Archives for category: Insane

This is one of the most bizarre stories I have ever read. The Republican-dominated Missouri legislature voted down a ban on children openly carrying weapons on public grounds without adult supervision. To this insane political party, no one is too young to carry a weapon.

The Washington Post reported:

The Republican-controlled Missouri House of Representatives rejected a proposal Wednesday that would have banned children from being able to openly carry firearms on public land without adult supervision.

The proposal, which was part of a long debate in the chamber on how to fight crime in St. Louis, was defeated by a vote of 104-39, with just one Republican voting in support of the ban. After the amendment on the open-carry restrictions for minors was initially supported by the Republican legislator sponsoring a broader crime bill, GOP lawmakers on a committee that he leads removed the firearms provision last week.

“Every time we talked about the provision related to guns, we knew that was going to be difficult on our side of the aisle,” state Rep. Lane Roberts (R) said Wednesday, according to the Associated Press.
State Rep. Donna Baringer (D), who represents St. Louis and sponsored the amendment to H.B. 301, said she brought the proposal to the chamber after police in her district requested tighter regulations to stop “14-year-olds walking down the middle of the street in the city of St. Louis carrying AR-15s.”

“Now they have been emboldened, and they are walking around with them,” Baringer said. “Until they actually brandish them, and brandish them with intent, our police officers’ hands are handcuffed.”

While critics and Democrats denounced Republican lawmakers for defeating the proposal, some GOP lawmakers, such as state Rep. Tony Lovasco, defended the decision.

“Government should prohibit acts that directly cause measurable harm to others, not activities we simply suspect might escalate,” Lovasco, who represents the St. Louis suburb of O’Fallon, told The Washington Post in a statement. “Few would support banning unaccompanied kids in public places, yet one could argue such a bad policy might be effective. While it’s reasonable to be wary of minors’ carrying guns, any solution to juvenile crime needs to be crafted properly and respectful of individual rights…”

Since 2017, Missouri residents have not been required to have a permit for concealed carry, after lawmakers in the Missouri House voted to override a veto by then-Gov. Jay Nixon (D) of a broad gun-rights bill. The law does not require gun owners to take safety training or have a criminal-background check to carry concealed firearms in most public places. The move was celebrated by Republicans, but law enforcement officials warned that the law was “going to make officers a lot more apprehensive,” St. Louis Public Radio reported at the time….

The Republicans must figure that a child is a citizen, and every citizen has the right to bear arms. Even if that citizen is only six years old.

One Republican, Rep. Lane Roberts supported the bill.

“This is about people who don’t have the life experience to make a decision about the consequences of having that gun in their possession,” Roberts said, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Why is an 8-year-old carrying a sidearm in the street?”

But Roberts’s sentiment was not supported by his GOP colleagues on the House Crime Prevention and Public Safety Committee, who removed the provision.

“I just have a different approach for addressing public safety that doesn’t deprive people, who have done nothing to any other person, who will commit no violence, from their freedom,” Republican state Rep. Bill Hardwick, who represents Pulaski County and Fort Leonard Wood, told the Post-Dispatch.
Critics noted how quickly the momentum shifted on the proposal.“I am old enough to remember when Missouri Republicans were pretending to care about gun violence in St. Louis. Like, 2 days ago,” Post-Dispatch columnist Tony Messenger tweeted on Friday. “That was short-lived.”

On Wednesday, Baringer offered an amendment to try to add the provision back into the broader crime bill that was being voted on by the chamber, but it was overwhelmingly voted down.

The vote was met with blowback from Democrats and gun control advocates. Among those was Shannon Watts, founder of the gun violence prevention nonprofit Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “Republicans can’t claim to be tough on crime when they’re soft on guns,” she wrote on Twitter.

State Rep. Peter Merideth (D) argued that the state cares more about drag shows than children openly carrying guns. One bill currently proposed in Missouri notes that it wants to change “the definition of a sexually oriented business to include any nightclub or bar that provides drag performances.” Another proposed bill would categorize drag performances on public property or viewed by minors as Class A misdemeanors.

You do have to wonder what legislation the House Crime Prevention and Public Safety Committee passes. What do they do?

