Obama Blinks? Already?

Is President Obama already backing down in the gun control debate? Vice President Joe Biden is hinting his task force will not go to the mat for an assault weapons ban, focusing instead on more politically achievable goals like universal background checks.

Giving up on banning military-style weapons of war would mean Obama can’t even do what Bill Clinton did nearly two decades ago. Clinton’s ban expired in 2004, but no serious effort has been made to revive it. Only a brave and skillful president can rally a massacre-weary public to pressure Congress to bring it back. Is Obama up to the task?

Apparently the White House fears that if they lose the assault ban while still winning passage of other gun control measures the overall effort will be deemed a failure — unless they downgrade the assault ban as a major feature of their plans.

Nominally proposing a ban while not really fighting for it would be wimping out — amounting to a pitiful pretense that something was done.

128 thoughts on “Obama Blinks? Already?”

  1. Craig, the cynical will say: Yeah, didn’t expect anything else. NRA wins the day again. Gutless politicians.

    Me, I say SSDD.

    But a friend of mine has a desk sign which reads:

    DLTDBGYD

    Wear it with pride.

    DLTDBGYD = Don’t let the dirty bastards get you down.

    Just rolls off the tongue with contentment.

  2. Hey, I never expected our government to do anything..nothing at all. Look at how long it took them to show any interest. It took the loss of lots of beautiful innocent children for them to even look up from all the other crap they are busy screwing up. So then Obama pretends to shed a few tears, says we have to do something. Most of the time, it just wasn’t a good time to talk about it.

    Believe me, I think they are only putting on a show because they think many of us expect it. That was why I wanted us to show how much we expect it.

    Those gun nuts, and I do mean nuts, are every bit as crazy as any of the shooters were and we now know about them ahead of time. I don’t think anyone with any psych training could watch any of those video, talk shows, radio shows where some of the pro gun people are ranting and not determine that they are off the charts nuts. And that NRA guy had the gall to talk about mental illness. Many are his peeps. I haven’t seen hardly any hard core pro gun people who look normal lately.

    Last night, I saw just a few minutes of Pier Morgan. He had some metrosexual looking guy, not the usual skinhead looking guys who I’ve seen doing most of the pro gun talking lately. Piers asked him why anyone needed an assault weapon. He said to protect himself from tyranny from our government. He was serious. Like Jose said, if that’s coming, I doubt that guy will be well enough prepared with an assault weapon or two. And I seriously doubt he would want to get his suit dirty.

  3. If Obama blinks now, he’s a fool. He’s got the wind at his back on this one.
    He needs to get everything he can legislatively and the balance through executive action.
    Americans have a guaranteed right to keep and bear arms, they do not have the right to keep and bear weapons of war.
    That’s why we have a military.

  4. Bill, in the pseudo literate legal world where people who barely speak English pretend they know what Latin phrases mean, your DLTDBGYD has a phrase -- which I first saw on my friend the city attorney’s desk -- Illegitimi non carborundum Loosely, don’t let the bastards wear you down.

    So as to assault style weapons -- do you guys think Boxer will drop her plan to reintroduce the assault weapons ban, modified to address high capacity clips, etc?

  5. I don’t keep up with weapons technology advances, but if the goal is to protect yourself against the army, you’ll be at a severe disadvantage if you are facing 3 or 4 army dudes with even the old M-16 set on automatic while you’re standing there with an AR-15 that is a semi automatic. Even if you’ve organized a militia of, say, 20, the army dudes would just up the ante to meet you with more army dudes, arriving in armored troop carriers, with better firepower -- overwhelming force is the term that comes to mind. The result would be pretty predictable -- you would transition from trampling the grass to pushing it up.

  6. Obama blinked?

    Wow who would have thunk it. /snark

    As to Obama v Clinton, Obama has always got less than Clinton. He has twice the advantage and gets half the result.
    The reason? Because he wants it that way.

    It is going to be just like gays in the military, he will have to be drug kicking and screaming to do what is obvious and right.

    Besides, it will interfere with his real agenda for the second term, dismantling Social Security.

    Jack

  7. The gun nuts are trying to make it easy

    they want to have gun appreciation day during the MLK birthday weekend and somehow think that this would honor the memory of Martin Luther King Jr

  8. The gun nuts are trying to make it easy

    They really are, we need to keep them out front and center. Just keep pointing out the nuttyness of their ideas.

    That and the Democrats need to be asking for the moon, not just what we used to have.

