Monday, March 12, 2018


She just won't go away.  She's in India promoting her book and here's what she said:
"There’s all that red in the middle, where Trump won. Now, I win the coasts, I win Illinois, Minnesota, places like that. But what the map doesn’t show you is that I won the places that represent two-thirds of America’s gross domestic product. So I won the places that are optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward, and his whole campaign, Make America Great Again, was looking backwards. “You don’t like black people getting rights, you don’t like women getting jobs, you don’t want to see that Indian-American succeeding more than you are, whatever your problem is, I’m going to solve it.”
God...she's just such an insufferable bitch.  I just really hope that the Dems continue this line of thinking.  Because that will doom them to loss after loss after loss.

And here's an unfortunate video of Ma Clinton falling down the steps during her sojurn in India.  Notice Huma Abedin right behind her.   I just can't stand it...

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Sunday, February 25, 2018

School Safety Ideas

A friend shared the info below over on FB.  I don't know the guy who posted this from Adam, but it seems pretty spot on to me.  This is just one part of figuring out how to not only work toward minimizing the chance of future mass murders on campus, but also some very good steps to take to improve our culture.
Arguing about guns is getting tiresome. The same impossible-to-implement gun control ideas are trotted out after every shooting with a fixation on the scary objects.
Few of you on my friends list know I dedicated years of my life right after college to a program born out of Columbine that's the most effective at reducing school shooting tragedies and that I've traveled the country visit to middle schools and high schools in 30+ states speaking and doing work to make schools safer. I am an expert on this school safety topic and also somewhat of an expert on guns as they're a big part of my life from also working in the hunting/outdoor industry for years and being a CCW holder, and well-trained gun owner and dedicated sportsman and shooter.
And I am friends with the top experts doing the best work in schools to make them safer, several of which were at the White House this week.
If anyone wants to talk actual solutions to make our children safer and school shootings less frequent, here's my suggestions on things that will actually work:
School Safety Ideas Nobody Wants to Talk About 
  1. Fatherlessness needs to be addressed. Kids need dads- most shooters don't have an involved dad. Can we connect boys without fathers to father-figure mentors? This is also a theme in the inner-city, less-publicized, yet more-frequent gun crimes in minority communities.
  2. Adults need to be held accountable. The Parkland shooting last week is 'Exhibit A' on that. Dozens of adults at the school, local law enforcement agencies, and even the FBI knew about this kid and what he said he was going to do. Another adult, the SRO on duty, could have stopped it while it was happening but never went in. How many adults around this situation will be charged with crimes like negligence or manslaughter for their blatant failures? My guess is zero. How many will lose their jobs? My guess is zero. Nobody does anything because you risk nothing by doing nothing and get in trouble if you take a proactive approach and try to do address things before the blood is spilled. This is up and down our education and law enforcement systems.
  3. Boys need safe environments to fight and let out their physical aggression. Young men involved in physically violent sports like football, wrestling, karate, etc. typically do not become mass murderers. I feel like our present culture is trying to take the fight out of our boys, but it's still hard-wired into them. Where no healthy outlets for this natural aggression exist, unhealthy ones will take their place. We need to stop shaming our boys and applying negative labels to boys that have a strong urge to fight. We need to guide and encourage them to find a healthy outlet, not tell them they're broken or bad.
  4. The role of pharmaceutical drugs in mass shootings needs to be thoroughly investigated. It's too common of a theme to be ignored as a potential factor. Too many of our kids are getting drugged up instead of getting the care they really need. Right on the labels of these mood-altering drugs are side effects like "Hallucinations- loss of contact with reality." and "Suicidal thoughts." Yet we don't immediately ask about the prescriptions these kids are on, instead focusing on what kind of gun they used.
  5. Training kids to huddle together as stationary targets on the ground, HAS TO STOP. It's stupid and getting our kids killed in greater numbers during these events. If they can't get in a secured room separated from the shooter, they need to run or fight, period. Get out the window or tackle the shooter etc are all way better things to teach. There are great programs to better train our kids on how to react to this threat.
  6. Empower and encourage teachers and school administrators to have a plan, have the support of the district, and secure their classrooms the way they're comfortable with. Too many wonderful teachers with hearts of lions for protecting their kids are fearful bringing up their desires to their bosses whom will point to policy and liability concerns over common-sense solutions the teacher needs and wants. Teachers, if you don't get the support you need, do what you need to do anyways quietly. Damn the system. Keep our kids safe. There isn't a one-size-fits-all answer here, but all kinds of things could help like: ways to block/harden doors, weapons (gun or non-gun) to have a fighting chance if a shooter makes it through the door, and additional escape options like rope ladders for 2nd story windows teachers can deploy, etc. We can't have a cop everywhere and even if we do, there's no guarantee they won't be taking their sweet time outside like the Parkland SRO did while your class is in the crosshairs. Teachers are right there and the first line of defense and they need to think about it and take it seriously and not get in trouble if they do.
  7. Finally, and most importantly, we need to improve the culture of our nation and our schools.  We need to value human life highly. We need love. We need kindness. We need compassion. We need to look for the kids that are becoming isolated and need help and go help them. We need more than just anger at what's wrong, we need to celebrate the good stories and champions of kindness. Kids that care for one another don't kill each other. We need to touch the hearts of kids and train them up in morality and virtue- not just pack their heads full of information. This is exactly what we focused on when I worked for Rachel's Challenge, one of the top anti-violence programs in the country, and we saw tons of lives saved by changing the culture of schools from the inside out. (would-be-shooters with kill lists turning themselves in, gang members laying down their colors, suicides planned for that night canceled, etc.) Invite them to your school as a great way to start this cultural transformation.

