This baby girl, Aavielle Nevaeh Wakefield, is dead because we think people have an unfettered right to firearms. Hers is not the only face…..God knows we have hundreds of them. You can see some of them here and if you want to pick and choose who you think belongs there that’s fine too….it shows what kind of person you are to minimize human life and death. This whole firearm debate has certainly changed my approach about the firearms I own and sometimes carry….#allLivesMatter
We all know about the tragedy that happened in Oregon where college students were murdered by an American terrorist with self proclaimed ties to the political right, also known as the #demonicGOP or Republican party. That part of his bio is conveniently left out…even his name won’t be uttered by the Oath Keeper sheriff of the county where the shooting occurred probably in no small part because the shooter reminds the sheriff of himself….a conservative gun loving, gun toting true blue American. In the President’s remarks above, those made passionately, he issued a challenge to news organizations at about the 6:30 mark of his speech which many responded too and which have become a constant theme here at Miscellany101 about terrorism versus good old fashioned American crime…the kind of crime we’ve become used too and are good at doing so much so that we outdo the terrorists.
Let’s start with the basics; we are a country of criminals of all shapes, sizes and descriptions. There are many people who mean to do their fellow citizens harm and this intent is practiced on a daily basis. DAILY BASIS! There have been more mass shootings in this country of “exceptionalism” than there have been days of the year, that as of October 1…a mass shooting defined as one in which four or more people have been shot, not necessarily killed. If you want to quarrel over being killed versus being shot as a measure of qualitative American lifestyle you’re an idiot. Jamil al-Amin was correct back in 1967 when he said, ‘violence is as American as cherry pie’; our propensity to embrace it, see it as a solution to all our problems and even enable it through the auspices of police departments and the NRA will only insure we continue down that path in even more egregious ways. So the President has a right to be angry if he wants to be the “leader of the free world”, wherein his country, our country surpasses ALL of the world, free or otherwise, in firearm fratricide.
But that isn’t the challenge we’re answering here……..THIS IS!
…..and about those “terrorism” related deaths…many of them were commited by our own homespun white/black American terrorists, like this one or this one or this one or this one or……….While one can show there are “others” who committed acts of terrorism on America soil where people were killed the only thing they have in common with one another and the other Americans who’ve committed acts of terrorism is the fact that they lived here in America and had access to firearms, proving what al-Amin said back in 1967 about “our” inclination to murder and death. It cuts across color, race, ethnicity…it is something unique to our political system which says we have a right to firearms and many more others of us have a right to kill. If you claim this is a Christian country beware your Christianity which warns you, Mathew 26:52, ‘he who lives by the sword, dies by the sword’. Fix this America!
If you want to know how bad it is that we have so many gun deaths in America look at how inept government has become in combating the problem. I explained in the previous post why government won’t do anything….it’s in its best interest NOT to and Congress, the best product money can buy, won’t do anything because it’s just one big special interest lobby firm but government’s looking away really is making the problem worse.
Look at this figure….of all the federally licensed firearm dealers in this country only 8% sell weapons that are used in a majority of firearm related crimes in this country. Would be nice to know which 8% they are or where they are located and shut them down and away would go the problem of gun violence in America. Won’t happen I know and perhaps it shouldn’t….but if those 8% had their sales more closely monitored and followed up, something the guns rights people claim is worse than treason, just maybe it could reduce gun violence. Maybe.
While out shopping in Georgia at my favorite bookstore, the same day theEmanuel AME Church reopened its doors after the mass shooting, a white man in camouflage entered the store openly carrying a gun on his hip.
In my home state, we recently allowed licensed individuals to bring their guns into bars, churches, and college campuses, all for the sake of “safety.” Yet, in this moment, at the bookstore, I realized that such gun control laws only ensure certain people feel safe, while others who do not wish to own a gun are left feeling powerless.
This tense moment was still too soon. Too soon after Charleston, after the deaths of Eric Garner and Rekia Boyd—and even too soon after Emmett Till. Too soon after cops in Georgia attacked Kenya Harris until she miscarried.
