From my WTF file – Bill of Rights Engraved on Guns.

I’ve been writing about gun control a lot and have been fortunate to debate gun control on Darla Jaye’s 980 KMBZ show (shout out to my favorite Conservative – woot, woot).

Most of the opposing views expressed have been summed up like this – “People who don’t understand guns are the ones who want to prohibit guns.” And loving comments like “you don’t know what the hell you are talking about.”

This feedback had me thinking – what do I really know about guns?

In full disclosure, I have shot a gun once. It was a long, long time ago in the desert of Arizona. My family decided to take a tour of Phoenix. Our tour host was an old-fashioned cowboy complete with the handlebar mustache. While we were out admiring how dry the desert actually was..he showed me and my brother his gun. It was something similar to the picture in this post.

The cowboy asked if my brother and I wanted to shoot it. Curiosity got the best of me and I said yes.

He handed me this gun and told me to aim far in the distance. We were standing on a slight hill in the middle of nowhere. I aimed out to the horizon and shot the gun.

Way off in the distance I heard “hey” shouted.

Now I’m sure the gun had blanks in it (I hope), but it was enough to scare the crap out of me. That was the first and last time I ever shot a gun.

I think my cowgirl experience is enough to call myself “experienced” with guns or should I say…a gun. (sticking tongue out in a very mature matter to all those gun-rights people out there).

Uberti Army

I have been researching a lot about guns lately to help support my points.

Sen. Feinstein introduced new legislation to ban 157 different types of assault weapons. I did a Google search to see if that is a large percentage of the guns manufactured in the US or a small percentage. 157 sounds like a lot if the total number of guns manufactured is say 250…I think you get my point. I do know that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms said that in 2011 there were about 6.1 million guns manufactured in the United States minus the exports. http://factcheck.org/2012/12/gun-rhetoric-vs-gun-facts/

How many of the 157 brands are there out of that 6.1 million? I can’t answer that.

However, on search, I found this little gem: http://fmkfirearms.com/index.html

It’s a pistol with the Bill of Rights etched in the gun. In the manufacturer’s words – Model 9C1 pistol. Putting the Bill of Rights where it belongs.” And they go on..

Each FMK Firearms 9C1 pistol is engraved with the Bill of Rights to remind Americans about our inalienable rights, and pay tribute to those great leaders who have fought for our freedoms, while some ignoble ones have endeavored to undermine them.

First, how small must the font be on that pistol? Second, the inalienable rights include the right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. I guess maybe they are focusing more on the liberty and pursuit of happiness part and less on the life part.

  • What about all those killed by accidental gun shots?
  • What about all those people killed by mass shootings?
  • What about all the women murdered in domestic violence assaults?
  • What about all those killed in homicides?

Don’t all those victims also have a right to life? Maybe these pistols are manufactured by someone in the Gen X generation. It has been coined the “me generation”. Maybe it’s this type of selfishness that has made America great, but also our own worst enemies.

I guess the flip-side of the argument is that guns can be used to protect your life and not just take someone else’s. So then I searched for how many people save their life from having a gun per year. Not so simple – one can’t assume that every home invasion is life-threatening. Maybe a thief is only after your flat screens, Macs and espresso machines. For as many statistics that show that guns make people safe, there are statistics saying more guns equals more homicides and suicides.

Then I found this from the same article referenced on Factcheck.org -

There is work the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention could and should be doing, she said, but has not since the late 1990s. CDC has been wary of studying gun issues after NRA lobbyists convinced Congress to cut into its funding after a series of studies in the mid-1990s were viewed by the NRA as advocating for gun control.

Thanks NRA and CDC – my search for facts to help support my argument has stopped….(big sigh) I guess I’ll go off the argument that guns should be prohibited cause I said so. So there.

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URGENT Congress- a must read response to LaPierre’s interview

Dear Congress:

I know you all are on Christmas Break.  I hope you can take a second to read this.  I’m sure you already know that Wayne LaPierre , the NRA’s spokesman, gave a press conference on Friday and appeared on Meet the Press.  Some Congressman and Senators have  issued statements also supporting no new gun control laws that would infringe on the 2nd amendment.  LaPierre asked that we put an armed security guard in all of our nation’s schools.