Motivation Monday

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Repealing the 2nd Amendment

I thought that would get your attention.  One of the finest people I've ever known was a Priest at our parish when we joined the church about 20 years ago.  He is wise, smart, pragmatic, and tough.  All characteristics I admire greatly.  He subsequently moved on to other places and has recently retired in Arizona.  The interesting thing about him is that he was born and raised in New York, became a lawyer and practiced there for several years before turning to the Priesthood.  So his perspective on life is a bit different from your average clergy.

He has continued to keep in touch with several of us and forwards sermons and writings occasionally that might of interest.  I got one today and its a doozy!  I'm going to copy it in it's entirety below.  So depending on where you sit, either your head will explode if you're among those who will give up your guns when "they are pried from your cold, dead hands" or you will nod smugly and offer sanctimonious agreement if you are a progressive who wonders naively why "we can't all just get along".  Or you might be like a lot of people, me included, who are frustrated and sickened by the spate of mass murders that our country has suffered in the last several years.  You might have never considered this as even a remote possibility but are at your wits end and know something needs to be done.  You might look at our leaders of all stripes and realize that the vast majority don't have the fortitude or vision to accomplish anything substantive to change the dynamic. Or you might just be at the point of saying, enough is enough.

Let me say up front that I don't subscribe to this solution.  And I think that if it had a remote chance of happening, it's a long way off and would require some specific circumstances to see the light of day.  More on that later.  But I do think of the three solutions he offers, the second one has merit.  As a long time Constitutionalist I have always believed in our inalienable rights guaranteed by that precious document.  The right to keep and bear arms seems as fundamental as free speech or freedom of religion.  And we don't repeal any of the amendments, especially ones in the Bill of Rights, lightly.  It's a very, very steep hill to climb.  But I wonder.  Like other things that we've seen evolve, are we at a tipping point?

Over the last ten days I've seen the unending opinions and debates in the news and on social media.  The thing that strikes me is that everyone, literally everyone, seems to have the definitive right solution.  Whether it's ban guns, fix the mental health system, arm teachers, harden schools, or whatever, most commentators are hard and fast regarding the right solution.  There doesn't seem to be much intelligent or pragmatic discussion.  It's all emotion.  Whataboutism runs rampant.  Memes rule the day.  And I think that's true to some extent in legislative bodies and executive mansions in Washington DC and state capitals around the country.  Maybe it's because it's too soon and too raw, but I don't think so.  I think we've become a polarized country invested in our own opinions with not much ability to achieve consensus.

