Friday, December 28, 2012

Bottoms Up!

Calhoun’s Cannons for Dec 28  2012

Twenty little kids were killed in Newtown, Connecticut and Americans were asked to give up their military style assault weapons.  America said, “No.”

That’s addiction.

Twenty children were slaughtered in Newton, and Americans feared that maybe assault weapons would be banned, so they rushed out and bought more assault weapons.

That’s not the Second Amendment, that’s addiction.

Wayne LaPierre, head of the N.R.A and chief lobbyist for the gun industry said the reason twenty children were murdered in their school by a young man with assault weapons was because Hollywood made violent movies.  He then declared that the solution to gun violence in America is MORE guns everywhere in the hands of everybody, and America said, “Sounds good to me!” and ran out to buy more guns.  

That’s not a sane gun policy, that’s addiction.

Last year firearm sales jumped up 14 percent.  In a depressed economy with massive numbers of people out of work, gun shops and gun manufacturers were thriving, business was booming and very expensive weapons were flying off the shelves.  Baby needs a new pair of shoes?  Sorry, not when I need to buy another gun.  

That’s not a well regulated militia, that’s addiction.

A Congresswoman was gunned down in Arizona and nationwide, gun sales immediately spiked.  Moviegoers were slaughtered in Colorado and gun sales jumped even higher. Twenty kids died in a hail of bullets and gun sales again went through the roof. Clearly, in gun addicted America, dead kids equal increased sales and profits. If I were a conspiracy theorist, I’d suspect that Wayne LaPierre was hiring shooters himself to get and keep those fourth-quarter sales numbers up. 

Now, that’s great marketing (Dead kids = higher profits) and  addiction.

Fortress America.  This is what we’ve become.  Frightened hoarders irrationally buying more and more guns, hunkered down in our basements with boxes of ammo all around us waiting for the invading armies of those scary Russian/Chinese/Negro/Women/Mexican/Muslims to come thundering down Elm Street.  We have militarized our cities and homes and streets.  We have militarized our culture, our children, our lives. We have sanctified the Second Amendment above life and liberty itself.  Instead of the New Jerusalem, we have become a paranoid, weaponized comic-opera  Sparta – a mentally unstable, untrained gang that can’t shoot straight, a nation that’s become a danger to itself and others, a nation that routinely accepts the constant slaughter of its citizenry as normal, and before the bodies are even cold goes out and buys more guns. Then says there’s no problem here.

That’s addiction and denial of addiction.

Now we have twenty dead kids and a few people are asking:  Will Newtown finally spark an intervention?  If so, who is left to do it?  

Congress?  Too many of them are wholly owned by the N. R.A. and the N.R.A’s job is to sell more guns.  We, the People?  That’s impossible since addicts in denial cannot see the problem. And if you cannot see the problem, you cannot solve the problem. And to America, twenty dead kids clearly isn’t a problem. 

So we greet a new year and wait for the next slaughter and wonder, “If twenty doesn’t do the trick, is there a number that will?” And to our everlasting shame, I suspect the answer will be, “No.”   


Dave Samuelson said...

Do you see any connection to American foreign policy? Oliver Stone's Untold History has been reminding us, if not in so many words, that our national policies have made us the third worst mass killers in the world in the 20th and 21st centuries. If only men were less afraid of losing their penises (metaphorically speaking) and less fiendishly clever at devising new ways to project their paranoia. I'm not a great fan of drone killing, but it has resulted in less collateral damage than bombing, though the ultimate effectiveness of either policy is questionable. Only in Serbia has bombing ever brought the enemy into submission. As for piddling things like morality, mass killing is terrorism, whoever does it and however it is done. And terrorism, pace GWBush is not just something done by someone else, who happens to "hate us for our freedom," i.e., to buy guns.

Sandra Gore said...

I don't wanna think about guns right now. Gonna stick my head in a holiday hole and pretend the world is blissful and full of love. :)

Churadogs said...

Professor S: We are an Empire now with a professional all-volunteer standing army (We who are about to die, salute you.) This is something that would have horrified the founding fathers but which, weirdly, doesn't bother our conservative fake Tea Party strict constructionists who keep yammering about getting back to our original principles. Which would mean, NO standing army; You want a war, call up the militia (i.e.the universal draft).

