Word Play

Words and meanings.

1) What qualifies as an official “terrorist” attack? What does the phrase “terrorist attack” even mean? No, I’m not just being a nit-picky dick, there’s method to my madness.

What troubled opponents of President Obama the most about Benghazi….at least in the salad days of the contrived scandal….was that Obama didn’t call what happened the night of 9-11-2012 at a CIA outpost masquerading as a diplomatic consulate….a “terrorist” attack.

Originally, a “terrorist” attack included the aspect of suicide. Right? The nineteen hijackers from 9-11-2001 suicided themselves in the attack. The “shoe bomber” and the “underwear bomber” were going to suicide themselves to kill Americans.

Remember when Nidal Hasan killed fellow U.S. soldiers at Ft. Hood in 2009? Hasan did not kill himself…..and if you recall, there was much anxiety over whether the violence carried out by Hasan was a “terrorist” attack or not. No bipartisan agreement was ever reached on that point.

So answer this. The night of the Benghazi violence in 2012, were suiciders involved? The answer is no. The violence at our outpost in Benghazi, Libya may have been a lot of things…..but a “terrorist” attack isn’t one of them…..unless, “terrorism” is now any act of violence directed at Americans and carried out by Muslims. A narrow definition to be sure.

2) When the Really Smart People who work for corporate media explain how the “country needs to have a debate on” fill-in-the-blank……what does that mean? Who are the official debaters and who gets to determine what the debate questions and parameters are?

Yes, Congress is supposed to “debate” legislation, etc…..when it’s functioning properly….but what about this idea of America having a “debate?” It is my opinion that “America having a debate” is corporate-media-speak for teevee “news” celebrities talking about stuff. That, of course, is not America having a debate….far from it. But try as I might…..I can’t come up with any other definition that would fit the reality. “America” doesn’t debate anything…..except on election day. That’s “America’s” only opportunity to speak up…..period.

3) Big, intrusive government. What do those words mean? Further, why is it that the words ‘big intrusive government” only apply to the U.S. federal government? Is it not possible for state, city, county, village or township government to be “big intrusive government?” Only the federal government? And why would that be the case?

Consider:

Gov. Sam Brownback announced Wednesday that he signed a bill late the previous day preventing local officials from restricting the sale of firearms and ammunition or regulating how guns are transported and stored.

In Kansas, GOP-state government has bigfooted all other local governance in the state by taking the ability of local elected officials to regulate firearms away. Someone will have to explain how what Kansas Republicans just did is not an act of “big, intrusive government.”
Kansas law doesn’t expressly forbid the open carrying of firearms, and the attorney general’s office has in the past told local officials some restrictions are allowed. The Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kan., have prohibited the practice, but the new law sweeps any such ban away, except to allow cities and counties to prevent openly carried weapons inside public buildings.
A federal law which mandated the purchase of health care insurance, a law passed democratically in Congress, signed by the President and confirmed as legal by the Supreme Court, is still described by opponents as an example of “big intrusive government.”

What should a state law like the one just signed by Brownback in Kansas be called then? Freedom?

Kansas Republicans, many of whom detest the “big government intrusion” of the ACA, which they say takes away individual freedom, have purposely limited local officials from regulating open-carry…..even though those local officials have been elected democratically to serve the interests of the people who elected them.

The fact of the matter is that while Republicans have been railing for 5 continuous years about Obama’s “big intrusive government”, GOP officials in red states have been passing hundreds of laws which, yes, are extremely intrusive. Whether we look at gun rights, voting rights, a woman’s right to choose, refusing to expand Medicaid, or warring against unions to keep average wages low……what we see is big intrusive, freedom choking and denying, state government.

The question then becomes……what is so unique about “big intrusive state government”? Why is big intrusive state government embraced so excitedly by Republicans and conservatives but big intrusive federal government is inherently evil?

I fear that the answer is……Republicans don’t have the national votes to gain federal power….and so the only way Republicans can take back their country is to neuter the federal government through obstruction while creating an intrusive, bigfoot government for their own state citizens.

