This isn’t what America is supposed to be

This article was submitted by Cath Kestler, from  Silver Creek, NY

 

worriedseniorwoman_resized

When I woke up last Wednesday (June 14) to the headlines blaring about the shooting that occurred at the Republicans baseball practice I was shocked at first which then turned to sadness for all involved.  Soon my sadness turned to wonderment as I thought what kind of person could do such a heinous thing; my thoughts travelled to was this terrorism and I wondered what those people being shot at were thinking as the bullets were flying by.  As of early this morning Rep. Steve Scalise’s condition has been upgraded to serious from critical and the rest of the victims will or are recovering from their physical inflictions, but one has to wonder what kind of scarring will this hold for all involved mentally.

I’m pretty certain the shooter had suffered from some form of mental illness whether it was diagnosed or not; he obviously had abused his wife and child for I hope they are seeking counseling to reassure them that none of this is their fault.

One has to wonder what pushed this man over the edge to do what he did.  Could it have something to do with the fact that since Trump was elected the middle class and the poor have been the target for the drastic changes to carry the burden of the drastic changes upon which we must endure?  The slashes to all the programs which has been to better our existence and lend a hand to those in need in times of trouble—let me tell you trouble is looming large just over our horizon.

Are you aware that 42.5 million Americans (that’s 18.2% of all adults diagnosed) suffers from some form of mental concerns?  That equates to one in five people in the United States alone are afflicted with a wide range of mental health conditions that affect your mood, your way of thinking and your behavior; these signs and symptoms may not always be exhibited outwardly, they rear their ugly head from time to time.

I’m not saying that the Republicans are at fault for the shooting, but their hands and actions are definitely not clean by no means in this.  By calling for “unity” in this matter is late but better than never.  I harken back to the day Gabby Giffords was shot and left for dead, one of the “family” but no great strides were gained by Congress through their actions of obstructing Gabby’s pleas of sensible gun reform because I guess fear for the obstruction of the umbilical cord of funds from the NRA and 2nd Amendment rights supporters.  Yes, I said it and I’m not sorry for doing so.  I believe in the 2nd Amendment and the right to bear arms; it’s just the kind of arms you insist on bearing and your refusal for sensible gun control.  This is not meant for everyone supporting the 2nd Amendment, it is meant for those so-called “ammosexuals” the ones who insist that they have the right to own assault weapons, the ones meant strictly for the military and police.  I know I will get considerable backlash for the above statement, so be it.  #MomsDemandSensibleGunReform

Getting back to meat and potatoes of this… Exactly how much do you think one person can handle before he is pushed over the ledge?  Drastic cuts to the EPA, every cabinet person appointed to head their specific departments are there to do decimate said department and its policies, allowing the mentally ill to purchase weapons, cuts to Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid, Education and the likes but spend liberally on military accoutrements I could go on and on.  When is enough, enough?

Tax cuts and deregulation abound for all the wealthy and big corporations.  It is extremely obvious that this administration and Congress led by the Republicans are totally out of control and the “man in charge” hasn’t a clue as to what is going on.  Are you fed up yet?  Frankly, I’m surprised that what transpired at that baseball field in Virginia hasn’t happened before now.  This isn’t what America is supposed to be.  We were great and can be great again, just not at the hands of the Republicans.

 

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About pystew

Retired Teacher, political science geek, village trustee. I lean a little left, but like a good political discussion. My blog, the New NY 23rd (http://newny23rd) is about discussing the issues facing the people of our new congressional district. Let's hear all sides of the issues, not just what the candidates want us to hear.
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28 Responses to This isn’t what America is supposed to be

  1. whungerford says:

    Leonard Pitts wrote: “This moment is for soul-searching, for considering who and what and even if we are, as Americans. If is for wondering what it means when baseball is not safe and being a Republican gets you shot. Nothing less than our national identity and ideals are at stake here.”

    Yet one wonders what our ideals are when we are willing to accept that tax cuts for the rich are more important than affordable health care for the rest.

  2. Rynstone says:

    Cath Kestler,
    Number one, and most importantly, nothing has been yet cut.

    The violence displayed almost daily on college campuses, at Trump rallies and at Congressional Town Halls by protestors and members of ANTIFA as they use Fascist tactics protesting Freedom of Speech and what they claim is Fascism ! The Democrat Party and media seems to welcome all of these violent protests to keep the anti-Trump rhetoric in the headlines.
    http://www.ibtimes.com/what-antifa-anti-fascist-group-behind-violent-berkeley-protest-against-milo-2485217

    By his own writings the recent shooter in VA was a rabid liberal who despised Republicans.
    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/congressional-shooters-liberal-politics-dont-bear-the-blame/article/2625945
    One begins to believe that old saying “Liberalism is a mental disorder”.

