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6 Oct 2017: Daily Homily (Gun Control) and Tweets

After I (finally) finished yesterday’s tweets post, I watched ‘The Five’ on Fox News. (I’d recorded it earlier.) Their first segment was about President Trump’s remarks during his visit to Las Vegas.

They played his remarks, and they were good. He read them well, and he sounded sincere.  Trump usually sounds fine when he sticks to the script that others give him. (Personally, I don’t think Trump knows what a genuine emotion is. His complete lack of empathy is something I think most of the world agrees on.)

Then the commentators on ‘The Five’ had their say. Trump apologist Kimberley Guilfoyle went on and on about how the remarks were “genuine” and “from the heart” etc. I know what you’re thinking. “What do you expect from Fox?”

Anyway, I mention Guilfoyle’s response in particular because I remember what she said about Obama and his remarks following the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012.

When Obama made his comments about the children and teachers who were murdered, he was moved to tears. And, it was clear those tears were genuine.

However, Guilfoyle questioned whether the sorrow was real, and she did so at length. She was even trying to think of ways on the fly that he could have arranged it to make it look like he was crying. She thought he was just trying to gain sympathy for future efforts to enact new gun control laws.

Guilfoyle isn’t stupid, uneducated, or naïve. She just has two big blind spots. 1. Everything Obama does is bad. 2. Everything Trump does is good.

Later, came her colleague Greg Gutfeld. He’s the guy I mentioned a couple of days ago who thinks that because the murderer’s girlfriend was from the Philippines she must have converted him to Islam and persuaded him to kill for DAESH (ISIS). That’s despite the fact there was absolutely no evidence for this and someone from the Philippines is far more likely to be Roman Catholic (86%) or Protestant (11%) than Muslim.

Anyway, he says he loves arguing with people about gun control because there are no data to support their arguments. In the US, there’s a very good reason for that. The NRA. In 1996 the NRA got Congress to put this (the “Dickey Amendment”) into the funding rules of the the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC):

… none of the funds … may be used to advocate or promote gun control …

There were apparently already issues before the 1996, but this was a killer, literally and figuratively. Funding of research into gun violence at the CDC has gone down 96% since 1996.

The NRA has also made it illegal for the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) to have a database of firearms to allow searches of who owns them. The ATF has to ask gun shops for the information. Gun shops that have gone out of business hand their paper records over to the ATF, and those records cover over 5 million guns. But, the ATF can’t even put those records on a database; if they need information from them they have to go through the records manually. ‘Last Week Tonight’ were shown some of those records. They include, for example, paper records from stores destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. The AFT had to “dry them out in the parking lot” and many are illegible or barely legible.

A third commentator on the show is Jesse Watters. (He’s not only a Trump apologist, he’s happy to lie for the cause.) He made the point that there are not enough votes for any gun control measures anyway. He’s right. But the NRA is the reason for that too. Enough politicians rely on the NRA to get them elected that they cannot afford to vote any way except how the NRA wants them to. Many of my tweets in yesterday’s ‘Gun Control Tweets’ section covered this.

Thousands of US citizens are dying needlessly every year because of the failure of its government to enact sensible gun control laws. Most citizens are in favour of those laws. In some cases, even most NRA members are in favour of them. But the NRA itself will do anything to retain their profits. They’re far more dangerous to their fellow countrymen than Islamist terrorists.

 

Fox is having a pretty hard time dealing with the Las Vegas massacre in general. Here’s Trevor Noah’s take which, as usual, as brilliant.

 

Gun Control Tweets

It’s easy to blame mental illness and use it as a reason not to do anything. The mental health profile of the US is similar to most developed countries. The difference? The rest of us don’t have easy access to weapons. Besides, mentally ill people are more likely to kill themselves than someone else.
(Via Ann German.)

 

What’s a bump stock? Why is it legal when all other conversion kits making semi-automatic weapons into automatic ones are illegal? Here’s the answer. Note also that Nancy Pelosi (Democrat) tried to get bump stocks banned, but the Bill never even came up for a vote.

 

Good on him. Well said.

 

Political Tweets

Information proving Milo Yiannopoulos and Steve Bannon are consciously promoting the alt-Right has come out. Their denials can no longer hold water.
(Via Ann German.)

 

I think he’s got it!

 

More evidence damning the US Voter Fraud committee.

 

The Miscommunicator-in-Chief.

 

Some of the facts behind this message are important for the whole world.

 

Human Rights Tweets

Kneeling in protest has been going on for a long time. It’s been said by others, and I’m saying it too: Is there any form of protest by Blacks in the US that would be acceptable to a white supremacist?
(Via Ann German.)

