Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Gabby Giffords

The following excerpts are from an e-mail that I received from Gabby Giffords a former Democratic member of the House.
“The New Year is a time of optimism and new commitments.  For me, it's a very powerful time: on January 8th, I think about how close I came to losing my life on a bright January morning five years ago, when a would-be assassin opened fire on me and my constituents, injuring 12 others and taking the lives of six.

“Even though I was shot in the head from three feet away, somehow I survived.  And I made a decision that my new life would be lived as my old life was: in service of our country.  One thing that means for me today is using my second chance to do everything I can to make this great country safer from the kind of gun violence that took the lives of those around me, and changed others', and mine, forever.”

“In the face of Congress' inaction in addressing our country's gun violence crisis, President Obama announced his administration is acting to significantly narrow the loopholes that let people buy guns without a background check.  It is the right, responsible thing to do.

“The president's reasonable proposal addresses a lethal problem: People in the business of selling guns avoid the current requirement to conduct background checks on their potential buyers by claiming not to be gun dealers, who are required under the law to do background checks.”

“The president's proposal makes another key improvement: it addresses the weakness in the background check system that allowed a dangerous man to buy a gun and murder nine innocent people in a Charleston, South Carolina church.  It does this by increasing the number of background-check examiners by 50 percent, overhauling the system itself, and revealing which states do and don't report essential background check records to the FBI.

“Other important provisions will require gun dealers to report lost and stolen guns, making it easier for law enforcement to crack down on the illegal gun trade, and to grow investment in gun safety technology and mental health treatment.  This is just common sense.

“Almost three years ago, when a minority of United States Senators caved to their fear of the corporate gun lobby (NRA) and blocked sensible, bipartisan background checks legislation, I said that those Senators had failed their constituents...” 


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