Mass Shootings

What Kind Of Flood?


cjones09272019

Honestly, when “breaking news” about Texas was announced on my TV Thursday, I half expected it to be another mass shooting.

While flooding is terrible, especially for Houston which is still recovering from a flood two years ago, it was kinda refreshing that breaking news out of Texas wasn’t about a mass shooting. This is where we are, folks.

If there’s one place in this nation where a large percentage of the population treats their guns like their babies, and even values them over the lives of children, it’s Texas.

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As I noted in a previous cartoon, these are perilous times for political cartoonists. But you can help me continue to create cartoons, blogs, and videos by making a contribution. All support, large and small, is greatly appreciated. You can also support me by purchasing a signed print (8 1/2×11) for $40, or a signed poster (18×24) for $100 by clicking the PayPal button (just include a note if you’re purchasing a print). If you want to support but don’t want to use PayPal, you can send a contribution through the mail (address is on the contact page. Again, include a note for a print).I don’t plan on going anywhere and your support will help guarantee that. Whether you support, can’t. or just choose not to, please know that I am truly thankful that you visit my site and read my work.

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Inhaling The NRA


cjones09202019

Vaping has been promoted as safer than cigarettes. Now, with six deaths and hundreds of previously healthy teens and adults suddenly stricken with respiratory damage, all blamed on vaping, there’s talk of banning the battery-powered e-cigarettes in the United States.

Vaping has become very popular. It’s a way to smoke without the smoke. Some kids even sneak the devices and puff on them in classrooms. They come in all sorts of flavors, like mango, tangerine, creme, bubble gum, and even Fruity Pebbles. Now, with a push by Melania out of fear her son, Barron (who Trump referred to as “her son”), Donald Trump is proposing a ban on flavored e-cigarettes.

Vaping is not healthy. Granted, health professionals who tell you vaping is bad do acknowledge it’s safer than cigarettes. But, banning the flavors isn’t a solution. The health risk is not in the flavors. According to doctors who have studied the issue, the real risk appears to be vitamin E acetate, which is a derivative of THC-containing e-cigarettes, and other contaminants found in black market products. Banning the flavors is an effort to make us feel good that we’re doing something. By the way, we still haven’t banned actual cigarettes which kills 480,000 Americans a year. Vaping has been accused of killing six. Back in the 1980s, we banned lawn darts after they killed three children.

The thing is, like cigarettes, there are already bans on selling e-cigarettes to minors. That didn’t stop the tobacco companies from targeting minors with cartoon characters until all the states banned together and sued them in the 1990s.

The worldwide market for vaping products was estimated at about $11.5 billion in 2018. Sales of Juul, one of the top brands, rose more than 600% in a year to $16.2 million in 2017. While vaping is marketed to help people quit smoking actual cigarettes, it’s now being blamed for creating nicotine habits among young people. There was a decline in tobacco use among young people for several years until e-cigarettes came along. Now, the use of tobacco among kids has risen 38% in recent years.

So, with a feel-good ban coming, what are vaping companies to do? For starters, they should take about $30 million of that $11 billion or so they made in 2018 and put it into the Trump campaign. Maybe while lobbying in Washington they can stay at the Trump Hotel.

The National Rifle Association spent $30 million on the Trump campaign in 2016 (with some of that money coming from Russia). When Trump starts talking about restricting sales and background checks on guns, he’s mouthing off before Wayne LaPierre, the chief executive of the NRA has gotten to him. He’s talked big about background checks twice before backing off after the NRA has grabbed his ears. The Republican U.S. Senate is refusing to do anything about guns because they actually don’t know where Trump stands. It depends on what time it is.

Between 1999 and 2017, over 38,000 children died from gun violence. In 2018 alone, 73 children under the age of 12 were accidentally killed by guns. We banned lawn darts after three kids died. The lawn dart lobby sucks. Now, after six deaths that may not even be the fault of vaping is going to lead to the ban of flavored vaping. Why isn’t it “too soon” to talk about banning vaping? Where are the thoughts and prayers?

Donald Trump doesn’t care about vaping. He doesn’t even care about guns. He cares about the dollars and his ego. If for some reason the NRA decided to defend vaping and called Trump, he’d backtrack on his previous comments against vaping. His wife would never mention it again. It’d be like that time Ivanka tweeted criticism about Roy Moore then shut up after her daddy endorsed the pedophile.