Now don't get me wrong.  I've got plenty of opinions.  If you've read this blog at all you're well aware of that.  Sometimes to a fault.  But I like to think I'm at least willing to listen.  I don't see much of that these days.  My fundamental opinion on this whole issue is that it's a complex problem and will require complex solutions.  What occurs with guns is only a part of the solution set.  But to get to a solution set, people have to be able to talk.  That seems to be a rare commodity these days.

In reality I don't see any way that a repeal of the 2nd Amendment is in the cards.  Anytime soon that is.  However, there are a couple of things that could swing the pendulum in the other direction.  If the carnage continues, more and more people are going to reach a point in which the demand for action will outweigh the concern for gun rights.  If you read the essay below, you'll see a rationale that is compelling for someone looking to end the senseless loss of life.  And as we see with every generation, attitudes shift.  Not to stereotype too much and there are always exceptions, but the young people I see these days below the millenial generation have a way different attitude about so many things that have been a given for my entire life.  That's not's just the way it is.  The influencers, the technology, the shinking world, the relationships they experience, the world that they see is different.  And I don't think accepting mass murders as one of the costs of living in the USA may not be something they are willing to tolerate.

What do I get from this latest mass murder event and the public's reaction?  One thing is that the 2nd Amendment is coming under fire like never before.  If our leaders and our population had the ability to discuss and compromise, perhaps we could come up with some solutions to restrict availability of the most dangerous weapons out there, develop a better tracking and registration system, and have minimal impact on a right that so many see as fundamental.  But I just don't see any ability to do that.

So I end with where I began.  If your head is exploding, don't say I didn't warn you.  If you think you're smugly right in wanting to ban guns, be careful what you're asking for.  You might think that the reaction of some of your fellow Americans regarding possessing a weapon as protection from tyranny is far-fetched.  There are plenty of examples where it's not.

