Saturday, April 27, 2013

Ramifications From Senators' Votes On Gun Control

Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)
 Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) (Associated Press)

 Business Insider

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), who co-sponsored the amendment with West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin, saw his approval rating jump to 48 percent in a new Quinnipiac poll. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), who voted against the measure, saw her approval rating dip to 44 percent in a new Public Policy Polling survey.
For both, the swings were drastic. Toomey now has an approval-to-disapproval split of 48-30, a net increase of 7 points from March. His approval held steady among Republicans, and he gained ground with Independents and Democrats.

recent Fox News poll
Fox News poll gun control

Ohio 10-Year-old Dead in Shooting Accident - No Charges

SF Gate

Sheriff's deputies say a 10-year-old central Ohio boy died when he was accidentally shot while he and other children were playing with a shotgun.

The Morrow County Sheriff's Office said Dalton Wayne Taylor was shot in the chest in his family's garage at about 6 p.m. Thursday near Marengo, about 40 miles north of Columbus.

The sheriff's office said it is unclear who fired the gun and how, but Dalton apparently did not shoot himself.

The gun was left in the garage with other hunting gear. Deputies didn't know if it was loaded prior to the children finding it or if they loaded it.

The boy's father was home at the time but was in the back yard, the sheriff's office said.

Update from Fox

Taylor's father called 911 while frantically trying to save his son's life after the shooting. During the call, the man is heard blaming himself for leaving the gun in the garage. 

"The family is crushed right at the moment," Brenneman said. "How else could you be? They're just devastated." 

Investigators are still working to determine the details of the shooting, but Sheriff Brenneman said he does not expect charges to be filed.
Why in the world would there be no charges? Is everyone so devastated by the results of this negligence that they feel no charges are necessary?

Is that right?  What's your opinion?

Friday, April 26, 2013

Reality Check!

The Atlantic came up with a piece titled Owning Guns Doesn't Preserve Freedom which basically backs up what I have been saying about personal guns protecting freedom being rubbish. After all, the Iraquis had loads of guns. And heavily-armed Yemen (54.8) and Saudi Arabia (35.0) remain among the most repressive countries in the world (Yes, Orlon, I know this stuff is hard for you to understand, but that never stops you from making idiotic comments).

 The article points out that:
A quick scan through the list continues the point. Chile (10.7) comes in with the same arms rate as Venezuela, but the nations present starkly divergent civil freedoms. Russia (8.9) is slightly more armed than Ireland (8.6). The Netherlands (3.9) is on par, as far as weapons go, with oppressive Turkmenistan (3.8). Israel and Georgia see the same arms rate as Iran and Belarus and yet exist on opposite ends of Freedom House's rank.
The best quote:
"This relationship between gun rates and [democracy] isn't based upon social science - it's based upon philosophy," said Aaron Karp, a political science professor at Old Dominion University and one of the Small Arms Survey's senior consultants. "Part of the reason why people who are advocates of individual gun rights tend to be opposed to social science is that they're not comfortable with it." 
And while you are reading that article, check out the related Great Gun Gobbledygook: The Paradox of Second Amendment Hardliners:

In the current debate over gun control, the pro-gun lobby has an ace card up its sleeve: We need weapons to prevent government tyranny, they say. These self-styled champions of liberty see guns as the ultimate insurance policy to protect the Constitution. The problem is that most of those making this argument also strongly support a massive U.S. military -- exactly the behemoth we must be armed against. It's the great gun gobbledygook.
The irony isn't lost on me that the Second Amendment was supposed to protect against a large, standing military. On the other hand, the historically ignorant can be led. BAAHHHHH!BAAHHHHH!BAAHHHHH!BAAHHHHH!BAAHHHHH!

Tennessee Ranks High in Accidental Shootings

Southern Beale

Did you know that Tennessee has the sixth-highest rate of accidental shooting deaths in the country? I read that statistic buried deep in this story about parents and gun safety. You’d think a statistic like that might have been mentioned sooner amid all of the gun loonery foisted on us by the state legislature and their puppetmasters at the Tennessee Firearms Assn. Then again, maybe it was discussed and I just missed it.

With that in mind, I need to ask Greeneville, TN: WTF? This week’s gun report has two separate accidents from Greeneville, and some gun loonery that thankfully didn’t result in injury. Must be something in the water there.

