Book Review – The Monarchy of Fear

The early rumblings of the 2022 political campaigns call for some serious soul searching including an in depth look at WTF (What the F..)  or HTF (How the F..) did this happen.  Martha C. Nussbaum presents a philosopher look at our current political crisis and the retributive response to fear that has polarized American for the last twenty years.   In the book titled “The Monarchy of Fear”, Nussbaum untangles the web of emotions and fear and articulates the politics of constructive work and hope.

Nussbaum first look at fear begins at the everyone’s beginnings, when we first enter the world and are confronted with unknowns that we can’t understand but only respond with emotional outbursts that apparently always gets someone’s attention.  The author draws from historical and contemporary examples of fear-based motivations and traces likes and dislikes and value assignations to emotional responses to fear.  It is a fascinating read and may upend the world as you know it and understand it and it will take you out of your engrained comfort zone.

Dr. Nussbaum discusses the book at length at a Politics and Prose event at the Bookstore Coffeehouse. Please watch this short video:


Martha C. Nussbaum is the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics, appointed in the Philosophy Department and Law School of the University of Chicago.

Don’t Just March – Run for your Lives !

While the nation demands specific action, many NRA supported politicians or potentially targeted by the NRA politicians continue with offering thoughts and prayers to weapons violence victims and read their cue cards with obviously feigned sincerity “We hear you”. They call for “sensible” gun controls and claim to want to find a “common ground” for legislative action. For the last two decades not one of them has declared as to what is sensible and where the common ground is to be found.

A group of high school students whose friends and colleges where among the victims of the Parkland Florida massacre, organized the “March for our Lives” and are receiving national attention of unprecedented proportions. Millions participated in the “March for our Lives”, not only in every city in the United States, but around the globe. On Saturday March 24, 2018, an estimated crowd of 1200 demonstrator gathered at the Smith Center and marched to the Las Vegas city hall. While most Nevada politicians did not attend or participated by keeping a low profile, we did note that Dina Titus (Congresswoman-CD1) made a brief appearance along with Nevada State Senator Aaron Ford but did not speak at the rally. We did meet Michael Weiss a Democratic Congressional Candidate for District 3 who offered his support and detailed his stance on weapons control by explaining what he means by “sensible” weapons controls.

A vocal religious group was also on hand and joined in with loudspeakers supporting the demonstrators’ demand for action.

The call for political action was expressed by the demonstrators and we noted many signs calling for changes in who we elect to political office. The marchers also expressed their outrage and contempt for elected officials that continue to do nothing, with chants of “Vote them Out”.
We noted the crowd to be mostly elderly citizens and the demographics of all the marches across the country also indicated that the average age of the participants to be around 50. Seventy percent were female and 75% were college educated.

We asked some twenty-five of the marchers as to what aspects of weapon controls they want the legislators to enact. We were not surprised that most wanted to have sensible weapon control laws, but when we asked for more specific controls the majority (19/25) favored assault weapon bans and agreed that semi-automatic weapons are assault weapons. The following aspects of weapons controls were also specifically targeted for legislative action by lawmakers by most of the marchers and these include:

  • Require permits and background checks for all weapons purchase transactions (private or by dealers).
  • Require registration of all weapons in a federal data base accessible to all law enforcement authorities.
  • Require permits and background checks for all ammunition purchase and registration of the purchase transaction in a federal database.
  • Vetting of all weapons purchasers by mental health authorities before taking possession of weapons.
  • Vetting and clearance by local police departments of all weapons purchasers before taking possession of weapons.
  • Ban on all semi-automatic weapons.
  • Ban on all semi and/or automatic magazines.
  • Require liability insurance coverage for all weapons owners.

A minority (4/25) also favored the repeal of the 2nd Amendment. The 2nd Amendment is a strange proposition in that is establishes the right to bear arms to violently overthrow the federal government if deemed necessary. The scenario that calls for a violent overthrow of the federal government has only been attempted once and that was over 150 years ago. A violent and armed overthrow of our federal government in our time even by a heavily armed (AR-15) militia is absurd. So, if not for the overthrow of the federal government, then what purpose does this nonsense of a constitutional amendment serve? Some weapons enthusiasts claim that the 2nd Amendment is a God given right. It should therefore remain a God given right and not a right given by the state. We therefore should call for the immediate repeal of the 2nd Amendment.

