Used care dealers are not known for their fulsome honesty and bedrock integrity – “he has the moral character of a used car salesman” goes a popular pithy phrase – but one Mike Hagan of “Hagan’s Motor Pool Auto Repair and Sales” up in Rochester, New Hampshire, has mounted a unique (hopefully!) sales promotion.  Sure, we all know the clichéd bank promotions of years gone by “Open An Account; Get A Free Toaster!” (electric blanket, clock radio,  microwave) but Mike has inventively upped the anti when it comes to iconic sales promotions by giving a free assault weapon, an AR-15, with every used car purchase.   Mike is an Afghanistan war veteran, so we can assume that he knows how deadly are AR-15’s.

Mike’s sales promotion began prior to the Orlando massacre so he is absolved of any anti-gay or pro-jihadist sentiments.  In defense, he offers the following:

“We’re giving these weapons away for people who can lawfully obtain them (the requisite paperwork and background checks are done by a local Rochester gun shop) and we’re confident that they’re going to maintain them responsibly.”  (Neglecting, perhaps, to consider the fact that as far as I know every mass killer using an AR-15 has obtained it legally.) 

But as one local resident, Jen Marks, stated on a local television station:  “To me, that’s just getting more of the nut jobs out there to do more harm to people who don’t deserve it.”  And this from area resident, Lynn Pelletier: "My opinion?  Military and the police are the only ones who should have them.”

Me?  I could not agree more with Jen and Lynn.  Sure, what Mike is doing is perfectly legal given that Congress allowed the Assault Weapons Ban they adopted in 1994 to expire ten years later in 2004.  But how is it that someone thinks putting deadly weapons originally designed for and used by soldiers on the battlefield in the hands of ordinary citizens NOT on the battlefield is a good idea?  Imagine, if you will, the national apoplectic outrage that would crash down on upon us if banks started giving out free birth control.  Yet we don’t have a problem with handing out guns (assault weapons) for free along with your purchase of a 1999 Dodge Durango?  What kind of country is this? The full article is here:  FREE AR-15 WITH CAR PURCHASE

But here’s exactly what “kind of country” we seem to have become.  Last night as I was scrolling through my Comcast menu, I noticed that Fox was offering us two particularly relevant program delights in the wake of the Orlando slaughter.  I did not note the titles of the shows but they went more or less like this:  On the O’Reilly Factor, it was “Terrorism Comes to America” and on Sean Hannity it was “Hannity: Islamist Jihadist Terrorism Sweeps the Nation.”  Plus, in breathless anticipation of what was to come, Fox promoted a full day of “Muslim Terrorism In America” programming tomorrow.   Apparently Fox isn't interested that, so far at least, there is no direct connection between Omar Mateen and any Islamist Jihadist Terrorist group.  

Let’s recap the facts for a moment.  Last year alone saw the following: 372 mass shootings in the U.S. in 2015, killing 475 and wounding 1,870.  So far, at least since 9-11, there were two mass shootings by bonafide Islamist-Jihadist-Muslims, San Bernardino and Fort Hood where a total of 27 people were killed.  (I will not include Orland for the time being).  So the hard, cold facts is that it’s not self-radicalized, ISIS inspired, jihadist terrorist Muslims who are the problem, who are the folks at the forefront of slaughtering innocent Americans, but home grown, presumably patriotic, Americans who, whether for ideological reasons, mental health problems or taking revenge on past slights, bullying and harassment, have taken it upon themselves to slaughter their fellow Americans in pretty vast numbers.  This is the real problem.  

But if you watch Fox News one would come away with the picture that America is awash in secret cabals of “Radical Islamist Terrorists” cells just waiting to slaughter as many Americans as possible.  This is simply not true. It's false, a lie, if you will.  But Fox will continue to excite and enrage its viewers into a frenzy of anti-Muslim and anti-Obama outrage because this is what their viewers firmly believe.   The fact is we don’t have a Muslim terrorist problem, we have a right wing propaganda problem.  From “cutting taxes creates jobs” to “gay marriage will destroy the American family” to “Planned Parenthood Sells Baby Parts For Profit” to “Hillary Clinton Issued A Stand Down Order in Benghazi” to "Obama Is A Secret Muslim Who Sympathizes With Islamic Jihadists" this kind of fact-less, corrosive propaganda has issued from right wing pundits and politicians for decades.  The video clip below is from before Obama was elected. 

Is it any wonder then, that Donald Trump - who’s supporters are drawn from the same intellectually challenged gene pool as Fox News watchers – calls for rounding up Muslims, banning Muslims and killing the families of Muslim terrorists and gets a pass from Fox and the Trumpettes for such profoundly abhorrent statements? 

Not really. 

PS:  This morning as I was checking out Fox News (yes, they are glomming onto the Islamic Jihadist Muslim Terrorist theme), I am happy to inform you that one Lt. Colonel Ralph Peters - a Fox "intelligence analyst" - is leading the "It's Obama's fault," "Muslim Terrorists Are Taking Over The U.S." broadcasts to provide his superb commentary today.  Brother Ralph was actually suspended by Fox for two weeks as a result of his "intemperate" comments about President Barack Obama during one of his spot-on commentaries.  

Glad to see that he's back to inform that slice of the American populace who are welcoming the spread of Fascism across the land.   

Just what we need.  


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