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AndyS

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Pelican Bay, TX 76020
Home country: United States
Current location: home
Member since: Thu Jan 20, 2005, 02:07 PM
Number of posts: 10,474

Journal Archives

One bad apple spoils the barrel.

The whole barrel.

Like, every damn apple in the fucking barrel.

So, Police Officers, if you don't like being painted with that broad brush, stop covering for the BAD APPLE.

If a fellow cop holds racists beliefs, you know it and you know HE AIN'T YA' BROTHER.

If a fellow cop trades sex for a traffic ticket HE AIN'T YA' BROTHER.

Get the fuck over it and clean up your house.

You know who they are. You know what to do.

I live in a small N Texas town, usually votes R by 70%.

I have a Tarrant Co. Dems t shirt and a Moms Demand Action shirt. I don't wear them in public 'cause I just don't need the aggravation. However today I was wearing my MDA shirt, not planning to go out, and had to make a quick trip the pharmacy.

As I expected I was confronted---by a woman who asked where she could get a shirt like it! Didn't see that coming.

Contact info for Texas Legislators.

Governor Gregg Abbott
https://gov.texas.gov/contact

Speaker of the House Dade Phelan
https://house.texas.gov/members/member-page/email/?district=21&session=87

Find your state and national legislators.
https://wrm.capitol.texas.gov/home


After the freeze and once I got electric and internet back I sent missives to every one of those in elected office.

A paraphrase of my missive to Gregg Abbott:

'It is time to re-think the policies of the last two decades. Our approach to energy, regulation and the national grid has resulted in the deaths of Texans. Let that sink in. Texans have died for the sake of energy producer's profits.

We must rejoin the national grid with any regulation that goes with that. As the founders said, "We must hang together for surely we will all hang separately." Don't leave Texas hanging alone.'

Why we can't have nice things

There’s a belief among some American gun owners that the second amendment is highly individualized and was placed in the constitution as an individual right to fight government tyranny. Therefore, each individual has the right to own whatever and however many weapons they want, free from any government interference. A licensing law or a universal background check law would mean the government knows who’s got a gun. If you believe there’s an individual right to insurrection, you can’t have any gun laws.
======
When National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre says things like, “The guys with the guns make the rules”, or politicians and elected officials say, “We will rely on second amendment remedies”, what they mean is that people with guns will, in fact, set the political agenda and settle political disputes. That is a profoundly undemocratic idea. As Abe Lincoln famously said, “Any appeal from the ballot box to the bullet box must fail.” We are a country based on the rule of law. Guns don’t make you a super citizen with the ability to make special rules or have special political influence because you happen to be armed.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/oct/18/guns-are-a-way-to-exercise-power-how-the-idea-of-overthrowing-the-government-became-mainstream

I have heard this 'insurrection theory of the 2nd Amendment' argued right here on DU. I have yet to have anyone explain to me just why the founders would go to such pains to create a government of, by and for the People and then espouse the possibility of destroying it through violent revolution. Nor have any of them explained to me why, if they believed such overthrow might be advised, they included Article III Section 3 in the document that created it.
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

Regardless of any reasoned explanation to the contrary it is a widely held belief fostered by every gun rights advocate and furthered by the marketing by gun makers.


As the sign in the mall says, You are here. What can be done to counter this insurrection inspiring dogma that has adherents wearing combat gear into government buildings and plotting the kidnapping and murder of heads of state?

I suggest that the best place to begin is to ban the manufacture, import, sale, transfer and possession of any semi automatic weapon that accepts interchangeable magazines.

This is not who we are . . .

I keep hearing this.

A Muslim ban, this is not who we are . . .

Children in cages, this is not who we are . . .

George Floyd, this is not who we are . . .

Nazis in Charlottesville, this is not who we are . . .

White supremacists storm the Capital, this is not who we are . . .

THIS IS EXACTLY WHO WE ARE.

Who we always have been.

If we, the white, privileged, moderate, mainstream Americans don't realize and embrace this, THAT THIS IS WHO WE ARE, it is who we will always be.

Martin Luther King tried to show us the way. We killed him. John and Bobby tried to show us the way. We killed them. Abraham Lincoln tried to show us the way. We killed him.

WE DID THIS. The white, privileged, moderate, mainstream Americans.

Trump has shown us who we are. If it weren't Trump it would be someone else.

The only question remaining is, now that we've been shown will we see? Will this upheaval that pulled the curtain aside, that held the mirror to our face and exposed us to ourselves will we seize this as an opportunity for redemption or quietly settle back into who we are?

I fear the answer.

Why we can't have nice things

It's been said that, at it's most base, the job of the Military is to tear things up and kill people. Of course that's an over simplification and definitely not a primary mission but in there somewhere is that last option.

In the implementation of that last option the Military has a LOT of guns and a LOT of people well trained to use them. So, how does the Military treat guns which are so vital to it's mission?

