Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Do Something Or Do Nothing

 

During a major cholera epidemic in 1854 London, Dr. John Snow mapped the locations of victims killed by the disease. The deadly bacteria wasn’t widely identified at the time, but he sourced the contagion to a water pump on Broad Street. This is how the disease was discovered to be water-borne. The common sense solution was to shut down the pump and stop the spread at the source. So they did.

“Shut down the pump” was the pro-life, logical, practical and effective solution that saved lives. Let’s remember this line of reasoning.

Despite the covid pandemic, the US has been suffering an unabated mass shooting epidemic, with a growing number of Americans killed by AR style weapons. Armalite (AR) designed a weapon of war for the foot soldier to kill as many people fast as possible. The M-16 was the military model that became a standard automatic/semi-automatic select fire rifle for the US military in Vietnam. AR-15 was the Colt Manufacturing Company’s designation for their civilian version of the weapon after the auto-semi option was removed. Since aimed semi-auto fire is more deadly than sweeping automatic fire, the AR-15 would prove to be as lethal as an M-16. With a bump stock, an AR-15 was equal to machine gun fire on the concert crowd at the Las Vegas massacre.

A partial list of the mass shootings involving AR style/compatible weapons leaves a disturbing body count.

Boulder: 10

Orlando: 49

Parkland: 17

DC Sniper Attacks: 17

Las Vegas: 60

Aurora, CO: 12

Sandy Hook: 26

El Paso: 22

Wilkes-Barre shootings: 13

Waffle House: 4

San Bernardino: 16

Midland/Odessa: 7

Poway synagogue: 1

Sutherland Springs: 26

Geneva County shootings: 10

Tree of Life Synagogue: 11

And we know for certain there WILL be more, for as long as the tyranny of the minority prevails.

We have a choice in the matter. Do something, or do nothing. In fact, most gun owners, myself included, favor more regulation and background checks for purchases.

The “Do Nothing” crowd is louder, and better financed by the weapons industry than the “Do Something” people that make up the vast majority of Americans.

“The Post-ABC poll finds 86 percent of Americans support implementing “red flag” provisions allowing guns to be taken from people judged to be a danger to themselves or others. And 89 percent support expanding federal background checks to cover private sales and gun-show transactions. Both measures are supported by at least 8 in 10 Republicans, white evangelical Christians, members of gun-owning households and other traditionally conservative groups.”

Sadly majority rule is the exception rather than the rule in US government and politics. Those who most oppose gun control also want to control who votes. Democracy and the public’s wishes  are not welcome in the debate. The minority over-represented by half the Senate will obstruct any and all gun regulations.

The loud minority opposes expanded background checks and banning large capacity weapons like the AR-15. They equate ownership of these deadly weapons to freedom itself. Never mind most of us who don’t have one are just as free as those who do. We were all just as free before the mass marketing of these weapons as we are today.

In fact the thousands of American who have been killed, wounded or lost family members from the muzzles of these weapons are NOT as free as they used to be. Their blood, lives, grief and loss are the price society pays so gun nuts, militia nuts, racists, and the mentally ill can carry on with their idea of “freedom”, “revenge”, and lately “Second Amendment remedies” to elections they lost. The “Do Nothing” crew accept all of these deaths, and all future deaths, as the price others must pay for their so-called “freedom”.

Imagine the militias and other civilian combatants in war-torn countries with their Rocket Propelled Grenade launchers. Are they “more free” than Americans? Only by a gun nut’s definition.

Some will claim the weapons are for “sport”, but it would only be sporting if there was a right to arm bears. If sport, and not outright slaughter, was their game, they’d be happy to hunt with muzzle loading, lever-action, or bolt action rifles. The more trigger happy hunters have hunted with 10 round semi-automatic rifles. Before the mass marketing of AR style weapons, hunters never demanded 30 round magazines to satisfy their sporting desires.

If the first shot misses, chances are the next 30 rounds won’t bring down the fleeing game. In 2009, the term "modern sporting rifle" was coined by the The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), a national trade association for the firearms industry. It is based in Newtown, Connecticut, home to families and children of the Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Then there’s the “home protection” and “self-defense” argument. Never mind guns are more likely to kill family members than violent criminals or intruders. And again, nobody has ever needed 30 rounds to deter a burglar. If anyone runs across an incident of self-defense that required that 30th round, please let me know. I’ll wait. 

