We must do something


ADULTS ONLY (mature or immature)


This is not my usual post.  I want to warn people about it, and I realize I might lose some subscriptions and readers because of it.  Honest, unless you are one of them anti-guns nuts, you should skip this post.  If you are an anti-guns nut, please read on.

The President made a speech a few days ago, and I wanted to address it.  I started writing about it, and then decided to read stuff from the President’s supporters, and from people who support the current slate of gun control proposals both at the State and Federal levels.

I immediately noticed a propensity to use swearing, sometimes to a disproportionate amount, to punctuate arguments.  Even a few books authors, authors I respect and like, introduce completely superfluous swearing in their arguments.

As best as I can figure, that is a way to ensure readers know the writer is “serious” about his or her opinions, and that, in fact, the writer is “passionate” about the issue.

So, for example, instead of saying “I don’t agree with gun owners”, they write “I don’t agree with fucking gun owners”.

Perhaps this is a code of sorts.  Perhaps readers know to ignore arguments by people who do not sprinkle swear words in their writing.  A careful examination (decoding) of the writings points to “fucking” as the most popular modifier.

I want to reach out to these people, want them to accept what I have to say at face value, so I scrapped what I had written, and forced myself to employ their language.  I want my regular readers to understand this is not likely to ever be repeated, and that I am extremely uncomfortable employing such language.  Nevertheless, I want to be inclusive; I want to be taken seriously, even at the cost of a few, or all, subscribers.

I can’t stress enough to new subscribers to this blog (ten in the last week alone) and the casual readers passing through . . . this is not my typical offering.  Sure, I’ve written opinion pieces before, and will likely do so again but, again, I offer assurances I will not be employing swearing in future offerings.  You know, unless this effort is a resounding success, and droves of people are positively influenced by my use of foul language.

My main impetus remains photography and fiction, and that is what you are most likely to come across in this blog.  That said, here goes nothing . . . 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ o ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

President’s speech, March 28, 2013

(my commentary in light blue)

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Thank you, everybody.  Thank you, Katerina, for sharing your story.  Reema was lucky to have you as a teacher, and all of us are fortunate to have you here today.  And I’m glad we had a chance to remember her.

Katerina, as you just heard, lost one of her most promising students in Virginia Tech, the shootings there that took place six years ago.  And she and dozens of other moms and dads, all victims of gun violence, have come here today from across the country — united not only in grief and loss, but also in resolve, and in courage, and in a deep determination to do whatever they can, as parents and as citizens to protect other kids and spare other families from the awful pain that they have endured.

As any of the families and friends who are here today can tell you, the grief doesn’t ever go away.  That loss, that pain sticks with you.  It lingers on in places like Blacksburg and Tucson and Aurora.  That anguish is still fresh in Newtown.  It’s been barely 100 days since 20 innocent children and six brave educators were taken from us by gun violence — including Grace McDonnell and Lauren Rousseau and Jesse Lewis, whose families are here today.

That agony burns deep in the families of thousands — thousands of Americans who have been stolen from our lives by a bullet from a gun over these last 100 days — including Hadiya Pendleton, who was killed on her way to school less than two months ago, and whose mom is also here today.  Everything they lived for and hoped for, taken away in an instant.  We have moms on this stage whose children were killed as recently as 35 days ago.

I don’t think any of us who are parents can hear their stories and not think about our own daughters and our own sons and our own grandchildren.  We all feel that it is our first impulse, as parents, to do everything we can to protect our children from harm; to make any sacrifice to keep them safe; to do what we have to do to give them a future where they can grow up and learn and explore, and become the amazing people they’re destined to be.

The President opened up with examples of people having suffered a loss because of someone committing a crime with a gun.   Let me unequivocally say that I, as any sane person hearing of these crimes would be, am saddened, angry, and frustrated by these crimes. There is a sense of powerlessness that washes over me when I hear of any life being taken, but especially a kid’s life.  I can, in fact, empathize with the survivors, as I can vividly imagine how I would feel in those circumstances.