John Thompson, a retired teacher and historian in Oklahoma, has written frequently about events in his state for this blog. Here, he describes the political coercion that determined right-wingers are promoting in Oklahoma and calling it “choice.” From his description, some Republican legislators are worried about “liberal indoctrination,” transgender students using the “wrong” bathroom, litter boxes for children who think they are cats (this seems to be a QAnon idea), and the danger of “social-emotional learning.” Apparently students in Oklahoma have no social or emotional issues.

Ryan Walters, Oklahoma’s newly elected, extreme rightwing Secretary of Education, first says that “the state should have the ‘most comprehensive school choice in the country.’” Secondly, Walters pushes the rightwing Michigan-based Hillsdale College curriculum; he doesn’t want to allow schools to choose to retain research-based curriculums that he identifies as “liberal indoctrination.” As Clark Frailey, executive director of Pastors for Oklahoma Kids, says, Walters seems to be pushing for “Christian Dominionism,” which is “based on the philosophy that Christianity is at the core of America’s foundation and all institutions need to align with that viewpoint. If people won’t convert, then a government religion must be forced upon them.”

Two voucher programs for private schools and homeschools have been filed. The most interesting one is Sen. Shane Jett’s Oklahoma Parent Empowerment Act for Kids (PEAK). Even extremely conservative Republicans legislators worry that vouchers would undermine the finances of their rural schools. Jett seems to be offering a carrot and a stick to those vulnerable constituencies. He would impose vouchers only in counties with a population of more than 10,000 people. But, vouchers would be offered in counties with fewer than 10,000 residents if they are served by a “trigger district.”

The Oklahoman then reports:

Jett defined a “trigger district” as a public school system that allows or tolerates House Bill 1775 violations, use of school bathrooms according to gender identity, anthropomorphic behavior known as “furries,” disparagement of the oil and gas industry, lesson plans promoting social-emotional learning and animal rights activism, among other topics.

In other words, the bill would coerce schools into “choosing” to comply with the entire extremist agenda. But that begs the question about how educators would choose to deal with today’s threats to public education. Republican Sen. Adam Pugh’s newly revealed plan for school improvement was based on meetings with 200 public school superintendents; every college president in Oklahoma; and “hundreds, if not thousands” teachers and parents and advocacy groups.  Based on these listening sessions, Pugh did not propose vouchers.

Pugh’s plan would raise teacher pay so the minimum starting salary was $40,000, “with graduated raises to the minimum salary schedule based on longevity.” The estimated cost would be $241 million, which is less than the cost of Sen. Julie Daniels’ voucher bill ($275 million). They would  also create an “Oklahoma Teacher Corps” and a teacher mentoring system;  provide certain teachers at least 12 weeks of maternity leave; update the school funding formula, and pass Pugh’s seven other constructive reforms. 

As Pugh explained, “I hope this plan will demonstrate to teachers that we’re serious about the work that you do, and we appreciate how you pour your heart and your soul into educating kids, as we need you to stay in the classroom, and we need more of you.”

But, the Stillwater News Press offers an equally important response:

While that offers us a bit of a sigh of relief, Oklahomans should be aware that the push [to] move taxpayer money into private schools isn’t going anywhere. It’s a well-funded campaign and the state’s administrators and board members have been handpicked to make that a top priority.

I’m afraid I agree with the Stillwater News. Pugh’s bills raise hope. But Oklahoma Republicans will continue to coerce schools into compliance with their extremist privatization and Christian Dominionism ideologies – and call it “choice.”

On the other hand, more Republicans sound like they are getting fed up by Walters and his minions. This week, the Secretary of Education was supposed to present a budget to a legislative subcommittee for planning purposes, but a letter obtained by the Tulsa World shows that Walters seems to be prioritizing “ridding public education of ‘liberal indoctrination.’” Walters’ “spokesman” said he “has requested additional information on diversity, equity, inclusion programs (DEI) to fully understand the extent of indoctrination happening in higher education.”

The letter said:

Please provide a full outline and review of every dollar that has been spent over the last 10 years on diversity, equity, inclusion. Additionally, I want an overview of your staffing and the colleges underneath your oversight as the Chancellor of Oklahoma Higher Regents within every DEI program … and expenditures,” Walters wrote on letterhead of the Office of the Secretary of Education. “Lastly, please provide a copy of the materials that are being used in any of these programs.”

