Posts Tagged ‘LGBT’

So, I would like to talk about guns. I know very little about them. I have shot a few, I know folks who have them and I am in proximity to a couple of them. Here is what I know. There is a virulently strong ethic about owning them. The people that I know are enmeshed in their ownership. They clean them, they fondle them, sometimes they shoot them and a few prefer to keep them in the original collectors box.

Because there are so many varieties and ages of guns it takes a great deal of time and energy to understand the nuances of their different capabilities, requirements and maintenance. It also takes a big time investment to understand the various accessories and in particular the ammunition that is required. I know, for example that the AR-15 was designed for civilians, it comes in two different flavors, one that is able to shoot .223 and one that can shoot either .223 Remington or 5.56 mm NATO ammo. The velocity of the bullets coming out of this gun is such that it will penetrate easily the highest rated Kevlar jacket.

I know that the ammo is steel cored and brass covered, and that when first tested by the military the ammo was disliked because it inflicted “ice pick” type wounds rather than expanding in the body. This meant that too many of the enemy would be able to continue wounded rather than succumbing at once. I suspect that is partly why Mateen, even though he hit over a 100 people, only killed 49 and had to keep going back to make sure his victims were dead.

In any event, I also know that there are an estimated 318.9 million people in the US and I know that President Obama has stated that there are currently enough guns in the US for every man, woman and child to own one. Clearly, not everyone owns a gun and there is a heck of a lot of hoarding going on, for those that do. There are a lot of fearful people out there.

In searching the Internet the most common constellation of ideas I find around this fear phenomenon, is the need for self-protection, the sense that our government will not protect us, or worse, that we will have to protect ourselves FROM the government.

Here is what I postulate. It’s about money. Not the NRA’s or the manufacturers directly. First, and foremost, it’s about our money, and the lack of it. I searched the net today to find gun prices; they have gone up since I last looked. The cheapest I could find ran for around $200, naked, with no accessories or ammo. Many were selling for $1500 or more. I’m sure a real gun aficionado could find a better deal, but I thought the average of prices was around $500-600. Add the extras and ammo, and you might get to $1000.

So, $1000 x $318.9 million is $318,900,000,000, or $318.9 BILLION, lying around in peoples homes.

Guns represent more than anything that collectible that you can sell or trade in an emergency. It’s assumed that they will always go up in value, even though we clearly have a glut on the market. Their sale isn’t always easily traced and isn’t usually counted as income by the owners. The gun market has benefited enormously from the collectibles rage. They are things that can be accumulated, and represent, especially to men, valuation of their life’s accomplishments, even when other methods of counting coup have failed. They are fairly portable, they can be hidden, don’t have to be fed, won’t be subject to eminent domain or the banks’ predations. They are the modern version of the gold coin with more cache.

This market is gonna crash. It doesn’t matter how many times guns sales get pumped up by the NRA, gun manufacturers, Republicans or catastrophes. Guns just aren’t worth as much as we are paying, there is too much of a glut. We just don’t need 2 guns for every baby; one was too much.

So, when we discuss possible ways to reduce the number of gun deaths, like requiring liability insurance everywhere and apply the basis of human threat in the tables, additional across the board taxation of gun sales in order to fund the CDC in gun death reporting, and yearly licensing, the cost to own that gun becomes a lot higher and reduces the value. If I were a savvy gun owner, I’d be thinking how to get out while the getting is good. Change is coming. As soon as we decide it’s no longer cool to own one, and I believe that will happen, guns are going to become doorstops.

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Click the link to read today’s arguments: 12-307_jnt1

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SacBee is reporting that CA’s Proposition 8 is unconstitutional and has been struck down. Go to:

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For that midnight political hamburger.


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 Kenneth Star (Remember him?) is arguing the case  for Prop 8 sponsors.

Prop. 8 sponsors seek to nullify 18K gay marriages


Associated Press Writer

Published: Friday, Dec. 19, 2008

[SAN FRANCISCO — The sponsors of Proposition 8 asked the California Supreme Court on Friday to nullify the marriages of the estimated 18,000 same-sex couples who exchanged vows before voters approved the ballot initiative that outlawed gay unions.

The Yes on 8 campaign filed a brief arguing that because the new law holds that only marriages between a man and a woman are recognized or valid in California, the state can no longer recognize the existing same-sex unions….

…The cases are Strauss v. Horton, S168047; City and County of San Francisco v. Horton, S168078; and Tyler v. State of California, S168066.]



I Own My Vote, PUMA, The Denver Group, The New Agenda

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The effort for human rights is universal. The desire for human dignity is universal. 

A Gay-Pride Revolution in Hong Kong


Sunday, Dec. 14, 2008

Gay-rights activists form a human chain around a rainbow flag in Hong Kong

Ted Aljibe / AFP / Getty

[There were no drag queens in sexy ensembles with heavy makeup strutting down the streets in platform heels or buff shirtless sailor boys splayed like starfish on moving floats. But Hong Kong’s first official gay-pride parade Saturday was still a colorful gathering; in fact, for a country that rarely acknowledges homosexuality, let alone celebrates it, it was downright revolutionary….]


As the article suggests, homosexuality was not criminalized in Hong Kong until 1901, under the British colonial rule. The country was ceded to The United Kingdom in 1842, under the Treaty of Nanking. Yet they had managed to get along 49 years in Hong Kong, “buggary” and all.

The United Kingdom itself had a time worn tradition of sexual bias laws, extending clear back to 1533 when it passed the Buggary Act. However, 1901 was part of a period of ferment around the world; homosexuality was discussed by Freud, and Ellis, Murray Hall died, raids were conducted and people as well known as Oscar Wilde, had been convicted of gross indecency with men.


I Own My Vote, PUMA, The Denver Group, The New Agenda

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A first look at how the counties voted and a chance to compare presidential votes with those of Prop 8 and others.


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A sign of the environment to come?


Transition: Obama to name environmental leader


Associated Press Writer

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2008

[WASHINGTON — President-elect Barack Obama has selected a deputy mayor of Los Angeles to lead the White House Council on Environmental Quality, transition officials said Wednesday.

Nancy Sutley is the first prominent member of the gay and lesbian community to earn a senior role in the Democrat’s new administration.

With many of his top White House and Cabinet posts filled, Obama now is focusing on fleshing out his natural resources and environment team, and could formally introduce his choices for interior secretary, energy secretary and environmental protection agency chief within weeks if not days….]


In addition to her work as Deputy Mayor, Sutley is currently on the SoCal Metro Waterboard. Her bio there says:

“Sutley served as energy advisor to Gov. Gray Davis, managing state and federal regulatory, legislative, financial and press matters. From 1999-2003, she was deputy secretary for policy and intergovernmental relations within the California Environmental Protection Agency, where she advised on water and air pollution policy, lobbied federal agencies and Congress, and established budget and legislative priorities.”

I Own My Vote, PUMA, The Denver Group, Just Say No Deal

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b16_days_topEach year the Center for Women’s Global Leadership at Rutgers highlights sixteen women, men and organizations that standout in the fight against gender violence. Representing December 8th, is: (more…)

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Iowa’s 1998 Defense of Marriage Act is about to be tested in the State Supreme Court. (more…)

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