Posts Tagged terrorism

“Let’s Not Demonize a Man’s Tools”

“In the wake of the horrific Orlando shooting that claimed the lives of 49 people and saw countless others injured, “Pink Pistol“, an LGBT self defense and gun rights organization, issued this utterly ridiculous statement:

GUNS did not do this. A human being did this, a dead human being. Our job now is not to demonize the man’s tools, but to condemn his acts and work to prevent such acts in the future.”

Gwendolyn Patton, First Speaker of the Pink Pistols.

Demonize a man’s tools.

Wow.

Now we are hurting the feelings of guns, it would appear.

This is nothing but the old spiel about how it is not guns that kill people, but people that kill people.  Which is bullshit and a fallacious, not to mention overly simplistic, argument.

While it is true that it was a person who picked up the gun and made the decision to mass murder those people, it is  easy access to guns that is ultimately allowing such mass shootings to take place in the first place.

I have said this before and I will repeat it again: banning guns does not make us a less violent society. It is just that guns allow violence committed to be more brutal, more violent and bloodier. It is much harder to mass murder people with knives and machetes than it is with guns, especially assault rifles.

So while it is true that people carry out the attacks, the tools used to carry out those attacks do matter. If they did not, then we would just not regulate arms or ammunition of any kind at all. Then ordinary citizens could own tanks and grenades and machine guns and missiles and nukes. Because ‘hey, it is people that kill people’, right?  And not missiles/tanks/bombs.

Wrong. They are banned because overall they pose a public health and safety concern and therefore must be regulated. Like food and pharmaceuticals and safe child seats and clean water and air etc. All those things exist becasue of regulation.

Now it was about time that gun follow suit and also got banned. Overall, the cost of public gun ownership is too high and does not justify the rather meager benefits.

At the PBS Newshour last week President Obama assured a concerned audience member that he or Hillary do not “want to take away [our] guns.

That is when I realized just how utterly powerful the gun lobby has been in this country that no matter how horrific the gun violence incidences, including the mass massacre of children,  no one, no one, is willing to stand up to the NRA and even suggest the radical notion that maybe we should consider banning all guns while reexamining the validity and benefit of the  Second Amendment on American society today.

“We dont want to take your guns away” is not the right answer Mr. President. We have to ban guns. That is the only way we will significantly reduce gun violence. It doesn’t matter that people can still get them illegally. Being able to get something legally versus illegally makes a huge difference in terms of the number of guns circulating. Making something illegal just makes it harder to obtain. It is no ‘no big deal’.

And fuck the Second Amendment. Really. It was written for a different time and for different reasons and for a different peoples and a different America and the only reason it is being cited by gun nuts as a right today, is because of gun manufacturers and the  gun lobby leading to the misguided interpretation of the Second Amendment by our equally misguided Supreme Court. 

It seems like we are just going in loops: a shooting happens, some hack steps forward whining about  why “the good guys” like them, who allegedly use guns responsibly, should be “punished” for the mistakes of others, saying trite shit like ‘people kill people, not guns blah blah blah’, just so everyone shuts up like they had a point, just so we can repeat the same discussion next time around. And again. And again. And again…and then we wonder why nothing changes. 

Thing is: there is no such thing as responsible gun ownership. That is a myth. Guns are tools designed to kill. They serve no other purpose. A responsible, decent person doesn’t need guns in their everyday life to begin with. And  I have this suspicion that anyone who thinks they are a decent guy who needs to own guns to get by, is secretly hoping to have to use them one day.

Finally, background checks (and mental illness checks) don’t work: Mental illness reporting and “checks” (whatever that is supposed to entail) are a gross violation of a person’s privacy and with it dignity. And background checks don’t work because a lot of the shooters did not have police records and thus a negative background. The Sandy Hook shooter had a clean background and would have fallen through any kind of radar and so would most of the mass shooters of late. None of them had shady, criminal backgrounds. They were not the “wrong” people to own a gun, until they were.

