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Guns are Bad

The news this morning was sickening and horrible.  At current count 50 people have been killed and 53 injured at a night club in Orlando, FLA.  This is the worst mass shooting in U.S. History.  I can’t imagine the pain that the families of the victims are feeling right now.

It appears that the shooter was a well-prepared 29-year old with an AR-15 Assault weapon, who was not from the Orlando area.  It also appears that his parents were immigrants from Afghanistan.

As I watch the news reports of this horribly tragic events unfold – one terribly disturbing thought keeps occurring to me.  We are potentially seeing the beginning of ISIS’s electoral strategy.

To be clear: At the time of my writing this, no clear link has been established between ISIS and the shooter (who will remain unnamed in this opinion based article).  UPDATE: The shooter pledged allegiance to ISIS.

What is ISIS’s global strategy?  It has to do with moving Muslims around the world out of the “grey zone”.  The VAST MAJORITY of Muslims want nothing to do with ISIS, radical jihad, terrorism, etc.  Most Muslims are content to live in peace with the rest of humanity.  ISIS’s goal is to constantly force Muslims to choose between their religious identity and living peacefully in the western world.  Their goal is to make moderate Muslims feel unsafe as a result of prejudice.  Whenever these attacks occur, fear of Muslims goes up, as do prejudicial actions such as threats, vandalism, and even violence.

Right now there is a presidential candidate campaigning on promises of banning Muslims from  the United States and increasing the use of torture and even killing terrorists’ families.  What could be better for hate-based extremists such as ISIS, than to have a hate based extremist elected to lead the Western world?  I’m not even sure that they need Trump to win, a close election might do enough damage.

The logic goes: if you make more Americans afraid of Muslims, then they will vote for the Demagogue strong-man.  Thus making it harder for moderate Muslims to coexist with the West and increasing the recruits available to extremist groups like ISIS.

Lastly, the gunman was not from the Orlando area, that means he chose his target for some reason.  It might simply be because the guy is homophobic and the club was a establishment that catered to homosexuals.  However, I cannot help but think that Orlando is along Florida’s I-4 corridor, which contains the eight swing counties in a swing state. (Seriously, click on the link and look at the graphic.)

After this attack there will inevitably be polling in the state of Florida regarding voters Clinton vs Trump preferences.  In doing so, I think that may provide extremists with the data they need to see if this strategy will work.

Our best defense therefore is this:  Don’t let hate motivate our political views.  Don’t judge any group by their worst fringe members.  Don’t let events like this overcome the better parts of our nature, if we do – then the bad guys win.

Some quick responses to some obvious objections to this post and my theory.

Why would you write this?  Isn’t it providing extremists with a road-map for Electing Trump and thus encouraging more violence?

That is a fair critique.  However terrorist organizations often do their own in-house analysis.  The absolutely excellent and insightful 2005 PBS Documentary “Al-Qaeda’s New Front” pointed out that after the Madrid train bombing it was discovered that Al-Qaeda had been doing sophisticated political analysis. (Link to You Tube Video – the part I am referring to starts at approximately 4:45).  This analysis was used to select terror targets (in this case to weaken the ‘Coalition of the Willing’ in the Iraq war.)  I have no doubt that groups like ISIS have figured out the benefits of increased Trump support to their cause.  Indeed, parts of this theory are already being articulated (unfortunately, by Trump supporters).  My hope by throwing this out there (for the two or three people who might actually read this on my blog) is that people understand why hatred against Muslims makes us less safe, and add depth to the understanding of why Trump and his kind of thinking is so incredibly dangerous.

Earlier in your blog you blamed the NRA for every mass shooting, is this different?

Nope.  The shooter would not have been very effective if armed with a spoon.  He had an AR-15.  Why on earth should anyone be able to obtain such a powerful weapon?  The NRA should own their culpability in aiding terrorists by guaranteeing their access to weapons.  UPDATE:  The shooter had been investigated twice by the FBI for potential links to terrorism, yet still obtained an assault weapon.

Update: It appears Donald Trump is following the script ISIS is writing for him.

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The Paris attacks were horrible and I along with everyone else who isn’t a total asshole, was horrified by the attacks.  Gun violence anywhere in any form is terrible.

However, the attacks made me stop and think about the rate of gun violence in the United States.