Trump is owned by whoever spends money on him. It’s why Saudi Arabia can kill journalists without consequences. Hopefully, someday we’ll get to see his taxes and find out exactly how much Russia has invested in him. Trump is the most corrupt president in American history.

Don’t be surprised if in the future you see an overabundance of orange vape flavors. Just don’t inhale.

Support the cartoonist.

As I noted in a previous cartoon, these are perilous times for political cartoonists. But you can help me continue to create cartoons, blogs, and videos by making a contribution. All support, large and small, is greatly appreciated. You can also support me by purchasing a signed print (8 1/2×11) for $40, or a signed poster (18×24) for $100 by clicking the PayPal button (just include a note if you’re purchasing a print). If you want to support but don’t want to use PayPal, you can send a contribution through the mail (address is on the contact page. Again, include a note for a print).I don’t plan on going anywhere and your support will help guarantee that. Whether you support, can’t. or just choose not to, please know that I am truly thankful that you visit my site and read my work.

You can purchase a signed print of this cartoon.

Watch me draw.

F’ed Up


cjones09092019

America’s latest mass shooting killed 7 and injured 22.

A 36-year-old man, fired from his job hours earlier on Saturday, led police on a high-speed chase where he fired an AR-15 style assault rifle indiscriminately at motorists and officers. Police initially tried to pull the suspect over for failing to use a turn signal, which turned into a chase that created 15 crime scenes along the highway between Midland and Odessa which included car dealerships and shopping mall. The man hijacked a postal van before he was finally shot and killed in the parking lot of a movie theater.

Those killed raned in age from 15 to 57, including the driver of the postal van. One of the injured was a 17-month-old toddler who is recovering from shrapnel in her chest. This occurred one day before 10 new laws loosening gun restrictions took effect in Texas. Some of the new laws are that renters can’t prohibit guns from being stored or carried onto their properties and schools can’t enforce gun safety rules for staff and visitors.

The governor argued that the new laws were enacted “for the purpose of making the community safer.” The National Rifle Association praised the governor and state legislature for “protecting your Second Amendment rights.” There have been five mass shootings in Texas over the past three years. Apparently, the state with the most guns doesn’t have enough guns yet to make it safe (and the majority of gun owners are white men). Texas has the most lax gun laws in the nation and they haven’t made the connection yet as to why they also lead the country in mass shootings.

Donald Trump said Saturday’s shooting could have been worse and that background checks wouldn’t have stopped Saturday’s shooting spree. Texas Governor Greg Abbott said he was “heartbroken” and “tired of the dying of the people of the state of Texas,” and then he cried about the threat to gun rights.

And then, conservatives and gun owners finally found something about a mass shooting to get upset about. Beto O’Rourke dropped an F-bomb.

O’Rourke told CNN’s Dana Bash. “The rhetoric that we’ve used — the thoughts and prayers that you just referred to — it has done nothing to stop the epidemic of gun violence to protect our kids, our families, our fellow Americans in public places — at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, where 22 were killed, in Sutherland Springs — in a church. One or two a day all over this country; 100 killed daily in the United States of America. We’re averaging about 300 mass shootings a year. No other country comes close.” And then he said, “So yes, this is fucked up.” He used the word again while campaigning in Virginia.

Immediately, Fox News ran a segment on CNN’s failure to bleep out the F-bomb. Conservatives took to social media, pausing from defending guns, to express outrage at Beto’s profanity.

Beto later tweeted, “Profanity is not the f-bomb. What is profane is a 17 month-old baby being shot in the face.”

Beto’s language isn’t the outrage.

If you’re still defending private ownership of assault weapons, that’s fucked up.

If you’re more upset over talk about gun control than deaths from mass shootings, that’s fucked up.

If you value guns over the lives of children, that’s fucked up.

If you’re a member of the National Rifle Association, that’s fucked up.

If you’re OK that we have to have metal detectors at school entrances and we have to send our children to class in bulletproof backpacks, that’s fucked up.

If you’re more upset over Beto saying “fuck” than you are about murder victims, that’s fucked up.

If you think it’s more upsetting for children to hear the F word on TV than to have to endure coverage of another mass shooting, that’s fucked up.

If you think a mass shooter being shot by a “good guy with a gun” after he kills 26 and injures 20 (Sutherland Springs, Texas, 2017) is proof the “good guy with a gun” argument works, that’s fucked up.

