Trevor Noah nails it. After the last sentence of this video, there really is nothing left to say about the conservative “solutions”.
These are my recollections of a life behind the iron curtain. I do not aim to give perfect and objective evaluation of anything, but to share my personal experiences and memories. It will explain why I just cannot get misty eyed over some ideas on the political left and why I loathe many ideas on the right.
Guns were not something one would see every day and in every household. They were indeed very, very rare. But they were not non-existent, there was some limited access to guns for the general populace and I got to see and even handle guns as a child. In fact, shooting was a skill that was positively encouraged, although gun ownership was not.
The most obvious case are hunting rifles and shotguns. I live in a small rural town, and there were plenty of gamekeepers around who were sometimes seen walking through the town with their guns slung on the shoulder whilst on the way to/from the forest. The safety requirement was for them to carry the guns unloaded and I do not remember anyone not observing this.
One gamekeeper was a leader of very small (5 people at most) local pionýr club which I attended, centered around nature and care for it. I learned a lot in that club, including how to shoot a varmint rifle. The gamekeeper took us one day far into the forest, to an inaccessible spot near a place where WW2 american aeroplane fell into bog, and he allowed us to take turns in shooting varmint rifle at a paper box hung from a tree. I still remember how my childhood bully (who was unfortunately also a member of the club) got dismayed that my shooting was better than his. But the best shot in the group was of course boy who had a gun at home.
A gun at home, you say? Impossible! Well, air guns were not illegal, although they were not cheap and easy to come by. Everybody got a chance to shoot them at some point. Shooting competitions were very common on fairs when the merry-go-rounds came into town, and they were also ubiquitous in summer camps for kids. Boys and girls were equally encouraged to learn shooting from the regime, although the general culture saw this more as a “boy’s” thing.
The regime wanted everyone to know at least the basic of how to shoot a gun, and since military service was compulsory for men, every man eventually learned how to handle firearms, including automatic and semi-automatic weapons. Not everybody got a chance to handle those weapons outside of military or People’s Militia, but in my town everybody got to see them. Because it is a border town near the iron curtain, and the border patrol was everywhere. Seeing an AK-47 was not something completely unusual, especially outside the town limits.
But getting your hands on one was more difficult. And getting your hands on ammunition even more so. The access to guns was very tightly regulated, and this had one positive outcome – no mass shootings whatsoever. When Olga Hepnarová, an infamous mass-murderer, has planned her deed, she initially wanted to either set off explosives or shoot a crowd from an automatic weapon. She learned how to shoot – which was easy – but was later forced to change her plan due to the difficulty of getting a gun and ammo So she decided to use a truck instead and managed to kill 8 and injure 12 people. American gun-nuts would no doubt use this as a proof of “guns don’t kill people, people kill people”, but to me it is a proof that gun regulations work, because there is no doubt that had she had easy access to guns, the damage she would do would be even greater.
As you might know by now, being a teacher can be “exciting”. From wrestling out of control teenagers over having misogynistic slurs hurled at me to a mother and adult brother trying to beat us up (fortunately I was in another parent-teacher talk). Still with that level of violence, there’s some things I don’t have to worry about. A big one is guns. While there have been some school shootings or massacres in Germany, the number is low, and actually yes, we’ve tightened gun laws after the first big one in 2002. The one in 2009 could only happen because the father of the shooter had disobeyed those and was subsequently convicted of manslaughter by negligence. Never say never, but absolutely don’t worry about somebody shooting up my classroom with a military style assault weapon (and no, I’m not interested in the discussion of technicalities. You all know what weapons I mean).
I am worried about knives. They’re easy to get, easy to carry and can be deadly. But my chair is a very good defensive weapon against a knife. There’s a good chance I can get my students out of the room when somebody draws a knife while I try to calm that person. There’s a good chance that I will survive the extreme case of being hurt by a knife, which gets me to another thing I don#t have to worry about:
Healthcare cost. Should I or my students get hurt , we wouldn’t have to worry about who is paying our bills. I wouldn’t need to worry about losing my job for being sick or not getting paid because I used up my “sick days”. And I wouldn’t much need to worry about people blaming me for not having had a gun and killing somebody first.
So, the ammosexual’s wet dream came true, a good guy with a gun has managed to stop a mass shooting. Yet they seem to be suspiciously quiet about it, and nobody is lauding the hero, I wonder why?
Well, the problem is, he was the wrong color and was shot to death when police arrived, because they mistook him for the miscreant.
