Denial and insanity

denialWell, as we could have predicted, on the heels of a mass/spree shooting in Kalamazoo, Michigan that shook that community, yet another community, now in Kansas, has now suffered the effects of a gunman mowing innocent people down because…….:

A gunman armed with what police called an “assault-style” weapon killed three people and injured 14 others in Kansas Thursday before he was killed by a police officer.

All three victims and 12 of the injured were shot at Excel Industries, a plant in Hesston that makes lawn mower products, Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton said. Of those hurt, 10 were critically wounded, he said.

Authorities have not officially identified the deceased suspect, but multiple co-workers identified the shooter to local media as Cedric Ford. Walton would not discuss a motive, but told reporters there were “some things that triggered this individual.”

“….some things that triggered this individual.” So in America, the land of the free and milk and honey, when something “triggers” someone, they can just get out their assault style rifle and handguns and take out their anger or their beef with someone and open fire on innocent citizens. 4 are dead, including the gunman, and many are critically wounded because….. America.

Are we insane? One does have to wonder why these things happen. Or maybe not. With the American gun culture as it is, with enough guns for every American citizen and laws that allow just about anyone to access a gun, it is inevitable that the shootings continue unabated.

And when the gun lobby gets its’ way with elected leaders, yet more insanity occurs. In Iowa, as just one crazy example, the legislature thought it would be a good idea to let children 14 and under become gun handlers. I mean, why not, right? An army of children who will, of course, know exactly how to handle handguns because…… Well, it’s pretty inexplicable actually. Toddlers shot more people in 2015 than did terrorists. And both can easily access guns.

With children who access their parents’ guns shooting themselves or their parents or siblings or friends on a regular basis, it sure does seem like a great idea to let more children use guns doesn’t it?

Here’s another article about the Iowa law:

State representative Jake Highfill told the Washington Post that the new law “gives the power back to parents”.

“Allowing people to learn at a young age the respect that a gun commands is one of the most important things you can do,” Highfill said.

The alternative, he added, is “turning 18 with no experience”.

What? No words.

Yesterday I participated in an event in Minneapolis with Americans for Responsible Solutions. I was honored to stand behind former Representative Gabby Giffords and her husband Captain Mark Kelly as they spoke about the facts. And I was also honored to be asked to be a member of this coalition of law enforcement officers, domestic violence organizations, community activists, educators, gun owners and people on both sides of the aisle. The round table discussion centered on the easy access to guns and what we can do about it. And the group, of course, understood that saving lives was the common goal.

We know one undeniable fact. Gabby Giffords’ life was almost lost when an angry young man with a gun he should not have been able to have shot and killed 6 people and injured Giffords and others. This is the 3rd time I have been with Gabby Giffords and I find her courage remarkable. She is determined to do something about the denial exhibited by her former colleagues in Congress. She spoke about the need for courage.

Why should it take courage to do something about the senseless shootings in our country? What is it about the gun lobby that makes our leaders put their heads in the sand and pretend that if they pass common sense laws the rights of law abiding citizens will be affected? This denial is costing lives at an alarming rate. There is no more time for this heads in the sand response to the shootings like the ones in Michigan, Kansas and …….

We know the routine. In the article about the Gabby Giffords event, this is the response from the gun lobby folks interviewed by the media:

But Bryan Strawser and the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus believe the focus should be on dealing with violent criminals, particularly looking at prosecution and sentencing, and providing additional access to mental health services – not on laws such as Giffords’s group supports that primarily impact law-abiding citizens.

“We have hundreds of thousand of permit holders, and, by in large, those gun owners are extremely safe and law-abiding citizens in the community,” Strawser said.

Strawser agrees certain people shouldn’t have guns, but he says some goals of the coalition go too far.

“We believe that is where the focus should be, not on the kind of laws that this organization has pushed that will really impact law-abiding citizens,” Strawser said.

Denial. Fallacy.

Does anyone challenge this lunacy? In what way will laws that expand background checks to all gun sales to stop felons, domestic abusers, those who are dangerously mentally ill and others who should not be able to buy guns affect law abiding citizens? They don’t say. They just say this stuff and then pretend it’s true and enough of our leaders buy it that we fail the majority of Americans and Minnesotans who agree with common sense solutions.

This is simply not OK. This is lunacy and denial. This is the influence of money over lives that has kept our country from addressing the public health epidemic staring us in the face.

We’ve had #enough. Are our leaders going to take their heads out of the sand and do something? Are they going to listen to the nonsensical rhetoric that is not based on evidence and fact brought to them by a small group of citizens who believe that passing reasonable laws will affect them in some way?

It’s time for courage. Thank you Gabby Giffords for having the courage to stand up, even after your heinous injuries and life long disabilities to challenge the status quo and demand that we do something and do it now. We just can’t wait any longer. Saving even one life will be worth the fight.



Well, I didn’t think I would be adding to this post. But there has been another mass shooting in the state of Washington leaving 5 dead. If one of the gun rights folks who read my blog want to share with me an explanation or what could be done better or differently than trying to keep guns away from people who shouldn’t have them and educate the public and gun owners about the awesome responsibility of owning guns. The risks of owning guns are great and can lead to death and injury. More guns are not making us safer.

More or less hypocrisy?

