Open letter to the Republican Party….

Republican Party TwoDr. Michael J. O’Connell, Healthcare Consultant from Barrington, New Hampshire commented:

  1. I understand the need to pander to the religious right, especially during the primary season, but let’s make sure we have a solidly right/centrist candidate for the general election – Mitt Romney where are you? Let’s not embarrass ourselves with a cretin like Trump or Cruz.
  1. Can you please forget Obamacare? It’s here to stay and it makes all Republicans look petty and desperate with these efforts to repeal.  There is no way legislation would successfully override a presidential veto, so it’s all window dressing.
  1. Likewise window dressing is the stance on debt with this menace, the monthly debt crisis – get things squared away after a Republican is in the White House.
  1. Gun Control – Let’s pull away from the NRA finally and ensure that assault weapons are banned. Sure they are plenty fun to shoot, but remember the Ford Pinto was pulled off the market?  It was fun to drive but turned into an inferno when rear ended.
  1. Abortion – I’ts here to stay. It’s a protection afforded by the Supreme Court.  Let it go—see #2
  1. Fiscal Responsibility – Definitely, Liberal spending must stop.
  1. Defense – Absolutely necessary to have a strong mobile force.
  1. The country, nah the world, needs measures to control population growth – the poor in this country are often ill-prepared to have more babies – Planned parenthood is the best tool to assist them in more thoughtful family development. Stop efforts to defund Planned Parenthood – again makes the party look stupid and totally alienates the left.
  1. Climate Change – WAKE UP REPUBLICANS – it’s occurring – only a few loony bin pseudo scientists reject – let’s admit to global warming, regardless of the cause. To deny is to look like a Monkey’s Ass

 

Gun control…

Gun control Charleston4Dr. Michael J. O’Connell, New Hampshire, commented that it is rare that I agree 100% with any decision or remark President Obama makes.  In the wake of the church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, he expressed the opinion, as he has many times before, that lack of gun control in this country is directly related to our number one ranking among industrialized nations in murders by firearms.  While there may be a dearth of direct evidence that gun controls are responsible for containment of violent shootings, the fact is that all countries with lower rates of violent crime also have serious gun control measures in place.  I would argue, as does Obama, that his opinion is indeed de facto.

Dr. O’Connell added that to “prove” the causal relationship, a prospective scientific approach would be needed, but absolutely impossible to conduct.  Can you imagine doling our gun permits on a purely random basis, and mandating that all others turn in all their firearms?  Then for the next ten years the pattern of crimes would be followed and data collected.  Could never happen.  Another insoluble problem would be how to account for crime committed with weapons stolen from permit owners, or imported from regions outside of the region under ‘study’.  Clearly such a scientific experiment will not be conducted.

I would argue that such experimentation is not necessary.  The reality is that the closest this country will ever come to ‘proof’ that gun control reduces violent crime is the ongoing worldwide, rather unscientific retrospective study, in which some countries ban firearms and some don’t.  The former enjoy markedly lower rates of crime using firearms.

Dr. O’Connell stressed that he fully understands firearms are featured in sport.  It’s a huge industry.  And in an ideal world one should be free to enjoy these sports.  However, isn’t there a point at which enjoyment by a few must be sacrificed to the interests of many?

Gun control…

gun control 8Dr. Michael J. O’Connell, New Hampshire, commented on the nightly news, yet another school shooting, another gang shootout in the streets of Chicago, and another giant yawn by mainstream America.  It seems the only folks to suffer are the victims and their friends and family.  How is it that we have grown to accept the status quo?  To accept the disturbingly trite and vastly ignorant “guns don’t shoot people, people do is absurd.”  No other industrialized country has anywhere near so much gun violence.  Yet every country severely limits or bans ownership of guns; they all have approximately the same incidence of mental illness; kids in all developed nations are exposed to the same violent videos; poor parents are ubiquitous in all nations.  The only feature that differentiates us from the other countries is the overwhelming availability of guns.

Yet, the tired arguments still exist:

1. “If innocent people disarm, only the criminals will have guns.” – Really?  The implication is that most gun violence is committed by criminals on innocents.  Not the case at all.  Home invasion and “stick ups” typically result without a shot being fired.  Gang shootings involve criminals vs. criminals, and most frequently drug related ‘turf battles.’  Domestic shooting (usually husband shooting wife) are committed by (previously) non criminals.  Mass murderers are typically quiet, unassuming, neighborly and expert at concealing their underlying mental illness.

2. “Better background checks will prevent guns from roaming into the wrong hands.” – This doesn’t even deserve acknowledgement as a rational argument.

3. “It is our constitutional right to bear arms.” – It has been about 250 years since these famous words were stroked on parchment.  Since that time, trains, cars, planes, personal computers, telephones and cell phones have all been invented and changed our society in hugely dramatic ways.  The right to bear arms by private citizens is arcane and totally out of context.

4. “We need to protect ourselves from our government.” – Listen, if our society were ever in a position to be worried about our government turning against its innocent citizenry, we would have far more to worry about than having a couple of assault rifles in the house.

5. “If not guns, criminals will use other weapons.” – Yep, knives or machetes perhaps?  One could certainly mow down a school room with those arms.

No matter how you analyze the issues, it all boils down to three main reasons why guns remain a part of our lives:

1. Gutless politicians, bought off by the NRA

2. Gutless politicians afraid of not being reelected

3. Americans’ love affair with guns (is it insecurity, naivete, fear?)

I have changed my stance on the issue of guns.  I have had enough of all of them.  Ban them all for private citizens, hand guns/rifles/assault weapons – put gun manufacturers out of business if that is the requirement.  And for God’s sake let’s decriminalize drug use, and eliminate the largest incentive to procure anillegalweapon in the U.S. today.