Too soon because I haven’t processed the constant surveillance and prosecution I experience as a dark-skinned Black person navigating a society where I can be tried and executed in the streets without jury.
The gun-toting man had a wide-shouldered build and was probably shorter than me once he took off his combat boots. Looking back, I probably could have taken him on in a fair fight. Lord knows, I’ve fought men bigger than him before.
The bookstore employee, who will go down in history as my favorite bookstore employee ever, immediately said to the man, “Woah, that’s a gun! That makes me uncomfortable.”
Anywhere you stood in the store you could hear his reply: “Well, it shouldn’t be a problem so long as I don’t feel threatened.” The way his voice trailed off as his eyes panned the room froze me temporarily. I tucked myself behind a bookshelf where I could still see and hear what was happening. He also said he has an open carry license—as if that would make us feel safe.
And then to change the subject, as if carrying a gun in a bookstore is no big deal, he shared that he had been scoping out the bookstore for some time, but only just decided to come in. I popped my head over a bookshelf to lock eyes with the bookstore employee. We widened our gaze and raised our eyebrows at each other to non-verbally confirm that this situation was indeed absurd.
But what troubled me most about the situation as it was happening was the realization that our legislative system was working as intended in that moment.
Long before I walked in to buy a copy of Octavia’s Brood, so that I could think about a world where my body is free through activism-driven science fiction, the system set things up with discriminatory gun control laws.
The idea of openly carrying a gun to protect myself has never been a realistic option—only when I’m imagining myself as Storm from X-Men dismantling oppressive systems with Black feminist thunderstorms and a small silver glock just in case. In reality, if the cops saw me with a gun, a bag of Skittles, or even a loosey cigarette, they would probably shoot me and ask questions about my permit later. As a Jamaican-American whose parents had to navigate the country’s unjust immigration system, I’ve almost always known that papers and permits don’t save dark-skinned people.
And so now, Georgia’s open carry policy, the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and the whole foundation of America’s justice system works as it was always intended: allowing certain people to feel safe at the expense of others existing in fear. I was without arms and face-to-face with a man who may or may not have wanted to kill me—and a man who had the freedom to make that decision without repercussions.
As he approached me in a corner of the store, my heart raced as I thought about the families of the victims and the nine people who were being put to rest in Charleston. I kept thinking ofTywanza Sanders jumping to defend his aunt Susie Jackson. I wondered if I could drum up that courage. I wondered if Cynthia Hurd was as frozen as I was. I wondered if Ethel Lancefelt as caught off-guard. I thanked the employee, a fellow woman of color, repeatedly in my head for maintaining calm in that moment of uncertainty. The man and I stood for a moment side-by-side browsing titles like Does Your Mama Know. It was a split second. Then I darted away to the middle of the store in three wide steps.
After he burrowed his nose into every corner of the bookstore, all he bought were two button pins with probably the most unpolitical messaging on them. I didn’t get to see them, but I know the store carries some very alluring pins of cats. Maybe he got those? At the counter, he showed the employee his Harry Potter tattoo. He made uncomfortable comments about how the tattoo reminds him of seeking truth and justice against liars, loud enough for all of us to hear. He talked about his “no good” ex. He said “open carry” ensures that his son respects him.
“Do you need a bag,” the bookstore employee interrupted, making it clear it was time for him to go.
Once he left, the rest of us still in the store let out a communal, belly-deep sigh. One customer noticed that subconsciously all the books they had collected to purchase were about men and violence. “They take up so much space,” the customer said with regard to the man who just left and the bundle of books in their arms.
Oppression can preoccupy our safe spaces, even in our minds.
My fellow customer’s comment allowed all of us in the store to laugh and begin the process of grasping what had just happened.
I don’t know why he came in armed. I don’t know what his intentions were. I don’t want to know. I want to know a world where I don’t have to be caught up in fear in the first place. I want a world where none of us feel the need to carry a gun. A world where the Confederate flag and a CVS aren’t more important to our political leaders than seven burning churches, the countless dead at the hands of militarized police, and those empowered with the false hubris of white supremacy.
