Friday, July 08, 2016

Cleaver: We must put an end to these senseless killings

(From Fifth District Congressman Emanuel Cleaver)

This has been another week of unthinkable violence in our country. The events that have taken place over the course of these last few days have been deeply troubling and disheartening… police shootings and police officers shot and killed. Sometimes, not all the time, but sometimes, out of chaos, we can find our purpose.

It is going to be my prayer this night and for the next few nights that the Senate and the House of Representatives can see clearly that our purpose is to lead our nation away from the edge of the “mare’s nest” of fear and a response to fear that creates even more fear. We do so by understanding that words matter; words matter, and they can do damage.

Right outside of Dallas, Texas, I grew up in public housing, and in the projects they would say, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me”. It wasn’t true when I was a boy, and it’s not true today. Words can hurt, words can horrify, words can hinder. But words can also heal. And one of the things we need more today more than we have in the immediate past are words of healing, instead of words of hate.

When a nation experiences a tragedy like the ones we have just witnessed, it can either further polarize, weaponize, and fragmentize, or it can harmonize and mobilize. The House of Representatives of the United States must choose the latter. When reason fails, as it sometimes does, in my world it’s time to pray. We have multiple religious affiliations in this body, but all of us believe something that would condemn any kind of violence, even verbal violence. The world is watching what we do, and we shouldn’t waste time watching over our ideology.

One day, a little boy named Bob closed his finger in a door, and he began to cry. His parents ran in, and his other brother, Billy, was also crying, and so the parents thought both of them were hurt. However, when they looked at Billy, they said, “You haven’t been hurt. Why are you crying?” He said, “I’m helping Bob cry.” This whole nation is crying, and those of us here, in our hearts, are helping the people of Dallas cry.

I extend my condolences to the families who have lost the people they love. This has to stop. We must come together regardless of party to finally put an end to all of these senseless killings. It is time to make real change and I hope it starts right here in Congress.


Anonymous said...

And the perfect way to start is a ban on assault rifles and high capacity magazines.

Anonymous said...

The news media fans the flames and keeps this alive. It's nothing new they just happan to have video of it. We need to leave this to our courts to decide who is guilty and who is not.

Anonymous said...

@5:28 PM: You volunteering to "collect" them?

Americans aren't buying guns in steadily increasing numbers just to meekly turn them in if our betters manage to get a law passed.

Anonymous said...

When they come for the guns, the public will meekly hand them over. There will be a need for a few body bags but not all that many.

Anonymous said...

There are a lot of things that people are willing to die for, this is not one of them.

Anonymous said...

@8:44 PM and @5:41 AM: And you know this because you assume almost everyone else is as pathetic as you are? Your projection does no paint a pretty portrait of your character.

Anonymous said...

No I say that because I have seen how most people back down when faced with the possibility of getting hurt or dead. Not many are willing to die for a principle but a lot of folks talk a big game until it is time to back down.

Anonymous said...

Not many are willing to die for a principle but a lot of folks talk a big game until it is time to back down.

Well of course.

Take our successful Revolutionary War: very roughly, it's said a third supported independence, a third were loyal Tories (and a lot left, often not by choice), and a third just wanted to be left alone.

But from the first third, only a small fraction actually took up arms, but they were enough. In the pro-gun community we talk about the "Three Percenters" which is a guess at the bare minimum we expect out of we whole population to do so if it comes to that. That's about a million people; do you think that's enough to:

Convince bureaucrats it's safer to stay in their offices and write up reports on how the confiscation effort is going?

Convince a lot of people ostensibly on the side of the government that they have better things to do with their time?

Make it rather too hazardous for a whole bunch of the government's trigger pullers to follow confiscation orders? As you yourself said, "most people back down when faced with the possibility of getting hurt or dead", there's a big difference between the normal common criminal and an only half-crazed person like the Dallas shooter who's close quarters combat skills were much better than the police responding to him. See also the quote following this comment.

And defections, who will decide their loyalties are to the people and the Constitution they swore an oath to?

