Jon and I don’t feel funny today

emanuel

So this post is going to be a long rant.  And I don’t normally rant.  I’m sorry.  Sort of…

You might want to skip it if you don’t see any problems or have any issues with the racist, terrorist shooting that killed nine church members at a prayer meeting in Charleston, S.C. last week.  Mass murder.  Again.  Or you’re tired of hearing about it – yawn – and want to move on to the latest about Kim and Kanye.

It’s going to be a little bit like Jon Stewart’s monologue last Thursday evening.

Jon Stewart hosts a U.S. faux news show called The Daily Show on the Comedy Central Network.  But really, it’s more informative than the normal, “real” news.  He’s a highly intelligent comedian, well versed on the politics of the U.S. and the world. Somewhat of a prophetic voice, Jon calls his audience to examine the events of the day and the antics of our oh so wacky politicians and culture with a critical eye based on fact and logic rather than emotion, fear mongering and myth.

But he was emotional last Wednesday.  If you haven’t watched it, I highly recommend it.  It’s incredibly powerful and echo’s the sentiments of many, many Americans despite what those of you outside of the U.S. might think.  We aren’t all gun-toting racist whack jobs…  Really.

Check out Jon’s monologue out here.

I’ve loved my country and been proud to be an American for most of my life.  Now, I’m not so sure what I think or feel.

When I was growing up, the U.S. was the envy of the world.  Post-World War II, we were seen as the savior of Europe and the Pacific at the cost of many precious American lives.  We invested millions of dollars and countless manpower hours into rebuilding Europe out of the ashes of that devastating war.  Until it’s fall, we were the only country with the clout and means to stand up to the Soviet bullies, and protect our allies.  Nothing like being able to match nuke for nuke.

We struggled through the internal trauma of the 60’s and early 70’s – the Vietnam War, the devastating race riots, the assassinations of truly great men, the revolt of the farm workers, Watergate, the sexual revolution, the rise of the drug culture…  Whew. And I believed we emerged from the struggles a better country for it.  Not perfect by any means, but it felt as if we were moving forward on social, economic, racial, cultural and gender issues.

But something has gone terribly, horribly wrong.  Now, instead of being the envy of the world, we’ve become the butt of jokes; the laughing stock of most civilized nations for our parochial ways.  Yet there are people in the U.S. who naively believe we are still the greatest and most powerful country in the world.  And there is no such thing as climate change.  And the Confederate flag should fly above Southern state capitals.  When I travel to Europe, people ask me what in the world is going on in the U.S.  Have we gone crazy?  Yep…

A totally dysfunctional, gridlocked government for sale to the highest bidder. Corporations considered “people” and donating unlimited amounts to puppet candidates.  Lobbyists dictating to our legislators how to vote on virtually all of the issues with the gun lobby being one of the loudest and most influential voice in our local, state and Federal governments.  Fun stuff.

I believe the framers of our Constitution were brilliant men.  They recognized the importance of defending our new nation.  So, the 2nd Amendment, as ratified by Congress in 1790 states:

“A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

The key words are A WELL REGULATED MILITIA.  I’m not the sharpest needle in the pincushion, but 14 mass shootings since 2009 does not look like a “well regulated militia” to me.  The absence of background checks prior to buying guns in many states doesn’t look like a “well regulated militia” to me.  The lack of laws requiring gun permits or gun registration in many states doesn’t look like “a well regulated militia” to me.  The ease of availability of semi-automatic assault weapons to anybody with the money to buy them doesn’t look like “a well regulated militia” to me.

I’m pretty sure we’d get a great big fail from our Founding Fathers for not regulating our “militia”.  I’m pretty sure they’d scrap the 2nd Amendment and start over.  And I’m pretty sure that I would agree with them.

For those fellow Americans who really don’t mind having mass shootings, on average, every 67 days (since 2011), I just hope you aren’t in the next movie theater or church or 1st grade or college classroom when the “renegade, unregulated militia” comes to call.  Bang bang – they’ll shoot you down too even with your conceal and carry.