Neither has Walters followed legislative norms for presenting a public education budget. As Nondoc reported, Walters said he instituted a hiring freeze and a spending freeze for the State Department of Education when he took office and all related decisions require his approval. And, in addition to demanding vouchers, he has insisted on any teacher pay raise being performance-based. Above all, Walters said he would be bringing a completely different budget than the one his predecessor drafted. 

Republican Toni Hasenbeck (R-Elgin) responded saying, “district superintendents had expressed concern for ‘the next four years’” because of Walters’ campaign comments. Rep. Dell Kerbs, (R-Shawnee) commented, “I don’t need elevator speeches. I need details.” Subcommittee Chairman Mark McBride (R-Moore) understood the argument that performance pay could be a part of teacher pay, but he said that Walters’ plan went too far. And then he tried to get Walters back to the normative procedures which the subcommittee follows for helping craft funding priorities.

McBride “interrupted Walters,” and asked, “Are you saying the budget will totally change — you’re presenting a budget that’s not going to be the same budget, and you’re going to totally change it?”

Nondoc reported that “McBride seemed confused and paused for a moment.” When Walters tried to change the subject, [McBride] interrupted him and asked why Walters was presenting a budget that would not exist in a week. Walters again changed the subject and, as Nondoc reported, “McBride interrupted him again, asking him to stay on topic presenting monetary figures rather than discussing policy and slipping into “campaign rhetoric.” McBride said, “With all due respect, I need the performance review for last year. That’s what you’re here to present.” Then, after that interruption, Walters stopped his presentation.

 After the meeting, Matt Langston, Walters’s “spokesman” (a paid GOP consultant based in Texas) said, “Not one person in Oklahoma is surprised that Democrats are unhappy with the political theater that was orchestrated today.” According to Langston:

They do not want transparency, accountability or even basic reform because they are used to playing in the shadows. Union bosses, whining and liberal tears will not stop education reform, and the superintendent is looking forward to next week’s actual budget hearing.

Stay tuned! When Walters reveals his budget, chaos and vitriol will increase, and we’ll see whether Walters really believes he can implement his promise or “suggestion,” that “received some pushback from lawmakers in 2022,” a ten-year plan to reject all federal spending on education

Harold Meyerson of The American Prospect reflects on the Republican debacle of the past few days. Kevin McCarthy wants desperately to be Majority Leader of the House of Representatives. He needs a majority of all members present. But he can’t get a majority because 20 members of the far-right “Freedom Caucus” oppose him. He has conceded to all of their demands for power. Yet after nine ballots, they still oppose him. They want to impeach Biden. They want to impeach cabinet members. They want to humiliate Dr. Anthony Fauci. They are the Chaos Caucus, the party of No. They don’t know how to govern. They are obstructionists.

Harold Meyerson wrote today:

Meyerson on TAP

The Revolution Eats Its Own

Like the Jacobins and Stalinists of yore, today’s Republicans have extirpated their moderates and have no one left to execute besides themselves.

Time was when the conservative credo was “That government is best which governs least.” If that needed quantitative metrics, Grover Norquist came along to say that government should be small enough that “it can be drowned in a bathtub.”

But that was oh, so then. Today’s Republicans repudiate those nostrums as way too statist. What they’re making ridiculously clear (and just plain ridiculous) on the floor of the House this week is that their new credo is “That government is best which cannot even convene.”

The process of revolutions growing more radical by bumping off every previous revolutionary cadre is well established. In revolutionary France, the Girondins supplanted the royalists, the Montagnards supplanted and executed the Girondins, the Jacobins supplanted and executed the Montagnards, and having run out of rival factions, the Jacobins executed each other. In revolutionary Russia, the Leninists overthrew and executed the czarists, the Stalinists overthrew and executed the Leninists. And having run out of Leninists, the Stalinists executed each other.

Today’s Republicans seem to have reached that final phase this week, the supplanting and political execution of each other. Here’s a quote from a speech preceding the eighth ballot for Speaker, in which a Republican described the candidate he was nominating:

“He’s not Paul Ryan! He’s not Mitch McConnell! He’s not John Boehner! He’s different!”

