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TYPO ALERT: Printz was 1997, as I have corrected it, not 1991, as I just this second sent out. Sorry about that!

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And now the NRA has filed for bankruptcy? Is this true? And why (really)? Is this a "whole 'nother topic"? I found myself wishing it was part of this article

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Yes, they are trying to escape consequences in the corruption investigation of them in NY.

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Yes, they have. It's easily searchable. They plan on moving their HQ to Texas.

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Let’s not forget the NRA’s Russian funding off DJT during the 2016 election, or Maria Butina either. Millions and millions of dollars poured in.

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I have a good friend who made that connection - the Russian tap got turned off and the NRA dried up. Who else might dry up if Russia's spigot is closed off?

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A former Russian Central Banker, Alexander Torshin ( a wanted man in Spain and Europe for all kinds of financial Crimes, Laundering, bribes, etc), with the help of Red Sparrow of an intelligence agent Maria Butina, infiltrate the NRA, with the disguise/cover as a foreign grad student and founder of an organization for a gun rights Russia that doesn't really exist, "Right to Bear Arms" of Russia. So, she is sleeping around with Republican donors and operatives like Paul Ericson-SD, and dirty old men to get both kompromat and to infiltrate the NRA leadership and donors, she is "eyes, ears, and insurance" to make sure Torshin's donations go to the right Republican PAC to the right Republican Candidates. Can you think of anything more sleezy, corrupt, unpatriotic, and illegal? Or is it legal for Foreigner's to donate to the NRA without disclosure and funnel to PACS of the NRA's choosing. As if that money doesn't come with strings attached. It really makes we wonder now about Joe Manchin's cozy relationship the NRA. Show me the money trail Senator Manchin, otherwise we know who owns your ass.

https://www.argusleader.com/story/news/politics/2018/07/18/maria-butina-connected-south-dakota-man-russia-nra/795796002/

https://www.npr.org/2019/05/10/721763041/exclusive-documents-detail-meetings-of-russians-with-treasury-federal-reserve

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleksandr_Torshin

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maria_Butina

https://www.npr.org/2019/05/10/721763041/exclusive-documents-detail-meetings-of-russians-with-treasury-federal-reserve

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My brother is very upset about their moving. He got great pleasure in giving the middle finger every time he drove past the building to and from work!

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Of course, his finger must have developed arthritis or some such thing.

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They could have dissolved and gone into the dark night while they looked for more dark money!

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Let's take over the NRA and keep it in Washington? Or Alaska? Or New Hampshire? Or Nevada? Ha, or maybe Delaware?

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Put the NRA where it belongs -- in a Russian oblast.

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They are in bed with Putin anyway. See Maria Butina.

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Ignore the sex ( maria butina) follow the Money (Alexander Torshin)

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I think she became infamous for a bit of both. My impression isn't that she was seducing a bunch of NRA folks, more like being the attractive supporter in all the pictures they took. As I recall, she was working with Torshin.

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I would have claimed the "1" was just a poorly typed "7". ;-)

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SUBSTACK NEEDS AN EDIT FUNCTION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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I thought so too, but it makes us a little more reflective and disciplined to proof read ourselves, & not rely on the spell checker so much!

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I may get some flack for this, but I disagree with lowering the flag every time we have a mass shooting. It's like prayers and condolences from members of Congress and state legislatures yet nothing ever happens to fix the problem. It is meaningless and is like yelling fire until no one pays any attention. Why doesn't the Congress fund mental health initiatives instead? With a couple of thousand a day dying of COVID we should have the flag at half staff permanently. Let's celebrate the lives that will be saved if the Congress would get off its duff and do the right thing.

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I don't mind lowering the flag; it's a sign of respect. What I do mind, a lot, is DOING NOTHING to limit violence through gun control. It's yet another instance where the GQP shows contempt for American opinion and public safety in appeasing its corporate donors.

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It is hollow respect when they don't do anything.

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Hollow indeed, in truth it is pathetic.

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I posted this elsewhere, pardon the repetition: https://www.cbsnews.com/video/olivia-munn-speaks-out-on-anti-asian-racism-importance-of-representation-in-hollywood/

Listen to the exchange about lowering the flag starting at about 1:51.

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and appeasing who else? Collecting data on gun violence would be most helpful; removing assault weapons would advance the cause; making high-capacity ammunition unavailable would be most helpful.

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And not doing anything to stop it is a clear insult to those who paid the ultimate price. As an aside here .......it also helps in the UK that the local policeman is not himself a constant bearer of guns......like the people he is there to serve. Time to get back to the notion that our police forces are there to serve the people and not just the governments that employ them and pay them with our money.

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Yes. Demilitarize the police and divert some resources to community efforts to help people.

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Yes but demilitarize the gangs etc by the same token and concentrate a great deal more intelligence and intuition into their ranks and procedures and thus massively improve their effectiveness in protecting the people from those with criminal intent

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The issue of militarized gangs has nothing to do do with mass shootings. Mass shooters are walking into gun shops/gun shows as allegedly law abiding citizens and buying weaponry designed to kill. They are not gang members. Mass shooters are the kid next door or the retiree or the disgruntled employee. Their targets are people going about their daily lives going to school, the movies, shopping, concerts, whatever.

Stuart, the word gang is code for a non-whites who commit group violence. I mean really, when was the last time you heard the word gang used when referring to a group of organized, violent whites And when the US, specifically, sanctions the general population owning assault weapons how are you going to demilitarize a "gang"? Or the "God fearing", homeschooling, survivalist "family" (gang) armed to the teeth? Or the Proud Boys (gang), The 3 Percenters. (gang)? Or the Bundy family (gang).

What the US says is this: if you're white and a member of a private militia/group (gang) you can own any weapon you want. If you're a white individual, even one with a history of mental illness or violence, you can own any weapon you want. Don't tell me what laws are on the books because they're not being enforced. And honest to God, after all this time, don't you think US Americans could face the truth about ourselves as a culture?

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Dang, Daria. Truth.

We also need to come to terms with the media's (including the internet) use of violence and constant killing in our entertainment venues. Those of us in the psych fields, particularly with adolescents in the past 25 years, have seen epic rises in mental health issues— depression, anxiety, self-harm, mental cruelty towards each other and suicide rates sky-rocketing. The damaging effects on families and addictions. Our youth are needing to be medicated, or self-medicate to live on this planet. We need systemic change [everything].

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We do need change. We live in a time where violence has become rationalized and accepted as just a part of life. Except if course when it boils over. And in your field you see the impact at a granular level.

