757 Comments

Dollars to donuts, Abbott and team are going to twist this into a blame the school/principal/staff for the horrible mess they created in the TX legislature. Blame anyone but never admit they F’ed it up. We know how hard it is to cover up 20 kids’ death -AlexJones sure tried.

Make no mistake, allow no distractions: this was all about the damn guns and the greed of politicians and the NRA.

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Abbott went to Uvalde precisely to try to control the narrative and immediately started to blame mental illness, possible criminal record of the shooter, and speculative statements about the shooter all externalizing blame away from himself and theorizing. But, as HCR points out, the narrative he tried to create isn't holding because, as you say, it's about the guns!

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Abbott is a liar on most things. Blockading the border a few weeks ago cost what? 4-5$billion. If Texans re-elect him they are demented.

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The cult is demented, I’m not. Rupert Continues to support and add to the cult. So does his son, they need to be deported. It was obvious why Abbott did the press conference, not the police dept. Texas government is crawling with the most vile worms.

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And notice that he didn’t show up without a posse of NRA funded pols. I hope Beto wears their insults with pride.

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Important that Beto is from El Paso. He knows intimately what mass shooting cause at. This point.

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Well said Jeri! The police were probably still hiding…but now afraid of the parents of the helpless Children they failed to protect! Every brave, honest and up standing Police Officer in America should display on his or her uniform an obvious symbol of the disgust and contempt they feel for these poor excuses of human beings. The other “poor excuses” on display were the ones crowding around Abbott and the other elected officials that have completely failed Texas and her Citizens. I wonder if any of them ever worries about some screwball armed with a weapon they allowed them to possess shooting them or worse…one of their children…wouldn’t that be ironic!

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All hat no cop.

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Anyone who votes Republican is complicit in the carnage in America.

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Good point, Barbara. Maybe we should start reminding those low information voters, or those apathetic voters, that the US Senate - half of it, anyway - has blood on its hands. Innocent blood. They're all about protecting fetuses, but God help those OUT of the womb. They are fair game for any honcho with an AR15.

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My relatives in the midwest get all het up about the false QANON pedophile narrative and the same one who likes to post about that posted a pic of herself with a gun and how much she loves it. At one point, the males were talking about getting together with their gun toting buds and protecting the neighborhood from antifa.

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JFC!! Of course, the midwest species see their guns as an extension of their “livelihood”!

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Yes. I agree. And Texas Republicans who voted for these jerks ALL have blood on their hands. I would expand that to include Texans who sat at home and did not vote at all for whatever pathetic excuse they had at the moment.

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Anyone who stands in the way of abolishing the filibuster is complicit. The gun legislation would pass if the filibuster were gone. Those 2 bullshitters who say that Democrats will need it when Republicans are in power are delusional or stupid or liars getting a major kickback. If the Repugs don't get a filibuster-proof majority, the will do away with it in a heartbeat. Even though it's the Republicans who are ultimately to blame, it is still possible for the next couple of months to get something meaningful done, except of those two Democrats who care more about themselves than the country.

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I saw a thing on a blog site that Sinema thinks she will be President in 2024.

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May 28, 2022·edited May 28, 2022

Delusions of Grandeur

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Amen.

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Attempted like

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Refresh your page then try again.

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Not all Texans. Just the ones that the Republicans allow to vote.

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Some evidence that the state of New Mexico is moving in to re-direct that lost International Traffic on to their roads. Columbus to Deming & on to I-10? Likely focused on freight traffic. See Judith's comment below.

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I heard something like that, that Mexico is building a rail line to the border that was originally going to TX but will now go to NM

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I've read the same and believe it's an accurate report.

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Thank you; rail traffic's important.

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BTW my husband's grandmother used to live in Columbus. Fun place to visit, and the only place the modern US has been invaded by a foreign country (this is what I was told anyway)

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42.5%.

3.5 million Texans.

That's how many people in Texas's last gubernatorial election didn't vote for Greg Abbott.

If it wasn't for them, I'd suggest we do a reverse Putin and give Texas back to Mexico.

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We could offer them asylum in the rest of the country, much like what Europe is doing for Ukrainian refugees.

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It's not enough. 42.5% is hardly a mandate. That means 57.5% (over half) of Texans like Abbott, Cruz etc.

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That's true - that's why I'd be happy to let the "majority" get set adrift and back to Mexico.

Of course, I was being facetious.

And fwiw, Abbott only received 55.8% of the vote, as there were other candidates, too.

You're right - 42.5% is no mandate, it's not even a plurality, but that wasn't my point.

https://www.cnn.com/election/2018/results/texas/governor

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Their response is formulaic. It's become nearly identical to their response to some Act of God, like a tornado or a flood.

"Nothing can be done, but we're here to comfort those who suffer in their loss - They Have Our Thoughts and Prayers."

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I repeat a response on Robert Hubbell Isiah 1:15 “When you spread out your hands in prayer, I hide my eyes from you; even when you offer many prayers, I am not listening. Your hands are full of the blood of innocents.” Right on there God, so you think they are bull Schitt too.

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Robert's quote was absolutely spot on. Republicans who offer up their "prayers" and "condolences" but refuse to limit gun ownership are the worst type of hypocrites - those that hide behind their religion. I can only imagine they sit in confessional and ask for forgiveness for they know that their inaction and greed result in the death of our children. But I'm sure they don't since, despite their claim otherwise, they have no moral compass other than greed and power.

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Ex-freaking-actly!

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Perfect.

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Maybe the next Radical Right is for parents to kiss there babies good by at the bus stop then keep there fingers crossed that the get lucky and not be murdered. If they are the governor will dispatch a chaplain to pray over the carnage

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Unfortunately, the only time the Right may do something about gun ownership is when they lose a child to gun violence. Otherwise, it's someone else's problem.

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I am puzzled. Every time a school shooting happens politicians throw out "thoughts and prayers" and, then, another school shooting happens.

