Saturday, October 3, 2009

Concealed Carry Guy Threatens I-Phone Sales Clerk

The Brady Campaign reports on a story that would be humorous if it weren't so frightening. Here it is from the source, the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Hamilton County sheriff’s deputies say Donald Goodrich, 38, of Westwood, took his phone into the store Thursday at about 12:30 p.m. and told the clerk, "I’m so mad I could pop a 9mm at it. I could really do it right now, look!"

Goodrich opened his shirt and showed the clerk a gun, deputies said.

Chelsea Levine didn’t panic. She reportedly told Goodrich “there no need for that.”

“I told him we’d get the phone fixed (and) walked him to a technician,” Levine wrote in court records.

Levine told her manager to call the police, according to her statement to police.

Goodrich was arrested on a charge of aggravated menacing and carrying a concealed weapon. He has a permit to carry a concealed weapon, but he allegedly did not tell deputies he had a gun, as required by law.

This is what happens when you've got a country that's gun crazy and a President who's afraid of the NRA, a President who's failed to keep his campaign promises concerning gun control. Hundreds perhaps thousands of times a day all over America lawful gun owners misuse their guns. The pro-gun folks hide behind the fact that there are no statistics to prove this, but what statistics could there be to prove incidents that go largely unreported.

The fact is that guys who carry guns sometimes brandish their weapons or show them in a threatening manner, like this guy in the Apple Store. Sometimes they just remind their spouse or the person their arguing with that they have a gun, I mean, for some of them that's what having a gun is all about. They're craven bully boys and their numbers are on the rise.

Is this all gun owners? Of course not. Is it most? I honestly don't think so. But it's too many. Guys with anger management problems, I guess gals too, but I'd imagine it's mainly men who should not have guns in the first place. This is covered in my very popular 10% theory.

What's your opinion? Is this so rare that we need not worry about it?

We're Number 37 by Paul Hipp

A big thanks to Cliff over at One Utah. This video follows nicely on the Alan Grayson situation just the other day. People who oppose efforts to improve the health care in the U.S. should be ashamed of themselves. "Heel-draggin' Neanderthals," indeed.

A Different Take on Glenn Beck and the Others

The New York Times published an op-ed piece by David Brooks that I found quite refreshing. Thanks again to George for the tip.

In the article Mr. Brooks traces the recent history of the right-wing spokesmen, Beck, Limbaugh and Hannity. The basic point is these guys are not as powerful and influential as we've been led to believe.

So what is the theme of our history lesson? It is a story of remarkable volume and utter weakness. It is the story of media mavens who claim to represent a hidden majority but who in fact represent a mere niche — even in the Republican Party. It is a story as old as “The Wizard of Oz,” of grand illusions and small men behind the curtain.

What do you think? Is it possible that we've been giving these characters more credit than they deserve? Brooks claims that when Limbaugh attacks the switchboards light up with phone calls but nothing really changes. "There is no effect on the favorability rating or the re-election prospects. In the media world, he is a giant. In the real world, he’s not."

But this is not merely a story of weakness. It is a story of resilience. For no matter how often their hollowness is exposed, the jocks still reweave the myth of their own power. They still ride the airwaves claiming to speak for millions. They still confuse listeners with voters.

So the myth returns. Just months after the election and the humiliation, everyone is again convinced that Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity and the rest possess real power. And the saddest thing is that even Republican politicians come to believe it. They mistake media for reality. They pre-emptively surrender to armies that don’t exist.

They pay more attention to Rush’s imaginary millions than to the real voters down the street. The Republican Party is unpopular because it’s more interested in pleasing Rush’s ghosts than actual people. The party is leaderless right now because nobody has the guts to step outside the rigid parameters enforced by the radio jocks and create a new party identity. The party is losing because it has adopted a radio entertainer’s niche-building strategy, while abandoning the politician’s coalition-building strategy.

The rise of Beck, Hannity, Bill O’Reilly and the rest has correlated almost perfectly with the decline of the G.O.P. But it’s not because the talk jocks have real power. It’s because they have illusory power, because Republicans hear the media mythology and fall for it every time.