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Perhaps we notice it more when the rise is among adolescents because youth should be a hopeful time - but I think (with no stats or articles to prove this - pure gut feeling) the constant news of violence and killing is damaging us all. I know that among my own friends (old folks) self-medication has been necessary since our own youths. Today's Letter reminds me of how much we have slid backward since the Reagan years. Certainly, there was a lot of historic and continuing racism before that time, so I'm not trying to put any kind of MAGA spin on the past, but the Movement Conservatives have spread the abuse to just about everyone not in the upper echelons of their corporate dream world. Man, I'm depressed today - along with many of you, I know!

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Penelope, I guess I should have read through this entire thread before posting my comments on the differences between British and American TV shows.........😊

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"It (NRA) backed ... parts of the 1968 Gun Control Act, designed to stop what seemed to be America’s hurtle toward violence in that turbulent decade."

That would be when the Black Panther Party took up firearms to protect themselves and the black community.

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Bingo. Because you can't have Black Americans protecting themselves and their communities.

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Daria I would also add that the overwhelming majority of killings in these situations are of women and girls. Women and girls are targeted in spousal murder in overwhelming numbers as well. The only time the "balance" between male and female dead occurs is when the shooter is just randomly opening fire, as occurred in Las Vegas for instance. And yet that is not part of the conversation.

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I agree 100%.

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Why are gun shows even allowed anymore? As far as I know we don’t hold annual poison fairs.

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Gun shows were invented long before assault rifles, by a treasured culture of hunters and sportspeople (okay, men). Ban assault rifles. Go back to the NRA's original goal of promoting safety.

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Perhaps we could consult Socrates about that one.

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Unless you’re not counting deep fried ice cream:)

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Good question.

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We need a reply icon for "agree and don't like it".

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Not sure that a Dislike option is a good idea. It allows us to express a wider range of views more succinctly. But it also increases negativity and tends to promote bickering or ad hominem remarks. LFAA discussions are admirably civil compared to other fora; we don't want to lose that.

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Agree.

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“Face the truth about ourselves...? Now that would be revolutionary.

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I entirely agree Daria but i was trying to find a succinct way of expressing the daily grind of the police officer. Mass shootings are more and more frequent of course for the reasons that you evoke but they are hardly in the daily experience of the individual policeman. The influence that the issue has on his daily routine is fear, fear of what reaction he'll get from the family quarrel that has been reported or the store getting robbed never mind reports of wifebeating.

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I understand what you're saying. And I understand that a law enforcement officer faces potential danger every time they go on shift. In fact, right before Christmas, a dear friend's son in law was shot in the face during a routine traffic stop. He is recently back on the job. If I believed in such things I'd say it's a miracle. The issue is this: unbridled, uncontrolled "legal" gun ownership. And not one or two guns but dozens of guns. Frankly, I think mass shootings in the US, depending on what definition one uses, are far more prevalent than you imagine.

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A lot of White people Need to look at themselves in the Mirror, and Ask themselves some Very Important questions!!!

AND BE HONEST with themselves!!!!!🤔😣

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I find I need to do that over and over again as I learn.

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Yes.

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Daria, you rock! Beautifully put.

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Thanks, Linda!

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Morning, Daria...and YES, ma'am!!

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Morning, Lynell!

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Thank you, Daria.

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The Lone Ranger, but modern versions

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Another option is to make a distinction between situations that require armed police - like dealing with active shooters - and all the tasks now delegated to police that could better be done by unarmed persons trained for the task: helping people who are homeless, or having a mental health crisis, or driving with a broken tail light. Split off all the second type. It’s already done in many suburbs and it works well.

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I couldn’t agree more. Jobs that no one wants to do have been dropped onto the police. Many calls the police get are really mental health calls. Police should not have to deal with those calls. The police should not be outfitted like a military force either. Police are not meant to go to war with citizens. None of these reforms can take place without a good government, training, money and lots of time and patience. But who has patience anymore?

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exactly. The police de-militarized. Re-frame policing to advocacy and protectors rather than offensive forces.

And mental health professionals to address mental health issues.

Cops, by and large, are full of fear. [Sorry, Ally, but, you know, white male fragility] Re-educate toward community work, safety education, poverty elimination, resident in community.

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AND so important, the ability to see & UNDERSTAND the difference!

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Intelligence plus intuition. Excellent combination.

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There wouldn’t be so many gangs if there were more good paying employers who would not hire gang members.

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Perhaps they feel that being a "gang member" says something about their character that they don't need in their shop to promote internal harmony and cohesion.

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Yes, but my understanding of how the police became militarized is that a small number of men robbed a bank somewhere in Southern California, likely near Los Angeles, in the late 1970s, but I could be off by half a decade(?). when the police arrived with the robbery still in progress, they found themselves massively outgunned. The result was the beginning of the rapid growth of SWAT teams. The increasing militarization is likely the cause of further distancing in attitudes between police and civilians. The first SWAT teams, likely not called that then, date back to the 1960s and drug gangs, but what exists now seems almost a whole new culture.

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This may be sort of off topic, but not entirely, as it speaks to cultures. I watch a lot of British TV mysteries and what could be characterized as crime shows, I guess (Unforgotten, Shetland, etc.), and one thing that I find jarring when I then see American cop shows is that in American TV, they are ALWAYS running forward, guns drawn, or rolling a vehicle or blowing something up. In British shows, you almost never even SEE a gun, let alone garish explosions and such. Apparently, seeing things blown up, shot up, burned up, is what American audiences want. Not this audience. Give me a plot line that makes sense and forget the pyrotechnics, thank you.

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Sandra I am also a fan of British cop shows and I love the fact that they are focused less on violence being met by more violence, as in US cop shows. However, they are just as fictional as US cop shows. Alas. The British Constabulary is racist, sexist, prone to violence, and they feel enormously entitled. The fact that most are not licensed to carry firearms is a good thing because I would fear what a British beat cop might do if he were allowed to carry, especially in cities (Manchester, Leeds, Bradford, Liverpool, Bristol . . .) where there are large immigrant populations pitted against financially straitened white working class residents. The stalking, abduction, and murder of a woman in South London by a London cop, which happened a couple weeks ago and precipitated a series of mass demonstrations that the government is all het up about (because, y'know, women being uppity makes British men super nervous), is shocking but I suspect also not all that unusual: British cops are just as prone to corruption and abuse as US cops.

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Linda, for sure, people are people everywhere. I was painting in broad strokes, obviously. And yes, on both sides of the Pond, they are fiction. No doubt the fiction of believing the British are more 'civilized' has been proven wrong multiple times over, especially as more of the truth of colonialism has come to the fore. I'm sure the prejudices that seem more prevalent now have always been there. What, perhaps, has changed is the extent to which they are tolerated or even encouranged.