 

 

 

Scandal-In-A-Box…..VA Edition

If you have been paying attention, you know that the conservative munchkins are once again creating a frenzy of Obama-scandal without any solid evidence. For those interested in finding out about what Republicans are calling Obama’s new Veterans Administration scandal…..I encourage you to read this AP summation.

Conservatives appearing on all “news” programs are calling for Obama to fire General Shinseki, current director of the VA……all before anything concretely is known about whether there actually is something scandalous for which Shinseki should be fired.

If you recall, Shirley Sherrod faced the same pressure a few years ago when cleverly edited video of Ms. Sherrod left the impression that the Agriculture Department official was promoting racism in her job. President Obama and AG Sec. Vilsack knee-jerked Shirley Sherrod out of her job before the truth was known, basing the firing on the edited and bogus video promoted on Breitbart and then, Fox.

After learning they were punked by conservative punks, Obama and Vilsack quickly backtracked and tried to re-instate Sherrod.

Something similar may be going on in the alleged VA waiting-list scandal. As of today, the charges that the VA is covering up for some huge scandalous scheme to deny veteran’s healthcare come from only one source…..

Dr. Samuel Foote, a former clinic director for the VA in Phoenix, started sending letters to the VA Office of Inspector General in December, complaining about systematic problems with delays in care.

Foote, who retired after spending nearly 25 years with the VA, later took his claims to the media, then to Republican Rep. Jeff Miller, chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, who announced the allegations at an April hearing.

Foote says up to 40 veterans may have died while awaiting treatment at the Phoenix hospital and that staff, at the instruction of administrators, kept a secret list of patients waiting for appointments to hide delays in care. He believes administrators kept the off-the-books list to impress their bosses and get bonuses.

What you may not know about this alleged whistleblower…..

Some also question the motives of Foote and the others making accusations. One employee, who first raised the concerns publicly a few weeks ago, was fired last year and has a pending wrongful termination lawsuit against the hospital. Before he retired, Foote was reprimanded repeatedly for taking off nearly every Friday, according to internal emails he provided the AP.

What about those in charge at the Phoenix VA Hospital?

Phoenix administrators vehemently deny the allegations. The VA has so far found no evidence to substantiate the claims after an internal probe.

The Phoenix hospital’s director, Sharon Helman, scoffed at the notion that she would direct staff to create a secret list and watch patients die in order to pad her pockets. Helman has been placed on leave while the Inspector General’s Office investigates. She has been provided with police protection after receiving numerous death threats.

All of the alleged Obama scandals…..Sherrod, Fast & Furious, IRS, Benghazi and now the VA have something in common. Before investigation into the facts even begins, a clusterfreak, a blizzard of echo-chambered, conservative faux-outrage has already traveled miles in misleading the American people. The building momentum of the blizzard of bunk compels ALL media to pay attention to all the noise……because, with all that blizzard of noise from conservative media….there simply MUST be something to the story.

When all media pay attention to the noise….a full-fledged faux scandal is born.

But as we move forward in another chapter of faux-outrage and yarn-spinning, it’s important for folks to know what happened in Congress just a few short months ago….

Senate Republicans stopped Democrats from advancing a bill that would have expanded healthcare and education programs for veterans.

 

The same Republicans who are today lambasting Obama for…well…doing something bad by not firing VA head, Gen.Shinseki before he knows the facts…..blocked a bill from moving forward on February 27, 2014 that would have “expanded healthcare and education programs for veterans.”

I congratulate President Obama for not buying into the blizzard of bullshite this time around.
But “liberal” “journalists” like Dana Milbank, for only one example….think Obama is acting passively…..
This would be a good time for Obama to knock heads and to get in front of the story. But, frustratingly, he’s playing President Passive, insisting on waiting for the VA’s inspector general to complete yet another investigation, this one looking into the Phoenix deaths.
See? Milbank, a guy that the conservative media machine loves to label a “liberal”, wants Obama to DO SOMETHING RIGHT NOW…..”get in front of the story”…..just like when he pre-maturely fired Shirley Sherrod before he knew the facts of the matter.
And that’s from the “liberal” media.
Obama…..“It is important that our veterans don’t become another political football.”
Sherrod, ATF officers, career IRS employees, the deaths of 4 Americans in Libya….have all become political footballs for anti-Obama forces to kick around as political playthings.
The worse thing Obama could do right now is fire Shinseki before the President knows the facts about another alleged scandal.