What do you think about David Brooks' assessment? Is it only "illusory power" these celebrity talkers have? Has the whole country bought into it? Has it damaged the Republican Party the way Brooks describes?

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Officer Brian Lilly Cleared of Charges

Phuckpolitics tipped me off to a fascinating story which took place in Phoenix Arizona. Police Officer Brian Lilly and his partner charged into a home after a burglar and shot the home owner instead, no less than 6 times. A detailed account can be read on the Courthouse News Service site.

A homeowner says a Phoenix police officer shot him six times in the back during a 911 home-invasion call, and the 911 tape recorded the officer's partner saying, "That's all right. Don't worry about it. I got your back. ... We clear?" The family says the officers were not aware that the 911 call was still recording as they spoke about covering up the shooting.

Incredibly, the homeowner survived. Even more incredible is that the trigger happy cop survived, career-wise. reports.

A Phoenix police officer who mistakenly shot an armed homeowner during a search for an intruder was cleared of wrongdoing this week by a committee that reviews such shootings.

The ruling by the Phoenix Use of Force Board determined Officer Brian Lilly acted within police policy in the incident, in which he fired six shots at the homeowner amid the confusion of a home invasion last September.

Actually I don't find that so incredible. The police have a tough job and they protect each other as much as possible. In cases like this I suppose they tend to give the benefit of the doubt to their own. Even civilian review boards are often inclined towards this.

What the story points out is how someone acts after a questionable shooting. Whether policeman or civilian, the first natural response to a bad shooting is be to cover it up. If circumstances permit, it get recorded as a legitimate act instead of what it really is. This works for cops who are nervous and show bad judgment, shooting too quickly like in this case, as well as the more sinister vigilante or vendetta type shootings. In those, if the victim of the shooting is doing something wrong it's that much easier to cover it up.

What's your opinion? How many of the reported DGUs do you think might be wrongful shootings covered up? Take the Kleck estimate based on his survey, or even the daily reports on the famous site of Clayton Cramer, how many of them might be wrongly reported in your opinion?

Please feel free to leave a comment.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Bill Clinton on the State of the Nation

Big thanks to Eric Lightborn, who runs a fantastic blog.

What are the three reasons, according to President Clinton, that Obama will survive the Republican onslaught? You'll love the third one, but is it true?

Those Heel-Draggin' Republicans

Thanks to Phuck Politics for this wonderful video. By the way, some people have complained about comments he's made around here. Just pop over to his site, which is one of the best around, and you'll marvel at the tremendous restraint he's practiced over here. He calls it like he sees it with a sense of humor that I wish I had.

The video made me think of our pro-gun commenters. What Congressman Grayson says about Republicans concerning health reform, I say about the gun enthusiasts concerning gun control. The same tactics are in play, blocking at every step, denying everything, giving in to nothing. Enjoy.

Badger Gun Shop in Milwaukee

The owner of Badger Gun Shop is in the news again. This time because he's taken an unusual approach to what he feels is police harassment. Eugene Kane wrote an opinion article on this for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal.

It looks like Adam Allan wants to be Milwaukee's new civil rights leader.

Seems like a strange role for a gun dealer, but Allan - the owner of Badger Guns in West Milwaukee - apparently wants to fight against injustice on behalf of his black customers.

So much so, he put up this sign outside his shop last week:

"Racist Milwaukee Police Department is Pulling Over African-Americans Leaving this Store. Sorry for the Inconvenience."

He has since removed the sign after saying he made his point.

Mr. Kane's opening remarks are entirely facetious, as he makes clear in closing.

I think Allan was way off base attempting to gain support from African-Americans by criticizing police officers with his sign. There has been so much despair and sorrow in the local black community as a result of illegal handguns - some of which may have come from Badger Guns - I doubt many would object to any police attempts to keep these instruments of death off the streets.

As long as laws are followed, black people should be able to buy guns just like anyone else. But clearly Badger Guns isn't holding up its end of the bargain, and that means some people end up paying the price more than others.