That was not, however, from a speech nominating the Gang of 20’s oppositionist de jour. It was the nominating speech for the hapless Kevin McCarthy, who apparently still clings to the forlorn hope that he can win the Speakership by repudiating every Republican leader and tenet to the left of Matt Gaetz and the Proud Boys.

To be sure, that’s a strategy that didn’t play all that well at the polls last November. Arizona Republican gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake made clear that she didn’t want the votes of Republicans who’d supported that squishy John McCain. In that, she succeeded, which was a major reason why she lost. But today’s Republicans are undaunted by anything so ephemeral as electoral results.

Even in comparison with the first two days of McCarthy’s public humiliation, today has been particularly cruel. The news this morning was full of reports that a team from McCarthy’s opposition had spent the night bargaining with McCarthy’s minions and came away with every concession under the sun. McCarthy agreed that a single member of the Republican caucus could call for ousting the Speaker and that would be all that was required to force a vote. McCarthy’s PAC cut a deal with the Club for Growth that it would no longer intervene in open-seat primaries. Hope sprung yet again among the Kevinoids that these concessions would bring perhaps 10 of the 20 malcontents into Kevin’s camp. In fact, however, through today’s seventh and eighth ballots, precisely none of those 20 dissidents, including those in last night’s meetings, came into Kevin’s column. McCarthy’s vote total remained stuck at 201.

There are some reports that the Gang of 20’s negotiators want the agreements in writing. To get his total up to the required 218, however, I suspect McCarthy will have to go beyond that, promising committee chairmanships and seats on the Koch Brothers board of directors to every one of the 20, and that he’ll have to sign this promissory note in his own blood. And a small cut on the finger won’t suffice.


Tom Nichols, a staff writer for The Atlantic, posed the question that is the title of this post. Nearly half the voters of Georgia cast a ballot for a man who was manifestly unqualified for the office, by any measure. Republicans thought it was cunning to pick a Black candidate, hoping to peel support away from Senator Warnock. It didn’t work. Walker got very few Black votes. Warnock won with unified Black support and a multiracial coalition.

Nichols fears that Trump has dumbed down expectations for Republican candidates to an alarming degree. Following his model, they can be stupid, they can be immoral, they can be liars, they can be adulterous and flaunt it, they can mock democracy. There is no low too low for them.

Nichols writes:

Walker’s candidacy is a reminder of just how much we’ve acclimated ourselves to the presence of awful people in our public life. Although we can be heartened by the defeat of Christian nationalists and election deniers and other assorted weirdos, we should remember how, in a better time in our politics, these candidates would not have survived even a moment of public scrutiny or weathered their first scandal or stumble.

And yet, here we are: An entire political party shrugs off revelations that a man running on an anti-abortion platform may have paid for an abortion (possibly two), has unacknowledged children, and may also be a violent creep. Not long ago, Walker would have been washed out of political contention as a matter of first principles.

Think of how much our civic health has declined in general. Only 35 years ago, during the long-ago Camelot of the late 1980s, Gary Hart had to pull out of the Democratic primaries for getting caught with a pretty lady on a boat named “Monkey Business,” and the televangelist Jimmy Swaggart stood with tears streaming down his face because he’d been caught with a prostitute in a Louisiana motel. In 1995, Senator Bob Packwood (again, more tears) resigned in the aftermath of revelations of sexual misconduct just before being expelled from the Senate.

The Republicans were once an uptight and censorious party—something I rather liked about them, to be honest—and they are now a party where literally nothing is a disqualification for office. There is only one cardinal rule: Do not lose. The will to power, the urge to defeat the enemy, the insistence that the libs must be owned—this resentment and spite fuels everything. And worst of all, we’ve gotten used to it. I’m not sure who said it first, but the Doobie Brothers said it again in the title of their 1974 album: What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits.

There’s a lot of blame to go around, but no one did more to pioneer the politics of disgust than Donald Trump, who took the outrageous moments of his two presidential campaigns and turned them into virtues. Trump ran, and still runs, as something of a dare, a challenge to see if we’re just a bunch of delicate scolds who get the vapors over things like veterans or foreign influence or nepotism. Are you really going to let the commies and immigrants from the “shithole countries” take over? he seems to ask at every turn, just because of little nothing-burgers like whether I’m keeping highly classified documents in the magazine rack next to my gold toilet?

