Holy moly. There’s so much going on in recent news that I want to talk with you about:
1) The midterms!
So HAPPY that more than 100 women were elected to congress. So HAPPY to see more representatives that look like our actual population. So many wonderful firsts! First Native American Woman in Congress, First Muslim Woman in Congress, First Lesbian Mother in Congress — click through for more. I heard someone call it a Rainbow Wave and I loved that.
This headline made me happy: All 19 Black Women Running for Judge in a Texas Race Won Tuesday Night.
I’m watching the un-conceded Georgia race between Stacy Abrams and Brian Kemp closely. Ms. Abrams is making sure every single vote is counted. Though it’s close, Kemp is currently ahead — but his actions throughout the campaign were corrupt. This race shocked me. I thought Abrams was a shoo-in.
I’m watching the Florida Governor Race too. Just saw it’s going for a recount!
So bummed about Beto’s loss, while simultaneously in awe at the campaign he ran. No PAC money. No going low. Loved my dear friend Laura Mayes’ thoughts about the result. She spent a huge number of hours block-walking and getting out the vote over the last several months and she is amazing. They’re calling Texas a purple state now.
I’m also watching the Mia Love and Ben McAdams race in Utah.
My amazing friend, author Katherine Center, has a sister, Lizzie Fletcher who was running as a Democrat in Texas — and she won! That was one of my happiest moments from the midterms for sure.
What was the happiest win you saw? What was the hardest loss for you to take? Do you feel good about the results? Did you wake up on Wednesday feeling optimistic? Or disappointed?
2) Trumps total melt down yesterday.
Firing Jeff Sessions? What?
Taking away Jim Acosta’s White House press credentials? Seriously?
A 1 1/2 hour press conference that got more and more bizarre as it went on?
And have you noticed that talk of The Caravan completely disappeared the day after the midterms? And that they dropped the name Operation Faithful Patriot? Such blatant manipulation.
How much trust do you have in the midterm results? Do you worry about Russian interference?
What’s your take on all of this? I’m super curious about what will change with Democrats taking the house. Will we see Trump’s tax returns? Will there be a slew of new investigations? (Remember the investigations that were threatened if Hillary won?) Do you think Trump will try and fire Mueller? What would you like to see happen?
3) Another mass shooting.
The first news I saw when I got online today was about the mass shooting in Thousand Oaks. Twelve people dead, plus the gunman. Some of the people who survived this shooting, also survived the Las Vegas festival shooting. The loss is staggering and heart-wrenching.
“It is the 307th mass shooting in the United States this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive.”
This is the new abnormal.
These deaths were fully preventable.
Want to blame mental illness? Don’t. There are a millions of people with mental illness in our country that don’t shoot up people. Every country in the world has people with mental illness, but we’re the only country that deals with mass shootings every week. Mental illness isn’t the problem. Access to guns is.
I’m done with people using mental illness as a scapegoat. All it does is further stigmatize those of us that struggle with it. It’s lazy and dishonest.
Question: Why does a person’s right to bear arms outweigh other people’s right to live? Why does someone wanting to own a gun “for protection” outweigh someone else wanting to live in a community where their kids don’t practice active shooter drills?
It doesn’t matter what political party you align with. EVERYONE should be outraged that there was yet another mass shooting. Demanding stricter gun laws is not an evil agenda, it’s a necessity.
Is anyone still reading here who doesn’t urgently want to see gun control? Is anyone still reading here who keeps a gun in their house? If yes, what is your take on yet another mass shooting? How are you justifying the current gun laws to yourself? Do you think it’s fair to say: White men with guns are the only terrorists we should be worried about right now?
What kind of actions can we take today to move gun control efforts forward?
4) More awful fires in California.
I think the biggest one at the moment is in Butte County. But it seems like they are everywhere. We smelled smoke at around 11:00 today and I immediately did a search for Oakland Fires. Sure enough, there was a fire just across the highway from us. Luckily, they got it under control in about an hour. June is home today, and we talked about what we would do if we needed to evacuate. Scary stuff.
What am I missing? What recent news stories are you thinking about today? Please consider this an open thread to discuss whatever is on your mind.
P.S. — Sending get well soon healing vibes to RBG.
70 thoughts on “An Open Thread On This Week’s News”
Lizzie Fletcher (my current district) and Kendra Horn from OK (my former district) were my favorite wins.
Beto was the hardest to take for sure, as we campaigned/donated the hardest for him than anyone else we’ve ever supported…but I’m changing my signs to say “Beto for President” and leaving them out front. ;)
Yay for Lizzie Fletcher!
Rachel! Right there with you! So proud of Lizzie…I live in Austin, but I love her sister, the write Katherine Center! I followed her campaign and was so happy that she won! And I’m still sad about BETO. I campaigned, canvased and donated to his campaign as well. He did something truly remarkable here in Texas and I’m sure we will see more of him in the future!
