When Did ‘More Guns, More Gun Violence’ Become Controversial?


Its intuitive, right? More guns means more gun violence. When did that become controversial? Ok, I guess I have to admit I’m naive in thinking there was ever a time when the majority of people agreed that more guns means more gun violence. We have an entire political coalition that believes the answer to gun violence is more guns. And every time there is a mass shooting in this country, they get exactly what they want. Their “logical” response to a mass shooting is to hit up the local gun store and stock up. Yet, the mass shootings continue. So, I ask gun rights advocates, when do we reach critical mass? When will we reach the gun saturation level necessary to quell gun violence and mass shootings in America? When do we reach peak gun?

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There’s No Off Position On The Gun Rights Switch

We often hear about elderly who crash their car because they confused the gas pedal for the brake pedal (I witnessed this years ago in Burger King parking lot), or any number of other reasons why someone of advanced age could wreck their car. And we hope in these cases the only people they hurt are themselves (at worst). And of course, many people say there needs to be an age limit on driving or there needs to be required driving tests for people once they get to a certain age. And of course, we do nothing about this because, well, it’s a touchy subject.

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White Conservative Bygone Dominance

Is there any other kind? Okay, I know I’m being completely condescending towards conservatives, but quite honestly, it’s hard not to be. Do I have to refrain from pointing out factual inaccuracies or flat-out bullshit for fear that a conservative might get upset and accuse me of a patronizing attitude?

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Ignore The Resolute Voices Of Regression

Some might see it as a noble refrain to say we shouldn’t use a tragedy to advance a political agenda (e.g. guns, confederate flag). But, it shouldn’t always be seen that way. First, this notion assumes all political agendas are equally sincere and rational, when we know this to be false. Some agendas are immensely more honorable than others. Second, it may be a nice notion to believe human beings can always solve big problems and address major issues (including human rights violations) when far removed from adversity and calamity, but unfortunately we mere human beings are more imperfect than we care to admit. Sometimes it is only in the wake of calamity, even when resolutely confronted by the voices of regression, that we are able to recognize and fix historical injustices.

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Social Media, Religion, Politics – Just Chill Out

Maybe it comes from the fact that I’m not religious. Maybe it comes from the fact that I don’t have deep-seated beliefs that I take “personally” when remarks I make are challenged. But, some people just need to chill out on Facebook, on Twitter, or whatever your social network of choice happens to be. If I challenge something you said in a Facebook status update, it’s a confrontation of that particular thought, not the entirety of you as a person. But if this “thought” is of religious nature, even if disguised as political, that’s where we get into the territory of the deep-seated belief. And maybe I just can’t understand how one would react in this situation because, again, I don’t have deep-seated beliefs on the level of religious dogma. And let’s not mistake this with ethics or morals, because they are not the same things. Your “beliefs” are not directly equitable to what society may consider ethical or moral in the aggregate. We need only look to Islamic extremists to drive this point home. Anyway, do I have a point here? Not really, other than people need to chill the fuck out when an opposing viewpoint “intrudes” into their social media territory.

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Biblical Issue Or Not, Huckabee Is A Friend Of The Gays

On a recent CNN appearance, potential Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee was asked if there should be “room for those who want same-sex marriage to be the law of the land.” Of course we all know Huckabee is opposed to same-sex marriage on religious grounds, which is fine for Mike Huckabee, as long as it doesn’t actually inhibit the rights of others. Mr. Huckabee is free to “believe” whatever he wants to believe, but let’s not mistake a person’s beliefs with human rights. “The very fact that I talk about the relationships I have with friends who are gay, indicate that I’m not a person who shuts everybody out around me who disagrees,” said Huckabee. Ah, playing the gay variety of the “friend” card I see. Huckabee can’t possibly be against the human rights of gays, because he has friends who are gay. And besides, his hands are tied. If you have a problem with Huckabee’s beliefs, well, you need to take it up with God. “It is a biblical issue. And as a biblical issue, unless I get a new version of the scriptures, it’s really not my place to say, ‘Okay, I’m just going to evolve.’” Actually, it is everyone’s place to say what is right and what is wrong and not hang it on ancient scriptures written by, let’s just say it, people who were less “evolved” on social issues. Huckabee’s beliefs are not the word of God, his beliefs are simple bigotry masquerading as holy scripture. And Huckabee is well within his rights to hold these beliefs, but it is NOT a “biblical issue” when it comes to human rights and the laws that govern this country. The United States of America is not a theocracy, so when it comes to human rights, you can check your “biblical issues” at the door.