Art Tweets

A statement on the US gun culture via art.

 

This is so cool!

 

Beautiful!

 

Scenic Tweets

Lumière show in the rocks of Jordan.

 

Science Tweets

Most of us already know this, but I think it’s cool so it goes in.

 

It was his birthday on 5 October, but we’re always late on stuff like dates in NZ because we’re ahead of the rest of the world when it comes to time.

 

I like this idea for New Zealand too. Planes no longer fly a lot of New Zealand’s routes because it’s not economic. Electric planes could change that.

 

Space Tweets

I’m assuming this plane isn’t flying all the way to Neptune for the pictures!

 

Well, in the northern hemisphere anyway. The planet does have another half, and quite a few of us live here!

 

Marine Tweets

I’ve seen full videos of pufferfish doing this, and they’re amazing. Maybe this gif will inspire you to look them up.

 

Other Animals Tweets

They don’t spell it out in this tweet, but I will. If you don’t store the wood away from the bonfire site, you could be having roast hedgehogs for Guy Fawkes’ Night.

 

Sand kittens, leopard cubs, pangolins playing in the mud, and moose calves.

 

Oh wow! Normal calves are pretty cute, but these ones are just adorable!!!

 

What an experience!

😲 Okay, now this is just fu€king weird! It’s got no head! And you stroke it. And its tail wags, even if you’re not touching it. The rest of the world has a saying: “Only in America.”

 

Bird Tweets

I’ve said it before – I love owls!

 

Cooperation between the brave dikkop and a crocodile!

 

Starling murmuration in Surrey.

 

A couple of vids of a wild male budgie in Australia.

 

 

Insect Tweets

Oh wow! I had no idea such a thing existed! Very cool!

 

Dog Tweets

Another one for my sister Brenda – the corgi pups are back. They’ve clearly had a busy day!

 

Awww. We could all do with more love.  💞 (It looks great in tweets, but dogs smell, and their hair gets all over your clothes.)

 

Here’s a new idea if you love your dog!

 

Cat Tweets

If I was this cute black kitty, I’d be worried about that Siamese kitten – the look on it’s face is saying, “I’m gonna get you good!”

 

We used to have a kitten that looked just like this when we were kids. Her name was Josephine and we dressed her in a pink dolls’ dress, which she happily wore as she slept on her back all tucked up in the dolls’ pram.

 

Now that’s a cat who looks like he’s in control!

 

I love this pic!

 

I’ve seen this before, but it’s such a cool pic I have to put it in!


What a sweetie!

 

I hope the cat didn’t make the hole!

 

Isn’t it gorgeous?!
(Via Ann German.)


Look at that tweet: “100% printed in the USA.” I wonder if that’s fooling anyone?

 

There will be no Tweets Post tomorrow (7 October).


 

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14 Responses to “6 Oct 2017: Daily Homily (Gun Control) and Tweets”

  1. Michael Dempsey says:

    Trump’s “sincerity” in his Las Vegas remarks aligns with an old Hollywood saying: “Sincerity is the most important thing. When you can fake that, you’ve got it made.”

    In my opinion, Trump should not be cut any slack whatsoever. What he, his cadre of active collaborators, and his army of supporters have done to the US, regardless of its many faults, will always be unforgivable.

  2. Lee Knuth says:

    The US has lost its moral sense. It now longer is the country I knew.

  3. nicky says:

    That Pew Survey paints a near lunatic picture: even the most common sense measures are opposed by so many, but then I saw they are all ‘republican gun owners’, a quite non-random group. Should we cheer the fact that there are quite a few of them not opposed to the most basic sensible measures? The ‘Law abiding citizens’ (LAC’s) we hear so much about, if they should have the right to bear a fire-arm, would a background check to confirm they actually are LAC’s not be the most basic measure? Why would a LAC oppose a register, or even a register with a ballistic profile? Beats me, or maybe they are not as law abiding as pretended, or what?
    The difference between NRA rep gun owners and the non-NRA ones a cause or effect? Are the more lunatic ones more prone to become an NRA member, or does membership make one more lunatic?

    I gather that automatic weapons are quite restricted, would it not automatically follow that bump stocks should be restricted too? Moreover, if automatic weapons can be restricted without infringing the second amendment (?) the same would apply to semi -automatic and/or hand guns.

    Don’t get me wrong, I do accept there are legitimate reasons to own a gun, eg. police, army, security guards, hunters, collectors, etc. etc. [And yes, I think hunting is legitimate, but it should be regulated. ‘Serious’ hunters have (in my modest experience) good knowledge of nature and the ecosystem, and can be allies in the conservation movement (no, I’m not a hunter myself, but I do not oppose it if done properly)]. Those allowed to have guns should have a proper training, and even a kind of personality check.’No training, no gun’ appears to be very much compatible with ‘well regulated’ to me.