We'll hear their argument that handguns kill more Americans than AR style weapons. Yes, and they kill more Americans than Jihadist terrorism too. But we did something about that, didn't we? Now what do we do about radical Right domestic terrorism? 

In 1994 Bill Clinton signed a temporary assault weapons ban that prohibited commercial sales of most AK-47 and AR style rifles. So, what happened next? Did freedom die?

No. Fewer Americans died. The ban expired in 2004. Then more Americans expired.

In January 2019 the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery reported, “Mass-shooting related homicides in the United States were reduced during the years of the federal assault weapons ban of 1994 to 2004.”

A Stanford study concluded, “The Assault Weapon Ban Saved Lives”

Australia, New Zealand and Canada did what the US cannot. They had enough, and did something about it. They “shut down the pump”, and banned those weapons of mass destruction.

Americans have also had enough. But the “Do Nothing” powers within our corrupted and failed democracy will not listen to we the people.

Freedom and humans both die when democracy is strangled. And the “Do Nothing” radical Right Americans are OK with that.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Maybe we should have the gun laws of Chicago put into effect everywhere? It's worked so good there

Dave Dubya said...

This bad faith remark from the radical Right "Do Nothing" element reflects their indifference to firearm deaths. Racists love the fact there is so much poverty and violence in cities.

But what about those red states?

What they won't admit is the fact red states with the higher rates of firearm ownership also have the higher percentage of gun deaths per capita.

More guns = more deaths. Just the facts.

https://www.kff.org/other/state-indicator/firearms-death-rate-per-100000/?currentTimeframe=0&sortModel=%7B%22colId%22:%22Firearms%20Death%20Rate%20per%20100,000%22,%22sort%22:%22asc%22%7D

Deaths Due to Injury by Firearms per 100,000 Population

Dave Dubya said...

"I have an idea. You can only buy one gun every two years.

It must only be on a Tuesday in November.

Between the hours of 8 to 5.

There will be only one place in your town to do this.

You must have 2 forms of I.D. and you must have registered to buy this gun months before."

Tom Joad™ @JohnnyBlkshrt

Jerry said...

This is where I go super left. I think all guns should be banned. I think we have proved that we cannot have guns in our society without killing about 50,000 people a year. If there were no guns, we wouldn't need the excuse to have a gun to protect our selves. If we need to cull herds we already have a system to do that. I'm not afraid of some foreign invasion on our land and we have the biggest military in the world to protect us. Our military makes a civilian militia unnecessary. I find it illogical to defend all these killing machines (guns). I'm aware an American society without guns will not happen, so we will just keep killing each other.

Dave Dubya said...

As I noted below: "Comments are moderated. Racism and other hate speech will be filtered."

The anonymous troll tried it again with his thinly veiled racism in insisting on “Chicago” gun laws. He then played racist “whataboutism” in citing a murder by Blacks.

And he lied about more mass shootings in the last 3 months than “during all of Trump’s four years”.

Just the facts:

2017:
Sutherland Springs, Texas, 26 dead.
2018:
Thousand Oaks, CA, 12 dead
Santa Fe, Texas, 10 dead.
Pittsburgh Synagogue, 11 dead.
Parkland, Florida, 17 dead.
Las Vegas, 58 dead.
2019:
Virginia Beach, 12 dead.

The bad faith “Do nothing” anonymous troll is OK with all those dead people. He pretends they were never killed. He won't even post as "Just the Facts" anymore. Just another coward who can't stand behind his words.

Such racism and dishonesty are typical of today's American radical Right. He will whine about "censorship", because white racist liars are always the "real victims".

This is also the guy who told me, "Your conscience means nothing", while defending his "Christianity".

Honesty and conscience have no value with the radical far Right. But we already know that.

Dave Dubya said...

Jerry,
Our national curse of gun violence was born of our history of racism and slavery. The 2nd Amendment was engineered by Southerners for their "militias" to hunt escaped slaves.

