One of the key things that drove the rise of the current Republican Party was the celebration of a certain model of an ideal man, patterned on the image of the American cowboy. Republicans claimed to be defending individual men who could protect their families if only the federal government would stop interfering with them. Beginning in the 1950s, those opposed to government regulation and civil rights decisions pushed the imagery of the cowboy, who ran cattle on the Great Plains from 1866 to about 1886 and who, in legend, was a white man who worked hard, fought hard against Indigenous Americans, and wanted only for the government to leave him alone.
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.
Thank you, thank you, a million times over, for sticking with this. We are sickened, and the truth makes us even angrier.
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.
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.
Angeli Rose Gomez is a hero for our terribly troubled times, just like security guard Aaron Salter Jr. who was slain trying to stop the mass murderer in Buffalo.
Meanwhile, Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, has called for the FBI to investigate the law enforcement response to the shooting. “The people of Uvalde, of Texas, and of the nation deserve an accurate account of what transpired,” Castro wrote in a letter to FBI Director Chris Wray.
Will anyone be surprised if the FBI finds incompetence and cowardice among the Uvalde police and others in law enforcement?
And once again Republicans for all their manly-men blather and big-gun fetishes have shown who they really are — actors playing parts that they see as heroic but are exactly the opposite.
The image of Beto standing defiantly in front of the assembled politicians of Texass was very reminiscent of the famous Norman Rockwell painting "Freedom of Speech". America lives!
See the first 10 sec of the video:
So much for thoughts and prayers or blaming "evil". He made it plain they were bankrupt.
The Senate represents the weapons industry. The weapons industry owns the Senate. WTF
Sincerely, The Ferg
I don’t know who these “manly” men think they’re fooling. I guess only other “manly” men like themselves. Just beyond absurd. There are not enough strong words in the English language to describe my disdain for Greg Abbott and Ted Cruz.
I saw a segment on Sky News where a reporter asked Ted Cruz why these shootings only happen in the US, and is this part of American Exceptionalism. Ted Cruz responded by lashing out and accusing the reporter of not appreciating American Exceptionalism. Then Cruz told the reporter that people come to the US because it is the safest place on earth, then stomped off. He is such a silly, silly, petty embarrassment, and ridiculous man.
I’m beyond tired of these - excuse my language - fucks having such outsized control over our society.
I just got out of bed; couldn't sleep. I opened my computer hoping you had sent a letter. You did. Two minutes ago. I can feel your pain and anger. Heather, can you bring yourself to say it: we live in the United States of Death. A Modest Proposal. If the Democrats DO NOT hold the House and DO NOT pick up three new Senate seats breaking the stranglehold of Manchin and Sinema, every town in New England and anywhere else in America that holds town meeting should bring forth a petition at the next regular or special town meeting in their communities urging secession from the United States of Death. This is where democracy was born; where the Revolution began. Let's get the ball rolling. Is anyone from Concord and Lexington game to give it a try. At least, it would give us average folk some small sense of agency by making a grassroots statement we have had enough with a fanatical minority ruining our lives and our futures by its embrace of gun culture, toxic masculinity, climate denial, Covid vaccines and masking, and violence.
F*** republicans. Nothing will be done as long as people keep voting for them.
This story line of what happened, when & how is so different from what was initially presented...that a lone police officer had rushed in and protected the children, getting shot in the process. There has to be a documentary on this done immediately. In time for Mid Terms. A good friend of mine, a free lance camera man just returned from Buffalo shooting coverage and he told me last night he was on hold to go to San Antonio for CNN. Heather, I've got a lot of projects on my plate right now, but none more important to the country than this. If we can crowd source some funding I'd help make this happen. We produced "Fracking Western Maryland?" a few years ago with some crowd funding...and I donated a lot of time because I learned how important it was to not frack Deep Creek Lake. It would have killed the 4 season outdoor tourist economy they had, not to mention the health, safety and water concerns...and made a few people very rich...including one State Representative who was absurd in his attempts to keep fracking alive. I started the project as a journalist and ended as an activist, before the final vote.We eventually won the vote and Gov. Hogan signed the bill which had a veto proof margin.
