The official hat to wear after a mass shooting

With the number of mass shootings on the rise here in the United States, I’m always looking for ways to better express myself after the bodies hit the floor. I think I’ve found the perfect hat to wear during the aftermath of a mass shooting. I call it the “Thoughts and Prayers” hat.

It’s made by New Era, the official hat maker of Major League Baseball and the National Football League, so you know it’s high class. I need to find one in 7 3/4. If I had this hat already, I’d be wearing it this week in response to the recent mass shooting that took place at a Waffle House near Nashville, Tennessee yesterday. Travis Reinking, 29, originally from Morton, Illinois, walked into a Waffle House in Antioch, Tennessee wearing nothing but a green jacket and an AR-15 and killed four people.

Waffle House mass shooter Travis Reinking.

After Mr. Reinking’s rifle jammed, he was confronted by James Shaw Jr., 29, a customer at the Waffle House. Mr. Shaw was able to wrestle the rifle away from Mr. Reinking, temporarily denying him of his Second Amendment rights. Mr. Reinking then took off his green jacket and left the restaurant completely naked and on foot. Authorities later found two loaded AR-15 magazines in Mr. Reinking’s green jacket.

AR-15 assault weapon.

Normally I’d go on Facebook and express my sadness over this recent mass shooting, but considering how Facebook is a tool of Russian computer hackers for overthrowing our elections, I’d like another way of announcing that the victims of this latest mass shooting were in my thoughts and prayers. This hat would make the perfect alternative. I must get one before the next mass shooting.

If you see one of these hats in a 7 3/4, you’d be doing me a solid by letting me know. My goal is to get one before the next mass shooting. Considering how often they happen now, that could be any day.

I’m not interested in an adjustable hat. It’s important to me that the hat is fitted. An adjustable “Thoughts and Prayers” hat just wouldn’t be classy enough.

It’s important to me that I’m classy.

The reality of the ‘March for Our Lives’ anti-gun marches

Demonstrators took to the streets in cities quite literally all over the world on Saturday to denounce gun violence. The events were spearheaded by students reacting to the most recent mass shooting, the one perpetrated by a former student of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida against current students and faculty. The massacre left 17 people dead.

As well intended as I believe these marches were, I don’t think they will do any good. I don’t think they will do anything to end gun violence anytime soon.

You might as well march against the hot and humid weather in the summertime. No amount of marching or holding clever signs made from poster board will ever change how terrible the summer feels and it will never change gun violence.

Unfortunately, gun violence, like summers that feel like Satan’s armpit, is here to stay.

We have a disappropriate amount of violent people living in this country and more are born every day. Violent people have violent children who in turn have violent children of their own. It’s a never-ending cycle. At the same time, we have people with an almost fanatic attitude towards guns. They don’t just want to own one or maybe two guns, they want to own twenty.

The United States has more guns in circulation than it has people.

You can’t just march something like that away. No amount of well written, pithy poster boards will change that.

Compounding our gun violence problem is that we have smart people who actually believe the United States Constitution gives them the right to own military grade firearms for their own use.

AR-15 military grade assault weapon.

Some people like to blame the Republican party and the NRA for today’s current level of gun violence. That’s fine, but the ban on military assault rifles expired during the George W. Bush administration. It was a poorly written provision signed into law by President Bill Clinton. After it was allowed to expire, Barack Obama, a liberal Democrat from the Islamist jungles of Hawaii became President. Both the United States House of Representatives and the Senate were controlled by the Democrats. Why wasn’t the ban on military assault weapons reintroduced during this time of total Democrat control?

No political party has ever tried to stop violent people from having children.

The gun violence problem we have has been a long time in the making. There are many people to blame. Future historians will have no shortage of causes for our current problems, including our problem with gun violence. Something these future historians will never blame gun violence on is our lack of marches or witty signage.

March if you want to, just don’t pretend that it will change anything.

Top photo: Todd Heisler/The New York Times

Dick’s Sporting Goods to stop selling assault weapons

The CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods, Edward Stack, has decided that it will no longer sell assault-style rifles. They will also end sales of firearms and ammunition to people younger than 21.

That means if you’re 18 years old and you want to get your hands on a firearm, you’ll need to join the U.S. military.

Stack, son of Dick, said Dick’s Sporting Goods is a supporter of the Second Amendment but doesn’t want to be part of the story with mass shootings. Although they didn’t sell the weapon used at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, they sold other weapons to the killer.

As a quick reminder, here is the Second Amendment in its entirety:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

I’m no Constitutional lawyer, but it seems to say the reason people have a right to keep and bear arms is for the purpose of a well regulated militia. Not for self-defense, hunting, or target practice, but for the purpose of a militia.

The Second Amendment is so poorly written, it’s hard to really know what it means.

I commend what Dick’s Sporting Goods is doing, but it’s a little late. There are already more guns in this country than people. Any weirdo who wants to get their hands on a gun will not have too much trouble doing it.

 

Why new gun control laws will not work

Congress could pass sweeping new gun control laws that would change gun ownership in this country as we know it. And it wouldn’t make a bit of difference if the authorities failed to uniformly uphold and enforce these new laws.

Case in point, look no further than what happened during the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

From CNN:

When Coral Springs police officers arrived at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on February 14 in the midst of the school shooting crisis, many officers were surprised to find not only that Broward County Sheriff’s Deputy Scot Peterson, the armed school resource officer, had not entered the building, but that three other Broward County Sheriff’s deputies were also outside the school and had not entered, Coral Springs sources tell CNN. The deputies had their pistols drawn and were behind their vehicles, the sources said, and not one of them had gone into the school.

