National Rifle Association

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.

Revolutionary Moment In History Of House Of Representatives, Unmatched Since 1910 “Revolt” Against Speaker Joseph Cannon!

A century ago, in October 1910, Democrats and progressive Republicans united to state a “coup” in the House of Representatives, stripping Speaker of the House Joseph Cannon of his absolute power to decide committee appointments and control the legislative agenda all by himself.

Now in June 2016, the Democrats have staged a one day sit down, demanding a vote on a gun control measure. They proceeded to prevent normal routine in the House of Representatives, and to shout down any attempt at taking action on other legislative business.

While Speaker of the House Paul Ryan was befuddled, and waited until 10pm to attempt normal legislative business, which failed, and led to the end of the official session until after the 4th of July recess, the Democrats have drawn attention to the issue of gun regulation, and it is clear they will defy Ryan again when the House of Representatives comes back into session next month.

The effect will be to put the Republicans on notice, that it is time that they stopped being captives of the National Rifle Association and Wayne La Pierre. The issue will be a major one in November, and hopefully, might cause a massive switch of seats, putting the Democrats into the majority again, although that is still highly difficult to do, as 30 or more seats would need to be gained.

But taking action, led by the icon civil rights leader Congressman John Lewis of Georgia is better than just doing nothing! Hope springs eternal!

More Gun Deaths Since 1968 Than War Deaths In All Of American History!

The crazy lack of gun control, in the midst of the growing level of violence in America in the past half century is a sign of a massive crisis that Congress, under Republican leadership, refuses to deal with, due to the dominating influence of the National Rifle Association and its public spokesman, Wayne La Pierre, who has blood on his hands, as the NRA even opposed basic background checks, or denying people on the Transportation Security Administration Watch List for airline passengers the right to purchase firearms!

This is total insanity, particularly after the Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre in 2012; all of the mass shootings since then; and the newly fresh San Bernadino, California Massacre two days ago!

A particular statistic that is a sign of the reality of this crisis is what Hillary Clinton said yesterday, that we are losing 90 people every day to gun violence!

But also, the statistic that since 1968, nearly 1.5 million Americans have died from gun violence, while ALL war deaths in all of American history total, by comparison, only close to 1.2 million people!

So in the past 47 years, 300,000 more Americans have died than all war deaths in the American Revolution; the War of 1812; the Mexican War; the Civil War; the Spanish American War; World War I; World War II; the Korean War;  the Vietnam War; the Persian Gulf War; the Afghanistan War; and the Iraq War!

How much longer can this nation suffer under refusal to do anything to deal with this disaster, which if a health crisis due to disease, would have led to rapid federal action to resolve the issue?

What will convince Congress, and particularly the Republican Party, to react?  Will the tragedy of harm to the President, Vice President, or Presidential candidates, or any other public figures, due to lack of action and concern, even lead to changes, as we had the Brady Bill, a decade after the assassination attempt against President Ronald Reagan, which was allowed to expire in 2004 by lack of action by President George W. Bush?

Will ANY tragedy lead to action?  Right now, it seems unlikely, crazy as that concept is!

1968 Political Turmoil Over Vietnam Now Being Repeated Over Middle East Terrorism Threat In 2016

In 1968, the nation was bitterly divided over the war in Vietnam, and a major Presidential candidate, Robert F. Kennedy, became a victim of the turmoil over that, but also of the Middle East conflict, with the Six Day War of 1967 provoking the assassination of RFK by a Palestinian Arab immigrant, who happened to be Christian, but is often perceived as the beginning of the issue of Middle East terrorism come to America’s home front.

After the Paris terror attack by ISIL (ISIS), it is clear that we are going to become a major target for similar kinds of attacks in public places, and also, it has often been wonderment that we have not had suicide bombers in this country, and it is likely we will experience that as well.

The danger is that fear and reality will lead America to elect an extremist right wing candidate, such as Donald Trump or Ted Cruz to the Presidency, which would undermine American democracy and our basic civil liberties.