And that's just talking defensive things, a lot of us would start hunting; you don't win a war by playing it on the terms of you enemies. Given how incompetent the government generally is at this sort of thing, all the innocents they'll slaughter as collateral damage ... well, what set off Quantrill's Raiders? As Wikipedia puts it:

In August 1863, Union authorities assigned to the border were frustrated by the hit-and-run tactics of Quantrill's guerrillas and particularly the aid provided by Confederate sympathizers in Western Missouri. Authorities began imprisoning the female family members of the known guerrillas, with the intent of banishing them. These females, some teenagers, were jailed in Kansas City, Missouri, in George Caleb Bingham's house, on Grand Street. Alterations in an adjoining structure plus an extra story that had been added by Bingham resulted in the collapse of the structure. Several women were maimed and killed. The deaths of female non-combatants caused outrage among the guerrillas.

Continued in the next message (over length).

Anonymous said...

A classic quote from Alexander Solzhenitsyn's The GULAG Archipelago

And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family?

Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?

After all, you knew ahead of time that those bluecaps were out at night for no good purpose. And you could be sure ahead of time that you’d be cracking the skull of a cutthroat. Or what about the Black Maria [Government limo] sitting out there on the street with one lonely chauffeur — what if it had been driven off or its tires spiked.

The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt!

And we aren't beaten down and disarmed Russians; maybe "most" of us are like that, but not hardly enough for a confiscation to work.

Anonymous said...

It certainly appears that resistance worked well for the folks at Ruby Ridge and Waco. Remember that confiscation is not done en masse but with one group at a time. I do not recall a whole lot of civilian deaths when Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom took the guns.

Anonymous said...

7:01 AM: Nobody sane is talking about choosing to make point defenses against the government (better, at this micro level, if your neighbor is being raided, you and and your other neighbors shoot them down from the side and back), and your two examples are very bad ones, because:

Ruby Ridge was revenge because Weaver refused to try to infiltrate a white supremacist group that he hated and they hated him in return, i.e. it was a suicide "mission". Once the government was determined to get its pound of flesh there was no way it was going to end well, and his and his family's only form of "resistance" was staying on their land, except for a few minutes when the government started shooting them and only two of them shot back.

The Federal Marshalls then spun a fantasy tale to the FBI (all formal records of which were destroyed), and when the latter's vaunted Hostage Rescue Team, which is not known to have every actually rescued a hostage arrived and set up, within one hour every adult was dead or mortally wounded (the latter survived after getting medical treatment). The following Federal skunking in court and the government's settlement with the survivors speaks for itself ... and don't imagine we don't know all this, and that it was the Reagan/Bush government establishment that did it.

Waco was akin to being hit by a meteor or lightening, the BATF wanted a "Rice Bowl Raid" for their upcoming request for Clinton's first budget, it was a real bolt out of the blue that's very different from what would be a long campaign against 10s of millions of targets.

Australia and Canada are simple examples of non-compliance, as is widespread in the anti-gun states in the US, no concerted effort was made to grab them. U.K. was a century long campaign, which is a different sort of thing.

And you're completely ignoring the offense side of things. Let me make this perfectly clear: if a widespread confiscation effort starts, it'll spark Civil War 2.0. We'll be "hunting" all our opponents, and knowing the lack of care about collateral damage on the government's part (see the two cases you cited), we can be sure it will be ultra bloody.

By that, I mean if you are a well known anti-gun type, we will try to kill you and stand a good chance of succeeding unless you can retreat to a government green zone compound, then the question is turned back around on you, and don't expect farming areas like SW Missouri to be supplying you with much in the way of food.

If you live in a big Blue city, we'll kill your entire city and you in it; as long as that can be done to two or more roughly at once, it's game over for all but maybe one of those cities because of the time it takes to make new transformers, even on an emergency 24x7 schedule. And that can be done by a few dozen people.

War to the knife, and knife to the hilt. You like your odds in such a Charlie Foxtrot?

Or, maybe, you can just decide to leave us alone? Is that too much to ask?