Now I am pretty sure that the fact that the poor guy was black has played a role in the police officer’s decision to shoot first and ask questions never. No doubt the murderous police officer will see no repercussions and any mention of subconscious racial bias will be ignored. But lets put that aside for now, because the whole scenario has another problem, and one that cannot be brushed aside as “political correctness gun grabbing libtards going mad” by even the staunchest NRA stooges.
That is the problem of how policing in a state where everybody has a gun is supposed to work?
The saying “Only a good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy with a gun” was always a sham and american gun lovers know it. However I do not remember anyone ever giving an answer to the question – how are police supposed to recognise who is the good guy and who is the bad guy? Or for that matter, if a random good guy with a gun walks in on a situation of two guys guns ablaze at each other, how is he supposed to recognise who is the good guy to join and who is the baddie?
Armed society is not polite society. Armed society is dysfunctional society. The only way to stop bad guys is not allow them to get guns in the first place. Which in this case includes the police officer – one not insignificant fact about this case is that the black security guy has managed to subdue the assailant without killing him. Something the police officer did not even attempt to do.
When asked about the latest (unfortunately not last) mass shooting in USA, sheriff Geoff Dean said these words: “I don’t know if it happens more in the United States or doesn’t. I would have to read the stats.”
If that is the case, he must have lived in a cave. I wonder if he is telling the truth here, or if he is just feigning ignorance, because to find out that mass shootings are predominantly USA phenomenon takes less than a minute on google.
Further he states “If I knew the answer to that, I would do something to stop it.”, which is also bullshit. It is blatantly obvious that the easy availability of firearms in USA in combination with its violence-glorifying culture leads to this discrepancy, and anyone who takes just a few seconds to think about it honestly knows that.
But the sad truth is that this sheriff could not have done anything about it even if he honestly wanted to, because there is no legislative will in USA to enact sensible gun regulation laws for him to act on. And with SCOTUS packed with partisan conservative judges, I fear that current pace of a mass shooting nearly every day will be the defining feature of American culture for decades to come.
Well, at least in this regard”USA #1!”, a slogan so beloved by MAGAhats is true. Only it is not a good thing.
What do you think are the odds that the shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburg was performed by someone who is (listed in descending order of probability):
Also, what odds do you think are that the response from the Godawfull Old Perverts will be nothing of use or substance?
I had never heard of this lunatic before; if you’re like me, you can find an excellent rundown of “Dr. Bill” at Swallowing The Camel:
Dr. William Deagle is a physician, a prophet, a government insider/whistleblower, and one of the two witnesses described in the Book of Revelation. He knows what really happened at Columbine, the World Trade Center, and Oklahoma City. He could be the ruler of the world, but he has chosen to enlighten the masses instead. Thanks to him, the world may someday be safe from Modified Attack Baboons.
There’s a whole lot of material there, and if you search this man, there’s a whole lot of people not happy with him at all, including other christians, which was a bit of a surprise. “Dr. Bill” has had his medical license revoked at least twice, so he went into the supplement business, what else? Okay, on with the current shit pouring out from Dr. Bill.
Earlier this week on “The NutriMedical Report Show,” a radio program hosted by nutritional supplement proprietor Dr. Bill Deagle, Deagle repeatedly threatened to kill anyone who dares to harass him, President Trump, or any other conservative politician in America.
Outraged about recent incidents such as White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders being asked to leave a restaurant, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi being confronted by protesters, and Rep. Maxine Waters’ call for more such confrontations, Deagle declared that “these people need to understand, they’re not going to have a bad day, they’re going to die.”
Deagle said that if he had been on hand during the confrontation between Bondi and protesters, he would not only have pepper sprayed the protesters but “would have whipped out my concealed carry permit gun and I would have blown them away and put them in a box.”
He seems nice. It’s rather interesting how Deagle seems to think he has the perfect right to assault and murder people at will. That said, he seems to keep a cozy distance between himself and any protesters, so at this point at least, he seems to understand there would be consequences. I hope so.
“They need to understand the right is not going to be shouted down,” he said. “[If] they continue to think they are going to harass the right, these people need to understand they’re not going to have a bad day, they’re going to die.”
Right, because only one side is allowed to shout; only one side is allowed to march or protest. Everyone else needs a tank rolled over them. I get the feeling that “Dr. Bill” would be seriously at home with all aspects of Nazism.
“People need to start realizing they’re going to get a lot more than they bargained for if they want to harass us, supporters of Donald Trump and conservatism,” Deagle stated. “They’re not going to get just a little helter skelter and yelling, they’re going to get death.”
