Idaho – why am I not surprised?

The lack of civility and the degree of hate has no bounds apparently.  This billboard was recently put up in Idaho (a mecca of intelligence to begin with) that takes the recent tragedy in Colorado to a new level of mindless and hateful politics.  How convenient to put ownership of the wars in Afghanastan and Iraq in Obama’s foreign policy.  How insensitive to highlight the horrible event in Aurora.  I would wonder if Mr. Smeed, the 90 year old very senior citizen behind the billboard, would have erected the same sentiment if this same event had occurred during the Bush years – the man who’s foreign policy actually got us there.

Yes, people have the right to say what they think and feel – it is just amazing how some have no boundaries when it comes to sensitivity and human feelings.  Here is another person where the world will be better off with his passing.

Mitt – what the hell?

Just don’t expect an answer with any detail…

The following two paragraphs from –

Mitt Romney said Wednesday that more restrictive gun laws would likely not have prevented last week’s deadly mass shooting at a Colorado Cineplex, and argued that it would take Americans changing their hearts, not their legislation, to prevent similar future attacks.

“Political implications, legal implications are something which will be sorted out down the road,” Romney told NBC’s Brian Williams during an exclusive interview in London. “But I don’t happen to believe that America needs new gun laws. A lot of what this young man did was clearly against the law. But the fact that it was against the law did not prevent it from happening.”

Once again, Mitt shows his acute grasp of the details (not), his uncanny ability to hone in on what the real issue is (not) all the while basically sticking to his high level talking points.   Yes Mitt, it is illegal to murder so you are right there were actions this cretin did that were against the law.  No brainer.  However, the crux of the issue here is the means by which he accomplished the illegal acts were all done legally,  He bought his guns legally, he purchased the ammunition legally, I expect he acquired most of the items in his apartment legally.  Would stricter gun laws have stopped him from killing?  Probably not, as you are right at some level that laws don’t stop people from taking actions that are clearly illegal.  If it were only so easy.  However, there are changes to current gun laws that could have reduced the magnitude of the massacre or at least alerted someone to something being out of sorts and possibly resulted in a bit more attention before the fact.  Not sure why anyone needs an assault weapon – the cases of a herd of deer attacking a hunter are few if any.  Purchasing four weapons in a relative short period of time might call into question motive.  Acquiring 6000 round of ammunition might point to something beyond casual use of a gun.  No matter what we do to laws in this country, we will not free ourselves from individuals who are bent on mayhem and murder but we shouldn’t make it so easy.

Let’s take two aspects of Mitt’s statements and look at them with a sharper eye –

First, taking a stance that we can work on the legal implications somewhere down the road is, to an extent, why we are where we are today with gun laws.  If we are to interpret this part of his statement to include the possibility of tightening gun laws at some later time, we are now decades into the debate which really hasn’t changed to any great extent.  Very effective strategy – kick it down the road so there are no political ramifications today.  Mitt needs all the help he can get and alienating the gun lobby won’t help.

“It would take Americans changing their hearts” – sounds like a plan but in reality the hearts of Americans have actually been looking for stricter gun laws for years.  Back in 1990, almost 4 out of 5 Americans wanted stricter gun laws.  Sounds to me like the hearts were there a while ago.  Unfortunately, this is one more case where the hearts and money of lobbyists trump what the American people really want.  And that is unlikely to change in any time soon as money still buys influence – not the desires of the people in this country.  The vast majority will continue to work under the illusion that people like Mitt actually are working in their best interest all the while the Republican Party is shitting all over their tables and telling then it is a feast.

So essentially, Mitt has said “fuck you” in so many words and continues his journey of talking without really saying anything that will stick.

Sounds like a leader to me.

Speaking of Lobbyists – interesting article posted by the Huffington Post today – seems Mitt understands that role much better than most of us realize –

What is it going to take?

At some level these following thoughts are probably inappropriate at this moment given the loss and anguish of families hit by this latest tragedy in Colorado but one has to wonder what it is going to take for this country to step up and deal with our gun problem. Looking just at the numbers, the vast majority of our populace support stricter gun control.  Despite that, the pro-gun lobby, namely the NRA, keeps any attempt by politicians to move the discussion to stricter laws at bay.  No doubt as the debate begins again, as it does far too often in our country, those pro-gun people will begin the rhetoricof “guns don’t kill people, people do” as well as all the other shit that comes out of their mouths.  Cut me a break.  Show me another country where this happens at all, let alone with the regularity it does in the US.  Unfortunately, these events are not as isolated as we would like to believe.

The answer is not an easy one.  I am not one to say people shouldn’t be able to own guns.  There are valid reasons to have a gun.  Not sure why one needs an assault rifle, let alone an AK47.  Saying “it’s my constitutional right to own any weapon I want” doesn’t cut it.  But it it too easy for people with mental issues to purchase weapons.  I think we have let the rights of the individual often take precedent over the safety of our society as a whole.  Don’t tell me this degenerate didn’t show psychiatric problems before today.  Don’t tell me his parents didn’t know there was something wrong with their son.  Crazy is crazy and they shouldn’t get the latitude “normal” people typically get.

There is a political aspect to this issue and it must be recognized that most all support for  minimal gun control sits with the Republican party.  It has been a plank in their platform for years.  It might be time their leaders take some responsibility to reduce the likelihood of repeats of this last massacre.  Not likely but worth saying.

Our thoughts and sympathies go out to everyone impacted by this tragic especially to the wounded and the families of those killed.  There are no words to make it better.  We, as a society, must take the steps to keep this from happening again – no matter how loud the noise against it.

On Love and Equality

As a family we are used to sharing – whether it be things, thoughts, ideas, information we find interesting or compelling.  It is one way we keep together in thought and feeling – even though there are miles that separate us.  As anyone who has read my postings, one thing that is very important to me and my family are gay rights as my son is gay and we see the challenges, prejudice and hate that he must deal with in today’s world.  I, for one, find it difficult to maturely deal with those so viciously against gays and the rights they deserve as citizens in our country.  My anger can often overtake me – mostly given my relative lack of influence to change others.  At 59 years old, I still find it difficult to understand the processes that work in people so filled with hate and loathing.  I understand at some level given what I see as a shortcoming in these people, an inability to think beyond their immediate self, a stunted ability to empathize, a lack of feeling for anything other than themselves.  I would like to say it is merely a difference in levels of education but that won’t work.  In some sense I guess I’m not much better than most of these people who can look at my son as a second class citizen or, even worse, an abomination because I do look at these people as deficient human beings, people who are not equal to those of us who think and can empathize with others – even if we don’t agree with them.  Unfortunately, I can’t take their rights away – I can only loathe them.  I can only wish they receive back what they put out.  That is what keeps me going at times.

But I digress – back to sharing.  I want to share something sent to me this morning by my daughter.  She sent on a link to a site I would want everyone to visit.  It speaks to one of the more important topics we have in front of us.  It speaks to why any focus on marriage being only between a man and a woman is such a fucked up concept.  Again, after watching the video, I can’t fathom how anyone can’t be moved or can’t see the problem with denying rights of people in a gay relationship.  I will say as I watched the video and listened and watched two people obviously in love, I couldn’t help feel their pain and frustration.  For those who would watch and not see the problem we have as a society at the moment, I remain confused as I can’t imagine their thought or emotional processes.   I can only see that most of the anti-gay rights people are dead inside in some way or another.  I also think that many of them are plain and simple assholes but I think that about alot of people.

In any case, please take a look and pass it on to others as you may.  Thanks to my daughter for sharing –