Another day in America

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shaunc
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Re: Another day in America

Post by shaunc » Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:38 am

I suppose I'm quite lucky. I live in a society where I don't have a fear of my neighbors.
I drove taxi cars for 12 years, 1/2 of that time driving the night shift and only feared for my safety once.
I imagine that there's a few blokes in town who keep weapons of some description in their home for safety reasons (probably blokes mixed up with drugs and crime). But in all honesty I don't know anyone who even keeps a cricket bat in their home or car for self defense.

shaunc
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Re: Another day in America

Post by shaunc » Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:52 am

Malcolm wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 4:14 pm
justsit wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:46 pm
shaunc wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 7:26 am
I find it hard to believe that the leaders of these countries rank a human life somewhere below a chicken and a dog's life.
Believe it, sadly.

The US Constitution has been interpreted to protect an individual's right to bear arms. There is big money involved in making sure that doesn't change, regardless of what "leaders" might or might not think.
It is not only guns, it's culture, especially in the South and the West. Here in Massachusetts, we have extremely strict gun laws, and the lowest level of gun violence in the US. But just across the border, in Vermont, there is more gun violence in a state with 1/10th our population because they have much looser gun laws.
You're right about the U.S. having a different culture to the rest of the world.
I can remember a tsunami hitting SE Asia, Christmas day 2004 and watching on TV in the following days of the people helping each other. Some were searching for survivors, some were trying to rebuild homes others were handing out food and clothing. These people were extremely poor, there's very few wealthy people in these countries.
About 6 months later, if memory serves me correctly, hurricane Katrina hit new Orleans and the people turned their guns on each other.
I know someone will comment that I don't understand the differences and that there's reasons behind it all and the media is to blame for blowing everything out of proportion but I do know what I saw on my TV.

PeterC
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Re: Another day in America

Post by PeterC » Mon Nov 12, 2018 1:13 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:27 am
What is the deal with referendums to push for changes in law, in the US? Could that be a possible avenue for "bottom-up" change?
State law yes - there are various forms of ballot initiatives that basically do this - but federal law, no. To pass an amendment to the constitution you’d need a constitutional convention, which is extremely difficult. The other approach is through litigation - to change how the Supreme Court interprets the second amendment. The last case on this, DC v Heller, held that although certain types of restrictions on firearms may be permissible (though it didn’t say which), in general the second amendment preserves an unqualified right to bear arms. The nature of Supreme Court precedent is that a subsequent case can just hold that a case was incorrectly decided and overturn it, but since then the court has become more conservative.

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Quay
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Re: Another day in America

Post by Quay » Tue Nov 13, 2018 5:07 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 4:14 pm
It is not only guns, it's culture, especially in the South and the West. Here in Massachusetts, we have extremely strict gun laws, and the lowest level of gun violence in the US. But just across the border, in Vermont, there is more gun violence in a state with 1/10th our population because they have much looser gun laws.
And that culture of the South and West has a lot of facets that wind up expressing itself in guns and gun violence yet they are symptoms of those facets.

There is a great quote, often seen on the net, by Dr. Paul Farmer: "The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that's wrong with the world." And that idea is baked into the culture the South.

I can't speak for the West since I've just visited but I can talk some about the South. From early on most kids are taught to love a narrow range of things (family, college football, God, one's church) and to hate a wide range of things and people (other people's families, the opposing teams, God or Gods not like the one we worship, other people's churches.) This fear and hate-based world view naturally lends itself to fortressing one's house and filling it with armaments.

This kind of thing appears in every state in the U.S. but perhaps loudest in the South. The culture that needs changing is made up of a lot of things like worshipping military defeat, racism of a vicious kind, lying to children about life, and the all-permeating white nationalism that is now suddenly in the open again.

And in many places things are changing for the better. But right now we have a lot of heavily armed, fear-filled hate mongers killing innocent people. Just another day in America.
"Knowledge is as infinite as the stars in the sky;
There is no end to all the subjects one could study.
It is better to grasp straight away their very essence--
The unchanging fortress of the Dharmakaya."

– Longchenpa.

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Grigoris
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Re: Another day in America

Post by Grigoris » Tue Nov 13, 2018 7:42 pm

PeterC wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 1:13 pm
State law yes - there are various forms of ballot initiatives that basically do this - but federal law, no.
Then it needs to start happening at a state level. When there is enough impetus, this will force change at the federal level.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
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Dorje Shedrub
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Re: Another day in America

Post by Dorje Shedrub » Tue Nov 13, 2018 11:16 pm

There are also many people who feel that they need guns to be able to figure against a rogue government, as if an AR15 can compete against an M1 Abrams tank.

DS
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Coëmgenu
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Re: Another day in America

Post by Coëmgenu » Tue Nov 13, 2018 11:46 pm

Dorje Shedrub wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 11:16 pm
There are also many people who feel that they need guns to be able to figure against a rogue government, as if an AR15 can compete against an M1 Abrams tank.