    The Media covered GA Democrat Congressional Candidate Jon Ossoff campaigning on the message that too much money is being spent on political campaigns as his campaign quietly spent 6 times as much as the Republican candidate who won the election.
    From a Constitutionalist’s perspective both candidates were bad candidates.

    As for the 2nd Amendment please describe what you claim an assault rifle is. The semi-automatic sporting rifless commonly used (and have been for decades) are not the same thing as a fully automatic military assault rifle.

    It is a good thing that the VA shooter (and most mass shooters) was not using a 10 or 12 gauge pump action shotgun with buckshot. Many more lives would have been taken and many more people wounded.

    Far more murders are committed with handguns. As per FBI Crime Statistics there are more people murdered with baseball bats, clubs and knives than there are with all long guns including semi-automatic rifles that the media and misinformed people incorrectly label as assault rifles.

    My firearms are always safely home when I return home. They never escape on their own and harm anyone and they are certainly not assault rifles as they have not assaulted anyone and certainly have no intentions of assaulting anyone.

    Lastly Cath, I wonder if you understand the true intent of the 2nd Amendment as the Founders felt it was so important that it be the 2nd Amendment directly after the First Amendment to guarantee protection of the First Amendment.

  3. Rynstone says:

    Cath Kestler, Please take the time to read this commentary.
    Thank you
    http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/06/22/commentary-face-it-gun-control-doesnt-work/

  4. whungerford says:

    How would one know that effective firearm regulations wouldn’t reduce deaths since it has never been tried?

  5. Rynstone says:

    Gun Control has been tried. Many time throughout the last 100 years. Forgetting about the City of Chicago and other Democrat run cities (where gun control is very strict yet they are the highest in murders) one has lots of world data to show no guns usually means more innocent murders.

    Research the murder statistics in other countries that have very strict gun control.
    Far more people die daily from drugs, alcohol, violence and car accidents. When I think of the auto accidents due to cell phone use and texting and the injuries & death caused I ponder at teh people who want to save lives by banning firearms. With existing thechnology it would be simple to make it so phones would not work in an automobile. The American public would never stand for that or comply to save lives even if we said standard political tear-jerker rhetoric “it is for the children”.
    Prohibition did not turn out so well, did it? It did not stop consuming alcohol and it ushered in a era of violence and criminal activity.

    FBI statistics show the number of legal gun owner ship increased and peaked during the 8 years of Obama while gun murders actually declined.

    The second Amendment does not exist to solely allow citizens to merely own firearms. With owning firearms come the responsibility to defend the US Constitution and the Country as our Founder saw fit.

    Firearms are “tools” and should require a certain amount of training and knowledge.
    And lastly the Government could never confiscate or eliminate all firearms. The citizens would not allow it and rightly so.

    Remember, it takes a good guy with a gun to stop a bad guy with a baseball bat, club, knife, truck, gun or a magnitude of other weapons.

    The 2nd Amendment is very easy to understand. For all those who would like to “infringe” on the Constitutional Rights” of firearm ownership they should work at trying to Amend the Constitution, not pass local and state laws that are unconstitutional.

  6. josephurban says:

    The amendment is quite clear. “Well-regulated militias”. The intent was quite clear: “Well-regulated militias”.

  7. josephurban says:

    The problem with the NRA and other organizations that oppose sensible gun control is that they have no real solution to the problem of murder in the USA. Over 12,000 Americans are murdered each year. Over 34,000 die in gun-related incidents (murders, suicides, accidents). They seem to take the illogical position that ANY regulations are TOTAL bans on guns. Of course, it is a false narrative. And it seeks to cloud the issue , rather than being an honest attempt to solve a real problem.
    For example, a gun store in Virginia (or Maryland) sought to give his customers the option of buying guns with child-safe technology. Something you would think any reasonable person would accept as smart. But the NRA immediately attacked him and set up a boycott of his business. He was forced to withdraw the safer guns from the store or face bankruptcy. So, the NRA has taken away the rights of gun owners to purchase safe-technology guns.
    Another rather odd argument sometimes put forth by the gun lobby and weapons manufacturers (Make no mistake, it is the weapons manufacturers who are driving the issue) is that the 2nd Amendment is the only right which does not have any limits. Ridiculous. All rights have sensible limits.
    My latest post deals with the shooting of Scalise and Congress, if interested:
    http://www.josephurban.wordpress.com

  8. josephurban says:

    And remember. All it takes is a bad guy with a gun to murder 10 or 20 children quite easily.

  9. Rynstone says:

    josephurban, The 2nd Amendment absolutely was not referring to militias.
    The Second Amendment ” A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

    I am going to assume that you have not read teh Federalist Papers and studied the US Constitution and teh Founder’s views and input.
    You might consider reading this;
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

    Point #1
    “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
    pretty self explanatory.

