If you aren’t for us, then you are against us…

Since my last post I have purposely sat back and watched to see what the reaction would be to what has happened over the course of the last week.  I have witnessed most of my friends support my position in that we need to change our gun regulations, revisit gun control, and BAN the AR-15 for once and for all. 

However, there are some that are pointing their fingers at what they feel are other causes for the shootings in Florida this week.  Some feel that it is mental issues and that we need to pay more attention to mental health in this country.  Others say that guns don’t kill people, people kill people (an actual statement in one of my Skype Groups), which is probably the most stupid answer to the issue that has ever been stated.  Other excuses include “If guns were really about killing people we would all be dead”.  Others have advocated for teachers being armed in school, yeah that’s exactly what we need,  untrained individuals provided with weapons, not to mention that should teachers be armed, during an actual shooting they would go into the halls, with their guns drawn, looking for the shooter, not thinking that should law enforcement arrive at the scene and see a teacher with a gun, they would shoot the teachers because all they know is that an armed individual is shooting at kids.  The armed teachers would become targets themselves, for all the wrong reason.  Some say that the reason for the recent rash of shootings is the decline of the quality of parenting over the last 30 years is the reason, that a lack of discipline is somehow the reason crazy people with a gun are shooting up our schools.  I have also heard the defense that changing laws wont keep the criminals from breaking the law.

All of these are valid points, but I also have valid rebuttals.  First, paying attention and address mental health in this country is a mute point, the President recently signed an executive order allowing lighter regulations of access to guns for mental patients, he actually revoked an Obama regulation and eased restrictions on access to guns by mentally deranged citizens, so the hope of addressing the mental issues of the population is a moot point with the stroke of the executive pen.   Second, people with GUNS kill people, specifically, most of all the mass shootings over the course of the last 20 years have been done with an AR-15, the easiest weapon to purchase with only an hour of a background check (at least here in FL it is that way).  a guy can go into a gun shop to purchase an AR-15 and be out the door in less than an hour, while a handgun can take up to 3 days.  Si I argue that the argument that guns don’t kill people is moot when it only takes a sick individual an hour to purchase a weapon that can shoot 45 rounds per minute, while a handgun, that shoots 15 rounds a minute can take 3 days.  I have already debunked the “arm the teachers’” excuse, and while I agree that discipline has changed since I was a kid, the fact that this should be the reason for the increase in gun violence is a slap in the face to all parents over the last 30 years.  No lack of discipline is an excuse for a human being to walk into a school and shoot 17 innocent victims in cold blood. 

Finally,  the argument that no change in laws will keep criminals from breaking said laws.  I have a simple argument for that.  40 years ago there were a large amount of traffic deaths, and because of this, Congress enacted safer vehicle standards, to include seat belt laws, the addition of air bags in vehicles, tougher DUI laws, and safer overall vehicle safety standards.  The result of which was a significant reduction in death in vehicle accidents, a significant reduction in DUI deaths, and a higher survival rate of all traffic accidents.  Change comes in small increments, change comes when people get involved, change comes when select individuals decide that the status quo is no longer acceptable.  Criminals will always break the law, but it is the job of the lawmakers to make it more difficult for those individuals to break said law.  if it is more difficult to break the law, then the rate of the crime will decrease.  I say again, My son’s right to live is more important than your right to own an AR-15.  I don’t condone nor would I ever support the absolute confiscation or outlaw of ALL guns in the US.  I support the 2nd amendment, but I refuse to support the access to weapons that have the ability to fire 30+ rounds per minute.  An AR-15 is not a hunting rifle, it was created for one thing and one thing only, to kill human beings, nothing more, nothing less.  It is not a  weapon that the general public should have access to or to be owned by a civilian, even military veterans and law enforcement organizations agree on this. 

I have much more to say on the subject, but will address it at another date.  the fact remains, there is NOTHNIG anyone can say that will justify this weapon be made available to the general public.  it is a horrible weapon, it is the killer of children, and it does not need to be owned by civilians. 

Now What?

I don’t know how to follow up last night’s post..  The emotions are still raw in me and I don’t know where to go from here.  I usually post about sports as it is my crutch, to keep me from embarrassing myself with talk about politics, a subject that has usually brought on the wrath of many of my conservative friends and family.  I guess you could call my politics progressive, Liberal, Democrat, Left Wing, I am a Clinton Democrat, I voted for him twice, and I voted for Obama twice.  However, I also voted for Reagan in 84 (My first vote) and Bush in 2000, so I guess that would make me a moderate as well.  Trouble is, right now, during this time, during this moment, I look at our leaders, and all I see is corruption, men and women willing to compromise their conscience and morals for power and the almighty dollar. 

