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The Orlando Massacre for Moderates

June 14, 2016


So it’s come to this: the founder-editor of The New Moderate is politicizing the ghastliest mass-shooting in American history. Don’t those fifty dead and fifty-three wounded souls deserve better, you ask? Don’t we need to recognize their humanity, their innocence, their senseless victimization by a crazed fanatic, the plunging of their families into unimaginable grief? Yes, of course… all in good time.

I can’t help but notice, though, that the stalwarts of the left and right immediately pounced on the news with their airtight and predictable political narratives.

“It had nothing to do with Islam,” the progressive apologists were quick to tell us. “It’s a combination of virulent anti-LGBT bigotry, lax gun control, mental health issues and toxic masculinity.” No matter that 29-year-old mass-shooter Omar Mateen, an American of Afghan parentage, affirmed his allegiance to ISIS and his solidarity with the Boston Marathon bombers during his call to 911 from a bathroom at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub. Maybe he was just affirming his Muslim street cred before the authorities closed in.

“It had nothing to do with guns,” the right-wing NRA crowd was just as quick to inform us. “Ban our assault rifles, and the guy could just as easily have used a bomb. We need to ban Muslims instead.” No matter that a mentally unstable civilian was able to purchase a weapon capable of dispatching a hundred human beings in as many seconds. Or that he was able to buy it almost as easily as he might pick up a six-pack at the local beer joint.

Once again, America’s battling tribes have lined up on opposite sides of the field, ready for a skirmish. And once again, the truth behind the news is a little more complicated than either side is willing to admit. In fact, the Orlando massacre represents a convergence of so many hot-button issues that we probably need to examine the parts before we can understand the whole.

Gun control. We don’t allow individual citizens to own tanks, bazookas or other military-grade weapons. The only purpose of semi-automatic rifles and pistols is to mow down as many victims as possible in as short a time as possible. In other words, these are weapons designed for warfare.

Second Amendment diehards will insist that citizens need such weapons in case the government turns tyrannical. Well, good luck using your Glocks and AR-15’s against state-of-the-art U.S. military hardware, folks. And think about this: the incidence of mass shootings has skyrocketed in America since semi-automatic guns became the weapon of choice for psychopaths. (Even with the federal ban on selected assault weapons in place from 1994 to 2004, most gun nuts simply sidestepped it by using legal weapons with high-capacity magazines.) With tens of millions of semi-automatic guns already in circulation, it makes more sense to ban the high-capacity clips that feed such weapons and inflict mass bloodshed.

Yes, a psychopath intent on killing prodigious numbers of his fellow humans could detonate a homemade bomb. But, as things stand, it’s so much easier to buy an assault weapon at the local gun show.

A ban on high-capacity gun clips would pose no threat to the right of Americans to own simple handguns and hunting rifles. (The Founding Fathers were thinking more in terms of muskets.) They’re free to defend their homes or venture off into the woods to murder Bambi and his friends. If they’re any good, they won’t need to fire a hundred shots in succession.

Radical Islamic terrorism. The phrase that our president dares not utter is a phrase we ignore at our own peril. Islamic jihad is real, it’s an urgent worldwide menace, and it won’t go away by itself. With a few exceptions, the bloodiest terrorist attacks of our time have been perpetrated by Muslims with a radical interpretation of Islam.

Do we blame all Muslims? Of course not. Do we blame Islam itself? That’s a little trickier. The Quran, like the Bible, is a mixed bag of wisdom, history and legend. Like the Bible, it’s full of disturbing contradictions: parts of it espouse peace and brotherhood; other verses call for intolerance and bloody vengeance against the infidels. Millions of Muslims worldwide favor the latter course.

One of those Muslims, apparently, was Omar Mateen. He worshiped at his local mosque several times a week, beat his wife and had no love for the West. He resented (understandably) the U.S. invasion of Iraq. But he also expressed support for ISIS and its bloody agenda. In fact, those may have been among his last words. He was a radical Muslim, and he shot a hundred innocent people in one explosive outburst. Was he a terrorist? Most likely, but there are other factors to complicate the story.

Mental health. Omar Mateen was, from his wife’s description, an unstable man with a violent temper. She suspected he was bipolar, and he was given to frequent rages against her. Yes, most Muslim men expect submission from their wives, but Mateen went above and beyond — especially for an American-born Muslim.

According to Mateen’s father, Omar bristled when he saw two gay men kissing in public — reportedly in front of his young son. But there’s more. Reports have emerged that Mateen actually frequented the gay nightclub he ultimately terrorized. Several witnesses reported that he’d approach men at the bar, and probably not with the intention of denouncing them in the name of Islam. He was also said to have been a presence on a gay hook-up website.

A violent, radicalized Muslim male with imperfectly repressed homosexual tendencies — we’re not looking at a good mix here. This man had to be a walking powder keg. And yet he was able to pick up an assault rifle and a semi-automatic handgun at the local shop, no questions asked.

We should be asking questions. Do we deny gun ownership to anyone who has been treated for mental illness, past or present? Do prospective gun owners need to pass an emotional fitness test? Are we intruding too much? What if they’re sane when they purchase a gun but eventually slip off the deep end? Unfortunately, there are no easy answers. We just have to conclude that guns and mental illness don’t mix.

The LGBT movement. It’s probably no accident that the Orlando massacre happened at a gay nightclub during LGBT Pride Month. (Yes, June was given that official designation.) Gay marriage, transgender bathroom rights, fifty different gender designations on Facebook — the pace of change has been breathtaking over just the past decade. I can’t blame LGBT people for wanting to celebrate.

And yet (and you probably knew there would be an “and yet”), this moderate has to wonder if the LGBT movement has gone too public, too in-your-face. Why can’t everyone just live and let live, without parading our preferences or dissing those who differ from us? Why do LGBT people need their own month, or even their own “community”? (We’re all Americans, aren’t we?) Why is it bigotry to assert that biological males shouldn’t be allowed to strip down in women’s locker rooms? Social progressives should realize that it can be difficult — especially for older people and religious people — to do a complete “180” on traditional social beliefs formed decades ago (or prescribed a few millennia ago). You can engineer legal change, but you can’t engineer attitudes. Those take time.

That said, the Orlando massacre was not only a terrorist incident but a deplorable hate crime, perpetrated by a man who likely loathed his own homosexual tendencies. Gay pride rhetoric undoubtedly helps many confused people feel more comfortable with their orientation. In Omar Mateen’s case, it might have had the opposite effect. The result was brutal, premature death for mostly young, mostly Hispanic members of a historically marginalized and still-vulnerable group. I wonder how many cumulative years of potential life were lost that night. Fifty casualties with an average of  fifty years left on the clock — you do the math.

The selective tolerance of today’s progressives. They welcome a diverse, multi-hued rainbow of humanity into their communal embrace. But let’s face it: they embrace some representatives of humanity more than others. Blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, atheists, Muslims, Democrats, LGBT people, feminists, and progressive white men who wear sandals all get a resounding YES. Texans, fundamentalist Christians, rednecks, working-class white ethnics, Republicans and Dead White European Males — not so much.

The progressives’ soft spot for Islam is a baffling one, at least to a slightly dense moderate like me. Here’s a religion/legal system/ideology that, when obeyed to the letter, stands firmly against nearly everything traditional liberals hold sacred: women’s rights, gay rights, religious tolerance, wine, pacifism and personal freedom. (Talk about strange bedfellows.)

I suspect that the progressives who refuse to see the Orlando massacre as an Islamic terror incident — who defend Islam against the likes of Donald Trump and his minions — are operating on the “enemy of my enemy” principle. They haven’t exactly forged an alliance with Islam, but they face a common enemy: the angry white Christian xenophobes who, to them, represent the messy and primitive rear-guard of society. The progressives will tolerate patriarchy and intolerance as long as it has its origins in impoverished countries, preferably those inhabited by non-Europeans. As violent and barbaric as the radical Islamists can be, the Crusaders were even worse — right?

We have to bear in mind, too, that today’s progressives aren’t necessarily liberal. Notice their current penchant for inhibiting free speech, censoring satirical treatment of sacred cows, prosecuting microaggressions against the accepted order. They seem to like rules and unanimity, and they tend to consort only with fellow believers. Maybe (is it possible?) they have more in common with Islamists than we would like to believe.

But enough about politics. In the end, the Orlando massacre has yielded a devastating human toll. Not only for the fifty souls who perished in a bloody and terrifying rampage, or the wounded victims who will carry their scars for life, or their grieving families. Once again, the entire nation has been shocked by the increasingly common spectacle of mass murder in a public place. You’d think we’d have numbed ourselves to the atrocities by now, but if we’re still human, we should never learn to accept them as the “new normal.”

That the shooter was an emotionally unstable, homophobic Muslim equipped with semi-automatic weapons is relevant to our story. But it’s not the whole story. The larger issue is how to restore some semblance of brotherhood to our brilliant but bumbling species.

We can enact legislation to curb gun violence. It won’t eliminate the problem, but it’s a start. We can search for ways to undermine the factionalism and fanaticism so prevalent in so much of the world — including our own country. (That’s what The New Moderate is for, although I can’t brag about the extent of our influence.) We can try to build bridges. But these are only vague notions. I really have no solutions, and it’s plain to see that we need solutions to keep the world’s premium breed of primate from self-destructing.

For me, one ray of hope comes from the transformation of the late Muhammad Ali. As an angry young champ, he bought the black separatist rhetoric and anti-white venom of the radical Nation of Islam. He even repudiated his friend Malcom X for leaving the fold. Then, somehow, he found enlightenment. He parted company with the Nation of Islam and eventually aligned himself with the more tolerant and philosophical Sufi sect of Islam. He became a citizen of the world and a force for unity.

The extremists among us could do worse than to follow his example.


Rick Bayan is founder-editor of The New Moderate.

468 Comments leave one →
  1. Jay permalink
    June 14, 2016 11:15 pm

    A brilliant piece, Rick. You summed up all my incoherent thoughts about the shooting and the present squabbling about it exactly as I wish I could have expressed them.

    Your masterful summation needs a wider audience. I’ll forward the link to it to whomever and wherever I can.

  2. June 15, 2016 12:09 am

    Rick–many segments of your superb essay could be taken out of context, and used to condemn you by the extremists you excoriate. I agree with Jay–a terrific analysis that deserves to be seen in its entirety by a wide audience

    • June 16, 2016 9:56 am

      Thanks, RP. I’ve already taken some heat at The Moderate Voice (really The Moderately Liberal Voice, to judge by their followers) for my comments on LGBT month and the increasingly in-your-face tactics of that community. The day after a massacre probably wasn’t the best time for me to critique their tactics.

  3. timothy price permalink
    June 15, 2016 6:19 am

    You must have figured out by now that this killing was another false-flag event? Maybe you could revise your comment to make your thoughts more relevant?

  4. Roby permalink
    June 15, 2016 9:10 am

    I can say that I agree with every word. Every word. In a better world it would all come to pass as you said. In this one…

    Once people join a movement heart and soul, political, religious, or ideological ones especially, part of that is the very strong impulse to become blind, defensive, oblivious, denialistic to the faults of one’s movement. If a mad but ideologically motivated ____ goes on a shooting spree fellow ___ will say, he wasn’t ___ he was evil, crazy. People, own it, own the consequences of the dark side of your movements, open your eyes.

    It may seem like t tangent to this but reading the words of angry Bernie bro progressives (on facebook, not news sites, I’m still pure) who are now calling Elizabeth Warren every name in the book, most especially traitor, since she endorsed Hillary really underscores your point about progressive intolerance and closed mindedness and the larger point that intolerance goes with joining movements heart and soul, even ones founded on tolerance. Not every member or believer in a movement is guilty of that, but enough are so that that is the basic impression I have of every political or religious movement, with the exception of Buddhists. Perhaps the only sane thing to do in this world is to become a sincere Buddhist.

    • June 16, 2016 10:02 am

      Roby: Hate to disillusion you, but even Buddhists have been on the warpath in (I think) Myanmar (the country formerly known as Burma). I’ll have to go back and read the stories, but I think there was some anti-Muslim violence there.

      But yes, you’re absolutely right about mass movements, especially those that require adherence to an ideology and intolerance of renegade thinkers. Unanimity isn’t the same as unity. The former requires a lockstep mentality; the latter just suggests that we work together. I’m for the latter.

    • July 1, 2016 1:45 pm

      The left is such a movement – that people join heart and soul, political, religious, or ideological ones especially, part of that is the very strong impulse to become blind, defensive, oblivious, denialistic to the faults of one’s movement.

      How do you plan on sorting movements from each other ?

      Even moderates are such a movement. Moderates here offer positions with as much religious fervor as fundimentalist christians.

      Intolerance is a halmark of every movement – even moderates and libertarians who shoudl know better.

  5. Priscilla permalink
    June 15, 2016 9:14 am

    RIck, I do agree that this is an excellent piece. One of your best, and that is saying something. I particularly like the ending on a hopeful note, because many of us, certainly myself included, are feeling hopeless these days.

    No question, whenever there is a mass killing, the narratives come out. But not all mass killings are the same. The Columbine and Sandy Hook massacres were committed by mentally ill teenage boys. The San Bernadino and Orlando ones were committed by religious fanatics, who ~correctly~ believed that they were soldiers, at war with America.

    I am disturbed by the fact that a jihadist could buy a gun, of course, but I am vastly more disturbed that an American citizen joined a foreign army and took up arms against his countrymen, slaughtering innocent civilians, for the express purpose of destroying and defeating the society that provided him so much freedom and opportunity. Isn’t this treason?

    So, to my mind, the gun control narrative is grotesquely misplaced in this instance. We should be talking about 21st century global jihad, how it is different than wars fought in the past, and how it should be fought and won. The debate on gun control is one that needs to be had, there is no doubt about that. But it does not need to be had right now, and it certainly didn’t need to start even before the bodies of the dead were identified.

    I read an article this morning, which referenced Nietzsche’s quote “This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more; and there will be nothing new in it,” And that is how things are beginning to appear to me…political narratives determine the response to every atrocity. A few other narratives that have come out in the 3 short days since the Orlando attack: 1) this is a “tragedy” 2) we “don’t know why this happened” and we must not “rush to judgement” and , of course, 3) Americans need to change our intolerant and/or racist attitudes toward _____ (fill in the blank) if we want these “trajedies” to end.

    I think about the greatest generation, and how most of them would feel about being lectured about showing tolerance and fairness – maybe even sympathy – to a murdering traitor. Or having his attack blamed, even in part, on a faulty or outdated interpretation of the Second Amendment. And, I think that they would think that we had all gone crazy.

    • Roby permalink
      June 15, 2016 9:40 am

      “So, to my mind, the gun control narrative is grotesquely misplaced in this instance.”

      Priscilla, I love ya, but I stopped reading here. You, smart, good-hearted and excellent person that you are, are example #1. When are you going to put down the reflex to state the conservative gospel?

      Own it, there is a gun violence problem in America. I, less than anyone, think it is easy to solve, But any chance of improving the situation rests on admitting that there is a problem. The weapon and its easy availability were part of this story just as the radical muslim ideology was. The two insanely difficult problems came together here.

      Not meaning to sound like the voice of God, but I am not going to debate gun control here with anyone. Futile. Either one sees it or that don’t, it personal choice that I can’t change. And, good proto-Buhddist that I am, I am just going to sit here and say Ooommm while the perpetual and utterly predictable and scripted gun control debate goes on.

      • Priscilla permalink
        June 15, 2016 9:57 am

        You’re right. I had no idea that there is a gun violence problem in this country. I’m wedded to a reflexive conservative point of view, and it is futile to read the second half of my comment. Nothing to see there………

    • June 16, 2016 10:06 am

      Priscilla: Thanks; I appreciate the appreciation. As it turned out, there was more to the Orlando massacre than Islamist revenge against the West. The guy had some serious issues. But of course, I agree with you about those ironclad narratives that pop up in response to any complicated tragedy.

    • July 1, 2016 1:53 pm

      I think presuming to know what is really behind a mass killer is ludicrous.

      Islam was an element in the San Bernadino and Orlando incidents,

      But the unabomber made choices based on trees.
      Religious fanaticism has long had an appeal – even for sane people, it has a particular appeal for the disturbed.

      I think Farook and Mateen were likely to do as they did even in a would with no islam.

      Religion is an excuse.

      I think it is reasonable for us to note that Islam has a far stronger association with violence than other religions TODAY.

      But 75 years ago the Jews were bombing the British,
      After (and before) that the Irish had been doing the same.

      Is Irish an ethnicity of violence ? Or is it catholicism ?

      Guns do not kill,
      Islam does not kill,

      People kill, often for reasons that make little sense.
      We can not fix that, because we can not fix them.
      Taking away their guns or religion will not solve the problem.

  6. June 15, 2016 11:56 am

    Rick, your thoughts mirror a large majority of people. You comments about gun control efforts are right on. But you left out one significant piece of the puzzle.

    I was watching Frontline on PBS last night and their program was on Guns in America. After Sandy Hook, everyone thought this is the time for some reasonable gun laws. The administration looked for a moderate senator to spearhead their efforts to improve the gun laws in America since Obama knew anything he did was dead on arrival by GOP senators. Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia who had an “A” rating from the NRA took on this effort. His bill would have simply required back ground checks at gun shows and internet sales. He ran on a pro gun platform and used guns in his senatorial campaign ads to get elected.

    His efforts went no where since the NRA took him on. The NRA, according to Frontline is the most powerful lobby in America. The money they raise and the money they spend is second to none. If they do not support a candidate and there is anyway they can get a candidate elected that will support their efforts, they pour massive amounts of money into that campaign. And most moderates in congress do not have the “balls” to take on the lobby like Joe Manchin did. And to those that may not be aware, until the 70’s after the JFK, MLK and RFK assassinations, the NRA was a sporting rifle association that was instrumental in teaching gun safety, even providing gun classes in high schools in some sections of the country. After Johnson got some of his gun laws passed, the extreme members of the NRA took control, electing their members that would block any government efforts to place controls on guns and that is when Wayne LaPierre was elected. And the joke about this guy was if he had a gun, make sure you were no where around as he had no idea what to do with it. He was a lobbyist from the start of his career and spent all his time in DC before getting elected. His whole reason for existence was blocking gun laws.

    Again the problem comes back to (1) money, (2) self preservation (careers) and (3) party loyalty. No where in the equation is safety of the citizens and country.

    • June 16, 2016 10:09 am

      Ron: I don’t know if you saw yesterday’s story about Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut, who staged a 15-hour filibuster to force a vote on two moderate gun control measures. It was like something out of “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” It’ll probably take more heroic actions like that to break the power of the NRA over Congress.

      • June 16, 2016 10:56 am

        I saw that news item about the filibuster and this morning the senate officials have allowed a vote to take place. And I suspect the outcome will be the same on this as has been on past legislation like Joe Manchin’s gun show background check bill.

        I would think anyone with an open mind would accept his legislation that would ban people on the terrorist watch list from buying weapons and adding gun show background checks. And then skeptics like myself will have to wait and see if the liberals use it as a spring board for more restrictive legislation. (I suspect they will try)

        But given this bill would not have kept Marteen from buying the guns, not sure what good it would have done this time. We will get the 45 or so that will support the bill, 45 or so that will oppose the bill and then 10 or so that will have to make the decision if they want to risk losing their next election due to the NRA’s massive efforts to replace them if they vote for this bill.

      • Priscilla permalink
        June 16, 2016 12:59 pm

        Ron, I am troubled by a number of things that go along with banning people on the terrorist watch list. First of all, there are almost a million people on the list ~ it is not the same as the no-fly list, despite the catchy “No Fly, No Buy” slogan. No one is informed when they are put on the list, there are no due process procedures to find out if you’re on, or how to get off.

        Omar Mateen was put on the list in 2013 and 2014 and then taken off in 2015. Why did he get off~ who knows? Many Christians who belong to anti-abortion groups are still on. So this law, if passed would not have prevented Mateen from buying a weapon, but it might prevent a perfectly law-abiding citizen who opposes abortion (a “right wing extremist” in the eyes of some) from getting one.

        I did listen to Senator Manchin today on one of the morning shows. He openly admitted that due process is a problem with the list, but basically said that better an innocent person be denied their rights, than a real terrorist be granted them.

        I appreciated his honesty, but I think that there is a better way to do this, and I think that the Democrats are pushing this particular way because it will deny the most people from buying a gun. Once Hillary is in office and gets the 5th SCOTUS justice, the Heller decision can be overturned, and further due process rights can be suspended when it comes to gun purchases.

        Just as Democrats fought fiercely (and correctly) against some of the Patriot Act’s suspension of rights, Republicans are correct to push back on this bill. The problem is that neither side is negotiating in good faith. Now that the grandstanding over the bill has broken out into the mainstream media, I assume that Republicans who are fighting for due process will cave, because the public will see them as against any reasonable form of gun control, and they will fear for their re-election. But just like the Patriot Act, I think that, eventually, we will be sorry that we gave up too much for very little.

      • June 16, 2016 4:24 pm

        Priscilla, how perfect an example of how ______ up our government is today. Can you imagine a company being run as incoherently and incompetent as our government is run. From the minions of the VA system that can not get people registered in time so they can get treatment to the asses that have degrees in law that write legislation like you point out above that have innocent people on list and it is “better an innocent person be denied their rights, than a real terrorist be granted them”, just shows how we have accepted incompetence as a way of life and do not demand exceptional when it comes to our government.

        I was not aware that people who disagree with our government on all issues may end up on the no fly list. That is appalling. And then we have people running for president that have broken any number of laws and may have assisted enemies in knowing what our strategy to defeat them might be and it is still “being investigated” after months have passed. Had that been you or I we would already have had the trial and we would be in jail in some federal prison somewhere.

        No wonder it has been said democracies last for 200 years. We have far exceeded that threshold and now only await the last few idiots to throw it over the cliff.

    • July 1, 2016 2:02 pm

      Do you really and truly honestly beleive that any proposed gun control measure ever is actually going to reduce violence ?

      Cave men were about 22 times more violent that we are today – and they had no guns.

      Rates of human violence have been slowly trending downward for millenia.

      The violent death rate of the 20th century was about 1/2 what preceded it.
      The 21st century has rates of violence about half the 20th so far.

      As with many many things we see the world as far more dangerous – because any killing of more than a few people anywhere in the world and we know about it instantly.
      During the Crimean war we heard of the charge of the light brigade weeks after the fact.

      Even in our own neighborhoods should something bad happen – we might never have heard of it.

      Aside from a recent spike in cities – the so called fergussen effect, all violent crime is down, as is most crime.

      We fixate on what is happening in the mideast. but in a few weeks there was more murder in Rwanda in the 20th century than the several decades in the mideast.

      Bad things continue to happen and we should contemplate what we can do about them.

      But we are making ourselves ever more afraid as the world becomes ever safer.

  7. June 15, 2016 4:16 pm

    You are right about this being really sticky, especially when you consider that the shooter was a security guard and had already passed several background checks. People like to think that we could have prevented this, but I’m not so sure about that. I think it is more appropriate to mourn for this senseless loss of human life.

    • June 16, 2016 10:11 am

      Yes, there will always be lone nutjobs who make news by killing people in mass quantities. But we can make it a little harder for them to carry out their fantasies.

      • July 1, 2016 2:09 pm

        No Rick, you can not successfully make it harder for them.

        For $15 in parts from autozone, and a little help from youtube you can make a flame thrower.

        Are you going to ban autoparts stores ?

        From things you can find under your kitchen sink you can make poison gas.

        You are never going to stop these people from having the tools necescary to create mayhem.

        Further as we move forward it will become easier not harder, and there is nothing you can do about that.

        What you can do, is engage in myriads of pointless feel good measures.

        After you have once again banned “assault weapons” and # round magazines,
        and the next Adam Lanza or Omar Mateen takes out a bunch of people – what do you do next ?

        In Australia, a fairly rigid set of gun laws, combined with confiscation, nearly ended mass shootings, but had negligable effect on mass killings – and mass murder by arson shot up.

        Is that your definition of success ?

      • Jay permalink
        July 1, 2016 6:04 pm

        Your Australia comments are exaggerated and inconsequential.

        The arson homicide rate, which was small to start, was still a small percentage of mass killings after the raise, and determined as statistically insignificant by researchers (5 arson mass killings a year over a 20 year period). And except for one incident where 15 people were killed in a hostel fire, the majority of cases involved one victim, where the offender knew the victim.

        And I don’t think there were any drive bye arson attacks reported.

      • Jay permalink
        July 1, 2016 6:14 pm

        “nearly ended mass shootings, but had negligable effect on mass killings – and mass murder by arson shot up.”

        It had neglible effect on other then gun mass killings because it was statistically insignificient before and after the new gun laws.

        A quick Google search of the mass murder time line:
        In the last 20 years 12 victims were killed by three male sexual sadists , 5 members of the same family in a blunt instrument attack, 8 young children who were stabbed to death by their mother. I think an irate truck driver also smashed his vehicle into a home or store to kill half a dozen people, but I’m not sure when that one occurred.

        And this:
        “The most positive benefit in Australia during the last 20 years of the new gun laws, aside from the fact there have been no mass gun murders in Australia during that time, is the drastic drop homicide and suicide fell overall also, Simon Chapman of the University of Sydney and colleagues wrote.

        And this:
        “Total intentional gun deaths fell by half in the decade after the 1996 restrictions were put in place, even as Australia’s population grew nearly 14 per cent. The rate of gun suicides per 100,000 people dropped 65 per cent from 1995 to 2006, and the rate of gun homicides fell 59 per cent, according to a 2010 study by Andrew Leigh of Australian National University and Christine Neill of Wilfrid Laurier University.”

  8. permalink
    June 16, 2016 8:30 am

    “The extremists among us could do worse than to follow his example.”

    Well said. But that comment, and the name of this blog, are the critical obstacles. Because at the end of the day, this had nothing to do with Islam, nothing to do with guns, nothing to do with LGBT.

    It was all about extremism.

    And all of the other fingers pointing were simply rationalizations, by yet other extremists. And the whole point about extremists, is that logic doesn’t penetrate.

    This is what obstructs moderatism; to be moderate means to seriously consider ideas. It does not mean to agree with them, just to consider them.

    Everyone claims to open minded, to be intelligent, to be honest. But they won’t even consider other ideas. That’s the problem we face, those of us who read here, the whole country, and the world.

    Keep trying, though.

    • Priscilla permalink
      June 16, 2016 9:27 am

      Bookscrounger, I do think that all of us, even those who are moderate, often have a particular narcissism about our own point of view. It’s sort of a moral certitude, really ~ “I know best, because I know what I know”.

      And it holds us back from considering certain ideas; to wit, gun control advocates believe that banning certain guns, or all guns, or certain types of ammo, will end gun violence. They believe this, in spite of massive evidence to the contrary. Those who believe that this is about Islamism (not Islam), and the need to defeat it, tend to ignore the fact that many 21st century Jihadis are American citizens, who possess the right to purchase guns, and they resist the idea that we need to restrict that right for some, because they believe that it means restricting it for all.

      And once we are animated by strongly held beliefs (reinforced by powerful narratves), as opposed to ideas, we can become stuck in that mindset.

      Ron has noted another problem of moderatism (I’m not sure that it IS an “ism”, but I’ll go with it), which is that democracy gives us the leaders that we choose. And our leaders have chosen extremism, on both sides.

      Any ideas? Bueller? Bueller?

      • permalink
        June 17, 2016 7:16 am


        There is much to your comments.

        Terrorism from radical Islam is a problem, but it is overwhelmingly a problem in the Islamic countries; terrorism in the United States is overwhelmingly created by Christians (or at least nominal Christians). My point is what I said: it’s not Islam or Christianity, it’s extremism, and extremism will rationalize with whatever ideology is handy.

        And America has more guns than Americans, and our gun violence data blow away the rest of the world. No, that doesn’t mean that stripping away the 2nd Amendment will solve those problems. But there are many on the left who have no problems with gun ownership; there many on the right who support reasonable limits (actually everyone, no one thinks private citizens should own bazookas). But extremism doesn’t want us to talk about these things.

        The NRA doesn’t represent gun owners nearly so much as gun manufacturers. Which brings up, I suppose, free market extremists. And that gives me an idea for a future blog post…

    • Jay permalink
      June 16, 2016 10:07 am

      “at the end of the day, this had nothing to do with Islam, nothing to do with guns, nothing to do with LGBT.”

      It had to do with all three.

      Are you asleep at the reality wheel?

      Your assessment is equivalent to saying the American Revolution had nothing to do with England, nothing to do with the Boston Tea Party, nothing to do with NTWR ( No Taxation Without Representation).

      Events like Orlando are the results of the sum of their parts. Your assessment is like a one-legged stool, precariously balanced on one shaky leg.

      • Priscilla permalink
        June 16, 2016 1:38 pm

        “It had to do with all three.”

        Hell, yeah, Jay! And your American Revolution example is excellent.

        I feel as if people who “oppose” gun control are often misunderstood on this point. In my case,anyway, what I oppose is more of the same gun control that has never worked in the past and is likely unconstitutional. I know that there are some who will say that that is too right-wing a position, but I have serious concerns about the freedoms that Americans are being asked to give up as it is. And, I am deeply persuaded by those who ask how preventing law-abiding people from purchasing guns is going to do anything about the millions of guns (and millions of rounds of ammo) currently out there in private hands. There are better ways, some of which you and I discussed in the last thread, but the time to discuss them and to vote on them is not during a time of high emotion and anger.

        But, anyway, great comment.

      • permalink
        June 17, 2016 7:21 am


        I apologize in advance, but I think your response is what I’m talking about. “Are you asleep at the reality wheel?” is confrontational, and disrespectful of my opinions, and of me as well. It strongly suggests that you refuse to consider my viewpoints, for no other reason than they disagree with yours.

        I can’t see how summary dismissal of my ideas isn’t extremism. But I’m often wrong. I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on it.

    • July 1, 2016 2:11 pm

      No it is not about extremism. It is about broken people with miserable lives or are prepared to kill alot of people, who latch on to some belief or other to justify their actions.

    • July 1, 2016 2:20 pm

      Why do you presume that your oppinion is entitled to respect ? Or even that you are ?

      I am not trying to be nasty. I am making a point.

      Respect is not a right. It is earned. My oppinions are not entitled to your respect, nor are yours mine.

      How is your claimed entitlement to respect for your oppinion different from the extremism you eschew ?

      Why can we not call a stupid idea – STUPID ?

      This is another of my grevances with so called moderates.

      The left has some how sold us that the absence of absolute truth means everything is equal.

      Is that so ? Is genocide another valid oppinion ?

      If your oppinion is entitled to respect – why not that of those you call extremists ?

      We do not need absolute truth to have absolute falsity.
      We do not need absolute truth to know that all ideas and oppinions are NOT equal.

      Whatever your argument – build that argument on some foundation, some common human principles that we all or nearly all share.

      What distinguishes your views from the extremists you eschew ?

      I am EXTREMELY opposed to canabalism, human sacrifice and torture – does that mean I am immune to logic ?

  9. June 16, 2016 10:19 am

    Bookscrounger (and Priscilla and Jay): Yes, extremism is almost always a destructive force. But there were plenty of other factors at play in the Orlando massacre (which is why I analyzed the individual components). As a “radical” moderate, I’m often a little self-righteous in touting my own beliefs… but at least I read both left-wing and right-wing publications, so I’m exposing myself to the views of others and not simply preaching from an airtight chamber.