Trump would be a dictator if we let him…and I’m afraid the Republican Party in its current incarnation would do that. As for the shooting— the percentage of people with mental illness is about the same in every country, but access to guns is not, and that explains the rate of gun deaths in the US. It’s crazy. And saddening. Look how well Australia has handled it, and we keep doing the same thing we always do, which is thoughts and prayers and no action.
I’m completely over the guns rights people deciding that their rights are a higher value than the rest of our lives. With each shooting I am more outraged and want them ALL banned. No one should have access to these weapons outside of the police. If you want to hunt, you can (with proper credentials) check out 1-2 guns. That’s it. And don’t come for an argument or tell me how you’re a “responsible gun owner.” I am done!
A couple of years ago, the “I’m a responsible gun owner” argument used to feel valid to me, but no longer. If there were really responsible gun owners the definition of a responsible gun owner would be strictly defined and made a law. True responsible gun owners would never be okay with current gun accessibility in our country and would be fighting to make it harder to get guns.
I think people who consider themselves to be “responsible gun owners” are going to lose their guns altogether, because they couldn’t be bothered to demand common sense regulations.
I live just north of you in Suisun (I grew up in the East Bay) and I am so happy that we have a new Mayor! She is a WOC and beat out the incumbent mayor who was in that position for like 15 years or something! Incredible! And thank you for having this little space on the internet. I agree with everything you posted. For the love of God, no one needs any kind of automatic weapon!
For the midterms, I’m somewhat excited by the progress that was made. However, there were definitely disappointments. I’m in Idaho, and I was really hoping that Paulette Jordan would win. However, I wasn’t as devastated by this year’s election results as I was in 2016. I think part of it is that I’m more actively treating my depression (yay therapy and Lexapro!), and also because I realized, before election night, that even if democrats won everything, it wasn’t going to magically fix things. I am hopeful that by dems have the House of Reps, we will see more accountability of Trump and his administration. We shall see.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the mass shooting in CA today. I keep coming back to the thought that no one is safe, and it is heartbreaking realization. I agree with you about mental illness being a red herring. After the fact, people question the people around the shooter and ask, “Were there signs? Why didn’t you stop him?” I can say as someone who has dealt with depression, it is so easy to hide. My depression diagnosis came as a shock to the people around me. If my broken brain convinced me to go shoot up a place, it would have been easy, and there would have been no warning signs. We need to have these weapons be less accessible. Some people will make the argument that CA already has strict gun laws, so clearly gun control doesn’t work. But until we have a nationwide ban or consistent restrictions, this will continue to be a problem.
Agreed! As long as we have open state lines (which I love!), no state gun law will have full impact. We need nationwide gun laws. And the more mass shootings we have, the stricter I want them to be. Over the last few years I’ve been converted to the idea of a gun buy-back and ban similar to Australia’s. Despite the naysayers, I believe it could work here.
Do you really think there is a chance that guns could be banned in the future? I really would LOVE that but am doubtful it would ever happen. If common sense gun laws can’t be passed, how would banning them come to be? Nothing would make me happier and I cling to the hope that maybe one day people thinking it’s “their God given right” to own guns would be a thing of the past. Makes me ill and so very angry these people think their stupid guns are more important than human life.
I think that’s definitely where we’re headed. Dozens of smaller steps have been attempted, but gun right advocates + the NRA have blocked every single one. Ban bump stocks? Nope. Require a nationwide registry? Nope. Require gun stores to digitize records so law enforcement can easily track sales? Nope. Prevent gun ownership for anyone accused of domestic violence? Nope. Close the gun show sales loopholes? Nope. Universal waiting period? Nope. Legally required gun safes? Nope. Registration and licensing that mirror car ownership and driving? Nope.
Decades have gone by and gun rights advocates haven’t fought for or supported even the simplest common sense gun reforms.
And now, I think we’ve reached a too-little-too-late point. Gun advocates haven’t acted in good faith and a majority of Americans no longer trust them. As a new generation of politicians takes over, I think a complete gun ban is inevitable. I’m guessing five years or so.
Gabrielle, this is such a hopeful prediction!! I would cry tears of relief if I knew that there would be a gun ban in 5 years time. I am currently living abroad, and I am actually afraid to move back to the US, which is ironic, because I live in a Middle Eastern country that many Americans would probably (incorrectly) think is unsafe. Although I completely agree that guns are the problem, I am also curious about other factors. Where I live, there are no weapons bans whatsoever, and yet there has never been a single mass shooting here. It’s not mental illness that’s the problem in the US, but there is definitely a problem of white male terrorists. Perhaps these shooters are also mentally ill, but they are acting in abnormal and terrifying ways that can not be explained by mental illness alone.
