Body Counts -Vietnam -Guns -Children

What has happened to our National Perspective on gun deaths? Let’s think about the Vietnam era

BODY COUNT VIETNAM:

The Vietnam War was a conflict in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, lasting from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. During that entire period of time, 19 years and 6 months, the total number of U.S. military deaths was 58. 220 persons. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vietnam_War

This number averages out at just under 248 deaths per month or 2985 deaths per year, although we know from the overall annual figures that these numbers ranged from a low of 0 in several years to a high of 16,899 in 1968. https://www.archives.gov/research/military/vietnam-war/casualty-statistics

GUN COUNT USA : 1968 vs 2022

How many guns were there in the U.S. in 1968? versus today?

1968 – About 150,000,000 and now that figure is estimated to be 300,000,000 in 2021 – That’s three hundred million and we’re making more all the time as you can see from the stats on gun manufacturers productions. Think we have enough already? https://www.npr.org/2016/01/05/462017461/guns-in-america-by-the-numbers

Although not a direct comparison, because War deaths are for all causes, but just as a thought, I want you to think about 2 other figures from 1968 during this time. Remember, in general suicides make up about 55 to 60% of the gun deaths reported.

USA GUN Body Counts 1968

A. Total Number of Gun Deaths in the U.S. in 1968. – about 10 per 100,000 or just over 20,500 persons : https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00023655.htm

B. Number of School Shootings in 1968. – 4 students – (2 in Miami, 1 Chicago, 1 N. Carolina) See the link for all school deaths before 2000 from year 1840! : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_school_shootings_in_the_United_States_(before_2000)

Just in Case you are interested in some pretty chilling statistics: Brittanica Pro-Con Org. has full 1999 to 2016 compilations of U.S. gun deaths by year with breakdowns on Homicides, Suicides and Authority Mediated gun deaths : https://gun-control.procon.org/us-gun-deaths-by-year/

NOW! USA Body Counts 2021

Active shooter incidents rose again in the USA in 2021: https://www.fbi.gov/news/press-releases/press-releases/fbi-designates-61-active-shooter-incidents-in-2021

Here’s 2017 – 2021 Numbers from the FBI: https://www.fbi.gov/file-repository/active-shooter-incidents-in-the-us-2021-052422.pdf/view

A. Total gun deaths 2021: Over 45,000 gun deaths of which 53% were suicides! https://news.yahoo.com/staggering-toll-gun-violence-united-161637589.html

B. Number of School Shootings in 2021: 34 School Shootings 53 injured, 15 students killed: https://www.edweek.org/leadership/school-shootings-in-2021-4-takeaways-in-charts/2021/12

C. Number of Active Shooter Incidents: 693 Incidents, 702 Persons killed, 2884 injured : https://www.thetrace.org/2021/12/gun-violence-data-stats-2021/

THE POINT!

WE ARE LOSING A LOT MORE PEOPLE AT HOME TO GUNS THAN WE EVER LOST IN VIETNAM!!

  1. NOBODY IS TAKING ANY GUNS AWAY!
  2. WE HAVE ALWAYS KNOWN THAT.
  3. IGNORE THE LIES ABOUT LOSING YOUR GUNS!
  4. A MAJORITY OF AMERICA WANTS SAFER GUNS AND RULES FOR OWNING, CARRYING, BUYING, AND SELLING.
  5. THE SENATE SEES FIT TO SIT ON IT’s THUMBS AND LET MASS MURDER OF CHILDREN CONTINUE!
  6. THE NAY SAYERS PREFER DEAD CHILDREN TO GIVING UP A LOT OF GUN LOBBY MONEY!

ARE WE REALLY THAT CRAZY?

Keeping Kids Safe At School: A Litmus Test Question of Leadership: For Our VOTES!

Do you need a single issue to govern your next vote! Try saving school children as a litmus test for candidates! The next time you hear a Congressman or Congresswoman candidate who is spouting about guns and keeping our kids safe in schools. Ask them:

A. Have you read the latest research by Jillian Peterson and James Densley on “How to Stop a Mass Shooting Epidemic”? https://link.springer.com/article/10.1057/s41300-022-00140-6

Yes means they most likely know:

1. The perpetrator is not mentally ill, but is rather, acting out rage against society, wanting to commit suicide, and take others with them.

