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President Obama’s Tear A Starkly Human Thing

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President Obama’s Tear A Starkly Human Thing

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He didn’t bawl.

His voice only roughened for a moment and he dabbed at a couple tears that straggled down his cheek. As displays of emotion go, it wasn’t all that much. But it was, of course, more than enough.

Inevitably, President Obama’s tears became the takeaway from last week’s White House speech on gun violence. They came as he recalled the 2012 massacre of six educators and 20 young children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

“Every time I think about those kids,” said the president, tears shining on his cheek, “it gets me mad.”

One grows used to thinking of politics as a craft practiced mostly by people who are only technically human. One grows used to their cynical manipulations and insincere triangulations, to their poll-tested smiles, and focus-grouped quips. Which is why this moment was arresting. The president wept and it was a starkly human thing.

Or at least, that’s surely how most of us saw it. It is a sign of how angry and hateful our politics have become that some conservatives refused to accept the moment at face value.

“I would check that podium for a raw onion,” sneered Andrea Tantaros of Fox “News.”

“He’s putting something in his eyes to create the fascist tears,” wrote John Nolte of Breitbart.

“(hashtag)Crocodile Tears” tweeted actor James Woods.

One hardly knows how to respond. There isn’t even anger. There is only embarrassment for them, only amazement that some people are so bad at being, well … people.

But the sense of disconnectedness, of the action being wholly at odds with some people’s interpretation thereof, went far beyond the president’s tears. To compare what Obama actually said as he seeks to rein in the nation’s runaway gun violence with the way it was afterward construed by his political opposites is to feel as if one has fallen down the rabbit hole into an alternate reality where people drink trees and smell music and the idea that words have fixed meaning is about as real as the Tooth Fairy.

“I believe in the Second Amendment … that guarantees the right to bear arms,” said the president.

Which House Speaker Paul Ryan interpreted as: “From day one, the president has never respected the right to safe and legal gun ownership that our nation has valued since its founding.”

Obama took a handful of modest actions, including: an executive order clarifying that anyone who makes a living selling guns is required to conduct background checks on buyers; hiring more personnel to process background checks; pushing for improved gun safety technology and tracking of stolen firearms.

Which Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump processed as: “Pretty soon, you won’t be able to get guns.”

One nation, two realities, one of them populated by the NRA and its GOP henchmen, by extremists who don’t just own guns or like guns, but who sanctify and worship guns and so regard even the most humble effort to check their destructive power as blasphemy against their god.

In the other reality live the rest of us, heartsick and frustrated that our country has come to this: Mass shootings are commonplace and we cannot muster the political will to do anything about it. So nothing happens; nothing changes. Bullets fly, the gun lobby prattles on, and in an endless loop, we mourn mothers, fathers, sisters and sons in San Bernardino, Aurora, Ft. Hood, Tucson, Charleston and, yes, Newtown, where 20 first-graders — little children — were gunned down, slaughtered.

And people are disbelieving that the president cried? It is not amazing that someone might ponder this carnage and want to weep. No, what’s amazing is that some of us ponder it and do not.

(Leonard Pitts is a columnist for The Miami Herald, 1 Herald Plaza, Miami, Fla., 33132. Readers may contact him via e-mail at lpitts@miamiherald.com.) (c) 2016 THE MIAMI HERALD DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC.

U.S. President Barack Obama reacts while talking about Newtown and other mass killings during an event held to announce new gun control measures at the White House in Washington January 5, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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Leonard Pitts Jr.

Leonard Pitts Jr. is a nationally syndicated commentator, journalist, and novelist. Pitts' column for the Miami Herald deals with the intersection between race, politics, and culture, and has won him multiple awards including a Pulitzer Prize in 2004.

The highly regarded novel, Freeman (2009), is his most recent book.

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50 Comments

  1. dtgraham January 10, 2016

    I left this comment on another story and copied it here because it’s just as relevant.

    How crazy is it that there was far more gun control in the wild west of the 19th century than there is today. Towns like Tombstone, Deadwood and Dodge had much more restrictive gun laws than similar towns today. You had to turn your guns in to the Marshall when entering and didn’t get them back until you left. A visitor arriving in Wichita, Kansas in 1873 would have seen signs declaring, “Leave Your Revolvers At Police Headquarters, and Get a Check.”

    Gunfighters like John Wesley Hardin and a young William Bonney (Billy the Kid) were forced to hand their guns over to Abilene Marshall Wild Bill Hickok (true), but these Walmart clowns can open carry?

    They just need some Wild Bills in those Walmarts, that’s all.

    Reply
    1. I of John January 11, 2016

      Excellent points here.