Ladies and gentlemen, our representatives have been bought and paid for by the Gun Lobby, the NRA, Big Oil, hell maybe even Russia, and whoever else has enough money to make them vote against their beliefs as well as what is best for the country.  Our representatives in Congress, whether they be Senators or House Members do not care about representing the people, they only care about benefiting themselves and how they can enrich their bank accounts from the highest bidder.  I live in Florida, home of Marco Rubio, Bill Nelson, Alcee Hastings, Charlie Crist, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Dennis Ross(My Rep), and Frederica Wilson.  Each one of these people were elected to represent the State of Florida, and it is my opinion that very few actually care what we have to say or what we want them to do as representatives.  It’s about power, it’s about money, it’s about fame, and it’s about lining their pockets with as much cash as they can while they are in office. 

This may not be news to anyone reading this blog, but it is what has become the norm for most representatives.  I am not sure how to change it, and I am not here to recommend anything mind blowing to create change in Washington DC, but as a taxpaying voter, I am frustrated and am at my wits end how we can change it.  My right to vote is important to me, but I fear that no matter who I vote for, it wont matter, they will just become or are already just as corrupt as the rest of them.  The whole damn system has been soiled with money, power, corruption and the seat of Democracy in this country has lost sight of what it is they are supposed to be doing. 

I feel the only thing I can do as a citizen is to speak my mind, to bring a voice to the regular guy.  I am not well educated, I am not wealthy, and I am certainly not a member of any political organization or group.  I’m just a guy, trying to make a living, getting through this thing called life one day at a time.  I see wrong in the world, I see what I call injustice, and I see no-one in government lifting a finger to do anything about it, just thoughts and prayers, well wishes, and empty promises.  No matter your thoughts on the current resident of the Oval Office, whether you support him or don’t, he is not in control of government.  It’s the representatives in Congress that control it all, they are the ones that control the purse strings, the legislation, and the direction in which this country moves.

For the most part I have been silent since the election, mainly because I know that if I were to speak up I would receive a lot of backlash from family, friends and co-workers.  The fear of that has kept me quiet.  Wednesday changed all of that, because despite the needless slaughter of 17 innocent victims, our legislators will continue to send their thoughts and prayers, but nothing more will happen.  They wont introduce legislation, or if they do, there will be senators or representatives to block whatever they propose.  I am tired of our children being slaughtered, I am tired of seeing families torn apart because of bad immigration policies, I am tired of Congress sitting on their asses and saying, well there is nothing that we can do.  BULLSHIT.  We voted you in office to make a difference, and I now ask you to do your job, to defend and protect the Constitution of the United States as well as protect the citizens of this country, to protect and help the weak, to support your constituents and do what they put you in office to do.

We all have to hold them accountable, they have a responsibility to us, and they have failed at holding up their part of the bargain.  No matter the cost, no matter the pushback.  I will hold them accountable and call them out by name if they fail to do their job. 

So.. Here we are again…

I have posted in the past about mass shootings and their aftermath…  I have used this blog to post about my political beliefs, and I Have faced the backlash from friends about my feelings on the matter.  My conservative friends would say that it isn’t the gun that killed 17 kids and teachers yesterday in Parkland, Florida, it was the action of a mentally disturbed madman that committed this act, we shouldn’t blame the guns, but the person.

I have quietly sat back contemplating whether or not I should even bring this up, should I risk the backlash of friends, family, and coworkers by posting a controversial article about how I feel about guns, the people who own guns, and the ramifications of the actions of a select few crazy people that decide they are going to kill a lot of people in a short period of time.  The AR-15 is the weapon of choice, it is sexy, it looks like a military weapon, and it has a 30 round clip.  I know there are comparable rifles available that do not look like the AR-15, yet also have the ability to fire as quickly as the AR-15 (45 rounds per minute) and that the backlash is all about how the weapon looks to the gun banning radical left wing and not about the capabilities.

