PRAYER, HATRED, FAKE GUNS and FAKE PEOPLE


HATRED AND FRUSTRATION

POLITICIANS, PRAYER and BRIBES
Our politicians are apparently powerless because bribes power the weak Congress and money really runs the game.  They call it  the party line, we call it NRA bribes and funding from affiliates,  others through lobbyists.

Our do-nothing elected officials  are meaningless, they don’t, nor do they challenge the events with solutions... they tell us they will pray and we should pray.   They tell we’ll talk about it later but they never do.  If that is not a reason to get rid of them what is?

You see prayer costs nothing, a few flowers is inexpensive and a sign of respect but changes nothing.  In economics prayer is still cheaper than flowers.  It’s the common folk, friends and human beings with a heart that bring the flowers, the teddy bears, stuffed animals, homemade crafts,  and notes of love.

Orlando,  Paris, Nice, Turkey and Belgium, and the people did what people do when it comes to tragedy.  Prayer, for the dead, prayer for the wounded survivors and prayer for healing of those living, we pray looking for the good side, hoping the angel will come down or astride a white horse and make things better.  It won’t happen.  The other guy shows up time and time again.

Prayer is a tool to make people feel better for themselves.   Prayer by officials is a way of doing nothing but looking good in the moment for the press.  Prayer, in reality it changes nothing.  Politicians love it, it’s the excuse they use when they are looking for an exit stage left.  never have i seen one who expressed real sorrow for what has happened.  What are the solutions...?

Does it mean don’t pray or think good thoughts?  No, prayer and good thoughts are for our salvation but rarely change things.  We have to make things better.  The real answer is taking action, doing something.  This kind of hatred won’t  stop because of prayer.  Being a volunteer, responder, working with authorities to make better neighborhoods, getting rid of snitch mentality, sharing love not hate, those things work and to be a giver when there is nothing one thinks physically will help. 

The real question is the catalyst, what really brings this on.  It is HATE,  nicely enhanced by a really sick bigoted individual who ran, cheated and won the highest office in the land on the GOP ticket, and it exists all throughout the world.  We love but we also hate. Greed, jealousy, avarice, all contribute.   The coin has two sides.   It became front page, a hatred of Muslims, currently and  the Presidency, and it is embarrassing for this country to allow that bigot the press time to promote that hatred.  

In his year as President, have you seen as much corruption, cheating, lying, mist-truths and sheer falsehoods than any other President or leader in the history of the world with the exception of Hitler and Stalin and I’m not so sure anymore, Trump could beat them.  Not only a scumbag but he comes in the giant 12 dozen - 144 sized packaging 

Are your actions and words creating violence.  If it bothers you the way others lead their lives by custom or fear, what have you done about it.   If it’s their customs and not harmful, learn about them.  If they live in fear, find a way to help.

Day after day I am affronted with statements or branding of people, their beliefs, and their physical or spiritual makeup, simply put, Its nothing but a sickness of PREJUDICE, HATRED, and being used to cement some really stupid brain cells provided by today’s TV twenty-four seven media repeating the lies, corruption, cheating and scamming, basically or categorically, of the spinning in todays politics.   We call it FOX, Faux news. 


CHESLEY B. ‘SULLY’ SULLENBERGER III
Is a safety expert, author and speaker on leadership and culture.

10/29/2018 - Nearly 10 years ago, I led 154 people to safety as the captain of US Airways Flight 1549, which suffered bird strikes, lost thrust in the engines and was forced to make an emergency landing on the Hudson River.  Some called it “the Miracle on the Hudson.”  But it was not a miracle. It was, in microcosm, an example of what is needed in emergencies — including the current national crisis — and what is possible when we serve a cause greater than ourselves.

On our famous flight, I witnessed the best in people who rose to the occasion. Passengers and crew worked together to help evacuate an elderly passenger and a mother with a 9-month-old child. New York Waterway took the initiative to radio their vessels to head toward us when they saw us approaching. This successful landing, in short, was the result of good judgment, experience, skill — and the efforts of many.

