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Archive for the ‘guns’ Category

She was six years old, a little girl who loved animals, any animals. Then an insane person killed her. An insane person who was legally able to own guns because he’d never been institutionalized, and whose mother was fond of taking him shooting because it was a “bonding experience”.

Her name was Catherine Hubbard, and she was a firecracker. She would have been eleven years old today. Every year her parents wonder what she would have become. Every year they know they’ll never know.

Her name was Jessica Rekos. She loved horses. Everything about horses. She drew horses, she read stories about horses, she was learning to ride horses. Then some insane person with guns killed her. Every year her parents wonder what she would have done with her life. Every year they break down because they’ll never know.

And I can go on and on, for the twenty children who were only six or seven years old murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary six years ago, but I’m already too sad just after two. So many children dead for no reason other than our fetish for guns. Surely America would realize that its addiction to deadly weaponry was accomplishing nothing other than stacking up bodies, and do something about it, right?

No. America literally decided “we like our guns more than we like little children”, and proceeded to do nothing at all. Sandy Hook was proof that America will never do anything about its gun addiction. If twenty dead little kids didn’t do it, nothing will.

And five years later, the parents of those slaughtered children, and hundreds of other children cut down early by guns nationwide over those same five years, sorrow for what their child never had the chance to become. And must endure the fact that to the depraved and insane nation that is America, it is they, not the guns, who are the problem. How dare they display their grief in public where it might disturb people!

But their children remain dead. Forever.

– Badtux the Somber Penguin

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What does it say about America that I read about yet another mass shooting and I just shrug and say “another mass shooting” and don’t even bother mentioning it for over a day? I mean, it’s not as if we’re going to do anything about it. We sorta decided that after Sandy Hook, when we decided that the bodies of 1st graders were less important than making sure that every gun fetishist could have as many guns and as much ammunition as he wanted. If we do jack shit when little kids get sprayed-and-prayed, why would adults getting sprayed-and-prayed make any difference?

As far as “thoughts and prayers” goes, I’ll just quote Pope Francis on that one: “You pray for the hungry. Then you feed them. This is how prayer works.” I.e., “thoughts and prayers” without action are just meaningless hypocrisy. So it goes.

One thing I’d like to note, while we’re at it: the murder rate in the US is far lower than during the bad old days of the crack epidemic in the 1980’s. But more of those murders are spree killings, and the drug related killings tend to be more targeted and less spray-a-riffic. That makes it feel less safe today, though every number says objectively not the case. That, and $3, will get you a cup of bad coffee at Starducks….

– Badtux the “Yeah, so?” Penguin

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I mean, let’s look at the NRA propaganda. According to that propaganda, you need guns to protect yourself. If you don’t have guns, you die from criminals that just strike out of the blue.

Well, you need healthcare to protect yourself too. If you don’t have healthcare, you die from viruses and bacteria (and occasionally bullets) that just strike out of the blue.

Is it that viruses and bacteria aren’t as photogenically dusky as the criminals that the NRA propaganda posits? Curious penguins are… curious!

Meanwhile, most of the victims of the Las Vegas shooting are going to have to declare bankruptcy due to medical costs. They’re going to lose basically everything because guns are more of a right than healthcare in America.

The plight of the Las Vegas shooting victims is sufficient to point to one thing that Obamacare got wrong: Insurance is not healthcare. Most of the victims do have insurance. But: They were visiting Las Vegas. They got scooped off the pavement and hauled to the nearest ER that had space for them — an ER that almost certainly was not an in-network emergency room. So their insurance won’t cover the cost, or will, at most, cover 70% of the cost for those insurers who have really good out-of-network coverage. And that’s 70% of the in-network cost. As we all know, providers charge much more than that negotiated in-network cost when out-of-network (uninsured from their perspective) people drop in on them out of the blue. Often as much as ten times the cost of care.

But there is no right to health care here in the USA, and there is a right to guns here in the USA, so hey, all those people whose lives were ruined by bullets? They just need to suck it up, right? Right?!

– Badtux the Healthcare Penguin

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So, Las Vegas. Yet another white guy with a gun goes nutso and kills a buncha people. When are white leaders going to come together and denounce this violence in their community?

Meanwhile, more people than that have died in Puerto Rico over the past week because the hospitals ran out of diesel fuel for their generators. Every single patient in the ICU died. Every. Single. Patient. Well more than fifty patients island-wide.

And the response of the media is…. crickets.

Because, I suppose, brown people aren’t human beings, as far as the media is concerned, so it’s not as if *people* died.

Yeah, not feeling very charitable towards our media and our leaders this morning.

– Badtux the Bummed Penguin

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Which is why some cranky elderly dude threatened to shoot a woman because he wanted her parking spot.

How polite.

— Badtux the Eye-rolling Penguin

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Gregory Burleson gets sentenced for pointing a gun at Federal employees.

Sixty-eight years. And you have to serve at least 3/4ths of your sentence in Federal prisons, so he’s not going to get out until… well, he’s 53, so let’s just say “dead.”

Good.

– Badtux the Vicious Penguin

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Attack the ambush.

That’s what our soldiers are trained to do. And, increasingly, our cops too. It’s what two Capitol Police officers did today. Two black Capitol Police officers. Who were there as the security detail for a white Congressman who has made his career running his mouth about how lazy stupid etc. black people are. They were ambushed at a baseball field, and the two black police officers immediately attacked the ambush and killed the ambusher. Because that’s what they do. That’s what they signed up to do. Even if it means defending the life of a bigot.

Capitol Police officers Crystal Griner and David Bailey did their job. It’s a dirty job, but it’s a necessary one. Regardless of what various right-wing assholes (and a few lefties too) say about Second Amendment remedies, it’s a damn nasty idea. Because once we start down that route, we’re talking about rule of gun — and rule of gun always favors the most evil, the most venal, the most willing to murder in cold blood.

And nations ruled by cold blooded murderers are not good places to be.

Just sayin’.

– Badtux the Rule of Law Penguin

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