Archive for stephen king

Gun Control: Soak, Wash, Rinse, Reject -- And It Still Stinks

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guns Asperger Syndrome

Every time there's a horrific mass shooting, and sometimes when there's a single random killing, there's a momentary blip on the heart meter over sane gun control laws. A voice or two calling out for reasonable gun regulation.

This past weekend's Isla Vista, California, massacre has once again brought out the cry for gun control. Despite a vast majority of the US population agreeing with this, Congress will continue its spin cycle and do nothing. The latest voice to attempt the seemingly impossible is Sen. Peter King (R-N.Y.)

Huffpo:

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) joined the charge of politicians calling for a review of gun control legislation on Sunday in the wake of a gunman's deadly rampage on the campus of University of California, Santa Barbara.

“This tragedy demonstrates once again the need to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill,” he said.

Boy, haven't we seen that so often before? But don't worry, you NRA enthusiasts and right-wing gun nuts, nothing is going to come of this. It's just another case of "soak, wash, rinse, repeat." Wishy-washy, wishy-washy.

Just asking, what is so hard and so wrong with a common sense law regarding guns? We do have some regulations, so it's not a totally foreign concept. We refuse sales of certain automatic weapons, we don't allow people to carry guns openly in many places and we don't let ex-felons purchase guns. Why not a simple bill which might weed out unstable or unqualified citizens from getting them. It would still protect citizen's 2nd Amendment rights. Call it a sanity clause -- but with a loose interpretation of sanity.

In this case, maybe a better word might be a responsibility clause. Anyone of legal age who wishes to get a gun to join the state militia (that's the 2nd Amendment) or even wants a gun for their own personal protection (a very loose interpretation of the 2nd Amendment), needs only to pass a proficiency test to show they know how to safely handle the gun or rifle. At the time of licensing, DGS (Department of Gun Safety) would also assess any overt signs of mental or emotional instability which would not prohibit the applicant from getting licensed. If and only if the inspector feels there is a problem the applicant will be directed to get a mental evaluation stamp from a certified health specialist before the license would be approved.

Now before you go thinking that's an abuse, let me confess that my younger brother has Asperger Syndrome. He was diagnosed years ago. He's the kindest, finest person you'd want to know. Yet, you would only need two minutes talking to him to know there's something a little off. He's still capable of living on his own, he worked for 25 years for the City of Los Angeles, and he's self-supporting. But truthfully he should not have a weapon of any kind.

This brings me to the Santa Barbara area tragedy. The shooter was reportedly diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, so obviously I'm a bit familiar with it. Why was he sold weapons? That truth is, because there's no rule against it.

Despite that, with the dearth of meaningful  restrictions on who can buy a gun, this ill young man went twice to a gun store and plopped down money and bought weapons. That was it. And that's really the sum total of gun control in our nation.

We make people get and renew driver's licenses ever few years for the privilege to get behind the wheel of vehicles, classified as deadly weapons. So what's the harm in doing the same with guns? The only ones who should fear this regulation are those who shouldn't have guns in the first place.

Oh, just as a side argument for this sanity  or responsibility gun licensing-- my brother, when he was younger, decided he wanted to learn how to fly. He paid his money, took flying lessons and passed the flying test. But he was denied a license. Why? Simply because the certifying instructor noticed his slightly different behavior (the Asperger Syndrome) and reported it the the FAA. They interviewed my brother and had him meet with a licensed psychologist. It was determined that he was emotionally unqualified to deal with the stress of flying.

That was the right move. And this same logic and reason should be part of a congressional bill. Let's not stop gun sales. Let's stop gun sales to those who might be unqualified to handle the stress and responsibility. What I propose is not new, nor is it a fail-safe system. Some people will fall through the cracks. But it's sure going to make it safer for all of us.

Watch this distraught father of one victim from the recent shooting. He wants two things-- Congress to get off their asses to do something and he really wants equal rights for all of us -- the right for us to live even if it trumps some interpretation of our right to bear arms.

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Video Overnight Thread- Allen Lanier of Blue Öyster Cult, RIP

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Anther one that just smacks me up the head. Because I went to college in Michigan (Aquinas College, MI), I didn't go home (Miami, FL) during most holidays. In 1979 I was in the dorms during one of the breaks reading King's "The Stand". I had never heard of Blue Oyster Cult before, but when the dorms filled up again, I got an education (King featured the song in the book). Haunting, great music, and a sad loss. Via.