Deagle also issued a warning to Democratic candidates and lawmakers who are calling for the abolishment of the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) branch.
“We’ll ice them, how’s that?” he said. “We’ll put them on ice.”
Unfortunately, no matter how much Deagle protects himself from any action with consequences, there are people who listen to him who might not be concerned about any consequence, and that’s scary as hell. There are already enough aggrieved white men spraying bullets and murdering people. This open incitement to murder is terrifying.
“I’ve reached my limit now,” Deagle fumed. “They want to bring it on? You’re going to get a lot more than you bargained for, believe me. The destroyer is not the devil, it’s God and we’re his proxy. You want to bring it on? You’re going to bring on your own devastation and destruction. Don’t push it.”
Every day, I wish more and more that christianity would just fucking die already. Religious fanatics are frightening, and christianity is chock full of them. For all that they scream about religious fanatics on the ‘other side’, they never seem to look within their own ranks, or face up to the reality that there are a lot of scary ass christian fanatics out there not only doing a great deal of damage, but with intent to do even worse at every step of the way.
Yet more contradictory behaviour by christians. Everything, always a contradiction, with more than a sulphuric whiff of the standard christian hypocrisy.
…“I feel the Lord’s hand of protection is on you,” Howard-Browne said. “If they were going to take you out, they would have taken you out. They’re not going to touch you because of the blood of Jesus that protects you, the angels of God that encamp about you, your wife, your children, and everything that you touch.”
“I can feel God’s strength,” Jones replied. “I just can’t believe that other people don’t see it …There is no energy even like it; people don’t even know.”
Wow, check all that out! A god’s hand of protection, super-protection blood, special angels in a bodyguard encampment, and supernatural energy. All that, but y’know, you better take this gun, because…why?
After Howard-Browne declared that God is using Jones “to wake people up,” he pulled out a .45 caliber handgun and presented it to Jones as a gift.
“Preacher brings Alex Jones a .45,” Howard-Browne said. “That’s the headline for the mainstream media.”
Yes, it’s a blatant bid for attention, no question there. Still, I’d like an answer as to why someone with such supposedly powerful protection would need a gun? Don’t you trust that god? Aren’t you supposed to have faith? And what about that god’s will business? Why would you take the chance of subverting it? (And what kind of a pitiful excuse for a god could have their will so easily subverted?) What if it’s your god’s will that you get gunned down in the street, or otherwise “taken out” by someone? Oh, ye of little faith.
And is it just me, or is Jones looking rather frightened by that gun?
Christianity is not only one of the most evil religions ever dreamed up, it’s also by far the stupidest. Christianity has all the clarity of a cement block, and does that ever show. There’s a reason there are so damn many types of christianity, all of them at war with the rest. Each and every brand of christianity, over 33,000 of them, are absolutely positive they are the real, true christians. Christians happily plug up their brains about this, lacking the courage to address this big ol’ elephant in the room. If “christianity” is the real, true religion, why in the hell can’t you all agree on just what constitutes christian belief? Why the constant infighting and outfighting? Why are there always corpses on the ground when christians decide to fight over real, true christianity? The constant infighting is always on display, too. Every time I’m traveling home from town, I pass a billboard with “REAL Christians believe in Jesus’s teachings” with a phone number. Still doesn’t sink into all those brains pickled in Jesus juice, ever terrified of actual thinking.
Then there’s the bible, a pastiche of stories, most of them borrowed from earlier cultures and beliefs, badly edited time and time again, with near endless translations. Christians can’t agree on this elephant, either, but each different brand is positive their choice of translation is the real, true one. Along with being a manual on how to be the very best psychopath you can be, the bible is an exercise in contradictions and vagueness. It’s made so you can twist anything at any time, in any direction. And if there’s one thing christians excel at, it’s twisting the fuck out of an already twisted religion.
Chuck Baldwin, an independent baptist, is more than happy to contribute to the ongoing twisting.
Citing a passage from 1 Timothy, Baldwin asserted that every adult has “a duty to provide for your family, but you cannot provide protection for your family without being equipped to do so.”
Let’s take a look. 1 Timothy 5:8 reads: But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. Yeah, okay that’s pretty basic, take care of your family, with the standard threat attached. As for whether or not christians should be all wrapped up in material goods and such, it’s 1 Timothy 5:8 up against Matthew 6 31-34: Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
Oh, what’s a christian to do? Provide for yourself and yours, pay attention to material goods enough to ensure a good future, or trust Jehovah? Chuck Baldwin decides to ignore all of that in favour of twisting provide into protect.