DS
My own father is one of such men, who believes he must arm himself against a coming genocide.

He has better luck against his own native Canadian military, what with its leaking subs, derelict helicopters, and tanks from the 50s, than an American military, though.
佛子。如來智慧。無相智慧。無閡智慧。具足在於眾生身中。但愚癡眾生顛倒想覆。不知不見不生信心。
O, sons and daughters. The Thus-Gone's wisdom. The signless wisdom. The unobstructed wisdom. It perfectly dwells within all sentient beings’ minds. Yet in ignorance, sentient beings err and think it covered. Not knowing, not seeing, not giving rise to faith.
Āryamaitreyanāthasyottarekayānaratnagotraśāstra T1611.827b20

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Sennin
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Re: Another day in America

Post by Sennin » Tue Nov 13, 2018 11:48 pm

https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/13/us/secur ... index.html

Man who stopped active shooter, is killed by police...






This is America...
Namo Guru Bhyaḥ

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Coëmgenu
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Re: Another day in America

Post by Coëmgenu » Tue Nov 13, 2018 11:55 pm

Sennin wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 11:48 pm
https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/13/us/secur ... index.html

Man who stopped active shooter, is killed by police...

This is America...
I read about this earlier, it is similar to the death of Philando Castile, who was legally obligated to inform the police that he had a firearm on him, but was shot nonetheless, immediately after informing them.

Further proof that open carry laws and the like only benefit the white.
佛子。如來智慧。無相智慧。無閡智慧。具足在於眾生身中。但愚癡眾生顛倒想覆。不知不見不生信心。
O, sons and daughters. The Thus-Gone's wisdom. The signless wisdom. The unobstructed wisdom. It perfectly dwells within all sentient beings’ minds. Yet in ignorance, sentient beings err and think it covered. Not knowing, not seeing, not giving rise to faith.
Āryamaitreyanāthasyottarekayānaratnagotraśāstra T1611.827b20

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Queequeg
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Re: Another day in America

Post by Queequeg » Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:19 am

PeterC wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 1:13 pm
To pass an amendment to the constitution you’d need a constitutional convention, which is extremely difficult.
That's one way, but at a constitutional convention the entire piece of paper would be up for rewriting. They could scrap the whole thing and write something completely different. Then it would have to be ratified.

Amendments can be passed piecemeal through the legislature. Hence the numbered amendments.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Queequeg
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Re: Another day in America

Post by Queequeg » Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:31 am

Wayfarer wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:06 am
I’m afraid that unless and until the association of owning weapons with freedom is abandoned, there not much hope for change. It paints those calling for gun control as ‘enemies of freedom’ and gun owners as ‘defenders of freedom’.

Whereas I would have thought that in reality, ‘civic freedom’ is NOT having to own a gun. I mean, I can imagine circumstances in which I would want to own a gun, but as an urban-dweller in the country in which I live, there is simply no requirement for it. Whereas if the American pro-gun advocates have their way, schools, synagogues, and all manner of public places would be patrolled by armed guards. To me that signifies a fundamental breakdown of civil order.
This is the NRA's doing. Basically, the NRA is a political special interest group that has been cultivating a campaign to insinuate themselves (and their political agenda) into certain cultural segments of the US. Its pretty cynical. As cynical as any hardball special interest. Its gone off the rails. It suffers from the usual echo chamber malaise of devolution into extreme and antisocial views.

https://www.npr.org/2017/10/10/55657859 ... strictions
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Coëmgenu
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Re: Another day in America

Post by Coëmgenu » Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:32 am

Queequeg wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:19 am
PeterC wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 1:13 pm
To pass an amendment to the constitution you’d need a constitutional convention, which is extremely difficult.
That's one way, but at a constitutional convention the entire piece of paper would be up for rewriting. They could scrap the whole thing and write something completely different. Then it would have to be ratified.

Amendments can be passed piecemeal through the legislature. Hence the numbered amendments.
Bro, and-I-quote the infantile gambino, "this is America" we're talking about.

That goddamn constitution might as well be the Vedas. Born of the mouth of Brahma, constituting the body of Brahma, Brahma-become. They aren't going to just scrap it.
佛子。如來智慧。無相智慧。無閡智慧。具足在於眾生身中。但愚癡眾生顛倒想覆。不知不見不生信心。
O, sons and daughters. The Thus-Gone's wisdom. The signless wisdom. The unobstructed wisdom. It perfectly dwells within all sentient beings’ minds. Yet in ignorance, sentient beings err and think it covered. Not knowing, not seeing, not giving rise to faith.
Āryamaitreyanāthasyottarekayānaratnagotraśāstra T1611.827b20

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Queequeg
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Re: Another day in America

Post by Queequeg » Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:39 am

Grigoris wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 7:42 pm
PeterC wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 1:13 pm
State law yes - there are various forms of ballot initiatives that basically do this - but federal law, no.
Then it needs to start happening at a state level. When there is enough impetus, this will force change at the federal level.
Its happening. Gun laws in Massachusetts, for instance, are nothing like Texas. It doesn't have the effect I think you are intuiting it would have.