While Nikolas Cruz was murdering children with his legally purchased AR-15 assault rifle, sheriff deputies were hiding behind their vehicles doing nothing. How they can hear the distinctive crack on an AR-15 from the inside of a school filled with children and not charge the school is beyond me. We have laws against murder. Cowardly sheriff deputies knew the murder of children was taking place, yet they chose not to even try to stop it.

It doesn’t matter what laws are passed if those laws aren’t enforced, it’s meaningless. Once again, you cannot count on the police or law enforcement to do their job. Congress could ban ownership of all firearms, yet if law enforcement chose not to confiscate every gun, but instead only some guns, the new law would again be meaningless.

The AR-15 is a good weapon for killing communists 300 yards away. For home defense, nothing beats the sawed-off double-barrelled shotgun. Make sure it’s at least 18 inches in length, otherwise you’re breaking federal law!

We now have over 11 million undocumented immigrants in our country, yet we’ve had comprehensive immigration laws on the books for decades. The reason we have so many undocumented immigrants living, working, and having children here is that for decades our law enforcement officials have failed to enforce the law in a uniform way. Worse, we’ve known this was going on, yet we chose to look the other way and ignore it.

The sad and unfortunate truth is that if you want to ensure what happened to the children of at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School doesn’t happen to you, you have to protect yourself with your own gun. Counting on the police to protect you is a gamble. The cops may come to your aid with guns drawn, or they may cower behind their vehicles like they did at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Authorities warned well ahead of time about Nikolas Cruz

Facts are beginning to emerge about mass murderer Nikolas Cruz and how law enforcement had ample warning that the man posed a risk to society, yet did nothing to stop him.

Cruz posted a comment on YouTube saying, “Im [sic] going to be a professional school shooter.” The man who operates the YouTube channel, Ben Bennight, took a screenshot of the comment and notified YouTube. He also contacted his local FBI field office. FBI agents were unable to connect the comment to an individual even though it was posted by a user using a “nikolas cruz” Google account. Google owns YouTube.

Ben Bennight, American hero. Just because the FBI and YouTube failed to act on his information does not make him less of a hero.

This goes beyond incompetence, not only with the FBI but with YouTube. As soon as they were alerted by Ben Bennight, they should have retrieved all relative information about the user, IP address, MAC address, past comment history, email address, etc, and contacted both the FBI and the user’s local law enforcement. Ben Bennight shouldn’t have had to contact his local FBI field office. YouTube should have already done it.

Ben Bennight did everything right. Everyone else? They did everything wrong.

The police were even more incompetent than the FBI and YouTube. There are 30 incident reports going back to 2011 of their dealings with Nikolas Cruz.

From CNN:

The incident reports, which are as recent as September 2016, describe Cruz as suffering from mental illness and being “emotionally handicapped,” and being on behavioral medication. One notes, “He has mentioned in the past that he would like to purchase a firearm.”

He was still allowed to purchase an AR-15. I hate to sound like a Republican, but we don’t need more gun laws, we just need the authorities to do their jobs.

AR-15 assault weapon.

If the police properly performed their sworn duties, maybe people wouldn’t feel the need to arm themselves. Who knows, if we could count on the police to actually serve and protect, maybe we wouldn’t feel the need to own guns.

The first time someone online threatened to kill me, I didn’t know what to do. This was years ago. I knew the person’s name and where they lived. I picked up the phone and called my local police department. I explained the situation. The officer wanted me to come in and fill out a report. He said then if someone did kill me, they would know where to look.

Someone online threatens to kill you? Call your local police. If nothing else, you’ll get a good laugh and it will help break up the tension you might be feeling.

I decided not to go the police department and fill out that report. I decided to go a different route.

Whatever we are doing to stop mass shootings is not working

Nikolas Cruz, a 19-year-old white nationalist walked into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School located in Parkland, Florida armed with an AR-15 style assault weapon and murdered 17 people, including both adults and children.

 

White nationalist Nikolas Cruz.

It seems pretty obvious to me at this point that whatever we’re doing to stop these mass shootings isn’t working. Maybe it’s time we tried to do something else.

We can’t ban guns because it says in our Constitution that citizens are allowed to keep and bear arms. Granted, at the time that was written with a feather pen, an “arm” could fire up to three rounds a minute if the shooter was trained and had a lot of practice.

We’re incapable of amending that antiquated clause in the Constitution because a tiny but vocal minority of our population likes guns and refuses to allow the rest of us to ban then for our own safety. Plus, they’re very well funded and in a democracy like ours, that’s important. It shouldn’t be, but it is.

So guns are here to stay.

The Washington Post reports that there are approximately 357 million firearms in the United States. That’s forty million more than there are people.

So if we can’t ban guns, it may be time to do the complete opposite. Allow every law-abiding citizen with a clean criminal record and free of mental defect to arm themselves. Require them to first pass a training course but after that, allow them to strap a firearm to their leg for everyone to see. It would be important that the firearm is easy to see to act as a deterrent, hence the leg holster.

I am in no way saying this is the perfect remedy to this terrible problem. The thing is, it’s better than what we’re doing now which is absolutely nothing. Either make all guns go away or allow everyone to use them.