Background Checks

The Urgency Of Gun Control Legislation To Stop “War Zone” Syndrome, And Save Multitude Of Lives, While Preserving Reasonable Gun Rights

The shock of the Las Vegas Massacre, following the Orlando Pulse Massacre, the Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre, and so many others, demands the attention of Congress, as the urgency of gun control legislation presents itself.

We must stop the “War Zone” Syndrome that has led to more deaths by domestic terrorists than on September 11, if one counts all the death since 2001.

No one is saying that the Second Amendment should be destroyed, although it is clear that the Founding Fathers did not intend for all citizens to have firearms, as the amendment discusses a “well regulated militia”, and not the concept of everyone carrying firearms, even those who are mentally ill or have had criminal convictions.

But to demand a return of the Brady Bill, named after Ronald Reagan’s Press Secretary, James Brady, permanently disabled by the Assassination attempt against Reagan in 1981, but not renewed under George W. Bush in 2004, is not to ask too much.

To demand that background checks be done on gun purchasers; that loopholes that allow people to buy weapons online and at Walmarts and at gun shows without any search about their backgrounds be ended; that mentally disturbed people not be allowed to purchase weapons; and that the concept of allowing the expansion of gun silencers legislation, allowing gun owners to be able to fire at will without any sound being made for the potential victims to be aware of the sounds so they could duck or evade; or other reasonable measures, should be seen as sensible.

We have the highest gun violence rate of any Western civilized nation, comparing to Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and we must work to lower the death rate from suicide as well as violence against innocent civilians.

This should not be a partisan issue, as the Republicans, as well as the Democrats, need to see the issue of public safety as their major responsibility, and the National Rifle Association and its despicable leadership including Wayne La Pierre, who only are concerned with profits, must be defeated in their effect on our government policies.

All kinds of activities are licensed in our society, and guns need to be regulated in a responsible manner.

Background Checks Bills For Gun Purchases Has Oregon Added To List Of States That Have Adopted Gun Safety Legislation

The fight for basic background checks legislation for gun purchases in the states is a long, hard fought struggle, but Oregon has now been added to the list.

The following 17 states have adopted such legislation:

Connecticut
Rhode Island
Massachusetts
New York
New Jersey
Pennsylvania
Maryland
North Carolina
Michigan
Illinois
Iowa
Nebraska
Colorado
Washington State
California
Hawaii
Oregon

Notice that some of these states are Republican controlled states, including New Jersey, North Carolina, Michigan, Iowa, and Nebraska, so there is some hope that more states will adopt such legislation over time.

But the power of the National Rifle Association is so great that we will see much gun violence continuing without any kind of accountability for many who buy guns at a gun show, privately, or online.

So the memory of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in December 2012 still is an issue ignored by many who push the absolute right to guns, without efforts to restrict unstable people from gaining such weapons.

So the reality of at least 1,000 people on the average every month are killed by gun violence, whether by criminals, people familiar to the victims, mentally unstable people, suicide, or by pure accidents.

Hysteria Over Ebola And ISIL (ISIS), But No Concern In The Right Wing About Gun Violence!

The right wing extremists in this nation have gone totally hysterical over the threat of the Ebola disease, and the menace of ISIL (ISIS), and have politicized both issues, making it out as if Barack Obama is responsible for both issues.

This is promoting panic among many people, who tend to believe everything that Fox News Channel and the right wing radio talk show hosts assert, as if Obama is a danger to the country!

Meanwhile, nearly two years after the Sandy Hook Massacre in Connecticut, which killed six adult educators and 20 children six and seven years old, nothing has been done to prevent future gun violence, against children, women, minorities, and even white men, as there is no willingness in Congress to challenge the extremism of the National Rifle Association, which has terrified anyone in the Republican Party or conservative movement from taking any action on background checks; registration; prevention of convicts, mentally ill people, and drug addicts from being able to gain firearms; and even to regulate gun sales on the internet.