    Jack

  9. Ya know sometimes the Onion is just a little too truthy

    FAIRFAX, VA—More than three weeks after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, annoyed NRA president Wayne LaPierre told reporters Monday that while he understands the seriousness of the tragedy, he had only assumed the senseless murder of 20 first-graders and six educators by a mentally unstable gunman would have blown over by now.

    Noting that the massacre was “almost a month ago” and that all of the victims had been laid to rest, the frustrated lobbyist said he couldn’t help but think the nation’s continued efforts to mourn victims and its protracted discussions of gun control were “a little much” at this point.

    “I get that this horrible thing happened and all these kids are dead now, but honestly, how long are we going to keep talking about this?” the gun advocate said as he scanned a recent editorial on weapons permits, adding that “enough’s enough, you know?” “Everywhere I go it’s Newtown this, Newtown that. Meanwhile, it’s 2013, and we’re still talking about some shooting that happened last year. Seriously, move on already.”

  10. I’ll repeat the recommendation for THE RUNAWAY JURY, by John Grisham…Very starkly laid out vision of the lengths to which any big money group will go to win a jury verdict, mostly by behind the scenes illegal machinations.

  11. Sturge — Anything by John Grisham is spot-on. The Firm was his second novel and one of my favorites.

    I have been trying to catch-up on posts, but Craig why not have Trail Mix become an e-publisher? First book, Grover Cleveland. Or better yet, an e-library where you one could join for a nominal fee. You have so much historical writing of the Presidents.

  12. Do you really want to win this ?
    Then keep pushing the photos of the martyred children, and call them martyred children. You have 20 poster children -- use them !

    Make certain that these martyred innocents did not die in vain, but use the horror of their deaths to save other children.

    Refer to the massacre of the innocents. It’s not out of line to call heston, selleck, and lapierre the new herods.

    Keep repeating to the rippers you know that you cannot be both pro-gun and pro-life.

    If you really want to disarm the crazies, you must make these linguistic connections incessantly until the job is done.

    Congress and the sleazebag who daydreams that he is Lincoln will act rationally, which means they’ll tinker at the margins. You have to let your Congress critter know that unless they put high capacity weapons under lock and key you will accuse him/her of siding with the industry and allowing the martyrdom of innocent children. You have to let them know that you will keep blasting them like the anti-abortion movement did -- for 40 years if necessary.

    You must organize pray-ins at your congress sloth’s door.

    If you do not make the hyper-emotional pitch, and make dire political threats, you’re just toying with being anti-massacre, and more children are going to be torn apart.

  13. Perhaps Congressman vermin thinks he is in an impregnable district and cannot be moved. You can still terrify the other Congressfarts by declaring, “Congressman vermin won’t be satisfied until every child in America has been martyred.”

  14. If you don’t talk and act like abolitionists, you won’t abolish this terror.

  15. The Big Dawg needs to nip at Obama’s heels to get his assault weapon ban back.

  16. Yeah! Thanks, Mr. Obama, now I’ll be able to get that Abrahms Tank for my front lawn after all. I was really concerned there for a couple of weeks that I wouldn’t be able to scare off any and all without my tank. You’ve saved the day, Mr. Obama!

  17. The AK-47 that Jack mentioned earlier is truly the ubiquitous “military-style weapon of war.”

  18. well… if eprof gets to have his tank… then I want a bazooka….

    and I ain’t talkin’ bout bubble gum baby…

  19. I have a crazy conspiracy theory. I think Obama is a Repub, at least they are totally cool with him. The Repubs couldn’t have found a better group of losers to run against him. If any of them started to even hint of becoming popular/acceptable they would do something so disgusting to correct that.

    The only things Obama has accomplished are things that didn’t really interfere with their agenda. They could throw us a few bones so we felt like we got a Little meal.

    Guns aren’t going to save us but will continue to harm and kill more of us. It won’t be the second amendment, it will be the first that might save us but we do have to give a damn and work together. I think the Internet and social media is our most powerful weapon and with that weapon, no one has to get physically wounded, die or even get their suit dirty.

    If this doesn’t make sense, sorry. My eyes are dilated from an eye exam and I can’t see what I’m writing.

  20. eProf, understand, those tanks are heavy. They’ll undoubtedly screw-up your irrigation system and sidewalk, driveway, if you are so equipped.

  21. If one person in that theater had an H Bomb this tragedy would never have happened.

  22. In negotiation between equals you get half of the difference between the two positions. When dealing with extremist being reasonable on the opening offer is an instant loser>

    Fortunately you don’t have to deal with the nut cases that 30% you will never get. You just have to peel off the marginal supporter.
    But know what you want and ask for more that way you will come closer to getting what you want.