Quite frankly, you “Second Amendment” people’s priorities are fucked up.

The shooters neighbor said, “Although I feel bad about the situation, I feel at ease knowing that he was killed. That tells me the threat has been removed and my family is safe again.”

Here’s the thing. His family isn’t safe again (especially in Texas), and THAT’S FUCKED UP.

Support the cartoonist.

As I noted in a previous cartoon, these are perilous times for political cartoonists. But you can help me continue to create cartoons, blogs, and videos by making a contribution. All support, large and small, is greatly appreciated. You can also support me by purchasing a signed print (8 1/2×11) for $40, or a signed poster (18×24) for $100 by clicking the PayPal button (just include a note if you’re purchasing a print). If you want to support but don’t want to use PayPal, you can send a contribution through the mail (address is on the contact page. Again, include a note for a print).I don’t plan on going anywhere and your support will help guarantee that. Whether you support, can’t. or just choose not to, please know that I am truly thankful that you visit my site and read my work.

You can purchase a signed print of this cartoon.

Watch me draw.

How Did You Spend Your Summer?


CNN09012019

Here’s your cartoon for CNN’s weekly newsletter, Provoke/Persuade. Please sign up to get these in your inbox every Sunday for the rest of your life.

For this week’s newsletter, CNN Opinion turned it over to their readers to share how they spent their summer. My editors asked me to come up with something on the topic. This was my very first idea but we weren’t sure if we should go with it as the subject has some overlap with a cartoon I drew for them two weeks ago. Now, I think it’s more than appropriate because events are overlapping.

Yesterday, there was another mass shooting. Another mass shooting in Texas. A gunman killed seven and wounded 22.

A colleague of mine published a cartoon on gun violence a few hours before the El Paso shooting. A lot of readers praised him for his timing. The same thing is happening to me today. But, c’mon. This is America. If you draw a cartoon about gun violence, you have a pretty good (no pun intended) shot of that cartoon landing on the same day as a mass shooting. We’re not psychics. Gun violence is as common in this country as Donald Trump saying something idiotic or racist. There is too much gun violence in this country. Why?

Because it’s too easy to get a gun. Because there are too many guns. Because there are too many people valuing their “gun rights” over lives.

Beto O’Rourke said, “This is fucked up.” I don’t have anything to add to that.

Support the cartoonist.

As I noted in a previous cartoon, these are perilous times for political cartoonists. But you can help me continue to create cartoons, blogs, and videos by making a contribution. All support, large and small, is greatly appreciated. You can also support me by purchasing a signed print (8 1/2×11) for $40, or a signed poster (18×24) for $100 by clicking the PayPal button (just include a note if you’re purchasing a print). If you want to support but don’t want to use PayPal, you can send a contribution through the mail (address is on the contact page. Again, include a note for a print).I don’t plan on going anywhere and your support will help guarantee that. Whether you support, can’t. or just choose not to, please know that I am truly thankful that you visit my site and read my work.

You can purchase a signed print of this cartoon.

Watch me draw.

Bulletproof The Baby


CNN08112019

Here’s your cartoon for CNN’s weekly newsletter, Provoke/Persuade. Please sign up to get these in your inbox every Sunday for the rest of your life.

Rich, my editor at CNN sent me a story about bulletproof backpacks. He told me it made him sad. It makes me sad too that now bulletproof backpacks are on the back-to-school shopping list. That’s a little messed up.

If conservatives get their solution, there will be armed guards at every school, mall, Wal-Mart, theater, shopping center, nightclub, etc. For gun nuts, forcing parents to spend $300 on an item that protects your child if a shooter only aims at their back at the right time of day is a better solution than having fewer shooters.

It’s not that I’m against bulletproof backpacks. I’m against the need for bulletproof backpacks. We don’t need assault rifles in the hands of private ownership. We just don’t. I’m against this environment where parents can’t focus solely on their children’s education without worrying whether they’re going to come home alive.

Republicans are against increasing fundings in education. They’re against feeding the poor kids. But, they’ll gladly support increased spending to put armed guards in every school.

And the president? He and Melania posed with a baby who is now an orphan because its parents were killed by a white supremacist motivated by Trump’s rhetoric. Trump would rather focus on protecting his feelings than that child. They don’t make backpacks that will protect Donald Trump’s thin skin, but they do make a news network for that.

