The price we pay for freedom

You know, people say stupid things. It happens frequently. Many folks on social media are ready to attack those who tweet, text or talk Second Amendment smack after a mass shooting, and so today’s coverage begins.

Late last year, Tennessee Representative Andy Ogles sent out a holiday card with his entire family holding guns. The caption read, “The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference — they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good.” When asked about that photo in light of three kids and three adults being gunned down in a school in his city, he refused to apologize for his tasteless holiday P.R. Why? Perhaps he fears an expression of sorrow and grief would expose him to be less than the manly man he conjures for his brand and image.

Oh, Ogles did say he was, “devastated by the tragedy,” but like 99% of the Republicans in office, he will do absolutely nothing to protect the rights of “life, liberty and happiness” of the very people he represents, but he’s only one of many misguided guys who believe a gun is part of the “American dream.”

Tennessee Representative Andy Ogles

Another trope that rolls out of the mouths of the protectors of the amendment they like is a notion that mass shootings demonstrate that “freedom is not free,” and when people die at the hands of a lunatic it’s simply “the cost of freedom.” I find myself screaming that sounds exactly like a notorious domestic terrorist, Timothy McVie, who was put to death by the state.

On April 19, 1995, Timothy McVie planted a bomb at the Oklahoma City Federal Building and killed more than 168 people, including nineteen children. When asked about the kids lost in his retribution for the Waco siege two years before, McVie uttered the immortal line, “They were just collateral damage.” Now, we have far-right members of Congress blaming the Nashville shooting on transexual procedures and illicit drugs, ignoring the real problem. The alleged shooter was being treated for a mental disorder.

There was no law in Oklahoma that prevented anyone from buying enormous amounts of the fertilizer McVie needed for his bomb, and obviously there are no red flag laws in Tennessee that would have prevented the shooter from legally buying seven guns. Audrey Hale’s parents didn’t think she should own guns, but she was a 28-year-old adult who could own as many guns as she wanted.

Tim Burchett, another braindead Congressman from Tennessee, declared, “We’re not gonna fix school shootings.” He even went so far to say that he doesn’t think the government has a role to play in stopping mass shootings. This guy, along with Andy Ogles, should be thrown out of Congress. If they cannot even believe a solution is feasible then they are part of THE PROBLEM.

Intellectually, I don’t care if you own one or four hundred guns, but if the purpose of your weaponry is casting fear over the neighborhood, you are misguided. If your reason for ownership is sport and hunting, I must ask what happened to using a rifle to bring down a deer or bird? Why would you destroy the very meat that is the object of your quest? Most police departments don’t have the firepower of their local gun clubs but, when protecting blue lives, pro-gun fans never seem to remember that cops are often outgunned by those with the automatic weaponry that Democrats want to ban.

Maybe I am naïve about the protection aspect of having weapons in the home. I get that you want to protect your family, but protect them from what? If an average gun lunatic wanted to off your whole family, all they would need is a loaded AR-15 and you would be helpless with your little 9mm handgun. It’s just a teddy bear for a nervous person, bringing comfort but no real protection.

Another aspect of our ongoing struggle with the plague of lunatic shooters is this concept of congratulating the police on how fast they responded. That’s all well and good, but in the end it’s not the quick response to the 911 call but the lack of concern about mental health challenges, red flags laws and dismal gun ownership record keeping. We truly have no idea about who owns guns and how many. Maybe we just don’t care.

A workable system would be national gun registration and a database entry required for weapon merchants and accessible by law enforcement. We need to keep an eye on those who buy “too many” guns or “too much” ammunition and messages posted on social media presenting clues to a crazy person’s intent. Yell to the ACLU all you like, but the print clearly states, “a well-regulated militia.”

Let me get real here. When dishonest politicians, TV talking heads and far-right scum on the internet claim the ravaged, dead bodies of nine-year-old children is just “collateral damage” or the “price of freedom,” I want to screech, “If you cannot do something to protect our children and make America better then SHUT UP!