I noticed that Eugene Kane says "may have come from Badger Guns," but goes on to say Badger is not "holding up its end of the bargain." I think he was being generous in the first remark and dead-on accurate in the second. The reason I say that is because Badger Guns is famous. Everyone knows them.

“In 1998, Badger had the most crime guns traced to it among all gun dealers in the United States and then fell from the top spot, only to regain the spot last year. Badger has been criticized for selling cheap handguns, which were bought by "straw buyers" with clean records and then passed on to gang members. In a 1999 sweep, the majority of straw buyers bought the guns legally at Badger.”

So I suppose we've got the same old situation here that we've been talking about lately, an obviously dirty gun dealer skirting the law and enjoying support from gun owners who, if they had any sense would shun the guy. Then, as if that's not enough, he puts up a sign challenging the local cops to stop bothering his customers. These customers include gang members, criminals who Mr. Allan knows very well are breaking the law by organizing straw purchases in his store.

I call that action, putting the sign up, the Dick Cheney method of "the best defense is a good offense."

What's your opinion? Are the numerous guns traced back to Badger the unavoidable result of his high volume of sales? That's what people said about Eric Thompson.

Please leave a comment.

2-Year-Old North Carolina Boy Killed, reports on the terrible incident with a gun that left a 2-year-old dead.

A family in Sanford grieved Wednesday after children playing with a gun left a 2-year-old boy dead.

Sanford police spent much of Wednesday trying to piece together what happened shortly before 11 a.m. in the back bedroom of a home at 522 Cannon Circle.

Capt. David Smith, head of the police department's investigations, said the three children of Melanie and Joey Tyson had been playing on a bed when a .40-caliber semi-automatic handgun was fired.

Please don't tell me how rare these accidents are, please. I usually don't go in for that old gun control argument which says "if it saves only one life," but sometimes it crosses my mind. I can't get over the senseless stupidity that would allow something like this to happen.

Imagine how many other incidents result in shots fired which accidentally don't hit anyone. Do you think the gun owners report those to the police? And imagine how many times across America kids handle daddy's gun without firing it, again by accident they just don't happen to pull the trigger.

Add all those up and it's not so rare. Besides the kids actually killed or wounded, there are thousands of other near-tragic incidents.

Of course it's against the law, so at least we have that.

Investigators also were trying to determine where the children got the gun. After their investigation is complete, police plan to talk with the Lee County district attorney about possible charges.

In North Carolina, it is a misdemeanor to leave a gun accessible to a minor, Smith said.

Gun owners everywhere ought to cringe with embarrassment at that one. In many places people go to jail, that's GO TO JAIL, for small amounts of marijuana. But in North Carolina, "it is a misdemeanor to leave a gun accessible to a minor."

Words fail me. What's your opinion?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The New York Times on Bull's Eye

Again I have to thank George for the tip. In an op-ed piece published in the New York Times we have their take on the incredible Bull's Eye Shooter Supply of Tacoma.
For three weeks in 2002, the nation’s capital was terrorized as a sniper and his young accomplice killed 10 people at random and wounded three others. The two murderers were caught and convicted. When their rifle — a Bushmaster XM-15 — was tracked back to a Tacoma, Wash., arms dealer, Brian Borgelt blithely told investigators that, yes, the $1,600 rifle was one of 238 weapons that seemed to have been stolen or missing from his inventory.

There's nothing new there. We all know the story. What I keep asking is how can lawful gun owners support and defend people like this Borgelt?

What is new in the Times article is a bit of background on Mr. Borgelt.

For years before the sniper attacks, Mr. Borgelt was repeatedly cited for failing to track sales and inventory or to properly file background checks on purchasers. Despite warnings, he easily stayed in business at the Bull’s Eye Shooter Supply.

The grisly shootings finally compelled the government to revoke his license. Mr. Borgelt then sold the business to a friend (other defunct dealers like to sell the shops to their wives). Bull’s Eye is still open, and Mr. Borgelt continues to run a shooting range upstairs.