What to Do about the Second Amendment?
The list of school shootings in the United States is sad, tragic and heartbreaking. Among the most noteworthy in recent years:
February 14, 2018 – Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Florida – 17 dead.
January 23, 2018 – Marshall City High School, Marshall County, Kentucky – 2 dead.
December 7, 2017 – Aztec High School, Aztec, New Mexico – 3 dead.
November 14, 2017 – The elementary school at Rancho Tehanna Reserve, California – 6 dead.
September 13, 2017 – Freeman High School, Rockford, Washington – 1 dead.
April 10, 2017 – North Park Elementary School, San Bernardino, CA – 3 dead.
December 14, 2012 – Sandy Hook Elementary School, Newtown, Connecticut – 28 dead.
There are many more school shootings where no one died, but whose victims suffered excruciating wounds and lifelong physical and emotional scars. And, of course, I have not mentioned the many horrific shootings that took place in locales other than schools: the October 1, 2017 Las Vegas shooting with 58 dead, the June 12, 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting with 49 dead, the December 2, 2015 San Bernardino, California Regional Center shooting with 14 dead, the April 16, 2007 Virginia Tech shooting with 32 dead, the July 18, 1984 San Ysidro, California McDonald’s massacre with 21 dead, or the August 1, 1966 University of Texas tower shooting with 14 dead. And, of course, there are many more.
And then, there is the daily gun violence on the streets of cities like Chicago and Baltimore, or the thousands of people each year who use a gun to commit suicide. In 2013, for example, there were 33,636 deaths due to firearms – 11,208 homicides, 21,175 suicides, and 505 deaths due to accident or negligence in the discharging of a firearm. The numbers are mindboggling.
The Debate on the Meaning of the Second Amendment
So why does a country as innovative, creative and vital as the United States tolerate such rampant gun violence? What is it about the United States that sanctions firearms to an extent that no other civilized nation in the world would allow? While there are no doubt many answers to these questions, the principle culprit, I suggest, is the Second Amendment in the United States Constitution. 
The wording of the Second Amendment is innocuous enough. It simply states: “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.”
Oddly enough, there were no Second Amendment Supreme Court cases before the first part of the 20th century. The first major Supreme Court case was United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939) which answered the question whether the Second Amendment restricts the government’s ability to regulate the private possession of firearms. The answer of the Court: No! The Court, in upholding the constitutionality of the National Firearms Acts of 1934, allowed a ban on machine guns and short-barreled shotguns. Certain types of deadly weapons, the Court ruled, could be restricted and even banned by the government.
With Miller, the United States should have been able to enact reasonable gun control legislation to insure the safety and protection of the public. After all, if machine guns could be banned, then why not any assault or rapid-fire weapons? 
However, since Miller there has been an alternative interpretation that maintains the Second Amendment protection of an individual right to a firearm is inherent in the concept of ordered liberty. No organization has been more staunchly unyielding in pushing this interpretation of the Second Amendment upon the nation than the National Rifle Association.  
Every time there is a shooting of innocents, whether of school children or adults, the National Rifle Association proclaims, “Don’t you dare take away our Second Amendment right to possess the firearm of our choice! We have a right to our guns!” For the NRA, the right to possess a firearm is a fundamental right, as fundamental as any in the Constitution. 
The argument of the NRA is that the Framers of the Second Amendment intended for every citizen to have the right to own guns, free from interference by the federal government. Any attempt to pass gun control laws limiting the right to own and possess firearms would have been seen by the Framers as violating the Amendment. This essentially libertarian argument insists that to keep and bear arms is akin to the First Amendment right to free speech – a fundamental aspect of individual autonomy, the infringement of which is tyrannical. 
On the United States Supreme Court, Justice Clarence Thomas is the most vociferous advocate for this position, beginning with his concurring opinion in Prinz v. United States, 521 U.S. 898, 938 (1997).
To understand the logic of the NRA and gun proponents such as Justice Thomas, consider the case of Silvester v. Becerra (February 20, 2018) in which the Supreme Court denied certiorari (refused to hear the case) of a challenge to a California law that imposed a 10-day waiting period for gun purchases. In his dissent of the refusal to hear the case, Justice Thomas argued that the Second Amendment is a “disfavored right” in the Supreme Court, and that had another right been so “cavalierly” treated, the Court would have undoubtedly intervened. “If this case involved one of the court’s more favored rights, I sincerely doubt we would have denied certiorari,” Thomas said. “I suspect that four members of this court would vote to review a 10-day waiting period for abortions, notwithstanding a state’s purported interest in creating a ‘cooling off’ period.” 
Notice that Justice Thomas equates the right to an abortion with the right to possess a firearm. For gun advocates, there is no difference. Any restriction on the Second Amendment right to possess a firearm demands the strictest scrutiny by the Court, just as in First Amendment cases.
So which position is historically and legally correct? Is it the position of Miller and subsequent advocates for reasonable gun control to promote and protect the public safety, or the position of the NRA and Justice
The Legal and Historical Background to the Second Amendment
