NO! v2.0

We Americans routinely let tragedy happen to school children, as at the Covenant School in Nashville and at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde and now at a Dadeville, AL sweet 16 party. Children are powerless to stop the murdering, so they count on we adults, we good people, to speak up and say “NO!

This truly is a political issue, because stopping the murders will require our national collective will. Those who say we shouldn’t “politicize” our mass shootings are effectively saying we shouldn’t prevent the next ones. The result of that is that the mass shootings continue to happen and more children die.

Our politicians are dedicated first and foremost to self-preservation, which to them means staying in office. Some may have a strong moral backbone, but too many do not. That leads directly to “thoughts and prayers” and “This is not the time” and “We must not politicize this” and all the other miserable, spineless, self-serving blather of (mostly) Republicans beholden to the gun industry and Second Amendment extremists. And they get away with it because too many good people fail to speak up in the voting booth to say “NO! and vote out of office those who refuse to take action to protect our kids.

We aren’t the only country with wretched politicians, but we’re the only country with politicians who allow the murder of little kids to effectively be our national policy.

Read that last sentence again.

Following their horrific trauma, the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School survivors declared “Never Again,” but the echo of their call to action fades until the next slaughter. Too many of we good people have allowed that declaration to be just words.

We’re 113 days into the year and already we have had 169 mass shootings, including murders of little school children and teens. That’s 1.5 mass shootings per day and that doesn’t include drive-bys, gun suicides and the rest. We kill about 45,000 of our citizens with guns every year. “Never Again” has devolved into “Ever Again and Again,” because nothing substantive has changed to alter our course.*

How is it that we don’t seem to get it? I’m wondering seriously whether to mobilize this nation against gun violence it will be necessary for us to be shown photographs and videos of the bodies of murdered little school children, pictures that show how savagely, brutally ripped apart their bodies are from bullets designed for war. Maybe the words “We had to do a DNA test to determine who that kid was” will mean more to us once we see with our own eyes why that was so wickedly true.**

Here’s a note to the millions of good people who don’t vote:

You’re letting this carnage happen.

The same comment goes to those who vote for politicians who puff themselves up with their man badge AR-15s, as though that attests to their being true Americans or courageous or some pitiful version of Don’t Tread On Me. Meanwhile, they refuse to do anything to protect our children.

Do you think that it’s just a handful of Americans who are affected by gun violence, maybe just the ones you hear about on TV? See the chart and comments at bottom of this post and be sure to click through and read the linked report. You don’t have to be ripped apart by a bullet to be affected by gun violence.

Far too many of us have already been maimed by injuries that will not heal, like Trayvon Martin’s mom. And the Sandy Hook and Parkland and Uvalde and Sugarland and Covenant School moms and dads. And the people who loved all the drive-by victims, the innocents like that little girl doing a puzzle on her living room floor who was killed by a random bullet from a random gun fired by a random thug just because he could get a gun. It’s all the people who live with the pain and the horror for which there are no words. They are forever affected by gun violence.

We the majority don’t get what we want on this and so many other issues. Some of them are deadly, like gun violence. And maternal mortality. And immigration cruelty. And death  by poverty. That is entirely because the extremist minority votes and too many of we good people have refused to speak up with our votes.

Signing petitions is nice and protesting in the streets can be helpful and can feel empowering, but


It’s long past time for our voices to be heard from that powerful place saying, “NO!” Mark your calendar to do that on November 5, 2024.

Quote of the Week

Watch for “NO!” v3.0 this Wednesday, April 26.


* Even as Republicans like Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) love to have accusatory tirades over violence and murders in blue big cities, 21 of the 22 states with the highest rates of gun deaths are red states. Jordan’s district in Ohio has a murder rate far higher than that of New York City.

The state with the lowest rate of gun deaths is blue Massachusetts, which also has the strictest gun laws. Do you suppose there’s a message in that, some guideline for what we good people can do to protect our kids and ourselves? See this post.

** From this New York Times Magazine piece:

After each new mass shooting, the question, the debate, returns. Would seeing the crime-scene photos have an effect on the gun crisis in the same way images of Emmett Till’s body in an open coffin had on the civil rights movement?

Today is a good day to be the light.


  • Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:
  • Fire the bastards!
  • The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.

    Did someone forward this post to you? Welcome! Please subscribe – use the simple form above on the right. And pass this along to three others, encouraging them to subscribe, too. (IT’S A FREEBIE!) It’s going to take a lot of us to get the job done.

    And add your comments below to help us all to be better informed.