    Ex. instead of pushing for an assault weapons ban and getting less. Demand all semi automatic weapons with detachable clips require a class III license and limit their use to licensed firing ranges.
    You can make a reasonable case for it among reasonable people and build your majority. When hunters and sports shooters object that certain hunting rifles will be caught up in your definition the make an offer for exemptions on a case by case basis. In the end, you can build a majority.
    Especially if xrep gets his propaganda campaign going and the NRA keeps listening to their echo chamber and behaving like the nut cases they are.

    remember the wing nuts will howl about anything so give them something to howl about. Just keep it reasonable for the center.

    Jack

  23. That’s right, Jack. We are Fair and Balanced Moderates. They are Pro-Gun Extremists who won’t be satisfied until the last kindergartner has been blasted to bits.

    But, we are the voice of reason and common sense.

  24. Btw, it’s not my crusade. I’d rather have all the uber-gunsters drafted into militias with armories, where the high capacity weapons can be safely stored until needed to repel an invasion or overthrow a dictator.

    However, if the other Trail Hands want a Clinton/Boxer/Feinstein/Gifford type abolition, they’d better get tough, emotional, loud, intransigent, and politically vicious, ’cause their way is the hard way.

  25. Blonde Wino says:
    Craig why not have Trail Mix become an e-publisher? First book, Grover Cleveland. Or better yet, an e-library where you one could join for a nominal fee. You have so much historical writing of the Presidents.

    Blonde, you might have something there. Think I’ll ponder that

  26. Let’s hope this report about Biden and the assault weapon ban is incorrect…

  27. Another Excellent Reason To Solve The Massacre Problem With Militias

    If all these high capacity tools (as Jaxtrader calls them) and their owners were organized into well-regulated militias, they’d be such a fearsome force (snicker) that we could afford to shrink the Pentagon budget and dedicate the savings to tax rebates !

  28. When you talk up the value of massacre weapons and dangle a tax break, you’re giving the ripuplicans a really serious wedgie.

  29. The saudi king is going to allow some women to sit on the advisory council.

    I guess he’ll behead the rest.

  30. You silly geese: the right-wing “revolutionaries” have been screaming for years (hell, even before the 1st term started) that “Obama wants to take your guns”, so the Prez is making an effort not to play into that rhetoric. Not to mention even the slightest overture by the Prez towards such an end boosts gun sales and ammo prices. You should be praising his foresight.

  31. I hope the father who said, “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon” is the President who shows up concerning stricter gun control.

  32. For the holidays, I gave myself a life membership to the USF alumni association. Obviously, on an annualized basis, for me it’s a lousy deal, but the school will come out ahead. And they did fire our football coach. (Never hire a coach named Skip.)

    One of the attractions to membership is a greatly enhanced library package. Like full-text on-line access to 4,000 journals, along with on-line access to a gazillion databases.

    I’m proud of South Florida. It seems to have maintained an excellent set of values, is actively pursuing innovative pure research, and is working hard to maintain geographic and social diversity.

    And, thank goodness they’re not taken with themselves as are some of the Florida schools (not Craig’s.)

    So, if y’all know of an intelligent kid with a scholarly bent…USF has the full stack of colleges plus med school, etc., along with Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.

    http://www.usf.edu

  33. But if we REALLY want to get anything done, I suggest the Gun Reform participants walk in one morning and see Michelle Obama sitting before them.

    Game over.

  34. The issue was supposed to be “school shootings”. You want to immediately make an effort towards preventing them or at the least mitigating the tragedy if and when they do occur? You put armed guards in the schools and lock them down like prisons. If you want to make political hay with high-minded talk about proposed legislation that won’t amount to much, go for it, but don’t pretend your addressing the issue du-jour in a practical manner.

    At least you can rest assured that some municipalities and school districts have already increased security at their schools without waiting for the blogosphere’s approval.

  35. Women tend to be more practical on these matters. Through history, the men might shoot, but it’s the women who are left with the aftermath.
    Do men have a problem with this subject because of the fear that if they work for fewer guns, they would be considered less manly? This is a serious question. I’ve always wondered if this element plays into the psyche of public figures.

  36. SJWNY Might I suggest that it’s a small portion of the men who never had the discipline of using them in the military, who feel the need to demonstrate their manliness by amassing an unrealistically large arsenal of munitions far exceeding their need of mounting a defense of their homestead, or of establishing their 2d amendment privilege?

    The mommies in those households should check for magazines filled with bullets as well as ones filled with smut.

  37. Flatus,

    Always wondered about the rod/rod aspect of this question concerning insecure men.
    Keen observation with the smut mention.