As usual, however, the real problem lies with the voters. The Republicans are getting the candidates they want. This is not about partisanship—it’s about an unhinged faux-egalitarianism that demands that candidates for office be no better than the rest of us, and perhaps even demonstrably worse. How dare anyone run on virtue or character; who do they think they are?

It’s terrifying to realize that totally unhinged candidates, not only in Georgia but in other states, like Arizona, received almost half the vote.

My hope lies with changing demographics and our youth. Young people who have grown up in the 21st century are likely to replace the shrinking generations of old white bigots, who are now the GOP base. America will be a better nation in the years ahead, as these voters make better choices and choose a better future where all of us make progress. Together.

Trump has fully embraced the rightwing sector of the GOP, first by having dinner with Ye and Fuentes—racists, white nationalists, anti-Semites—then by promising to pardon and release the insurrectionists of January 6. There is no bottom, no low too low for him. (Yes, Ye is a white nationalist, strangely enough.)

Now Trump has renounced the Constitution. He repeats the Big Lie and demands that he be “declared” the rightful president or that a new election be held.

CNN reports:

Former President Donald Trump called for the termination of the Constitution to overturn the 2020 election and reinstate him to power Saturday in a continuation of his election denialism and pushing of fringe conspiracy theories.

“Do you throw the Presidential Election Results of 2020 OUT and declare the RIGHTFUL WINNER, or do you have a NEW ELECTION? A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution,” Trump wrote in a post on the social network Truth Social and accused “Big Tech” of working closely with Democrats. “Our great ‘Founders’ did not want, and would not condone, False & Fraudulent Elections!”

Trump’s post came after the release of internal Twitter emails showing deliberation in 2020 over a New York Post story about material found on Hunter Biden’s laptop.

Is he nuts or cunning? Insane or stupid?

Dana Milbank, regular columnist for The Washington Post, writes here about the extremists who will have disproportionate power, due to the slim margin that Republicans hold in the House of Representatives:

Wednesday evening, Republicans formally won control of the House.

Thursday morning, in the first public act of the new majority, senior House Republicans revealed their most urgent priority: They would investigate Hunter Biden.

The incoming chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), the incoming chairman of the Oversight Committee, James Comer (R-Ky.), and about 10 other members of the brand-new majority walked into the House TV studio first thing Thursday to announce multiple probes into the president’s son.

“Hunter Biden was conducting business with suspected human traffickers,” they asserted, and “Hunter Biden and Joe Biden were involved in a scheme to try to get China to buy liquefied natural gas,” and “credit cards and bank accounts of Hunter and Joe Biden were commingled” and “Hunter wanted keys made for Joe Biden” to his office. They mentioned Hunter two dozen times in their opening statements alone.

Reporters tried to ask questions about other topics. Comer cut them off. “If we could keep it about Hunter Biden, that would be great,” he said, explaining that “this is kind of a big deal, we think.”

“Why make this your very first visible order of business?” one reporter asked.

Comer assured her that other pressing issues would also be addressed: “Kevin [McCarthy] said the first legislation we’re going to vote on is to repeal the 87,000 IRS agents.”

Great idea! After a GOP campaign focused on crime, their first legislative act will be to protect criminals. They’ll try to block the hiring of IRS enforcement personnel (the true number is much less than 87,000) assigned to crack down on the wealthiest tax cheats. Voters who elected Republicans to fight inflation and gas prices might be feeling puzzled, if not swindled.

But, in fairness, the noisiest voices in the GOP have other plans, too: They also want to cut off military aid to Ukraine as it fights off Russia’s invasion.
A few hours after the Comer and Jordan show, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) took the same stage to announce plans to force a vote on ending funds for Ukraine. “Is Ukraine now the 51st state?” asked Greene, who alleged an elaborate cryptocurrency conspiracy in which military aid for Ukraine actually funds Democrats’ campaigns.

Not too long ago, the Republican Party stood against Russian aggression. But with the GOP’s single-digit majority in the new House, the oddballs hold all the power. “You’ve heard Leader McCarthy say publicly that he doesn’t see very good odds for much funding for Ukraine going forward in a Republican-controlled conference,” Greene pointed out.

