From Snow to “No to LB289”

Things I learned when my blog went locally “viral:”

1. ) On television, when exhausted, I appear as a chubby gollum.

2.) People on Reddit don’t have much concern for “nuance.” Also, they like bad words. Like, a lot.

3.) If a point can be twisted and misconstrued, it will be the first comment you receive. Also, when you run your own blog, you get to be a dick to those commenters and not feel bad about it in any way.

I wanna thank all of you who are reading the site now and tie up the “snow story” before moving into something much, much more important.

The big take-home of the snow removal fiasco is Mayor Stothert’s blatant disregard for you. Yes, you. I heard from no less than a dozen people who were banned from her various social media outlets for voicing polite concern about the snow. Her official statement was that snow removal went according to plan. She then attacked a police officer trying to keep people safe as some sort of scapegoat. That is a trifecta of shit leadership.

Dear Mayor, let me show you how to appropriately respond: “The snow removal was beneath the standards we should have for a city the size and quality of Omaha. We’re looking into what can be done in the future to make sure our citizens are safe and commute isn’t interrupted as it was this week.” Instead, she said that y’all are rude racists on social media (which doesn’t make sense, as I’m fairly certain no one called Mean Jean the N-word), the roads were fine “you’re just big babies,” and the police are bad at their jobs. Well done, Fearless Leader!

Now, on to a matter of far more consequence. Tomorrow or Monday, the Unicameral is going to have a chance to vote on LB289. Technically, it’s a “firearm super preemption law.” But that sounds too stiff and rigid, so let’s call it what it is: Rabid gun lobby bait designed to continue the unprecedented influence the NRA has over our safety. 

Introduced by Senator Laura “Bang, Pew Pew, Kaboom!” Ebke, the bill would basically prevent local communities from deciding what firearm safety should look like in their area. You read that right, this is legislation designed to PREVENT legislation created by local communities. It would make it so that (A) communities couldn’t pass firearm restrictions; (B) it would be easier for people to carry guns without proper training, without oversight, and without a check of clean criminal records; (C) would remove current gun ordinances and prevent cities and counties from enacting new ones; and (D), my personal favorite, would allow any person or organization to SUE a county or city that passes a gun ordinance. And we all know, the NRA leadership is made up of human suers.

You like guns? Cool. I mean, not cool, but let’s set that aside for now. Because this isn’t about your right to bear arms. Let me say that again clearly: THIS IS NOT ABOUT LEGISLATION THAT WILL IN ANY WAY BENEFIT OR HELP RESPONSIBLE GUN OWNERS. Unless you’ve been itching to do some SUPREMELY STUPID AND IRRESPONSIBLE SHIT WITH YOUR MURDER TOOL, it’s only going to make life more dangerous for no good reason. It would allow people without training or permits to open carry. It would invalidate the Omaha city ordinance that says YOUR RIFLE CAN’T BE LOADED WHEN YOU TRANSPORT IT. Personally, I’m a big fan of knowing for a fact that the guy on the bus is at least transporting an unloaded death machine. Oh, and it would allow guns in parks. Like, where kids are. And it would eliminate Omaha’s ban on giving guns to kids in your family. “Congratulations on preschool graduation, Timmy, here’s your glock.”

It’s bad. It’s a bad, bad, bad law. And it’s supremely evil at its core. To deny the ability of local communities to determine what gun safety looks like to them is a fundamental denial of regional democracy.  To put it another way, when it comes to how local ordinances and laws are passed:

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My friend, Amanda, has led a HELL of a charge against this bill. She really doesn’t like it when kids get killed by guns, she’s a kook like that. Her group, Nebraskans Against Gun Violence, has helped turn the tide against this bill, at least a bit. That story again: One educator and mother started a movement to fight against the power of the NRA, the single most powerful lobby in America, and the group responsible for the deaths of more Americans than every terrorist act in history combined. 

Here’s what I need you to do, new readers: Call somebody or email somebody. Go here and find your Senator. Or, hell, feel free to contact ALL the following people:

