I have been changing things up lately because there is so much going on in the world around us that writing on a blog may not make as much sense. I am now posting shorter stories and comments on my Commongunsense Facebook page . It is easier to read shorter stories and comments there. I have been writing about the protests, about the dangerous gun carriers who are threatening black people and black protesters- all very concerning. These are just a few of the topics of importance before us now. Let’s start with the danger of loaded guns in public.
Have gun, will use it. We are clearly not safer. And black people are clearly much less safe from gun toting white people who have upped the instances of threats since the protests after George Floyd’s murder happened all over the country.
The startling confrontation in Oakland County, Mich., which was partly caught on camera Wednesday afternoon, quickly went viral overnight. As of Thursday afternoon, video of the confrontation had been viewed about 12 million times on Twitter.
“I am deeply disturbed by an incident last night where a woman pointed a cocked gun at another woman during an argument. This behavior is unacceptable,” Oakland County Executive David Coulter said in a statement Thursday. (…) The married couple held Michigan concealed pistol licenses. Both the man and woman were armed. The sheriff said he did not know whether the man also pointed his handgun.
Hill said the dangerous confrontation, which took place on the edge between the communities of Orion Township and Auburn Hills, left her and her three daughters traumatized.
Six people, including bystanders and those involved in the confrontation, called 911 as the incident unfolded. When deputies arrived in the parking lot, they “were presented with two very different stories” in which both sides claimed “they felt extremely threatened,” Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard told reporters Thursday afternoon. The sheriff’s department has reviewed two videos of the incident.
Our conceal and carry laws need to be re-examined. There is no need for armed people on our streets.
And, of course, on July 4th, there will not be many fireworks displays because of the fear of spreading coronavirus. The spread is growing. When over 50,000 Americans a day contract the disease we have a serious problem. Don’t even get me started on Trump’s anemic, irresponsible and dangerous response to the pandemic that is worse because of his lack of understanding, empathy and the ability to govern.
He insists on having 2 super spreaders today and tomorrow. As someone said this morning on MSNBC- ” make America sick again.”
President Donald Trump’s July Fourth celebration on the National Mall will feature one of the largest fireworks displays ever and as many as 300,000 face masks will be given away to those who want them — but despite health concerns from D.C.’s mayor, no one apparently will be required to wear them
And he insists on tying up traffic at Mt. Rushmore National Park in a fireworks display many officials did not want to have. Those who know better and have some common sense are worried about safety, wildfires, the environmental impact of the fireworks and possible protests. But, nevertheless, he persits. The South Dakota governor even touted the fact that no social distancing or mask wearing will be required. Unimaginable.
On July 3, Mr. Trump will be at Mount Rushmore for a celebration and fireworks display, and on the Fourth he will be back in Washington to host events that will include multiple flyovers by military aircraft and a 35-minute fireworks display over the Mall. Most localities have scrapped their traditional festivities, coming up with imaginative replacements such as virtual fireworks or on-screen festivals as they urge people to stay home and stay safe. But nothing — not health experts’ concerns about large gatherings, not alarming spikes in recent days in virus case levels, not pleas from worried D.C. and Washington-area officials — gives pause to Mr. Trump about going ahead with these potentially dangerous events.
What could possibly go right?
Earlier this week, Trump tweeted the video of a Missouri couple threatening black protesters in their neighborhood with a pistol and an assault type rifle. You can’t make this stuff up. How can the leader of a country even consider that this is OK and further, to tweet it. It’s not the first time Trump has tweeted about dangerous, violent or conspiracy theory comments.
And again, as I do every year, I warn about incidents of “accidental” shootings when people stupidly shoot their guns into the air not thinking about where bullets come down- because they always come down- and too often, the find a target in another innocent and unsuspecting human being. There is nothing celebratory about this kind of gunfire.
Bullets fired into the air usually fall back with terminal velocities much lower than their muzzle velocity when they leave the barrel of a firearm. Nevertheless, people can be injured, sometimes fatally, when bullets discharged into the air fall back down to the ground. Bullets fired at angles less than vertical are more dangerous as the bullet maintains its angular ballistic trajectory and is far less likely to engage in tumbling motion; it therefore travels at speeds much higher than a bullet in free fall.
A study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 80% of celebratory gunfire-related injuries are to the head, feet, and shoulders. In Puerto Rico, about seven people have died from celebratory gunfire on New Year’s Eve in the last 20 years. The last one was in 2012. Between the years 1985 and 1992, doctors at the King/Drew Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, treated some 118 people for random falling-bullet injuries. Thirty-eight of them died.
Don’t shoot your guns into the air to celebrate. My friend Joe Jaskolka was shot in the head at age 11 during a New Year’s eve celebration in Philadelphia. The damage suffered from the bullet wound to his head altered his life forever.
There is a drought in many areas of the country. We have had protests all over the country. We are in the midst of a pandemic and economic disaster. But it is the celebration of our country’s birthday so families should be together watching Hamilton streaming as we will do. And be careful with personal fireworks which are also a safety hazard and a fire danger in a drought.
There is hope if we all do the right thing and stay safe. Wear masks. Social distance. Don’t gather in crowded places. Be careful with fireworks. Be nice to others. Celebrate that our founding “fathers” wanted us to be a democracy, not an autocracy as the current White House occupant seems to want it to be. They knew we could weather a lot of storms together and make sure the Rule of Law is not violated as is happening in plain sight. This is the day to make sure we pay attention to what Hamilton, Washington, Jefferson, Adams and others wanted for our country.
Being patriotic is celebrating our democracy and the rule of law. It is not all about flag waving and fireworks. It’s not about guns either. It’s about caring about each other in times of national disaster and pandemics. It’s about being free of gun violence in our communities. It’s about being free of community spread of the coronavirus. It’s about freedom for Black and brown people to have the same lives as white people have. Black Lives Matter. It’s about white people understanding systemic racism. It’s about being free to wear masks to protect us all.
I will leave you with this parody of mask wearing to the tune of Hamilton music.