Just don’t think America is the best or greatest any more.  Our blatant disregard for the sacredness of the rainbow of human life for the “right” to have semi-automatic assault weapons puts us in the same category as say – oh I don’t know – maybe ISIS and Al Qaeda?  Those rascally fellows…

Mentally ill individual just sounds so much better than domestic terrorist doesn’t it?

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35 thoughts on “Jon and I don’t feel funny today

  1. Stands sadly and applauds. This is sad but true. My heart is heavy for our country and the direction it is taking. I am relieved that SC, took the Confederate flag off of the capitol building grounds. Hmm, maybe a glimmer of hope??

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you. I’m amazed that all the comments I got were so positive and supportive! I thought sure there would be a few who would not be quite so “in synch”. Just goes to show that AGMA followers are a heck of a lot more thoughtful and perceptive than my Facebook friends!

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  2. Dear AGMA,

    I totally agree with your rant and I feel for you. Your blog entry brings to mind so many other rants, about racism, undue influence, helplessness, frustration and lack od respect for our fellow human beings that I don’t know hat to say, except that you earned my respect.

    Great post!

    And, btw, we love John Stewart too!

    Like

    • Thanks so much. I hate to rant – there are plenty of other folks out there who more than make us for us non-ranters. But some things just demand a response and since I can’t climb flagpoles to take Confederate flags down, I’ll write.

      And Jon Stewart is is the man and OMG, I just now realized that I spelled his name wrong! Well – I was upset! Duh…

      Thanks for your comment!

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  3. Completely agree. It seems amazing to me that we have to continue to write these posts. time after time, shooting after shooting. The worst is that it seems to me Americans have lost all hope of change. They’ve accepted that “this is the way it is.” So the answer to guns is bullet proof backpacks and armed principals, pastors toting ammunition. It is a sad time, on many fronts.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. John Stewart said all I could possibly think of to say. However, I don’t believe gun control is the only problem. I think awareness and caring are lacking. We need to be more diligent in recognizing these people and taking care of them before they get to the point of mass murder. Someone knew that this man was capable and likely to do something rash. That person or persons should have done something to prevent this man from “going off the deep end.” I know that’s difficult, but somehow we need to find a way, in addition to background checks, to stop this madness.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I would venture to suspect that those around him probably have similar views so his “hate-speak” didn’t really stand out. He may have mentioned what he was thinking of doing to his friends and family, but they probably thought it was just his “proud Confederate spirit” venting. And online he was just one of thousands who go into those white supremacist websites/chat-rooms who do nothing but spew hate. I really don’t think there are voices of caring and moderation there. At this point, I don’t mind treating the symptoms – much stricter gun control – until we can figure out as a nation how to treat the cause!

      Thanks for taking the time to read my rant and for your thoughtful comments!

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  5. Hey AGMA. I’m super glad that you wrote this and put it out there for all of us. Thank you. I just (like a month and a half ago) moved to California from South Carolina. My husband is from there, as is his entire family, and we’d been there for three years. I am so, so glad that the rest of the country has finally started to take a stand around these issues. South Carolina is not all bad, by any means. It’s a beautiful state flooding with history, a place to live “the slow life” that you just don’t find in many other states. The issues of blatant xenophobia and racism struck me (as they are striking our nation now) three years ago when I met the state as a complete stranger: the confederate flag at the capitol, the derogatory names thrown around in everyday conversation, even the wildly inappropriate naming of boats. I was really shocked that these sentiments still existed somewhere in our Third World Superpower of a country; it seemed as though some parts of the state, and even some parts of the country, have been overlooked by the rest of our nation just in an attempt to “keep them quiet”. The pride of “the south’s” history, I think, has not changed with the times, and instead has become a vice. I watched John Oliver’s show on Thursday also, and I’m relieved that the rest of the country doesn’t shove this under the rug, like I’d seen done in South Carolina. So, my rant too….and thank you for posting!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for the reply rant!!