    • June 20, 2016 7:21 pm

      Extremism is in the eye of the beholder. There are many who believe that if you don’t wholeheartedly swallow all of there PC crap, you are a bigot and a hater. Think trannies are gross? You are a hater.

      Nonsense. Its just a reaction, not an action.

      Now, if your religion calls others “infidels” and endorses violence as a response to any “slight” real or imagined, well, you get my vote for the extremism label.

    • July 1, 2016 2:21 pm

      extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!

      • Jay permalink
        July 1, 2016 5:32 pm

        That depends on who is defining liberty and moderation. You seem to think you’re the arbiter of those terms.

  10. Jay permalink
    June 16, 2016 1:52 pm

    The Law of Violent Gun Death:
    Less Guns = Less Deaths

    Guns, legal and illegal, have to be MUCH less AVAILABLE.

    • Priscilla permalink
      June 16, 2016 2:07 pm

      Eh, I think there are more variables. Look at Switzerland. I don’t know if there is any country in the world that has the gun culture that the US has. And there is still the matter of the 2nd Amendment. I’m fine with people wanting to abolish it, because that’s an honest position, and one that can be argued in good faith. But, when it comes to American law, the Constitution should be the guiding document.

      • Jay permalink
        June 16, 2016 2:57 pm

        Of course I have great respect for the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

        But we have to put them in historical perspective. The constitution is 229 years old. The life the framers led, their framework of reference, is far removed from our own. This is particularly aplicable to the 2nd Amendment, written at a time when the guns in question were single-shot muzzle-loading muskets, and when individual ‘self-protection’ was necessary because there were few if any organized polices forces, and no national Armed Forces to protect the citizenry from Indians, Pirates, and other criminal maurauders.

        In our time all that has changed. We need gun laws that reflect our reality, not a nation of citizen militias in leg-stockings, waistcoats, cocked-brimmed hats, and muskets that took 20 seconds to reload and fire a single shot.

      • June 16, 2016 4:56 pm

        Jay. Sorry to butt into your conversation with Priscilla, but if we open the 2nd amendment up for changes in technologies, then we need to change a number of amendments. The 4th to reflect the electronic nature of information to day compared to pencil and paper in 1776. The 6th were we now have trials taking place years after the crime was committed compared to days after the crime in 1776. The 1st where standing on the corner or writing something in a paper was communication in 1776, while communicating with millions on the internet is common now. could a red coat in 1776 communicate instantly with a soldier hundreds of miles away instantly like a terrorist can today?

        I’m with Priscilla. If you want gun laws, then change the constitution as that is the document that all laws should be based. But if you use technologies as the reason, then change the whole damn thing to reflect all technologies, including everyone smart phones that allows government to monitor everyone’s conversation because in 1776 freedom of speech was not private like it is today. It was vocal on the streets or in print for everyone to read.

    • June 16, 2016 4:46 pm

      Jay, the result of tighter gun laws might go deeper than the law itself. Are the German people as divided as we are politically? Are their politicians owned by special interest groups like the NRA or Unions?Before the terrorist begin immigrating to Europe, were the extremes on the left and right as extreme as they are in America? Is the family structure in Germany as fragmented as it is in America that leads to sociopathic behaviors in some young males? Is the fact that east Germans who lived under communism until the late 80’s a factor that allows them to be more accepting of a central government compared to our historical views that government comes from the people and rights and freedoms can only be taken away by government compared to their thinking that rights come from the government (ie gun privileges earned to own a gun)?

      Our form of government is completely different for most other countries. The bill of rights separate us for all others. When we compare ourselves to other countries when it comes to laws, we also need to compare ourselves to other countries as it pertains to government involvement in personal lives. Remember it has only been 70 years since Germans became a democracy of sorts, while we have been that for 140 years and longer if you look at the people that wanted a democracy before declaring independence.

      • Jay permalink
        June 16, 2016 6:01 pm

        Our form of government doesn’t seem that different from Canada’s…Mostly an English speaking, European descendent nation, like ours.

        They don’t have a Bill of Rights, yet seem to have as much Liberty as we do.

        They don’t have an absolute right to own guns, yet their domestic tranquility surpasses ours, and the people can own reasonable weapons for self protection.

        Abortion in Canada is legal at any point in a woman’s pregnancy for any reason, and is governed by the Canada Health Act, but we don’t see large numbers of incensed religious Christians there burning down abortion clinics. Or picketing them 24/7.

        And universal health care hasn’t bankrupted the country or driven it into 3rd World poverty.

        So why have we ended up so messed up, but they more or less remain on an even keel?

      • June 16, 2016 11:48 pm

        Jay you are asking basically the same question that I asked about the Germans. I can only guess (and this is a huge guess) that it has to do with the way our country was formed from radicals that wanted to break away from the mother country. Remember, Canada did not fully break away from the British empire until 1982 under the Canada Act of 1982. This act ended the necessity for the Canada to request some proposed amendments to their Constitution to be approved by the British parliament. It also ended the “request and consent” provisions of the Statute of Westminster 1931 in relation to Canada, whereby the British parliament had a general power to pass laws extending to Canada at its own request. The Personal Union (bilateral monarchy )between Canada and the United Kingdom has yet to end. Could that be why Canada has basically the same national health program as Britian?

        As for this country and why we do not have a national health program provided by the government, check out some websites about unions and national health programs. You will find the unions fought against this because health insurance after WW2 was a huge benefit unions were winning for their members and did not want government infringing on this benefit.

      • Priscilla permalink
        June 16, 2016 7:12 pm

        I don’t really know that much about Canada, really, they never seem to complain about much, other than about Americans not knowing much about them, lol.

        But, the point, I think, is that every democratic nation has a constitution that forms the framework of its legal system. Once the government starts to routinely ignore that framework, there is likely to be trouble. We’ve been headed in that direction for some time, and it may be the reason that we are so messed up right now. It’s like being on a road trip without a map (or a GPS). The Second Amendment was put into the Bill of Rights for a reason and it specifically gives American citizens a right to bear arms. If that right is to be abridged or repealed, it needs to be done constitutionally.

        And, I think that is where the animosity comes from ~ gun control advocates don’t think that they can get what they want, what they believe is needed, through the constitutional process, so they try doing end runs around it. Gun rights advocates see that and fear the worst, that is, if one right can be taken away like that, they all can . So they dig in, and won’t budge an inch.

        Honesty is the best policy. Repeal the Second Amendment, or write gun control legislation that is consistent with it. Of course, finding an honest politician, on either side, is gonna be the hard part.

      • Jay permalink
        June 16, 2016 7:50 pm

        “it specifically gives American citizens a right to bear arms.”

        Priscilla, it specifically gives American citizens a right to bear arms in State Militias. That is what the amendment clearly says. Future judges widened the meaning, concluding it included the right of individual citizen to own them for self protection. The courts INTERPRETED the amendment other then it was intended by the founders.

        It doesn’t say “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms FOR PRIVATE USE AND PROTECTION, shall not be infringed.”

        If that’s what they meant, they would have said so. The constitution doesn’t have to be rewritten: the SCOTUS interpretations have to be rewritten to reflect the original intent – to allow the people to arm in regulated State Militias, not as individual militias armed to the teeth with military style weapons. And then we could enact sensible gun regulation, like most other sane industrial democracies.

      • Priscilla permalink
        June 16, 2016 9:19 pm

        I agree that the Second Amendment is up for interpretation, but the Supreme Court has ruled more than once, as have other federal courts, that citizens have the right to own guns for protection.

        I guess my question is this. Do we, as a nation, have the resources and/or the will to confiscate upwards of 300 million guns that are currently out there? And do we want to make criminals out of law-abiding people by mandating that they turn over their semi-automatic weapons, and having many, if not most of them, simply refuse? That’s already happening with mandatory gun registration in NY; people just are not registering their guns, because they don’t trust the government.

        In many ways, it mirrors the illegal immigration debate, in which many ask how it would be possible to deport millions of people, even if we wanted to.

        I don’t have the answers, Jay. We’ve got pretty sensible gun legislation now, and it’s not working. People like Omar Mateen, whose background check should have raised a hundred red flags, got a license to carry guns and guard federal buildings. Maybe we could start by tightening up that system?

      • June 17, 2016 12:03 am

        Priscilla, I can tell you from personal information that there would be millions owing illegal weapons, even if only the semi automatic weapons were confiscated. My brother-in-law, a red neck born and raised southern extremist bought 3 of these weapons when Obama was elected, because :Obama was going to take way his guns over his cold dead body. And I hear him firing off these things 2-3 times a month and he must waste a paycheck in just a few minutes on ammo. (Yes we live on large open country land where shooting is heard on most every weekend in all directions)

      • June 16, 2016 11:55 pm

        And that is exactly the point of contention in America. You point out the liberal interpretation of the 2nd amendment and Priscilla and other judges have interpreted this in the conservative interpretation.

        And once again, do not overlook the power of the NRA in buying legislators. The NRA no longer is the National Rifleman’s Association that was their to support hunters and provide gun safety training programs. It is nothing more than a special interest lobby that raises billions and spends billions getting their candidates elected and reelected. Joe Manchin found out the hard way what happens when you go against their teachings, even though he had a 100% rating from them before trying to get the gun show loophole plugged.

    • June 20, 2016 7:22 pm

      You think the NY Times has an agenda on gun control? You bet they do.

    • July 1, 2016 2:23 pm

      Bzzt wrong,

      Less Guns != Less death.

      That is called a logical error.

      The nazi’s killed people with posion gas.

      In Scottland they have an extremely high rate of violence relative to other predominantly white ethic groups – using knives.

  11. Priscilla permalink
    June 17, 2016 9:14 am

    I continue to believe that the gun control issue has become dangerously polarizing and should be debated, not immediately after a high-profile atrocity, but when cooler minds are prevailing (yes, these days, that’s probably never ~ but we need to ask that question too).

    As far as the Orlando attack (and I will continue to call it an attack, not a tragedy, because tragedy implies lack of motive) it was the worst since 9/11 Yet, after 9/11, Americans came together. And now, even a terrorist attack can’t bring us together. Omar Mateen used a gun, but the Tsarnaev brothers used nails and pressure cookers, and the San Bernadino killers had pipe bombs. All of them were Islamist militants, jihadis. Yet our response now, is not to draw together as a nation, but to immediately start blaming guns and Christians.

    This seems to be the norm now ~ politicize every disaster, atrocity or attack. If we can’t unite against an ideology as barbaric as radical Islam, what are the chances that we will prevail against it?

    • June 17, 2016 11:06 am

      Priscilla, just as I have suggested to Jay that acceptance of gun control laws in other countries may be rooted in something far deeper than the 2nd amendment, I ask if you do not believe our polarization on all issues is not rooted in something far deeper than someones knowledge on each issue. Cooler minds are being controlled by some force other than knowledge.

      I offer for discussion that fear is the underlying cause of our polarization. And this fear, such as fear of losing gun ownership rights if a minor law regulating high capacity clips passes, is rooted in our political system where support is garnered, not by offering positive changes, but by divide and conquer policies used by our politicians to maintain a career and their party support.

      • July 1, 2016 2:32 pm

        Why do we want more stupid laws ?

        The gun clips are by far the easiest part of any weapon to fabricate.

        It you ban 30 round clips all that you will do is assure tha law abiding people do not have thirty round clips.

        I do not personally care much about thirty round clips one way or the other.

        But I do care alot about STUPID laws.
        And I think that people who rush to ban things without any sane rational basis are either stupid or evil and in both cases dangerous.

        Always remember whatever laws you make must be enforced – that means taking someone else’s property, their freedom or their lives should they resist.

        Are you prepared to see people killed by police over 30 round magazines ?

        Eric Garner is dead because he refused to obey laws prohibiting the sale of Loose Cigarette’s

        Freddy Gray is dead because he had a pocket knife with a blade that Might had been a millimeter over the legal length in Baltimore.

        Randy weaver saw his dogs, his son, his child, his wife and his friend killed in front of him because he shortened the barrel of a shotgun.

        Are you prepared to kill people over this.

      • Jay permalink
        July 1, 2016 6:22 pm

        “It you ban 30 round clips all that you will do is assure tha law abiding people do not have thirty round clips.”

        And zoning laws prohibiting from citizens from erecting reinforced bomb shelters on their fron laws should be thrown out because citizens have the right to protect themselves from bombs and meteorites.

      • July 1, 2016 2:40 pm

        What if we passed a law that said no one can say “N#gg#r” ?

        It is only a small infringement on free speech – no one would actually be hurt.
        We could probably get a majority of people to favor such a law.

        The legitimacy of law does not rest on the will of the majority.
        It does not rest on the small scale of its infringement on our rights.

        It does nto rest on whether it makes society more pleasant or amicable.

        A law is legitimate when it secures our rights. Not when it reduces them.

      • July 1, 2016 3:44 pm

        Yeah we could pass that law and it would be as effective as a gun control law.

      • Jay permalink
        July 1, 2016 6:27 pm

        “A law is legitimate when it secures our rights. Not when it reduces them.”

        Another sweeping generalization based on subjective interpretation.

        Are 55 mph speeding laws that restrict the right of drivers to race at 90 mph on city streets illegitimate?

      • July 5, 2016 12:30 pm

        I like the way your mind works, John Say. Thanks for your contributions–you give voice to many of my concerns, and have a similar attitude toward our out-of-control lawmakers.

    • Jay permalink
      June 17, 2016 12:27 pm

      The gun issue isn’t limited to terrorist attacks, Priscilla – the gun death toll in Chicago alone this year is multiples of the Orlando fatalities

      There’s too many damn guns in our country, and the number continues to rise astronomically. If you leave too many boxes of matches laying around, fires accidental and intentional are certain to increase.

      • June 20, 2016 7:23 pm

        And the gun control laws in Chicago are among the strictest. How is that working for them?

      • Jay permalink
        June 20, 2016 7:48 pm

        “Most significantly, it is important to understand that Chicago is not an island. Although Chicago has historically had strict gun laws, laws in the surrounding parts of Illinois were much laxer — enabling middlemen to supply the criminals in Chicago with guns they purchased elsewhere. Forty three percent of the guns seized by law enforcement in Chicago were originally purchased in other parts of Illinois. And even if the state had stricter gun laws, Illinois is not an island either. The remaining fifty seven percent of Chicago guns all came from out of state, most significantly from nearby Indiana and distant Mississippi — neither of which are known for their strict gun laws.”

        Read the full article and you’ll see Chicago is a sieve when it comes to preventing the flow of illegal guns into the city.

        We should limit the number of guns individuals can own, and the amount of ammunition they can stockpile for those weapons.

      • July 1, 2016 2:51 pm

        Chicago has some of the strictest gun control laws in the country.
        And some of the highest rates of violence.
        I am not aware of a single AR-15 incident in Chicago.

        In chicago the rate of non-fatal gunshots is 1.62:100000 for whites – that is 1/10 the murder rate in chicago, and below the national average for murder.
        The rate for hispanics is 28.72:100000 – nearly twice the chicago murder rate and 8 times the national average. The rate for blacks is 112.83:100000 that is nearly ten times the city murder rate and 25 times the national average.

        Chicago in 2015 was the mass shooting capitol of the US – with 18 separate instances in which 4 or more people were killed.
        Memorial day weekend in 2015 Chicago has 66 people killed and over 400 shot.

        And not an AR-15 or 30 round clip in sight.
        No muslim extremists either.
        Nor can mental health be strongly attributed as a cause.

    • Priscilla permalink
      June 17, 2016 10:21 pm

      Ron, I think that that identity politics lies at the heart of our divide and conquer political system, because its whole purpose is to pit groups against each other, and then establish a hierarchy of victimhood. Once politicians have convinced everyone that everyone else is out to get them, it’s mission accomplished. And lobby groups on both sides of every issue pour millions into accomplishing that mission.

      Jay, Chicago is a mess, for sure. And, I assure you that I understand that gun crime is a serious problem in America, and it needs to be addressed honestly and openly, by both sides. I certainly don’t think that it is limited to terrorists. In fact, I am quite sure that terrorists don’t give a rip about gun laws, and that is the reason why the Paris terrorists had Kalishnikovs in a city where they are totally outlawed and have been for years. So, gun control and terrorism are, to me, two separate issues. Actually, that has been a point I’ve been trying to make.

      One of the best ways to get gun laws passed would be to try and get gun owners to support them – better yet, get them to lead the effort. Expanded background checks, training and safety requirements and stricter penalties for straw purchasers would likely be supported by the gun owning community. Prohibiting the sale of true military purpose weapons, requiring gun manufacturers to make semi-automatics almost impossible to modify, even a truly voluntary buyback program and/or amnesty for turning in illegal weapons, as I’ve mentioned before…. there are ways to help the two sides work together. But none of that will happen under the current climate of anger and distrust. And none of it will stop terrorists from obtaining machine gun-style guns.

      • June 17, 2016 11:35 pm

        ” But none of that will happen under the current climate of anger and distrust. ”

        And this will never happen as long as we have extremist on both sides running for president. It is rumored Elizabeth Warren is on Hillary’s short VP list. And who knows who would be stupid enough to jettison a political career to be Trumps VP. Will have to be someone like Christie or Gingrich who have careers already in the trash can.

        No way we could have a more extreme presidential choice than Clinton/Warren V Trump/Christie/Gingrich. And I doubt ever Jesus as Trumps VP would be able to rescue that ticket from defeat.

        So look for another 4-8 years of nothing getting done as the Senate might flip (good chance with Trump at the top of the ticket), but the House most likely will remain GOP. 8 years from now we will still be debating semi auto guns, backgrourd checks, large ammo clips, etc

      • June 20, 2016 9:01 am

        Well reasoned as always, Priscilla. The fact that this murderer was profiled by the FBI and deemed no threat tells me all I need to know about the fed’s ability to keep most of us safe. They can’t (or won’t).

        Ditto the ability to screen folks to be determine whether they should have a gun. If the government had a smidge of credibility or competence, I would support forms of gun control.

        The fact is very few people trust the feds and it has gotten worse (IMHO) during this POTUS’ reign. You would have to be a fool not to realize that this guy and his cronies are intent on flaming division and protecting certain groups that they deem worthy of such.

        I would love to see a reasonable political process unfold. I don’t see that happening. Jay’s comments about civic education are spot on. As I have recounted here, most of my students don’t know who Karl Marx and Adam Smith were.


      • Jay permalink
        June 20, 2016 11:14 am

        I agree, the government and its agencies lack credibility or competence.
        Changing the political party of the president isn’t going to change that.

      • June 20, 2016 12:28 pm

        jb..So right on your thoughts about government. But I have to disagree when you blame POTUS for the incompetence of individuals working for government today. POTUS does not hire incompetent people and allow them to stay in positions they are unqualified for or promote people to a level they can no longer function effectively. From your local DMV office all the way up to and including POTUS, there are people in jobs that should not be there, but are there because government rules on employment do not allow for termination in most respects. The VA problems are not caused by the VA director, they are caused by the individual leadership at each individual healthcare facility. Problems with the FBI not having data on this shooter was not caused by Comey, it was at a much lower level where someone failed in their job(s).

        Failure is not acceptable unless it is in government. And after Obama there will be another POTUS with the same 99.9% of the incompetent government employees working for her.

      • Jay permalink
        June 20, 2016 5:23 pm

        No, Ron – overall the entire work force has the same level of incompetence.

        The US is no different in this respect then the other industrial European democracies, where, generally, the populations are assured of mutual survival at levels of comfort previously known only to the upper classes.

        When basic survival isn’t of uppermost importance, when toys of comfort and amusement define your social status, and not the emptiness of your stomach, what you see now is what you get: overall laxity of focus and purpose.

        just saying…

      • June 20, 2016 11:42 pm

        Jay. I can’t argue with your assessment that the total workforce is incompetent. But I still believe that the major problem is hiring people that are qualified for a specific position and then they move to other positions where they finally meet a job they can not perform. In most non-union industries, they will move this person to another position they can perform or they will terminate the employee. That does not seem to happen in government.

      • Priscilla permalink
        June 20, 2016 11:47 am

        We do agree on that, Jay. To the extent that our current political parties are essentially similar in their affinity for ever larger federal budgets and control, it’s hard to argue that one party or the other is more or less competent.

        On the other hand, as pathetic as the GOP has become in representing the conservative values that underlie our system, the Democrats have drifted so far leftward that many of them now regularly attack those values.

        And, it’s also a reason why many support Trump. For better or worse, he represents a major pushback to both parties. And he is being hammered for it.

      • July 1, 2016 2:52 pm

        And what gun control law is going to make the slighest change in Chicago ?

      • July 1, 2016 3:48 pm

        Not any that are on the table today. Maybe if the constitution is changed and no one can own a gun and if they have one it is mandatory life sentence w/o parole, then in 50 years or so maybe most guns will be out of the hands of citizens. But that seems to be extreme to me.

        But Jay seems to think gun control will work. Not me!!!!!

      • July 1, 2016 4:36 pm

        Yes, Jay is firm in his convictions. Most of his ilk are.

      • Jay permalink
        July 1, 2016 5:28 pm

        My ilk? You mean those of us who are centered, reasonable, and not fettered by ideological ideocy?

      • July 1, 2016 5:39 pm

        I have no ideology on this issue. I have no guns to protect nor would I have to give up anything. YOU would have to give you your position, and God knows, you won’t do that.

        If I though gun control worked and we could accommodate an expansion of same within the Second Amendment, I would say so.

        It doesn’t and we can’t.

        How is that for an ideology?

      • Jay permalink
        July 1, 2016 5:30 pm

        Some gun control will work if it reduces the total guns per capita in the US and restricts unlimited access to guns in the future.

      • July 1, 2016 5:40 pm

        Yet, as murder by gun death rates plummet in the face of more registered guns, you keep being proven wrong.

        Don’t you get tired of being wrong?

      • Jay permalink
        July 5, 2016 2:37 pm

        Again – There are other studies that show linkage between Gun Ownership and Higher Rates of Violent Crime:

        Don’t you get tired of burying your head in conservative sand dunes?

      • July 5, 2016 2:40 pm

        Cherry pick you way through life, eh? That is what progressives do.

        Gun ownership up, gun murders down.

        You can’t work you way around that one, can you.

      • Jay permalink
        July 5, 2016 5:51 pm


        Where there are more guns there is more homicide
        “Our review of the academic literature found that a broad array of evidence indicates that gun availability is a risk factor for homicide, both in the United States and across high-income countries.  Case-control studies, ecological time-series and cross-sectional studies indicate that in homes, cities, states and regions in the U.S., where there are more guns, both men and women are at a higher risk for homicide, particularly firearm homicide.”

      • July 5, 2016 5:56 pm

        There no correlation in the US between legal ownership and gun murders. I don’t care if the entire Harvard faculty looks at the data.

        Stats don’t lie, just guys like you with an agenda.

      • Jay permalink
        July 5, 2016 6:16 pm

        Now you’ve hurt my feelings…
        Sob sob sob…

      • July 5, 2016 6:21 pm

        If only you had learned basic statistics, you would not have to feel so inadequate.

      • Jay permalink
        July 5, 2016 5:53 pm

        More Cherries-2
        “Guns in the Home and Risk of a Violent Death in the Home: Findings from a National Study
        Data from a US mortality follow-back survey were analyzed to determine whether having a firearm in the home increases the risk of a violent death in the home and whether risk varies by storage practice, type of gun, or number of guns in the home. Those persons with guns in the home were at greater risk than those without guns in the home of dying from a homicide in the home (adjusted odds ratio = 1.9, 95% confidence interval: 1.1, 3.4). They were also at greater risk of dying from a firearm homicide”

      • July 5, 2016 5:58 pm

        You can use a search engine and pick out studies that you like.

        No one ever thought of that before.

      • Jay permalink
        July 5, 2016 5:56 pm

        Largest Gun Study Ever: More Guns, More Murder
        “The study, by Professor Michael Siegel at Boston University and two coauthors, has been peer-reviewed and is forthcoming in the American Journal of Public Health. Siegel and his colleagues compiled data on firearm homicides from all 50 states from 1981-2010, the longest stretch of time ever studied in this fashion, and set about seeing whether they could find any relationship between changes in gun ownership and murder using guns over time.”

      • Jay permalink
        July 1, 2016 5:25 pm

        Here I am sitting in the dentist wait room, and foolishly I took my tablet with to read more overblown braying from the gun worshiping advocates of NRA holy writ.

        To reduce gun violence in violent cities like Chicago you have to reduce the overall easy availability of guns nationally. Tighter gun regulation won’t deter illegal guns from ending up in the hands of those who shouldn’t possess them if they are local, not national.

        If we can reduce the SUPPLY of guns nationally, legal and illegal, over time we will reduce gun violence: murders, suicide fatalities, accidental gun shootings, etc. will drop. Will it be a significient drop? I don’t know. Let’s try it and see.

      • July 1, 2016 5:36 pm

        I will hand it to you. No evidence will sway you from your belief system. “let’s try it!”

        How about we try something else and see if THAT works. You are a one trick pony.

      • July 1, 2016 10:50 pm

        “if we can reduce the SUPPLY of guns nationally, legal and illegal, over time we will reduce gun violence: murders, suicide fatalities, accidental gun shootings, etc. will drop. Will it be a significant drop? I don’t know. Let’s try it and see.

        Let’s do it.s the 28th amendment to the constitution that limits the number of guns per family /person and bans the production of certain other weapons. And lets see how it works out.

        If they had to pass the 18th amendment to ban alcohol production and sales and alcohol was not even in the bill of rights, then anything that infringes on the 2nd amendment should warrant the same requirement. If it doesn’t work out, then they can pass another amendment like they did with the 21st amendment. No one can argue about rights when the constitution is amended like they can with just a law written by politicians with a political agenda.

  12. June 17, 2016 10:57 am

    Excellent post, R. Bayan. Excellent commentary above! THIS is why I read The New Moderate!

    Maybe about a dozen points made above that I felt needed a rebuttal, but I’m on vacation on a 19th floor overlooking a bay to the horizon…

    …and most of the people during my adventure have been great, which leads me to a point about needed solutions being a cultural renaissance alongside a political renaissance, because

    Yes, we could pass some legislation that could indeed make a positive difference (It sometimes DOES make a difference!)
    and Yes we could better enforce laws already on the books (not always easy to do, but has often been CRUCIAL to our history/survival)

    but long term do we have any chance if we do not produce better quality, more civilized, more wholesome PEOPLE who understand how to maintain quality of life for themselves and others,
    who wouldn’t want to commit crimes…who would rather…

    and many of us are already here because we were produced by a different culture, and we are frustrated, shaking our heads and fearful in this current “post-modern/corporate/mass media culture madhouse” (call it what you want, add factors as you wish)
    that is producing VIOLENT people and wacky turmoil brought to us every day on a screen near you…

    And so it’s not just squishy soft talk to say we need :

    Civics education
    Civic involvement
    Less sports and entertainment as a blinder against education
    Less Mass Media Culture training people to be shallow and over-reactive
    More community
    More Local and less “Absentee Owners”

    Because it’s people pulling the triggers

    And I’m most out of patience with, crappy, ignorant, dangerous, violent people.

    So much work to do… Let’s roll…

    • Jay permalink
      June 17, 2016 12:18 pm

      I agree with almost everything you said, but I don’t think most of it is fixable – not without some national life threatening event like all-out war with the Chinese, or a deadly plague, or an actual invasion of slimy foes from outer space. And even then, who knows if the separate parts of our cracked nation will meld back together in common cause.

      Technology has altered the American psyche, particularly for the Millenial generation, and not necessarily for the better. The common values we shared as Americans post WWII have been shed, like a snake sloughing its skin, by a generation that has substituted virtual reality in the present, abandoning continuity with our past. I’m reminded of the Bob Dylan lyrics:

      “Then time will tell just who has fell
      And who’s been left behind
      When you go your way and I go mine.”

      The new America seems to have gone its way, and my way has been left behind.
      ( hope the pessimistic POV doesn’t spoil your vacation 😐)

      • July 1, 2016 2:59 pm

        Below is the estimated us historical homocide rate.

        In fits and starts the country (and the world) are getting safer and less violent.
        There was not some magic to prior generations.
        They were not better than we are.

        Overall the world and the US are getting measurably better by nearly every single criteria – including every single thing that all of us are so certain are just getting worse.

        How can you be making choices regarding our purported problems, when you are unaware that what you think is getting worse has actually been getting better for a long time.

      • July 1, 2016 3:03 pm


        You will make NO progress with Jay, He ignores valid data in favor of cherry picked conclusions. Just ask him about the Nirvana that is Hawaii and the Hell that is Alaska!

      • July 1, 2016 3:49 pm

        Dave, jay only debates with JB. They have a bromance going!!!

      • July 1, 2016 4:37 pm

        I am a data guy. Ideologues hate data guys,

  13. June 18, 2016 9:57 am

    Hello Jay. Schizophrenically speaking, I have your same pessimistic POV at the very same time that I know most things are fixable! It has become an interesting but troubling existence!

    (I’m not really Schizophrenic.) (Yes you are.)

    Consider Bruegel’s famous painting, “Icarus,” in which Icarus is splashing into the sea as he falls from the sky after flying too close to the sun, and meanwhile the farmer is farming his land and the world goes on…

    The Mass Media has to a significant extent displaced our culture, and the Mass Media has us focused, ad nauseum and to the point of despondency, on Icarus’ tragedy, yet meanwhile so much good is going on…

    Pardon me for repeating that I attended P.O.W. survival training given by a U.S. Marine in which he described how prisoners are best kept at low self-esteem and despondent by a steady diet of bad news: “your country is on the brink of defeat,” “your family is dead,” “nobody cares that you are here in this prison”…

    The &%$*@# “NEWS” does the same thing to us. Every day I see 20-something males in the prime of their physical life walking around with their heads down, glum, despondent…

    I swear we’ve been tricked into subjecting ourselves to psychological warfare.

    And so I’ve been doing something similar to Roby by staying clear of the propaganda and I swear it’s beautiful out here!!

    • Roby permalink
      June 18, 2016 11:30 am

      Hear Hear Pat.

      We all need to put this politically partisan ax grinding down and walk away from the brainwashing. The only difference between a cult like Scientology and the left and right ideological cultures/media is size.

      My wife and I celebrated our anniversary among other things by visiting a tea room/restaurant that friends of ours built on their rural land outside a small college town. I expected a slightly depressing well-meaning failure, instead it turns out that they built something beyond all belief, a fantastic building built by one man, alone. a true craftsman the highest possible level of craftsmanship and taste, they are of German extraction and very detail oriented and particular, they recreated something European. The food, was absolutely the highest level as well. That is what people can do when they focus on their own lives and disconnect from the incessant ideological propaganda.

      Meanwhile our local Mennenite sect is prospering and seems to be expanding, They have all kinds of businesses in our area and all of them, like my friends’ tea room, are run at a level of quality that is high and sometimes stunning its unbelievably attractive and refreshing. I know for a fact that they are not wasting their lives reading political propaganda, they work like crazy, and seem to be the sweetest, happiest, most productive and harmonious people you would meet.

