When Is The Right Time To Discuss Guns?

The Federal Assault Weapons Ban was part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. The ban expired on September 13, 2004. In Nevada there is no waiting period to buy a gun, nor is it required that the gun be registered. High capacity magazines are not restricted. You do need a permit to carry a handgun, but not one to carry an automatic rifle openly. Steven Paddock used automatic weapons to kill at least 59 people Sunday night in Las Vegas.
Bill O’Reilly says this is the “price of freedom” while Sean Hannity calls people who want to finally discuss gun reform “shameful.” The conservatives seem to want this sort of tragedy to keep happening. They want to paint people who wish to examine our gun laws and talk about sensible solutions as unpatriotic fools. They have done this before. After 20 first graders were slaughtered in Sandy Hook, they said it wasn’t the time to discuss gun laws. Some even went so far as to declare the incident a hoax. Nothing was done because, well, I have no idea. If killing six year olds didn’t stun us into action, what would?
The Second Amendment is part of our constitution. It remains vague to this day with a myriad of interpretations. Some people say it is “sacred” while other people say it was written in a time when firearms were single shot and thus needs to be updated to reflect our reality. The former seem to be okay with thousands of people dying each year from gun violence.They lament needless death but say that there isn’t anything that can be done, that “freedom” prevents any and all attempts to enact reform. These same people want to roll back laws banning silencers on rifles and armor piercing bullets. Their hypocrisy in grieving for the dead is palpable when they make these statements.
If someone tells you that now is not the time to discuss gun reform, ask them when the right time is. Ask them if it’s next week, or next month, or after the next “worst mass shooting in U.S. history.” When they tell you that only law-abiding citizens would be impacted by stricter gun laws while criminals will still be able to obtain guns, ask them to provide proof, statistics that back up their claim. Ask them if this is just a feeling they have, or have they been privy to a real world test of that scenario that the rest of us have not seen. Challenge their statements and misinformation until they are angry and confused. Don’t stop. They do not deserve to be comfortable while we wait on that inevitable next time.
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The Truth About Racist Roots In The Confederacy

To the people that think it’s impossible for me to have a great grandfather who was at the Citadel in 1861 when the cadets fired on Fort Sumter which began the Civil War, here’s a little proof:
 
J. Alvin Riley is my grandfather and this is his obituary. Henry Y. Riley was my father. Eli Christian Riley was my great grandfather.
 
“J. Alvin Riley Sr., 81, of 3419 Hazlehurst Rd., died Monday at his home. Mr. Riley was born in Denmark, a son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Eli Christian Riley. He was associated with the Sand Hills Experimental Station of Clemson University. He was a member of Washington Street United Methodist Church. Surviving are three daughters, Mrs. John M. (Caroline R.) Turner of York, Mrs. Willie (Lillian R.) Mixon and Mrs. Robert E. (Joanne R.) Sanderson, of Columbia; two sons, James Alvin Jr., and Henry Y. Riley of Columbia; and three sisters, Miss Gertrude W. Riley of St. Matthews, Mrs. Annie R. Turner and Mrs. Fred J. Turner of Orangeburg.”
 
Eli Christian Riley, my great grandfather and my namesake was at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina in 1861. I have an old daguerreotype of him in his uniform. So yeah, I’m steeped in southern heritage, and I know what I’m talking about.
 
And to those of you who very mistakenly think that the Civil War wasn’t about slavery, here’s a knowledge update for you: you’re dead wrong.
 
Here’s an excerpt from The Citadel presidential inaugural in 2006 by Dr. Rod Andrew:
 
“What legacies from The Citadel’s past are worth keeping? Surely not the defense of slavery, or any form of racism at all. For one thing, that was never The Citadel’s most defining legacy. The Citadel was not unique for defending slavery and segregation. In fact, when the first South Carolina college to desegregate, Clemson, did so in 1963, The Citadel followed quietly a few years later.”
 