But as captain, I ultimately was responsible for everything that happened. Had even one person not survived, I would have considered it a tragic failure that I would have felt deeply for the rest of my life. To navigate complex challenges, all leaders must take responsibility and have a moral compass grounded in competence, integrity and concern for the greater good.

I am often told how calm I sounded speaking to passengers, crew and air traffic control during the emergency. In every situation, but especially challenging ones, a leader sets the tone and must create an environment in which all can do their best. You get what you project. Whether it is calm and confidence — or fear, anger and hatred — people will respond in kind. Courage can be contagious.

Today, tragically, too many people in power are projecting the worst. Many are cowardly, complicit enablers, acting against the interests of the United States, our allies and democracy; encouraging extremists at home and emboldening our adversaries abroad; and threatening the livability of our planet. Many do not respect the offices they hold; they lack — or disregard — a basic knowledge of history, science and leadership; and they act impulsively, worsening a toxic political environment.

As a result, we are in a struggle for who and what we are as a people. We have lost what in the military we call unit cohesion. The fabric of our nation is under attack, while shame — a timeless beacon of right and wrong — seems dead.

This is not the America I know and love. We’re better than this. Our ideals, shared facts and common humanity are what bind us together as a nation and a people. Not one of these values is a political issue, but the lack of them is.

This current absence of civic virtues is not normal, and we must not allow it to become normal. We must rededicate ourselves to the ideals, values and norms that unite us and upon which our democracy depends. We must be engaged and informed voters, and we must get our information from credible, reputable sources.

For the first 85 percent of my adult life, I was a registered Republican. But I have always voted as an American. And this critical Election Day, I will do so by voting for leaders committed to rebuilding our common values and not pandering to our basest impulses.

When I volunteered for military service during wartime, I took an oath that is similar to the one our elected officials take: “I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” I vowed to uphold this oath at the cost of my life, if necessary. We must expect no less from our elected officials. And we must hold accountable those who fail to defend our nation and all our people.

After Flight 1549, I realized that because of the sudden worldwide fame, I had been given a greater voice. I knew I could not walk away but had an obligation to use this bully pulpit for good and as an advocate for the safety of the traveling public. I feel that I now have yet another mission, as a defender of our democracy.

We cannot wait for someone to save us. We must do it ourselves. This Election Day is a crucial opportunity to again demonstrate the best in each of us by doing our duty and voting for leaders who are committed to the values that will unite and protect us. Years from now, when our grandchildren learn about this critical time in our nation’s history, they may ask if we got involved, if we made our voices heard. I know what my answer will be. I hope yours will be “yes.”


GUN SHOWS AND BIBLE BELT BULLSHIT AND BIGOTRY (A SOUTHERN TRADITION)
It was in Dade County that singer turned Florida citrus spokesperson Anita Bryant in 1977 organized what she deemed a “Christian crusade” to repeal the county’s newly passed anti-discrimination ordinance. 

Fundamentalist Christian radio and television programs soon discovered their audiences were mesmerized by Bryant’s descriptions of gays and lesbians as pedophiles chasing after your children, and Save Our Children’s astonishing success became the blueprint for using virulent homophobia to build a politicized fundamentalist Christian base.  

Save Our Children begat ( popular Bible word) Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority, which in turn begat the litter of anti-gay, anti-feminist organizations that now make up the religious right.  

Anita Jane Bryant (born March 25, 1940) is an American singer and political activist.  She scored four Top 40 hits in the United States in the late 1950s and early 1960s, including "Paper Roses", which reached #5 on the charts. She was also a former Miss Oklahoma beauty pageant winner, and was a brand ambassador for the Florida Citrus Commission which marketed orange juice from 1969 to 1979.

In the 1970s, Bryant became known as an outspoken opponent of gay rights in the US.  In 1977, she ran the "Save Our Children" campaign to repeal a local ordinance in Dade County, Florida that prohibited discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. This involvement significantly damaged her popularity and career in show business.

Who knew years later that hatred and prejudice would rear it head and show what hatred is really like, and the result was the attack on the nightclub called the Pulse.  After the mass shooting at Pulse, there are stirrings among the LGBTQ community to make gun control part of the gay agenda. Earlier this week, over 80 LGBTQ organizations signed a petition calling for universal background checks and banning sales to “suspected terrorists and those convicted of violent hate crime.”