 

 

Dead Oklahoma Children=”Learning Tough Lesson”

Last May 20th, 24 Oklahomans lost their lives when a tornado ripped through Moore, Oklahoma. Seven of those killed were school age children whose school building was completely destroyed in the devastation.

Yesterday, as politicians and media tend to do, a one year photo-op anniversary get together was held in Oklahoma in front of the construction site for the new Moore Medical Center. GOP Rep. Tom Cole and GOP Governor Mary Fallin spoke at the photo-op and even took time for a few questions from “journalists.”

MSNBC”s Thomas Roberts reminded viewers of another devastating tornado that struck Moore, Oklahoma in 1999 and then asked Rep. Cole “what makes the citizens of Moore want to come back and rebuild?”

Cole: “People forget, tornadoes are not as bad as hurricanes”…..the GOP representative then explained that he has lived in Moore all his life and has never seen his home damaged by a tornado and that that “was true of the majority of people.” Watch the linked video to see how Cole actually downplays the destructive nature of the powerful tornadoes that killed 7 children just last year.

Even though only one third of Oklahoma schools have safety shelters, when Rep. Cole was asked about the fact that the school where 7 children lost their lives one year ago didn’t have a storm shelter, he responded….”I think every school will have one pretty soon.” Odd answer, in my opinion.

But what Cole said next was, literally, disturbing. “So, people do learn tough lessons.” “But at the end of the day, I think local people should control their own destiny, ought to make their own decisions.” “People feel like they are very much in control of their own lives, and honestly, they prefer it that way.”

“People do learn tough lessons.” !!!  What lessons did the parents of those 7 dead children from last year’s tornado in Moore….learn? What “tough lessons” did those 7 families “learn” from their children being killed inside a public school building lacking a storm shelter….in an area of a state known for it’s history of devastating tornadoes?

Let me tell you what Oklahomans “learned.” They learned that they are on their own.

The pressing question to be answered is….why are Oklahomans on their own when it comes to protecting their school age children from being killed by a tornado while they are attending school?

The answer is ugly…..but familiar.

Although Oklahoma averages more than 50 tornadoes a year, and sometimes gets more than 100, about 60 percent of public schools have no shelters. Cash-strapped districts can’t afford to build them.

Local school districts can’t afford the cost of building expensive storm shelters for their campuses. Most schools in Oklahoma are maxed out in what they are allowed to borrow through local bond initiatives…..which leaves only state or federal entities to help protect Oklahoma’s school children.

But top officials said the schools shouldn’t expect state help for shelters.

“Just adding on a new tax burden on Oklahomans is not the answer,” said Republican State Superintendent Janet Barresi, Oklahoma’s highest ranking education official.

Republican leaders want to eliminate the franchise tax, a $1.25 levy on every $1,000 a corporation invests in Oklahoma, to help fund the shelter plan. The tax, which has existed since 1963, generates about $40 million annually, but was recently suspended. Since 2010, the Republican-controlled Legislature has cut the personal income tax and several taxes on businesses as part of an aggressive fiscal agenda.

This is where the scorched earth economic religion of today’s GOP tires hit the proverbial road of reality. Rather than invest in new infrastructure which would keep Oklahoma school children safe during tornado season, blood-red Republicans who control the state, instead, chose trickle down economic measures which benefit wealthy Oklahomans and business owners.

All this should sound surprisingly shocking and callous….but unfortunately, it is all too familiar. Still today, 21 GOP-run states have refused to expand Medicaid in their states. Numerous studies have demonstrated that for each red state that has denied the expansion to it’s poorer workers…..many state citizens will die prematurely, just like those 7 kids last year whose parents learned a “tough lesson.”