    The Fine Print:

    1. Writings quoted or linked from my posts reflect a point I want to make, at least in part. That does not mean that I endorse or agree with everything in such writings.
    2. There are lots of smart, well-informed people. Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don’t. Search for others’ views and decide for yourself.
    3. Errors in fact, grammar, spelling and punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
    4. Responsibility for the content of these posts is unequivocally, totally, unavoidably mine.
    5. Book links to Amazon are provided for reference only. Please purchase your books through your local mom & pop bookstore. Keep them and your town or neighborhood vibrant.


Copyright 2023 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

JaxPolitix: Cynical Edition v1.0

Reading time – 2:30; Viewing time – 3:53  .  .  .

The number crunchers tell us that once infected, blacks in this country are at least 6 times more likely to die from coronavirus than whites. It’s worse for Hispanics than whites, too. There has been much hand wringing about this lately and ties to historical  realities have been offered to explain this fatal discrepancy. We have to do better, they say.

But actually, no, we won’t do better. We never do. Here’s an analogy.

Sandy Hook happened and it punched us in the national gut, because these were little children whose bodies were ripped apart by bullets from an assault rifle. Columbine hadn’t been enough to move us to action to ensure our children’s freedom from gunfire death, partly because the victims were teenagers and we aren’t quite as protective of older children. And the Pulse Nightclub slaughter didn’t move us to action either, because, hey, they were just gays. This one, though, the murder of so many little white kids, touched our hearts in ways that are locked into us from ancient times, so it would propel us to do something to prevent another ghastly, horrible massacre, of course.

How’d that work out for us? Did anything happen to protect our little ones or anyone else? You know the answer.

The discussion now isn’t about domestic terrorists murdering children; it’s about the way we set up people of color to suffer and die, including from coronavirus. It’s the stinking education given to so many of them in rotting buildings with decades old text books. It’s the poor training, the minuscule job opportunities, the low wages, the unavailability of healthcare, the living where people breathe toxic exhaust from upwind industrial plants and where there are food deserts that offer nothing to eat but crap. The reasons go on and on and the point is that we haven’t done anything about the things that leave people of color at significant risk, we aren’t doing anything about that and we won’t do anything about that.

Whites will be a minority in this country in just a few years and there is a mad rush to suppress non-whites in order for the soon-to-be white minority to retain power, like the blatant voter suppression efforts in red states. We’re incrementally becoming South Africa and apartheid will be our culture. Those in power are carrying on our 400 year tradition of suppressing “others.”

America is a Europe-centric, white, Christian majority country. We tolerate others, but only barely. That leads to a Muslim ban, a declaration of “shit-hole countries” with little push-back from most of those with the greatest power, Native American subjugation, a southern border “f**k you” wall, gross immigrant detention facilities inhabited by families torn apart and all the rest of our abominable actions toward those in America who aren’t from European white Christian stock. Some relative few wail in protest. But as with our gunning down of first graders, those in power steadfastly do nothing to make things better.

So, with this coronavirus ravaging the world; with our body count into the tens of thousands and likely headed to the hundreds of thousands; with our Commander in Chief pushing to get us back out and infecting one another soon because a temporary goose to the Dow is good for his reelection chances; with the same orange buffoon saying we’ll be lucky if we hit numbers of dead in the hundreds of thousands and he doesn’t care that a disproportionate number of our dead will be non-white (hey, that’s good for his election chances, too.); don’t expect anyone with the power to help “others”  to make any efforts to stop the kill off of people of color in America. Because, honestly, we just don’t care about them.

Late Addition

In the most recent of Donald Trump’s bizarre 2-hour daily press briefings he announced the cutoff of U.S. funding for the World Health Organization, claiming it was for their “severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus.” It was typical Trump blaming of others for the very same destructive things he does. This time it was for his foot dragging and lying that has caused thousands more deaths. Next time, who knows? What we do know is that the blame game will go on, as Trump claims he isn’t responsible for anything. Because, honestly, he just doesn’t care.


Ed. note: We need to spread the word so that we make a critical difference, so

  1. Pass this along to three people, encouraging them to subscribe (IT’S A FREEBIE!).
  2. Engage in the Comments section below to help us all to be better informed.


The Fine Print:

  1. Writings quoted or linked from my posts reflect a point I want to make, at least in part. That does not mean that I endorse or agree with everything in such writings, so don’t bug me about it.
  2. Sometimes I change my opinions because I’ve learned more about an issue. So, educate me. That’s what the Comments section is for.
  3. Errors in fact, grammar, spelling and punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
  4. Responsibility for the content of these posts is unequivocally, totally, unavoidably mine.


