One of the responses I received about yesterday's blog was as interesting as it was amusing. It was from the same guy who told me two years ago that his mother would have hated me although she had never met me, never heard one word about what I stood for, what my opinions were, what I do, etc., You get the idea. As a result I do not know whether she hated me for my bad jokes (my family suggests that they get pretty irksome from time to time), the fact that I volunteer a substantial portion of my time in assisting others who need help (her son is a corporate lawyer who billed his services on a time basis, e.g.. a two minute phone call is billed for 15 minutes of his time and I cannot imagine him giving away any of his time to anybody for any purpose), or for what I believe. I suspect two things; first, I suspect that the son of this woman is the one who in fact, transposes his own feelings about me to his mother (he knows even less about me than his mother did, and she knew nothing) and second, he can't handle what he thinks he believes about what I believe. With this as background I share what his response was to yesterday's blog: "If you wrote this and believe it, you should call a neurologist and make an appointment for an exam." In response, this is what I believe.
1). More than one million Americans have died from gunshot wounds since 1968,
2). Eleven teenagers a day are killed in these United States from gunshots.
3). The NRA is one of the most powerful lobbies in Washington and is THE ONLY ORGANIZATION IN AMERICA which does not have to disclose how much it spends or who it spends it on for its lobbying activities.
4). I did write the blog yesterday, Duhh.
5). I do believe what I wrote yesterday. It is my opinion. In a free society I am entitled to an opinion. I respect and encourage others who have different opinions to interact and discuss those opinions with me. That interaction is also what a free society is about. There is nothing wrong with sharp ideological argument, as long as partisans do not seek to demonize their opponents and make their cases without ridicule and threats. I did receive several intelligent and well thought-out responses to my blog from conservative friends.
6). I don't ever suggest that because someone disagrees with me, that they are suffering from a mental illness and that they should see a doctor because of the opinions they hold.
7). The fact is that the perpetrator of the carnage in Arizona was able to walk into a sporting goods store and purchase the murder weapon together with a loader allowing 33 bullets to be fired in a short time without the need for reloading. He was able to do this after exhibiting a pattern of strange conduct for several months that resulted in his expulsion from school, i.e., an obvious pattern of young adult-onset schizophrenia.
8). This type of loader was illegal until President Bush allowed the law to lapse in 2004 after specifically making a campaign promise that he would extend the law to protect the citizens of America. It has been widely reported that Bush caved in to the demands of the NRA to let the law lapse.