No argument for a restrictive interpretation of the Second Amendment has been more persuasive or well-reasoned than that given by Professor David Yassky of Brooklyn Law School whose article, “The Second Amendment: Structure, History, and Constitutional Change” 99 Michigan Law Review 588 (2000) makes the case that the Civil War and the 14th Amendment to the Constitution made the Second Amendment obsolete.
Let me briefly summarize Professor Yassky’s article. For any who would like to read the entire article, go to google scholar, type in the author and article, and then download a PDF version. 
To understand the Second Amendment, one must first understand the separation of powers that is at the heart of our constitutional form of government. Just as the Constitution mandated three separate but equal branches of government to insure a system of checks and balances, so the Framers wanted to insure that the federal government was not so powerful that it could usurp the power of the states through military intervention. If, for example, the federal government required a standing army, then the way to check the power of that army would be by state militias.
The right to keep and bear arms was crucial to the Framers of the Constitution. But not for the reasons we may think today. The Framers envisioned state militias as a supplement (and a check) to a federal standing army. They believed that such an army posed a threat of both tyranny and military adventurism. They wanted to avoid both. 
The threat of tyranny was the fear that a federal army under the President as Commander in Chief could threaten or usurp the power of the states. The fear of military adventurism was that a President with or without the support of Congress could plunge the nation into military actions around the world. To prevent both tyranny and adventurism, state militias composed of citizen soldiers would act as a counterbalance to any Federal army. Militias could supplement or reinforce the Federal army in case of foreign threat, but also act as a check on any federal intervention that threatened states jurisdiction.    
At the time that the Constitution was written, the nation was bitterly divided over the role and even the existence of a Federal army. One anti-Federalist pamphlet stated, “A standing army…may be the most fatal instrument to public liberties.” Those who did not want the Federal government to have an army argued that it would be expensive to maintain, tempt our leaders to go to war, and threaten the legitimate jurisdiction of the states. 
Against this view was George Washington who wrote that state militias composed of untrained civilians would not insure the safety and security of the nation against foreign enemies. “To place any dependence upon Militias is assuredly, as resting upon a broken staff.” In Washington’s judgment, military preparedness required a standing army. 
The solution as written in the Second Amendment was to have state militias as both alternative and counterweight to a national army. The militias would be under the Governors of the states and the national army under the President as Commander in Chief.   
The Second Amendment is thus primarily about the allocation of military power. Should the federal government have an army or should it rely on state militias? Clearly, some kind of federal army was needed – full-time professional military soldiers – but it was to be complemented, and even checked, by state militias composed of part-time citizen soldiers. 
When Patrick Henry, the Governor of Virginia and a strong supporter of states’ rights said, “The great object is, that every man be armed,” he did not mean this as a matter of individual liberty but in defense of the states against any federal threat or intrusion to their jurisdictions. His was the view that disbursed rather than centralized authority was most consistent with a government of checks and balances. 
In the end, democracy wanted a militia but national security demanded an army. The Second Amendment was designed to alleviate state concerns about an all-powerful federal government intruding on the rights of the states by having state militias complement a federal army. In this scenario, it was presumed that every citizen was a soldier who would fight in the state militia if summoned and called by the Governor of the state.   
However, this balance between federal and state power enshrined in the Second Amendment proved problematic. During the War of 1812, several governors refused to mobilize their state militias in support of the war against the British. Already there was tension between federal and state control of the military.
During the Civil War, the Second Amendment proved completely counterproductive to its original purpose. When the southern states seceded from the Union, the Governors of the secessionist states mobilized their state militias to fight against the federal army in what became a bloody Civil War that resulted in over 600,000 dead. As the war progressed with thousands dying on the battlefield and in field hospitals from their wounds, President Lincoln required more troops to serve in the army. Unable to recruit sufficient volunteers, Congress passed the Conscription Act of 1863 that initiated the first federal military draft. The federal army would now come from draftees and not state militias. In fact, there was now no need for state militias since the federal government assumed the responsibility of mobilizing its citizens for war. 
The 14th Amendment legitimized conscription because it affirmed that a “citizen” was a citizen of the United States and not of any particular state. The idea of having a firearm so one could be part of a state militia no longer made any sense – in fact, the Second Amendment itself was now made obsolete. Whatever the legitimate purpose in having a Second Amendment was now bypassed by the 14th Amendment in which all citizens were subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. 
The Future of the Second Amendment