So background checks don’t really do anything but give people on the other side a false sense of security and that someone is being held accountable here, when in reality these checks are so pointless in reducing gun violence, we may as well save ourselves the money and not bother with them at all.

And mental illness checks will do nothing but add more stigma to mental illness, further demonizing the already vulnerable, stigmatized mentally ill who, by the way, are more likely to be the victims of violence than its perpetrators.

The only way we can and will put an end to this fuckery is by BANNING ALL GUNS. Everything else is just self aggrandizing bullshit while pandering to the stupid masses and the damn gun lobby that’s turned gun ownership into a virtue and necessity via vile propaganda, lies and scapegoating.

If we don’t stop “demonizing” that man’s tool, the gun, as PInk Pistol put it oh so romantically, then nothing will change and we’ll be having the same discussion for another 50 years. 

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U.S. Congress approves $225M for Israel’s Ethnic Cleansing Ambitions of Gaza and Palestinians

Let me recap for you what has been going on since Israel began “defending” itself against the Hamas continued with its Final Solution of the Palestinians:

At least 1,600 Palestinians, most of whom are children,  have been murdered since the start of hostilities on July 8 when Israel launched its drive to halt militant rocket fire on “its territory” from the coastal enclave by unleashing air and naval bombardments. Tanks and infantry pushed into the territory of 1.8 million people on July 17. Israel has been bombing schools, hospitals and pretty much every erect structure in Gaza, destroying at least 1,500 homes and displacing more than 18,000 people who have nowhere to go, resulting in a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions.  One that most of the world doesn’t give a fuck about because the victims are Arabs.

While Israel has been screaming that it is under attack, justifying its atrocities under auspices of defending itself, it has sustained merely about sixty-three casualties, only three of which have been civilians.

I want to point out once again that Israel’s rationale for the atrocities has been that the Hamas have been attacking Israel and that Israel is under some kind of an imminent threat, having therefore no choice but to attack back.

Yet magically, Israel barely sustained any civilian casualties while Palestine sustained more than 1500 civilian casualties, most of whom are children.
In all this time, leaders around the world have basically just stood by letting Israel engage in the casual murder of innocent Palestinians, including our gutless President, because something, something Holocaust, something, something accusations of antisemitism etc.  In fact, the most we have seen coming out of any camp has been obligatory verbal admonishments of Israel’s atrocities.  Nothing really of substance.

Until now, where one Israeli soldier has gone missing, prompting our President to take his balls out of his wife’s purse (or was it the Israeli Lobby’s purse?) to admonish Hamas, stating that they have clearly crossed the line and are to promptly return one of god’s chosen people the soldier or else.

To make sure the Hamas and the world understand how much we value the lives of Israelis over that of Arabs, the U.S. Congress approved a $225 million package to replenish Israel’s missile defenses (you know, from the money we constantly say we don’t have to put into social programs and to feed and insure our poor and hard working middle class folks etc.)

That is because the Israel Defense Forces suspect that 2nd Lt. Hadar Goldin, 23, was kidnapped and dragged into a Hamas tunnel during a battle that killed two Israeli soldiers. And we all know, while as many Arabs can be sacrificed for Israel’s genocidal ambitions,  the life of an Israeli Jew is of utmost importance and cannot ever be compromised.

At a White House news conference today, Obama reiterated his support for Israel’s right to self-defense (ha!) while urging greater protection for Palestinian civilians (ha ha!! – because, of course he did. It totally makes sense for us to arm Israel to the teeth and at the same time ask, for good measure, that they not use those arms to slaughter Palestinians).

He called for the immediate release of the soldier believed to be captured by Hamas and said it would be hard to put together another cease-fire after a 72-hour humanitarian truce collapsed almost immediately after going into effect Friday morning.

He also cited Iron Dome as a concrete way the U.S. is helping “make sure that Israel is able to protect its citizens.”

Why we do not care that Palestinians should also be able to protect themselves against a peoples who have been erasing them off the map since 1948 is not clear to me.