So you can imagine how comforted I felt upon reading these words:

That’s why, in January, Joe Biden, leading a task force, came up with, and I put forward, a series of common-sense proposals to reduce the epidemic of gun violence and keep our kids safe.  In my State of the Union address, I called on Congress to give these proposals a vote.  And in just a couple of weeks, they will.

. . . well, I was a bit taken aback by the “epidemic of gun violence” remark.  The FBI just released data showing we are at the low point, not seen since the 50’s, for gun violence.  Still, I assumed the President was taking poetic license for the benefit of the survivors of shooting victims he had invited to his speech.  

After all, it would be little consolation to people who lost loved ones for the President to say “take heart in the fact gun crimes are diminishing, even as gun sales are going through the roof”.  Much like it would be  little consolation to victims of drunk drivers to be told “it’s in the wane; we have less drunk drivers now than we used to”.

I was also a bit taken aback by Biden being mentioned; he advises shooting your gun outside, out on the balcony (specifically, both barrels of a double-barreled shotgun), when one hears a suspicious noise; you know, to scare away intruders.  I assume his advisors eventually informed him that is, in fact, illegal.  I would also like to point out it leaves you with an empty gun.   No house I ever owned had a balcony, so I would have to lean out one of the windows to illegally deter possible marauders.

But, let’s go on . . .

Earlier this month, the Senate advanced some of the most important reforms designed to reduce gun violence.  All of them are consistent with the Second Amendment.  None of them will infringe on the rights of responsible gun owners.  What they will do is keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people who put others at risk.  And this is our best chance in more than a decade to take common-sense steps that will save lives.

Now we are talking!  “Some of the most important reforms designed to reduce gun violence.”  We are going to tackle gang violence, increase federal persecution for people who violate gun laws, deny parole to people convicted for gun crimes, and in general crack down on the illegal use of guns with the same vehemence we crack down on people who smoke pot!

As I said when I visited Newtown just over three months ago, if there is a step we can take that will save just one child, just one parent, just another town from experiencing the same grief that some of the moms and dads who are here have endured, then we should be doing it.  We have an obligation to try.

Wow . . . powerful words . . . I can’t wait to hear of these plans; they’ve been a long time coming, I tell you!

Now, in the coming weeks, members of Congress will vote on whether we should require universal background checks for anyone who wants to buy a gun so that criminals or people with severe mental illnesses can’t get their hands on one.

. . . ? . . . uh . . . that, not selling to criminals and crazy people, is already a given, so codifying it is OK, I suppose.  But . . . how is it going to be enforced?  If I want to sell one of my guns illegally, what’s to stop me?  Criminals and crazy people already eschew legal venues of gun purchasing.   Worse yet, people who fail background checks (a very small percentage)  are not prosecuted, tracked, or otherwise investigated.  

I mean, OK, but it seems we are just putting a questionable burden onto people who already follow the law and, you know, common sense.

They’ll vote on tough new penalties for anyone who buys guns only to turn around and sell them to criminals.

. . . also already illegal; something apparently Holder did not know.

They’ll vote on a measure that would keep weapons of war and high-capacity ammunition magazines that facilitate these mass killings off our streets.

Weapons of war?  What’s he talking about?  Who’s using “weapons of war”?  Does he mean “guns”?  I hope he does not mean guns . . . I own guns.  And what do high capacity magazines have to do with the problems we are trying to address?

They’ll get to vote on legislation that would help schools become safer and help people struggling with mental health problems to get the treatment that they need.

. . . OK . . . that sounds a bit more promising . . .

None of these ideas should be controversial.  Why wouldn’t we want to make it more difficult for a dangerous person to get his or her hand on a gun?  Why wouldn’t we want to close the loophole that allows as many as 40 percent of all gun purchases to take place without a background check?  Why wouldn’t we do that?

