Category Archives: political crap

Pretending to lynch the governor isn’t American or Christian

As part of a protest outside the Governor’s mansion in Frankfort, Kentucky, several men pulled a stuffed dummy with Governor Andy Beshear’s face attached from a car, tied a rope around its neck, and hanged it from a tree. (Credit: Sarah Ladd)

It’s ironic that as these two fine patriots–guys I assume love the hell out of Jesus–pretended to murder a duly elected official, Lee Greenwood (recorded) sang about how he’s proud to be an American where at least he knows he’s free, in a song called God Bless the USA.

I’m an American and a Christian, too.

Plenty of damn Bibles. Both of us.

To quote the great theologian Frank Barone, I’ve read plenty of damn Bibles. My Bible includes 1 Peter 2:13, which says to submit to those in authority, whether a king or a head of state. Then there’s Romans 13:1, which says to submit to governing authorities, for all authority comes from God. And if you want to go there, my Bible also says to love one another, to bear each other’s burdens and all that.

There’s nothing in my Bible about arming up, driving to the place where the governor lives and metaphorically executing him.

Of course, I’ve only read the NIV, NRSV, and NLT versions, not the original King James Version*, so maybe it’s different in other Bibles.

No. The other King James.

Tying a rope around someone’s neck, tossing it over a tree limb, then pulling it until the person can’t touch the ground, then leaving him there to struggle until he’s dead is called lynching. It has a very specific history in the south, especially for a segment of voters who supported Beshear.

I’m certain the America-loving Christians in the video know that. I’m pretty sure they were counting on it.

A good deal of President Trump’s base is evangelical Christians, people who claim to have accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. Whose sins have been washed away by the blood of the lamb. Who would have no standing in front of God, because of their sin, if not for the sacrifice of His Son Jesus on our behalf.

My Bible also has a story in Matthew 18 in which a debtor who owed his king a ton of money couldn’t pay and begged his master for forgiveness to prevent him, his wife, and his children to be sold into slavery to pay at least some of the debt. The king forgave the debt, leaving the man free and unencumbered, as the evangelicals claim to be.

To celebrate, the man went right out and found another guy who owed him a few thousand bucks–and had him imprisoned until he could pay the debt (because that’s how you get money to pay debts; you go to prison).

The king wasn’t pleased and there was wailing and gnashing of teeth and all that.

That story is featured in one of the for most important parts of the book these hypocrites claim to base their lives on.

People who do these things aren’t good Americans. They sure as hell aren’t good Christians.

They’re a stain on both groups and they need to be called out as such.

(* — I know it’s not. I’m making a point.)

Jesus and the Presidential Election

I changed my voter registration because I want to have a say in who runs again Donald Trump in November. That means at some point in the next week and a half, I’ll vote in the Florida primary.

Last night, I told my wife that if someone will only accept me if I vote correctly, there’s the door.

Jim Morrison

I understand this is all very important. I understand being disappointed in all the choices. As a guy who worked for a Republican member of the NY State Assembly in a previous life, Donald Trump isn’t my idea of making anything great.

Not my choice. Ever.

I didn’t vote for Trump in 2016. I didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton, either. For some, that was a bridge too far.

To be honest, their reaction hurt.

As a result of that hurt, I’m not comfortable with the second paragraph of this post.

I was comfortable with it last night. Damn comfortable. It felt good to take the first step. To be the one who drew the line this time. To get it out of the way before everyone got emotional.

Teach you to mess with me. I’ll kick your ass.

It’s the wrong approach. It’s the same approach that caused me to hurt last time–I’m just shooting first this time.

The litmus test approach got us President Donald Trump and may get us a Trump v. Sanders election food fight.

I’m the farthest thing from a perfect Christian. But this is a place where looking at the cross seems important to me.

If you’re Christian, you believe Jesus came down to be with us because of love. When we murdered him, he refused to condemn us–because of love. Christianity says we tortured God to death and he didn’t divinely kick our collective stupid asses. He asked God to forgive us.

Teach you to torture me to death. I’ll kick your ass.

That’s the model.

This is not a be holy as I am holy post. I’m not holy.

Doctor. This is Phil Rizzuto. And this is Harry Caray.

In this case, trying to be holy means to do what I think is right. Let others react as they will. Even if people write me off as epitomizing what’s wrong.

