And speaking of weather, and guns: Apparently both too hot-slick to handle.
Yesterday, as Joe Biden was conducting a gun-control meeting in DC with various armament factions, including the NRA, a 16-year-old kid shot up a high school in Taft, California, badly wounding one student and injuring another before a teacher talked him into putting the shotgun down.
A response typical of just about all these recent shooting locations: “We know each other here,” said former mayor Dave Noerr. “We drive pickups and work hard and hunt and fish. This is a grassroots town. This is the last place you’d think something like this would happen.”
And where would be the first place? Kabul? Baghdad?
The NRA was shocked — but not at the Taft incident: We were disappointed with how little this meeting had to do with keeping our children safe and how much it had to do with an agenda to attack the Second Amendment.
(Illustration found here).
And it’s really, really hard to talk to crazy people.
However, it can be done — an editorial from The Bakersfield Californian:
The shooting in Taft also points out the major weakness in proposals by the National Rifle Association and others that the only way to counter a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun.
It was the heroic actions of an unarmed science teacher and a campus supervisor that neutralized the shooter at Taft High — by way of simple conversation.
A citizen who lives close to the high school was one of the first to alert police that a young man with a shotgun was walking onto campus.
Taft High School employs an armed police officer but the officer wasn’t at school that day because he was snowed in at home.
And while law enforcement responded quickly and in large numbers, the situation had largely been resolved by the time they arrived on scene.
At the end of the day, it was a close-knit community, a teacher well-liked by his students and a campus supervisor who stopped an incident from potential escalation into a full-fledged national tragedy.
This science teacher stood up to the NRA, which is a foul, corrupt, doomsday organization.
From HuffPost this morning:
In the last two decades, however, the deep-pocketed NRA has increasingly relied on the support of another constituency: the $12-billion-a-year gun industry, made up of manufacturers and sellers of firearms, ammunition and related wares.
That alliance was sealed in 2005, when Congress, after heavy NRA lobbying, approved a measure that gave gunmakers and gun distributors broad, and unprecedented, immunity from a wave of liability lawsuits related to gun violence in Americaâ€™s cities.
It was a turning point for both the NRA and the industry, both of which recognized the mutual benefits of a partnership.
That same year, the NRA also launched a lucrative new fundraising drive to secure â€œcorporate partnersâ€ thatâ€™s raked in millions from the gun industry to boost its operations.
But that alliance, which has grown even closer in recent years — and includes ties both financial and personal, a Huffington Post examination has found — has led to mounting questions from gun control advocates about the NRA’s priorities.
Is the nationâ€™s most potent gun lobby mainly looking out for its base constituency, the estimated 80 million Americans who own a firearm? Or is it acting on behalf of those that make and sell those guns?
According to a 2012 poll conducted by GOP pollster Frank Luntz for Mayors Against Illegal Guns, 74 percent of NRA members support mandatory background checks for all gun purchases, a position that the NRA has stridently opposed.
â€œThereâ€™s a big difference between the NRAâ€™s rank and file and the NRAâ€™s Washington lobbyists, who live and breathe for a different purpose,â€ Mark Glaze, the executive director of the gun control group, said.
Wednesday night (I saw it last night via Hulu), Stephen Colbert had another outstanding segment on gun nuts, twisting his persona to fit the narrative — from the LA Times (Can’t embed because I’m imbecilic):
Right now, gun control talk is suddenly everywhere for reasons I donâ€™t want to get into because it undermines my position,â€ he began.
From there, he expressed concern over the task force headed by â€œReichsmarschall Bidenâ€ whose vague yet ominous mission is to â€œconvene a series of meetings and offer recommendations in an effort to build consent for action.â€
â€œMeetings? Recommendations? Effort? Folks, that is just a slippery slope to jackbooted Power Point presentations,â€ Colbert warned.
But he was thankful for the supposedly â€œrational voicesâ€ of people like National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, who has urged Congress to install an armed guard in every school in the nation. If implemented, Colbert predicted LaPierreâ€™s plan would provide for some truly unique prom themes (â€œEnchantment under the siege,â€ anyone?)
Colbert ended by addressing the argument made by LaPierre that mental illness and violent movies and video games are to blame for the fact that the United States leads the industrialized world in gun deaths.
After all, Colbert reasoned, â€œAmerica is the only country in the world that has video games, weâ€™re the only country that has violent movies, and weâ€™re the only country with crazy people. Well, maybe not the only country, but certainly weâ€™ve got the craziest people.â€
Cue footage of LaPierre on â€œMeet the Press,â€ where he declared, â€œIf itâ€™s crazy to call for putting police in our schools to protect our children, then call me crazy.â€
Colbert was convinced: â€œI agree with Wayne LaPierre: You, sir, are [not right] in the head.â€
‘Not right’ ain’t right — Colbert actually said: ‘You sir, are fucked in the head.’
Beyond the horror and to a birthday greeting!
Happy 83rd birthday to one of most-favorite actors from my formative years, Rod Taylor, who starred in a most-favorite science fiction movie in my youth, ‘The Time Machine‘ (1960).
The photo at left (found here) is a still from that movie.
Also in that movie was another great heartthrob, but way-set on another throb — Yvette Mimieux, who was way-too hot for my sixth-grade imagination.
Taylor also appeared in one of Alfred Hichcock’s most famous films, ‘The Birds‘ (1963), along with such classics, ‘The V.I.P.s‘ (also 1963), ‘The Glass Bottom Boat‘ (1966), among a host of others.