Why don't do what James Fallows, a reporter for the Atlantic, did and ask an Army Officer:

My niche perspective is this: in the Army, firearms are much more heavily regulated than in civil society. How can so many enthusiastic gun owners say that they hold the military as a model, and yet not accept the strict regulations that go with the military’s use of firearms?
. . .
In the Army, firearms are stored under lock, key, and sometimes guard, and god help you if one goes missing—the post shuts down and a frenzied search bordering on a religious quest begins. After basic training, soldiers are required to go through a few hours of refresher training with practical drills before they are even allowed on a range for individual shooting qualification. These are ranges that are heavily monitored, with a monumental emphasis on safety.
. . .
Can many of the gun-rights advocates be heard seriously advocating for hours and hours of training and qualification by competent authorities before a civilian is allowed to own the same weapon soldiers carry? Perhaps, but I am not aware of it….
. . .
To put a final twist on Oscar Wilde, even in the niche of American gun culture we are living with both extreme barbarism and extreme decadence, with only a precarious sliver of civilization in between.

There is so much more context in the article and it's a good read. Four paragraphs are very limiting so I hope you take the time to at least scan it.

https://www.theatlantic.com/notes/2018/03/an-army-officer-says-regulate-weapons-just-like-we-do-in-the-military/554816/

From another article in the series:

During the Vietnam war era, as a newly graduated mechanical engineer, I was hired by Colt's Firearms, the original manufacturer of the M-16, and tasked with M-16 related assignments during my employment.
. . .
The AR-15 was developed specifically as a military weapon to replace the M-14. It was probably one of the first major weapons systems to be privately developed following the DOD's decision to privatize the design and development function. This function had heretofore been carried out by publicly funded government operations, most notably, in the case of military small arms, the Springield Arsenal.
. . .
Only after civilian manufacturers like Colt's made boatloads of money producing M16A1's and selling them to the government did someone (I believe it was Colt's Firearms) decide to make and sell a semi-automatic-only version of the weapon for civilian sale. It was, of course, known as the AR-15.
. . .
Like Eugene Stoner, whose mission was producing better equipment for the military, I do not believe that there is any place in the civilian world for a family of weapons that were born as an assault rifle. I am a staunch supporter of properly equipping our nation's military but also of effective gun control for weapons available to civilians, to include banning those which are inappropriate outside a military context.

As with the first article this one has much more context and is is worth the read or at least a scan.

https://www.theatlantic.com/notes/2017/11/why-the-ar-15-was-never-meant-to-be-in-civilians-hands/545438/

These articles are part of series with the other parts linked at the end. I anticipate that I'll be posting from them as well assuming the assembling militias in our state capitols don't preempt me.

I ask again, is it time to talk about the free access to guns in American society?

In light of recent events and warnings of pending events . . .

There are more than 393 million civilian-owned firearms in the United States, or enough for every man, woman and child to own one and still have 67 million guns left over.

About one in three Americans owns all these guns.

About one third of gun owners own 5 or more.

Just about 5% of gun owners who are not collectors of curios and relics own 15 or more.

Two thirds of gun owners cite protection (presumably from other people with guns) as reason for owning a gun.

There are 285 pages of safety regulations that apply to cars. None for guns.

Deaths from autos has steadily declined since the 1960s, from guns a steady increase.

Last year 40,000 people died from gunshot in the United States, three times that (120,000) were injured.

80% of mass shootings happened with legally purchased guns by people who qualified as law abiding before they slaughtered fellow Americans.

2020 saw yet another record set in gun sales.

The FBI, after the seditious attack on the Nation's Capital, warns that similar protests are planned for ALL 50 STATE CAPITALS.



Is it time yet to discuss the easy access to guns in the United States?



Disclaimer: as a former Federal Firearms Licensee for Curios and Relics I own more than five guns, all but one designed before WWI and one before WWII. As such I was background checked by the ATF, State and local law enforcement and probably by the Animal Control Officer in my city.

Why we can't have nice things

This is the seventh in this series. I stopped numbering them at 5 because I realized that this is a never ending problem. For years the death rate attributed to guns has been about 30,000 a year and in the last few years has grown to more than 40,000. That's bad enough but along with those deaths goes 3-4 times that number in injured and damaged victims ranging from near vegetative state to simple (?) PTSD. That's as many as 160,000 people a year ranging in age from 2 to 90+ years old.

So, yeah, the Pandemic has taken precedent and deservedly so, but there is no vaccine to fix this.

So far I've devoted myself to discussing the fallacy of how we have attempted to suppress the level of carnage. I've pointed out that no matter how we try to compromise with gun extremists there will be no success because it's like pushing on a water balloon, no matter where we push it only expands elsewhere.

That is why, as a collector of antique and not so antique firearms and an avid shooter, I have come to the conclusion that we must ban the import, manufacture, transfer and possession of semi auto firearms that accept removable magazines. Period.

