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Putting historical figures, gun deaths in perspective
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I'm not saying it can't be done but wow, the effort to raise a half-million dollars to fix up and paint the Ceres water tower is a daunting task.

The concept of getting 2,500 residents to donate $200 over a three-year period seems simple enough. But when I think about how few people even cared to vote in the last city election, I'm thinking the work is overwhelming.

Lee Brandt mentioned the name of Bill Gates. Bill, if you're listening, how would you like to sponsor a water tower in Central California?

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The insanity continues in the form on elected officials in a "tear it down mode" and trying to cleanse history.

The Los Angeles City Council voted last week to strike Columbus Day as a holiday. Chrissie Castro, vice chairwoman of the Los Angeles City-County Native American Indian Commission argued that the city needed to "dismantle a state-sponsored celebration of genocide of indigenous peoples."

The city will still give its employees the day off though. That's crap if you ask me.

The action has ticked off Italians, and rightly so. But the Indians are happy. Or maybe they won't be happy until the Little Big Horn Battlefield with its monuments are bulldozed.

The left may have contorted venerated hero Columbus a genocidal exterminationist but why not celebrate geologist and scientist Columbus, one of the world's greatest explorers? What snowflake today would have the drive, initiative and courage to guide a ship across uncharted high seas four times?

Columbus was not a perfect man, but neither was Martin Luther King Jr. who has a holiday in his name. Do King's extramarital affairs negate all the good he did? Should his holiday be revoked? Should schools named after promiscuous John F. Kennedy change their name because of Judith Campbell Exner, Marilyn Monroe, Mimi Alford, Blaze Starr and a host of other women he bedded?

What about Cesar Chavez and his holiday? Miriam Powell wrote about Chavez's flaws in her book, "The Crusades of Cesar Chavez," and has "encountered occasional hostility" with people telling her: "It's all true, but why do you have to write it? He's the only hero we have."

Apparently some people are allowed to ignore flaws about their heroes while illuminating the flaws of others' heroes. Thus, people like Father Junipero Serra are picked apart for their faults as less important figures are hailed mostly because of their sexuality - astronaut Sally Ride and Harvey Milk being case in point.

Slavery was a great evil of Columbus' day. It is still an evil today - sex trafficking is an epidemic - but laws no longer sanction the practice. Keep that in mind when you frame historical figures in the context of their day. It makes Columbus no less a great character in world history.

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Someone in Minnesota sent me this about guns.

There are 30,000 gun related deaths per year by firearms, and this number is not disputed. U.S. population 326,474,013 as of 2017. Do the math: 0.0000009189 percent of the population dies from gun-related actions each year.

Statistically speaking, this is insignificant.

What is never told is a breakdown of those 30,000 deaths, to put them in perspective as compared to other causes of death:

• 65 percent of those deaths are by suicide which would never be prevented by gun laws;

• 15 percent are by police officers in the line of duty and justified;

• 17 percent are through criminal activity, gang- and drug-related of mentally ill persons;

• 3 percent are accidental discharge deaths.

So technically, gun "violence" is not 30,000 annually, but drops to 5,100. Still too many? Well, first, how are those deaths spanned across the nation?

• 480 homicides (9.4 percent) were in Chicago;

• 344 homicides (6.7 percent) were in Baltimore;

• 333 homicides (6.5 percent) were in Detroit;

• 119 homicides (2.3 percent) were in Washington D.C.
So basically, 25 percent of all gun crime happens in just four cities which happen to have strict gun laws already, so it is not the lack of law that is the root cause.

This basically leaves 3,825 for the entire rest of the nation, or about 75 deaths per state. That is an average because some states have much higher rates than others.

Which state has the strictest gun laws by far? California, of course, but understand, it is not guns causing this. It is a crime rate spawned by the number of criminal persons residing in those cities. So if all cities and states are not created equally, then there must be something other than the tool causing the gun deaths.

Are 5,100 deaths per year staggering? How about in comparison to other deaths? All deaths are tragic and especially so when committed during a crime. Robbery, death, rape and assault is all done by criminals and thinking that criminals will obey laws is ludicrous.

But keep those 5,100 deaths in perspective:

• 40,000+ die from a drug overdose;

• 36,000 people die per year from the flu, far exceeding the criminal gun deaths;

• 34,000 people die per year in traffic fatalities (exceeding gun deaths even if you include suicide).
• 200,000+ people die each year (and growing) from preventable medical errors.

• 710,000 people die per year from heart disease. It's time to stop the double cheeseburgers! So what is the point?

If the anti-gun movement focused their attention on heart disease, even a 10 percent decrease in cardiac deaths would save twice the number of lives annually of all gun-related deaths. A 10 percent reduction in medical errors would be 66 percent of the total gun deaths or four times the number of criminal homicides.

So you have to ask yourself, in the grand schemes of things, why the focus on guns? It's pretty simple: Taking away guns gives control to governments.

The founders of this nation knew that regardless of the form of government, those in power may become corrupt and seek to rule as the British did by trying to disarming the populace of the colonies. It is not difficult to understand that a disarmed populace is a controlled populace.

Thus, the Second Amendment was proudly and boldly included in the U.S. Constitution. It must be preserved at all costs.

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The ACLU came under fire for Tweeting a photo of a small blonde-haired girl holding an American flag and a T-shirt reading "Free Speech." I'm amazed there was backlash from race-obsessed Twitter users. A NyashaJunior on Twitter replied: "A white kid with a flag?" A short while later ACLU posted: "When your Twitter followers keep you in check and remind you that white supremacy is everywhere."

An example of more racism?

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I have four children and love them all dearly but two of my sons will never see eye to eye with me politically.
Bret, who I accompanied to Oregon to see the total eclipse, often posts things with which I disagree. He believes in manmade global warming. I don't.

In response to the Hurricane hammering Texas, he wrote: "Once in 1000 year storms happening all the time now? And global warming isn't the cause my a--. Heat up a pot of water and it gets violent and boils. Heat the planet and it gets more violent. This is common sense people."

I answered: "I think you need to go back and study history. Check out what happened in Galveston Texas in 1900. You can't blame that one on global warming or climate change or whatever else you want to call it."

He replied back: "Dad, I'm not blaming individual storms on global warming. I'm saying that when you heat up any system it has more energy and behaves more violently, so storms are more intense. You are talking about a storm from 100 years ago. We've had several ‘once in a long time' storms in the past 10 years alone. There's a reason for this, it's man-made, and it's caused by carbon dioxide buildup. It's ok, you can be wrong on this issue all you want."

This morning I listened to a meteorologist (who happens to be a Christian) on the radio who said while the planet has warmed up slightly in its natural cycles, CO2 only represents 0.04 percent of our atmosphere.

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How Americans perceive news differently:

Trump tweeted: "It's time to reduce the crushing tax burden on our companies and on our workers. Let's come together as Americans to create the 21st century tax code that our people deserve!"

How conservatives hear it: "Great! Reducing taxes on companies will bring back jobs and spread the wealth."

How the left hears it: "My free services are threatened. No, keep soaking the rich to give to the poor."

Do you have any feedback about this column? Let Jeff know by emailing him at
He will read it, promise.