The Thunder from Down Under

I was enjoying a glass of Lucky Country Shiraz with dinner and looked at the label to recognise the Sydney Harbour Bridge:
"We always awake to a beautiful day in Australia. We have a fun filled culture of natural beauty, colour and spice backed by a lovely clean environment."
And many other great things--like strong gun laws.

And despite the dire predictions of the gunloons, homicides by firearm plunged 59 percent between 1995 and 2006, with no corresponding increase in non-firearm-related homicides. The drop in suicides by gun was even steeper: 65 percent. Studies found a close correlation between the sharp declines and the gun buybacks. Robberies involving a firearm also dropped significantly. Meanwhile, home invasions did not increase, contrary to fears that firearm ownership is needed to deter such
Is a woman--and is an atheist.
crimes. But here’s the most stunning statistic. In the decade before the Port Arthur massacre, there had been 11 mass shootings in the country. There hasn’t been a single one in Australia since.

There have been some contrarian studies about the decrease in gun violence in Australia, including a 2006 paper that argued the decline in gun-related homicides after Port Arthur was simply a continuation of trends already under way. But that paper’s methodology has been discredited, which is not surprising when you consider that its authors were affiliated with pro-gun groups. Other reports from gun advocates have similarly cherry-picked anecdotal evidence or presented outright fabrications in attempting to make the case that Australia’s more-restrictive laws didn’t work. Those are effectively refuted by findings from peer-reviewed papers, which note that the rate of decrease in gun-related deaths more than doubled following the gun buyback, and that states with the highest buyback rates showed the steepest declines. A 2011 Harvard summary of the research concluded that, at the time the laws were passed in 1996, “it would have been difficult to imagine more compelling future evidence of a beneficial effect.”

The US can do it if Australia did.

Pennsylvania Cop Shoots Himself while Training

CBS Philly reports

Authorities are investigating what appears to be an accidental shooting at the Montgomery County Public Safety Training campus in Conshohocken.

The incident happened at about 11 a.m. Thursday at the center that is located in the 1100 block of Conshohocken Road.

According to authorities, an officer with the Norristown Police Department was training at the facility when he accidentally shot himself in the leg.

The unidentified officer was flown to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania as a precaution.
Montgomery County detectives are investigating the shooting.

Missouri Woman Accidentally Shot by her Son


The incident occurred at the woman’s home.

According to the victim's sister-in-law, the father had a gun pulled out  as he was adding a new piece to the weapon. 

The victim’s 18-year-old son picked up the weapon to clean it when it allegedly went off, hitting his mother in the leg.

The sister-in-law of the victim said they are a big gun family.

At this point, police are not investigating any further.

Father and son gun-nuts should have spent the night in jail and then lost their gun rights. There is absolutely no excuse for breaking the basic rules of gun safety.  Doing so should bring down the one-strike-you're-out rule.

Ohio Couple Sentenced for the Accidental Death of Their 11-Year-old

local picture

Local news reports

Darke County Common Pleas Court Judge Jonathan Hein minced no words when it came to sentencing Michael L. and Melody R. Fisher of rural Fort Recovery in connection with the accidental shooting of their 11-year-old son. 

The Fishers, who each received five years community control sanctions (probation) plus 15 days in jail, were found guilty earlier this month of endangering children. Jurors failed to reach a verdict after 13 hours of deliberation on more serious involuntary manslaughter charges. 
Hein referred to the statement, "I thought I taught my son better," Michael Fisher made during a three-day jury trial. 

Michael "Mikey" Fisher III died Aug. 4, 2011, after shooting himself in the head while handling a 9-millimeter handgun. 
Older and younger siblings reportedly were in the room at the time of the 1:15 a.m. shooting and the parents were in bed. 
The judge also bristled at comments made regarding constitutional rights to bear arms. It is a constitutional privilege to own guns and responsibility goes with that privilege. The more guns the higher duty," Hein said referring to the 86 guns found in the Fisher home. 

Darke County Assistant Prosecutor Deborah Quigley had requested 30-day jail sentences and forfeiture of the guns, many of which had been left unsecured at the Fisher home. 
What do you think?  A few days in jail and lose the guns sound about right? How about that brilliant observation:"I thought I taught my son better."
Please leave a comment.

Fox News Shreds the Constitution - Except the 2nd Amendment, Of Course

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Shall not be infringed? By whom?

The problem with claiming rights is who are you claiming rights from?  If it's from the US Constitution, then you are only claiming a right from the Federal Government.  Even then, it is only a baseline right--that is that is the minimum level of protection which states can't violate.