      We all need some of that culture, and it is an much older culture, not the modern $#@^.

      • June 18, 2016 1:47 pm

        Yes, Roby, amazing what one person or a few people working together can accomplish! A toast to the healthy balance of turning away from the onslaught &*^%$$ ! without completely sticking one’s head in the proverbial sand! (staying informed at a safe distance, without the tin foil!) 🙂

      • Priscilla permalink
        June 20, 2016 9:49 am

        Well, I’ll be the grinch here…..

        A Mennonite community tucked away in rural Vermont, building tea rooms and living in harmony with its neighbors is one thing.

        A Somali community, creating an insular community in Minneapolis-St Paul – known colloquially as “Little Mogadishu” – is quite another. There have been many cases of Somalis in Minnesota refusing to assimilate in very simple ways, such as cashiers not ringing up pork products ( I would guess that their bakers would not make a gay wedding cake, but I don’t think that anyone has asked). A number of surveys have found that a vast majority of Somalis living in Minnesota have indicated a strong preference for sharia over American law, and ISIS maintains a strong recruiting presence in their community.

        So, how do we deal with this obvious breeding ground for terrorism? And what do we do in the event that a terrorist from this community obtains a gun and kills a lot of people in the name of Allah? Blame it on lack of gun control?

        I suppose my actual question to you two is this – how does ignoring this sort of stuff and focusing on the good things, make the bad go away? I try to be an optimist, but I lean towards pessimism here.

      • Roby permalink
        June 22, 2016 9:11 am

        “I suppose my actual question to you two is this – how does ignoring this sort of stuff and focusing on the good things, make the bad go away?”

        How does my paying attention to Somalis and possibly Islamists in Minnesota make that problem go away? First I’d have to try to decide if its a real problem or a Washington Times/Fox news problem. That would take me many, many hours of digging and my answer might still be wrong. Just wasted time I could not invest in my music. And there still would be nothing I can do about it. They have the FBI for this, I leave it to them. I worry more about the homegrown non-Islamic loons who are vastly more numerous if not so easily pictured. Why doesn’t Fox/WT worry more about them? Because its not their audience and ideology. What Jay says about the @nd amendment is my opinion as well. I invest my worry in that issue, too many guns too much fire power too easily available too many loons of every sort, even many with no ideology, just FUBAR with easy access to weapons that can kill by the dozen.

        I once stopped something called 4/20 day (a public pot fest) at UVM by being very devious and inviting the media to come to their once a year pot smoke in on Hitler’s birthday as If I were one of the stoners. The resulting media fury forced the semi hippy University president to stop saying that nothing could be done about 4/20 day. In fact it made the Trustees realize that something had to be done about the useless lefty president and she soon left. I then wrote about the University and all of its little hippy radicals (who invited Ward Churchill to speak after 911) in something called the Dwinell Sternberg report. All the legislators got that report and were not amused by the UVM follies It was my response to the entire situation of UVM having a vocal but tiny group of marxist profs and students who made the entire enterprise look as if it were infested completely with left-wing nuts. But that was local and I had access to a lever to push with. Everyone is entitled to one guerilla war in their lifetime and mine was spent well. But Somalis in Minnesota? I’m supposed to worry them away? My time is much better invested in family, home, music and finding positive models. I remain solid in my desire to know as little as possible about the news and politics in my golden years. Done my time.

        My chief worry today? The brazen deer are coming right up to my porch in the early morning and eating our Hostas. Gotta do something about that.

      • June 22, 2016 12:11 pm

        Roby, so here is something to solve your deer problem. Much easier than solving problems created by humans in Washington D.C.

        Liquid Fence Deer and Rabbit repellent. comes in a gallon spray container. Made from eco friendly ingredients like rotten eggs, garlic, potassium, etc,etc. Can be sprayed directly on plants (not covering them but just a squirt or two across the plant to get the smell on it) and it will last a week or so unless it rains, then it has to be redone. My wife puts up wire around her garden, places cloth ties about an inch wide and 4-5 inches long hanging down about
        6 -8 ft apart and sprays them with the repellent and the deer stay clear of her garden. Their senses are so keen they only have to get a few feet from it and they leave.

        Try it and see if they get discouraged. I have hostas around the trees in the front yard and one or two sprays sends them off to other grazing points and once their feeding habits change, .then I usually don’t need to spray the rest of the growing season.

      • Roby permalink
        June 22, 2016 3:02 pm

        Great! Thanks Ron, you are correct so much easier than society’s problems. Boggles my mind that they must be coming right up to the house though (like candidates sometimes, is there a candidate-be-gone spray I can get at Agway?)

    • July 1, 2016 3:05 pm

      Thank you Pat.

      We need to accurately grasp that all the time in nearly every way, our country and our world is getting better – not worse.

      We are constantly getting ever more bad news.

      I recently read something else.

      The great depression permanently psychologically scarred a generation of us.
      Our ability to take risks, engage in entrepeneurship make wise fiscal choices that involved risk was reduced for decades.

      This may be one (of many) factors in the current great recession.

      I do not think it is so much that what happened was so severe – we have recovered well and quickly from worse before.
      But that it came as such a surprise at a time when we had convinced ourselves that we had solved the problems of cyclic economies.
      The recovery is also lethargic because we have looked to government (as we did in the great depression) not our selves for the answers.

  14. June 18, 2016 10:04 am

    The link above should take you to Bruegal’s “Icarus”. Icarus’s leg is visible just in front of the wooden sailing vessel. Hard to see in the context, or the “grand scheme of things,” but how about if we had a zillion cameras filming that leg and broadcasting it…then how would our perception of the scene change????

  15. June 20, 2016 8:53 am

    Really, gun control will work. Crazed muslims will be denied the only way that can main and kill.

    • Jay permalink
      June 20, 2016 10:15 am

      Therefore Paul Revere should have avoided warning of an invasion by land because the British could be coming by sea as well.

      Would you offer the same insipid advice to Airport Security to ignore confiscating guns because terrorists could just as easily plant bombs in their luggage?

      And how about ignoring teenaged drive by shooters spraying automatic gun fire on city streets because, you know, they could just as easily become drive by pressure cooker tossers…

      • Priscilla permalink
        June 20, 2016 10:04 pm

        But JB isn’t suggesting that we ignore guns or gun violence. He’s saying that Islamists will kill people by any means necessary.

        Guns do not cause terrorism. It’s a distinction that would seem unnecessary to make, except that so many people are out there saying it.

      • Jay permalink
        June 21, 2016 12:17 am

        Agreed, guns don’t cause terrorism.

        Neither do matches cause pyromania, but we do what we can to keep them away from pyromaniacs. And other fire making implements away from them as well. And away from children, who may harm themselves or others.

        That doesn’t mean we outlaw matches, or cigarette lighters, but we don’t leave blowtorches laying around within easy reach, or dump truckloads of matches in parks and along hiking trails. Like everything else, balance is the operative perspective.

      • June 21, 2016 8:28 am

        Nice try. My point is obvious. If you believe that gun control will reduce murders, you have little data on your side. So, if you are a progressive, you simply retort: “we need MORE gun control!”

        Clearly, we don’t have gun control, we have gun laws. We also have immigration laws, but we don’t have immigration control. Passing laws and being able to enforce them are two very different things.

        So, my point is that this is what pols do. They pass a law and pat themselves on the back. Problem solved.

        Not so fast. We passed two blanket immigration amnesty laws in the US and were assured each time that the border would be secured.

        Ah, well, how did that work out?

        Gun laws clearly don’t “control” buns. Perhaps, immigration control and monitoring might also save lives?


      • Priscilla permalink
        June 21, 2016 8:47 am

        Jay, your analogy started off pretty well, and then devolved. We have federal and state gun laws, some very strict, for the purpose of keeping guns out of the wrong hands.

        But, I will point out a few things that you likely already know. Like immigration laws, gun laws are very often not enforced, and some are unenforceable, given our current government resources and priorities. Background checks will not be effective, if people like Omar Mateen can pass them.

        Cities like Chicago have a relatively small population responsible for an enormous number of gun homicides. Identifying and keeping guns out of the hands of these people is literally critical, but law enforcement efforts have not been encouraged.

        The term “assault weapon” is, as gun owners constantly complain, not well-defined or understood. The term is effective because it frightens people, but , if we’re to have a rational debate about what will prevent gun violence, we need to stop whipping people up into a frenzy of hate and fear ~ something we are often told is what we must avoid when discussing Islamic extremism, but seems to be a-ok when talking guns.

        Statistics, damn statistics and lies. We have less gun violence overall today, according to almost every study. ( I would link a few, but would end up in moderation.) So why is the narrative that gun violence is ever increasing, when the opposite is true?

      • June 21, 2016 8:55 am

        Indeed, Iowa has virtually no gun laws to speak of. I can buy a very potent gun of any kind within 24 hours with virtually no questions asked.

        Gun murders? Usually among the lowest rates in the country. One state over, we have Illinois. Check out the murder rates.

        Clearly, it isn’t the guns, is it?

      • July 1, 2016 3:08 pm

        I would completely eliminate the TSA and return flight security to the airline where it belongs.

        Do you really think the TSA is effective at anything ?

        They collect tons of water and soda every day at every airport – do you think that makes us safer ?

        Every airline attack since 9/11 has been thwarted by passengers in the plane.

      • Jay permalink
        July 2, 2016 1:17 am

        “I would completely eliminate the TSA and return flight security to the airline where it belongs.”

        Pay attention. I said Airport Security not TSA security.
        And your suggestion to have the airlines handle security is brilliant – I wonder why none of the world’s major nations are doing that. And I certainly would feel better flying out of LAX with five or six different security teams watching out for my safety.

  16. June 20, 2016 6:18 pm

    Priscilla, I think I hear you asking something specific and something general. In general you may be asking the media-boycotting, left-streaked “optimists” here at TNM something to the effect of: “Well it’s all very nice to look away from problems, but what about the problems????” I think you are also asking us shiny happy people what we would propose specifically about the threat from unassimilated Somali enclaves (and other unassimilated groups) in the U.S.

    Well first in general you probably know this already but I’ll say it just in case: I’m not pretending problems don’t exist; but I am no longer willing to subject myself (interesting connotation to being a “subject”) to the steady diet of problems from the propaganda outlets. I can be much more effective holding together my little corner of society when I’m living a balanced life rather than getting caught up in things I can’t control, and I can’t be very balanced and healthy swept up into the constant onslaught of “News”. If everybody would help hold together their little corners of society….

    Specifically about unassimilated groups in the U.S…Yes this is a problem. As a nation we have become TOO TOLERANT and TOO SOFT. I grew up in a world where we felt compelled to remedy a situation in which an American flag was raised at night without a light on it, and taking the flag down and folding it when it was raining, and as a child not addressing an adult by their first name unless they gave permission (It was “Thank you Mr. Smith,” not “Thanks, Mike…” There exists a common sense, moderate ground between strict, rigid cultural conformity on one hand and overly-tolerant, anything goes chaos on the other hand.

    What can we do about such groups? My ideas are likely too radical for the mainstream. Maybe I can at least condense them.

    • June 21, 2016 8:23 am

      A big AMEN to you on this one,brother!

    • Priscilla permalink
      June 21, 2016 9:15 am

      Pat, I don’t think that you – or Roby, for that matter – pretend that problems don’t exist. Not at all.

      There is a strong tendency among people to deny things that create a cognitive dissonance. Preserving one’s beliefs in the face of conflicting or non-existing evidence is common. In particular, we tend to look the other way when the solutions to problems seem objectionable or unwanted.

      One of the things I like about the discussions on this blog is that we go there. “There” being the uncomfortable and unwanted debates. And, sometimes, after being “there” for a while, we need to take a break. So, I get that. In fact, I need one now. Which works out well, because I’ll be away at the beach for a few days……

  17. June 21, 2016 8:22 am

    “As for this country and why we do not have a national health program provided by the government, check out some websites about unions and national health programs. You will find the unions fought against this because health insurance after WW2 was a huge benefit unions were winning for their members and did not want government infringing on this benefit.”

    Many who long for a “national health system” assume that trade-offs simply disappear under that system. They do not. Before we laud these systems (Canada, UK, etc.) we should acknowledge that they have trade-offs many would fine unacceptable. In fact, for most in those countries, these trade-offs ARE unacceptable but there is little to do but bear it or leave.

    Be careful what you wish for.

  18. June 21, 2016 12:48 pm

    Very interesting dialog. Pat talking about holding up their little corner of the world and not letting the propaganda outlets spoil their life. Jay talking about more gun control. JB countering that with facts that shows gun controls don’t work. Priscilla offering information that somewhat supports jb’s position on gun control, but in some respects from a different angle.

    Over the past couple weeks listening to the campaign news, news from Orlando, news from the DOJ and my local news, I’m with Pat. I can’t do a damn thing about anything other than my little corner of the world. I am only one of about 120 million people that will vote this year. And when the largest percentage of those do not believe the same as I do(on both sides), then there is little I can do to change things. Once upon a time I was in the majority or in a large minority, but not any more. That was back when more moderates controlled government and when those on the fringes would come together and compromise to achieve something positive. (ie Senator Moynihan/Reagan administration on social security reform)

    We, at TNM, can discuss issues and we can be close to agreement on some issues. In fact, I think if people like us all sat down for a meal and drinks (any kind you wanted), we most likely could come to agreement on what could be done that might solve a few of the problems this country faces. You will never achieve perfection in anything, but not doing anything is failure. WD 40 was not invented in one try. It took 40 different formulas and 39 unsuccessful results to achieve what the chemical company was trying to invent. If you pass a law and it does not work, amend the law to address the loopholes that might exist.

    But since our government leaders that are well paid by taxpayers and well reimbursed by lobbyist find it much more convenient to act like spoiled brats that argue constantly, somethings verging on being the bully that the kids hate than to come together and provide positive answers, it is time for people like myself to stop worrying about what is going on nationally and worry about my little plot of land and my family. I have identified what is important to me and my family and everything else is superficial.

    I have no influence whatsoever on anything else.

    • Jay permalink
      June 21, 2016 2:05 pm

      “I have no influence whatsoever on anything else.”

      My sentiments exactly.
      Like Pat, I’m skipping town for a few days, up towards Morro Bay and the wine vineyards in Paso Robles for our yearly wine haul.

    • July 1, 2016 3:11 pm

      If you reduce the power of government you will radically reduce the desire of anyone to bribe them.

      • Jay permalink
        July 1, 2016 6:33 pm

        “If you reduce the power of government you will radically reduce the desire of anyone to bribe them.”

        And the other side of that coin:

        If you reduce the power of government too much, you will proportionately increase the ability of the powerful to exploit the people.

  19. June 21, 2016 2:30 pm

    As always, the good doctor educates us.

  20. June 21, 2016 3:09 pm

    Interesting data on murders and murders via guns. Fully 33% of murders in the US are NOT related to guns. I would have thought that number much lower.

    There is literally no correlation between the % of legal gun ownership within a state and that state’s murder rate via a gun. In other words, the presence of many legal gun owners does not translate into a greater risk of murder by gun.

    The area with the highest gun related murder rate (Wash DC) has by far the fewest legal gun owners. Apparently, those DC guns laws are working in reverse.

    DC’s murder by gun rate is 21.8/100,000 is the highest in the country. The state with the highest gun ownership (Wyoming) has sixth lowest murder rate by gun.

    Louisiana has a very low percentage of legal gun owners, and the second highest murder by gun rate in the US.

    Hmmm. Perhaps legal gun owners guns don’t kill people?

    Awww, that can’t be true, right?

    • Jay permalink
      June 21, 2016 4:01 pm

      Imagine a mega Gun Warehouse, filled with with all kinds of guns.
      At the front are salespeople at counters, selling guns legally to law abiding citizens.
      At the back are loading docks filled with trucks, siphoning tons of inventory for illegal sales. In neighboring states with lax gun laws , and for organized distribution for unregistered sales to anyone who will pay for them.

      Got it? Both law abiders and law breakers have access to the warehouse inventory (the gun manufacturing industry, if you haven’t figured that out yet). To reduce gun crime we have to restrict gun manufacture and import, and ammunition as well. That won’t eradicate gun violence, but if guns are in scarcer supply in two or three decades it will significantly reduce gun violence.

      I won’t be around in two or three decades, but my ghost will take a bow for precognition if my suggestions are implemented

      • June 21, 2016 4:50 pm

        “I won’t be around in two or three decades” Well neither will I even if I outlive actuarial tables by a few years.

        But I doubt I will have to live that long. Once Hillary is elected and packs the court with 4-5 judges, then the 2nd amendment rights will be trampled upon, while they will do everything possible to protect the 4th amendment and make sure no one can access encrypted information off smart devices. And just yesterday, Sotomayor went nuts when a police search and conviction of a person leaving a suspected drug house that was found to have meth was upheld. After 2020, criminals will have more rights than law abiding citizens.

        So anyone who wants a gun for protection won’t have one but the terrorist and criminals will get theirs just like they get their drugs. From the Mexican cartels

      • Jay permalink
        June 21, 2016 5:00 pm

        I predict the first judge she nominates will be the moderate judge the Republicans refused to even consider. And as a moderate, you should be in favor of him getting confirmed. Am I wrong about that?

      • June 21, 2016 5:41 pm

        Your prediction is dead wrong. Want to make a bet on it?

      • Jay permalink
        June 21, 2016 7:42 pm

        sure, let’s wager.
        I’m an Irish Whisky drinker, and a decent bottle of Jameson costs about $50 with tax.
        So I’m in for $50 if you confirm -,we can work out exchange details later

      • June 21, 2016 10:27 pm

        I am fine about that. The issue is, how do we decide that the judge is “moderate?”

      • June 21, 2016 8:08 pm

        I would agree the first one will be a moderate if the GOP retains control of the senate. If not, I would suspect her to pick another RBG. (No one could pick anyone as bad as Obama with Kagan and Soto.)

        Yes, I would fully support` someone like a Sandra Day Oconner over a Thomas or RBG.

      • June 21, 2016 5:40 pm


      • Jay permalink
        June 21, 2016 5:11 pm

        As to the 2nd Amendent, the most extreme scenario would be outlawing the same weapons Australia outlawed – and most Europen nations have restricted. Law abiding citizens will still have the right to acquire reasonable weapons, as they do in those nations -. I’ll still have my guns, and you will have supplicant fire power to protect your home, unless you live in a Cartel infested neighborhood. Tightening gun laws is NOT trampling on the 2nd – the loose interpretatation of it has trampled its purpose and utility for a century.

        Gotta Go pack … Have a Trump Free week….

      • June 21, 2016 5:39 pm

        Yet, the data suggests otherwise.

      • July 1, 2016 3:19 pm

        An analogy that does not accurately reflect reality is useless.

        Personally I am not sure what an “illegal gun” even is.
        I am guessing it is just a gun you wish someone did not have.

        Is there an illegal frying pan ?

        I do nto think JB went into that much but the correlations between guns and overall rates of violence are poor to nonexistant.

        An illegal gun is just a gun in a state or city where ownership of guns is severly restricted.

        What the CDC found post Sandyhook was that where gun ownership was common and unrestricted that rates of violence were lower.

        And not merely homocides and assaults – but burglaries and other crimes.

        Gun proponents have struggled for decades to prove that guns reduce crime and violence. There is some evidence for that, but it is complex and not sufficiently statistically robust to conclude causation.

        But the converse is even more true.
        The highest rates of violence in the country have the toughest gun laws.
        Again correlation is not causation. But it is sufficient to argue that gun laws have little or no effect on violence.

  21. June 21, 2016 7:11 pm

    Well, while not very PC, these data are instructive!

    • July 1, 2016 3:24 pm

      We do not like to look at racial differences.

      Slightly obscured in your sources, is that if you look at the same violence statistics throughout the world – in each country by racial group, you find that most of the purported differences between countries go away.

      Asians have half the rate of violence of whites – wherever they live.
      Hispanics has double that of whites – wherever they are
      Blacks have double that of hispancs – wherever they are.

      Much of the purportedly low rates of violence in Europe has nothing to do with gun laws and everything to do with being pasty white.

      At the same time the long term trends are universal.

      The rates of violence are declining regardless of race.
      What appears to be true is that the declines for different ehtnic groups did nto start at the same time.

      • July 1, 2016 4:35 pm

        “Slightly obscured in your sources, is that if you look at the same violence statistics throughout the world – in each country by racial group, you find that most of the purported differences between countries go away.”

        Yes, I have seen those data but they never make the news. Inconvenient to say the least.

      • Jay permalink
        July 1, 2016 6:37 pm

        With this comment, I’m generally in accord with your observations

        Also, my wife’s out of the dental torture chamber, and I’m out of this medieval conservative mind clamp …

      • Priscilla permalink
        July 2, 2016 8:52 am

        ” I’m out of this medieval conservative mind clamp …”

        Jay, it’s beneath you to use labels and insults to respond to people who disagree with you.

        The problem is that you don’t have data to back up your statements. There really, truly is not any proof that reducing the amount guns, or restricting the number of guns sold to an individual will have any effect on the amount of gun violence in America.

        It feels good to say “more guns= more gun crime”, but if you watch the video that Pat posted a few days ago, it becomes obvious that that is not an argument that holds water. It just FEELS good to say it. It FEELS like you are morally superior to the rest of us, because you believe in the truth, and in spite of all evidence to the contrary, your solution will save lives and help make America a better country. In spite of the fact that, on a county by county basis, we are not a violent country. In spite of the fact, that politicians who say that guns are the cause of crime are trying to distract us from the real problems that face the country. One of which is that cities in American are broken, almost beyond repair, and are filled with poverty and drugs and gangs and illegal guns (mostly handguns, btw). And that the government has failed, and failed miserably to do the things that would help the people that are virtually trapped in these cities, and, as a result , are far more likely to be gun killing criminals and even more likely to be gun violence victims.

        The one thing that comes out of the Black Lives Matter movement is that, as a nation, we go crazy when a mentally ill person or a terrorist shoots up a bunch of white people. But we have let the mass murder of urban blacks go on for decades. And that’s not because a bunch of rural southern white people own AR15 hunting rifles.

      • Jay permalink
        July 2, 2016 2:37 pm

        I come from a large contentious east coast family where aggressive arguing is as common as affectionate hugging. I may love you on Monday, and think you’re a pain in the ass on Tuesday, and express my opinions in context. Sorry if that offends you, but it is what it is. 😑

      • Priscilla permalink
        July 2, 2016 4:31 pm

        Not offended in the least, Jay. It takes more than referring to me as a “conservative” to offend me 🙂 Although I guess I could have been offended by the medieval part 😉

        My meaning was this: If you have use insults to make your point, than maybe it’s because you can’t make your point using facts. And as far as I can see, you have no real evidence to back up any of your gun control assertions.

        So, up your game man!

  22. June 23, 2016 12:15 pm

    Thought I would share this. If anyone is in their 40’s or less, or have kids, they need to read this. Two things to take from article. (1) If you think you want to live in retirement at a level you are living today or better, START saving NOW!!! And (2) if you are saving, make sure it maximizes the Roth plans. There is little chance with our current 19T (and growing) debt and this huge expense hanging over our heads that the tax rates will be less in 20 years than they are today. The money has to come from somewhere and at some point in time, investors will stop buying our debt.

  23. June 23, 2016 10:17 pm

    I’m back from a week at our “National Seashore” on Padre Island, Texas, dedicated to stay natural and undeveloped by Lady Bird Johnson in 1968. It was wonderful.

    Refreshed, I’ll weigh in on the gun debate. Am I being tricked by this video? It seems to make sense to me.

    • Priscilla permalink
      June 24, 2016 11:08 am

      Hey, Pat, glad you’re refreshed by a great holiday. I’ve been reading/watching Bill Whittle for years. He’s quite a brilliant writer, and his videos are meticulously researched, so you’re not being tricked by this one, just persuaded by the facts, laid out in a well-reasoned argument.

      And, here is the thing. The anti-gun side can do this too ~ use facts, that is. And both arguments can be debated in good faith. I want to see that happen again. All of this political theater is just fine……shutdowns, sit-ins, whatever. But enough, already.

      We may need a political earthquake equivalent to Brexit to get our house (House) in order……

    • Jay permalink
      June 24, 2016 4:43 pm

      Other studies, from organizations who have non partisan impartial reputations, unlike the smug fellow in the video, disagree with his US per capita gun death statistic – by a lot. Like this one from a study that was published in The American Journal of Medicine.

      • June 24, 2016 5:54 pm

        Argue with the FBI and the DOJ. That was the source of my data.

      • Jay permalink
        June 24, 2016 10:18 pm

        ??? I was replying to Pat’s comment, not yours jbastiate.
        Are you referring to an earlier comment?

      • June 24, 2016 10:24 pm

        Hard to tell. Sorry, but the site is confusing at times.

  24. June 25, 2016 12:43 am

    Jay, the Bill Whittle guy in the video I posted was a smug fellow; I’ll give you that!

    The article you posted is misleading in several ways, including this way: If wealthy country “Y” has a LOT of guns, and poor country “Z” has no guns available, then of course country Y is going to have more gun deaths. But that doesn’t indicate that country Y has more murders, or that the country Z citizens are safe from home invasions, et cetera, and then the suicides were factored in to make the data even more messy.

    Hey man, I get that a lunatic with a semi-auto with a large magazine is more lethal than a lunatic with a knife or a rock. I get that.

    We have to take driving tests to drive a car, so it makes common sense that there should be more testing and requirements for gun ownership. I had to pass a gun safety test when I was 12 to begin hunting, and even though much of the test was simple (my father had taken me along with him hunting since I was seven)… there was some important info involved that gun users/hunters should/ must have. No question.

    Programs would be a little tricky to administer, but common sense tells us we should have more requirements and criteria in place. And we’d have to have some checks and balances in place so that the WRONG PEOPLE are not in charge of deciding, ETC.

    • June 25, 2016 8:18 am

      Legal gun ownership in the US is not correlated with the number of gun murders. Why not work on ILLEGAL gun ownership?

      • Jay permalink
        June 25, 2016 12:51 pm

        I agree totally. Sort of.

        People who legally own guns – law abiding citizens – generally are not the problem. The easy availability of guns to those with criminal inclinations, and to the immature hot-head gangsta urban populations, is the problem.

        How do we keep guns from them?

        The first step to accomplish that seems obvious to me : you reduce the supply of guns available to the general public. That includes a limit on the number of guns sold to those qualified to own them, and limits on the ammunition legally sold per legally owned gun. Assault style guns, or weapons that fire more then 12 shots without reloading (open to different limits) should be banned to citizens other then police and military and other “well trained militia.”

        Second, make it harder to legally own guns: gun owners have to be better vetted. Gun show sales without background checks (including wait periods for thorough good checks) has to stop. And gun license requirements, like automobile license and registration, should require periodic renewals and testing.

        Yes, that won’t deter all of those determined to break the law from acquiring dangerous weapons; but it will deter many others.

        Look, even a nation like Israel under high alert from daily ‘lone wolf’ terrorist attacks, has stricter gun laws for their citizens than we do:

        “In Israel firearms licenses are typically only given if one can prove they have reason to carry a gun – for instance if they work in security or law enforcement or live in a dangerous area like the West Bank. They must also be over 21 years old, a resident of Israel for over three years, and pass a mental and physical exam, a shooting test and background checks by the Public Security Ministry. They are then allowed to order a gun through a gun store with approval of the ministry and given a one-time supply of 50 bullets to take home.”

        They need additional testing and approval to get more ammo.

      • June 25, 2016 1:17 pm

        If your logic worked, the D of Columbia would be a heaven without murder. Chicago would as well. Legal gun ownership in DC is near zero. Murders? Highest rate in the nation.

        Check out the data: If you want to make a dent in the murder by gun rates, you would profile African-Americans who live in the inner city. Ah, but, you can’t do that.

        So, what you CAN do is to restrict ownership for everyone and look the other way.

        Ah, is this a great country or what?

      • Jay permalink
        June 25, 2016 1:39 pm

        The flaw in YOUR reasoning, and I’m surprised that you are incapable of seeing it – it’s so obvious – is that you can get in your car in any of those places you used as example – and thirty minutes later be somewhere where the gun laws are lax to buy ‘tons of guns’ to bring back.

        Look at Hawaii, which already has some of the nation’s strictest gun laws, and the lowest gun death rate of any state in the country. That’s because it’s isolated from easy gun access states. Stricter requirements for licensing, less available supply of easy to acquire weapons – less gun mayhem, accidental and intended.

      • June 25, 2016 2:27 pm

        And yet, as gun murders have declined in the US for the past three decades, the overall gun ownership rate (legal) has gone up.

        Inverse relationship. The VAST majority of gun deaths are committed with illegally obtained guns, not registered gun owners. Yet, the only thing you can think of it is to make it harder to obtain a legally owned gun?

        I am surprised you missed that point.

        Now, as to who commits the majority of murders in the US ……. Perhaps, Black Americans should be refused gun ownership? Oh, that’s right, they don’t actually bother with that detail.

  25. Pat Riot permalink
    June 25, 2016 1:01 am

    P.S. I see that the article referred to 22 “high-income” nations (not poor nations), but the same logic holds true, i.e. of course there will be more deaths by guns in a nation with a LOT of guns than there would be in a nation with very few guns, but that actually isn’t telling us much.

    Also, to obtain my concealed carry permit I had to include a few letters of reference (2 or 3 I forget how many) from people in my county who were NOT my family. There are some common sense policies that could be put into place.

    • June 25, 2016 8:21 am

      The irony here is that as you increase the “hurdle” for legal gun ownership, you will increase the number of illegal guns in circulation.

      Moreover, over the past two decades gun deaths have been coming down as legal gun ownership has been going up!

      It seems illogical to greatly increase the barrier for legal gun ownership in light of these data, no?

  26. June 25, 2016 8:10 am

    Priscilla you said “…a political earthquake equivalent to Brexit…”

    Oh my God it is a political earthquake! It is the most promising, inspiring political news I have heard in a long, long time. It brings me joy. I know the vote was close at 52% to 48% (like a Sanders vs. Clinton state primary) but this is so profound and also historically ironic.

    Essentially it is enough of the British PEOPLE rejecting the EMPIRE that they see does not properly REPRESENT them, and even though it is the European Union it is seen by many in the world as an AMERICAN / WESTERN / ELITE / Globalist creation that, under the guise of fostering an anti-war European community, actually functions to further centralize power to the advantage of the wealthiest elite, and to the detriment of sovereign middle class persons being handcuffed and displaced in a variety of ways, including by increased flow of immigrants driving down wages…

    The British PEOPLE choosing INDEPENDENCE from the American EMPIRE. Now that’s irony! Now that’s wonderful! Long live LIBERTY!

    • June 25, 2016 8:24 am

      I think this will be an interesting experiment. I expect the EU will attempt to punish the UK in whatever way it can. Merkle will see to that.

      However, she may not survive the backlash in her OWN country. The mass influx from the mid-east that she has fostered (why, one can only imagine) will likely wreck the EU.

      “Tis a pity!”

      Well, not really, I never gave it much of a chance. Even the sheep wake up, eventually.