Perhaps the people of Uvalde, Texas, and the families of the victims of the Robb Elementary School massacre will force us to dismantle the high threshold of terror we've been forced to endure because politicians have chosen cash over human life. Maybe Beto and the parents of Uvalde, who are standing up to the lies and failures of Abbott and law enforcement, will help flip the switch and open millions of eyes across the country to the fact that it's not going to stop until we make it stop. Something has to enrage us enough to make us stand against the never ending barrage of death we've become accustomed to. It's guns, it's disease, it's overdoses. It's politicians who have shoved their absolute disdain for everyday people who want nothing more than to live a safe and peaceful life down our throats. We are being held hostage by their greed and lust for power.
The parents in Uvalde, who are pushing back against Abbott's and law enforcement's lies, are warriors. They have lost so much, yet in their grief they are willing to stand up against the rot that killed their loved ones. We must embrace their sorrow and courage, give them strength and join them to put an end to the terror.
I was shocked to my core this evening when I thought to check and saw that that false flag conspiracy theories started circulating widely within minutes of both the Uvalde and Buffalo massacres being reported. Apparently, it’s being said on the alt right now that ALL mass shooting should be assumed to be government/global elites-engineered false flag operations to “take our guns” before 2024 election. And unfortunately, these stories stick around, because they don’t have to be based on any sort of evidence at all. Because the essence of a false flag operation assertion is that there *won’t* be evidence. But those who *know the truth* will just *know* it when they see it. So the stories are essentially irrefutable.
Data, data, data. We only get it in a few places, especially here. I’m still stuck on a variation of one of Mr. Hubbell’s remarks from yesterday. It had to do with the costs of these shootings being paid by murdered children. I now found myself wondering what that total cost has been so far. Where would we set the date? How many children have lost their lives since ______? What is the value of a life? Is a husband dying of a heart attack after his wife was murdered to be collateral damage? The statistical gathering of information simply does not effect the minds that prevent any action. Wonder what the cost of those minds might be? Probably much less than to total of lives lost to vicious rhetoric on extremist Right-wing propaganda sites.
Thank you, again, for providing the background on the current “cowboy” culture with its focus not on using rifles to put food on the table or defend livestock from predators, but, instead, to brag about your gun that is bigger and badder and can shoot more bullets faster than your neighbor’s. After bragging comes proving your claims by proving that you can use that big, bad MF to do what it’s designed to do.
Attempting to make something productive from my frustration and anger.
After I read Robert Hubbell's account of McConnell appointing John Cornyn to the bipartisan talks, I posted part of it on Cornyn's FB page with added comments:
John Cornyn's post:
Instead of celebrating the last day of school, 21 families in Uvalde are making funeral arrangements.
I'm not interested in making a political statement, I'm interested in what we can do to make the tragic events that occurred less likely in the future.
Here's an action to start that process. Get assault weapons off the civilian market. Wheedle and buy them out of the hands and gun closets of civilians.
Chief Justice Warren Burger discussed the Second Amendment.
"The Gun Lobby’s interpretation of the Second Amendment is one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word fraud, on the American People by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime. The real purpose of the Second Amendment was to ensure that state armies – the militia – would be maintained for the defense of the state. The very language of the Second Amendment refutes any argument that it was intended to guarantee every citizen an unfettered right to any kind of weapon he or she desires."
John Cornyn discussed the Second Amendment (as quoted by Hubbell):
"I think we need to be open to whatever, wherever the evidence leads us. I would say that this is not an excuse to infringe the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens that will do nothing to fix tragedies like this." John Cornyn is parroting conservative anarchists who each harbor the delusion that s/he is The Heroic Marksman who can take down a determined killer and his assault weapons. John Cornyn is willing to sacrifice our children and elders to this delusion. John Cornyn and The Heroic Marksman have forgotten the phenomenon of friendly fire, where the fog of war increases casualties, rather than reducing them.