It’s Time for a 28th Amendment To Set Limits on the 2nd Amendment

GRAPHIC-Las-Vegas-shooting-3The 2nd Amendment of the United States Constitution reads, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”  

Needless killings and mass murders are occurring regularly in this country, most recently in Las Vegas.  How much death is enough for your gun rights?  How much?  14? 21? 23? 26? 32? 49? or now 59?  And over 500 injured.  And in each case, all done by a single shooter with semi-automatic “assault style” weapons.  ( See )

As long as gun fetishists insist that the 2nd amendment phrase “shall not be infringed” means no gun regulation whatsoever, we will never have people who will accept any form of regulation for improved safety. None. Nada. The phrase, “Now is not the time”, is simply a delaying tactic because they intend for nothing, no amount of death and carnage, to interfere with their right to stockpile weapons of mass destruction in their basements with thousands of rounds of ammo. Does any of that seem sane to you? Would you tolerate this with anything else? Drugs?  Cocaine?  Meth? LSD? Poisons? Etc. No, you call it what it is, a destructive and dangerous fetish or addiction.

Nothing will change as long as the gun fetishists keep stalling for time. Nothing. So since they won’t negotiate any practical gun safety regulations, it’s way past time to go past them and start getting states, one by one, through a lot of hard work, to call for a Constitutional Convention to add a 28th Amendment Clarifying the 2nd Amendment.

The new amendment would read: “The phrase “shall not be infringed” of the 2nd amendment is hereby repealed.  Each citizen is entitled to one handgun and one rifle. Clips and/or magazines, or any other mechanism for loading bullets into a gun, may only hold up to ten rounds. Any modification of a gun or rifle for rapid, automatic, repeat firing is a Felony, punishable by no less than five (5) years in prison, and no more than (10) years in prison.”

It’s the only way if the gun fetishists won’t negotiate some common sense. Take a rigid, no holds barred approach in electing local and national officials who will sponsor a new 28th Amendment on gun ownership.

It needs to start yesterday. We don’t need anymore mass murders. We don’t need anymore injuries. 59 dead. Over 500 injured. Enough already!

Responsible gun owners are drowned out by the gun fetishists. Anyone who argues mass murder is the price of “freedom” is simply insane.

Media Ignores Rash of Assaults on Transgender Women []

The spate of violence has gone virtually unnoticed by the mainstream media, as well as by the mainstream gay community

by Jay Michaelson /

On June 5, 2011, Chrishaun “CeCe” McDonald set out with three friends to go to a grocery store in Minneapolis. On the way they passed by the Schooner Tavern, where they encountered Dean Schmitz and Molly Flaherty. McDonald was 22, black, and transitioning from male to female. Schmitz and Flaherty, who were white, shouted racist and transphobic slurs at McDonald and her friends. McDonald kept walking, but Flaherty attacked her with a broken glass, cutting her face. A fight ensued, Schmitz joined, and at some point McDonald stabbed Schmitz with a pair of scissors. Schmitz (who, incidentally, had a swastika tattooed on his chest) later died of his wounds.

By any rational reading of these facts, McDonald’s actions constitute self-defense. (Though Minnesota lacks a “stand your ground” law like Florida’s, her use of force was arguably more justified than George Zimmerman’s shooting of Trayvon Martin—yet where are all the voices that raced to defend Zimmerman?)

Despite all this, McDonald was charged with second-degree murder, and pleaded guilty to manslaughter in May. On Monday, she was sentenced to 41 months in prison for manslaughter. Due to time already served, she probably will spend the next two years in prison, where if recent history is any guide, she will be subjected to physical and sexual assault. (As a general rule, prisoners are organized by anatomy, not gender, so she will be placed in a men’s prison.)

While the sentence has sparked outrage in some circles, it has gone virtually unnoticed by the mainstream media, as well as in the mainstream gay community, which has been consumed by the same-sex-marriage debate and the Tyler Clementi/Dharun Ravi case. But in fact, the CeCe McDonald case is part of a recent, horrifying spree of violence against transgender people, particularly trans people of color.

On April 29, 37-year-old Brandy Martell was shot dead in Oakland, in what has become a classic and tragic narrative of anti-trans violence: 3 a.m. Sunday morning, some men approach Martell, who’s sitting in a car with friends at a location known as a “safe space” for transgender women, and flirt with her. Martell discloses that she’s transgender, and the men leave. They return two hours later, shoot her in the genitals, and then in the chest. As of this writing, the killer has not been caught.

Many reasonable people don’t yet understand that transwomen like Chrissy Lee Polis are not perverted men in disguise, lurking in restrooms.

On April 16, Paige Clay, a transgender woman of color, was found murdered in a Chicago park. There are very few details about the killing, and no one has been arrested.

And on April 3, Coko Williams, another transgender woman of color, was shot to death in Detroit.

One case which did garner some mainstream media attention was that of Chrissy Lee Polis. Polis, a 24-year-old transwoman recovering from breast augmentation surgery, was emerging from the women’s restroom at a Baltimore-area McDonald’s in April 2011 when she was savagely beaten by two young women. A McDonald’s employee filmed the attack, laughed, and when another customer finally intervened to stop it, warned the attackers to leave before the police arrived.