It should be clear by now that "thoughts and prayers" are not being answered and school shootings are part of God's plan. Right?

That might mean us, we the people, have to come up with a plan, not wait around for God to stand by while a shoot em up occurs again.

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(Jeri is correct.) Check out Isaiah 1:15 to see what God really thinks of “thoughts and prayers”. BTW, “Thoughts and prayers” is just a political throw-away line. My translation of Isaiah 1:15: “Stop feeding me your BS. Stop doing evil. Do the right thing. Then, we can fix this together.”

God is typically very clear.

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For those who need help finding that reference:

(15) And when you lift up your hands,

I will turn My eyes away from you;

Though you pray at length,

I will not listen.

Your hands are stained with crime—

(16) Wash yourselves clean;

Put your evil doings

Away from My sight.

Cease to do evil;

(17) Learn to do good.

Devote yourselves to justice;

Aid the wronged.

Uphold the rights of the orphan;

Defend the cause of the widow.

https://www.sefaria.org/Isaiah.1.15-17?ven=Tanakh:_The_Holy_Scriptures,_published_by_JPS&vhe=Miqra_according_to_the_Masorah&lang=en

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"God is typically very clear." I am unclear why God's followers are so confused then.

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It’s a good question.

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They are thinking about money and praying for re-election.

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You got it!

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Amen.

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So much reinforcement for my being an atheist!

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Those politicians are not showing religion, but religiosity—the outward form with none of the inward love or wisdom.

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Loudly praying in the Temple. Hypocrites all.

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The great thing about atheists, is that they don't hide from their responsibility to act by saying "Gd will take care of this." The rest of us can learn from them.

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I’m an ambivalent agnostic

I don’t know if there is a God and don’t care because if there is a God he is as ambivalent to mankind as I am to him this slaughter of innocents is a prime example.

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I have a bumper sticker like that somewhere:

"Militant Agnostic. I Don't Know and Neither Do You."

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"Prayers" are oftentimes offered when people can't, or WON'T, do anything else. Offering prayers makes THEM feel good and self-satisfied, like they're doing something. As any sound-thinking Christian knows, "prayers" are eventually going to be answered by US, by ourselves. There's no magic sky-God sitting on a fluffy white cloud who's going to wave his hand and instantly make everything right. If we want our "prayers" answered then WE have to be the instruments to accomplish answering those "prayers". It's a shame that "thoughts & prayers" has become so hackneyed and trite a phrase, because I genuinely do believe in the power of prayer/karma/meditation/whatever you-want-to-call-it. It has been trivialized to its detriment and I think that's sad. The people of this country mobilising, rising up and fighting yet another example of the minority ruling over--and jerking around--the majority is how these "prayers" can be answered and made a reality. I was brought up to believe if you want your prayers to be answered then YOU have to work toward that end. The "thoughts & prayers" offered up by Cruz, Abbott and Co. are empty and devoid of meaning, only offering lip service to something that they themselves are responsible for--and deep down inside I think they know it. They are disgusting hypocrites who have the blood of innocents on their hands. Jesus had a few things to say about people only offering prayers as a show, without any sincerity. It mocks God. Okay...sermon over.

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There's some good nuggets of truth in your diatribe, particularly the ideas that prayer can be beneficial as meditation can be beneficial, and that people who visualize an end must then take actions to achieve it. If there is a divine force in the universe it does not intercede on behalf of any humans. That's quite clear from studying history and the many thousands of gods we have named.

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It's called "virtue signalling ".

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Bruce, thank you! You hit the nail on the head.

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Thank you for a perfect summation.

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Overall politicians think voters are rubes and easily manipulated; so those politicians say anything they want. Hence the thoughts and prayers tripe.

The first plan would be to stop voting Republican. Second plan is to bear down and not let politicians sweep this under the rug one more time. Americans' lack of interest in rising up is destroying the United States of America. When I am anywhere I see people with head bent over their phones. Anywhere and everywhere all the time. It looks like some dystopian movie where all the inhabitants of a planet only get oxygen and food through their devices.

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Unfortunately, Barbara, plenty of people who believe their rhetoric are rubes.

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Sadly true Marlene

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Makes you wonder who Republicans are praying to.

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Themselves

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Moloch that’s who. If memory serves, he loved child sacrifices. Seems appropriate.

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I'm not a believer, but my husband is, and I like his "take" on God's plan. He believes that God gave us the rules and it's up to US to follow them. Prayers and thoughts may help people feel good about themselves, but as many have said "Faith without works is pointless".

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“Sentiment without action, is the ruinment of the soul”

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See Jeri Chilcutt's reference above to Robert Hubbell's citation from Isiah 1:15 or, better yet, read his newsletter at:

https://roberthubbell.substack.com/p/ultimate-act-of-cowardice?s=r

It is difficult to put into words how despicable these Republicans are other than to say that they are traitors to the underlying foundation of our Society:

"Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" (from the Preamble - Declaration of Independence)

"Justice," "Tranquility," "common defence," "general Welfare," and "the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity" (from the Preamble - Declaration of Independence)

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Thoughts and prayers—and nothing else.

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I am sure he will blame Biden somehow.

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Wait, I thought it was Obama’s fault. 😉

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Hillary's clearly to blame, lock her up!🤦‍♂️

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"Gov Greg Abbott, surrounded by elected officials and law enforcement, said as “horrible as what happened [was], it could have been worse. "

Did I hear that correctly?

The Independent - 26 May 2022

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfk-CKOwASw

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May 27, 2022·edited May 27, 2022

Here is what I say, Nancy. No Gov Abbott, you charlatan. Some law enforcement officials did not do what they were supposed to do. Turns out, it was worse than horrible. Turns out, more guns could not stop one gun. Turns out, the good guys waited an hour before taking out the bad guy. Turns out, more children were shot because law enforcement did not charge in with power blazing like cowboys to take the bad guy down. Turns out, Beto called you out and the mayor, Lt Gov, and Cruz get their panties wedged and start spluttering. Turns out, it is worse because now the effort will be to cover up the cowardly lack of response and the truth that more guns do not save lives. This I can say with knowing. Those parents that showed up to get their children out but some of whom were sprayed and cuffed? Turns out it was worse because they damn well would have gotten more children out before the death toll rose. With bare hands if necessary. A gun does not necessarily mean courage.