I don’t care if you are a Republican or Democrat, if you don’t do something about this crisis you will go to hell. According to Axios, “At least 57 people have died in 38 mass shootings in the US this month alone, with another 133 injured.” With seven hundred people taken from the earth each year by senseless mass shootings, we must address it. We first must admit it happened, then agree it’s a scourge and decide what we will do to prevent it. If not, we are not much more advanced than Neanderthals, who didn’t have guns.

Security at every door, metal detectors, teachers with guns, students with guns, more resource officers, more weapons, more religious resistance to a Second Amendment update will only kill more. We are at the tipping point and maybe it’s too late. It’s certainly too late for the 57 people who were taken from us this month by firepower, but it’s not too late to take back some guns, limit who can own them and convince America that inaction by those in power is careless, reckless and intentional disregard. In a court of law that’s called “negligence.”


Tattoo Detective: Our Last Hope for the Future

Imagine being able to time travel into the unknown. TATTOO DETECTIVE: Our Last Hope for the Future is a science fiction novel examining the world after all the guardrails of normal society have been dissolved.

The story follows two American tattoo detectives who are sent on a mission that changes them and their world. This dystopic look at the United States and the flaw in humankind is not a Pollyanna prognostication, it’s fundamentally close to our current reality and could be predictive of where we are headed. The opening chapter says it best, “…we could have done something, but we fell madly in love with technology, weapons and wealth.”  For purchase or dowload, go here. Check out our author page on Amazon.


Trump’s Unsolvable Katrina

We have all heard the banal “thoughts and prayers” utterance so often that what was once a caring response now sounds limp and lifeless.

In an op-ed article called: “We have studied every mass shooting since 1966. Here’s what we’ve learned about the shooters” the writers spell out our challenge. If you didn’t read it, here is a link. If you want to know something about the people who wrote the piece, Jillian Peterson and James Denlsey, check here. I will now cover the major points with comments.

People who have committed mass shootings (using gunfire to wound or kill more than four people in a public place) have common points that we must examine. Many of the perps of these heinous crimes have suffered from trauma or exposure to violence at a young age. They may have experienced parental suicide, physical or sexual abuse, neglect, domestic violence or severe bullying. Each had significant breaking points in the months or weeks leading up to their act and all suffered a perceived grievance either in the workplace or in their personal life. They often study others who have committed these crimes in the past and use the internet seeking comfort and motivation from other like-minded troubled souls. The computers of offenders typically reveal they studied their targets and locations before taking the step. Peterson and Densley point out that 80% of these shooters got their weapons from family members, while the others purchased their guns legally.

The researchers offer solutions. One is making the soft targets less accessible, which to my way of thinking means more security people, more cameras and more invasion of our privacy. But just like we lowered the number of airplane hijackings by well-designed airport security, we are moving toward these kinds of pat downs in our society. We already security check at concerts and sporting events and this seems to keep us safer. Could malls be the next place we must clear a metal detector just to shop?

The writers of the study also say we must better control our weapons. Ahh, doesn’t that mean better and more gun control? Yes it does, and that means a bigger more interactive background check system with a constantly updated database detailing every purchase, even sales at gun shows. You know, like the databases used for drug purchases. I cannot fill the same prescription at two different pharmacies.

Another of their suggestions was making it harder for the damaged to acquire validation for their planned actions. This directly slams into the First Amendment protections of the Constitution. Are we really going to babysit the internet and engage in moderation or censorship, attempting to protect the frail minds of malcontents wanting to commit mass murder? On the surface it sounds like a good idea, but when our superficial president blames the internet, violent videogames and movies for the violence in our society, shouldn’t we censor him from promoting violence and hate at his rallies? Why does he get to censor when no one analyzes or edits him?

Remember, Donald Trump has said that he would like someone to punch a protester at his rally and even volunteered that he would pay the legal bills. What is the difference between Donald Trump and some asshole using the internet to put down immigrants and retweet Trump’s “invasion” theories about those seeking asylum? You see, Trump is the source of the echo chamber of hate. He retweets conspiracy theories that could promote violent actions against certain people. In fact, the Hillary Clinton pizza shop sex trafficking conspiracy lead to an armed assault to liberate the Washington, DC pizza joint. The Trump campaign promoted these hoaxes to get elected. Isn’t it ironic that a friend of Donald Trump, Jeffrey Epstein, was allegedly involved in sex trafficking?

