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We Need To Get Rid Of These Guns.

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              When I started my petition to ban assault rifles five days ago, I thought I would be lucky to get several hundred signatures. As of this morning, with no publicity whatsoever, we have gathered more than 1,660 names along with more than $1,000 in donations, the latter basically covering the costs incurred by Change.org for administering the petition and sending it around.

              Here’s the link: https://www.change.org/Ban_Assault_Rifles_Now.

              So, all of a sudden, what started out as just a little effort on my behalf to send a message to my friends, has become a serious affair. And yes, I am going to do everything I can to make this petition seen and supported by everyone who would like to see gun violence come to an end.

              Yes – there will be a website. Yes – there will be a Facebook page. Yes – there will be more promotions like the one running right now which gives you a free Kindle copy of my new book on assault guns. And yes, I do happen to own a 501c3 which at some point I will begin to use as an organizational venue and ask you all to join.

              If my little petition to ban assault rifles had gathered a couple of hundred names over the last five days, I wouldn’t be making any plans to move this issue forward at all. But the petition happens to be registering more than 300 signatories every day!  So, something’s going on out there and I need to respond to whatever that something happens to be.

              On the other hand, let me make it clear that I am not (read: not) trying to undercut or undermine the honest efforts of any advocacy group which has developed and is promoting a different agenda to reduce the violence caused by guns. I donate monthly to Brady and Everytown, and I have no intention of cutting those payments back. Reducing gun violence shouldn’t be a competition – we all want to do the same thing.

              That being said, I still believe, and if someone wants to argue this point with me, I’m always willing to give them some space on my blog, that banning the guns which are used to commit gun violence is the only way to reduce gun injuries to a point where such events are no longer considered to be a public health issue at all.

              For all the talk about approach gun violence as a public health issue, you don’t clean up the dirty water in Flint by making it a little less dirty. You don’t prevent the risk of tobacco by telling smokers to smoke less. You don’t prevent the spread of a virus like Covid-19 by saying that you only need to wear a mask when you go out some of the time.

              Either you have a preventive approach to medical risk, or you don’t. And such a strategy won’t work if you promote a strategy which allows people to decide for themselves how much they want to behave in a certain way. If we took that approach with car accidents, then why bother with speed limits or seat belts?

              You think the guy who stops at the gun mill and gets loaded on his way home from work doesn’t know that he’s doing something he shouldn’t do?  Of course, he knows. But he does it anyway.  I mean, what the Hell. What’s wrong with glass of beer. Or two? Or three?

We’re human beings. We all do stupid and careless things. And you’re not going to make an appreciable difference in gun violence rates if you allow people to buy and own guns that are designed only for the purpose of committing gun violence, no matter how responsible the owners of those types of guns behave.

You can’t make an AR-15 rifle ‘safe.’ You can’t make a Glock 17 ‘safe.’  Neither the AR-15, nor the Glock 17 is a ‘sporting’ gun. And anyone who says otherwise is either lying or doesn’t know anything about guns.

So, I’m going to continue my little project to get rid of non-sporting guns.  I hope you’ll join me.

https://www.change.org/Ban_Assault_Rifles_Now.

Get it Free: Amazon.com: What Is An Assault Rifle? eBook: Weisser, Michael: Kindle Store

The CDC Gets Back Into Gun Research.

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              So, the CDC is now funding research about gun violence, and the spigot has been opened to the tune of almost $8 million in 16 grants which are aimed (pardon the pun) at preventing firearm-related violence and injuries. The research projects, according to the CDC, must ”help inform the development of innovative and promising opportunities to enhance safety and prevent firearm-related injuries, deaths, and crime,” and “rigorously evaluate the effectiveness of innovative and promising strategies to keep individuals, families, schools, and communities safe from firearm-related injuries, deaths, and crime.”

              Some of the research projects are being carried out by researchers who have a long and distinguished pedigree in gun research, such as Ali Rowhani-Rahbar, Andrew Morral and Patrick Carter. Other projects are being led by investigators who are not quite so experienced, but hopefully this funding will give them the opportunity to reach a wider audience with their research.

              This is the first time the CDC has supported public health research on gun violence since 1997, when the sluicegate was closed down. Ironically, the former wife of Jay Dickey, the late Congressman who stopped CDC gun funding, was one of the individuals who testified in front of Congress last year to get the money out back into the CDC budget. So, you never know.

