Dangerous things

1967 – Jayne Mansfield is killed when her car runs under the rear end of a tractor trailer. Since then, all trailers have a DOT bar at the rear to keep cars from going under them.

1982 – Seven people die when Tylenol packaging was tampered with. Since then, it takes a PhD, channel locks, and a sharp object to get into a bottle of pills.

1995 A bombing using a certain kind of fertilizer, solution grade ammonium nitrate, killed 168 people, so the government imposed severe restrictions on the purchase of that fertilizer.

2001 – One person attempts to blow up a plane with a shoe bomb. Since then, all air travelers have to take off their shoes for scanning before being allowed to board.

Since 1968 – 1,516,863 people have died from guns on American soil. Gun violence kills an average of 168 people every two days! Now, the problem apparently can’t be solved except with thoughts and prayers. AND JU$T WHY DO YOU THINK THI$ I$???

(Thanks to Jack Hart for the above. Please copy, paste, and share.)

No Guns Allowed at GOP Convention

No guns allowedLibtard policies” put good guys—stripped of their guns–at risk.

If the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun—or better yet, lots of good guys with guns—then it goes without saying that the contentious GOP convention should be prickling with weapons: rock hard glocks, pen-sized pistols, and a whole array of AKs strapped across the backs of brave men who are ready to spray anything that moves with a shower of lead.

With threats on all sides, from Muslims and Blacks to feminists and federal wildlife agents, the only way to make America safer again is more guns. So we are told after each mass shooting. Surely the GOP wouldn’t hold their convention in a place that fails to allow the kind of enhanced security that is so dear to conservative hearts, so core to the Republican political agenda, and so necessary to keep Americans safe.

Four months ago, a Second Amendment activist or troll going by the moniker Hyperationalist realized that Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, site of the GOP convention, bans firearms on the premises. It’s the equivalent of the Democrats holding their convention at a place that bans collective bargaining for its workers, and Hyperationalist was outraged. He created a Change.com petition, quoting the NRA about the dangers of “gun-free zones” and demanding that Quicken Loans Arena change their policy, at least for the convention.

This is a direct affront to the Second Amendment and puts all attendees at risk. As the National Rifle Association has made clear, “gun-free zones” such as the Quicken Loans Arena are “the worst and most dangerous of all lies.” The NRA, our leading defender of gun rights, has also correctly pointed out that “gun free zones… tell every insane killer in America… (the) safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk.” (March 4, 2016 and Dec. 21, 2012)

Although it was unclear at the time whether the petition was the work of an aggrieved gun lover or a public safety advocate trying to make a point, it quickly gathered 55,000 signatures from folks on both sides of the aisle. If the point of the petition was to advance an expansive interpretation of Second Amendment rights, it failed. Republicans who show up at the convention next week with weapons will be stripped at the door of their arsenals, no matter how large or small.

In a July 14 letter to supporters, Hyperationalist conceded:

Apparently in Crooked Hitlary Clinton’s “politically correct” libtard America, some people would rather not be surrounded by high-powered semi-automatic assault weapons with high-capacity cartridges—and so the oppressive policies of Barack HUSSEIN Obama’s regime remain in place.

If the point of the petition was to show the public that Republican rhetoric about more guns making us all safer is utter bullshit, then it succeeded wildly, because the contrast between what Republican policy makers say they believe and actually believe couldn’t be on brighter display.

Republican leaders know full well that a convention hall teaming with mutually antagonistic adrenalin-jacked open- and concealed-carriers could be the safety equivalent of a convention hall decorated with gas cans and matchboxes. They may sell their souls for NRA dollars—they may be willing to sacrifice the 33,000 Americans a year who die from guns (interactive graphic here from Nate Silver), but they’re too hypocritical to actually put their own bodies on the line. Confronted with the prospect of their own mortality, they know that the right to life trumps the right to bear arms, even if they’re too candy ass to say it.

These are the people who have been demanding that guns be allowed on college campuses, in hospitals, in churches, in public parks . . . everywhere but the halls of Congress and the RNC. They have proposed that kindergartens would be safer if the teachers were all armed. They have fought for the right of suspects on the terrorism-watch and no-fly lists to stockpile firepower.