Not if it’s really promoted and used as a mere prop. The indignity is overwhelming and disgusting, Republican Party. You wimps. Go f*ck yourselves. Turns out, women choosing abortion are not the baby killers.

Kudos to the Rays and Yanks for pushing the message against gun violence. Looks like the Senate won’t. Add coward to to the growing list of descriptors.

We Move Forward! With courage. A vote is more powerful than a gun in 2022, the most important election year in decades. Spread the word far and wide. UNITA!🗽

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May 27, 2022·edited May 27, 2022

^^^^Truth. Well said. All that money spent for local law enforcement to play Rambo and in the end they were cowards.

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May 27, 2022·edited May 27, 2022

Women choosing abortion are NOT the Baby Killers! Shout it! Unwanted pregnancies start with men. Mass murders start with men. Why are we not demanding the issue of MEN be addressed? What does it mean to be a “Good Man”? It sure as hell doesn’t mean being dressed up like warriors and standing around tackling parents trying to stop their children from being slaughtered by a man with a legally purchased weapon of war. A “Good Man” is not someone who holds a position of power only to cower when decisions like “impeach the sob who instigated the Jan6th riot” need to be made. Being a “Good Man” doesn’t mean forcing a woman to carry an unwanted pregnancy just because they are afraid of “being replaced”. There are sooooo many good men who are way too quiet with their bros. Nothing will change until they say “ENOUGH!”

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Well said, Christine. It seems that this terrible incident is becoming a watershed moment for our country, that will reckon with the truth of what really happened in Uvalde, TX, and lead to the 90% who want stronger measures in place to stand together to demand tough action on gun control NOW.

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From your keyboard to God’s eyes

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Morning, Christine. This post is beyond perfect. I might add that the Dems need to remind voters over and over and over and over that the rethuglicans are the party of death to women who self abort, and death to those massacred by guns. God help us if they gain control of the house/Senate later this year.

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They are simply the party of death for anything the rest of us cherish. Vote D and we are in the process of making a list of out of state candidates for donation. In the meantime we wait while the Trumper county clerk in Clackastan still has not got the vote count done to determine, among other things, who won CD five. She get's over $112 thousand a year to be this inept.

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There’s more of those than her soaking up $$$ from the Gov’t they hate — and we’re not talking relief money here —

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Right on! Your best line, “Turns out, women choosing abortion are not the baby killers.” There aren’t enough words to describe the deliberate evil of Abbott, Paxton, and Cruz. The fact that so many really good people in that state keep voting for them…because Republicans and their money must be protected, is so depressing. My suggestion to Beto was get a battery-powered microphone to attend the next Abbott “rally” so the crowd and media can hear.

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That’s exactly what I thought when I watched Beto at the meeting. He needed to be heard. Such cowards…they have all the rights they need to control and subdue people but let someone peacefully express a differing opinion and they so self-righteously take him away. Such children. They look like and act like little children. It’s sickening who runs things in this country.

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Powerful YouTube video by Beau of the Fifth Column regarding the cops behavior on the scene. There are no words that are strong enough to describe their cowardice. https://youtu.be/DKjSLAUFWSo

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I subscribe to his posts and always listen with a keen ear when he speaks.

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I watched this video as I watch all of Beau’s. He was so outraged he could hardly finish his thoughts on the matter.

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❤️ every syllable. Called it as I wish I had.

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This Jeri agrees with you 💯

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What about the cowboys, Christine? Do they deserve a break or not? With the help of the Smithsonian Magazine, here is my postscript to today's Letter.

'Gun Control Is as Old as the Old West'

'Contrary to the popular imagination, bearing arms on the frontier was a heavily regulated business'

'Dodge City in 1878 Wikimedia Commons'

'It's October 26, 1881, in Tombstone, and Arizona is not yet a state. The O.K.' 'Corral is quiet, and it's had an unremarkable existence for the two years it's been standing—although it's about to become famous.'

'Marshall Virgil Earp, having deputized his brothers Wyatt and Morgan and his pal Doc Holliday, is having a gun control problem. Long-running tensions between the lawmen and a faction of cowboys – represented this morning by Billy Claiborne, the Clanton brothers, and the McLaury brothers – will come to a head over Tombstone's gun law.'

'The laws of Tombstone at the time required visitors, upon entering town to disarm, either at a hotel or a lawman's office. (Residents of many famed cattle towns, such as Dodge City, Abilene, and Deadwood, had similar restrictions.) But these cowboys had no intention of doing so as they strolled around town with Colt revolvers and Winchester rifles in plain sight. Earlier on this fateful day, Virgil had disarmed one cowboy forcefully, while Wyatt confronted another and county sheriff Johnny Behan failed to persuade two more to turn in their firearms.'

'When the Earps and Holliday met the cowboys on Fremont Street in the early afternoon, Virgil once again called on them to disarm. Nobody knows who fired first. Ike Clanton and Billy Claiborne, who were unarmed, ran at the start of the fight and survived. Billy Clanton and the McLaury brothers, who stood and fought, were killed by the lawmen, all of whom walked away.'

'The “Old West” conjures up all sorts of imagery, but broadly, the term is used to evoke life among the crusty prospectors, threadbare gold panners, madams of brothels, and six-shooter-packing cowboys in small frontier towns – such as Tombstone, Deadwood, Dodge City, or Abilene, to name a few. One other thing these cities had in common: strict gun control laws.'

"Tombstone had much more restrictive laws on carrying guns in public in the 1880s than it has today,” says Adam Winkler, a professor and specialist in American constitutional law at UCLA School of Law.'