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It’s Super Bowl Sunday, So Let’s Talk Racist Nicknames

Since millions of people have football on the brain today, let’s talk about the racist slang term used by an NFL team: Redskins. Yeah, I know the Washington Redskins aren’t in the Super Bowl, but what better time to talk about that team’s ridiculous name then on the biggest football day of the year. So forget about “Deflate-gate,” and testing the PSI of footballs, because I have a much more important test for us all to perform. If you think there is nothing wrong with the Redskins name, here’s a simple test: Would you call a Native American a “redskin” to his or her face? No? Then why is it ok to use that racist slang term as the official moniker of an NFL team?

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Chickenhawk America

On Friday’s Real Time with Bill Maher, the first guest was Jim Fallows, national correspondent for The Atlantic, there to talk about his article, “The Tragedy of the American Military.” And it’s certain to be a juicy piece with the following subtitle: “The American public and its political leadership will do anything for the military except take it seriously. The result is a chickenhawk nation in which careless spending and strategic folly combine to lure America into endless wars it can’t win.” Yeah, I’d say that about sums it up. Hey, it’s late on a Friday night, actually, early Saturday morning now. I just got done watching Real Time, and I fully admit I have not read this article yet, I’ve only skimmed it. I intend to follow up later with more in-depth analysis, but I felt compelled to share a few things. — I’ve had this thought for a while: I tell people, particularly the many conservatives in my family, that I “support the troops.” And I’m not lying. I mean, fuck, I don’t have the balls to do what they do. But, there is also the fact that there are politicians, whether they are earnest or wrongheaded or both, that got us into these bullshit wars that were never winnable in the first place. The “troops” are just doing a job, and then we say we support them. We welcome them home. We sometimes give them parades. But here’s the problem: There is an unhealthy level of hero-worship of people serving in America’s military. Bill Maher says the military is “such a scared cow,” and he’s right. Basically, if we criticize anything related to the military, that means we aren’t supporting the troops. But maybe, just maybe, anyone who actually stops, thinks, maybe uses a bit of brain capacity, will realize how ridiculous that notion is. We can criticize the military industrial complex, and the feckless and spineless politicians who feed it, and we WILL NOT be accused of criticizing the troops in the process. And if anyone cares to do so, they shall be summarily dismissed from the realm of nuanced and careful thought, because they are the reactionaries among us. They cannot tolerate any dissent among the ranks. As President George W. Bush once said, “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.” Because that’s about as nuanced as we can expect when it comes to the modern American military hero-worship crowd. In their myopic view, if you criticize our military, or the people giving the orders, you are against the troops, and you are aiding the enemy. — Now hand me a deflated football, because there’s a Super Bowl coming up, and I’ve got more important things to consider than militaristic geopolitical nonsense.

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Hashtag TYPHILLYPOLICE – Philly Police, Social Media, And False Support?

On New Years Day 2015, people on social media showed their support of Philadelphia police officers with the hashtag #TYPHILLYPOLICE. Now, I know I’m going to get some shit from some people (if they read this) for going down the path I’m about to go down, but you know what? Fuck it. Obviously I have no problem with people showing support for their local police. Obviously I have plenty of respect for police officers doing a job that is often thankless and certainly dangerous. So, what’s my problem? My problem is that this hashtag, this effort, and similar efforts like it, are clearly in response to protests related to Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and other black men (and children) killed by police officers in recent months. I wonder how many of the people using this hashtag are doing so genuinely, and more importantly, solely in support of Philadelphia police officers or their local police force? Or could it be they are also using this hashtag to voice their own form of protest against Michael Brown and Eric Garner protestors? Please excuse my cynicism, but I just don’t buy it. I don’t remember this much of an outpouring on social media in support of police until people had an “other” in society for which they needed to voice their own protest against.

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The Many Inconvenient Truths Shunned By Conservatives

It seems when you point something out that’s uncomfortable for conservatives, let’s call it an “inconvenient truth” (damn you Al Gore), the conservative reaction is to trot out isolated anecdotal evidence in an attempt to refute said inconvenient truth. So, if we are talking about global warming, then of course the conservative reaction is to hype stories about record snowfall, as if the two cannot coexist. If we are talking about police brutality and excessive force, then the conservative reaction is to highlight stories of police compassion and restraint, as if those two qualities shouldn’t always be part of the job description. If we are talking about racism, then conservatives talk about reverse racism, as if that’s a thing, and as if racism isn’t just racism, regardless of which race it is. And if we are talking about government programs for the less fortunate in society, conservatives must highlight the small percentage of people who abuse these programs, as if the people who are deserving should be punished because of the abuses of the undeserving. It’s as if conservatives have a lesson to teach us all, but they forgot to learn the subject themselves.

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