Does anyone else find that reprehensible? In my opinion this guy should be behind bars. He's a major criminal and anyone who supports the tricky business that took place between him and the new owner should seriously question what side of the law they're on. We're not talking about cheating on your taxes a little bit or selling one gun to your brother-in-law who has a record. We're talking about a major departure from what should be acceptable behaviour from good citizens.

What's your opinion? Is Borgelt getting harsh treatment just like Iknadosian? Do you think they're victims of the liberal press and the gun control crowe?

I say, people who are licensed to sell guns and violate that trust should be identified and removed from among the gun owning world. Maybe this is where Paul Helmke got the idea to put the gun lobby and criminals into the same group.

Since the Heller decision, the gun lobby and criminals have brought at least 170 challenges to gun laws or to block criminal gun prosecutions. With only a handful of exceptions, those challenges have failed.”

What's your opinion? Is it any wonder that I keep trying to spread the responsibility around? When guys like Iknadosian and Borgelt are either exonerated completely or given nothing more than a slap on the wrist and the pro-gun voices are either silent or supportive, I say you're all to blame.

Please leave a comment.

Go Jump in the Lake

Opposing Views published an article entitled, Anti-Gun Mayors Tell NRA "Go Jump in the Lake."

Apparently, National Rifle Association leaders thought they could bully the hundreds of mayors who have joined a coalition called Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

It looks like the bully brought a boomerang to a political gunfight.

The NRA sent postcards to its members around the country in typically hysterical fashion, calling the Mayors group every name but American. (Remember their literature last year against President Obama found to be “intentionally dishonest” and “pants on fire wrong” by PolitiFact? Same thing).

Yet America’s mayors, law enforcement officers and community voices — rather than ask the NRA how high they should jump — are telling NRA leaders to go jump in the lake.

It seems to me the NRA is on a bad roll. Last month the protesters carrying guns at the town hall meetings backfired on them, and now this. If it keeps up, the more passionate and aggressive gun folks may decide to change their tune.

What do you think? All those reports of mayors abandoning the cause and all those other reports about mayors who were criminals themselves, were what, exaggerations I suppose? I'm sure they were true, it's just the way they were presented you'd have thought the whole operation was about to fold.

Do you agree with Sebastian that this is a movement which could enjoy a certain success? Do you agree with his underlying idea that the MAIG has longer range goals, bigger than the ones presented currently? Is that something to worry about for gun owners?

Please leave a comment.

Supreme Court to Rule on Gun Rights

Thanks to my big friend George I was able to read this Reuters article published in the New York Times. As expected after the Chicago ruling earlier this year, which upheld that city's ban on handguns, the Supreme Court has confirmed they will rule on the question of States' rights to administer gun control.

The Supreme Court will decide whether the constitutional right of individuals to own firearms trumps state and local laws, reviving the legal battle over gun rights in America.

The high court said Wednesday it agreed to decide the reach of its landmark ruling last year that the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guaranteed an individual right to own guns and use them for lawful purposes like self-defense in the home.

The upcoming decision will be very import in clarifying and confirming the accepted interpretation of DC vs. Heller, that state and local laws do not violate the spirit of the 2nd Amendment.

The court last year prohibited the federal government from imposing certain restrictions, but it left unclear whether the right also applied to state and local gun control laws.

The Supreme Court said in a brief order it would settle that question by ruling in a dispute over a strict gun control law in Chicago.

I don't know about you, but I'm getting all excited already. One of our newest regular commenters, VOR, has me pegged.

What's your opinion? Is this as important as it sounds? Could this be a landmark decision in the debate about the individual vs. collective interpretation of the 2nd Amendment?

What do you think? Please leave a comment.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Arizona Concealed Carry in Bars

The Arizona Republic site reports on the law which goes into effect today allowing concealed carry permit holders to enter bars and restaurants where alcohol is served, as long as they don't drink themselves.