Take a close look at what is happening in GOP-controlled Oklahoma….because…. the current GOP would have ALL Americans “learn a tough lesson.” The same lesson that the parents of 7 schoolchildren learned one year ago.

That “lesson” is crystal clear for all to see. If Republicans gain national control….EVER AGAIN……every American except the wealthiest, will be forced to learn that lesson.

The lesson: “You’re on your own, and so are your children.”

Don’t Let Your Children Grow Up To Be…..Atheists

Results of a 2006 study done by the University of Minnesota….

From a telephone sampling of more than 2,000 households, university researchers found that Americans rate atheists below Muslims, recent immigrants, gays and lesbians and other minority groups in “sharing their vision of American society.” Atheists are also the minority group most Americans are least willing to allow their children to marry.

From a Pew Policy Poll released yesterday….

While 35 percent of respondents said they would be less likely to support a presidential candidate who had an extramarital affair, 53 percent of Americans indicated that not believing in God — the trait viewed most negatively of the 16 tested — would make them unsupportive of a candidate.

I’ve written about this type of thing before, so if atheism, or atheists, upset you…just because of the atheism part….best to stop reading now.

While I’m not shocked at the above findings….I used to hold atheists in contempt myself….I do find the results curious. For Americans, a person like me is held in more contempt than even Muslims….which I find kind of….well…nuts…..because Muslims believe in Allah, the same Abrahamic-faith deity that Jews and Christians believe in. I guess it doesn’t have to make any sense.

What I see in these two polling studies is……fear. Americans, still by a wide margin, are afraid of fellow citizens who do not believe god exists. Don’t marry one, don’t vote for one……too scary.

I understand that fear. I do.

However, let’s look at it from my point of view…..an atheist’s point of view. There is no observable, reviewable, empirical evidence that a deity exists. That is why belief in a deity requires faith. Faith, as Christians proudly explain from the biblical book of James….. “is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Even when I was a believer, those words, “evidence of things not seen”, seemed strange, contradictory. Belief, faith, itself…..to Christians…..is believing in god without ANY evidence of a god existing. Christian faith, if the Bible is to be taken at face value, is meant to be a blind faith. James was saying in essence: Christian faith is only genuine if there is no evidence, whatsoever, for believing.

So, why would parents find it desirous for their children to marry only those who believe in a god no one has ever seen or heard from? Seriously, if your daughter’s suitor believed in invisible people, invisible people or angels or gods who no one else could see……whom he prayed to and sang hymns to…..why would that be an attractive quality in a potential mate?

If your daughter’s suitor explained that he devoutly believed in the Flying Spaghetti Monster…..another invention of man, although cynical man I admit…..why wouldn’t that “belief” also endear the suitor to the believing parents. Has anyone ever seen or communicated with the Judeo-Christian-islamic god? Has anyone ever seen or communicated with the Flying Spaghetti Monster god? Wherein lies the distinction?

What I find even more astounding is the poll results placing atheists at the bottom of the list of candidates worth electing to secular government. Federal, state, and local government in the U.S. is prohibited from establishing religion through influence or lawmaking. Yet, a candidate who doesn’t believe in a deity, would not be supported by 53% of the U.S. population, and would be regarded as the least desirable candidate in any political race.

Think about that. Our secular nation’s electorate……PREFERS political officials who believe in “evidence” which can’t be “seen.”

Yes, the rage-against-atheists religious machine is losing it’s horsepower, so to speak. Education will eventually marginalize belief in god in America, as it has done in European countries already. That is why we hear so much negativity from believing conservatives concerning those “liberal-commie” college professors brainwashing our impressionable youth.

Ignorance and fear-of-the-other kept blacks in chains for a century and marginalized as sub-humans for another century. Ignorance and fear….and blind faith…..tried to prevent two people of a different race from marrying one another for over 200 years. Ignorance, religious faith and fear insist today that marriage equality is the work of also-invisible devils.