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/gun-control-old-west-180968013/

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Holy Guacamole. Wonderful post.

Thank you!

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You know, Christine, that should be our mantra “ We’re Not Baby Killers. You Are!”

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Yes!!

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Here's the thing. They want all us taxpayers to pay for all of these hardening of targets and police weaponry so that 5% of the population can indulge their paranoid fantasies with their own personal cosplay arsenal.

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And the NRA response to this latest massacre.

"“Our deepest sympathies are with the families and victims involved in this horrific and evil crime,” the NRA said in their statement. “On behalf of our members, we salute the courage of school officials, first responders and others who offered their support and services.”

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I want to SCREAM! If the majority of Texans don’t vote for Beto, then we should demand they all be put through conversion therapy. Actually, the entire Pro-Rape/Open-Carry party members must have it! I am dead serious.

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The only thing they salute is the object of their greed. A gun.

UNITA, Barbara!

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In the meantime we are going to have our convention in Texas with a whole crew of loathsome MAGAS including death star donny and the Gnome from South Dakota. Talk about tone deaf. No guns allowed of course.

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❤️ May the building be surrounded by bussed-in protestors!

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That’s the best laugh I’ve had today!

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Pathetic useless words from a dangerous cult.

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Right, NRA. Blah, blah, blah, blah.

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A truth teller you are.

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Right on.

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Check out this video about the cops cowardice. Powerful. From Beau of the Fifth Column.

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This video is gold, and it is step one of the due diligence research that I need to do.

Briefly, I was a SWAT team member in 1999 when Columbine happened (where the cops mustered outside waiting for SWAT to arrive). There became a training mantra: "Never Again". Training for patrol cops was created, delivered, attended, and implemented. Waiting for SWAT was no longer the procedure. The "gold" standard was a 4 man diamond: one point, one 10:00 forward, one 2:00 forward, and one behind covering the rear. Make entry, go to the "zone" and take care of business. After Sandy Hook in 2012 that was reiterated. It was more important for me, personally, because I was the sole daytime cop in a town of 5000 with a resident deputy assigned to that part of the county. He and I met, and discussed our plans for an incident at each of our three schools. We agreed that when the other was on days off or otherwise assigned, each of us would go in alone.

I am wondering.... What the hell has happened to cops?

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Cops with a prop. Their gun is an extension of their ego, not their sworn duty to serve and protect their community.

I salute your commitment to your oath of service, Ally.

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Great post, Christine! “A gun does not necessarily mean courage”. And “turns out, women choosing abortion are not the baby killers”. These lines!!!

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Excellent. This is such a travesty as well as a tragedy. And yes, forward.

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NO!!!! Seriously!!!!!

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Gailee - exactly - my same thoughts

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Yes, you did.

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How? A law enforcement officer was shot?

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He had time to go to a fundraiser that night. We were astounded with last night's news about how long the gunman was outside crashing his truck and shooting at people. And wow, the good guys with guns withdrew because they might get shot. This has become a real dumpster fire beyond the tragedy and gun control...or the lack of.

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and they have a trained AWAY team!! WTF! Do they not understand thrir job is to protect citizens? Who was leading those cops and SWAT team?

Sadly and I hate to even think it but I imagine suicides will be next on the news from some of those that didn't act. I hope I'm wrong. What a cluster F*K

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Yes, that has crossed my mind several times as well. I don't know how some of the leaders, as well as the teacher who left the door propped open, will be able to live with themselves.

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It’s a travesty, Doreen.

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The cops did NOTHING…NOTHING to stop this kid!!!

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It was a great free campaign opportunity for Abbott and he continues to make it that!

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May 27, 2022·edited May 27, 2022

Yes, Mo. double G Republicans…greed and guns. The gun is the variable. Science says eliminate the independent variable and change the dependent variable which in this case is safety. More guns do not mean safer. Clearly shown. Less guns/ More safety.

Of course, tell that to the NRA, many members of leadership with an issue about science.

United!

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Agreed!

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Terribly cynical to say, but if Beto runs a (much) better campaign than he did in 2020, he might be able to beat Abbott after Uvalde.

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Or come close enough to scare red Texans

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Abbott & his shoulder-to-shoulder extras ... try again today to deflect. Press on site is very pissed; let's see if inquiring minds are even allowed near the 'DOS Director & questions are audible.' Not audible & the Director broke down.

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Heard on NPR this morning that the FBI is putting together a timeline of what happened and when. I think a lot of local cops will be called out for cowardice. And, pray tell, if the school was "hardened," why was a door left open?

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Very, very important to get an accurate chronology of events of the entire chronology starting with Shooter's 18th Birthday, weapon purchases, ammunition purchases, media postings, the shot injuring the Shooter's Grandmother, Grandmother's alerts, real-time 911 calls & their verbatim warnings Etc. including accurate and /or intentionally false cross-police agency communications and any blather from political and/or media consultant actors.

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Reports coming on the type of ammunition used was of military spec. Piercing thick metal doors, exploding rounds.

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Do you have a link?

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May 29, 2022·edited May 29, 2022

Just that shooter bullets passing through thick metal and wooden doors. If the AR had .556 mm, that’s the NATO military round. But hollow point bullets explode. AR rounds tumble. Hardened bullets of any type pierce body Armor. That all these military rounds (ammunition) can be commonly bought is abhorrent, unnessessary, foolish.

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I see Resignations and suicides coming.

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Same. As soon as I heard the first little inkling of blaming the police I thought "shame and suicides coming" That was Wednesday! I called for a pause and compassion on SM but it appears indeed it was badly botched. Does anyone else notice the irony in there being 19 officers in the hallway afraid - we assume - to confront the killer, and 19 dead children? It's tragically beginning to sound like one misstep after another. That alone may make it impossible for the community to heal. Certainly it will never be the town it was.