For the record, I am 51, white, born in NE Ohio, and raised by gun loving conservatives for all of my life.  I was raised with guns in the household, my father loved his shotgun, I shot a rifle as a kid in the woods behind my uncles farm, and my step-father is a former Navy Seal, and to this day has what could be considered an arsenal stored either under his bed, or in his closet, including, I am sure, an AR-15.  He would argue with me that the AR-15 is no different than any other rifle or gun out there, that in the right hands it is no more dangerous than a derringer.  I respect his opinion, but the difference is, I live in the REAL world, where the AR-15 has become the weapon of choice for mass shootings and nuts with a grudge.

I know I am not a person in power, and my opinion in the grand scheme of things means very little.  but I am an American Citizen.  I was born here, I have a child that was born here, and as I have mentioned before, my ancestors can be traced all the way back to the Mayflower, so you can say my heritage is embedded in America, what it stands for, what it means to the world, and what freedom means.  Freedom comes with a price, and the price is responsibility to its fellow citizens, not to what we deserve as Americans, but what the responsibility of freedom requires of it’s citizens.  It is stated specifically in the Declaration of Independence, we have the right to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, the key word there being LIFE.  We all have the right to live, but some people and organizations overlook that right by believing the second amendment is absolute, not up for discussion and has no room for criticism.

With all of that being said it brings me to this.  The founding fathers that created the second amendment granted the right to bear arms amendment. the second amendment, based on the technology at the time, which was muskets, weapons that shot 2 rounds per minute, they did not anticipate weapons that could shoot 45 rounds per minute, nor did they anticipate weapons of mass destruction.  The Constitution is a living, breathing document and has been proven over the years, can be changed, adjusted, and acclimated to the environmental changes of social and political environments.  Examples of this is the 19th amendment (women suffrage) , the Civil rights act, the thirteenth amendment (abolition of slavery) and of course, the Right-Wing of The Republican Party’s FAVORITE Amendment, the second, which 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 Amendment also goes on to state the following:

The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that the right belongs to individuals, while also ruling that the right is not unlimited and does not prohibit all regulation of either firearms or similar devices.  State and local governments are limited to the same extent as the federal government from infringing this right per the incorporation of the Bill of Rights.

So based on the ORIGINAL wording of the Amendment, this right is not without limits, and does not prohibit all regulation of either firearms or similar devices.   That statement alone proves that the founders had foresight to see that technology will change, that methods of weapons will change and that restriction of such weapons may become necessary to protect the public safety.  It allows the Government to restrict the use of firearms, it protects regulation of firearms and says that the right to bear arms is NOT ABSOLUTE. 

I believe you have the right to defend yourself, I believe you have the right to hunt for food, I also believe that you have the right to collect guns for your own personal use, however I ALSO believe that a weapon that has the ability of delivering 45 ROUNDS PER MINUTE is not for personal protection nor hunting.  The sole purpose of these weapons is to kill human beings, nothing more, nothing less.  The second amendment is NOT absolute, and I argue that you do not have the right to weapons capable of killing 17 students in a school in less than an hour, or shooting and killing 58 people by adding an after market bump stock to make the weapon fully automatic.

If you want to own a handgun, a shotgun, or a hunting rifle, by all means go for it, but when you delve into wanting a weapon that could be used to kill DOZENS of people, I have an issue with that.  There is no logical argument, none, that can convince me that these weapons fall under the right to bear arms.  If you want to argue that yo need these types of weapons to fight off the tyranny of government, such as what the Revolutionaries did in 1776, then I provide this argument.  If the government decides it is going to oppress the people, if the government decides it s going to declare martial law and turn this country into a dictatorship, or a Communist nation… What makes you think, that a few thousand of you have an inkling of a chance in defeating the Armed Forces of the United States with your AR-15’s??

think about that….

I sit here after witnessing yet another mass shooting at a school, where CHILDREN are mowed down by a single, radicalized, white nationalist.  not a Muslim, not a member if Isis, not a member of Al Qaida, not a disciple of Osama Bin Laden, but instead, a radical WHITE, born in the good old USA white, Caucasian, Christian, Trump-Loving, racist and I wonder…  What is wrong with a country when a corporation like the NRA can put the United States Congress in their pocket and place enough fear in its members that no amount of outrage can trigger action to stop these tragedies from happening.  they are so afraid of losing re-election that they will allow CHILDREN to die at the hands of these weapons so that they can keep their seat in Congress.  I have a 24-year old son, who has as much right to live as you or me, and if his life is in danger because of these weapons, I only have one thing to say…  HIS RIGHT TO LIFE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOUR RIGHT TO OWN A GUN.  Get rid of these mechanisms of  violence, of death, and instruments of testosterone, and our children will grow up to be the leaders of the future.  Your child is at risk, my child is at risk, and to deny this is to deny the fact these weapons have no business in a civilized society.