Federalism more or less makes each state its own jurisdiction that the citizens are allowed to govern for themselves. The relations between state and federal laws are pretty complex but don't affect each other until they conflict. And then federal law trumps. No pun intended.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Queequeg
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Re: Another day in America

Post by Queequeg » Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:42 am

Coëmgenu wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:32 am
Queequeg wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:19 am
PeterC wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 1:13 pm
To pass an amendment to the constitution you’d need a constitutional convention, which is extremely difficult.
That's one way, but at a constitutional convention the entire piece of paper would be up for rewriting. They could scrap the whole thing and write something completely different. Then it would have to be ratified.

Amendments can be passed piecemeal through the legislature. Hence the numbered amendments.
Bro, and-I-quote the infantile gambino, "this is America" we're talking about.

That goddamn constitution might as well be the Vedas. Born of the mouth of Brahma, constituting the body of Brahma, Brahma-become. They aren't going to just scrap it.
If we had a constitutional convention they could. Its why there will likely never be a constitutional convention. The country will dissolve first.

Are you kidding? I would not trust anyone to rewrite that thing. And anyone would not trust me or anyone either.

Last year there was a ballot initiative in NY to have a constitutional convention because our state constitution is a freaking invitation to corruption. NYers wisely concluded status quo is better than letting anyone rewrite it.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Queequeg
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Re: Another day in America

Post by Queequeg » Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:47 am

Queequeg wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:42 am
Coëmgenu wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:32 am
Queequeg wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:19 am


That's one way, but at a constitutional convention the entire piece of paper would be up for rewriting. They could scrap the whole thing and write something completely different. Then it would have to be ratified.

Amendments can be passed piecemeal through the legislature. Hence the numbered amendments.
Bro, and-I-quote the infantile gambino, "this is America" we're talking about.

That goddamn constitution might as well be the Vedas. Born of the mouth of Brahma, constituting the body of Brahma, Brahma-become. They aren't going to just scrap it.
If we had a constitutional convention they could. Its why there will likely never be a constitutional convention. The country will dissolve first.

Are you kidding? I would not trust anyone to rewrite that thing. And anyone would not trust me or anyone either.

Last year there was a ballot initiative in NY to have a constitutional convention because our state constitution is a freaking invitation to corruption. NYers wisely concluded status quo is better than letting anyone rewrite it.
Anyway, this is what amendments are for. With an amendment, we can fix discrete problems. No need to give some politicians carte blanche to rewrite the whole thing.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Coëmgenu
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Re: Another day in America

Post by Coëmgenu » Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:51 am

Queequeg wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:47 am
Queequeg wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:42 am
Coëmgenu wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:32 am
Bro, and-I-quote the infantile gambino, "this is America" we're talking about.

That goddamn constitution might as well be the Vedas. Born of the mouth of Brahma, constituting the body of Brahma, Brahma-become. They aren't going to just scrap it.
If we had a constitutional convention they could. Its why there will likely never be a constitutional convention. The country will dissolve first.

Are you kidding? I would not trust anyone to rewrite that thing. And anyone would not trust me or anyone either.

Last year there was a ballot initiative in NY to have a constitutional convention because our state constitution is a freaking invitation to corruption. NYers wisely concluded status quo is better than letting anyone rewrite it.
Anyway, this is what amendments are for. With an amendment, we can fix discrete problems. No need to give some politicians carte blanche to rewrite the whole thing.
Amendments are the Upanishads to the Constitution-fetishist.

But yes, I agree.
佛子。如來智慧。無相智慧。無閡智慧。具足在於眾生身中。但愚癡眾生顛倒想覆。不知不見不生信心。
O, sons and daughters. The Thus-Gone's wisdom. The signless wisdom. The unobstructed wisdom. It perfectly dwells within all sentient beings’ minds. Yet in ignorance, sentient beings err and think it covered. Not knowing, not seeing, not giving rise to faith.
Āryamaitreyanāthasyottarekayānaratnagotraśāstra T1611.827b20

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Malcolm
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Re: Another day in America

Post by Malcolm » Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:11 am

shaunc wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:52 am

About 6 months later, if memory serves me correctly, hurricane Katrina hit new Orleans and the people turned their guns on each other.

