Taking Note of a Few Things: Shooting From The Hip

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We all know the truth. Guns are the problem. You can’t fix crazy. You can’t even create such a database given HIPPA laws so why blame mental illness for all our mass shootings?  What can be done is regulating the hell out of buying and owning weapons.

Gun owner arguments make no sense. They love to remind people of all the number of deaths from car accidents and smoking cigarettes. But let’s look at them for a second.

When was the last time a young man stormed an elementary school and killed over a dozen children with cigarettes?  When was the last time a young man got his hands on a car and used it to barricade himself inside a school?

Congress passed a law requiring buyers of cigarettes be at least 21 years of age.  In many states, Texas being one, you can buy a semi-automatic weapon and hundreds of rounds of bullets at just 18. Where is the logic?

The concealed carry advocates are the biggest idiots of all. How many states require taking a course, not a one-day seminar, but an actual class you must go to and attend for several weeks, to get trained in active shooter responding? How many could hit an active shooter while bullets are fired back at them?

Regulate weapon ownership. This means taking and passing a class on how to own a gun and keep it in a safe and secure place. It means paying an annual fee for registration of that weapon and proof of insurance in case of an accident. It means renewing the license for each gun you own.

Add federal and/or state taxes for every gun purchased. If you want an AK-47, and you have passed the gun ownership course to buy one, you should be prepared to pay through the nose just as car owners must when they want to buy the fastest cars sold.

Let’s not forget about ammo. If you want to buy bullets for your AK-47, then pony up. Why not charge $100.00 a round? Tacking on additional fees to weapons and ammo allows there to be a fund for both the immediate and long-term care of victims of gun violence as well as counseling for families who lose loved ones.

ALL RIGHTS are subject to regulation and amending. It’s part of the beauty of our Constitution. It is allowed to be changed to meet the needs of the nation as our culture evolves.

It is not a complicated issue. You either value human life and want to give it every opportunity to grow up and experience the best of what this nation has to offer, or you feel it is more important to own any gun you desire.

If Democrats can’t get excited enough to turn out the vote this fall over the issues of guns and abortion, they will have only themselves to blame for the political fallout.

If inflation doesn’t ease up, it won’t matter how many Democrats turn out to vote. Americans care more about their wallets than their rights, the safety of our children, or even if we are at war. So long as they feel good about the direction of the nation’s economy, our government leaders can go about and do nothing else and get re-elected.

I figured out how to rid myself of all those annoying ads on social media. I did a simple search for hearing aids and now I don’t see ads for anything else.

My hearing is shot. Even with hearing aids on, I have a very hard time distinguishing what people are saying. It’s frustrating as hell for my wife who tries to communicate with me. Fortunately, I can’t hear her complain about it.

I’ve never understood why professional sports teams have turned to wearing alternate uniforms to honor specific groups. I get how management wants to expand the fan base when having players wear something in honor of a specific group, but it seems like a good way to cause friction in the clubhouse. Players are like the rest of us and do not always see eye to eye on issues. Why cause a problem by asking someone to honor a group he may not align with politically or spiritually?

Tampa Bay Rays Manager Kevin Cash (Claudia Gestro)

I mention this because five players on the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team refused to wear uniforms with patches and hats honoring gay pride. They did so for religious reasons. All it has done is turn the attention to why some players feel different than others on the team and make them defend themselves for beliefs they had kept to themselves.

It made me think of the time our staff was informed by our teachers’ association we were now legally allowed to wear pins that promoted voting issues and as such, we were not just being asked, but told we would all be wearing one to promote a ballot measure. Buttons were handed out and the person who announced the news said she was going to check us all and if we were not wearing our button, she was going to pin it on us herself. When she noticed me not wearing mine, she approached with one in hand and directed me to wear it. My feeling had always been to never be a teacher who promoted one issue over another, but instead to try and encourage debate.

When she attempted to place a button on me, I stopped her and reminded her that while the courts ruled we had the right to wear the buttons, it also gave us the right not and that I was exercising my rights differently than she. When she stepped forward and told me I was going to wear the button, I became more direct and told her if she tried to make me wear it, I would have no choice but to go over her head and file a complaint for physical assault. She relented, but because of the event, it was assumed I did not support the measure.

If a baseball team wants to promote a group, why do so with special uniforms, patches, or hats worn for a game or two when they can offer discounted tickets to fill their empty seats to which there are plenty of?

I am not gay, however, it seems to me, if I was, or if I was part of any other special group being honored, I would feel offended that a professional team feels the way to honor me is by wearing something with the colors adopted by our group. Honor me by treating me with the same respect afforded to all Americans, after all, that seems to be what all these groups desire.

Starting a thought by claiming I am not gay is probably enough to make some people think I am, not that it matters.

No athlete is worth $95 million dollars. However, if I had to name one who was, Aaron Donald would be it. He is the heart and soul of the Los Angeles Rams and won’t let the money change who he is.

Aaron Donald of the L.A. Rams
(Claudia Gestro)

Some people in my area have stopped watering their lawns now for a while and it shows. It’s affected my dog Peanut who I take for walks in the morning. He has stopped pooping on one particular corner lot that was his favorite spot because their lawn is now dead.