OK . . . now I am confused . . . of the shootings he mentions in his opening remarks, all the guns were legally purchased, and illegally used (except the gang shooting . . . that was not specified), and there were systemic failures of the systems in place to flag and catch these guys.  How is this going to solve “the problem”?   I suppose background checks are a good idea, although there is no data supporting their tie to decrease in gun violence, or of failure to perform a background check increasing gun violence.  

How and who is going to decide who has mental health problems?  I mean, I know a lot of people I don’t think are all there; they believe in a bearded supreme being who made people out of some dirt and water, and others who believe we come back as bugs, and others who think killing others will get them multiple virgins in a mythical place called heaven.  Worse yet, there are many others who believe increased spending is the best way to get out of debt.  All those people, if you asked me, all need serious mental health counseling, yet many hold respected positions in society.

. . . Perhaps it’s a feel-good thing . . .

And if you ask most Americans outside of Washington — including many gun owners — some of these ideas, they don’t consider them controversial.  Right now, 90 percent of Americans — 90 percent — support background checks that will keep criminals and people who have been found to be a danger to themselves or others from buying a gun.  More than 80 percent of Republicans agree.  More than 80 percent of gun owners agree.  Think about that.  How often do 90 percent of Americans agree on anything?  (Laughter.)  It never happens.

Ha-ha-ha . . . funny . . . not.  That’s a slight-of-hand unworthy of a President. While 90 percent of the people are in favor of background checks for all gun sales (75% of NRA members are in favor), the sticking point is the keeping of those records.  Proponents argue the background checks are “useless” without keeping the records.

OK, so here’s where I start my swearing.  How the fuck does destroying records make background checks less effective?  You know, I tried.  I fucking tried really hard to find the reasoning behind it.  Not even rabid anti-gun sources have an explanation on how it would help, let alone to what degree the effort would be hindered if that concession is made.

For the fuck-tards who don’t get it, it means that if I, as a private owner, want to sell my gun, I have to go and get a background check on the potential buyer . . . no mention of cost yet (I would pass it on to the buyer).  But then, I would be required to keep records of the sale.  Forever.  Why?  A legal sale, with background check, and all . . . how is the process helped by me keeping a record of it?

And since I am now fucking irritated, I also looked up the 40% number the president threw out.  What The Fuck?!?  That’s a 10 seconds search on Google(TM)!  Why did neither the President, nor any of his advisors, speech writers, and aides had the sense to check on that number?  What possible reason is there for the President to purposefully throw out a number that the very next day Biden admits is not accurate, outdated, and likely made up?

. . . breathe . . . breathe . . . calm down . . . OK, let’s go on.

Many other reforms are supported by clear majorities of Americans.  And I ask every American to find out where your member of Congress stands on these ideas.  If they’re not part of that 90 percent who agree that we should make it harder for a criminal or somebody with a severe mental illness to buy a gun, then you should ask them, why not?  Why are you part of the 10 percent?

There’s absolutely no reason why we can’t get this done.  But the reason we’re talking about here today is because it’s not done until it’s done.  And there are some powerful voices on the other side that are interested in running out the clock or changing the subject or drowning out the majority of the American people to prevent any of these reforms from happening at all.  They’re doing everything they can to make all our progress collapse under the weight of fear and frustration, or their assumption is that people will just forget about it.

I read this a couple of times . . . I’m already irritated, so I’m less inclined to be charitable.  Rhetoric, with little to no value, is the best I can come up with, and that’s still the charitable view.

I read an article in the news just the other day wondering is Washington — has Washington missed its opportunity, because as time goes on after Newtown, somehow people start moving on and forgetting.  Let me tell you, the people here, they don’t forget.  Grace’s dad is not forgetting.  Hadiya’s mom hasn’t forgotten.  The notion that two months or three months after something as horrific as what happened in Newtown happens and we’ve moved on to other things, that’s not who we are.  That’s not who we are.