What can we surmise from that? That the Civil War was fought by the south in defense of slavery and racism. If that doesn’t convince you, here’s an excerpt from Sen. James Henry Hammond’s Speech Before the United States Senate:
 
March 04, 1858
On the Admission of Kansas, Under the Lecompton Constitution
 
“In all social systems there must be a class to do the menial duties, to perform the drudgery of life. That is, a class requiring but a low order of intellect and but little skill. Its requisites are vigor, docility, fidelity. Such a class you must have, or you would not have that other class which leads progress, civilization, and refinement. It constitutes the very mud-sill of society and of political government; and you might as well attempt to build a house in the air, as to build either the one or the other, except on this mud-sill. Fortunately for the South, she found a race adapted to that purpose to her hand. A race inferior to her own, but eminently qualified in temper, in vigor, in docility, in capacity to stand the climate, to answer all her purposes. We use them for our purpose, and call them slaves.”
 
So the south needed slaves, they said, be be economically viable. Here’s another excerpt:
 
“Our [southern] population is now sixty per cent greater than that of the whole United States when we entered into the second war of independence. It is as large as the whole population of the United States was ten years after the conclusion of that war, and our own exports are three times as great as those of the whole United States then. Upon our muster-rolls we have a million of men. In a defensive war, upon an emergency, every one of them would be available. At any time, the South can raise, equip, and maintain in the field, a larger army than any Power of the earth can send against her, and an army of soldiers–men brought up on horseback, with guns in their hands. If we take the North, even when the two large States of Kansas and Minnesota shall be admitted, her territory will be one hundred thousand square miles less than ours. I do not speak of California and Oregon; there is no antagonism between the South and those countries, and never will be. The population of the North is fifty per cent greater than ours. I have nothing to say in disparagement either of the soil of the North, or the people of the North, who are a brave and energetic race, full of intellect. But they produce no great staple that the South does not produce; while we produce two or three, and these the very greatest, that she can never produce. As to her men, I may be allowed to say, they have never proved themselves to be superior to those of the South, either in the field or in the Senate.”
 
In other words, because cotton was a valuable asset, the south was willing to go to war to continue to use slaves to produce as much as possible with the technology (slave labor, that is) of the time. They would tear themselves away from the United states in order to continue slavery and racism. If stating that black people were necessary well-suited for “simple” tasks performed as slaves isn’t racist, I don’t know what is.
 
Now as far as the mythology of the Lost Cause, the mere fact that the south fought a war over slavery (and not “state’s rights” as revisionists erroneously say) makes that “Lost Cause”concept a giant fiction. The apologists want to call the Confederate soldiers and generals “heroes” and memorialize their supposed nobility and strength of character in statuary and place names. The bulk of the Confederate “memorials” and such were done at the turn of the 20th century just as the Jim Crow laws were taking hold of the south. These memorials were always a jab at black people, designed to keep them “in their place.” It was literally never about “heritage” and to claim these memorials were honoring a heritage is to show extreme ignorance on the subject altogether. It is the same thing for the Confederate flag. All these people wrapping themselves in it are actually helping to spread a lie. Everyone that flies it is either a racist or someone who is aiding the racist element in our society. It is a symbol of white supremacy, not one of a genteel heritage or a fight for state’s rights.
 
So anyone who wants to challenge this may do so, but also know that you will be defending the indefensible. Our president, Donald Trump, has called the Confederate memorials part of our heritage. He is either ignorant of history, an apologist for racists, or he is a white supremacist himself. Personally, considering his accusatory choice of words and the people he surrounds himself with, I think Trump could give Nathan Bedford Forrest a run for his money.
 
Next up: I school you on why Andrew Jackson was a terrible president and general asshole. Stay tuned.

The Truth About Trump

Let’s see…
 
Trump keeps calling the Russian Connection “fake news” and then he tries to sabotage the investigation. If he has nothing to hide, why is he being so secretive? Don’t forget about it. He’s trying to make you forget it.
 
Trump pardons Joe Arpaio, a man who flaunted his disregard for the law and kept prisoners in inhumane conditions. That sheriff cost Arizona over $44 million with his antics. So Trump used his pardoning power for personal popularity, since his base is utterly ignorant of how the law is supposed to work.
 