Starting Wednesday, those carrying concealed weapons are allowed to enter Arizona's roughly 5,300 establishments licensed to sell alcohol, as long as they don't drink. If those bar and restaurant owners don't want guns on the property, they must post a sign indicating that they are not allowed.

The law only requires one sign be posted in a "conspicuous" place, near the establishment's liquor license. But Al McCarthy, owner of Duke's Sports Bar & Grill in Scottsdale, put up three signs - one for each entrance to his property - "as soon as the bill passed" nearly three months ago.

"I want to make sure there's no confusion as to where this business stands on the issue," McCarthy said. "I have yet to have a customer to tell me they wish I hadn't put up the sign."

The Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control reported that about 1,000 official laminated signs have been ordered. Others have been downloaded and printed for free from the department's web site.

Of course, not all bar and restaurant owners agree with Al McCarthy. Some feel "the presence of those carrying guns legally could deter trouble from those carrying guns illegally."

What's your opinion? Is the idea of good guys with guns outnumbering bad guys with guns a good approach? Wouldn't you expect that to lead to ever-escalating violence? Is it reasonable to think the good guys would win and put the bad guys out of business? And what about the peripheral damage? What about the increase in shootouts that would occur and all the stray bullets flying around? What about the misuse of guns during fights and brawls? What about the famous 10% of lawful gun owners who for one reason or another shouldn't have guns in the first place?

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Michael Majors Goes to Jail reports on the sentencing of a young man who posed his infant daughter with a gun.

A Roxbury man was sentenced to prison yesterday after he admitted he posed his 17-month-old daughter with a firearm in photos taken earlier this year, said Jake Wark, spokesman for the Suffolk district attorney.

Michael Majors, 20, pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment of a child and unlawful possession of a Cobray MAC-11 9mm firearm. Wark said Majors posed his daughter with the weapon and an extended magazine in the photos, which were taken in January.

Majors also pleaded guilty to additional gun charges, including unlawful possession of a large-capacity weapon; a large capacity magazine, or gun chamber; a .38-caliber Colt Government handgun; and various loose rounds of ammunition, Wark said.

What do you think all these unlawful possession charges are all about? Are these items banned in Massachusetts or is it that Mr. Majors is too young to own them legally and therefore didn't go through the proper channels? Being under 21, is there anything he could own legally?

What do you think about that photograph? Is it so bad? On The Universal Hub site a commenter pointed out that the gun might not have been loaded and a 17-month-old could not pull the trigger anyway. What do you think about that?

My guess is that the weapons were the real problem and the baby picture was used to strengthen the prosecutor's argument for jail time. What do you think?

What about responsible lawful gun owners posing their kids with guns? Is that OK? Is there an age below which it's not OK? What's your opinion on that?

Please leave a comment?

Guy Heinze Jr. - One Month Later out of Jacksonville reports on the lack of developments in the Guy Heinze case. This is the case in which eight people were killed in their trailer home, about which the younger brother of the accused spoke so eloquently. The latest is this.

Glynn County Police Chief Matt Doering is still hearing a lot of questions about the beating deaths of eight people inside a Brunsick-area mobile home last month.

"And they get my same response," Doering says. "Right now what's important here that you need to know is we have the right person. We've got the only person. And we've got all the evidence to prove he did it."

Guy Heinze, Jr., 22, has been indicted on eight first degree murder charges for beating to death members of his family and a family friend.

Don't the police always say that? Isn't that exactly what they said in every single case in which someone was exonerated after spending years on death row?

The younger brother said it all in that video recorded last month. I think he should represent his brother in court. What do you think?

Heinze, Jr. first alerted police to the mass killings Saturday, August 29. He was arrested a short time later for lying to arriving officers, trying to hide a shotgun from the mobile home and drug possession.

A week later, less than two hours after bonding out of county lock-up, Heinze was re-arrested and charged with the massacre. Doering says from the start, investigators believed Heinze would play a signficant role in the case, but were not so certain he was the attacker until asking a judge to sign the murder warrants.