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But British cops are not as deadly.

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In US cop/detective shows EVERYBODY has a weapon (good guys and bad guys). Most of the British shows I watch don't seem to "give" a weapon to both sides...as I remember

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I agree with your POV. I also read very little US Crime/Mystery fiction for the same reason. I'm not saying that "offshore" crime/mystery fiction is glib and lovely but I find much of it better conceived and better written. Maybe I'm a snob though...

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Intelligent deduction everytime...yeh!

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Right there with you, Sandra, as to British cop shows!

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I am with you on all that, Sandra.

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We have a Congress that has been infiltrated by some members who have never known what it is to be loyal to this country. Money and power continues to be what influences them. It is a pretty simple equation and a very old one.

Our police forces are very militarized and need to return to the days of protect and serve. That sentiment encompasses all that a community police force needs to motivate them in every small town and large city in the United States.

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They used to be called Peace Officers in my hometown of 7,000 in the 1950s. I e often wondered if the loss of so many men in WWII had anything to do with the crime rate after the war.

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The Republicans in Congress DO NOT want government to work for ordinary people. During the past 4 years, they passed tax cuts and confirmed judges and very little else. They do not care about regular people except at election time. We are talking about people who would not take up meaningful gun legislation after small children and teachers were murdered in Sandy Hook. Legislation that helps ordinary people does not get support from the “Haves” party, which currently uses the name Republican.

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Lowering the flag is simply a gesture of condolence from America. It has no political meaning. Communities often offer food, cards, flowers to neighbors grieving for the loss of a loved one. It is not much, but it simply says America and our neighbors care about your sorrow. Let's not pummel such gestures of condolence. Let it be.

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Let's send the families flowers then or a personal note from their representative. Lowering the flag every time a mentally ill gunman sneezes dilutes any sense of sincere condolences from my perspective.

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Lowering the flag is a simple gesture of respect— it’s the least we can do.

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Yes, you could send the families your personal condolences. Condolences are about the bereaved, not the gunman.

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These days it feels like we are in perpetual National mourning.

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And today I'm wondering if we are also in a state of perpetual PTSD. I find myself now thinking the awful "what if" I go to the grocery store and I see someone in the parking lot carrying a "long gun." That's as much a part of my current reality as I felt the first time I entered a theater after Aurora and the first time I gathered with others (pre-pandemic) for a concert after Las Vegas. And why I don't feel safe anywhere - church, restaurants, stores, walking down the sidewalk, driving under an overpass, etc. It's not just Covid; it's because of where I live and all the open carry white supremacists here...white men wearing fatigues driving pickup trucks with oversized wheels, waving their confederate flags. Before the pandemic, I had returned from the grocery and a friend was helping me unload the bags out of my car when we heard a series of blasts about a block away. He, being a Marine and recognizing the sound instantly, pushed me down and then dragged me into the house and told me to shelter away from windows. That's my life now; always being on "alert" for the possibility that someone else will go off "half cocked" as they say. It's like living on the edge while being "safe" inside one's own home.

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yes, in truth, there is no safe space

IMHO, that is a sobering realization

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To do nothing would be worse. At least the acts are recognized and it serves to remind the radical gun rights people this is a result of their insistence in allowing anyone to own a weapon of mass destruction.

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Not to say that funding mental health initiatives is bad, because I'm certainly all in favor of doing more for people wrestling with mental health issues, but I feel it's not relevant. We talk about mental health when we have another and yet another mass shooting ad infinitum because we are unwilling or incapable of talking about guns. Sorry to borrow the bromide, but mental health problems don't kill (other) people --with rare exceptions-- guns kill people.

People wrestling with mental illness are far less dangerous to others than the general public, statistically.

That said, it is fascinating that we elect folks to Congress who do not enact workable solutions to a uniquely American problem, the misuse of guns. These mass murders are predictable and they not only have in common that their perpetrators are almost universally white men but that they are universally carried out by gunfire. What do we not 'get' about that reality?

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Yes, my motto right now is "Re-elect No One". If they aren't going to do anything or the don't work well with others to come up with solutions, they shouldn't be there. I do have a few exceptions to this motto, but none of them have an R by their name even if I would vote for them personally. I'm not voting for anyone supporting the Republican party at any level in government as long as it is the party of hate, violence, lies, etc etc.

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Yes, I agree with you. We need both. Assault weapons and its ammunition is meant to kill, nothing less. Also, as Heather pointed out, if we read the Constitution as originalists "bear arms" means be part of a well-regulated militia. The gun manufacturers wouldn't even spend a nickel on a known trigger problem allowing the gun to fire when unintended that killed several people including children but they'll spend millions and millions on lobbying the Congress to do nothing. I'd like states to start requiring insurance on guns like we do for automobiles... and make assault weapons unaffordable. Our country as a whole needs some lessons in mental wellness with all the people gullible to conspiracy theories, etc. There is, also, helping men feel better about themselves so they don't have to carry a big weapon so they don't feel small in other ways. At least with President Biden, he is sincere about his condolences to people.

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Insurance on guns is a tremendous notion. But there is a serious problem with tiny penises.

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It’s societal mental health at issue not that of individuals. I struggle to put words together in the way so many excel at here in this forum, but we need to pay far more attention to experts who have studied these things. I’m not the historian or academic, as so many are here, and so I may just be less informed, but I find myself wondering why there is not more mention of work done by Robert Jay Lipton, William Reich, the field of psychohistory (“Psychohistory derives many of its concepts from areas that are perceived to be ignored by conventional historians and anthropologists as shaping factors of human history, in particular, the effects of parenting practice and child abuse.[2] According to conventional historians "the science of culture is independent of the laws of biology and psychology".[3] and "[t]he determining cause of a social fact should be sought among social facts preceding and not among the states of individual consciousness".[4]

Psychohistorians, on the other hand, suggest that social behavior such as crime and war may be a self-destructive re-enactment of earlier abuse and neglect; that unconscious flashbacks to early fears and destructive parenting could dominate individual and social behavior.[5][6]”-from Wiki

And I would add there is very good work being done today (Bruce Perry to name just one) on the way towards a healthier society. We can also go all the way back to Margaret Mead’s study of indigenous cultures. There are many here in this community that have given voice to the way forward being thru love. People bathed in love as children cannot fathom the impoverishment and abuse that many children are dealt in their formative years unless they see it up front and in their face.

Did Trump have a mental “illness” or is he mentally unwell? I think we are justifiably sensitive about the label of “ mental illness”, but I feel like we have to find the words and ways to converse about how we get to a more humane humanity and Trump and friends are humanely unwell. I have to say I’m pretty confident that problem lies within their brains, so what else should we call it. An earnest question.

