America and Guns

I was writing a piece on “hate crimes” and then the Las Vegas massacre happened. I woke up at 1am, which is about 11pm Vegas time, and my television was on…I was in total shock. I remember screaming out “NOOOO!!!!” followed by a bunch of nonsensical stuff as I started to cry. I could not believe what I was watching; seeing happening in Las Vegas, it was just too much to comprehend.
I live in the USA and there is this thing called the Bill of Rights. The 2nd Amendment to this is the “right to bear arms”…meaning we have the right to own guns. And because the NRA (Naitonal Rifle Association) basically funds Republican candidates and pays off politicians we have very loose laws concerning gun ownership. Recently our “president” signed a bill allowing mentally ill to once again be able to purchase guns without question. Yes, it’s a very sad state of affairs we have concerning gun ownership and responsibility.
Our “president” refuses to call the Las Vegas shooting an act of “terrorism” – which is exactly what it is. What could BE more terrifying than being attacked by machine gun fire while at a peaceful music concert? But, because this was a WHITE man who wasn’t acting on behalf of any terrorist organization he refuses to label it what it is: terrorism. Most acts of terrorism in this country are committed by individuals just like this guy. Trump just doesn’t understand what it’s like to be terrified and in fear for your life. He doesn’t get it, because he’s a coddled old nasty rich white man.
I’m sick of all of the mass shootings taking place in America. It’s horrific that we cannot craft legislation to help possibly prevent some of these people from being able to so readily acquire these assault style weapons and ammunition that can pierce metal – such as a car door or plane fuselage. What individual person needs this kind of ammo? Only someone with very bad intentions would purchase such ammunition or assault rifles. There is no good reason to own such items. If you think I am wrong, you tell me the “good reasons”. Unless you are preparing to kill multiple people you do NOT need an automatic weapon. They aren’t used for hunting, hell you’d tear up your target and not get any good meat! They have ONE purpose: to kill people. Period.
I believe in the 2nd Amendment. I believe we DO have a right to own a gun. And I would never want our government to try to remove that right. BUT, be serious, we need some regulations to help curb some of the violence and deaths. We need strict legislation. We all need to stand up to Congress and demand to be protected by such legislation and regulations! MANY other countries have put strict gun ownership laws into place and have vastly reduced gun related murders and deaths in their lands. Australia is the prime example. In 1996 there was a terrible mass killing, they put new laws into place and have drastically reduced gun deaths in their country to date.
I fully understand that putting more restriction on gun ownership won’t completely solve the problem of gun related crime. And yes, like illegal drugs, you can always get an illegal weapon if you try hard enough and know the right people – BUT remember, locks only keep an honest man honest. It’s a mentality thing, responsible gun owners understand the laws of gun ownership are there to protect them and other people. Intelligent, responsible people have no issue with things like background checks and enhanced legislation that moves toward curbing the wrong people from obtaining guns. I truly believe that if we all work together we can find solutions that will appease all of us. I believe we CAN save lives and lower the gun death rate if we just focus on the issues, work toward solutions for those issues and work together to solve them. It’s not going to please everyone, because that’s just impossible. There will still be that rogue gunman who, most likely because he has penis envy, will need to own 50 machine guns and armor piercing bullets….God only knows what his real reasoning will be. He will be in a minority I hope.
I too pray for the families of the victims of the Las Vegas massacre, but prayers without action to back them up are fruitless. I will continue to speak out and be visible in my fight to have better gun laws in this country. I will continue to pressure my Congressmen and Senators. I won’t idly stand by and feel like my voice has no impact. And if we all speak up, and speak LOUDLY, we can change this world and make it safer for all.
Peace. ~MB

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Taking a Knee During a National Anthem

American Flag

Colin Kapaernick chose to take a knee during the playing of the national anthem at an NFL football game, it has cause huge uproar and much discussion in this country about patriotism, racism and loyalty.

Today, September 24, 2017, the whole country tuned in to watch and see what all of the players were going to do today at the NFL games.  Who would take a knee, and who would support them.  Yesterday Trump lashed out at the NFL, at Kapaernick and anyone else he could think of.  He called them “sons of bitches” and called for the NFL to “fire them” for their protest.  Trump seems to be more concerned with football than he is with running this country.  Obviously he has no idea what the fuck he is actually supposed to be doing in Washington DC.

I served my country in the US Army for 6 years so that people like Colin would have freedom.  I do not see his taking a knee in protest of disproportionate killings of black men by law enforcement, with no justice when it’s due, as being disrespectful to the flag.  I see it as him protesting something he truly believes is wrong with his country.  It’s his right to express himself.  And those players who choose to suppor thim by standing with their arms linked have every right to do just that – support him, and make their voices heard as well.

The United States is in such incredible turmoil right now. In my 55+ years I have never seen anything like what is happening all around me right now.  I fear that things are brewing to become very volatile in the near future.  There is so much talk of race and racism, and I’m hearing it from so many places.  Blacks aren’t happy with whites, whites aren’t happy with blacks, Hispanics feel like they are being thrown out of the country, Asians also fear deportation and violence.  It’s crazy, it’s sad, and it’s scary.  And our “president” Trump is leading the charge to make it as bad as possible for everyone.  He particularly likes to strike out with his hatred of black athletes and Hollywood stars, with his hatred for immigrants pulling a close second.

Just because you do not agree with someone else’s opinion doesn’t mean that you should deny them their freedom of speech.  Freedom means that everyone does not have to have the same thoughts, feelings, opinion, or methods of expressing themselves; it means that we have the right to be individuals and are free to express ourselves as such.

I personally choose to stand for my national anthem.  That is MY choice.  I also choose to support those who make other choices.  As long as one is not desecrating the flag by shitting on it, burning it, altering it in anyway – like putting swastikas on it – and being generally purposefully nasty and outwardly disrespectful to the flag and my country, I am tolerant of civil protest and personal expression.  I do not see Colin Kapaernick’s kneeling as protesting the flag, I see it as it is…his protesting the lack of equal treatment and equal justice in this country.

This video shows both what Trump said, and what Obama’s response to this is…well worth watching.

 

I am proud to be an American.  I am proud of my flag, and what it stands for, and I am thankful to all who have served and who have fallen protecting our freedom.  I am also proud to support peaceful protest and tolerance of other’s opinions.  I stand with Colin Kapaernick and support his right to kneel and his personal reason behind it.

What do you think?  Do you have an opinion of this?

Peace.  ~MB