Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Take a Shot

Last night in Nashville they held a Country Music Vigil for the victims of the Las Vegas Shootings. Last month they held a telethon for the victims of Harvey and Maria. Maria struck the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico with even more vengeance and they are AMERICAN properties. Let's call it as it is, they are Islands largely populated by people of color who while are American citizens they are not entitled to vote in American elections nor have a voice in decisions that affect them so fuck em when shit hits the fan. They are akin to Richard Branson's Necker Island, a paradise to visit but leave that mess in the trashed hotel room for the staff to clean up, we are America's rock stars!

And I doubt (I did not live in the "ville at the time) there was any such vigil for the Orlando massacre as it was a gay club that was doubling down and having Latin music night. Those homos and people of color can dance and fuck themselves away preferably on an Island surrounded by water, big water.

So no I did not attend the vigil as this is Nashville the other Vegas and this is how this town survives along with a few other larger companies that have located their business here.  They wet themselves with more tax breaks, slave labor wages and a compact with God to excuse their embedded Racism as they vocalize their advocacy for diversity, as long as they stay confined to their areas.  And did any of them use the opportunity to voice their concerns about gun control? Hell to the no.

Country artists have an immense connection and voice that resonates with the gun culture club.  And this Aldean person has had an interesting tour history marred by violence and now this so his army could be the voices needed to change the tune.   They won't. He won't.  Guns are about race.  That is the militia the white fear - them colored rising up.   Pick a color. 

The reality is Nashville is pink, not blue, not red - pink.  It is Strawberry Shortcake Pink all just a little too sweet and a little too cheery and that goes well with the sweet tea.  No wonder they have massive obesity and other related health problems that go largely uninsured and untreated.  As I said if accessibility and availability of health care was the same of guns we would have a very different national dynamic.

So of course our News the crime stoppers of the Nation are droning on and on in anticipation of a Terrorist/Mass shooting/Serial Killer/Angry fuck but not any flood or other natural disaster that did happen here I had to tune out.  The reality is way tougher than the fantasy and hence that is the basis of all country music.  So I watched Seth Meyers give a heart felt monologue that says that he can offer condolences and hopes every time this happens as that is all he can do but he questioned why after numerous occasions this is all we do.  We never will have Legislatures willing to do the heavy hard lifting to stand up to the NRA and actually embrace laws to change this.  And he is not alone as numerous commentators on BBC asked the question about America's culture regarding guns.  We love guns.  That is deeper than the American Dream or the concept of American Exceptionalism.  In fact that is the exception as we are the ONLY country obsessed with guns.  Or are we?  Read the two emotional pleas from two very disparate voices.  One Jimmy Kimmel who suddenly is now politicized or aka "woke" and the other from a Country Singer who realized that now that it hit one of his "own" that gun laws need changing.

Will they? Well the beloved voodoo President was shot by a crazed gunman and nothing happened so I don't expect anything to today.

For those curious about mass shootings across America this site is a tracker of said violence. Don't see the Country Stars mourning the 13 or so kids in Nashville this year victims of gun violence or how about the 300 plus killed by vehicles due to lack of sidewalks or crosswalks?  Say a prayer for them too.  

The ad goes "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas" I guess the means the bodies and bloodshed will as NOTHING will change unless we start demanding, voting and in turn changing laws.  Take your best shot I am not bulletproof, are you? 

Read Jimmy Kimmel’s emotional, scathing monologue about gun control after the Vegas massacre

By Emily Yahr
The Washington Post
October 2 2017

Jimmy Kimmel was in tears at the start of his monologue Monday night as he addressed the “terrible, inexplicable, shocking and painful tragedy” in Las Vegas, also his hometown. The ABC late-night host was still trying to process the events of Sunday night, when a gunman killed 59 people and injured more than 500, the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

Kimmel regained his composure, but got choked up repeatedly for the next 10 minutes as he talked about the victims. He also had some scathing words for government officials about gun control, including President Trump, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker Paul Ryan.

He noted that they and other lawmakers “also sent their thoughts and their prayers today, which is good. They should be praying. They should be praying for God to forgive them for letting the gun lobby run this country, because it’s so crazy.”

Here’s the complete transcript of Kimmel’s monologue:

As you know, at least 59 people are dead, hundreds of people are wounded in what they’re saying is the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history — coming about a year and a half after the previous deadliest mass shooting in modern American history in Orlando when 49 people lost their lives. And of course we pray for the victims and for their families and friends and we wonder why, even though there’s probably no way to ever know why a human being would do something like this to other human beings who are at a concert, having fun and listening to music. Jason Aldean was on stage, Luke Combs who was here with us tonight, he played the show, too. And obviously no one could have ever expected that something terrible would happen, but it did.

