Gun Debate Op-Ed #5

I apologize for I had a massive brain fart on Friday and posted an article out of sequence….my bad…..

A continuation of my series on op-eds around the nation on the subject of gun violence……please keep in mind that these are op-eds not my thoughts I may add my feelings but the main body belongs to others.

These posts are about the prevention of gun deaths…..but first a little background….

The massacre at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas, resurfaced many troubling facts about America’s exceptional propensity for gun violence. But perhaps one of the most disturbing is that firearms are now the leading cause of death among Americans ages 24 years and under.

While guns have long been a fixture of American life, the emergence of firearms as the leading killer of young people is a relatively new phenomenon.

For years, cars held that distinction. But over the past two decades, motor vehicular deaths involving Americans between the ages of 1 and 24 plummeted, cutting the rate by nearly half. And sometime in the late 2010s, those two lines — deaths by car and by firearm — crossed paths on the graph of leading causes of death for young people.

In 2020, the most recent year for which data was available, firearms killed 10,186 young people, the highest number in two decades.

https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/23151852/gun-violence-cars-crashes-firearms-deaths-youth

To me that is a very disturbing stat…..

But is there an easy solution?

The horror in Uvalde, Texas, last week was horrifyingly familiar to Mary Ellen O’Toole. Part of a small group of academics, law-enforcement professionals and psychologists who published some of the first research on mass shootings in schools more than 20 years ago, O’Toole knows the patterns these events and perpetrators all follow — and the opportunities for prevention that seem to just keep being missed. 

I first spoke to her in 2018, after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, but she has been studying school shootings for more than 27 years. In that time, she and other experts say little has changed. The risk factors they identified two decades ago still apply. The recommendations they made are still valid. And every time another batch of Americans die in this way, researchers like O’Toole are forced to watch in horror, thinking about what could have been prevented and why it wasn’t.

“Honestly, I … I feel very, very angry,” O’Toole said to me last week. There is always another new example of mass gun violence in America. But mass gun violence in America is no longer new — and neither are efforts to stop it.

We’ve Known How To Prevent A School Shooting for More Than 20 Years

Then there are those that believe that jobs and such could save lives…..

Americans are once again looking for answers after the deaths of at least 19 children and two adults in last week’s mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. Beyond questions around the police response and whether the massacre will lead to meaningful gun control, a big, fundamental concern looms: Why are guns such a problem in the United States, and what needs to happen for the situation to change?

Mass shootings are a distinctly American horror. What’s perhaps even more horrific is that, while each one is devastating, mass shootings cause only a small fraction of the gun deaths in America. The US has an unusually high rate of gun homicides among developed countries — for children 14 and under, almost eight times the rate of the next country in the ranking — and total gun deaths have only been increasing over recent years.

Legal restrictions on gun ownership, including mandatory waiting periods on handgun purchases and laws against children and youth carrying guns, could result in fewer deaths. But passing such legislation is a heavy political lift. In the absence of federal action, can anything move the needle on firearm deaths?

There is growing evidence that non-gun-control measures — including interventions to support at-risk youth and programs to improve access to mental health care — can and have been very effective, says Jennifer Doleac, associate professor of economics at Texas A&M University and the director of the Justice Tech Lab.

https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/23150764/gun-violence-prevention-gun-control-jennifer-doleac

My thoughts on this is that these ideas looking for more band-aids…..

Please let your thoughts be known.

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I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Gun Debate Op-Ed #3

Part 3 of my limited series on the debate and op-eds being written about the gun violence and the possible solutions.

These op-eds are pro and con on the need for more and better gun laws……I do NOT necessarily agree or disagree with these thoughts….they are only an exercise for FYI to help my readers try to understand the debate as it is today.

The news is that with just about every mass shooting gun sales go higher….as if more guns will solve the problems….

But first a stat for you to consider….there are about 393 million guns in private ownership in the US….how many are there in Ukraine or say Syria?

Guns, guns, guns, we will never have enough guns.  

I’m a 79-year-old American male, so of course I’m interested in guns. I grew up in the ’40’s and ’50s watching movies and TV shows while the good guys and the bad guys shot it out. 

In elementary school I attended a “well-regulated militia,” a military academy, and every day we practiced close order drills with 1903 Springfield rifles.  

During that time America, Russia and other countries began developing and stockpiling bigger and better nuclear weapons as “deterrents” to war. Obviously, we hoard weapons so we can feel safe.  

As a 12-year-old, I got my first gun when I joined the Boy Scouts of America, not quite a “well-regulated militia,” but close enough; we wore uniforms. We got to practice shooting at targets. 

Then along came the Vietnam war.

Like my father and my uncles and millions of other Americans before me, I got my chance to serve in an actual “well-regulated militia.” I joined the Army. 

The Army issued me a M-16. It’s like an AR-15, but better. With the flip of a selector switch, it can be fired like a machine gun and empty a 20-round magazine of high velocity bullets in less than two seconds.

https://www.desertsun.com/story/opinion/contributors/valley-voice/2022/05/25/gun-violence-wont-stop-more-guns-column/9915326002/

Please once again I need to remind the reader that this is a re-post of an op-ed, not mine, but someone with an opinion and with good reason…..I do not agree or disagree…..just posted as a service.

Any thoughts?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Gun Debate Op-Ed #2

This is part 2 of more limited series on the op-eds being published about the problems of mass shootings……

This is an FYI exercise to let my readers know the extent of the debate and the positions taken by those writers……

Yes I am a Progressive and yes I also read The American Conservative (go figure)……

Every time there is a mass shooting, the same political scene unfolds. Voices on the left begin calling for “sensible public policy” on firearms. The hosts of The View lose their minds because evil Republicans won’t fix the problem. Democratic politicians haul in money while decrying Republicans’ failure to “prevent gun violence and save lives.” The president makes a speech insisting he respects lawful gun owners, before asking when the carnage will stop and demanding a host of “common sense” gun-control measures. Yes, the left wants background checks, red-flag laws, etc. But the reform they really seem to salivate over is banning supposed “assault weapons,” like the AR-15. The issue inevitably gets debated back and forth in the media. Nothing happens at the federal level. Then, after a few weeks, the issue fades.

Why this action-less cycle? Certain voices on the left claim that America suffers from a “disproportionate influence of small states,” caused by the equal representation in the Senate and the existence of the filibuster. This argument has been used in a variety of political situations over the years when the pesky middle of the country gets in the way of what the Blue Coasts want to impose. When liberals are honest, they know that this nation was never created to be a democracy. This “problem,” then, is not a problem at all; it is an intentional check on the majority’s ability to impose its will on the nation in all matters. Also, perhaps the constant failure to pass these elusive “sensible gun-control measures” is not simply a matter of unsuccessful, stymied legislative efforts. Perhaps the existence of the Second Amendment, and a United States Supreme Court willing to uphold it, are the real issues for the left.

The Left Wants to Repeal the Second Amendment

Please keep in mind that I do NOT necessarily agree with any of the op-eds I re-post…..they are as I have stated FYI……

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I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

More Mass Shootings

Over the weekend there were once again a plethora of mass shootings….Philadelphia and Chattanooga….

It seems that the news makes competition possible….how can we out do each other in these shootings….the US when it comes to violence is starting to look like some third world nation in its lawlessness.

First a look at Philadelphia….

“Once it started I didn’t think it was going to stop,” said a witness to a mass shooting in Philadelphia late Saturday that left three dead and 11 wounded. The Inquirer reports the shooting, which police say involved multiple shooters, took place just before midnight on South Street, “on legendary blocks that have long been among the region’s most popular gathering places.” Details remain scarce, with police saying a 25-year-old man, a man of unknown age, and 22-year-old woman were killed.

Philadelphia Police Inspector DF Pace said officers saw “several active shooters shooting into the crowd.” One officer who was “within about 10 to 15 yards” of one of the shooters fired at him, reports CNN. “We’re uncertain whether he was struck or not, but the officer was able to get that individual to drop his gun and flee,” said Pace. No arrests have been made, reports the AP, which adds two handguns were recovered; one had an extended magazine. Police intend to obtain more surveillance footage on Sunday from businesses that were closed when the shooting took place.

Now Chattanooga……

A shooting near a Tennessee nightclub early Sunday led to three deaths and 14 people suffering gunshot wounds and other injuries, police said. Fourteen people were hit by gunfire and three were hit by vehicles while trying to flee the scene, said Chattanooga Police Chief Celeste Murphy. Two people died of gunshot wounds, and one person died after being hit by a vehicle, the AP reports. Sixteen of the victims were adults, and one was a juvenile. Several remained in critical condition, she said.

Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly, who described himself as an avid hunter and gun owner, called on Congress to enact “common sense regulations” to address gun violence. Kelly is an independent. “That doesn’t mean taking guns away from responsible gun owners, but it does mean mandatory background checks and prohibiting high-capacity magazines that allow shooters to hurt dozens of people without even having to reload,” he said at a press conference. Kelly said his administration would announce new steps in the coming weeks aimed at reducing gun violence locally.

