The NRA doesn’t have much to say about yesterday’s mass shooting

You know how the NRA and other gundamentalists love to trot out their reality challenged assertion “only a good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy with a gun”? NRA president Wayne LaPierre or NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch are almost guaranteed to be right out there in front of cameras on those blue moon occasions when a gunman stops another gunman. They even love to get out there when an incident of gun violence happens so that– like vultures–they can take advantage of a tragedy to push people to buy more guns. I have an extraordinarily difficult time believing that LaPierre and Loesch are ignorant of the fact that more guns equals more (not less) crime. That evidence has been out there for some time, but of course, to make that knowledge widespread would likely impact the sales of firearms. And the NRA doesn’t want that. Another thing the NRA doesn’t want is for the little bubble they live in to burst when reality strikes. Like it did today, when a gunman shot and killed multiple people at a Waffle House in Nashville, TN, only to be disarmed by an UNarmed man. They were likely just as unhappy to hear that as they were to hear that the good guy–James Shaw, Jr–is Black (among the many boogeymen the NRA use as part of their fear mongering tactics are African-Americans).

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The NRA doesn’t have much to say about yesterday’s mass shooting
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Irresponsible Gun Owners of America: Special Edition

Normally when I write one of these entries, I highlight multiples cases of reckless, haphazard, and outright dangerous examples of people wielding firearms. From playing with guns while intoxicated to people being irresponsible in their handling of guns in a public setting to instances of recklessness such as leaving a loaded gun in reach of a child, there are innumerable cases that demonstrate the lack of responsibility on the part of many people in this country. People who probably think of themselves as “responsible gun owners”.

Untrained or poorly trained civilians are not the only ones who demonstrate insufficient care in the handling of firearms though.  There are times when law enforcement officials themselves–people who go through ongoing, rigorous training in the handling of firearms–demonstrate their lack of care. One particularly egregious example of this happened yesterday:  a reserve police officer who is also a teacher at Seaside High School in California, recklessly handled a gun, resulting in a student being injured…

During a presentation on gun safety!

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Irresponsible Gun Owners of America: Special Edition

Move over “thoughts & prayers”, there’s a new solution to school shootings in town

In everyday conversation, I’ve almost completely stopped using intelligence referencing ableist slurs. I think I’ve slipped up once or twice here or there, but overall it’s one of those things where I catch myself before I (as an example) refer to someone as stu*id.  It’s important to me to not use such language for two reasons:

  1.  To characterize someone as stu*id, idiot*c, or r*tarded based on their behavior or something they’ve said is to attribute the words or deeds to a lack of intelligence.  Pretty much no one is capable of making snap assessments of the intelligence of others, so right there is reason enough to stop using these slurs as they impugn the intellect of their target. Moreover, using such language is inaccurate.  For example, there’s a YouTube vlogger who records himself eating some of the hottest peppers out there. During a super slow period one day last week, I had a guest show me one of the videos.  Some people look at the dude and think “He’s fucking stu*id for eating those peppers”.  I posit that it has little, if anything to do with his intelligence.  In fact, it looks to me like he’s a dude who knows that there is an audience for outlandish, outrageous, and even potentially dangerous behavior. I suspect he’s doing it for the hits and/or the attention (no idea if he makes money off his videos, but if he does, that fits with my theory). What he’s not doing is eating these ridiculously hot peppers bc he lacks intelligence. “Foolish”, “Outlandish”, “Bizarre”, “Potentially Hazardous”…these are all words that better (and more precisely) describe the actions of hot pepper eating YouTube guy.
  2. Splash damage is a real thing and its worth avoiding the use of language that causes it. In the context of ableist language, splash damage is caused to unintended parties through the use of ableist slurs.  As mentioned in #1, to call POTUS45 an idi*t bc he wants to build a border wall is imprecise (ignorant, laughable, or absurd are terms that more accurately describe him), and of course we can’t assess his intelligence based on his support for that inane wall.  But using an ableist slur to describe him is metaphorically throwing a wide net. To call him an idi*t is draws an implicit connection between his idea (the wall) and the speakers’ assessment of his intelligence.  Basically, it’s saying “you came up with this horribly racist idea bc you’re not smart”.  Chitler is not the only one affected by the slur bc there are people who have lower than average intelligence as a result of cognitive impairments or deficiencies. These are people who are already treated horribly by society and face stigma and discrimination bc of their cognitive disabilities. We shouldn’t compound that by implicitly claiming that harmful or bigoted ideas are the result of cognitive impairment.

Like I said, for the most part, I’ve eliminated such words from my everyday use. There are times, however, when I read something that is just so mind-boggling that

Photo of the gubernatorial hopeful inside a garage, decked out in a black shirt that reads
Someone needs to tell him what a bottom is…

out of sheer reflex, certain terms spring to mind (although that’s where they stay). Maine gubernatorial hopeful Shawn Moody recently uttered some words that had me reflexively grasping for some of those old, abandoned slurs.  He thinks teachers should use fire extinguishers to stop school shooters (yes, you read that right):

Continue reading “Move over “thoughts & prayers”, there’s a new solution to school shootings in town”

Move over “thoughts & prayers”, there’s a new solution to school shootings in town

Happy Thanksgiving, here’s another incident of gun violence

Image of a gun covered in various firearm statistics.

Today is Thanksgiving in the United States, which means millions of people will carve turkeys and hams, eat mac n cheese and yams, moan and groan that they ate too much while going back for seconds (or thirds–don’t judge me), and spend entirely too long washing dishes (I think we used damn near every pot and pan in the kitchen).