The problem with standing armies is they're an expensive investment and it's too tempting(and considered wasteful)not to use them. So we're busy, busy, busy, all over the world, making it safe for Coca Cola and Big Oil, to name a few.

As for small penises and shaky egos, it was D.H. Lawrence who observed,"The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted."

Our real, dark-hearted national icon is Deerslayer, not Martin Luther King. But Deerslayer had a flintlock, single shot long rifle. Our Deerslayer wannabes have weapons designed for mass slaughter.

Until that mindset changes, our children will continue to be sacrifices on the bloody altar of the NRA.

Billy Dunne said...

I often wonder where the strict constitutionalists and brave defenders of the second amendment are in regards to the Patriot Act, warrantless wiretapping (newly renewed) and all. How come no hysteria over these gross violations of their fourth amendment rights? Oh wait. The NRA DID take a stand against one provision in the Patriot Act: the one barring those on the Terror Watch List from purchasing guns. My bad.

Anonymous said...

After watching our congressional leaders and elected POUS who really aren't leading this country. I can see why there will never be any form of gun control.

I'm also an ex-Army soldier, a former hunter and current avid trap shooter. But I can't understand the need for high volumne ammo clips and fully automatic "assult" weapons anywhere in America. The only reason there is no "gun control" in the lack of courage and leadership in Washington, D.C. If we actually need the assult weapons in the US, then we all ought to be buying them by the car loads and prepare to defend our meager homes! Where are the laws, and more than laws, where are the enforced penalties? Why isn't the death penalty actually being used?

Look around Los Osos and you'll see open drug dealings and believe me, those thugs are armed! When those animals are behind bars or executed, then I'll quit pointing thr finger at the liberals that have allowed our government to have become so unresponsive to the citizens. This country has already fallen over the "cliff"!

Churadogs said...

Billy: Yes, it is odd. We have scared ourselves to death with woo-woo images of black helicopters assaulting our homes, a sort of "Red Sky" (or was it "Red Dawn?") Hollywood movie scenario of brave Minutemen running around in the woods, armed to the teeth, when the real danger is lurking in the warrantless wiretaps, the NSA and "Homeland Security," and will come with a soft knock on the door in the middle of the afternoon. Indefinite detention. The rule of law, gone in a whisper. While terrorists on the watch list buy weapons.

Anon: Like prohibition before it, making drugs illegal is what brings the armed thugs to your little town. It's the money. Our "War on Drugs" is a colossal disaster, always has been. Drug addiction numbers have stayed relatively the same for several generations now. X# use and will die addicted; Y# use and get clean; Z# never bother. What's always been needed is to reduce the harm X cause. That isn't done by SWAT teams. Nor is it done by our revolving door For Profit Industrial-sized Prison system. (And considering that most drug addicts are actually self-medicating for untreated mental/emotional problems,(and huge swaths of the prison population are suffering from mental illness and/or untreated ADD/ADH from early childhood that lead to reading/school failure issues, said failures leading to behavior problems, drug use, then right to jail -- the old school to prison highway) where's a decent mental health system (and properly funded school system)when we really need one?)

And on and on it goes. We haven't figured out that you pay one way or another for these maladies. Treating our various social/medical ills early-on saves money and lives, but apparently we want to wait until they've destroyed lives and now cost 100 times more. Makes no sense to me.

I agree that military weapons have no business being on our streets.(If memory serves, the law was changed in the late '60's when a Black Panther leader showed up on the capital steps in Sacramento waving an assault weapon and warned that Black Americans were willing to defend themselves; that image flashed around the world and in White America --- OMG! OMG! -- the law concerning private ownership of military weapons changed overnight. The rest, as they say, is history.) But our fear and addiction to guns (stoked by varied interest groups for their own ends, and, always, terror of Nat Turner)makes it unlikely we'll ever get sane on that issue.