Throughout the period from 1787 to 1866, the debate on the Second Amendment had nothing to do with the right of an individual to possess a firearm. The purpose was to maintain state militias as a supplement or complement to the federal army. That purpose collapsed during the Civil War with the Conscription Act of 1863 and the subsequent legitimizing of the draft with the 14th Amendment. 
Interestingly, there was never any court challenge to the federal draft until World War I. In the Selected Draft Law Cases 245 U.S. 366 (1918), the Supreme Court affirmed that the 14th Amendment legitimized conscription. Along with United States v. Miller in 1939, the Supreme Court completely gutted the Second Amendment into oblivion. 
And yet, the Second Amendment refused to die. Through a revisionist historical interpretation and the influence of the NRA, proponents now argue that the deadlier the firearm is, the more likely it is to be constitutionally protected. An AR-15, for example, may be a terrifying weapon that can inflict enormous damage and cost many lives, but they claim that banning such a weapon would infringe upon a protected Second Amendment right. 
I have argued, as did Professor Yassky, that there is no such right intended in the Second Amendment.  The Amendment was a matter of states’ rights, not individual autonomy. There is no “ordered liberty” to possess a firearm, only the common good to come to the defense of one’s state and country.   
Professor Yassky acknowledges (even before the mass shootings in the 21st century) that most of us reading the Second Amendment as support for a libertarian view of firearms would find the Founders’ view hopelessly anachronistic, and the modern tendency to regulate and even ban certain types of firearms intuitively correct. 
There is something inherently repulsive and deeply threatening about allowing almost any type of firearms to be possessed by almost any type of individuals with only a minimal if any background check. 
Three Alternatives
So how do we deal with the proliferation of guns in our society today? One answer, according to the NRA, is to respond to gun violence with more guns – in the hands of teachers, school guards and every law-abiding citizen in the United States. You meet the threat of guns with more guns – that’s the logic of the NRA and its supporters – and that logic is killing America.
If we apply the logic of the NRA to our schools, then each school would be transformed into a prison. Students and teachers would pass through metal detectors and armed guards would patrol the hallways on the look-out for would-be shooters who somehow managed to sneak on campus. Teachers with concealed hand guns would be prepared to “take down” any culprit. In a shoot-out, perhaps some innocent people would be shot and even killed in the crossfire, but that is the price to be paid for living in a gun culture – and the collateral damage that comes with it.   
This is a horrific scenario and it is startling that even some of our political leaders seem to be accepting of it. 
Another response is to work for reasonable gun control legislation that regulates the purchase and possession of firearms, and restricts the type of firearms that are allowed to be possessed by any civilian. Progress in this area is uneven and faces enormous resistance from diehard gun advocates, but perhaps recent tragedies have shocked the consciences of enough Americans to take meaningful action to restrict gun use and ban certain types of firearms. 
On November 27, 2017, the United States Supreme Court declined to hear challenges to gun restrictions in Florida and Maryland. The Court left in place decisions upholding an assault-weapons ban in Maryland and an open-carry ban in Florida. 
In the Maryland case of Kolbe v. Hogan, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals left in place a ban on semi-automatic rifles and large capacity magazines. The Court stated that states could ban any weapon that is “most commonly used in military service.” 
In Norman v. Florida, the Florida Supreme Court upheld a state law that banned carrying guns that are not concealed. Dale Lee Norman challenged the law after he was arrested for walking on a sidewalk with a holstered handgun. Sadly, the case did nothing to prevent the recent school massacre in Parkland, Florida. And, in any case, it is hard to know which is worse – having a concealed weapon or one in open-carry.  
A third alternative – one that I espouse – is the outright repeal of the Second Amendment. Yes, I know the difficulty of repealing an Amendment to the Constitution, but it can be done because it has been done before when Congress and the States repealed Prohibition. The 18th Amendment in 1919 was repealed by the 21st Amendment in 1933 with one sentence: “The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.” That same language could be used to repeal the Second Amendment. 
Once the Second Amendment is repealed, the ownership and possession of a firearm would go from being a “right” to a “privilege” – much like driving a car is not a right but a privilege. To drive a car, a person must meet the proper qualifications: pass written and road tests, have a background check, and be of the required age without any medical condition that would prevent one from driving. 
So, why not have the same procedure with a firearm? Why not license people to have a firearm just as we license people to drive cars? Just as you would need a specialized license to operate a commercial vehicle, so one would need a specialized license for certain types of firearms. And just as certain types of vehicles are not permitted to be driven by civilians – tanks, for example – so certain types of firearms – assault and rapid-fire weapons – would not be permitted for civilian use.  Cars can kill people, which is why we license and regulate drivers and vehicles. Shouldn’t we do the same with firearms? 
I believe the time has come in America to repeal the Second Amendment and treat owning a firearm as we would driving a car – moving from “right” to “privilege” and restricting the type of firearms that can be appropriately used in civilian life. This makes eminent sense, but with firearms good sense doesn’t always seem to matter. 