      • Priscilla permalink
        June 25, 2016 10:15 am

        I have read that Merkel allowed the mass migration because the German birthrate has been so low for so many years, that there aren’t enough workers coming up through the pipeline to support German business and industry. One of my sons has a close friend who lives in Berlin; he’s married, he and his wife just had a baby (they say this will be their only child), and both of them got paid parental leave, and they will receive government-paid day care when they go back to work.

        Apparently, despite these benefits, German people are just not having children at a rate that will replace the current population. So, Merkel decided that immigration is the only solution.

        Short-sighted, for sure, but the immigration issue, and the refusal of many Middle Eastern migrants to assimilate to Western culture seems to be the issue that allowed Brexit to happen.

        Sovereignty MEANS something to people – people who (rightly) believe that their nation has guaranteed rights and freedoms not guaranteed in other nations. Sovereignty is no longer important to globalist leaders, only to their people. I think it’s the defining political issue of our time, and the reason behind the nationalist populist movements that we see in the US and Europe.

      • June 25, 2016 11:11 am

        Well, there is immigration and, there is immigration.

        Would she be fine if the Huns returned to take those “jobs?”

        What a knot head.

    • June 25, 2016 1:34 pm

      Why should anyone care other than those involved in the relationship? People would be so much better off if they would tend to their business and let others tend to theirs.

      And don’t bring up polygamy and marriage to children. That is a completely different issue where one or more individuals are not old enough to make and informed legal decision. I am speaking totally about those who have reached legal age.

  27. June 25, 2016 3:44 pm

    jbastiat, you make the distinction between legal and illegal firearms, and the distinction is important, but I believe the Orlando shooter bought his legally, and other wingnut shooters purchased legally also.

    • June 25, 2016 4:08 pm

      Yes, for sure. That said, legal gun owners are far less likely to use their arms to kill others. Illegally procured guns are the issue, in the main.

      • Jay permalink
        June 25, 2016 8:30 pm

        No, both are the issue.
        Both the Orlando and San Bernadino terrorist’s used legally acquired guns.
        Please don’t tell me you’re not in favor of banning assault style weapons.
        What legitimate reason is their for not banning them?

      • June 25, 2016 9:52 pm

        I am for effective action. This doesn’t appear to be effective action. There are many thousands of murders by gun in the US. Do you believe one life is more deserving to be saved than the other?

        How about we look for maximum leverage rather than the popular but incorrect notion?

      • Jay permalink
        June 25, 2016 10:11 pm

        We’re on far different frequencies of perception.
        The mental static is unnerving, and I have to tune you out on this topic or I’ll be smashing my head against the wall.

      • June 26, 2016 8:43 am

        Feel free to smash away!

      • June 25, 2016 11:48 pm

        Jay, it comes down to one word.
        You “trust” your government that they will pass legislation that bans semi automatic weapons and stop there.
        I do not “trust” the government to stop there. I believe that they will ban these, then something will happen where another rifle is used for some mass murder and they will already have their foot in the door and those weapons will be banned. Could be they will ban a shotgun since it spreads so wide, it can take out 3-4 people at 30 yards+. That means a pump, 8-10 shot shotgun, 24-40 people could theoretically be taken out before reloading. They are only limited to 3 shells in hunting uses.

        But it will make no difference after November. Hillary will be elected, she will replace the current SCOTUS opening and then probably 4 more. The court which constantly votes 5-4 (or now 4-4) on bill of rights issues will flip 4-5 or 3-6 and many “rights” guaranteed by the constitution will be interpreted by the liberals to mean much different things than originally intended and will be eliminated. The only thing they will uphold is privacy rights since they don’t want anyone looking into what they are saying in e-mails, texts, etc.You must remember when the bill of rights were written into the constitution, it was included by the founding fathers who had a great distrust of government and wanted to limit governmental powers.

        Once the liberals get control, their trusting nature of a powerful government will eliminate many of the limitations the founding fathers placed in the constitution.

        And by the way, I do not trust a democrat or a republican as they are all liars and cheats. And once they current batch of justices are replaced, their replacements will be no better than all other government officials.

      • June 26, 2016 8:49 am

        Trusting the federal government at this point in time would be fool hardy. Imagine this:

        A progressive believes that the federal government can “control guns.” Yet, we know from 60 years of experience that the feds cannot secure the southern border and stop illegal immigration.25-40 million illegals later, they still fail to stem the tide.

        I can’t imagine how this can be reconciled?

        Yet, the cry continues, even among bright people like Rick Bayan. Rick is no dope, but, he might be a “hope dope.”

        It is time to face the facts. The feds cannot/will not protect you . You must do that yourself. Try that with a steak knife and let me know how that works.

      • June 26, 2016 11:31 am

        I like using the drug control to compare how effective gun control will be. Marijuana is illegal in most states and in all by the feds. Cannabus is also shown to be highly effective in controlling seizures in epilepsy and other brain disorders. Parents with kids with problems where they have multiple seizures daily have a choice. To allow their kids to suffer with these problems or to break the laws in their state and maybe multiple states by transporting this drug from a legal state to their own and then living in a house where contraband is present. In some states, child protective services could remove the child from the house where they may be living and only suffering a few minor seizures per week and place that child in a location where they are “protected” and then they undergo 100’s of seizures once again since they were taken off their illegal medication that worked and placed on legal medication that does not.

        So when guns are made illegal, thousands will be become the “cannabus parents” in an effort to protect themselves, family and American rights.

      • June 26, 2016 11:48 am

        To be fair, I think we would be better off if we made it clear that there is NO intention to deny most guns to most law abiding citizens. If that system could be built and had credibility, I would have NO problem seeking and obtaining a legally owned gun (I don’t have one now).

        The problem is what the NRA has bee saying for years. Most felons and felons to be do not pay any attention to the gun laws.

        Now, perhaps we could have a federal statute that makes possessing an illegal firearm a minimum 5 year stint in the federal prison? That MIGHT be a deterrent to the average thug, but then again, I don’t know.

        Certainly, I am OK about laws that deny a gun permit to a convicted felon. There again, will they actually care?

        I don’t see it happening. Every time a mass shooting occurs, the progressives lose their minds and blame the guns. What did they do when the Boston Marathon bombers struck?
        They made excuses and asked us not to be islamaphobes.

        Give me a break. There are plenty of evidence to suggest it is no phobia.

      • June 26, 2016 12:01 pm

        As I have said many times, those that post comments to the site could get together and develop sensible solutions. Like felons not owning guns, people who have been ID’es as prospective terrorist, those on the no fly list, etc.

        But then the problem exist with the incompetents working for the government to administer the law. How many people are like Steve Hayes (Fox News and journalist) who was placed on the no fly list for some erroneous reason and it took months, if not years to get off it. (Kind of like people declared dead by SS and even walking into the SS office can not convince them the recipient is not alive)

        Jay trusts the people working for the government. I absolutely have no trust at all. I have to be shown someone is competent who works for government as my thoughts are 100% of the people are incompetent until proven otherwise. That way I can expect whatever they do to get screwed up and I will never be disappointed. But I will be happy when something gets done right which is not often.

      • June 26, 2016 12:09 pm

        Yes, the incompetence issue is as bad as the concern about legislative intent. The DOE is a very good example of that. They take Title 19 and expand it to apply to anything they feel like. Then, the agenda becomes clear.


      • Priscilla permalink
        June 26, 2016 2:20 pm

        The problem with the gun control argument is that it’s based on emotion, rather than logic and reason. Saying that there are too many guns gets us nowhere. How many is enough? Too few? An overweight person could argue that his problem is that there is too much food. So how do we explain thin people? It’s a bs argument, and it completely precludes rational debate.

        I think that the lack of trust can be traced directly to this problem. If gun control advocates insist on being vague and ambiguous in their arguments, it’s only natural to wonder why that is and to suspect ulterior motives.

        Why would Democrats insist on a gun bill that denies due process from American citizens? Even if they believe that the 2nd Amendment has been too broadly defined by the courts, is that a reason to believe that they should be denied their 5th Amendment rights?

      • June 26, 2016 4:19 pm

        That Dem sit-down was quite a stunt. How embarrassing to seek adults act like school children.

      • Anonymous permalink
        June 26, 2016 11:28 pm

        Why would Democrats insist on a gun bill that denies due process from American citizens?

        Getting elected…..!!!
        Getting elected = Power
        Power = Control
        Control = Wealth

      • Jay permalink
        June 26, 2016 11:42 pm

        For due process do you mean barring those on the No Fly List from buying guns?

      • Jay permalink
        June 26, 2016 11:29 pm

        Priscilla, I have an ‘enough’ number.
        Total of five guns per adult: two hand guns, two long guns, one shotgun.
        But requirements for getting licenses for each weapon Should be similar to Australian licensing requirements. You can see them here.

      • June 26, 2016 11:50 pm

        Rick needs to write a two sentence blog on how many guns is enough.

        He would not need to write another article for 6 months. We would keep his site alive.

        Jay, are you kidding???? 5 guns???

        So now I am going to say we limit people to 2 kids because overpopulation is going to lead to poverty, climate change and a host of other societal problems. Then we can own 2 cars, but one has to be electric to fix global warming. Homes can be no larger than 500 square feet per occupant since no one needs more than 500 square feet per person to reduce impact on world weather patterns…..Add 250 per child (max 500) since families can only have 2 kids. Any home larger than 1500 sq ft will be replaced over a period of time with a smaller dwelling.

        All of that is as asinine as the 5 gun limit.

        And you wonder why conservatives have a problem with the liberal agenda? You just provided the perfect example of why our founding fathers despised centralized big government.

      • Jay permalink
        June 27, 2016 2:03 am


        The Australian gun limits were pushed through by a Conservative government.
        The Israeli gun limits, stricter than Australia, have bipartisan support – they limit the kind and number of guns and ammo non military or police citizens can own. If a nation under constant terrorist threat has those weapon restrictions, and they work, why do you think they’re Inappropriate for the US?

        All the civilized Western style democracies have similar weapon restrictions. All those nations continue to have the same freedoms and protections we have. Limiting gun sales to civilians hasn’t turned them into police states, and it wouldn’t here as well.

      • June 27, 2016 8:26 am

        You haven’t produced a shred of evidence that gun control laws in the US work. More guns has produced fewer murders over the last three decades. Iowa gun ownership is intense, we have very few murders. Why limit Iowa gun owners?

        You will have to do better than to say that every one else does it!

        If you have a proposal that deals with illegally owned guns, let’s hear it. That is where the bulk of the problem lies.

        Perhaps if we profiled the location of the most murders, we could reduce murders? If the bulk of the murders are located in 5-10 urban cities, why bother the ENTIRE US with more laws that will not be enforced and will cost Billions?

      • Jay permalink
        June 27, 2016 3:19 pm

        “You haven’t produced a shred of evidence that gun control laws in the US work. More guns has produced fewer murders over the last three decades. Iowa gun ownership is intense, we have very few murders. Why limit Iowa gun owners?”

        You haven’t produced conclusive evidence lax gun laws don’t equate to higher gun deaths. There are in fact numerous studies to back that up. But let’s just compare the two American States away from the continental 48, Alaska and Hawaii.

        Alaska has the highest number of gun deaths per capita among the states, and is among the most lax when it comes to regulating them. And it is ranked 4th in terms of the number of ‘crime guns exported to other states’.

        Hawaii has the lowest number of gun deaths per capita among the states, and has strict gun laws, including bans on assault rifles and hand guns, magazine sizes, and thorough background checks.

        Here’s the link:

        Here’s info on Alaska’s lax law (I’ll attach link in separate comment)

        Alaska does not:
        * Require a background check prior to the transfer of a firearm between private parties;
        * Prohibit the transfer or possession of assault weapons, 50 caliber rifles, or large capacity ammunition magazines;
        * Require firearms dealers to obtain a state license;
        * Limit the number of firearms that may be purchased at one time;
        * Impose a waiting period on firearm purchases;
        * Regulate unsafe handguns (“junk guns” or “Saturday night specials”);
        * Regulate ammunition sales;
        * Allow local governments to regulate firearms; or
        * Provide local governments with the discretion to deny concealed weapons permits.

      • June 27, 2016 3:35 pm

        We call that cherry picking. Nice try though.

      • Jay permalink
        June 27, 2016 5:04 pm

        “Perhaps if we profiled the location of the most murders, we could reduce murders? ”

        That would be Alaska.
        We should have a 5-gun limit per Igloo.
        That limit would severely reduce the number of guns shipped to criminals in the 48, Akaska, as mentioned, is high on the list of those states providing weapons to criminals

      • June 27, 2016 5:12 pm

        Gee, you are right. There is no murder problem at all in the top 30 urban areas of the US.

      • Jay permalink
        June 27, 2016 6:29 pm

        “why bother the ENTIRE US with more laws that will not be enforced and will cost Billions?”

        Sorry to say this is one of the most brainless observations you’ve made.
        Although huge amounts of illegal drugs are smuggled into the US, nevertheless each year US Customs seizes about 5-million lbs of illegal drugs – cocaine, heroin, marijuana, methamphetamines, etc

        By your goofy logic because more is smuggled in then is intercepted we should disband our custom agencies and the drug laws under which they operate because they’re not doing a good enough job

        Are you sure you’re not the one banging your head against the wall?

      • June 27, 2016 11:01 pm

        Another brainless progressive heard from. This is why you have no future.

      • June 27, 2016 2:09 pm

        Jay..couple of differences in your examples.
        1. The major one. They do not have the Bill of Rights. Want to limit guns…Simply change the constitution. Amendment #28 “Safety being necessary to the security of an individual or properties of an individual, the right of the people to keep five guns, of those are 2 long rifles with maximum 12 shot capacity, 1 shot gun with maximum 3 shot capacity and 2 handguns with maximum 8 shot capacity, shall be allowed by all states and localities and shall not be infringed.”.

        Stop screwing with the rights of the people through liberal or conservative bull S^&* laws. Do it the right way.

        2. !00% of all people in Israel are part of or have been part of the security forces of the country. I am all in favor of everyone from the ages of 18 to 40 being a member of our military for a 2 year period just like Israel where most everyone knows how to handle most any weapon. Maybe the secondary benefit would be people understanding the rights they are defending and not be so cavalier on laws limiting rights.

        3. Australia is an island nation, so it is much harder for criminal behavior to import contraband into the country. The next billion dollar cartel business would be guns if you make them harder to own in America because you can smuggle almost anything over our southern border and no one knows.

      • Jay permalink
        June 27, 2016 6:41 pm

        Ron, my wife and I just got back from our yearly visit up the California coast. We stayed in Cayucus, a quaint old time beach city, one town up from Morro Bay, within a half hour drive inland to Paso Robles wine vineyards – where my wife stockpiles her favorite (reasonably priced) wines.

        Cayucus has hardly changed in the last 20 years: the same unpretentious motels and hotels dot the beach, the same working class families and retiree visitors – and the same tangle of exhuberent dogs everywhere: Cayucus remains one of the most dog-friendly beach towns in California; on leash they’re allowed in restaurants, on the sidewalks, in stores. Off leash they’re allowed to run free along the beach and into the surf. Watching the dogs run free and gambol along the beach is one of the favorite parts of our trips there. It’s a short glimpse of the unencumbered life we hoped we’d all live someday: dogs, children, friendly Americans nodding and smiling when you pass by them, the peaceful lulling of surf – and no loud mouthed argumentative foes yelling at you 24/7.

        I only mention this now because I’m maxed out on the gun argument. Though there’s lots more to confront, I’m abandoning ship on it. I rather mull over my last four days then dwell on ‘theological’ arguments like this. So let’s turn the page….

      • June 27, 2016 11:02 pm

        Jay, like JB and I have agreed with the abortion debate, you and i will just have the agree to disagree concerning the methodology that we approach the gun control debate. There are two separate arguments that are taking place and organizations like the NRA and the left wing of government are both working diligently to intertwine the two issues.

        1) Who can own guns.
        2) What weapons can be owned

        The first issue can be addressed by actions you support. Laws written to define those that can not legally own a gun, like a convicted felon. I do not believe the law can be effectively enforced, but it does not infringe on any constitutional issue as far as I can determine. So if one is written that identifies additional people that can not own a gun, fine as long as there is some identified illegal activities committed by those on that list.

        The second issue is where we disagree and I don’t think we can compromise our positions to address that issue. I suspect you will not change your position on laws and their effectiveness. I will never accept that government can write a law and that law will never be expanded or changed based on someones ideological position, From everything you have said, you are much more open to government and trusting that they will not expand their controls. My position is the constitution to change “the right to bear arms will not be infringed” has to be through an amendment to change the second amendment. Otherwise next year after Hillary becomes president SCOTUS will rule on some law she gets passed and uphold that law as constitutional. Then 25 years from now after a more conservative president has replaced her appointments, another case comes before the court for an interpretation and they interpret the law in a way that is totally opposite the 2017 ruling. Just like Abortion, had it not been for Kennedy, much of the Roe v Wade ruling would have changed with the Texas ruling moving the country much closer to pre Roe era practices in that state and others following their lead. That way of governing is not what the founding fathers envisioned and put in the constitution, although our current politicians have screwed that up also.

        So I am happy you have had a nice break from reality in the Central California coastal city. Once you get out of LA on 1, 101 or 5 and before you get to loony town on the bay, the residents are much more in tune with the everyday citizens in America. They may be liberal, but nothing close to SF liberals and they may be conservative, but nothing like the born again christian conservatives that want to control every aspect of Americas social values they actually use logic in their positions for the most part.

      • June 27, 2016 8:22 am


        Not to argue with Jay, He is busy, bashing his head against a wall.

        The answer of course, is that most human beings limit themselves to any good or service based on the law of diminishing returns. Does that apply to ALL human beings?

        Ah, no.

        One wonders how anyone can believe that the US can limit gun ownership (including illegal guns) when it can’t secure the southern border. Do you think that ANYONE ever carries a gun with them as they sneak illegally into the US?

        Ah, no, that could never happen, right?

      • Priscilla permalink
        June 27, 2016 8:29 am

        Jay, I don’t mean to pile on here, but citing Australia’s gun laws is not going to be helpful for a number of reasons….but essentially1) Australia banned and confiscated semi-automatic rifles and several other categories of shotguns. (yes, I know they called it a buyback, but it was mandatory). I cannot stress enough that, no matter what you think the Second Amendment means, Americans are constitutionally guaranteed a right to possess firearms, and if the government is going to begin confiscating legally purchased weapons from law-abiding citizens, without repealing that amendment, there is going to be serious trouble. 2) What Ron said.

        The other problem is that comparing the US to other nations, as if laws in one would work in another, is unproductive. I could say that Australia’s political parties were united in reforming their gun control laws – which they were – and that the buyback program recovered almost 1 million banned weapons….here, in the US, we are bitterly divided and there are an estimated 300 million weapons out there.

        And yes, I mean the terrorist watch list. If you research the “debate” going on in Congress, you will find that most Republicans support prohibiting gun sales to the no fly list, provided that due process rights are added to the bill, but the Democrats are insisting on the terrorist watch list – a much bigger list, of about 1 million people, many of whom are totally innocent, but have no idea that they are on it. If I call up the FBI and report my neighbor for “acting weird” he might get on it. No notification, no due process.

        So not only is the “no-fly, no buy” a lie, but the bill, if passed, would be grossly unconstitutional. And would not have stopped Omar Mateen, who was not on the list, and passed a background check.

      • June 27, 2016 8:37 am

        Indeed. as always, you are spot on.

  28. June 26, 2016 9:07 am

    What are the chances these two fine gentlemen were using legally obtained guns?

  29. June 26, 2016 9:16 pm

    Priscilla I think you are correct about the gun control argument being emotional instead of rational. Or at least too much emotion mixed in. People are justifiably angry/appalled/saddened, and they want the situation fixed. Anti-gun folks of course say they are the only rational ones.

    Also there is a human tendency to find a single culprit, reason, or scapegoat for a complicated situation, in this case horrible “guns,” (even though they require a person to activate them). Often in this world there are multiple factors involved and the fix is a rational, multi-pronged approach.

    I remember years ago when I worked in the Service Dept. for a major builder and periodically I had to deal with flooded basements. In a new development there might be 60 homes with dry basements and 3 or 4 side by side that suddenly flooded in the spring. Invariably the homeowners would think it was a single problem: “I need you to fill the crack in my foundation!” Usually it was a combination of a high water table right there at that spot, the lots steering surface water toward the houses, the rainspouts not taking water away from the house, the foundation not being waterproofed properly…It took a number of actions to keep water out of those basement.

    Maybe flooded basements is not the best example/analogy for people wanting to blame a single something. Certainly our violence issue/shooter issue isn’t just about guns. There are the mental health factors, our many societal issues, political factors, and variations depending on location (rural vs. suburb vs inner city)…and also the manner in which guns are available.

    I hope we solve these problems as much as we can in a rational way.

    • Priscilla permalink
      June 27, 2016 9:02 am

      Yes, the idea that guns alone are to blame for this is so illogical, and gets us off track so badly. But it does divide us, and bitterly so, and that is why it is a valuable election strategy.

      If it weren’t so infuriating, I would have laughed at the stupid sit-in that the Democrats had. Since when do you “occupy” your own work space? And the idea that fabulously wealthy and powerful people like Nancy Pelosi were behaving as if they were fighting for their civil rights against their own colleagues, who were shouted down and prevented from debating, was just pathetic.

      But, the point is that, to the progressive base, it was powerful. The idea that that John Lewis, a true hero of the true civil rights movement, led the protest was significant. And most news programs covered it breathlessly, as if it were something historic. As far as I can see, it was important because it marked a new low in the comportment and civility of our elected leaders. When I watched the Speaker calling for order and being shouted down, called names, and disrespected for doing his job, it made me very sad.

      I don’t know if any of you read the solutions to our political problems listed in The Hit List section of the blog, by a commenter named Jeffrey Malooly. Some good stuff there.

      • June 27, 2016 9:09 am

        The message to our kids is quite clear. If you don’t get what you want, you can throw a tantrum and the media will be aglow!

        Pathetic, I would say. Can’t cut a deal, then just drop down and hold your breath.

        Disgusting and childish.

  30. June 27, 2016 8:35 am

    If you want to reduce murders, you can start with this list and work you way down!

  31. Priscilla permalink
    June 27, 2016 11:10 am

    Jay, I feel as if you are totally holding down the fort (bad metaphor?) on the gun control side, and I want to say that I am not at all opposed to looking at the the current gun laws, as part of a comprehensive effort to lower gun violence in America. I don’t think it is possible to totally eradicate it, and I’ve said before that the “We have to make sure that this never happens again!” argument is specious and unhelpful, but, that said, we are a violent society in many ways, and any serious attempts to find solutions to some of our problems is worthwhile.

    We can argue about whether guns are a cause or a symptom of violence in our society, but it seems more helpful to look at the issue from the perspective of what is realistically going to reduce gun violence in America. I know that Second Amendment critics are as tired of hearing about is as advocates are of hearing about eighteenth centrury muskets. But, it’s far more useful to compare crime statistics in cities and states.

    Chicago, for example. You rightly state that there are a s**tload of guns there. JB rightly states that there are extremely strict gun laws. I would suggest that rather than continuing to assert those two facts, we compare crime stats from before the gun laws were passed to after. In other words, did they work to reduce gun crime, and if not, why not? Then start drilling down on the kinds of laws and, especially, enforcement of those laws that might actually work. If access from neighboring states is a problem, we should look at how big a problem it is, and whether that access explains any rise in crime.

    My point is, we need to stop relying on emotion, and start relying on evidence. You would think, with all the lawyers in government, that would be common.

    • Priscilla permalink
      June 27, 2016 11:19 am

      Also, re: access. If a neighboring state has greater access to guns, but lower crime, then access must not be the only variable. What are the others, and can that help us come up with solutions?

      • June 27, 2016 11:24 am

        The vast majority of gun murders involve illegally obtained guns. Hmmm.

        As we make the gun laws tougher ……

    • June 27, 2016 11:22 am

      Evidence is useful, for sure. For example, there are a number of credible studies linking violence to computer games and other kinds of violent passive entertainment (movies, TV, Etc.).

      Is there any action on this front? Ah, no. Remember, the entertainment industry is a force in the Democrap party. Movies don’t kill people, people kill people.

    • June 27, 2016 2:21 pm

      Priscilla..thank you for these comments.

      Yes Jay is holding the line for gun control. The issue I have with Jay’s position is he is trusting of government and thinks they will limit their control over guns for the next 25-50 years to a small gun type. But he has demonstrated even in his own comments “creeping control” since he started with Semi Automatic weapon restrictions and is now endorsing a 5 gun limit of all types of guns per person (or household). And that is exactly what the government will do once they get the first law passed.

      I don’t care what you do with guns as long as it is through the constitutional change route and not laws that can be changed based on someones mood that day in the future.

  32. Jay permalink
    June 27, 2016 4:30 pm

    Gun regulation discussion continued:
    There are multiple contradictory studies on the relationship of gun laws and gun deaths. Here is a FactCheck discussion on the subject:

    Bottom line: none of the evidence disputes the fact that THOUSANDS die each year from gun wounds, and more THOUSANDS end up hospitalized from bullet wounds. And evidence that guns save lives based on verified police reports filed don’t indicate what

    • Jay permalink
      June 27, 2016 4:38 pm

      Last year there were 1.2 million violent crimes, defined as murder, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault in the US.

      With all the guns in the US, estimated around 300 million and growing, only 259 justifiable gun-related homicides, or incidents in which authorities ruled that killings occurred in self-defense were reported. Statistics don’t reveal the type of weapons used, but likely shotguns or hand guns. Banning assault weapons won’t have any impact on self defense incidents.

      And yearly about 232,000 guns are stolen each year, about 172,000 of them during burglaries. If less guns were in private hands those numbers would drop.

    • Jay permalink
      June 27, 2016 4:56 pm

      The SCOTUS interpretation of the 2nd Amendment has changed over the years.
      And the pendulum appears to be swinging back to earlier understandings of the Founders intent, which is closer to its literal meaning.

      District of Columbia v. Heller was decided by a slim one vote margin, holding that an individual had right to possess a firearm unconnected with military service for traditionally lawful purpose, such as self defense within the home… And McDonald v. Chicago expanded that to include individual states, also a 5-4 decision.

      But since then the court has refused to hear cases challenging the state’s right to ban particular weapons – like assault rifles, or requirements to better secure them. Some examples here:

      And there has not been any successful challenges I know of to challenge Hawaii-like laws banning assault weapons and AMMUNITION sales as well.

      In 50 years the laws will modify to reflect the widening public demand for tighter regulation of guns, and longer more thorough waiting times and vetting – a process already picking up speed in various states. If there’s one thing it’s looking like we can thank Trump for, it’s putting a Democrat in the Presidency who won’t be nominating far Right SCOTUS judges – hopefully Hillary won’t tilt too far to the left, because I’m betting she’ll start with a moderate jurist, and keep the status quo.

      • June 27, 2016 5:11 pm

        You are indeed, dreaming. The court can do anything it likes, but the federal government cannot actually control guns. It can’t police is own borders from being overrun by mexicans, how do you think it will control the flow of guns.

        Wake up, you are working on the wrong end of the problem.

      • June 27, 2016 5:54 pm

        JB..Please remember you are conversing with a liberal and they believe government is the answer to all problems. Once the gun law is passed, everyone including the drug cartels and terrorist will be in line to give up their guns. In a liberals world, people don’t break laws. It is only the conservatives that create crime.

      • June 27, 2016 5:58 pm

        I forgot Ron. Thanks for reminding about that special, happy place where progressives live.

      • June 27, 2016 5:51 pm

        There is no way Hillary will appoint a moderate jurist. Bill Clinton, known much more as a moderate when it came to governing (except for the Hillarycare) appointed Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Stephen Breyer. You can’t get much more left than them since they are close to 100% in voting the liberal agenda. And Hillary is at least 25% more liberal then her husband, so expect her appointments to be just like Obama’s, unqualified left wing radical jurist. You will never see an SDO or Kennedy appointed under the bitches watch.

        And herein lies the problem. SCOTUS was never designed to be an arm of the liberals or conservatives. It was designed to interpret the law based on the constitution. Now we have everything based on ideological positions and not centrist, logical decision making.

        You can not write laws and then have a Supreme Court that is in the arms of a political wing of government making honest decisions based on the constitution. The only way to make new gun control regulations is through a specific amendment to the constitution that clearly defines the current state of guns and what can and can not be owned. And the gun control laws can not be just what someone can own or how many. It has to prohibit the manufacture of said weapons and must contain mandatory life sentences for anyone owning one of these weapons to have any teeth at all. Someone owning one and facing a 5 year term will risk the ownership if they believe that is their right to own one.

        If we pass laws and then the liberal court upholds those laws, we will have another abortion type debate that will go on for years further splitting this country right down the middle….WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT THE POLITICIANS WANT TODAY.

      • Priscilla permalink
        June 27, 2016 6:29 pm

        The literal meaning of the 2nd Amendment is that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” To say that it only refers to militias is not how the amendment is worded, and it was worded carefully, by educated men.

        The subject and verb of the sentence occur AFTER the present participle ( I know, I know, English nerd, here). The subject is “the right”, the verb is “shall”.

        Parsing it to mean anything else is political. If I said “A well stocked bar being necessary to a good party , the right of the people to keep and drink alcohol shall not be infringed ” it would be an old fashioned, awkward way of saying we had a right to drink alcohol, not that the right was dependent upon being at a good party.

  33. June 27, 2016 10:17 pm

    Priscilla, your nerdy English break down of the 2nd amendment, being amusingly helpful in the on-going over-analysis of the wording of the 2nd amendment, which, considering the intent of the Founders gleaned from the context of the other amendments and the body of the U.S. Constitution, was put forth for the rights of individuals to be safe and secure in their persons and homes from enemies foreign and domestic, particularly tyrannical governments, et cetera, shall not be dismissed nor underestimated as merely a playful exercise in diction and sentence structure, and, moreover, I will use the “well-stocked bar being necessary to a good party…” at my next party!

    • Priscilla permalink
      June 28, 2016 9:41 am

      Being a nerd, I don’t drink much 😉

      • June 28, 2016 4:37 pm

        A former student of mine just posted a picture on FB of a bar he built, so I already posted your “…right of the people to keep and drink alcohol shall not be infringed,” and it was enjoyed.

  34. June 28, 2016 7:47 am

    For Jay,

    I am not sure where you get your data but hey, you could be making it up. 2010 data shows that Alaska does NOT have the highest gun related murders rate in the US. Not even close,
    Gun ownership is 57.8%, with gun murders LESS than the national average.

    The top five states with the lowest gun murders include Hawaii, but also include Vermont, New Hampshire, North Dakota and Iowa. All have very high gun ownership rates and very low gun murder rates. Hawaii is an outlier, which makes sense given its location, history, and culture.

    Sorry to disturb you premise but the data don’t lie.

    BTW- Alaska gun ownership is three times higher than NY state and has the same gun murder rate.

    For the last nail in your coffin, if you look at ALL states in the US, there is no correlation between legal gun ownership and gun murder rates.

    Over and out.

    • Jay permalink
      June 28, 2016 2:28 pm

      You’re right, I got the limited murder category wrong:

      Alaska leads the nation with the highest rate of ALL gun-related deaths, including murder, of any state in the nation, with 19.8 deaths per 100,000 residents.