In other words, State constitutions can grant expanded rights, but they cannot restrict the right.  Thus, state constitutions can offer "individual rights" to arms in their constitution while the Federal Constitution explicitly limits the right to a "well-reguilated militia".

But, that is an aside, You do not have rights against private entities.  Go to a Walmart and pass out Union Literature and find out what happens if you think I'm wrong.  In fact, for all you people who dislike the state, realise that non-governmental bodies can tell you to go fuck yourself as far as rights go.

That said, GE Capital, the huge financing arm of General Electric Co., has made it a policy to stop making loans to gun shops:
"As a responsible lender, we regularly review our lending policies and products to meet changing conditions and requirements. In 2008, we adopted a policy to cease providing consumer financing programs to merchants whose primary business is to sell firearms.  Recently, we implemented a more rigorous audit process in our sporting goods segment in light of industry changes, new legislation and tragic events that have caused widespread reexamination of policies on firearms. This process has affected less than 75 retailers (approx. .001% of all gun retailers) and an immaterial part of our sales volume."
The move marks the latest effort by the corporate and investment worlds to take a stand on guns. It could have a significant effect on the powerful and sprawling gun industry if the financing dries up for the firearms industry.

Also, that would also have an effect if people exercise their right NOT to have you armed on their property.

To be quite frank, the "pro-gun" stance isn't very "pro-gun".  People running around armed and irresponsible doesn't place gun owners in a very positive light.

Or as John Lennon said:
"If you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao, you ain't gonna make it with anyone anyhow."

In this case, those elite people you dislike have realised that money makes the world go around.  And they have the money to make it turn the way they want it to.

Lawful Gun Owner in Virginia Negligently Shoots Himself and Another - No Charges

Local news reports

Two people were injured in a Tuesday night shooting in Hanover County, according to Hanover Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Chris Whitley.
Whitley said one person in a vehicle traveling along the 3100 block of Old Church Road had a gun in his hands when the weapon fired.

The person holding the gun was shot, as was the driver.

Whitley said the shooting is being investigated as “accidental.”

“There is no threat to the community or cause for alarm,” Whitley wrote in an email. “In addition, we are not seeking any additional information or searching for any suspects in connection to this incident. “

No threat to the community??? How the hell did he figure that?  Lawful gun owners who are so irresponsible and reckless as to allow negligent discharges are indeed a threat to the community.

By the way, the lack of charges indicates he was a lawful gun owner.  But, are you allowed to carry a gun in the car in Virginia, or does that require a concealed carry permit?

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Arkansas Shooting Death - Just an Accident - No Charges

Local news reports

Authorities in Ouachita County have ruled a weekend fatal shooting at a turkey camp to be accidental.

Deputies were called Sunday after 36-year-old Jeremy Owens of Beebe was shot. Deputies spoke with 38-year-old Harley R. Brittain, also of Beebe, who was taking Owens to a hospital.

Brittain told deputies that he and Owens arrived at the camp and that he accidentally shot Owens in the leg with a .40 caliber handgun. Brittain explained that the weapon lodged between two seats in their vehicle and it discharged as he tried to retrieve it.

Brittain acknowledged to deputies that he'd been drinking but Prosecutor Ian Vickery says Arkansas law doesn't prohibit being around firearms while intoxicated. Vickery says he's convinced the death was accidental.
Whaat??? "Arkansas law doesn't prohibit being around firearms while intoxicated." Not only that, drunk or not, treating gross negligence like a simple accident is wrong.  But, what can you expext from a hillbilly state like Arkansas.

Please leave a comment.

Progressives Turning on Obama. Is it True? Is it Right?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Perfect Day

Something "lite".

Guns in the Home and Suicide Rates


New research has found that suicide rates are significantly higher in states with high rates of household gun ownership. The study's results appear in the April issue of the Journal of Trauma.

Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health examined nationwide statistics on suicide rates and gun ownership. They found that in the 15 states with the highest numbers of household gun owners, the suicide rate was double that of the 6 states with the lowest numbers of household gun owners. Population sizes among the states were similar.

The study authors stated that while only 5 percent of all suicide attempts involve guns, over 90 percent of all suicide attempts involving guns are fatal. By contrast, 75 percent of suicide attempts involve drug overdoses, but only 3 percent of these are fatal.

Only the gun-rights fanatics will find this surprising, and I'm sure they'll have some verbose ways to explain it away.

My Name is Mike Vanderboegh and I’m a Smuggler.