“Therefore, you must have the means of self-defense,” Baldwin said. “And in our society today, that means a firearm in the similitude of an AR-15. Without that, you are not in a position, you are not even able to protect not just your family and your house, but your neighbors, your community around you; that we, as a community of people—that’s the militia—are given the God-given responsibility to protect our communities. That is a biblical requirement.”
Personally, I’m pretty damn sure that whole “provide for your own” business has to do with the everyday prosaic things, like shelter and food. I note that Mr. Baldwin seems to think that community and militia mean the same thing. They don’t. And while I’m grateful that Mr. Baldwin is in the next state over from me, I would not ever want some lunatic yahoo to up and decide to “protect” me with their arsenal.
And no, having guns is not a fucking biblical requirement in any way, no matter how much you twist things around to fit your personal evil. Get a slingshot, dude, worked out well for David, yeah? Or spears! You could have a whole bunch of spears. And of course, there are always swords, since you can’t seem to find your way around a weapon filled life. Mr. Baldwin is working ever so hard to turn the AR 15 biblical, and there’s a good reason for that, Mr. Baldwin’s membership and staunch support in and of the NRA. Gee, what a surprise. Mr. Baldwin is also of the the Christian Reconstructionist Constitution Party, who are in favour of repealing all federal gun laws.
If I could, I would ask Mr. Baldwin what happened to trust and faith? One thing which is biblical is trust in Jehovah; I doubt Mr. Baldwin has problems with the whole “in god we trust” business, so why would he need to be bristling with guns? Isn’t the biggest “gun” in the arsenal of a christian supposed to be prayer? O ye of little faith.
Frances Swaggart, wife of Jimmy Swaggart, has been mouthing off about the recent marches for gun control and reform, and she doesn’t like it, no sir. Ms. Swaggart did pop up with some interesting reasoning, which she claims is historical fact:
“Hitler’s regime took away guns from the people in Germany and then he herded all of those who did not like it into box cars and shipped them to concentration camps where they were enslaved, beaten, raped and murdered,” she said. “The victims didn’t fire a shot in self defense because their guns had been taken away. That’s a fact.”
“And that’s why evil people want to take the guns away from law-abiding citizens here in the United States of America,” the host opined. “Everybody says, ‘Let’s get rid of the guns.’ It’s the worst decisions that could be ever made. Get rid of the guns. No! No! No! Put God back into the schools.”
Um…how in the hell do you even address this level of wrong? I, uh, can’t even figure out where to start. Perhaps with this: if everyone was armed, maybe the time to go on a nazi shooting spree would have been before the herding into box cars? No, I just can’t do this, it all seems terribly frivolous to even address this monstrous falsity in the face of such evil. I certainly know where the evil lies in this country, and that’s with christian conservatives, who keep falling further off the cliff of lunacy. Dangerous lunacy. Unfortunately, there’s more of this, but even reading it makes me feel sick. You can read the rest at RawStory.
Master of rabid frothery Kevin Swanson is upset about guns, sort of. He can’t seem to figure out why those meddling kids are upset, but da youth is going to destroy Amerikka, yessir, just like every generation gone before them.
Radical right-wing pastor Kevin Swanson was not impressed with yesterday’s nationwide walkout in which thousands of students left school to protest gun violence in the wake of the mass shooting last month at a Florida high school, saying that the fact that the movement is being led by young people is a sign that America is under the judgment of God.
[Snips irrelevant passage from Isaiah]
“In other words, the young folks have all this revolutionary zeal but no real wisdom to govern what they are doing,” he said. “This is the result of the breaking of the commandment of God. Things are not going well with us in the land, we are not seeing things going well for tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions of people across the country largely because the massive violation of the Fifth Commandment: Honor your father and your mother.”
Oh, the same old shite argument: you don’t have experience! Taking action is one way to gain experience, Mr. Swanson, and all kids need to start somewhere. Also, I am sick to death of these self-righteous assholes acting as though all the high school students are toddlers. A good many of these young people are mere months away from legal adulthood and voting. Others are quite a few years away from that, but you don’t get to act as though they have no right to think about issues and come to a conclusion about them. As issues go, guns are an easy one. We don’t need the fucking things, they should be under strict control, if for no other reason, to prevent more young people from needlessly dying. Most of these kids are in favour of gun reform, so they don’t even want to completely take your lethal toys away. The kids are alright, they are doing the right thing. As for your commandment, did it not occur, Mr. Swanson, that the majority of these kids have parents who stand behind them one hundred percent? Parents who are proud of their children for taking action and refusing to back down?