      Reply
    2. DEFENDER88 January 11, 2016

      But we have gun control here, you were(still are) Not allowed to carry your gun into many places(Even if you are licensed and certified) – Columbine, New Town, Aurora Theater, FT Hood – 1 &2, Chattanooga, SanBernadino, more.

      Lets do this – check your guns at the door, create a Gun Free Kill Zone (Great Idea – you people who are licensed, tested and certified as safe and can potentially stop a killer are not allowed in).

      In fact, you honest gun owners are responsible for all these murders.

      Got to love this Liberal logic.

      Reply
      1. stcroixcarp January 11, 2016

        Great! Bring you guns anywhere you want, but when those bad guys with guns that you were unable to stop from murdering kill fathers and mothers and sisters and brothers and sons and daughters, show some decency. Condemn gun violence. Condemn these evil killers. Start a fund to help pay for the damage, funeral and medical expenses, extra costs for police, fire departments and EMT and emergency rooms. Put your money where your mouth is. Conservative logic is like a fart in a closed room.

        Reply
        1. DEFENDER88 January 11, 2016

          Like I said, you blame us/me (honest gun owners) for the murder done by the bad guys.
          I am suggesting a means to at least limit the murder and “you” attack “me”.
          Typical – More good lib thinking/logic.
          “Ideally” I would love to not feel the need to carry a gun.
          BUT
          Guns are a fact of life with us. With 300mil guns in the US they are not going away anytime soon.
          We have proved that Gun Free Zones are not working. The cops(God Bless Them) simply cannot get there in time/they cannot be everywhere.
          I might get killed in trying to return fire and stop the murder but at least I/we would have a chance to stop or at least dis-rupt the killers.
          And if there were say 3-4 of us(permit holders) returning fire, we could probably stop the murder. Cant make it much worse than it is now.
          In fact (Absent Armed Security) this is currently the best way to try to stop them.
          If I am going to go down, I want to go down fighting back.
          As for “Me”, “I” am also a “highly” Trained Combat Pistol Competition shooter, I alone have a very good chance to stop a shooter.
          If I was there with say “2-3 guys that I shoot with”, we “would” stop the killing – pronto.
          And there are a lot more like me around this country who have permits but not allowed in with a gun.
          Or do you still want to try to plead, beg, cry, or negotiate with them while they murder everyone in sight while the cops are “on the way”?

          Reply
          1. stcroixcarp January 12, 2016

            The conservatives ask why good Muslims are not crying out against ISIS, doing something to stop the violence and killing. What I am asking you, the supposed good guy with a gun,why are you making excuses for the bad guys with guns? What are you doing to PREVENT, not just react with more violence, gun related deaths and injuries? Are you willing to do anything to defuse this culture of violence. I do not want you in my church or school with your loaded weapons. If I see you with a gun, I will assume you want to kill me. By the way, how often are you with those 2 or 3 guys you shoot with? What if one of those guys is really a bad guy and shoots you in the head from behind? Your confidence in your weapons and your abilities are overrated. Peace Brother.

            Reply
          2. DEFENDER88 January 12, 2016

            “Now you are talking”.
            Getting down to the real issue and drivers of the violence.
            The key words/root issues in this area are : The Level of Violence present in a society.

            1st to address your comments about me and my friends, etc.

            1 – While I DO want to be able to defend myself and my home with competence and skill, I don’t WANT to have to even Shoot much less Kill ANYONE.
            My objectives are not to kill or even shoot anyone, my objectives are purely “Defensive”.
            In the past, I have been attacked by guys with guns and me with no gun. That was before I started shooting for sport and to learn self defense.
            But it did give me some incentive to learn how to defend myself.
            Figure my luck on being shot-at but not killed has about run out.

            2 – My church(heard about my “defensive skills” and “Asked Me” to serve as armed security).
            My pastor passed me in the hall a few days ago, stopped me and said – “I feel a lot safer just knowing you are out here.”
            I carry my gun Concealed(no one can tell). I also welcome and greet people at the door but also I can maybe screen out a potential or overt threat.
            Then I watch the doors and over-watch the services.
            Nothing is a sure thing, but it is a good measure of security.

            3 – Overrated Confidence in my abilities and weapons – While I am highly trained and very competent with weapons and in the area of Defense I am also a realist and know that no amount of preparation is a sure thing. I “can”, for example, be shot dead from behind and never see it coming. I can make a mistake, no one is infallible.
            All I can do is the best I can do and train as much as I can to try to be as competent as possible.
            Fortunately I enjoy shooting sports and the competitions so that makes it easier.

            4 – The “guys” I shoot with – I shoot with them often(at least every week), they are at the same level as me, some better than me some not but all can shoot rings around the average Cop, even the average SWAT Cop. We help train SWAT people(on volunteer basis) in pistol shooting. I trust them completely with my life.