While the attack on Polis was not as brutal as what happened to CeCe McDonald, it was filmed, and the video went viral, getting covered by ABC’sGood Morning America, as well as the Baltimore Sun and other newspapers. And unlike the others, the Polis case had a relatively good ending: McDonald’s fired the employee and compensated Polis (who is white), and the lead attacker was sentenced to five years in prison.

So how ought we to reflect on this tragic spate of violence? At the intersections of racism, sexism, and homophobia, these victims are triply victimized by stigma—four times over if we add in the element of class, and five times if we include transphobia as well. And we should; many reasonable people don’t yet understand that gender dysphoria is real, that gender is not defined by anatomy, and that transwomen like Chrissy Lee Polis are not perverted men in disguise, lurking in restrooms. (Conservative legislators frequently block protections for transgender people on the basis of this myth, as if stalkers need a legal pretext.) Precisely because transgender is a new concept for many people, trans people urgently need protection and respect.

Moreover, and I think this goes to the root of the problem, don’t many of us believe—or perhaps more accurately, feel—that these victims in some way brought the violence on themselves? Clay, the Chicago victim, was a glamorous rising star of the Chicago ball scene who once said, “If you are quiet as a mouse, no one will hear you.” In other words, most of these women were not bland, inoffensive “sweater gays”; they were RuPaul.

Even The New York Times betrayed this tendency in a recent story about Lorena Escalera, a transgender woman of color who died in a suspicious fire in Brooklyn in May. The story opened with this sentence:

She was 25 and curvaceous, and she often drew admiring glances in the gritty Brooklyn neighborhood where she was known to invite men for visits to her apartment, her neighbors and the authorities said.

After the Gay and Lesbian Alliance against Defamation criticized this sexualization of the victim, the Times responded directly, saying that “we should have shown more care in our choice of words.”

Transphobia is not justified, and neither is ambivalence in the face of tragedy. Yet the reality is that transgender lives are new to many people, and they raise important questions our society has yet to address. Compared to other civil-rights movements, our national “evolution” on matters of LGBT equality has been remarkably fast, so fast that our culture has not yet articulated what it means. Are gay people to be welcomed because they are just like straight people, and therefore OK? Or should they be included because we all recognize that people are different from one another, and have a right to determine for themselves how to live their lives?

The difference between the two ideologies is what divides the so-called “good gays,” who simply want to go to the same country club as their straight friends, and those LGBT people—such as CeCe McDonald or Chrissy Lee Polis—who implicitly make a different set of demands. Yet novelty is no excuse for intolerance. It’s hard to believe that McDonald would go to jail if she were a “normal” (and white) gay or lesbian person like Dan Savage, or Ellen DeGeneres, or me. We’d understand that she was entitled to defend herself, and that she did not invite this violence by being flamboyant, gender-nonconforming, or black.

McDonald may well deserve some punishment for responding to the attack on her by stabbing Dean Schmitz with a pair of scissors. But for fighting back against a pervasive climate of transphobia and violence against people perceived to be gender-nonconforming, I think she deserves a medal.

Just How Bad Is Child Abuse in America? Very. []

by Cassie Murdoch /

 Child abuse is a dark and depressing reality in American life, but until now, it’s never been clear just how widespread a problem it was. A new study, led by Dr. John Leventhal of Yale University, offers the first comprehensive estimate of serious injuries caused by child abuse in the U.S., and the results are pretty horrifying.

The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, found that nearly 4,600 children in the U.S. were hospitalized for injuries caused by physical abuse in 2006, the most recent year for which data was available. Overall, six out of every 100,000 kids under 18 were hospitalized with injuries that ranged from broken bones and burns to traumatic brain injury. The average hospital stay for these children was one week, and 300 of them ended up dying. That puts the death rate for abuse at 6 percent, which is a far higher death rate than exists for other kinds of injury or medical problem that required hospitalization.

Very young children tended to be the most common victims of abuse. For babies under one, there were 58 cases of hospitalization per 100,000 infants. Sadly, children under one who were covered by Medicaid fared worst of all, with one out of every 753 of those babies ending up in the hospital because of abuse. According to Dr. Leventhal, “Medicaid is just a marker of poverty, and poverty leads to stress.”

Stress appears to be a key factor in abuse. There was another smaller study that showed an obvious increase in abusive brain injuries after the financial crisis in 2007, which researchers attributed to added stress on parents. Leventhal said stress disproportionately affects younger kids because they are by nature, more difficult to care for:

They are challenging for some parents to take care of because they cry, it’s hard to understand what they want and parents can get frustrated, exhausted and angry.

Of course, they also can’t defend themselves or runaway as easily as older children can. A heartbreaking reality, and one Dr. Leventhal thinks we need to address urgently. According to his team, at the rate this study found abuse to be occurring, it’s a bigger threat to babies than Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. And, of course, this study only deals with kids who are hospitalized. There are many more children who endure abuse but aren’t injured severely enough to require medical attention.

