Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Gun Control Please!

My friend Heather just posted asking for someone to please just take down that damn flag.  Direct action please.  I think she's right.  The racist flag is an emblem of a big problem.  You don't see people hanging Nazi flags in Germany in honor of the dead Nazis, old ways of life, or their German heritage. The Germans said no. They said there are lessons in history and its symbols.

The confederate flag is every bit as hateful.  Some, including my friend Yetsuh Frank, have even taking to calling it our American Swaskita.  The reasoning simple.  The Civil War was absolutely about Slavery.  And the prevalence of the flag only dates back to the 1950's and 1960's when when Southerners used it as a symbol to fight the Civil Rights Movement. Hence the embrace of the flag by the KKK.

Other countries have learned from their histories. But we fail to learn from ours. As the Southern Poverty Law Center note:

"The Confederate flag should not come down because it is offensive to African Americans. The Confederate flag should come down because it is embarrassing to all Americans. The embarrassment is not limited to the flag, itself. The fact that it still flies, that one must debate its meaning in 2015, reflects an incredible ignorance. A century and a half after Lincoln was killed, after 750,000 of our ancestors died, Americans still aren’t quite sure why." 

Take down that damn flag.  But while we're at it, can we please get some gun laws instead of this craziness continuing.  We need less guns on the street.  Period.

Rex Huppke condemns the politicians who voted against assault weapons bans crying crocodile tears. 

 I understand the devotion to firearms. But that devotion is killing people. I would gladly see someone's hobby curtailed or their family traditions hindered to save the life of one of those people in Charleston. Or one of those kids at Sandy Hook. Or one of the young people who dies almost daily in Chicago.For a recent report, Mother Jones worked with Ted Miller, an economist at the independent Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation in Maryland, and found that the annual direct and indirect costs of gun violence in America total more than $229 billion. That includes lost wages, medical care and criminal justice system costs. Reduce gun violence by 20 percent and you're saving more than $45 billion. There's the money you need to bolster the mental health care system.  Do it. Do it all. Restrict access to guns, limit ammunition sales, make the penalty for possessing or selling or giving away an illegal firearm astronomical.  But stop lying. Empty empathetic words and feigned compassion are worthless. Save your tears, Mr. or Mrs. Politician, for the next mass killing. Or for the one after that.  Because you know they're coming. 

Our second amendment specifies:
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. The Bill of Rights was ratified on December 15, 1791.  
Does well regulated mean everyone has the right to carry machine guns everywhere? It means the government can regulate the kinds of guns people carry. Instead of talking about a flag, can we talk about getting real gun control? Can we take on the gun lobby? Even after losing a vote or two on this, President Obama, can you find you inner LBJ and push this? I don't want your tears, I want your leadership on this.  Can't you make life a little uncomfortable for six of these people who voted against background checks, just like LBJ would have?

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