Having it both ways when it comes to mass shootings

Fact: On December 14, 2012, Adam Lanza, a young, mentally unstable white male, walks into an elementary school and begins a mass shooting spree, killing 26 people, the majority of which were children.

Fact: On July 20th, 2012, James Holmes a young, mentally unstable white male, walks into a Colorado movie theater and begins a mass shooting spree, killing 24 people.

Fact: In March of 2014, Curtis Reeves an elderly white ex-cop shoots a man in a Florida movie theater for texting while watching the previews.

Fact: In July of 2015, a middle age white “drifter” with mental issues stands up in a Louisiana movie theater and begins a shooting spree, killing 2.

Fact: In October of 2015, Chris Harper- Mercer a young white male walks onto an Oregon college campus and begins a shoot spree, killing 9.

Fact: In December of 2015, a young Middle Eastern couple walks into the husband’s California office and begins a mass shooting spree, killing 14.

These are the mass shootings I can remember off the top of my head. Only the dates and number of victims were looked up for accuracy. There are many, many more but I think you get the point. At least I hope you do.

By now, many of you may be rolling your eyes and sighing. There she goes again about the need for gun control. No, not today. It’s not to say I don’t think we should regulate gun sales, I do. But if the idea of mentally unstable people, people with little to no gun safety training, or suspected terrorists having access to fire arms doesn’t scare you, then I am not sure how we can even begin to have a conversation. Why would I want to?

What scares me, and why I made this list, is of what has happened in the days following the California shooting. I am talking about the incendiary talk by those who are seeking higher office, and those who follows these idiots.

You see, these are the same people who defend the rights of the mental unstable, the irresponsible, and possible terrorist’s rights to own weapons; these same people who scream about their 2nd Amendment right as if God himself, decreed it to be so. These same people, who will not even discuss sensible gun laws, are now declaring that ALL people of the Muslim faith are our enemies and should be treated as such. Never mind that the real threats to Americans, according to statistics, are mentally unstable men and toddlers. Yes, toddlers! More Americans have been killed this year by accidental discharge by toddlers than Muslim extremists, yet we are now being told we must fear ALL Muslims, even though the majority of American Muslims have never commit a crime.; even though thousands are serving in our military. This type of talk must end! For it is this type of talk that incites violence and gives meaning and a voice to bigotry. It is the type of talk that led to 6 millions Jews to suffer in concentration camps, to suffer torture and death. It is the kind of talk that divides a nation that is already on the brink of social collapse.

If these self-styled defenders of the Nation want to talk about keeping us safe from violent extremists, why then are they pandering to American extremists? For it is these Americans, the people who fear the unknown, the unnamed assailant, who are their target audience. The majority of Americans do not buy into this madness (at least not yet) but as history as shown, time and time again, violent speeches lead to violent deeds. How can this make us any safer?

It would be laughable if it weren’t so insidious. Statistical data shows us that in the last year alone, there have been more mass shootings by white American males than there have been by outsiders ,yet it is the “outsiders” who are now our scapegoats for all of the bloodshed on American soil. This has got to stop!

If we don’t want to have a conversation about common sense gun laws then we have no right to point a finger at one group and declare “they are the problem”, not when so many of the modern mass shootings have been orchestrated by another group, one that will not be named. Not because we can’t but because if we do, then we will be forced to concede that our policies and 2nd Amendment may be flawed.

Just a few days ago, the Republican led Senate voted to defund the Affordable Health Care Act and Planned Parenthood but defeated a bill that would prohibit firearm sales to people on the No Fly List. Let me ask you a question, which makes you feel safer? Knowing HCA may be dismantled leaving millions without health insurance, knowing PP has no more money for cancer screenings for the poor or knowing a person of interest can walk into any gun store and buy a firearm?

When asked about gun safety laws Jeb Bush shrugged and said, “stuff happens”. This was said after an American born male went on a shooting spree. Here is his Tweet about the California attack.

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His Tweet would seem innocent and kind enough had just weeks earlier he  said, “I pray for the victims and their families” instead of “Stuff happens”. He was being asked about an American caused shooting spree and all he could muster was “Stuff happens”. When it came time to say something about a possible terrorist attack he shows more compassion. Hum.. I wonder why Jeb?

Yes Jeb, stuff does happen, and it will continue to happen, and possibly escalate if the candidates for higher office, the media, and the sitting congress continues to react as if only terrorists, if only the “others”, are to blame for American deaths.

We can’t have it both ways America. We can’t shrug our shoulders and say, “Don’t blame me for the few crazed Americans with access to guns”, all the while screaming, “Blame all Muslims for the few extremists with access to guns!” This has got to stop. We are better than this. At least, I hope that we are. For if we are not, well you know, stuff happens.