In earlier posts I've shown how the piecemeal approach to prohibitions and restrictions have failed because of the ingenuity of the gun industry. Today I offer an article from the gun rights side of the issue. Please take the time to read it to gain an understanding of how the industry responds to simplistic attempts to compromise with them in attempts to reduce, not eliminate, the daily carnage.

An excerpt:
Gun bans aren’t new. States have been enacting bans for years. For instance, California banned the Intratec TEC-9 pistol by name after an elementary school shooting in 1989. To get around the ban, Intratec created the TEC-DC9 and changed the location of the sling points. However, all models were banned under the Federal Assault Weapons Ban (AWB) of 1994.

Although the AWB has since expired, Intratec found a way around the ban. The company started producing the AB-10, which is basically just a TEC-9 Mini without a threaded barrel so it can’t accept attachments. When Intratec was still in business, the AB-10 was sold with smaller, 10-round magazines as opposed to the 20 and 32-round magazines sold with the original TEC-9.
When the next ban is enacted, manufacturers will produce new models with new names and change the characteristics of existing models. However, the federal government will probably pass legislation with verbiage that prevents manufacturers from sliding by like they could in the past. If your favorite firearm is under attack, be prepared for the possibility that it might be banned for good.

The article:
https://www.explosion.com/138461/how-to-be-ready-for-the-next-potential-gun-ban-in-the-united-states/

I will continue along this line and expand it to answer some of the objections hurled at any attempt legislate these military inspired rapid fire death machines.

Previous posts can be fond in my journal.

More reasons we can't have nice things. Ban all semi auto guns with removeable magazines.

First Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Second Amendment:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Do any of the pictures below conform to the emphasized portions of the Amendments above cited?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-apps/imrs.php?src=&w=916
Michigan

https://i.insider.com/5eac2453e3c3fb73644ccc22?width=2000&format=jpeg&auto=webp


North Carolina


Missouri


Virginia

?resize=770%2C513
New Mexico

https://www.click2houston.com/resizer/cEJymDE5K2VqWDMPvWh17MXFu8c=/1600x1066/smart/filters:format(jpeg):strip_exif(true):strip_icc(true):no_upscale(true):quality(65)/cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/gmg/GC6VJTOPCRGN3HKXWZKZ3PLLIY.jpg
New Hampshire

?auto=compress&crop=faces&fit=fit&fm=jpg&h=0&ixlib=php-1.2.1&q=45&w=1260
Texas

?quality=80&strip=all
Clearly part of the 'Well Regulated Militia". My advice for him? Go ahead, pull the trigger and see what happens next.

Why we can't have nice things part 5.

Stand Your Ground laws, or as some have called them 'Shoot First' laws, are the darling of the 2nd Amendment absolutists. Made famous by Florida and subsequently passed by 33 other states SYG laws are a pox on the land (but only a Smallpox).

The right to self defense is deeply ingrained in English Common law which is the basis of US law. The concept is that a person has the right to respond to threats of physical harm or death with sufficient force to neutralize that threat including deadly force. Embedded in that right is the Duty to Retreat or the responsibility to avoid violence when possible. Who wouldn't want to avoid confrontation and violence? Apparently people who carry guns.

In the decade since Florida passed SYG murders have increased 22% and lawful homicides increased from 3.4% of that total to 8.7% or a 75% increase. Other crime, both violent and nonviolent, has remained flat. So the only thing that changed was the number of people getting shot. Whoda' thought?


“Both justifiable and unlawful homicides increased substantially after the law’s effective date, unlawful homicides made up the majority of that increase,”


From this I surmise that a lot of people carrying guns thought they could get away with shooting someone but were mistaken. Still, somebody's dead. Then there is this little tidbit:

“The difference between murder and justifiable homicide hinges largely on the self-reported and difficult to refute subjective feeling of being threatened prior to killing someone,”

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-homicides-standyourground/murders-surge-in-florida-in-decade-after-stand-your-ground-law-idUSKCN1AU1QL

In other words he who survives gets to tell the story any way he wants. George Zimmerman was one of those 'justifiable homicides' until public outrage resulted in charges of second degree murder for which he was acquitted.

So, what has the gun rights movement and the SYG laws it fosters gotten us?

MORE DEAD PEOPLE.

These laws must be repealed. They do not decrease crime and do not decrease unlawful homicide. Evidence suggests that the increase in 'lawful' homicide is vastly exaggerated. They do not make anyone safer, quite the contrary.

This epidemic has no vaccine. It's up to us, you and me, to bring this insanity under control. Join an anti gun violence organization of your choice. Give money, join, go to meetings, write letters to the editor and your representatives. Make your voice heard.

Part 1 here:
https://www.democraticunderground.com/126213614

Part 2 here:
https://www.democraticunderground.com/126213620

Part 3 here:
https://www.democraticunderground.com/126213623

Part 4 here:
https://www.democraticunderground.com/126213627
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