I follow “A Well-Regulated Militia” (ironic title) on Twitter. They post not just the mass shootings, but the constant, day in and day out, accidental, stupid, or “angry ex” shootings. Not in any way to diminish the horror of the mass shootings, which are indeed truly horrific, but the constant one-deaths (very often a child) must surely add up to even more deaths than the mass shootings.
This is what shocks me about the NRA — that they don’t even run safety campaigns. I would like to know how many deaths are caused by untrained people going, “It’s not loaded!”, pointing, shooting and killing someone. A man killed his 12-year old daughter doing that. I read about them pretty often.
Also, children left alone with access to guns, who accidentally shoot themselves or another child. How is this even possible? How are these basic safety rules not drilled and pounded into gun owners, and why is the NRA not taking this on?
It makes me lose all faith and trust in the NRA that they have any decency or honesty.
As far as the elections go, I was mostly pleased. I live in a midwest state where I voted entirely for women–all the way from local school board to my governor. And all democrats too. They all won, flipping state legislature seats and to the US congress. I had so many women knocking on my door and it was so wonderful (especially compared to the difficulties I had in 2016 getting a Clinton sign unless I volunteered which I was unable to do. Campaigns were run so differently).
But this one thing is really disheartening–our local school board election. I’m sick about it. Two women, one of whom was a current school board member, were running against 2 white men. Not only were these women extremely passionate and experienced, they were a major presence at local forums and events about the school board elections. They left a handwritten note on my door. Their opponents, not so much. I did my research and one of the opponents did not have any information anywhere about him. I do not know who he is. A few signs in the street and at one event (out of many) had a biography paragraph about his job. Nothing about school board issues, nothing about education. And to my great surprise and shock, these women lost. I live in a very diverse area and I worry that these women lost simply because their names are Arab and Indian. I simply have no idea how people got information about the men running. I worry that because my ballot is 29 items long (it was 31 in 2016) that people did not do their research and picked the white male sounding name. The school board is the most important thing to me as a mom (I live in Michigan where Betsy DeVos gutted public schools–my former outgoing state senator actually said he wanted public schools to fail–fortunately we elected a democrat public school teacher to fill his seat) and I fear that racism, Islamophobia, and Xenophobia are what motivated people to vote for these unqualified candidates.
I”m really sorry to hear about your school board election. I’m a teacher and a mom, so I’m heavily invested in school board elections. I am crossing my fingers for you that although your preferred candidates didn’t win, the ones who did won’t further destroy your public schools. The district where I teach was taken over by a very anti-public school board in an election where no one was really paying attention. Due to that, we had some very hard times, but were able to eventually recall those board members. It’s been a long road to recovery for our district since then. School board elections are so important! I think people just don’t realize it.
Agreed! We sometimes get distracted by national politics and forget how important local elections are. The local elections often impact our lives more immediately and more intensely.
Liz, I’m so sorry. That’s more than disheartening.
I also feel your pain as our school committee elections were the anxiety-producing element of Election Day for us. We had 4 candidates get elected basically because they were able to mobilize people’s emotions around the slated closing of one of our elementary schools. We have had declining enrollment across the district for years, coupled with increasingly tighter budgets. Consolidation is tough but really necessary. Moreover, none of these four (well, maybe one) are qualified. One is a leader of the teachers union – a big conflict of interest! Another came to a forum for families (mine included) whose kids were in a particular program – and she knew hardly anything about the program. It was like coming to a job interview and knowing next to nothing about the company. My sister-in-law has been on the committee for the past 8 years, and while I don’t always agree with her, she is level-headed and works really hard. She campaigned her butt off along with several other candidates, and lost. Such a disappointment.
And I learned today that already various administrators are resigning. Just because they know that these four are not going to bring the changes we need. Ugh.
While there was certainly much to cheer about on Wed morning, it still comes as a shock to see the map of the USA mostly RED except for the coastlines and a few bits and bobs of blue. Gaby, you may have the platform to ask the public: Why are white women voting to reelect white men that support Trump? I really want to know! Do these women simply follow their husband’s charge as “head of the family”? Is that a thing? It doesn’t do me any good to discuss this where I live in Seattle b/c we’re all appalled and don’t understand. And yes, I know this is another liberal bubble, I get it. It doesn’t stop me from wanting to understand why the map is so RED.
I find the maps frustrating because they don’t reflect population. So many of the huge western states have tiny populations. They present a huge red swath on the map, but a relatively small number of people. We know that population-wise, the clear majority of our country is left of center. The map is never accurate.
Not to mention, the map will show red even if the race was almost completely split down the middle. If the Republican candidate won by a margin of .5 %, it will still show red, making it seem like a large majority was red while that’s not really true. Even here in upstate New York, several senate and house races were extremely close (though in most cases, the Democrat candidate won).
Cynthia: Yes the visual is really confusing because the population density isn’t represented. For example, I can drive across my county in about 30 minutes and our county population is about the same as the state of Iowa and larger than the entire state of Kansas!