            5 – Defense Protocols – My 1st choice to stop a threat is to try to negotiate if possible. Next would be hand-to-hand restraint or deterrence and call 911.
            Absolute last form is with a gun and the hope that just showing a gun will be enough without having to actually shoot.

            Next post – Addressing the Level of Violence in our Society driving gun violence levels.

            ps If you see me with a gun, you will assume I want to kill you. Good policy – I don’t blame you. I would too.
            “I” don’t want to shoot you but someone else just might.

            Reply
          3. DEFENDER88 January 12, 2016

            On the issue of the Levels of “VIOLENCE” and “PREVENTION”
            I “have” done some thinking and research about it.

            Since you did ask/challenge me on these issues, here you go:

            1ST I want to qualify what I consider Violence and Gun Violence.
            Suicides account for from 40-60% of gun deaths. Some say much more.
            I consider suicide a personal choice we all should have available if things become unbearable.
            So 33,000 Deaths in the US by Gun Violence to me comes down to at most 14,000/yr.
            And I have seen good argument for this being much lower – more like 3,000/yr.
            Being an Engineer – I tend to look at problems in a scientific way.
            To look at how to PREVENT Violence you 1st must Identify the Root Problems(ie Root Cause Analysis) and its characteristics, the various motivating factors/forces etc.
            I see many different areas with many different motivations/root causes:
            Which will require different solutions.

            1) BIG CITIES AND THE DRUG BUSINESS
            Every-day killing in the Big Cities, usually related to Drug Gangs, turf, wars etc
            Chicago, Detroit, etal
            This is more a societal class issue involving years of discrimination and lack of opportunities, drug gang wars, etc than a gun issue.
            Young Black, Latino, even White men have poor schools, neighborhoods, no father figures etc and no opportunity to make a good living by normal means so they turn to the Drug Trade which, by nature, brings Violence(in many forms) and Gun Violence.
            I know of no easy solutions here.
            Teach them all to write computer code so they can get a good job from home?
            My solution HERE would be to just legalize most ALL drugs except the psychotropics which drive young white men to mass murder.
            But then you still have the problem all these poor young men with no job and no way to get one and now no way to make a living.

            2) YOUNG WHITE MALES ON PSYCHOTROPIC DRUGS & SUICIDES(+MILITARY SUICIDES)
            Mass shootings by young white males of schools, Theaters, meetings, etc.
            Columbine, VT, Giffords, Sandy Hook, Aurora Theater, more
            Record rates of, returning from war zone, military suicides.
            ps ALL these shootings have been done by Young, White Males 16-26 y.o on a psy drug.
            Prozac, Paxil, Effexor, etal Prescribed meds and sent home to kill everyone in sight.
            I think, if we try, as a country, we can make headway here. Stop treating with these drugs and start back doing real mental health treatment.

            3) OLD/NEW ALQAEDA/ISIS THREATS
            – Ft Hood shooting #1 – Nidal Hassan
            – Chattanooga
            – France
            – San Bernadino
            They hate us because we will not convert to Islam – don’t know about you but not much I can do about that.
            How do we convince them that forcing your religion onto someone else will not work nor be accepted?
            We “can” confront them directly (If you are Certified to Carry a gun in public)in whatever venue they choose and kill “them” with return fire – not the best solution but better than let them have their way with “mass” murder. Armed security is preferred but most places don’t want to spend the money. The Police cannot get there in time.
            People like you would have to get over your hatred, mistrust and disdane for people like me who just want to defend our right to assemble safely ie the concept of Self Defense etc.

            4) The Average Everyday Crime and Criminals looking to steal, rob, etc
            Just like Criminals Don’t Fear the Police but DO Fear the Armed Homeowner – I could visualize a reduction in crime if they Feared the Armed Citizen in public.
            This would require a lot of Training, Certifications, etc but think it could be done Nation Wide ie a National Permit to Carry.
            And could see this serving as a deterrent to mass murders also.

            5 ) ME – I see my role as both serving as a deterrence to Violence and helping others to be able to defend themselves(Starting with avoidance techniques) as an extended deterrence to Violence.

            Reply
      2. KDJ54 January 11, 2016

        Please Mr. Defender, answer these questions: !. How do I
        tell if a gun carrying individual is (a)-a good guy with a gun; (b) adequately
        trained; (c) mentally and emotionally stable; when they walking through a
        public place armed to the teeth. 2.
        Please explain Article I Section 8 and why it is not the controlling explanation
        for the Second Amendment which clause then gives governmental control over
        firearms and their proper place and use in public, e.g. through governmentally
        controlled militias; 3. Why we as a society are supposed to bear the costs of
        shooting victims, which is estimated to be billions of dollars (the Go Fund me
        campaign for San Bernardino victims is now at $100,000 dollars and not even
        close to covering total costs), without requiring gun owners to have insurance
        on their weapons that would cover the damages for negligent and intentional
        acts using the same, as do automobile drivers? http://www.thetrace.org/2016/01/gofundme-shooting-victims/ It would seem that any conservative worth his
        or her salt would recognize this problem as a fiscal problem worthy of
        intervention to curb such costs.