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There’s going to be guilt and judgement and shame on those 19. 1. With common sense gun legislation maybe there wouldn’t be cuz it would have never happened. Some will succumb to their own guilt, others will not. When we compare their inaction to the action of a mother, running in. I want to blame the leader, not the troops. Maybe it’s still too early too, but there is courage and there is inaction, kids lives in the balance, so cowardice seems appropriate. The several cops I know would not stop, would not hesitate, would not wait 83 minutes for the key.

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Not even 8.3 seconds; my younger brother was a LA county Sheriff Officer in mobile Communications in major incidents. Fearless.

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Today, Saturday 5/28, MSNBC Anchor, Melendez in Uvalde reported that the assembled police team OVERRODE the local On-site, ICD Commander & rushed the Shooter to stop the carnage. The "Active Shooter' was present for 77 minutes & discharged over 300 Rounds. Apparently the US. Border Control took over.

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Sadly, I am concerned as well Ted; the nation saw the Texas, DPS Director breakdown real time.

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Given the ineptitude if not cowardice of local law enforcement, I’m glad the FBI is involved.

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Jean-Pierre, a MSNBC Anchor, Alicia Menendez, just reported around 3:01 pm on Saturday, that the assembled officers inside the school "OVERRODE" the local On--site Commander, the "ISD Chief" & stormed in to take out the Shooter. Confirmed by Frank Figliuzzi former Assisstant Director of Counter Intelligence. Yes, the Feds, apparently, U.S. Border Patrol.

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Agree. A very detailed chronology just like the log of the 911 calls to & from Room 111 starting at least from the Shooter's first & failed attempt to get a firearm at Age 17 through the 18th Birthday spree, the unspeakable trajedy & covering police inaction, deflection & lies. Name names.

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All of that, and one thing more: shooting up a school is now a known pattern acted out by a subset of persons - usually but not always young white heterosexual males, nominally Christian. Limiting guns would not only make the physically killing more difficult; it would disrupt the scripted ritual.

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Yes sir you stated that correctly

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And the greed of arms manufacturers.

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Mo,

I'm sorry, but I just have to say this. And I realize I'm might get some heated commentary in response, because the "gun" issue is so emotionally charged that it's hard to have rational discussion about it, on either side, at least on this kind of an anonymous public forum.

But is it just possible that we are missing the boat by fundamentally focusing on guns as the root cause of our huge problem? To be sure, easy access to guns and lack of measures to limit access to them particularly by troubled individuals and the enormous number of guns already out there are significant factors that should be addressed, but what are the deeper issues?

From what I consider a logical standpoint, to argue that it's GUNS that are at the bottom of the problem is as specious, no, trivial, as to argue that motor vehicles are responsible for the carnage on the nation's highways. Think about it. In each case we're talking about objects that are inanimate until operated by a human being. To argue "yes, but cars weren't invented to kill people while guns were invented to kill people (I wouldn't fully agree) is irrelevant. In the case of a psycho with a gun, it's the human that's the prime mover. In the case of the automobile, it's the "nut behind the wheel". No totally rational person would argue that the solution to highway fatalities is to severely restrict access to automobiles. Identifying inattentive behavior like texting while driving or drunk driving or road rage as the fundamental problems makes more sense. Nobody is clambering for getting rid of cell phones, alcohol or automobiles in general as the solution to highway fatalities, as far as I know. So why are we so laser focused on guns, and might we be better served by paying more attention to what the real (I contend) underlying issues are?

Heather focused on Gun control, the NRA, the Republican Party etc. in the last part of her piece, but she also mentioned up front the macho cowboy culture that underlies all of this. And I think she might possibly agree that WE, the white European settlers that first arrived here, were a pretty brutal bunch (ask any Native American). We were a violent culture from the onset, have been involved in wars almost non stop since then, and most recently, we've glorified violence in our movies and other media since the advent of motion pictures and TV, and significantly, have allowed an enormous "gaming" industry centered on progressively more realistic violence to spring up. Think about that last one. The shooter at Robb Elementary was an 18 year old "gamer" who liked violent video games. The kid in Buffalo just before this was a redneck, spoon fed racial hatred on White Supremacist websites. Two troubled kids raised in a fundamentally violent society recently turbocharged by violence in entertainment and unfettered internet and social media hate speech.

To me, these are the real culprits. I don't think we are paying nearly enough attention to these issues because of our fixation on "guns" as the root cause of these atrocities. Better mental health care programs, better education, cracking down on hate speech everywhere and reining in these violence-as-entertainment gaming sites is a better direction than railing about guns.

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We are a nation of all kinds of mentalities and life experiences. This shooter had issues, they all do but that doesn’t make them mentally ill. Mental illness is in every country. Few sick people go out and shoot up public places. Racism is a learned idea. It is taught and yes it is a huge factor. But we are the only country in the world where guns outnumber our citizens and are so easily available.

I’m not missing the point of your view. You are simply trying to dilute mine.

In my own county today there is a gun dealer offering AR15’s for $499 and no limit on how many one person can buy. I’m sure these will make for a great Memorial Day celebration.

Ps. You are stating talking points straight out of the NRA handbook but I suspect you know this.

Goodbye.

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Sorry Neal. My intent was not to offend you.

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Guns are the root problem of deadly violence. Guns. Mental illness is not the root of firearm violence. Maybe cultural factors, but it is the access to guns that turns anguish, suffering, dispossession,, etc. deadly.

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The Public is not railing about "guns" we are talking about over 20 Million assault rifles used in war not as a 18th self-Birthday present. Perhaps it is time for the Public to view photos of soldier's bodies torn to shreds in Vietnam via a FOIA to the US Military. Perhaps the Public will understand why scores of police waited for an assault team instead of taking the absolutely necessary IMMEDIATE Action to save bleeding children or unharmed children they were talking to on cell phones? BSM

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Bryan, I know where you're coming from. I'm a Viet Nam vet myself. And no doubt, the advent of the semi (or fully) automatic assault rifle upped the ante significantly over the M1 Carbine. So did nukes. My point is that (as I perceive it) most of the public that are most vocal in this debate wouldn't know an AR-15 from a Mossberg .22. They just want it all (guns) to go away. It won't. We need to recognize that and move on. There are deeper issues.