See what is happening here, America?  Israel slaughters and murders over 1,500 Palestinians, most of whom children and innocent civilians, and no one, including our government,  has done anything about it.

One lousy Israeli soldier is missing and Hamas has crossed a line and we authorize 225 million in US aid to replenish Israel’s defense forces.

Are you still questioning that we are beholden to the Israeli lobby?

The lives of Arabs are clearly worth nothing but one Jew is missing and we have to send over money that we do not have from a deficit that our tax paying middle-class folks are carrying to aide in the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.

Your tax dollars hard at work and yes I mean you, dear reader because chances are, you are part of the 99% that is paying taxes as I can guarantee you that the wealthy 1%er is not footing this bill here.

So, when the Hamas send out rockets that don’t kill anyone on the Israeli side in order to defend themselves against Israel and its apartheid regime, they are horrible terrorists and anti-semites trying to destroy the Israeli state.  But when Israel sends rockets into Gaza destroying schools and murdering children, it is just the Israeli army doing what comes natural.

israel-palestine_map1Nevermind that the Palestinians are the ones whose land were taken from them, that they are the ones who are subject to ethnic cleaning by Israel for the past sixty+ years,  that they are the ones being currently slaughtered by Israel, let’s still call them and the entities defending them terrorists because doing so makes murdering the people they defend more acceptable.

Of course, it is important to point out that the assertion that the Hamas are terrorists is not something shared by everyone, especially not those living under Israel rule in an apartheid regime. Some view the Hamas as the leaders of an occupied resistance and thus not as terrorists. The difference between legitimate warring entities and terrorists is the difference between winners and losers. You win and have US backing, you are called a legitimate military of a legtimiate state. You lose, your land is taken away, you do not have US backing, the resistance efforts you lead are called terrorism. See how that works?

But, I guess defining Palestinian resistance via the Hamas as terrorism makes the murder of Palestinians more palatable and justifiable, for both Israel and our contemptible leaders  here is the US, including Presdient Barack Obama.

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Book Burning Is Usually Not a Sign You Have a Winning Argument

rolling-stone-magazine-Jahar-Tsarnaev-boston-bomber-cover-1…or any argument at all.

Case in point, the stink everyone is raising over Rolling Stone’s cover featuring the Boston Marathon bomber suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.  Not content with simply not buying Rolling Stone’s latest issue, one man is actually calling for the magazine to be burned in public. How so very 1933 Hitler of him.

This strong, and frankly misplaced reaction of people is so random. I mean we had George W. Bush on the cover of many magazines before and Dick Cheney and those are war criminals who have more blood on their hands than the Boston marathon bombers could ever have. I mean let’s be real here. And no one ever protested that. No, they even voted the crooks back into office. How many lives have they destoryed, directly or indirectly, as a result of their policies – domestic and otherwise?  People are so easily swayed by titles and appearances. I mean shit, even Obama got the Nobel Peace Prize and he is still using drones that kill more innocent people than the bad guys.

There is overt violence, in the form of what the Tsarnaev brothers did, and then there is covert, structural violence, which is what Bush did with his two wars and atrocities under fraudulent premises, not to mention his devastating domestic policies that have lead to “too big to fail” and the meltdown with millions of people losing their jobs, livelihoods, retirements, futures and houses while the ones who helped destroy them were escorted out with fat bail out checks paid by the very tax payers they spit on.

Bush and the military industrial complex that line Congresses pockets lead us to wars that cost a lot of innocent people their lives. But no one sees that. Instead people are offended at a cover photo and want to burn it. Where is the rhyme and logic behind that?

Priorities people. This nation got none.  Everyone hates the cover…no one reads the article, how very….American.

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The NRA Is a Terrorist Organization

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Percy Bysshe Shelley once wrote that “all spirits are enslaved which serve things evil.

The instigator behind lots of things evil in this nation is the National Rifle Association and the gun merchants that stand behind and finance them and the huge manipulation and scare tactics they employ as they convince every American that owning tools of mass murder is not only their constitutional right so they can “defend” themselves but that, in fact, it was a necessity and their duty to do so,  invoking Arthurian privilege and making people see themselves as literal White Knights that need to protect us from the evil, tyrannous government lead by a black man out to get us.