              Most of the research involves trying to figure out how to mitigate ‘risk factors’; that contribute to various kinds of gun violence – suicide, exposure to violence, unsafe gun storage, lack of community-based interventions, and so forth. 

              Frankly, this is the same kind of research that gun-control researchers have been doing for the last twenty-five years without the CDC money. Oh – I forgot!  The New York Times has

now decided that we shouldn’t use the term ‘gun control’ any longer. It’s too ‘prejudicial.’  It’s like calling someone ‘Chinese’ instead of AA-PI. What we need to do is substitute the words ‘gun safety’ for ‘gun control.’ That’s what the Brady Campaign figured out after they took over a bankrupt advocacy group, Handgun Control, Inc., which couldn’t get enough financial support to push the idea of ending gun violence by getting rid of handguns.

              Back in 1959, the Gallup Organization ran a national poll which asked Americans to decide whether banning handguns was a good thing. Not more restrictive licensing but an absolute ban.  Sixty percent of the respondents to that question backed a handgun ban. The percentage of Americans who now back a handgun ban is now down around 25 percent.

              If the 1959 Gallup poll results had been fashioned into a law, we wouldn’t suffer from gun violence today. Think that we have gun violence because we own 300 million guns? Think again. We have gun violence because we are the only country in the entire world which gives resident free access to the types of guns that are designed only for the purpose of being used to injure yourself or someone else.

              With all due respect to my friends who do gun research, I don’t see the CDC spending one dime on trying to figure out how to stop gun makers like Glock, Sig, Beretta, Smith & Wesson, Springfield Armory, Kahr Arms – want me to name a few more? – from making and selling guns that shouldn’t be in the hands of anyone at all.

              We don’t even need to give these kinds of gun s out to the cops. You think they needed to use a gun to kill George Floyd?

              As you may know, I have started a petition to ban assault rifles. It’s been up now for five days and we are well over 1,100 names. I have also published a little book which explains everything you need to know about assault rifles and today you can get the Kindle edition for free.

              Banning assault rifles is a no-brainer. Banning concealable handguns that load military-style ammunition will be a little more difficult to do. But that’s okay – I’m only 76 years old and I will shortly put up a website and a Facebook page to explain why the guns which create gun violence need to go.

              If you haven’t signed our petition, please do it now: https://www.change.org/Ban_Assault_Rifles_Now

Want To Reduce Gun Violence?

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              The World Health Organization defines violence as a threat to health when someone tries to injure themselves or someone else. If they try it with a gun – voila! – we have gun violence.

              The United States suffers from an elevated rate of gun violence because we are the only country in the entire world which gives its residents free access to guns that are designed, manufactured, sold and used for the purpose of committing violence. And note that the WHO doesn’t distinguish between attacking someone else because you want to hurt them or defending yourself from getting hurt. Either way, it’s violence, okay?

              The gun industry would like you to believe that using a gun to defend yourself isn’t gun violence, it’s armed, self-defense. But this nonsense is simply the industry’s attempt to avoid being regulated and frankly, I can’t blame them for promoting such a stupid and totally false idea. After all, do banks like being regulated? Do insurance companies spend millions of dollars lobbying Congress because they want to be told what to do?

              I’m not saying that we should ban all guns. I’m saying that if we want to reduce gun violence to any measurable degree, we have to get rid of the guns which cause the violence. There’s no other way.

              Unfortunately, the approach to reducing gun violence which is the accepted and promoted narrative both by gun-control researchers and advocates, is the idea that we can continue to allow gun companies to design, manufacture and sell products whose only usefulness is for the commission of violence, as long as we figure out a way to keep these products out of the ‘wrong hands.’

              How do we know the difference between people with ‘right’ hands and people with ‘wrong’ hands?  We make everyone who wants to buy a gun fill out a form which tells us whether that particular individual is a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ candidate for gun ownership based on how they have behaved up to the moment they actually buy the gun.

              Even if this kind of predictive strategy would actually work, what about the 60 or 70 million guns out there that could be used to commit gun violence right now? Hey – wait a goddamn minute!  Aren’t there at least 300 million guns floating around?

              That’s right.  There probably are more than 300 million guns sitting in homes. garages, basements all over the place.  But, and it’s a very important but, most of the guns owned by Americans weren’t designed to commit gun violence. They were manufactured and sold to people who used them to take a pot shot at Bambi in the woods, or blast away at a target at the local range, or maybe freeze their rear ends off while sitting in some swamp while the geese coming back from Florida fly overhead.