So Dr. Leventhal proposes we act to stop abuse in the same way we’ve worked to stop SIDS: “We need a national campaign related to child abuse where every parent is reminded that kids can get injured.” Another probably even more effective option would be to send public health workers to do home visits with new parents to offer support and advice, a practice that is already common in a lot of European countries.

While that level of intervention sounds costly, the expense to society of caring for the abused is far more substantial. Beyond the obvious personal cost to the children and individual families, the study found that abuse-related hospitalizations ran us about $73.8 million in 2006. And in terms of the overall expense of abuse, the CDC reported that one year’s worth of child maltreatment cases costs $124 billion over a lifetime.

But no matter what the cost is, preventing abuse is worth it. Leventhal says, “This is a serious problem that affects young children. We need to figure out a way to help parents do better.” We spend so much money educating people on everything from cancer prevention to the dangers of cholesterol, but now that we’ve got a more accurate picture of the damage abuse is doing across the entire country, there’s no excuse for not going after the problem immediately on a national level—especially because the children who are falling victim to this abuse can’t advocate for themselves.

Child abuse experts calls for U.S. campaign [Reuters]
Study: Child Abuse Affects More U.S. Kids than SIDS [Time]

McDonald’s Basher of Transgender Has Attacked Others Before []

 Maureen O’Connor — Teonna Monae Brown—the Baltimore woman charged last week for a beating up a transgenderMcDonald’s patron while a passive crowdmade videos—may have been a repeat offender. The Smoking Gun reports that the 18-year-old had previously been arrested for punching a mother of two in the face, then beating her with an umbrella, then trying to rip out her hair, while friends attacked the lady’s daughters. Just as ogres like to hide under bridges and terrorizs passing billygoats, violent jerks apparently like to hang out at McDonald’s and beat the snot out of strangers.

Fast food fisticuffs: The absolute nadir of depressing Americana. Included in that assessment is the soul-crushing way we consume these messes, via grainy cellphone videos sold for the equivalent of a few Happy Meals to Schadenblog hell World Star Hip Hop. McDonald’s patrons are the new gladiators; YouTube the amphitheater for watching them fight to the death. [TSGmugshot via TSG]!5795392/mcdonalds-basher-had-brawled-there-before

McDonalds Transgender Victim of Beating Comes Forward []

Anyone in my predicament should not be afraid to walk the streets,” Polis said. “They should not have to go into a restaurant and get gawked at and made fun of. They shouldn’t be afraid to leave the house. It’s just wrong.

Max Read — Chrissy Lee Polis, the 22-year-old transgender woman who was the subject of a video-recorded beating in a Baltimore-area McDonald’s last week, spoke out for the first time in an interview with The Baltimore Sun.

Polis’ account confirms most of the Facebook-driven speculation that she’d been targeted for using a woman’s bathroom. She says the attack was “definitely a hate crime,” and tells the Sun that the dissemination of the tape on the internet has worsened the aftermath of the assault:

She said seeing herself all over the Internet and all over the news has been “like walking out of the closet all over again.” Polis is concerned that the public attention could trigger more violence – and worries it could hurt her chances of getting a job. “I want to cry, but I need to hold my head up,” she said.

Though hate crime charges against Polis’ attackers—said by police to be two women ages 14 and 18—haven’t yet been filed, the state’s attorney says that a review will take place next week to determine “if [they] need to make additional charges.” The McDonald’s employee who recorded the video has been fired, and the franchise owner says he may take further action against other employees.

[Baltimore Sun]!5795129/mcdonalds-beating-video-victim-comes-forward

I am Pissed Off: Transgender Girl beaten until she has a seizure over using a bathroom at McDonalds

Article from the Daily Mail – Headline by Helen

By PAUL BENTLEY of the Daily Mail
Last updated at 7:54 PM on 23rd April 2011

  • McDonald’s says incident is ‘disturbing and troubling’
  • Police consider charging black girls with racist hate crime

The victim brutally beaten to the point of having a seizure in McDonald’s as staff passively watched on is believed to be a transgender woman, it has been revealed.

Shocking footage captured the horrifying assault as McDonald’s staff in Rosedale, Baltimore, idly stood by.  The assault, which happened on April 18, was so severe the 22-year-old victim had a seizure in the restaurant.

The attack was believed to have been sparked after an argument over using a bathroom in the restaurant.

‘It does appear that the victim was a transgender woman, and she was brutalized while people stood by and watched,’ Lisa Polyak, vice president of the board of directors for Equality Maryland, told the Baltimore Sun.

The LGBT group is now calling on police to investigate the attack as a hate crime.

During the brutal attack, which lasted for several minutes, the young white girl was repeatedly kicked in the head and stamped on by two black girls in the fast food store.

Staff stood by and even laughed as the attackers grabbed the girl’s hair and dragged her across the floor.

After shocking footage of the assault spread across the internet, with one site alone receiving 450,000 views by mid-afternoon, police said a 14-year-old girl had been charged as a juvenile, while charges were pending against an 18-year-old woman.

While the incident remains under investigation, local police told the Baltimore Sun they were looking into whether or not there was racist motivation.

You can see the horrific video accompanying the Daily Mail article here at: