Can The GOP Really Be Fixed? By Rick London

    Politics is not my favorite thing.  I understand a little about it because I worked on The Hill for close to a decade. Up close, it’s like Hollywood with power rather than money. It’s not real pretty. (Don’t get me wrong, the city of Washington is one of the most gorgeous anywhere).

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    It taught me one very important thing.  Never ever be a “party person”.  My favorite uncle, was a retired Congressman (R-PA) who ran and won 3 terms. But something was changing in his party that didn’t sit quite well with him.   So he switched to the other party and under a two-term President worked as his Secretary Of Mining Safety both terms.

     But that was not the last straw that helped me make my decision to go Independent and study each candidate carefully; it merely “sealed the deal”.

      One thing I do know about political parties.  For America to be strong, we need a very strong two-party system.   What we now have is a very very strong Democratic party, and 26% on the fringe with the leadership of the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre, or Romney, or someone. Who knows…and who really cares?

     Today they (Finally) got what they wanted.  To like little yappy dogs, nip at Hilary Clinton’s ankles.  And that is exactly how it looked.  A group of men with American popularity rating so low (26%) in a “gotcha”) battle with the most popular woman in the world.  They had the usual suspect cheerleaders in the background; Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, et al all yelling “Go, baby go..you guys are winning the Super Bowl”.

      Here’s the problem.  Of course we know they weren’t winning anything and chances are the GOP’s (AKA “Guns Of Paradise”) ratings will drop another 5-10% in the polls after today’s circus.  Why was it a circus?  Because they did the predictable to make it a circus. 

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     Today’s hearings should have been anything but political, yet that is all it was, lest the questions from Democrats which were basically fact-finding queries.  America knows diplomacy is a dangerous game. We didn’t take Reagan’s team to task when we lost over 200 Marines in Saudi nor 47 diplomatic workers under GW Bush.  We know this kind of thing happens, and we know diplomacy is dangerous. Very dangerous.  We also know it is underfunded.    In addition, we also know the democrats asked for more funding for it for embassy security, the GOP turned it down. 

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     But let’s just say none of that is so.  Let’s just say a political party with a popularity rank of 26% positive was to be on television at a hearing with the world’s most popular woman (who they all know were as much as fault as were the Reagan administration or GW Bush administration for our diplomatic and military losses then).

     This would have been the perfect opportunity, had the GOP had decent leadership to huddle before the event and say, “Guys, we’re going to do the unpredictable.  We know all the facts.  We can play ‘trial by fire –gotcha’, or we can come in with an olive branch and use this event to turn our party around by doing the right thing……finding a solution with her, to keep this from happening again, even take some blame if we must for under-funding and promising never to under-fund our embassies again.”

     Can you imagine what that would have done to the GOPs popularity rating?  Dems, Independents and undecided would be standing in line to buy their GOP ticket.    But Jane Austen knew “Pride And Prejudice” long before the rest of us did, and they couldn’t  get past that. Once again,  The predictable.  

      Why can’t they simply change?   The NRA has convinced most of them our “socialist government” is coming for their guns.  And they believe it.  And they continue to send the NRA their hard-earned money.  And of course this is all about “principles and absolutism..whatever in the world that means. I haven’t a clue.   If someone will stop and look closely, the Obama administration wants what 70%+ of NRA membership wants.  Background checks, remove extended magazines and closing loopholes for easy purchasing. I am a defender of the 2nd Amendment.  I’m not for gun control. I’m for gun laws that work, and are enforced.  Something tells me every time I turn on the news, those two elements are not in place.  Common sense.   Not socialistic, and a safer nation.  Contrary to popular GOP belief, enforcing decent gun laws is no more socialistic than enforcing smart traffic laws. 

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      So the GOP again looks at the Dems.  “But they’re sinners.  They are pro-choice and abortion is an abomination.” If it is any consolation, I don’t know anyone who is pro-abortion.  In addition, Central America taught us that the pro-life movement has run its course.  It doesn’t work.  All the pro-life movement does is make itself wealthier.  Central America has the highest abortion rates in the world.  Abortion is illegal in every country but Uruguay.  How does it happen?  Any way a woman can, but more often than not using the ulcer drug Cytotec which is not safe in the least, and if the pregnancy turns into a birth, the chances of birth defects is very high.  But its as common as aspirin in Central America and would be in America too (should abortion become illegal or impossible to procure).

