Monday, June 13, 2016

Broken Record

That's it I guess. I'm just a broken record. I'm okay with that. If you don't want to read what I have to say then just click me out. I know I totally feel like as I go forward in this entry, it's probably going to have a lot of the same stuff in it that it did when I wrote about what happened in Newtown, CT or if I wrote about France. Or Belgium, West Virginia, or any of the hundred other places there were mass shootings and massacre. So here it is- Knowitallinnj does guns, LGBTQ, and schmucks all in one. Again.

I've said it- I don't understand guns in general. I don't. I'm sorry. Or #SorryNotSorry. Guns have never been a part of my life. There has never been a time I've needed, wanted, or thought about one. I would love someone to try to argue with me, who grew up in Bergen County, NJ, and lives here now, that they have ever "needed" a gun. Want and need are two very different things. I bet a lot of these people who died the other night at the club in Orlando hadn't thought much about guns either.

I've read posts on social media over the years blustering on about how we have the 2nd Amendment, we need to be able to protect ourselves, no one can take our guns. I've seen the rebuttal about the 2nd Amendment- well, when the 2nd Amendment was made, they were taking muskets and other low level weapons. Yasssssssss. They weren't talking about assault rifles. There is no reason for anyone, any civilian, to have an assault rifle. No one hunts with an assault rifle.

The next argument for guns, assault rifles, is that gun laws don't do anything. That just takes guns out of law abiding citizens hands and puts them in the hands of criminals. No, that's horseshit. Pot is illegal here in NJ. So it's really hard to get. Yes, I'm sure if I really tried hard, I could get some. But it isn't easy, there is a stigma around it, and because it's illegal, I can't just ask around if anyone has any. Pot is an individual thing though. Someone isn't using pot to kill someone. No one is going into a night club and murdering with edibles.

If I want phentermine (diet pills), I have to go to the doctor and get a prescription. And they don't give that out freely. I know people who can get opiates before getting diet pills. It's at the discretion of the doctor and whether he or she believes it'll help you and your health history allows for it. If you type it into Google, you CANNOT get it online. I'd have to figure out how to get it on the street, if that's even something a street dealer would even have. With a prescription, you're only allowed to have it three months at a time. If you try to go to the same pharmacy after three months with it, they call the doctor and give the doctor a hard time about it. It's really strongly checked & balanced. Yet, one person taking diet pills only affects them and maybe their family. It doesn't hurt, maim or kill anyone else by extension.

Why am I talking about diet pills? Because I can't believe that I can't get diet pills if I want them, that affect no one, but I could walk into a big box store and just pick up an assault rifle. Or wherever you get them. I just Googled "Where can you buy assault rifles?", for the purpose of this entry, and now I'm probably on a watch list. I don't want to Google any further. My point is- if assault rifles are banned, sure, some criminals will be able to get their hands on them. But not in droves. And not everyone who can buy an assault rifle is going to be a psychopath, but with the anger brewing in this country- no one should be able to just buy that. Chances are- if you have an assault rifle, you have some pretty messed up views of the world, and you're just a ticking time bomb waiting....

This is the thing. I wrote about porn the other day and how it affects how young boys see sex with women. I SAID- "Porn isn't responsible for rape". I was just musing on how boys are shaped seeing sex in porn growing up now. How they are desensitized by seeing violent sex depicted in porn. But that ultimately, porn doesn't make someone rape. It doesn't. The same way in pro-gun people's argument that knifes don't make people stab, cars don't make people drive drunk. Except that I feel with their arguments, they're being deliberately obtuse. No, a car isn't responsible for a drunk driver, nor are we taking away knifes because someone stabbed someone. Knifes don't make people stabby. HOWEVER, all these other things- cars, knives, porn- they all have other uses that are perfectly legal and fine. I use a car to be my son's Uber, a knife to cut the Granny Smith apple for my salad, and there is plenty of porn that is cinematically worthwhile or good entertainment for consenting adults.

THERE IS NO OTHER PURPOSE FOR A GUN THAN TO MAIM OR KILL. None. A knife is designed to cut things, but it's main objective isn't to cut someone's flesh. It CAN be used for that, the same way Botox is used cosmetically AND for migraines. A knife is meant for many good uses not involving flesh. Cars are mainly used to get from one place to another, safely. Guns are only used for one reason. The reasons may veer slightly- like a gun for hunting, one for skeet shooting, and then one to riddle something with many bullets in rapid succession. The point, though, is to maim or kill. There is nothing you can do with a gun, besides make a lamp out of it, that would not be for those reasons. See, I sound like a broken record. How many times do I have to write or say that for people to agree or understand?

So yes, YES, guns DO kill people. YES, someone has to be behind the trigger, but when someone buys a gun, they are looking to do that kind of damage with it. Even if it's to "protect your own home", which is rarely does, according to statistics, it's still to cause severe damage. There is no way to spin the word damage into a positive one.

You want to keep your guns? Okay, then give a little something on the other end. Start with a ban on assault rifles. Tell me how civilians having assault rifles could've stopped the massacre at this night club? Even if you're allowed to carry concealed weapons, no one is bringing an assault rifle to the club for a night out. Even if someone had a hand gun, they wouldn't have been a match for an assault rifle. And you can't expect even fifty percent of the general public to just be carrying. That's ridiculous. Most people couldn't even handle walking around with a gun - me included. I'd be searching for a lip balm and shoot my leg, like that football player back in the day.