I’m not thrilled with God’s guidance on this. Things would work a hell of a lot better if we all just did what I want.

But I understand the guidance. At some point we have to end the food fight and clean up a little.

To be clear, none of these knuckleheads inspire me. But one seems like he’ll do less damage than the others. He wins by attrition.

If you need to kick me to the curb for that, I understand. I’m sorry about that. And I’ll be happy to pick up our relationship if and when you decide it’s time.

Freedom of expression is awesome if you agree with me

I first noticed it when Tea Party members showed up heavily armed at anti-Obamacare rallies. Since then, that kind of bullying tactic as political dissent has continued and intensified. The most recent instance was in the State of Virginia, where protesters showed up masked and heavily armed, looking more like an occupation force than people unhappy with a political decision.

While there isn’t a puppetmaster pulling strings to orchestrate this approach, there is a man in the White House who seems to applaud such activity when it’s done to support him. After all, it was candidate Donald Trump who suggested that protesters at his rallies be knocked around and offering to pay the legal fees of anyone who did.

A friend of mine was threatened at a Trump rally in 2016 for standing toward the back of the event silently and holding a small anti-Trump sign.

In short, we’ve reached the point in this free country where you’re free to agree with me–and that’s the extent of it. President Trump is, after all, the boss of the country, so loyalty to the country starts and ends with loyalty to Trump.

To be sure, we’ve had similar trends before. While the Civil Rights and anti-war movements were largely peaceful, SDS and the Weathermen weren’t false flag operations. You can go as far back as 1905 (and further), when Idaho Governor Frank Steunenberg was assassinated as part of labor war over representation for miners.

Idaho Governor Frank Steunenberg. He blowed real good.

No one’s dying over it, but social media is also amplifying the divide. More than once, after saying Bernie Sanders is a socialist (a label he’s embraced since he was mayor of Burlington, Vermont in the 1980s) I’ve been “schooled” by Sanders followers, who then proceeded to demand my vote for his candidate.

NOT a socialist, though socialism is moral and awesome and you should absolutely accept it without question

To be clear, there’s a massive difference between a throng of ill-mannered Bernie Bros acting as Twitter warriors and the implied threat of force if the Virginia legislature passes gun control legislation.

But all of this grows from the same stump–freedom of expression and action is fine, as long as you exercise that freedom the way I want you to.

To many Trump supporters, you cannot be a good American who loves this country and oppose President Trump. While there are also assaults the other way, Trump, as seems to be his need, trumped all this by saying there were good people on both sides at the Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia that ended in murder.

Good people from just movements don’t drive their cars into groups of people, trying to kill them.

President Trump seems to be okay with such activities when they’re done on his behalf.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens if Trump and Sanders oppose each other in the general election. While Sanders’ followers, the Bernie Bros, don’t seem as prone to assault as Trump’s, they’re every bit as demanding that every knee must bend and tongue confess that Bernie Sanders is the messiah.

Either way, in a country that’s supposed to hold the First Amendment sacrosanct, these are worrisome times.

Michael Bloomberg and the women

As primary season arrives, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has become an intriguing dark horse for Democrats. Most polls have Bloomberg running third or fourth and his media blitz is making his name known to anyone who’s interested (or watches television).

Okay…read on.

With that attention, some issues are popping up, such as Bloomberg’s support of stop-and-frisk policies as mayor of New York and his statement that violent crime is primarily committed by minority males, ages 16 to 25. Many Democrats, including the party’s progressive wing, would see that stance as Trump-like.

Bloomberg’s issues with women go well beyond policy issues. Thirty years ago, some of Bloomberg’s friends compiled a booklet of sayings–wit and wisdom. The content could be considered problematic.

Although it would be best if our President weren’t quoted as saying “Make the customer get laid when he’s really getting [effed],” presidents from LBJ on have sometimes been notoriously potty-mouthed. It’s the pattern in some of the other quotes that might hurt him.

Expletive #*$%ing deleted

“I want [oral sex] from Jane Fonda. Have you seen Jane Fonda? Not bad for fifty.” “If women wanted to be appreciated for their brains, they’d go to the library instead of to Bloomingdales.” And “I know for a fact that any self-respecting woman who walks past a construction site doesn’t get a whistle will turn around and walk past again and again until she does get one.”