France has a population of 66 million people – roughly one fifth of the population of the United States (318 million).

According to CNN.com – the “Paris attacks left 129 people dead and 352 wounded, including 99 who are in a very serious condition.”

That means 481 people were shot in Paris.

According to the CDC – EVERY DAY in the United States 89 people are killed and 208 are wounded by gun violence.  That is 297 people.

One fifth of 297 is 59.4 (59 for the sake of discussion).

That means every 8-9 days the United States suffers a Paris attack’s worth of gun violence WHEN ADJUSTED FOR POPULATION!

 

Way to go you piece of shit gun nuts.  You’ve helped in another mass shooting!

At least 10 students dead in Oregon.

Remember – if you are an NRA member you are supporting an organization that actively works to guarantee access to assault weapons for the mentally ill.  (Here is just ONE example.)

Therefore you own every mass shooting.  Yes, you – personally.  You pay the dues therefore you are an enabler.  Own it bitches.

And please do not tell us about “law abiding gun owners”.  One in three gun owners has impulsive anger issues.

You have been so successful making sure that whackos have easy access to guns that gun deaths are predicted to bypass motor vehicle deaths!

Gun-deaths--638x409

 

Seriously – THIS IS NOT A SOCIETY WITH A “WELL REGULATED MILITIA” – this is a society with an epidemic of flying bullets on it’s hands!

Well, I need to cut this rant short.  Since there appears to be a mass shooting nearly every day, I have to make sure I save some outrage for the next one.

I took this picture yesterday.  I’ve seen a few of these stickers on cars recently depicting guns (often assault rifles) painted as the Colorado State Flag.  Do the gun crazies have no shame?  Our state has become synonymous with two horrible mass shootings.  Are they trying to express their support for mass murder?  Are they so insensitive that they don’t care about the feelings of the victims of gun violence?  Is their intention to threaten our state with more violence?  What a despicable message to put out there for the public to see.

Disgusting

Disgusting

To people who do not live in Colorado, it is important to note that we take a great deal of pride in our beautiful state.  Everywhere you go you see Colorado flags, and much of this state pride was generated by the way we handled a number of crisis – floods, massive snowstorms, and even mass shootings.  For gun owners to make a display like this is utterly reprehensible…but of course, that is the kind of behavior we’ve come to expect from a group where 30% of them have impulsive anger issues.

The world that the NRA and its supporters have worked so hard to create is here. Through their dedication to guaranteeing access to firearms for the mentally ill and people with criminal backgrounds, our nation has hit a grim milestone: If you define a mass shooting as an incident where 4 or more people are shot – a definition that makes perfect sense – then there have been 204 mass shootings in 204 days this year.

I don’t think that the major theater chains decided not to show the movie “The Interview” because they are afraid of North Korea.

 

I think they decided to pull the movie because they are afraid of the armed American gun nuts who might show up to see it.

 

Think about it.  Every jingoistic lunatic with multiple firearms would show up at the movies to “protect” their fellow movie goers from the North Koreans.  Then an Asian guy walks in to see a movie and BLAM – some dipshit in a cowboy hat starts shooting!

Then the next gun nut shoots at the first gun nut but misses (because these guys are nearly as good of a shot as their childish fantasies make them think they are), and so on and so forth.

It’s a blood bath – and North Korea didn’t have to do anything.

If I were in charge of a theater chain, that would be the scenario on my mind.  Of course our media – ever afraid of the NRA – would never mention this possibility, obvious as it is.

 

Now, that being said I think SONY should release the movie for free to everyone on earth.  (Via streaming and even broadcast television).  That would make this the most watched movie in human history…and stick it to North Korea, who apparently doesn’t want us to watch the film.  Everyone would be safe in their homes and North Korea would loose.

Rightfully, there has been significant outrage this past week over the shooting of a firearms instructor by his 9-year old student with an Uzi.

I’d like to propose an alternative headline for the incident:

9-year old suddenly realizes – GUNS DO KILL PEOPLE!

I’d feel sorry for the guy, but I don’t.  He was in the business of perpetuating an insane gun culture, one that insists on an absolute right to put weapons in the hands of anyone – even the mentally ill.

We all reap what we sow.

Maybe we should bring back that old fad of nominating people for “The Darwin Awards”.  Firearms “Instructors” who put guns in the hands of children would certainly qualify.