Why the criminals won't obey laws argument is really dumb

Of course if the people who were making this argument were as intelligent as they believe themselves to be, they would have figured this out...

And while we are on stupid gun loon arguments--why does someone need to produce ID if they are going to vote?

Anyway, as another person said:
I have not seen a regulation that would stop me or anybody I personally know, or even any responsible gun owner I have ever observed, from procuring game, from practicing gun sportsman and marksmanship, or from use on the family farm or in the family home.
Not one liberal gun control law would harm any of those people or their second amendment rights.
On the flip side, I can think of women I know, women I will never meet, women I’ve known and women I love dearly who are now and will be further impacted by the 694 new proposed laws infringing on our 14th amendment right to health and privacy which include a right to an abortion and other private health choices.
In listening to the sound bites of today, one would think there was a War on Guns instead of a War on Women.
Of course, criminals will always get abortions.

Why bother with laws?

Colion Noir Explains that Criminals Won't Obey the Background Check Law

"C'mon, people, criminals are criminals."

Like everybody else, I would imagine he first heard this inane response to gun control suggestions from Wayne La Pierre. I can't believe he's repeating it.  I suppose he really thinks his fast-talking slickness is too much for us. Of course most of his listeners are already believers and for them he can say no wrong.

Any honest discussion of how criminals get guns discounts the example he used in the video, criminal to criminal. The important transaction is the one in which a gun moves from the lawful owner to the criminal. This is especially important since almost all guns used in crime initially start out as the lawful property of someone. I described the four ways here.

Background checks on private sales would eliminate one of the 4 ways. We don't need criminals to obey that law, we only need the law abiding to do so.

Now in order to slickly slide that one past us, Colion spent the next three-quarters of the video mocking Vice President Biden, which I happen to agree with.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Colion Noir Slips in a Good One about the Gabrielle Giffords Shooting

This is an old one, but I found it still at the top of his Youtube page.

At about the 1:00 mark he actually says, "What's the name of the guy who had a carry permit and tackled the guy who shot Gabrielle Giffords?"

Does anyone else see a problem with that?

Please leave a comment.

NRA Certified Concealed Carry Instructor Admits No Wrongdoing

 Local news reports further to our earlier post

Instructor Rick Ramsey says he feels terrible about what happened, but claims it was a freak accident that may have been the result of students not paying attention. 

On Saturday afternoon, 7 students got a lot more than they bargained for when they came to the Whitesboro Rodeo grounds to earn their Concealed Handgun License. 

It was instructor Rick Ramsey's first time teaching the class. 

"Well I heard somebody hollering really loud down there and keep hearing 'I been hit I been hit'," said Ramsey.

"Three more inches to the left and he could've been hit in the heart and killed," said Grayson County Lieutenant, Ricky Wheeler.

The Grayson County Sheriff's Office says a Sadler man in his twenties was fishing in a pond about a hundred yards away from the class, when he was shot by a stray bullet. 

But because he is NRA certified, and it is legal for him to teach CHL classes, only the district attorney can decide what's next. 

"We're going to be speaking with Mr. Brown and looking at this very hard to try to get Mr. Ramsey shut down, until he finds a place that is proper and safe to shoot at," said Lt. Wheeler.

Mr. Ramsey should be punished twice.  Once for being an irresponsible gun instructor and twice for trying to blame a student. The negligent student should be punished once.

What do you think?  Please leave a comment.

No Prison Time for Joshua Heagren

The Columbus Dispatch and our previous post

A Knox County man will spend no time in prison for the death of his 3-year-old son, who shot himself with a .45-caliber handgun that his father had tucked beneath a couch in the family’s home.

Joshua Heagren, 25, was sentenced yesterday by Licking County Common Pleas Court Judge David Branstool after being convicted on Feb. 5 of child-endangering and negligent homicide in the death of his son, Lucas.

Heagren, who faced a maximum of six months in jail on the misdemeanor homicide count and three years for child-endangering, received a suspended 24-month prison sentence and was placed on probation for two years.

Branstool also ordered Heagren to pay a $500 fine, perform 50 hours of community service, submit to alcohol- and drug-use monitoring and maintain full-time employment. The judge also forbade him from possessing guns.
I suppose that's about the perfect solution. I usually feel that prison time is unnecessary when someone's negligence causes the loss of a child. That's got to be the worst punishment in the world.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Newtown Families Leading the New Wave of Gun Control

I'd like to hear some of the pro-gun fellas respond to this. I'll bet you prove Jim Carrey right when he called you "cold-hearted bastards."