Non-hunters buy weapons out of fear. And hunters are lied to by the Republicans and NRA, scaring them with imagined threats of confiscation.

Selling resentment, anger and fear is how the Right holds power.

Dave Dubya said...

He won’t use a name, or otherwise indicate who he is, but he proved me correct by responding to this: This is also the guy who told me, "Your conscience means nothing", while defending his "Christianity".

Vern aka "Just the facts" has used many names before, and would rather be anonymous for some reason. He whined, “Hate speech is anything that Dave doesn't agree with”. All I did was call out his lie about mass shootings under Trump, and note his racist deflection to crimes by Blacks instead of the subject of mass shootings.

His lies, racism and deflections won’t be published, but in fairness he responded in defense of his claim, “"Your conscience means nothing”.

“Why does your conscience mean nothing? Because all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and unless you are sinless and never out of line with what God demands, your conscience is tainted as it comes from an imperfect source, IE you. If my conscience says its ok to have sex with your minor daughter, then it must be ok as a man's conscience is what guides him. And can never be wrong. What you believe.”

If having sex with minors is ok because it is “what you believe”, then it is NOT your conscience telling you that. It’s something altogether different. In fact it is the opposite of an act of conscience.

A conscience is felt as compassion, empathy and concern for others, along with understanding and regret of one’s transgressions, cruelty or indifference regarding our fellow human beings, or even for animals.

A conscience is never expressed by “saying it’s ok” to abuse or do wrong unto others. A conscience is the compassion/ethical/moral mechanism that tells us, “No, that is wrong and it harms others.” Sociopaths have no conscience to hold them back from torturing, or killing, or having sex with minors, or raping other unwilling persons.

Trump and other cults have shown they can incite fear and hatred that can also suppress a person’s conscience enough to allow them to massacre Mexicans at a Walmart, or violently storm the Capitol. A cult or Trump's words become "what they believe".

Acting on a belief is not acting on a conscience.

Nice chat, Vern.

Anonymous said...

Conscience is a cognitive process that elicits emotion and rational associations based on an individual's moral philosophy or value system. If your moral system says it's ok to rape your daughter then your conscience will be ok with the rape.

The fact that a child 3 years old will hit another child or lie to it's parents begs the question, who taught that child to do that? Humans are born with the ability to lie, and hit and that they do so shows the weakness of the belief that humans are moral and therefore their conscience is all that is needed to do what is right.

Dave Dubya said...

1.)

Vern,
I’m happy you’ve made a good faith comment instead of the usual far Right talking points and misinformation. Constructive conversation can be accomplished in good faith.

Morality and conscience can be seen as relative, can’t they? It’s worth exploring how that can be, and it touches on psychology, philosophy, religion and daily living.

”Conscience is a cognitive process that elicits emotion and rational associations based on an individual's moral philosophy or value system.”

This is the opening definition from Wiki, but it isn’t very comprehensive. Moral philosophy and a value system are developed to guide us to the good, and away from the bad.

I’ll use the Merriam-Webster definition of conscience:

1a: the sense or consciousness of the moral goodness or blameworthiness of one's own conduct, intentions, or character together with a feeling of obligation to do right or be good. She had a guilty conscience.
b: a faculty, power, or principle enjoining good acts guided by conscience
c: the part of the superego in psychoanalysis that transmits commands and admonitions to the ego


You said, “If your moral system says it's ok to rape your daughter then your conscience will be ok with the rape. The fact that a child 3 years old will hit another child or lie to it's parents begs the question, who taught that child to do that? Humans are born with the ability to lie, and hit and that they do so shows the weakness of the belief that humans are moral and therefore their conscience is all that is needed to do what is right.”

The behaviors you mention would be generally regarded as showing an absence of conscience rather than a conscience. Raping daughters has never been part of any moral system. You seem to be describing Trump’s “conscience”. He was a young bully and became an old bully and liar. His father was not a person of conscience. He was a racist and swindler, as well as a bully. Like father, like son. No conscience. It meant nothing to them.

As most of us see it, our conscience doesn’t “allow” us to harm others, or to lie, cheat and steal. The conscience inhibits that behavior. Desires, wants, needs, urges, and yes, beliefs “allow” us to do things our conscience may tell us is wrong. Millions of people have been killed for the false beliefs of their killers. The Holocaust was not a campaign of conscience, but of lies and racism. Likewise the storming of the Capitol was not an insurrection of conscience, but of lies and racism.

