Bow Down Before the One You Serve

You don’t see President Obama publicly lose his famous cool, but there was no mistaking his anger at the stinging defeat handed to him and the majority of the public who wanted to see even a watered down bill mandating stronger background checks for guns.    Unfortunately, 46 Senators chose to heed the call of their NRA masters over preventing more Newtown, Aurora and Tuscon shooting sprees.

And Obama was appropriately pissed off about it.

“Families that know unspeakable grief summoned the courage to petition their elected leaders not just to honor the memory of their children but to protect the lives of all of our children,” the president said,  A few minutes ago a minority in the United States Senate decided it wasn’t worth it.”

“All in all this was a pretty shameful day for Washington,”  a frustrated Obama said.

Among those shameful cowards were four gutless wonders laughingly called Democrats, all from conservative red states and three up for reelection next year.   The Senate voted 54-46 to scrap a proposal by Senators Joe Manchin (D-W.VA) and Pat Toomey (R-PA), that was both modest and somewhat watered down, but even that was too much for the gun lobby.   They pulled the chain and four Democrats (Max Baucus, Mark Pryor, Mark Begich and Heidi Heitkamp) side with the majority of Republicans to send the bill down to defeat.   This was a tough vote for Democrats running for reelection in conservatives states, but Sen. Kay Hagen and Sen. Mary Landrieu found a way to get behind the Manchin-Toomey compromise.

Trying to do something in a do-nothing Congress.

Trying to do something in a do-nothing Congress.

Even if the four Democrats found the balls to join with the president and their party, the vote would have still fallen short by two votes of the margin needed to get to the stupid 60-vote super majority necessary to pass it.    But the defection of the four Democrats still stung.

I placed calls to five of the U.S. Senators who bowed down to their NRA masters and stood against the will of the American people by opposing gun background checks.

Senator Portman’s office (R-OH) took my call and so did Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, one of the four Democrats that voted with the GOP. Senators Max Baucus and Mark Beigich’s phone lines were either jammed or their voice mails full. I left a message for Sen. Mark Pryor expressing my disappointment and disgust. All three are up for reelection in 2014 and not a one of them will see a dime from me in campaign contributions.

Profiles in Cowardice

Profiles in Cowardice

Collectively,  all four of them  can go to hell but first they can fail next year in their reelection bids.   What’s that you say?   Am I going to support Republicans over Democrats in 2014.   Highly unlikely.  I would  simply prefer to have these cowards  go down in  flames.  I would rather have a Republican I know I can’t trust than a cowardly Democrat with no spine, no heart and no balls.

I will only make my campaign contributions directly to the campaigns of the candidate.   The DSCC can go screw and when they ask me why Baucus, Begich and Pryor are dead to me i won’t hesitate to tell them my reasons.

I would prefer to deal with a real Republican than a fake Democrat.  I will not compromise my principles any longer for the sake of political expediency or misplaced party loyalty.   When it serves their purposes the Democrats use fear of Republican extremism as a scare tactic for ignoring the wishes of their constituents.   While I’m lining up asses to kick, I can’t forget most useless politician in Washington,  the craven Harry Reid,  who rejected the opportunity for filibuster reform out of a deluded sense of Senate congeniality.  Yeah, Harry,  weak and wimpy Democrats in Name Only like you do not deserve my support  either.

They won’t get it any longer. The Democratic Party is simply a vehicle for liberalism. It is not liberalism and we need all to get over the notion liberalism lives and dies based on the fortunes of the Democratic Party.

As for Heidi Heitkamp, I  invite her to go ahead and cross the aisle and caucus with Ted Cruz if she’s going to vote with him.

There is a lesson to be learned here and it’s that the fear of defeat moves more votes than the courage to do the right thing and most senators are more cautious than they are brave.   This should remind the Left what they shouldn’t forget:  The Democrats Need Liberals More Than Liberals Need the Democrats.    What Baucus, Begich, Pryor and Heitkamp  understand is fear and they need to have the fear of God put into their empty little hearts.

When the DINOs fear their own constituents more than the lobbies and possible challengers that’s when they will really start voting to protect their interests.    We are not at the day yet.