Does that sound right to you? Please leave a comment.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Bull's Eye Shooter Supply of Tacoma

The Brady Campaign blog reports on the court ruling which stripped Brian Borgelt, the owner of Bull's Eye of his Federal Firearms License. It was from his store that the Beltway Snipers John Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo were able to get their weapon, a Bushmaster XM-15. Supposedly this weapon was among hundreds which were "lost" through poor record keeping. This is old news, we talked about it last March. The Brady report is because the ruling was recently upheld in the courts.

The new owner, Kris Kindschuh, is also speaking out. The Examiner has the report.

Before the local and national press gloat too loudly over their chance to report that a federal judge has upheld revocation of a federal firearms license (FFL) to Tacoma’s Bull’s Eye Shooter Supply, they need to get their story straight…or at least tell all of it.

True, in a ruling handed down last Friday by U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez, the government was found to have properly revoked the FFL of former Bull’s Eye owner Brian Borgelt. Unfortunately for Kris Kindschuh, the current owner and operator of the gun shop, now known officially as Bull’s Eye Shooter Supply LLC, the Associated Press, Tacoma News Tribune, and on-line Seattle Post-Intelligencer are not telling the rest of the story, as the late Paul Harvey put it.

And what is the rest of this story? Bull’s Eye Shooter Supply, located where it has always been, on Tacoma’s Puyallup Avenue, is still in business, and business is thriving. Kindschuh reported Monday afternoon that his FFL – the one he already had when he purchased the business in 2003 from embattled former proprietor Brian Borgelt – had just been renewed for three more years. This FFL is good through Aug. 1, 2012, and Kindschuh made it clear his doors will stay open.

Is this something to brag about or publicize? Has Kindschuh decided now's the time to come out more boldly? I had the sense before that he was keeping a low profile, perhaps attempting to downplay the fact that when Borgelt lost his license he simply "transferred ownership to his friend and continued to run the place."

I'm sure they cleaned up their act, as Mr. Kindschuh says, but this hardly seems the right way to treat firearms dealers who so blatantly contribute to the flow of guns into criminal hands.

What's your opinion? Is Kindschuh getting a raw deal reputation-wise? Or is he in cahoots with Borgelt and rightfully besmirched by past indiscretions?

What do you think? Why would lawful gun owners support and protect guys like these? I would think righteous people would be very wary of them.

Please leave a comment.

Mayors Against (Illegal) Guns

Thanks to our regular commenter cj, I had a chance to read this article on the site.

Naples Mayor Bill Barnett expected a hard recoil when he joined Mayors Against Illegal Guns, but the fusillade of angry mail and phone calls startled him.

“We’ve been absolutely bombed with protest,” he said. “I’m not a radical and I don’t get involved in a lot of causes, but I joined this group because it seems like a reasonable organization.”

The National Rifle Association has taken aim at the coalition of some 450 mayors -- 45 of them in Florida -- alerting gun owners that the group will lobby Congress to end “reciprocity” among states that issue concealed-weapons permits, tighten restrictions on sales at weekend gun shows and weaken privacy protections for gun owners.

Former NRA President Marion Hammer is now one of the most influential lobbyists in Tallahassee. He explains the reason for such a strong response from gun owners: the MAIG group really wants to spread New York-style gun control far and wide.

Now, that's not what I've been hearing. I've been hearing that the mayors really want to eliminate and eventually confiscate guns, to eradicate them to the great detriment of the gun owning public. What President Hammer said is quite different, though.

Tallahassee Mayor John Marks, another member of MAIG had this to say.

“The three things to remember are, it’s designed to keep criminals from having illegal guns, there’s no intent whatsoever to deny or infringe on any law-abiding citizen’s Second Amendment rights and we want to do everything we can to assist law enforcement,” said Marks. “That’s all there is to it.”

The mayors are lobbying Congress, mainly because they want background checks done at gun shows, just like they're done in retail stores, and because “each state should respect the other states” by not making states that ban concealed weapons honor licenses from states that allow them.

What's your opinion? Are the Mayors Against Illegal Guns hostile towards gun owners like some say? Do you think it's possible to have "New York-style gun control" far and wide and still not interfere with the rights of lawful gun owners?