People like me, and hopefully you, are trying to make that world a reality in the here and now. Bree Newsome, for example, took the Confederate flag down from the South Carolina statehouse with her bare hands. Emanuel AME Church reopened its doors when I’m sure domestic terrorists and other right-wing extremist groups were hoping they’d stayed closed. Not only are these activists not giving in to the pressure, but they’re reminding all of us that the world we’re fighting for uses love to overpower violence. Sanders’ 5-year-old niece, just by virtue of surviving the shooting by playing dead, is proof of Audre Lorde’s prophesizing.
No, we were never meant to survive, Lorde, and so whenever we end up doing so, we are being revolutionary, perhaps even futuristic.
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) spent one minute too long debating with someone…..I really don’t care who…..during a Congressional hearing funded by the American tax payer whether someone who accepts Jesus Christ as the ‘way, the truth, the life’ will or will not go to Heaven!?! Should time on the government’s clock be spent on this topic?!?! What are Gohmert’s intentions on knowing the answer to this question? Will he institute a faith based litmus test for citizenship….thereby abrogating the Bill of Rights and the First Amendment?
Don’t forget where Gohmert comes from…..T-E-X-A-S the state where people are intimidating citizens with vigilantes walking around with long rifles strapped across their backs in a manner so extreme even the NRA consider their in your face attitude politically unacceptable, weird before it backed off feeling itself intimidated as well. T-E-X-A-S is the state where the #DemonicGOP wants to correct homosexuals with “reparative therapy” which in essence is saying the way one is is not acceptable to them…….and it doesn’t take much to conclude such “therapy” might come whether one wants it or not. (Having people walking around with the full blessing of elected officials carrying semi-automatic long rifles in the streets subconsciously drives home that point.) T-E-X-A-S is the home of white elected officials who want to enforce the disenfranchisement of its African-American
citizens…..voter nullification as it were and has gone on to legislate some of the more stringent voter registration laws in the country. Gohmert is just as normal as they come in the state of T-E-X-A-S but still as dangerous in his beliefs as the others.
Reading the story of another episode of homemade American terrorism here and saw the following remark in the comments section
Aaron Ybarra, 26, allegedly opened fire Thursday at Seattle Pacific University, killing one person and wounding three others. The rampage only stopped when 22-year-old student Jon Meis tackled Ybarra. Meis also pepper sprayed Ybarra and, along with other students, confined him until the police caught up. Investigators called Meis a hero and said they were in awe of his selflessness.
The shooting happened just two weeks before Meis’ wedding. As people learned of his heroism, they wanted to thank him and began buying the gifts on his wedding registry. Meis and his fiancé registered at Target and Crate & Barrel. By Friday, people had purchased every single item on Meis’ registry that they could buy online. Meis and his fiancé registered at Target and Crate & Barrel.
But even after all the gifts were purchased, people still wanted to thank Meis. Jessamyn McIntyre — who tweeted that she doesn’t know Meis — was one of those people and started a crowdfunding campaign for Meis’ honeymoon. The campaign quickly spread online and in local media. It reached its goal of $5,000 within hours. Meis’ wedding is scheduled for June 21. By Friday night, more than $6,800 had been contributed.
Courage and a can of pepper spray stopped a mass murderer. That’s all it takes America to stand up to evil…..courage!
The article below really exposes the lie advanced by the Right that guns don’t kill people, it’s people who kill people. In reality it’s people with guns who kill people and such brutality doesn’t have as much to do with gang related activity as we’ve been led to believe. (Emphasis in red mine)
In a scathing critique of ABC’s recent report “Young Guns,” Dana Loesch stated that most gun deaths were the result of gang violence; therefore, America has a gang problem, not a gun problem. Her claim appears to be supported by sites positing that “a staggering 80 percent of gun homicides are gang-related.” As it turns out though, not only is her statement factually incorrect, as the majority of gun deaths are suicides, but there is not a shred of evidence to support her characterization that gangs are the driving force behind firearm violence.