      For the sake of comparison, the national average is 10.6 gun deaths per 100,000 people, and the lowest rate is in Hawaii, with 2.6 deaths per 100,000 people.

      Alaska gun restrictions: hardly any; no license is required to carry a handgun either openly or concealed. Anyone but convicted felons can own them. Alaska is truly ‘progressive’ for liberal gun laws: you can have “concealed carry” without a permit.

      Continuing —->

      • Jay permalink
        June 28, 2016 2:31 pm

        And comparing apples with apples, Hawaii with its strict gun regulations, has a per capita gun murder rate of 0.5. Alaska, with its permissive non-laws, 2.7.

        That’s more than FIVE TIMES higher for Alaska.

      • June 28, 2016 2:43 pm

        Once again, you cherry pick. Of the six states with the lowest gun murders, Hawaii is only one of them. The other states have much less restrictions and fewer or the same murders.

        Comes smell the coffee, you dog won’t hunt.

      • Priscilla permalink
        June 28, 2016 2:32 pm

        Take out the suicides, and what is the murder rate? I think that is what most people look at.

      • June 28, 2016 2:46 pm

        He is simply tortured to prove a point that is not supported by the data. Any comprehensive review of US gun murder data simply doesn’t show any correlation between legal gun ownership rates and gun murders.

        So, he makes stuff up as he goes along. Typical progressive strategy.

      • Jay permalink
        June 28, 2016 3:11 pm

        What I look at – and I’m assuming that’s what the high percentage of Americans who favor more gun control – is the substantial amount of damage guns inflict on the populace in comparison to the good they provide. We have over 300 million guns in circulation in the US. Are more of those guns used to protect lives or threaten them? If we reduced that number to100 million guns, would people be less safe? Only a third of American households own guns – and so two thirds of America won’t be any less safe. Would the other third be less safe if assault weapons were banned, and yearly limits were put on the amount of ammunition allowed stockpiled for their remaining weapons?

      • Priscilla permalink
        June 28, 2016 3:22 pm

        Jay, I don’t care about the emotional arguments that I hear year after year. If there are no real, honest facts to back them up, they’re not persuasive to me in the least. So, if anti-gun folks have to include suicides in order to get gun violence stats up? That’s not an honest argument in my book. If they have to include violent crime stats that DON’T include gun related crimes? Not those either, for obvious reasons.

        I’m not sure why you accept these statistics as valid anti-gun arguments. I really don’t.

      • June 28, 2016 3:26 pm

        He is just throwing anything he can against the wall. That is what progressives do, they keep whining like little kids who have been told they simply must go to bed.

        I hear another Alaska statistic coming on!

      • Jay permalink
        June 30, 2016 9:59 am

        I’m not a progressive, though you’d like to buttonhole those of us in favor of tighter gun control into narrow focus; on gun control I’m a centrist moderate, slightly to the left of center. About 50% of Americans want stricter gun regulation; according to the Pew Research Poll 85% want background checks on private gun sales and gun show sales – you going to dismiss all of those 85-per-centers as progressives with your usual bonehead conservative rhetoric? Another 82% feel gun violence is a serious problem facing this country (ABC poll, Jan, 2016) – they, unlike you, who dismisses all links between gun availability and violent crime as inconsequential, have it right.

        Take this and punch it into your excel spreadsheet.

        The easy availability, and the excessive number of guns in private possession, is the problem to all gun related destruction of life and limb. Gun violence is a coefficient of available SUPPLY – because that equates to easy access to criminals, and other immature individuals who be allowed to touch them.

        Legal ownership is a leaky boat:

        “About 1.4 million firearms were stolen during household burglaries and other property crimes over the six-year period from 2005 through 2010, according to a report released today by the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS).”

        We can assume at least another million were stolen since then; and BJS statistics from 1987 show higher yearly thefts.The numbers are probably higher all around because not all gun thefts are reported.

        Where do you think those stolen guns ended up – at the Salvation Army? Or where the thousands of guns legally purchased in States with easy buy laws shipped for resale to anyone willing to pay the asking price ended up?

        We know many of them were used for criminal activity, because law enforcement traces guns when they’re recovered after arrests and searches.

        Most of those stolen weapons were legally purchased. How do we reduce that continuing supply from the hands of criminals? REDUCE the SUPPLY,

      • June 30, 2016 11:24 am

        Oh, you mean how the feds are reducing the supply of illegal drugs, mexican immigrants, and such?

        Yes, please do proceed and let me know how that all works out.

      • June 28, 2016 4:05 pm

        Jay be careful how you use statistics. Figures don’t lie, but liars can figure. Look at the last point about over 80% of Alaska’s gun deaths being suicide. That is not gun violence!!!! It is someone determined to kill themselves and a gun is the tool. If not a gun, then hanging, drugs or whatever else is handy as they will kill themselves one way or the other.

        Alaska is not a good example, but this writer did use the numbers effectively and could have left out that last paragraph to further bolster his point

      • June 28, 2016 6:02 pm

        Indeed, I am working with raw data and an Excel SS. I don’t rely on some bird on Wikipedia to provide me with “talking points” on these data.

      • June 28, 2016 10:52 pm

        JB, not sure how it appeared I responding to your comment. That was meant to address Jay’s position that Alaska is the worst state for gun violence and he provided the link which ended up showing that Alaska would be near the bottom if suicide was removed. In many native communities, which Alaska has a high number of residents, suicide rates are almost triple the average rate for everyone. Those stats were mixing “Violent” crime against others with suicide to make gun violence look worse than it is.

        Click to access AKSuicideStatistics.pdf

        It appears that Alaska Native populations suicide rate even exceeds the suicide rates for American Indian and that population is at a critical level when it comes to suicide. In both cases, the rate is highest in the 15-24 year old males and those are the ones with a high diagnosis rate for depression.

        I just don’t accept someone taking their own life by a gun to someone killing another person.

        And Jay has promoted the 5 gun limit per household or person in a previous comment. It only takes one gun to commit suicide, so his 5 gun limit would have no impact on Alaska’s death rate by guns. And try shooting yourself with an assault rifle. Can be done, but more difficult than with a pistol and it still only takes one bullet.

      • June 29, 2016 7:25 am

        No, I was clear. Yes, Jay has an agenda in search of evidence. Unfortunately for him, he has no legitimate data so he bends it to fit his desired outcome.

        I am agnostic. If the data showed that legal gun owners were the problem, I would say so. They are not. Illegal guns ARE a problem and I have suggested a few interventions that might slow that train down.

        Kill someone with an illegal gun? Death penalty.

        Found with an illegal gun in your possession? Five years in the pen.

        Might work, might not. Worth a try IMHO.

        Jay doesn’t like guns, so Jay will go for restriction for everyone. Jay also doesn’t like having to change the Constitution.

        Too bad for Jay.

      • Jay permalink
        June 30, 2016 10:10 am

        “Jay doesn’t like guns, so Jay will go for restriction for everyone. Jay also doesn’t like having to change the Constitution.”

        It’s nonsensical statements like these that make mr discount your intellect and your maturity.

        I like guns, and unlike you own two. I don’t like the unconscionable excessive number of them in circulation.

        And as Progressives ARE in favor of changing the Constitution, your reiterated charge that I’m one now appears doubly gratuitous

      • Priscilla permalink
        June 30, 2016 10:15 am

        Are your guns “in circulation”, Jay? Or only all of the other 299,998 million?

      • June 30, 2016 11:27 am

        No, Jay’s guns are fine. It’s the other guys that are the problem. Since I don’t own any guns, mine can’t be stolen. Jay’s, well they can be.

        I guess he is part of the problem?

        How about that.

      • Jay permalink
        June 30, 2016 11:46 am

        That’s a petulant response, Priscilla.
        I have a shotgun and two revolvers, limited ammunition.
        That’s within my suggested five gun limit.
        If it was illegal to own more, and illegal to own semi-automatic and assault weapons, the supply of illegal seepage of legal weapons to criminals would shrink, the suicide fatality rate would shrink, the accidental gun injury and death rate would shrink, the mentally incompetent gun injury rate would shrink, trauma rates from gun shot wounds would shrink, the tedious amount of wasted internet blog comments on gun control would shrink – and best of all the NRA would cease to have influence on our politics.

        Less Guns = A Happier America! 👩‍❤️‍👩👨‍❤️‍👨👪

      • Priscilla permalink
        June 30, 2016 11:53 am

        I’m sorry if you thought it was petulant. But, asserting things for which you have no evidence starts to get old, really. It’s a pointless discussion in that case, and I think I’m done with it for now. I have changed my mind on various issues, but never as a result of non-compromising arguments which defy reason. Maybe we’ll have more overlap on another issue. This one goes nowhere, if you believe that the 2nd amendment allows the government to ban guns in common use, and I believe that it doesn’t. We’ll have to agree to disagree.

      • June 30, 2016 12:35 pm

        Jay can you enlighten me on your 5 gun limit.
        1. If I am a gun nut and now own 15 guns and you pass a law that says I can own 5, how does that change my mental outlook on things?
        2. If I a prone to suicide, how does the 5 gun limit stop me from using one of the 5 to shoot myself?
        3. If I am mentally unstable, how does the 5 gun limit stop me from doing something radical….Most people would have a hard time carrying more than 5 at one time anyway.
        4. If I accidentally shoot myself or someone else due to carelessness with one of the 15, hos does eliminating 10 guns from my collection stop the accident?

        I would really like to know your thinking as I have a very hard time understanding how limits on guns would have any impact on the stats you quote.

      • June 30, 2016 12:49 pm

        Great questions, Ron. Notice, the 5 gun rules only applies to legally obtained guns. The thugs will continue to purchase with abandon. Jay does not deal with this issue, does he.

      • June 30, 2016 11:25 am

        My intellect is more than intact, thanks.

      • Jay permalink
        June 30, 2016 11:32 am

        Your comment equating a discussion on gun control with narcotics control leaves that in doubt

      • June 30, 2016 11:38 am

        Doubt away, you are fine about wasting you time.

  35. June 28, 2016 10:41 am

    And here is why I am so adamant about an amendment and not a law on gun control. Case goes to SCOTUS and we have Thomas and Sotomayor on the same side. Hell has froze over.

    I never thought I would agree with Soto, but her comment about clearly writing a law is spot on!!!!

    • Jay permalink
      June 28, 2016 3:16 pm

      I don’t understand your point, Ron.
      What would an amendment to cover this SCOTUS ruling say?

      • June 28, 2016 4:01 pm

        Her comment that seems to not appear in this article but did in the AP article in our morning paper was something to the effect that “this law is vague and if the framers of this law wanted misdemeanor domestic violence (or whatever the ruling was) to be covered, then the law should be written that way.

        My whole point in this argument is the makeup of SCOTUS and the fact that it is either an arm of the conservatives or the liberals based on who packs the courts. Ronald Reagan appointed judges like SDO that ruled based on the constitution, much like Kennedy. It is refreshing to find people that will vote based on the constitution and not party affiliation.

        If you want gun control and people banned from owning guns, then write up an amendment and put it in the constitution. If you want guns limits on the number people can own, put it in the amendment.

        If they have to write an amendment to insure someone in the future will not reverse a law that says congressional pay can not be raised until the new congress takes office (after an election), then how in the hell can we expect something as important as gun ownership and gun rights to not be changed at the whim of whoever is in power at the time.

  36. Jay permalink
    June 28, 2016 2:48 pm

    Alaska, with barely any background checks for gun possession, has one of the highest violent crime rates in the U.S., at 603.2 violent crimes per 100,000, compared to a national average of 386.9, according to the FBI’s 2012 crime report.

    • June 28, 2016 3:24 pm

      I get you don’t like Alaska. However, notice how you keep trying to weezle out of admitting you are simply wrong.

      Bashing that head again, eh?

    • Priscilla permalink
      June 29, 2016 8:28 am

      That is a good piece, JB. And I like what you said a little bit further up about being agnostic about guns.

      There is no doubt in my mind – none, whatsoever – that, if crime statistics honestly showed a relationship between legal gun ownership and gun violence, other than suicide, there would be a true grass roots movement to repeal the 2nd Amendment and pass restrictive gun legislation, so that no one, other than the military and law enforcement would be allowed to carry firearms. Those so-called ‘gun nuts’ would be marginalized or criminalized, and punished for their refusal to abide by public safety laws.

      And, if that were the case, gun control advocates like Mike Bloomberg could walk around without 5 armed bodyguards, as he does now, when he lectures the rest of us on self-defense, or any of the Hollywood types that pipe up about guns from inside of their gated, guarded mansions.

      • June 29, 2016 8:35 am

        Yes, Obama does the same thing while surrounded 24-7 by SS agents.

        I would LOVE to see Obama have a chat with black Americans about their propensity towards violence, and in particular, murder.

        Yeah, that is not going to happen.

  37. Priscilla permalink
    June 29, 2016 9:32 am

    Jay, I would be interested in your take on this, since it involves public health. How can Democrats sleep at night, knowing that the Zika virus has already caused a baby with microcephaly to be born in Florida (yesterday, I think), and will likely cause hundreds more families the anquish of having a severely disabled child.?

    I’ll tell you, from my perspective, how they’re able. They are so corrupt, so driven by political purpose, that they have lost their humanity. And they’re counting on their allies in the media will find a way to blame it on the GOP. This horrifies me way more than cooked gun stats:

    • June 29, 2016 10:41 am

      Priscilla, I know you asked Jay for his input, but I am going to butt in like I always do and comment.

      I am pissed at both parties. One, the GOP, which included cutting off funding in Puerto Rico for some services provided by Planned Parenthood. Second, the Dem’s for voting against a bill just because PP would lose federal grant block grant moneys.

      What the hell does planned parenthood have to do with the Zika virus? Congress needs to stop playing games with political issues (like supporting or not supporting PP) at the expense of Americans safety and begin doing the right thing. And that would be a Zika bill without political crap attached.

      I know it will never happen, but here I go again. Constitutional Amendment that says “Congress will pass no laws that address multiple issues, requiring all laws to be single issue legislation, unless there is a direct link between the two differing issues.”

      Nothing gets done anymore because a good laws gets cremated by special interest issues like planned parenthood.

      • Priscilla permalink
        June 29, 2016 11:19 am

        I completely agree with you, Ron. I know my post sounded very anti-Democrat, but the Republicans do the same damn thing. I guess the only difference is that the Republicans are treated far more harshly by the press….but, then again, that has been going on for decades, so why not call it out for what it is? No, many politicians, if not most, have also given up on any humanity that they once had.

        Politics has always been a heartless,dirty business. But journalism was once an honorable one. I think that the decline of journalism has been a huge factor in the erosion of our government and culture. Media people have cultivated power and can no longer speak truth to it.

    • Jay permalink
      June 30, 2016 9:18 am

      Accidental Gun Deaths Involving Children Are A Major Problem In The US

      In 2015, “about 265 children under 18 picked up a firearm and shot someone by accident, and 83 of those shootings were fatal, according to research compiled by the gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety. Some 41 of those deaths involved the shooters themselves, and most of the shootings involved toddlers or teens who were playing recklessly with the guns.”

      You need a minimum of 82 stories of legal gun owners disarming illegal gun owners to break even with your reactionary NRA propaganda, jbastiate, just for the fatalities involving children.

      • June 30, 2016 9:51 am

        I will give you this, you are stuck, big time.

      • June 30, 2016 12:08 pm

        And how would your 5 gun limit stop this? Or even a one gun limit?

      • June 30, 2016 12:29 pm

        It wouldn’t and he knows it. He just likes repeating the same argument. When the feds prove then can actually stop illegal immigration, I will entertain the notion that they can control gun supply.

        Then again, I am not holding my breath, as history is clearly on my side here.

  38. Jay permalink
    June 30, 2016 9:36 am

    Gunshot Wounds a Public Health and Safety Problem – and EXPENSIVE:

    “In the U.S. for 2010, there were 31,513 deaths from firearms, distributed as follows by mode of death: Suicide 19,308; Homicide 11,015; Accident 600. This makes firearms injuries one of the top ten causes of death in the U.S. The number of firearms-related injuries in the U.S., both fatal and non-fatal, increased through 1993, declined to 1999, and has remained relatively constant since. However, firearms injuries remain a leading cause of death in the U.S., particularly among youth (CDC, 2001) (Sherry et al, 2012).”

    “The number of non-fatal injuries is considerable–over 200,000 per year in the U.S. Many of these injuries require hospitalization and trauma care. A 1994 study revealed the cost per injury requiring admission to a trauma center was over $14,000. The cumulative lifetime cost in 1985 for gunshot wounds was estimated to be $911 million, with $13.4 billion in lost productivity. (Mock et al, 1994) The cost of the improper use of firearms in Canada was estimated at $6.6 billion per year. (Chapdelaine and Maurice, 1996)

    • June 30, 2016 12:17 pm

      Jay, I am going to be moderate on this subject and compromise. All drug related deaths in the USA totalled 47,000+. Alcohol related deaths totaled 29,000+. Not much different than your accidental gun death total. I will accept your gun ban if you accept a ban on alcohol (totally illegal in all forms) and severely limiting the availability of narcotic style drugs for everyone.

      Sound reasonable???? I think it does since there is no constitutional right to drugs and alcohol.

  39. Jay permalink
    June 30, 2016 9:43 am


    “The number of firearms injuries remains high in the United States, compared with most of the rest of the world. Firearm suicide rates are strongly impacted by the rate of gun ownership. (Kaplan and Geling, 1998) There is a positive correlation between firearm fatality rates and number of guns in developed nations. (Bangalore and Messerli, 2013)”

    The suicide fatality rate for guns is 85%.

    The suicide average fatality rate for all other methods is much less. Suffocation (hangings and self-strangulation is second most successful at 69%, but that takes a lot more planning and resolve. Poisoning, the third most popular choice (favored by women) is only 2% fatal. Stabbings and slicing only 1% fatal. You could throw yourself off a roof and have a 31% chance of killing yourself, but again, it’s one of the least favored methods

  40. Priscilla permalink
    June 30, 2016 11:42 am

    I’m gonna comment down here, because some of the threads are getting too skinny.

    Jay, I will agree that you are not a progressive, at least not in the total sense. You are a fan of capitalism (I think, anyway), you have expressed strong support for immigration enforcement, and you are not in favor of political correctness. So, I get why you consider yourself left of center, rather than progressive.

    I think that the thing that seems “progressive” about you is your blind faith in government, and your steadfast refusal to accept that there might be ways other than liberal orthodoxy on guns and abortion, two of the hot-button divisive issues that keep Americans in different, warring camps.

    I get that you want to confiscate guns because you think there are too many. What I don’t get is why you think that will keep guns out of the hands of those who want them to kill people. Especially drug dealers, gang members and terrorists, who function in a world where guns are easy to obtain. Maybe restricting gun ownership would save a few suicidal people, and maybe some kids. But in the former case, mental health reform would be far more valuable and save far more lives, and, in the latter, banning swimming pools would definitely be more effective, since far more kids drown than get shot accidentally.

    Anyway, for what it’s worth, I agree that you are moderate on some issues.

    • June 30, 2016 12:27 pm

      Priscilla, very good comment. I too said that Jay had blind faith in government (June 27th post) but in a different manner. I said he trusted government while I did not. In most all of my comments about changing the constitution or his trust in government, I have not received a reply. So I am not sure if he can not address that issue or if he is afraid to divulge that he does trust the feds to do the right thing.

      Or maybe JB and Jay are going at it so hot and heavy he does not have time.

      • June 30, 2016 12:31 pm

        He brought a knife to a gun fight. It wasn’t even close.

    • Jay permalink
      June 30, 2016 12:58 pm

      Pricilla how did you come to the conclusion I have blind faith in government???

      I’m suspicious of government bureaucracy – and of the mindless decision making of both parties based on ideology, not objective rationality.

      Government – and the clunky bureaucratic apparatus that animates it nevertheless is crucial for modern democratic societies to exist . Can’t live with it, can’t live without it..

      And yes, I’m certain only government can effectively address certain problems – would you want the FDA to vanish?

      And I don’t WANT the government to confiscate all guns: I was asked what I thought was a reasonable LIMIT for gun ownership, 5 weapons was hypothetical. And I know if limiting laws went into effect, it would take decades to reduce the number out there now. But going forward it would reduce the flow of guns into criminal hands now, if there were less guns sold on the open market. And we certainly should make it harder to legally acquire guns, to weed out those mentally unfit to possess them. And like auto licenses, require follow up proficiency tests for renewal. And stiffer fines for unauthorized sales or possession. And definitely we should ban assault style weapons.

      Everything I’ve suggested will pass constitutional muster.

      One final point: I feel like d’Artagnan, single handedly dueling Cardinal Richelieu’s guards in this gun control thread. It’s taking too much mental energy away from other issues I’m dealing with elsewhere – so au revoir mes amis, for awhile ⚔

      • June 30, 2016 2:20 pm

        Well, bye!

      • Priscilla permalink
        June 30, 2016 3:16 pm

        Jay, I made your final point for you, a few threads up. I’m glad that you are willing to mix it up with us here, even when you’re standing alone.

        That said, you still strike me as curiously faithful when it comes to the federal government. None of us have advocated the abolition of agencies like the FDA, just that any bureaucratic agency is often going to end up producing so much red tape that its original mission is compromised.

        And, if you don’t want the government to confiscate weapons, how will it recover all of the weapons that you want it to? And what exactly is an assault rifle? Define your terms. Is it a semi-automatic rifle with a scary looking scope and pistol grip? Should government demand all of the legal weapons purchased (over 5 of course) by demanding sales records from legal gun dealers?

        None of these things will pass constitutional muster, not that I can see. But that is why we’re at an impasse.

        As far as background checks, you will be hard-pressed to find any legal gun owner who is opposed to a fair background check. If belonging to a conservative action group disqualifies you, similar to the way the IRS disqualified or stonewalled conservative groups, then there will be a problem.

        As far as guns and ammo go, as soon as criminals and terrorists possess 3-D printers? All bets are off.

      • June 30, 2016 5:43 pm

        I have a plan, See, Obama will decree that all shall return to their place of birth, kind of like a census. There, we shall all be counted. This decree will also require us to bring ALL of our guns with us, so that they may be registered in the federal data base.

        When we arrive at our birthplace, the FBI will be waiting. Carefully, and without any resistance, they will take the sixth gun and beyond, away from us. Of course, they will pay us fair market value for the guns they take and all will be happy to unburden themselves from their excess guns.

        Even better, those of us that do not own a gun will be given one or more, up to the legal limit of five.

        Of course, since this is Obama, only white Americans will be required to be counted. After all, we can’t profile those other residents of this great land.

        That wouldn’t be fair!

  41. Priscilla permalink
    June 30, 2016 12:52 pm

    By the way, I just read that Paul Ryan has told the House that there will be a vote on a bill that includes banning gun sales to those on the terrorist watch list, including due process provisions for those who are erroneously placed on the list. There will also be a mental health reform bill.

    Who wants to lay odds on the chances of Democrats supporting either of these bills?

    • Priscilla permalink
      July 1, 2016 8:55 am

      Oh, and just to play fair ~ not only are Democrats going to deep-six any meaningful bill on guns or mental health. Both mainstream, liberal and conservative press outlets have characterized this move by the Speaker as “Ryan Caves on Gun Vote”.

      So, of course, you’re going to see a number of conservative GOP members vote against the bill too…they’ll say that the due process rights will be stripped out of it, when the bill goes to the Senate. Or that the due process provisions in the bill aren’t enough. And they might be right. But after the bill fails, we’ll hear “GOP owned by NRA” the way we always do, and we’ll go back to square one.

      As Trump would say – “Sad!”

      • July 1, 2016 10:55 am

        As my distrust for government grows, I now look at this as a political move that Ryan knows will not get passed. Take away all of the reasons you have listed and there is still one huge problem to overcome. There are well over a million people on the no fly list. If this passes, how the heck is the federal judicial system going to be able to handle all the “due process” request? If you are like Steve Hayes (fx News contributing journalist) and are on that list for no reason at all, it can take you 7-9 years to get off the list.

        I think we need a no-fly, no-bye law, but it will do no good. One, our government is so incompetent they can not keep a good no-fly list now and two, the terrorist know exactly where to buy their guns. All they need to do is go south of the border and there are as many semi-auto guns that they can afford. And that accounts for those that can not find them illegally in America.

  42. July 1, 2016 10:32 am

    Interesting. Now, if we only get HC indicted, that might help as well.

  43. Anonymous permalink
    July 1, 2016 12:16 pm

    All weapons are “weapons of war”.

    So you want to ban “assault rifles” ?

    What is an “assault rifle” ?

    I do not think you will find a combat infantrymen “assaulting” an enemy beach, or gun emplacement, or …. with an AR-15.

    There are “military versions of the AR-15” they are capable of firing more than one bullet for each trigger pull.

    The standard AR-15 is approximately a .22 calibre weapon – that is a very small calibre.
    It is a long gun – rifle, meaning it is more likely to hit what you point it at, but that also makes it less suitable for tight spaces, crowded conditions, or close quarters. Long guns – including the AR-15 are responsible for about 2% of all gun fatalities a year. If you entirely banned them and confiscated the approximately 1.5M AR-15’s as well as every other rifle in america, you would put little dent in violent deaths.

    The 90’s “assault rifle” ban was farcical. It had ZERO impace on violence or crime. Its expiration had ZERO effect. Nor did it bar the sale of AR-15’s because the AR-15 is not an “assault rifle” in any technical sense, and there is little difference in the technical sense between an AR-15 and the western winchester repeating rifle that appeared after the civile war.

    The assault weapon ban was nothing more than a cosmetic ban of scary looking weapons.

    There is no conceivable way of banning AR-15’s that does not end up banning all rifles or all pistols, or both.

    Finally there are 340M guns in the US, there are 1.5M AR-15’s
    Absent confiscating those that already exist you will never ever have any impact on gun violence.

    In the event that you decide to confiscate weapons. You will be lucky if two/thirds of people voluntarily turn their guns over. That will leave you with something like 20 million people that you are going to have to disarm by force. If only 5% of this choose to resist with force, you are going to have 1 million armed standoffs.

    All this to convert the US to Scottland – where the murder rate among whites is about double that of the US – but they use knives. Or Australia, were mass shortings were replaced by mass murder by arson.

    Gun control is a ludicrously idiotic effort.

    It is impractical and ineffective.

    The statistics do not demonstrate any benefit.

    By ethnic group rates of violence and violent death are nearly identical througout the world.

    Whites in the US kill people with the same frequency as whites elsewhere in the world – even places where there are no guns.

    Within the US there is no noticable distinction between rates of violence and violent death based on gun control.

    Post Sandy Hook Obama commissioned the CDC to study gun violence hoping the get some result that would support greater gun control.

    The CDC survey of existing data and studies found no beneficial effect to gun control.
    It found that whatever increases that guns might have on violence were mitigated – possibly more than mitigated by the deterent decreases, either crimes like home invasions that were reduced – because occupants MIGHT have a gun, or by those that ended with a better outcome because occupants DID have a gun.

    I do not have a working gun in my home. I do not need to. I live in an area where gun ownership is high. There are very very few home invasions and burglaries – because the odds of encountering an armed homeowner are high.

    • July 1, 2016 1:39 pm

      Well reasoned!

    • Jay permalink
      July 2, 2016 1:22 pm

      “All weapons are “weapons of war””

      Agreed. Therefore the literal primary meaning of the 2nd Amendment for well regulated militias should take precedence in future supreme court decisions regarding regulation of said weapons of war.

    • Jay permalink
      July 2, 2016 1:35 pm

      “There is no conceivable way of banning AR-15’s that does not end up banning all rifles or all pistols, or both.”

      Nonsense. Look at all the European nations that have banned them whose citizens still have the right to own rifles and pistols.

      Hell, look across the border at Canada, where

      “Regulations Prescribing Certain Firearms and Other Weapons, Components and Parts of Weapons, Accessories, Cartridge Magazines, Ammunition and Projectiles as Prohibited, Restricted or Non-Restricted” are in effect but citizens have ample access to other weapons.

  44. July 1, 2016 12:27 pm


    There are 340M guns in the US. There are 1.5M AR-15’s there are atleast 120M people who own guns.

    You are old enough to remember the collapse of the Berlin wall.

    It does not take military hardware to take down a government.
    It does not even take guns – though it is easier with them.

    The question is NOT whether guys with AR-15’s can defeat guys with Tanks.

    It is weather our military and national guard are willing to kill their neighbors.

    A crew of a tank may be prepared to follow orders to pacify an ordinary community – given their orders were not too outrageous and there was no real need to kill anyone.

    When it becomes necescary for government to kill ordinary citizens in significant numbers,
    that government is on the verge of collapse.

    Ghandi and Martin Luther King demonstrated that non-violent active resistance could be extremely politically effective.

    But armed passive resistance can be very effective too.

    During reconstruction things turned evil and the jim crow period started when the union soldiers confiscated the guns of black citizens and left the south.

    Before the civil ware the South kept extremely tight control of guns.
    The fear or an armed black uprising was extremely high.

    Slavery required gun control

  45. July 1, 2016 12:40 pm

    The sustained accurate rate of fire for an infantrymen with an M16 – not an AR-15 is generally 12-15 aimed rounds per minute.

    An AR-15 will do no better, Nor will most handguns.

    The AR-15 is not a machine gun, it require pulling the trigger for every shot, and reloading every 30 shots.

    It took a long time at Sandy hook, and Orlando and Aurora and columbine and …. to kill the number of people that were killed.

    That almost certainly would have ended far quicker had someone on the scene been armed.

    It is not even necescary to engage in a gun fight with the shooter.

    All that is necescary is for the shooter to have to adjust their plans because they MIGHT encounter an armed person.

    Adam Lanza was able to move room to room quickly because he knew there were no weapons in the school – besides his own.
    He was in a race to kill as many people as possible before the police arrive.

    If he had to move half as fast for fear than someone in the next room MIGHT be armed the death toll would have been lower.

    • Jay permalink
      July 2, 2016 2:26 pm

      “That almost certainly would have ended far quicker had someone on the scene been armed….It is not even necescary to engage in a gun fight with the shooter….All that is necescary is for the shooter to have to adjust their plans because they MIGHT encounter an armed person.”

      The Orlando shooter was confronted by three armed guards, one outside the club, who exchanged fire with him, and two others who followed him inside… did that escape your attention?

      You’re right, if enough people inside the club were armed when he then came inside, firing his superior weapon, someone might have landed a fortunate head shot. But we can imagine the collateral damage over time of having young people with loaded guns in bars with alcohol free flowing all night. I know you think that’s a good idea, because gun laws preventing that are detrimental to liberty – but those of us who are Common Sense Moderates think that’s addle brained

  46. July 1, 2016 12:50 pm

    Just to be clear, a homemade bomb capable of killing large numbers is cheaper and easier than an a gun. Further a bomber is has far more hope of surviving.
    Plant the bomb and leave before it detonates.

    Mateen was dead at the scene. The Boston Bombers were not caught for days.
    A ban on high capacity gun clips is ineffective nonsense.

    You likely already know that you can make your own AR-15. A functional one can be made from many 3D printers, but a high quality one can be made with a $1000 CNC machine.

    Gun clips are far easier to make than the rest of a gun.

    The advent of 3d printers and increasingly inexpensive CNC machines makes the concept of government banning anything ludicrous.