As Steven M. Boyce, one of the two men who walked through Portland with an assault rifle dangling from his shoulders to “educate” people said last week “historically, knights have worn their weapons on the outside, while  bad guys concealed their daggers.” Ever met a terrorist who didn’t believe that?

Men armed with rifles walk through Portland to 'educate'

Men armed with rifles walk through Portland to ‘educate’

It is quite unfathomable why anyone –  after the Sandy Hook shooting in which 20 children were slaughtered, not just shot but slaughtered – and after all the mass shootings and deaths at the hands of guns over the past 35+ years –  would blindly, willfully and passionately advocate for more unlimited gun ownership by every Tom, Dick and Harry in this country no questions asked and actually believe that owning more tools of murder is better for the safety and civility of society and that they are actually doing everyone a favor?  

That is the kind of skewed logic people who employ violence and terror and instigation of fear use when trying to justify their  unconscionable actions “we are doing it for the greater good/there is a real threat out there/we are just here to help you/millions of guns floating around in society is better for all of us.” Or as George Orwell put it WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY and IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH. 

The Founders of this nation did not want us to resolve our political problems by using guns and thus with violence. In fact, such an approach to “civil” discourse goes directly against the very principles this nation was founded upon where people are to resolve their problems and dissatisfaction through civil society and democratic means, such as grassroots, organizing and lobbying instead of by shooting opponents.

As I stated in an earlier post,  at the time the Second Amendment was written, there was no standing army. The Founders wanted all men (as defined by that time period meaning white men), to be part of a well-regulated militia specifically because there was no standing army. But we have a Federal military now, which replaces the “well-regulated militia” mentioned in the Second Amendment.

In other words, the Founders – when inserting  the Second Amendment into the Constitution – had a very different reason and rationale in mind than the enthusiastic, militant gun advocates and their lead terrorist agency, the NRA, claim.

Gun-toting failbots should understand the Second Amendment before they go touting it as meaning that anyone can and should walk around with as any guns as they want and that in fact such an act would make us all safer and was our civic duty as the liberators from an evil government out to get you – as if freedom and safety could be achieved at the point of a gun.

As Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy put it:

“Let me be clear, freedom is not a handgun on the hip of every teacher. And security should not mean a guard posted outside every classroom. That is not who we are. […] Why is this so hard a concept for gun worshipers who value their rights to own any gun they want above the rights of children to live so hard to grasp?”

The elusive “tyrannous government threat” mantra employed by the NRA is just that – elusive – and designed to instigate fear and loathing among the simple minded, teaching them and society at large that guns and violence and the terror they ensue are desirable and in fact the civic duty of every citizen, because the NRA’s and the Right wing media’s greatest weapon  – just as with any terrorist – is not guns, it’s fear, violence, scapegoating and othering to justify all kinds of atrocities.

moregunsNRA

In fact, the entire case of the NRA is built on a house of cards filled with fear.

This isn’t about self defense – as if we lived in some unstable developing nation held together by martial law which – in all fairness –  would require us all to be armed in case counter insurgents storm the house.

This is about the NRA systematically using fear and the tools of terror as well as instigation of fear and paranoia as a means of coercion, shaking down politicians and frightening others into silence while thousands die in shootings by guns they helped put in their hands, like a gift – like the Arthurian sword. This is an organization that has been making sure for decades that American mass murderers are the best equipped mass murderers in the world.

Self defense in a nation like the United States is a terrible, not to mention completely unfounded and weak  rationale for putting all sorts of tools of mass murder into the hands of everyone and make guns ubiquitous symbols of our landscape and interaction with one another.

