Miley Cyrus Twerking Action Figure

Miley Cyrus Twerking Action Figure

A sure sign of becoming a cultural icon is when an performer gets their very own action figure. Ever since Hasbro developed the world’s first action figure in 1964 with its creation of G I Joe, the plastic re-creations have evolved into a specialist type of star related merchandise.

Boston Marathon Explosions the Boogeyman Strikes

Screen Shot 2013-04-15 at 21.45.56

As I sat down to write a blog post last night, I saw a “push” come up on my Facebook wall. It was from an old colleague who stated that he hoped his family in Boston were okay.

Curiosity piqued, I asked him what was going on and while waiting for a response I typed  “Boston events” in the search bar and got the news sightly ahead of his answer.

Someone or some group had exploded two devices at the Boston Marathon finishing line. Two people were killed, I found out from a friend who is from Boston that one of these was an eight year-old child, and at least 23 injured. The news went on to state that two more devices had been found and that there was a further explosion at the Kennedy Library.

I was shocked.

Although it was late and I was quite tired, I spent the next several hours watching live coverage of this obscenity and “tweeting” what I was learning. One of the things I learned was that at that time no one group had stepped forward to claim responsibility for placing  these bombs in the rubbish bins.

I also learned that the official line on the “devices” was not to call them bombs.

I was once again, shocked.

If something has been set up to explode, it is a bomb. I can only think that officials have decided that to call them bombs would scare people and dredge up some sort of “negative” connotation.

I’ve got news for the authorities, a bomb by any other name is a bomb.

The bitter irony in this is that while the bombs were exploding, President Obama was working on new gun laws to protect his constituents from acts of murder. While he was looking at stopping death within, death came (presumably) from without.

With the introduction of drones that spy on American citizens in the name of national security, the good guys were obviously looking in the wrong direction and the bad guys got in.

It is sad that the times we live in now include urban terror attacks from whatever group or source. These attacks are designed to keep people afraid. Afraid of public events, of walking down their own streets (Bostonian’s were told to stay inside after the explosions and Boston was put on “lock-down”) and afraid to trust “foreigners” let alone each other.

The group or people responsible  want all free countries to be placed under “house arrest” and to be too terrified to leave their homes. And through the diversionary news worthy events of killing sprees with guns and with the media shouting to the heavens about gun control, the folks responsible for the country’s security forgot to look at the ongoing issue of terrorism.

I might be wrong (and I have been wrong before) but I think that the security forces need to stop looking for “Boogeymen” under their own beds or backyards and remember to look at those “outside” the country they’ve been sworn to protect.

As the death toll rises to three and the injured numbers more than triple, I’m sure the people in yesterday’s Boston Marathon would agree.

Aftermath...
Aftermath…

 

The President’s New Gun Control Bill or Sandy Hook Re-visited

So the President has submitted for our consideration a new gun control bill. Just looking at the bare essentials being presented via the internet I don’t really see why the NRA has taken the automatic (pun intended) stance of deriding the Presidents bill. In case you’ve missed it the bill sets up banning automatic weapons, limiting magazines to 10 bullets, introduces universal background checks for all firearms buyers and increased scrutiny of mental health patients. Personally I see nothing wrong with the above measures.

Taking an overall look at the measures it looks like the most sensible for a gun culture society. In a nutshell (to me anyway) the bill says to me that psychotic nutcases with a hard-on against anyone cannot easily get access to an automatic weapon with 20 rounds in the magazine and more importantly if the prospective gun owner has a history of mental issues he has no chance to purchase one either. Yet the majority of the population will still be able to purchase fire arms. I do think that semi automatic weapons should be left out of the equation, because that is one step away from banning Mr or Ms Average from owning a handgun.

I expected the NRA to scream like a raped panther and I was not disappointed. In a perfect world the NRA would not necessarily embrace the new bill, but would actually use their powerful lobby to fine-tune it. Unrealistic I know.

I have always firmly believed that the right to bear arms is not open to debate. To open this constitutional right (that is spelt r-i-g-h-t and not p-r-i-v-i-l-e-g-e) to debate leads to the inevitable issue of the common man not having the right to own a firearm to protect his family and property and letting the criminal (who does not follow the law) own whatever weaponry he wants. It could be argued that the new gun control bill will be ignored by the criminal fraternity.