    • Fully automatic weapons were made illegal by Reagan. At the same time conversion kits to make semis into autos were made illegal. Then bump stocks were invented, and they don’t actually convert the semi, they just make a semi fire like an auto by using the recoil to “bump” the trigger to fire again without having to pull the trigger again. So the legal ruling was that they were legal. That happened when Obama was president, and I’ve heard Fox saying it’s therefore the fault of Dems. But the GOP has had control since 2010. Nancy Pelosi, Dem minority leader, tried to get them made illegal but the Bill didn’t come up for a vote and that’s on Mitch McConnell.

      Most citizens support a lot of of the regulations, but the NRA has enormous power. They can stop politicians getting elected, and that means they get listened to even though their opinion is the minority one in many cases.

      Also, most gun killings are suicides and the US is very backward on mental health despite the everyone seeming to have an analyst of some kind. People don’t seem to care about suicide. Perhaps if they focused on the fact that most of the suicides are white men they might take notice, and vets are several times more likely to kill themselves too.

      • nicky says:

        I find the suicide point a bit moot. Admittedly, suicide by gun is effective, but so is soft (or hard) hanging. How many suicides are just on impulse? I think guns might be instrumental there.
        I thought it was common knowledge most suicides are committed by middle aged white males. Didn’t know about veterinarians though 🙂

        • I didn’t mean that sort of vets. I meant military vets. The civilian occupation that kills itself most is dentists.

          In NZ it’s young men that kill themselves, not older ones. I think the US profile of older white men doing it is quite unusual.

          You’re right about it being spontaneous. That’s why access to a gun is such a problem. It’s pretty easy to be successful with a gun, especially a hand gun. Even running a bath or hanging yourself are things that take a lot more preparation and are therefore less likely to be gone through with.

          • nicky says:

            Yes, I saw the NZ stats. I think it is the NZ data that are a bit odd, note that the age group 15 to 25 only recently became the ‘top-group’ in NZ.
            Some decades ago, the stats in the EU showed a small peak at puberty, and a large ‘hill’ for males, peaking at around 40 (IIRC).
            Except for some Muslim countries and China, suicide rates are consistently higher for males than females. The opposite appears,to be true for failed attempt (though less data).
            The US has not a particularly high suicide rate, but half of the suicides are carried out with guns (the other half mostly by poisoning/pesticides and suffocation/hanging)

          • I don’t claim to know a lot about it. Men do commit suicide much more than women, including here. The problem seems to be getting them to talk about their problems. A problem group here is farmers who are even more isolated than other men. Federated Farmers has been doing an enormous amount of work in recent years to support farmers’ mental health, and it looks like the figures are showing an improvement in that area at least.

  4. nicky says:

    Tomorrow the ‘Bokke’ and ‘All Blacks’ play, I do not think the ‘Bokke’ will win, but I predict a closer result than last time 🙂
    The All Blacks are superior to any team in ball handling skills (absolutely a class apart there, a pleasure to watch), game plan, defense, tactics and improvisation, and are also up there in physical fitness. Their weakest point, discipline, is still better than most.

    • I think it will be much closer too. The Boks will wan to prove themselves after last time. Also the score last time was not a fair reflection of the game – it was closer than 57-0 looks. They’re still a tough opposition. The ABs won’t be taking the game lightly. They’ll want to prove it wasn’t a fluke as well.

      I think the ABs will still win though. My prediction: The Boks will hold the ABs scoreless for at least 20 minutes at the start, the middle 30-40 will be fairly even, but in the last 20 minutes the ABs will score at least twice.

      • nicky says:

        24-25,very close, in score as well as in actual play. It is clear that if there is going to be any team to beat the All Blacks, it is going to be the Bokke, something we started to doubt after that 57-0. I’m not convinced about the first try tough, my conclusion was ‘no control’, but the TV umpire decided differently, hence it is, that’s the game. A great game and a pleasure to watch.

        • nicky says:

          Your prediction about the last 20 minutes was not borne out though (note, I predicted the same). It really was a ‘sneaky’ (or clever) kind of try, that last one.

        • I haven’t watched it yet, but I saw the score live scoring. It looked like an exciting and nerve-wracking game. Close games are better, and this is a better indication of the rivalry. I agree that the Boks are the most likely team to beat the ABs on skill, and it will happen. The French are a bit of a bogey team for us though. They somehow get to the ABs mentally.

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