  38. However did I get the idea that the issue was shootings at schools, theaters, and a town meeting organized by a Congresswoman ?

  39. sjwnyDo men have a problem with this subject because of the fear that if they work for fewer guns, they would be considered less manly?

    This is a cultural issue not a gender issue. To sell it as a gender issue is to do that very thing women resile against -- typecasting along gender lines. Eg, housekeeping is women’s work.

    I am clearly a male. I have never owned a gun. I have never even desired to own a gun. I did receive rifle training as a cadet in the 60′s and proved to be an excellent shot. But when I took my 14 yo nephew to a rifle range in 2000 -- he was mad keen on the idea of shooting -- I bought a box of bullets and hired a Bruno. He had a hoot. I was bored shitless. Today my nephew travels the world as an oil geologist and couldn’t care about guns.

    Guns are not hardwired genetically into males.

    Leave gender out of the debate and concentrate on the issue that really counts -- culture. In Oz, we no longer have a gun culture so most males don’t even think about guns. A few do. But then a few dream about cars, others computers. Just the same as young girls dream of Barbie and weddings.

    Labeling activities and motivations on a gender basis trivialises the debate.

    Similarly if we divide household duties on a gender basis, we trivialise women.

    And remember, half the acculturation or more of a child comes from the mother …

  40. The issue about school shootings went out the door as soon as the coffins went in the ground.

  41. This isn’t a gender debate, it is an unfortunate fact that in this culture, men who don’t “measure up” to some silly notion held by other men can face serious retribution, both in personal
    and professional life.
    And speaking of gender bias, please don’t lecture me about trivialising. By using that terminology, you’ve already triviliased my point of view.

  42. In Oz,

    If your goal is to convince Americans to export their social misfits to Australia, I’m sold! Good idea.

    Of course there is a gender component to the sociological analysis of the motivations of mass-murderers. They are ALWAYS male, and usually under 30. I don’t think male politicians support gun-rights in a Freudian effort to avoid public emasculation, as sjwny suggests (maybe I’m wrong), but I personally believe gender-issues should be a part of the greater academic debate.

  43. The limited sample provided by my internet correspndence indicates that men who never served tend are somewhat more interested than vets in collecting weapons that auto-load, and either have high capacity magazines built in, or that can accept high capacity magazines, boxes, or belts. The usual cant is that they are doing their country a noble service, in the event of either an invasion (ala the preposterous Red Dawn) or the rise of a hitleresque dictator or Andy Kreitz. An few of these vigilant lads are recovering Grunts or Jarheads. What I sneer at are the somewhat more numerous chicken hawks of the Viet Nam, Afghanistan, and Iraq Fiasco eras, who pretend that they’d be heroic today, after they avoided the chance to be so years back.

  44. Ignoble,
    Thank you.
    I am just asking if PERHAPS one reason public figures give in so easily is because of this whispering campaign effect. I’m not a man, never had a penis, never want one (thank you.)
    But, I’ve had close friends whose lives were impacted because of stupid “rumors” and innuendo which unfortunately still have a foothold in our intolerant society.
    I don’t think asking such a question, when it could possibly have an invisible seat at the Commission table, is wrong or bias in any way. Gee, it’s my Right.

  45. Some time ago a woman in camo entered a McDonalds and shot a ten or twenty people. Massacres by females are unusual, but not unknown.

    Consider also bonnie parker, ilse koch, Countess elizabeth bathory, cleopatra(if Augustus’ propagandists are to be believed), etc.

  46. We just got 12 inches of rain in two days so I can’t even get close to my camp. The roads are underwater and all my boats are out there. I wish I could send you some of our rain to put out your fires.

  47. SJ, I suppose the question you are posing is the one at 4:09PM. Perhaps if it was rephrased or placed in a contextual setting, it would help in drawing more responsive replies.

  48. Two facts about people who commit massacres: they’re of the human race, and they used guns. On that, we can agree.

  49. Well, if you (not you, specifically, Jamie) as a Liberal, question the necessity of an armed populace to challenge an oppressive government, look no further than Libya, where your (and my) Democrat President armed a civilian population to overthrow their government. That was, like, a few months ago, not 300 years ago.

  50. Say what? Jack, you just went beyond my scope of technical knowledge. I’m doing good to just type and send. I can also cut and paste. Sometimes the glue oozes down my computer screen.