The changes being discussed to our gun laws won’t make much of an impact. Currently, there are more guns in this nation than there are adults. When old gun owners die, they just end up leaving their guns in the hands of family members.

When my wife and I cleaned out her parents’ house following her dad’s passing, we ended up finding twenty-two handguns or rifles. We also collected enough bullets to fend off a SWAT Team for a week as well as enough buckets of gunpowder and equipment to make enough bullets for a private army. I am guessing there are hundreds of thousands of homes stocked with this sort of arsenal in our country.

I loved what Mathew McConaughey had to say about the Uvalde killings.

Our love of guns and violence is what keeps our country from being the most advanced nation in the world.

Got my second COVID booster the other day and man, did it ever knock me on my ass the next day.  My first three shots didn’t have any effect on me other than a sore arm.

Good for the PGA in not wasting time in banning 17 members who chose to play in the first Saudi backed LIV tournament. The players in question are simply looking to chase easy money at the expense of the PGA tour, an organization they agreed to support when they applied for membership.

I am curious how well the prime-time House of Representatives hearings do. Back when the Watergate hearings were on, they were watched closely. However, today, our nation is flooded with constant streams of information and multimedia options that were non-existent in the 1970’s. My guess is most of the nation cannot be bothered because most already have formulated the opinions and are not interested in them being changed. The Watergate hearings did a tremendous job of allowing Americans to see just how far their president and his people went to spy on Democrats.

The events of January 6th were either an attack on our government or the acts of heroes trying to preserve a government after a rigged election. The narratives have been driven home and that tends to be what we prefer in place of facts. The 1/6 hearings are either proof of an attack or a furtherance of a government that stole an election. Americans will rely on their limited sources of news to reinforce what they already believe and ignore the workings of our democracy.

“Normal tourists” on January 6, 2021 participating in an insurrection

The committee is more than just a group investigating what role Donald Trump played on that day. Expect to see the evidence point at many elected representatives and officials of the Trump administration. This is not about a president gone bad, but rather, a significant part of a major political party turning against our Constitution and trying to overthrow our entire system of government.

We claim we are tired of COVID’s disruption to our economy and way of life, but we lag far behind other nations with our rate of vaccinations. We are not the superior nation we like to think we are We won’t get vaccinated; we won’t get rid of our guns, and we complain over how people getting sick or murdered at such high rates is wrecking this nation. Don’t complain if you do not like the solution.

Jack Del Rio should try and master the art of coaching football before he tries to educate us on what constitutes a “dust up.” For a guy who still aspires to be a head football coach in the NFL or college, he’s lucky to still be coaching. I have a feeling he won’t be getting any more job interviews in the future, even for water boy positions.

Much has been made of the far left experiencing political defeats in recent elections, especially here in California. Like most places in the nation that face general perceptions about the people there, California is no different. While Democrats control Sacramento, moderation is more the norm than a left-wing agenda. Moderate Republicans have done well in gubernatorial races since the end of Jerry Brown’s first eight-year stint as governor and our state has always been able to get more accomplished via bipartisanship than anything accomplished by the far left or far right.

Both the far left and far right share one thing in common: they have shown on a national level too much change too soon is rejected. Both do better in small pockets. Both also learn how quickly they can be rejected once they have an established record.

White Nationalists have more in common with the people they showed up to combat with at a recent Pride Parade than they realize. Thirty-one men from 11 states were arrested and the evidence collected shows they intended to harm Pride parade participants. Still, these knuckleheaded racists have some things in common with their gay counterparts. For starters, both love a good parade and will travel great distances to enjoy comradery. Both feel they are an under-represented minority who are just wanting to bring more attention to their goals. Finally, both apparently love to dress up in outfits when they march. With all their tactical gear on, these white nationalists looked as if they would fit in well with the Village People.

We’ve Been watching the show “7 Seconds.” If you want to see all the complexities behind the challenges of overcoming the loss of a child due to bad police officers and finding justice in the process, this is an excellent series. Just know it is not fast paced. It takes the time to develop even the smallest character in the show.

Sorry, but I am not impressed with the tentative bipartisan agreement for gun legislation. It still leaves over 400 million guns out there that are too easily accessed by anyone with a grudge. It seems to only want to address the mentally ill and make schools safer, but what is preventing anyone from the many other targets of mass shooting? If, from what I have read about this agreement, it becomes legislation, it will do nothing to ween this nation of its gun problem.

Democrats caved once again. That’s all I can say when it comes to the new gun bill.

About halfway through my teaching career, I remember our staff received an in-service on how to handle killer bee attacks. Not long after this, something called Columbine happened and in the resulting years we have seen an increase in school and other mass shootings, an increase in gun sales, and an increase in mental illness. Politicians will not pass anything that will decrease the access to guns on any significant level. They will pass legislation to arm teachers and assign them the task of doing what is the job of law enforcement. They will also walk away from the negotiating table when you talk about age restrictions, banning semi-automatic weapons, and creating a more challenging process to owning a gun. We won’t see a decrease in mass shootings until there are fewer guns. Maybe then, we also end up with a drop in mental illness. Until then, get used to guns mattering more than our children.