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Today in My History

2000: Nose to the Grindstone
2001:  Limbo
2002:  They Call Me a Cockeyed Octopus
2003:  Grandpa's Chair
2004:  Tulips, Tulips, Tulips
Eating & Sleeping in St. Louis
2006:  A Day of Mixed Emotion
2007:  Well, I'll never do THAT again!
2008:  Nobody Gave Me an Apple
2009:  Four Old Ladies with Dementia
2010:  The Prime Directive
2011:  Four More Stars
2012: Today at Logos

Bitter Hack
: 4/10
"Billy Elliot"

Books Read in 2013
 Updated: 4/12
"Along The Way"

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Brianna's 5th Birthday
Lacie's Christening

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mail to Walt


18 April 2013

Just when it looked like there was a teeny sliver of light on the horizon.  Just when a bipartisan group of Senators agreed to allow a vote on background checks for gun ownership to actually go forward. Just when the Sandy Hook families lobbied Senators, even admitting that the current legislation would not have changed what happened to their own children, but they wanted to do something to prevent other gun violence.  Just when Gabby Gifford returned to Washington to be a visible symbol of what happens when someone who should have been prevented from having a gun gets a gun and goes crazy in a crowd.  Just when 92% of the American citizens say they want something done. Just when it looked like maybe this teeny weeny step that would be a start at helping reduce the escalating madness in this country would actually pass, it all collapsed.

46 Senators, including four democrats -- Sens. Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Max Baucus of Montana, Mark Begich of Alaska and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota -- made certain that the motion was defeated.

Moments ago, the U.S. Senate decided to do the unthinkable about gun violence -- nothing at all.  Over two years ago, when I was shot point blank in the head, the U.S. Senate chose to do nothing.  Four mnths ago, 20 first-graders lost their lives in a brutal attack on their school, and the U.S. Senate chose to do nothing.   It's clear to me that if members of the U.S. Senate refuse to change the laws to reduce gun violence, then we need to change the members of the U.S. Senate.

--Gabrielle Giffords

(It is worth mentioning that Pryor, Baucus, and Begich are up for re-election in the next election cycle...vote the bums out!)

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New York senator Kirstin Gillibrand said

I couldn't be more disappointed that the Senate failed to act in a comprehensive way to curb the epidemic of gun violence today.  When 9 out of 10 Americans urge us to act to expand background checks, and then the majority of Americans support making gun trafficking a federal crime as well as getting military style assault weapons and ammunition clips off the streets, and we still can't summon the political will to act, this body is more broken than ever before.  I'm committed to continuing the fight to protect our families and communities from the scourge of gun violennce and will redouble my efforts moving forward.

People supporting today's bill are (some of them) gun owners and 2nd ammendment supporters and find nothing disturbing in merely expanding the rules from guns sold in stores to include guns sold at gun shows and over the internet.  It doesn't even require that guns passed down from father to son (or other relative) be registered. It would seem that there was nothing at all offensive to either side of the gun debate.  Years ago, even the president of the NRA was in favor of this law!

But no.  I supposed the NRA felt that allowing this bill to pass would open the door to other more restrictive measures. Or was having Obama fail more important than protecting American citizens...and children...from harm?

The NRA released a statement immediately after the vote that said the measure would have "criminalized certain private transfers of firearms between honest citizens."

"Instead of supporting this compromise, the gun lobby and its allies willfully lied about the bill. They claimed that it would create some sort of “big brother” gun registry, even though the bill did the opposite. This legislation, in fact, outlawed any registry. Plain and simple, right there in the text.   But that didn't matter," said President Obama.

"As we have noted previously, expanding background checks, at gun shows or elsewhere, will not reduce violent crime or keep our kids safe in their schools," NRA executive director Chris Cox said in a statement.

So of course it's not worth even trying.

...the fact is most of these senators could not offer any good reason why we wouldn’t want to make it harder for criminals and those with severe mental illnesses to buy a gun. There were no coherent arguments as to why we wouldn’t do this. It came down to politics — the worry that that vocal minority of gun owners would come after them in future elections. They worried that the gun lobby would spend a lot of money and paint them as anti-Second Amendment. 

--President Obama

I'm so discouraged tonight.  I had hoped the Senate vote would be one brief shining moment in a shitty week, but no, it's destined to be a universally shitty week.  The local paper is all full of the murders in South Davis, the national news is all full of coverage of the Boston Marathon Massacre, and the internet is filled with hate speech against Muslims just...because.

And 46 Senators betrayed everyone in the country today.

Nice work.


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