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Jerry here. Let me start this blog by making something totally clear:

Your Face is Politics is not a news site.

We aren’t just reporting news. This site is all about discussions of political issues. We want a free forum to respectfully discuss politics without worrying about a bunch of politically correct nonsense.

We absolutely have opinions, and we openly state those opinions. On the other hand, we promise to never give information that we know is false. We’ll call out bullshit, no matter what side of the aisle it’s coming from. We listen to any opposing viewpoints. Always. We might disagree with them (sometimes enthusiastically), but we consider every opinion. When someone disagrees with us, we consider what they have to say. We don’t just try to think of a counter-argument. We listen.

We love discussion, but we have some very strong opinions that neither of us ever tries to hide in these blogs.

With that said, this particular article is to let you get to know us. We’re going to state our positions on several issues, just so you know where we stand.

We’d love to get to know you as well, so feel free to sound off in the comments.

I’ll start.

Jerry

Party Alignment

I’m not a democrat, republican, or libertarian. I’m not a member of the tea party or the green party.

I’m truly without a party. I’m even hesitant to say that I’m an Independent because that actually attaches a party dynamic.

I think parties are for birthdays, not politics.

I also think party alignment should not be allowed on election ballots.

On most social issues, I admit I do tend to lean to the left.

Gun Control

On gun control, I think the debate is being dominated by money men with personal interests. I think the NRA doesn’t give a damn about gun safety or the people dying from guns. The NRA just cares about money.

That said, I completely support gun ownership in America. Most people I know own guns. I do not support banning guns or ammo. I think that’s a silly “make us feel better” solution that won’t solve the problem. At all.

I think the key to helping with gun violence is through background checks, closing the gun show loopholes, gun safety training, and legal safety requirements. We won’t be able to stop the criminals, but we can sure stop the kids from dying because they got their hands on their parents’ guns and we can sure help to prevent people with long histories of violent and delusional behavior from buying guns.

In short, I’m okay with the idea that “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people.” But I find myself wondering why the NRA fights so hard to prevent laws that keep guns out of the hands of the people who kill people.

Abortion

I’m pro-choice. And no, I don’t mean I’m pro-abortion. Bottom line, I’m a man. I will never, ever know what it feels like to be pregnant. I will never know what it feels like to be pregnant from a rape. I will never know what it feels like to be pregnant from a guy who decided he doesn’t want to be a dad so he left town.

At the end of the day, I think women should have the loudest voice on abortion.

Obamacare

I think we need to get healthcare to all Americans. I think it’s disgusting that we’ll spend $4 trillion on unnecessary wars but we flip out at the idea of spending $2 trillion on giving people health care. I think Obamacare is flawed in many ways. I think it needs to be tweaked. It needs to be fixed.

I don’t think it needs to be repealed. If republicans put as much effort into fixing Obamacare as they’ve put into repealing it, we’d have a much better system already.

War

I’m against any unnecessary war and I think every war we’ve seen in the past 50 years was unnecessary. I find it disgusting that we spend so much time fighting in other countries when our own people are dying every day from a l lack of healthcare.

Individual Liberty

This is one area that I think Obama has failed us. He railed against Bush and the Patriot Act, but as president, Obama has not stopped it. In fact, in many ways he has expanded it. And our privacy has been decimated under Obama. I really hope he eventually sees the error of his ways on this issue.

Torture

I’m against it. When we engage in that kind of behavior, we become the very people we’re standing against. It makes me very sad that Obama didn’t keep his promise to shut down Gitmo.

Corporations

I think corporations have taken over this country and control the overwhelming majority of politicians. I find this disgusting.

***

Okay, so that’s it for me (for now). I’ll turn it over to Clyde….

Clyde here. I’m the “grumpy old man” in our duo of grumpy old men. I tend to rant and ramble, but hopefully I get my point across most of the time.

But just in case I don’t, here’s where I stand on certain issues (as of right now):

Clyde

Party Alignment

Never going to happen. I personally feel that if you’re one of those people who doesn’t do any homework at all on the candidates, then you go to the polls and just vote (R) or (D), then you’re pretty much an idiot. I know, that’s mean, but I call ’em the way I see ’em.