        Reply
        1. DEFENDER88 January 11, 2016

          I would rather concentrate on reducing the mass murder than the cost.
          To start, “I” am fully insured for any liability I may incur in firing my gun. ps I always “carry” “concealed” – gives me tactical advantage over bad guys.
          People, like me, who are trained and debate this issue, know that people like you will try to sue us even if we save your life.
          So I guess I appreciate knowing that from in here and from people like you.
          How do you tell? Simple – Ask to see my Permit. I will “always” have it on “my Person”.
          I would wear it on a lanyard except for people like you and many in here who hate people like me.
          I have been criminal bkdg ckd, including mental cases, finger printed, etc to the local, state, and FBI and more. Like all other permit holders in this state.
          As for the cost of the killing, Permit Holders are not the ones doing the killing.
          In fact 99.9 % of people in the US who own guns are not doing the murders.
          Also – People who go thru the process of getting a permit get training (in this state anyway) in the law, shooting, etc.
          So, choose your poison:
          Certified Permit holders can “Carry” in Gun Free Zones with at least a chance to stop the killing.
          or
          Let the killers continue to murder at will.

          I have spent a lot of time, effort and money in training, certifications, insurance, etc to be ready and able to defend myself and others competently if needed.

          What have you “actually done” and spent to try to improve things on this issue? Except criticize people like me?

          Reply
      3. Insinnergy January 11, 2016

        The myth of the “Good Guy with a Gun” is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard.

        What are you, 5 years old?

        Do you really think that Bad Guys with Guns(tm) come with floating red tags like some sort of computer game?

        So you’re in a crowded mall… you hear a shot and people start running… you know you’re a Good Guy… you pull out your gun…. you start looking for the shooter…. meanwhile 10 other Good Guys in various places around the Mall pull out their guns and start looking too… 2 are highly trained… 4 are moderately trained… 4 spent 1 hour at the range two years ago and only know which end is the pointy one…

        So now you have 11 people walking around a mall holding guns.

        Suddenly one of the poorly trained Good Guys thinks he sees something and reflexively fires two shots… this is seen by 4 of the other Good Guys from a distance.

        What happens next?

        If your answer is anything other than “complete carnage” then you’re an idiot.

        As a follow up…
        Explain how you personally conclusively identify a Bad Guy with Bad Intentions. And by conclusively I mean to the point of certainty where you will kill them.

        P.S. Since we’ve already pointed out that in your utopia everyone gets to carry guns, you are not allowed to use the reason “because he’s carrying a gun”.

        Reply
        1. Insinnergy January 11, 2016

          Further follow up question:
          How many armed situations have been successfully stopped by Good Guys with guns? What percentage?

          This question is actually out of interest as I believe that the NRA has had their obedient tools in Congress literally make it illegal for the Government to study gun violence.

          Reply
          1. DEFENDER88 January 11, 2016

            Hard to find data on defense with a gun but it happens a lot. You just don’t hear about it since it is usually a local story.
            Usually no one killed or even shot or just 1-2.
            I do get a national report every month with many self defense with a gun stories.
            I can tell you interviews with Convicts in prison tell us they do not fear the Police, they know they will be gone by the time they get there.
            What they DO FEAR is the Armed Home Owner.

            Reply
        2. DEFENDER88 January 11, 2016

          This time – Try not to mis-read me or skip over what I say here.
          I am proposing a new way of doing things – getting permitted/certified to carry “in public”, etc. to a new higher level.
          Considering the added new Terrorist threats we will be facing.
          Guess you missed the part where I said “Great Idea – you people who are licensed, tested and certified as safe and can potentially stop a killer are not allowed in”
          In my state you must take the training and shoot a qualifier to be certified to carry a gun. In addition to training on the law, shooting in public, gun handling, storage, etc etc. Not likely for any of us, certified in this state, to start blazing away at everyone or each other.
          As for “ME” and the people I shoot with, I shoot Dynamic Defensive Combat Pistol Competitions(Real Life scenarios-much like you described except more difficult) every month and practice it every week. And I have been shot at several times (by Bad Guys), so I know what it is really like. BTW this is a much higher shooting level than Police and most all military, it is equivalent to and beyond Navy Seal pistol shooting skill levels. And beyond normal Police shooting levels. We train a lot on when and how to ID and shoot only “Threats(The “Bad Guys”) and how to avoid hitting non-threats, hostages. by-standers, etc.-in dynamic environments.