              On the other hand, the concealable, polymer-framed handguns which are chambered for military grade ammunition, guns from companies like Sig, Beretta, Smith & Wesson, and Glock, were all designed for military and tactical use. Ditto the AR-15 which is now given to our troops in a version that shoots in semi-automatic mode.

              We don’t need to ban all guns. We need to ban guns that are not designed for hunting or sport. Several years ago, I looked at a list of more than 9,000 crime guns picked up by the cops and I ran a word-check of those 9,000 guns against the following names: Remington, Winchester, Marlin, Browning and Savage.  These happen to be the five largest manufacturers of hunting guns. 

              Know how many times those five words came up against a list of 9,000 crime guns?  Try less than 50 times. And when those names did come up, in every, single case it had something to do with licensing, not any kind of violent crime at all.

              You want to do universal background checks? Go right ahead. Want to pass a national ‘red flag’ law? Fine. Do that too.

              Want to end gun violence in the United States? Get rid of the guns which cause the violence. There’s no other way.

Pushing 700 signatures: https://www.change.org/Ban_Assault_Rifles_Now.

Why Ban Assault Rifles?

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              Here are 5 reasons why Mike the Gun Guy, a bone-fide gun nut, believes that assault rifles should be banned. Not regulated – banned.

Reason #1: Assault rifles are the weapons of choice when someone wants to kill as many people as possible.  Since 2012 there have been 10 mass shootings resulting in 30 or more dead or wounded victims. Every single one of these shootings was accomplished with and AR or an AK.

              Reason #2. Mass shootings like Parkland, Sandy Hook or Aurora kill or wound less than 3% of all gun victims each year, but these events devastate the communities in which they occur.  The Sandy Hook Elementary School had to be torn down after 2012 because residents of Newtown suffered emotional trauma every time they drove past the site.

              Reason #3. Assault rifles like AR-15s, and AK-47s are not (read: not) sporting guns. They are designed and used as tactical weapons, i.e., destruction of human life. These are tactical guns even when they only fire in semi-auto mode. They can be used for hunting or sport shooting, but that’s not what they are designed to do.

              Reason #4. Banning assault rifles does not infringe on 2nd-Amendment ‘rights’ at all. The 2nd Amendment is an amendment, not a ‘right.’ Rights are defined by laws and the Courts have held consistently that government can outlaw guns that are too dangerous for ordinary ownership or use.

              Reason #5. If the Federal Government were to compensate every owner of an assault rifle at fair market value for turning in his/her gun, the total cost would be 11 billion dollars. The 2020FY budget is $4.83 trillion dollars. As Bill Clinton would say, do the math.  It’s nothing.

If you haven’t, please sign our petition: https://www.change.org/Ban_Assault_Rifles_Now

Why Do We Have So Many Mass Shootings?

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              So, here we are, two days after this asshole shot and killed 10 people in Boulder, CO and a team of cops, prosecutors and FBI agents still don’t know why the kid did what he did. But The New York Times has already figured it out.

              You can read the paper’s analysis in a piece written by Max Fisher, who says that the shooting occurred because Americans own so many guns.  That’s it. As Grandpa would say, “prust und prushit.” Which means nothing more needs to be said. Thanks Grandpa.

              This so-called research which explains the fatal and non-fatal injuries which 125,000+ Americans suffer each year from gun shots has been going on since the 1990’s and is perhaps most frequently cited in the work of public health specialists like our friend David Hemenway, who regularly publishes articles which correlate the high rate of fatal violence in the United States with all the enormous pile of guns we have lying around.

              No other advanced country has so many killings, no other country has so many guns. The United States contains 4% of the entire world’s population but owns 42% of the world’s non-military guns. That explains that.

              Our friend Max Fisher seems to think, incidentally, that words like ‘homicide’ and ‘mass shootings’ mean the same thing. He tosses the words back and forth as if one can simply be substituted for the other. If we have a much higher rate of homicide because we own so many guns, when it comes to explaining mass shootings, the same argument can be made.

              Incidentally, the word ‘research’ is also bandied about in Fisher’s commentary to describe the works which he referenced in order to end up saying what he said. I must be a really old guy because when I went to graduate school to do research on the origins of capitalism, I had to go out, find some previously undiscovered data, analyze the data, and use the results to make an argument based on what I believed was a new set of verifiable events.