That being said, I do tend to lean a little to the left on social issues, and a bit to the right on fiscal issues. What does that make me? I like to think it makes me “a person” (not to be confused with a corporation).

Gun Control

I pretty much stand with Jerry on this one. He doesn’t own guns; I do. However, I know how to use them. I’m a firm believer that there should be training and a test before you’re allowed to buy a gun, and then you should have to take retraining every few years after your initial purchase. A pain in the ass? Sure, but I think it would cut down on a lot of the problems we have right now.

Abortion

I’m not a woman, so I have no legitimate opinion on this one. Skipping on to the next topic.

Obamacare

I’ve posted specifically why I need the ACA (you can read that here).

When it was first proposed, my family and I actually got into a fight about it. “I’m sorry, Clyde, that you have problems and can’t get insurance. But this whole Obamacare thing is not the way to go!” Well, I still say that you have to start somewhere, and anything is better than nothing.

War

Good God.

I hate it. I think the US has gone from the role of peacekeeper, to world police, and almost to the point of warmonger. Imperialism won’t make us any friends, and the way things are looking, I’d say we’re about to need a few.

Individual Liberty

I’ve been telling Jerry for years that we’re on our way to a police state. Look around you – it’s coming. And no, I’m not some conspiracy theory nut. I’m a realist. And if you can’t see the signs, then you need to pull your head out of the sand and look around.

Torture

Abhorrent behavior that should not be perpetuated or tolerated by our government. It’s 2013. We’re civilized. Let’s act like it.

Corporations

“But corporations are people, my friend!” This one line is enough to have made me never vote for Romney no matter what. Corporations, lobbying, lawyers, campaign finance – it’s all a bunch of hooey. They know it, we know it. The worst part? Nothing’s going to change.

So that’s it for me and Jerry. Now you know where we stand on a few core things.

Keep in mind that our opinions are subject to change on any given topic. And no, that doesn’t mean that we’re flip-floppers. That means that we’re humans who are intelligent enough to change our feelings based on new information.

If you want to get hold of us, you can reply here on one our posts, or you can email us at yourfaceispolitics@gmail.com.

You all take care, and have a good day.

Best,
Clyde O. Watson
Jerry Wilson

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10 responses »

  1. “On gun control, I think the debate is being dominated by money men with personal interests. I think the NRA doesn’t give a damn about gun safety or the people dying from guns. The NRA just cares about money.”

    The NRA has a very long history of caring a lot about gun safety and promoting gun safety. Don’t let your ignorance of the facts be influenced by all the negative propaganda by the media which hates the NRA.

    “I’m a firm believer that there should be training and a test before you’re allowed to buy a gun, and then you should have to take retraining every few years after your initial purchase. A pain in the ass? Sure, but I think it would cut down on a lot of the problems we have right now.”

    No it probably wouldn’t. It would just be a pain in the ass and an opportunity for the gun banners to make it as unreasonable and difficult as possible.

    lwk
    free2beinamerica2.wordpress.com

    Reply
    • Lwk2431, I appreciate your opinion on that, but my opinion isn’t based on ignorance or propaganda. It’s based on personal experience and the actual speeches that Wayne LaPierre has given.

      I’ve just noticed that every statement he’s given (that I’ve seen) in the past two years just coincidentally happens to be a stance that would sell more guns.

      I’m definitely not falling into left wing propaganda here. I completely oppose banning guns and I think Piers Morgan’s stance on this is idiotic. In this blog, I actually call out everybody on both sides:

      https://yourfaceispolitics.wordpress.com/2013/09/20/stop-pretending-you-have-the-answers/

      I also personally know three different people who have died from gun shots and another friend who almost died.

      One was a child who got his father’s gun. The child was the friend; I was a kid at the time. His father thought having the safety on and putting the gun in a drawer would be enough to save his boy. That was incredibly ignorant, but this was a very good and loving man who made a stupid mistake. And if he had taken any kind of gun training, he would not have made such a stupid mistake.