2. The cost of the government providing just Psychologists in all public schools will run on the order of $7 Billion Dollars a Year or$35B for 5 years.

3. The cost to government of #2 is only a drop in the bucket compared to what it would cost to harden our 100,000 public schools with high gated walls with cameras and IT technology to scan the grounds, to have security guards on patrol while monitoring a single hardened entry with detectors, through-which everyone must pass to access the school will run on the order of $100 Billion Dollars to start and double that to continue for 5 years.

4. The time to complete #2 and #3 above Will take a minimun of 5 years to happen during which time we will anticipate and tolerate having another 2500 Mass Shootings at churches, stores, schools, synagogues, baseball fields, etc., etc., etc. All done as premeditated crimes, not by the mentally ill. Check out states with most mass murders: https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/10-us-states-with-most-mass-shootings.html and check out total number of mass murders in US in past years: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/gun-violence-mass-shootings-increase-united-states-data-uvalde-buffalo

If they know all of these things, then they know

CONGRESS WILL NEVER PASS THIS KIND OF FUNDING

If they said NO! Then they really don’t have any reason to be spouting off. Vote someone else!

SO —- Is there a solution?

YES: We better return to good old CONSERVATIVE controls for our GUNS! (Conservative is used in it’s proper definition here, not to mean some political party.)

SOME common sense RULES ABOUT GUNS? So we can still own them and still keep using them? YES!>))

Gee Whizz, You mean kind of like we did for cars! Eh? Remember, cars don’t kill anyone either, but we have a Hell of a lot of rules for car use, car product safety, car recalls, and penalties for not using producing or recalling defective products.

Hmm! Gee that sounds like common sense that might just keep guns of any type out of certain people’s hands while the rest of us get to keep them and use them in appropriate manners!>))

START PRESSING YOUR CONGRESS PERSON TO GET OFF THEIR BUTTS, MAKE SOME COMMON SENSE LAWS ABOUT GUNS, OWNERSHIP, LICENSES, PRODUCT SAFETY, USE, CARRYING, HUNTING, AND IN THE PROCESS,

CONGRESS,

GET A HANDLE ON PROTECTING OUR KIDS, CHURCHES, SHOPPING MALLS, CASINOES, Etc .

Guns? I used to own 5, now it’s only 2 – Self-regulation or perhaps self-preservation. Enjoy your day!

Congressional Dereliction of Duty at State and Federal Levels: “Well Regulated Militias”

Our American History and our Constitution tell us that in certain times and places, what is defined as a “Well Regulated Militia” is of high importance to our country. In fact, the “Well Regulated Militia” is stated as being of highest importance by being framed in our Constitution as part of the Second Amendment to our Constitution as being the reason for our right to bear arms. o, who are the “Militia”?

THE MILITIA ARE – According to Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Militia

A militia is generally an army or some other fighting organization of non-professional soldiers, citizens of a country, or subjects of a state, who may perform military service during a time of need, as opposed to a professional force of regular, full-time military personnel; or, historically, to

 …See more

US Code #246 describes the classes of Militia as Organized and Unorganized in the following Link : Organized and Unorganized. https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/10/246

For any militia to be “well-regulated,” it requires standards. It requires training. It requires as sense of responsibility. And it requires that those who are irresponsible not be allowed in the militia. In other words, it requires rules called “regulations.”

Clauses from Congress on the basics of Regulating Militias: https://law.justia.com/constitution/us/article-1/58-the-militia-clauses.html

Are Militias Legal? A. Some are like your National Guard Units

B. Some aren’t. Here’s a link to a List of the illegals as compiled by Georgetown University : https://www.law.georgetown.edu/icap/our-press-releases/fact-sheets-on-unlawful-militias-for-all-50-states-now-available-from-georgetown-laws-institute-for-constitutional-advocacy-and-protection/

So Who Protects our Country from Illegal Militias? Supposedly the laws of the states and federal government. But check out the lack of prosecutions of Illegal Militias.

2014 Questions that arose and were not acted upon by our government:https://thecrimereport.org/2021/01/14/will-authorities-crack-down-on-illegal-militias/

2021 – More inaction by our state and national government! https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2021/01/13/inauguration-protests-experts-urge-action-against-illegal-militias/6643440002/

2020Here’s a great Interview with Georgetown Professor Mary McCord on why some of our Militias are Illegal! Read it! or Listen! https://www.npr.org/2020/08/30/907720068/are-citizen-militias-legal

So who are the Illegals?