Monday Night ramblings…….

So here I am sitting here watching MNF and all I can think about is how much better Gruden was as a coach, where he could swear at will and we didn’t have to hear his annoying voice.  The NFL has become a shadow of what it once was.  These days it is all about the show, the entertainment, and less about the game.  The result of which is less sport and more show..  The players still dress and play for the love of the game, but sports media has made it a spectacle, the NFL has made it all about offense and the hands of the men that actually play this game have been tied with rule changes, all created to benefit the offense.  This is the game I love, this is the game I grew up with, BUT…   today’s game is a shadow of its former self.  Now its all about personalities, about the showboating, and of course, the safety of the game.  Football is a brutal sport, always has been, and there is no more visible proof of that than the injuries we have seen just 5 weeks into the season.  Marquee players have gone down, Beckham, Watt, Rogers, Carr, Winston and Mariota, just to name a few.  I wonder if the NFL will look at the injuries to it’s star players and try and put even more rules in place to try and keep these guys healthy in the future.  They will look for even more rules they can put in place to protect their stars, so they can earn more advertising dollars, so they can sell more beer, more insurance, more cars, and entice you to spend even more money on merchandise.  This is the reality of today’s professional sports, whether it be the NFL, the NBA or MLB it doesn’t matter, what matters is the bottom line..  how many jerseys did we sell today?????  Aaron Rogers has a broken collar bone…  Odell Beckham has a broken ankle, and JJ Watt has a busted knee.. but…  that’s ok… cause we sold 10 million dollars in jerseys and hats today.  

Zeke Elliot is accused of domestic violence, the NFL wants him to sit for six games, but the NFLPA is fighting it so we can have more spectacular plays, so we can be excited, so we can be entertained.  Colin Kaepernick cant get a backup job with the Green Bay Packers or start for the Jacksonville Jaguars cause he is too polarizing, but in truth, the NFL is trying to avoid controversy so they can sell more merchandise and they don’t care that a player that could start for 1/4 of the teams in the NFL RIGHT NOW is being shunned and diminished because he decided to kneel for the national anthem, when in fact 75-80% of all US veterans SUPPORT him in what he is doing and the message he is trying to convey.  Did you know why he decided to kneel instead of sit during the anthem?  It was only after having a conversation with a former member of the military he decided that taking a knee was more respectful, but the right wing media wont tell you that, only that he is disrespecting the “FLAG” and that he is a piece of shit.  I have news for you, Colin Kaepernick is a better man than I and most others because of what he does in the community.  He doesn’t let the haters keep him from being the caring and giving man that he is.  He has given more to charities, not just in money, but in TIME, than most people that are criticizing him ever have or will.  His philanthropy is on a scale comparable to Jimmy Carter, and he shows no signs of stopping.  I root for him, and I hope he finds a job in the NFL.

OHHHH…  fuck it…. I’m on a roll  here…

So, 4 marines die in Niger…  and what do you know…  45 decides to be quiet and go play some golf.  But…  BENGHAZI!!!!!  ..  fuck you ….  he hasn’t said anything publicly… he didn’t meet the bodies at Dover… and he hasn’t called the families.. but yet you want to condemn Hillary, 44, and his tenure as President.  HE AND HILLARY AT LEAST WENT TO DOVER and met the bodies the night they came home from Benghazi…  he called the families of soldiers that died… he showed more respect for fallen troops and their families than 45 ever will… but yet,…  no one on the right will report that… they will sweep it under the rug…  Yet when 44 took the time to meet the bodies… 45 decides he is going to play golf instead…  when people in Puerto Rico are dying from lack of food and water… 45 plays golf…  when Nazis are killing innocents in Charlottesville, 45 is golfing or attacking the NFL via Twitter…  when 58 American citizens are gunned down in Las Vegas, 45 is attacking the NFL or the mayor of San Juan via Twitter…  He has become the Twitter-in-Chief…  he is a man that cares only about himself, he doesn’t care about you, me, or anyone…only about how he can make himself richer.  If you believe otherwise, than you are only fooling yourself, and I feel sorry for you.  This is a man who provided all the aid needed for Florida and Houston… but yet decided that there was a limit as to how long FEMA and other government assistance would last in PR.  This is a man who continues to attack Hillary a YEAR after the election of 2016 is over because he still cant get over the fact she won the popular vote.  He has threatened Nuclear War with Korea…  walked away from a climate treaty that every other nation in the world has supported….  stopped funding of ACA funds because he doesn’t want “Obamacare” to succeed, despite the fact it has insured 20 million people that otherwise could not get or afford healthcare….  only because 44’s name is on it.  He is threatened by the Obama legacy… he is trying to undermine everything that 44 accomplished….  his ego cant take the fact that Obama is a much better human being than he ever will.  Obama…  ONE marriage… two beautiful daughters… one of which is attending Harvard this year…  and a presidential legacy that will secure him as one of the most compassionate, intelligent and competent leaders this country has ever had. 