          Your average Cop shoots (in practice) maybe 50 rds/month, practice.
          We shoot about 1,000 rds /month practice. (Dynamic Combat Shooting)

          You are right about 1 thing – at times – it is more important to know when to “Not Shoot”.

          So on a National Basis – I propose using our state certification system(with some enhancements-more Dynamic Combat pistol training) Nation Wide. If you are certified thru this system to be able to shoot in public then you should be allowed to carry a gun in public and especially in( “Gun Free Zones”). Including the already required criminal Backgd cks including mental health and domestic crime, finger prints etc to FBI, etc like done now.
          ie a Nation Wide Certification like driver license certifications are honored nation wide.

          There are a lot more like me around this country who have permits, are highly trained, but not allowed in with a gun.
          Or do you still want to try to plead, beg, cry, or negotiate with them while they murder everyone in sight while the cops are “on the way”?

          “Ideally” I would love to not feel the need to carry a gun.
          BUT
          Guns are a fact of life with us. With 300mil guns in the US they are not going away anytime soon.
          We have proved that Gun Free Zones are not working. The cops(God Bless Them) simply cannot get there in time/they cannot be everywhere.
          And the “Active Shooter” situation, with the now added “Terror Threats” will be getting worse before it gets better.

          Reply
          1. Polana January 11, 2016

            Do U have a crystal ball and know who is good and who is bad??
            Do they wear a cap w/a logo I am bad guy w/gun???
            I was in the auto shop the other day waiting for my car, when older guy walks in. He had a gun in his belt and sat down waiting for his car. He noticed me looking at his gun and said relax.
            I said I am not afraid of u or your gun, but may ask you why do you carry one?? He said just in case a bad guy wants to shoot me. I said why would somebody wanted to shoot U?? Here in a auto repair shop?? He said anywhere. I said – so if another guy walks in here w/ gun how can U tell if he is like U or not. Do U – assume he is a bad guy or a good guy?? U start shooting?? He looked at me like a grew 2 heads. I said U know what. U R sitting here with your gun in your belt, here a guy can walk in with a gun in his hand and shoot U and me and all of us here before U had a chance to draw your gun. U will be dead before U know what hit U. This gun doesn’t make U any safer actually makes you look stupid and proves that U R scared of anything that walks either on 2 or 4. When my car was ready and before I left I said to him – All U have to fear is fear itself. This gun makes U a target for another paranoid/fearful idiot thinking that the world is out to get him.
            Not a word from him and he did not shoot me for being mouthy and proving that his gun in his belt doesn’t guarantee him safety. LOL
            Guns don’t kill people. – People kill people.

            Reply
          2. DEFENDER88 January 11, 2016

            Good from bad? Ask to see my Permit.
            About the only “Guarantee” in life is Death.
            The only thing you “Proved” is that you don’t have a clue.

            Reply
        3. DEFENDER88 January 11, 2016

          Question from you:
          As a follow up…
          Explain how you personally conclusively identify a Bad Guy with Bad Intentions. And by conclusively I mean to the point of certainty where you will kill them.

          P.S. Since we’ve already pointed out that in your utopia everyone gets to carry guns, you are not allowed to use the reason “because he’s carrying a gun”.
          —————
          Answer to your “Follow up”:
          “My Utopia” –
          1) NO “everyone” does NOT get to carry a gun, only State Certified Permit Holders.

          2) There would be no Bad Guys and no need for shooting anyone.
          —————-
          Answer to your “Follow up”:
          I will be able to tell, “with a certainty”(“Conclusively Identify”) who the bad guy is when I see him shooting innocent people.

          Then and only then will I be shooting. And that is after I have determined clear lanes of fire to not hit innocent people.

          One of our hard rules(that we practice)(Actually it is a “Hard” Basic NRA Safety Rule) – Is “Always ID your target and what is beyond.”

          This includes potential “Shoot Thrus”(ie Shooting-Thru the Threat into someone else) although that is why we carry Hollow Point ammo in defensive guns so as to lessen the chance of this.

          And in practice and competitions we practice for this a lot in real life scenarios.

          There are also Combat Tactics we learn to help with this.

          All this is also taught in our State Permit Classes.

          ps “My Utopia” – 1) NO everyone does NOT get to carry a gun, only State Certified Permit Holders.

          2) There would be no Bad Guys and no need for shooting anyone.

          Reply
          1. Insinnergy January 13, 2016

            You have not answered my question.
            I’m beginning to suspect you can’t answer it.
            How do you identify a “Bad Guy” shooter with a gun conclusively to the point where you will shoot them?