My conscience tells me banning the weapons used to massacre school children does less harm than not banning them. It is a price too high to accommodate those who delude themselves into believing semi-automatic rifles with 30 round magazines make them "free".

If that were the case, Iraqis and Afghans would be more free than I am. They are not.

Conscience can be relative. In war, or in cases of extreme self-defense, our need to survive would overrule our conscience when it comes to kill or be killed. Sometimes “white lies” are told to protect others. There are really very few moral exceptions, though.

As the above definition indicates, our conscience guides us to do good, not harm, and to feel guilt and remorse after doing harm. Conscience requires compassion.

The phrase, “My conscience won’t allow it” is used more than, “My conscience allows it”.

Chances are it’s not the conscience, but desires, wants, needs, urges, and beliefs are what “allow it”.

Dave Dubya said...

2.)
It would be interesting if you’d answer, in good faith, a question for us.

Since Jesus never mentioned abortion or slavery, what tells you they are wrong? Can it have something to do with a conscience?

It should. A person of conscience would abhor slavery, even though Jesus never told anyone to oppose it.

I would think your concern for the fetus tells you it shouldn’t be harmed. You feel compassion for it. Many would say that is your conscience.

Pro-choice Christians have a conscience that is concerned and compassionate for the woman, whether raped or unable to raise a child. Forcing a woman to bear a fetus with no brain, or other condition that dooms it from the beginning, shows no compassion for either mother or potential child. Many feel government control of such personal matters would be something their conscience couldn’t support.

It is an unfortunate choice, and a conscience can be divided at times. Not everything is absolutely right or wrong. We don’t live in a black and white world.

People of conscience can see things differently, with their compassion directed in different directions. They want the best outcome for others, not their own selfish desires.
Abortion can be an act of mercy and conscience, just as not resuscitating a dying cancer patient.

We feel that difference when deciding to put down an aging pet. We want it to live, but our conscience may tell us the animal is too disabled and suffering too severely to experience any more goodness and joy in life. Conscience and compassion are joined. Conscience and cruelty, not so much.

This is why conscience plays, or should play, a significant role for Christianity. A conscience helps us find the compassion to love our neighbor, and even our enemies. Former enemies can become friends, believe it or not.

If you read further into the Wiki page, you would have seen this:

In the Protestant Christian tradition, Martin Luther insisted in the Diet of Worms that his conscience was captive to the Word of God, and it was neither safe nor right to go against conscience. To Luther, conscience falls within the ethical, rather than the religious, sphere. John Calvin saw conscience as a battleground: "[...] the enemies who rise up in our conscience against his Kingdom and hinder his decrees prove that God's throne is not firmly established therein". Many Christians regard following one's conscience as important as, or even more important than, obeying human authority. A fundamentalist Christian view of conscience might be: 'God gave us our conscience so we would know when we break His Law; the guilt we feel when we do something wrong tells us that we need to repent.'

So, I would agree with you that “your conscience means nothing” if it allows for cruelty, harm, destruction, Trump’s insurrection, antifa vandalism, lies and theft.

But that’s not what a conscience does. It is the lack of conscience and compassion that allows all that.

Louise said...

Shaw Kenawe always s claims that Trump lies all the time.. but never says anything about Biden who lies 100 times a day, and his lies are utterly preposterous:

Dave Dubya said...

PC,

Thank you for your opinion.

I'm sure you can easily show evidence that would exonerate Trump of such an outrageous accusation.

And I'm just as sure you can show us the 100 lies Biden spoke yesterday, or the day before, or today, if you like.

Or maybe I'm just fooled by your humorous exaggeration. ;-)

I agree Biden can be loose with the facts. Just the other day he said Georgia will be closing polls at 5pm. He was wrong. It's 7pm.

I'm certain that is as preposterous as the lie about Obama not being American-born and illegally president. Then there's the one about Trump winning the election.

Please feel free to share more of Biden's preposterous lies with us.

Thank you for your interest in seeking the truth.