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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org (402) 471-2731
- Crawford, Sue email@example.com (402) 471-2615
- Davis, Al Northwest NE firstname.lastname@example.org (402) 471-2628
- Kolowski, Rick email@example.com (402) 471-2327
- Murante, John firstname.lastname@example.org (402) 471-2725
- Schumacher, Paul email@example.com (402) 471-2715
- Hilkemann, Robert Omaha firstname.lastname@example.org (402) 471-2621
- Speaker Hadley, Galen email@example.com (402) 471-2726
- Baker, Roy Lincoln firstname.lastname@example.org (402) 471-2620
- Friesen, Curt Henderson email@example.com (402) 471-2630
- Groene, Mike firstname.lastname@example.org (402) 471-2729
- Kolterman, Mark email@example.com (402) 471-2756
- Krist, Bob Omaha firstname.lastname@example.org (402) 471-2718
- Kuehn, John email@example.com (402) 471-2732
- Larson, Tyson firstname.lastname@example.org (402) 471-2801
- McCoy, Beau Omaha email@example.com (402) 471-2885
- Mello, Heath Omaha firstname.lastname@example.org (402) 471-2710
- Riepe, Merv Omaha email@example.com (402) 471-2623
- Scheer, Jim Norfolk, Madison and part of Stanton Counties firstname.lastname@example.org (402) 471-2929
- Seiler, Les email@example.com (402) 471-2712
- Stinner, John Scottsbluff area firstname.lastname@example.org (402) 471-2802
- Watermeier, Dan Otoe, Johnson, Nemaha, Pawnee, Richardson, Nebraska City email@example.com (402) 471-2733
- Williams, Matt firstname.lastname@example.org (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.