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Roger,.the issues are much deeper so are the wounds. If you have 'Nam experience, please educate the Community on how AR 15 ammo "tumbles" ballistically and tears up any human targeted. You can warn anyone so they don't throw up.

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I'm calling you out right there on that statement, "They just want it all (guns) to go away". Untrue. That is NOT what most people in this country are asking for. Over 80% of Americans are asking just for reasonable gun control. Things like maybe if you're not old enough to legally drink alcohol you're not old enough to purchase such deadly weapons. Maybe you have to undergo a background check and waiting period. LaMoine, you should like this one since you have concerns about addressing mental health. Maybe you take a course and a test like you do for the driver's license. You should like that too, since you have concerns about distracted and drunk drivers.

I honestly would like all guns to go away but I know that is not realistic at all and would not bother asking for that. Have your hunting and target shooting rifles, even your handguns for protecting your property from invaders, whatever. However, NO civilian on the planet should have access to militaristic weapons that are designed to kill a lot of people in a very short amount of time like this killer used, like the Sandy Hook killer used, etc ad nauseum.

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How much are you personally willing to pay in increased taxes to pay for the items in your last paragraph? Because I'm all about that and I ante up every damn time but I notice the Republicans in my town vote it all down.

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In a political cartoon many years ago a character said, “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.” To which another character replies, “Yes. They use guns.” We’ve made automobile travel much, much safer in the past 50 years, both by focusing on people (drunk drivers) and the vehicles (crash safety, among many other things). We can do the same with guns. Neither of the teens in Buffalo and Uvalde should have been able to have a gun. Their guns should not have had removable magazines. Etc., etc. No one wants to concentrate only on guns, but ignoring them only means the slaughter will continue.

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Jon, I'm in full agreement with most of what you said, especially the " Neither of the teens in Buffalo and Uvalde should have been able to have a gun."part. Thank you. I also feel that the tragedy in Texas was brought on in large degree by the cavalier way Abbott and the craven Republican legislature there flouts any type of sensible regulation on who can have these weapons. My point was, and remains, that guns are such an inflammatory symbol that "some" people accuse anyone suggesting that there may be other significant causes for this ongoing carnage of being an NRA apologist, thereby squelching discussion on these other important areas. I appreciate your opinion and your civility.

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No one is allowed to drive without showing at least some knowledge of how to drive. Drunk drivers lose their licenses. That was not always the case. It has made a huge difference in road deaths. While it is true that guns are not the only problem here, removing AR-15s and similar semi-automatic weapons from civilians would cut way down on gun deaths. So would requiring gun owners to be licensed, to undergo training in gun safety, and to have background checks.

The death culture in which shooting up an elementary school is a script young men may act out is also a big part of the problem. I don't know how to mend that.

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Couldn't agree with you more, Joan, except for the AR-15 part. Here, you're just talking about a matter of scale, right? So let's say we could wave a magic wand and eliminate all AR-15's. Sooner or later the shooters would fall back on shotguns. Then semi automatic pistols. Then revolvers. And then? .... ? Baseball bats outside of an approved sports venue? This isn't a solution, Joan. It's running from the real problem, which is the shitty human condition. We need to rein in our violent tendencies, no matter what the potential weapon.

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If the shooter in the Uvalde elementary school was armed with a baseball bat, or even a revolver, or a shotgun, it would not have taken the police an hour to go in and confront him. All the children and teachers killed during that hour would be alive today. Would there still have been deaths, and tragedy, and a need to repair cultural problems? Yes. We make an effort to prevent drunk driving, even though some people still do it, because a lot fewer people die in car accidents this way.

It makes a very real and important difference if the attacker has a weapon that can fire many bullets in a very short time without a pause to reload. Other countries have a lot of the same cultural problems that we do, but they have far less people dead in mass attacks, because weapons of mass shooting are not generally available. Is removing these weapons from circulation all that needs doing? Of course not. Would be a very useful action, an excellent place to start? Absolutely.

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Joan, here we go again. "if we had ham, we could have ham and eggs, if we had eggs." The fact is that the shooter had an assault rifle. That the cops didn't feel comfortable confronting him is a totally unrelated issue. From here on out, people capable of this kind of carnage will necessarily be armed with assault rifles, if they choose, whether we like it or not. If, through a stroke of magic we could limit the arsenal to slingshots, the situation would be greatly defused. Unfortunately, that's wishful thinking. My point is that there are other factors in play that we might have greater control of. If we put systems into place to identify potentially dangerous people from getting their hands on lethal weapons, great. That's incremental progress. On the other hand, if we systematically punish rapacious "entrepreneurs" for peddling these violent video games to our young people simply for financial gain, that would make a serious dent, at least in my opinion.

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LeMoine, everyone here agrees with you that we need to address a lot of social issues. We are all frustrated too that when these things happen, Republicans say that is what we should do and then they won't approve budgets that pay for those things which cost a lot of money. So, how do you propose making those things happen?

And we're all sick of the old argument that getting rid of assault style and automatic weapons is impossible so why bother. Lots of impossible things have come to pass through sheer human determination and I believe we're at that point again in history.

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All of the above. I'm in favor of nearly anything that will reduce gun violence. Background checks. Legal liability for gun sellers and manufacturers. Keep military-grade weapons out of the hands of civilians. Fix social media (including youtube) algorithms so they don't funnel people toward hate.

The men who perpetrate these mass murders have been using AR-15s specifically - apparently that gun is part of the script they follow. While you are quite right that I personally would be happy to magically remove all guns from existence, my magic gun dissolver is not working. We could not get a voting majority in this country for such a measure. We do have a majority of voters already for sensible gun limitations. We even have a majority of gun owners - the very people who have the knowledge to write good regulations - in favor of sensible limitations. What we don't have, is a working majority in the US Senate.

