One of the first things I do most mornings is check out Jerry Coyne’s website: Why Evolution is True. Yesterday, it was afternoon before I got to it. The first post I saw was this one: ‘The Apocalypse is here: Pennsylvania church to hold ceremony blessing AR-15s, nearby school to close during the blessing‘. I didn’t get any further. I need more hedgehogs, otters, octopuses, and Cat Tweets in my life to balance out stuff like this!

The heading of this post are the words that immediately came to mind. “WTF is wrong with the USA?”

I wasn’t planning on writing any more posts about guns just yet. My last two are about the phenomenon of guns in the US, and it was time to move onto other subjects for a bit.

Further, I didn’t think there was anything else on the subject of guns and the US that could surprise me. I was wrong. This is a new low.

It is a comment on how cynical I’ve become about this issue though that, like several of Jerry’s commenters, when I read “nearby school to close during the blessing,” my assumption was that the students would be attending the blessing. Instead, the students are actually being taken to another school fifteen miles away for the duration. Thankfully, there are still sensible people in the US, and some of them are in charge of schools.

I’ve got multiple cartoons about the way many in the US worship guns. To them the Second Amendment of the US Constitution is their Creed. The NRA is the equivalent of the Vatican. Here are some of them:

I don’t understand why civilians need to own semi-automatic rifles. It’s been five months since the Las Vegas massacre (1 October 2017), and there’s still no legislation banning bump stocks despite all the promises at the time. It took until 20 February 2018 just for Trump to order the US Justice Department to write new regulations banning all devices like bump stocks. That was clearly as a result of needing to be seen to do something following the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting the previous week (14 February 2018).

TRIGGER WARNING. THESE PICS ARE VERY GRAPHIC. This is a link to two pictures of dead people shot in the head with an AR 15. I was going to post them here, but they are extremely confronting. Think carefully before you click on the link if you are at all sensitive. Even describing the pictures would be too much for some to read, which is why I’m not doing it. You have been warned!

Two major retailers of guns in the US are being responsible and acting ahead of the government. Both Dick’s Sporting Goods (see Gun Safety Tweets for video) and Walmart will no longer sell guns or ammunition to those under 21. Dick’s Sporting Goods is also stopping sales of assault-style weapons. Their share price 2 points immediately on the announcement.


The president is actually trying to push the age issue too, as he said he would. I think he’s right when he says some of these politicians are scared of what the NRA might do.


There are many places around the world where the age limit for gun ownership is already 21. According to Wikipedia, they include Kenya, Argentina, Panama, Indonesia, Israel, the Philippines, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Slovakia. In Brazil and Kuwait it’s 25. In some countries, there are different ages depending on the type of gun. Most countries have much stricter requirements for gun ownership than the US.

Those requirements are usually involve background checks, including certification of mental health that are renewable on a regular basis. Just yesterday, I was discussing the issue with my home help who is a hunter. Like all potential gun owners in New Zealand, he was interviewed by the Police before he could get a licence. His wife, along with other people in his life, were interviewed confidentially as well. He had to have a clean police record and no history of drug use. The age restriction in New Zealand is only sixteen, but gun license holders are strictly monitored and someone of that age wouldn’t get a license if the Police didn’t think they could handle the responsibility. A license can be revoked and guns confiscated at any time by the Police, and this does happen.

According to Pew Research, 67% of gun owners say that they own guns for personal safety. However, the statistics show that guns are rarely used for personal safety. However, the fear created by some may make them feel they need to arm themselves.


Graphic of causes of gun deaths.

(Source: New York Times. Click graphic to go to source.)


The comparison with vehicles is often made. Here is how an increase in safety requirements made vehicles safer.

Reduction in MVA deaths following introduction of safety measures.

(Source: New York Times. Click graphic to go to source.)


There’s not really anything more to say that hasn’t been said before on this issue. I’ll post a few more graphs and a pic of an old tweet thread before I get to today’s tweets. Decisions should be made on data. At the moment, they’re not in the US when it comes to guns.

Graphic: Gun ownership vs, gun murders selected countries.

(Source: New York Times. Click graphic to go to source.)


Gun Law Grades and Gun Death Rates

(Source: New York Times. Click graphic to go to source.)


Effect of license requirements on homicide and suicide rates.

Effect of license requirements on homicide and suicide rates. (Source: New York Times. Click graphic to go to source.)


Gun Control tweets thread,


TRIGGER WARNING. There’s a graphic example of animal predation in “Reptile Tweets.”

Political Tweets

This is truly disturbing. Of all the bad things that Trump has done, perhaps this thing that he HASN’T done is the worst.


Should go without saying. Graham preached hate. There’s no other word for it.
(Via Ann German.)

I had to put these three tweets from Ann German in as a picture so I got all three at once, but you can access them on Twitter here.


Here’s the full story:


Pre-Mueller Time Tweets

So President Trump tweeted this yesterday:


(Via Ann German.)


And just for fun …
(Via Ann German.)


Just sayin.’


Mueller Time Tweets

Useful information about the Mueller investigation.
(Via Ann German.)


Democracy Tweets

The general topic of types of democratic systems is one that interests me greatly. Thus, I tweeted these items.



Gun Safety Tweets

The facts are not on their side, so the NRA has to lie in order to try and get the facts to work for them. On ABC News’ ‘This Week’ on 25 February, NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch said, “France had a higher casualty rate in one year than the entire two administrations of Barack Obama. And they’re a fifth of our population.” That’s not true. The link in the tweet goes to the full analysis by Politifact.


More amazing kids speaking up and taking action!
(Via Ann German.)



Human Rights Tweets



Hasn’t this guy worked out yet that better and more access to contraception means less abortion? Complete fu€k₩it.


Science Tweets

This innovation in the science of solar technology shows great promise for the near future. Science is cool!


Paleontology Tweets

Very cool.



Reptile Tweets

Very sad, but an amazing pic.


Marine Tweets


Other Animals Tweets

This one is from Facebook, but I think you’ll agree it’s worth breaking the rules for!
(Via Jerry Coyne. He sent me another gorgeous hedgehog one too, but I can’t work out how to post that one. Not sure where I’m going wrong. However, I put it on the Heather’s Homilies Facebook page, so you can see it there.)


Don’t watch this if you are of a nervous nature. You’ll never look at squirrels the same way again. We don’t have squirrels in New Zealand, so it just made me laugh.
(Via Ann German.)


Is this even real?!


Bird Tweets

Penguins are so cute.




Kakapo egg sitting.

Kakapo chick!!!


Dog Tweets

Another corgi for my sister Brenda. She’s probably not reading this because we had a disagreement, but it’s cute so I’m posting it anyway!




Very cute!



Cat Tweets



What a sweetie!!!


Go Ben!


What amazing colouring – I’ve never seen a cat like this before.


The caption has it right!


Oh dear!


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