Repeal and Replace

With strong advocacy by Antonin Scalia, the Supreme Court has essentially eliminated the first four words from the Second Amendment. So in practice the meaning is exactly what the NRA wants it to be — “Being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.”

Scalia was all about “original intent” in the Constitution, and yet regarding the Second Amendment he insisted upon a radical reinterpretation. One of the four justices dissenting against Scalia was John Paul Stevens. Now retired, Stevens has proposed this amended wording to clarify the original meaning of the Second Amendment.

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms — when serving in the Militia — shall not be infringed.”

Leave it to the Public Domain

Is “Leave it to Beaver” in the public domain? Because every episode is on Archive.org. MeTV is still showing them, and if the series were in the public domain you’d think it would be on a lot of channels.

On Facebook, Jerry Mathers recently pointed out that he had worked with Hugh Beaumont before LITB. Watching this promotional film for a cemetery, you can see why Hugh was hired to play Ward Cleaver.

Facebook the Music

Wild-eyed NRA executive vice president and CEO, Wayne LaPierre, frantically working the crowd at the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference at National Harbor in Oxen Hill, Md. Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Two things yesterday really set me off. First it was Trump’s suggestion that the way to protect schools from gun violence is more guns, by arming teachers. I’ve heard that one before from the NRA, and it means accepting that school shootings are here to stay. Then there was the outrageous and malicious claim by the alt-right that some of the students are “crisis actors” brought in from the outside to further the anti-gun agenda of Democrats. I assume they say things like that because they know their audience will believe them. Very scary indeed.

So for better or for worse, I have not only followed some of the exchanges on Facebook regarding gun control, I have also participated in them. I had fun taunting some of the most extreme pro-gun fanatics, with statements like, “saying ‘gun nut’ is redundant.” From watching, and being a part of, the bile-filled online back-and-forth I am now certain that the manipulation of social media around “hot button” issues is a very real and serious problem, and it’s not just the Russians doing it.

Change is Coming

All of these high school students who are really scared and mad and motivated to demand meaningful gun regulation will soon be of voting age. The lost lives haven’t been enough to bring change, but I like to think we are getting closer to the day when the money the NRA pays to politicians won’t be enough to compensate them for the lost votes.

Keep on Truckin’

Keep on Truckin’ © R. Crumb

This post isn’t about the Grateful Dead, and it isn’t about Robert Crumb, but there is a cartooning connection. It was a surprise for me when it came up in this “Fresh Air With Terry Gross” podcast. I recommend listening to the entire interview, but if you don’t want to wait to find out, listen to enough of it to get the gist, then jump to about 24:00.

Revisionist History

One of the features I get with my $15/year GoComics subscription is “Tom the Dancing Bug” by Ruben Bolling. That’s a pseudonym, by the way, so he isn’t the son of Little Archie cartoonist Bob Bolling. His undergraduate degree is in Economics (yeah!) and he attended Harvard Law School. Bolling excels at on-target absurdist interpretations of current events. Click to enlarge, of course.