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Yes, Indeed, indeed!

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My wife says poking these issues is like poking a fire ant hill. We are all about to get stung. I see this as the ultimate death struggle in zero sum gamesmanship. The Republican leadership will use this issue to fill their coffers and reinvigorate their dying culture. What a sad way to spend our time.

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those fire ants ain't a joke. We used to call them 'piss aints' in LA [lower Alabama].

I agree about getting stung, but poking is essential. Alerting our congressional creatures is critical.

We represent at least 100 folks when we take action to communicate to congress.

We actually do have leverage, aka power.

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The most effective way to kill fire ants is to use the two-step method: baiting and mound drench. The first step involves using bait to kill the queen and other worker ants deep in the colony. The second step is to use insecticide for targeted treatments on the mounds.

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CBS This Morning interviewed Olivia Munn. Here is what she said about the President lowering the flag for the Asian Community. (Slide over to about the 1:50 time) https://www.cbsnews.com/video/olivia-munn-speaks-out-on-anti-asian-racism-importance-of-representation-in-hollywood/

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Powerful. I can certainly understand why especially in this case the lowering of the flag is so important. Thanks for the link.

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Wow. Thanks for this. Opened my eyes, and heart. Which means I'm crying again. So powerful.

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Lowering the flag without accomplishing any gun safety, while using political and government power to protect an increasingly violent gun culture and industry is more propaganda and misinformation. Our courts don't offer any protection when Americans try to hold those who proliferate guns responsible for their participation. The tobacco industry was not given this kind of protection.

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The flag was never meant to accomplish gun safety. Lowering the flag is a gesture of respect for the bereaved. Don’t overshadow the purpose of lowering the flag with a political purpose. Not to object to your point, though. That should be addressed, just not by the lowered flag.

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I hear ya, Cathy, but I disagree. Symbols are important. But we need more symbols and more ceremonies that display and share our grief for the loved and lost. We need a national act of solidarity with the victim's families. We need a collective act of sorrow for the lost; and to demonstrate our collective disgust for the NRA and those elected leader's who profess we can not do anything about gun violence. We need bigger, not smaller symbols and ceremonies to force the change we deserve.

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Ted, I agree.

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Yes to yo, Ted

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For some folks lowering the flag is an emotional outlet that helps them grieve. It is difficult to deny that outlet.

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Yes, I hear you. Asian-Americans felt like they were finally a recognized group with the flag at half staff for the mass shooting in Georgia. What are we going to do when nothing is being done and the flag is at half staff every day with a mass shooting? Just leave it down all the time? Is the country going to be in mourning all the time? Depressing.

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My favorite quote of Wallace Stegner's (or, one of my favorite quotes of his) is, I suspect, one of his least quoted: "When the West fully learns that cooperation, not rugged individualism, is the quality that most characterizes and preserves it, then it has a chance to create a society to match its scenery."

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Without local cooperation they wouldn't have survived in the West; the "indian" wars, their agricultural inanities and the climate would have driven them back across the Mississippi. An excellent example of what happens without that sense of "being in this together" are the early attempts at settlement on the James River in Virginia where each scion of wealthy English families was in it for himself and not there to ensure that the community had food to eat. Counter examples of how "cooperation" saved the very lives of the new communities can simply be found in the cooperation accorded the "pilgrim" settlements in New England where they died of hunger without the Native population feeding them......think on that the next time you celebrate Thanksgiving!

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Stegner was brilliant and poignant.

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Everything is so tied up in big money. I think I know how the commoners felt under the lords and ladies of old; powerless. And to know that this is one more thing we can tie to the legacy of Ronald Reagan?Trickle-down economics, demolished social safety nets, and unfettered rights to own and carry guns; all are weapons of mass destruction in terms of the harm they have caused.

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Heather's review of the history of gun ownership in America, the Second Amendment, the NRA, etc. pretty much corresponds with what I remember. For me the most disturbing part of the story is how the gun industry and the NRA and movement conservatives managed to convince even the SCOTUS that the clear English in the Second Amendment is about personal gun rights, not about a well-regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State. Clearly the right to a gun was dependent on the need for the militia, which made sense when the USA did not maintain a standing army. Well, now we have a standing army (big time), and no need whatsoever for private individuals to have guns or "bear" arms, as intended by the founders.

The most frustrating thing about this issue is how easy it should be to find a working compromise, but the Right has always used its slippery slope argument that somehow sensible gun laws would infringe on the rights of law-abiding hunters and fearful people wanting to keep a small revolver in the bedside table for home defense. This is clearly not true, both could be accommodated while making mass murders with semi-automatic M-16 clones extremely difficult to accomplish, especially by deranged young men.

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David I agree, but I do disagree with calling these men "deranged." They are acculturated to believe that "having a bad day" is a reasonable excuse to go on a killing spree. Moreover, BIPOC who own guns are far more likely to be killed by the police, who consider the 2nd Amendment to refer only to white people, than to be coaxed away from the killing fields and treated with kid gloves, as occurred in Georgia and, even if wounded, in Boulder. It most certainly occurred in Wisconsin when the teenager (who should not have owned a gun in the first place) killed protestors--and is now being hailed as a hero by the Trumpista Party and other despicables. I am not using their names, btw, because that gives these poster children for toxic masculinity a platform.

Way back in 2002, Michael Moore's film Bowling for Columbine produced a statistic: there are far more guns in Canada per capita than in the USA. Yet the number of homicides in Canada, the number of mass shootings, the killing of (usually female) spouses and children is a fraction--even per capita (taking into account the smaller population overall)--than in the USA. The question is not why is Canada equally awash with guns but not awash with mass murders. The question is why the USA and its alleged legislators (I refuse to call these grotesqueries who occupy so many public offices in the US anything more than alleged) have normalized the idea that mass murder, spousal murder, child killing are all merely the "reasonable" fallout for the "right to bear arms."

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Hello Linda,

We are clearly on the same side of this issue and I agree our racist, misogynist and pervasively violent American culture - such as it is - contributes to the likelihood that a few of our young men will become deranged, take advantage of the ease with which almost anyone can purchase the semiautomatic equivalent of an M16 ( the military version can be fired on automatic) and express their derangement by killing a lot of people very quickly. Having learned to shoot an M 16 back in basic training in 1972, I am actually surprised that the young man in the Boulder King Soopers was only able to kill 10 people and not 20 or 30; that's how deadly these $500 weapons are. In fact, considering how many military-style weapons are floating around in our society, and how many unhappy people in our winner-take-all-screw-the-hindmost economy there must be, It surprises me we do not have even more mass killing than we do.

