A response to California’s Lt Governor

These remarks were made by the Lt. Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, HERE.

His remarks are in Italics.  My responses in BOLD.

We had another mass shooting this week, this time in our nation’s capital, and have heard nary a peep from any leaders about how we address mental illness and gun violence in America. Beyond the death of 12 victims and the mentally disturbed shooter, the tragedy of Monday’s incident at the Washington Navy Yard is that there is no public uprising like there was after the school tragedy last year in Newtown, Connecticut.

Actually, there has been a kind of uprising about this shooting, but, unfortunately, you don’t want to hear about it.  It’s an uprising that asks why our military isn’t ALLOWED to defend itself.  Trust me; one man with a shotgun is not going to go into a place with several thousand people carrying weapons and open fire.  It is just not going to happen.  Thanks to the patron saint of the Democratic Party, Bill “where’s the party?” Clinton, the Military isn’t allowed to protect itself, anymore.

Is it because there aren’t pictures of brokenhearted parents and cherubic children plastered across our televisions? I hope not, because the people who died in the Navy Yard were someone’s children; someone’s mother or father; and someone’s brother or sister.

Yes, every single person that was shot at the Navy Yard was someone’s wife, husband, son, or daughter, and we should feel bad about losing them.  What we should really feel badly about, however, is that we continually put our citizens—of all ages—in weakened position and say “come and get them,” which is all a “Gun-free zone” really is.

Are we so callous that the loss of life by senseless gun violence is weighed against the age of the victim? Every life lost to gun violence should be counted equally on the conscience of every politician and citizen of the United States until we find a way to stop these senseless deaths.

Naturally, the loss of a child is going to sting our hearts more, just because of the sheer innocence of the victim.  But every victim of gun violence is going to be an innocent to someone, no matter what their age or what they may have done with their lives.  Those of us that have at some point chosen to serve our country do so knowing that we might be called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice, but we never expect it to be here at home, just trying to go to work.  I suppose the lives lost in Mexico to the weapons we sent there in Operation Fast and Furious are mourned the same in your eyes?  Do you shed a tear for Brian Terry and his family?  This government needs to get its own house in order before it tells law-abiding citizens what to do with their constitutionally protected rights.  Americans are tired of this do-as-I-say, not-as-I-do, government attitude.

Is there so much gun violence, real and make-believe, on our televisions that we’ve just stopped caring? Has real life just become too much like a first-person video game that we have stopped distinguishing between reality and video games like Grand Theft Auto? As a father of three, I hope that’s not the world we are living in.

Violence is fake, sex is fake, money is fake (just ask Washington D.C., who you apparently think has the answer to everything).  The world as a whole has removed a sense of reality from the fact of reality by promoting reality TV and elevating worthless human beings to positions of fame and renown.  If you want to blame movies and video games for violence of all types, then you need to be equally outraged at “Big Brother,” “Survivor,” and the Kardashians in all of their incarnations as purveyors of a sex-driven culture in which sexting and sex-videos are paths to fame and lying and cheating are preferable to hard work.  As a father of three, I would assume you wouldn’t want your daughters taking after the Kardashians, or your sons after the denizens of the Jersey Shore.

Families like ours that want safe streets and reasonable gun safety laws look at Washington, D.C. and see no leadership. Sure, there are a few strong, but lonely, voices like Senator Dianne Feinstein, but for the most part we are bereft of political leadership on guns at the national level.

Well, at least here, I agree with you.  There is no leadership in Washington D.C. on any matter of import.  As for your assertion that there are “a few strong, but lonely, voices” who would advocate for your viewpoint on this matter, what differentiates them from the “few strong, but lonely, voices” that advocate for responsible spending and supporting the constitution?  I guess the few are only to be admired when you agree with them; otherwise, they are to be marginalized and vilified.

Someone needs to step up and say once and for all that gun violence in America is a public health epidemic.

According to the Centers for Disease Control Prevention, Division of Vital Statistics, there were 32,163 gun deaths in the U.S. in 2011 with an additional 73,883 non-fatal gun related injuries. That’s just below the number of deaths in 2011 from breast cancer (39,9701)[sic], and significantly more than deaths from leukemia (21,7802) [sic]. Would anyone argue that breast cancer and leukemia aren’t public health issues? Of course not! So why are public policy makers denying that gun violence and gun deaths are?