But they couldn’t bother to take on Quicken Loans or move their convention elsewhere because, in reality, they want the kind of safety they’re unwilling to grant to rest of us. They want to know that if someone around them is struck by a fit of rage or temporary insanity, or falls into a black hole of paranoia and decides he is surrounded by the hordes of evil, or wants to suicide in front of a bank of cameras, or aspires to go down in history as a hero or anti-hero—he’s going to have to pull off mass murder with his bare hands. They want to know that, to the best of professional standards, the crowd of strangers around them is unarmed, because they know that most bad guys with guns are good guys with guns until the moment they point at an innocent person and pull the trigger.

Originally published at ValerieTarico.com

Responding to Bill Maher on Islam

In response to the massacre in Orlando, Bill Maher criticized conservatives for opposing gun control and criticized liberals for refusing to blame Islam.

Bill Maher criticizes conservatives for opposing gun control and criticized liberals for refusing to blame Islam.

As a liberal I can respond: “Sure, radical Islam is a problem but (1) the West provoked them by attacking numerous Muslim countries and by supporting brutal regimes. (2) It’s only a minority of Muslims that are the problem, not Islam in general. Is the problem Islam or is it radical Islam? Or is the problem (fanatical) religion in general? Should we blame all Christians for the evil acts of a few Christians? (3) So what? Should we attack Muslim countries or ban all Muslims from entering?”

Conservatives kill again: they value gun rights more than the right to life

Our nation’s lax gun laws have led to another mass shooting.    USA Today is reporting that the Florida shooter Omar Mateen

used a .223 caliber AR-type-rifle and 9 mm semiautomatic pistol… The FBI had investigated Mateen twice before the shooting, but found inconclusive evidence and were not able to charge him with a crime.

The AR-type-rifle Mateen used to slaughter 50 people at the Pulse nightclub, is known for it’s [sic] lethality and has been used in other mass shootings in the United States.

Adam Lanza, the gunman behind the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, used an AR-15 and its 30-round magazine to kill 26 people in under five minutes. And it’s not just the AR-15, but semiautomatic weapons of all kinds that can be remarkably efficient killing machines.

At Virginia Tech in 2007, Seung Hui Cho shot 47 people in 10 to 12 minutes, using two semiautomatic handguns with magazines that held no more than 15 bullets.

Last December, the U.S. Senate voted down an amendment that would have kept suspected terrorists from purchasing firearms.

At that time Paul Ryan “signaled that barring gun purchases by people on no-fly terror lists — as President Obama urged Wednesday — is not an option. Ryan said government officials put people on such lists without any due legal process and so denying those listed the right to bear arms would violate their rights.”

Republicans value gun rights more than the right to life, apparently.

Confusion about I-591 and I-594

Someone in my precinct emailed me (their PCO): “What is the difference between Yes on 594 and Yes on 591?”

I explained

I-594 is a gun control measure that requires background checks on gun purchases. Most Democrats support it.

I-591 is the initiative from the gun lobby to make sure that Washington State’s gun laws are not stricter than the national laws.

Please vote YES on I-594 and NO on I-591.

I’m curious what you read or heard to make you think that I-591 might be OK.

The constituent responded:

I have not seen anything except signs.  One says Yes on 591 and the other Yes on 594.  Earlier I had sent a donation to Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility.  Then the signs came out, black signs for 591 first, and later red signs for 594. I wasn’t sure which one I sent the check to.  I thought maybe it was 591, BUT  I recently got a Thank you from the 594 Alliance signed by Zach Silk.  Other than that, I haven’t seen or read anything but a cartoon in the Seattle Times. I have been getting thousands of requests on line from everyone asking for money, but I don’t send cash on line, especially to people I never heard of. Thanks for the info.

Democracy is the worst possible political system — except for all the others.  Many people are poorly informed, and they’re susceptible to propaganda.  In a sense, democracy is a form of “might makes right.”

The key to good democracy is education and good (public) media.

168 of the 3000 children and teens killed by gun violence each year in the US

Image of victims of gun violence. Support I-594 for criminal background checks on gun purchases

To see the children in more detail, with names, click here.

For statistics on gun violence see http://www.bradycampaign.org/about-gun-violence. For example, “A gun in the home is 22 times more likely to be used to kill or injure in a domestic homicide, suicide, or unintentional shooting than to be used in self-defense.”

For information about I-594 see http://wagunresponsibility.org/.

Guns kill children.

At Least 194 Children Have Been Shot to Death Since Newtown.