And your nasty responses to these people are understandable because you realize they represent exactly why your movement is doomed.  Most family members of gun violence victims do what these people did - move strongly towards gun control. Multiply that by the hundreds of thousands each year who are touched in this way, led by the example of these Newtown folks, there's a tsunami coming.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Florida Concealed Carry on the Rise Especially among Women

Link to video
-( More than 1 million Floridians have their concealed carry permit, but the gender and age bracket showing the largest increase might surprise you–it’s women 66 years of age and older.

Their numbers have jumped 619 percent since 2004, reports the Orlando Sentinel, and total nearly 35,000 individuals licensed to carry a firearm in the Sunshine State and 35 other states.

The Sentinel also reports that women in the youngest age bracket, 21 to 35, with pistol permits increased 463 percent to more than 40,000.

While gun ownership is up, the Sentinel reports violent crime in Florida has dropped nearly 60 percent in the last 20 years.

Looking at the way she handles the gun, does anyone really think she's safer armed? I don't think so.  This is the problem with the gun-rights movement and all the fear-mongering it depends upon. Many new gun owners are not physically and mentally capable of responsible gun handling.

Of course this matters not the the true believers.  They don't care if guns do more harm than good, as long as they themselves are not inconvenienced by any additional restrictions.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Detroit Medical Center Destroyed by Fire - Two Shot Dead

Local news reports

A man identified by employees as a former maintenance worker opened fire inside a Detroit medical facility, sending screaming workers and visitors rushing for the doors just moments before the building erupted in flames.

Crews digging through the gutted Park Medical Centers building recovered the remains of a man and woman hours after the Tuesday morning blaze, Detroit police said in a statement.

Authorities did not release the identities of the dead, pending autopsies, but police had been searching for 35-year-old medical assistant Sharita Williams and the fired maintenance worker, who relatives said was her ex-boyfriend.

Williams' mother, Antha Williams-Hill, told The Associated Press that one of her daughter's co-workers told her that the man threatened her daughter inside.

"He said, 'You think I'm playing with you?'" Williams-Hill said. "He told the other girl, 'I think you better get out of here.' The girl left and said she then heard two shots."

Last week, Sharita Williams was granted a personal protection order against the man, according to Wayne County Court records.

She said her daughter had been dating the married maintenance man for more than a year, but their relationship was rocky and Sharita eventually began seeing someone else. She even moved out of the city and into a Detroit suburb to get away from him. He refused to leave her alone, Williams-Hill said.

Hidden Criminal with Concealed Carry Permit Kills Four before Police Kill Him

USA Today

A domestic dispute triggered a deadly Sunday night rampage south of Seattle in which a gunman killed his girlfriend, two bystanders and a neighbor before being shot dead by police.

Federal Way, Wash., police said the gunman — armed with a .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun and a pistol-grip shotgun — apparently was eliminating witnesses after he shot his 25-year-old girlfriend in the head at their Pinewood Village apartment about 9:30 p.m. PT.

The killer next shot two men, one 23 and the other 46, in the parking lot. One died beside a car, the other was wounded and then "executed" a few yards away.

Police Chief Brian Wilson said the gunman then apparently heard a 62-year-old neighbor yell for someone to call 911, so he blasted open the man's door with a shotgun and killed him with a second blast.

Officers arrived amid gunfire and spotted the suspect in a stairwell, ordering him to drop his weapon. He refused, so police shot and wounded him, causing him to drop the shotgun. The suspect ran to the parking lot but fell to the ground near one of the men he had killed.

In all, eight officers fired their weapons.

Police killed the gunman when he reached for a handgun. He has not been officially identified, but sources told KOMO-TV he is 28-year-old Dennis Clark.

Wilson said the gunman had a concealed-carry permit and was the registered owner of at least two firearms, including the handgun he is alleged to have used to kill his girlfriend and the two men in the parking lot. Federal agents are investigating the history of the shotgun.

Proper gun control might very well have prevented this. I'm not talking about the watered-down versions of what passes for gun control in Washington DC, I'm talking about real gun control.

This man's unfitness to own guns responsibly was known to the police.  "May issue" for gun licensing  would very likely have prevented him from owning guns. Then when the domestic violence incident exploded, he might have done a lot less damage.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Gun Availability is the Problem

Business Insider

When Americans kill one another, they usually use a gun. In fact, Americans use guns to murder each other twice as often as they use any other murder weapons. The states with the loosest regulation of firearms — congregated in the south and southwest — also have the highest number of annual deaths by gun. Generally, when Americans kill they usually use a handgun.