Unclear whether Fonda is a fan. Bloomberg was certainly a fan of hers.

Bloomberg says he doesn’t recall saying those things and you could almost let it go if not for the nondisclosure agreements (NDAs).

Several women have brought actions against Bloomberg and his company for a hostile work environment. Three of the seventeen suits against him mention him specifically and quotes, including “I would do you in a second.” Another suite alleges his company fired a woman who was undergoing breast cancer treatment. A third, brought by former sales executive Johnna Ayres accused his company of age and sex discrimination. The last two mention him specifically.

Sekiko Garrison is a former sales executive for Bloomberg. She says that when Bloomberg found out she was pregnant, his response was “Kill it! Great! Number sixteen!” for the number of women that were pregnant in his employ at the time.

When another female employee was having problems finding child care, Bloomberg reportedly said, “It’s a f—— baby! . . . All you need is some black who doesn’t have to speak English to rescue it from a burning building.”

Comments about women’s appearance–typically sexual in nature or not flattering, have also been reported.

NDAs that were signed as part of settlements in the cases that went to court prevent the women involved from going public with any information about what happened. And Bloomberg isn’t about to release the women from the NDAs. He says they’re legal documents, as if that prevents him from not enforcing his part of the contract.

That’s sort of like having your kid drop his lunch on the floor and when you tell him to pick it up, he says, “It’s a sandwich; it’s food.” True statement, but irrelevant.

“Pick up your lunch off the floor”
“It’s a sandwich.”
“Oh, okay, never mind, Mike. You don’t have to get that done.”

For a guy running against “grab them by the p***y” Trump, while the quotes and lawsuits are troubling, the refusal to let them go are a bigger issue. As Elizabeth Warren as charged, if there was nothing significantly wrong, as Bloomberg claims, why not release the women from the NDAs.

Bloomberg champions himself as a defender of abortion rights, but a lot of other remaining candidates take the same positions.

More troubling is Bloomberg’s stance that there’s no need to know what these women have to say. His stance is similar to Trump’s stance concerning his tax records. And they hold a pattern of Bloomberg’s thought processes about women, and perhaps people in general.

Michael Bloomberg. All around good guy.

Bloomberg’s ads, which tout him as a phoenix who rose form the ashes of unemployment, and feature the apparently well known phrase “Mike will get it done,” tout his support of women’s reproductive rights.

But if voters, in particular women, turn a blind eye to Bloomberg’s past because he supports their right to abortion, then it never was about Trump’s treatment of women; it was about abortion.

Personally, I’m a free agent. I’m not voting for Trump or Sanders. Beyond that, I want someone to earn my vote. Bloomberg’s successes–and there are many–had me considering him. But his record shows him to be as classless and impulsive as the man he’s trying to unseat.

President Nebuchadnezzar

At last week’s National Prayer Breakfast, President Trump, fresh from his impeachment acquittal, went after Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senator Mitt Romney. Pelosi had made a spectacle of tearing up his speech, but then he’d made a point of not greeting her–the leader of the chamber he was invited to speak in.

The National Prayer Breakfast is the best place to extol…yourself.

Romney was the only Republican to vote against Trump and he cited his faith in explaining his vote. (Full disclosure: I believe Trump’s actions in using his position to try to act against a potential election adversary merits his removal.)

In response, Trump said, “I don’t like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong.”

Aside from using the National Prayer Breakfast to discuss people you don’t like, how does the President know that Romney knew his action was wrong? How does he know Romney’s statement about his oath before God wasn’t truthful?

This mythical prophet must be one of the President’s advisors.

He doesn’t. But if it goes against Trump, it’s wrong–no matter what. From the time Trump became president, he’s placed absolute loyalty to him as absolute loyalty to the country. In his actions and words, he’s shown that there is no higher loyalty.

If you pray about something and you feel directed to oppose Trump, you need to ignore that because–I guess–God always agrees with Trump. If He disagrees, loyalty to Trump is still the highest calling.

In the book of Daniel, Daniel and his friends are directed by law to bow down before a giant statue of King Nebuchadnezzar. When they refuse, they’re cast into the fiery furnace.

Or, if you prefer the Veggie Tales version, Donald Trump is the equivalent of the bunny that Rack, Shack, and Benny were required to worship. (If you haven’t seen the cartoon, it’s adorable. And the bunny song is the best kind of earworm.)