The NRA Loves Their Guns. They Hate Your Kids

I am a reasonable man and if you don’t believe me I will shoot you in the face.”

For shock and awe, you don’t need to go far beyond the Twilight Zone weirdness of National Rifle Association chief flunky Wayne LaPierre‘s press conference to present their profoundly stupid suggestions on how to respond to the slaughter at Sandy Hook elementary school.  Among their suggestions were to put armed guards in every school, establish a national database of the mentally ill and criticizing Natural Born Killers, a 20-year old movie and violent videogames for putting bad thoughts in the kiddies.

A national database of the mentally ill?  Sure thing.  No way that could encroach on their Constitutional rights.   Anybody wonder how many NRA members would show up on such a database?

As far as violent video games goes, let’s apply the NRA logic to it.  Violent video games don’t kill.  Gamers do.

As far as Wayne LaPierre’s suggestion to put an armed guard in every school it would cost over $5 billion to implement his crazy plan.  I was under the impression this country is broke and can’t afford that kind of new spending.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics there are 98,817 K-12 schools in the United States. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says cops make $55,000 a year. So we could put $5.4 billion as the low level estimate of the cost. Cops obviously have health care benefits and pension and disability benefits for police offers tend to be fairly costly so the real price would be higher than that.

To sum up Wayne LaPierre’s press conference, his remarks prove what most of us already knew.

  • Whomever wrote LaPierre’s remarks should be fired. He came off like a yammering drunk falling off his bar stool.
  • It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.
  • Wayne LaPierre is a fool.  And a stupid asshole too.

Even as  LaPierre was running off at the mouth exposing how much of a fool he truly is, at the same time there was another shooting spree in Pennsylvania that left four people dead including one woman in a church.  Would LaPierre put armed security guards in the pews too?

It was nauseating to see this enabler of killers and greedy gun manufacturers crying his big crocodile tears of insincerity about the children of Sandy Hook.  The lying sack of shit couldn’t even bother to get the number right of how many kids died!   LaPierre is human garbage.

I have no time to waste or energy to expend arguing with close-minded, mouth-breathers who love the touch of cold, hard steel designed only to kill to the sounds of happy children living, laughing, loving.

Those who “think” like LaPierre don’t give two farts in a windstorm about the dead and wounded in a Newtown, Connecticut elementary school classroom. To care about this and to want to do what is necessary to stop it from occurring again is dismissed as “understandable emotionally.” Which couldn’t miss the point any wider if he tried. The point is simple: Children are dying. We would prefer this to STOP.

There IS no middle ground with dead enders who quote numbers they pulled out of the air or out of some orifice and declare proudly, loudly and stupidly, “THERE IS NO PROBLEM. DO NOTHING. DEAD KIDS ARE THE COLLATERAL DAMAGE OF A GUN CULTURE!”

People who think like that have nothing of worth to contribute to the solutions to prevent further Sandy Hook slaughters and prefer the confident smugness of maintaining an absurd absolute position where nothing can be discussed, never mind debated or negotiated.

There is no end in sight to the American death dance with guns.  There is no dealing with a reactionary turd like Wayne LaPierre.

Entering into discussion with people who think like LaPierre makes about as much sense as entering into discussion with a pig in a mud hole.  You get dirty and the pig enjoys wallowing in the muck

“I poop for the NRA.”

A Real American Horror Story

Connecticut School Shooting

According to the FBI, mass murder is described as “a number of murders (four or more) occurring during the same incident, with no distinctive time period between the murders. These events typically involved a single location, where the killer murdered a number of victims in an ongoing incident.”

The week started with the shooting rampage in a suburban Portland, Oregon mall with Jacob Tyler Roberts using a stolen AR-15 semi-automatic to kill two people and wound a third seriously.

Roberts would not qualify as a mass murderer. His is a shooting spree. The families of his victims could hardly care less.

Mass murder in America seemed to culminate with the Columbine killings in 1999 which left 12 dead.  Then came the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre where Seung-Ho Choi gunned down 32 and wounded 15 others and reset the body count meter until today’s gruesome events.    The timeline of death since Columbine to Newtown is a long and bloody one.

The United States averages 20 mass murder events a year but surprisingly though this is a violent country, it is not as violent as it once was. This is a fact worth noting.