The Winchester Curse


The Winchester Mystery House

According to some sources, the Boston Medium consulted by Mrs. Winchester explained that her family and her fortune were being haunted by spirits – in fact, by the spirits of American Indians, Civil War soldiers, and others killed by Winchester rifles. Supposedly the untimely deaths of her daughter and husband were caused by these spirits, and it was implied that Mrs. Winchester might be the next victim. 

However, the medium also claimed that there was an alternative, Mrs. Winchester was instructed to move west and appease the spirits by building a great house for them. As long as construction of the house never ceased, Mrs. Winchester could rest assured that her life was not in danger. Building such a house was even supposed to bring her eternal life. 

New York Times Op-ed

I can’t help thinking of Sarah and her house each time there is a mass shooting or when Senate gun-control legislation fails, as it did last week. America has had, at various times in our history, common-sense regulations and controls on firearms, from the 1790s through the Wild West era and up until the assault weapons ban expired in 2004. Until the current Republicans acknowledge this, we will all continue living in Sarah’s haunted house. 

Could the Background Checks Law Have Stopped Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev?

Yahoo News

Among the weapons officials have said were in the possession of Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were not only several bombs, but handguns, an M-4 carbine rifle and more than 250 rounds of ammunition.

Much of that arsenal was on fiery display when the brothers engaged in a wild gun battle with police in suburban Watertown early Friday, shortly after images of them milling about the marathon's finish line were released to the public by the FBI.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, died following that gun battle while a Boston transit police officer was gravely wounded. The Tsarnaev brothers are also the prime suspects in the execution-style shooting of a security officer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology a couple of hours before the gun battle.

"There was a lot of firepower employed," White House press secretary Jay Carney told the daily news briefing on Monday.

Neither Tsarnaev brother had licences to carry firearms, police say.

But even if they'd wanted to acquire the weapons legally — unlikely, considering they were allegedly plotting a terrorist attack — they could have obtained them without submitting to a background check under current laws.

Tougher background checks likely would have caused problems for Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who died following the shootout, given his past brushes with authorities.

Yes, indeed, this is the first high-profile tragedy which points to the terrible fallacy of the Senate vote last week.

There will be more.  The pro-gun fanatics will, instead of taking responsibility for these incidents as a inevitable down-side to their policy of gun-rights, will accuse us of dancing in the blood of the poor victims.

But, that's all right.  The necessary changes will eventually come. Too bad for the future, unnecessary casualties, the gun-rights folks are so stubborn and self-centered.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Semper Paratus with a Pinch of Paranoia

Gun Dealers for Suicide Prevention

 The Washington Post

Ralph Demicco has watched the surveillance footage of a man shopping around his store, leaning on the counter and calmly chatting with the clerk before buying the gun he used to take his own life later that day. The man was one of three people, who in the span of a week purchased firearms from Demicco’s gun shop and used them to commit suicide.

“I was devastated,” Demicco recalled. “At the time, I remember saying over and over, ‘I just can’t believe it.’”

A review of the state medical examiner’s records showed that recently purchased firearms were being used in suicides roughly once per month in New Hampshire. Since the string of suicides in 2009, Demicco has joined forces with health professionals and gun dealers in a campaign to help gun stores and firing ranges learn ways to avoid selling or renting a firearm to a suicidal person. The campaign, known as The Gun Shop Project, also encourages gun businesses to share suicide prevention materials with customers.

“It’s not that gun owners are more likely to be suicidal or depressed. It’s that guns are the most lethal way for someone to take their own life,” said Elaine Frank, with the New Hampshire Firearm Safety Coalition. Firearm suicides account for more deaths than all other suicide methods combined and 65 percent of all gun deaths in the U.S., according to figures from 2011 provided by, an international group working to reduce gun injuries.

Governor Christie Has a Plan for Gun Violence

The Herald

Gov. Chris Christie on Friday unveiled a multi-faceted plan to curb gun violence in New Jersey that includes expanding government-funded mental health treatment, requiring parental sign-off before children can buy or rent violent video games, and mandating that ID presented by would-be gun-owners is government-issued.

The Republican's plan also includes a ban on the sale of Barrett .50-caliber semi-automatic sniper rifles, bail reforms that would make it harder for people suspected of violent gun crimes to be released, and provisions to make it easier for courts and health care professionals to involuntarily commit people they consider violent to a psychiatric hospital.