Here, I will defer to the experts and ask for a breakdown of where most of the gun violence is clustered:  Chicago? Washington D.C.?  A correlation between strict gun laws and gun violence has been established by John Lott in his book More Guns, Less Crime.  However, I will add that no one is running around infecting people with cancer (unless they’re downwinders).  Using that logic, cars should be outlawed, cigarettes should be banned, and the 18th amendment reinstated.  Why are these things not considered a public health risk?  A conspiracy theorist might guess that it is because none of those things pose a threat to an out of control government, while simultaneously providing a numbing outlet for a repressed people.  Victory Gin for everybody!

The easy answer is the National Rifle Association (NRA). In the two-year 2012 political cycle alone the NRA spent $27,251,944 according to Center for Responsive Politics, with almost $20 million coming in the form of independent expenditures and electioneering communications. But don’t get caught up in the abstractness of big numbers. What is most alarming is what happened in Colorado just a few weeks ago when an NRA initiated recall of two state senators, including the Senate president, successfully ousted two politicians for daring to support tougher gun laws in Colorado.

Make no mistake about it, what we saw in Colorado was the NRA’s version of a kidnapper shooting two hostages to make sure everyone knows they are in charge and willing to take out whomever steps out of line. I hope NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre and his thug buddies feel good about taking out two admittedly “cherry-picked” candidates from marginal, conservative leaning districts.

I suppose that Michael Bloomberg’s injection of $350,000 into the Colorado Recall fight on behalf of his Gun-Control group isn’t comparable to the NRA’s efforts.  And, despite having been (vastly) out-spent, the PEOPLE of Colorado decided to remove those officials that had taken a constitutionally protected right away from them.  As for your hostage analogy, it boggles the mind how quickly an “anti-violence” stance can veer into violent imagery.  The NRA did not “shoot two hostages;” they supported an effort started by Colorado citizens to reclaim some sense of control over their own government.

For all their political spending, the bullies from the NRA won’t have a fair fight with someone that might beat them. They just pick on the weakest links and hope the rest of us understand that we are next. But someone has to stand up to Mr. LaPierre and the NRA because the only thing that stops a bully is someone willing to fight back and risk losing to prove that the giant can be slayed.

Wow.  Name calling.  Impressive from an elected official, even if you were only elected in California.

There is fantastic work being done on the local level in places like Colorado and California and the local politicians doing that work deserve our support and gratitude. California has lead the way on strengthening gun laws for decades and several bills currently sit on the governor’s desk that could serve as national models. The time to act is now.

If the work is so fantastic, why do the people hate it so much?  If Colorado is one of your shining examples, why are you not touting it as an example of the people reacting to poor governance and correcting the situation under the laws that they have established?  I can only assume that, like President Obama’s belief that the American people are wrong about Obamacare, that you believe that the citizens of Colorado don’t know what’s good for them.  Thank goodness reactionary do-gooders like yourself and Mayor Bloomberg are happy to step in and correct that kind of free-thinking.  It could lead to disaster.

How many people have to die before we realize that the only thing the truly stops a bad guy is not letting them get their hands on a gun in the first place?

A couple of points here: 1) a “bad guy” is going to be bad, whether he shoots someone, stabs someone, or just snatches purses or breaks into cars. 2) There is NO WAY to keep guns out of bad guys’ hands.  There is NO WAY this can be done.  If you say there is, then you are simply lying to yourself and your constituents.  All you can do is remove guns from people that aren’t going to go on a spree.

I’m on the ballot in 2014 if the NRA is looking for its next fight… bring it on.

Why would the NRA waste time fighting you?  Hopefully the people of California will figure it out in time, and, if not, you’re only the Lt. Governor, so all you really do is cut ribbons and write op-eds.  No danger there.

So please, by all means, return to your ironically consistent posture of supporting the killing of unborn babies while also supporting the killing of children and adults by not allowing them to defend themselves, while wallowing in the hypocrisy of opposing the death penalty for those that perpetrate the heinous crimes you rail against.

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