I find it interesting that these comments went straight to the inaccuracy of the maps. The real question is why white women consistently put race before gender. It’s time, it’s been time, for white women to “come and get their people.” I say this as a brown woman who finds that my own white acquaintances don’t take my words with the same weight as their white acquaintances.
“The real question is why white women consistently put race before gender.”
Well that’s certainly the million-dollar question. And I don’t pretend to have any idea what the answer is. I would be very interested to hear from white women who feel like they’ve been able to figure out what to do or say to change the minds of fellow white women. I haven’t seen any particular success in my own life and I’ve tried every angle I can come up with over several years. (I’m still trying!)
It was interesting to see there was a change with the midterms — nothing amazing, but less support for Trump-candidates from white women than might have been expected based on 2016. From what I can tell it was because of the #metoo movement and the Kavanaugh hearings.
That makes me think the one-on-one conversations I’ve had are going to be less effective at convincing white women to vote in their own gender’s best interest, than overall social movements.
Again, I would be over the moon if any white women out there have figured out what works and can share it with us here.
To tag along with Jeanne….
I think white women also tend to be racist. Even as women, we are still in a place of power. We have enough privilege that it is easy to ignore the discrimination against women in general – a condescension and bias that is deeply embedded into our mainstream culture and very hard to see and call out. Women are more biased against women, because that’s our culture. We, too, hold each other to different standards than men. So, it is easy for women to dismiss female candidates for the same reasons that men do.
And to add race into that, well…. Here is where intersectionality comes into play, right? Being woman in politics is already one hurdle. Being a Black woman increases that hurdle exponentially.
I think we also all of us need to move away from thinking about any one demographic as one bloc of voters, whether its women, Blacks, Latino, LGBTQ, what have you. Not a few Cuban and Central American immigrants support Trump for their own reasons.
Yes, I agree that some women tend to be hyper competitive with other women. What is that all about anyway? It’s another “more for you means less for me” pov it seems.
I want to add that when I refer to “white female vote” I am not referring to ALL white women. I do not for a second believe that all Caucasians are naturally racist. Far from it. To believe such a thing would be a gross overgeneralization. I think it color-blindness stems from a place of personal empathy and a natural internal compass for justice. To be fair, there are minorities who are also racist which befuddles me. If one experience racism personally, why are you also being racist to other minorities? Human nature…always interesting.
I think racism exists not just in white people because we live in a racist society. Speaking for myself, as an American-born daughter of immigrants, there are pressures, spoken, or unspoken, to fit in – to speak English correctly, to learn the ways of American society, etc. There is a desire to be accepted, and part of that acceptance is assimilating to the dominant culture – which for me, growing up going to an extremely white, upper-middle class school, was white. Assimilation isn’t just speaking without an accent or deciding that I’d rather eat steak and potatoes instead of the delicious traditional Indian food my grandmother made, but also taking in everything that floats in the water we swim in. Success is tied to accepting the societal norms and going with the flow. It just so happens the norms and flow are poisoned with racism in myriad ways.
We also, as immigrants, can’t take ownership of American history the way that white Americans can. Which means there’s unfortunately not the same drive to discover where our racism comes from. We can be “excused” by saying, we didn’t enslave anyone, we face our own discrimination, etc, and that’s true. But it doesn’t lessen the fact that as members of a racist society, we buy in to the racism everyday in tiny ways.
I’m not saying white people are bad. And I fully acknowledge there are white people who are confronting their racism, and voted for brown candidates and women because they believed in those candidates. But I look at the numbers and I can’t not see the fact that more white women tipped the election for Trump. I can’t un-see that they voted for Kemp, who is almost cartoonishly villainous when it comes to disenfranchisement, over Abrams, who has spent her career trying to address that unfairness.
I also know that even my best friend from college can’t face talking about everyday racism with me. So I definitely don’t expect strangers on the internet to do the same. But if you are at all inclined, please read Rebecca Traister’s ‘Good and Mad’ or ‘All the Single Ladies’ and Brittney Cooper’s ‘Eloquent Rage.’
I know of a good deal of white women who have voted republican. My lovely mother is one of them–albeit she voted 3rd party in the last 2 elections because she couldn’t stomach the main party candidates. She would cringe at someone accusing her of putting race before gender. Although they may not be reasons you agree with, she does have her own legitimate convictions about her voting choices. So my question is: do you simply want to change the minds of people like my mom, or do you want to hear them out.
I notice that both sides–but the left in particular–tends to live in its own bubble, buoyed by the affirmation of similar opinions. I am definitely guilty of this, and began realizing that many of my family members never brought up politics around me and were always tiptoeing with caution whenever anything controversial came up, even though I never considered myself hateful or judgmental.
When I made the active decision to shut down my biases and actually listen to my parents’ viewpoints, I found that we had more common ground than we realized. Although we still differ on a lot, my goal is no longer just to convince them that I’m right, because that is totally counterproductive. Instead, by showing them that I care about what they think and consider their opinions valid, we’re BOTH able to learn from each other and think more flexibly.