            Reply
          2. DEFENDER88 January 13, 2016

            So, explain to me what part of this answer you do not understand.
            Im beginning to suspect you are not going to accept any answer.

            Answer to your “Follow up”:
            I will be able to tell, “with a certainty”(“Conclusively Identify”) who the bad guy is when **I see him shooting innocent people.
            Then and only then will I be shooting. And that is after I have determined clear lanes of fire to not hit innocent people.**

            One of our hard rules(that we practice)(Actually it is a “Hard” Basic NRA Safety Rule) – Is “Always ID your target and what is beyond.”
            This includes potential “Shoot Thrus”(ie Shooting-Thru the Threat into someone else) although that is why we carry Hollow Point ammo in defensive guns so as to lessen the chance of this.
            And in practice and competitions we practice for this a lot in real life scenarios.
            There are also Combat Tactics we learn to help with this.
            This is also taught in our State Permit Classes.

            .

            Reply
  2. Otto Greif January 10, 2016

    I can’t believe you get paid to write.

    Reply
    1. dtgraham January 11, 2016

      It’s amazing: the reasonable, intelligent, thoughtful analysis that Americans like to read isn’t it?

      Reply
      1. Otto Greif January 11, 2016

        I guess there are Americans who like to read bad writing.

        Reply
        1. ray January 11, 2016

          what are you doing on this site Otto the only bad writing here is yours.

          Reply
          1. Otto Greif January 11, 2016

            I’m here because I like mocking idiots.

            Reply
          2. Insinnergy January 11, 2016

            Incorrect.
            You’re here because you get a twisted pleasure out of generating outrage.
            I believe it makes your mother’s basement more bearable.

            Reply
          3. Otto Greif January 11, 2016

            It is amusing the way you people can’t handle being challenged.

            Reply
          4. Insinnergy January 11, 2016

            “Challenged” would imply you were actually doing something either constructive, as in reasoned debate, or difficult, as in sharing paradigm-shaking insights.

            Alas, your one-sentence deliberately-inflammatory, evidence-free bon mots are the argumentative equivalent of peeing in the pool.

            They add nothing to the activity, they just make it rather icky for everyone else swimming.

            Reply
          5. Otto Greif January 11, 2016

            “Sharing paradigm-shaking insights”, that’s really funny, keep it up.

            Reply
          6. Charles van Rotterdam January 11, 2016

            Again with the ‘mouth in gear brain in neutral’, seems to be a constant with you

            Reply
          7. Charles van Rotterdam January 11, 2016

            “bon mots” more of “mal mots” surely

            Reply
    2. FireBaron January 11, 2016

      Given your other postings, I am amazed that you can read! Or did you have someone read this to you, translated into words or one syllable or less so you could understand it?

      Reply
    3. Insinnergy January 11, 2016

      Stupid troll is stupid.
      Also… apparently unable to write more than a single sentence at a time.

      No wonder you’re jealous, Otto-troll.

      Reply
      1. Otto Greif January 11, 2016

        Why would bad writing make me jealous?

        Reply
        1. Insinnergy January 11, 2016

          Have you been reading your own posts again? :O

          Reply
          1. Otto Greif January 11, 2016

            You obviously don’t know what bad writing is.

            Reply
          2. Charles van Rotterdam January 11, 2016

            For someone who can only read comics, that’s a bit rich

            Reply
  3. greenlantern1 January 11, 2016

    STATE’S RIGHTS?
    Robert E. Lee was never a president of the NRA.
    President US Grant was.

    Reply
  4. I of John January 11, 2016

    When folks dehumanize others they can be as nasty as they want without a drop of sympathy, mercy or conscience. The devil is in their details.

    Reply
  5. nana4gj January 11, 2016

    Perhaps, if these critics had the responsibility of keeping Americans safe, to console them when they could not, they might shed a tear or two, as well. But, apparently, they feel no responsibility. However, I do, and I cried when Sandy Hook happened, and I cried during this speech, as well. Mock me, and, like the President, I could care less.

    I awoke to my clock radio, tuned to NPR, interviewing a mental health expert on the issue of reporting mental health issues for background checks on guns vs the right to privacy of health information. The expert cautioned extreme care because of HIPPA and rights of professionals; the threat that reporting mental health issues could dissuade people from seeking mental health.

    All I could think of was the German Lufthansa pilot who crashed his commercial jet, himself, and all those souls on that plane in suicide and homicide with his long history of mental health issues that were not reported for the same reasons….privacy laws and his desire to keep flying….when he should not have been flying for employment. A commericial passenger jet in the hands of someone who should not have had one.

    How is that any different from a gun in the hands of someone who should not have one? How would pro gun advocates feel if a loved one, or a US commercial jet full of strangers, was flown by someone who should not be flying them, and lost their lives because rights to privacy of the sick pilot took precedence over the rights of other to assume a safe, competent, healthy person was piloting their plane?