Ironically, the terrorists will have won if we end up going hysterical, and allow the domestic reforms and civil liberties advancements, which have been the hallmark of the past century, to be lost in the desire for security!

Do not be shocked that we might see a real threat to the life of the President or some Presidential candidate over the next year to the election, and it might be from Middle East terrorism, or could be from a right wing National Rifle Association fanatic who decides he must eliminate someone who is seen as the danger to the future of “traditional values” in an America under siege!

The Secret Service needs, immediately, more membership, more training, more preparation for what is likely to come!

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.

The Best Hope For The Republican Party For 2016: Governor John Kasich Of Ohio!

It is becoming very clear that the best hope for the Republican Party to regain the White House in 2016 is NOT Jeb Bush, is NOT Chris Christie, is NOT Rand Paul, is NOT Scott Walker and is NOT anyone else being considered other than the sitting Governor of Ohio, John Kasich.

Of all of the potential GOP candidates for the Presidency, it is John Kasich who has the most distinguished record of accomplishments, who has made very few flubs or blunders, who has avoided making stupid statements up to the present, who has come across as a serious possibility from the state that is the ultimate “swing” state, Ohio.

NO Republican President has won office without winning Ohio, and from 1868 to 1923, there were SIX Republican Presidents from Ohio—Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford Hayes, James Garfield, William McKinley, William Howard Taft, and Warren G. Harding.

The Republican National Convention will be in Cleveland, and what could be more dramatic than nominating the sitting Governor of Ohio in Ohio?

Kasich has the most years of experience of anyone on the Republican side, having 18 years in Congress, and risen to the Chairmanship of the House Budget Committee, before leaving Congress, being an anchor for awhile on Fox News Channel, then working on Wall Street, before winning two terms as Governor of the “Buckeye” state.

No one is trying to claim that Kasich has made no mistakes, but compared to everyone else in the race, Kasich is the highest quality. While in Congress, he supported the Brady Assault Weapons Ban legislation and angered the National Rifle Association. He angered Tea Party groups by accepting Medicaid expansion, one of a very few Republican governors who have done that.

Kasich has worked against abortion rights, and has been shown to be anti union, typical of Republicans on the other hand, but he has also come across as an independent guy, who some have said has been influenced by the fact that his parents, killed tragically in an auto accident, were Democrats.

Kasich was considered as Bob Dole’s Vice Presidential running mate in 1996 but Jack Kemp instead was the choice of the Republican Presidential nominee. In 1999, he considered a Presidential candidacy but dropped out and endorsed George W. Bush. He could have stayed on in his Congressional seat and easily retained it, but decided after 18 years, it was time to move on. Had Dole picked him, he would have been only 44, and had he had a more serious Presidential bid in 2000, he would have been 48. Now he will be 64 in 2016, still young enough to be vibrant!

Kasich is also a reasonable man, a pleasant man, and avoids the image of arrogance and elitism that so many other Republicans exude. One can imagine a President Kasich, and if forced to do that, would be better able to live with it, as he is not a Tea Party Movement guy, not a Religious Right guy, not a libertarian! In fact, he is a bit of a skeptic about religion in politics, and has changed his religious views over his lifetime from Catholic to Anglican. He is in the mainstream of America, and is the best that the GOP has to offer, assuming former Utah Governor and Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman does not change his mind and decide to run after all!

Ohio Governor John Kasich Comes Across As Maverick To Tea Party Right Wingers–His Problem If He Seeks The GOP Presidential Nomination!

Ohio Governor John Kasich is, in many ways, one of the most qualified potential Republican nominees for President, but already, he has made enemies with the Tea Party Movement right wingers who dominate the party, and are likely to control the nomination process in caucuses and primaries in the early months of 2016.

Kasich has so many credentials that make him an ideal candidate for the GOP, including:

Kasich comes from Ohio, the single most crucial state in Presidential elections, with the fact that every President elected in the past 50 years has won Ohio.

Kasich’s state, Ohio, gave us six Republican Presidents between Ulysses S. Grant in 1868 and Warren G. Harding dying in office in 1923.

Kasich has the advantage of having run a state government of substantial size, seen as a plus over someone who has only served in Congress, and particularly, the Senate.