              The ‘research’ that Fisher has read to come up with his explanation for mass shootings isn’t based on analyzing previously unknown or unstudied data at all. The scholars who tell us that more guns equal more violence simply take some data which is in the public domain, run it through a regression analysis model and – voila! The result shows them what they want to believe. Want to believe something different?  Change the analytical model. 

              Regression analysis is a very handy tool for comparing how two separate trends change over time. Everyone can understand a cute, little chart with two wavy lines. But if you try to use this methodology to explain how one line’s movement affects the movement of the other line, you’re skating on very thin ice.  But so what? At least The New York Times gets something into print, right?

              The issue isn’t whether or not Americans own too many guns. The issue is what types of guns are used to commit mass murders and how many of those guns are floating around. So, we have 270 million guns in the civilian arsenal. So what?  Most of those guns are the types of guns that are never used to kill anyone. Many of the people who own guns don’t even know where the gun is located in their home.

              This kid was arrested in Boulder with an assault pistol, i.e., a short-barreled gun with a collapsible stock and a hand grip for extra control. He obviously knew enough about guns to put together a custom-made model which he could take undetected into a public space and then start blasting away. This type of behavior and planning is quite unlike what happens in virtually 99% of all shootings which occur because two dopes get into an argument, neither backs down and out comes a gun.

              If we really want to do something about mass shootings, then at the very least we need to understand exactly what we’re talking about. What we learn from Max Fisher doesn’t really explain anything at all.

Please sign our petition to ban assault rifles: http://chng.it/vKPcgVB7

Close The Charleston Loophole? We Need To Ban Assault Weapons – Now!

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              So Joe goes on TV yesterday, gives a very strong, sober and brief address about the Colorado shooting, and tells the Senate to act on the two gun-control bills already passed by the House. One of the bills, H.R. 8, would expand background checks to most private sales. The other bill, H.R. 1446, would close what is referred to as the ‘Charleston loophole,’ a problem with the current NICS system which allegedly let Dylann Roof buy a gun, then walk into a church in Charleston, S.C. and kill 9 Black members of a Bible study class.

              Under current law, the FBI has 3 days to respond to a background check request, but if the necessary information isn’t given to the FBI within 3 days, the sale and transfer of the gun can proceed. H.R. 1446 would extend the time that the FBI would need to complete a background check to 10 days, the theory being that 10 days would provide time for more background information to be accessed and a final ‘proceed-don’t proceed’ decision to be made.

              There’s only one little problem, however, with the narrative which promotes the idea that Dylann Roof wouldn’t have been able to buy the gun he used in his assault on the church in Charleston if the FBI had been able to take more than 3 days to check him out.  In fact, what happened was that Roof had pleaded guilty to a drug charge which should have disqualified him from owning guns, but the information somehow never got forwarded from the local cops to the FBI.

              The people working for the FBI-NICS operation could have been given a year to decide about Roof’s legal fitness for gun ownership and they still wouldn’t have come up with anything that would have disqualified him from buying that gun. Somehow, and nobody has ever figured this out, the information about Roof’s drug arrest simply got lost.

              But let’s say, for the sake of argument, that there had been a proper referral of information about Roof from the local cops to the Feds. And let’s say, for the further sake of argument, that Roof had been told by the dealer that he couldn’t buy the gun.

              How difficult do you think it would have been for Roof to get his hands on a gun without going through a background check?  I lived in South Carolina. In South Carolina everyone has a gun.

              The problem with both bills waiting for Senate action is that they are responses to gun violence which regulate the behavior of people who own or ant to own guns. We use laws to regulate all kinds of behavior, but when it comes to regulating how someone behaves with a gun, all you need is one crazy nut to walk into a movie theater, a school, a night club, a concert, a supermarket, or any other place where there are a lot of people and the carnage can be beyond belief.

              The only way to prevent such horrendous events from happening on a regular basis is to regulate the products which are used to create these unspeakable tragedies again, and again, and again.  

              Of course, the moment we start talking about regulating the guns, the other side starts screaming about protecting their 2nd-Amendment ‘rights.” Ever hear of a legal doctrine called ‘negligent entrustment?’ It means that a seller of any product is liable for the damage caused by that product if he knows that what he is selling is too dangerous to be sold.