Copyright 2023 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

We’re Perfectly Positioned

Reading time – 4:05; Viewing time – 5:41  .  .  .

Her husband was killed by a street shooter. Later, one of her sons was shot and killed. Relating this to the small audience brought her to tears – again. The mother’s pain she bears will never go away.

When she was able to function again she started a support group for mothers who have lost family members to street violence. There are currently about 75 members of “Sisterhood.” There could be 750,000 members because we shoot someone’s son or daughter or husband or daddy over 100 times per day, every day.

Some of the violence is due to random drive-by shootings; some is done by warring gangs; some is done by angry young people or disgruntled workers. All of it is due to something way beyond wrong.

Another presenter spoke to the audience about his family of origin. Seven kids, Mom and an abusive step-father who hit with chairs, a vacuum cleaner, whatever was handy. The presenter grew up thinking that’s just the way things were – until the night his little sister went into the bathroom to avoid their step-father’s violence and quietly hung herself with the cord of a hair dryer. That’s what random violence can do to people. The presenter now works with at risk kids, people who grew up as he did, assuming that violence was just the way people deal with their anger. Most of it isn’t done by an electrical cord. Most is by gun.

As always, the grassroots efforts are driven by people who have lived the pain and they’re doing wonderful, critically needed work to help others, holding hands and hugging to soothe the sufferers and to counsel people away from violence before they commit it and that’s good. It’s one piece of the horrific puzzle and it isn’t enough.

The cover picture of this puzzle of over 30,000 gun killings per year shows:

The lack of proper education of our kids for a successful life

Lack of employment opportunities where they are most needed

Our refusal to enact meaningful, national gun safety legislation

Our cultural idealizing and reverence for tough, macho guys (think: Charlton Heston’s “cold, dead hands” speech)

Our slavish belief in the Second Amendment as a holy thing and meaning something other than what was intended by the Founders

A political system that rewards the biggest donors instead of We the People

Our limp-wristed way of dealing with mental health

The ease with which we are distracted by the next bright, shiny object

You can likely add to this list. The point is that there are many contributing factors to our gun violence problem and no one thing is going to cure our addiction to pointless death. Still, some useful things are obvious.

Guns are the perfect tool to kill lots of people quickly. Knives kill, but imagine the killer at Marjorie Stoneman Douglass High School last year with knives instead of guns. He could have killed some kids, but there’s no way he could have killed 17 of them with knives or an axe or any other hand weapon. Getting guns out of the hands of those who should never have one will be a major step toward solving our problem. Refusing to do that enables our truly angry, hate-filled people to carry out their horrible plans.

Three years ago the FBI arrested two men who were planning a race war, expecting to bomb Black churches and Jewish synagogues. Last week they arrested a white nationalist who proclaimed, “I am dreaming of a way to kill almost every last person on earth,” and he was prepared to attack using his armory of assault weapons if President Trump is impeached. He planned to pump himself up with steroids and opioids so he would be ready to unleash continuing carnage. The authorities managed to stop these two nut cases.

But we’ll never run out of angry men who want to do violence and stopping all of them is unlikely to happen. The question we must answer is whether we are willing to do what is necessary to stop them before they start. If we continue to make it easy to assemble an arsenal of weapons of war, if we continue to make it easy for nearly anyone with a few bucks in their pocket to buy a handgun and some ammunition, we will continue to kill the likes of the little children at Sandy Hook Elementary School, high school kids at Columbine and Douglass, movie goers in Aurora, CO, factory workers in Aurora, IL, people at the Pulse Night Club in Orlando, concert attendees in Las Vegas and thousands on the streets.

By February 17 there were already 43 mass shootings in the US this year. There were 5 last weekend alone. That can feel dreadful and even horrifying but might not be motivating because most it happens at a distance. That’s just how it was for that mom until her husband and son were killed. It’s up close and real personal for her now. That’s the way it always is for victims and their loved ones.

We’re perfectly positioned to get exactly the horrific results we’re getting right now. The only way to get different, better results is to do something about it.


Ed. Note: I don’t want money (DON’T donate) or your signature on a petition. I want you to spread the word so that we make a critical difference. So,


  1. Pass this along to three people, encouraging them to subscribe (IT’S A FREEBIE!).
  2. Engage in the Comments section below to help us all be better informed.


Copyright 2023 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

 Scroll to top