Want More on Highway Signpost.More often than not, I find links to articles to support what I am writing. Occasionally, however, information is not accurate and needs to be updated or corrected.  I am writing this to correct what I wrote in my last post. Though it has been difficult to assess with accuracy, it does look like concealed carry permit holders will be allowed to carry guns inside of the Nashville Music Center at the upcoming NRA convention. What I learned from my own sources is that guns are not allowed in the music performance center but are allowed in the convention center attached to it. But one can see why there is confusion because this sentence from the security section about the convention says: ” All guns on the convention floor will be nonoperational, with the firing pins removed.” Seems like that could mean ALL guns on the floor. But, from one of my readers who presumes to know:

Carry is permitted at NRA HQ in Fairfax by everyone, this is also allowed at NRA Annual Meeting unless it’s prohibited by the venue. The last place that carry was prohibited by the venue was in Charlotte, and that law has since been changed to allow carry at that venue in the event of a future return there.

The article you found only applies to firearms being displayed at Annual Meeting as part of an exhibit, not firearms being legally carried. It is just a common sense safety measure to render exhibit firearms inoperable.

So yes, apparently loaded guns will be allowed inside of the Nashville Convention Center if this reader is correct. That should be fun. Hopefully there will be no “accidental” discharges by any of those “good guys” with guns. There was a recent case of this at a gun range in Florida where armed police officers were training. One of the guns accidentally discharged, killing another officer. It happens. Thus one can see why allowing a bunch of armed people in one place could be a very bad idea. But, whatever. It looks like there is no concern for that at NRA conventions. Except all of those guns on display that will be handled by armed folks need to be unloaded. Why? To prevent “accidental discharges”. Hypocrisy.

(Updated since first posted) Not so fast. I have learned that guns are not allowed in Bridgestone Arena at the Nashville Convention Center. So I guess armed visitors will have to disarm if they want to attend any workshops or events at this venue.

The problem with the idea that ALL permit holders will be safe with their guns and nothing bad will happen is that it’s not true. I write about such incidents on this blog all the time. In my last post I wrote about a man whose gun discharged “accidentally” at an Easter mass church service. It turns out that there’s a lot more to that story. Check it out in this latest report:

Officials at Mount Aloysius College confirmed the same man expelled for having a gun on campus, is the same one who police say saw his gun go off during an Easter mass over the weekend.

On Tuesday, WTAJ obtained a letter to students sent out by the school, letting them know that Matt Crawford, the man expelled from school last week, is now at the center of another gun related incident.

Back in 2010, Crawford was arrested after pulling a gun on a relative during an argument. He faced simple assault charges then.

Shouldn’t the 2010 incident disqualify this guy from keeping his permit? If not, it should because his pattern of gun handling and carrying seems pretty dangerous to me. This one was an accident or intentional shooting waiting to happen. But the gun lobby has pushed legislators into the false premise that permit holders will be safe with their guns and there won’t be incidents like this.  As more people carry guns in more public places because of the loosening of gun laws all over the country, we can expect to see more incidents like the this one. This is the hypocrisy of the gun lobby. The thing is, lives are at stake. Public safety is at stake.

And speaking of more hypocrisy, not one gun rights advocate reading my blog commented on all of the examples I gave of “good guys” with guns shooting people intentionally or unintentionally. Why not? Because those incidents don’t fit with the ideas purported by them about more guns making everyone safer. In fact, the lies are still coming and continue to come. Check out this Iowa legislator who made a false claim about a bill but got caught in his hyperbole. From the article:

While critics have argued the measure opens a loophole that would allow some buyers to avoid background checks, Windschitl, R-Missouri Valley, told The Des Moines Register it would actually lead to more background checks for firearm purchases.

We rate this statement FALSE.

In a follow-up interview, Windschitl clarified that his statement was an “assumption” and wasn’t rooted in any evidence. In fact, the data necessary to determine how the law would affect the number of background checks performed and firearms purchased aren’t collected and don’t exist.

Windschitl’s prediction is also based on questionable logic. It assumes that firearms consumers will not take advantage of the option to forgo a permit, and that private sellers will go out of their way to perform background checks on prospective buyers.


And in Tennessee, again, a bill has been proposed to ban squirt guns but allow real guns in school zones :

The Tennessee House of Representatives passed a bill Monday night that makes it illegal to take a squirt gun — but not a real gun — within 150 feet of a school.

The new ban was included in a larger bill that would nix any local laws prohibiting people with gun permits from taking guns to parks.

You can’t make this stuff up. What are people thinking? Real guns are clearly more dangerous than toy guns. Yes, I know that kids have been shot by officers when they have been carrying air soft guns or other toy type guns. But that’s not the point here. If you are going to ban any kind of gun in a school zone, it needs to be all guns. But the corporate gun lobby, of course, is against banning guns anywhere. Hypocrisy as far as the eye can see.

So during the upcoming NRA convention in Nashville, armed attendees will be treated to the usual ridiculous nonsense spewed by Wayne LaPierre, whose over the top rhetoric is meant to inspire fear and paranoia. His speeches are amazing for the content, hardly any of which is true. So a new video produced by Everytown for Gun Safety makes those speeches all the more ridiculous. When children say the words, they come out seeming like the nonsense they are. “Li’l Wayne LaPierres” can say it in a way that adults just can’t. Kids know baloney when they see and hear it and they also sometimes have more common sense than the adults.

And last, as to concealed guns allowed at NRA headquarters, information is not easy to obtain. A friend called NRA headquarters and someone there confirmed that something had changed regarding their policy about no guns inside so apparently now permit holders can carry inside of the building. It’s likely only in the public areas and not in the offices of the CEO and other leaders of the organization. I’m sure they would want to be safe from guys like the Altoona permit holder I wrote about above.