              This doctrine is the basis for the lawsuit against Remington on behalf of the families of the children who were murdered at Sandy Hook. And the Federal courts have held this lawsuit to be valid not once, but twice. So, we have a clear recognition that banning assault weapons because it’s simply too dangerous to give anyone the opportunity to kill 20 human beings in 4 minutes or less, has nothing to do with so-called 2nd-Amendment ‘rights’ at all.

              Please sign our petition to ban assault weapons and please send it to all your friends.

              Thank you:  http://chng.it/pHTVCLJqjr

Want To End Gun Violence? Here’s How.

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Want to get rid of gun violence?  Here’s a way to do it, and I guarantee it will work. No fuss, no muss, no bother.  Here’s what we need to do.

Get the Democrats in Congress (forget the Republicans) to pass a law which says it is illegal to own or possess any semi-automatic gun which loads from a magazine inserted from beneath the frame. This designation will remove from the civilian arsenal at least three-quarters, if not more, of the guns which are used to kill and injure 125,000 Americans every year.

And by the way, these were the types of guns what were used to kill 18 people in Georgia and Colorado over the last week.

Here’s the twist. The law will also require that everyone who currently owns such a gun needs to turn it in, no questions asked. When the gun is surrendered, the guy gets paid for giving up property which was legally purchased at some point in time.

How many of these guns are out there? I’m probably pretty close to the real number if I say there are 20 million such long guns, and 80 million handguns, give or take a million here or there.

How much are they worth?  The long guns were probably bought for around a thousand bucks apiece.  The handguns went for half that amount.  As Bill Clinton would say, do the math. I’ll do it for you – it totals 60 billion bucks.

Right now, Joe is preparing to send a spending bill to Congress with a $3 trillion price tag. What’s $60 billion of that number worth? Try 2 percent.

Look at it another way. The latest report, probably somewhat overstated, is that gun violence costs us $280 billion very year. So, for the sake of argument, let’s say it’s only $250 billion. Spend 2% of the money we are setting aside to fix all the potholes to save $250 billion annually which doesn’t even begin to reflect the pain and suffering felt by families and friends of people shot with guns? 

The whole thing might cost a bit more because we’d have to buy off Joe Manchin with some little doodad for the residents of West Virginia, maybe some extra bucks for all Bernie’s gun huggers in Vermont. What the hell, a penny spent is a penny earned.

If we have learned one thing from the last two weeks, it’s that the only way we will end gun violence in this country is to get rid of the guns which are used to commit the violence each and every day. Comprehensive background checks won’t do a goddamn thing, ditto ‘red flag’ laws, ditto mandated safety courses, ditto, ditto, and ditto.

Sorry, but the public health template that was used to reduce auto injuries doesn’t work for guns. Cars are made to get you from here to there. If the car doesn’t get you from here to there, it’s either because it needs to be redesigned or you need to drive in a safer way.

On the other hand, the guns that were used to kill 18 people in two mass shootings, never mind another 100 or so gunshot victims who were shot randomly here and there, were designed to do exactly what they were used to do.

Want to continue promoting the nonsense that an AR-15 is a ‘sporting’ gun? Go right ahead. I’m sure both the Proud Boys and QAnon followers will agree. By now, Alex Jones is probably saying that the shootings in Atlanta and Boulder didn’t actually occur.

Right now, there may be enough momentum behind Joe’s legislative energy and a general disgust about anything which smacks of Mister Orange Head’s response to any problem, to get this deal done.

The day this bill is introduced, we need to make sure that Orange Head calls up one of his media sycophants on Fox and announces that the measure is nothing more than another nefarious attempt to enlarge the chokehold of the Deep State.

Think Congress wouldn’t vote this law through? 

Need A Caterer For Your Wedding?

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              It’s been two months since Joe was inaugurated, and the ‘fake news’ media has finally gotten the story straight for the very first time about who and what his predecessor represented and now represents.  It only took The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker and all the other scions of the liberal print/noise machine five years to figure Mister Orange Head out. That’s not so bad, right?

              Let’s go back to 2015 when Orange Head took his birther theory and transmogrified it into an anti-immigrant rant. Except it wasn’t a rant against all immigrants – he specifically excluded immigrants who came from ‘white’ countries because that category included his own family as well.

              This nasty racism was presented to us as a rebirth of ‘populism,’ as the angry reaction of people who blamed government for the loss of jobs, the collapse of working-class neighborhoods, the disappearance of the ‘good life.’