I think both sides have a lot to learn about “the other side,” but I’ve noticed that the left in particular is quick to think of people who disagree with them as stupid/backwards/hateful, and although that is certainly true about some people, I’d argue that it is NOT true about most people.
I’m going to agree and disagree with you on this on MM.
I fully agree with you that in a civilized society, we should listen to each other and hear each others concerns, fears, dreams, plans. To be respectful. To disagree and yet still be friends. I think this went hand in hand with the way our representatives would cross party lines to actually represent the people they were elected to represent rather than the political party they are affiliated with. It’s the approach I aspire to in all walks of life, not just politics.
I am a tiny blue dot in an ocean of red. And by blue, I mean that I’m socially liberal yet fiscally conservative. I’d probably fall a bit to the left of moderate. But I’m surrounded by not just conservative folks, but also a large number of far-right supporters. The condescension, name calling, and out right vitriol that has been thrown in my direction since 2016 has been shocking. A simple, non-political facebook comment lauding the work of bees turns into my somehow being a looney left wing tree hugging nut job. Many people here are unwilling to hear anything other than conspiracy theories and Fox News’ drivel. Any contradiction of what they think is fact, any actual facts are discounted as “fake news” or “biased media”. It is endlessly infuriating. I have lost friends over it because I refuse to be intimidated by their blather. I also cannot take someone seriously or hold their opinions as valid if they are endlessly spouting crap easily debunked with a quick google search.
All that to say – it’s not just one side or the other. It’s both sides. We all need to find our way back to common decency.
Anjali: We all went to the map observation because that’s the easiest one to answer. The Million Dollar question is obviously really complex and goes very deep both emotionally and psychologically. I’ll give you my theory though, for what it’s worth. It’s late and I may not put my thoughts together very coherently so bear with me.
It’s my observation that human nature likes to feel superior. Not everyone of course, but to me, the majority. I’m richer than you. I’m more attractive. I believe in the “one true” religion. I live in a better country. I’m more educated. Whatever “thing” makes one feel superior. But in order to be “better” the flip side is that you have to keep another societal group (sex/race/culture/religion) lower even if that perception is purely psychological.
There are a lot of different historical, societal morays that have placed women in an inferior position to men. It would take too long to list them all but they include things like arranged marriages, making less income or not being able to advance as far in the workplace, taking the majority share of the household and childrearing work (I’m not saying that raising children is a negative so don’t get hung up on that people), incurring sexual harassment and so on. For hundreds of years, the only power women could gain was through their husbands. They even lost their names….for example. Mrs. John Smith. I still find that tradition absolutely silly.
Even in today’s modern times, there is a subset of women who still perceive their self image through the achievements or the approval of the men in their lives, be it their husbands, fathers or sons. He may have a successful, powerful career. He may be well known in their societal circle. Whatever that perceptual gain may be, they feed off of it. “If he is important, then I am too.”
I believe the missing “white female vote” we are discussing falls into this category. Why aren’t they standing up for other women, for other families, for themselves? Because they view their worth through the white men in their lives. They may not be top dog in the societal power pyramid but they are number 2. And hey, for many that’s not an intolerable place to be especially if they are good at turning the other cheek.
They see this whole political situation as a pie chart. If another group is to gain any sort of movement towards equality, then the resulting effect is less power for themselves. And perception is driven by an inexplicable, emotional pull. “More for you? Hey wait, that means less for me.” This is not only a white female vote perception. This is the conflict you see regarding any issue that bears similarity, take for instance Feminism. “Equality for women means that it’s going to take away some privilege for me. Yeah, no thanks!!” Or gun control. Or acceptance of LGBTQ rights.
My thoughts were supported by an article Gabby posted several months ago showing a study where voters were willing to let go of their democracy if it meant preventing a minority group from gaining more power.
And this is why I think your white female friends, no matter how loving or how educated, don’t take your words with the same weight. Their weight is…”I’m doing just fine. If you disrupt the way we’ve always been doing things around here, then I might have to struggle. So yeah, Trump is an ass. But I’ll vote for him if it insures that things don’t change too much.” In order to sound polite, they’ll phrase it around things like single issue voting, religion, taxes, etc…or as one of my friends weakly says “Well both sides have their own problems”. But their vote is emotionally driven and therefore exceedingly hard to change unless they are affected directly in a way that suddenly impassions them to act otherwise.
PS: This is a really hard question to answer and I apologize for my wordiness or any offense I’ve caused. I’m sure there are a lot of sections that can be shot down or supported more but it’s getting close to midnight and I somehow felt compelled to tackle this, however inefficient it may be
Thank you, Jeanne for taking the time to posit a theory. I think it has merit.
thank you for your words and your thoughtfulness, Jeanne.