Of course I agree with you that our police tend to summarily kill BIPOC in the kind of situations in which they make an effort to arrest Whites, that our society is shot through with - in fact, founded on - racism, misogyny, xenophobia and unwarranted feelings of cultural superiority (otherwise known as exceptionalism) and that the Trumpistas appear to revel in it .

I also agree that "Bowling for Columbine" gives important insight into the USA's gun problem and is an excellent documentary film, but gun laws have become stricter in Canada since 2002 in response to an increase in gun violence there, too. Nevertheless, it continues to be a far less violent and more democratic country than ours.

In any case, when I use the word "derangement" I am not thinking of someone who is merely having a bad day (however you want to define it) but more of someone who is living in an unimaginable existential black hole and who sees no alternative but to commit suicide and, unfortunately, make a statement and be remembered. I doubt any of these killers thinks of his own problem(s) as simply a bad day, and I imagine the police spokesman in Atlanta who suggested this was the case for last week's mass murderer has heard from his superiors, if not been fired. At least I hope so.

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I wonder what kind of prolific guns Canadians own. Was there any specificity on that stat?

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I saw the film almost 20 years ago so I cannot remember the numbers he used, but he did have solid stats on this AND he interviewed a bunch of Canadians (including gun owners) about what it was that made Canada different in their opinion. It was one of the most interesting parts of the film for me--obviously, since it has stayed with me for 20 years!

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Michael Moore posted the entire movie, Bowling for Comunbine for free viewing today:

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=274662174031394&id=100044628390313

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wow, just watched it. Mr. Moore is a really smart and provocative man. I remember Roger and Me--a sign for rabbits for sale read

pets or meat

the followup was a movie called Pets or Meat

Kind of a resonant dichotomy.

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This whole attempt to convince Americans of the “right” of toddlers to shoot their siblings dead (“tragic but you can’t limit guns”)has been an effective attack in the very sanity of this country.

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To say the least!

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Time to fix the SC too.

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I agree, and there are even a few "anachronisms" in more urgent need of reform than the Second Amendment, specifically the Electoral College and the 2-Senators-per-state clauses. Let's have a real representative democracy.

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To quote the bard "Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more..." Follow dear old Henry V!

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To quote the late, great T. H. Palmer:

'Tis a lesson you should heed,

If at first you don't succeed,

Try, try again;

Then your courage should appear,

For if you will persevere,

You will conquer, never fear

Try, try again;

Once or twice, though you should fail,

If you would at last prevail,

Try, try again;

If we strive, 'tis no disgrace

Though we do not win the race;

What should you do in the case?

Try, try again

If you find your task is hard,

Time will bring you your reward,

Try, try again

All that other folks can do,

Why, with patience, should not you?

Only keep this rule in view:

Try, try again.

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As long as you take the lesson from the new "gafa" management bible...failures are important as long as you realize quickly that you are on the wrong track, analyze why you failed and change your strategy accordingly ...to win!

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Hey, thanks, I just learned a new acronym. GAFA! nice.

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Stuart, I'm not a reader of management bibles, but everyone fails sometime. The important thing is to learn from it. And in any case, we Americans are winners, right? Well, sometimes.....

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This article by Heather is the single most excellent and informative summary of this subject that I have ever seen. The only piece of info I would add is how many weapons are estimated to be in private hands in the United States. I would be willing to bet that the privately owned weapons in the USA outnumber all the rest of the privately owned weapons in the world.

I live in a rural county in California. This is not the Bay Area or Los Angeles. Every person I know who owns one weapon owns a small arsenal.

Heather doesn’t mention the politics of gun ownership aside from the lone cowboy myth, which of course is a huge part of it. But another huge item is fear of the government. Every person I know who owns their own weapons, meaning their own arsenal, is paranoid about the possibility of a government takeover.

Now in an ideal world, the government is us. But in most of the world, the government is power-hungry autocrats. Military dictatorship in Myanmar. Putin‘s Russia. et al

When Germany first became free of the monarchy after World War I, they had no experience with democracy. Hitler entered the vacuum. One thing that many people know about Hitler’s Germany: he required gun registration. If you register guns, you know where they are. If guns are unregistered, they are an unknown quantity.

Now maybe people think I’m being silly or over the top. But I’m giving it to you the way these people see it. And they are not all Trumpsters nor even necessarily Republicans. What they share, even if they have different ideologies or political leanings, is a concern about their personal safety and their family’s safety. Sometimes a spout the rhetoric about hunting and rural living, the need for weapons in that environment. And of course that need is there. But that doesn’t explain the ownership of military grade weapons, weapons that are only designed for killing people.

I see both sides. Before I met my wife, I had experience with weapons in the Boy Scouts, target shooting only, and experiences with my neighbors and associates. Considering the threat posed by so many autocratic militaries and militias and governments and powermongers, I don’t think it’s ridiculous to have an arsenal. How would Nazi Germany have been different if every other Jewish household, like so many rural Western households, had a small arsenal hiding in various places in their homes? What if the Rohingya, and the schools in Nigeria, were all armed to the teeth?

I am a pacifist. TPJ might well take offense to this line of argument, because he is also an avowed pacifist like I am. TC on the other hand is a military expert and I’m sure is not allergic to weapons.

Are we safe in this country from coercion by a government authority or our own military or National Guard? I think so. But in most countries in the world, no.

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Powerful arguments, but I still would like to see these mass shootings go the way of the dodo. Most gun owners are not crazy. But it is crazy to defend the rights of lunatics to own guns. It is crazy to oppose background checks.

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It’s also crazy to keep the Dickey amendment in place and forbid CDC from research on gun deaths and accidents.

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And the arsenals of military weapons they accrue could be used as evidence of their loss of a grip on reality...

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". . . go the way of the dodo." From your lips . . .

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What good would any guns do against a government armed with bombs, jets, drones, nukes, ad infinitum? Best we arm ourselves with democracy, coalitions, voting and all the "armaments" of a free society. That includes a reckoning with cowboy mentality and the entitlement some believe is their right to the detriment of others'. We really need to rethink our tacit approval of some ignorant mean brutes as being heroes. Presently, this column is the best defense we little folk have; insight and understanding so we can become aware of insidious treachery before it becomes malignant.

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Yes! I like the way you think!

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People in countries who have reason to be paranoid about government restriction of individual freedoms by way of direct experience, as in Europe, have not responded with acquisitions of individual arsenals, nor with a paucity of laws for gun safety. The rise of underground militias and neo-Nazis is another matter.