Unfortunately, while many of us are filling our bellies with lavish Thanksgiving Day dinners, some people will never get to celebrate this holiday again, thanks to a horrific incident of gun violence at the Juice Bowl:

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Happy Thanksgiving, here’s another incident of gun violence

Irresponsible Gun Owners of America 6.27.16

The United States is saturated with guns. We have a population of more than 300 million and there are nearly enough guns in this country for every child, woman, and man. Thankfully out of that 300 million, only a minority own guns (source). Unfortunately, among

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that minority exists a number of people who are irresponsible gun owners. Whether its improperly cleaning a gun, carrying a gun into a bar, shooting someone’s pet out of anger, shooting a spouse because they don’t perform housework, or shooting someone because your religious beliefs prohibit the consumption of clamato juice, many gun owners demonstrate a lack of responsible handling of firearms. Here are five recent examples:

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Irresponsible Gun Owners of America 6.27.16

Irresponsible Gun Owners of America 5.17.16

The United States is saturated with guns. We have a population of more than 300 million and there are nearly enough guns in this country for every child, woman, and man. Thankfully out of that 300 million, only a minority own guns (source). Unfortunately, among

images (1)
that minority exists a number of people who are irresponsible gun owners. Whether its improperly cleaning a gun, carrying a gun into a bar, shooting someone’s pet out of anger, shooting a spouse because they don’t perform housework, or shooting someone because your religious beliefs prohibit the consumption of clamato juice, many gun owners demonstrate a lack of responsible handling of firearms. Here are five recent examples:

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Irresponsible Gun Owners of America 5.17.16

Irresponsible Gun Owners of America 5.11.16

For many people, discussions of gun violence in the United States bring to mind terrorist attacks like those in Colorado Springs or San Bernardino.  Incidents of deadly gun violence perpetrated by radicalized zealots who, acting upon their extremist ideologies, seek to instill terror in communities. These are horrific tragedies indeed, but they are merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the off-the-charts gun violence that continues to grip the United

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States. On a smaller scale, one that doesn’t typically capture the attention of the national media, there are innumerable examples of gun violence. These acts, which occur on a depressingly regular basis, are sometimes carried out by individuals in the midst of emotional turmoil who possess poor impulse control and/or godawful anger management skills. Some of these examples are carried out by innocents who have unfortunately gained access to firearms that were incorrectly stored by their owners. Some are accidental discharges resulting from the improper handling of a firearm while other tragedies are the result of the use of a firearm while under the influence of a mind-altering substance. These examples do not cover all instances of gun violence, but they do highlight a significant problem of our gun culture–people using guns under the wrong conditions for the wrong reasons. In other words…irresponsible gun owners. Here are five examples:

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Irresponsible Gun Owners of America 5.11.16

Irresponsible gun owners of America 3.28.16

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(image of a firearm surrounded by the words “What is a responsible gun owner?”)

On a regular basis, individuals across the U.S. demonstrate that they are not responsible
gun owners. Oh, they may have passed a background check (or not, bc there are flaws in the federal background check requirement) and obtained a license and/or a permit, but have they demonstrated-prior to owning a gun-that they aren’t an aggressive individual with a hair-trigger temper? Have they shown knowledge of how to resolve conflicts without resorting to violence? Do they know how to properly clean a gun or that firearms and alcohol are a bad mix? Do they know how to correctly store a gun (especially in a home with children)? Sadly, a great many people don’t (or if they do, they disregard this knowledge). And those that don’t should never be allowed to own firearms bc they are irresponsible. Here are five examples of irresponsible gun owners:

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Irresponsible gun owners of America 3.28.16

Irresponsible Gun Owners of America 1.15.16

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For many people, discussions of gun violence in the United States bring to mind the recent terrorist attacks in Colorado Springs or San Bernardino.  Incidents of deadly gun violence perpetrated by radicalized zealots who, acting upon their extremist ideologies, seek to instill terror in communities. These are horrific tragedies indeed, but they are merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the off-the-charts gun violence that continues to grip the United States. On a smaller scale, one that doesn’t typically capture the attention of the national media, there are innumerable examples of gun violence. These acts, which occur on a depressingly regular basis, are sometimes carried out by individuals in the midst of emotional turmoil who possess poor impulse control and/or godawful anger management skills. Some of these examples are carried out by innocents who have unfortunately gained access to firearms that were incorrectly stored by their owners. Some are accidental discharges resulting from the improper handling of a firearm while other tragedies are the result of the use of a firearm while under the influence of a mind-altering substance. These examples do not cover all instances of gun violence, but they do highlight a significant problem of our gun culture–people using guns under the wrong conditions for the wrong reasons. In other words…irresponsible gun owners. Here are five examples:

Continue reading “Irresponsible Gun Owners of America 1.15.16”

Irresponsible Gun Owners of America 1.15.16

Irresponsible gun owners of America 12.12.15

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For many people, discussions of gun violence in the United States bring to mind the recent terrorist attacks in Colorado Springs or San Bernardino.  Incidents of deadly gun violence perpetrated by radicalized extremists who, acting upon their far-right ideologies, seek to instill terror in communities. For all that these incidents are horrific tragedies, they are merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the off-the-charts gun violence that continues to grip the United States. On a smaller scale, one that doesn’t typically capture the attention of the national media, there are innumerable examples of gun violence that occur on a very regular basis. Many of these acts are carried out by individuals experiencing emotional highs who possess poor impulse control and/or godawful anger management skills. Some of these examples are carried out by innocents who have unfortunately gained access to firearms that were incorrectly stored by their owners. Some are accidental discharges resulting from the improper handling of a firearm while other tragedies are the result of the use of a firearm while under the influence of a mind-altering substance. These examples do not cover all instances of gun violence, but they do highlight a significant problem of our gun culture–people using guns under the wrong conditions for the wrong reasons. In other words…irresponsible gun owners.

Here are five examples:

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Irresponsible gun owners of America 12.12.15