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Dogs Are Cool!

But while the dog is relaxing and having some fun, make no mistake...the damn cat is plotting his revenge!

Friday, February 16, 2018

The Shooting

I'm weary.  It happens too much.  I'm not going to write much because so many others have.  So many think there are easy solutions.  When something like this happens the so-called experts come out of the woodwork.  Ban guns!  Fund more mental health care!  Get rid of "assault rifles".  Open more institutions.  The NRA is responsible.  Ban high capacity magazines.  Parents have failed their children and are not fulfilling their parental responsibilities.  Trumps fault.  Obama's fault.  Bush's fault.  Ban bump stops.  Get rid of concealed carry.  That creates a violent society.  Baby boomers have created a lax society so what do you expect? Teachers are given no respect.  Violent TV and movies have created a violent society.  Death means nothing to some of these kids.  Ban violent TV.  Kids are allowed to run free.  Prosecute parents for the sins of the children.  Ban violent video games.  Ban video games.  Social media is at fault.  Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and all the others have fomented the problem.  Ban them all.  Anyone can buy a gun.  Ban gun stores.  Ban gun shows.  Create a gun turn in program.  Ban handguns.  Tobacco is the country's biggest killer.  Ban that.  Mental illness is a national tragedy.  If you see something, say something.  If you don't, it's your fault.  Climate change is going to kill millions so we need to focus more on that.  It's Congress' fault.  Those lowlife's can't do anything.  Vote them all out.  Enact term limits.  It's the FBI's fault.  They know who the nuts are and won't do anything.  Give more power and money to localities to attack the problem.  Toughen the requirements to buy a gun, even though they are already tough.  Create a national gun registry, even though there already is one.  Abortion kills far more people than guns, so don't talk about guns until you talk about abortion.  Same with drunk driving.  Put our energies into stopping people from driving while drunk.  Turn to God for solutions.  Forget appealing to God.  Seek logical solutions.  This doesn't happen in other countries.  Become like Australia, Norway, Singapore, Japan, etc, etc, etc.  Arm teachers.  Put an armed guard in every school.  Lock down every school.  Give teachers concealed carry ability.  Schools need to be free and open.  Put up signs creating a "gun-free zone".  Have a memorial service and send "thoughts and prayers".  Deluge the site with flowers and candles to show we care.  Have politicians offer condolences.  Blah, blah, blah.

Meanwhile, 17 families in Florida will never be the same.  17 young lives snuffed out.  I can't even imagine.  And the kids, teachers, first responders, government representatives, and really everyone in Parkland, FL will never be the same.  And that's true for Columbine, Sandy Hook, Sutherland, and so many others.

It's a difficult subject to even discuss because of two things.  Passion and misinformation.  The statistics are powerful, convincing and mindboggling on both sides.  The memes resonate.  Each side doesn't even want to listen to the other.  After the loss of life, and especially young life, people want to "do something".  But read or listen to people discussing this issue.  There are very few in the middle.  Most 2nd Amendment zealots won't even discuss further controls.  They say we've already gone too far.  And their arguments have some validity.  There are very few gun ban advocates who will even discuss a compromise.  They want them all gone.   But frequently many of those people have no idea what they are talking about when it comes to guns.  There's a pretty good article on this issue here.  And once again, it's from a position of passion, from caring, from pain.  And their arguments have some validity.    

So we seem to remain in a weird sort of purgatory where nothing gets done and we are doomed to suffer these horrible incidents over and over and over...  And not only is it a national tragedy, but it's a national embarrassment.  

So what do we do?  I wish I knew...  

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Friday Funnies

No Friday Funnies this week.  Somehow I'm not in the laughing mood.