 2015, as “the liberals” claim, but really only four – yes – four!

When I read this article I could not help seeing some of the comments below:

Comments about Mass Shootings

Marlin W White needs some lessons in sentence structure and punctuation, but I get his point. He is a Trump supporter: “This dem is really stupid do your research before making claims vote Trump.” This really speaks volumes to me.

Mary Crum says that Obama did those shootings to give a basis for his gun grab? What gun has Obama grabbed yet?

Raymond Bramhall argued that a murder suicide is not a mass shooting. Ok. Let’s take out all the murder suicides, and we’re left with four? Really?

Joe Vasquez asks if liberals are narcissistic morons. There is narcissism, meaning loving oneself. What does that have to do with liberalism? Morons are supposed to be stupid. What does that have to do with narcissism? Joe Vasquez’ comment makes absolutely no sense to me.

Do you have to be liberal to be concerned about this amount of people shooting others – or themselves? Can you not be conservative like I am – in many regards – and still not like this amount of shooting?

Clearly, most of these comments are emotional outcries and most don’t make sense. To me, these sentiments are batshit scary.

To get some real data, not Facebook meme hype, I did a little searching and came up with this website that collects data about mass shootings. This may be an evil liberal site that is self serving, but in the end, it shows by date, by incident, by state, by city, by exact address, how many people were killed and how many wounded. You can call it what you want, but in the end, more than one person got killed or wounded at every one of these incidents, and some of them were probably murder suicides.

I tallied them up and there were 330 incidents, with 367 people killed and 1317 wounded. That seems like a lot. Definitely more than four, as the Truth and Action site states.

Moronic? Narcissistic? Stupid? Lie? Hidden Agenda? — Really? I see 367 dead and 1317 wounded in shootings where more than one was hurt at a time. Pretty basic.

I then checked how many of those shootings were by Muslim terrorists, and found two. Yes – two.

We have focused on those two in the national spotlight more than we have on the other 328 combined. Yes, 16 of the deaths and 19 of the wounded were in San Bernardino alone. It was the largest in 2015. The second largest was the biker shootout in Waco, Texas on May 17, 2015.

Our focus on the Muslim jihad crime far outweighs the attention on all the other crimes listed. We’re willing to give up our freedom and liberties to try to stop some of those jihadist crimes. But we’re not willing to seriously deal with the source of the 328 others.

Furthermore, the famed iPhone of the killer has recently drawn national attention by actions of the FBI against Apple. The government wants to force Apple to adulterate its operating system, opening it up to backdoor access, and making all 700 million iPhones worldwide vulnerable to hackers – all because there “might be” intelligence information about jihadists in the United States on that phone – all after the FBI botched the one chance it had to recover the data before it called Apple for help.

I also find it very interesting that one Muslim hate shooting has our government hold nothing back, going after the largest tech company in the world, willing to go to the Supreme Court – just to modify and regulate the iPhone, a computer. This all happened within just a couple of months of the incident.

On the other side, millions of concerned Americans have been trying to go after the killing devices (the guns) themselves for decades, yet the government does not even take action. Is this backwards?

Everyone seems to be all focused on the Founding Fathers’ intention when they crafted the Second Amendment. It 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 think both bases are well covered. The second one is no longer important. I don’t think we’ll have any more British or Spanish gunships pulling into New York or Boston harbor. The first one is well covered. There haven’t been any slaves in some time, Native American’s haven’t been scalping too many of us, and I am not worried about thieves and bandits when I travel the highways – unless I go through Waco, Texas.

After all this, I am not about to call to “trample on the Constitution.”

I am proposing a 28th Amendment: to make it illegal for government to strongarm technology companies into adulterating their products by disallowing strong encryption or by dictating backdoors into computers. We really need the 28th Amendment.

Enough trampling for a day.


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.

Ted Nugent on Wayne LaPierre

LaPierre - Nugent

In Time Magazine of April 29, featuring the 100 most influential people, Ted Nugent described Wayne LaPierre. Above is the full piece, and the underlines in the article are mine.

Nugent claims the right to bear arms is God-given. Nugent may have a bigger megaphone than I do and better connections to his god, but let me claim right here that this right that he claims is God-given was revoked by the Easter Bunny yesterday when he appeared onto me and told me so. Trust me on that. It’s the truth.

The right to bear arms was given to us by a constitutional amendment as part of the Bill of Rights, adopted on December 15, 1791.

In District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment “codified a pre-existing right” and that it “protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home”but also stated that “the right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose”. They also clarified that many longstanding prohibitions and restrictions on firearms possession listed by the Court are consistent with the Second Amendment.

When the Second Amendment was adopted, the United States was an agrarian nation with 3,929,214 people. Its intended purpose was to allow us to protect our homes from thieves, bandits, Indians and slave uprisings. It says nothing about it being “sacred” as Nugent claims.

Nugent does and says whatever is good for him and him only, and values, convictions, character and integrity come later – if convenient to his current desired outcome. Nugent was a draft dodger who didn’t want to serve this “truly free and independent America” when it came calling on him. He lied and deceived grievously when it suited his objectives.

Yes, this is the guy holding up Wayne LaPierre and comparing him to Ben Franklin, George Washington, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.