      Another was a friend of mine who was killed by his own father. His father had a deep history of mental illness and had tried to get a gun from a department store and failed. He later bought his gun from a gun show. Nobody in the family knew he had it. He killed my friend (his son), then killed himself. Closing that loophole might have saved both their lives. At the very least, it would have given my friend a chance to escape.

      The third was another friend who was a Vietnam vet. For years, he had a calm life with a good family. We all thought Vietnam was behind him. Then, one night, he thought the enemy was invading his home. He ushered his family outside then filled his house full of bullet holes. Luckily, nobody was hurt, but the house took a ton of damage. He also bought his gun at a gun show.

      Now maybe you’re right. Maybe stronger regulations wouldn’t have helped them. I happen to think it would have helped them. These are people I cared about very much and I think it’s worth going through checks that would be “a pain in the ass” if it saved even half of the people in situations like my friends.

      Again, I’m not anti-gun. I 100% support gun ownership. I do not want any guns banned. Not AR-15s, not high capacity ammo.

      I just want more research on gun violence and I want background checks that help to prevent people like those I mentioned get their hands on guns.

      But to oppose any and all regulations that might save lives is irresponsible at best and despicable at worst. 20 years ago, the NRA was a stand-up organization. Hell, in 1999, Pierre supported stronger background checks for closing the loopholes at gun shows. This is a direct quote from him during a Congressional hearing:

      “We think it’s reasonable to provide mandatory instant criminal background checks for every sale at every gun show. No loopholes anywhere for anyone. That means closing the Hinckley loophole so the records of those adjudicated mentally ill are in the system.”

      Now, he fights against that very thing.

      So please understand… my opinion is just an opinion, not a fact. But it is not made in ignorance and it is not because I listen to the left wing propaganda. I think they’re wrong too.

      Reply
      • ““We think it’s reasonable to provide mandatory instant criminal background checks for every sale at every gun show.”

        I have a proposal that would do that, and not violate basic rights.

        Universal Background Checks
        http://free2beinamerica2.wordpress.com/2013/08/28/universal-background-checks/

        lwk

      • LWK,

        I personally would be fine with the kind of check mentioned in that post. As I said before, I’m a gun owner myself, so I know the hassles that are sometimes involved when buying through an FFL.

        I still think training should be mandatory, and I think a retraining should be given every 5 or 10 years. Of course, I’m basing that on the people in my area. I don’t have any facts nationwide to back it up, but I know plenty of people in my area who are not safe with their guns at all.

        I remember way back when during high school – we had to take a hunter’s safety course whether we hunted or not. People would drive themselves to school, and it was nothing to walk through the parking lot and see deer rifles hung in the back windows of the pickups, usually because they’d been hunting that morning before school.

        I think I can speak for Jerry when I say that he would also be fine with the background check you’ve proposed. It’s logical and it makes sense.

        If only the people who made the laws could have this kind of a discourse, where there weren’t people taking specific sides based on the letter at the end of their name ~ (R) or (D), and they brought logical solutions to the table.

        Thanks for reading, and thanks for commenting!

        Best,
        Clyde O. Watson

      • lwk, we disagree on the motivations of the modern NRA (which is fine), but your suggestion is very similar to what I would want to happen as well. I personally prefer a system where people are licensed to own a gun and that licensing (among other things) requires one session of gun safety training.

        Then, all gun sales simply require the license be presented at the time of purchase. The federal government wouldn’t have a record of every gun purchase and the NRA could have “licensing drives” that would make it impossible for the federal government to assume every person with a license also owns a gun.

        So while we have some differences of opinion on this, I think we both want the same thing. We want to keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t own them.

        The one area we fundamentally disagree is this: I think the NRA would oppose both my suggestion and your suggestion. The quote I gave was from 1999. Since then Pierre has completely reversed his position.

        But over all, I compliment you on your thoughtful idea. It’s solution-oriented, which is far better than most proposals I see on both sides of this debate.