A very sick person smuggled 17 guns into his hotel room and smashed out the windows, started firing indiscriminately from the 32nd floor into a crowd of 22,000 people across the street. And as a result of that, this morning, we have children without parents and fathers without sons, mothers without daughters. We lost two police officers. We lost a nurse from Tennessee. A special ed teacher from a school here in Manhattan Beach.

It’s the kind of thing that makes you want to throw up or give up, it’s too much to even process. All these devastated families who now have to live with this pain forever because one person with a violent and insane voice in his head managed to stockpile a collection of high-powered rifles and use them to shoot people. The guy was an accountant, he has no criminal record. His brother who lives in Florida seems totally shocked, genuinely dumbfounded, he said he saw no sign of any of this. The owner of the store that sold the killer some of the rifles said he passed the government-mandated background check when he was in the store. He wasn’t on any watchlist. He didn’t seem to have been a religious or political extremist. Came out of nowhere.

Because of that, because there weren’t any of the usual signs, I’ve been reading comments from people who say, “This is terrible, but there’s nothing we can do about it.” But I disagree with that intensely. Because of course there’s something we can do about it, there’s a lot of things we can do about it. But we don’t, which is interesting. Because when someone with a beard attacks us, we tap phones, we invoke travel bans, we build walls, we take every possible precaution to make sure it doesn’t happen again. But when an American buys a gun and kills other Americans, then there’s nothing we can about that.

The Second Amendment, I guess, our forefathers wanted us to have AK-47s is the argument, I assume. Orlando, Newtown, Aurora, San Bernardino, every one of these shootings the murderer used automatic or semi-automatic rifles, which are not weapons you use for self-defense. They’re weapons designed to kill large numbers of people in the shortest possible amount of time. And this guy, reportedly he had 10 of them in his room, apparently legally. At least some of them were there legally. Why is that allowed? I don’t know why our so-called leaders continue to allow this to happen. Or, better question, why do we continue to let them allow it to happen?

Five people got shot in Lawrence, Kansas, last night, three of them died, it didn’t even make a blip because it’s just a regular part of our lives now. And you know what will happen, we’ll pray for Las Vegas. Some of us will get motivated, some of us won’t get motivated. The bills will be written, they’ll be watered down, they’ll fail. The NRA will smother it all with money and over time we’ll get distracted, we’ll move on to the next thing. And then it will happen again. And again.

Last night, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said this is not the time — actually it was today, this morning, she said it was not the time for political debate. I don’t know, we have 59 innocent people dead, it wasn’t their time either. So I think now is the time for political debate.

President Trump is visiting Las Vegas on Wednesday, he spoke this morning, said he’s praying for those who lost their lives. In February, he also signed a bill that made it easier for people with severe mental illness to buy guns legally. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, a number of other lawmakers who won’t do anything about this because the NRA has their balls in a money clip, also sent their thoughts and their prayers today, which is good. They should be praying. They should be praying for God to forgive them for letting the gun lobby run this country, because it’s so crazy.

Right now, there are loopholes in the law that let people avoid background checks if they buy a gun privately from another party, if they buy a gun online or at a gun show. So I want to show you something. These are the faces of the senators who, days after the shooting in Orlando, voted against a bill that would have closed those loopholes. These are the 56 senators who didn’t want to do anything about that.

Ninety percent of Democrats — I’m not talking about politicians here, I’m talking about people — and 77 percent of Republicans support background checks at gun shows. Eighty-nine percent of Democrats and Republicans are in favor of restricting gun ownership for the mentally ill. But not this gang! They voted against both of those things. So with all due respect, your thoughts and your prayers are insufficient.

By the way, the House of Representatives is voting on a piece of legislation this week. It’s a bill to legalize the sale of silencers for guns, this is what they’re working on. We have a major problem with gun violence in this country, and I guess they don’t care. If I’m wrong on that, fine, do something about it. Cause I’m sick of it.

I want this to be a comedy show. I hate talking about stuff like this. I just want to laugh about things every night, but that — it seems to becoming increasingly difficult lately. It feels like someone has opened a window into hell. And what I’m talking about tonight isn’t about gun control, it’s about common sense. Common sense says no good will ever come from allowing a person to have weapons that can take down 527 Americans at a concert. Common sense says you don’t let those who suffer from mental illness buy guns.

In June of last year, the NRA fought to make sure people on the no-fly list can buy guns. They aren’t allowed to get on a plane; they’re allowed to own a very dangerous gun. Who thinks that makes sense?! Them, I guess, the people who voted with the NRA.