    Point #2
    “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state”
    All of the male colonialists were used by the British and considered their “militia” in the 13 colonies. This statement is important as the US Constitution absolutely forbids a standing army. At the time of the drafting of the US Constitution the Founders understood that a militia that could be called up at anytime should be armed and trained.
    Well-regulated (as meant by the founders) well armed with arms and munitions and practiced.

    Point #3
    From the revised 2015 NY State Constitution
    ARTICLE XII
    [Defense; militia]
    Section 1. The defense and protection of the state and of the United States is
    an obligation of all persons within the state. The legislature shall provide for
    the discharge of this obligation and for the maintenance and regulation of an
    organized militia.

    “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state” is a statement declaring, “The security of the state is the responsibility of the militia”.
    The people make up the militia. Not any military and not a standing army.
    “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” means exactly what is says. The right to keep and bear shall not be infringed.

    The full intent of the 2nd Amendment was to discourage a tyrannical government and provide the tools if necessary to overthrow a tyrannical government if necessary.

    US Supreme Court Rulings
    In the twenty-first century, the amendment has been subjected to renewed academic inquiry and judicial interest. In District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), the Supreme Court handed down a landmark decision that held the amendment protects an individual right to possess and carry firearms. In McDonald v. Chicago (2010), the Court clarified its earlier decisions that limited the amendment’s impact to a restriction on the federal government, expressly holding that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment incorporates the Second Amendment against state and local governments. In Caetano v. Massachusetts (2016), the Supreme Court reiterated its earlier rulings that “the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding” and that its protection is not limited to “only those weapons useful in warfare.

    Joesphurban, I hope this helps and should give you all of the factual information you need to come to the realization that you are incorrect regarding the 2nd Amendment of the US Constitution.

  10. Rynstone says:

    This data has absolutely nothing to with gun deaths. Only violent murders.
    Where is the date to show how many lives are saved and crimes stopped annually by people who are armed ?

  11. Rynstone says:

    What are some of your examples of “sensible gun control” ?

    I find your math in your op-ed a little fuzzy. Perhaps you are using Common Core math.

    The data you should be using for murders should come from the FBI statistics.

    From the FBI murder stats;
    You fail to acknowledge that there are more people killed with knives, clubs and baseball bats than all long guns, including what many incorrectly describe as an assault-rifles”.

    There are also more murders from handguns than all long-guns.

    Their is a death from firearms problem in the US. What causes so many vets to commit suicide? What causes so many inner-city youth to kill so many? What causes so many to put police officers in harms way requiring the use of firearms to defend themselves and others? What causes so may to begin this ruin to life with illegal drug use, sales and addiction ?

    It is time to stop blaming firearms and look towards finding and solving the root cause problems.
    The biggest mass murder event in the US was not done with firearms.

    As we have seen trucks and other vehicles can be used to murder and maim.

  12. Rynstone says:

    josephurban,
    I searched the article on the Maryland Gun Store. I believe that you may be incorrect in part of your comment.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/maryland-dealer-will-defy-gun-rights-advocates-by-selling-nations-first-smart-gun/2014/05/01/564efa48-d14d-11e3-937f-d3026234b51c_story.html?utm_term=.b49065fe201f

    The article does not say their specific store (Engage Armament) was boycotted against it by the NRA. They referenced a firearms store in CA.

    Please provide a link if you have different information that verifies what you stated.
    Thank you

  13. josephurban says:

    I can only make this observation. the second amendment speaks for itself. The initial clause ” a well-regulated militia” clearly articulates the rationale for individual gun ownership. the reason why people have the right to bear arms is because they may be called upon, by the government, to participate in the “well-regulated militia”.
    Had the writers of the amendment wanted the right to bear arms outside of the need to participate in a militia, they would have not put in the preliminary clause.
    Why mention the concept of a “well-regulated militia” unless the REASON for keeping arms was to be able to participate in such a militia when needed? There is no reason to mention “well-regulated militia” in the amendment unless the INTENT was to provide arms to such a government body in times of need. To accept that idea that the “militia” is not relevant to the right to bear arms is to accept the notion that for some odd reason the founders just threw in those words for no reason. Illogical.
    In regards to your sarcastic comment that I should familiarize myself with the Federalist Papers and the US Constitution I can only reply in this way.
    I have not only read the Federalist Papers and the US Constitution. I have TAUGHT the US Constitution for over 20 years. And while you refer me to a “Wikipedia”source page I can assure you that there are much better sources of material which cover the concept in much more depth than Wikipedia, which is an open source , non academic website.

  14. josephurban says:

    You are correct. The owner of the store stopped selling guns when he got a number of death threats from gun advocates. He got death threats because he was going to sell a gun that was safe and could not be fired accidentally by a child. And he was threatened with DEATH. The NRA, which supposedly supports a person’s right to have a gun of their choice, was silent on the matter. They did not condemn the actions of the pro-gun activists who made the death threats.