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Richard Ward, Mayor of Hurst Texas

The Star-Telegram published a wonderful opinion piece by the mayor of Hurst Texas, Richard Ward, who happens to be a gun owner, a supporter of 2nd Amendment rights and a member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

I fully support the rights of law-abiding citizens under the Second Amendment. What I don’t support is criminals getting their hands on guns. The coalition is for enforcing existing gun laws, increasing penalties for gun criminals and closing gaps in the gun background check system.

We are for providing police officers with access to the data they need to prevent the flow of illegal guns into our communities. None of these efforts have posed any threat to the rights of law-abiding gun owners.

There is nothing "anti-gun" about this agenda. The only people who should be worried about the coalition are the criminals.

Mayor Ward mentioned that he doesn't like the bullying tactics of the NRA. Who would? Like Mayor Chris Louras of Rutland Vermont, Richard Ward finds no inconsistency with being a gun owner who favors common-sense laws which seek to keep guns in the right hands.

I’ve talked with many gun owners who agree that supporting gun rights and fighting gun crime are consistent goals. The NRA ought to listen to them. The NRA ought to be applauding mayors for trying to build consensus on the gun issue — and the NRA should join us in our efforts.

Why does the NRA, and many gun owners for that matter, not see the logic in this approach? Wouldn't a combined effort be more efficacious? If the "NRA should join us in our efforts," as Mayor Ward says wouldn't that serve another purpose, wouldn't it smoke out the anti-gun folks who really want to ban and confiscate guns? Sure it would. The common middle ground would become so big and powerful that a major reduction in crime would result. On both ends of the spectrum you'd have only the most fanatical, pro-gun folks who want no restrictions whatever and anti-gun folks who want all guns to disappear.

What's your opinion? Is Mayor Ward's call for the NRA to move into the middle ground a good one, or one that is totally unrealistic?

What do you think? Please leave a comment.

Accidental Shooting at Gun Show

The East Valley Tribune reports on an accidental shooting at a Phoenix gun show which sent one woman to the hospital.

Witnesses reported that an accidental shooting occurred Saturday at the Crossroads Gun Show at Mesa’s Centennial Hall.

The gun show on Center Street saw hundreds of sellers and buyers milling around in the noisy venue until the loud crack of a solitary gun shot.

The show, packed with an estimated 200 to 300 people, fell silent about 11:30 a.m., and then came the screams of a woman who was grazed in the neck by a bullet witnesses said was accidentally discharged by a vendor.

I realize this doesn't happen very often, but it does illustrate the problem with gun proliferation. When more and more people have guns legally, the chances of accidents and mistakes increases proportionately, as does the chances of other types of misuse.. That's exactly why people, non-gun-owning people, favor gun free zones. And this is exactly what's wrong with the seemingly increasing movement to expand gun rights.

Witnesses, some of whom were standing at the table of an unidentified vendor said, his weapon accidentally discharged. They said the vendor was crouched below his table when the gun went off.

The identity of the woman who was injured was not available late Saturday, but witnesses reported that she was taken away by ambulance. The vendor was escorted from the venue “and banned for life.”

What do you think that means? Was he banned from this particular gun show for life? Do you think that's sufficient? Are people who handle guns all day long every day allowed a certain number of accidents? Should the sanctions for an accident that injures or kills someone be more severe than one which doesn't? Are we to understand that this particular vendor is still in business, just not at this venue?

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Ravenna Italy - Basilica of San Vitale

I had business in the north and took the time to revisit Ravenna. In the Basilica of San Vitale there are 6th-century mosaics which are among the most beautiful in the world. This is from a time before Islam and way before the Protestant Reformation, a time when Rome was well into its decline and Ravenna, being closer to Constantanople, formerly Byzantzium, was ascending in importance. The mind reels with not only the pure beauty of the art but also its significance in history, the history itself.

There was a metal detector going into the place. I guess it was a gun-free zone - also hammer-free I would imagine.