As for "liberals" allowing our government to be unresponsive, sorry, wrong target. WE the People are to blame for that. We don't know what we want, or we want impossible things (you can't have "free" pudding AND no taxes), we're badly uninformed or deliberately misinformed,we're lazy and can't be bothered to vote, or we don't know who we're voting for, or don't care. And when our Pols get bought off by varied special interests (because we refuse to create a decent system of campaign laws that reduces the buyouts) we keep reelecting them to office then point angry fingers at our personal bete noirs (You LIBERALS! You CONSERVATIVES!). The result is gridlock (self created) and a furious public armed to the teeth and pretending they're all Natty Bumpo.

Phoey. An awful lot of this stuff isn't rocket science. Honest. Get control of our fear (I'm convinced America had a mental breakdown on 9/11 and hasn't recovered), shut the hot buttons down, kill the phony stereotypes, speak truthfully, get actual facts, not Faux News Faks, dump the ginned up slogans, dump idiots like Grover Norquist and his ilk into the Potomac, and maybe, just maybe, WE the people could end up with a far more decent country than we have created now.

Anonymous said...

Are you talking a revolution to dump all career politicians? If not, why not?

Does it matter whether called Republican or Democrat? Aren't they all afraid of not being re-elected and have thus sold out to the highest bidder?

Churadogs said...

Anon 8:45: Because of the way we've set up our elections, (fee for service to the highest bidders) politicians are always trolling for money. They have to. It's one of the killing requisites of the job and leaves little time for actual legislating. Even the best of 'em have to spend hours every single day on the phone begging for money. Not a good system.

One of the problems with term limits (i.e. dump all the career pols) is our system is so complex it takes years to learn HOW to do the job and years to get in the positions of power that allows you to actually do the job (seniority to get on committees, etc.) so dumping everyone every few years means all our elected officials are rank amateurs, easy pickings for "staff" (who are eternal)or lobbyists(who know how to roll the newbies), or lifer bureaucrats (in the back office) who are also eternal and who can quietly kill anything proposed by delay and other means.

Plus, because of gerrymandering, we've created hyperpartisan districts wherein only the most extreme Pols can win. This exacerbates an already partisan congress. It remains to be seen if CAlif.'s experiment with a non-partisan, citizen-drafted district reorganization will result in more moderate, middle of road candidates being elected. If that works, then the US needs to do the same if we want to get out of this dysfunctional governmental mess we've created.

Ultimately, Americans have to start thinking more clearly what kind of society they want to live in and how they're going to pay for it. You can't take a blood oath to Grover Norquist THEN whine when your Mom and Dad's Social Security check disappears, their Medicare goes poof! and they show up on your doorstep with pneumonia and announce that they're coming to live with you.

Or start a war, put the cost on the national credit card, then when the bill comes due, scream bloody murder about Big Government and the National Debt and High Taxes.

Like I said, can we have clearer thinking here? Ya want it, ya gotta buy it. Ya bought it, ya gotta pay for it. Now, let's figure ot an equitable way to do that so we end up with a decent society that we actually want to live in.

Or, we could go with the Somali/AynRandian model -- every man for himself and make sure that you're good friends with the local warlord.

Either way, it's up to us which model we pick.

Anonymous said...

Well that was certainly a bunch of head spinning baloney. Ann, you do not have a clue how a government of the people and for the people should be run! This current government has no idea who the people are! Put all your fancy tags on any member of Congress or even the POUS and all you are doing is showing your personal and uncompromising self!

You really need to open your mind, but quit your pitiful finger pointing, there has been too much of that in the US as well as LO. Take some personal responsibility for your own actions and hateful words. Time to look in the mirror Ann, time has past you by!

Anonymous said...

Congress and the WH have won!

When can the People begin the recalls?

Churadogs said...

Anon 4:14. Uh, think that begins on the next Congressional election?

Anon 9:07 sez: "This current government has no idea who the people are!"

Actually, it does have a pretty good idea of who the who's are and what they want. Pols pay close attention to the polls. The problem is, Are there enough Who's willing to vote and thereby keep their congressman's feet to the fire? If you want a Tea Party Congressman, then that's who you'll vote for. If your Congressman runs as a Tea Partier then votes like a Progressive, throw the bum out. But that's not what happens. Incumbents, no matter how awful, keep getting voted back in, knowing their constituents won't do anything. Then everyone whines about how government isn't working and Washington isn't running right.