Here’s the list state by state of Illegal Militias that have not been acted upon by our state and federal governments. From Georgetown Univ. https://www.law.georgetown.edu/icap/our-work/addressing-the-rise-of-unlawful-private-militias/state-fact-sheets/

DEMAND THAT YOUR STATE AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENTS CRACK DOWN ON ILLEGAL MILITIAS!

TO NOT DO SO IS – DERELICTION OF DUTY!

More Spring – Shrooms and Wine!

The first glass of my Spring Heron Pond Wine made from Old Viento State Park red Concord variety grapes.

You can tell it’s Spring when the flowers come out, but there are a lot of other indicators that show us Spring is just bustin’ out all over! The wine from the grapes that I crushed last fall and put to ferment has now gone still and it’s time to put a few Campden tablets in to stop any further fermentation and bad flavor bacteria, molds, or yeasts from spoiling the brew. Then it will be into the bottles for 10 gallons of my Heron Pond wine to be used as a home remedy for all sorts of ills over the summer and into next winter. Sorry! Home consumption only. McBee’s “Heron Pond” brew never seems to last long enough to get into the big times of Oregon Viticulture. OH! yes, don’t forget to notice the great daffodils in the background!

Then I came across another great Spring indicator, generally found just about the same time the Trillium and Erythronium flowers come out on my property. (You saw these in my last post!)

Where did you say you found that sack full of Morel Shrooms?

Ha! Top secret! I’ll never tell!

A Gallon of Morel Mushrooms! With a couple of Oyster shrooms near the top!

Whoa! You say just popping up everywhere around Hood River where there are stands of big old cottonwood trees? Hmm! Bet by now they are – All Gone!

Here’s what a batch looks like in the frying pan!

Sliced Morels, sauteed in butter and ready to go onto the plate or into the food!

I put a bunch in a bowl for a breakfast snack. Eat your Hearts out!

Just a bit of Morels to go along with the scrambled eggs and bacon!

And Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better! Morels in the Lunch-time Salad!

1/4 bowl of Spinach leaves, 2 slices of chopped bacon, 1/2 sliced Orange, a few peanuts, a crumble or two of Feta Cheese , and then……..
A 1/4 cup of sauteed Morels!

Wahoo! Cowboys! It don’t get much better!

SPRING!>)

Woke Up this Morning- 6AM – Wow!

The sun is just hitting the clouds as I walk out the back door and look past the big white Japanese Magnolia which has just popped wide open!

Here’s What I see!

Mind Blowing! Then as the sun comes up, I walk through the yard looking at all the new blossoms of the day!

Salmon Pink Japonica hedges!
Bright Yellow Oregon Grape!
Down the path past the duck pond a wonderful Trillium just out!
Oregon Wild Currant bushes (Ribes Sanguenium)
Deep in the shady woods a wonderful Erythonium lily.

What else could you ask for on such a beautiful morning!

That 5 Letter English Word with “W” as the vowel! Learn a new Word!

Every morning when I wake up I go through my morning rituals while sipping my first “cuppa” tea in bed. (You have to remember I’ve been married to an English lady for over 50 years.)

  1. The pills: don’t want to forget those at age 78. No use going “South” to visit with the grim reaper any sooner than necessary.
  2. Then I grab my cell phone and go to NY Times quick brain wake-up game, “Wordle” for my one chance to find a 5 letter word in 6 tries (Fun! >): http://Wordle – The New York Times https://www.nytimes.com/games/wordle/index.html
  3. When I finish my game, I send my sister my number of tries to get the word and then move on to “Quordle”, the tougher quick game for my one try at finding all four words with only 9 chances! (Great mental workout!>0) I use a piece of scratch paper to help with my quest for the words: http://Quordle https://www.quordle.com

So! today! Wordle had a word to find that used only th eletter “Y” as vowel in the five letter word. Stretched my not quite awake brain a bit, but I got it in 4 tries. Whew!

Then I thought back to my Grade School Days and language learning things drilled into us in second and third grades while we were learning to read and spell. ( Oh! Remember Spelling Bee’s? Regina Cullen always came in first place! You don’t have to think very hard to know who generally when out first! Yep, yours truly, the guy who still tries to be a writer.) You know those rules: 1. “I” before “E” except after “C” or when sounded like “A” and in ‘neighbor’ and ‘weigh’ . (So how do you pronounce: Seize? Weird? Forfeit?…).