We see, instead, the insanity of many states allowing brandishing of firearms in supermarkets, department stores, and other public places, with impunity. We have seen so many “accidents” that have killed children, and so many massacres of large numbers of people, becoming mundane, and hardly gaining as much attention as earlier tragedies before Sandy Hook.

The country, seemingly, has accepted that it is normal to have at least 900-1,000 death by firearms every month, a much greater loss than we suffered in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Why is there not an outcry to make clear that firearm violence is a much greater threat to our safety, security and health, than the threat of Ebola and of ISIL (ISIS)?

Republicans In Congress Demonstrate Unbelievable Arrogance, And Ignore Public Opinion, Even Of Republican Voters!

The House Republicans are the most reactionary group seen in Congress in modern times, as evidence now shows that they are opposing not only general public opinion, but also that of voters of their own party, along with Independents and Democrats!

Issues where this is true include the following where some Republicans supported the proposed legislation in the Senate:

ENDA–the bill to stop discrimination in employment against gays and transgendered people, passed 64-32 in the Senate.

Comprehensive Immigration Reform, which passed the Senate 68-32.

At the same time, Republicans in both houses of Congress are fighting against the following, which are also supported by Republicans in polls, along with Democrats and Independents.

The Minimum Wage increase legislation to $9 an hour.

Background Checks on Gun Purchases

Who would think that a political party could ignore the views of its own voters and expect to stay in office? It makes one wonder how the GOP can believe it will keep power in the House and gain control of the Senate, as they seem to believe they can accomplish, when they have such a high level of arrogance as they are demonstrating!

Texas Governor Rick Perry: The “Pro Life” Governor? NO, A Tragedy For Texas!

Texas Governor Rick Perry was a massive embarrassment when he ran for the Republican nomination for President in 2012.

He is the longest serving Governor in America, having succeeded George W. Bush as the executive leader of the Lone Star State at the end of 2000.

He has become infamous for ridiculous, insensitive, and moronic statements, and outrageous actions in office, including suggesting that Texas secede from the Union, as it did in the Civil War.

He has a reputation as a “Pro Life” Governor, but that appellation is a mockery of reality!

This is a man who refuses to accept Medicaid expansion that is fully covered by ObamaCare, and therefore, denies millions of poor Texans, many of them Latinos, any access to health care, and this is out of spite, not wanting to accept federal aid that would cost the state of Texas NOTHING!

Here is a man who has the record for the most death warrants and executions occurring under his regime, and brags about the massive use of the death penalty, setting a record for executions in American history, and having no doubts as to the innocence of any of the people on Death Row, who face death, with the state government resistant to reconsideration of cases, even with new evidence!

Here is a state where any suggestion of background checks or other protections against gun violence are ignored and ridiculed, with any Texan able to carry firearms into public places, including schools, bars, and restaurants, and the gun violence level is one of the worst in the nation!

Here is a man who vetoes a bill passed overwhelmingly by a GOP legislature, mandating equal pay for women, many of whom are single mothers who need to support their children!

And here is a man who wants, with his party, to destroy Planned Parenthood in Texas, and shut down nearly all abortion clinics in a state with 26 million people, and the largest state in area, with the exception of sparsely populated Alaska!

And here is a man who forces State Senator Wendy Davis of Fort Worth, opposed to this legislation, to conduct a filibuster under inhumane conditions, with no food, water, bathroom break, or ability to lean against or sit down over nearly a dozen hours, and her filibuster ended early, but opposition of supporters in the Texas State Senate galleries and halls of the legislature the only way to stop this massive assault on women’s rights, including control of their bodies! And now, Perry is forcing another confrontation, determined to ram through this despicable legislation, and in so doing, lecturing Wendy Davis and showing total disdain and lack of respect for her and Texas women!

This man is an excuse for a human being, and will go down over history as a true tragedy for the Lone Star State, and Wendy Davis or Julian Castro (Mayor of San Antonio), or some other Democrat needs to run against him in 2014, and end the Reign of Rick Perry over the destiny of Texas!