  • Campbell, Kathy Lincoln kcampbell@leg.ne.gov (402) 471-2731
  • Crawford, Sue scrawford@leg.ne.gov (402) 471-2615
  • Davis, Al Northwest NE adavis@leg.ne.gov (402) 471-2628
  • Kolowski, Rick rkolowski@leg.ne.gov (402) 471-2327
  • Murante, John jmurante@leg.ne.gov (402) 471-2725
  • Schumacher, Paul pschumacher@leg.ne.gov (402) 471-2715
  • Hilkemann, Robert Omaha rhilkemann@leg.ne.gov (402) 471-2621
  • Speaker Hadley, Galen ghadley@leg.ne.gov (402) 471-2726
  • Baker, Roy Lincoln rbaker@leg.ne.gov (402) 471-2620
  • Friesen, Curt Henderson cfriesen@leg.ne.gov (402) 471-2630
  • Groene, Mike mgroene@leg.ne.gov (402) 471-2729
  • Kolterman, Mark mkolterman@leg.ne.gov (402) 471-2756
  • Krist, Bob Omaha bkrist@leg.ne.gov (402) 471-2718
  • Kuehn, John jkuehn@leg.ne.gov (402) 471-2732
  • Larson, Tyson tlarson@leg.ne.gov (402) 471-2801
  • McCoy, Beau Omaha bmccoy@leg.ne.gov (402) 471-2885
  • Mello, Heath Omaha hmello@leg.ne.gov (402) 471-2710
  • Riepe, Merv Omaha mriepe@leg.ne.gov (402) 471-2623
  • Scheer, Jim Norfolk, Madison and part of Stanton Counties jscheer@leg.ne.gov (402) 471-2929
  • Seiler, Les lseiler@leg.ne.gov (402) 471-2712
  • Stinner, John Scottsbluff area jstinner@leg.ne.gov (402) 471-2802
  • Watermeier, Dan Otoe, Johnson, Nemaha, Pawnee, Richardson, Nebraska City dwatermeier@leg.ne.gov (402) 471-2733
  • Williams, Matt mwilliams@leg.ne.gov (402) 471-2642

Tell them Ryan sent ya!!! *Wink! Wink! Finger pistols in the air!!!* Actually, don’t do that. I’m quite certain many do not like me very much…

Whether or not you believe in expanded gun ownership, I’d like to believe that most rational Nebraskans draw the line at a lobby-fueled bill telling local governments what they can and can’t legislate.

To tie this all together: Without revealing any personal information, Amanda shared a story with some folks about a young boy who was the victim of gun violence. It hit her hard. That, in turn, hit me hard. See, because she’s been on the frontline fighting this so much, that if something rattles her, it has to be simply heartbreaking. I don’t know the boy she’s talking about. But I know that irresponsible legislation like this will ensure that there are more little kids just like him.

So pick up the phone, send an email, or, hell, skywrite “Fuck LB289” if you want to, I don’t care. Just let our elected officials know that Nebraskans won’t be the puppets of a special interest group who could care less about our actual best interest.

Sorry this post had very little to do with snow removal. If you promise to make some noise about this bill, you’re allowed to enjoy the clip below.

 

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5 thoughts on “From Snow to “No to LB289”

  1. What I will say in regards to her “no filter” comment is that there *are* people on Facebook and Twitter who, for whatever reason, just can’t help resorting to some incredibly sexist language when it comes to Jean Stothert. Yeah, I’m guessing no one called her the “N word.” I know for a fact a few people called her some B and C words.

    Do better, Omaha. This sort of unchecked sexism is part of the reason she got elected in the first place.

    • Obviously, that’s out of line. But the VAST majority of people I know who were blocked were VERY respectful. I think we’ve seen an ongoing and consistent pattern of a leader who does not like to be criticized, from her gag orders to her knee-jerk blocking of citizens who SHOULD have a way of sharing their opinions. To put it another way: You’re the mayor of a major city. Act like it. You’re going to get called names. I write a shitty blog and got called lots of them. It’s life.

  2. As a small business owner in Omaha, I can’t believe that Mayor Stothert supports this bill. A bill that just takes away any sensible laws passed for Omaha. Considering the huge difference in constituents and how guns are acquired and used between rural NE and Omaha, I can’t imagine that the laws should in both places should be the same. The only argument I’ve heard defending this pre-emption bill is that it simplifies things for those going from place to place. Well, it’s a federal law that says you don’t have to worry about local gun laws when you’re traveling from one place to another where in both places your gun possession is legal. I can only assume it’s those who drive into Omaha, start trouble with their guns (like taking them into the public parks), and then don’t like the extra fines after shooting someone are the ones complaining. The senator from Crete doesn’t have to worry about ~200 homicides in her city each year. And getting rid of common sense application requirements for concealed carry just means any kook coming into my shop can have a hidden gun. This isn’t about gun rights, it’s about bending over for the NRA and their lawyers and about the state resenting the 2 cities with different local laws. I’ve written my senator Craighead, but her response makes me believe she’s just towing a party line vote instead of supporting her Omaha constituents and business owners.

  3. Senator Hilkeman says that he supports LB289 because the city of Omaha does. This is NOT true. While Jean Stothert does because she’s an ammosexual, Ben Gray, the president of the city council doesn’t. Neither does OPD Chief Schmadderer. You Omaha peeps better call before Hilkeman is complicit in hamstringing local democracy.

  4. Thank you for speaking out on this ridiculous attempt to arm everyone, everywhere. And then when folks get killed, we can all pray. And repeat, over and over and over.

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