Fellow crank Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) agreed: “I will not vote for one more dollar to Ukraine!”
It was heartwarming to see Greene and Gaetz on the same page again. Earlier in the week, they were feuding about whether to deny McCarthy the speakership (the defection of even a couple of Republicans could doom him).

Greene backed McCarthy for speaker and told McCarthy’s critics (including many of her fellow members of the far-right Freedom Caucus) to bring it on. “I’m not afraid of the civil war in the GOP — I lean into it,” she said on former Trump adviser Steve Bannon’s podcast.

Gaetz shot back: “Whatever Kevin has promised Marjorie Taylor Greene, I guarantee you this: At the first opportunity, he will zap her faster than you can say ‘Jewish space laser’” — a reference to the antisemitic sentiments that got Greene kicked off her committees. McCarthy has promised to restore her privileges.

McCarthy’s age-old ambition to be speaker is again teetering. Thirty-one House Republicans opposed his nomination as speaker this week — many times the number needed to sink him when the full House votes in January.

Even if he wins the job, he might soon wish he hadn’t. That’s because he’ll only get it by signing an endless pile of IOUs the crazies are demanding: impeaching Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Multiple Hunter Biden investigations. A select committee to investigate China. An investigation of the Jan. 6, 2021, investigation. Investigations of Anthony Fauci and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. And a panoply of probes into the Justice Department and the FBI. McCarthy is going to be held “completely hostage,” outgoing Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) predicted.

The same day Republicans were yammering about investigating Hunter and defunding Ukraine, outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced her retirement from leadership after two decades in charge of House Democrats. She was the first woman to be speaker and one of the most effective ever to hold that role.

Yet, most Republicans skipped Pelosi’s announcement on the House floor (and a few opted for social-media taunts). Among the missing was McCarthy, who explained: “I had meetings.”

One of those meetings McCarthy had Thursday was with Greene, who informed him of her anti-Ukraine maneuver. “I said, ‘I’m having a press conference at 4,’” Greene recounted. “And he said, ‘Okay.’”

Of course he did. The crazies are all knocking at his door. And if he wants to be speaker, there is only one answer to their demands: “Okay.”

Thanks to Christine Langhoff for sharing this horrifying video.

It shows parents at Grant Middle School in Grant, Michigan, demanding the removal of a mural painted by a high school student. The mural was meant to make all students feel welcome.

But parents saw frightening symbols in it, such as a T-shirt that was a trans symbol, another that was a gay symbol, others graphics that were allegedly demonic or Satanic.

This country needs mental health services for adults who think that their children’s lives will be changed by seeing anything that offends parents. Do they object to textbooks showing the swastika? Really, there are many symbols to at could be interpreted in many ways.

Don’t they understand that children are shaped above all by their home environment?

Texas is distributing DNA kits to students, which will be used to identify them in case of a mass shooting in their school.

At the same time, Governor Greg Abbot is determined to remove all gun controls so that anyone can buy and carry an assault weapon or handgun.

Rex Huppke writes in USA Today:

Hey, Texas! Instead of scary school DNA kits for ‘safety,’ how about some gun safety laws?

Since the horrific Uvalde school shooting in May, Texas officials have done everything they can to protect the state’s guns and comfort the people who own them while doing little to help fearful parents.

In that vein, Texas schools are handing out “safety” kits that encourage parents to collect their children’s DNA and fingerprints in case of an “emergency.” These kits are labeled, without a hint of irony, “A gift of safety, from our family to yours,” right under a giant seal of the state of Texas….

Remind me: Loyal to families or guns?

It would be entirely reasonable for Texas parents – or anyone who sees a link between school shootings and easy access to high-powered firearms – to stand in the Chihuahuan Desert in West Texas and scream to the creosote bushes: “Could we please do something about guns instead of planning for how to identify our kid’s bodies, you sellouts?!?”

But we all know how that’ll go. You might scare a couple passing javelinas, but extracting Texas politicians’ heads from the tuchuses of BIG GUN is like trying to teach common sense to a dude who keeps 37 handguns and five AR-15s in his home for “protection…”

Heck, why don’t we just start issuing dog tags to school kids? If our response to school shootings is to treat children the way we treat soldiers, maybe the DNA kit should come with a weapon and a flak jacket.