    Following these closely are cheap home chemical assemblers. We are probably less than 5 years from being able to buy the equipement to affordably make the drugs of our choice at home.

    It has always been idiocy to think we could solve problems by banning things.
    Prohibition did not work.
    The drug war has been a disaster.
    Attempts to ban guns have faired no better.

    So can you get past stupid “feel good” efforts and try to contemplate what might actually solve problems.

    When we are talking about rare mentally disturbed mass killers, there is little to nothing that we can do.

    • July 1, 2016 1:52 pm

      “So can you get past stupid “feel good” efforts and try to contemplate what might actually solve problems.

      When we are talking about rare mentally disturbed mass killers, there is little to nothing that we can do.”

      That is what I have been saying since this thread started. If there is something of consequence that can lower the murder rate in the US, I am all about discussing that. This ban the gun/AR-15 is all about pretending we did something.

  47. July 1, 2016 1:12 pm

    Guns and mental illness do not mix – but what are you going to do about it ?

    The rate of violence among paranoid schizophrentics – the most likely mental disorder to result in mass violence is about double that of the normal population.

    In other words it is very low.

    Are we going to ban everyone who ever visits a therapist from owning a gun ?

    If so you can expect those who most need help will never seek it.

    Are we going to let the therapist decide ?
    If so again do you expect those who need help to trust therapists.

    We like to think of psychologists and sociologists are experts.
    But we have enormous evidence with respect to recidivism rates of released criminals.

    The record of prison psychologist for accurately predicting the future violence of a known former criminal is no better than that of an ordinary person.

    No insult to shrinks intended. Telling who will be violent in the future is HARD, to impossible.
    As obvious as it seems to all of us after the fact.

    Today most of us look back on the housing bubble and financial crisis an regardless of our ideology are sure that we can easily see its causes – there are so obvious in hindsight.

    It is clear that Adam Lanza, and Omar Matteen, and …. were potential mass murderers – from after the fact.

    But hundreds of thousands – possibly millions of us are not distinguishable from Mateen and Lanza, and of course we should err on the side of safety right ?

    I do not think the NRA is evil for supporting gun rights. But I think their fixation of mental health and other factors is a deliberate red herring.

    We are never going to identify and prevent enough people from owning guns to prevent orlando – without confiscating all guns. The NRA is looking to goad the left into acting stupid.
    But the rationale behind barring specific groups of people is no more valid that confiscating all guns or banning angry looking weapons.

    And less effective. Have you learned nothing from the boston bombers. ?

  48. July 1, 2016 1:18 pm

    In your face gay people.

    Sorry, not with you. I have some problems with the LGBT movement, but it is not that they are “in your face”. It is that having suffered intolerance they have not themselves learned to be tolerant.

    If they want an LGBT parade they are entitled – just like Nazi’s and the KKK.

    But if they want to out people who do not want outed, if they want to demand to know everyone who has ever contrinbuted to a group they do not like, if they want to force those whose values are different to participate in their weddings.
    If we have to restructure public restrooms so their are 4 or 5 different flavors,

    these I have problems with.

    But none of this has anything to do with Orlando.

  49. July 1, 2016 1:30 pm

    It is not an accident that the progressive left is intolerant.

    It is rooted in a fundimental flaw in left wing ideology.

    It has no core, no foundational principles, no rational means of telling good from bad.

    Those on the left are certain they can run through a number of issues and on each issue know absolutely which is absolute truth and which is absolute false.

    Yet how can an ideology we entirely rejects the concepts of absolute truth – or even relative truth manage this feat ?

    The morality of the right might have errors, and issues, but they atleast grasp that there must be moral foundations.

    Ultimately morality derives from freedom. Free Will the ability to make moral choices does nto exit without individual liberty.

    We do not need absolute truth to establish a great deal of relative truth.
    Ultimately that starts with principles.

    There are no principles on the left.

    Racism is purportedly wrong – why ? Most of us might accept that, but if you can not explain why you have no foundations, no basis for law, you have nothing to rest on buy “I say so”
    And the entirety of the lefts ideology rests on “I say so” or “everyone knows”.

    And this is the root of intolerance. “Everyone knows” requires everyone to know, and it requires that those who do not know must be flawed of evil merely for not knowing.

    What distinguishes murder from wearing white after labor day ?

    If you have no principled way to answer, all that is left is everyone knows and those who do not must be evil.

    • Jay permalink
      July 2, 2016 1:15 pm

      “It has no core, no foundational principles, no rational means of telling good from bad.”
      Selective Pontificating Persiflage. The right is subject to the same criticism.

  50. July 1, 2016 1:36 pm

    No we can not enact legislation to curb violence.

    The word “gun” is irrelevant. Should we enact laws to curb knife violence or baseball bat violence or fly swatter violence.

    Regardless, we can not “prevent” violence.
    We can punish it when it occurs and hope for that punishment to serve as a deterent.

    But without enslaving people we can not prevent anything.

    But beyond the philosophical as a practical matter we can not prevent violence.
    All the assorted bans you are after might make you “feel” like you have done something,
    but they will not accomplish anything.

    And that is once again why I see you as on the left.

    You care about feeling as if you have done something, not about actually having done anything.

    You will impose an assortment of “feel good measures” that restrict peoples freedom – even if only mildly, in order to feel like you have done something even though you have actually don no good and a small amount of harm.

    • July 1, 2016 1:54 pm


      You are going to make Jay’s head explore. In this instance, I am with you all the way.

    • Jay permalink
      July 2, 2016 2:06 pm

      “No we can not enact legislation to curb violence.”

      A pompous generalization as intellectually leaky as a sieve.
      The history of our species contradicts that inane supposition.
      Or are you seriously suggesting that laws don’t curb human impulse?
      That if we suspended all the assault laws, all the felony penalties for crimes of mayhem, the level of socialatal violence would stay the same?

  51. July 2, 2016 9:01 am

    They are such a fine bunch of fellows. Yes, the crusades are back and we just won’t acknowledge it.

  52. July 2, 2016 9:04 am

    Gun control or border control? In this case, apparently,neither?

    The great irony here is that Portland is a so-called “sanctuary city.” Yeah, how is that working out for the three dead people this morning?

  53. July 2, 2016 9:08 am

    For the record, CA has a very low % of gun ownership (21.%) and a gun murder rate in excess of the national average (4.9 vs 4.5).

    Gun control? Perhaps they need border control?

    • Jay permalink
      July 2, 2016 12:22 pm

      Take those statistics and shove them.

      California, a state with high percentages of crime prone blacks and Hispanic cartel affiliated gangs, plus an inordinately high percentage of illegally obtained guns – adjacent Arizona gun control laws are among the least-restrictive in the United States; NO background checks required for private sales, duh – and California only has a small decimal point gun murder rate in excess of the national average?

      • Jay permalink
        July 2, 2016 12:26 pm

        Plus Gun death rates fell 56 percent in California between 1993 and 2010, when stricter gun laws took effect, a larger decline than in the nation as a whole, That’s ALL gun deaths – including murder, suicide, accident.

      • Priscilla permalink
        July 2, 2016 12:36 pm

        Which is true of the nation at large. Gun sales up, gun violence down.

      • Jay permalink
        July 2, 2016 1:11 pm

        The gun violence rates have dropped as significantly elsewhere.

        The number of deaths by firearms in the EU has dropped 20% over the last 20 years, where gun laws are generally more restrictive.

        Here, the big decline in gun homicides came between 1993 and 2000, but they’ve remained basically stagnant since then, despite the continuing rise in legal gun sales.

        The death and injury rates for suicide and accidental death, and the overall number of trauma center gunshot injuries has not diminished, and there is convincing statistical studies to show that more guns DO equate with higher violence rates in these categories.

        As an aside, one reason for the decline in gun homicides overall in the previous decade was a specific decline in cases that involved intimate partner shootings: less woman were shooting of their alleged male abusers.

      • July 3, 2016 8:24 am

        I would be happy to shove them, bend over.

        And, you can’t even be suggesting that blacks and hispanics are the issue, not the guns?

      • Jay permalink
        July 3, 2016 12:13 pm

        Blacks and Hispanics WITH GUNS in inner city neighborhoods are a significient percentage of the gun crime problem.

        Everyone everywhere WITH GUNS are at risk from unacceptable gun violence from accident and suicide – deaths a coefficient of per capita gun possession.

    • Jay permalink
      July 2, 2016 11:47 am

      Right, they’re useless preventing unauthorized entry. Except for
      Border Patrol apprehensions totaling 337,117 nationwide in FY 2015, they’ve done nothing. Let’s disband them, and hire security teams from the private sector. I bet they’ll do a great job.

      • July 3, 2016 8:21 am

        No, let’s stop catching and releasing. Let’s build a wall or something that work, you know, like the pols have been promising my entire lifetime.

        I bet you are a fan of the Post Office and the VA too!

      • July 3, 2016 1:07 pm

        jb..Have a question concerning your recent comments about the post office. I do not support the VA because it is in the cesspool because of the incompetent leadership in place. If it were run like most any successful health care system (and there are many of those), then the vets would be getting the high quality services they require.

        But the post office is something else. For instance, the postal service goes out to every Tom, Dick and Harriet on a daily basis, no matter how far they are or how many deliveries the postal employee has to drive to get there. Fed Ex and UPS only delivers when they have a delivery. Fed Ex and UPS have limited services on the weekends. Congress requires Saturday delivery in most areas. And to give a better example of waste by congress, we have a number of post offices with a couple being within 3-4 miles of each other. One does little business, but is in the minority section of town, while the other is much more busy since it is closer to the business district. Plans were made to close the smaller one, but our congressman stopped that because it was needed by that community, even though it only handled a few transactions at the window daily. Fed Ex and UPS would have closed that years ago.

        So is it the postal service that is screwed up, or is it congress that has tied the hands of the management of the postal service that has screwed it up?

      • Jay permalink
        July 3, 2016 1:08 pm

        As I’ve said before, I’m in favor of building a high tech fence; cheaper and easier to build, and no graffiti. But that will still require large numbers of people to monitor the fence and the border: techs to check equipment and watch the survailance equipment, and rapid response teams to respond to alerts, etc. but we also need to better monitor and apprehend those here with expired visas, and that means additional commitment in providing tech and personnel – which means congressional consensus, good luck with that.

      • Jay permalink
        July 3, 2016 1:25 pm

        I’m a big fan of the Post Office.
        And of FedEx and UPS too.
        FedEx and UPS are generally cheaper for shipping packages, but but inconvenient to use.

        For letters and packages my local PO is five minutes away. I drive over, drop my let’s into the slot, and am on my way. For packages I wait in line a few minutes, and the postal employee weighs it, stamps it, rings up my payment, and I’m out.

        For UPS drivers to pick up, it’s considerably more complicated:

        Log into My UPS:

        Select Shipping in the area at the top.
        Select Schedule a Pickup in the area at the left.
        Indicate whether you have already obtained shipping labels or preprinted Return labels.
        If you have a UPS Account, enter the Account Number and Account ZIP/Postal Code
        Enter the required customer information.
        Enter the number of letters and/or packages that need to be picked up for each service type.
        Select the date, time, and location for your pickup.
        Enter a phone number and an e-mail address for the contact person at your requested pickup location. This optional information will allow you to electronically communicate information about the shipment.
        Select Next.
        Enter all payment information.
        Select Next to verify the details of your pickup request.
        Select Next to receive your pickup confirmation and a Pickup Request Number. Note: Please print this confirmation page for future reference. You will need the Pickup Request Number to cancel, modify, or track the status of your pickup.

  54. July 2, 2016 3:42 pm–election.html?ref=gs

    Clinton “interviewed ” by FBI. Other sites Clinton “meets” with FBI

    You or I “meet” with the FBI for an “interview” and its called and “interrogation”.

    • July 3, 2016 8:19 am

      The Clintons are corrupt beyond belief.

      • Jay permalink
        July 3, 2016 12:55 pm

        And the Donald is corrupt AND creepy AND idiotic AND unstable AND totally unprepared to hold ANY political office.

        If you recall when he first started campaigning I was open to his candidacy. I assumed he was exaggerating his positions, acting boorish and stupid to attract media attention. Turns out it wasn’t an act.

        Doesn’t it make you shudder to envision that oafish fool as president of this nation? A dufus huxter like him, speaking for the nation, representing us as the leader of our government?

        Keep this in mind: whatever their limits of character, both Clinton’s have ‘governed’ effectively. The Bill Clinton presidency, notably the economy, was successful. And Hillary as a freshman New York senator was capable and effective at building consensus with Republicans to pass legislation. She was a mediocre Secretary of State; but in these unsettled times it’s doubtful anyone could have done better.

        As I see it, neither Hillary nor Trump will be able to fix our broken political system. A Hillary presidency will be bellyache for the US, but a Trump presidency will be suicide.

      • July 3, 2016 1:16 pm

        “A Hillary presidency will be bellyache for the US, but a Trump presidency will be suicide.”

        Jay, a second opinion to your medical diagnosis is different. I find both conditions to be a cancer, but one being a very aggressive cancer (Trump), while the other is a more slower progressing cancer (Clinton). Both will have very negative outcomes for the patient (USA).

        Right now the cure is Libertarian where there treatment is based on the constitutions bill of rights and not on a political agenda to garner votes and power.

      • Jay permalink
        July 3, 2016 1:34 pm

        I agree with you, both are depressing to contemplate.

        And I’d opt for the libertarian vote, hoping enough other Americans do the same in protest, and thereby legitimize a serious third party option in the future.

        But if the election looks like it’s going to be a squeaker then I’d proselytize for Clinton, because I think we can survive 4 years of a Clinton Presidency, but not one year of aTrump oligarchy.

      • July 3, 2016 1:41 pm

        I hope you are right. While Trump is a nut job, I just wonder if 4 years of his reign would be less negative than 4 years of clintons, with SCOTUS packed with her very liberal judges that will rule on the Bill of Rights (or Bill of Unrights) for 20+ years. That is a cancer we may not survive.

    • July 3, 2016 8:23 am

      Jay, your standards must be very low indeed. How many illegals in the US would it take for you to conclude the Feds suck at stopping this form of invasion?

      They caught 346K? How many did they NOT catch. Answer, you will never know.

      And you deny you are a progressive? Sorry, that dog won’t hunt.

  55. July 3, 2016 8:19 am

    From our friend, Sting!

    There is no political solution
    To our troubled evolution
    Have no faith in constitution
    There is no bloody revolution

    We are spirits in the material world
    Are spirits in the material world
    Are spirits in the material world
    Are spirits in the material world

    Our so-called leaders speak
    With words they try to jail you
    They subjugate the meek
    But it’s the rhetoric of failure

    • Jay permalink
      July 3, 2016 12:19 pm

      From our pal Bob Dylan:

      Come senators, congressmen please heed the call
      Don’t stand in the doorway don’t block up the hall
      For he that gets hurt will be he who has stalled
      There’s a battle outside and it’s ragin’
      It’ll soon shake your windows and rattle your walls
      For the times they are a’ changin’!

  56. July 3, 2016 1:32 pm

    The GOP is the only group of individuals that keep beating their heads against a wall, say it feels sooooo good and continue until they are mentally unstable.

    O”Donnell in Delaware 2008
    Angle in Nevada 2008
    Glenn in Colorado 2016

    And there are many others that were winnable races the GOP gave away.

  57. Carly permalink
    July 3, 2016 8:30 pm

    I’m new to this blog so forgive me if this has been discussed. I’m wondering if anyone has ideas to reduce gun violence that don’t involve more guns or more gun laws. I think the country is stuck on that one. Also, it bothers me that I don’t see more of an effort among conservatives to initiate measures to reduce gun violence that aren’t reactionary to measures proposed by the left. Am I missing something there? It seems people who value the right to bear arms have the most to lose here but the most vocal are making it look as if conservatives just don’t care about people getting shot. I can’t believe that’s true. I have no problem with people owning guns but I have a problem with people worshiping them. I think it contributes to a culture in which the gun is thought of as the first solution to any threat. This, in turn, creates a perception that gun owners are trigger happy and don’t care about people outside their circle. This is understandably alarming to people who have never fired a gun and never want to. I know two types of gun owners — those for whom guns are a part of life but not the most important part and those whose social and political lives seem to center around guns. I’d like to hear more ideas from the first type. BTW, congratulations on a relatively rational and respectful discussion. 🙂

    • July 3, 2016 11:01 pm

      Carly, welcome. We do seem to be somewhat civilized when we discuss issues, but then there are times when it does get a little heated. Please don’t take anything personal if it gets over the line now and then.

      Now from my perspective as to your questions/comments about reducing gun violence without more gun laws, measures to reduce gun violence by the right or reactionary measures by the left. To me, there are many reasons this can not happen. The first and foremost is the politics that play into this emotional issue. What good would it do for the election of more conservatives or liberals in government positions if they all got together, worked out a solution to a few of the most glaring gun problems facing the country. Neither party would be able to run on a positive or negative agenda because they agreed on something that benefited the country.

      The other issues that you ask about are not primarily guns or gun laws alone. They are other problems rooted in society that the gun becomes a tool for those wanting to cause problems. Terrorist, drug dealer, youth gang member or loner. Each of these will find a way to carry out their plans.

      Now take the change in society over the past decades. Terrorist were limited to isolated countries, but now find their way to us. They have multiple ways of killing. (Guns, bombs, etc) Drug dealers have become much more violent in protecting their territory. Illegal guns are a weapon of choice. Youth gang members used to use knives and fist and slice up or beat the crud out of opposing gang members. Now they blow the others head off when they can. And then the loner who was ridiculed in school but still knew the difference between right and wrong now plays video games for hours where killing is the norm. They are sensitized to death.

      Your questions are very good ones. The answers are much harder to identify as it has taken years for society to mold itself to the point where we are today. It will take twice as many years to reverse what has happened.

      But my take on this is two fold. One is our politicians do not want to fix the problem just like the debt and deficit, they want it to continue as it gives them an emotional issue to run on to increase votes all while blaming their opponent for the situation as it exist today. And two, those that may find some gun control measures acceptable to themselves may never accept those as laws due to distrust of government. Too often when the door is opened, the government expands control substantially.

      • July 4, 2016 8:19 am

        Ron, your last point: “those who may find some gun control measures acceptable to themselves may never accept those as laws due to distrust of government…when the door is opened, the govt expands control substantially.”

        Yes, that is a major and plainly stated part of the deadlock regarding sensible gun legislation in the U.S. Many law-abiding gun owners (many, not all and maybe not a majority of) would be willing to make some reasonable concessions if it would help curb the trouble, but they know from experience and from history about “slippery slopes” and the “snowball effect” and about opening doors. Not only does government in general have the tendency to expand control, but also there are legions of people who openly despise and fear the very mention of guns and who, in their theoretical/abstract way of thinking, want them all taken away except for police and soldiers. Then throw in the fact that such concessions would at best only limit some of the violence… and so the pro-gun moderates (like myself) understandably join with the pro-gun conservatives to dig in, send their donations to the NRA etc. and hold the line.

        Which brings us back to Carly’s point about reducing violence in other ways. If violence were becoming extinct, and people were working things out with reasonable discussion and in civilized ways (uh…this DOES exist, and more than the violence, but most people don’t realize it because of the ambulance-chasing media) then we wouldn’t be defending our gun rights (duh), and that’s why many (me included) believe that we are being purposely PROVOKED into losing our gun rights, and other rights, in more ways than the average happy person would believe.

      • July 4, 2016 11:32 am

        Pat, isn’t it interesting that there are so many people that have the same beliefs as you and I, but we are under the control of the minority on the left or the right. Somehow the “majority rules” has been lost. Like I have said many many times on the site, all of us here at TNM could set down for a meal and refreshments and probably come to an overall agreement on many of the issues that face this country since being moderate allows for compromise in most instances. Unlike the politicians we have today.

        As for trust in government, too many times we see where government screws the people. We have just completed about 20 years of legal fights over eminent domain locally. State laid out the route for a beltway around the city and people in that corridor were not allowed to make any improvements or substantial changes to their property. 20 years later the state supreme court ruled the state had to buy the properties since they have had a detrimental impact on the property values and undue restrictions placed on the owners. The fifth amendment to the constitution states “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation”. However, over the years, government has progressed where they believed they could place restrictions on properties without actually taking the land until it was necessary and in doing so they did not have to compensate the owners.

        And there are hundreds, if not thousands of other examples of creeping government where rights have been infringed upon without due process.

        At some point, maybe people will wake up and start voting for the only party in America that believes government is based on and restricted by the constitution. Libertarian Party.

      • Jay permalink
        July 4, 2016 4:26 pm

        Re: eminent domain, or true lack of it…

        China just finished building the world’s largest radio telescope and is now better-equipped at searching for aliens. …Everything come with a price. In order to make room for FAST, the Chinese government displaced 9,000 people who lived in the area, and to do so paid these people only about $1,800. The government could have done much better here but considering China’s long history of displacing people (over 40 million displaced since the 1970s), this is a relatively paltry number.”

        And the worrisome Government Creep you talk about seems to be an inherent unintended consequence of the democratic process.. I see it more as pendulum momentum than creep: Laws establish precedence, and precedence creates a momentum that generally swings the pendulum past the intended goals or targets the laws are meant to address. Precedence is a Catch-22 for the courts. Although the courts are intended to act as fail safe for bad law, precedence makes the slope slipper.

      • July 4, 2016 5:37 pm

        Good grief. One has to hope we never get to this level of government confiscation. Just the fact that hundreds were in the proposed path of a beltway and could not do anything with their properties for 20 years was bad enough for me. Even widows after their husbands had died were stuck with properties they did not want or need. At least we do have a court system that rectified the issue and now has clarified that any new road corridors mapped by the state requires them to buy that property within a short period of time the master plan is finalized.

      • Priscilla permalink
        July 4, 2016 9:21 am

        Pat, I am also one who believes that we are being purposely provoked.

        Why else, would anyone look at an atrocity like Orlando, in which a terrorist had long proclaimed his affinity for Islamism and declared his act to law enforcement as an intentional act of terrorism, and see the killings as a result of “too many guns”?

        It would defy belief, if there was not a political agenda involved.

      • July 5, 2016 7:34 am

        Bingo! A call for more control when that control (the FBI) had already “cleared” this murderer.

        Now, THAT is insane!

  58. July 3, 2016 11:17 pm

    Welcome Carly. I agree with you that the pro-gun vs. anti-gun arguments in this country seem to be drowning out other ideas about reducing violence in general. Also agree that conservative, pro-gun groups could do much more to introduce other ideas/measures at curbing violence, especially if they want to help steer attention away from guns as the whole problem.

    Cranky, defeatist people will say things like, “bah, humbug, there’s always been violence and there always will be…you can’t do anything…it’s part of the human species…blah blah negative, negative…nothing works…all we can do is arrest people when they commit crimes…”

    The above defeatism is ridiculous and wrong. There are definitive reasons why some people are peaceful, loving, and cooperative while others are belligerent and violent. A big part of it is culture which must be handed down and taught. That’s too big of a discussion for me at the moment.

    • July 5, 2016 7:27 am

      One place to start might be to inquire as to why the US murder rate has been going down over the past decades while gun ownership has increased.

      This inverse relationship is intriguing at the very least. Have sentencing practices changed during that time? There must be other patterns at work here that ought to be studied and discussed.

      One way to foster negotiating is to create alternatives other than to stand and hold your position.

      It seems to me both sides have been stuck for decades. Perhaps gun owners would be more trusting if they were not all treated as the problem when some thug is Chicago uses an illegal gun to kill a fellow thug?

      • Jay permalink
        July 5, 2016 1:33 pm

        “One place to start might be to inquire as to why the US murder rate has been going down over the past decades while gun ownership has increased.”

        The crime rate has been dropping elsewhere:

        “VIOLENT crime is on the retreat in most advanced economies. The latest US figures, for 2013, show that murder rates are lower now than in the early 1960s. In the same year, homicides in Japan hit a post-war low. In England and Wales the level of violence has dropped by 66 per cent since the latest peak in 1995.
        In fact, big falls in homicides have happened in virtually all developed societies over the past 20 years. In the US, it is clear that the decline in violence extends to robbery, assault, rape, child maltreatment, domestic abuse and school bullying.”

        Additionally, here in the US, the number of police officers increased in the 1990s as has the percent of violent criminals in the prison population. And faster and more effective medical and hospital responses have improved survival percentages from gunshot attacks.

  59. Pat Riot permalink
    July 4, 2016 8:45 am

    just 5 of 677 ways to greatly reduce violence in the United States of America:

    1. Allow young school children to run around during recess so that they don’t build pent-up energies and frustrations

    2. Everybody (adults and children) learns how to eat real foods with less sugar, corn syrup, and chemicals, but no need to OUTLAW things that are OK in moderation. This helps people to be less toxic and grumpy inside.

    3. Mothers and Fathers work out their differences with INTELLIGENCE and CLASS, in front of the children when it can be peaceful and even humorous, in private when it’s more difficult. (This is how it was done in my house growing up, not quite as good when I was a parent, and absolutely abysmal and destructive in too many households)

    4. TV shows and Movies DEMONSTRATE how to accomplish #3 in limitless, entertaining ways, instead of demonstrating jerry springer habits and the activities of criminals and the insane.

    5. Channel youthful energies into healthy outlets, such as running, swimming, riding bikes, baseball, hockey, roller-blading, acting, laughing, singing, building things, making things, kayaking, dancing, sailing, rowing, canoeing, fishing, hunting, basketball, football, tennis, fencing, volleyball, reading, writing, coloring, sledding, skiing, snowboarding, camping, hiking, word games, board games, jumping on trampoline, just jumping, learning, listening, talking, eating, very sparingly watching anything for entertainment rather than doing something for enjoyment, thinking, sharing thoughts, sharing feeling, sharing snacks, walking, drawing…

    • July 5, 2016 7:30 am

      On #3, you have a problem right there. The number of mothers and fathers who actually get and stay married has declined for decades, especially in the environments that breed the criminal class.

      Yes, you cannot say it, but the demographics don’t lie.

      I have no idea how to address that issue, but I am fairly certain the Great Society didn’t help.

  60. Pat Riot permalink
    July 4, 2016 8:50 am

    Looking only to legislation to stop violence is very much like outlawing weeds without planting any crops to displace them.

    • July 4, 2016 11:44 am

      Pat, love this, I will be using it whenever possible!!!

  61. Priscilla permalink
    July 4, 2016 8:56 am

    Hi, and welcome Carly. Always glad to have another commenter ~ you get way more than a chance to put in your 2 cents here. I would say 75 cents, at least.

    The way I see it, you are asking two questions: 1) what ways other than reducing guns or passing gun control laws will reduce gun violence and 2) why are there not more efforts among conservatives to initiate measures to reduce gun violence that aren’t reactionary to measures proposed by the left.

    So, as to #1, I am one of those who sees gun violence as a symptom rather than a cause, so I believe that there is much that can be done to reduce it. We do have to begin with a discussion of what constitutes the most troubling forms of gun violence. If you look at recent statistics (last 15 years or so), it becomes very clear that a vast majority of gun deaths in our country are from suicide. About 60% ( there’s a one link rule here, unfortunately….if you try and link more than one, you go into moderation, and only Rick can save you… but my 60% figure can be found in a number of published sources – mine was a 10/15 issue of the NYT).

    If suicide is the primary cause of gun death, then, for sure, a national effort to combat mental illness, specifically depression, could have a huge beneficial effect. It would go far beyond just reducing gun deaths, because, as Ron pointed out a few threads up, people who are driven to suicide will use other methods that may be more accessible to them. My daughter’s friend’s brother threw himself in front of a train. It has destroyed his family.

    Gun crime in urban areas tend to be perpetrated by a very small % of the population. In Chicago, that figure is about 6%, and many, if not most, of the crime is committed with illegally purchased guns. Also, young black males are disproportionately both the killers and the victims in gun deaths. So, looking at this fact, we can say that, short term, enforcement efforts to get these people off the streets and, long term, discovering the reasons why gangs, drugs and crime become more attractive to young, urban black men than education and jobs do.

    The only gun violence stat that has risen over the last 15-20 years is that of mass shootings. Part of the reason is that different studies use different definitions of what a “mass” shooting is. Some count any crime in which 4 or more people are killed as a mass shooting. In many studies, that number 4 includes the shooter, in others it doesn’t. In some studies, the victims must be randomly, or at least indiscriminately chosen, in others, it’s just the raw number. So, mass killings could include terrorist attacks, shootings by mentally ill persons, murder-suicides, or gangland mass execution…depending upon the study chosen. Obviously, the causes and cures here would include those above, as well as looking at how to prevent terrorist attacks.

    So, this answer is getting long, but before ending this comment, I will say that I disagree with the premise of your second question. I don’t think that conservatives have failed to initiate measures that are not reactionary to the left. I see the left prioritizing new gun laws as the single greatest solution to gun violence, and being resistant to other, likely more effective solutions. And I see, as Ron does, politicians – and activists – of both parties using gun violence, and the revulsion over and fear of it to create bitter and angry division and hatred among Americans.

    • July 4, 2016 11:59 am

      “and, long term, discovering the reasons why gangs, drugs and crime become more attractive to young, urban black men than education and jobs do.”

      Priscilla, it only takes one strong dominant male in a community where the family structure is weak or non-existent to build a gang and drug empire. I will start by saying the most females are not members of a gang, but they may become involved with a gang through their male companions.

      You take a young male that is in a fractured family with little support and they are starved for discipline, love and family leadership. In walks the dominant male and they provide the leadership, discipline and structure that is wanting in this young males life. They provide a role model for that male and they begin providing him with small needs and wants, in return, they have him running minor errands. As time goes on, the errands become more important to the gang “family” and this individual progresses through the ranks of the gang. At sometime, they are asked to commit violent crimes when others have infringed upon that gangs territory or business. Once that happens, there are few ways to turn back.

      But it all starts with the lack of family structure, missing father figure and no loving environment when the lad is young.

    • July 5, 2016 7:33 am

      I nominate you to run for POTUS. You are head and shoulders above the presumptive nominees.

  62. July 4, 2016 12:15 pm

    Yes, Ron, Yes. It is survival instinct to want to belong to something that is meeting some of our needs, giving us pats on the back, helping us feel valuable, something that seems to be strong and viable. In the absence of something good, something bad will take its place.

    • July 5, 2016 7:37 am

      And then there is the lovely “entertainment” industry, that serves up rappers, thugs, and thugish athletes as “role models.”

      What could possibly go wrong?

      • Jay permalink
        July 5, 2016 1:43 pm

        And let’s not forget the APP game business, which inculcates hideous amounts of violence and mayhem into the brains of children daily.

        Example review:
        Battlefield: Hardline
        The latest chapter in the Battlefield franchise steps away from armed conflict in a war zone into armed conflict between cops and drug dealers. Players take on the role of a police officer attempting to dismantle drug networks. Players can use pistols, shotguns, and rifles to blast criminals, and firefights are frequently intense, with lots of blood spilled and characters screaming in pain. Cut scenes show execution-style gunshots to the head, as well as a character fed to crocodiles. There’s a wealth of profanity, and characters are shown consuming large amounts of alcohol and snorting drugs. On the bright side, Battlefield: Hardline lets players choose to take a nonviolent route, tasing and arresting criminals instead of killing them.