I voted for the first Native American female candidate for congress in New mexico, and she won. Super happy about that. It feels like people on both sides are happy with the results, and that feels like a nice vacation when I get on Facebook….
I am just so happy that Dems have the House to put a roadblock on Trump and limit his power. It is a huge relief to me.
I’m having a hard time understanding how people justify voting republican because of the abortion issues. Why are they not more concerned about the people who are living and breathing outside of the womb?!!
How do they not feel like better gun regulation is more important than fighting what they feel is the issue of abortion?
Blows my mind!
I find myself baffled by anyone who sees preventing legal abortion as their number one issue or their only issue. Politicians could reduce or eliminate abortion without ever touching abortion law.
I can only conclude they don’t actually want to reduce or eliminate abortions, because by supporting anti-abortion rhetoric, they can be a horrible leader, and still win certain voters instantly, just by keeping the abortion debate in focus. If they eliminated abortion, they would have to face other real issues.
I also think a lot of people really like making moral judgements about women who are pregnant and who don’t want to have a baby. A person can say: killing babies is horrible! And somehow they think they’re taking a bold moral stand, as if there’s anyone who is pro-killing babies.
They’re equally important. Thou shalt not murder; (with a gun or a vacuum.) Having self control and simply obeying the 10 commandments would bring much peace. Also, a root of gun violence is Hollywood. Why is this not discussed much? Sadly, humans are imitators (look at power of advertising)
I hear the Hollywood-as-a-root-of-gun-violence argument, but though the connection makes sense in my head, I have never seen good data on this I don’t know if it’s actually true. Since American movies and TV and internet memes are seen and shared around the world, if they were significantly impacting gun violence, it seems like we would see it play out in many countries. But if countries have limited gun access, then I suppose it can’t play out. Either way, I see gun access as they key problem by far. Other factors (like movies) may have an impact, but their impact is tiny compared to gun access.
I’ve followed your gun violence threads with great hope that someone will begin a discussion about what feels super obvious to me, but appears to be flying completely under the radar — and that’s the idea that ALL violence is up, not just gun violence. And if this is true, why are we focusing only on getting rid of guns — I’m not saying that banning guns won’t help, but ultimately I believe it’s the wrong focal point — a red herring of its own if you will. An exclusive focus on this issue keeps us from seeing the bigger picture.
America has become a super violent society at its heart — the political arena is just one example of exactly how ugly it’s becoming. Violence is perpetuated on so many different fronts that I see gun violence as a massive flashing warning sign of some serious ugliness to come if we can’t find ways to truly love others despite our differences.
I realize that those who want to see guns banned don’t believe that it’s the only answer, but it’s truly disheartening to see the verbal violence that’s being bandied about in discussions like this one towards those who disagree with banning guns. Do we recognize that our own attitudes are violent too? And ultimately contribute to the problem (violence in society) rather than the solution we want (peace, kindness & love in society)? Do we really believe that our violence towards those we disagree with can stop THEIR violence? I personally don’t believe that violence has power to stop violence — Martin Luther King taught it best when he said that only love can end violence.
So, while I get what you’re saying about gun access, Gabby, and I think it will help in the short run, I believe that a long-term answer involves much more — it’s about becoming a kinder, more loving society– not just on the surface, but deep down– one person at a time, and it has to start with me.
So, if that’s the case, how do I go about changing my own violent nature in an effort to stem the violence of my society??? I love seeing others’ perspectives and solutions, so I’d love to see a discussion about this aspect of stemming violence — either here, or in another post.
There are so many amazing women at Designmom who have incredibly varied and deeply powerful thoughts and ideas — I’d love to know what you all think on this subject. How are you working on this with yourself and with your families? Have you seen or done something that is working especially well in your community or schools? Do you think that the political changes we experienced this week can contribute to these ideals? I would love to have you share what is working for you so that I could have additional tools to change myself, my family and my community so that violence can truly become a thing of the past.
Do you have data that violence is up? I know hate crimes by white supremacists are up, but I feel like I’ve read pretty recently that violent crimes overall are down (while at the same time, within that category, gun violence is going up). I could be way off base here. I’ll see if I can find a link.
I ask because the argument that we’re becoming more violent in general doesn’t ring true for me at all. I think the majority of the population is becoming more open minded, inclusive, and compassionate.
What’s an example of “the verbal violence that’s being bandied about in discussions like this one towards those who disagree with banning guns”? Do you feel all disagreement is violent? Or perhaps you feel impassioned disagreement is a form of violence? I don’t think I understand where you are coming from on this.
Here’s an article saying violent crime has had a significant drop (22%) from 2008 to 2016, and that it dropped 48% between 1993 and 2016.
So excited my friend Ayanna Pressley is now the first black congresswoman from Massachusetts!!!!