OK, enough of that one, but what about how about: “Let’s learn our vowels, children! They are: A, E, I , O, U, and sometimes Y and W.”

W? What words in English have a “W” as the vowel?

I only knew One Word – Cwm – (Pronounced- Koom) meaning a mountain area like a cirque.

So I looked it up! –

Book Review: Skinwalkers by Tony Hillerman

Skinwalkers by Tony Hillerman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Tony Hillerman always has a good tale to tell in his modern western combination of murder mystery, and Navajo culture as Navajo Tribal Police Officer Jim Chee and Lt. Joe Leaphorn tunnel through evidence to find the cause of mysterious death on the reservation. This is the first book with the Cee/Leaphorn team working together so the two guys have to get to know each other and trust that they are both on the same side. In this tale, the capture of the killer seems to be straightforward until under questioning he confesses that he shot the guy he killed, rather than knifed him as the evidence shows. This takes out duo on a circuitous journey through the backwaters of the reservation to find out the sordid tale underlying the death and the long covered up reason. Chee takes flak from Leaphorn for mistakes, and four homicides are in danger of becoming five by the time the mystery is solved.



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Self-Publishing: Here’s Cogitating about Reviewer’s Feedback on my 2016 Book Cover – Food for future thought!

It’s been over 5 years since I published my last book. And as a writer I am always interested in finding out what my readers have thought about what they have read. Reading honest feedback from reviewers or persons with whom you correspond always helps your learning curve with reference to: a. the story that caught them up and the visuals in the book that helped with understanding, b. the title that either dragged them in, or turned them off, and finally, c. the cover that piqued their interest to pick the book up and up and buy it.

Let’s start with the Cover in this Essay since that’s what book seekers see first!

So what is it about the cover of my African novel, The Ghosts of Ukuthula? What have I been able to sus out of reader’s comments?

Here’s the Cover:

Look at it – Anything here that would Draw you in or Turn you off? Here’s what I thought originally in the design of the cover:

  • Did you see and recognize:
  • the Continent of Africa?
  • the Elephants?
  • the Zulu shield and Spears?
  • the Four Flags of conflict?
  • the Larger Elephant with the Apartheid Republic of South Africa symbol?
  • the Left-hand Elephant with the 3 – 7’s of the Right Wing Neo Nazi Hardliners?
  • the Right-hand Elephant with the 3rd Force symbol of Russia?
  • the Piece of the Modern Flag of Liberated S. Africa on the African Shield?

Hmm! Maybe it’s too bitty? Maybe we don’t have to tell the whole story on the cover?

What About the actual title Words?

  • Did Ghosts make you think this was fantasy? or did you think something Ephemeral?
  • Did Ukuthula, turn you off because it was a strange word ?
  • Did you try to Pronounce it?
  • Did your pronunciation begin with Uck – u – Thula? As in “Uck” and turn you off?
  • Did you know its African pronounciation is: Ooo – Coo – Thoola?

What feedback did I get? Unpronounceable! So what’s the meaning?

Wow! Not many people look closely at book covers so minute detail doesn’t really pull people in. Big and Bold is the Key! One Symbol/Torso/Flag/Skull … is Plenty!

Use a foreign word? —- Better have its English Synonym right there beside it!

These are things that I, with six years in Africa, never had cross my mind when planning the self-publishing of my book.

Next time around: That’s what I’ll be looking at – Simple Direct and to the Point!

Next time, let’s look at the story!

Book Review: Biscuits and Gravy (Chuckwagon #4) by William W. Johnstone and J.A. Johnstone

Biscuits and Gravy by William W. Johnstone

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


A well written book in this series, showing how J. A. Johnstone has enhanced the characterizations by mentor William W. Johnstone. It’s the solid western genre going all the way back to “Shane” so many years ago of the drifter, the lady in distress and Dewey, the guy who can stand up for her rights and put the ruler of the town, Harcourt, and all his gunmen in their place. The cattle drive is well written up and has enough exciting moments both for Dewey and Becky, the girl he has fallen for, as they battle the elements, stampede and rustlers. I especially like some of the feminine twist to the river scene, the end of the trail scenes and the final showdown that make this a fast and friendly book that could very well be made into a cool movie.



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