Kasich, however, has had long experience in Congress, having served as a Congressman from the 12th district from 1983-2001, a total of 18 years.

Kasich served as Budget Committee Chairman in the House of Representatives from 1995-2001, making him very knowledgeable on economic issues.

Kasich also has worked as a journalist, for Fox News Channel, and for awhile, had his own show on that channel, and he came across as an interesting speaker and commentator, more so than most on that right wing channel.

Kasich also worked as an investment banker on Wall Street, so has business experience, which most politicians do not have.

Kasich won a two to one victory in popular votes in his reelection efforts for the Governorship of Ohio in 2014, after a much closer race for his first term in 2010.

Kasich has an engaging personality, and has avoided divisive rhetoric in his career, and does not come across as looney or crazy or purely stupid, as many other potential GOP Presidential nominees have managed to do.

Kasich has avoided identification with the Religious Right, while converting from Catholicism to Evangelical Protestantism.

During his Congressional career, Kasich supported the Assault Weapons Ban passed under President Bill Clinton, which angered the National Rifle Association; fought to cut government spending on what he considered wasteful programs; and worked to cut corporate tax loopholes.

Kasich has always come across as having an independent streak, so he has accepted Medicaid expansion, which most other GOP governors have rejected, and he is not seen as a Tea Party supporter.

Kasich also has, just this past week, avoided attacking the immigration executive order of President Barack Obama, showing understanding of the plight of illegal immigrants, who, as he said, did wrong, but that realistically, there is no way to deport eleven million people, and instead we should bring them in from the shadows.

Kasich has made enemies on his stand against abortion, and his crackdown on labor unions, with the latter’s rights to collective bargaining curbed by Kasich, but then soundly defeated by voters in a referendum by 61-39 percent, and he then backed off and accepted the defeat in a gracious manner.

No one is saying that Kasich is desirable in comparison to any potential Democratic nominee for President. All that is being said is that he stands out as preferable to an independent or a Democrat who might be disillusioned, and that he has an image which allows for the possibility of his being a serious contender for the White House, if only he can make it past the primaries and caucuses, which is a major obstacle to any potential Presidential candidacy on his part!

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)?

John Kasich For Republican Presidential Nomination? Not To Be Overlooked!

As the Republican Party seeks a potential Presidential nominee for 2016, one that is starting to come to mind is Ohio Governor John Kasich, elected in 2010.

Kasich is a very engaging person, who served 18 years in Congress, including heading the House Budget Committee in the mid 1990s, and working for gun regulations against the wishes of the National Rifle Association. Kasich has always shown an independent streak, and also was a substitute on Fox News Channel talk shows for Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly, and briefly, had his own show, often making more sense than the typical right wing hosts on that cable channel.

Kasich has made mistakes as Governor, including the attempt to curb collective bargaining rights for labor, soundly defeated in a referendum; and rejecting funding for a high speed rail project; and his 2010 gubernatorial victory over Governor Ted Strickland was won by only 77,000 votes statewide. Like any politician, one can find weaknesses in his record and background, but he could give any Democratic Presidential nominee a good challenge, although the Democrat would still be heavily favored, ultimately, in the Electoral College.

Kasich had a business career in the first decade of the 21st century after leaving Congress, so he has had Congressional experience, business experience, and state government experience, and has decided, unlike most Republican governors, to allow expansion of Medicaid. He has also refused to align himself with the Tea Party Movement, which is in his favor.

Considering that Ohio is a true “swing ” state that could go either way in future Presidential elections, Kasich would have a good chance to perform better than many other potential GOP candidates, and considering that Ohio had six Republican Presidents from the 1870s to the 1920s, the “Buckeye” state cannot be ignored, so should Kasich win another term as Governor, he would have to be considered seriously for President, which he briefly sought in 1999 before dropping out.

Since personality and communication abilities really matter, Kasich should be in the front of the pack. Even if one does not agree with Kasich, it is hard not to like him personally, something one cannot say about many of the potential GOP Presidential candidates!

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!