  2. Jerry wrote:

    “I just want more research on gun violence …”

    One thing you need to do is to really clarify what you mean be “gun violence.”

    Anti-gunners always use that term to include suicides. Roughly two thirds of deaths with firearms in the U.S. every year are suicides. So they would like you to believe that if we could get rid of those firearms we would save thousands of lives every year.

    They like to compare firearms deaths in the U.K. to the U.S. and declare that the U.S. is a terribly violent country. They will quote extrordinarily low firearms homicides in the U.K. but won’t tell you that in the U.K. a lot of people still kill each other without guns, and the number killed with guns is going up, not down (about double what is was when the ban was put in place).

    But the U.K. with their gun bans are getting worse than they used to be. The UN declared the U.K. the most violent country in Europe not long ago, but they won’t tell you that.

    The one thing they absolutely won’t tell you is that with only a fraction of the guns in the U.S., the suicide rate in the U.K. is nearly identical to the U.S.

    So what gives? I thought getting rid of guns would have greatly reduced the suicide rate there? Apparently not.

    People who commit suicide with guns really mean it. It is not a “cry for help” and if a gun is not available they will most often find another way. The Japanese without any guns still manage to kill themselves at an astounding rate.

    So first off, take two thirds of the “gun violence” out of the equation – the part for suicide. Getting rid of guns won’t help. Maybe we ought to do more about mental illness and finding ways to help people, but just taking guns away won’t do any more good here than in the U.K. in preventing suicide.

    The fact is that the real gun violence, violence of one person attacking another, happens largely in our inner cities. It involves gangs and the War on Drugs. In FBI stats for 2011 for homicide where the race of the offender was known it was black 52.4% of the time despite blacks being less than 14% of the population. And the victim was most often black.

    The truth is we have huge problems with crime and violence in our inner cities and it _hugely_ distorts our statistics. The huge distorter and mentioned above is suicide. Yes, people kill themselves with guns, but most of them would kill themselves anyway.

    Take the above two out, and America does not have any larger of a “gun violence” problem than lots of supposedly nice countries in Europe.

    My town in Texas is an arsenal. Yet our homicide rate most years is 0 per 100,000.

    “I want background checks that help to prevent people like those I mentioned get their hands on guns.”

    You could have them – I suggested a way involving driver’s licenses. But don’t have unrealistic expectations that they are actually going to make a huge difference. They sure the hell won’t make any difference in our inner cities.

    The problem is there is no check for a person’s inherent responsbility other than their track record.

    “But to oppose any and all regulations that might save lives is irresponsible at best and despicable at worst.”

    It is only despicable if you don’t understand what is going on. A lot of the proposals will have very limitied usefulness in stopping what they are supposed to stop. They are part of a larger campaign – masked in the rhetoric of “reasonable controls” – to literally disarm American. They are part of a campaign to turn a Constitutional right into something you have get permission for, jump through a thousand hoops to exercise, and have revoked on the flimsiest excuse.

    “…the loopholes at gun shows.”

    What exactly is the “gun show loophole”? How many gun shows have you been to lately?

    I go to a fair amount of them in Texas. Every FFL dealer I see at a gun show goes through the FBI NICS there just like they do in their regular business. That is the law. There is no loophole at gun shows for dealers. The vast majority of people selling guns at gun shows are dealers.

    Yes, there are private individuals selling guns, sometimes a guy walking around with a rifle over his shoulder with a “for sale” sign on it. But in the whole scheme of things, and from personal observation, those account for a tiny amount of sales at guns shows. Sometimes a guy will have some guns he is selling from his private collection. Most often not guns that gang bangers want. There are undercover BATFE agents at all of these and if some “private dealer” shows up very often he is most likely going to get arrested for being in the business of dealing in guns without a license.

    Yes, there will be table after table with hundreds and hundreds of handguns on them, but every single one of those with new guns will be FFL dealers without any “loophole.”

    “That was incredibly ignorant, but this was a very good and loving man who made a stupid mistake. And if he had taken any kind of gun training, he would not have made such a stupid mistake.”