 So vote pro-life, you get about twice as many abortions….and extremely dangerous ones at that. Many won’t use Cyotec. They will use the old trusty coat-hanger that may (or may not kill her).   In today’s safe clinical environment, the mortality rate of the pregnant woman is .06%, one of the safest medical procedures available.  When/if it ever becomes illegal, the mortality rate will not only go up, so will the amount of abortions, by a great deal.

  So Dems are not the ghoulish “party of death” that so many think. Most of us understand that pro-choice with a prudent mixture of contraception and family planning means less abortions. Millions less.  It’s been proven over and over.  But this is for the real world; not for people in an insane attempt to control women’s bodies.  Those people have made up their “minds” anyway.  They don’t care that this reduces abortions by millions, as long as they can hang on to their antiquated politics that needs dusting worse than a 150 year old boarded up saloon from the Old West. 

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      But another blemish on the GOP is that Americans are not dumb.  Where they are trying to outlaw abortion, they are also attempting to make contraception and family planning education nearly impossible.  What in the world does that accomplish?  That’s a rhetorical question. It is to control women’s bodies and it is very very sick and, of course,  will backfire to a way lower than 26% positive rating (but I can guarantee it helped get the GOP to a rating that low).  I predict the ranking will drop to about 12% before they decide to fold.  A few stragglers might remain but I’d be very surprised.  Just pray for intelligent leadership…..but don’t take that to the bank.  They better be intelligent and have the ability to work fast. 

     And so it goes.  The circle of hate in the GOP party taking them further and further closer to the abyss…. The Contemporary Museum Of Former Political Parties”.  I wonder if they’ll build a monument to ol’ Wayne LaPierre in the front showing a pistol silencer to a child (out of love of course). 

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Rick London is a freelance writer, author, cartoonist, and songwriter.  He spends a great deal of time with his wife popular nature and wildlife photographer Lee Hiller-London.  London founded Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons and funny gifts in 1997.  Lee Hiller owns the popular online shopping shop LeeHillerDesigns.com.

                                                                                     

America’s Economy: International Tourism. Why Are Gun Safety Laws So Important? By Rick London

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BREAKING Victory! New York will be the first state to pass gun laws in response to the mass shooting at Sandy Hook.
New laws include restricting access to the mentally ill, bans on assault weapons and extended magazines, background checks for private gun sales, a statewide database of gun licenses. and harsher punishments for gun crimes, particularly smugglers.

As you probably observed, it didn’t “just happen” overnight.  We were angered and felt powerless every time another mass murder happened. To add icing on the cake, before any American had a chance to express grief, the NRA and it’s groupies were making the story “all about them and their guns and how the second amendment” blah blah…” as if those of us who own guns or have owned them didn’t have that concern.

It simply showed us that people set their priorities differently.  For some, their guns are like their wives or 

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children (or in many cases even more valuable) but for most of us, the children, teachers and other innocents being murdered was the only story here.
 I am a pure Constitutionalist, hence the 2nd Amendment to me is as important as the rest of them.   But here is a case that I know is going to be mentioned in the Supreme Court regarding “what is a gun and what is not”.  It was the same thing in 1935 when machine guns were banned except for military use.  Anything that was once “a gun” that becomes automated, is no longer

considered “a gun” or “arms” but “a military issued weaponry”, and not protected by the 2nd Amendment, hence a moot point  Citizens had to turn in their machine guns and all of them claimed the Constitution would fall apart and the end of the world would be very soon.

Well the world continued, and thrived, and many many less machine guns were bought because the few that got pushed further underground were so expensive, only the very wealthiest criminals could afford them, and no teens, nor young adults, those who are using the majority of automatics and/or extended clips now. 

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And even if all that didn’t exist, our 1st Amendment rights trump anyone’s 2nd Amendment rights any day (also proven in court in 1935. Every citizen had the right to walk down the street without the fear of being blown into little pieces to the point of no identification (a machine gun like an automatic or pistol with extended clip can do that same kind of damage).  So

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America is finally coming into the civilized world.  

 Keep in mind, banning the automatic weapons is part of the solution, but not even close to all of it.  What is goingto be a factor that decides whether America continues to go down the slippery slope of “outlaw-land” or not, is the extensive background checks that finally will be put in place.  

