Unprotected innocents remain the expendable

Tom Camfield
Blogger
Posted 6/11/19

Donald Trump’s chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said of the Virginia Beach shooting: “There are things that the government can do” but that “we’re never going to protect …

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Unprotected innocents remain the expendable

Posted

Donald Trump’s chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said of the Virginia Beach shooting: “There are things that the government can do” but that “we’re never going to protect everybody against everybody who is deranged.” So apparently our government of the moment is going to go right on protecting the “somebodies” and ignoring the “nobodies”—according to its perception of same.

Where are those who would serve humanity through obsession with the plight of average Americans? Don’t expect to find them under “republican” on the next ballot. Republicans have worked long and hard to defame the epithet “liberal,” and the regard for individual dignity and well-being for which it stands.

As for the “deranged” who would do us harm, there’s also a lot of disagreement over just to whom that applies these days. Many among us are convinced we have deranged thinking at the top in a big way—an opinion that is fortified about every time Donald Trump opens his mouth or signs an executive order with a flourish.

The “everybody” the government can’t protect these days includes those dead from gun-involved homicidal violence, accidents and suicides totaling 38,000 a year, over 100 a day, in the U. S. Latest figures available are from the Center for Disease Control, which also shows that two-thirds of the deaths are suicides. However, an Associated Press analysis of FBI data shows about 11,000 gun-related homicides in 2016 (up from 9,600 the previous year). Factor in family and friends. Ours is a misery-ridden America.

Every-day shootings in the news go right past the attention of most of a desensitized public, as local-area gunfire may be found reported regularly in the B section of the Seattle Times. When it comes to mass shootings—which seem to happen a lot in black churches, synagogues or mosques in this era of rising white supremacy and nationalism—how many readers here have any idea where Sutherland Springs is?” Ask anyone.

It was only 19 months ago, a year after Trump was elected to office, that a gunman (another home-grown American criminal with a long history of domestic violence) took his illegally-purchased rifle into the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, killed 26 people and wounded 20 others.
For those who have forgotten, here are just a few of 2018’s major mass murders: school in Parkland, Florida, 17 killed; high school in Santa Fe, Texas, 10 killed; Capital Gazette newsroom, Annapolis, Maryland, 5 killed; synagogue in Pittsburgh, 11 killed; bar & grill in Thousand Oaks, California, 12 killed. This 2019 year began at a bank in Sebring, Florida, 5 killed; and also has included a company in Aurora, Illinois, 5 killed; University of North Carolina, 2 killed—and, of course, Virginia Beach. The many other shooting deaths are listed at the gun violence archive described following.

The list grows. Congress has not acted. The president can’t blame it all on immigrants, much as he’d like to.

For current 2019 statistics, check https://www.gunviolencearchive.org. It has documented 161 mass shootings (4 or more victims shot and/or killed) so far in 2019 (as of June 8). It has documented 6,119 people killed and 11,752 injured in gun-related incidents since January 1. Chapter and verse, street by street, city by city. Click on any category for detailed documentation of each incident.

MEANWHILE, GUNS ASIDE, in the United States over 49,000 deaths involved opioids in 2017. More than 70,200 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2017, including illicit drugs and prescription opioids—a 2-fold increase in a decade. This is a still-greater portion of the “everybody“ our government is not trying its best to protect today. A massive vanity wall along the Rio Grande, with Trump’s name on it won’t solve this problem.

Nor will Americans be better protected from harm of various sorts by the “tax reform” our president managed to bully into place at a cost to the public of a couple of trillion dollars—benefiting polluting industrialists and the idle rich. A mere 1,000th of that (.oo1%) could have been put $2,000,000,000 into something such as mental health and spent on defusing the deranged and depressed.
Donald Trump would repeal health care for tens of millions of Americans, gut Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, pound money down the rathole that is the Pentagon, defund mental health programs and continue to pander to the National Rifle Association. This is the type of derangement against which the “everybody” that is most of us needs protection. We need a new government, one that will think and act in that direction.