With gay marriage checked off the list, there is room for a big new fight where love can win over fear. Taking down the NRA, responsible for Mateen’s easy access to an assault rifle, can provide some measure of justice for those injured and killed. 

That is, by working-class trans and LGBQ people of color like those who were dancing at Pulse the Sunday night before last. Without knowing the details, we can guess that such a liberating movement would likely work to end not only mass shootings but also interpersonal violence and state violence at the hands of police and prisons.


FAKE GUNS KILL TOO

On a warm September evening in Columbus, Ohio, panicked witnesses called police to report that a group of boys had robbed a man at gunpoint and fled into a maze of alleys and fences on the city’s east side.   In the fading light, Officer Bryan Mason cornered two of the boys in an alley, where, according to police, 13-year-old Tyre King pulled a gun from his waistband. Mason fired three rounds, striking the teen in the head, chest and torso.

The black gun police recovered at the scene looked like their own department-issued, polymer-framed Smith & Wesson Military and Police semiautomatic pistol. It even had a laser sight. But police would soon learn that King’s weapon was a BB gun — a facsimile of the gun Mason used to shoot and kill the teen.

At a news conference the next day, Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs waved a stock photograph of the BB gun. “Our officers carry a gun that looks practically identical to this weapon,” she said. “. . . It looks like a firearm that could kill you.”

Police across the country say that they are increasingly facing off against people with ultra-real-looking pellet guns, toy weapons and non-functioning replicas.

Such encounters have led police to shoot and kill at least 86 people over the past two years, according to a Washington Post database of fatal police shootings nationwide. So far this year, police have fatally shot 43 people wielding the guns. In 2015, police also killed 43.

The Post analysis is the first accounting of fatal police shootings involving people armed with air guns, toys or replicas, a phenomenon last studied in depth more than 25 years ago, when Congress first sought to address the problem of police shootings involving toy guns. The 86 shooting deaths are among the nearly 2,000 people shot and killed by police since 2015, which The Post is tracking, something no government agency does.

Police recovered a wide variety of the weapons in the fatal shootings, but almost all had one thing in common: They were highly realistic copies of firearms. Of those, 53 were pneumatic BB or pellet guns that fire small-caliber metal balls or pellets.  An additional 16 were Airsoft guns, which use compressed air cartridges to fire plastic BBs. Thirteen were replicas, two were toys, one was a starter pistol and one was a lighter.

Experts who study the domestic market for pellet and Airsoft guns said consumer demand for replica firearms has grown.  “They are red hot,” said Tom Gaylord, an industry consultant who runs a popular blog for the Ohio-based Pyramyd Air, one of the largest air gun retailers in the country. Pyramyd Air declined to comment.

Police say it is virtually impossible to train officers to identify imitation firearms from any distance. Short of eliminating the guns, police have little choice but to assume the guns are lethal.

Efforts to stop production of the guns or radically alter their appearance have mostly failed because of resistance from gunmakers and gun rights groups, such as the National Rifle Association.

“We’re talking about this 26 years later, and I’m not sure anything has really changed except that tragic occurrences continue to happen,” said Chuck Wexler, who runs the Police Executive Research Forum, a policing policy think tank that studied the issue in 1990 for Congress. “A toy gun in a country with 300 million real guns is hard to distinguish.”

 Of the 86 fatal shootings involving imitation firearms since 2015, the most common theme was mental illness: 38 of those killed had a history of it, according to their families and police reports. Fourteen of the calls were domestic disturbances. Ten others began as robberies. The remaining circumstances range from patrolling neighborhoods to serving arrest warrants to making traffic stops.

Of the people killed, 50 were white men. The oldest person killed was Robert Patrick Quinn, 77, who was fatally shot in Pittston, Pa., as he rode his motorized scooter outside an apartment complex while waving a realistic-looking pellet gun.

Half of the shootings happened at night. In almost every case, police said the victims failed to comply with an officer’s orders. In 60 cases, police said they pointed guns at officers.

