Refreshing the Tree of Liberty

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The Tree of Liberty was refreshed once again, this time with the blood from one adult and two children, ages 6 and 13. Listen, ask any member of the GOP, any supporter of the NRA’s political views, the deaths of three people and wounding of about a dozen others is a small price to pay to preserve the Second Amendment — or what they believe the Second Amendment means.

Hell, three isn’t even that big of a death toll. A shooter killed 12 in Thousand Oaks, CA, but he used a handgun in that murder scene. Before that a guy using an assault-style AR-15 killed 17 in Parkland, FL and then there was the granddaddy of all mass shootings: Las Vegas. Over 50 dead, over 450 wounded; the Tree of Liberty got a lot of refreshing that night. I think the exact quote from Thomas Jefferson is: “The Tree of Liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of children and other innocent people.”

The Republican Party has been pro-gun violence for decades, they’ve supported the gun rights of people that commit mass murder. Now we find out they are also pro Russia, i.e. protecting the hostile activities of Russia (and other nations) to attack our elections. But that’s a story for the next post.

Ever since the murderous tragedy at Sandy Hook in Newtown, Connecticut, the Republican Party has made it clear they are the pro-mass murder party.

Let’s skip all the stats about the number of murders by gun, gun deaths in general (including accidents and suicides), the GOP doesn’t care about those at all. Nothing changes in Washington, DC.

Gilroy, CA Police Chief Scot Smithee during a press conference after the Garlic Festival shooting (YouTube)

Here’s the fly in the ointment, the bug in the argument for me: several of my family members are gun owners, many of my friends. In fact, I know people that own AR-15’s and even M-16’s and Thompson submachine guns. I don’t fear any of them will become brutal mass murderers.

There are over 300 million privately owned firearms in America, maybe 150 million gun owners. The percentage of gun owners that have become murderers, especially mass murderers, is extremely small. Do I really want to step on the rights of lawful gun owners? No.

And let’s be realistic: if the government banned assault-style weapons from being sold and owned and added a buy-back program, does anyone really think law enforcement would actually receive the guesstimated 150 million assault-style weapons? I’m a lefty with the leftiest of ideals and I can’t even fantasize that would happen.

On the other hand I can see banning high capacity magazines — for long guns and hand guns — banning bumstocks and the further sale of assault-style weapons. By and large the people that own them now will keep them anyway. They won’t turn in their high capacity magazines, night vision scopes and other military-style accessories. It just ain’t gonna’ happen. That’s just reality, gun control supporters. But we can stop them from being sold to the public. Eventually the percentage of people owning those things will decrease and just maybe we’ll see a decrease in mass shootings.

The guy who murdered the three people in Gilroy, CA on Sunday night bought his AK-47-style assault weapon just weeks ago. All he needed to do was cross the California-Nevada stateline and voila! Instant assault-style weapon owner. Crossing a stateline is how a lot of people skirt local and state laws.

We can also close the loopholes, like the gun show loophole, the private sale loophole and we can also make universal background checks the law. Over 90% of Americans — including gun owners — support universal background checks.

My apologies, I wasn’t going to get into the statistics. This was about refreshing the Tree of Liberty with the blood of children and other innocent people.

Thomas Jefferson’s actual quote is: “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.”

In 1787, when Jefferson wrote that in a letter to a diplomat in London, he probably didn’t envision a militia armed with weapons that could fire 50-100 rounds per minute plus magazines that could make an uninterrupted flow of 100 rounds possible. They were still using muzzle-loading guns that, in the best of hands, could fire one round per minute, accurately. Nor did he envision a 5.56 mm round specifically designed to cause tissue damage beyond the site where the projectile enters the soft tissue.

The weapon and its ammunition were designed for one thing: military use to kill human beings. That is just a fact. Other firearms with different ammunition can be used to kill people. It happens, but assault-style weapons are the guns of choice of mass murderers. We need to do something to stop them, or at least slow down the rate at which mass shootings occur. Or, we can continue to refresh the Tree of Liberty with the blood of children and other innocent people.

Top photo is a YouTube screenshot of the news coverage in Gilroy, CA