After posting this I came across an article in which a Fox news commentator said this:

Now, certainly Stuart, we could use more intelligent approaches to keeping guns out of the hands of psychotics. The Founding Fathers did not intend for every drunk psycho to have a machine gun collection. But law-abiding Americans owning guns is not the problem here. The problem is Islamist terrorism.

The Church of Starbucks

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I went to my local church, Starbucks yesterday because yes, I am white enough to crave a Pumpkin Spice latte now and again. I say, “white”, because every time I think about getting a PSL, a very funny twitter quote comes to mind: “I’m white, but not I can’t wait for PSL season, white”. I groaned and laughed because it showed up on my Twitter feed the day I bought my first PSL of the season.

As much as I love Starbucks lattes, I’ve never had one bring on a feeling of religious ecstasy or made me want to convert. I will admit, at times, that first morning cup of coffee produces a warm tingling feeling of delight and satisfaction, more akin to a orgasm than religious fervor. But apparently for some, Starbucks is the Church of Coffee and therefor is responsible for keeping the Christian holiday holy. WTF?

For those of you who are unaware, it’s not the meek that shall inherit the earth; rather it’s those who seek the red cup. For it is written:

If thou wilt be perfect, go and give to Starbucks all that thou hast, and give to the poor barista and thou shalt have treasure in heaven and a red cup: and come and follow me. (Matthew 19.21)

I won’t bother to give airtime to how this started; I don’t want to name the idiot who decided Starbucks has now engaged in the “war on Christmas”. You can Google him (he’s on Youtube). I wish it was just one guy with a beef with Starbucks, but sadly his followers are legion. What’s all the fuss about, you ask? Well, it turns out that this year Starbucks made the fatal decision to forgo it’s usual red cup with snowflakes, ad instead rolled out a plain red cup! Oh the humanity! Grab the children and get to your nearest church, the apocalypse is upon us and it starting with a plain red cup!

I'm outraged because Starbucks no longer serves Gingerbread Molasses lattes. Now this is a sin!
I’m outraged because Starbucks no longer serves Gingerbread Molasses lattes. Now this is a sin!

I have no idea what snowflakes have to do with Christmas as it pertains to the holy holiday. It is snowing as I write this, and I presume there are a lot of snowflakes on my lawn and roof, but so far, no wandering Middle Eastern family has showed up at my door asking for a room. Not even directions to the nearest Starbucks. I’m sure you can feel my disappointment with this turn of events. Snowflakes yes, baby Jesus no. Maybe I should tack some big fake snowflakes to my front door…

I wonder if baby Jesus would accept this offering?
I wonder if baby Jesus would accept this offering?

I’m tired of this manufactured “war on Christmas” and I am tired of the whining: “Oh, they won’t allow Nativity scenes on government property”(It’s called the separation of Church and State, no, it’s not in the Constitution but is in the founding fathers’ letters*. Learn some history), “I want everyone to say Merry Christmas, damn it! (Some of us say “Happy Holidays” because there is more than one holiday in December. It’s called being inclusive, look that up too).

That there is more than one holiday in December is the reason given by Starbucks to forgo the snowflake. They say:

Creating a culture of belonging, inclusion and diversity is one of the core values of Starbucks, and each year during the holidays the company aims to bring customers an experience that inspires the spirit of the season,”. “Starbucks will continue to embrace and welcome customers from all backgrounds and religions in our stores around the world.”

And it should be noted, that they routinely change the picture on the holiday cup, though it’s always been geared towards Christmas.

The other issue with this “war on Christmas” is the fact that the battle is not being fought over the right problem. If Christmas is so sacred, why do we as a nation worship Black Friday deals and the like so much? Why are we so driven by consumer greed (which by the way is a sin in Jesus’ eyes) that we’ve replaced the true meaning of Christmas with the demand of Thanksgiving shopping and every day leading up to Christmas? Every years millions of Christians will spend Thanksgiving evening standing in line, then stamping in herds, in order to lavish their families with gifts bought at low, low prices. Where is Jesus in all of this? This to me is the true war on Christmas.

What does a snowflake on a cup have to do with Christmas anyway? Why does Starbucks have to act as your church leader? As @arrpeebee wrote on Twitter:

If you need a coffee chain to be your ambassador of Christ you need to re-examine your relationship w/God”

I couldn’t have put it better myself. So, here’s to everyone. I tip my plain red cup to you and wish you a very Happy Holiday Season. You’ll get a Merry Christmas out of me when it is in fact, Christmas.

starbucks-jesus

*I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free
exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.” Thomas Jefferson, Letter to the Danbury Baptists, January 1, 1802

References:

Starbucks. Com. The Story Behind the Design of Starbucks Red Holiday Cups for 2015

The King James – Starbucks- Bible. Mathew 19.21