              Now the fact (note the use of the word ‘fact’) that populism was actually a reaction against government from the Left, not from the Right, and that it had absolutely nothing to do with race or immigration at all, oh well, oh well. Like they say, if the shoe fits, wear it. In the case of how the mainstream media reacted to Orange Head, however, it was the other way around. If you’re wearing the shoe and it feels comfortable, then it fits.

              Midway through the 2016 campaign, the shoe style being worn by the media which became the way they talked about Mister Orange Head began to change. Now, alongside the ‘populist’ explanation for how quickly the more mainstream GOP candidates collapsed emerged the second theme, namely, the idea that we were witnessing the birth of a new political movement, MAGA, which was not only going to transform the GOP, but then define the whole way that Orange Head ran his administration and prepared for the 2020 re-election campaign.

              Now the fact (note again the word ‘fact’) that Mister Orange won the 2016 campaign only because he flipped 4 blue states with a margin of less than 1/10th of the total votes cast in this four states – oh well, oh well. And the fact that his erstwhile opponent couldn’t be bothered to show up one time after Labor Day in any of those states – the outcome still demonstrated the strength and force of the MAGA movement, right?

              MAGA was such a big deal that Joe not only won back all the states that Orange Head flipped in 2016, but Joe’s national vote margin was higher than the margin achieved by that pompous, entitled, idiot candidate who still says she lost because the election was ‘stolen’ from her. You think that the nonsense about the 2020 election ‘fraud’ was an issue we hadn’t heard before? Think again.

              I am still waiting for one, single ‘fake news’ commentator or know-it-all to state what is obvious, at least to me. Namely, that Trump got clobbered the moment he had to compete against someone who knew anything about politics, i.e., someone like ‘sleepy’ Joe.

              And what happened after Trumpe lost? We had to listen to liberal pundits lecture us about how Trump was such a ‘threat’ to democracy, how he wasn’t going to leave the White House at the end of his term, how MAGA would remain a political force to be reckoned with in 2022 and beyond.

              In that regard, it should be mentioned that a Presidential candidate already ran a national campaign from jail. I’m talking about Eugene Debs, who got 6% of the 1912 vote while sitting in a cell. If Cy Vance gets Allen Weisselberg to flip, maybe Trump will outpoll Debs in 2024.

              Know what Mister Orange Head is doing now? He’s running a catering business in Palm Beach. If you throw a wedding at his catering hall, you might even get a picture of the caterer standing between the bride and the groom. The charge for the photo will be added to the bill.

What Should We Do About Hate?

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              A good friend sent me an email this morning expressing sincere and worrisome concern about the increase in hate crimes against Asian-Americans since the pandemic set in. His note ended with the following question: “How do we get these people to change what’s in their hearts and minds?”

              I’ll give the readers of this column the same answer I sent to him.

              Back in 2005, my wife and I drove across North Dakota and Montana, our destination was Breezewood, MT where the CCC built a preserve for the White Pelican back in 1935.  The preserve is still there and so are the pelicans, nesting away.

              To get to Breezewood we drove the local state highway and passed through a dozen or so crummy, little farm towns that are in the process of fading away. For all the talk out there about how much money we waste on welfare, If it weren’t for the USDA Soil Bank program, the residents of these towns would have nothing to eat.

              It takes about two minutes to drive through these towns unless the town for some reason has an actual stop light which if you hit it red, adds another minute to how long it takes to enter and exit the town from end to end.

              The towns are roughly 20 miles apart, there’s a Walmart in every third town and a bank. All the other towns have a post office, a hardware chain store, a pizza takeout and a Chinese takeout or what we referred to in my New York neighborhood as a ‘Chinks.’

              Except none of the Chinese takeouts were preparing Chinese food. Here in the middle of the Great Plains, in the middle of the whitest and least diverse population zone in the entire United States, the Chinese takeouts were all calling themselves Asian Fusion or Thai.  This was 2005.

              When we got into Fargo, we stopped for a coffee break in front of a cute, little ‘gourmet’ bakery on a plaza facing the Red River, which runs through the middle of the town. What did the poster say that was hanging in the window of the bakery? Don’t miss the upcoming gay-rights parade.  In 2005. In Fargo, North Dakota, okay?

              The population living in the United States today is an increasingly diverse population, I don’t care if you define diversity in racial, ethnic, religious, linguistic or any other terms. I also don’t care if the percentage of White residents continues to decline, and I couldn’t care less when the percentage of Whites drops under 50%. 