 

 

Officers responded to a report of a shooting at 2:42am on McCallie Avenue near a nightclub and found multiple victims upon arrival. Murphy said officers immediately began rendering aid. There were multiple shooters, and Murphy asked anyone in the community with information about the shooting to come forward. She said police believe it was an isolated incident. “We’re trying to determine exactly what happened and what led up to this taking place,” she said. Last weekend, six juveniles were wounded during an exchange of gunfire in a downtown Chattanooga business district. “It’s going to be a long summer, and we have got to get out in front of it and put a stop to it,” Kelly said.

How long will the American people believe lies and BS before they take to the streets for an end to this madness?

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I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Those Conspiracy Fantasies

Social media has given rise to a wealth of manure spread as ‘conspiracy theories’…..I mean there is NOTHING that cannot be said and then turned into a conspiracy that grows legs and gets wilder and crazier…..NOTHING.

Let’s look at those theories…….

Conspiracy theories or better yet, conspiracy fantasies – as these are in fact, not theories – have been around for a long time. Worse, the advent of the Internet including the so-called social media, which in reality are corporate media run by huge online business corporations, has significantly cranked up the spreading of conspiracy fantasies. Today, everyone can “publish” and with this, more and more conspiracy fantasies appear and they gather speed. The Internet provides a rather fruitful ground for conspiracy fantasies.

Whether Internet has fueled conspiracy fantasies or not, virtually all conspiracy fantasies have a few common parameters that practically all of them share. Perhaps one of the most important signifier of conspiracy fantasies is the fact that those who create and believe in conspiracy fantasies are convinced that nothing happens by chance – not in society, not in politics, not in the economy, and not in history.

Secondly, conspiracy fantasies connect things that are not connected. The fact that something can happen “out of the blue” is impossible to comprehend for the advocates of conspiracy fantasies, and even more so for those who invent, sell, and broadcast conspiracy fantasies.

Thirdly, conspiracy fantasies thrive on the hallucination that nothing is quite what it seems – whether at first sight, or even after a second look. Fourthly, creator of conspiracy fantasies are also convinced that everything that occurs is the result of some secret machinations. And, finally, behind many things lurk a destructive, and above all, secret groups of plotters and schemers.

These conspirators, secret organizations, and institutions (preferably government institutions) are manipulating everything from behind the scenes. Secretly, they pull the strings behind almost everything. On the whole, UNESCO and the European Union suggest that virtually all conspiracy fantasies have six commonalities.

Virtually all of these are found on conspiracy fantasies placed on the Internet. At the dawn of the Internet, Mike Godwin has proposed something that became Godwin’s Law. This law says, that the longer an Internet discussion goes on, the more likely it is to mention Hitler, at which point it usually, though not always, comes to an end.

Old Nazi and New Conspiracy Fantasies

I am an old fart and have been living long enough to watch this moronic exercise go from fringe to main street…..and all that time I scratch my head to try an understand how it has come to the age of ignorance.

Once again I blame the rise of ‘indispensable’ social media as the culprit to spread lies and stupidity.

Any thoughts?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Who Are The Biggest A/Holes?

Now there is a probing question for the age.

And as usual a little FYI for your weekend enjoyment.

My daughter thinks Boomers are the biggest a/holes because they gave us the Tea Party and the presidency of Donald the Orange…..

Me? I think Millennials are the biggest……. because all they seem to care about is what play station they have, their energy drinks and hot pockets….or their obsession with make-up, fashion and influencers….the rest of the country and the planet can go to Hell as long as they know who is wearing the latest bathing suit…..

But which of us is correct?

Big news……

Thank goodness for science. It reveals mysteries of the universe and, sometimes, confirms what we already know…like new research stating that middle-aged men are the biggest A-holes.

Yes, there was actually a study done at the University of Georgia on this very topic. And the results were astounding. Researchers asked almost 400 people were asked who was the most aggressive, entitled, and manipulative person they knew. Overwhelmingly, the respondents named men with an average age of 42.71 years. The assholes in question spanned the gamut, from bosses and co-workers to friends or romantic partners. If the relationship was defunct, people were more likely to identify their ex-whatevers as assholes.

What makes an asshole an asshole? Well, to be scientific about it, these disagreeable folk were generally described as devoid of empathy, lacking modesty, and being uncooperative. But wait! That’s not all! Assholes were also identified as anti-maskers, Trumpers, alcoholics, eye-rollers, and animal or child abusers. (Real gems, clearly.)

Some of these traits you may recognize as also being similar to people with psychopathic, antisocial and narcissistic personality disorders, though the researchers were quick to point out that just because someone is an asshole doesn’t mean they’re a diagnosable asshole.