Unfortunately, Dana Loesch’s sentiment is shared by many gun advocates, including the Executive Vice President of the National Rifle Association, Wayne LaPierre, who, when opposing firearm background checks said, “President Obama should be as committed to dealing with the gang problem that is tormenting honest people in his hometown as he is to blaming law-abiding gun owners for the acts of psychopathic murderers.”
So, do we have a gang problem or a gun problem? Data collected by the National Gang Center, the government agency responsible for cataloging gang violence, makes clear that it’s the latter. There were 1,824 gang-related killings in 2011. This total includes deaths by means other than a gun. The Bureau of Justice Statistics finds this number to be even lower, identifying a little more than 1,000 gang-related homicides in 2008. In comparison, there were 11,101 homicides and 19,766 suicides committed with firearms in 2011.
According to the Federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), the number of gangs and gang members has been on the rise for some time now, increasing by more than one-third in the past decade. Between 2010 and 2011, for example, there was a 3 percent increase in the number of gangs, but an 8 percent decrease in gang-related homicides. If gang violence was truly driving the gun homicide rate, we should not see gang membership and gun homicide rates moving in opposite directions.
The most recent Centers for Disease Control study on this subject lends further credence to our claim. It examined five cities that met the criterion for having a high prevalence of gang homicides: Los Angeles, California; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Long Beach, California; Oakland, California; and Newark, New Jersey. In these cities, a total of 856 gang and 2,077 non-gang homicides were identified and included in the analyses. So, even when examining cities with the largest gang problems, gang homicides only accounted for 29 percent of the total for the period under consideration (2003-2008). For the nation as a whole it would be much smaller.
The 80 percent of gang-related gun homicides figure purporting to support Loesch’s claim, then, is not only false, but off by nearly a factor of five. The direct opposite is necessarily true: more than 80 percent of gun homicides are non-gang related. While gang violence is still a serious problem that needs to be addressed, it is disingenuous to assert that the vast majority of our gun problem (even excluding suicides) is caused by gangs.
Gun advocates’ blind focus on gangs, drugs and violent felons overlooks the larger gun problem facing America. It is irresponsible and disingenuous for some of us to brush off our staggering death toll from firearms merely as the product of gangs or even violent criminals. Recognizing America’s high homicide rate for what it is — a gun problem — is the first step in solving it.
Don’t expect to be able to persuade people with the rational of the article above about the perils of the proliferation of firearms because for the Right facts never are the driving point of their argument but now YOU know.
This is the second part of the previous article that was on the use of the immigration courts to essentially re-try immigrants for a charge they might have been previously found innocent. For such victims of American “justice” the penalty is deportation, but what happens to Muslim American citizens? Take a look
“Malik,” an American citizen, engineer, and Houston area community leader dedicates his spare time as an organizer for a major political party and participates in roundtable discussions with senior U.S. government officials on outreach to Muslim Americans. During a return trip home from Canada, (he was) taken to a small, private room by an armed, federal border agent and repeatedly asked such questions as, “What is your religion?” and “What mosque do you attend?” as well as questions about the membership in (his) mosque. While (he was) answering question after question, (his) laptop and flash drives containing (his) tax returns and other personal information, (were) searched. Business cards with Muslim names (were) removed from sight and presumably copied.
“Munir,” a well-respected Arab-American community leader from the Detroit area driving home from Connecticut with his wife and two young daughters when he passed through Canada to re-enter the U.S. at the Port Huron land crossing 40 miles north of Detroit. He and his wife were forcefully dragged from and thrown against their car, handcuffed, and separated from each other and their children and detained for over four hours while being aggressively interrogated. They asked to call their lawyer, but the federal agent guarding them denied their request for counsel. Munir’s wife was separated from their daughters for nearly 40 minutes. Although they possessed no weapons, to their colleagues, agents described Munir as “armed and dangerous”.
Zakariya Reed, a Toledo, OH firefighter, Gulf War veteran and 20-year
veteran of the National Guard has endured extensive interrogations on over 10
occasions since 2006 after visiting family members in Ontario, Canada. CBP
agents at the Detroit Ambassador Bridge have searched him both physically
and electronically; asked questions about his political views, his financial
transactions, and his personal associations; and even challenged the basis for
his religious beliefs.
