To every kid who spent today making sure we adults don't simply get to move on with our lives, you are my heroes.


Don’t be too quick to applaud Brian Mast

Florida’s 18th district Republican Rep, Brian Mast, is getting accolades from the left for his February 23rd opinion piece, “I’m Republican. I Appreciate Assault Weapons. And I Support a Ban,” in the New York Times.

Don’t be fooled, and don’t nod your head in agreement or admiration as if he’s right and totally reasonable.

He’s not.
Also, he’s not brave, nor is he courageous for what he’s proposing. His proposition still falls far short of a real solution, and his only real achievement is that he’s simply one of the rare Republicans willing to have a rational conversation.
That’s where the bar is now on guns with Republicans; willing to have a rational conversation.
What’s wrong with Mr. Mast’s proposal?
Without confiscation, there is no real solution to the problem of mass shootings with assault rifles, large capacity magazines, and accessories that amplify the weapon’s ability to kill.
semiautomatic weapons store
It’s not enough to put the guy pictured with the article and everyone like him out of business. The “products” he sold legally and which are to become illegal under Mr. Mast’s proposals must also be illegal to possess.
If it’s going to be illegal to sell them, then it must be illegal to possess them, too.
That’s where I think the bar needs to be set.
Someone let me know when a politician emerges with the courage to take that stance.

Now can we talk about gun ownership?

It’s simple. Every gun starts its history as a legal device.

If it’s used in a crime, then the perpetrator – AND the last legal owner if the two are not the same person – need to be held accountable.

That’s what it means to be a responsible gun owner.

It’s technologically possible to track every gun, every magazine, and even every bullet. Every gun that has ever been used in a crime or in an accidental shooting has a history. There’s no reason we can’t know that history with precision from the moment it leaves the factory to the moment it becomes evidence.

It’s why I advocate for the registration of every single gun, every single magazine, and every single bullet.

It’s why I also advocate for testing and licensing just to own a gun. Any gun.

Will it stop every crime and every accident? No. Don’t be silly. Crimes will still occur. We’ll just know who the last legal owner was. That could help law enforcement to determine whether or not that individual played a role in how that gun came to be used in a crime. When it comes to accidents, surely the owner must be held accountable on some level especially when minors are involved. If your kid finds your legal gun and accidentally hurts or kills someone with it, whose fault is it? Shouldn’t you be held accountable? Aren’t there repercussions even when things happen accidentally?

Will the government know who owns what guns? You bet they will, and I’m perfectly fine with that. How can I say such a thing? Because I’m a realist. First of all, you and I are no match for the government. They can come and kill us anytime they like. Your Glock, his AR-15, and my shotguns don’t mean jack-shit no matter how many we have. Despite how badly out-gunned we are, our government doesn’t come and kill us I think mostly because there’s no money in it. So, I think it’s time we started thinking and acting like a more mature society. This ain’t the Old West, and we aren’t John Wayne. More importantly, we need to stop acting like and talking like we should be planning a takeover of our government by force. In case some of us have forgotten, we are our government. We are our military. Those institutions are comprised exclusively by our children, our friends, our family, and our neighbors. They have no reason to come and take your (or my) guns away unless we’re acting criminally. We need to de-militarize our culture and our society, not arm it even more. We need to stop buying into the bullshit the NRA is feeding to us straight from the gun makers and their lobbyists.

This is why I see tracking, registration, and licensing as simply the most logical way to hold gun owners accountable and responsible. Once again, every gun starts it history as a legal device. If it’s lost or stolen, it’s the responsibility of the owner to report it. If it’s sold to another individual, it’s the responsibility of both parties to “sign over the Title” once the new owner shows the license which makes them qualified to own it.

Why is any of this so unappealing to some people? If you say it’s because it’s your Constitutional right to own guns, I suggest you re-read the Second Amendment. This approach doesn’t infringe on your right in any way. It only codifies the conditions by which you may “keep and bear arms.” Nowhere am I saying to ban guns or gun ownership. I just want gun owners to be held accountable.

That’s how I define ‘responsible’ gun ownership.