As the Biden Administration policies, programs, and laws become enacted—by We The People making our voices heard loudly and in numbers—the paranoia of the arsenal keepers will subside.

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Many will remain firmly in the clutch of the propaganda that spews distrust for socialists, academics, science, truth, equality. They must protect themselves from the evil boogiemen. There has been decades of building mistrust and outright hate for our neighbors. Guns in the hands of these arrogant, entitled brainwashed pricks looking for boogiemen to shoot will be deathly for a long time.

https://freedomofmind.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/dos-and-donts.pdf

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One would hope so. However, we just had a blatant coup and insurrection on our government by homegrown terrorists and brainwashed people. Their cult leader was heading for total authoritarian control backed by at least one foreign hostile enemy to democracy. Some in that administration were prepping for martial law. Members appointed by the previous administration held back our police, military and National Guard to protect our people at the Capital. Some of them participated in the insurrection. Normally, I would consider myself a pacifist. But the siege of our government and people's minds is the first time in my life I thought I need my own weapon for protection from those who have lost their senses.

People we (think) we elected who have proven they do not care about us nor protect us or speak out about harm, lies, racist actions, misogyny, xenophobia and homophobia or aid during the current pandemic and economic crises. We are in different times.

I do think the majority is about to stand up loudly, again. Many of us are becoming vaccinated and will be out in numbers very soon. What we were able to accomplish hidden away in our homes during this pandemic, our only weapons to fight against the corrupt regime being keyboards, letters and phones, will ratchet forward when we are free to gather together again and protest and march. To promote taking All The People Forward this time and reclaim our Truth and Justice in our democracy (as fully as possible). This will also be about education and awakening those who have been sucked into the cult to begin to understand how their lives are much better when we are working together.

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Your words bring back the horror of that day, Jan.6. How soon we turn our attention elsewhere, distracted by events, personalities, and our own fancies. We should still be outraged by this insurrection. Perhaps many of us are, at heart. I fear most just want to move on.

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I agree completely with you, MaryB.. And that appears to be my role for us not to forget so quickly. Not forget we are a country founded on genocide of our land's First People and slavery. And the forgetfulness of the atrocities and lies of this past administration and all it still stands for, have been like mental assault weapons on our psyches. We need to rest up, but we must not forget and do nothing. I would much rather spend this time drawing, painting, gardening, kayaking right this minute. And I will to schedule that to keep me sane, but this moment is my time to work with others to undergird our democracy and to not forget how fragile and precious it is. And that there are many in our government and country wishing it harm, still.

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I love so much everything you are saying. Thank you Penelope, and MaryB and Ellie, and everyone else who agreed and "liked," for being such lovely and wonderful human beings.

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Sadly, I believe the paranoia will only increase, as there is so much "fear of other" that when coupled with the eventuality of white men becoming a minority population is going to make it impossible for some to realize that there really is a new order to their world.

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I believe this.

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I heard on the news last night that there are more guns than people in the United States. That is a truly scary thought.

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Your point speaks to my suspicion that Americans have more private weapons than everyone else in the world combined. I don't have references or evidence, just a sneaking suspicion. 320-340 million people. Over 320 million privately-held weapons. Hell, my cousin alone covers the quota for dozens and dozens of people, the man collects weapons.

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I guess I’m saying that excessive gun ownership in America is the greatest possible deterrent to any type of military rule or police state ever being established here. Just saying.

And if you don’t think it’s gonna happen here, just remember Japanese-American internment camps, plus well over 100 years of violence and lynchings against Chinese (Asian), blacks, and Native Americans. We conveniently forget just how vicious and violent the treatment of non-whites has been. I can’t read the chronicles either, like the project to catalog all of the lynchings in America. It turns my stomach. But I keep it in the back of my mind, because extreme violation is never all that far away. Ask Mexico.

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When have armed citizens prevented lynchings or discrimination? When I consider civilian guns in the US in my lifetime, I see two categories. One is ordinary rural hunting and related use, including the original NRA as Heather describes. The other, is white men terrorizing other people. Gun rights outside rural hunting have never really applied to anyone but white men. That’s why the Black Panthers were hunted down. It’s why black men or children with real or even toy guns get killed by the police - Philando Castile, Tamir Rice, John Walker come to mind. When the NRA became a lobby for gun and ammunition manufacturers, it also became a lobby for white grievance, fear, and rage. That’s what’s going on when a Fox-addicted white man in a New England suburb, to pick an example I know personally, starts buying guns.

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Historically, heavily-armed US citizens have done far more to commit lynchings and discriminate against minorities or unpopular individuals. Still, since the mid-19C, the steady growth of the state monopoly of legal violence has made it harder and harder for private citizens to resist the law, let alone rebel with any hope of success.

It is impossible to have an armed populace and strictly limit the impact of weapons; there are always collateral impacts.

Today, one result is an overarmed police, who prepare and expect to encounter armed and dangerous persons, gangs and other groupings. At the same time, LE routinely favors some over others, most often armed male white supremacists. It's a colossal and lethal mess.

Bottom line: if there were no guns, there would be no gun violence. There is a viable middle ground between infinite guns everywhere (pretty much what we have now) and no guns at all, an impossible ideal but which can be approached more closely than opponents and pessimists believe. What is that middle ground, and how do we get there? Once again, there is so much riding on HR1/S1 -- perhaps everything decent about America.

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TPJ, When you use abbreviations or initials of an organization, slogan or common phrase, please spell out for those of us not in the know. Thanks. There are solid explanations for Manchin's and, perhaps, Biden's reluctance to take on HR1/S1 at this minute, favoring infrastructure bill first. On the other hand, draconian voter suppression bills are speeding ahead, like next week, in Georgia. This situation needs to be addressed ASAP..

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Thanks Fern. If you mean LE, it stands for law enforcement; I believe that Ally House uses it occasionally. We swim in many different alphabet soups.

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I love to swim but not in soups, if you know what I mean.

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I agree. LE has no meaning if one does not know what LE means. The same is true for others that confuse the writer's message: SIL, GQP (GOP is generally understood, but GQP?) BIPOC, WMQ, LEOs. I learned that when you want to use such abbreviations or acronyms, the writer should identify its meaning the first time he or she uses it in the text; then the reader will better understand the next time it is used in that comment or report.

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Sometimes I am guilty. I used WMQ earlier today, but IDed it in the same comment as William and Mary Quarterly. Most of the acronyms I use just save time and effort for this dismally slow typist.

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Thanks for “draconian”. I’m getting an education here

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Interesting that the alt right IS the militarized police, and that they use the militarized police as a rationale for arming themselves to fight the government.

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Thank you.