The plan does not address classroom security or propose stricter limits on the capacity of ammunition magazines, which in New Jersey stands at 15 rounds. 

I like it.  What do you think?

Politifact: Obama Tells Truth, La Pierre Lies


This week, the drive to mandate universal gun sale background checks and close the "gun show loophole" failed in the Senate.

President Barack Obama blamed the gun lobby for the bill's defeat, saying the National Rifle Association and others lied about the bill's content.

"They claimed that it would create some sort of ‘big brother’ gun registry, even though the bill did the opposite," Obama said. "This legislation, in fact, outlawed any registry. Plain and simple, right there in the text. But that didn't matter."

The NRA's Wayne LaPierre said the Association would never back a federal gun registry.

"That's what they're after, the names of good, decent people all over this great country who happen to own a firearm to go into a federal database for universal registration," he said.

Many U.S. Senators voted no on the bill fearing the measure would lead to the government keeping tabs on gun-owning Americans.

Angry constituents, such as the Arizona Citizens Defense League, sent emails saying the bill was "proposing the universal regulation of all firearms and their owners."

PolitiFact rated Obama's statement as true.

The government is currently required to destroy all personal information found in background checks, and the bill would have actually outlawed a federal gun registry.

Oregon 4-Year-old Dead from Gun Negligence - No Charges Expected

Local news reports

A four-year-old boy died of a gunshot wound in his home Saturday, investigators said.

Cody R. Hall died from a single gunshot wound, Marion County Sheriff's Office spokesman Don Thomson said. Investigators on Saturday said the shooting appeared to be an accident. They are not looking for any suspects in connection with Hall's death.
Hall’s death is the second accidental shooting death of a young child in our area in the last week. On April 14, nine-year-old Shayla Shonneker was shot and killed in her back yard by a stray bullet in Oregon City. Her mother’s boyfriend was inside the home practicing drawing a gun when it fired, investigators said. He does not face charges at this time.

This is gross nonchalance. It seems in Oregon as soon as they determine it was an "accident," they're satisfied. I say there's not much difference between an intentional homicide and this type of gross neglegence, at least not much difference in the body count.  To not hold gun owners responsible for their misbehavior is wrong.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Message

On Wednesday, I sat in the Senate Gallery and witnessed one of the most shameful episodes in the history of that chamber. 45 Senators caved under pressure from the National Rifle Association and killed a modest, bipartisan bill that would have expanded background checks on gun buyers and saved countless lives. When the clerk called the final roll call for the vote, my outrage erupted along with that of Tucson shooting hero Pat Maisch (Pat grabbed the high-capacity ammunition magazine from gunman Jared Loughner when he went to reload).

"SHAME ON YOU!" we shouted simultaneously from the gallery. That led to us being detained by U.S. Capitol Police guessed it... ran a background check on us before releasing us from custody.
Like you, I am disgusted that the Senate failed to act this week. But I assure you, this fight is far from over. As President Obama said following the Senate vote, "I see this as just round one." And it's possible this bill could be back—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid changed his vote to NO at the last minute in a procedural move so that he can bring the legislation up for consideration again if necessary.
For now, however, we must send a very clear message to the 45 Senators who capitulated to the NRA and put gun industry profits over the safety of our loved ones. You can find a list of Senators who voted NO on expanding background checks here. And their direct-dial phone numbers are available at this webpage.

Call as many of these 45 Senators as you can. Tell them how disgusted you are by their NO vote on background checks. If you are their constituent, tell them they have lost your vote. And tell them you will be speaking to their donors who you know personally.

Round 1 went to the NRA and their lackeys. But they made a huge strategic blunder by overreaching and angering a nation. Now we will show them, with great clarity, that there is a political price to be paid for putting our loved ones in the line of fire. Let's get working and change this Congress into one that care mores about our kids than padding the wallets of NRA demagogues like Wayne LaPierre.

Lori Haas

North Carolina 2-Year-old Seriously Injured Because of Dad's Irresponsible Gun Management

Local news reports

Greenville deputies said the toddler reached into his father's pocket and grabbed a pistol and the weapon fired. 
Greenville deputies said a 2-year-old child is in the hospital after an accidental shooting in Greenville County.

Deputies said the toddler and his father were visiting the child's grandparents on Fenwick Lane in Berea, when the toddler reached into his father's pocket and grabbed the weapon. The gun fired striking the toddler in the chest.

