Sorry, but not sorry: I think these people are psychotic.

No, I’m not talking about the shooters. It goes without saying for them, but I’m not about to fuel the argument that gun violence in the USA is a mental-health problem.

I’m talking about the people who believe the right to bear arms is unfettered, that citizens have the right to own guns, as many as they want, including weapons of war.

The gun violence problem in the USA is guns, their availability and prevalence.

Let’s review the past weekend, shall we?

Monterey Park, Calif., gun violence: Friday, Jan. 21 – 10 people dead, 10 seriously wounded in a dance studio
Baton Rouge, La., gun violence: Sunday, Jan. 22 – 12 people wounded in a night club, at least one in critical condition
Shreveport, La., gun violence: Sunday, Jan. 22 – Eight people wounded in a private residence, including three children, two in critical condition

These were the 23rd, 24th and 25th mass shootings in the USA in 2022. That’s more than one per day. And the count doesn’t include gun violence that’s claimed fewer than three or four victims (by most definitions of mass shootings) since the beginning of the year.

And yet, people like this drive around with assault-weapon gun-rights stickers and blather on about the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which, in reality, does not provide for what they sometimes violently insist it does:

I respect this person’s Constitutional right to free expression. That said….

The license plate must be an attempt at a satirical swipe at people who see themselves as “woke,” replacing the “o” with “Q” – the height of cleverness – to reference the conspiracy theory cult Q-Anon.

Woke (adj.): having or marked by an active awareness of systemic injustices and prejudices, especially those involving the treatment of ethnic, racial, or sexual minorities –

And in this case, “We the People” seems to be a limited definition of the U.S. citizenry, because most U.S. citizens support stricter gun laws. The Pew Research Center found in 2021 that 53 percent of “We the People” favor stricter gun laws, and a more recent UChicago Harris/AP-NORC poll, from 2023, found that 71 percent favor stricter gun laws.

People in other countries cannot fathom what’s wrong with the USA’s citizens, as the comments on a post by my friend Amanda Mac make clear. Why, they ask, do U.S. voters continue to elect representatives who ignore the devastating problem, actively oppose attempts to pass reasonable gun-safety measures and, in many cases, are pushing legislation at local, state and federal levels that makes buying guns and carrying guns easier?

It’s unfathomable to me, as well.

How does a misperceived right to own and carry weapons of war supersede another’s right to life, not to mention liberty and happiness?

Gun violence in the USA. This nation is ill.

Jan. 25, 2023

After reading my friend Paul’s comments (see below), I checked out “Scottsboro Boys” by Lead Belly, and that lead me to this story in Vox about the origin of the term “woke.” It’s interesting and, in so many ways, sad. Be sure to check it out. Thanks, Paul!

Image from Vox by Jewel Samad/AFP

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Maria · February 21, 2023 at 6:42 am

It is fascintating how these things are not common in other parts of the world, and we don’t even talk about guns. That’s not a topic

    Martin C. Fredricks IV · February 21, 2023 at 6:39 pm

    I so wish it wasn’t a topic here in The States. Unfortunately, it’s become part of our everyday lives. Thank you for reading and for your comment.

Paul · January 25, 2023 at 11:43 am

And shortly after you published this post there was a shooting in Half Moon Bay, a small town that was part of my childhood; a town that I still visit quite often.

As a previous commenter says, gerrymandering is a prime reason that the ballots of a majority of Americans have been rendered silent.

That and the fearmongering by the likes of Cruz, combined with the crap that people believe. “_____(fill in the Democratic President) is going to take your guns away and abolish the 2nd Amendment.” As if abolishing the 2nd Amendment is ever going to happen. I have a cousin who truly believes that the Democrats are hatching a nefarious plot to completely disarm the citizenry (not that I would mind).

The cultural appropriation by the Republicans of the term “woke,” sickens me. The term can be traced back to the 1930’s and a song by Huddie “Lead Belly” Ledbetter, about the Scottsboro Boys. Every time I hear that term coming out of the fascist Ron DeSantis’ mouth, I feel like puking. (Sorry I guess I got a little off topic).

Good post


    Martin C. Fredricks IV · January 25, 2023 at 12:40 pm

    Yes, and since then more shootings in California. The gerrymandering point is spot on, of course. And don’t get me started on the likes of Cruz and DeSantis. As for Lead Belly… you learn something new every day. You’ve got me listening to him now (thank you!). Please educate me some more; I can’t find the word “woke” in the song (?).

    Martin C. Fredricks IV · January 25, 2023 at 12:42 pm

    Ah, now I see –

Forestwood · January 23, 2023 at 2:46 pm

It is quite troubling to read the stats for last weekend in the USA. I imagine the multitude of voices calling for gun control are outweighed by a power-hungry few who unfortunately subvert democracy and buy the minds and votes of legislators.
A tragic downward trajectory for a country that freed the world from the menaces of a brutal empirical war in the 20th century.
Can it be reversed?

    Martin C. Fredricks IV · January 23, 2023 at 3:29 pm

    There is always hope, of course, but in the near future I don’t see the “downward trajectory” changing significantly. Sadly, lunacy has gripped half of the voting public in this nation. Thanks for commenting, Amanda.

      Forestwood · January 23, 2023 at 3:34 pm

      Then we must hope for a 1960s style peace revolution!

      Martin C. Fredricks IV · January 23, 2023 at 3:49 pm

      Right on!

      bruce · January 23, 2023 at 5:39 pm

      It’s not “half of the voting public” at all. The “Q”/Republican “base” is about 36%, give or take on any given day. The reason it seems to be about half is directly due to Gerrymandering and voter disenfranchisement. That’s where our efforts need to be focused.

      Martin C. Fredricks IV · January 23, 2023 at 6:20 pm

      I stand corrected. Thanks, Bruce!

Let me know what you think!