Trump wishes Texans “good luck”with Hurricane Harvey and runs off to Camp David instead of staying in Washington where he could at least keep the appearance of a concerned leader. Meanwhile many people are refusing to go to shelters because they fear that their immigration status will be used against them. Also, this has made him a neo-nazi hero for scaring people so much that they put their lives in danger.
 
Speaking of neo-nazis and white supremacists, Trump’s handling of Charlottesville was an alt-right wet dream. Instead of using his office to denounce hate, he put all players in the situation on the same level, giving the KKK et al a wink and a nod, thrilling them at his virtual endorsement by saying there were “fine people” on both sides.
 
Russia, Russia, Russia. Don’t let it out of your mind.
 
Trump is threatening to shut down the government because of that wall, which the vast majority of people think is unnecessary. What a petulant man.
 
Trump’s white House is a revolving door because apparently he can’t get people to stay because he is so volatile.
 
Speaking of volatile, we have a president that produces whining Twitter storms and never-ending campaign rallies to keep his “base” fired up through lies and deception.
 
Trump used to berate Obama for taking so many golfing trips, but he’s almost used up all the overtime pay for his Secret Service detail by going to golf clubs over 55 times and playing golf at least 23 times, all at a cost to taxpayers of over $62 million. This from a guy who lied during his campaign and said he’s “probably never leave the White House.”
 
The Birther Movement. Trump was it’s king. It was always a racist lie, and he spent over five years screeching about it. Now if anyone even suggests his may have benefitted knowingly from Russian interference in the election and colluded with an adversary, he claims “fake news.”
 
And regarding “fake news” Trump is doing his dictator-wannabe best to discredit any news story or media source that is not producing fawning pieces about how “well” he is doing.
 
Trump’s lies don’t just stop at birtherism. He lied about his inauguration crowd size, and says he never said things that he is on the record as saying, you know, just for shits and giggles apparently.
 
We have a president who is vulgar and demeaning to people he may have a conflict with and then says he is fighting to unite the country.
 
Trump wants to dump any semblance of healthcare for poorer Americans by not having a replacement for Obamacare, then says it’s imploding, and he’ll let it. You know, so that people will start dying because they can’t afford healthcare to begin with, As long as he gets his way, he just doesn’t care.
 
Still glad you stuck it to Hillary and voted third party? Still glad you believed in man who is widely known to be not only a cheater at business, but a misogynist and a liar, you know, just because he talked “tough” and hated all the same things you hate? Still think you voted for him because he’d enact “conservative” policies and he’d drain the swamp, which he sort of did only to make room in the mud for even bigger swamp dwellers?
 
Go you. Don’t forget Russia.

No Nazis

There is no equivalency between the neo-nazis/white supremacists/white nationalists and the people that are against them. One side is a bunch of nazis and the other side is against bigotry and hate. No matter what you think you know about the Black Lives Matter movement and the Resist Trump movement, they are not the moral equivalent of nazis. Quit comparing the sides because you are wrong on so many levels.

In Charlottesville on Friday, August 11, 2017, nazis and their sympathizers marched through the streets of Charlottesville chanting antisemitic, anti-black, anti-gay bile. We are in America and we have a right to answer back. The next day that same group, permit or not, was back at it chanting, throwing slurs, and things erupted. A woman and two policemen died that day because the nazis (I’m going to call all of them nazis because they were all in one group- birds of a feather) brought staffs, baseball bats, shields, helmets, guns, etc. to what they claimed was supposed to be a peaceful protest with the absolute intent on harming people.

They had already greased the wheels of hatred, and what happened was exactly what they wanted, no matter who threw the first punch. Donald Trump was dead wrong when he blamed “both sides.” It was through nazi provocation that this chaos erupted. It was their plan all along.