Now, the same propaganda machine is promoting a theory that Bill Clinton killed Jeffrey Epstein AND TRUMP RETWEETED the message, aiding and abetting the volatile firebombing radical right winged messengers. Trump constantly sides with those who promote harm. When someone violates Tweeter policies and is taken down, Trump attacks Twitter… ON TWITTER! This is crazy. Now Trump is ordering the Federal Communication Commission to police public media, which puts us in dangerous waters. No matter which party is in power, censorship is UNAMERICAN.

If we need more control over sick minds, who will determine which of us are sick and who will treat the mentally troubled? If mental illness is the real “demon” here, then why did the government cut the CDC’s funding of gun violence research? And why do we spend most of our annual budget on military might and ammunitions? We spend more than $700 billion on tanks, guns and weapons of mass destruction, yet we are totally blind when it comes to healthcare, mental health and real threats within our borders?

Thousands of journalists, pundits and writers are publicly analyzing Donald Trump’s mental well-being and capacities. Some believe he has several serious impairments. This is no longer a joke. This President seems to side with Kim Jong-Un about whether he can violate UN policies of missile testing. Why?

Trump usually does the opposite of what he preaches. After meeting with the Governor of Alaska, Trump ordered the EPA to take away a law that protected the salmon runs from mining pollution. Trump didn’t drain the swamp; he is the swamp. I guess I won’t be eating Alaskan salmon.

Trump has a gun and arsenal and shows evidence that he is a danger to the entire world. If the “red flag” law passes on the federal level, a crafty legal scholar could use the same law to take away the Donald’s guns. And the FCC could ban him from the internet. The very legal bodies Trump uses to do his bidding and censoring could turn on him and spay this mentally ill dictator. Wouldn’t that be an interesting turn of events?

Here’s a simple formula. If you want to get rid of gun violence, get rid of the guns. If you want to get rid of stupid people saying stupid things on social media, get rid of social media. And if you want to get rid of hate, send Trump back to New York. But consider this, dear reader. When Trump is gone from Washington, hate, violence and white supremacy will not end. It’s all much bigger than Trump. Once Trump returns to the comfort of his black, evil tower of steel in New York City, we will still have to deal with the social contagions and desperate people doing heinous things. Trump and many of his appointees are the germinators of hate. They should be punished and removed ASAP!

Read About The Country We Love

The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs shows how we’ve wasted our GOLD on bad wars and corruption. While GOD is there for many people as a spiritual enrichment and the provider of glowing feelings, the truth is just praying and believing will not change our major arc. We don’t determine who gets a GUN. We aren’t sure if we have paramilitary groups ready to storm the White House or a White Castle. There is no control of weapons. The GOOFBALLS with the power constantly try to manipulate us into spending more money on bombs and tanks and wars. When all of our institutions are infected with neglect and fall in disrepair, we will only have ourselves to blame. This book is not an antidote for the left or right, it’s an accelerant to move the middle off their collective asses to go do something positive for America.

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.


America Must Act, Trump Must Go

America, we have a problem. For all the rhetoric and endless number of tweets, the current government in our country is not equipped to deal with the violence of mass shootings. Regrettably, there is no preventative effort on the part of the President and his minions of “yes” men and women around him.

There have been too many events of “active shooters” and “mass shootings” for us to bury our heads in the sand. As of this writing, 2019 has seen more than 250 mass shootings, with a death toll of 281 human beings. If you want to keep track of these horrible events there’s a website. It changes weekly and sometimes daily. Here’s where one can use the word “sad” and feel the true meaning.

Some experts boil it down to our higher accessibility and ownership of guns. We have 120.5 firearms per one hundred people, and the USA ranks number one in gun ownership around the world. Most believe that mass shooters suffer from some form of mental illness. Certainly, premeditated murder is the result of a sickness.

Clear minds state that a failure of government background checks due to incomplete databases and staff shortages puts guns in the wrong hands. Organizations like the NRA can say the Second Amendment is more important that protecting the lives of America citizens, but the gun problem in this country has been promoted by their actions and policies.

