In advance of the September 19th Zoom Townhall on Gun Violence, an article by David Kyle Johnson bats back the myths cherished by the pro-gun side. Johnson ran this around the time of the Parkland shootings, but because this issue hasn’t gone away, his points still have relevance.
As with so many issues in this country, what the majority wants doesn’t seem to count. The people for whom guns seem to validate their lives prevail too often with a whole bucket of misconceptions. These myths glue together their forces and usually have some appeal to those on the fence.
But essentially, all of the arguments for gun violence in America don’t hold up when you get out of America.
Atheism? The US has one of the most churched populations in the western world, yet the highest rate of gun violence.
Violent Video Games? Ever see what Japanese kids play on their screens? Yet, Japan had 17 deaths from gun violence in 2020.
Immorality? Try measuring what exactly that is.
There’s more in Johnson’s piece on pro-gun arguments that are like balloons – all shape but only air inside.
So, of course, for the gun fetish crowd, the causes of gun violence are everything except the always available gun in American society.
At the time Johnson wrote this article in 2018, violent gun deaths were going down, and as we all know, gun crimes (but not a lot of other crimes) have been rising in this country.
So what has led to the increase? Try the instability from the pandemic in 2020 and stress from a collapsing economy, for starters. And who was president in 2020? A man who is the very model of impulsive behavior.
The loosened gun laws passed over the last few years – including in Wisconsin – haven’t helped. It’s no accident that our freeways in Metro Milwaukee have been closed down because of road rage shoot-outs.
Thanks to our conceal and carry law, many people have their weapon right at hand in the glove compartment, available when the impulse strikes. Because the guns are now being carried around in cars, they are targets for break-ins, with the stolen guns going right out into criminal world.
But Johnson does not, as Wolf Blitzer would say, leave it there. Check out the list of common-sense gun measures that even members of the NRA can get behind.
The solution is to be as willing to push back as the weapon worships are to flood our neighborhoods with guns. The first step starts with attending our Zoom meeting on gun violence on September 19th.
After you register, you will be sent the link to join the webinar.
Why do we continue to frame voting as a right? When I read the Constitution I see that our government serves at the will of its citizens, demonstrated by learning about and voting for our choice of candidates to represent us in federal, state and local governments. In other words, voting is really one of the duties of citizenship. It should not be framed as a right. It is really a duty. For government to be really representative, all eligible voters need to cast a ballot. This obligation needs to be made easy — not hard.
To carry it to the extreme, if no one is allowed to vote we have a dictatorship — a self serving government of suppression. I remember my excitement when I cast my first ballot at age 21 for Adlai Stevenson. To my recollection I have never missed voting. But then I am Caucasian and no one ever tried to stop me!!
Warnings and predictions about the dire future of the planet due to the impacts of climate change have swirled for over half a century now, and yet we have not taken definitive action. Joining the Paris Accord during President Obama’s tenure was a first step that stalled when he left office; now we are scrambling to undo the damage of the last administration.
People often turn away from climate change discussion because they feel powerless to change the situation. Aside from electing politicians who care, “what can we do?” is the common response.
This forum by Grassroots North Shore will help us answer that question, not from a national perspective or political stage, but from where we live – our homes and communities.
Forum participants will give us the starter steps we need to formulate our paths to a cleaner, sustainable future. In one approach, Lisa Geason Bauer at Evolution Marketing describes how businesses can approach sustainability: “When thinking about sustainability – specifically how to talk about it and implement it, we use the lens of the triple bottom line (TBL). Triple bottom line means that we consider whether our management decisions are going to have an impact on the environment (i.e. environmental stewardship), people, or the community of stakeholders (i.e. corporate social responsibility), and the overall economic viability (profit) of the business. One of the goals at Evolution Marketing is to create change within our clients’ organizations and implement sustainable business strategies.”
Our moderator and a speaker on homeowner options, Kevin Kane, will discuss energy audits, economic analysis of what is cost-effective regarding home improvements, and ways to make those improvements affordable.
Find out what you can do, and what we can all do together. Grassroots North Shore hosts “Green is Good” at 7 pm on Sunday, June 13th, featuring experts who will come together to guide the ordinary person in navigating the possibilities of environmental change. Featured speakers include: Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes; Mayor of Glendale Bryan Kennedy; Chief Economist of Green Homeowners United, Kevin Kane; and Lisa Geason Bauer, President of Evolution Marketing, LLC. RSVP on the Events Page and then ask at least one other friend, colleague, or family member to sign up as well.
We appreciate support by co-sponsors Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Jewish Democrats, and Wisconsin Conservation Voters. (NOTE: Registration system requires an initial rsvp to get on our list; a link will be sent to you so you can register on Zoom-also required).
It seems contradictory – how can the fight to end partisan gerrymandering be nonpartisan? All political parties seek advantage in elections. The whole point is to win! But as in sports, how you play the game matters. Fouls and strikes are called to enforce rules of fair competition.
In one place and time, gerrymandering systematically advantages one party and disadvantages the other. At any one time gerrymandering benefits Democrats in some places (such as Maryland) and Republicans in others (such as Wisconsin).
When a city is cut into two or three pieces and appended to exurban and rural areas, all city voters lose the ability to influence policies that directly affect their lives. Their “representative” doesn’t care because, by design, they are a minority of the representative’s constituents.
Partisan gerrymandering is inherently anti-majoritarian. Elected “representatives” don’t need to support policies that are popular among Democrats, Republicans and independents. Policies like these: 89% of the public supports background checks to buy firearms, 87% support significant infrastructure spending.
Gerrymandered districts create an unfair system. Ultimately we all lose.
The quest for a fair, transparent process to draw legislative maps is nonpartisan. It promotes the competition of ideas about how best to serve the public interest.