1167 Matthew McConaughey at the White House





Matthew McConaughey at the White House with an emotional speech about gun control:


JUNE 07, 2022 

The White House

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

2:25 P.M. EDT

 

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  Good afternoon, everyone.  So, I’d like to welcome Matthew and Camila McConaughey to the White House today to speak on an urgent issue our nation is currently facing.  You may know Matthew as an actor, but more importantly, he is a father; a native of Uvalde, Texas - and a gun owner.

 

He is here today to use his platform to call on leaders to take bipartisan action to end this senseless killing and pass reasonable gun responsibility measures that we know will save lives …




 

McConaughey asks:

How can we make the loss of these lives matter?

 

So while we honor and acknowledge the victims, we need to recognize that this time it seems that something is different.  There is a sense that perhaps there is a viable path forward.  


Responsible parties in this debate seem to at least be committed to sitting down and having a real conversation about a new and improved path forward - a path that can bring us closer together and make us safer as a country, a path that can actually get something done this time.


Uvalde, Texas, is where I was born.  It’s where my mom taught kindergarten less than a mile from Robb Elementary.  Uvalde is where I learned to master a Daisy BB gun.  I took that - that took two years before I graduated to a 410 shotgun.  Uvalde is where I was taught to revere the power and the capability of the tool that we call a gun.  Uvalde is where I learned responsible gun ownership.


Look, we heard from so many people, all right?  Families of the deceased - mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers. Texas Rangers, hunters, Border Patrol, and responsible gun owners who won’t give up their Second Amendment right to bear arms.  And you know what they all said?  “We want secure and safe schools, and we want gun laws that won’t make it so easy for the bad guys to get these damn guns.”


We need background checks.  We need to raise the minimum age to purchase an AR-15 rifle to 21.  We need a waiting period for those rifles.  We need red-flag laws and consequences for those who abuse them.


Responsible gun owners are fed up with the Second Amendment being abused and hijacked by some deranged individuals. 


These regulations are not a step back; they’re a step forward for a civil society and - and the Second Amendment. 

 

Look, is this a cure-all?  Hell no. So where do we start?  


We start by making the right choices on the issue that is in front of us today.


There you have it: The right choices need to be made ... I agree; I have blogged about America and guns before (don't miss the Jim Jefferies Gun Comedy Routine on Netflix) ...


1165 What is it with Americans and guns?

The US is the only country in the world 
where guns outnumber people


... to that end I wrote an open letter to the POTUS ... they are two pages in the appendix of my book  en.light.en.ment


Open Letter To The POTUS:


Dear Mr. President … 


All this talk about how ‘everybody’ has a gun (or guns), how responsibly and safely people we know (including ourselves) handle guns and how it is sooo much fun to use a gun - a device designed predominantly to kill - boggles the mind. (Note: 30,000 people are killed by guns every year in America. Combine the populations of much of Europe, you get a size similar to the USA … they have a little over 100 gun deaths every year.)


The response in the US? Thoughts & prayers; excuses; justifications; white-washing; lies and talk, talk, talk and more talk (Sam Harris, I find your talk with Graeme Wood highly unsatisfying). 


I am from a European background (Germany and now Australia) where guns don’t exist in public. I’ve never seen a gun, let alone touched or fired one. So, allow me to make a point:


The solution to the US gun problem is obvious to us Europeans. The Second Amendment (1791) was for a different time in history. It’s unsuited to our times. The way it is distorted now …


“The right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed, 

 so that Americans can freely continue killing one another.”


… means it unequivocally must be retired. So what about Americans' right to own and use guns? OK, that right cannot, shall not be removed ... it’d be impossible to take the guns away in the US.


However, guns of all kinds shall be restricted to sequestered, gated gun-clubs, with custom shooting ranges; indeed, every town shall have one. It is there people shall be able to enjoy their guns; to use any gun their heart desires, anytime, as long, as much as they want:  pistols, shotguns, sniper-rifles, AR-15s, machine guns … whatever. But, importantly, the guns at all times remain on the premise of the gun-club / shooting range; if not in use, under lock and key.


So in the community individuals shall not be able to store, carry or use guns, unless they can provide good cause ... like shotguns for farmers (to perform vermin control etc) or hunters who have undergone rigorous background checks, training and licensing for their break action, double-barrel shotguns; also for police and security personnel. 


Yet, there would be stringent conditions for anyone to own handguns. (Note: Research out of Harvard found victims use guns in self-defence in less than 1% of contact crimes.) Keeping a gun anywhere but on the premise of a gun-club, unregistered, without a license, will be a felony … you’ll go to jail.


Of course, this is currently not possible in America. Republicans, who are under the influence of the gun lobby, won’t have a bar of it … with The Second in place, anti-gun laws just won’t fly. 


Incidentally, with this plan, gun industry interests are not impinged on … guns will still be bought. They just will be kept in gun clubs, for recreational use … instead of being used for mass murder. 

  

In fact, it will be a boon for gun manufacturers … with advertising geared toward the recreational markets, they’ll gain acceptance, even support from anti-gun groups, who just want to see guns taken out of the community and will be satisfied with them put into a benign, non-violent context.