We shouldn’t need bulletproof backpacks to protect our children. You don’t need an assault rifle to protect yourself. Nobody needs a narcissistic, whiny, thin-skinned, man-baby president.

Support the cartoonist

As I noted in a previous cartoon, these are perilous times for political cartoonists. But you can help me continue to create cartoons, blogs, and videos by making a contribution. All support, large and small, is greatly appreciated. You can also support me by purchasing a signed print (8 1/2×11) for $40, or a signed poster (18×24) for $100 by clicking the PayPal button (just include a note if you’re purchasing a print). If you want to support but don’t want to use PayPal, you can send a contribution through the mail (address is on the contact page. Again, include a note for a print).I don’t plan on going anywhere and your support will help guarantee that. Whether you support, can’t. or just choose not to, please know that I am truly thankful that you visit my site and read my work.

You can purchase a signed print of this cartoon.

Watch me draw.

Rock Star


cjones08152019

I’ve mentioned this before. I don’t hate Donald Trump. I don’t like the guy but I don’t hate him. I hate President Donald Trump.

At some point, in the better interest of their nation, Trump’s supporters in Congress, his party, the Trump cult, and even within his own family need to stop pretending that this guy is anything better than a vile, disgusting, racist, sexist, stupid grifter who doesn’t have any business being in the Oval Office, flying in Air Force One, representing our nation, and having access to the codes of our nuclear weapons (I wouldn’t want someone like Trump in charge of selecting a cable provider). Half the nation understands we’re better than this. The other half doesn’t.

The people Trump hires are assigned to work for Donald Trump, not the president. It’s their job to represent the Trump organization rather than the office of the presidency. The Trump brand is a higher priority than say, national security, the economy, or even comforting victims of a national tragedy.

People who work for Trump sacrifice their professional reputations working for a whiny, narcissistic grifter. Sean Spicer, Kellyanne Conway, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, or Omarosa will never be taken seriously again. But in their defense, they’re poor examples because they weren’t taken seriously before working for Trump. Trump hires walking jokes.

Sean Spicer’s very first press briefing was on fictional crowd sizes. Kellyanne has promoted Trump products in her official capacity of whatever it is she’s supposed to be doing. Huckasans spent her entire tenure as press secretary lying and screaming at the media. This is why nobody wants them in their restaurants.

Shortly after Trump’s visits to Dayton and El Paso to meet with the victims of two mass shootings who didn’t refuse to see him, The White House put out a propaganda video of Trump grinning and giving the thumbs-up sign with people fawning over him. These were basically no different than when he crashes weddings at his shitty golf clubs. The victims and wedding guests would be better served by hiring a drunk clown to make balloon animals. Not much of a difference except Trump can’t make balloon animals.

The new White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham, who will never be taken seriously again, told the press their access was restricted during the visits because it was “about the victims and their families and thanking medical staff. It wasn’t about a photo-op for the president and the first lady.” That makes sense. But if it’s not about a “photo-op” for the president then why did they create a campaign ad out of it? It’s no wonder none of the El Paso victims who were still in the hospital agreed to meet with Trump. If I was lying in a hospital bed after being shot up, I wouldn’t want to be propagandized either. Also, I wouldn’t want to meet Trump because I’d be sick enough already.

The victims also refused to meet with Texas senator Ted Cruz, but you don’t have to be shot to not want to meet with Ted Cruz.

Even without the video, Trump had tweeted multiple photos of the same scenes of him grinning, thumbs up, people fawning, etc. This was a photo-op though none of the photos had Ted Cruz in them because…ew.

Dan Scavino, the White House director of Social Media and Assistant to the president, tweeted out that Trump was greeted like a “rock star.”

Trump whined throughout his trip about the way he was treated while also boasting about the way he was treated. While the White House sent out official statements about how successful the trip was, anonymous sources from within the White House told Maggie Haberman of The New York Times that the trip was a “debacle.” According to Haberman, “They wanted him to go in and behave differently. The goal was for him to go in and get out while making as little news as possible.” They have met Trump before, right?

Dayton mayor Nan Whaley told reporters afterward that she wished Trump had focused more on the victims of gun violence. Instead, Trump made it about himself.