It's all politics too. You then have all these schmucks saying this massacre was just a terrorist thing. No, it's a political and religious thing too. This is why we need tougher laws on who is allowed to have guns. You have people who are angry and religious, taking their interpretation of their religion and deciding they're the ones that are allowed or responsible to be the judge and jury. Deciding they're going to use their religion to carry out the punishment I thought was supposed to be given out by the "Creator". I don't know if there is a worse idea than giving out guns to angry religious fanatics.

I know there are people who judge what I allow my son to know about the ways of the world. I have him watch the news, I teach him about differences in gender, sex, ethnicity, religion, size, shape, and whatever comes up. He knows the ins and outs of most LGBTQ issues. He's been to many a PRIDE parade. I know someone who had an eight year old daughter, who has been transitioning to living as an eight year old boy. E is fully versed in this kid's story and has nothing but love and compassion. To me, my mantra for E has been, things are not a thing unless you make them a thing. It goes for LGBTQ, someone with any kind of physical or mental disability, race, religion, and whatever else comes up.

Conservatives in politics and religion want the whole LGBTQ part of this massacre to be ignored. Blame it on the Muslims and call it a day- to further their agenda. It's not about that. It's about being in this weird time in history where we have a presidential candidate running on hate. A political party so deep in the NRA's pocket that we pretty much have no hope of any kind of reform. A time when it's actually okay and acceptable to be racist, sexist, misogynistic, homophobic, anti-semitic, etc. It's like some kind of alternate universe they'd make up for an SNL skit. A really bad, not funny one. We have a candidate that's actually pushing the whole hate agenda like it's a positive thing and people are actually responding favorably. It's the normal, thinking person's worst nightmare.

I heard Obama's speech on this massacre. "This is an especially heartbreaking day for all of our friends, our fellow Americans, who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender," he said. "This is a sobering reminder that attacks on any American, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation, is an attack on all of us and on the fundamental values of equality and dignity that define us as a country."

I felt good about that paragraph. Because it was FOR everyone. It was compassionate. It isn't bringing these senselessly killed victims back, but it was a message of love and hope. If Trump IS, in fact, to be taken at his words, then what kind of message would he have given in this moment? That was all I could think after I heard the above message. WWTD? What would Trump do? How would he have promoted any healing? How would he diffuse the situation?

The answer is- HE WOULDN'T. I shudder to think of what would happen. Just all out anarchy? Going after our neighbors with fire and pitchforks? Because I know firsthand how dumb the average American can be. I had a woman come into my store about a year ago. She was talking about how when she was growing up in a town over, Glen Rock was the hoity-toity town. But now we're always in the news for bad things happening. I said, "Oh, right, with the police...." At the time, there was some shady things going on between our police chief and his police force. She said- "Oh, no. Not the police. With those damn Muslims who are all taking over the town.". I can't put emoticons here, but just imagine my face (for those that know me in person). I was like- "What are you talking about- what Muslims?" She said- "You know, that temple at the other side of town...."

My response: "Yeah, they're Sikh and have nothing to so radical Islam". Then I literally walked right down the hallway and out the back door of my store. I couldn't even be there. How do you even respond to something so stupid? Clearly, she isn't the only moron with wrong information walking around. Racist, disgusting, information that they just have taken as fact. This is exactly why Donald Trump is so dangerous. As someone, some voice of reason has said, he appeals to the lowest common denominator. The moron who is just ready and waiting for the go-ahead to start a race war. It's not just a difference in opinion or differing politics. HE is a danger. Even if you're only business minded and just feel like he's a business man and therefore can treat the country like a business and make better financial decisions. We just have way too much unbridled stupidity walking around also on "your team". They may be interested in the country's finances, but they're way more interested in "taking the country back" to a time when no one was welcome but white Christians. Well, that doesn't work for many of us and it shouldn't work for the rest of the thinking ones either who want to continue being part of a civilized society.

Yes, this entry is all over the place. Guns, LGBTQ, Trump, politics, racism, you name it. It's all connected. I'm so emotional right now because this not the world I want my seven year old to grow up in. A world where guns and this bastardization of the 2nd Amendment takes precedence over dead kids, dead gays, dead students, dead young talented singers. *I* don't want to live in a time where I have to think about going to a movie- any movie- because of the possibility of a shooting rampage. Or think about going to the mall for dinner and being shoved into the back room of an Adidas store because there might be a shooter. I don't want to see only slacktivism on gun reform. I want to see some real shit go down. I don't understand how after twenty children were murdered everyone's hands were still tied. All I seem to be able to do is sign petitions. So whatever anti-gun petitions you want to throw at me- I'll sign 'em all. You want me to go to a rally? I'm there.

You want to hide me, defriend me on social media, stop reading- that's cool too. I'm not going to argue with you. You believe in full on access to assault rifles- you can kiss my dimpled, white, Atheist Cultural Jew, loudmouth, know it all, Jersey-bitch ass. In Macy's window.

My thoughts and positive energy go out to the LGBTQ community, the family and friends of the victims, and the rest of us that are tired of the gun violence allowed to just run rampant because money and schmucks. I am so angry and heartbroken for all people who have to be afraid just walking out their door because of hate and ignorance.

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