So, here’s the thing: There is a powerful, well-financed gun lobby in America … where is the powerful, well-financed anti-gun lobby in America? A call must go out to philanthropists like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, George Soros, Michael Bloomberg et al. They must be rallied to form a lobby financed well enough to exceed the largesse of the gun lobby, to exert influence on pro-gressive Republicans and turn them against the reactionary stance of ‘Don’t Touch The Second’; even to support anti-gun Democrats’ election campaigns and get them elected to the Senate.


This is probably the only way to sway enough anti-gun politicians to cross the line, to not amend The Second Amendment … but to throw it out altogether (Note: it’s an ‘Amendment’, folks); to get a resolution for this awful problem of gun violence. Indeed, everything else but throwing The Second Amendment out and making serious changes to how guns are kept, is window-dressing.


Hard work? Yes. Impossible? No (what did it take to put a man on the moon? The will to do it). Worthwhile? Well … just ask  one  of the parents of Sandy Hook, Columbine or Uvalde. (It is  incomprehensible  that the most powerful, most advanced society on Earth throws their collective hands up in the air and says: “It can’t be done … we are helpless.”)


Anyway, how shall this work? How can the idea of a gun club in every town be put into practice? First of all, how much will this cost? Obviously a lot of money … but let’s ask another, much more pertinent question: What is the cost to society of gun deaths? A quick Google search reveals: In an average year, gun violence costs America $280 billion … this includes costs for survivors, communities, employers and taxpayers. Every year!


Obviously this is a no-brainer, even spending a couple of hundred billion dollars on gun clubs is money well spent. Google: Number of US cities, towns, villages - 19,502 incorporated places registered in the United States; 16,410 had a population under 10,000 … 


… $200,000,000,000 divided by 20,000 = $10,000,000 for a gun club in every town and village; large cities will have more than one club, but there are less than 100 towns with 250k people and only 10 cities with 1m or more, and small hamlets would pool with their neighbors.


Once established, the clubs will pay for themselves, they will develop their own economy. This means the savings to the US financial system will amount to tens of billions of dollars, each and every year … while - of course - Americans can still practice ‘their right to arms’.


There are approximately 60,000 gun dealerships in the US … maybe … 40,000 is enough? So, with 20,000 gun clubs, that’s two gun dealers in every gun club; however, there will be no gun dealers in the wider community. Guns and gun dealers will reside only in gun clubs.

   

The implications for the community will be huge. Without the wretched Second Amendment the whole American gun paradigm will shift; without guns in the streets, shopping malls, schools, playgrounds and homes, there obviously will be a lot less gun violence … if indeed any.     

                             

Once guns are treated like any other object of desire … like vintage cars, custom motor bikes, leisure boats, gaming consoles, audio-, video-, camera-, computer systems, camping and myriad other recreational gear - instead of murder weapons - the impact on society will be profound.


But the point is that Americans can still indulge their passion for guns to their heart’s content; the important thing is to retire The Second Amendment (and look realistically at the issue of ‘Self-defense’ … see below), to keep guns out of the community and confine them to gated gun clubs.


Gun clubs will have two sections: The main area - a passive shooters’ area - will have a bar / club atmosphere, with restaurants and bars next to gun shops, where gun enthusiasts congregate. It is here they carry their guns, talk to other enthusiasts, inspect, compare and appraise weapons; the gun dealers will have all kinds of firearms on display (not unlike a permanent gun show, and indeed, sponsored by the gun industry); but the passive shooters’ area is without ammunition.


Adjacent - with glass walls, so shooters can observe their buddies - is the soundproofed active shooters’ area, with the shooting ranges; members will have another locker here, for their ammo. Ammunition sales will be conducted here and it is here - and only here - where guns are fired. After practicing ‘their right to arms’, they will lock away surplus ammunition, take their gun(s) back to the passive shooters’ area, dissemble, clean, lubricate, re-assemble and care for them, discuss ins and outs of their specific weapon with others and generally love their guns.


Of course all this sounds totally crazy. It probably will be considered impossible to implement. 


But what do gun enthusiasts want? Do they  really  want the freedom to go out and kill people? ‘Self-defense’ is a furphy (= Australian for an improbable story that is claimed to be factual). 


So, how many crimes are prevented by citizens who interfere using, i.e. firing their own guns? (Research: Cody Briseno). Firearms are used far more often to intimidate than in self-defense. Most purported self-defense gun uses are guns used in escalating arguments … and are illegal.


The ‘false positive’ problem leads to large overestimates of the incidence of self-defense gun use; it was found that the claim of many millions of annual self-defense gun uses by American citizens is invalid (Harvard Injury Control Center); guns are mostly used in black-on-black gang violence.


Dear Mr. President, it is time to mobilize the forces for good in America, to stop being beholden to the NRA and their doomsday outlook inherent in the misrepresentation of the Second Amendment … and to implement truly effective steps to save lives (30,000 deaths p/a are only too real).


Best, C. Burmeister



      


























 

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