Would it be easier to enact reasonable gun laws that require universal background checks, ban the sale of assault weapons, limit magazine capacities and raise the minimum age for gun ownership to 21? Sure, but that might ruffle the feathers of those who think everyone needs to live in a house made of guns and then own more guns to protect themselves from everyone else’s gun-houses and all the other guns. Or something like that. I can’t quite follow the logic, if I’m being honest, but I’m sure if I buy a couple dozen guns it’ll make sense.

America’s love of guns is “absolutely nuts.”

The next time you hear a Republican claim he or she is “pro-life,” ask them why they oppose gun control?

After the murder of a recreation worker at a city center, Mayor Jim Kenney issued an executive order banning guns at playgrounds and recreation centers. A local judge overturned Mayor Kennedy’s order, because it violates state law.

This is madness. People will die. Are guns in schools okay too?

A Philadelphia Common Pleas Court judge on Monday blocked the city from enforcing an executive order Mayor Jim Kenney signed last week banning guns at recreation centers and playgrounds following the fatal shooting of a Parks and Recreation employee last month.

The Gun Owners of America, on behalf of several state residents, filed a lawsuit last Tuesday, the day Kenney signed his order. After hearing arguments Friday, Judge Joshua H. Roberts issued his ruling siding with the plaintiffs and ordering Philadelphia to be “permanently enjoined” from enforcing Kenney’s ban.

The lawsuit cited Pennsylvania state law that prohibits any city or county from passing gun-control measures. The preemption law, which the city has repeatedly sought to overturn, bans local government from passing gun-control measures that are stricter than state gun laws.

Andrew B. Austin, the attorney representing the plaintiffs, said in an emailed statement: “For my part, I am gratified that the Court of Common Pleas was able to so quickly resolve this suit, but that was in large part because the law is so explicit: The City is not allowed to regulate possession of firearms in any manner.”

There have been more than 200 mass murders in the United States since the beginning of the year, and we have not yet reached the halfway mark. For mass killings, the sociopath’s gun of choice is the AR-15. It’s a guaranteed killing machine, used most recently in Buffalo to murder 10 innocent people who were grocery shopping. It will kill many more people this year. You are not safe anywhere after you leave your home. Not safe in a school, a grocery store, a place of worship, a nail salon, a music festival.

As states enact laws permitting concealed carry and open carry of guns, try not to get involved in a road rage incident. The other person might shoot you dead. Avoid all disputes. Put your hands up in the air and walk away quickly.

Life in America in these times will begin to resemble the Shootout at the OK Corral. Tourists beware. Parents, grandparents, and children, beware. Death could come anywhere, at any time.

A writer called Democracy points out that there are still some limits on guns, even though AR-15s seem to be easy to buy. In New York, a teenager who had recently had a mental evaluation (and was quickly cleared) after threatening murder and suicide. He said he was joking but he wasn’t. After killing 10 people, he didn’t have the guts to kill himself. Since he’s likely to go to jail for the rest of his life, he can count on his fellow prisoners to give him the Justice he deserves.

Democracy writes:

It’s important to note here what Antonin Scalia said in his Heller decision, the one in which he essentially REWROTE the Second Amendment to his liking. Even in Heller, Scalia made it a point to say this:

“Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.”

Scalia went on to say this: “that limitation is fairly supported by the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of ‘dangerous and unusual weapons.’ ”

Assault-style rifles like the AR-15 are, in fact, very “dangerous,’ military-grade weapons.

PBS described what the AR-15 is:

“the AR-15 is America’s rifle because it’s what America’s military carries…even those who don’t serve feel that they’re part of that effort when they carry the AR-15… It’s a military rifle. It’s designed to deliver masses of bullets to a very specific target…This is a weapon designed to kill…It’s a military weapon…What’s different on the civilian versions is, it only allows semiautomatic fire…It’s very easy to reload. It’s very easy to get more ammunition in there and continue to shoot at your target…The ammunition for the M-16 or the AR-15 is a 5.56-millimeter bullet. It’s a very small and very fast bullet that does a lot of tissue damage… because it’s so small and moves so fast, it tends to tumble…when it hits a person, and so it tends to create a very large wound and very difficult-to-treat wounds. Again, it’s a military weapon. It’s not designed for hunting…It’s designed to wound or kill soldiers in combat…”

The Trump judges erred, badly, and likely, on purpose.