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"No totally rational person would argue that the solution to highway fatalities is to severely restrict access to automobiles." Has it occured to you that automobiles have serious economic benefits that guns do not? It's a false equivalence. Also this statement makes me assume you are not aware that GUN VIOLENCE IS THE NUMBER ONE CAUSE OF DEATH OF CHILDREN IN THE USA. Not auto accidents.

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Also, we do restrict access to automobiles. Drivers must have a license, pass tests to get one, and can lose it for several reasons. Every car must be registered and inspected. Cars and drivers must be insured. All of that costs money every year. The price is higher for at-risk categories like young drivers. If your car is in an accident, you are financially responsible for the damage. Applying those same rules to guns would be a step in the right direction.

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Absoluement

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The AR15 is the civilian version of what was the M16 which has evolved and been continually improved since I used one in VN in 1970. It was designed by a man named Stoner if my memory is correct and manufactured by Arm Lite, it was built by several gun manufacturers under license. There may well be hundreds of different versions of that gun being made today. It was designed to be an assault rifle, to be used by soldiers to assault ie. attack an enemy, as such it was relatively short compared to the rifles our soldiers used in WWII, and easy to use in confined spaces, there are much shorter variants in use today with collapsing but stocks ie. the part that you put to your shoulder, these don’t have to be used that way, you can fire them from the hip, aiming in the traditional way is slow, in truth all you have to do is look where you want to hit and your hands will automatically point the weapon there. An AR15 is an industrial machine that is designed to do one thing and that is to kill people, as such it is very good at that, for the most part they are well made and will be around for a century or more, so for the cost of an iPhone you can have a killing machine that will functionality out live all of us and is capable of killing thousands, now there are 20 million of them in American homes. Anyone can pick one up, stick in a magazine with 20, 30, up to 100 rounds, pull back the charging handle, and rock N roll. We have a major problem, and it’s not just the sanity of some people, it’s that we have 20 million of these machines that are designed to do one thing and that is to kill people. They are not lethal like a car can be, that you have to know how to drive, a child can wield one of these things, they are undoubtedly the most lethal object in America today. Again there are 20 million of these goddamn things and they are being used with great efficiency whenever one falls into the wrong hands. It’s not the gun’s fault, it’s just a mindless machine, it could be sitting on your wall for decades and it would harm no one, but put it in the wrong hands and you have what we have witnessed the last couple weeks. This is an object that has one purpose and that is to kill people, it’s not a hunting rifle, I have been a hunter most of my life and I have only needed more than one shot to kill what I was hunting one time and that was two shots, I know of no game in North America that you need a 30 round magazine to hunt, other than people. We need to get rid of these things, every last one of them, they have no place in our society other than the military for which they were designed. I know about that which I speak, in the 1960’s I was trained as a green beret light and heavy weapons specialist and I put my training to use in VN where I saved the lives of men who would have died had I not been there, that has not been without a price that I continue to pay every day.

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New Zealand got rid of those weapons after the Christchurch massacre. Their legislature was unanimous except for one vote. “We are a pragmatic people,” said PM Jacinda Ardern.

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And Jacinda Arden made it happen in a snap. So did the Prime Minister of Australia after they had a massacre. His buy back guns plan worked. Sacramento, CA just had gas for guns event and 60 guns were returned.

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Dick. Thank you for this information and your service.

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Thank you for your comments always, Dick Montagne. I stand in gratitude for your service.

Salud!

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Wired magazine had article several years ago about the extensive damage a bullet from AR15’s can do and why.

Copied Here:

What an AR-15 Can Do to the Human Body

When a patient is shot by an AR-15, it "looks like a grenade went off in there."

WIRED

All guns can kill, but they do not kill equally.

Compare the damage an AR-15 and a 9mm handgun can do to the human body: “One looks like a grenade went off in there,” says Peter Rhee, a trauma surgeon at the University of Arizona. “The other looks like a bad knife cut.”

The AR-15 is America’s most popular rifle. It has also been the weapon of choice in mass shootings from Sandy Hook to Aurora to San Bernardino. In Orlando, the shooter used a Sig Sauer MCX, an AR-15 style rifle originally developed for special ops, to kill 49 people in the Pulse nightclub. The carnage sparked new calls to reinstate a ban on assault rifles like the AR-15, which were designed as weapons of war.

It’s possible to argue about everything when it comes to the politics of guns---including about the definition of “assault rifle” itself---but it’s harder to argue about physics. So let's consider the physics of an AR-15.

A bullet with more energy can do more damage. Its total kinetic energy is equal to one-half the mass of the bullet times its velocity squared. The bullet from a handgun is---as absurd as it may sound---slow compared to that from an AR-15. It can be stopped by the thick bone of the upper leg. It might pass through the body, only to become lodged in skin, which is surprisingly elastic.

The bullet from an AR-15 does an entirely different kind of violence to the human body. It’s relatively small, but it leaves the muzzle at three times the speed of a handgun bullet. It has so much energy that it can disintegrate three inches of leg bone. “It would just turn it to dust,” says Donald Jenkins, a trauma surgeon at University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. If it hits the liver, “the liver looks like a jello mold that’s been dropped on the floor.” And the exit wound can be a nasty, jagged hole the size of an orange.

These high-velocity bullets can damage flesh inches away from their path, either because they fragment or because they cause something called cavitation. When you trail your fingers through water, the water ripples and curls. When a high-velocity bullet pierces the body, human tissues ripples as well---but much more violently. The bullet from an AR-15 might miss the femoral artery in the leg, but cavitation may burst the artery anyway, causing death by blood loss. A swath of stretched and torn tissue around the wound may die. That’s why, says Rhee, a handgun wound might require only one surgery but an AR-15 bullet wound might require three to ten.