A second question posed to the 25 surveyed participants was about how they would “vote them out” and who they would vote into office for support of their call for a safer America. None of the respondents could identify an elected official or a candidate at the federal or the state level that supports any specific weapons control legislation. Marco Rubio an NRA man fully paid for and has therefore done absolutely nothing to make “America Safe Again”. Rubio is a sitting US Senator for the state of Florida which has witnessed some of the more tragic AR-15 massacres.  Rubio has always called for “sensible” weapons control, which resulted in nothing but voicing opposition to any weapons control legislation.  Rubio however continues to maintain a stance calling for ‘sensible’ weapons controls and is looking for a common ground to pursue such measures. Our prayers and thoughts will not be with this totally ingenious buffoon and lacky of the NRA when he is “voted out”.

The movement hailed as one that will make a difference in making “America Safe Again”, may again fail in the end, not because we haven’t been paying attention, but because we have not been able to make our politicians pay attention. For the most part they expect us to vote for them no matter that they will do nothing. A brief comment about how they favor “sensible” gun control continues to be an insult to those that know that it means absolutely nothing. Keep watching this space and find out how our own Nevada politicians are perhaps changing their stance on weapons control or not. Hopefully when we go to the polls we shall know them by what they have done and said. We also need some good people to run (for political office) for our lives.

Unleashing Hell From The “Gun Safe Zone” – Again and Again and Again and Again !

Federal and state legislatures have liberalized gun laws and revised current laws pertaining to dangerous weapons. Recently, existing laws which prohibit a person from carrying guns, including assault weapons, without a permit or any restrictions, have been overturned and churches, schools, universities and even bars are no longer gun free zones.

It is almost impossible to buy assault weapons illegally.

Weapon of mass destruction – Serves no other purpose without invoking an insanity plea or an insane argument.

Acquisition of these weapons of mass destruction is afforded to all willing to pay the monetary price, because there are no other restrictions of any kind. A singular exception that prohibits the sale of guns to felons is next to impossible to enforce, because a gun registry does not exist. In effect one can traffic in guns without any repercussion simple because a transactional trail is not available and you may not believe this: “it is illegal to register guns and maintain an automated data base of gun trafficking”.

Most Americans are not happy with people walking around heavily armed in their everyday lives and are horrified when hell is unleashed by a gun “lover”. We recoil at the results of such madness when more than 600 of our loved ones are massacred in a little more than 10 minutes. Time heals all wounds and we will very likely go on and accepts the most gruesome of these events and the usually apathy will prevail. The daily occurring gun tragedies have insignificant impact on our daily lives (unless you are a victim). We have also grown callous; our national conscience chooses to be unaware and ignorant of the daily carnage taking a toll of 40,000 per year and many more wounded. Federal and state funded studies of gun deaths are prohibited by laws passed by legislators we elected to provide for safety and security of all Americans.

Legislators are apparently motivated more by NRA and gun manufactures campaign contributions then by the victims of these insane conditions existing among civilized nations only in the US and some primitive countries. Gun violence and gun killings have increased almost everywhere in the US in comparison to recent years by rates in the double digits. Armed police officers are being shot in the streets. Law enforcement officers are outgunned by militia with weaponry and skills that police can not afford. Laws are ignored and openly flaunted by these “criminals” and they are often further encouraged by some of the “faux-news” media and often by our own government officials.

Open carry has been the standard in the western US and it has its roots in the old west and is still deeply engrained in the cowboy culture (the sponsors of gun hell still wear their 10-gallon hats). Concealed carry is the choice of the coward and has its roots in urban warfare and is readily identifiable with the culture of the gangster.

Our nuclear enemies make no attempt to conceal their nuclear capabilities, for they do not intend to use the bomb but present a serious deterrent against anyone else using the nuclear weapons. The terrorist, coward or mentally disturbed will conceal all weapons until they unleash hell upon all that get in their way.

Our police officers respond with gunfire at any attempt of anyone reaching for their pockets or placing their hands anywhere that a firearm may be there concealed. It is a reasonable expectation that a suspect is carrying concealed weapons. Nevada and Las Vegas have more killings by police officers than even larger cities like New York where stronger gun laws actually reduce the likelihood of a concealed carry.