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Tom Camfield

Almost immediately after I submitted this blog came news of a mass murder on the Yakima Indian reservation. Five people were shot to death.

Wednesday, June 12
Justin Hale

What Mick Mulvaney said was absolutely right, name us one administration that didn't have tragedies where innocent lives were taken by the deranged. And it's a reality that the government cannot stop every person intent on doing harm to others, that is one reason I keep a firearm nearby, and that is also why I will never vote for anyone who isn't a second amendment advocate.

And there is no such thing as "gun violence", it's "people violence".

Wednesday, June 12
Tom Camfield

We don't need a second amendment. A few simple gun laws would be sufficient. We needn't fear English royalty like in the 1770s. Queen Elizabeth is not about to assault Lexington-Concord. Domestically, we have the national guard and several layers of area/local law enforcement—state, county, city.

What some of you have been saying is "let everyone have guns" . . . and then propose that we all go out and buy guns also, to protect ourselves from them. Somewhere in that mix is way too much paranoia. Seems we could work a lot better through social programs—to everyone's benefit. Or maybe just jack up our support for law enforcement.

Wednesday, June 12
Justin Hale

I never said, "let everyone have guns". I'm all for background checks and reasonable restrictions but I know that those laws can't prevent the deranged from getting a gun. And I know that more laws restricting the second amendment will not make me any safer than the deranged more law abiding.

How can the Trump haters call him every manner of evil from Oligarch to Fascist, Biden called Trump an "existential threat to America", and at the same time want to disarm the citizens ?.

Wednesday, June 12
Tom Camfield

The Second Amendment is obsolete. Instead of fighting over which patches to put on it, we should just junk it. Decent laws in tune with the times could replace it, and such laws could still allow for gun ownership. '

Weapons of mass destruction that didn't even exist took us to war in Iraq in 2003—and we're still over there. Here at home, weapons of mass destruction actually exist in private hands, and our officials holding control right now continue to ignore them.

Thursday, June 13
Justin Hale

"The Second Amendment is obsolete." Maybe it is for you Tom, but there are Millions of good Americans that would disagree. One thing for sure that is Not obsolete is human nature. Humans have been fighting each other since day one, and in my opinion that will not change because we create more laws for the law abiding. I think the second amendment is every bit as important for a free citizenry as the first amendment.

"Here at home, weapons of mass destruction actually exist in private hands", hyperbolic nonsense.

Thursday, June 13
Tom Camfield

I think they naturally put the important stiff in the very FIRST amendment. Lord only knows what sort of paranoid lobbying pushed through that second one. But we seem stuck with it now because of the divisiveness of a society that panders to wrong while striving for right.

Friday, June 14
Justin Hale

Of course a person whos life has been writing and the press would consider one amendment pre-eminent.

"Lord only knows what sort of paranoid lobbying pushed through that second one". Why would you make such a silly comment ? The creators of the Constitution/Bill of rights were uniquely aware of how they won their independence and knew that in the end the surest weapon against tyranny was just that, a weapon, they didn't just publish the Constitution and then sit back and expect King George to say OK. To insinuate they were just a bunch of paranoids is insulting, and silly.

Every attack on our freedom since it's founding has been beat back with a weapon, what do we equip our "peace officers" with?, a weapon. If you want to live in lala land and believe that human nature has changed and there no longer exist evil people in this world intent on doing us harm that is your right, no one forces you to exercise your second amendment rights. As for me I choose to be like those armed shop owners during the Watts riots, the rioters didn't spare those shops because they respected the shop owners, they left them alone because they knew they had firearms.

Saturday, June 15
Tom Camfield

Ironically, perhaps, it's that First Amendment that gives us the Free Speech we're exercising here.

If Donald Trump had his way, I"d have been hauled off to the penitentiary months ago—or worse, if he was able to pattern things after Russia.

The First Amendment also gives me freedom of religion, and I am not required to worship guns.

Saturday, June 15