OK…  whew…  glad I got that off my chest… 

how bout the MLB playoffs??  Dodgers with a walk-off last night…  the Astros up 2-0 on the Yankees with game three tonight…  if it weren’t for the fact the Indians were out of it I would be more interested..  In the NHL, The Lightning are tied with the Maple Leafs (wait what???) for first place in the Atlantic…  The Browns Suck (same story different year) the Bucs have no identity… and the Jags and Rams lead their respective divisions in the NFL…  I suck at fantasy football…  The NBA starts this week (who cares) and I for one can’t wait to see if Tiger can truly make a comeback.  NASCAR in it’s current form is horrible and barely watchable…   But Dale Jr is officially going to be a father (CONGRATS)…  Justice League, Thor Ragnarok, and Star Wars VIII all release in the next 60 days….  With all that being said…  Tom Petty, Chris Cornell, David Bowie, Prince, George Michael, Elvis, Michael Jackson, and John Lennon are still dead… 

Have a great night…

The Sports Nerd


Thursday Night thoughts….

Thank you to those that responded favorably to my last post.  I look forward to keeping this blog going, as well as putting my thoughts down for all to see.  I am a pretty private person so putting my thoughts out there is difficult for me.  I will try and put aside my anxiety issues and confidence issues to try and be unfiltered and inhibited in what I post.  No promises, no assurances, but I will ty…

First, let me address the elephant in the room.. The Indians…

I am heartbroken, I am sad and once again the Indians, a team I am loyal to, lost a series where all they had to do is win one game to finish off their opponent.  it is disheartening, it is debilitating from a sports fans point of view, but it has not dwindled by one inch my love for this franchise, my fandom, or the fact I will root for them until my last dying breath.  I am disappointed in what happened, unable to understand why it happened two years in a row, and above all else, disgusted it was against the Yankees, one of my most hated franchises in all of sports.  I will get over it eventually, but for now the pain is prevalent, it hurts that after such a wonderful season it is over.  I will not give up, and I will not waiver my devotion to this franchise.  Most of you know that I am no fan of the NBA, so despite all of the facts, I don’t count the NBA championship as a victory for the city of Cleveland because the NBA to me is not a league that I would consider a real sport, nor do I celebrate its victory in the NBA finals.  to me. there is only the NFL, MLB and the NHL, that is all.  I wont rest my devotion until either the Indians or Browns win a championship, and until that happens, in my opinion, Cleveland has not won a championship since 1964.

Next up, the Browns..  so it would appear that we have a new starting QB.  Kevin Hogan will get his first start, and I for one am glad, because Kizer was put in the mouth of the lion much longer that he needed to be.  he needs to be groomed and learn from the sidelines.  this way he avoids injury, he gets to learn and will be more ready when the time is right.  In the meantime, we face a depleted Texans defense this week, but that does not allow me to be hopeful for a win.  Good luck Brownies..  kick ass…


Once again, we have reached the feather ruffling portion of this post…


So much sadness, so much anger revolving around the country these days.  I can’t help but think we are heading towards disaster, that we are moving towards a time in our history that will be looked upon as one of the darkest times of all time.  I am not as optimistic now as I was in 2009, but I trust in the youth of this country to learn from what is happening now and learn to make a better future for all of us.  I have been very critical over the last few months of our current administration, and in the process I have been admonished, I have been threatened, and I have been called out for my so-called extreme liberalism.  Let me just say, that I refuse o back down from my positions, I refuse to compromise what I believe in and will speak out against injustice whenever necessary.  Call it an overreaction if you wish, but I firmly believe this country is at risk, and I do not know how it will all come to pass.  If you believe in God, then please by all means pray that we all will survive this turbulent time.