(More of my posts on guns may be found here, here, and here)

You Could Say That a Vote for Republicans is a Vote For More Guns

Statistically, you’re most likely to be a gun owner if you’re an older, white, conservative, married, Southern man.

Know what else you’re more likely to be? Republican, especially a conservative Republican.

Source: http://www.gallup.com/poll/160223/men-married-southerners-likely-gun-owners.aspx
Source: http://www.gallup.com/poll/160223/men-married-southerners-likely-gun-owners.aspx


Why is that? Is it really grown men playing army?

playing army

Is it bravado, or is it fear?

Putting aside their perversion of the Second Amendment, why do they seem to need this level of so-called protection?

Can they only feel safe while they pour their soft drinks at the Burger King if they carry their pistols on their hips in public and for all to see?

A man openly carrying a handgun at a Burger King in Eagle, Colorado. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_carry_in_the_United_States)
A man openly carrying a handgun at a Burger King in Eagle, Colorado. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_carry_in_the_United_States)

I’m no doctor, but this looks like a psychosis to me.

Psychosis is defined by Websters as, “a mental disorder characterized by symptoms, such as delusions or hallucinations, that indicate impaired contact with reality.”

It looks to me like they’re so fearful that their reality requires more guns in more places and carried openly by more people in order for us all to be…….. safer?

I don’t agree with George W. Bush’s speech writer, David Frum, on much, but I do agree with him on this.

“But most of the time, gun owners are frightening themselves irrationally. They have conjured in their own imaginations a much more terrifying environment than genuinely exists — and they are living a fantasy about the security their guns will bestow. And to the extent that they are right — to the extent that the American environment is indeed more dangerous than the Australian or Canadian or German or French environment — the dangers gun owners face are traceable to the prevalence of the very guns from which they so tragically mistakenly expect to gain safety.”
(“Do guns make us safer?” by David Frum, July 30, 2012)

Nate Silver had this to say after analyzing the 2008 election data. I agree with him, too.

“It might seem strange that ownership of a single household object is so strongly tied to voting behavior and broader political attitudes in America. But America is an outlier relative to other industrialized nations in its gun ownership rates. Whatever makes this country so different from the rest of the world must surely be reflected in the differences in how Democrats and Republicans see the nation.”
(“Party Identity in a Gun Cabinet” by Nate Silver, December 18, 2012)

What, you might ask as I did, are our elected leaders doing about guns and gun safety?

There are two identical bills, S. 2373 and H.R. 4707, that were introduced on May 21st of this year. The purpose is simple: to appropriate $10million per year in funding over the next 5 years to the CDC for, “conducting or supporting research on firearms safety or gun violence prevention.”

The Senate bill has 9 cosponsors. The House Resolution has 26.

They are all Democrats.

So, if you don’t mind seeing people like these while you have your lunch, then go right ahead and keep voting for Republicans.

Open Carry Texas demonstrators at Chipotle. Screenshot: Facebook (Source http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/05/chipotle-guns-open-carry-texas)
Open Carry Texas demonstrators at Chipotle. Screenshot: Facebook (Source http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/05/chipotle-guns-open-carry-texas)


If you don’t, then don’t vote for a Republican; any Republican.

Like it or not, every Republican has willingly decided to represent a party that is in the NRA’s pocket and, as we all know, the NRA of today doesn’t want any restrictions on anything.

That’s not freedom. That’s not liberty. That’s madness.




“Men, Married, Southerners Most Likely to Be Gun Owners,” Gallup, 2/1/2013

“Do guns make us safer?” David Frum, CNN, 7/30/2012

“Party Identity in a Gun Cabinet” by Nate Silver, 12/18/2012

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/s2373 and https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr4707, govtrack.US

“National Rifle Assn,” OpenSecrets.org


Florida’s ‘stand your ground’ law was born of 2004 case, but story has been distorted

See on Scoop.itDidYouCheckFirst

PENSACOLAIn 2005, as lawmakers pushed to pass sweeping self-defense legislation that would become known as the “stand your ground” law, critics had one challenge: Show us a case in which someone had been treated unjustly.

Greg Russak‘s insight:

Lawmakers continue to misconstrue the case.

See on www.tampabay.com