Unsurprisingly, participants had little trouble pinpointing the biggest assholes in their lives.

Middle-Aged Men Are the Biggest A-Holes, Says Study That Gives Us Something to Look Forward To

According to science we both are wrong…..but I will stick with my choice for I have seen nothing that would change my mind about Millennials.

Any thoughts on your part?

Let me know about the a/holes in your life.

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Are You Stressed Out?

I need to apologize for there will not be any Ukraine updates this weekend for I will be helping my daughter get ready for the memorial she has put together for my son-in-law….my weekend posting schedule will be pretty sparse until this gathering is done and in the bag….the updates will return Monday if all goes well….again I apologize.

So are you stressed out?

I know I am…… but it is a continuing family drama that has me stressed…..but what about the rest of America?

Rising prices…..inflation set to break the bank…..war……paying bills with little cash……hunger……etc etc……crisis after crisis has taken a toll…..

Feeling stressed out more than you were, say, in 2019? Makes sense, according to a new survey from the American Psychological Association, which says that a COVID-fatigued America now grappling with higher prices at the pumps and supermarkets, as well as gruesome images from a war overseas, is being hit with “unprecedented levels of stress,” reports NBC News. The APA’s annual “Stress in America” poll—conducted for the association by the Harris Poll between Feb. 7 and Feb. 14, surveying more than 3,000 US adults—found that 87% of respondents feel there’s been “a constant stream of crises without a break over the last two years,” with 73% acknowledging they’ve felt “overwhelmed” by it all.

Getting more specific, the poll found 87% of those surveyed said that a “significant source” of said stress was due to a spike in prices of groceries, gas, and other necessary items and services due to inflation. That top factor was followed by supply chain issues (81%), the vaguer “global uncertainty” (81%), Russia striking back over Ukraine via a cyber- or nuclear attack (80%), and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (80%), per a release. Meanwhile, stress about money is the highest it’s been since 2015. The APA’s Lynn Bufka, a clinical psychologist, tells NBC the percentages are “startling,” in that so many people are clumped together sharing the same stressors, instead of feeling stressed from a variety of factors unique to their own circumstances.

“It’s like being kicked while you’re down,” Johns Hopkins psychiatrist Dr. Kali Cyrus, who wasn’t involved with the poll, tells NPR of the financial stressors and current war in Ukraine bearing down on Americans right after the exhaustion of dealing with two years of the pandemic. How everyone’s been dealing with this excess stress, per the poll: drinking booze (nearly a quarter copped to this coping mechanism) and seeing unwanted weight fluctuations, with nearly 60% saying they’d dropped or gained pounds. There is some good news in all of this, Cyrus tells NPR. She notes that while it may be harder for some than for others, and “it might take some time … most people are resilient and actually recover” from temporary stressors like the ones we’re facing now.

Some blame the internet and constant ‘downscrolling’ to get thew ‘news’……

Many people have experienced chronic stress since the pandemic lockdowns. Added to this are the climate crisis, the increasing cost of living and most recently threats to European and global security due to the conflict in Ukraine.

To some, it may seem that there is never any good news anymore. This is of course not true, but when we’re doomscrolling – spending an excessive amount of screen time devoted to reading negative news – we can become locked into thinking it is.

Doomscrolling can promote feelings of anxiety and depression. For example, consider how sad and exhausted you may feel when watching a drama with tragic events and sad music in the background. In contrast, if you watch a funny film or romantic comedy with lively music, you may feel upbeat and energised. This is due to two psychological phenomena: “mood induction” (an intervention that can change our mood) and empathy.

https://theconversation.com/ukraine-doomscrolling-can-harm-your-cognition-as-well-as-your-mood-heres-what-to-do-about-it-178923

I am use to doing massive research on-line so that does not effect me…..but I can see where most would become stressed out trying to find the information they are looking for…..

So are you stressed out?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

All That Military Gear

Closing Thought–10Feb22

For years there has been a push to limit the amount of military gear that is given to the local police departments….and as one would think there has been a significant amount of pressure to continue the militarization of our police forces.

Biden in the beginning of his days as president tried to keep a political promise….but as usual he was a failure at this……and as usual it will not be a sweeping effort and riddled with loopholes (like all American bills)……

Since his efforts for a bill to stop this militarization he will resort to a tried and true…..executive order (EO)……

After more than a year in office, Joe Biden may finally take action on police militarization. A leaked draft of an executive order obtained by The Federalist contains a provision that would place restrictions on the federal government’s provision of military equipment to state and local police. Some powerful police interest groups have already publicly expressed opposition to the prospective measure.