Americans should not stand by and allow Donald Trump and the nazis off the hook. Trump didn’t condemn them by name for two days and then walked it back the very next day. He was in fact defending nazis. NAZIS. No one can believe he did it not even his so-called conservative pals, first of all, but I can tell you the results- he made the nazis ecstatic. He legitimized their agenda. They tripped all over themselves online heaping praise onto him. This isn’t a “free speech” issue. It’s about nazis who want to decimate our way of life, kill anyone not white or straight or Christian, and take it all for themselves. Donald Trump was all sorts of wrong to do what he did, and his presidency in effect ended the moment he made that third statement.

We do not need a nazi-sympathizer (yeah I know he gave lip service to saying nazis were bad but then he fucked it up the very next day) in the White House. We do not need someone so abrasive that he could not unite velcro. We do not need someone who is beloved by nazis and conservative apologists who want to make a moral equivalency between the alt-Right and the umbrella of moderate conservatives, progressives, and leftist leaning people. The alt-Right are the ones who hounded Barack Obama, lied about his birth situation, called him an Islamist, called him a communist, and made themselves shameful in the eyes of all good men by their vitriol. And they claimed to be the Republican base so they would condemn him too. Pure evil is what they are.

I am calling my representatives in Washington and telling them that Trump does not need to be censured over this- he needs to be impeached and removed for being the traitorous threat to America that he is. I hope you do the same. Google is a wonderful thing. You can find the info on how to contact your congressperson and senator there.

The Plat Eye- Free Novel!!

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The Plat Eye is up on inkitt.com! Inkitt is a platform where the readers are empowered. I have entered my first novel in the Gullah trilogy into a contest to get a publishing deal! Read the book on the website below or download it and take the adventure on your mobile device. And remember to review it!!

I do want people to read my books no matter what. You the reader is of the utmost importance to me. It’s why I write, and why I am excited to bring this free opportunity to you! Read it or download it today!

Link to free novel:

https://www.inkitt.com/stories/adventure/119359

A Short Letter to Caitlyn Jenner

Hey Caitlyn Jenner,
I see that you want to “help” the GOP understand LGBTQ issues. Good on you.
But here’s the deal- The GOP has been on Planet Earth for the duration of the LGBTQ struggle in modern times. They have had access to the same information as the rest of us, And they have at nearly every turn ignored that information. Ronald Regan saw the AIDS crisis in the 1980s but decided not to mention it. Conversion therapy has been completely disproven again and again yet Mike Pence, a heartbeat away from the presidency, ignores that fact and clings to it. The GOP was decidedly against marriage equality even though it’s a civil partnership, a civil matter, and even though it has nothing to do with religion, they held it up as a firebrand to ignite their base using biblical references hoping for political victories. Congress is preparing a “defense of the First Amendment Act” which givies people a pass if people want to discriminate against anyone including the LGBTQ community and claim “deeply held religous beliefs.” Nothing could go wrong with that, right? Come on. They already know how that plays out. Government-sanctioned discrimination based on religion- unconstitutional at best and purposely politically divisive is wrong and yet they will use it. They know what they are doing. It helps their party.
You said you supported Trump in the election. Trump. You knew who his backers were and what they should for. This rollback of transgender rights should not come as a surprise to you. Trump is always going to do what his background voices say. For profit prisons even though they are disastrous? Check. Get rid of regualtions and safety guards in order to bump up profits? Check. Take away healthcare for the masses instead of trying to fix what we have for the sake of money? Check. Appeal to the basest instinctincts of humanity by pleasing people they have misinformed? Check.
The GOP is never going to try to understand LGBTQ issues because they already do. They use us as a political, football live on hate, diviseness, and revenge. They are greedy, misogynistic and don’t want a better world because they want the world to fit their visions of cruelty and retribution. Their ideas are based in a puritanical ideology, one that punishes people for skewing from the norm. So when you try to convince them of their mistakes, just understand that they already know, and they do not care. And putting civil rights into the hands of the states does not work. Jim Crow laws, for instance, diminished our country. Since the Southern Strategy of Nixon in the 1960s switch the philosophies of both parties and the voting base also changed, it is no longer accurate to claim that Democrats are the prejudiced ones. The GOP has earned that title through and through.
Just thought you’d like to know since you professed support for Trump in the election and see this evil turn the “conservative” movement has taken.
Good luck,
Someone who has lived through the fear and hatred and refuses to sit down, shut up, and take it. Again.