And I want to make sure every American is listening today.  Less than 100 days ago that happened, and the entire country was shocked.  And the entire country pledged we would do something about it and that this time would be different.  Shame on us if we’ve forgotten.  I haven’t forgotten those kids.  Shame on us if we’ve forgotten.

OK, now I am really pissed off.  For one, there is nothing being proposed to reduce the chance of another victim like Hadiya . . . she was the victim of mistaken identities, with gang members mistaking the group she was with for a rival gang.  Where is the proposal for additional crackdown on gangs?  To clean up neighborhood where gangs rule?  Nothing being proposed will make even a small dent on gang violence, and it is dishonest of the President to imply otherwise.  And nothing being put forth will keep the guns slated to be banned, and associated high capacity magazines, out of the hands of gangs.

If there’s one thing I’ve said consistently since I first ran for this office:  Nothing is more powerful than millions of voices calling for change.  And that’s why it’s so important that all these moms and dads are here today.  But that’s also why it’s important that we’ve got grassroots groups out there that got started and are out there mobilizing and organizing and keeping up the fight.  That’s what it’s going to take to make this country safer.  It’s going to take moms and dads, and hunters and sportsmen, and clergy and local officials like the mayors who are here today standing up and saying, this time really is different — that we’re not just going to sit back and wait until the next Newtown or the next Blacksburg or the next innocent, beautiful child who is gunned down in a playground in Chicago or Philadelphia or Los Angeles before we summon the will to act.

I have no charity left in me.  This is a callous use of victims to advance a personal or political agenda.  The President is purported to be a smart man, so either he is shamelessly lying to the people, or he’s not as smart as he seems.  I’m not fucking happy with either prospect.

Right now, members of Congress are back home in their districts, and many of them are holding events where they can hear from their constituents.  So I want everybody who is listening to make yourself heard right now.

If you think that checking someone’s criminal record before he can check out a gun show is common sense, you’ve got to make yourself heard.  If you’re a responsible, law-abiding gun owner who wants to keep irresponsible, law-breaking individuals from abusing the right to bear arms by inflicting harm on a massive scale, speak up.  We need your voices in this debate.  If you’re a mom like Katerina who wants to make this country safer, a stronger place for our children to learn and grow up, get together with other moms like the ones here today and raise your voices and make yourselves unmistakably heard.

Yes, I am that person, and I want all those things . . . and I also know this ain’t going to get it done.  I know because we have data on this.

We need everybody to remember how we felt 100 days ago and make sure that what we said at that time wasn’t just a bunch of platitudes — that we meant it.

I hear the words, and I am tempted to laugh, but it’s fucking sad, so fucking ironically sad, that I can’t.  You see, everything I heard proposed is exactly that . . . platitudes, backed by callous appeals to a hurt I already feel, and needs no reminder.

The desire to make a difference is what brought Corey Thornblad here today.  Corey grew up in Oklahoma, where her dad sold firearms at gun shows.  And today, she’s a mom and a teacher.  And Corey said that after Newtown, she cried for days — for the students who could have been her students; for the parents she could have known; for the teachers like her who go to work every single day and love their kids and want them to succeed.  And Corey says, “My heart was broken.  And I decided now was the time to act, to march, the time to petition, the time to make phone calls, because tears were no longer enough.”  And that’s my attitude.

Tears aren’t enough.  Expressions of sympathy aren’t enough.  Speeches aren’t enough.  We’ve cried enough.  We’ve known enough heartbreak.  What we’re proposing is not radical, it’s not taking away anybody’s gun rights.  It’s something that if we are serious, we will do.

No, Mr. President, you are not serious.  You are either disingenuous, or using the blood of victims to advance a political agenda.