Police unions successfully compelled the Biden White House to retract a similar measure a year ago. During the president’s first days in office, the White House announced that he  would sign an executive order that would recall a range of military equipment acquired by police through federal channels. But after a successful lobbying effort by law enforcement interest groups, the order was never issued.

A similar lobbying effort appears to be in the works this time around, too, so there is a chance that Biden will once again cave to the whims of police interest groups. However, there is more pressure for Biden to act now than there was last January. Biden’s signature police reform bill, the Justice in Policing Act, passed the House in March but stalled out in the Senate. By September, negotiations over the bill had collapsed entirely.

With no prospect for legislative action, the bill’s lead negotiators, Sen. Cory Booker and Rep. Karen Bass, have called on Biden to resort to executive orders to ensure that key parts of the Act take effect — among them, a provision that would place strict restrictions on the Pentagon’s 1033 program. Local police forces have acquired at least $1.8 billion worth of excess military equipment through the 1033 program since its inception during the War on Drugs. This influx of combat gear to local communities has contributed to increased police violence and inflated law enforcement budgets

Biden’s clamp-down on military gear to local police has giant loophole

In other words to put a simpler point on this issue….very little will change and the police will continue to use military equipment against its own people.

It is sad that the police need armored cars to deal with local disputes….all we are missing are jack boots…..

My disappointment with Biden continues to grow.

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Are You Kinky?

The weekend begins and as my tradition I want to give my readers something different than the news of the day……I want to inform and educate…..in other words….FYI.

Are you kinky?

Back in the day that was a ‘polite’ word for being a pervert.

As usual there is more to the issue than the definition of the day.

Warning:  If sex makes you squeamish then maybe this post should be avoided.

Do you have a hidden kink that you have yet to explore? Let’s talk about what a kink actually is, how to separate a kink from a fetish, and a comprehensive list of some of the most common and popular kinks out there.

What is a kink?

Kink is anything that veers away from the “normal” or expected sexual path. It’s used to describe “things that are of particular sexual curiosity and interest to someone, particularly those things, behaviors, or practices that are outside of normative sexual behavior,” explains Kyle Zrenchik, Ph.D., LMFT, ACS, a couples’ and sex therapist and clinical director at ALL IN Therapy Clinic in Minneapolis. The term comes from the Dutch word “kink” referring to a twist or bend in a rope, he adds.

Importantly, kink can be experienced through the realm of fantasy, he adds. One does not have to physically enact their desire in order to derive satisfaction from their kink.

https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/list-of-kinks

I guess the thought of perversion depends on where your thinking lies….it is a personal thought.

Because you like sex does not make you a sexual deviate….but I guess would depend on what you define as sex.

Hope all have a great weekend….

Be well and be safe….

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

What Is America’s Problem

About 50% of the nation embraces chaos, stupidity, ignorance and hatred….the other half is in search of knowledge and clarity…..some think that abortion, guns and religious iconography will free the country….no concern for hunger, homelessness and national unity.

There is some sort of unity that would be the myth of the ‘free market’…..that would be that a market that is free from nay  with the regulations would cure the ills of society like hunger, jobs, homelessness, etc….this myth as solved none of the societal problems with the exception of the captains of the free market….they have sucked all the profits possible out of the myth and left the rest of the country struggling.

Since about 1980 we have been watching our beloved country circle the drain.

There has been a wealth of finger pointing as to why this is happening……it is a feckless ineffective president or a do-nothing Congress or those damn lobbyists or…..like I stated a wealth of assigning blame.

All these assumptions are wrong!

The real problem is the American people.

The American people through their voting habits have created the division and the hatred that is the cancer on the American political landscape.

The election of 2022 the damage could possibly unprecedented….

“Our democracy faces an existential threat—the very real possibility that the outcome of an election could be ignored and the will of the people overturned by hyperpartisan actors,” 58 groups including MoveOn.org, Protect Democracy, Public Citizen, SEIU, and the Sierra Club assert in an open letter.

“Since the 2020 election, we have seen unprecedented and coordinated efforts to cast doubt on the U.S. election system,” the letter states.

“These efforts have taken many forms,” the authors explain, including “widespread disinformation campaigns and baseless claims of election fraud,… intimidation of election officials and administrators just for doing their jobs, new state laws to make election administration more partisan and more susceptible to manipulation or sabotage, and outright violence.”

Noting that “exaggerated and unsubstantiated fears about voter fraud have been a vote suppression tool for some time,” the letter argues that “these efforts took on entirely new ferocity with the advent of former President [Donald] Trump’s ‘Big Lie’ regarding the 2020 presidential election.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/11/08/our-democracy-faces-existential-threat-progressives-warn-gop-attack-2022-elections