The BB gun recovered was made by Umarex USA, one of the largest air gun and firearm manufacturers in the world and the self-proclaimed “king of replicas.” Umarex makes air guns under the Beretta, Colt, Smith & Wesson, HK, Ruger and Browning brands.  It sells BB guns that are copies of such firearms as the iconic Colt Peacemaker, which was first produced in the 1870s, and the Heckler & Koch MP5 submachine, a mainstay of specialized military and police units. The Umarex 40XP BB gun that King allegedly brandished sells for about $50 in stores, including Walmart.

Gunmaker Sig Sauer makes air guns that are advertised as “carbon copies” of their most popular lethal firearms, including the P226 semiautomatic handgun. A commercial on the Sig Sauer website displayed the BB gun and the lethal P226 as reflections of each other in a mirror.   The claim was they are used for training.

Umarex USA and Sig Sauer did not return repeated calls seeking comment.

Gun rights groups, including Gun Owners of America, based in Virginia, have lobbied against laws that seek to alter air guns to make them distinguishable from firearms.  The NRA declined to comment.

In the 1980s, a string of police shootings of children prompted Congress to pass the first and only federal regulations on toy guns.  Parents began to push manufacturers to make the guns appear less realistic. Retailers such as Toys ‘R’ Us stopped carrying realistic toy guns, and toy manufacturers began adding an orange plug to toy guns. After several states restricted the use of imitation firearms, Congress in 1988 passed a law requiring the bright orange barrel plug on all toy guns. The law applied to water guns, many replicas and Airsoft guns that fire nonmetallic projectiles, but it exempted BB, pellet guns and replicas of antique firearms.  The law also mandated two studies on whether the new orange tips would prevent shootings.

In one study, FBI recruits were confronted by assailants carrying firearms or guns with orange tips. The recruits had two seconds to decide whether to shoot. When faced with unmarked replica pistols or guns with orange tips, officers shot 95 percent of the time.

CURRENTLY ON SALE AT WAL-MART IN THE TOY DEPARTMENT

“It is clear from this study that the orange plug marking system does not help police officers distinguish between toy guns and real guns,” concluded the 1989 report, which was managed by the National Institute of Justice.

The second study a year later reached the same conclusion, saying that police response when confronted with the guns was linked to environmental factors — such as what a police dispatcher tells an officer. Calls for service in a high-crime area, for example, might lead officers to consider “a worst case scenario,” said the report, overseen by the Police Executive Research Forum.

But it was the behavior of the person holding the toy gun that mattered most.

“If they are told there’s a person with a gun acting in a threatening manner, that’s what they respond to,” said David L. Carter, a professor at Michigan State University who spoke to officers in 27 law enforcement agencies for the 1990 study.

Last year, Congress revisited the issue when Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) introduced a bill that would force the country to enact a law similar to California’s, which requires the entire surface of all toy and BB guns be painted a bright color.

“No child should ever die because a police officer or anyone else mistakes a toy gun for a real weapon,” Boxer said in a news release at the time.  The bill stalled in committee.

Twelve states and the District and Puerto Rico have banned the guns or imposed restrictions on their use, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In the District, realistic-looking toy or air-powered guns cannot be possessed in public. In 2012, D.C. police seized about 450 imitation guns, according to the most recent data available.

In 2015, Boston outlawed imitation firearms in public. The law allows police to confiscate those guns, and they have seized 139 this year. Boston Police Commissioner William B. Evans said if a facsimile gun has been used in a crime, police will charge a suspect with possession of a real gun.

“They are the exact same unless you have it in your hand and take it apart,” Evans said.

The department sent every available unit, and they quickly came upon a black Honda Civic and a black Toyota Camry. Men wearing werewolf masks were hanging out of the cars’ sunroofs waving what appeared to be Heckler & Koch MP5 machine guns, according to Darnell and records.

Police disarmed the men. The guns were plastic toys, and the gunmen, university students were making a movie for a film contest.

“This is what those of us in law enforcement are so concerned about,” Darnell said. “You never know what’s real or what’s not, so part of the solution is to ban the sale of toy or replica guns.”


*11-2018 aljacobsladder.com