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Friday, March 6, 2015

The Right Wing, Republican Stupidity in Two Neighboring Midwest, "Red" States

More and more, it gets additionally embarrassing seeing and reporting on what takes place in Missouri and Kansas state capitols. First, it was what was happening financially, fiscally, in Kansas, what with their Governor Sam Brownback and all the Republican legislators there giving tax breaks to the wealthy (think Koch brothers) and corporations and putting the tax burden on the backs of the middle-, lower- and working classes, instead.

And we've all seen how that played out:

And this:

So the Right Wingers slashed tax revenues for the wealthy and corporations, ruined the budget, created budget shortfalls and where do we find they're going after budget cuts?

So there was all that stupid and then they went and did this, helping guns and gun owners recently:

There apparently weren't enough guns already in Kansas so their legislators thought it an excellent idea to make it legal to allow everyone--EVERYONE--to "open carry weapons, including those with no weapons training. From the article;

On Tuesday, the state's new open carry law allowed anyone who wants to carry a gun on their holster to do so.

People in the state of Kansas have always been allowed to openly carry weapons, but over time, cities like Prairie Village made it illegal.

On Tuesday, lawmakers made open carry laws equal with concealed carry laws: it is uniformly legal now in every city across the state.

Private businesses can still forbid it, but public spaces like parks and municipal buildings must allow it.

Cities have four years to prepare their city halls for open carry laws.

Isn't that just a little ball of brilliance? As though there weren't, as I said, already enough weapons in our society. This has the capability of making Kansas far more like the old stereotype of the "wild, wild West." Guns everywhere, guns on every hip. Yeehaw.

Not to be outdone, Missouri has just gone on their own gun tirade. From The Kansas City Star yesterday:

A circuit court judge in St. Louis last week ruled that a convicted felon had the right to keep a loaded pistol in his vehicle, thanks to a constitutional amendment that Missouri lawmakers proposed and voters approved in 2014. If other courts reach the same interpretation, the state will lose a crucial law enforcement tool.
The amendment was drafted by lawmakers as yet another gesture to affirm to voters — and gun manufacturers — that they will tolerate no restrictions on the right of citizens to bear arms.
The amendment makes two exceptions: The state can limit the rights of convicted “violent” felons or those decreed by a court to be a danger because of a mental illness.

Read more here:
So now, Missouri's legislators are deciding it's somehow a good to great idea to have felons still be able to own and carry--openly carry--weapons and hand guns. Because liberty, I guess. Liberty and 'Merica!, right?  

It's difficult to not satirize and lampoon ideas like these--and the people who create them and carry them out or try to.

To whom does this make sense?  To whom is this remotely a good idea?

The tax and financial ideas and legislation in Kansas was given warnings for how reckless, if not foolish it was and would be and what the consequences would be. We've seen, for the last 30 years, how "trickle down economics" not only doesn't work but ends up creating deficits and budget shortfalls and debt.

And now, with guns and weapons. 

If you do a Google search on "Harvard study on guns", you can and will find a long, long list of studies that show more guns equals more shootings and more killings, more death.

It only makes sense.

The studies document it across states, across the nation and across the planet, worldwide. It only stands to reason. Yet here, in Kansas and yes, in Missouri, too, there are legislative pushes for more and more weapons because darn it, we have our Second Amendment, all those rights and they shouldn't be encumbered in any way.

We should be smarter than this. 

We should be smarter than all of this, guns, budget and all.

Talk about a race to the bottom.  And it's an ugly race. And there are no winners.

Well, no winners except the already-wealthy and the gun nuts, anyway.


Sevesteen said...

We've had unlicensed open carry in Ohio for decades. It simply is not an issue other than symbolically--I can count on one hand the number of times I've seen an openly carried gun that wasn't directly connected with a gun event. Gun owners have our equivalent of the Westboro Baptist Church (the "God Hates Fags" morons) but they aren't dangerous, just obnoxious. I'm also willing to bet that most of those that I saw have been licensed.