Certain experts point to the gap between people’s expectations for themselves and their actual achievements in life. This is where we get to the hate crimes and the driving force of getting back at OTHERS who they perceive have gained more at their expense. It’s another kind of sickness, this driving force of revenge as motive.

Some of these perpetrators have a desire for fame and notoriety, they seek their fifteen minutes of fame. The mass media coverage of the shooters and the social media sites that glorify them often downplay the victims, handing a prize to the person of hate.

Then we have an evil “copycat phenomenon,” where the acts of one person are taken by another human as a green light for further deeds of hatred. The notion of “suggesting” may be happening with Donald Trump’s rallies and his fear mongering toward people of color, immigrants and those who disagree with him. Trump’s harangues become a trigger for sick minds, but he will never admit it because he doesn’t believe there is anything wrong with using a tactic of hatred to get reelected. He would rather win than solve problems.

When Donald John Trump was sworn in as President, he said, “This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.” But the “carnage” is not ending, it’s getting worse. Some defend Trump’s political lack of action, but most will agree his messaging to motivate the nation away from hate and violence is scarce and weak. When he said that “there were fine people on both sides” right after a white nationalist plowed a car into peaceful counter protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, injuring many and killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer, our 45th President gave a license for violence and killing to the KKK, white nationalists, white supremacists and Neo-Nazis. For them, “Might is right.” After the chants of “Jews will not replace us” die down, the country still has no moral leader. Mr. President, they’ve killed Muslims, Jews, children and immigrants while you sit back, neglecting your obligation to protect our country.

Trump can repetitively chant about MS-13 and ISIS, but hundreds of people are dead on our soil from domestic terrorism. These shooters didn’t come from Syria or Mexico, they came from the white suburbs of America. They are being poisoned by Nazi, KKK and white nationalists online and the manifestos of these hateful shooters spell out their dogma in clear language. They believe that Trump supports them.

It’s too late for the Donald to undo the damage that he has rendered. He has no creditability to speak to the nation and give us fatherly advice on guns. His sons own lots of guns and he doesn’t even care about the number of weapons out there, unless they were to be used against him. Should that ever happen, we would have gun restrictions within hours. That happened in the streets of San Francisco when the Black Panthers decided to poke a hole in the Second Amendment by carrying loaded rifles in the streets. Gun laws changed dramatically then.

There are some who will claim that blaming Trump for mass shootings is unfair. Okay, that might make you happy for a few minutes but what are we going to do about the problem? Congress waited until hundreds of thousands of citizens were murdered by opioids to act against the pharmaceutical industry and their middlemen who were getting rich by death. People who write the laws of the land have never taken up arms against arms.

What if a strong denouncement of hate and threat of reckoning with these hate groups by the President happened NOW? If it stopped just one person from loading a gun and killing our people, that would be something good. Trump has the power, but he doesn’t have a strong enough command of the English language to pull it off. His lame tweet after the Saturday shooting in El Paso says it all, “God be with you all!” On Sunday morning, after another shooting in Dayton, Ohio, Trump tweeted “God bless the people of El Paso Texas. God bless the people of Dayton, Ohio.” This is what we get from Trump. It’s obvious that he doesn’t know what to do or even what to say. He’s not the Pope, he’s the fucking President of the United States and if he doesn’t do something about the hate and violence in America, he is clearly not worthy of the presidency. He must go.

Impact of Trump on America

The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs shows how we’ve wasted our GOLD on bad wars and corruption. While GOD is there for many people as a spiritual enrichment and the provider of glowing feelings, the truth is just praying and believing will not change our major arc. We don’t determine who gets a GUN. We aren’t sure if we have paramilitary groups ready to storm the White House or a White Castle. There is no control of weapons. The GOOFBALLS with the power constantly try to manipulate us into spending more money on bombs and tanks and wars. When all of our institutions are infected with neglect and fall in disrepair, we will only have ourselves to blame. This book is not an antidote for the left or right, it’s an accelerant to move the middle off their collective asses to go do something positive for America.

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.