* Erik’s Editorial: The Guilty Parties Who Put American Democracy At Risk In The Name Of Donald Trump

US White House upside down (public domain).

I do not fault stupid people for making the stupid decision to elect Donald Trump in 2016.

I do fault smart people for making stupid decisions. These include:

1. Senators who voted to acquit Donald Trump in his no-witnesses-allowed impeachment trial, including primarily Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell:

* Impeachment of Donald Trump (2020-02-05)

* Mitch McConnell (2020-02-05)

2. Members of the GOP who voted to disenfranchise voters in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin – before, during, and AFTER the 2021 storming of the United States Capitol – including Paul Gosar (AZ-04), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Jody Hice (R–GA-10), Mo Brooks (R–AL-05), Scott Perry (R–PA-10), Josh Hawley (R–MO), and Louie Gohmert (R–TX-01).

* 2021 Storming Of The United States Capitol (2021-01-06)

* 2020 United States Presidential Election Electoral College Count (2021-01-06 – 2021-01-07)

3. Donald Trump’s cabinet, who could have invoked the 25th Amendment to remove POTUS at any time:

* Cabinet Of Donald Trump (2017-01-21 – PRESENT)

4. Social media, including especially Facebook and Twitter, for allowing their social networks to be used as platforms for hate speech.

* Donald Trump On Social Media (2017-01-21 – PRESENT)

5. Mainstream media, including especially CNN (on the left) and Fox News (on the right) for not doing their jobs – asking questions until they get answers – and allowing POTUS to lie unchecked.

* Veracity Of Statements By Donald Trump (2017-01-21 – PRESENT)

6. Lawmakers at all levels, for failing to fix bad laws and for failing to enact good laws. Changes that must be made going forward include:

Limiting POTUS power:

  • Executive order power must be limited.
  • All cabinet members (acting/interim/actual) must be confirmed by Senate.
  • Treaties and tariffs must be the role of Congress so that POTUS cannot engage in trade wars.
  • War Powers Act must be updated to limit POTUS power to deploy the military.
  • Special Counsel Act must be updated to make clear that POTUS cannot fire special counsel.

Writing better and new laws:

  • Impeachment Act of 2021, to define how impeachment is conducted, including the requirement to have witnesses.
  • Follow the lead of The Restatements Of The Law project (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Restatements_of_the_Law) and codify major SCOTUS cases, including especially Roe v. Wade.
  • Fix the Census.
  • Fix immigration.
  • Fix SCOTUS processes, such as limiting appointments to 2 per POTUS with the number of SCOTUS justices fixed at the number of Federal Circuits (currently 13).
  • Election reform, including who is qualified to run for POTUS and that tax forms must be disclosed to do so.

Just to name a few.

Stupid people, bad laws, and lies got us into this mess.

Smart people, good laws, and the truth can get us out of this mess.



Gun Control Debate: Stalling Prevention of the Next Mass Shooting?

After the eighteenth school shooting in the U.S. since 2018 began (and one of the deadliest mass shootings in modern U.S. history), it seems preposterous that there is even any question that we need to take a look at tighter gun control regulations. The debate polarizes, then stalls, though, at the black-and-white interpretation of “gun control” as “taking away all of our guns.”

The Trump Presidency marks a new era for gun rights supporters. Protecting second-amendment rights, as interpreted by current gun enthusiasts, seems to take precedence over establishing protections for would-be victims, in the form of tighter gun control laws. Yet, in the past five months of Trump’s presidency, three of the deadliest mass shootings in modern U.S. history have occurred.

After each of the past three mass shootings, Paul Ryan has responded with some variation of “This is not the time to jump to some conclusion, not knowing the full facts.”

Paul Ryan: No ‘Knee Jerk’ Reactions On Guns. Ever. | All In | MSNBC [2018-02-15]

In its seeming avoidance of addressing gun control, Congress wants to cite anything and everything but lack of gun control as the cause of these deadly shootings. “It’s a mental health issue” tends to come to the top of the list.

Earlier, however, on what was perhaps Opposite Day at the White House, Congress demonstrated that it didn’t view mental illness as a culprit in gun violence. In the first month of Trump’s presidency, Congress repealed Obama-era gun control legislation passed after the Sandy Hook massacre, during which 20 first-graders were among those murdered by a mentally disturbed man.  The legislation would have made it harder for people with certain mental illnesses to purchase firearms.

“Now, the only thing Congress has done (about) guns since Sandy Hook, is make it easier for mentally ill people to get guns,” said Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut.

Congress Allows Mentally Ill To Buy Guns, Rolls Back Obama-Era Regulations | TODAY [2018-02-16]

We should note that those who see gun ownership as a fundamental right often are referring to ownership of more than just a revolver, a shotgun , or a bolt-action rifle. They defend the right to own semi-automatic weapons, such as the AR-15, the weapon used most often in mass shootings. Often citing “home protection,” they appear to want guns that do so much more than protect from intruders or assailants; they want guns with the ability to blow human bone to bits, obliterate multiple intruders at once, and perhaps even provide protection in case of a zombie apocalypse.

So, despite arguing for the right to own weapons such as the AR-15, which was designed solely for the purpose of killing human beings, staunch gun enthusiasts are also quick to point out that it’s not the guns that are killing people. In addition to mental health issues, they often cite poor parenting, the need for gun education, the lack of safety measures (such as metal detectors and armed guards) in schools, and the abundance of violent TV shows and video games – but not the availability of guns – as the culprits for gun violence.

Clearly, many possible factors contribute to the rate of gun violence and mass shootings in the United States. Tighter gun control is but one factor, albeit an important one. But as we debate how to best address these other factors, somewhere, someone in the U.S. is perhaps taking out his semi-automatic firearms and contemplating the next mass shooting. And we’re stalling the prevention of that mass shooting as we avoid addressing the gun control issue head-on.

President Donald Trump Talks Mental Health But Not Guns In Wake Of Florida Shooting | TODAY [2018-02-18]