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Well over 100 years of violence? Whites have treated non-whites in the Americas as "the other" since whites first stepped foot on North, Central and South American soil. And that is the root of the problem. Whites ambushed and murdered to gain dominion over the indigenous peoples then imported and enslaved non-whites to do the hard and dirty work. Slaves were managed through the use of guns. Since then, some whites in law enforcement have taken it upon themselves to be judge, jury and executioner gunning down non-whites. All this with the approval of their friends, families and neighbors. And we have the nerve to speak out about about human and civil rights in countries other than our own.

I don't think with a working brain has forgotten how vicious and violent the treatment of non-whites has been and still is today. How non-whites are treated in the US today is pretty cut and dried. One is either part of the problem and approves of coercion and violence against non-whites while the more aggressive, violent bigot actively participates in coercion and violence against non-whites. On the flip side you have those who abhor any violence against another human being. Having a personal arsenal is predicated on one thing: fear of the other. The NRA, gun and ammunition manufacturers and politicians have taken that baked in white fear and capitalized on it.

(As for gun ownership. Our soon to be 40 year old daughter learned to shoot 10 meter air pistol while participating in Pony Club Tetrathlon which led her to the US Shooting Team. We moved to Colorado so she could train at the Olympic Training Center. We lived on a rural property and had precisely 2 guns guns on that property: A Steyer, single shot air pistol and a Hammerli sport pistol, both with custom grips. Obviously, neither were protection weapons. Every rancher around us was armed to the teeth. We never felt it was necessary. )

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I don't think anyone with a working brain...

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No correction necessary, Daria. We regularly see how well your brain works.

May I please ask, do you have firearms in your household in Merida? I won't draw on nasty stereotypes about Mexico or failed states, but local security situations may require or encourage it.

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Thanks, TPJ. You are kind.

Nope, no firearms in our home here. We are lucky to be in a very safe city and state. There are areas in México that are incredibly unsafe, much of it cartel related. Many areas with a reputation for tourism and heavy partying are also dangerous, drugs also being a major factor.

The Yucatán state police are one of the few police agencies in México known for rooting out bad apples aggressively and publicly. Same with various municipal agencies within the state. Mérida's police are visible in all neighborhoods, they patrol night and day. Now, will it stay this way forever? Only time will tell.

Neither my husband or I shoot. Never have. We'd be dangerous.

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Whew!

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Now there's an assumption /snark

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“I don't think (anyone) with a working brain has forgotten how vicious and violent the treatment of non-whites has been and still is today.”

Thank you so much Daria 🙏. I am so fortunate and blessed to have a community of people like you all. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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Roland, I'm fortunate that you and most of the folks in this community don't scream at me for my emotional, but sincere, responses. It might help if I had coffee before reading Heather...then again, maybe not.

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coffee schmoffee, we love you just as you are. If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention. Clearly you are paying attention Daria.

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You are amazing ❤️. Thank you for your patience and kindness.

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Green with sage works better

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I think the chance of a military take over here is less than the chance that these ridiculously stupid massacres will wipe us all out. At the very least, the proliferation of warlike weapons puts each one of us at risk on a daily basis no matter how safe your neighborhood— let me count the ways— there’s road rage—political rage and plain old murderous rage—doesn’t this stress you out more than the government taking us over?

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Yours is a rational and sober assessment of actual risk. But gun toters live in a fantasy world in their heads, where evildoers are at the doorstep and they need weapons for protection and to demonstrate their macho heroism.

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I don’t even know any men like that— honestly we just don’t do guns in this family.

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So why don’t gun toters legislate for removal of guns from the craziest? It would make them safer.

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Most gun owners do support background checks and restrictions on “bad guys” having guns.

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It’s the definition of “bad guys” that has some stymied.

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"Bad guys" being a notoriously relative term.

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The major threat from the US military doesn't come from ambitious officers commanding large units as in dozens of other countries. Instead it's rogue elements, perhaps ideologically-driven white supremacist officers, but more likely WS individuals or cells within the enlisted ranks. This is SOD Lloyd Austin's announced priority, and the government has woken up to this serious threat in the nick of time.

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Yes TPJ the whole situation is gravely insidious— let’s hope the timing is good enough.

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power and pagan prayers for SOD Austin

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Yes. I wrote about this above.

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And I totally agree with you. And our old allies know what a mess former guy made of our democracy in only 4 years.

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We came very close to a Trumpian police state on January 6.

Until our civilian police and enforcement ceases to carry weapons, neither should the people.

That said, we could do a much better job with background checks, waiting periods and eliminating gun show sales.

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Sounds like our military strategy of being armed to the teeth. By this logic, all the guns that people have in their "small arsenals" need to come out of the closet? Open carry for everyone? Back to the wild wild west? Oh my.

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But in well regulated militias...

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It's hard to make direct comparisons, I think, between the US and any of the European and other countries for one big reason - the US cultural history with guns. As Heather alluded to, our mythology is awash in gun imagery. I grew up in the 50s when TV Westerns were the rage. Most featured the hallowed 'six-shooter' in every episode. Movies, from "Gunfight at the OK Corral" to "Stagecoach" one could say glorified the Old West, but especially the gun's place in it. None of that mythology applies to any European country I can think of.

Also, it should be pointed out that the NRA and the very libertarian swath of America has promoted the idea that 'the government is coming for your guns' since at least the 70s. I think one of the best arguments against this happening is that if they wanted to, your AR15 is not going to stop them. Pitting your arsenal against what the military has at its disposal is

wishful thinking, IMO. Or, as my SIL says, "They'll never hear the drone that takes them out." Does this mean we should not be vigilant toward/about government? Hell no!. But we shouldn't promote wishful thinking either.

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Exactly. Even if I had a gun (which I do not), it would be useless if I, for some reason, became a military target. Having an arsenal at my disposal would just mean an awful lot of weapons and ammunition would go up in a cloud of smoke when that drone struck. It is fantasy to think that equipping one's home to be another Ruby Ridge would in any way "save" one. Maybe it's just that having that arsenal around allows one to sleep better at night?

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My recollection of Reagan's position on gun control came about as a direct result of the racial "unrest" in the late 1960's and the very visible arming of the Black Panthers following the Watts Riot. That was when California moved away from being an "open carry" state and enacted some very stringent requirements to get a concealed carry permit (in their current iteration, it is very political at the county level, and very difficult in some counties if you are not in the "in" crowd.)

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It's possible to be both a pacifist and "expert" in military affairs. I've studied military history for six decades. (Many but not all picture books at the start.) Not claiming formal expertise, but I've managed to reduce my ignorance.