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Video- Iconic Writer, Weaver of My Nightmares, Author Richard Matheson, 'I Am Legend' Dies At 87

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I usually don't get verklempt over writers, but this man is such a part of my life. When I was a way geeky kid, I memorized the stories, authors, actors etc of every single Twilight Zone episode. Matheson of course, was everywhere. The first really scary film I ever saw in a theater was "Legend of Hell House" in a place on Calle Ocho with Spanish subtitles. ("Necrophilia...." Remember Olga?) Kolchak? OMG, Freaking Kolchak! I Am Legend, even that cheesy "Somewhere In Time". Books, movies, television! Other than King and Bradbury, no other writer has ever left an imprint on me like he did. Rest his soul, time to reread some of the greats. Killer NPR write up here.

It is ironic that one of the books author Richard Matheson, who has died at the age of 87 according to publisher Tor/Forge, is best known for is 1956′s The Shrinking Man. While that novel related the tale of a person diminishing away to virtually nothing, Matheson’s influence on the science fiction genre continues to grow more than a half century after the book’s publication. Just last week saw the release of World War Z, a film which owes a huge debt to George A. Romero’s classic 1968 film Night of the Living Dead and hence to Matheson’s similarly revered 1954 tome I Am Legend, to which Romero paid extremely generous homage in his film. Maybe too generous, according to Matheson himself. In 2007, the Allendale, N.J.-born writer told me with a chuckle about the time he met Romero for lunch. ”The first thing he said to me, putting his arms up as if I was abut to strike him, [was], ‘Didn’t make any money from Night of the Living Dead,’” Matheson recalled. “‘Homage’ means I get to steal you work. He’s a nice guy, though. I don’t harbor any animosity toward him.” (Romero later confirmed this story: “I confessed to him that I basically ripped the idea off from I Am Legend. He forgave me because we didn’t make any money. He said, ‘Well, as long as you didn’t get rich, it’s okay.’”)

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Author Stephen King: Require NRA to "help clean up the blood, the brains & the chunks of intestine" at school shooting scenes

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stephen king book guns

Best-selling author and gun owner Stephen King has written a 25-page essay, Guns, that is described at the Amazon site this way:

In a pulls-no-punches essay intended to provoke rational discussion, Stephen King sets down his thoughts about gun violence in America. Anger and grief in the wake of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School are palpable in this urgent piece of writing, but no less remarkable are King’s keen thoughtfulness and composure as he explores the contours of the gun-control issue and constructs his argument for what can and should be done. King's earnings from the sale of this essay will go the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

STEPHEN KING is the author of 11/22/63, Under the Dome, Carrie, The Shining and many other bestselling works.

Please read the Think Progress post "How To Convince The NRA That Assault Weapons, Not The Media, Are Responsible For Gun Massacres" in full, because it includes-- What are they called again? Oh yeah-- facts. Here's a rather graphic excerpt:

[The NRA] will deflect attention from guns and propose expanding access to mental health services, stationing guards in schools, and of course clamping down on the media’s glorification of violence. “One only wishes [NRA Executive VIce President and CEO] Wayne LaPierre and his NRA board of directors could be drafted to some of these [school shooting] scenes, where they would be required to put on booties and rubber gloves and help clean up the blood, the brains, and the chunks of intestine still containing the poor wads of half-digested food that were some innocent bystander’s last meal,” King writes. Maybe then they’ll focus less on the make-believe death in media and the very real destruction that open access to military-style weapons can cause.

They're much too cowardly to ever go to an actual crime scene. That would mean coming face-to face with heart-wrenching, stomach-turning, blood-and-guts reality. Instead, NRA leadership and other extremists live in their own world of make-believe, the one that brings them as much power and money as they can get from lobbying for the gun industry.

Until gun zealots wake up, appalling scenes like the one at Newtown, along with disturbing moments like this, will continue to take place: Dad charged with pointing AK-47 at daughter after arguing over the two B’s she got in school.

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Video Mid Day Distraction- The Shining - The Sitcom (Seinfeld Style)

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Via Boing Boing.

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