“If it’s crazy to put more guns in schools, then call me crazy.” LaPierre said.

You’re crazy Mr. LaPierre.  That was easy.

Here’s why.  According to the National Center for Education Statistics in 2009-2010 there were 98,817 schools in the United States.  This year we had Sandy Hook – that is one mass shooting out of 98,817.

Since 1927 there have been 11 school shootings. I am in no way minimizing these tragedies.  I, like any other concerned parent, realize that one tragedy is too many. However, common sense tells me that the odds are that my child will be safe.  Common sense also tells me that restricting the access to assault weapons would have also reduced the number of casualties in these shootings.  It’s not more guns to arm our teachers and added armed  guards to attempt to shoot intruder, it’s less high-powered guns to reduce the number of casualties.

Here is another point that Mr. LaPierre and politicians are leaving out.  The onset of most mental illness in people is 14 years old.  If mental health really needs to be overhauled in this country why have politicians frequently tried to cut school funding for vital programs like school counseling?  In some states school counseling programs have been eliminated altogether.

What do school counselors do?  According to the School Counselors Association,”Secondary school counselors are professional educators with a mental health perspective who understand and respond to the challenges presented by today’s diverse student population.”

The legislative update from the School Counselors Association reads:

The Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Program (ESSCP), the only federal program dedicated to creating and expanding school counseling services in America’s public schools, remains funded for FY12. Although the House of Representatives attempted to eliminate the program, the Senate and House ultimately agreed to fund ESSCP at approximately $52.296 million. The FY12 funding amount is a cut of 0.189 percent from FY11, which is the amount that was cut from all education programs.

I went through the list of each state and who has funded school counseling programs.  You can read the complete list here.

Some interesting findings:

Connecticut
Is school counseling mandated for grades K-8? No
Is school counseling mandated for grades 9-12? No
Is a mandate being considered? No
Certification rule (see p. 111)

Colorado 

Is school counseling mandated for grades K-8? No
Is school counseling mandated for grades 9-12? No
Is a mandate being considered? No
Other: Colorado is a local control state, which means many pre-kindergarten through 12th grade public education decisions (issues of curriculum, personnel, school calendars, graduation requirements, classroom policy, etc.) are made by the 176 school district administrations and their school boards.
Certification rule (see p. 165)

and my own great state of KS

Kansas
Is school counseling mandated for grades K-8? No
Is school counseling mandated for grades 9-12? No
Is a mandate being considered? No
Certification rule

I’m not a journalist, just a concerned parent.  I know that if we really want to do something to improve mental health in our nation, it is early detection and intervention.  Not funding and mandating school counseling is wrong.  There is still a need to ban assault weapons.   Putting armed guards in 98,000 of our nation’s schools costs money.   I would rather us arm every school with a qualified school counselor than a security guard.  

If I remember from the last election cycle, most of you ran on fiscal responsibility and no more “politics as usual”.  Show me you stand by your promise.  Fund programs that work like school counselors instead programs we know don’t work like armed guards in schools. Require that every school in our nation have a qualified school counselor with mental health screening for our youth.  Not only can we help prevent tragedies like shootings, but also other mental health initiatives like suicides and bullying.

Thank you,

Aimee Patton

Parent to a six-year-old and voter

Dear NRA – Go To Hell

Dear NRA,

I’m sure you are overwhelmed with love letters today by gun owners who are counting all the ways they love you and your colorful news conference.  I’m sure the comments involved quotes like,

“Way to go man!”

“Screw the government.”

“Liberal freaks won’t be takin’ my guns!”

I’m sure you are celebrating in your offices the way all rich, white males do when you think you hit one out of the park.  The bumper stickers are already at the printers reading -

The Only Thing That Stops A Bad Guy With A Gun is a Good Guy With A Gun.

It’s long, but I bet on your huge monster trucks and SUV’s it should fit.  Our liberal hybrids won’t be needing one anyway so it’s a win-win.

Can you take a quick sec out from your whitemanpalooza celebration to listen to my argument?  I’ll try to be brief.

Here’s the thing-Your argument of a bad man being stopped by a good man with a gun is a reasonable one.  Hold on liberal peeps and hear me out..