Of course the NRA has “it’s script” that is written for its members, created only to raise money for them.  Whenever the government mentions the idea of extensive background checks, the NRA sends out the same, or nearly the same fear-based letter every single time to it’s members that in a nutshell says, “And so what is next?  We know what is next.  They take our guns away.  

And only you can prevent this and we’re counting on you.  Will you be sending us $10?  $25? $50? $100 or this amount_________?  And it works.  By now anyone who has been a member for at least a year, may not understand it, but the NRA’s fear-based fundraising letters, written by the very best psychologists-turned-marketers knows the score.

On the other hand, these days, one of the first things International tourists look for in their research is violence in the country in which they feel might be a fun and/or interesting visit.  

So they check gun deaths in the U.S.  30,000 in 2011.  Nope, no way.  So they check Canada.  Gun deaths in 2011 – 37.   It doesn’t take an Einstein to figure out what country they would be visiting in 2011 with their family of 4-5.  

And those families of 4-5 are in the millions each year.  And thanks to yours truly, the NRA, and its brainwashed members who think that any day now their 2nd Amendment rights will be breached, the topic is not even raised.  After all, what could be more important.    America can afford to lose millions of dollars each year in tourism dollars if it means something as important as the “heroic NRA” fighting for your rights.

The problem is, they aren’t fighting for your rights.  They are fighting to put money in their pockets after each gun story, Newtown tragedy, etc.  The background checks has been a much-needed law in this country for a long time. It exists in every other civilized country. It does not breach any law-abiding citizen’s right to bear arms.  If it is upsetting to you, it is time to look within, not at the government, concerned parents, murdered citizens and their families, etc. What are you hiding?  If you have nothing to hide in your background, extension background checks should please you. 

It keeps guns out of the hands of people who are not mentally or emotionally capable of handling them.

But you know the NRA mantra.  When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.  Well that’s not exactly true.  Guns will never be outlawed.  But when sick violent people are outlawed from getting guns, where they will have to go to buy them, deep into the black market is so expensive, only a small minority of them will be able to afford them.

Is it foolproof?   Of course not.  But it is a very good start.  And it is a message to our citizens who have been staying indoors an awful lot, not going to crowded theaters, malls, downtown or other places where people might be found shooting a gun, will begin doing public commerce again.  And there are millions of them.

And more importantly it sends a message to the world that the citizens are welcoming them back. Though we love our guns, and we do, we love people even more. And we love the fact that we live in one of the most beautiful countries in the world, if not the most beautiful, and friendly, and if it means doing our best to keep guns out of the hands of sick/dangerous people to welcome them back, so be it.  If it means saying goodbye to automatic weapons and extended magazines; and leaving them with the military, for whom they were designed in the first place, so be it.

In other words, the U.S.A. is not as insane as they may believe it is, and they do believe it is, and we are surely willing to work on the useless violence, even if it means loss of profits to the NRA and its affiliates, no, especially if it means loss of income to that gang of thugs.  

The gun dealers, gun show operators etc. will have to learn to act like professionals and deal with the government to make certain guns go to the right persons, or simply go out of business.  It is a win-win for everyone.  They do not need to be in the gun business if they don’t understand that simple face which is about to become law.  And the NRA has no business teaching us about gun safety if all they are trying to do is make it more unsafe, to raise money again and again.  

Tourism, our country’s major breadwinner which has virtually dried up due to the unregulated gun laws (and gun laws that are ridiculous and don’t work) are now looking at America again as a possible destination).  Do you know that most travelers from different countries looked at us as they do Syria, Iran, Gaza, etc?  Seriously.  They picked safe(er) countries such as Germany, Switzerland, Scandanavia etc.  And who could blame them.  Those days are changing. FINALLY.

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Rick London is a freelance writer and songwriter.  He launched Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons and Funny Gifts in March 1997. It has been Google #1 ranked offbeat webcomic since 2005 and Bing’s #1 ranked since 2008.  London is active in Childrens, Animals and Environment rights. He lives with his wife popular nature/wildlife photographer Lee Hiller-London who owns and runs Lee Hiller’s Hike Our Planet Nature Blog and Lee Hiller Designs nature photography and artwork gifts and clothing.

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