The bunny, the bunny
Whoa, I love the bunny
I don’t love my mom or my dad, just the bunny
The bunny, the bunny
Yeah, I love the bunny
I gave everything that I had for the bunny

Replace the bunny with the President and you get the idea.

This was call to open idolatry was at the National Prayer Breakfast, and far too many Christians ate it up.

We’re not supposed to do that, even if the guy demanding absolute fealty agrees with us politically.

That’s what we’re called for, not to cater to the whims of a mercurial self-obsessed Nebuchadnezzar wannabe.

A gag-worthy week in politics

It’s an embarrassing week to be an American.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a rising, uhh, superstar of the progressive movement decided not to attend to State of the Union address because she didn’t want to lend credibility to President Trump. I didn’t watch, but I’m not a member of the House of Representatives. It’s not my job. It is her job.

On entering the chamber for the State of the Union address, Donald Trump, our national CEO…err, President, refused to shake hands with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Speaker Pelosi got even by tearing up the text of his speech in a lovely piece of performance art worthy of a four-year-old who missed her nap.

Rep. Matt Gaetz, who wouldn’t know the high road if he accidentally took it, is said to be considering filing ethics against the Speaker for said performance art.

When Senator Mitt Romney, a Republican, voted to remove President Trump on one of the two impeachment charges, Donald Trump, Jr., a member of the President’s staff, took to Instagram to call him a name that crudely refers to female genitalia. The President said nothing and presumably approves. Many of the other people who approved were very angry that Jennifer Lopez seemed to touch the same area during the Super Bowl halftime show.

JLo shows off her Mitt Romney

The next morning, at the National Prayer Breakfast, the very same President included in his speech–at the prayer breakfast–statements about who he doesn’t like. Jesus, who’s apparently a Trump Republican, heartily approved–at least based on the response of many of the Christians in the room.

In a rambling semi-coherent stream of consciousness mess that you could maybe call a speech, the President called the charges against him bullshit.

All of this happened in the space of less than three days.

Oh, and there’s this coronavirus thing that’s killing hundreds of people and disrupting travel in the Far East and is starting to affect the US. And it, among other things, was barely mentioned.

You may or may not agree with the political stances of the above-mentioned, uhh, leaders. But I can’t understand how you could agree with their actions.

In particular, I don’t understand the logic that says you should go to a prayer breakfast, beat your chest about your own greatness, then talk about not how you don’t like Pelosi and Romney.

Jesus–a guy who many of the people at the prayer breakfast claim to follow–said the following about people you don’t like:

You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Jesus, in the Gospel of Matthew
The Sermon on the Mount, given by the guy who tried to hog the President’s limelight at the National Prayer Breakfast

But you know, he didn’t have to go through all the pain and agony President Trump went through. He was just literally crucified.

I miss the simpler days, like Monday, when we were arguing over Jennifer Lopez’s clothing choices.

Confessions of an asshole.

I’m not an active asshole right now. But I used to be. My intent and the reasons why are irrelevant. Only the results mattered, and they were pretty clear.

Reforming asshole. And Nakatomi Plaza.

The underlying factors that made me act like an asshole never really went away. I worked on it a long time, prayed, got help, and got a lot better at controlling them. But still, under it all, the asshole lurks.

The world is full of assholes. Most aren’t bad people. They’re hurt. Or scared. Or they’ve been crapped on and they’re angry.

One on one, most of them would be compassionate. But when the other person represents what hurt, scared, or angered them, the gloves come off.

I worked in the New York State Legislature when Jerry Nadler was a young Assemblyman. I gotta say, I didn’t care for him. Our politics were different. He was morally right and by damn, that’s all that mattered. And when he asked the gentleman to yield–well, session was gonna continue a while.

Representative Jerry Nadler

Last week, Congressman Nadler missed part of the impeachment trial because his wife had cancer. He promised he’d be gone just one day.

I wanted him to miss more. Not because of politics, but because it’s his wife. And it’s cancer. And because if the cancer’s serious enough, every second that ticks by means there’s one second less.

Rush Limbaugh announced yesterday that he has cancer. Through his stances, this is a man who’s hurt, scared, and angered a lot of people. For more than 30 years, he’s gleefully been a lightning rod for his beliefs, uncompromising against anything that stood against them. I guess when you invite abuse, it’s impolite not to accept it.

