I wrote this a day or two after the Colorado Theater Massacre when I was pissed enough that I needed to put something down on some virtual paper. I haven’t edited it at all, and I’m not sure if it even makes much sense now. I’m closing comments on this one.Are you angry? Because I am. Angry at our fascination with guns. Frustrated at the lack of public discourse on gun control. Flabbergasted at the idea that our nation’s idea of preventing gun violence is to introduce more firearms, and make it even easier for any non-felon to acquire one at will. Saddened at the constant barrage of gun violence where it becomes the norm. Teenagers being shot at the park is no longer headline news, or even found on page two. Only massacres carried out by civilians who were able to legally and easily acquire military-grade firearms and equipment even make the news. Our politicians, instead of standing up and taking the opportunity to at least open up the idea of gun control, instead hide by saying that it is not “the time for politics.” Did you know that after Titanic sunk and a vast majority of passengers died because of the lack of lifeboats, we decided that “it was not the time to talk about lifeboat laws” and instead focus on what occurred? And then two years later we’d have another large ship sink, scores of civilians killed because of a lack of lifeboats, and instead we decided that “you know what, this isn’t the time for lifeboat politics.” A few months later we forgot about the whole ships sinking thing, and just went on our lives. Oh wait no, that didn’t happen. We’re not a perfect society and we can’t anticipate every issue until something so remarkable occurs that we’re forced to open up a discussion about what happened and how we can prevent it from occurring again, or at least making it a whole lot goddamned more difficult from it occurring again. Instead the very mention of gun control is quickly met with the shrill cries of gun-happy card carrying NRA members with such hackneyed phrases such as “out of our cold dead hands” and “this could have been prevented if one of the victims were armed.” Politicians, our so-called leaders, instead run and hide from the label of even being against guns. More citizens are killed. More deaths and lives shattered by gun crimes. And we just sit back and take it. The NRA doesn’t explicitly tell you this, but they have a frightening calculated viewpoint: massacres and the slaughter of innocent civilians by gun toting citizens is the cost of allowing a highly-armed society. (I wish I could source this, but I forgot where I read this idea at. I’m pretty sure it was one of the wonderful writers at The Stranger) Just go ahead and let that sink in for a bit. I’ll wait. Okay, got that? Ideally, here’s the situation I’d like to see, and one that I believe a Constitutional argument could be made for: citizens would not be allowed to own or use firearms unless they are current or former military or National Guard members. This fulfils the idea of a “well regulated militia” that is trained and considered fairly stable and sane. It would encourage military and reserve membership, and teach the safe handling and weapons. Single-shot hunting rifles and shotguns would be allowed, of course, and non-military users would be allowed to own and use them after extensive safety classes and training. Although not enshrined as a questionably-Constitutional right, we regulate many other highly dangerous tools in much the same ways. Guns, like explosives and poisons, do have a legitimate purpose, and frameworks should be in place to allow vetted users to acquire and use them. Of course, my ideal situation will never been implemented: it’s clearly DOA with our current political discourse. And you know what? Suggesting anything else is just an equally pointless exercise. Fringe elements will continue to exert amazing amounts of control, guns will continue to be allowed to essentially anyone upon demand, and people will keep being slaughtered. Why? Because of reasons. this is America, and today we all adhere to the idea of King Gun: long may he reign.
Our local newspaper put together a bunch of people of different political affiliations into a “sounding baord” of issues and topics that are relevant to those who live in this nation, state and on West Puget Sound in particular. After the Obama nomination speech and their “live blog,” only the 30+ Republican side bothered to show up. After the fact, I was invited to join as an ultra-liberal student to give youth and some much needed balance.
I’m not sure how I really feel about this.
Say what you want about Chris Matthews. I think he’s a god.
I’m quite possibly the most random book shopper ever. Not only am I interested in just about everything that has ever existed, but I also have a large list of books I need to get which I maintain in my head. This list will randomly spew out knowledge to my “action node” and force me to get said book. With that in mind, I always relish a trip to Powell’s World of Books–which I try to go to once a year during the summer.
The following is a list of what I got, and a short explainiation on why I choose it. Keep in mind I might not have known then why I was buying it, so the chances of me thinking of a reason now are slim to none. :)
Listed from largest book (in length by height, not by thickness) to smallest.
1. Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. This has been in my reading list since it first came out, and I finally remembered to get it when I chance encoutered it while looking for Black’s Law Dictionary.
2. Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life by Jon Lee Anderson. You see Che shirts, belt buckles and posters everywhere. But I basically know something about him. This was on a recommended book section, so I grabbed it.
3. Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel by Colfer Donkin, Rigano and Lamanna. Another that has been on my list since it first came out. I love all things about Artemis Fowl. He’s everything Harry Potter isn’t–and I love the series for it. The newest one I purchased last week, but I’m still reading The Power Broker. So when that’s done, I’ll start on the newest Artemis Fowl novel before beginning this book.
4. American Beyond Our Grandest Notions by Chris Matthews. It’s Chris Matthews. The only one I cound find there. He’s always fun to read.
5. The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. Dawkins is a douche, and I love it. This is a glorious troll resource book. Not to mention I probably agree with everything he says, and I like reading books that I agree with.
6. Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris. I make it a point to always get a Sedaris book when I go to Powell’s. I didn’t have this one yet, so I got it!
7 Lost in Austen: Create Your Own Jane Austen Adventure by Emma Campbell Webster. Remember those old Goosebumps books that you were able to choose what to do next? Think of this book like that. Except with the beginning of Pride and Prejudice. Sound amazing or what.
As mentioned before, I’m reading The Power Broker, and even though I’m only 400 or so pages into it… I can highly recommend it to anyone looking at politics, success, power, or urban planning. Check it out.
I found this on a site I occasionally troll, and it’s so bad, so flawed, so poorly written… I just had to feature it on the wall of shame.
Communism sucks. For all of you who like communism it is time to see why it does not work. Your re-education starts now.
First just about all communist leaders have caused some the biggest slaughter of people ever. Prove this you may ask, well google search Stalin and Moa. Both ruined their countries economy causing massive starvations in the history of humanity. Stalin also killed many of his officers in his military becaused he was scared of them, so when attacked by germany during WW2 millions of brave soldiers died because there was no leadership. Moa wanted everyone to become farmers even if they had qualifications for better use. This severally cripled the economy and sent china back into the dark ages. Medical care was nonexistant and thousands of people died from being thrown back in the dark ages. Then to try to increase the economy Moa asked for all metal tools to be melted down for an industrial revolution. The flaw of this is that the metal was the wrong type ands could not be used to make machines. Even worse was that just about all of these tool that were melted down were the tools used for farming, so the fallowing years millions of people died because not enough food could be grown due to lack of tools. Also to get to power Moa had millions of people killed and beatten. In the end these are only a few examples of why communism does not work and the problems it caused.
So why does communism does not work? Communism does not work because the communist leader is Human and therefore is subjected to human thoughts and feelings. It is naturall for us to feel greed, anger, sadness, pain, hate, and the want to be better than your neighbor. It is because of those human feelings that just about all leaders of nations have abused their power for their own personal gain. Abuse of power is seen through all ages of mankind by our leaders because our leaders are just like the rest of us, humans.
What makes democratic societies better than others? First there are systems set in place to help limit the amout that the leaders can abuse their power. Also in America the leader can only stay in office for 4 years, 8 if they get re-elected. Communism and dictatorships do not have these safe gaurds to prevent abuse of power. Because there are no safe gaurds the leaders can abuse their power at the cost of their power. Also since for many power currupts, it is common to see leaders that are not restrained to abuse their power after having it.
In the end communism kills. As we all know dictatorships don’t work (look at Hitler, Idi admin (spelling for all of this writing? I am tired(and or lazy) because i stayed up last night), and musalini. in the end a democritcy is all that is left, and democritcy tends to kill a heck of alot less than other government types. So back off of Bush and give him some room. He is trying his best to make things better for his country, just as our world leaders are trying all the time.
When asked why he wrote this, the author responded that “I have to pratice my writing skills over the summer because I will be taking writing 101 at a community college and have not finished high school yet.” Later down he expanded on this as saying “Anyways I only brought up this subject because I wanted to work on my debate skills, I’m going to a comunity college and need to prepare,” and that “arguring is my passion in my life.”
I’m still stunned beyond words. Wow.