A single failed 2001 shoe bombing attempt on an airliner bound for Detroit.

— We all now take our shoes off before boarding any airliner.

A single failed 2009 underwear bombing attempt on an airliner bound for Detroit.

— We all now have to go through full body scanners before boarding any airliner.

A plot to turn a lap top into a bomb was foiled.

— Laptops were banned on many airline flights.

A legal immigrant kills 8 and injures 12 in New York City.

— Close the borders to immigrants.  “Extreme vetting.”

A single terrorist shooter kills 59 and wounds 241 people in Las Vegas.

— thoughtsandprayers

A single terrorist shooter kills 26 and wounds 20 in Sutherland Springs Texas.

— thoughtsandprayers

— “It’s not a gun situation.”

378 mass shooting incidents (defined as four or more people shot) in 2017 alone.

— thoughtsandprayers

“Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”

— thoughtsandprayers

In February 2017 the president signed a decree scrapping the regulation aimed at keeping guns out of the hands of severely mentally ill individuals.

— thoughtsandprayers

Gun homicide rates in the U.S. are 25 times higher than any other high income nation.

— thoughtsandprayers

Guns kill approximately 1300 children in the U.S. each year.

— thoughtsandprayers

The Congress refused to pass legislation preventing individuals on the terrorist no fly list from buying guns.

— thoughtsandprayers

It is not anti-gun to be for gun safety.  As the greatest nation on earth we should be able to figure out how to keep our Second Amendment right without giving up our right not to be randomly shot by a disgruntled idiot.  It is a national disgrace.  It most definitely is not “the cost of freedom.”

I don’t want to hear anymore “thoughtsandprayers.”

Georgia On My Mind

With all due respect to my friends that live in the great state of Georgia, I wonder what is going on there.  The entire state (or at least their elected representatives) seem determined to push back the clock as far as possible.  The evidence may be found in two official acts taking place  in Georgia — one was a bill signed into law today.

First let me say, as many of you know, that I am not against guns.  I am against gun violence and believe that we as a nation can do a lot more to restrict the illegal use of weapons.  I do not consider more guns being carried by more people to be a deterrent to the illegal use of guns and I do not believe that it enhances the safety of the average citizen.  The biggest fallacy of all is the NRA pronouncement that the way to stop bad guys with guns is by good guys with guns.  I see.  Exactly who are the good guys?  The same ones that feel “threatened” and shoot unarmed people?

So today Republican Governor Nathan Deal signed into law the “Safe Carry Protection Act” (or as it is known in other circles, “the guns everywhere bill”).  The bill allows those with concealed weapons permits to carry their guns into bars, college campuses, government buildings, houses of worship and just about anywhere else, including by the way, airports.  (Under the bill TSA can still search for guns at checkpoints, but the individual with the weapon cannot be arrested, only  turned away.)  Oh, by the way, if you have been convicted of a misdemeanor for pointing a gun at another person, you cannot be denied a permit to carry.  My favorite part is that the police are not allowed, by law, to ask a person if they have a permit to carry — I guess they are supposed to assume that all armed citizens are legal. It also allows schools to arm their administrators, teachers and other employees.  Somehow I do not feel in the least bit safer.  I do feel like if I ever return to Georgia that I am going to be real careful about who I talk to.  I sure would not want someone to think my friendly “hello” in an unfamiliar bar was actually a not so friendly “hell no” and have them feel threatened and blow me away.

The second part of the progressive atmosphere in Georgia is demonstrated by the Georgia Department of Revenue approving the addition of the Confederate flag to their official state license plates. Admittedly they are specialty plates (also called vanity plates in some regions) requested by the Georgia division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.  The fun part in this story is that the group previously had such plates, but the symbol was small.  Now the plates will not only have the same small symbol, but the new plate has the Confederate battle flag covering the entire plate and the “Sons of Confederate Veterans” takes the place of the issuing county on the standard plate.   The organization claims that they have just as much of a right to be proud of their heritage as does any other group.  Point taken.  However, these seem to be many of the same people who proclaim that they are true (get this) United States of America patriots.  The “America love it or leave it” types. Seems to me that in my Middle School history class I learned that the Confederate states were trying to create an entirely new country, separate and apart from the United States of America.  It should also be noted that before the Civil War the correct grammar was “The United States are…” and after the war the correct usage became “The United States is….”   Our country went through a very difficult time that forged the united nation that we are today. I see little reason to celebrate those that tried to pull it apart — no matter how noble they may have thought their actions to be.  Study it, yes. Understand why our ancestors did what they did (both North and South), yes.  And many other valid points of view.  While I do not begrudge the organization its “pride” I do not see why elected officials in Georgia are bending over backwards (you can look it up!) to support the official use of the Confederate flag. As a young boy I sometimes thought that the Southern soldiers were gallant, romantic and a lot more fun than the Northern soldiers.  And then I grew up.  I suppose some people never do grow up, but the last time I looked, the Civil War ended almost 150 years ago.  Get over it.