      • July 5, 2016 2:13 pm

        We agree on this. I have personally stopped watching certain network TV shows that routinely feature torture as part of their fare.

        Disgusting, simply appalling!

  63. Jay permalink
    July 4, 2016 12:20 pm

    (click here to view)Nate BeelerThe Columbus DispatchJul 4, 2016

    • Jay permalink
      July 4, 2016 12:30 pm

      Happy 4th everyone.
      Click the ‘here to link’ above.

      Anyone know how to post JPG here? YouTube links work,, but I can’t figure out how to do photos, etc ???

  64. Carly permalink
    July 4, 2016 4:11 pm

    First, thanks everyone for your thoughtful responses. I hardly know where to begin. I’ll start by stating my own thoughts, which often feel pretty lonely. I think gun violence is a big enough problem that we would all be well served to think of it as something to approach from all angles — or, to use a better pictorial analogy, as a movement that ripples out from the center in all directions. Or maybe I just like that image better. But that looks impossible because of the way people’s minds seem to work. I think we start with the way we feel about the world, guns, government, whatever, from a very instinctual level likely influenced by how we’re brought up, our peers, our communities. Then we build rational arguments that fit that paradigm. Not the other way around. I think it’s largely about being part of tribe, which is built into the human model of survival. Changing our minds or cooperating with those from a different “tribe” means changing, among other things, our social support systems or at least weakening those we have in place. That’s hard and there’s often little motivation to do it. I think that’s a big reason we never get anywhere on big issues, including guns. Also, few want to venture out alone and vulnerable first. In Men In Black, Will Smith’s character says that people are smart and could handle the truth about aliens. Tommy Lee Jones’ character counters that a person can be smart but people in groups are dumb, scared animals. Who wants to be out there alone in that scenario?

    I don’t have a problem with some of the scenarios proposed by conservatives — e.g. armed guards in schools, but I also think we can do a better job of keeping guns out of the hands of the wrong people. And oh God I’ve heard all the arguments against both of those. That’s just an example, not my main point, which is in the first paragraph.

    A couple of questions — I notice a few people believe we’re being provoked into giving up gun rights. By whom, for what purpose, and how could such an effort be organized enough to sustain itself?

    Re: distrust of government — of course healthy skepticism is always a good thing but why are Americans so unusual in the belief that being armed is the best way to protect against an untrustworthy government? This is an honest question.

    I often hear better mental health care as a solution. I firmly agree. Forgive me if I’m missing something but where is the conservative movement to make that happen? It is entirely possible I’m missing something and I would be very happy to know about it.

    You all are a great group. Thanks for your indulgence.

    • July 5, 2016 7:45 am

      “A couple of questions — I notice a few people believe we’re being provoked into giving up gun rights. By whom, for what purpose, and how could such an effort be organized enough to sustain itself?”

      If the issue were only “gun rights” the fear of control might be misplaced. However, there is no question that the progressive/leftist agenda is consistent and persistent: Give more power to the government and things will get better.

      My question is: where is the evidence that this is true? I don’t see it and many others don’t. The motive is clear: Control equals power, money, and a smug sense of superiority.

      Re: distrust of government — of course healthy skepticism is always a good thing but why are Americans so unusual in the belief that being armed is the best way to protect against an untrustworthy government? This is an honest question.

      I don’t own a gun and I am not afraid of an armed take-over by the government. But, as I age, I often feel that a gun in the house MIGHT be a great idea. My martial arts days are over and I am not Chuck Norris. The police cannot keep my safe but if I call 911, they will arrive in an average time of 11 minutes.

      My family would be dead by then.

      ” I often hear better mental health care as a solution. I firmly agree. Forgive me if I’m missing something but where is the conservative movement to make that happen? It is entirely possible I’m missing something and I would be very happy to know about it”

      Better mental health is an interesting concept but very complex to actually grapple with. How does one produce that? More therapists? Where is the evidence that works?
      More MH incarceration? The left would go crazy on that one.

      You see where I am going with this. What the conservatives DO focus on is family structure and that is when the left’s head explodes and they start calling them Chritians!

    • Priscilla permalink
      July 5, 2016 10:50 am

      Carly, regarding mental health, check out the efforts of Republican Congressman Tim Murphy, a psychologist, who has been trying to get a mental health reform bill through Congress for quite a long time. The latest version of the bill, which has dropped some things that Democrats objected to, has more bi-partisan support, is scheduled to be voted on this week. We’ll see if it gets through….

      Like JB, I don’t own a gun (although I have been thinking about learning to shoot and then buying a handgun. We’ll see how that goes), but I think that the point is that Americans have the right to own guns, and the distrust of the government on this issue is not that gun owners want to use the guns against the government (most want them for self-defense or hunting), but that they distrust the government’s efforts to restrict that right, believing that the ultimate intent is to ban most guns, in an attempt to create a de facto ban on guns in general.

      Adam Corolla, an iconoclastic comic/pundit, who has a popular podcast, explains it as being similar to what has happened to smokers. First, they were put in a section of the restaurant, then banned entirely from smoking in the restaurant, then allowed to smoke outside the restaurant, then banned from smoking within 400 feet of the restaurant, then banned from smoking on public owned grounds, etc…… Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a smoker, and I am happy that smokers have been banned from restaurants! But the incremental methods that the government uses are distrusted by gun owners who see them as a way to do an end run around the 2nd Amendment. And I agree. I have said repeatedly, as has Ron, that, if the government wants to ban guns, it first needs to amend or repeal the 2nd Amendment. We are – nominally, anyway – a nation of laws based on the Constitution.

      • Priscilla permalink
        July 5, 2016 12:48 pm

        Unless, of course, you are Hillary Clinton.

      • Jay permalink
        July 5, 2016 1:54 pm

        ” if the government wants to ban guns, it first needs to amend or repeal the 2nd Amendment.”

        But State Governments have already banned various kinds of guns, and SCOTUS repeadly has found those laws pass 2nd Amendment scrutiny. Banning assault like weapons nationally would also pass muster, as would banning certain kinds of ammunition. As long as citizens can adequately protect themselves at home, I don’t see any constitutional problem banning military like weapons. Hence, no amendments are needed.j

      • July 5, 2016 5:01 pm

        Jay, I am beginning to believe you are incapable of comprehending what Priscilla and I am saying. So I will put it a different way and maybe you will understand it.

        Different states have passed laws to restrict gun ownership or sale of said guns, but right next door is a state that allows those guns. So I drive a hundred miles or so and buy 1-10 of those guns. I own them illegally, but I still have them. Then, like 200,000 other guns a year nationally, someone breaks into my house and finds the locked cabinets I have these stored in and breaks into that and steals those guns. Now these illegal guns I had locked up are now on the streets to be used by felons.

        The only way I accept a law to restrict guns is for an amendment that clearly states and limits the types of and restrictions on guns on a national level so everyone everywhere knows what is legal or not legal.

        You can pass all the laws you want in California and the felons, terrorist and gangs will get them in Nevada, Arizona or somewhere else, many legally.

        I have my own opinion about gun control and if it will work. I am much more concerned with our creeping liberal government that believes control of the citizens leads to safety of the citizens. So I support an amendment that clearly limits a gun type or who can own it, but also restricts congress or a President with a political agenda from adding to an existing law. I do not support another 50 laws on the books in 50 different states so someone in one state going hunting in another state may be breaking their gun laws and not know it. And I surely do not trust the liberal in congress to limit their political agenda with just one law.

        Maybe you do and that’s fine. But my trust in government has been eroded considerably
        over the past 30 years. For example:

        In 1970. the EPA was established to:
        Identify pollutants.
        Trace them through the entire ecological chain, observing and recording changes in form as they occur.
        Determine the total exposure of man and his environment.
        Examine interactions among forms of pollution.
        Identify where in the ecological chain interdiction would be most appropriate.

        Now we have the EPA controlling and restricting farmers from farming on pieces of land that collect water after a rain since they designate it “wetland”. It may be dry 80% of the year, but they want CONTROL!!! That is creeping liberal BS and the same thing will happen with a gun law written in congress if it is not an amendment!!!

      • Jay permalink
        July 5, 2016 5:14 pm

        Ron, let me try to be clearer about my assertion that no amendment is necessary.
        Because State laws restricting certain classes of guns and ammunition have passed constitutional 2nd Amendment muster I’m saying a National law of the same kind passed by Congress would be constitutional. Then, your criticism of adjacent state gun availability would be addressed, and no constitional amendment would ne necessary, correct?

      • July 5, 2016 6:16 pm

        Jay, there is a clear distinction between your views on government and my views on government. And they are valid issues on both sides. Your view is a national law will not create additional restrictions due to additional laws being passed in the future. Your views on government is they do what they need to do today and they will not do additional controls based on a political agenda once they have opened the door.

        I, along with many others, have a completely different view on government. I view government from a position like the creeping controls of the EPA. Once the door has been cracked, then all the horse can run amuck. Today we have congress pass on restriction on Semi-automatic rifles. Then, that has caused no harm, so they pass a law restricting clips. Then they decide that pistols are used too often in street crimes by gangs, so they slap some restriction on handguns. So what we end up with are single shot hunting rifles and shotguns and nothing else. And once that occurs, whose to stop the complete banning of all weapons?

        Sorry, but I can not buy the liberal view that government only does what is needed and nothing more. I buy the position that government is based on political agendas to get one elected and more will be added to get more liberals elected.

        So once again, I have no issue with gun control if it is done through amending the constitution where government can not willy nilly add more restrictions whenever the wind blows that direction.

        I think we have beat this horse to death and neither of us is going to change our opinion. So I am going to let this rest and try to find something else to beat to death.

      • Jay permalink
        July 5, 2016 6:21 pm

        OK – a time out on guns.🤐

      • July 5, 2016 5:54 pm

        You are right, Ron. Jay is incapable.

  65. July 5, 2016 12:29 pm

    “Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified –information.” (FBI 7-5-16)

    “But officer, there is no clear evidence that I intended to drive 80 in a 65 even though I was extremely careless in doing so”.
    Who would bet I would not get charged with speeding under those conditions?

    • Priscilla permalink
      July 5, 2016 12:37 pm

      The rule of law is for the little people, Ron, don’t ya know?

      • July 5, 2016 12:53 pm

        Did Nixon “intend” to bug the Watergate?

    • July 5, 2016 12:52 pm

      Intent is for a jury to decide, not Loretta Lynch.

      • Roby permalink
        July 5, 2016 1:23 pm

        Parently, a nice Republican professional named Comey decided, although conspiracy theory world will now be in hyperdrive. (If Lynch really wanted to have secret meeting with Bill to “Fix” this, then their meeting actually would have been secret. But that won’t bother ideological fanatical conspiracy theorists left and right who hate the Clintons with a red hot flame. And as usual, if Comey is Really in with Lynch who is in with Bill who is in with Obama, who is in with the MSM AND all those GOP figures who are not supporting Trump then they are wasting their time anyhow. And no I am not pointing at anyone specifically here.)

        As they have for decades, the Clintons make my teeth itch, but even so its still possible to overstate the case of their many bad qualities and sections of the right and left have invested themselves in that pursuit to such an extent that they will never recover perspective.

        The odds of a Trump presidency just declined, so, much as I dislike the Clintons I dislike what Trump and Sanders represent much much more and this is a great day, their currency just declined. Funny world.

      • Priscilla permalink
        July 5, 2016 1:41 pm

        “this is a great day”

        Wow, Roby. Just wow.

      • July 5, 2016 4:36 pm

        But what grand jury made the decision?

      • July 5, 2016 5:53 pm

        Barry Sottero.

      • Jay permalink
        July 5, 2016 6:45 pm

        Are you certain a Grand Jury hasn’t already been consulted and found nothing illegal?

        The Dept. of Justice’s decision to grant immunity to Clinton’s technology aide, Bryan Pagliano, suggests that a grand jury had been convened, which means he went before a federal judge, which happens when you have a grand jury. If Pagliano hasn’t been charged with any crimes, that probably means there isn’t sufficient cause to believe ANY charges are justified for Clinton or her other aides

      • July 5, 2016 7:12 pm

        Are you certain or is this just your normal way of seeing thing?

      • Jay permalink
        July 5, 2016 8:27 pm

        No, dum-dum, if I was certain one way or the other I wouldn’t have phrased it as a question.
        Did you take your English courses at Trump U?

        The supposition that a Grand Jury had been formed to hear the testimony of the server tech came from ex-judge Napolitano, the Senior Judicial Analyst for Fox News

    • Jay permalink
      July 5, 2016 2:21 pm

      But she wasn’t investigated for speeding.

      And Comey clearly explained ineptitude and carelessness was not prosecutable.

      I predicted this outcome months ago, after reading the relevant laws and precedents. Stupidity without intent to compromise national security isn’t a violation of law. She was as computer savvy as my Aunt Sylvia who numerous times unplugged my desktop computer when I was working on unsaved files because she needed an electric socket to plug in the vacuum cleaner. it is scary how dumb she was about it, and to hear the entire State Department security apparatus is just as porous ….

      If Hillary was smart, she’d chose tech-savvy Mark Cuban as her VP, and unequivocally promise to let him overhaul the entire US government’s computer network system.

      • July 5, 2016 2:33 pm

        Right, and no one around her remotely had a clue either. You know, the folks at the state department have no concerns about security and have no experts around to provide guidance.

        Give me a break. If she really is that clueless, she is not qualified to be POTUS.

      • Jay permalink
        July 5, 2016 2:56 pm

        Sadly, the question to ask is who is LEAST qualified in this election, and overall, of the two, Trump isn’t qualified to hold ANY elected office.

        Clinton is smart devious; Trump is mean-spirited and dopy devious.

      • July 5, 2016 5:52 pm

        Clinton is smart, but apparently not smart enough to understand an email system. Which is it?

        Trump is dumb? Sure, he is dumb, multimillionaire, earned the nomination when no one gave him a chance.

        Sure, he is a dunce cap.

      • Priscilla permalink
        July 5, 2016 4:29 pm

        Jay, Comey did not say that carelessness is not prosecutable. It clearly is. He laid out a clear case for prosecution, just for whatever reason, didn’t recommend it. Not that it’s his call. The fix was in, and he did as much damage to her as he could, short of resigning – and having Obama name his replacement.

        “(f) Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed”

        To paraphrase Churchill, the Clintons will do the right thing, only after they have exhausted all of the alternatives. And they clearly have not come close to exhausting them. If getting blowjobs from a 22 year old WH intern and lying about it wasn’t enough for Democrats to disavow Bill, putting American national security secrets at risk isn’t going to be enough for them to disavow Hillary.

        Because, after all, the important thing is to ban “assault” weapons. 😉 And not offend anyone with our language……

      • Jay permalink
        July 5, 2016 6:59 pm

        No, carelessness is not prosecutable.

        The legal threshold for prosecution in the passage you pasted is “gross negligence.”

        Gross negligence is conduct that is extreme when compared with ordinary Negligence, which is a mere failure to exercise reasonable care.

        Her ‘carelessness’ did not reach that level:

        “In looking back at our investigations into mishandling or removal of classified information, we cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts. All the cases prosecuted involved some combination of: clearly intentional and willful mishandling of classified information; or vast quantities of materials exposed in such a way as to support an inference of intentional misconduct; or indications of disloyalty to the United States; or efforts to obstruct justice. We do not see those things here.

        “To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions. But that is not what we are deciding now.”

      • July 5, 2016 5:07 pm

        Liberals will defend her until the day they die.
        Conservatives will accuse her and the Obama administration of fixing the game (And others will say Comey insured another 7 years of FBI directorship)
        Independants will continue to ignore the situation and have no opinion.

        What changes?

      • Jay permalink
        July 5, 2016 6:08 pm

        I’m not defending her incompetence/stupidity in setting up her rinky-dink server system.
        But that tech-ignorance and lack of judgement in using it doesn’t disqualify her for the Presidency if the only choices are Hillary or Donald. She’s still the lesser of two sub-par ding-bat candidates.

      • July 5, 2016 6:20 pm

        It says much about your character and intellect that you think so.

      • Jay permalink
        July 5, 2016 8:10 pm

        The national compilation polls on RCP shows intending to vote at 45% for Trump and 50% for Clinton.

        Are you saying 50% of the electorate favoring her are all stupid and lack character?
        You reveal your own shallow character with those kinds of classless idiotic remarks.

      • July 5, 2016 8:12 pm

        Before we go down a road that you will very much regret, I will stop interacting with you. You and your ilk actually deserve the Clinton’s.

        Over and out.

      • Priscilla permalink
        July 5, 2016 5:59 pm

        And power will continue to corrupt, absolute (and unchecked) power to corrupt absolutely.

      • Priscilla permalink
        July 5, 2016 8:14 pm

        I’ll give you one thing, Jay – you are willing to hang in and argue your case. And, unlike some people around here 😉 , you don’t gloat when your unethical, incompetent candidate flaunts the law and gets away clean.

        But, seriously, if sending and receiving top secret emails over insecure servers that may have been hacked by foreign enemies doesn’t strike you as “grossly negligent” with documents related to the national defense, I don’t know what might qualify.

        I do have grudging respect – well, maybe respect is not the right word – for Democrats though. You stick together, no matter what. It must be the collectivist thing. Republicans eat their own.

      • July 6, 2016 12:03 am

        “I do have grudging respect – well, maybe respect is not the right word – for Democrats though. You stick together, no matter what. It must be the collectivist thing. Republicans eat their own.”

        Priscilla, like I have said in the past, there are very few Joe Manchin’s in the Democrat party at a national level. Most are from the Barbara Boxer, Nancy Pelosi wing of the party and it is much easier to herd cats with one agenda than to herd cats with multiple agendas. Christian Conservatives, Tea Party, Fiscal conservatives/social moderates, rednecks, NRA members, old white working farts, etc etc. There is a very good chance when you have one or two candidates running that represent each of the wings of the GOP, you will not end up with the most qualified. You will end up with the one that can mobilize the largest minority and also, the one the opposing party will encourage swing voters to vote for in open primaries since they are the one they can defeat the easiest.

        And then if you do end up with one that is qualified, but does not represent 100% of the various political agendas, then some voters decide to stay home. While, on the other side, you run a candidate that represents a specific group (blacks, hispanics, women,etc) and you can substantially increase the turnout for that person. For example, total turnout for most elections until 2008 was around 120Million. In fact in 2000 the turnout was just over 100 million, Then in 2008 and 2012 the total swelled to 129 million, most all going for the liberal candidate. The last few elections has the GOP candidate stuck at around 60-62 million votes, while the democrats swelled to almost 70 million from 59 million in 2004

        Yes the GOP eats their own before they ever get a chance through the primary process.

  66. Priscilla permalink
    July 5, 2016 6:34 pm

    Quite an excellent side-by-side comparison of Mrs. Clinton’s statements and the FBI Director’s. Also includes the Director basically asserting that our laws are for the little people.
    Honestly, I realize that all politicians are corrupt. But we’re in banana republic territory now.

    • July 5, 2016 7:11 pm

      The liberals protect their own.

      • Jay permalink
        July 5, 2016 8:12 pm

        Are you brain dead enough to think conservatives don’t do the same thing?
        Don’t bother answering, I already know the answer.

      • Priscilla permalink
        July 6, 2016 7:40 am

        Heh, actually I must be brain dead enough, because, as I commented yesterday, I don’t think that conservatives do protect their own. If Donald Trump had won the Democrat primaries (an impossibility, of course, since those primaries were essentially rigged to make sure that whomever the Party wanted would win, via super delegates)…..but say he had – there would be no Never Trump movement on the left, the way the neocons have mobilized on the right. All we would hear from the press is what a savvy, successful guy he is, what a wonderful family he’s raised, stories about his adoring employees from all races and walks of life, how he has aspired to and planned for a run for president for 35 years (an interesting video just came out, with Trump expressing his ambitions as far back as the 80’s)… get the picture.

        Conservatives don’t do that – real, ideological conservatives stand on principle and think that it is better to lose if their candidate is not “conservative enough”. Not conservative enough in Mitt Romney’s case was that he helped enact a state healthcare system as governor of Massachusetts. Not conservative enough in Marco Rubio’s case was that he worked with a bi-partisan group to enact immigration reform. Not conservative enough in Donald Trump’s case is that….well, he’s really not an ideologue at all, and his positions on many things, particularly social things, has been fairly liberal. So they’ll help him lose.

        JB isn’t brain dead. He just knows what conservatives do. Progressivism is a clear and unyielding philosophy. More government control, more change, constantly – change is good, government is good. Conservatism is really not like that ~ it’s a belief in tradition, small government, fiscal responsibility, etc. But not all conservatives believe in the same traditions, and it really is, as Ron said, like trying to herd cats.

      • July 6, 2016 7:56 am

        Thanks Priscilla,

        As always, extremely well said.

  67. July 5, 2016 7:17 pm

    So, apparently a woman that is smart enough to become the POTUS cannot distinguish between personal emails and state department business.

    At our U, we get a 60 minute video lesson on cyver security. It is more than sufficient for any dolt to understand, except apparently, the dolt that ran the state department.

    God bless America, we are going to need it if this level of corruption, lying, and ineptitude is going to become the next President.

    PS-Is this the same Justice Dept, whose FBI boys cleared that muslim slime in Orlando?

    Yes, we should all surrender our guns to this outfit!

  68. July 5, 2016 7:21 pm

    Jay..this is what I am commenting on with “creeping liberal government”

  69. Roby permalink
    July 5, 2016 7:28 pm

    “Wow, Roby. Just wow.”

    Exactly what I think whenever I hear an intelligent person explain why they are going to vote for Trump.

    In my universe Trump has to lose and big or banana republic would be mild term for what we have become.

    Now, with the two candidates decided I can breath a sigh of relief and go back to not thinking about politics or reading news. Have fun all!

  70. Roby permalink
    July 6, 2016 8:07 am

    This is only my own perspective but at some point the Hillary hating goes over the line into dark fantasy land, illness. I understand well why she gets in trouble, she and Bill bring it on themselves. But some people go way too far in their dark opinions. Comey has now been called every name in the book by the right and the left. He just did his job. Similarly, let Warren endorse Clinton and suddenly a small but vocal group of over the top Bernie supporters suddenly go from love to hate. Let Comey do his professional job and suddenly he is a traitor, part of a conspiracy, blah, blah, blah. I wonder how many righties and lefties are rational enough to consider that Comey may be living in the real world and that he may actually have stated objective legal reality? None that are posting online or writing columns as far as I can see. The pattern I see is the that internet has created left and right fanatics who will not thoughtfully consider the ideas of anyone who disagrees with them, burn the heretics! This dark side of human nature was there when Queen Mary Burned the protestants and long before. The internet is a vast impersonal sickness, just madness according to me. Time for me to throw my little tantrum about it and then escape into a beautiful summer day. Sending the router to work with my wife, ha, ha, I’ll be disconnected!

    I wish like anything that Hilary was not the product of the Dem process and the likely president, but she is not the thoroughly evil monster that right and left have become deranged over. A not small segment of the right has been deranged over Obama, is even upping it over Clinton, and this pattern seems likely to continue for the rest of my life. Conservatives have very little chance to win a presidential election till they find some way to put things into calmer perspective.

    • Priscilla permalink
      July 6, 2016 8:50 am

      Here is where I think you’re wrong, Roby. I will prepare for incoming insults:

      Hillary is a leftist and has accepted millions of dollars from foreign governments, via her family “foundation” so that they will have access to her as the leader of the “free” world. That is not dark, that is fact, whether you choose to believe it or not.

      Hillary and Bill are very amoral and have gotten away with crimes that few others would get away with.

      I do not want to be a Democratic Socialist nation, and I want our President to follow the Constitution. Hillary, for sure, will not. Trump may not either, but I’m not sure of that.

      You may consider anyone right of center to be a sick, deluded person, unaware of the real world. You are wrong about that, but you refuse to stop viewing things through that prism.

      I’m done….going out for the day.

      • July 6, 2016 8:52 am

        Amen and Amen.

      • Roby permalink
        July 6, 2016 7:08 pm

        Since, as usual, I was very careful not to make blanket denunciations of right or left I think you protest too much.

        As an ideological moderate I hate hate hate these wacko derangement syndromes. Liberal that I am I did NOT partake in the Bush II derangement syndrome, and was utterly sick of those who did so, so I feel like I practice what I preach.

        This follow the Constitution riff is boring me, it can mean anything, its become an ideological blank check, if someone doesn’t like the ideology of the president then they are not following the Constitution, lack of Supreme Court decisions agreeing notwithstanding. Each ideology thinks it has a strict and correct interpretation of the Constitution. Obama’s going it alone routine I will agree was not in harmony with the spirit of the Constitution.

        Trump is vile, unacceptable, absurd. I can understand republicans hoping that Clinton does not win big and call it a mandate, that at least is rational.

      • July 6, 2016 10:26 pm

        You are consistently wrong. I hope you are happy in the life you have chosen.

        I am so done with this forum

        Over and out.

      • Priscilla permalink
        July 6, 2016 8:20 pm

        Well, I guess I got off easy as just a “wacko” with a “derangement syndrome” 😉

        Really, Roby, you may be a moderate (I would say more of a reasonable liberal) in viewpoint, but you can be a nasty partisan. I suppose that every 4 years, the presidential election season brings out the worst in people.

        The “follow the Constitution” riff? Ha! The Constitution is the underpinning for our whole system of government, no? My “riff” is this : SCOTUS has become so politicized over the last 30-40 years that it has disrupted the balance of power, and allowed presidents to accrue too much power. Obama has been the worst, but certainly not the first. And Republicans as well as Democrats have allowed the executive branch to grow increasingly powerful, as they feed at the lobbying trough, talk tough, and do not much. Checks and balances, as they are supposed to exist, just don’t these days.

        So, I get that you hate Mr. Trump. Lots of people do…he’s kind of a jerk, and certainly a blowhard, but I would not call him vile. Bill and Hillary, ugh, they’re vile, in my humble opinion. Bill is a sexual predator, Hillary can’t seem to tell the truth about much of anything. But, go figure, people have different opinions. You and I certainly do.

        And, honestly, I would probably have preferred any of the 16 other GOP candidate as the Republican nominee, but Trump won fair and square, and I think that he has a shot at stopping the rot that is Washington DC…certainly changing it! And he might suck as POTUS, but he won’t use the office to enrich himself and his family. And he understands that American sovereignty is important to the average American. He says some unfortunate things about trade, but we do have to get a handle on the trade agreements that have cost the American economy billions. If he’s no good, we should impeach him or vote him out of office in 4 years. And that should always be an option.

        I would suggest that, before you swallow hook, line and sinker, everything that you hear and read about this campaign, you make the effort to read (or watch) things from across the political spectrum. I have learned a lot from CNN, Fox and MSNBC ~ I listen to them all, particularly when there is a big, controversial story like there was yesterday.

      • July 6, 2016 10:22 pm

        ” I would suggest that, before you swallow hook, line and sinker, everything that you hear and read about this campaign, you make the effort to read (or watch) things from across the political spectrum. I have learned a lot from CNN, Fox and MSNBC ~ I listen to them all, particularly when there is a big, controversial story like there was yesterday.”

        Sadly, it will never happen!

      • Jay permalink
        July 7, 2016 12:48 am

        “but he won’t use the office to enrich himself and his family. ”

        Wow. You have completely misread his character, or lack thereof.
        His whole career he’s been screwing people financially.
        As president he will put his personal financial interests above the national interest.
        Do you really think he’s a reputable business man? Or that he will turn over the operations of his business to anyone else to avoid financial conflicts of interest? Or even allow for the miminum amount of transparency elected officials are expected to provide for monitoring? Shifty Donald refuses to even release his taxes to public scrutiny.

      • Roby permalink
        July 6, 2016 9:13 pm

        I think you have read everything I wrote pretty much wrong. I did not say what you seem to say I did.

        I’d call Bill Vile too and for many of the same reasons as Trump. Juanita Broderick etc.

        But I can’t blame Bill on Hillary and she also won fair and square.

        I’m sorry, Trump can tell the truth?!?

        Bottom line Clinton is actually capable of being a president where as 66% of American apparently think that Trump is unqualified among them many GOP establishment politicians and myself. Yes we disagree.

        I will need to be led to where I said something insulting directly to you. Not my intent and I don’t think I did. But you did for some reason just call me a nasty partisan. I’m not even voting this election other than for a GOP gov candidate. Partisan? Wish I could vote for Jerry Ford or Romney or Bush I rather than Clinton, then I would vote . Honestly I am one hell of a lot less partisan than you are. One hell of a lot less.

        I guess the issue is that you don’t like the words derangement syndrome, that of overkill and wild exaggeration of real faults. Sorry, in my opinion that is a real political syndrome. I hate it.

      • July 6, 2016 10:23 pm

        There is NO hope for you.

        Sad, but true.

        Perhaps, in the next life.

      • Priscilla permalink
        July 6, 2016 9:52 pm

        Roby, sorry for calling you a nasty partisan. I was guilty of exactly what I accused you of doing. I do think you were being a bit passive aggressive with the wacko-derangement syndrome stuff, but whatever – it’s not important.

        Truth is, you probably are less partisan than I am. I think I’ve admitted being a partisan, and I also think that it’s a perfectly ok thing to be, as long as one is upfront about it and doesn’t speak of partisans on the other side as wacko deranged nutcases, or evil bastards, or other such things.

        We are all moderates here, we just don’t see eye to eye. I don’t think that Hillary Clinton is a moderate. I happen to think that Donald Trump is, despite his rather immoderate personality. Hillary, for sure, has a better resume, but in my opinion, she has no significant accomplishments and has shown a shocking level of incompetence. Trump? He’s done pretty well ( probably not as well as he says) , and I like the idea of a president who hasn’t spent his life in politics.

        One could make a strong case for the existence of Trump derangement syndrome, but, so what? People have strong feelings about politics.

        All of this derangement talk~ it’s just crazy! 🙂 Let’s bury the hatchet, or the assault weapon, or whatever, and just argue peacefully.

      • Roby permalink
        July 6, 2016 10:11 pm

        Very classy Priscilla, smiley thingy here.

        Sending the router out of the house seems to save my sanity but also got me in a little work related trouble when I did not get an e-mail from da Boss. Can’t win. I got a hell of a lot more work done though and will repeat tomorrow.

      • Priscilla permalink
        July 7, 2016 7:58 am

        Jay, I mentioned some time ago, that my husband had done a lot of work with the Trump organization, as a contractor. He spoke very highly of both the organization and Trump himself. The construction business, particularly in NY, is a very rough and filled with unethical types, infiltrated by organized crime, etc….(similar to politics, you could say!) My husband’s company was always paid, on time, and even when the work it had completed were part of a cancelled project. This goes back to the 90’s, before Trump-as-candidate was even a thought.

        Donald Trump was born rich, and made himself richer in the construction and entertainment business. Bill and Hillary Clinton were born poor (in Hillary’s case middle class I guess) and made themselves very rich through politics. Who has a history of enriching themselves through political office?

        I’ll say again, the choices in this election are bad and worse. Trump=bad, Hillary= worse. Hillary is a progressive leftist; the left is committed to ideals that run counter to freedom and liberty. You can laugh and say that you know better, but I haven’t seen any such evidence that you do. So, until then, you are welcome to make your case with facts.