Some day….long after I’m gone…..the U.S. will finally grow out of it’s adolescent period. Eventually, atheists will not be regarded as evil, like they are today. American parents will be able to relax….U.S. voters will become less superstitious….and our ‘melting pot’ secular nation will make another stride towards the “all men are created equally” promise in the Founder’s Declaration.

But not yet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

GOP Racism During The Age Of Obama

Salon has a very good piece up explaining how Fox News has used white male grievance and outright racism to do political damage to our first black president, Barack Obama.

From the article, we are reminded of this overarching white-man grievance against civil rights in America…..

[B]asically, if you’re talking about a day like today, Martin Luther King Junior Day, and you’re gonna understand what civil rights has become, the con it’s become in this country. It’s a whole industry; it’s a racket. It’ s a racket that is used to exploit primarily heterosexual, Christian, white males’ birthright and steal from them what is their birthright and give it to people who didn’t qualify for it. Take a guess out of whose hide all of these rights are coming. They’re not coming out of women’s hides.

Are they? No, there’s only one group that’s targeted, and that group are white, heterosexual males. They are the new witches being hunted by the illiberal left using the guise of civil rights and fairness to women and whatnot.

 

That was from the maniac Michael Savage in 2007. But what Savage said has become the central theme of Fox criticism directed towards President Obama since 2008. Many white male conservatives think about civil rights the way Savage described it. Civil and equal rights for black Americans, if one has paid attention to Fox these past 6 years, comes at a cost to white Americans. If black Americans receive benefits from government……conservatives believe…..those benefits come at the expense of white Americans.

The early demonization of the ACA, aka Obamacare, and the bizarre obsession with repealing the health insurance law…..comes from the emotional mindset that whites, again, are, somehow, sacrificing for the sake of the “other.”

Here’s Glenn Beck, Fox’s designated Obama-hitter at the time, explaining…..

“Everything getting pushed through Congress—including this health care bill—is transforming America. And it’s all driven by President Obama’s thinking on one idea: reparations.”

Black president……so to white male grievance peddlers working for Fox….”everything” that black president favored, including the ACA, was for the purpose of paying back black Americans for slavery and Jim Crow.

If you recall, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin played a major role in stoking white resentment of Obama over the Affordable Care Act, aka “reparations.” Beck and Palin, with the help of CNN, and especially Fox promoters, were so brazen in their white-grievance peddling, they held a “Restoration” rally to the delight of thousands of white conservatives attending, on the anniversary date of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech. Ballsy, it was.

The Salon article goes on to quote Mr. White Conservative, Rush Limbaugh, and his comprehension of the 2009 “Obama stimulus”…..

“They want reparations. What they don’t know is that Obama’s entire economic program is reparations! If I were Sharpton, if I’d been guest hosting Sharpton’s show and I got a call like that, somebody complaining, I’d say, “Shhhh. Shhhh. Shhhh. Let me tell you the truth here. Everything in the stimulus plan, every plan he’s got is reparations. He gonna take from the rich. He’s going to take from the rich and he’s going to give it to you. It just can’t happen overnight. Be patient.” It’s redistribution of wealth, reparations, “returning the nation’s wealth to its rightful owners,” whatever you want to call it. It’s reparations.”

Congress and our first black president passed a $787 billion stimulus bill in early 2009 to attenuate the economic damage done to the nation by Wall Street professionals. Those realities were quickly translated into white-grievance-speak by resentful white conservatives, like Limbaugh, into a conspiracy by our first black president to mandate “reparations” for Americans who are not white. Grand Theft: Wall Street….quickly became….Grand Theft: Undeserving Minorities. Hey, Obama is black….what else could it be?

Ever wonder why average, non-rich, white GOP voters vote so often for the GOP and against their own interests? Because Republican name brand celebrities have explained to them, ad nauseum, that Democrats, and especially our nation’s first black Democratic president, only want to take from the white majority and give it to the black minority.

Overt racism…..the stuff I saw in the 60’s….is receding. That is a great thing for our society. Progress has been made. But sadly, the overt racism of the 60’s has been replaced with “covert” racist language today. You see, the white hatred for Obama is described today as a “disagreement over policies.”