But oh, when we do kill, we kill with purpose, we kill with passion and we kill in big numbers.

We will search for the meaning in the midst of madness. We will say we must delay a debate on guns until the dead have been counted and buried and a respectful interval has passed, but in truth, there is no debate and the issue has largely been settled in this country. Guns are popular. Restrictions on guns are not.

The Columbine victims: We’ve been here before.

We’ve had a debate about guns in America.  Guns won.   Everyone else lost.

The defenders of guns will trot out their time-tested lines about how guns aren’t the problem; people misusing guns are.   They will point to another act of school violence that occurred the same day in China where a madman with a knife wounded 22 children and one adult.   The difference is none of those children died as opposed to the 20 children, six adults, plus the gunman who perished in Newton, Connecticut.

The NRA would sooner see a shooting spree every day before they would support legislation limiting the right to own any damn guy you want.

Something must be done. This is insane. We’re gunning down little boys and girls and their teachers as they try to defend them.  If our youngest and most innocent are not safe from mindless violence none of us are. What that something is, nobody seems to know.    Or if they do, nobody has the courage or the will to take on the gun lobby.

The spark of the holiday spirit was not burning brightly in me before the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Now it has been extinguished entirely.

The world is a beautiful place. The people on it? Not so much.


Living and Dying In the Country of the Gun

This is the face of insanity. The insane love of guns.

A friend wrote on Facebook: My thoughts on the shooting in Aurora, Colorado: For the most part, we seem to be a nation of broken people who are lost in our things, our success, our technology, our pain, our isolation, our wants.

Senseless acts such as these are committed by broken, lonely, angry people, who desperately want attention. The shooting last night in a public movie theater was no doubt committed by a young man with serious mental health issues. That is where our focus and analysis needs to be. Not on new gun laws or on taking arms from the people. The time has come for us to STOP making excuses for people like this–people like the ARMY Major in Texas that killed his fellow soldiers in a rant. Or the many other incidences where we see a lone gunman “go off” and kill innocent people. These people were time bombs, just waiting to go off.

While I concur with my friend’s sympathies, I’m not as quick as she is to play the 2nd Amendment card. The problem is not just crazy people getting their hands on guns. It’s also that organizations like the NRA make it easy for crazy people to get a gun.

Take away James Holmes’ weapon and substitute it with a knife. The body count goes down, not up. The connecting cord between Columbine, Virginia Tech, the Gabrielle Giffords shootings and the daily slaughter on the streets of Chicago and other urban areas is the GUN.

I don’t want to ban guns. Far from it. People have a right to protect themselves, but I’m waiting for the first yahoo to say, “Well, if only someone was legally carrying a gun they could have returned fire.” In a darkened, crowded theater with families? Please! They would need dump trucks to haul away all the bodies caught in the middle of a fire fight.

In the wake of the massacre at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado that left 12 dead and 58 wounded, there will be investigations into how it happened, discussions about the mentally ill, and conversations on how to stop a future James Holmes from carrying out a similar deadly attack (we can’t).

We will have all kinds of conversations about what happened in Aurora.  All except the conversation we need to have.  The one about the all-too-easy access to guns and why nothing will be done about it.

The battle over gun control is over and gun control lost.  The NRA won.   President Obama won’t take on the gun lobby.   Mitt Romney won’t take on the gun lobby.  A few in Congress will introduce legislation and maybe even hold hearings into placing limits on guns, but nothing will come of it.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) said,   “In this case he had a hundred rounds,” she said of James Holmes, the lone suspect in the Aurora, Colorado mass shooting. “He didn’t have to stop to reload. There was no chance for people to try to overpower him or to escape and I don’t believe that these military-type weapons and these magazines should be out on the streets of America.”

All talk, but no action.

“There is no reason why you have 100 rounds of ammunition. That is just an assault weapon killing machine and I personally believe these magazines should be banned. They serve no purpose, but to kill people, so why in the world are we allowing this,” Maloney added.

But Romney predictably said there is no need for new laws and reaffirmed his belief in the Second Amendment (as if anyone doubted it).