      Wow Kat! What a culture shock to move from CA to SC! I moved to Georgia nearly 10 years ago from Ohio. But I live in Atlanta which I believe is very different from the rest of the South. It’s much more metropolitan and multicultural and integrated. And there is little tolerance for bigotry. But go outside of the city a bit and you run smack into 1860 Georgia attitudes.

      I think you’re right about the rest of the country just ignoring the “sore losers” That’s why I was so upset when SCOTUS gutted the voting rights act. I’m sorry if the Southern states don’t like it, but somebody needs to monitor what they do in regards to ensuring all eligible Americans can vote because the hate and prejudice is so rampant.

      I so hope this is a wake up call for the rest of the country and it doesn’t get forgotten the next time Caitlyn Jenner does a magazine cover!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for putting out what needs to be said. This is a horrible tragedy that has become a patched up affair. A person is not mentally ill for having severe hatred and acting on it. They’re just cruel and evil. America is most definitely not what it was..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for saying what I have been thinking! It’s cruelty and evil taken to an extreme. I suppose you can make a case that the people who do heinous things like murder a Bible study group in cold blood or cut off the heads of kidnap victims on Youtube or shoot up tourists on a beach are mentally ill, but which came first, the illness or the hatred? I would venture to say the hatred is what twisted their minds.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Um….I never understood about the justification by Americans for a domestic militia. No need in a true democracy. If things domestically get super bad, then use the police and national army who are already properly trained. (and they make mistakes too…)

    Citizens taking arms, owning guns…for self-protection (unless they live in Alaska with bears in their backyard), makes no sense. The kickback from a gun is strong enough, that it’s hard to aim properly/safely anyway.

    But then, I’m CAnadian and I live in a province which has the strongest gun support in our country.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I get the need for a “well regulated militia” in 1790 before the Armed Services, the National Guard and local police forces. To me, those entities are now the “well regulated militia” our founders were taking about. Our government now has a perfect right and even a duty to have sensible, restrictive gun control laws to protect both the men and women in those organizations, and it’s citizens.

      It’s so interesting to see how the conservatives are all in staunch support of a liberal interpretation of the 2nd amendment (right to bear arms), but are positively howling at the recent SCOTUS ruling on gay marriage in support of the 14th amendment. They are like little spoiled children!

      Thanks Jean for your comment and for pondering all of this with me!

      Like

  8. Beautifully written, and so true. I remember traveling in 2008 and being asked by an Australian if I could “explain Sarah Palin” and “explain why Americans need guns”. Nope, I couldn’t. I didn’t understand it either.

    I continue to wish that more Americans leave our borders and learn firsthand about other countries and ways of life. I still wouldn’t want to live anywhere else, but I recognize that we can learn so much by being open to other ideas and other cultures.

    My hope is that those 9 people have not died in vain–that their deaths will galvanize the rest of us to examine the deep roots of racism in our culture. Getting rid of the confederate flag is a start. Getting rid of the hatred and prejudice that has kept that flag waving will take a lot longer.

    But I remain hopeful. The recent Supreme Court decision is cause for celebration. That flag that we have been saluting since elementary school? It just added one more demographic group to the “with liberty and justice for all” category.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It was nice to savor a bit of hope from last weeks events wasn’t it? 🙂 Makes me want to say the Pledge of Allegiance! Perfect segue into a patriotic weekend!

      And I will never give up hope that those 9 beautiful souls in Charleston or all of those precious children at Sandy Hook or the students shot at Virginia Tech, etc, did not die in vain. I have to trust that the tragic loss of their lives will change the world for the better in some way. I have to.

      I, like you, wish more Americans could travel to other lands to get a better understanding of our global village. It really makes a difference on how you view the world.

      Getting rid of that dang Confederate flag is a good symbolic start. We all have to work towards the other goal of rooting out the systemic hatred and prejudice.

      And there is NO explaining national embarrassment Sarah Palin. “I can see Russia from my house…”

      Liked by 1 person

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