Safety in carrying a firearm is of extreme importance because of deadly consequences to the carrier or others in the vicinity. A motor vehicle is less deadly yet we have regulations for the driver, the vehicle must meet safety standards, the road must meet safety standards and there are laws to enforce the regulations. Our legislators now want to unleash hell and no longer require any safety standards or safety education for any concealed carry.

Why are our legislatures ready to unleash this hell upon the citizens of the US? It is reasonable to state that this is only about some nebulous sentence in our constitution about a regulated militia bearing arms (flintlock rifles not the modern-day equivalent of nuclear weapons – never mind a well-regulated militia)? It is reasonable to unleash hell for the campaign funds coming in from the NRA or the gun manufactures? Is it reasonable to unleash hell for the marginally few voters who will vote in favor of anyone who claims that guns are a God given right. It is reasonable to unleash hell upon Americans and claim it is for the sake of safety and security and in defense of freedom.

So why are our legislatures and judicial officials not afraid to put concealed weapons in the hands of the mentally disturbed, convicted felons and individuals not able to pass a rudimentary class on safety and proper firearm use? Our legislators and all government officials carry out their work in “Gun Safe Zones” and need not fear the unleashing of hell. “Gun Safe Zones” where created shortly after the tragic event of 911 (where, by the way, no guns were involved). The unleashing of hell upon the public which does not have easy access to these “Gun Safe Zones” is demonstrable in the carnage that is carried out and reported everyday.

Our legislatures and judges surround themselves with an army of armed guards in buildings where the carrying of any dangerous weapon is not allowed. Access is granted in many cases only if one passes through metal detection devices and scanning similar to airport boarding procedures. Our legislatures and judges can thereby proclaim some lofty ideals and not really worry about the consequences and like the cowardly kings hiding in their castles while their foot soldiers have to endure the hell that they have unleashed. I do believe that these legislators and judges are not paranoid but simply acting to preserve life and limb. Their daily contact with the public has made them acutely aware that: “Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.—43.8 million, or 18.5%—experiences mental illness in a given year. Approximately 1 in 25 adults in the U.S.—9.8 million, or 4.0%—experiences a serious mental illness in a given year that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities”. They are also aware of 50% of all guns are being amassed by a mere 3% of all gun owners.

“Gun Safe Zones” are safe and should not only be a hiding place for the privileged lawmakers but a legislative goal and a reality for all our communities. We feel safe when boarding an aircraft because we know the lunatics on board are not carrying dangerous weapons openly or concealed. “Gun Safe Zones” where even police officers do not carry firearms are a reality in many parts of the civilized world. Even in the Old West the sheriff would often disarm visiting cowboys and declare the town a “Gun Safe Zone”.

Game of Guns – American Roulette – How long will we continue to play this game.

Guns are a reality in the places where there is no law, where lives are unimportant and the daily carnage is only answered by more violence and more killings.

It is the voter that will eventually hold irresponsible lawmakers accountable for unleashing this new hell. We must recognize the cowardice of these lawmakers who hide in “Gun Safe Zones” while pontificating about some silly cowboy notions about guns. We have an opportunity in upcoming elections to ask those that would represent us, to provide laws that protect us from the criminal and criminally insane gun worshippers. We have a responsibility to elect those that proclaim that we have a right to life and liberty by stopping the gun insanity in our country.

Ask your legislator to commit to the following:

– Ban all assault weapons.
– Ban high capacity magazines.
– Prohibit gun sales to the mentally ill.
– Create a federal database to track all gun sales.
– Require permits (background checks) and gun registration for all guns.
– Require permits for and registration of ammunition purchases.
– Enable federal and state investigations of large quantity purchases of firearms and/or ammunition.

Tell your elected officials that they need to do more against the hell and constant terrorism that is unleashed upon Americans every day and remind them the second amendment qualifies the right to bear arms as a function of a well-regulated militia and is not intended for anarchists, paranoid fear mongers, the enrichment of weapons manufacturers and an “unregulated” militia.

Weapons of mass destruction. Large stock pile is indicative of a potential insane war or a serious mental problem.

Unleashing Hell from the “Gun Safe Zone” – Revisited Again, Again. Again and Again

Federal and state legislatures have liberalized gun laws and revised current laws pertaining to dangerous weapons. Recently, existing laws which prohibit a person from carrying guns, including assault weapons, without a permit or any restrictions, have been overturned and churches, schools, universities and even bars are no longer gun free zones.

It is almost impossible to buy assault weapons illegally.
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