Maybe I’m nuts, but I would like to think we could put politics aside and agree that no American citizen needs an M-16 or 10 of them. And maybe that way, we don’t do this again. And that seems very reasonable to me.

You know, in 1980 we had a big fire at the MGM in Las Vegas. It was horrible, 85 people died, you could see the fire. I was 13 years old, I’ll never forget it. A man jumped out the window, it was a terible thing to see. Then a few months later there was another fire at the Hilton and five people died. So you know what they did? They changed the laws! They made major changes to the fire safety codes and it hasn’t happened again. Why would we approach this differently? It’s a public safety issue, and something needs to be done already.

So tell your congresspeople to do something. It’s not enough to send your love and prayers. We do, we send our love and support and whatever else is needed to Las Vegas, and to the families from all over the country and Canada who had the worst night of their lives last night.

Vegas is a funny town, it’s easy to forget people live there, but they do. Lots of good people. These people showed in droves today to donate blood because it’s the only thing they could do, and so they did it. But there is more that we could do, and we need to do it.

Thank God for the police in Las Vegas, who risked their lives trying to locate the man with the gun. Thank God for the doctors and nurses and firefighters and paramedics who rose to the occasion, as they always seem to do when we need them to. And for the concertgoers themselves who helped each other, who threw their bodies on top of each other, who drove their private cars full of people who were bleeding to the hospital. Don’t forget them.

And don’t forget what’s going on in Puerto Rico, either. Just because they’re not the lead story today, they still need help. And if you want to help either one … a good way to do that is to give to the American Red Cross … and we send all our love to our family and friends in Las Vegas and everyone affected by this terrible event.

I’m sorry for getting emotional, I’m not great with this kind of thing. But I just think it’s important, you know?

‘I cannot express how wrong I was’: Country guitarist changes mind on gun control after Vegas

By Emily Yahr
The Washington Post
 October 2 2017

In the wake of the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas on Sunday night that left at least 58 people dead and more than 500 injured, the Josh Abbott Band — like many country acts — posted a message that sent thoughts and prayers to the victims. The Texas-based group performed at the Route 91 Harvest festival Sunday afternoon, several hours before a gunman fired into the crowd during Jason Aldean’s set.

However, one member of the band went even further, posting a lengthy message on Twitter about his personal response to the attack. After spending the night fearing for his life, Caleb Keeter, the group’s lead guitarist, spoke up about gun control.

“I’ve been a proponent of the 2nd amendment my entire life. Until the events of last night. I cannot express how wrong I was. We actually have members of our crew with [Concealed Handgun Licenses], and legal firearms on the bus,” Keeter wrote. “They were useless.” He continued:

We couldn’t touch them for fear police might think we were part of the massacre and shoot us. A small group (or one man) laid waste to a city with dedicated, fearless police officers desperately trying to help, because of access to an insane amount of fire power.

Enough is enough.

Writing my parents and the love of my life a goodbye last night and a living will because I felt like I wasn’t going to live through the night was enough for me to realize that this is completely and totally out of hand. These rounds were just powerful enough that my crew guys just standing in close proximity of a victim shot by this f—ing coward received shrapnel wounds.

We need gun control RIGHT. NOW. My biggest regret is that I stubbornly didn’t realize it until my brothers on the road and myself were threatened by it. We are unbelievably fortunate to not be among the number of victims killed or seriously wounded by this maniac.

Speaking up about any remotely political issue is rare in country music, particularly about gun culture, given the genre’s close ties with the National Rifle Association. While many singers are often hesitant to get political for fear of being blacklisted from radio, the Josh Abbott Band has found plenty of success in their native Texas and as a touring band — their last charting single in 2016, called “Wasn’t That Drunk,” landed in the mid-40s. So in terms of mainstream radio, they don’t have much to lose.

Later, as his message started to get retweeted thousands of times, Keeter added another tweet:

“That being said, I’ll not live in fear of anyone,” he wrote. “We will regroup, we’ll come back, and we’ll rock your f—ing faces off. Bet on it.”

A publicist for the Josh Abbott Band said the band declined to comment further and pointed toward a statement that the group posted on Facebook.

“Everyone in our band and crew are safe,” Abbott, the lead singer, wrote. “The band & crew were on the concert grounds and saw people get shot. Some of my crew members were hit with shrapnel, but not injured. We are deeply disturbed by this horrific act of violence and send our thoughts and prayers to the victims and their families. It was a long awful night but we are blessed to be alive and healthy. Hug your loved ones tight.”

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