It’s in the way that those policy differences are explained by conservatives where the new covert racism “dogwhistle”-approach manifests itself. It’s not that white conservatives are racist…..it’s that Obama’s policies are all designed to take stuff from white “patriots” and give it to undeserving minorities. See how that works?

Take the anti-science wing of the GOP…..mix in a portion of evangelical social policy backwardness in all things sexual……blend in a bit of libertarian “rugged individual” selfishness….and top it all off with a big helping of white male resentment disguised as policy differences…..and you have the recipe for the modern Republican Party.

Just don’t call them hateful…..or racist. That’s offensive.

 

 

 

Why Kasich Doesn’t Deserve A Second Term

Ohio GOP Governor John Kasich is up for re-election this November and will be running against Democrat, Ed Fitzgerald, Cuyahoga County Executive. I encourage everyone to cast their ballots for Fitzgerald .

Here are three reasons why Kasich doesn’t deserve another term.

1) SB5

Yes, the Republican battle to destroy public unions and collective bargaining rights  in the Buckeye State has subsided for now…..but not before Governor Kasich took his best shot. It took a backhand to Kasich’s jaw from a 60-40% referendum vote to overturn SB5 to turn back Kasich’s battleplan to degrade public service and public worker pay and benefits in the state.

SB5 has been Kasich’s biggest eff-up of his term as governor…..but what Kasich often brags about as his biggest accomplishment…..balancing Ohio’s state government budget, was accomplished by slashing the public school budgets in all 88 counties of the state……and is the 2nd reason why Kasich doesn’t deserve another term.

In my local school district, the amount that Kasich’s budget balancing act stripped out of that budget….is the same amount local school district officials are trying to replace with a new levy. Kasich brags still about balancing that budget…..while dozens of school districts all over the state are struggling to keep their doors open because of the very budget slashing Kasich orchestrated. By balancing the budget in the manner that GOP Governor Kasich did……property tax paying Ohioans were furthered burdened with the choice of higher property taxes or degraded public school systems.

What makes the hollowing out of Ohio’s public school budgets that much worse…..has been Governor Kasich’s obsession with reducing state income and estate taxes. Kasich is a die-hard supply-sider who still mistakenly believes that giving more breaks to state multi-millionaires stimulates economic growth. In effect, what Kasich has done is redistribute public school budget dollars to wealthy state citizens. This at a time of record breaking income inequality favoring the 1%.

The 3rd reason Ohio voters should send Kasich packing is our state governor’s speech recently at The “Sheldon Adelson Primary.” Here are a few embarrassing highlights….

One Las Vegas writer who attended the “Adelson Primary” described Kasich’s 30 minute speech in front of Adelson with these words…..sucked up most directly and obviously to Adelson.”

As you read the following excerpts from GOP Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s lickspittle talk in front of a billionaire casino mogul…..ask yourself this one question…..would you humiliate yourself, and the state you allegedly serve, with embarrassing ass-kissing stuff like this……

“Sheldon and I were kind of talking about his background. I come from a little town outside of Pittsburgh; it’s called McKees Rocks. It was very blue collar, and to be honest with you, I’d never met a Republican until I left McKees Rocks and went to Ohio State.”….

“Say Sheldon and I own a restaurant together – this would be an impossibility – but let’s just say he and I owned a restaurant together, and we had no customers. So I call him up and say, ‘Hey Sheldon, I’ve got the answer … let’s raise our prices!'”In fact we had to cut our prices.”….

“What’s happened is people in the ‘90s, doctors started prescribing drugs — and Sheldon is someone who knows about this — in order to deal with the problem of pain management.”….

“So in Ohio, we’re no longer a flyover, Sheldon. We want you to come. We want you to invest, and we want you to get to know us because Ohio really is the heart of it all. And it’s the place of miracles. Just think about the University of Dayton in the Elite 8.”…..

“Hey, listen, Sheldon, thanks for inviting me. And I want to thank all of you for giving me a chance to come here to speak. I don’t travel to these things much, but this was one that I thought was really, really important. God bless you for what you do.”