Now is the time to turn that heartbreak into something real.  It won’t solve every problem.  There will still be gun deaths.  There will still be tragedies.  There will still be violence.  There will still be evil.  But we can make a difference if not just the activists here on this stage but the general public — including responsible gun owners — say, you know what, we can do better than this.  We can do better to make sure that fewer parents have to endure the pain of losing a child to an act of violence.

That’s exactly why I’m pissed off, Mr. President.  We can do fucking better than this.  I repeat; you are either misinformed or lying . . . we are not turning heartbreak into something real.  Your own Justice Department, FBI, law enforcement agencies, and every study available tells you nothing you are proposing will make a statistical bit of difference.  It’s not that it won’t solve every problem; it won’t solve any problem.  Platitudes never do.

Gun violence is the subject of lots of studies, record keeping, tracking, and we know a lot about it from a number standpoint.  Mr. President, you are supposed to be pro-science, and none of what you and your administration are proposing is based on science.  None.

That’s what this is about.  And if enough people like Katerina and Corey and the rest of the parents who are here today get involved, and if enough members of Congress take a stand for cooperation and common sense, and lead, and don’t get squishy because time has passed and maybe it’s not on the news every single day — if that’s who we are, if that’s our character that we’re willing to follow through on commitments that we say are important — commitments to each other and to our kids — then I’m confident we can make this country a safer place for all of them.

I am now fucking seething.  I should not have fucking read this.  I can’t stand dishonesty, and I can’t stand stupidity, and I can’t stand arguments not rooted in facts.  This is not good for my calm, my wellness, my peace of mind.

So thank you very much, everybody.  God bless you.  God bless America.  (Applause.)

Fuck!  I’m so fucking tired of people saying “god bless this” and “god bless that”.  Where the fuck was god when kids were being slaughtered?  Where the fuck is he now, as you, Mr. President, kill people, including children, a half a world away with a casual order for someone to press a button, launching a missile?  I can’t help but be a bit cynical, Mr. President, of your commitment to the sanctity of life, to ending the suffering of parents losing their sons and daughters, of kids being killed and maimed by the “weapons of war”.

OK . . . OK . . . breathe . . . breathe deep . . . exhale.  OK . . . OK.

By nature I am curious about facts, statistics, and data.  It’s what I fucking live for, and it’s how I change my mind about things; by learning.  By nature I am also a logical person.  And by nature I am unforgiving.  Sorry; fucking unforgiving.

I said it before, I don’t have many friends, and I’ll fucking remind anyone who reads my stuff as to why.  I have no tolerance for hypocrisy, stupidity, and fucking dishonesty.  I used to make allowances for ignorance, but these day, when a couple of fucking keystrokes will get you all sorts of information, arguments, counter-arguments, debates, analysis, and exploration of every possible subject one can imagine, there is just no fucking excuse for being ignorant.

Most people don’t want to debate me on guns, and I therefore don’t fucking have any fucking reason to respect them, or their fucking opinions.  They can’t counter the logic, they don’t accept the data (fuck; they don’t even read the fucking data!), they do not accept the science behind my arguments, but they are still more than fucking willing to tell me or others what ought to be done.

Even skeptics I respect (Skeptics Guide to the Universe), after 15 minutes of fucking agreeing there is no data in support of any popular gun control proposals having any effect on gun crime, end the segment with  “but we need to do something, so why not this?”  

You’re fucking kidding me, right?  “We don’t understand autism, so why not ban vaccines?  That’s doing something.”  How fucking stupid does one need to be to accept either reasoning?

Do you know the most common fucking reason people give for being anti-guns?  They do not like guns.

Well, fuck that!  You want a list of stuff I don’t fucking like?  A list of fucking stuff I know would improve the human condition if we fucking got rid of it?  I got sixty fucking years into it, and my list is not short.

You know what I fucking hate most?  That phrase . . . “Well, we have to do something!”   Fuck!  Why not sacrifice some chickens, and dance in our underwear around a fire, while banging on a fucking drum?  It will be as fucking effective as what is being proposed.