    Then why don’t we have gun safety training in our schools? That is where it should be, but there are people out there who hate guns more than they love children.

    I had some driver training in the 1960s and have been driving ever since without one ounce of training since. Give kids real training in schools.

    regards,

    lwk

    Reply
    • First, let me repeat something just to make sure it’s clear: I do not support banning guns of any kind and I do not support banning ammo of any kind.

      I just want to make sure you’re aware that we’re on the same side of that because the first half of your post was about banning guns. I don’t think banning guns will accomplish anything.

      The gun ban is trying to address an issue that has nothing to do with gun violence: mass killings. Banning guns would accomplish absolutely nothing in regards to people getting shot by guns and mass killings has absolutely nothing to do with guns.

      So I’m not against you on gun bans.

      And I totally support gun safety training in school. Like Clyde mentioned, in our area we had hunter safety training in our school when we were kids and it was great.

      As for the rest of your points, I think I’m going to write a full gun control blog and we can move the debate to that forum. This is just a little “get to know us” blog.

      On 90% of the gun issues, we’re on the same side, lwk. We just have some very minor differences on how to get to the same end-goal and we have a difference of opinion on the motivations of the NRA.

      Reply
  3. “I do not support banning guns of any kind and I do not support banning ammo of any kind.”

    I understand. Sometimes I should qualify my remarks as “this is a general remark, and not aimed at you personally.” 🙂 I think I used the term “gun banners” earlier. When I wrote that I was not speaking of you, but to you. I was talking about people I consider to be our common enemy.

    “We just have some very minor differences on how to get to the same end-goal and we have a difference of opinion on the motivations of the NRA.”

    Well, the NRA is not some monolithic thing that walks totally in lockstep. It is a political organization and people vie to be its leaders, to formulate its policies, etc. And it changes from time to time in some ways.

    I don’t know that they are always perfect – no doubt they are not – but I am going to follow the strategy of not talking them down too much since they are doing so much to fight for my rights. I don’t approve of, or totally agree with everything every leader says (although I thought Keene was pretty damn good, and more sensible in the ears of a lot of people than LaPierre).

    regards,

    lwk

    Reply
    • Good points about the NRA leadership. In the future, I’ll change my wording from “The NRA” to “the current NRA leadership” because you’re right; there are many good folks within the ranks of the NRA and I shouldn’t lump them with the people I don’t like.

      That said (and this is purely my opinion based on my own perception of the things they do an say), I think the NRA as an organization has lost its way. I don’t think the NRA leadership is fighting for gun rights. I think they’re fighting to sell guns and raise membership.

      While I respect that it means they’re often helping with an issue you believe in strongly, I happen to think (again, my opinion) they’re hurting the cause of gun rights in the long run because they’re making gun owners look like zealots.

      People die every year because of lax background checks and gun show loopholes. You talked about how your Texas gun shows are diligent… well, that’s obviously not true nation-wide because I personally know two people who are dead now because deeply disturbed individuals were able to buy guns from a gun show.

      It absolutely does happen and if the NRA stands up to stop that from happening, I’ll alter my perception.

      And it can easily be stopped (or at least made more difficult).

      As long as the NRA chooses to let people like my friends die without even admitting it’s a problem, I’ll never support them.

      In my opinion, the best thing gun advocates can do is to acknowledge problems that exist in regards to violence and guns, then support nonpartisan research devoted to overcoming those problems. That keeps the anti-gun people from having any power in their fight to ban weapons.

      I do not think an organization that can only exist as long as people are buying guns can be trusted as objective.They obviously have an agenda.

      And I also do not think people who are openly advocating gun bans can be trusts as objective. They obviously have an agenda.

      You have, in fact, acknowledged there are problems and you even offered a good suggestion for a solution.

      The NRA won’t go that far and I personally think they’re hurting gun rights because of it. They’re painting gun advocates as extremists.

      Reply
      • On a side note, thanks for the respectful debate. This is exactly what we hoped would happen with this site. We love discussing this stuff with people, even when they disagree, without the all-caps, exclamation points, and name-calling.

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