Then, multiply the damage from a single bullet by the ease of shooting an AR-15, which doesn’t kick. “The gun barely moves. You can sit there boom boom boom and reel off shots as fast as you can move your finger,” says Ernest Moore, a trauma surgeon at Denver Health and editor of the Journal of Trauma and Acute Surgery, which just published an issue dedicated to gun violence.

Handguns kill plenty of people too, of course, and they’re responsible for the vast majority of America’s gun deaths. But a single bullet from a handgun is not likely to be as deadly as one from an AR-15.

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That's a very good description of how I understand the effects of being hit by one of these .223 bullets. I was taught that a vaccume follows right behind the bullet as it moves, that's why if someone shoots at you and misses you hear the crack of the bullet going past, it's the sound barrier being broken, a bull whip tip does the same thing, there's no noise maker on the end of a bull whip, just the tip of leather that breaks the sound barrier. As I understand it, that vacuume follows the bullet into a person and shatters everything three dimensionally, not just in the direct path of the bullet but radiating out all along the path the bullet takes until it slows down. You are right a 9mm can kill you, but because it's moving at an order of magnitude slower, it doesn't come with the trailing vacuume that follows it into someone, it's more like being hit by a baseball bat and unless it hits something vital much more survivable.

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Thank you for epinephrine that information alive.

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Well said. There was a comment made here the other day where a person described his first experience as (and I paraphrase because I'm not caffeinated enough to search for it) "intoxicated with the power you feel when shooting it." The power to kill people as fast as you can pull the trigger on a legal semi-automatic with however many rounds in the magazine you're able to have.

Ally House, Deputy Sheriff (ret).

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Thank you. Alec Ferguson, main battery director operator, USS Barry DD933

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Dick - some powerful words. I agree 100%. But dude - the genie is out of the bottle. I don't know what we can do now....

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Here in NH, our Free Stater State Representative Kevin Verville refers to these weapons as "Modern Sporting Rifles". But that's okay because in November, we're finally going to vote him out.

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I don't understand why these are acceptable and hand grenades aren't. They both cause the same result in about the same period of time. Maybe because we want to protect property more than people?

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Additionally, our police forces need to remove these weapons from their service. There is certainly no need to use high capacity assault weapons against civilians.

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May 27, 2022·edited May 27, 2022

Dick, You continue to teach and save lives. Your description of the AR15, its sole purpose and its absolute connection to the Republicans, the Donor Class and all those who sacrifice humanity for control of the USA, their own personal power and greed - clear, clear and clear. Thank you.

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👌🏼

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I read an article today whose author suggested that sports celebrities might be the key to turning this around. People will listen to the players and coaches more then they will listen to leaders from either side. Bravo to those coaches and leagues addressing gun violence.

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Tampa Bay Rays step up in Florida "in lieu of game coverage...to offer facts about the impacts of gun violence:"

https://twitter.com/RaysBaseball/status/1529955769885548556?s=20&t=Nm0gCl9dmWeoO3Uwob_XJQ

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May 27, 2022·edited May 27, 2022

Thank you Ellie. May we all constantly stand for our Democracy as you do. Here is tweet from Mallory McMorrow, Michigan legislator. Listen. No more empty condolence. We must imagine the pain to be aware of what to do so it never happens again. https://twitter.com/MalloryMcMorrow/status/1529923396846460930?s=20&t=4CWXxH905YRqcRnu3DKHew

VOTE. GET THE VOTE OUT. Faith WITH works. 2022 election most important in decades and decades. Roar!

UNITA, Ellie.

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Oh . . . My . . . . Goodness!! A truly impactful speech. Everyone should hear this, but as she states, the Republiqans in the Michigan state senate choose to bury their heads up their asses instead (I paraphrase). If it is true that 90% of people favor gun control there is something they can do to make it happen- VOTE BLUE!

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McMorrow has become my new heroine! She is exactly one of the leaders we need in this movement.

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Yes, Christine and all of us, ROAR! It was good to see Lawrence O'Donnell roaring on his show last night, including an interview of Rep. Mallory McMorrow with this clip of her speech that the Michigan legislature prevented from being delivered by shutting down early.

Offered on her Twitter is this video of how little objects "help" kids in school. Video is reportedly from @sandyhook a couple years ago:

https://twitter.com/JoshCrewsReally/status/1529868479989370898?s=20&t=3e6dz3tuu2UMFf1JemHN-Q

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Dang it, Ellie. I had my tears in check today. Until watching this ad. Our children are such natural, resourceful heroes and heroines.

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Ohhhh…Ellie…WOW! WOW! Shedding more tears

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That is powerful. It needs to be heard.

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Thank you for this link.

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Has DeSantis threatened them yet?

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My thoughts exactly!

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Thanks, Ellie !Today’s task will be to contact Florida Repubs and ask…

If this is a “mental health issue”, why did Florida just stop the use of CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey in our schools??? Don’t Say Gay or Gun Use Risk ??😡

https://news.wfsu.org/state-news/2022-05-01/florida-drops-survey-on-teen-health-and-mental-health-at-worst-time-says-pediatric-expert

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Wow, great find, Kathy. CDC needs a Republican Risk Behavior Survey.

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Yes whatever moves the needle is great- but what a commentary on our society that this is who may “save” us. Oh, yeah, that - and black women voting en masse for Democrats!

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So we should elect sports stars instead of politicians. Not a question.

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Heavens no. Have you heard Herschel Walker? He's a dope.

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No. We vote out that which we despise by voting in that and whom we respect! (I’m voting for as many like-minded women as are on my ballot. And supporting campaigns of many around the country.)

Salud, Irenie.

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Not a bad idea. They understand about level playing fields.

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They understand there is no "I" in "Team". Wait, that sounds like socialism.

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❤️❤️👏

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Aughghh! Next the dreaded communism ?!!

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and winning and LOOSING

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Musicians.

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Right on, tuba brother!

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ALLY, LOOK FOR HOMER AND ME TOWARD THE BACK OF THE BUS.

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Except look at Tommy Tubberville and Herschel Walker....

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