The right to free speech is one of our most important rights. Curtailing it for any
reason is dangerous. That being said, when one exercises this right, you must
realize that people may react or over react to what you say.
The attack in Texas, though foiled, was obviously a deplorable reaction to people
exercising their right to free speech but, can you really be surprised by this reaction ?
This anti-Muslim event had nothing to do with free speech. It was an obvious attempt
to inflame and incite a response. I guess they succeeded in that. For those who were
angered or surprised by the response, consider the response you might get if you had an event showing Jesus engaged in homosexual sex or goose stepped through Tel Aviv wearing a swastika or paraded through a black neighborhood wearing KKK robes.
You have the right to display your bigotry and racism but don’t portray yourself as an innocent victim when you intentionally provoke a violent response.
It is a shame that the only reaction to this event was two violent men rather than thousands of peaceful demonstrators of all faiths,expressing their disgust at what the people who ran this event stand for.
May 5, 2015 by Bruce Kimball, a frequent contributor to 121Contact.
"In Texas, police have shot and killed two men they say opened fire outside an anti-Islam event in the city of Garland, wounding a security officer. The event, organized by Pamela Geller, executive director of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, included a contest for drawing the best caricature of the Prophet Muhammad." Democracy Now
It is the 26th of May, 2013 in Baghdad, Iraq. In one
neighborhood the streets are quiet under a blanket of fear. People are talking to each other
by phone, passing the news from one house to another.
After sister called we called whoever we could. Voices weak
with trembling, or loud and angry, or shrieking in despair—and some flat—without
“They took 2 young men, the only sons of their family, from
their home. Kidnapped and killed them. They killed them right there in the
street. They left their bodies in the street. Who can do this? Why is this?”
“There is a special squad moving around. You don’t know when
they will stopping you in the street. You don’t know why…on what basis. Maliki
gave them permission because Fallujah, Ramadi.”
“The government gangs are roaming the streets here. No one
will go out. The children are locked in the houses.”
“Yazid’s father called him. He told him not to go out of the
house. They argued for a while and then Yazid just became quiet. Since this
call he has a bad diarrhea. He won’t talk to me or to the boys.”
“The street is silent now. Too quiet. Do you know what I
mean? Can you feel me? What life is this?”
find anything about this in the media. Is Baghdad still in the world?]
Monsters, Inc. was a very cute movie about collection of very un-scary
monsters. But the really scary collection assembled a few days ago in Houston,
I watched Jon Stewart the other
night when he played clips from the 142nd Convention of the NRA, where appeared
such luminaries as Wayne Lapierre, president of the NRA. One fool said that
"Obama wants to disregard the 10th amendment and is trying to implement
Obamacare and take away our liberty."
If anyone can make any sense out of
that, he's a better man than I am. The 10th amendment states that any rights
not expressly delegated to the Federal government shall be reserved for the
I suppose he was stating the
obvious, which is that the U.S. government would have to explicitly outlaw the
sale of machine guns in the whole country and require the registration of all
gun ownership before the law would become federal law and therefore not subject
to the whims of state governments. But just out of curiosity, what does that
have to do with Obamacare?
Anyway, any kind of break on the
power of the NRA has proven impossible after the Senate rejected any measures
that could possibly affect the NRA and the American obsession with guns.
That was followed by Rick Santorum,
one of the Republican hopefuls who wanted to run for president, who asked
"Why are they going after chaplains in the military saying they can't
evangelize and proselytize?" Another non-sequitur. Then they showed a
movie of Texas Governor Rick Perry shooting human-shaped targets.
Governor Perry had his say, bragging
"We're creatin' jobs day in and day out in this state." John Bolton,
the temporary representative to the U.N. under W. brought up the attack in
Benghazi, conveniently forgetting that one reason the embassy there was not
properly defended was that Republicans had cut the funding for defending U.S.