  51. ct:

    so ya go to da youtube, and under the video there is a little square that says “share”. Click that, and it turns into a box with a web address in it. Highlight that web address and then right-click and select “copy”. Then come to TM, and in the comment box, paste that web address. Then, manually enter the letter “v” immediately after the “http” portion of the web address you just pasted into the comment box, with no other characters or spaces added, and click “post comment”.

    It’s that easy!

  52. Will that make the video show up as the video here? I did post the link. That still works.

    I’ll try but I’m warning ya, I might take down the entire site here.

  53. Carol… thanks for that video…

    I LOVE my cousins the Cajuns!

    YEEEEEEEHAAAAAAAW…..

  54. Hey BillW…
    here’s a clip of scenes from a classic movie entitled “A Christmas Story”. It’s about a kid that covets a Daisy Red Ryder BB gun for Xmas…

  55. I spent considerable time floating the bayous in these parts in my pirogue with a BB gun and then an old 22 my friend let me use when she got a new one. We hunted snakes and those huge gar fish, alligator gar. With lots of industry around here and no water quality controls back then, the waters were pretty toxic. We figured we were putting those critters out of their misery.

    The old 22 my friend let me use was a bolt action single shot. Mom wouldn’t let me have my own gun. When I discharged a bullet from that 22 rifle, the case would get stuck in the chamber and it took me several minutes to dig it out to put in a new bullet. Because of that, I got to be a pretty dang good shot. I had to be.

  56. necessity of an armed populace to challenge an oppressive government, look no further than Libya,

    And just what does that have to do with anything?

  57. Yes’m….did lake charles and slidell…but where i learned that QQSS was out in denver where my friend, we called him Dancin’ Charlie, had a Country-Western Dance School and they’d meet in our club 3 nights a week before we started and he’d have them going around in the big circle and be on stage with a mike going, “Quick-Quick; Slow…Slow” over’n over’n over. And over.

  58. Dancin’ Charlie came from Foat Wuth where he’d had a house building business which come a cropper. He hung it all up and moved to Denver and started his school. He lived in his van and all his down time was spent here and there up in the Rockies. Mighty fine feller.

    Onliest van I ever saw which had a little tiny woodstove in it.

  59. And just what does that have to do with anything?

    …inversely proportional to the price of tea in China.

  60. Carol

    Those old single shot 22′s were great for learning and about as safe as you can make a gun.
    I learned on one that was given to me on my 12th birthday.
    A few years later I bought an automatic but didn’t like it. It never felt safe. I like to put the shell in the chamber myself so I know it is there. Never trusted a safety. That is probably why I gravitated to hand operated actions on my bigger rifles.

    Jack

  61. Craig -
    Watching PBS this week and the “Abolitionists” Part #1.
    American was always a lot meaner than we ever thought.
    About 1/3rd of us have always been really mean.

  62. Craig -
    William L. Garrison the founder of ” The Liberator” had zero assets , at the age 4 his drunken father sailor abandoned the family.

    It made me re-think the word : “struggle”.

    Obama is about to place the Lincoln Bible with the King Bible. Never happened before. The half black son of a single mother, swears on these bibles.

    William L. Garrison’s ghost will be there .

  63. Before the election, when I was expecting
    mitty to be in charge, I seriously was
    thinking I might not be able to stand what it would be like, I was surprised to realize that one major alternativeto life here was a place where the gun violence was not such a smothering fact of life.

    I had no idea that I felt that strongly.
    My dad had guns and went hunting and the guns I saw when I was young wereon the hips of Roy Rogers and Gene Autry etc…
    well, not Lash Larue. My dad just one day decided he didn’t want to kill any more and he set up a feeding site with a camera to film his visitors. I never was
    dead set against guns and am not now.

    But I agree with Cuomo. The madness has to stop. These people scare me and the time to stop it is now.

    Bill and Jax, I’m sorry but I doubt that adolphwon a democratic election. There are maybe no records left, but if there are, I’d like to see what the numbers were and the other details.

    Ct, I loved the video of your beautiful river, and the music, too. The humidity
    wasn’t too bad,or the mosquitos.

  64. Bethy, we have lots of humidity and mosquitoes, sorry to say. Not this time of year. The mosquito spray does work for the mosquitoes. Nothing helps the humidity except AC.

  65. Welcome to the 21st century -

    Broecker: It won’t be Greenland melting; it will be difficulty in finding food.

    Broecker is a founding father of climate science.

  66. sjwny -- Ouch!

    Anyways, rather than opining on the tragic lot of women who clean up the mess, it would be better to concentrate on why women helped make the mess in the first place.