              As far as I’m concerned, people should be able to live wherever they want to live without worrying about borders, without worrying about passports, without even worrying about speaking whatever language they want to speak. If they want to get educated, they have to learn English. If they don’t want to get educated, so they don’t get educated. Big deal.

              As for Americans who are so upset about the immigrants ‘flooding’ over the border, or the immigrants taking away all the jobs, or the immigrants getting on welfare, they can be as worried as they want, as long as they keep their mouths shut and don’t try to hurt someone else who’s not like them.

              I don’t want to do anything to change the hearts or minds of people who don’t seem to understand that we – all of us human beings – are completely equal in every respect. I just want such people to f*ck off and go about their business in a normal and proper way. And if they can’t do that, they can pick up and go live in some other country – they don’t have to live here.

              Want to know what we really need to do to protect everyone who is different from anyone else, whether the difference is gender, or race, or language, or religion, or whatever the difference happens to be?

              We can do for the 2022 election whatever we did to this year to send two Democratic Senators from Georgia to D.C. It’s as simple as that.

Was The Atlanta Shooting a Hate Crime?

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              What if I were to say that the killing of six Asian-American women in Atlanta had nothing to do with racism? What if I were to say that before we go running off with another anti-racist rant, that we stop for a second and try to figure out whether what we are saying about the Atlanta shooting even remotely aligns with the facts?

              The facts as we know them so far is that a 21-year old nincompoop shot up three so-called ‘spas’ in Atlanta, then got in his car and started driving to Florida where he evidently was planning to do the same thing again.

              It didn’t take long for a self-appointed representative of the AAPI (read: Asian-American, Pacific Islander) community to tell us that the attack represented “the intersections of racism, xenophobia, and gender-based violence.” Did she leave anything or anyone out?

              The spokesperson, who happens to be a Georgia State House rep, Bee Nguyen, echoed the concerns of other anti-hate advocates in the AAPI population, given the disturbing increase in hate crimes associated with the spread of Covid-19, a.k.a., the ‘Chinese flu.’

              There’s only one little problem with this rush to judgement regarding the motives of the Atlanta shooter. It may not be true. In fact, the gunman told arresting officers that he was “addicted to sex” and was trying to get rid of people and places where his addiction played out.

              So, I’m thinking, maybe this dope was on his way to the rub joint in Palm Beach where Bob Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots, was arrested when he tried to pay for sex in 2019. The arrest occurred because Kraft was caught on a tape that the cops were watching because they were running a multi-county investigation of some of these joints whose owners were suspected of human trafficking, among other crimes, although nobody was charged.

              God forbid that Bob Kraft, a multi-billionaire and good buddy of Orange Head would just drop a couple of dimes, find a nice motel room somewhere and get it on with a sex partner without worrying that the cops might break down the front door. Maybe he just liked the ambience of the place. Who knows?

              Several years ago, a bunch of massage parlors were closed down in Hampshire County, MA where I happen to live. When the owner showed up in Court to answer various charges, including trafficking, the whole thing was postponed because he claimed not to speak a single word of English and there wasn’t a Mandarin-speaking translator on call. This guy rented space in four different commercial locations and he couldn’t speak English at all? Give me a break.

              Remember Jeffrey Epstein? He was charged with trafficking underage girls for himself and his well-heeled friends. He didn’t make it to Court either if you recall. My only regret about Epstein’s demise was that I was hoping we would see his good buddy Al Dershowitz please for leniency before Epstein was led away.

              To quote don Corleone, the way a man earns his living doesn’t bother me as long as what he does isn’t a conflict with what I do. So, I have no problem with a service industry that provides sex instead of fast food, as long as the providers are legally allowed to do what they do. But from what I know and what I hear, the ‘spa’ industry often employs kids alongside adults, and the employers happen to be members of the AAPI community as well.

              And by the way, our friend Gail Collins wrote an op-ed about the Atlanta shootings but her approach was to use the event as a reminder that the GOP defense of the filibuster rule could doom passage of the law voted by the House  to expand background checks on gun transfers to all private sales.

That’s all fine and well Gail, but the fact is that the kid who tried to cure his sex addiction by putting bullets into all those Asian-American women happened to have bought the gun legally just the other day.

Is there any chance we’ll ever get anything other than hot air when it comes to talking about crimes committed using guns?

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