Of course it will. There is a huge black market out there for illegal weapons up for purchase by whoever has the contacts and the money already. The only thing that is a guarantee in all this controversy is that the criminal fraternity will make money out of all this. I have become a more fervent believer in the right to be armed after spending most of my adult life in a country where no one owns handguns and only a few have shotguns. I hasten to add that this is the law-abiding citizenry here, although a “law-abiding” citizen took his “legal” shotgun and killed a lot of people in Wales not too long ago while he drove his taxi cab around a village; the criminal’s are armed and not just with shotguns, automatic weapons and handguns are used when they feel it necessary.

I can also tell you that in a country where guns are illegal the government do not want you as a private citizen to protect yourself. It is far better in the law’s eyes to let yourself be shot, stabbed, robbed, raped or murdered first and then let the overworked wheels of justice grind on and solve the case (or not). In essence it is more or less a law that you as a private citizen can only be classed as a victim, otherwise you can find yourself locked up with the very people you were protecting yourself from.

But let me get off my soap box for minute, I did not really mean to step up there anyway. The thing that brought all this issue to the front of my mind was the reference to the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown Connecticut. The current administration is waving the massacre around like a “Remember the Alamo” flag. The very act of surrounding the podium with school children reeks of purposeful emotional blackmail. “Look” it says, “look at what is at stake here. Don’t you want to save your children?”

Emotions are running high.

The very fact that they feel comfortable trotting out the young corpses of the Sandy Hook tragedy says a lot. I am not going to trot out old tired statistics here. I’ve done so in another post. But in a sort of recap, I will point out that fewer people die each day as a result of gun violence than in a car accident. Don’t get me wrong though, the numbers are damned close. But if thinking that reducing the average law-abiding citizen’s access to guns will lower this number, I think you are being too optimistic.

The whole Sandy Hook thing has a touch of unreality to it. Not only because it seems unreal that anyone, madman or not, would shoot little kids; but also the parents reactions to the situation seemed bizarre. One news coverage video on the day of the massacre showed parents who were saying how awful it was and how frightening, etc while they both stood smiling for the cameraman. That in itself is disturbing on a deeper level, but just as disturbing are all the cries of “hoax” and “staged” and the seemingly inevitable conspiracy theorists.

In 1984 a man entered a San Ysidro California MacDonald’s and shot 21 people to death. The killer, 41 year-old James Huberty only stopped after a SWAT sniper took him out. No one suggested there was any staging going on nor did anyone come up with a conspiracy theory.

Too long ago? Okay, how about the 1999 Columbine shooting. Two senior students, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold shot and killed 13 people; 12 of which were fellow students, and injured a further 21 fellow students. This duo of death then committed suicide. The great outcry at the end of all that death and violence was not one of conspiracy, but one of anguish and looking for a reason for the horrible thing that happened.

People interviewed the day of the shootings were in shock. Tears were shed by people who had not lost anyone in the tragedy, but they cried at the very thought of it. Sandy Hook for some reason has fallen into a Twilight Zone event in the public’s eyes. The two parents with their child in the video clip I referenced *But guess what? I cannot find that clip anywhere.* seem to have a problem of deciding whether to be cheerful for the camera or concerned as parents. The whole country seems confused and that concerns me. Apart from the usual, “Let’s blame this on violent video games,” argument; the country has descended into a sort of conspiracy madness.

A madness that implied that the event hadn’t even really occurred; it was staged by the US administration. It was a publicity stunt set up to allow gun control to be legislated. Fingers are being pointed at anything that doesn’t “look right” by some arbitrary standard that seems to change daily. I am not jumping on the conspiracy train here; I’ll walk if it’s alright with you. I will admit that deep down the very timing of Sandy Hook seems wrong and (if I am really honest) pretty damned convenient for a President who is very much for gun control.

Conspiracy has been a watchword or catchphrase of America since Watergate. But I honestly think that someone in the White House is secretly glad that Sandy Hook happened. I do not doubt that someone up there gave a victory fist-pump in the air and went, “Yes! Just what we have been waiting for; a target that will appeal to every single parent out there, Mr President the time is now for our new gun control bill.”

So there you have it, a new gun control bill and a re-visit to Sandy Hook and the horror associated with it. You’ll have to forgive me if I don’t take a walk down that memory lane with you. In the meantime, I will worry about the unreal direction this entire thing is taking and I am hoping that I do not see Rod Serling hanging around. Of course the other thing I’ll be watching for is whether or not there will be a concerted effort to change the Constitution as it is currently in respect to the right to bear arms.

Our right for how long?