Like the violent movies you referenced in your speech, when the bad man came to town in the Western movies, he was met by the good guy sheriff and they had a shoot out on Main St.  They were both shooting the same rifle at each other.  The good guy always won and the movie was over.

Your argument is flawed due to the following reasons.  I know logic isn’t something you are used to so I will lay this out point by point so you can follow along:

1.  As catchy as your statement is, it assumes that both parties have the same type of gun.

2.  It assumes that one party isn’t fully outfitted in body armor.

3.  It assumes that one party doesn’t lead a sneak attack against another party.

Once we go down this path, what is the next step?  Will it be that the good guys should always carry a bigger, more powerful gun than the bad guys?  Why stop there?  How about if we arm them with grenades and rocket launchers just in case?

My daughter goes to a sweet elementary school in a quiet neighborhood.  I will pass on your offer to have her walk past an armed guard carrying a loaded AK-47 every day on her way to class.  I will also pass on having her teacher carrying a weapon on a holster that she has to move out-of-the-way so she can sit criss-cross applesauce with the other six-year-olds for circle time on the floor.

I love my child with all of my heart, but because I love my child, I will reject your offer of more guns and fight to raise her in a world of fewer guns.   I strongly oppose having any of her teachers at her elementary school armed even if you think this is within their rights.  I love my child so much that I will continue to push my politicians to ban assault weapons, ban gun shows and any internet sales of guns.

I am fine with responsible gun owners having shotguns for hunting, but assault weapons like the ones used in the previous mass shootings should be a thing of the past.

You may be one of the most powerful lobbies in Washington, but the love I have for my child and others like me have for their children is a force to be reckoned with.  One speech will not make us go away.

Go ahead and keep blaming movies, video games and the media.  As I teach my daughter, shifting the blame doesn’t make you any less responsible.

Aimee Patton

 

URGENT Senator Blunt allow me to be blunt about gun control

Senator Blunt from Missouri put out a statement today regarding his support of the 2nd amendment saying he would not support any legislation that would limit Americans access to guns.  http://midwestdemocracy.com/articles/blunt-gun-laws-are-not-going-change-near-future/

I didn’t believe it so I called his Kansas City office.  Turns out, it was true.  Sad, but true.  Stupid and insensitive, but true.

 

I looked up blunt in the dictionary.

blunt: abrupt in address or manner

 

Excuse me Senator Blunt, allow me to be blunt.  Are you fucking kidding me?  When I called the office I asked if that also included assault weapons.  Yep, it includes assault weapons.  For a moment I sat silent on the phone.  I try not to drop the f-bomb much in my posts, but there doesn’t seem to be a better time to insert that obscenity.  The entire nation is grieving this national tragedy and I think you and the Westboro Baptist Church may have tied for the most inappropriate statements to date regarding this horrific incident.

 

The next definition of “blunt” in the dictionary listed this:

Blunt: slow in perception or understanding; obtuse: His isolation has made him blunt about the feelings of others.

 

The best thing I can say right now is that you are living up to your name.

 

Senator Blunt, there is this thing called The Facebook.  I would ask one of your Gen Y staffers to pull that up on that thing called a computer on your desk.  Read some of the posts right now.  Maybe that will give you a better understanding of how the nation feels right now.  Put your NRA friends on hold and tell them you will call them back at a later time.  Better yet, just meet them for a steak and a whiskey later and you guys can laugh about this at the bar.  Right now just pull up Facebook.  There you will see thousands of tributes to the kids who just died.  You will see parents posting about how hard it has been to leave our kids at school.  You will see posts about faith and religion.  There are posts asking for more gun control.  Maybe your Gen Y staff will get crazy and they can introduce you to Twitter.

I know, I may be asking just a little too much.  If anything Senator Blunt, just step outside of your wood-paneled office and speak to people right now.  I bet you would surprised to find that even your gun-totting, conservative loyalists agree that nobody needs an automatic weapon to hunt a deer.

Ah well, who am I to say.  You are the big time Senator and I’m just a lonely blogger reading Facebook posts and tweeting.  Now excuse me for being so blunt.

Yours in frankness,

Aimee

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