“I’m a firm believer in the Second Amendment and I also believe that this is — with emotions so high right now, this is really not a time to be talking about the politics associated with what happened in Aurora,” Romney said, “This is really a time, I think, for people to reach out to others in their community that need help or a comforting hand. Let’s do that for now and then we can get on to policy down the road.”

Ah yes.  The predictable “this is really not the time” to have meaningful discussions on issues that actually mean something.   Romney doesn’t want to talk about the politics behind the free-flowing access to guns and ammunition.   So what if Holmes had stockpiled 6,000 rounds of ammo and booby-trapped his apartment into an IED with wall-to-wall carpeting?   Let’s talk about something else.  Anything else but some psychopath armed to the teeth on a mission of mass murder.

Not that Obama is any better.  In some ways he’s worse.  White House press secretary Jay Carney says the president is committed to preventing gun crimes with “existing laws.”

Existing laws?  There was an existing law that banned the AR-15 assault weapon Holmes used to kill innocent moviegoers but it was repealed in 2004.    A surly New York Daily News editorial railed against the men who would be president and their weak-kneed empty platitudes to the dead and wounded while offering no new attempt to limit the unfettered access to guns.

The police chief in Aurora, Colo., said he is confident that massacre gunman James Holmes acted alone. The police chief was dead wrong.

Standing at Holmes’ side as he unleashed an AR-15 assault rifle and a shotgun and a handgun was Wayne LaPierre, political enforcer of the National Rifle Association.

Standing at Holmes’ side as he sprayed bullets and buckshot into a crowded movie theater were Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, a President and a would-be President, who have bowed to the NRA’s dictates and who responded to the slaughter Friday with revolting, useless treacle.

 Standing at Holmes’ side as he murdered 12 and wounded 59 were the millions of zealots who would sooner see blood flow and lives end than have to check a box on a gun registration form.

In a vain claim of innocence, the fanatics will say Holmes is a monster and a maniac, that he fired and fired and fired as a man possessed. Each protestation clamps their fingers with his around the trigger.

Because they made sure that virtually everyone, Holmes included, has unfettered legal access to heavy weaponry. And they made sure he was permitted by law to drive to the kill scene with a fully loaded arsenal.

Such is the conscienceless extremism of America’s gun lovers that they accept wholesale slaughter as akin to a fatal highway pileup. Accidents happen, in their grotesque view, and so do mass killings by firearms.

There will be no profiles in courage from the president or his challenger.  The race is too close and the stakes too high for Obama or Romney to risk it.  The NRA is too formidable an opponent for Obama to take on.  A handful of states will decide the winner of the presidency and Romney pledging anything less than total loyalty to gun rights or Obama coming on too strong against the millions of weapons already in the hands of law-abiding citizens is enough to tip a blue state into the red.

Damn sorry about your loss, but don’t expect me to DO anything..

There will be no debate.  The matter is closed.  With the exception of a few editorial boards and irrelevant blogs such as this one, the anguished cries and the pitiful screams of the dead and wounded in Aurora will go unheeded.   Human life is precious, but in America, the gun is sacred.  Neither Obama nor Romney will be heretics.

We will hear there is no way to predict or deter madmen like Holmes.   It might be helpful if there were some system in place to monitor the stockpiling of deadly arsenals by disturbed people, but means talking about privacy rights, unwanted and massive governmental intrusion, gun confiscation and the forcible treatment of the mentally ill, just to name a few hot buttons that would be pushed.

The United States of America is the most heavily armed country on the planet with 90 guns for every 100 citizens. A free society that cannot protect children from being shot down in a movie theater isn’t free at all. It’s lost its damn mind with its crazed lust for weapons. The bigger the firepower the bigger the body count. Nobody needs 6,000 rounds of ammunition. NOBODY.

James Holmes killed and wounded 70 people in less than four minutes. Constitutional rights don’t mean a damn thing if you’re too dead to enjoy them.

Senseless acts of violence may not be preventable, but allowing bloodthirsty psychopaths free and unfettered access to guns, ammo, and explosives is preventable.

The flip side of freedom and law and order is anarchy and chaos.  And madness.   This is a gun-crazy country and we are so crazy about our guns if a 6-year-old girl is shot down by a madman, that is an acceptable loss.

America has a love affair with the gun and that love is literally killing us. We need to break up.