    All the members of Congress, be it state or Federal are subject to universal suffrage. About 51% of the US population is female, thus one can predict that this is the total number of female voters who go to the polls. It is this very group of voters who keep electing the numbnuts who vote down all sensible gun control. Not only last year but in every election that I have been alive to witness, and that’s quite a few. There has never been a women’s revolt against universal and unfettered gun ownership in the US.

    That is why I said it was not a gender issue. It is a cultural issue. You first have to establish why the majority of Americans are happy to see their children slaughtered in schools rather than remove any ability to own a firearm blessed by the sanctity of the 2nd Amendment.

    To outsiders, this is absolutely insane.

    But to Americans it is as natural as getting your first gun to graduating to the slaughter of the innocents.

  67. On August 8th, 1975, Science published a paper by AAAS fellow Wallace S. Broecker titled “Are We on the Brink of a Pronounced Global Warming?” in which he argued that the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide occurring because of the burning of fossil fuels would result in higher global temperatures. We recently interviewed Broecker, the Newberry Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University, about how warming has progressed since his ground-breaking paper, and what can or should be done about it.

    http://membercentral.aaas.org/blogs/scientia/interview-father-global-warming

    Broecker: It won’t be Greenland melting; it will be difficulty in finding food.

  68. My criterion for raising children has paid off: Get them to adulthood able to pay for their own psychiatrist to tell them how bad a parent you were.

    As a result just got gifted with a new Kindle Fire … may be incommunicado for a while :-)

  69. Broecker: It won’t be Greenland melting; it will be difficulty in finding food.

    Today -
    U.S. corn stockpile smaller than expected, prices jump

    WASHINGTON, Jan 11 (Reuters) -- The U.S. quarterly corn stockpile came in well below expectations because of drought losses that also led the government to forecast on Friday the smallest corn carry-out in 17 years.

  70. ” It is a cultural issue. You first have to establish why the majority of Americans are happy to see their children slaughtered in schools rather than remove any ability to own a firearm blessed by the sanctity of the 2nd Amendment.

    To outsiders, this is absolutely insane.

    But to Americans it is as natural as getting your first gun to graduating to the slaughter of the innocents.”

    Whoa there, Bill!!

    That doesn’t sound like you at all. I don’t think you’re getting a good idea who ‘all’ Americans are, by reading what a few people are saying here.

    Just remember, a lot of what you read about America is giving you a false picture of what the majority of us are like. You’d have to live here a while before making generalizations like the ones you just made. Because if you did, you’d know we’re just like every other country, and all have different opinions.

  71. adolph won a democratic election. I don’t think he got 50% of the vote.

    Except for the Minorities, the White Rose, and the Wolf’s Lair Bombing Conspirators, almost everybody in germany went along with him. Extremely high degree of co-operation. Especially in austria.

  72. The news you hear from the U.S. does not reflect truly on what’s really going on here.

    That’s what I was talking about the other day. That’s what bothers most of us here. Big money seems to be controlling the propaganda that we and everyone else are hearing.

    Believe me, you’re a long way from here, and evidently don’t have a very clear view of the sentiments of the largest portion of our population.

    Don’t confuse us with our politicians.

  73. I’ve been trying to find an article on the massacre perped by a female, and I’m stymied. I don’t think I dreamt it, but….

    Grrrr.

    Still, one out of scores of mass shooters hardly seems to count, so I give up, IxC.

    Btw, the Bath Township (Michigan) School Massacre of 1927 remains the the worst school massacre in US history. No firearms there. It all started with dissatisfaction over election returns.

  74. I think what Bill is reflecting is what the various public noise makers say. Unfortunately, that is the US public image and from a factual standpoint unless we throw them out on their ear … they are us.

    Pogo and his enemy lives

  75. Australians are used to hot summers. We normally love them. But the conditions prevailing now are something new. Temperature records are being broken everywhere. At Leonora, in the Western Australian interior, it reached 49C this week – the national high – and just one record temperature among many. The nation’s overall temperature record was set on 7 January. Then the following day that record was exceeded, by half a degree celsius.

    The breaking of so many temperature records indicates that Australia’s climate is shifting. This is supported by analysis of the long-term trend. Over the past 40 years we’ve seen a decline in the number of very cold days, and the occurrence of many more very hot days. All of this was predicted by climate scientists decades ago, and is consistent with the increasing greenhouse gas concentration in the atmosphere.

    The new conditions have seen the Bureau of Meteorology add two new colour categories to Australia’s weather prediction maps. Temperatures of 48-50C used to be the highest, and where such extremes were anticipated, the weather map was marked black. Over the last week, purple patches have begun to appear on some maps. They mark temperatures above 50C. Pink, which is yet to be deployed, will denote temperatures above 52C.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jan/11/australia-burns-attitudes-changing-too-late

  76. Australia is a bread basket too.

    Broecker: It won’t be Greenland melting; it will be difficulty in finding food.