How comfortable are you with slobbery like that from your state’s governor? Where’s the dignity that Ohio deserves from it’s governor? Could any Ohio citizen read what Kasich slobbered all over one billionaire and come away with an increased sense of pride in the state?

I have no idea why Kasich attended the Adelson Primary. John Kasich will never become president of the United States….and probably won’t even run. Which makes Kasich’s sucking up to one billionaire appear even worse.

But by attending, and speaking, Kasich has given Ohio voters positive evidence of why they should not hand him another term.

Personally, I can’t stand the humiliation associated with such a lickspittle.

Gun Zealots Behaving Badly

As Jennifer Longdon wheeled her wheelchair through the Indianapolis airport on April 25, she thought the roughest part of her trip was over. Earlier that day she’d participated in an emotional press conference with the new group Everytown for Gun Safety, against the backdrop of the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting. A mom, gun owner, and Second Amendment supporter, Longdon was paralyzed in 2004 after being shot in her car by unknown assailants, and has since been a vocal advocate for comprehensive background checks and other gun reforms.

As Longdon sat waiting for her flight, a screen in the concourse showed footage of the press conference. A tall, thin man standing nearby stared at Longdon, then back at the screen. Then he walked up to Longdon and spat in her face. No one else blinked.

Last May, Ms. Longdon helped organize a gun buyback program in Phoenix. This is how she was treated….

They (gun enthusiasts) shouted about constitutional rights and tyranny, and called people arriving to trade in their guns “sellouts.”

Some of them approached Longdon. “You know what was wrong with your shooting?” one said. “They didn’t aim better.” Another man came up, looked Longdon up and down and said, “I know who you are.” Then he recited her home address.

The gun buyback program in Phoenix was a three day affair….

After a fundraiser one night during the program, Longdon returned home around 10 p.m., parked her ramp-equipped van and began unloading herself. As she wheeled up to her house, a man stepped out of the shadows. He was dressed in black and had a rifle, “like something out of a commando movie,” Longdon told me. He took aim at her and pulled the trigger. Longdon was hit with a stream of water. “Don’t you wish you had a gun now, bitch?” he scoffed before taking off.

“It was like a mock execution,” Longdon says,

Thousands of law-abiding gun owners would argue that the thuggish behavior of a few misguided gun enthusiasts towards Ms. Longdon are rare exceptions among proud gun owners. Could be, I suppose…..but I have the same observation that Ms. Longon had….

The majority of gun owners in America are good people, she adds. “I wish that more responsible gun owners would step into this conversation and say ‘Look, those guys don’t speak for us.'”

We here a lot from conservatives about “responsible gun owners.” But just as conservatives refuse to call out political extremism in their movement over climate change denial, so too conservative, “responsible”, gun owners rarely, if ever, denounce thuggish acts of intimidation carried out by their more zealous, some might say, unhinged, brethren. The fact that the unhinged in the above accounts directed their threats and intimidation towards WOMEN who were exercising their freedoms lawfully….makes “responsible” gun owner silence that much more reprehensible.

As I’ve mentioned in past blogs….if these examples of pro-gun thuggishness continue to be passively accepted by pro-gun Americans….then the thuggishness will continue….and civil society in our country will be changed for ever.

And not for the better.

Let me ask you……if one third of people in your local coffee shop are open carrying, would you feel more safe than if no one was open carrying…or less safe?

If one fourth of the customers in your local grocery store, or bar(!) are open carrying, would you be more likely or less likely to say anything that might, even in the slightest,  upset those gun enthusiasts?

That, of course, is the point of all the gun thuggishness. To intimidate gun-safety advocates into silence. To suppress all disagreement with their radical agenda.

Silence is not golden in the face of such bullying. It is time for all those “responsible gun owners” out there to denounce the type of gun-zealot behavior Ms. Longdon and other Moms Demanding Action For Gun Sense experience now on a regular basis.

When will those “responsible gun owners” stand up and act….responsibly?