    These pro gun advocates sound more and more weak in their defense of the SA with the argument that the government is to confiscate all of their guns. When they deny Sandy Hook even really happened, they are insane and should be one of those on that background list. If a US commercial pilot who was mentally/emotionally unbalanced, or physically ill and untreated, were allowed to fly them on their travels, and crashed their flight, they would be the first to demand government intervention.

    Not only do we not have common sense regulations re the purchase and ownership of guns, the sale of them, trading, gifting of them, with no records of who has them, now, anyone can open carry them anywhere we choose and we are unable to identify who will be the next shooter in a massacre, a crime; who is what kind of terrorist; we are expected to “trust” that they are all good guys with guns. But, allegedly, we cannot trust our government to act in our best interests and preserve the SA at the same time? I trust the government before I trust a stranger with a gun while I am in the conduct of my ordinary daily activities.

    It’s inconceivable that an object designed for the explicit purpose of killing or wounding should be totally free of any responsibilities; no registration, no background checks, no license, no liability, no taxes, no annual reporting or tracking of them, as we have with automobiles. I am told the difference is that driving automobiles is a privilege; gun ownership and use is a Right. I maintain that our Rights are privileges of living in a democracy and everyone of them carries Responsibilities. No one can enjoy the privilege of driving a car without proof they are responsible. Cars can kill and so can guns. The ownership and use of a gun should be a privilege as well as a Right, just as ownership and use of a car is a privilege and a right after proof you are responsible, according to the regulations and laws you must meet to provide that proof.

    Reply
    1. itsfun January 11, 2016

      Should we track our forks, spoons, knives and all other silver ware because a knife and fork can kill. Should we track matches because they can start forest fires? Do spoons cause obesity? Background checks are already required to purchase a gun. If you purchase a gun online, the seller can only send it to a licensed dealer who does a background check. The only places in America where gun violence is up is in gun free zones.

      Reply
      1. Paragryne January 11, 2016

        You’re ridiculous.

        Reply
      2. johninPCFL January 12, 2016

        How about when the homicide rate from forks and knives reaches tens-of-thousands annually do we then begin to track them? How about when the rates of death from forest fires started intentionally reaches tens-of-thousands annually do we then begin to track matches?
        Background checks are only required when purchasing a gun from a dealer who “sells guns for a living”, leaving weekend purchases at gunshows regulated at the state level. Unless the person selling already has an FFL, there are no background checks required, at least in VA, AL, IN, KY and AZ. So when a gangbanger in Chicago wants a gun, it’s an hours’ drive to get one on any weekend.

        Reply
    2. Manetric Douglas January 12, 2016

      Bravo, i’m sharing this!

      Reply
  6. Paul Bass January 11, 2016

    You RWNJ gun nuts are just unbelievable to me.

    I have a special needs son (autism) like Adam Lanza, I would NEVER teach him to use/play with (??) guns. And every special needs parent I know feel the same!

    Yet, his mother, KNOWING he didn’t have social skills and hated people, teaches him to be a gun nut? Wow, again you RWNJ gun nuts are just unbelievable…..

    Reply
    1. tbs January 11, 2016

      Paul, First I sympathize with you having an autistic son. I have friends who also have. But I found they all looked at it as a blessing from God on the things they have learned from their child and Autisum.
      Now you might be responsible by what you say.
      How do I know? Just your word, right?

      But obviously Adam Lanza’s mother did not face the reality her sons mental problems were as great as they were. Was Adam vetted by the gun laws (we already had) to get a gun?
      She should have not taught Adam to use ANY guns! She therefore is the responsible one here, not the gun!
      If she bought the guns (and not locked them up) she was wrong again…not the gun!
      However she is not alive to prosecute as an enabler right?
      NOW, if I were a liberal, like Hillary, I would say “what difference does it make at this point.”
      Also for the tears of Obama, please?
      The facts are he used, on that heart wrenching Stony Hook occasion, to start his agenda to take away the guns from the citizens and exploited it! There were no tears then, were there? But he sure used the families (who lost their children) to get votes and hype on their horrific loss.
      His tears (a few days ago) was pressure from the higher ups that he had failed in confiscating our guns this term. They were tears of being mad (at himself) and fear that he lost in spite of his obsessive bully act to try and force the representatives to go along with him! Obama (is calculating) felt it would also add a touch of sympathy for him! How touching if it had really been sincere!
      This gun situation is not an NRA or Republican problem. This is a President problem by NOT enforcing the laws we already have on the books. In addition not being able to change the 2nd amendment. Even though he tells us that is not his objective. We the people are so on to him and his lying two faced propositions!
      Just enforce the laws we already have.