We have to stop pretending this is normal. This business of a 72-year-old baby masquerading as a president is not normal. This is one of the many reasons why he’s not my president. Trump supporters, this isn’t normal.

And it’s not going to be normal until long after the narcissist has left the building.

Creative note: I just found out it’s Elvis Week. I didn’t plan this.

Support the cartoonist

As I noted in a previous cartoon, these are perilous times for political cartoonists. But you can help me continue to create cartoons, blogs, and videos by making a contribution. All support, large and small, is greatly appreciated. You can also support me by purchasing a signed print (8 1/2×11) for $40, or a signed poster (18×24) for $100 by clicking the PayPal button (just include a note if you’re purchasing a print). If you want to support but don’t want to use PayPal, you can send a contribution through the mail (address is on the contact page. Again, include a note for a print).I don’t plan on going anywhere and your support will help guarantee that. Whether you support, can’t. or just choose not to, please know that I am truly thankful that you visit my site and read my work.

You can purchase a signed print of this cartoon.

Watch me draw.

Love Mass Shootings


cjones02252018

Donald Trump said the National Rifle Association is full of good people, which puts them in exclusive company because that’s the same thing he said about Nazis. Congrats, NRA.

If you watched just a few seconds of the speeches by NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre and spokesgoon Dana Loesch, you’ll see why they might belong in the same company.

Wayne LaPierre said gun control advocates hate freedom. Loesch said the “legacy media” loves mass shootings and “crying white mothers” are ratings gold. Donald Trump said we should have a rating system for violent video games and movies, which we’ve had since 1968. Maybe the president should focus on issues occurring during this century.

Trump said the NRA is willing to work with gun advocates for gun safety. I watched some of the CPAC speeches and I didn’t detect any willingness on their part to work on actual gun safety. Instead, there was the repeated dumb solution of introducing more guns to combat the gun problem. Trump also repeated the NRA’s talking points.

The NRA tossed around a lot of blame for mass shootings. They blamed Obama, liberals, the Democratic Party, Salon, Slate, The Washington Post, The New York Times, CNN, Chris Murphy, Nancy Pelosi, the Internal Revenue Service, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Chuck Schumer, the FBI, the socialist agenda, liberal college campuses, Black Lives Matter, Antifa, Mexico, China, Europeans, elites, intellectuals, George Soros, Michael Bloomberg, NFL players, Loretta Lynch, Hillary Clinton, and James Comey. It was like a game of hate bingo.

That is not a complete list, but do you see one item missing? Guns. Specifically, assault weapons. The NRA is not willing to work with anyone on gun safety if they can’t acknowledge the fact that assault weapons are the root cause of the problem.

When someone walks into a room with a gun, you don’t think “hey, an insane gun.” Your first thought is, “that guy has a gun.” It’s the guns, people. Sure, there are other contributors, but it starts with the guns.

The NRA only cares about the bottom line for gun sales. In fact, each time there’s a mass shooting, gun sales go up.

Assault weapons are not necessary for home protection. If you need an assault weapon to hit your target, you shouldn’t own a gun. But, I’m not proposing an outright ban on assault rifles. People should still be allowed to own them. They just shouldn’t be allowed to take them home. We need a law that requires assault weapons, such as the AR15, to remain at rifle ranges. That way you haven’t lost your right to own anything. You still own it. You can go to the range and bear that thing all day long, or up until closing time.

Banning bump stocks and raising the age to purchase an assault rifle to 21 is a good start, but it’s not enough. Nobody needs to shoot 30 rounds in a minute to protect their home. You still have regular rifles, shotguns, and pistols. If you’re really good with guns, you’ll only need one bullet.

The lives of children are more important than some warped interpretation of the Second Amendment. The lives of children are more important than the testosterone rush of holding a big gun.

You can still buy T-shirts that say “I have a big penis.”

Come back later for the video. 

I want to thank everyone who has donated in the past. Your support helps me continue creating cartoons and columns with a little less stress in my life. Between competing syndicates with much larger resources, timid editors, and Trump supporters who attempt to intimidate the editors who do publish anything that criticizes their idol, it’s a challenge to make a career out of this. So your support (if you can) is appreciated. Want to help me continue to create cartoons and keep doing what I’m doing (pissing off conservatives)? Look to the right of this page and make a donation through PayPal. Every $40 donation will receive a signed print (please specify which print you want or I won’t mail one). All donations will receive my eternal gratitude