Tag Archives: gun violence

It’s Biden vs. demagogues

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

President Biden is waging a mounting conflict with those who exhibit acute paranoia over the issue of gun violence and whether the federal government can control it.

Biden today introduced some executive action he is taking that seeks to curb the influx of something called “ghost guns.”

He is acting in response to the spasm of violence that erupted in Atlanta and then in Boulder, Colo. More lives got snuffed out in massacres. More waste was laid to families who never imagined their loved ones would die in such a horrific manner.

And yet the president is trying to find solutions that remain faithful to the Second Amendment to the Constitution. The gun lobby is arguing that any effort to make it harder for crackpots to obtain firearms is an infringement on their constitutional right to bear arms. It isn’t. Biden assured the nation again today that he has no intention of taking law abiding citizens’ guns away from them.

The demagogues on the right aren’t having it. They ignore those assurances and continue to preach the mantra that the “liberals are trying to disarm you.”

Good grief, man. President Biden is searching for a legislative solution that keeps faith with what the founders wrote all those years ago.

Joe Biden knows better than most of us that talking sense to demagogues is an exercise in futility.

Don’t give up the fight, Mr. President.

POTUS cuts his losses

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Believe this or not, but it appears that President Biden is taking the path of least resistance as he issues executive orders aimed at reducing gun violence in this country.

Biden signed off on orders today that ban what they call “ghost guns” and employ stricter background checks for those wishing to purchase a firearm.

What are ghost guns? Take a look at this link:

Ghost guns: Here’s what they are – CNNPolitics

The least resistance part? The gun lobby already detests Biden. The lobbyists detest even more any effort to enact legislative remedies to gun violence, contending that the Second Amendment is sacrosanct and cannot be monkeyed with in any form or fashion.

Indeed, nimrods such as 13th Texas Congressional District Rep. Ronny Jackson, tweet things like this: It’s your Constitutional RIGHT to own a firearm! We can’t allow Democrats to take that away! No one is talking about taking guns away from those who won’t use ’em to kill other human beings.

Meanwhile, general public opinion happens to be on the president’s side. Most Americans favor some stricter rules while also supporting the Constitution’s Second Amendment.

Is this executive action legal? My gut tells me that a president with extensive legislative and federal executive government experience already has done his homework. He knows the lines he cannot cross. President Biden isn’t about to be derailed because he made a mistake in performing his duties to protect us.

Gun violence action on tap?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

President Biden wouldn’t seem to need any lectures on the limits of executive power. So it makes sense to me that a planned executive order that seeks to stem gun violence is being done with all due diligence on its legality.

Let’s all stay tuned for Biden’s announcement set for Thursday in which he will invoke an executive order that sets stricter regulations on something called “ghost guns” and implements more stringent background checks on those who want to purchase a firearm.

Congress, to no one’s surprise, is dawdling on legislative remedies in the wake of recent Atlanta and Boulder massacres that left 20 people dead. Republicans are resisting any effort to tighten the rules for purchase. Democrats need 10 GOP senators to help them end an expected Republican filibuster.

The Hill newspaper reports: Advocacy groups, including Brady, Giffords, Everytown and parents of victims of the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, have met with Domestic Policy Council Director Susan Rice and Biden adviser Cedric Richmond in recent weeks.

Anti-gun violence advocates, including some who attended meetings with Biden officials, told The Hill in February that, through executive order, Biden could eliminate ghost guns by defining what constitutes a gun.

The term ghost guns refers to guns available for purchase, typically without a background check or a serial number, that are not fully finished or may have a missing part.

Biden expected to announce executive action on guns | TheHill

Does any of this violate the Second Amendment constitutional provision that allows Americans to “keep and bear arms?” Hardly.

Hope for gun reform looks dim and grim

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

The twin massacres in Atlanta and Boulder filled me with a fleeting hope that we might be able to get some gun control legislation shoved through Congress.

Then reality set in. That was when I realized that after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School when 20 first- and second-graders along with six teachers were gunned down by the lunatic with an assault rifle wouldn’t spawn some relief, then nothing would.

The Atlanta massacre involved a hate crime against Asian-American women. The Boulder massacre involved a loon who walked into a grocery store and opened fire.

It scares me at this moment to think that even shopping for milk and eggs at a grocery store now has become a hazardous endeavor.

Would those two massacres, along with, say, the Sandy Hook carnage or the tragedy that occurred at the church in Charleston, S.C., bring some relief? One would hope so. One might even believe so.

It didn’t happen. Indeed, after the Sandy Hook shooting, President Obama stood, with tears in his eyes, and implored Congress to act. It refused to stand up to the gun lobby, forcing the president to call it the darkest moment of his time in office.