    Pink, which is yet to be deployed, will denote temperatures above 52C.

    This is 125.6 F , nothing lives under that when it comes.
    Except for bacteria , but bacteria don’t have a 401 K.

  77. “I think what Bill is reflecting is what the various public noise makers say”

    I completely agree, Jamie.

    I just didn’t want to leave Bill too disillusioned about the state of America.

    I take his concerns very seriously, but there’s a lot more than meets the eye going on here, and it’s really become painfully obvious that we’re having a hard time ‘throwing them out on their ear’.

    Don’t believe they are us though.

    Maybe ‘they’ are more like the terrorists that we are constantly trying to rid ourselves of in other countries.

    What you say about the noise makers is so true. And I’d hate to have Bill believe we all thought the same way.

  78. Bill,
    What our brothers and sisters in the rest of the world thinks of America is important. Soros Conspiracy Nuts, You have Warned: I believe in one world because this is the only one we’ve got.
    You are correct:we are responsible for the Representatives we elect, and they are the face we project to the rest of the world. Our voting record is embarrassing. It is being ungrateful to every soldier who died protecting that right to vote when we do not vote, no matter who you are.
    My earlier question was simply whether men have done little in enacting real reform (that makes a difference) because of the fear of being mocked or smeared by other politicians if they were to diminish the number of guns allowed. Fear is a powerful enemy against real progress. Buzz words can do more damage to a campaign than a PAC or two. It’s what people remember that counts.
    Since men are still the majority in our government, any action they do, whether consciously or subconsciously, effects all of us. I am curious as to the role of the male psyche and the role of guns, as an historic symbol of manhood, play in a man’s ability to make decisions on this subject: Will real reform ever be possible in a government dominated by men?

  79. “My earlier question was simply whether men have done little in enacting real reform (that makes a difference) because of the fear of being mocked or smeared by other politicians if they were to diminish the number of guns allowed.”

    Don’t think it’s any where near that complicated.

    …. follow the money. It’s that simple.

  80. Chloe, regarding my thoughts, most Americans I have had the pleasure to meet are the nicest people one could ever wish to associate with on this earth. Lots of home spun good spirits with more than a smattering of generosity.

    But the gun argument brings out the part of the society that is not normal. People who wish for peace cry out about tyrants and the sanctity of the 2nd Amendment while ignoring about the sanctity of life.

    For some reason this discussion brings out collective insanity in America. I have no idea what lies at the root of it. The insanity is shared by both genders.

    Most of us have been through this debate, solved the problem as much as possible and moved on. We have our fair share of lunatics who think it is just dandy to shoot up houses. Because this is so rare, the good folks who do that end up doing a long stretch of porridge.

    There have been strong movements in the past. Some misguided, such as the 18th Amendment and Volstead, but there have been others such as Rowe v Wade that demonstrate that good community governance is better than ideological claptrap.

    For mothers, it is their treatment of their sons that make the men of the future. Men look up to their mothers for a female role model. If it is coupled with “Oh isn’t he so cute with his BB Gun” then you endorse the gun culture. If it is like Sarah Palin screaming that no amount of guns are too many, then there is a community endorsement of gun culture. And if it is women (mothers of these sons) who vote in great numbers for the protectors of unfettered gun ownership, then why would these boys think otherwise than having a gun is pretty cool. After all, the most important people in their lives sanction it.

    Gun culture isn’t hard wired than any other human behaviour. Social behaviour, beginning from the mother can alter perceptions. Until mothers change their ways of looking at gun culture, then gun ownership will remain rampant.

    And yes, men do play a part in all of this. Responsibility is not just one way. Lunacy on this issue is collective rather than gender specific. Until it is perceived as a social problem, nothing will happen.

    Don’t blame Obama for dodging the hard issues. Blame the voters for putting into Congress the people who protect the laws that allow children to be slaughtered.

  81. Sorry if I seem a bit passionate on this issue but I deal with the fall out of gun injury and death on a daily basis. I deal with the relatives who are trying to make sense of the lives of their loved ones. So I am not really enamored with firearms.

  82. SJ, I believe you’re over thinking it. If you made a prerequisite to national office prior military service (both sexes) then a lot of this silliness would vanish and a more rational approach would prevail.

    Bedtime.

  83. What 401 K plan are you talking about, CBob?

    I have plenty of fresh water, as our well is 250 (or more) feet deep.