Fairuz Abdullah, a San Francisco Bay Area lawyer and civic leader was
interrogated by CBP agents upon arriving at Miami International Airport in
June 2007 after returning from vacation travel in Peru. Agents questioned Ms.
Abdullah, about her prior travels, the identities and locations of her family
members around the world, her marriage, her profession and educationalhistory. Agents at times challenged her responses and initially prevented her from re-entering the country. Federal agents denied her legal counsel, detained and moved her to immigration processing where she was aggressively approached repeatedly by federal agents, who not only addressed her in Spanish but continued to do so even after she had repeatedly identified
herself as a native English speaker.
Yasir Qadhi, a graduate student at Yale University, who has been consulted
by federal counterterrorism and State Department officials for his expertise on
extremist religious movements and ideology, has faced aggressive and
intrusive border scrutiny on several occasions since 2005 at Newark
International Airport, Houston Intercontinental Airport and the Niagara Falls
(NY) border crossing. He faces recurring questions from armed federal agents
about his religious beliefs. Agents have also copied data from his cell phone,
and interrogated him about his associates and acquaintances, the contents of
his lectures, and even the mosques in which he has prayed.
These are just some of the examples where Muslims had their right disregarded and trounced on by officials for no reason other than their religious identity. This type of racism is not uncommon in America; ours is a history replete with examples like this directed towards every group that has settled on the shores of this country. What’s sad is enlightenment, information, time and a knowledge of history have not prevented us from making the same mistakes today and that means organizations like Muslim Advocates are being formed to inform us of government’s delinquent behavior as well as help those who need help with keeping big government from its inherent brutality of individuals. As far as Muslims and Islam in the west are concerned it doesn’t take much to arouse the suspicions of a government in the throes of Islamophobia and treacherous congressmen and women. The latter group using the old misdirection play to keep people diligent about a non existing threat while stealing state secrets and government coffers blind.
Hussam Ayoush has compiled a pretty good list of those things Muslim should not do to avoid government scrutiny and even prosecution. Joining the NRA and hunting are some of those all American activities that are off limits to Muslims, unless they like living under a blaring spotlight that gets switched off when the same past times are indulged by those who get the likes of George Bush and Dick Cheney elected to office.
One thing I hope these trials and tribulations do for the Muslims in America and ostensibly all of North America is make them more aware, attune and commited to combating government oppression when government strikes the next group seen as easy pickings in the high stakes game of pitting one group against the next, keeping its citizens off balance and in fear and suspicion of their neighbors while continues its blitzkreig towards power and control. I hope Muslim Americans will come away with a greater appreciation of the struggles of their fellow Americans who preceded them and will be better in joining the fight.
Obama Win triggers run on guns screams a headline in the Chicago Tribune. It appears many people are buying firearms to prepare for the inevitable “race war” they think will be led by the country’s first black/white president. Main stream media is hopeless in its titillating attempts at scandal to increase sales while frightening the general public. Gun control is also a main agenda item of the ruling elite, which includes many who own newspapers, because weapons in the hands of the general populace means they are independent in attitude and most likely to resist government intrusion if ever such a resistance were to occur in this country. Unfortunately, many firearm owners are easily misled into believing the Tribune’s implication that a race war is imminent. I only wish people were as diligent about obtaining firearms when Bush was stripping them of their civil liberties, or when Blackwater was patrolling the streets of New Orleans after Katrina.
I have a friend who would obtain his gun permits from the local sheriff, at the time we were limited to two permits per application every year and buy his handguns yearly, just because he could and to assert his 2nd amendment right to purchase and carry firearms. A bit expensive hobby but his point was the only way to appreciate this right was to always use it, and I agree. Even if you aren’t a lover of firearms, I think citizenship requires you own one, learn how to use it and be responsible with it. One of the great American gun gurus once said, ‘an armed society is a polite society’ and I tend to agree, despite the attention grabbing headlines of Halloween goers being shot by drug crazed, ex-felons who should have never been released from jail.