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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Gun Violence - ongoing debate

Have we really decided that we can NEVER solve this problem?  Do we not wonder why it continues to occur here but not in countless other countries?
As I have previously said too many times, the incidents like the latest Fort Hood shooting (following the previous Ft Hood incident by a mere 5 years) finds no political will for doing anything important or substantive to address causes and prevention.  The Republican candidate for governor of TX today was interviewed on the topic and, of course, saw absolutely no need for "mental background checks" for those seeking to purchase semi-automatic handguns at TX gun dealer stores.  He would apparently rather accept the inevitability of a continuation of these incidents than dare to place any impediment in the way of any Texan no matter how impaired from exercising his 2nd amendment rights.  Sad, sad. (April 2014)

(December 2012)  I find oddly amusing the declarations by the spokespersons for the NRA as to what lessons have been learned and what ought to be done next to reduce incidence of gun deaths and shootings. My interpretation and recollection of what they have said is that none of the "blame" for the bad things that happen can be laid at their feet. None are the result of policies and actions taken at the insistence of the NRA. None are due to the requirements they have placed on elected politicians to make the 2nd amendment protections the most important protections, trumping other "rights" such as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for those whose rights are cut short by gun violence. They don't want to allow consideration of renewing the ban on semi-automatic assault weapons. They don't want to consider the need for reducing the capacity of magazines. They don't want to allow discussion of "cop killing" bullets vs. shells appropriate for hunting most game. But these three possibilities are vitally needed and necessary now. No, I don't believe they necessarily would have totally eliminated the possibility of all bad school and public shootings. But they would reduce the annual death toll from such future events. Instead, the NRA says we should arm Barney Fife and place him in every school. Who would pay for this? Local school taxpayers, of course, who likely would not pony up the funds to accomplish this. And the NRA talks about doing something about those who are mentally incapable of handling firearms. This part of their solution, however, is only vaguely addressed. Not much of a helpful approach there, NRA.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Les Miserables

I admit, this screed is born of a desire to focus momentarily on something other than the 20 precious children and 6 adults murdered at Sandy Hook last week. But I’m sure my mind will return to it in due course. Today I question the editing/selection skills of the advertising people who are promoting “Les Miserables”. The full trailer as seen in the movie house as a preview is quite powerful and makes one eager to see the film. The TV commercials, on the other hand, are insipid and fail to command attention or elicit interest. Yet the TV commercials use the same cuts as was used in the full preview. They simply move way too quickly from one snippet to the next scene. And the voice over does nothing to encourage the public to want to watch this movie. Don’t be mistaken, I will be seeing this film probably the first week it is out. (Noon-time “senior” matinees are usually not too crowded.) But were I financially invested in the success of “Les Miz” I would be thinking about changing publicists/editors.

Friday, December 14, 2012

School Shootings -- Gun Violence

Multiple deaths similar to the Aurora movie house massacre are the price we pay as a society to underwrite the Second Amendment “rights” for “lawful gun owners.” I normally abhor redundancy. But this is posted immediately following news reports of the multiple killings in Wisconsin in the Sikh house of worship. I intend to repeat this declaration following every senseless criminal action that is exacerbated by our toothless laws addressing automatic weapons and ease of obtaining ammunition. I last posted this in August, 2012. It obviously bears more attention today as the news reports on the horrific shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut are filling every second of cable news channels today. It is time, it is passed time for those who can no longer stomach this repetitive trend to tell the NRA, our elected politicians and the US Supreme Court that the time has come. THE TIME IS NOW! Without infringing on any law abiding hunter or home protector's "right to bear arms" the time has come to restrict the sale of assault weapons, semi-automatic and automatic handguns & rifles and the ammunition that makes them so terrible. There are many actions that can be taken and should be taken. But first the NRA needs to be rendered less powerful. Congress needs to know that strategic votes won't end their careers. Americans who believe their innocent children do, in fact have an incontrovertible RIGHT to safety in the schoolhouse must communicate this right as surpassing the 2nd amendment "rights". The NRA and gun supporters must admit that the they don't really need current lawlessness to ensure that the federal government won't invade their homes & force unpalatable political decisions on them.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

It can’t be just me. I doubt that I’m the only consumer/TV watcher who hates their commercial. They must figure that that which makes their commercial stand out, by grating on my nerves, affects others differently so that it becomes memorable. And all the creator wants is for the sponsoring company to be remembered. I’m talking about the Discover Card commercial where the narrator does a sing-song rhyme for seven or fifteen lines and then on the last line goes off-meter by adding at least one extra syllable. The last line always states, “Five percent cash back”. To me it’s like a fingernail scratching down the old blackboard in school. It’s almost enough to make me cancel my credit card with them.