Day: April 19, 2010

Tea Party and Militia Right Wing Extremism On Display! :(

Today was the anniversary of Oklahoma City, and right wing gun toting militias and Tea Party activists were demonstrating in Arlington, Virginia, fully armed, and in the District of Columbia without arms because of DC restrictions. There were also demonstrations all over the country by people seeing conspiracy, and concerned about “internment camps”, and spouting racism in many cases, unwilling to accept the Obama Presidency as legitimate.

All kinds of wacky statements were made by so called “preachers” and right wing radicals across the country, including former Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo stating that we needed to send Barack Obama back to his “homeland”, Kenya; and Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann referring to the Obama Administration as the “gangster” government in a weekend speech. Recently, Sarah Palin spoke about “reloading” to promote and protect basic constitutional rights.

The failure of these politicians to realize that they are helping to create and light the fuse of potential violence, and to create a toxic political atmosphere is extremely disturbing. Talk radio and Fox News Channel also continue to encourage propaganda and lies to further their agenda of making it impossible to unify the nation around anything the Obama Administration proposes, or attempts to accomplish.

And when Rush Limbaugh asserts that the Iceland volcanic ash is God’s way of punishing America and the world for the passage of the Health Care Reform legislation, what can one say except that rhetoric is becoming more ridiculous and loony! There is absolutely no sense of responsibility or culpability in Limbaugh or other talk show hosts realizing the deleterious effect they have on millions of easily manipulated listeners and watchers who could be provoked to disastrous actions that we would all mourn, if god forbid they were to happen! 🙁

Arizona And Gun Rights Gone Mad! :(

Arizona is trying to promote itself as the “Wild, Wild West”, based on its latest state legislative action!

Already allowing a person with a permit to take a gun into a restaurant or bar serving alcohol as long as the establishment doesn’t prohibit it and the person is not drinking alcohol, now the governor, Jan Brewer, the successor to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, has signed a bill making Arizona the third state allowing people to carry a concealed weapon without requiring a permit. Napolitano had vetoed similar gun legislation when she was Governor until 2008.

Governor Brewer is, seemingly, more concerned about a person’s gun rights under the Second Amendment than concern over gun safety. Only Alaska and Vermont allow the same thing as this legislation in Arizona.

The problem is that people over the age of 21 will not have to undergo background checks and take classes, as are now required under the present law. Are people at that young age really mature enough and responsible enough to have no controls or checks on their ownership of guns?

There is concern that there will be more gun violence, and that people will accidentally discharge guns because of lack of education on firearm safety. Also, people under stress will be more likely to fire weapons and injure bystanders with stray bullets.

Can the average 21 year old be trusted to know how to use a weapon safely? Many have doubts about this. And with more than 150,000 people having permits now to carry concealed weapons, it is thought many more will now have it without the need for a permit.

Forty five states require permits for concealed weapons, with only two–Illinois and Wisconsin–completely banning hidden guns.

Arizona received public attention last year when a citizen carried a weapon openly at a protest in Phoenix near where President Obama was speaking to a gathering.

On this, the 15th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing by Timothy McVeigh, this new legislation signed a few days ago is alarming, and portends violence on the level of the Columbine Massacre or the Virginia Tech Massacre.

When gun rights are more significant than public safety, we are playing literally, with a “loaded weapon”. God help us as we face an era of growing gun violence, including against our own government! 🙁