I will say it repeatedly that I believe there exists a legislative solution that does not endanger the Second Amendment to the Constitution. The task, though, is to find lawmakers with the courage to stand up against the zealots.

Motor vehicles are heavily regulated, too

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

A fascinating item showed up this morning on my Facebook news feed that tells us that they’ve been regulating automobiles for decades, but that “no one has taken our cars away.”

Well …

What do you think of that? I happen to think it is a relevant statement in light of the building debate — yet again — over whether there can be sensible, constitutional gun regulations in this country.

The discussion has flared once more in light of two horrific massacres, in Atlanta and then in Boulder, Colo. Eighteen people died in the carnage.

President Biden has called for an outright ban on assault weapons and for universal background checks on every human being who wants to purchase a firearm. Make ’em wait for, oh, three days before being cleared to walk away with a gun.

Is that reasonable? I believe it is. I mean, if you’re a “law-abiding citizen” of the United States of America, you shouldn’t worry one little bit about waiting for three whole days or so to get your gun. Right?

Does that take away anyone’s Second Amendment right to “keep and bear arms”? I don’t think so, but yet the gun lobby is reigniting the scare campaign that suggests these notions are attempts to take guns away from Americans.

No! They are nothing of the kind! They are initiatives intended to make it just a little more difficult for lunatics to purchase firearms.

As the social media message points, we have been regulating automobile ownership for decades. We have to have insurance. We have to be licensed by the state where we live. If we drive without a license and are caught by police, we can be thrown in jail. If we are involved in an auto wreck and we aren’t properly insured, we also can be jailed, and fined, and held liable for thousands of dollars in medical expenses.

Look along our streets and highways and tell me if you think there’s been a decline in motor vehicle traffic.

Nor would there be a decline in firearms among law-abiding citizens if we attach a few more sensible rules for their purchase.

Can we debate like grownups?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

We have begun to debate — once again — the issue of guns, the Second Amendment and whether we can find a way to stop the madness of gun violence.

I’ll have to acknowledge that it hasn’t started off well. Republicans in the Senate, namely Ted Cruz of Texas, already have begun demagoguing the matter into insanity.

In a span of a little more than a week, shooters opened fire in Atlanta and Boulder, Colo. Eighteen people died in both massacres. The suspects are in custody and have been charged with multiple counts of murder. I feel confident that justice will do its work with regard to these two individuals.

What gives me concern is whether Congress, President Biden and all the political interests involved in this matter will allow the debate to proceed without scare tactics, lies, and demagoguery.

As I have noted already, the first signals don’t bode well.

I believe firmly that there must be a legislative — or an executive — solution to the issue of restricting gun sales without infringing on the Second Amendment guarantee of firearm ownership. Ted Cruz seems to think that any effort to enact those restrictions inhibits “law-abiding citizens” from owning a gun. That, as I see it, is a preposterous notion, because citizens who obey the law would have zero cause for worry.

Cruz then went after Democrats for chastising those whose only solution is to offer “thoughts and prayers,” suggesting that Democrats belong to some sort of Godless organization. Ridiculous.

I want to hear from constitutional scholars — from both sides of the great divide — who can tell us whether there exists a legislative solution that (a) limits the ability of nut jobs to purchase a gun and (b) doesn’t violate the Second Amendment’s constitutional guarantee that allows us to “keep and bear arms.”

I also want to stipulate that I do not have any solutions to this quandary. I know, though, that this great country is full of learned men and women who can produce a remedy to what I consider one of this nation’s existential threats.

Gun violence has turned damn near every venue that we all enter — churches, grocery stores, schools, playgrounds — into potential killing grounds. It has to stop!

Cruz misfires once more

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Leave it to the Cruz Missile to blast his way into raw demagoguery.

Sen. Ted Cruz was just so darn angry at Democrats because, in the wake of the Boulder, Colo., and Atlanta massacres, they seek to limit wackos’ ability to purchase firearms.

He said those attempts are just another effort to make it harder for “law-abiding citizens” to “keep and bear arms” as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Which begs the obvious question: If a citizen obeys and abides by all the laws, then what in the hell is the problem?

According to the Boston Globe:

“But what they propose, not only does it not reduce crime, it makes it worse. The jurisdictions in this country with the strictest gun control have among the highest rates of crime and murder,” Cruz said, reiterating a false talking point peddled by gun rights groups including the National Rifle Association.

In fact, research completed on the subject thus far points to the opposite conclusion. One study, led by Boston University School of Public Health researcher Michael Siegel, found that “states with higher rates of gun ownership had disproportionately large numbers of deaths from firearm-related homicides.”