I’m at a point where I am no longer willing to compromise on guns. Being a “responsible gun owner” is meaningless, because every single one of these domestic terrorists were just that, until the day they started shooting people. I’m not willing to wait around and see who else will turn. I want to be a civilized country again, like Australia and Japan. I want the strictest gun laws possible. Lives are more important than guns.
I’ve reached the same point. I grew up in a hunting community and formerly felt somewhat protective of gun owners, but no longer.
I’m from NM and our state is solid blue! AND! We’re sending one of the first Native women to Congress! Deb Haaland! AND! Xochitl Torres-Small (granddaughter of Mexican immigrants) was just declared the winner of NM’s CD2! We’re sending two WOC to the Congress and elected Michelle Lunan Grisham (former Democratic rep) as our governor! I ❤️ my state!
I have been following from overseas and have a home in WV. I was so hopeful for Richard Ojeda to win office…but he lost. And WV voted to stop all money going into abortions, which is a major loss to women’s health. It wasn’t just about life (there was a lot more to that policy). However, I was super excited about the women that won positions in the house and that the House of Representatives has turned over to the Democrats. I am hoping that means more compromises!
I got to vote for Ilhan! We are so excited here in Minnesota!
:) Yes, was very happy with MN results on Tuesday!
I was thrilled that Amy Klobuchar won in such a landslide and is finally getting a bit more national attention. I’m really looking forward to a Klobuchar – O’Rourke ticket in 2020 :)
I’m so thrilled for my two women senators too! Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith. What really shocked me is that my county, Stearns in Central Minnesota, actually went for Amy and Tina when nearly everything else here goes/went red. That says a lot about the solid leadership of those women!
I’m definitely happy the US House switched to blue because we desperately need to put a check on Trump, but I’m also so excited that our governor’s office remains blue and our state legislature flipped back to blue. As a teacher’s wife and mom, I know how much that means for our public schools. I think education, health care, and gun control are our top issues nationwide, and I only see Democrats willing to help us with both.
And I’m so glad Minneapolis is sending Ilhan Omar to Washington! My 19yo daughter in college got to vote for Ilhan, and it was her first time voting ever. What a thrill!
So much good news for your state! Love it.
I agree that education, health care, and gun control are top issues, and would probably add immigration to that list.
I was so happy that there will be some check/balance on this crazy administration, but am still baffled at why there are so many Republicans/support of Trump. Just completely mystified, and I grew up Republican. He seems like a wounded animal lashing out at everything. The most hopeful thing for me election night was hearing a clip of Nancy Pelosi’s speech where she talked about unity, and e pluribus unum, out of many we are one, and bipartisanship, and I thought, ah, that’s what we’ve been missing for the past two years. Civility.
Oh this is so hard for me. I’m mad at the nra and pro-gunners who have been so unwilling to let good (common sense) gun measures pass. It’s a self fulfilling prophecy because the indoctrination that “the left wants to take all our guns” wasn’t true before but now because of pride and stupidity is true.
I own guns. I’m actually ok with giving them up if that’s what will finally stop this madness but I mostly am so mad that my right to two hunting rifles is on the table because we’ve let the nra and a small few run the narrative. It’s so corrupt. I hate it.
I’m also so baffled with pro-trumpers. I know a lot of them. The thing that’s weird is they are primarily very religious and strict moral character people. I just can’t understand how that can coexist with trump. That being said, not every republican candidate is trump and lumping everyone as bad furthers the problem and gives trump more power. He thrives on fear, divisiveness, and other-ism.
I voted mostly democrat this time and third party in the presidential election. I wish I wasn’t demonized for not really wanting to be part of either tribe.
“It’s a self fulfilling prophecy because the indoctrination that “the left wants to take all our guns” wasn’t true before but now because of pride and stupidity is true.”
I think that’s so true and so well put.
I’m excited by all of the firsts and historically important wins! And I am also appalled by some of the races that were won by Republican candidates. One of the house races in New York was won by a Republican man that had been indicted on criminal charges earlier this year. Chris Collins was indicted in August on charges of insider trading, yet still won the race. I don’t get it.
Marylander here. We voted in Hogan who is a Republican (left-leaning in my opinion). The Baltimore Sun (notably liberal) endorsed him and that was the first time since Spiro Agnew that they did so for a governor. He made a statement about how he is surfing the blue wave, we are mostly a blue state, with his purple surfboard and I just loved it. I think he is very open to working with both parties.
I was excited to see all the women and “firsts” who won. However, I was left with two questions/thoughts:
HOW in this “metoo” era/environment did Keith Ellison win as Attorney General? What happened to believing female victims? He is despicable.
Also, I was disturbed to hear candidates (including the “youngest” Alexandria O-C), who self-identify as Democratic Socialists. Putting Democratic in front of Socialist is just a marketing trick. It is bad enough that our young people think that Socialism is “sharing” and “fairness” – which is total BS. Talk to anyone who lives in or has lived in a Socialist country and there is a reason it has never worked out. Those in power are happy and everyone is equally miserable. I keep hearing that “Socialism would be different in America”.Why? Are American politicians less greedy, less power-hungry? Nope.