The incident is under investigation.

I suppose due process demands a lengthy investigation to determine who was at fault here. 

Florida Man Drops Gun - Takes a Bullet

 Local news reports

A man was wounded during an accidental shooting this evening while preparing to go hunting hogs in Myakka today, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office said.

According to a report, Floyd K. Oney II was invited by Jason C. Durrance to go hunting at his property at 37550 Clay Gully Road. Oney had a single action .45 revolver in a belt holster, slung over his shoulder.

Shortly before 7 p.m., the men had trouble starting the Kawasaki Mule they were intending to use, and when they raised the seat and leaned over the vehicle, the revolver fell from Oney's holster and discharged when it hit the ground, deputies said.

The round entered and exited through the left side of Oney's abdomen.

Texas Concealed Carry Class Has an Accident

Local news reports

An accidental shooting near a Whitesboro area gun class sends a fisherman to the hospital.

Grayson County deputies say a Sadler man in his 20's was hit in the thigh with a nine-millimeter round.

He was fishing about 100 yards away from a gun class at the Whitesboro Rodeo Grounds around 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sheriff's Office Lt. Rickey Wheeler said.

Deputies say the CHL class teacher is not state-certified and there was no berm or backstop to absorb the bullets.

Cenk Uygur on the Senate's Failure to Approve the Background Checks Bill

Cenk makes an interesting point.  The pro-gun forces should have let the watered down version of the background checks bill pass.  That way many gun control folks would be satisfied with at least a token victory.

But, the way it went down, the gun control side is angry and is not going away.

What's your opinion?  Please leave  a comment.

Adolphus A. Busch IV Resigns NRA Lifetime Membership

Adolphus A. Busch IV, heir the Busch family brewing fortune, penned a letter indicating his “formal resignation” of his lifetime National Rifle Association membership. The letter, sent to KSDK, cites the NRA’s opposition to background checks and criticizes the organization’s “distorted values.”

“It disturbs me greatly to see this rigid new direction of the NRA,” Busch wrote. “Was it not the NRA position to support background checks when Mr. LaPierre himself stated in 1999 that NRA saw the checks as ‘reasonable’?”

“I am simply unable to comprehend how assault weapons and large capacity magazines have a role in your vision,” he later added. “The NRA appears to have evolved into the lobby for gun and ammunition manufacturers instead of gun owners. … [I] must take this action based upon my personal feelings toward the distorted values I see emerging within the NRA.”

West Virginia 8th Grader Arrested for Gun T-Shirt

WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

That kid's in the 8th grade? I wonder how many grades he's repeated in his young academic career.

He and his gun-nut daddy didn't think it would go this far.  I guess they didn't get the Ghandi memo about non-violent resistance.  You have to be prepared to take your lumps.  That is, after all, what you were asking for.

I do think having the kid arrested was a bit over the top.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

The Gun Lobby is Alive and Well - We Were Wrong to Think Otherwise

HuffPost Politics

Even the most cynical amongst us were stunned when the U.S. Senate voted down a watered down, bipartisan, partial background check for gun purchases that's supported by some 90 percent of Americans and 74 percent of NRA members. The image of the president flanked by a grieving mother and a congresswoman who was shot in the head brought me and many others to tears. 

This happened because money has near-complete control of our political system. The NRA outspent the Brady Center to Control Gun Violence by 73 to 1 last year. As Gabby Giffords said in her brilliant New York Times op-ed, senators betrayed the people because of a deep fear of the NRA unseating them from office. The NRA has that power because they have and spend real political money.
I think it was TS who brought up a good point the other day. After the election last year, many of us were saying the NRA's power is exaggerated and that they're finished as a policy-influencing organization. Now all of a sudden, we're saying the opposite.

This is true.  I think the explanation is simply that we were wrong before.  Obama won two times in a row despite the tremendous money and effort the NRA invested. Unfortunately, on gun control we were not able to overcome.

Of course, it's not just the NRA.  It's other gun-rights organizations as well as the gun manufacturers themselves. But the point is the same.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Bret Baier Lies Through his Teeth

Pew Research

While gun owners, unlike the public at large, oppose gun control measures such as banning assault-style weapons, a big majority of gun owners (85%) support making private gun sales and sales at gun shows subject to background checks. That matches the level of support among the general public for doing this.

It amazes me how those who support gun rights so often find it necessary to exaggerate or lie. If they had any kind of a decent argument they wouldn't have to do that.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.