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I stirred up a hornet's nest, but hey, it's a controversial topic. It's a home-grown American problem that doesn't really have corollary or echo anywhere else in the world. Fueled by Hollywood Westerns, the Marlboro myth, all that stuff.

I'll step in here. Do I advocate gun ownership? No. Do I own a gun? No. Would my wife allow it if I wanted to? No. Do I agree with TPJ (and HCR and others) that guns and violence are a major problem in the USA? Absolutely.

(1) I am proposing an argument that reciprocal weapons ownership in the hands of the resistance, the opposition, the non-combatants, the people who need protection, provides deterrence and saves lives.

(2) I am playing devil's advocate by giving voice to gun owners. I have a cousin who I grew up with like a brother, he always wanted to be a cop and is now retired, but of course continues to own an arsenal and collects guns like I collect crystals. He is always packing. Always. The other people I know who have weapons, am I afraid of them and their gun ownership? No, of course not, otherwise I would not have associated with them.

It's a tough subject. Do the people I know do everything right to keep their guns out of the hands of children, potential thieves, etc.? Yes. Gun safes. Well-hidden hidey-holes in their homes. Strict rules for their children, all of whom are now grown and sensible anyway.

Weapons are a no-nonsense subject. The conversation about Jews, non-whites, innocents, owning weapons to provide deterrence is not a trivial conversation. It's a difficult one. Difficult for many reasons, the main one being that ownership and possession and practice-firing of people-killing weapons is odious. Do I agree that whites have historically been the ones to use weapons to oppress and lynch and coerce and dominate? Of course, no argument. End of discussion. I am merely suggesting an alternate viewpoint. It's time we changed the story of weapons used as means of coercion, and play up the possibility of weapons being used as a deterrent against coercion. Every ruthless dictator and criminal uses this calculation routinely. Weapons vs. weapons, power vs. power. We shouldn't be so naive that we can't also engage in that calculation. Since weapons exist, ruthless people, whether government or police or military or just extrajudicial militia, will exploit them for power and domination (and of course theft, in the case of acknowledged criminal behavior, however I would argue that state-sponsored assassinations and coercion like MBS and Putie employ are also criminal behavior, although not always acknowledged as such)....

Don't be too quick to dismiss the effect of deterrence. I remember during the Rodney King riots, many shopowners and ordinary citizens used weapons to protect themselves, their families, and their businesses. Escape from the threat is not always an option.

Do I think I will ever need to make use of this philosophy? No. In fact, most of the rural people I know who own weapons might use the threat of harm as a lame excuse, but out in the country, come on, give me a break. The real danger is in the middle of a riot or a war or a fight between cartels. In rural America, the last thing you need is a weapon to protect yourself. But tell that to cops and ex-military and rural paranoids, they live in a different headspace.

For those of you who are opposed to weapons no matter what, or who disagree with my deterrence proposal, I offer this story:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/may/07/michigan-lawmaker-armed-escort-rightwing-protest

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Thank you for once again for giving us the historical context. When I gave birth to my daughter in 1981, I wrote a letter to her about my grief this country elected Ronald Reagan. Each time a mass shooting occurred I would hope and pray now Congress will do something. I was sure Sandy hook would be the event that would change our laws. Nope My outrage has now morphed into profound grief and despair this is the legacy I am leaving to my grandchildren to live in. I thought hoped and prayed I was living in a civilized country. Trump demolished my naïveté. Jan 6 confirmed our Democracy is in great peril.

We are a nation who has been taken over by the NRA and corruption. It is legal to own assault weapons. We have militia groups taking control and power. Thank you Heather for putting the second amendment in context.

We have corrupt leaders like Mitch who has contributed to the destruction on this country by packing the courts. I am having trouble finding hope for change. RBG gave me hope.

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I’m following the Icelandic eruption, and in doing so came across the Icelandic writer, Andri Magnason. He was part of a group that marked the death of a glacier with a plaque addressed to the future that says

“This monument is to acknowledge that we know what is happening and what needs to be done. Only you know if we did it.”

It seems to me the same words could apply to the uniquely American gun violence epidemic. “We know what is happening and what needs to be done,” but we have a handful of Senators who block progress on multiple fronts because they are supported by powerful lobbies such as the NRA.

We know what is happening, we know what needs to be done—will we do it? CAN we do it?

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Our need to respond effectively to the urgency for gun controls seems like a no-brainer. Simple. Uncomplicated. But imagine the sorrow of Magnason in understanding the massive inability to effectively confront the greatest threat to humanity in our time. Confronting climate crisis requires broad international cooperation and intelligence, an ability to work together to save ourselves and our planet. Yet, the people of America are lost in self-serving, boundless loops of disinformation. To me, gun control and climate crisis are both a forms of violence. Until we as a nation are able to understand the devastation we have wrought, there will only be decline.

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Yes boundlessly looped into disinformation and arrogance and greed. That’s where we are but I believe Biden’s team is doing it’s best to dig us out of this horrible chasm— so we all need to do our parts in all of our different ways all over our country.

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Yes, well, write to your electeds in Washington, and thank them if they are on the side of sanity, and urge them in any case to support law and order by getting started on gun control.

Send THEM your personal, authentic, vivid message. Especially if they are on The Other Side.

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I want to be annexed by Iceland.

Or Canada, New Zealand, Botswana Costa Rica, Finland. Somebody, please HELP!

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I get it ...emergency annexation plea— let’s add Provence to that plea.

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I like to think we can now even with all our limitations— we have a slim majority but we have it.

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Not if Manchin bolts the Dems and joins the Republicans.

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That is most excellent!

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I share your grief, Susan, but it’s much worse than political corruption. The problem is that 74 million Americans (almost all of them white) like what Republicans are doing. Some of them no doubt disagree on various details, but when it comes to voting, they will vote for the party that promises to do its best to preserve the privileges that white Americans have always held over those with non-European ancestors.

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On another topic, thank you to all who introduced me to Timothy Snyder. I am now reading ON TYRANNY. Making prolific margin notations. Probably will read it a second time.

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Good stuff, Andrea. A similar small-format Snyder from 2020, Our Malady, has to do with US health un-care based on his near-death experience in late 2019. I am on my second reading of that one also.

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Timothy Snyder's Bloodlands was eye-opening on the waves of genocide perpetrated against the peoples of Eastern Europe and Ukraine by tyrants Hitler pressing from the west and Stalin pressing from the east.

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See also Snyder´s subsequent Blackened Earth, where his primary theme is the correlation of statelessness with the opportunity for holocaust across all of Europe in those middle years. This is what keeps me up at night when folks start talking about carving up the US into seceded bits and bobs.

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