Rush Limbaugh.

I’d like to think that the people who are gleeful at the diagnosis are reacting to the abstraction Limbaugh represents suffering and eventually dying, if that’s what the future holds. I’d like to think that because I’m an asshole and if Limbaugh deserves that, I guess I do, too.

Catholicism believes in purgatory, based on the belief that you can’t be less than perfect and stand in front of a perfect God. The gap will destroy you. Purgatory prepares you for that. It’s like cancer removal for the soul.

The bottom line is this: If God is merciful, I have hope. If God is just, not so much.

I’m hoping for mercy. For me and all the other assholes. I’m hoping we can all lay aside the hurts, fears, and anger that all of us assholes pass along every day like the common cold.

Because as an asshole, I’m onto you. I know you aren’t really an asshole. You’re just careful. Vigilant. You don’t want to feel that way again.

And you know what, if I’m one of the people who made you feel that way, I’m sorry. Because I’ve felt that way, too.

I need to drop the chip that I wear

I have a chip on my shoulder.

I’m a moderate Republican. I believe in a principled application of conservative values–limited government, support for small business, and opportunity for all. That means white Christian dudes who dig women (and the women who dig them), gays and lesbians, Muslims, Jews, Christians (even, gasp!, Catholics) and atheists, people who identify as him, her, they, and pronouns I don’t even understand. In short, all means all.

I’m not progressive in any sense of the word, and maybe part of the issue is that guys like me make non-progressives look reasonable. I don’t know. But I’ve strained and lost relationship because of my political stances–because I don’t just accept what the people with superior thoughts and viewpoints tell me without question.

In fairness, it’s not just from the left. You can piss of as many people by disagreeing with Trump as with AOC. But the left seems more eager to cast people like me out of any serious discussions because of my obvious moral and political flaws. As annoying as the right can be, they aren’t implying that time has passed me by and it’s best to keep my big, stupid boomer mouth shut.

That, right there, is the chip. It makes me see condescension where it doesn’t exist. But it doesn’t make such condescension false. Like most other damaging falsehoods, my chip starts with measurable truth.

But what would Jesus do?

For the record, Jesus is just all right with me–the Doobie Brothers said so. But like the evil, sadistic exercise bastard Shaun T, he also wants me to dig deeper.

Shaun T, Evil Sadistic Bastard

Leaning back on my chip and letting my irriration solidify into bitterness would be the easiest thing in the world. But it’s not what Jesus would prefer. And my status as the World’s Worst Christian still makes me a Christian. I need to care what he says.

So what’s a boomer to do? First, prayerfully submit my views and stances to Him. It’s the process that flip my thoughts on the death penalty. Second–and this is the really hard part–when someone hits me with the mighty hammer of progressive righteousness, I need to let it go. Drop the chip. Listen.

I still get to talk. I’m not Hitler, Pol Pot, Archie Bunker, or even Barney Stinson (though that guy’s awesome). AOC isn’t the greatest woman ever born of woman and you’re allowed to respectfully disagree.

In one of the Gospels, Jesus sends out his disciples to the cities. He says that if they don’t engage, to shake the dust from their sandals and move on. I think that means you aren’t an a-hole just because someone says so, and if they won’t listen, just go on to the next person.

Because of the way I’m built (internally, not the part built on donuts and beer), that’s difficult for me.

But that’s the only way to lose the chip that weighs me down and gets between me and others.

Because Jesus would want it that way.

Beto O’Rourke and the Fourth Amendment

The most alarming part of the Democratic debate was when Beto O’Rourke said, “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47.” And the crowd loved it.

Beto O’Rourke

It made my blood run cold.

Yes, some idiot in the Texas legislature implied that bad things would happen to O’Rourke if he came for that guy’s weapon. That was stupid, irresponsible, and arguably criminal.

What O’Rourke said went to the heart of the Fourth Amendment and the concept of private ownership in this country.

What O’Rourke implied was that in times of crisis, the government can and should be allowed to take any property it deems central to the crisis.

Well, it is a crisis!!!!!

I’ll grant the point. But we also have a climate crisis. Should the government hell yes, take away your 4Runner, your Escalade, your Denali? We have a homelessness crisis. Should the government take away your nine-room house when there’s only two of you?

It’s your property.

The government takes property all the time. Eminent domain.