As for nonviolent felons--Is it that you think Martha Stewart is more dangerous than most, or is it that you want every excuse? You've probably committed a felony this month without intending to. Federal law prohibiting felons from possessing guns remains, it is merely the state charges that are affected here.

Constitutional rights should be respected. If they are wrong, they should be changed.

Mo Rage said...

My response, on guns in America:

1. Where there are more guns there is more homicide (literature review).

Our review of the academic literature found that a broad array of evidence indicates that gun availability is a risk factor for homicide, both in the United States and across high-income countries. Case-control studies, ecological time-series and cross-sectional studies indicate that in homes, cities, states and regions in the US, where there are more guns, both men and women are at higher risk for homicide, particularly firearm homicide.

Hepburn, Lisa; Hemenway, David. Firearm availability and homicide: A review of the literature. Aggression and Violent Behavior: A Review Journal. 2004; 9:417-40.

2. Across high-income nations, more guns = more homicide.

We analyzed the relationship between homicide and gun availability using data from 26 developed countries from the early 1990s. We found that across developed countries, where guns are more available, there are more homicides. These results often hold even when the United States is excluded.

Hemenway, David; Miller, Matthew. Firearm availability and homicide rates across 26 high income countries. Journal of Trauma. 2000; 49:985-88.

3. Across states, more guns = more homicide

Using a validated proxy for firearm ownership, we analyzed the relationship between firearm availability and homicide across 50 states over a ten year period (1988-1997).

After controlling for poverty and urbanization, for every age group, people in states with many guns have elevated rates of homicide, particularly firearm homicide.

Miller, Matthew; Azrael, Deborah; Hemenway, David. Household firearm ownership levels and homicide rates across U.S. regions and states, 1988-1997. American Journal of Public Health. 2002: 92:1988-1993.

4. Across states, more guns = more homicide (2)

Using survey data on rates of household gun ownership, we examined the association between gun availability and homicide across states, 2001-2003. We found that states with higher levels of household gun ownership had higher rates of firearm homicide and overall homicide. This relationship held for both genders and all age groups, after accounting for rates of aggravated assault, robbery, unemployment, urbanization, alcohol consumption, and resource deprivation (e.g., poverty). There was no association between gun prevalence and non-firearm homicide.

Miller, Matthew; Azrael, Deborah; Hemenway, David. State-level homicide victimization rates in the U.S. in relation to survey measures of household firearm ownership, 2001-2003. Social Science and Medicine. 2007; 64:656-64.

The original link here:

Sevesteen said...

Okay, you don't like guns, I already knew that, and we can play dueling studies if we went. That doesn't answer the questions I asked.

Under what circumstances should rights be lost--should a non violent felon also lose their 4th amendment rights or voting rights?

Or is t just whatever excuse you can find to remove gun rights from whoever you can?

Mo Rage said...

It isn't that I "don't like guns."
That's not it remotely. They have their place and in the rest of the educated, industrialized world, they have and keep them under control both in numbers and use. Here in America, we have more guns than we do people. It's insane. And we use them far more than anyone else, too. Far too often, we use them to shoot and/or kill each other instead of dealing with the person or people and the problem or problems as though that's a good idea.

Under what circumstances should rights---for weapons--be lost?

Only when the person has shown that they clearly aren't responsible enough to keep and use them. Criminals and the mentally unstable are the only two groups.

And for you to ask "Or is t (sic) just whatever excuse you can find to remove gun rights from whoever you can?"

You know, we've been conversing out here far too long for you to ask such a question.

Sarcasm isn't warranted here, with me. I won't do it to you. I ask that you not do it with me. I show you that respect. You should do the same. If I were the type person who merely wants to just remove gun rights for no reason whatever, I doubt we'd have ever been striking up conversations at all, of any kind, let alone continue to communicate.