How many people do you know outside a war zone who had to actually defend themselves with a gun? And if you do, which you probably don’t, did it work? Did they know how to shoot at a moving target? At close range? Did they have to fire a 30 round or even 10 round magazine into the perpetrator for “self defense”? As an amateur, when you defend yourself, usually one or two shots are enough.  You don’t need a gun that shoots 7 or 10 or 30 or even 100 rounds. Those types of instruments are used in combat by armed forces and there is no need for them to be in civilian hands  – even though the NRA wants you to think there is.

Each year, over 5,000 cases are argued as self defense in courts when in reality only 250 of those have been true self defense cases.

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Why are we worshipping guns so much that now children have to plea with lawmakers to please consider putting some restrictions on them? Why should a fourth grader, of all people,  have to write a letter to our lawmakers begging that they please ban semiautomatic weapons and large magazines at least? Note that Ava, the Sandy Hook student whose letter found its way to the White House, was not even asking for a right out ban on all guns- which would be the real meaningful legislation, but instead that merely military style assault rifles be banned.

What message is this sending to children who grow into adults thinking this (and, of course, many other completely selfish, entitled,  and cruel acts) is appropriate social behavior?  How are we raising so many children who fail to learn compassion or empathy and pro-social behavior – because wielding a gun is not that.

More and more often I hear people  expressing social sentiments that basically boil down to, “I’ve got mine,  so screw everybody else“,  which is the basic point of the two young self proclaimed white (literally) knights in shining AR-15s in Portland who knew that they were safe (having the privilege of being white men because if two black men were doing the same, the police would not have been this accommodating)  so they didn’t really give a shit how many other people they terrified, how many people’s days they interrupted, how many episodes of PTSD they triggered, or how much police time they wasted by their completely inconsiderate action. You don’t educate people with guns, you intimidate, scare and terrorize them.

How can the NRA and the gun merchants they represent and who have bought this government, still defend a position that is completely indefensible, creating such equally indefensible social attitudes that cost people their lives?

There is just no excuse for advocating unlimited access to guns in a civil society held together by the rule of law.

The NRA is a Terrorist Organization and Should Be Handled as Such

Just the kind of things we need to teach our kids, namely that guns and violence are the answer and that the tools of violence and murder are cool. The NRA and its foundation maintain ties with several youth groups, such 4-H and the Boy Scouts of America. Boy Scouts from Georgia and Miami gets some pointers at the range at the Boy Scouts' Camp Woodruff outside Blairsville, Ga., in 2005

Just the kind of things we need to teach our kids, namely that guns and violence are the answer and that the tools of violence and murder are cool.
The NRA and its foundation maintain ties with several youth groups, such 4-H and the Boy Scouts of America. Boy Scouts from Georgia and Miami gets some pointers at the range at the Boy Scouts’ Camp Woodruff outside Blairsville, Ga., in 2005

Terrorism is defined as the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims – which is exactly what the NRA stands for and advocates and does and has been doing for decades, including casting their opposition to Obama’s gun control plans as “the fight of the century”.

They are scaring people into believing that Obama really is Hitler trying to take away their guns so he can finally go through with that long overdue invasion he’s been planning pretty much since birth when he was first indoctrinated by Kenyan Martians into the dark arts of socialism and community organizing; a scare that is likely to instigate violence and apprehension terrorizing those who do not share their enthusiasm for armed revolt and mitiantism under the guise of “self defense” and “freedom” while simultaneously driving the already paranoid, gun wielding bigots into the kind of extremism that result from instilling such fears and with them violence. 

That people who have no reverence for life and no respect for the dignity of human beings then call themselves patriots  evoking such things as freedom and Constitution is not only deeply unsettling but something they have in common with all terrorists who cite their love for a cause, mostly homeland or country, as justification for and rationalization of thei horrendous crimes and sinister reality they purport and in fact actively create.

Lanza may have pulled the trigger on that day at Sandy Hook, but make no mistake about it: the NRA and the passionate gun advocates were all standing behind him letting  him do it, because in the end the only entity they have been rooting for has been the likes of Lanza and the tools he used under their watch and with their approval through bullying and silencing tactics of opponents, to carry out this monstrous act.

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