Off my soapbox now.
Many European countries consider themselves to be quite socialist and they are thriving. I think you and Ms. Ocaiso and “our young people” are likely working with different definitions of socialism.
It can also be argued that America already participates in socialism with things like our roads and Medicare — which has just been expanded in several red states. Again, how are we defining socialism?
As someone who lived in a Democratic Socialist (not a marketing gimmick, but a real, actual thing) country in Northern Europe for nearly three years, who has family living in that same country for many years, and friends in the surrounding countries who also identify as Democratic Socialist, your statement, Lori, just doesn’t pan out. Those I know in these countries ARE thriving in so many ways that our citizens are choosing not to, because of who they’re choosing to elect into power.
After reading this post, i have to say, I agree with everything you said and admire your ability with words. Your straight forward, no nonsense style is very clear and thought provoking. Despite being old enough to be your mother, I am in awe of you and a big fan. Don’t stop sharing your thoughts and observations. You ROCK!!!
So many thoughts, but this is one I keep coming back to – The Thousand Oaks shooter was a white guy. So was the Vegas shooter. But yes, let’s be afraid of every non-white American – legal or not.
FYI Thousand Oaks and surrounding areas are under evacuation orders due to two big fires. Because it wasn’t a bad enough day yesterday already. Grieving so much for my hometown. I found some peace in your old post on gun control. It helped me find the words I’m too sad and angry to find on my own…
The fires are terrifying. It feels like all of California is burning.
I live in Australia and your gun laws (or lack thereof) completely baffles me. While our country is far from perfect I am so grateful for our common sense gun laws. As a mother there are a million things I’m anxious about, but worrying that my kids will get shot up when I send them to school is not one of them. What I don’t understand is that we’re continually told that you can’t put in place gun restrictions because of the 2nd amendment, and yet just last week Trump claimed he could end birthright citizenship by executive order, completely invalidating the 14th amendment. So which is it, are these amendments set in stone never to be touched or is it only set in stone when the financial interests of gun manufacturers are involved?
I totally agree with this comment, Sarah. The hypocrisy of it all is absurd.
I’m a Georgia girl and I’m still speechless at the situation we are in here. I’m happy for the rest of the country and so proud of all my fellow Georgians that turned out and voted. However, I feel cheated by our elected officials here due to the mess that happened with the purge and at the polls. It’s so upsetting. I am so thankful for Stacey Abrams and her team ensuring that every vote is counted. I hope that every voter’s voice will be heard.
I’m in Mia Love’s district and am still anxiously waiting to see the results. (Voted for, and hoping for Ben McAdams to win!) There are still a few issues in Utah Valley that haven’t reached a conclusion yet. Propositions and bonds for things like student housing and city facilities that have been so hotly contested. Votes are still being counted and they are neck and neck. It’s been wild to watch.
And the gun issue. My heart just hurts over it. I like hearing your take that strict gun laws are on the horizon. I’m praying that’s the case.
So I live in Utah and Mia Love works out at the same gym as me. A few weeks ago, she got onto the treadmill right next to mine. She would run for a few minutes, get off and go chat with people and then jump back on. Meanwhile, Ben McAdams ads ran on almost every TV. Over and over. People would talk to her and she just kept bitching. “It’s all lies! They can just tell whatever lies they want!” All of these people hung onto her every word. Don’t they know she has taken money from the NRA? Don’t they know she wants to stop giving money to Planned Parenthood? I watched her parade for about 30 minutes and then left. Then I emailed the Ben McAdams campaign and told them about her show. I got a quick response from the campaign that they read my email and laughed their heads off. She had such potential to be a leader, but she falls prey to big money. I can’t wait to see how McAdams does. While SLC was formulating a way to fix the homeless problem, Ben McAdams spent a night in the shelter disguised so he could see first hand what the needs are. He is also an active Mormon who has supported gay rights for many years, long before it was an issue. My son played baseball with his son and I casually chatted with him one day at practice and without knowing who he was, I asked him what he does for work and he just said he works in government. No fanfare. That’s who we need.
I’m from Minnesota and not feeling so proud that our state has elected an Attorney General that is under investigation for violence against a former girlfriend. Sad that the ME TOO movement has chosen to ignore these allegations. Gabby, you had a lot to say about the investigation of Brett Kavanaugh. I am wondering if you feel there should have been more said about Keith Ellison?
I am so far behind in blog reading…but i want to thank you for your inspired words on gun control. “Demanding stricter gun laws is not an evil agenda, it’s a necessity.” One powerful sentence…twelve words that precisely convey my sentiments as I continue to write to senators and congressional leaders to take a stand…something I have been doing since the Sikh shooting in Wisconsin several years ago. I urge your readers to do the same.
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