Trump and the Downfall of the American Way

If you think that businesses will police themselves and don’t need regulations, Google Love Canal, the Cuyahoga River fire, the Woburn, Massachusetts groundwater contamination, the Gowanus Canal in NYC- these things aren’t just stories of the past. They represent a warning to us now that big business is really only interested in the bottom line. They have statistics about how much damage and loss they can weather without affecting profits. There has been an element in the GOP that either doesn’t remember that, understand it, or (worse yet) don’t care about it. It’s always about the money and not the people with them. Some argue that they are more likely to do the right thing because if they kill people, their businesses will fail. That’s almost laughable if it wasn’t so sad.
Have you ever seen a commercial about mesothilioma? The disease you get from asbestos exposure? When do you think businesses knew that asbestos was a carcinogen? Go ahead. Guess. If I told you that when I was working at a major law firm in the southeast we had a “war room” (a room dedicated to files and evidence about cases) entirely consisting of asbestos cases and that it was during the 1980s, you might think, “well, they got to it as soon as they could.” But you would be wrong. Industry and doctors knew the correlation between asbestos and lung damage goes back to 1899. The US Department of Labor saiid in 1918 that the danger asbestos posed needed urgent study. Businesses lobbied against these studies. But people kept dying and it wasn’t until the 1930 in Britain that studies were done and some safety measures were enacted. Through the 1960s while big business opposed studies and refused to enact safety measures on their own, doctors debated on the “safe” levels of asbestos exposure. And businesses tried to control the dust. People kept dying, all for the sake of money. As the years passed people began bringing lawsuits against railroads and shipyards, mining operations and mills. It was insidious, and industry wanted to hide it, settle out of court, deny facts that had been around for almost a century. That’s how business works when unregulated. They pollute and hope that their profits make up for the loss of life, disease, and human misery they cause.
Trump and his cronies are not concerned about clean water, safe food, an educated population. What they care about is money plain and simple. Not good health or smart children. They care about the bottom line and enriching themselves beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. So if you vote GOP and you don’t care about the environment, I weep for your children. They will have to live with the misery greed and power will most certainly foist on us all. I read about Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va) said quite flippantly that the riches liked clean water and air. He said the solution to the problem was to get rich. Well, folks, there is a finite amount of wealth to go around. The rich keep getting richer thanks to the GOP and Wall Street, but the middle class has stagnated and fallen into lower incomes. It’s because the wealthy hold the money so there is not enough to cover the rest of us. It’s not as simple as the rich “trickling down” their wealth on the poorer population. They are working on a stacked deck with the money concentrated at the top. How do you think people like Trump got so filthy rich? Hint: They didn’t get that way by sharing. They will never let their money go, and neither will big business or Wall Street.
Is it a bad thing to be rich? Maybe. Jesus sure didn’t have nice things to say about them despite Joel “Prosperity Gospel” Osteen’s proclamations otherwise. But I’m not debating that personal wealth does bring a certain amount of comfort. But with CEO salaries skyrocketing, and lower wages stagnating, who do you think is getting more money because they have literally bought legislation that is friendly to lining their own pockets? And if you are waiting for industry and business to regulate itself for the common good, you will be waiting a long time. The people that voted for Trump learned absolutely nothing from history, and what they have learned has been altered by conservatives to mean something that it is not. There is a reason why they want your kids stupid and uninformed. There’s a reason why they plant the seeds of doubt in their followers about “intellectual elitists” and how foreigners are to blame for their lack of jobs, or, shockingly enough, terrorism attacking the American way of life. They encourage discord because it is in discord that they can get richer and richer until we are no more than serfs. They have invaded the evangelical Christian community with their “us and them” philosophy, and it is all to enrich themselves, hide the truth, and rend power from the people.
God help us all.