Sarah Palin got a lot of cheers by
pointing out that the mayor of New York City now wants to prohibit public
displays of tobacco products. I hadn't heard that, but it sounds like an
eminently sensible idea to take down the billboards selling coffin tacks to
In other words, this ship of fools
were assembled just to complain about the Democrats and their common sense
proposals for making the country more livable.
How about a few simple facts, folks?
More Americans have been killed by other Americans with guns than all the
Americans killed on foreign soil by foreigners since 1950. Run the
numbers and you'll see. The number of Americans killed in the Korean, Vietnam,
Afghanistan and Iraq wars totals 81,249, according to Wikipedia. The number of
Americans murdered by other Americans since 1950 (the beginning of the Korean War)
totals more than 500,000, which would seem to qualify the United States as a
Someone reading this article may
challenge my figures and tell me that "only" 450,000 people have been
murdered by gunfire since 1950.
I challenge the really scary
monsters aggregated in Texas to do so.
[Wright Salisbury is a fellow member of September Eleventh Families for
Peaceful Tomorrows. When his son-in-law, Belmont resident Ted Hennessy Jr.,
perished on American Airlines Flight 11 on Sept. 11, Wright Salisbury and his
wife packed up and moved from Irvington, N.Y. to Lexington to support his
daughter and her children.
The NRA from Paris
February 5, 2013 by Wright Salisbury
After countless instances of gun violence, which regularly robs over 10,000 Americans of their lives each year, many in mass murders, the American people seem finally to have awakened to the fact that we can, and must, put a stop to the proliferation of firearms in the U.S.
That it took the killing of twenty six- and seven-year-olds in a school in Newtown, CT to arouse the ire of so many people is a sad testimony to the general indifference to the suffering of others that has become, unfortunately, characteristic of our society.
Wayne LaPierre, the spokesman for the NRA, callously tried to blame gun violence on movies and video games. I'm living in Paris at the moment and I can bear witness to the fact that the French see all the violent movies we produce and play the same video games.
There are reportedly 33 gun deaths a day in the good old U.S.A. In France, the only mass killings since 2000 were carried out by a jihadist against four people (three of them children) in a Jewish school in Toulouse and a man who shot and killed eight members of the city council in a Paris suburb.
According to Philippe Coste, a staff correspondent for the weekly L'Express, "To get any category one or four weapons, like the Glock or the Sig Sauer used in Newtown, you need to be 21, to have joined a shooting range for the last six months, provided a blank criminal record and a certificate of physical and mental health not older than two weeks. Then, the local police precinct starts a "morality investigation" in your neighborhood that rivals the clearance work done by the FBI for anybody employed at the White House."
Furthermore: "Once you buy a gun, you still don't own it. Property rights don't apply to weapons. Even the European community, in spite of its principles of free enterprise and individual liberties, confirmed that there is no such thing as a right to own a weapon. A license is a temporary exception to the rule of prohibition. It is a privilege revoked after three years, before a new application."
Mr. Coste concludes, "I concur with the American gun lobby that gun control amounts to an obvious restriction of individual liberties. Like most French or European citizens, I would add a point: So what?"
[Posted by Bruce Wallace, 121Contact. Wright Salisbury is a friend and fellow 'gang member' in September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows.]
Once more we will go through the rituals
which follow these tragic events.There will be a media
blitz, candle lit vigils, interviews, in depth
coverage of the victims and the shooter. We will hear about
heroes and, once again, ask how and why this
The fact is, gun violence occurs every
day. We only focus on it when there are multiple
victims. There are tens of millions of guns in our
country and people are killed with them every day. It
is a disease we live with. When there is a
"major flare up" we talk about it for a while and then go back
to business as usual.
This disease is so pervasive
and permeates our society making it, in my mind,
There is no magic cure, no legislation will
end this. Stricter gun controls can make it less
likely and save lives but it will never cure the
disease. As with any incurable disease, we live our
lives, day to day and try to forget that it exists.
The only way to deal with this is to live life to the
fullest and appreciate what you have.
Let those around you
know, today, how important they are to you.
[Bruce Kimball is a retired teacher, community activist, and long-time friend of 121Contact.]