  15. josephurban says:

    Examples of sensible gun control.
    NO one with a history of violent behavior should be allowed to buy a gun.
    No one with a conviction for child abuse or spousal abuse should be allowed to buy a gun.
    No individual should be allowed to buy or sell a gun except through a licensed dealer.
    Child safe guns should be mandated.
    Anyone using or selling or buying a gun in a state or city which has strict gun control laws should be prosecuted as a felon under federal law.
    All guns should be registered to a specific owner. That owner should be legally responsible for any damage or harm caused by the gun.
    All automatic weapons should be illegal.
    The government needs to clearly define semi automatic weapons and a special permit should be required to own such a weapon.
    Any crime committed with a gun should face a minimum 20 year jail sentence, whether or not the weapon is fired or loaded.
    Those would be a start….

    You are correct that there are some problems in our society that lead to alienation and violence. No doubt. But the easy access to guns only exacerbates that problem. Guns make it easy to kill. Plain and simple.

  16. Rynstone says:

    #1 If a person has a criminal history (felon) or a medical history of mental illness they are prevented from owning or purchasing a firearm from a retail facility or at a gun show thru the NICS background check.
    #2 If a conviction for child abuse or spousal is a felony they cannot legally be in possession or legally purchase a firearm.
    #3 Currently in NY State an individual can only purchase or sell a firearm with a NICS background check. This is unconstitutional and much too difficult and unrealistic to enforce.
    #4 What is a child safe firearm? and what do you do with the many millions of guns already in existence?
    #5 “Anyone using or selling or buying a gun in a state or city which has strict gun control laws should be prosecuted as a felon under federal law.” I am not sure what you mean by this. This does not even make sense. Under the NY SAFE Act it is illegal to buy and sell firearms without a NICS background check.
    #6 Firearms are registered to a purchaser when they purchase the firearm from a dealer or at a gun show. In NY State when there is a private sale a NICS check is now required which places the ownership to the new firearm owner.
    #7 All automatic firearms are illegal unless an individual has a very restrictive, specific and expensive Federal ATF license. There are every few of these in existence and none that are legally owned, that I am aware of, have been used in any murders in the US.
    #8 “The government needs to clearly define semi-automatic weapons and a special permit should be required to own such a weapon”. Again, this is unconstitutional and ridiculous.
    #9 Activist Judges, Prosecutors making deals and a criminal justice system that is soft on crime is teh problem here. The laws are already on the book. Make the Judges and Prosecutors enforce them with no exceptions.

    You obviously do not understand the intent of the 2nd Amendment. The Citizens should be well armed to thwart a tyrannical government.
    Many places that have very tough gun control laws also have high violent crimes and murders.

    Countless lives are saved every year due to private gun ownership.
    What are your thoughts on the Fast and Furious program under both the Bush and Obama Administrations? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATF_gunwalking_scandal

    This was criminal activity the ATF engaged in.

  17. Rynstone says:

    The reason 2nd Amendment supporters oppose the sale of Smart guns and the current legislation for Smart Guns “Gun rights advocates worry that the firearm’s availability will give a boost to a New Jersey law mandating that all handguns in the state be personalized within three years of a smart gun going on sale anywhere in the U.S.”

    “Gun rights advocates worry that the firearm’s availability will give a boost to a New Jersey law mandating that all handguns in the state be personalized within three years of a smart gun going on sale anywhere in the U.S.”

    Chris Cox with the NRA statement “In a brief response, Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, said the NRA is interested in “full repeal” of the “misguided” law.”

    The Government just keeps whittling away at the 2nd Amendment.
    Guns don’t kill people. People kill people. It takes a good guy with a gun to stop a bad guy with a gun.

    God made men and women. Samuel Colt made them equal.

  18. Rynstone says:

    The militia was not intended to be a “government body” if needed. It was envisioned to act against a tyrannical government.
    If the 2nd Amendment’s preliminary clause was the concept of a militia (which already existed and was not considered under control of by the government) the final closing statement clearly states that ” the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.”
    http://www.guncite.com/gc2ndmea.html
    We probably will never agree on this.

    I like to consider myself a Constutionalist which makes me a liberal, a conservative and a libertarian.
    Respectfully, from your writings I think you are very socialistic and perhaps more of a communist.

  19. Rynstone says:

    Dana Loesch on the 2nd Amendment

  20. Rynstone says:

    For the original author Cath Kestler,

  21. Rynstone says:

    This is too funny…dumb-ass uneducated legislators too darn lazy to learn about the things they are trying to pass legislation on. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HI9tov6A2DI

  22. Rynstone says:

    It is illegal to own guns in Mexico. How is that working out for their violence and murder rate ? See Fast and Furious.
    Government employees and officials in the United States Government should have been prosecuted for violating existing gun control laws gone to jail for Fast and Furious.

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