I’ve always hated that idiotic commandment. A lot of people end up with shit parents, you know, and no, they aren’t deserving of honour, or obedience, or any other thing. When it comes to parents and children, that whole ‘honour’ business needs to work both ways. Parenting is a difficult business much of the time, but you are supposed to be raising up individuals who can think for themselves. Well, at least if you’re not an asshole christian, who is more into brainwashing and numb obedience.
“Young people need to come to grips with the fact that they have not honored their parents’ wisdom,” Swanson said. “For this, God is bringing his judgment upon these individuals and upon this nation.”
Uh huh. Perhaps you’d like to say that to the parents who have lost a child to gun violence. Seems to me that a lot of parents are embracing their children’s wisdom, and they are acting together for the greater good. They don’t want more dead children and parents lost in a lifetime of grief, which is more than I can say for you asshole christians, who think some dead kids here and there are an acceptable price to pay in order to keep your lethal toys.
Just the other day, I posted about Amerikka doing its best to reach shithole country status. Naturally, no matter how great a country truly is, there’s always the fucking idiot contingent who moans that they have higher taxes, so bad. I would be more than happy to pay taxes which went to the common good, that’s the point of taxes. Here in Ustates, taxes rarely go to the common good. They certainly don’t under the current regime. Taxes end up in the pockets of the obscenely wealthy and corrupt. Today brings you a fine example of where tax dollars in this shithole go.
The Trump administration has launched a commission at the Interior Department to promote big-game trophy hunting and the “economic benefits that result from US citizens traveling to foreign nations to engage in hunting.” The council, which will cost taxpayers $250,000 a year, is charged with making recommendations to Secretary Ryan Zinke about removing barriers to importing trophy hunting animals—such as the recently overturned ban on elephant and lion trophies from some countries—and relaxing legal restrictions on hunting and importing endangered species.
Anyone impressed by this? Anyone happy about having their pocket picked for this utterly immoral, corrupt bullshit? Wait, it gets worse.
The members of the International Wildlife Conservation Council, which is holding its first meeting Friday, include a reality-TV safari hunting guide, a former beauty queen, gun industry representatives, members and affiliates of a controversial trophy hunting group, and a veterinarian associated with an exotic animal breeding facility in Florida that sells endangered animals to roadside zoos.
“It’s really embarrassing,” says Masha Kalinina, the international trade policy specialist for the wildlife department at the Humane Society International. “I just question the qualifications of each and every one of these people. Notably missing from this trophy hunting council are legitimate representatives of the conservation community with proper scientific credentials and a record of successful conservation programs, along with wildlife law enforcement experts and biologists who have no financial stake in promoting trophy hunting.”
The council’s charter calls hunting “an enhancement to foreign wildlife conservation and survival.” Along with pushing to relax imports of trophy animals, it will also review the way the US complies with an international treaty designed to protect endangered plants and animals that guides regulation of the exotic animal trade. But the membership of the council seems heavily weighted toward people who think the best way to conserve wildlife is to kill it.
Indeed, the country’s largest trophy-hunting lobby seems to have an outsized role on the council. Of the 16 IWCC members, at least 10 have an affiliation with Safari Club International, which represents wealthy big-game hunters who often tangle with the Fish and Wildlife Service over permits to import of game trophies from overseas, particularly for endangered species. The advocacy group, with 50,000 members, frequently lobbies Congress and federal agencies to fight environmental regulations. It sued to overturn the Obama-era ban on importing elephant and lion trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia. The Trump administration ended the ban earlier this month, despite the president’s earlier objections and comments that elephant hunting is a “horror show.”
Those members include Walter Palmer, the Minnesota dentist and asshole extraordinaire who killed Cecil the Lion.
The principal deputy director of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Greg Sheehan, who is effectively running the agency in the absence of a congressionally confirmed director, oversees the IWCC. He is an SCI member and attended the group’s convention in Las Vegas last month when it awarded its “professional hunter of the year” honors to a South African man who has been fined for leading hunts of endangered black rhinos.
It gets much worse from there. It’s a sickening read, and its symptomatic of the rot spreading out like gangrene from the current regime to poison everything. Those people who want to point to higher taxes in other countries, countries which provide healthcare, free education, and many other benefits to their citizens, you need to shut the fuck up when tax dollars here go to such evil, corrupt enterprise.
Mother Jones has the full story, with all the relevant links, and you can read about all the members of this “council”.