No, not exactly.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

PeterC
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Re: Another day in America

Post by PeterC » Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:33 am

Queequeg wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:19 am
PeterC wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 1:13 pm
To pass an amendment to the constitution you’d need a constitutional convention, which is extremely difficult.
That's one way, but at a constitutional convention the entire piece of paper would be up for rewriting. They could scrap the whole thing and write something completely different. Then it would have to be ratified.

Amendments can be passed piecemeal through the legislature. Hence the numbered amendments.
Yes, but then you're at the mercy of the ratification process, which would basically never pass it.

I completely agree that you don't want to open it up to wholesale rewriting, otherwise you'll end up with a personhood amendment, language defending "religious freedom" (=right to bigotry and discrimination), and all sorts of other nonsense.

Which basically leaves only one route. You start enforcing state laws on things like background checks (the NRA resistance to this is disgusting), and start passing piecemeal legislation restricting categories of weapons. This runs straight into judicial challenges from the NRA/Republicans. I think we need to be realistic that within the constraints of Columbia v. Heller you can only get so far, and since then SCOTUS has shifted further to the right with the addition of Gorsuch and Kavanaugh. However the opinion deliberately left some latitude for tighter enforcement of controls on guns (Scalia writing for the majority):
We are aware of the problem of handgun violence in this country, and we take seriously the concerns raised by the many amici who believe that prohibition of handgun ownership is a solution. The Constitution leaves the District of Columbia a variety of tools for combating that problem, including some measures regulating handguns, see supra, at 54–55, and n. 26. But the enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table. These include the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home. Undoubtedly some think that the Second Amendment is outmoded in a society where our standing army is the pride of our Nation, where well-trained police forces provide personal security, and where gun violence is a serious problem. That is perhaps debatable, but what is not debatable is that it is not the role of this Court to pronounce the Second Amendment extinct.
(Now I happen to think that the majority is completely wrong in their conclusion about the fundamental meaning of the 2nd Amendment, and following its history through the articles of confederation language on militias and how that was modified in section 1 article 8 powers under the constitution I think that conclusion is very clear. But there's really no point in arguing about that now, as the prevailing judicial interpretation isn't going to change.)

So that's the only viable strategy: chip away at it from the bottom and hope that SCOTUS doesn't push back aggressively on those efforts. It's not much. But hopes of more fundamental reform are frankly fantasy at this point.

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Queequeg
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Re: Another day in America

Post by Queequeg » Wed Nov 14, 2018 6:28 am

Yep. For better and worse, the Constitution is too difficult to change.

There is something else going on with guns, though. Its a cultural thing. Take any cultural phenomena - I've been reading that Harley Davidson is in deep trouble right now because their customers have simply aged out of bikes. Unless that Easy Rider cultural cache is in your head, who wants to ride one of those lawnmowers? I feel like guns, too, are a fad, along with all the rationalizations for AR-15's and 50 round clips. And I think the NRA, with their sustained, intentional strategy to insinuate themselves into rural popular culture is a big part of creating this fad, but all fads jump the shark, so to speak. The Fonz can't jump the f'in shark on this fast enough.

This gun culture is as dumb as any pop culture fad, and if its a fad, and I hope I am right, its time will come, when its just not cool anymore. I think the generation coming up - if you are scared shitless from childhood about guns, I have a feeling you're not going to think its cool when you grow up.

In the meantime... yeah, we chip away at the laws.

Speaking of kids chipping away at the laws... That Ocacio-Cortez - marching on Pelosi's office and demanding a Green New Deal.

Man, these kids are alright.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

PeterC
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Re: Another day in America

Post by PeterC » Wed Nov 14, 2018 9:03 am

Queequeg wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 6:28 am
Yep. For better and worse, the Constitution is too difficult to change.

There is something else going on with guns, though. Its a cultural thing. Take any cultural phenomena - I've been reading that Harley Davidson is in deep trouble right now because their customers have simply aged out of bikes. Unless that Easy Rider cultural cache is in your head, who wants to ride one of those lawnmowers? I feel like guns, too, are a fad, along with all the rationalizations for AR-15's and 50 round clips. And I think the NRA, with their sustained, intentional strategy to insinuate themselves into rural popular culture is a big part of creating this fad, but all fads jump the shark, so to speak. The Fonz can't jump the f'in shark on this fast enough.
Not many decades ago the NRA was not a particularly high-profile organization, and it's main work was around mundane things like gun safety. It's really the current leadership, in particular people like Wayne LaPierre, that has given it such an overt political agenda. It became a very convenient vehicle for the right because it targets The Base with a lot of accuracy - to the extent that one could speculate whether many of the advocates of the 2A really care that much about guns vs. the demographic that guns now deliver to them
Man, these kids are alright.
They are. They give me hope.

I also wonder whether the emergence of a younger generation with very different cultural values doesn't in part explain the republican's education policy, and the ascendance of people like DeVos. It's easier to hold on to power if you keep people stupid.

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