Cruz accuses Democrats of playing ‘political theater’ for proposing gun safety measures ‘every time there’s a shooting’ (msn.com)

Cruz, a Texas Republican, is among the many congressional GOPers who cannot bring themselves to buck gun lobby that opposes efforts to legislate remedies to the gun violence that kills tens of thousands of Americans every year.

What we have on our hands is a uniquely American problem, given the way our Constitution has been perverted at times by those who believe that bearing arms means we should be able to own any weapon we desire.

Is this the moment for action?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Barack Obama wiped away tears while talking to the nation about the massacre of 20 first- and second-graders and six of their teachers in Newtown, Conn.; he implored Congress to toughen gun laws.

It didn’t act.

Donald Trump took office right after Obama and vowed to end “this American carnage.” It didn’t end during his term in office. He had opportunities to demand action from Congress, but he never took the bait.

Now it is Joe Biden who is facing the dilemma of what to do about the continuing senselessness of random gun violence. So it goes and so it will continue to go, more than likely.

In the span of a little more than a week, eight people died in Georgia at the hands of a gunman and then 10 more died from a shooter’s evil intent in Colorado. The first tragedy appears to be inspired by hate of Asians and of women. The motivation behind the second incident is still a bit murky.

What in  the name of righteous indignation happens now?

My hunch? Probably not a damn thing!

The National Rifle Association has sunk its claws deeply into the hides of many members of Congress, where laws could be created  that might be able to stem the “carnage” that Trump vowed to eradicate. The NRA stands firm on this preposterous notion that any law somehow would deprive “law-abiding citizens” of their constitutional right to “keep and bear arms.”

I will not let go of the notion that there is a legislative remedy out there that can be enacted. I want Congress to act. I am tired of the inattention to a solution that well might put an end — finally! — to the heartache that has spilled over yet again.

Time to act … again!

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

President Biden said the following today while commenting on the Boulder. Colo., massacre that left 10 people dead, including a police officer who rushed to the scene when the shooting started.

“I don’t need to wait another minute, let alone an hour, to take common sense steps that will save lives in the future and to urge my colleagues in the House and Senate to act,” Biden said in remarks at the White House following Monday’s shooting. “We can ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in this country once again. I got that done when I was a senator. … We should do it again.”

OK. Do you think it will happen? Do you believe that lawmakers who snuggle up to the gun lobby are going to do the right thing?

Neither do I.

Which makes this latest plea for sane gun-control laws yet another exercise in extreme futility in this most recent moment of misery.

As The Hill reported: Biden called on the Senate to “immediately pass” two House-passed bills that would expand background checks for firearm sales, noting that both passed the Democrat-controlled lower chamber with some Republican support. One of the bills would close the so-called Charleston loophole by extending the initial background check review period from three to 10 days. The bill is linked to the 2015 shooting in Charleston, S.C., in which a white supremacist killed nine Black Americans at the Mother Emanuel AME Church.

Biden urges Congress to pass assault weapon ban | TheHill

Republican senators are likely to filibuster any effort at meaningful reform. It takes 60 votes to break the filibuster; that means a 50-50 Senate requires 10 GOP senators to cross over. They won’t do it.

I am beyond weary listening to gun lobbyists declare that any effort to strength gun laws somehow masks some nefarious plot to disarm Americans. I long have maintained that there must be a legislative solution that remains faithful to the Second Amendment to the Constitution, which allows citizens to “keep and bear arms.”

I am not alone in this belief. Sadly and tragically, the gun lobby with its big money and its bullying strategy continues to keep these remedies off the books. The result is inevitable: More Americans are going to die the way those 10 victims perished in Boulder.

Shameful.

Death in Boulder … oh, my!

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Multiple people are dead in Boulder, Colo.

A shooting suspect is in custody. The cops aren’t telling the community and the rest of us how many fatalities they have found inside a supermarket.

I am left to wonder — hours after the event — what in the world are they waiting on before they inform the world about the magnitude of this latest monstrous act of gun violence in America?

So far, I hate to suggest this, but the authorities in Boulder are not serving the people they are assigned to serve.

I know they need to notify next of kin before giving us the names of those who have died. But … why not the number of fatalities?

Meanwhile, the rest of us are in shock once again at what has transpired.

A man walked in public reportedly carrying a rifle. Colorado, as I understand it, is an “open carry” state, meaning that one can pack heat in the open.

My question: Why allow someone to walk into a business carrying a loaded weapon in the open without some assurance that he won’t use that weapon in the manner that occurred today in Boulder?

So here we are. The nation mourns yet again.