West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin: A True “Profile In Courage” And Model For Public Service!

It is extremely frustrating to see politicians who sell their soul to hold on to their jobs as Congressmen and Senators, unwilling to take a principled stand on anything!

And then we have West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, former Governor of the state, a lifelong member of the National Rifle Association, who fought for a “background checks” bill, which failed to overcome a filibuster, because of fear of Senators to alienate the NRA and its monstrous leadership, that does not give a damn about the thousand or more people killed by firearms each month. These cowardly Senators, and also Congressmen, are afraid of Wayne La Pierre and the NRA, and care more about keeping their seats and power than anything else!

But Manchin fought against the NRA, and continues to defy them, and this morning on MORNING JOE, after the NRA put out commercials against him, he responded with his own commercial, and made it clear that IF the people of West Virginia were unwilling to back “background checks” on firearms, and wished to send him home by defeating him in the next election, so be it!

And if that happened, he said, he would be blessed to spend his life in the state he loved, instead of Washington, DC!

What a refreshing way to look at it, as NO ONE who serves in Congress is poor, struggling, and NEEDS the job as most Americans need their job!

This is what we need—members of Congress who are there to promote what they believe in, and do NOT allow any pressure group to sway them, and willing to give up their position and power on principle, rather than kowtow to corrupt influences!

If only there were more Joe Manchins, and he is, indeed, a true “Profile In Courage”, and a model for public service!

Threatened Filibuster On Vote On Gun Regulation Should Lead To Filibuster Reform In Response

The threatened filibuster of having a vote on gun regulations, in the wake of the Sandy Hook Massacre, should be enough to lead to filibuster reform in response!

Five Tea Party affiliated Senators should be ashamed of themselves for not allowing a vote at the least, since the likelihood of major reform is highly unlikely. But in honor of the 20 dead children and six educators at Sandy Hook, plus the victims in the Aurora, Colorado movie theater and other tragedies, why not let a vote take place? How obscene and heartless can these five Senators be?

The five Senators who should be roundly vilified and condemned are :

James Inhofe of Oklahoma
Mike Lee of Utah
Rand Paul of Kentucky
Ted Cruz of Texas
Marco Rubio of Florida.

The latter three have Presidential ambitions, but if the GOP were to nominate Paul, Cruz, or Rubio after not allowing a vote by a threatened filibuster on the gun issue, then they are most certainly dooming themselves for the long term future, as a party being led by heartless lunatics of the far right!

Majority Leader Harry Reid is threatening filibuster reform, which is a simple majority of the Senate, if the extreme right wing stands in the way of a vote on background checks for gun purchases, supported by 90 percent of the nation and 80 percent of Republicans in recent polls. And John McCain has protested the idea of a filibuster, and even Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania seems ready to promote some kind of gun regulation reform.

The GOP cannot allow its fringe members to destroy the party’s future, which is what the threatened filibuster would do!

The National Rifle Association Answer To Gun Violence: More Guns And In All Schools! Absolutely Insane!

The National Rifle Association answer to the Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre, and others that have happened on a regular basis, is that there should be more guns, and that all schools should have a uniformed police officer on campus to prevent bloodshed.

What insane ideas, as expressed by Wayne La Pierre, who could be regarded by many as our leading domestic terrorist with his refusal to recognize the need for the banning of assault weapons, background checks, waiting periods, and the prevention of buying firearms on line or at gun shows, without any check into the mental stability of the purchaser of weapons.

The Columbine Massacre of 1999 occurred despite the fact that an armed police officer was on the high school campus. No police officer can automatically be on site of the location of a shooting rapidly enough, and the danger of innocent victims being killed in the act of challenging a gunman is not being considered at all.

Also, the whole concept that a school should be an armed camp is a terrible message to send to young children, that with all of the anti terrorist actions of the US government overseas, we need to have guns everywhere to protect ourselves domestically,

Why not have uniformed police officers in every house of worship, every shopping mall, every movie theatre, every restaurant, every location in the nation? The cost, and the efficacy of such a move is clearly, something not considered by gun advocates.