      • Jay permalink
        July 7, 2016 9:36 am

        (click here to view)Joel PettLexington Herald-LeaderJul 7, 2016

    • Jay permalink
      July 6, 2016 6:05 pm

      Gun ownership tied to three-fold increase in suicide risk

      “People may have heightened risks of dying from suicide and murder if they own or have access to a gun, according to a new analysis of previous research.”
      “Researchers found people who lived in homes with firearms were between two and three times more likely to die from either cause, compared to those who lived in homes without guns.”

    • Jay permalink
      July 6, 2016 6:07 pm

      Powerful link between rates of firearm ownership and suicides

      “In the United States, suicides outnumber homicides almost two to one. Perhaps the real tragedy behind suicide deaths—about 30,000 a year, one for every 45 attempts—is that so many could be prevented. Research shows that whether attempters live or die depends in large part on the ready availability of highly lethal means, especially firearms.”
      “A study by the Harvard School of Public Health of all 50 U.S. states reveals a powerful link between rates of firearm ownership and suicides. Based on a survey of American households conducted in 2002, HSPH Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Management Matthew Miller, Research Associate Deborah Azrael, and colleagues at the School’s Injury Control Research Center (ICRC), found that in states where guns were prevalent—as in Wyoming, where 63 percent of households reported owning guns—rates of suicide were higher. The inverse was also true: where gun ownership was less common, suicide rates were also lower.”

    • Jay permalink
      July 6, 2016 6:08 pm

      Gun Ownership Linked To Higher Suicide Fatalities

      “Researchers from the Boston University School of Public Health have finished a study comparing the link between gun ownership and suicide rates across the U.S. Their findings show that states with higher rates of gun ownership also have higher rates of gun-related suicides”

  71. Roby permalink
    July 6, 2016 11:18 pm

    “There is NO hope for you.
    Sad, but true.
    Perhaps, in the next life.”

    Thus spoke, who? God? His duly appointed representative here on earth?

    Hmm, someone has reverted to form, empty factless uninspired drivel, exactly like so much other drivelly insults littering the internet. I suppose this comes from me not being one of the you 33% who think that Trump IS qualified to be POTUS? In that case there’s “No hope” for 66% of Americans. Must be depressing for you. (Jeez, what am I doing engaging in this tribal ritual?)

    • Priscilla permalink
      July 7, 2016 7:34 am


      • Roby permalink
        July 7, 2016 8:26 am

        Responding to JBs insults, what is not clear? I’m just supposed to take them?

      • Priscilla permalink
        July 7, 2016 8:30 am

        No, that’s fine. I didn’t get the connection. The comments section has reached the point where responses don’t match up with what’s being responded to. I thought you were referring to our exchange of last night, and I was confused. Carry on.

      • July 7, 2016 11:15 am

        “The comments section has reached the point where responses don’t match up with what’s being responded to”

        In case this is missing or you can’t follow comments…If you click the two boxes left of “post comments” each time you comment you will receive an email each time a comment is made. It will show who is being replied to and the original comment that is linked to. Might make things easier to follow once we get to over 100 comments.

  72. Roby permalink
    July 7, 2016 8:51 am

    “Carry on.” Oh, I’ve done enough carrying on. A flame festival with JB is hardly the most noble use of my time. Your response to me was pure class Priscilla, thanks, those who can stay classy have the most credibility, even if I am not going to choose the same politics, ideology or candidate. Time for me to put politics back down, I indulged myself for a few days, but not indulging for a month and a half was much better. Listen if you have a moment and interest to the second movement of the Tchaikovsky violin concerto, the slow movement. That’s what I have my sights on, a year of hard work, I think I will get it. The notes are not so hard, its the tone, the vibrato, a labor of love. Much more valuable and beautiful way to spend my golden years than political kvetching.

  73. Jay permalink
    July 7, 2016 9:50 am

    I still can’t figure out how to link to graphics here, like I can for YouTube links,

    Here’s a direct link to a great political cartoon site, with daily cartoons from around the nation. I check it daily to start off my day with some amused laughs

  74. Roby permalink
    July 10, 2016 12:08 pm

    Speaking of cartoons:

  75. July 10, 2016 4:24 pm

    I have waited for someone to comment on the Dallas shootings to see what the next group of comments would be. Surprisingly, not much on that subject so far.

    After watching the Sunday morning talking heads and all the media comments, one thing is for sure. No one knows what the hell is the solution. And the majority do not know what the problem is. And the most out to lunch individual is President Obama when he says “the nation still remains united, contrary to the fears of some that racial tensions” ( promote this violence) and “it’s very hard to untangle the motives of this shooter.”

    #1…The shooter made it very clear why ha did what he did because he was upset “by recent police shootings”, “black lives matter”, “white people” and declared that “he wanted to kill people, especially white officers.” If you will not address the real problem, you can not find a solution. And this is not the first time this administration will not call a spade a spade so the real problems are brought to light and a solution can be worked on. And who really thinks we are still united? Our political leaders have never been more fractured and unable to agree on anything. And when leadership promotes division, how are we to expect citizens to remain united?

    #2. Not until our politicians on both sides of the isle begin to come together and work on issues that they can agree on will anything positive begin to happen. This crap started back when the GOP decided to take on BC for his sexual escapades and it has grown worse every administration since. We can not afford another 4-8 years of congressional hearings and investigations. We need politicians to put down their ideological weapons and begin working to find solutions to the problems that face all of our communities in this country today.

    It is not liberal or conservative differences that plaque our country. It is power that plagues our nation. The desire for control has led to a country that is justs as racially divided today as it was in the 60’s. The only difference is it was much more open then than now and there are a few minorities in positions today that they would have never been able to hold then. But overall, the problems then still exist now.


    • Roby permalink
      July 10, 2016 6:54 pm

      Ron, I think we are all suffering from election/political burnout/depression which explains your observation that we are silent.

      I might quibble a bit here and there with what you wrote but in general you have hit the proverbial nail dead center, as you so often do. Since my vote matters not for Pres in Vermont (the Dem candidate cannot lose or if she did she would be losing the country by a landslide) perhaps I’ll send one in the libertarian direction in your honor.

  76. Jay permalink
    July 10, 2016 7:54 pm

    This was forwarded to me.
    I’m not sure Facebook links are reachable on WordPress. If this doesn’t work, I’ll try to copy and paste it

    • Roby permalink
      July 10, 2016 8:16 pm

      It would be great if every knee jerk college kid who can’t put himself in the place of the cops would read this. Jeez, I don’t guess that any outlet of the huffington post type might print it? There are two sides to this. This was a really important and very clearly written statement of the other side.

    • July 10, 2016 8:31 pm

      Words that need to be shared nationally as this says it better than any media or politician could ever say it. Thanks for sharing.

  77. Roby permalink
    July 10, 2016 8:23 pm

    Here is something my daughter posted on facebook and I agree with her 100% She got only one comment, a predictable UVM girl accused her of being a racist. My daughter is a liberal but NOT a lefty. She has been posting news about all the bad things that happen to cops. She is not getting many likes. If you want an avalanch of likes just post the stuff that sees only one side. I am very proud of her.

    “and now for the token comment everyone and their mother’s second cousin will jump on as being immediately racist, due to mob emotions running high. However, any argument, no matter how unpopular, should be genuinely viewed from both sides, because that’s half the reason we are in this situation.

    I think what is happening, in many of these situations, especially the latest, is horrifying. And I also think it’s human nature to do terrible things, without really meaning to, due to ones cultural and EVOLUTIONARY programing.

    How many people have really asked themselves what they would do if they were in the police officers shoes? Visualize it. If for some reason you thought someone was drawing a gun on you, might you have an instinctive reaction to that? What if, in many other instances, the person you pulled over with 50 traffic violations was, in fact, a dangerous person who tried to harm you? (Also I have no traffic violations, because I obey laws….because if I didn’t, I would be subject to being viewed as non law abiding, which tends to have negative consequences for anyone).

    Statistically, overwhelmingly so, it is not true that white people are responsible for as many crimes as non white people in this country. It’s a lovely egalitarian idea that everyone is equal, but socioeconomically, that is not the case. And that is something that needs to change. But it’s like saying non white people have as many post graduate degrees as white people. It’s just not true, not for the right reasons, but it still isn’t the case.

    And unfortunately, human beings are… human beings, and are prone to knee jerk reactions when they are scared. And they do stupid things, really horrible things. Look at Nazi Germany….do you think every German was a monster, or were a lot of them just weak, scared individuals who were products of their environment?

    It may be the case that some of these cops are awful, racist individuals who are murdering innocent people in cold blood. Or….it may be the case that most of the violent people they are encountering on a daily basis are not, in fact, white (again, a product of socioeconomic disparity) and therefore they are instinctively….afraid. And being afraid, act irrationally, the same way you might jump, if someone jumped out of a dark room and yelled “boo!”

    And maybe it’s just me, but I’m noticing two different, but numerically related, trends in the news lately. The evil police are shooting all the black people, and the evil Muslim terrorists are everywhere, unexpectedly, trying to kill people en masse. Perhaps both of these groups are being unfairly held accountable for the stupid actions of a few among their numbers, given recent sensitivity to both issues? And as the latest news of 10 officers being shot with a sniper rifle shows, perhaps this media driven alarmism is having seriously dangerous consequences…for police officers, and Muslim Americans. Perhaps there is a psychological anxiety infecting our nation, and world for that matter, half in part to media coverage making typical human prejudice and error seem suddenly novel and indicative of the end of days. Or maybe we are all just guilty and prejudiced, and even in the name of righteous indignation, we can’t empathize with the people on the other side of the line.

    All I know, is that I’m thankful not to be a non-white person, afraid for my life and my family every time I go out. And I’m thankful not to be a police officer, trying to do my job for not that much money, while also putting my life on the line at any moment, only to have to take that extra few seconds to wonder if it will be ruined by the court of public opinion for reacting the wrong way in the split second I think I’m going to die.

    There is so much that needs to change. But both sides needs to critically evaluate what they might be doing to fuel the problem. Does so much of “Hip hop culture” really need to constantly promote violence, the glorification of blatant disregard for the law, the super cool factor of guns, sex, fame, and money? Can white people not understand that so many non white people are fighting against a rigged system that means they have to fight twice as hard for anything a white person has?

    What can you actually DO to make things better? What, other than whining, jumping on outraged band wagons that everyone else is already on? Stop complaining about the problem….start thinking up practical solutions. Solutions that might actually work, no fantasy “lets all just hug it out and go to college for free” crap. Anyone who has a solution instead of a complaint….speak up.”

    • July 10, 2016 8:37 pm

      Roby, it is nice to see that there are some young college age kids with an open mind and the proper outlook on life in general. Her comment “start thinking up practical solutions. Solutions that might actually work, no fantasy “lets all just hug it out and go to college for free” crap. Anyone who has a solution instead of a complaint….speak up” shows she is headed in the right direction.

      We need more people thinking like this to make a difference.

      • Roby permalink
        July 10, 2016 8:50 pm

        Well, she is out of college a few years, but yes she is thinking and see shades of grey. Not popular though, she has many facebook friends but got next to no reaction, she said something she was not expected to.

        Here was her reply to the one predictable girl who called her essay racist:

        “You are perfectly entitled to think I am a racist for offering up counter points in these often entirely one sided “discussions”. Someone has to, because too many people keep their opinions to themselves because they know they will immediately be attacked and accused of racism for even daring to consider viewing the argument from the other side. You go ahead and think I’m a racist blinded by my white privilege, though my own Jewish lineage has been hunted and persecuted through so much of history. And I’ll even use YOUR favorite literary device when I say I think YOU, and YOUR lack of empathy, and your hate filled rhetoric representative of just about every post on social media for the last 24 hours, are a big part of the PROBLEM.

        I think many of Angela’s ideas on how to go about actually solving the problem were good ones, though many are much easier said than done. I wish I was reading more comments like hers, instead of being bombarded in all directions by comments like yours. Because do you know what comments like yours cause? A build up of hatred, of blame, of mob mentality that led to 5 Dallas police officers being killed, and 6 others shot, by someone who “hated white people”. I notice these murders haven’t been mentioned once in this thread, though that must be because they are too “privileged” to mourn.

        Statistics are easy to find, if you bothered to go looking for any that don’t just simply support your argument. Go look up the FBI reports that come out every year detailing crimes. Interestingly enough, those statistics show that black males are 35 times more likely to be murdered by other black males than police officers. And the majority of people being killed by police officers? White males, at 62 % to 32 % black males.

        And the majority of police deaths? 41 % were killed by black males. And the percentage of police shot and killed in this way over the past 3 years has more than doubled. Much more attention has been given to black men being killed by white police in the last 3 years, and the only statistic drastically increasing is how many police are dying as a result.

        I think in some of these instances, the police officers were idiots, and cowards who should not have been police to begin with, but I don’t think they are cold blooded killers who enjoy killing black people. And if I were a cop, or some member of my family were at any point over the last few years, I’d be constantly terrified, and pretty damn jumpy given the anti police environment.

        I am sympathetic, and empathetic, to both sides, and if any productive conversation is going to take place that could lead to solutions, not just for the problem of black men being killed by police officers, but police officers being killed by black men, then it needs to voice more than one perspective.”

  78. Roby permalink
    July 10, 2016 10:11 pm

    God I hate to do this to Ya’ll but:

    • Priscilla permalink
      July 11, 2016 7:41 am

      Ha. This nails it, Roby.

      • Roby permalink
        July 11, 2016 8:49 am

        Yeah, I need a drink. And I am practically a teetotaller in my old age.

        But all I need is a big stereo, some 50s rock and roll compilations, and my wife wanting to dance and it all goes away, forgotten. To keeping our sanity!

  79. Priscilla permalink
    July 11, 2016 9:11 am

    I’ve been thinking about race so much as a result of what’s going on in the country. It’s pretty clear that Obama has failed in bringing about racial harmony, despite his billing as the post-racial president. Of course, in looking back over the last 7 1/2 years , I don’t think that his goal ever was racial harmony, but racial division And, he has succeeded fairly well in dividing us….very well, in fact. So, although I have called him incompetent in the past, I believe that I was wrong, and that he is is quite competent.

    Division and hatred has become the standard in our politics. I forget who ir was, probably Ron, who talked about Reagan and Tip O’Neill, the famously hardball Speaker, getting together for drinks and jokes on a regular basis. They were certainly not friends, more like work acquaintances , but they were not mortal enemies either. Unthinkable to imagine Barack and Paul, sitting down for a beer or cocktail and trading stories and jokes, right?

    So, my question is this~ assuming that our candidates are Hillary and Trump, which one is more likely to promote racial healing, and an end to partisan division? Is it possible for any candidate to do so? Is one of them more or less likely to encourage or inflame the current rifts?

    How do we turn this ship around, or have we already struck the iceberg?

    • Roby permalink
      July 11, 2016 9:38 am

      Priscilla, I don’t mean to pick on you (and please don’t feel that I am) but the idea that Obama had the goal of racial division is just wrong.

      I remember the riff that the left had on W: he got all those American soldiers killed so that his oil buddies could make a windfall profit of the Iraq war. That is just partisan thinking on steroids. Lets be above it. Our presidents, all of them, even Nixon, wanted good things not evil things, they just encounter a very complex world and all have their own character flaws. There is a lot I could say about Obama (you may remember my letter to him after his huge golf smile following one ISIS execution) but he does not have a goal of racial division. He has a different picture of the race issue from the conservative one, that is different. We could go back and forth about who started injecting race into politics for what end, who was first, who was the worst. The race issue is a deep human flaw, worldwide and in America. Obama and every American president just have to somehow negotiate it.

      As a parallel example, I don’t think that Trumps 6 pointed star was a deliberate racial slur. I’ll buy a lot of things about Trump’s bad character but not that one. Lets be discerning. Some stuff just goes too far.

      • Priscilla permalink
        July 11, 2016 9:47 am

        No offense taken, Roby. After I had already posted, I rather thought that you would take issue with my judgement of Obama, knowing that you don’t believe that he believes in the politics of division. So, I was sorry that I had referred to it, because, well, at this point, we are where we are.

        So, my question still stands. Is this a fixable problem and how does it get fixed, or have we reached an awful tipping point?

      • Ron P permalink
        July 11, 2016 11:48 am

        Priscilla, every problem is fixable. It just takes the will of the people involved to want to find that fix. But when you have individuals that are steadfast in their positions and will not budge one inch, there most likely will never be a solution. In this regard they are more interested in party politics than national improvements.

        The first thing that needs to happen is to find the root cause of the problem. You can pull up all the devils grass (wild Bermuda Grass) in your yard and if you do not get the roots out, it comes back stronger and more wide spread than before it was pulled. If the root cause of the racial divide now (as compared to that in the 60’s) is not addressed, little progress will be made to help this problem.

      • Roby permalink
        July 11, 2016 10:13 am

        Well, America is a very large flywheel and all the sane and productive people in it just go to work every day and raise their families. Even many people who are loons on the subject of politics do that. So, there is a hidden but vast reserve of good and constructive actions. It is not the subject of any news article but its much bigger than the stuff that makes the news.

        Vermont has had an idiot for a governor for the last six years and he has had a legislature dominated by his party to work with. There have been some inconveniences and stupid things done but nothing is actually on fire, my life is mostly unchanged, the sun shines, and there is a very good chance that we will get a moderate republican for our next governor. So, we give politics too much emphasis, its just one area of life, not the biggest. We obsess with it too much. When Bill Bradley quit the Senate he said he did it becuase he did not believe that politics was really where the action is. He is correct.

        Regarding national politics, the most disastrous mistakes that are available to a president concern foreign and not domestic policy in my view. A bad president can really make a mess of the future there, war. That is my worry, not domestic politics.

      • Priscilla permalink
        July 11, 2016 11:06 am

        Fair enough, Roby. Although I do think that people who live in and around cities, particularly large cities, have found that increasing levels of violence over race is changing their lives for the worse.

        I saw this clip of Rudy Giuliani from Face the Nation this morning, and I think that Guiliani’s take on this is pretty much right on the mark (not to mention that I love the way that he refuses to allow Dickerson to get him off track, or to start debating with him). I know that Giuliani takes a lot of heat for trying to run for president based on his 9/11 experience, but people often forget that NYC was a cesspool of crime and racial tension when he became mayor, and he cleaned things up pdq. I don’t know that he’d be the best president, but any president dealing with crime in cities could take some pointers from him.

      • Roby permalink
        July 11, 2016 11:32 am

        There is no doubt that the police policy in Guliani’s mayorship found a grey area of civil rights of suspects and in doing so saved many lives, ironically, many black lives. It made NY city habitable again. I was there prior to Guliani, it was scary. That policy should be the model for big cities, civil libertarians be damned. That said Guliani himself is not a personality I have much taste for at this stage of his career.

      • July 11, 2016 11:34 am

        Roby how interesting. You say ” he got all those American soldiers killed so that his oil buddies could make a windfall profit of the Iraq war. That is just partisan thinking on steroids.” I ask you “Is this not politicians dividing the nation”?

        In a previous comment I said I thought the nation was more divided today than ever. I blamed politicians for not working to make positive changes, but to accentuate the negatives that only promote more division in the country. I pointed out that anyone that will not face the problem and call it what it is, will never find a solution to that problem. You come back with this! “I wish I was reading more comments like hers, instead of being bombarded in all directions by comments like yours. Because do you know what comments like yours cause?”

        I apologize if you find this offensive. Sometimes offensive is the truth and the truth must be addressed if it is having negative impacts on the nation. I will never believe that our politics and the politics of destruction (between the parties) is not a major contributing factor to the way we view different groups.

        Leadership sets the example from the smallest of kids to the oldest of adults. When leadership argues and fights, so will those that follow the leaders!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Roby permalink
        July 11, 2016 11:50 am

        Ron, I never find you offensive. Politicians of course divide the nation, they have to, thats what an election is. But they can also have the Reagan Tip O’Neil side and put that aside when it comes to passing legislation. I don’t believe the worst about the intentions of either W or Obama. They certainly both made huge costly mistakes. I do not believe that Obama is trying to divide the nation on race, he is reacting to events as they occur according to his experiences and beliefs. I am 100% certain that he wishes his presidency had seen a healing of racial wounds. 100%. No one knows how.

      • Priscilla permalink
        July 11, 2016 12:16 pm

        Ron, I think that you and I would agree that the leadership of both parties has brought us to a dangerous place of division.

        Roby, I think that you may misunderstand what I said about Obama. Not so much that I didn’t mean what I said, but that I think that Obama, or maybe more accurately, Obama’s style of politics, fits right in with the politics of division. Today’s Democrats are not the Democrats of the past….they rely on leftist rhetoric and racial animus to get out the vote. Similarly, today’s Republicans are not the Republicans of the past…they rely on demonization of compromise and fear of social and demographic change. That’s how they get out the vote. Democrats tell their base that the GOP will take away their Social Security, Republicans say that Democrats will give Social Security to illegals. Democrats cave to Black Lives Matter, Republicans cave to the NRA.

        It’s part of the political game now, and Obama has played the game very well. He may be a very nice guy in person, but he has been guilty of some very divisive political strategies. Rudy Giuliani may be a venal, nasty jerk in person, but he enacted some very effective, lifesaving and unifying strategies.

        I am a partisan, because I fear the left. You have been very clear and accurate when you have described the way that fear drives politics. So, if I sense that one side is more leftist than the other, I am opposed to that side. But that doesn’t mean that I agree with everything, or even most things that the other side does. It’s the lesser-of-two evils decision that moderates are always forced to make these days.

      • July 11, 2016 1:27 pm

        And this my friends is why I am voting for Gary Johnson. (First time for something other than one of the two major parties) He most likely will not win, but I can hold my head up high and say I voted for a positive direction for this country and someone willing to work toward sensible solutions based on the constitution and not party loyalties or contributor loyalties.

      • Roby permalink
        July 11, 2016 1:09 pm

        Its a great post Priscilla, in the sense that if I feared the left more than the right then I ‘d be right there with you.

      • July 11, 2016 1:30 pm

        What a great exit interview question for the general election. “Which candidate did you fear less when you voted?” Good God, what has this country come to???

  80. Roby permalink
    July 11, 2016 2:07 pm

    “You come back with this! “I wish I was reading more comments like hers, instead of being bombarded in all directions by comments like yours. Because do you know what comments like yours cause?””

    Whoa, whoo Ron, I think you have misread something I posted. That was part of my daughter’s reply to a PC warrier who caller her first post racist. I think you have misunderstood, that was not a comment of mine directed at you! Or maybe I am misunderstanding….

    • July 11, 2016 3:00 pm

      Roby…Sorry for the misunderstanding. I did not think about the quotation marks when reading, but misread the information and thought the second paragraph began your thoughts and no those of your daughter. And that is why the written word is sometimes much more dangerous than the spoken word as the real meaning is sometimes lost. I put your original comments about maybe not agreeing with everything I originally said with this and “jumped to conclusions” that I should not have.

      Or maybe it is just old age and not processing information like it was intended. At least I can use that as an excuse…..

      • Roby permalink
        July 11, 2016 4:03 pm

        Well, I hold you in very high esteem. The chances that I would suddenly flip out on you are slim to none!

  81. July 11, 2016 11:45 pm

    This was shared on Facebook.Couple of minutes well spent listening to something very important to what is happening today. Sometimes is seems that some issues never change.

    • Anonymous permalink
      July 12, 2016 9:47 am

      That was excellent, Ron. Paul Harvey was a national treasure. Thanks for posting it.

      • Priscilla permalink
        July 12, 2016 9:57 am

        Oops! Somehow WordPress logged me out. ^^ That was me.

  82. Anonymous permalink
    July 12, 2016 2:46 pm

    2007: the year that Chris Rock made this very funny (in my humble opinion) video.

    2016: The year that Chris Rock would never get away with this

    The thing is, like much great comedy, the video contains a great deal of truth. But truth is not our priority anymore.

    WARNING: Bad language and some misogyny.

  83. Priscilla permalink
    July 12, 2016 2:47 pm

    ^^ me again. Gotta figure out why WordPress doesn’t like me anymore!

  84. July 13, 2016 9:57 pm

    Sorry to have been AWOL for the better part of a month, but my 12-year-old son was home (and on vacation) with me the whole time. It was nice to have a respite from American politics, but my son is heading off to camp and I’m once again free to toil and suffer on behalf of political sanity. (Hey, I wouldn’t have it any other way.) You’ll be hearing from me again soon.

    • Roby permalink
      July 14, 2016 7:52 am

      Sanity!?! This election is giving the impression that 50% of Americans are crazy but I don’t think that’s true. Just bored from lack of a decent musical culture and taking up radical positions to give their life meaning according to one theory of social scientists. Of course due to youtube we can experience any healthy musical-cultural movement of the past. We just don’t have anything of our own. Here is a time I like:

  85. July 14, 2016 7:18 pm

    Well, it appears that you DON’T need a gun to commit mass murder. Ah, those crazy muslims, just having a little fun in Paris.

  86. Pat Riot permalink
    July 15, 2016 11:35 pm

    Do you see what is happening in Turkey tonight, July 15, 2016?

    The Turkish Prime Minister urged the Turkish people to go out into the streets to protest the attempted coup by the military. I wouldn’t have recommended that response. Urging mobs and more chaos? Who instigated the attempted military coup in the first place? Some agent in Pennsylvania? More chaos, civil unrest, unraveling of the “thin veneer” of civilization. Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya. Perhaps setting the stage for “something new” to emerge and bring “order” in Europe and the World.

    In the United States it has been a different approach. Among other pushing and pulling, the U.S. media machine pushes the cops killing black men narrative and focus, despite the data of black on black and cops killing whites. Does this erode the public’s trust in law enforcement? Does this plant more seeds of civil unrest here in the U.S. Then the two choices for POTUS. Most people see how the liberal media has held Hillary aloft, but how about the media coverage for Trump? How much did the media’s incessant coverage of Trump push him ahead of the GOP field of 16?

    Roby often talks of “cold impersonal forces” but I see more cold personal manipulation.

    My advice for Americans is for us to hold our civilization together. Go to your jobs. Go to your social functions. Engage our good institutions. Commit random acts of kindness, but do not become a mob in the street. Connect with your friends. Help strengthen the fabric of our society so we can ride out the provocations and the insanity.

    No Chaos For America!

    • July 16, 2016 12:20 am

      PatRiot, you, like 90% of Americans, made a mistake in your comment. ” Then the two choices for POTUS. Most people see how the liberal media has held Hillary aloft, but how about the media coverage for Trump? How much did the media’s incessant coverage of Trump push him ahead of the GOP field of 16?”

      We have more than 2 choices, with one of those choices that lines up with a large portion of the way people think. Personal liberty, government based on the constitution, rights guaranteed by the constitution, a federal government where power comes from the states and the people and not the other way around and business survival based on economic demands and not corporate welfare such as tax incentives and bailouts.

      But then most people do not research candidates and their positions, they just inhale the gases coming from the Democrats or Republicans and become drunk from the lies and deceit they are fed thinking the lessor of two evils is not evil.

      • Jay permalink
        August 14, 2016 1:57 pm

        The combined media coverage, including FOX, and newspaper coverage nationally, and most notably the blogosphere, is more anti Hillary and pro trump.

        Same holds for political commentary, and political cartooning – obvious if you follow them daily as I do at Real Clear Politics and AAEC.

  87. Pat Riot permalink
    July 16, 2016 8:08 am

    …”most people do not research candidates and their positions, they just inhale the gases coming from the Democrats or Republicans and become drunk from the lies and deceit they are fed thinking the lessor of two evils is not evil.”

    Yes Ron, sad but true, and it is partly because the populace became addicted to TV which has been a vehicle that has significantly supplanted our former culture. When I was a kid the neighbors came over and crowded into the kitchen to talk about politics and life. Priests applied “old principles” to the community and the country in their sermons on Sundays. We were taught civics in school–we’ve talked about the absence of civics education before here at TNM–and also we learned civics in the boy scouts and through other activities.

    This is an actual, and quite common, conversation I remember among SEVEN YEAR OLDS, circa 1968 in Philadelphia:

    “Hey, get off my property!”

    “No, it’s a free country!”

    “Yeah, well, then go in the street. That’s public. This here is private property!”

    haha, seven-year-olds becoming lawyers!

    So, except for the educated who read and gather information from multiple sources, except for Americans who still know how to actually THINK instead of just emotionally REACT…

    Oh man I’m back to seeing mostly bad out there! Somebody remind me of something positive please!

    • Jay permalink
      August 14, 2016 1:45 pm

      You’re right.

      Mass media has forever changed the culture.

      Our basic assumptions about democracy, family, relationships – have been altered. To the new generations weened and brainwashed by media and technology who have already surplanted us, our way of thinking for the most part is as irrelevant and divorced from their lives as ours was from those Americans who lived before radios and telephones.

    • July 16, 2016 7:27 pm

      Pat.. I can’t get too excited yet as I am well aware the deck is stacked against any other party other than the two major parties. The following is the criteria for being included in the presidential debates. “In each election cycle since 2000, CPD has retained Dr. Frank Newport, Editor-in-Chief of Gallup, to assist it in selecting the five national public opinion polls to be used in applying the criteria.” The criteria mentioned is 15% threshold in polling to be included in the debates.

      However, some of the polls that are used do not include any candidates other than Clinton and Trump. So lets say three polls with an average of 24% include the Libertarians and 2 polls exclude anyone other than Clinton/Trump, the average is less than 15% and they are excluded from the debates.

      So nothing will change even if people decide Johnson is a good alternative to the liars and crocks running for President because the polls used are the ABC News/The Washington Post, NBC News/The Wall Street Journal, CBS News/The New York Times, Fox News and Gallup. And which of these polls are interested in the actual support for all candidates and which ones are just interested in seeing Clinton elected.

  88. Pat Riot permalink
    July 16, 2016 1:34 pm


    I’m embarrassed to admit I’d forgotten about the Libertarian Party. I just went to the LP official platform page, and I’m excited again.

    There’s still time. If I wasn’t hearing about the LP, then they need help getting their message out! Tell your friends to pass it on!

  89. Pat Riot permalink
    July 16, 2016 10:16 pm

    Ron I’m just moderately excited to have some U.S. political party to believe in more than Hillary’s Ds or Trump’s Rs. Libertarian candidates Johnson and Weld are now on the ballots in 34 of 50 states. Next step for me is to help get their names on Pennsylvania’s ballot. It gives me a righteous purpose. If Trump gets elected and escalates WW III, and half the planet is in ruins, at least I was working in the right direction.

  90. 4aymond halyard permalink
    August 14, 2016 1:16 pm

    We middle class folks are always whining about our financial problems, but nobody talks about the blight of the poor rich people! They don’t have a good place to invest all the new money coming in. Some rich folks, like Bill Gates, are even giving it away. The US middle class (the main component of the consumer market) is stagnant, so there’s no reason to invest in the US economy. Growth in the World economy has slowed to a crawl and interest rates on bonds are low. The only place left is the US stock market and its already overpriced. Now Trump want’s to cut taxes big-time on the rich (including himself)! The poor rich will have even more money coming in and no place good to put it. The stock market will just turn into a bigger bubble that will finally burst.. It must be very frustrating to be rich!

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