We must do something, and we don’t have a shred of fucking evidence as to what might work, but why would that stop us from fucking enacting another law?  Oh, and guess what?  We’ll fucking hide behind the blood of innocents to further our own views of “how things should fucking be”.  Never mind data, never mind logic.

And for good measure, we’ll fucking blatantly point out what we are proposing is not going to fucking work, but that it is a fucking important first step toward solving the problem.  What the fuck does that mean?  What does “first step” mean?

If you fucking know it’s not going to work, why piss me off by claiming the addition of a fucking pistol grip turns an ordinary rifle into an “assault weapon”, and that if we then fucking ban it, we’ll be safer?  How fucking stupid do you have to be to believe 10 rounds magazine will save lives, but magazines with 11 rounds or more will be used to slaughter “the innocents”?

My own state of residence, Colorado, just enacted laws to that regard.  I read a lot of the pro and con discussions before the fucktards in Denver passed the laws.  Nowhere is there even one fucking argument made as to “how” these laws would have stopped Columbine from happening, or for that matter, will stop the next Columbine, but that’s what they are fucking claiming.  How the fuck am I supposed to have any respect for them, or any fucking politician?

Fucking assholes are not even looking at numbers.  They are catering to other fucking assholes who have made up their tiny little fucking minds about what the problem is.  Apparently, it’s fucking little ole me, and other gun owners who have never used their guns irresponsibly, and never fucking will.

And I can understand that . . . we are fucking visible.  In the name of dead children, we can be targeted as fucking potential criminals.  Because to actually stop other Columbines from happening, you have to either have a fucking police state (and we have evidence that does not work), or you have to put some serious fucking effort to figuring out the underlying problems with our society.

Well, fuck!  Who the fuck wants that?  Apparently, fucking no one.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ o o o ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Well, I hope I managed to reach at least a few of the anti-guns nuts.  FSM knows that logic, data, and common sense (a figure of speech they and the President claim ownership to) failed to make a dent (HERE, and specifically, HERE and HERE).  Wordpress tells me how many “clicks” were made on links I provided in those posts . . . I can count them on the hand of a person with a few fingers missing.  Basically, people don’t want to inform themselves.  They have an opinion, and that is all that matters; screw the facts.  

So, I figure I would “speak their language” . . . I admit I’m extremely uncomfortable with the use of the above language, but I understand the need to “speak the lingo”, and felt it was necessary to do so.

I hope I employed the proper frequency and placement of  . . . well, you know, the word f**k and its variants.  I mean, I use it occasionally when no one is around (Reference), but I’m not used to employing it thus.  Reading back, it seems a tad underused compared to the samples I was reading.  

I hope it was enough, as I am already way outside my comfort zone, and don’t think I could repeat the effort, let alone increase the number of times I used the word.

Mind you, I used to think I could better made my point, better explain my position, better express my feeling using my regular “voice”, but it’s evident my usual writing style finds little purchase, and obviously fails at conveying my viewpoint (see all my previous posts relating to guns), and therefore I made the effort to “stretch my wings”, so to speak, and employ the vernacular of the opposing camp.

I don’t understand how calling an opponent a “f**king retard” helps to reach a common ground, or advance the discussion, but since I confess the inability to understand the drives and motivators of the typical anti-gun nut, I’ll just accept it at face value.  

Still not fully understanding the mechanism involved, I hope to have thus earned a measure of credibility, and perhaps managed to impress on a few of the anti-gun nuts that I have something of value to say on the matter, and that I am serious and passionate about it.  

Oh . . . don’t bother passing this along; let’s just keep it between us, shall we?  Thanks.


Please, if you are considering bestowing me some recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline nominations whereby one blogger bestows an award onto another blogger, or group of bloggers.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I would much prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would actually mean something to me.

Should you still nominate me, I will strongly suspect you pulled my name at random, and that you are not, in fact, a reader of my blog.  If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards          About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not personally hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.  

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.