Meanwhile, without regulation of any kind, we have 11,000 to 12,000 people murdered each year by guns, a lot more than died on September 11, and a lot more than killed in our wars in iraq and Afghanistan combined.

The NRA is not concerned about our welfare, but only about their profits for the Board of Trustees and officers, and the profits of the gun industry, which should be regarded as the death industry, as lives are not saved, but shed–including parents and children–the horrors of matricide and infanticide–as in the case of Adam Lanza.

National Rifle Association And Its Republican Supporters Silent In Midst Of Tragedy Caused By Guns

The National Rifle Association and its 31 Republican supporters in the US Senate, and gun advocates generally, have become strangely silent in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, which led to the death of 20 six and seven year olds, and six teachers and administrators in Connecticut.

Their Twitter page and Facebook page have been very quiet, and the Senators who support no limitations on gun rights refused to appear on Meet The Press, showing what cowards they really are, unwilling to support sensible regulations on guns, such as a background check, a ban on assault weapons which existed for ten years, and a limit on how much ammunition may be purchased, as one does not need vast magazines to get involved in deer hunting. And all gun owners and buyers should be registered in a national data base as well. If we can regulate other aspects of human existence, then we should be able to do the same with guns!

This is the time to demand action on these ideas, and to drum the NRA supporters out of Congress and the state legislatures, and make it clear that we will not allow our nation to be held hostage by Wayne LaPierre and other NRA leaders, who have enriched themselves at the expense of human lives!

It is time to take our country back from this unlimited violence, between 11,000 and 12,000 deaths a year by guns, overwhelmingly the most violent nation on earth, that has come about because of the recklessness of the NRA and the gun extremists!

And the answer is not to allow guns in schools, except with a uniformed police officer in every school. And the answer is not to allow anyone to carry guns openly in public places, either! This is insanity beyond belief!

Sandy Hook Elementary School Another In A Long Line Of Tragedies That Will Never End Unless There Is Effective Gun Control Legislation!

The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut is just the latest in a long line of gun tragedies, while the gun industry and the National Rifle Association, in the mad dash for capitalistic profit, resist ANY regulation of those who are able to obtain weapons, including assault rifles that no one needs!

If it is not elementary school children in Connecticut; or patrons in a movie theater in Colorado; or worshipers in a church in Wisconsin; or shoppers in a mall in Oregon; or constituents of a Congresswoman in Arizona, it may very well be a President of the United States, or a United States Senator, or a rock musician, or an actor, or an athlete who in some way triggers mental illness in some crackpot who wants fame, and makes for new gun victims!

Of course, no gun legislation will prevent all murders, but with 11,000 murders per year because of gun violence, more than any nation in the world, we cannot sit by and just “tsk tsk”, and do nothing!

We need effective gun regulation, and background checks of people before they can purchase weapons legally, and banning of all assault weapons. We can also decide that people cannot carry guns into bars, onto college campuses, into public schools, into hospitals, into government buildings, and prosecute anyone who endangers others by his or her recklessness!

We have to teach our children that guns are not fun, or not just to be used for target practice, and to stop glorifying hunting of birds and animals, as that is worshiping and glorifying death!

We must promote protection, but not think that everyone being strapped with a gun is going to promote safety in all public places, as just the opposite is true!

And this has nothing to do with God, as in the name of God, we have seen loads of bloodshed and death and warfare in human history, and religion has done more to promote hate and division, because of those fanatics believing their religious beliefs justify such crimes!

We are on the road to civil war, if we do not control the level of violence that we claim cannot be controlled, throw up our hands, and just keep on counting corpses!

For some gun nuts, only when they lose their own loved ones will they finally “get it”, and we need our government leaders to stop fighting politically, and look at gun violence as just as needy of a response as when we were attacked at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001!