In 1987, the Thruway bridge over the Schoharie Creek collapsed. To keep commerce running, the state took farm land from a guy named Walt Dufel. That was a specific piece of property for a specific purpose. And while you may argue that this is specific property for a specific purpose, it’s a class of items that are lawfully owned. It’s a do-over for a law that lapsed because of a legislatively valid action.

That’s right, a badly needed do-over.

Right, but you can’t Constitutionally retroactively pass a law. You can’t validly say that we never should’ve let that lapse, so we’re going to effectively change the law now to cover what we should’ve done then. How different is that from saying, “We should never have passed the Bush tax cuts, so pay up now.”?

I want to go back to your statement about the Fourth Amendment. This isn’t a seizure of property; it’s a buyback. That’s a whole different thing!

If I own something and someone offers me money for it, part of my ownership is the ability to say no to that offer. This isn’t an offer, it’s a demand. The money is basically a spoonful of sugar. Most owners don’t want to sell their weapon back, or they’d be doing it now.

In the same debate when Joe Biden correctly said that you can’t just ban ownership via executive order, Kamala Harris laughed awkwardly and chided him for not saying, “Yes we can.”

My objection to both of these statements isn’t rooted in the Second Amendment. It’s rooted in the right to own something. It’s rooted in the presumption that these guns are so bad that we need to suspend the Constitution to accomplish a goal.

Once we do that, all is lost.

Common sense gun responses

So we’ve had another mass shooting. Again. And the same two records have skipped back to their starting points. There are two many guns and we need registration. On the other side, it’s something else because there have always been guns and this keeps happening. It’s a people issue.

And thus the fight continues. And will continue to–well, continue–until we understand that this is a complex issue without a single solution.

Yeah, we could pass a law tomorrow that would make gun ownership illegal (outside a well-regulated militia, such as the armed forces or police). And then the only people with guns will be the ones who wish to do us harm–the ones who don’t care that they’re illegal. You think a lot of people die now? Take away the guns from those who follow the laws and the streets will run red with blood.

On the other side, we could continue to do nothing in spite of the fact that you can basically legally buy technology that allows you to mow down a couple of dozen people like they’re fish in a barrel. I know–this gun is legal and this one wouldn’t be and the only difference is that one looks scary. That’s absolutely true.

It’s also completely irrelevant.

A man stood in a hotel room in Las Vegas and rained down an ungodly fucking firestorm upon hundreds of people at a concert. I’m talking scorched earth. He massacred them. The first order of business is to take steps to prevent that kind of massacre. Until that

Personally, I don’t care what firearm you have. But in Chrisworld, you only get a magazine that fires ten rounds at at time. If you own one or create one and you’re caught, you lose your guns. And your freedom. Period. Own the scary-looking firearms, but the Second Amendment doesn’t give you the right to have whatever magazine size you want any more than it gives you the right to own a surface-to-air missile.

This is the room from which the Mandalay Bay shooter carried out his murder spree.

On the other hand, my grandmother grew up in the Adirondacks where life was hard. There were a lot of guns, in part because hunting helped keep you fed in the wintertime. There was also drinking and there were some hard-ass guys up there. And guns were in every house.

No one settled a score at the local bar on a Saturday night by running home so they could dispense some Second-Amendment justice. And there weren’t accidents, either. Not very many of them. Because the guns were part of the culture. No one wanted their kids killed, so they were taught early on that there was no such thing as an unloaded firearm. Even if it was impossible to be loaded–like you just took it out of the box–it was still loaded. They weren’t toys.

And they weren’t to be terrified of; they were to be respected. The hard you could do meant with the gun meant that you didn’t pick one up to play with. And you didn’t point it at anything you didn’t intend to kill. And you didn’t kill people.

The NRA used to be about training–about driving those points home.

Mass shootings didn’t happen in that culture.

So both sides of the equation have to be handled. Yes, there are too many firearms and it’s too easy to deliver death to large numbers of people. And yes, something’s different with people. Maybe it’s mental illness. Maybe it’s the culture. Maybe it’s food additives.

Take away every gun their is, and people can still kill dozens with a truck. But it’s irresponsible to see what’s happening and do nothing.

Bonus point–if we keep doing nothing, when the other side has the power, they’re more likely to overcorrect. Right now, the best way to eventually lose your guns later is to do nothing now.