The cowboy myth has once again exploded in our faces. As of last Sunday, the 216th day of the year, there had been 251 US mass shootings in 2019.
Sorry for the blood-dripping statistics, but numbers generate legislation, the reason the National Rifle Assassination got a law passed forbidding federal agencies from compiling shooting stats.
Did you know that about half the gun stores in the United States would go out of business if not dealing in the illegal arms trade to Mexican drug cartels and other nefarious outfits like the Saudi government?
Did you know that you can easily buy a fully automatic machine gun as easily as picking up a burger at McDonald’s?
“There is no comprehensive federal law against firearms trafficking, making investigations difficult and penalties relatively light,” Rolling Stone reported in its August edition.
“Guns are less tightly regulated than money orders,” the ‘Stone reported, adding “gun owners are almost untouchable” thanks to decades of NRA campaign money and lobbying, So what else is new?
About 12 million guns are produced in this country every year, up from three million 30 years ago.
Big bucks. Ride ‘em, cowboys!
Recommended reading: “Manifesto posted by El Paso gunman echoes Trump’s words” in Monday’s New York Times.
OXYMORON MORON: “There is no place for hate in America.”
Except in the White House.
ENDANGERED DEMOCRACY. “You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone,” wrote immortal singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell.
The Northern Nevada International Center (NNIC) frequently seeks dinner hosts for various visiting delegations. This month, delegations from countries including Guatemala, Mexico, El Salvador and Turkmenistan will visit northern Nevada.
I especially noticed that eight people from Kyrgyzstan will be here focusing on combating human trafficking. They are looking for a diplomacy dinner on August 12 or 13. If you can help, contact Executive Director Carina Black at or call (775) 784- 7515. Ms. Black expressed surprise when I told her I got her number out of something called a phone book. Such is the life of an analog man in a digital world.
A decade or so back, I hosted a Krgyzsian delegation on my talk TV show. Before airtime, I asked some mild questions. They politely declined to answer anything substantive thru their US State Dept. interpreter. In the studio, the most they would do is say “hello” and wave to my live audience.
That’s how cowed you become in a brutal dictatorship.
It can’t happen here, right? Right?
WE DON’T NEED NO EDUCATION. No response as yet from the school district regarding additional costs related to the shutdown of the administration building for two days in June. At least 95 employees got paid a total of $18,317.65, not counting soon-to-be-fired Superintendent Traci Davis’ salary for those days. They did not specify if that included benefits.
That figure did not reflect more than $8,400 to hire a political juice PR firm at $175 an hour while still paying a communications staff of about 30 professionals.
MEDIA COUP. Reno-Sparks NAACP President Lonnie Feemster got major ink in the summer edition of National Parks Magazine. The cover article is about renaming public locations which bear offensive names, including Nevada’s Jeff Davis Peak in Great Basin National Park.
“Some things are history and some are errors that need to be corrected,” he stated.
A Nevada lawmaker introduced a resolution for renaming. A high school student suggested honoring Heather Heyer, the woman killed protesting the infamous Charlottesville KKK rally.
Alaska’s Mount McKinley reverted to its original native name of Denali. The original Shoshone name for Davis Peak is Doso Doyabi, which translates as (drum roll, please) “WHITE mountain.”
Even a slavery supporting traitor like Jefferson Davis might appreciate that irony.
SAVE THE DATE: The 74th Annual NAACP Freedom Fund Banquet takes place Saturday, Oct. 19, at Reno’s Grand Sierra Resort. Contact me for reservations or head to RenoSparksNAACP.org/
I got Gov. Sisolak to keynote the César Chávez event last March and brought in a cherry 1965 Pink Cadillac convertible honoring Aretha Franklin at last year’s Freedom Fund soirée. Wish me luck in scoring a hat trick by topping those two.
SAY WHAT? Last week, Barbwire Confidential spies reported the tribulations of a guy trying to sign in his wife for a gynecological appointment: “Sir, I think you are in the wrong medical office,” stated a dead-serious nurse.
Things are getting worse. I got a call last Monday asking “Option 2. Option 2?”
“I think you have the wrong number, sir,” said I.
“Isn’t this a mental hospital?” the caller said.
Given this week’s news, perhaps I misinformed him.
Be well. Raise hell. Esté bien. Haga infierno.
Andrew Barbano is a 50-year Nevadan, editor of NevadaLabor.com and first vice-president of the Reno-Sparks NAACP. As always, his commentaries are strictly his own. E-mail Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988.