    My pantry looks like it could feed a whole county.

    And my money is buried in the back yard.

    So go worry about someone else, would ya?.

  84. Bill, I didn’t want to give you the wrong impression that guns were a good part of my life. Like I said, mom wouldn’t let me have one. I had to share both my childhood adventure partner’s BB and 22s. The gun era didn’t last for long for either of and and included some guilt and grief.

    Like I said, the bayou that my Grampy’s house overlooked went out to a big lake and on that lake were lots of chemical industries and refineries. No water quality back then. Even as a young kid, I was afraid of that water and anything that could survive in it. I wouldn’t put a toe in it.

    The short BB gun era ended when my friend accidentally killed a little bird. She thought that was what she wanted but didn’t think she could actually hit it. She did and killed it. We were devastated. We buried the little bird, had a funeral, cried and put up the BB guns.

    Then years later, started playing with the 22s, shooting at snakes and those ugly alligator gars. Believe me, if you’ve ever seen one of those alligator gars, you’d realize that we couldn’t actually kill one and I don’t think we ever did. They were the closest thing to a bayou monster in our parts.

  85. As a kid, I thought those creatures I was shooting at were surely a mutation results from the toxins in the water. I was a dumb little kid but intuitively fearful of what we were doing to our environment. This area has come a long way since then in both reducing water pollution and cleaning up what had been done in the past.

    I quit the 22 because one day, while shooting, I aimed too far out into the water and heard my bullet hit the house across the bayou. I dropped the gun and ran like the wind. Didn’t hear of anyone or anything getting injured but that was the last time I ever played with that gun.

    Years later, at my stepfather’s farm, I did use my little 22 pistol to kill snakes again. We were out crawfishing in a pond that my SF created to hold up water for irrigating rice. It was kinda hard to concentrate on the crawfishing with all the snakes that were out there sunning on every branch that was laying out in that pond. Later I pondered that I probably had some bad snake karma coming to me. I was right.

  86. If I see a snake now, I scare it off or if I have to catch it because it’s in my pool, doesn’t happen often, I catch and relocate it.

    One incident of snake karma came just a couple of years ago. Big sis was visiting from the PNW. I think I did share this story here a while back. She was swimming in my pool. I was sitting on a chair just watching and visiting.

    Sis was at the far end of the pool doing a gentle back stroke when… I watched, in slow motion, a frog come tearing out of the grass close to the pool. I could see a sense of urgency on that frog’s face. Right on it’s ass was this very long slender black snake. Frog realized that it couldn’t outrun that snake so it took a hard left turn into the pool. Snake followed suit. I don’t think either noticed that my sister was there at least not until it was too late to change their minds.

    Sis didn’t see them either. I did and was terrified. I screamed snake, she picked up the speed of her backstroke but wasn’t getting any traction. The snake and my sis were pretty much sharing the same water space. She finally managed to swim to my end of the pool and get out. She said she was bitten. I screamed at her to sit down while I tried to catch the snake. I needed to know whether it was poisonous. The snake was trying to get out of the pool and I was trying to keep it in until I could scoop it up to throw it in a tall garbage can.

    I did manage to capture the snake, found out it was just a water snake, and we took it out to the river and released it. Those water snakes don’t have fangs, they just have regular teeth and sure enough, my sister had little wounds on her legs consistent with it having gnawed on her legs. It had every right to bite, she was kicking at it.

    I was very surprised that my sister actually continued to go swimming in my pool after that. I’ve had that pool for close to 30 years and I can count on less than the fingers one hand how many snakes I’ve found in that pool.

    A short time later I was standing on my porch at my camp. It had just been raining cats and dogs and I guess snakes too, when one fell off my roof and almost dropped on my head. It was dark and I couldn’t identify what kind of snake it was. We were both moving, very fast, in opposite directions. I figured I might now have paid off that bad snake karma I had acquired. Both of those snake incidents were pretty weird so I figured they had to be payback.

    For bayou country, I don’t see that many snakes around. The only really scary/deadly one that might be more common in our area is the cotton mouth water moccasion. I think that I might have only seen one of them in many years. I have taken care of a couple of patients who were bitten by one.

    Sorry for all the rambling on. I’m just entertaining myself while waiting to catch a little sleepiness. I am trying to keep my typing noise down so not to disturb those of you who are sleeping.

  87. And you are correct Bill, women do have the potential to soften this world a bit but too often, here in America, we don’t use it, we just stand by our men. I wish we could become a little more like that young Malala. She was a brave soul.

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