Posted in Gun Control, Politics

A Year On

Newtown, Connecticut
Newtown, Connecticut (Photo credit: Dougtone)
Sandy Hook Victims

A year ago, more or less, a disturbed young man shot his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. He killed a number of 6- and 7-year-old children, along with some of the adults who either happened to get in his way, or who were trying to protect the children.

A year on and we have done nothing to stop this kind of thing from happening over and over. And that’s what it’s done – shooting after shooting after shooting. Scumbags at the NRA and other half-wits seem to have hijacked our political system and convinced a significant number of pretty stupid people that people were going to come for their guns.

They had to protect their 2nd Amendment rights, I guess. How about the rights of the children and adults were were gunned down for absolutely no reason at all? How about their rights? How about our rights to a safe and secure home and country? Put that up your pipe and smoke it, NRA. No – even better – put it up your ass.

Posted in Arlington, Boston, Massachusetts

Half Mast

First: I am very grateful to those of you who contacted me to make sure I was safe. Thank you. It meant a great deal to me. My husband and I were nowhere near the marathon finish line and, as far as we know, no one we know was injured.  Arlington is really quiet today. People walked around looking as though they were in a dream. I’ve had trouble concentrating, but that’s getting better.

I decided to take a walk this afternoon. It’s beautiful out and I needed to clear my head. President Obama ordered all flags at half-mast and as I walked I saw them flying that way, one after the other.

half mast at town hall
Half Mast at Town Hall

I walked past the fire station just across from our street, then I passed the library (above), then Arlington Town Hall right next door. It was sombre and very painful, like Newtown all over again but closer. The youngest victim of this brutality was eight years old. His mother and sister are in the hospital with very serious injuries. The father is trying to hold it together. Folks, meet Martin Richard, who will not be with us any longer:

 

Martin Richard
Martin Richard. We all love you, son.

We had another loss, a woman who lived in Arlington (where my husband and I live. She was originally from Medford, right next door and worked at a local restaurant. Rest in peace, Krystle Campbell:

Krystle Campbell of Arlington, Massachusetts
Krystle Campbell of Arlington, Massachusetts

I’ve heard that at least 25 or 30 people have lost limbs and suffered severe head injuries.

Why?

Posted in Gun Control

Demand It

Mayor, Councilmember Mills, Rep. Heard Call fo...
Mayor, Councilmember Mills, Rep. Heard Call for an End to Illegal Gun Sales (Photo credit: ProgressOhio)

I’m so glad people are finally starting to stand up to the gun lobby in the US. They’ve enjoyed their reign of terror long enough and I’m heartened to see some progress, starting with the president. I’m only sorry that it took the horrible deaths of little children to finally breach that wall.

Mayors Against Illegal Guns has taken a leading role in this effort, beginning with a petition to support the meaningful regulation of dangerous weapons. No one needs a semi-automatic rifle to go duck hunting, and the massive bullets from one can tear a person to shreds. No one’s “coming for your guns.” The exact opposite seems to have been true – the guns have been coming for us.

Great video below. If you’re in the US, please consider getting involved in this. I don’t think I could take another Sandy Hook. And, do you know there have been 900 or more gun-related deaths in the month since?

Posted in Politics

Debate Weigh-In, This One Time

I have to admit I’m not as psyched up for this election as I was in 2008. As far as Obama goes, the bloom is definitely off the rose and the Republicans have moved so far to the right I’d be slitting my gender-based and economic throats to vote for them. I don’t like the partisanship and obstruction on the right, but neither do I like the MIAs that Obama keeps pulling (kinda’ like his first debate performance). He did not fight for me like he said he would (hello, public option for health care?).

That being said, I’d be an idiot to vote for the Republican policies that wrecked the economy. Things are bad enough, thank you very much.

Despite my current cynicism, I have to admit that I’ve (sort of) enjoyed watching the debates between the presidential as well as the vice-presidential candidates. Here are my impressions so far:

My personal favorite: Martha Raddatz, the moderator for the Biden-Ryan debate. She kept the debaters in check and did so respectfully and effectively. Hooray, Martha!

Mitt Romney: a bully with an outsized sense of his own importance. He showed no respect for the moderators, interrupted when other people (including the President) were speaking and told a different story every time he opened his mouth. That really pissed me off after a while. His policies are a rehashed version of Bush the second, even though he won’t admit it. I get this impression that this guy has no clue about what life is like for most Americans. And, he’d be a disaster on foreign policy.

Barack Obama: Like a lot of Democrats, I was appalled at his first debate performance. I wondered if he really wanted the job after all. He let Romney run right over him (along with Jim Lehrer). He has redeemed himself somewhat after the second debate but the first one did a lot of damage to voters’ perception of his leadership. I did like his closing appeal, though. It touched a chord – inclusion over arrogance.

Joe Biden: knowledgeable, but went overboard on the interruptions, etc. I wondered if he were doing a “taste of your own debate medicine” routine, given Romney’s behavior the week before. He did win the debate, no doubt about that. I also came away with a better sense of his bona fides, particularly when it comes to foreign policy. The Romney-Ryan ticket has no such experience and Biden’s clear grasp of the situation comforted me.

Paul Ryan: Not much to say. He got blown over by Biden. I’ve read his rap sheet, particularly on issues of women’s reproductive health, and it scares the hell out of me. No way I’m voting for this dude.

I live in Massachusetts and was around when Romney was governor. He didn’t mention that way he got around taxes was to hike fees on student tuition at public colleges. He also went on the road a lot during campaign season/s and really put down the state. I got the impression he was using the governorship as a stepping stone to higher office. He really had no commitment to the people here. Also, he’s a lot more moderate than he claims – at least he was in Massachusetts – which may be why he back-pedaled his positions during the first debate.

And Obama? Well, I’ll give him some points for his inability to get things done (or done well) during his administration. Remember that asshole republican who shouted out “You lie!” during one of his first state of the union addresses? How far could you go with opposition like that? He’s got to own up to the rest, though. He gave up and gave in way too easy. Like the first debate, he let the Republicans walk all over him. He needs to get in the game more aggressively and really, honestly, fight for our future.

Otherwise, we won’t have one.