      Reply
      1. Paul Bass January 11, 2016

        Obama met individually with every grieving family at Sandy Hook. You don’t think those tears might be from his memory of those heart wrecking conversations?

        And as Trevor Noah said ‘Are you F**King kidding me? And I have to share the word “human” with the likes of you?’

        Reply
      2. Thelma T. Reyna January 12, 2016

        To Tbs: Wrong. Insiders who have worked closely with our President in the White House daily for over 7 years state unequivocally that he has NEVER, EVER STATED OR DONE A SOLITARY THING TO “TAKE AWAY GUNS.” IT HAS NEVER BEEN HIS POLICY OR AGENDA. Now, you and the gun-lovers have two choices: Believe those who were on the spot and therefore know THE FACTS…or try to convince us all that YOU are a mind-reader who knows exactly what our President thinks and wants. Choose the latter, and you’ll be more foolish than your posted comments above portray. By the way, “the laws already on the books are NOT ENFORCED BY REPUBLICAN-CONTROLLED (“red”) states–a proven fact. These states have the highest gun deaths in America. Learn the facts, not NRA mythologies.

        Reply
  7. Aaron_of_Portsmouth January 11, 2016

    It should be obvious by now that an “anti-Christ” sort of sentiment has descended in the hearts of such who are haters, land-grabbers, callous cops, and similar malcontents in America.

    When the New Testament refers to the anti-Christ, it’s not the “party-line” version which the Church has manufactured based on misreading the Book, and as depicted by Hollywood and other forms of media as a result.

    In the Kitab-i-Iqan by Baha’u’llah, and further in “Some Answered Questions” by Abdu’l Baha, the term is explained to fit the current-day mental and spritual capacities of humanity as a whole. The term implies several things—most importantly, in my opinion, is a reference to our potential to act in inhumane fashions towards one another, and which goes against the the very essence and import of the Message in the Bible, and in the other Books and Traditions that have been revealed/established as well.

    On another level, it refers to specific events that occurred during the early history of Islam, which included the dastardly death of Imam Ali and his progeny at the hands of descendants of long-time inveterate foes(The Umayyah) of Muhammad who were intensely jealous of Him and His tribe(Al Quraish).
    The assassination of Ali(the 1st Imam and the 3rd Caliph) occurred in the year 666
    A.D(Julian calendar) and the family in question[Umayyads] that inserted itself into Islam(much like a “virus”—my wording), is identified by Abdu’l Baha as “the beast”.
    (refer to “Muhammad and the Course of Islam” by Hasan Balyuzi for details of the history of this internal conflict within Islam that resulted in the first major split along the lines of Sunni vs Shi’ah).

    Excuse my digression, but sometimes it’s good to have context on why things are said and/or done.

    The acts of atrocity before and after Jesus’ time are all forms of anti-Christ behavior such as: Extreme forms of malcontent and discontent; racism and the use of racial epithets on-line and elsewhere; the persecution of all the Prophets that have appeared on the planet; raping of children and women; setting bounties on the killing of native Americans; the abuse of slaves in Arab lands and in the Americas; relegating members of society to “low-caste” status; jihadist activities; the anti-God theories of communism and similar ideologies; oppressing of minority elements in Israel; the abuse of aboriginal peoples in New Zealand and Australia. All of these things, and other forms of bestiality and inhumanity, are “anti-Christ” attributes.

    And now the NRA and Fox media-like outlets that foment hate and give out misinformation, scurvy “cowboys” insisting on taking control of lands seized from the original owners, congressmen who time and again try their best to sabotage efforts to cultivate a sane “environment” in American society(and who have the rudeness to stand up and call the President a liar), the commercialization of harmful products to make a profit in a distorted devolution of capitalism— all of these are the latest forms of anti-Christ behavior.

    The newest “god” in this pantheon of idolatry is the GUN. It commands more adoration and attention than the “God” spoken of in the Qur’an and in the Bible.

    For the worshipers of this new idol, the mantra(and Trinity) is: “All praise to the Gun, the 2nd Amendment, and the Holy AK-47”

    This may be unsettling to hardened souls(much like what Jesus alluded to when he talked about the husbandman planting seeds on 3 types of soils). They most likely will find all of this discomforting, but c’est la vie.

    Just some thoughts from a peon from Mississippi whose IQ is not as high as someone like “Otto Grief”, who proudly loves to trot out a statement on IQ differences between the “average black” and “whites”, despite the topic at hand. Just another type of “AntiChrist” sentiment, I suppose.

    Reply
    1. ray January 11, 2016

      Well said you are a true southern gentleman.Otto is just ignorant of feelings.

      Reply
    2. Polana January 11, 2016

      KUDOS 2 U.

      Reply

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