Saturday, July 3, 2010

Why the Brady Campaign Often Fails-and How They Can Achive Success (Part 1)

Problem: The Brady Campaign has its heart in the right place. It really does. But very often, it appears and is ineffectual. And this is pretty common whenever a public interest/safety/health group takes on the agenda of a corporate interest. For example, when a consumer group points out obesity is a major health problem in the US and suggests trivial reforms to the fast food industry--the fast food industry responds by claiming Americans have the right to eat as they wish and that those calling for reform would have us eat nothing but tofu and beets for the rest of our lives.

Sound familiar? See the pattern? This is how most every industry responds to calls for regulation or reform: We have the right. Those suggesting change are unAmerican. Change will result in something far too horrible to contemplate.

IOW, industries will do or say anything--even lie--to keep to their agenda. And when it comes to lying and doing most anything, the NRA are masters.

Public interest/safety/health groups are hampered from the beginning because while their constituency is everyone, it is also no one. These groups don't get huge financial backing from industry; often, there is no industry aligned with them. In order to counter such industry-backed groups, it's necessary for public interest/safety/health groups--like Brady--to use every tool at their disposal.

In Part 2, I show Brady how to open up the toolbox.

Guns in VA Bars? No Problem

Just ask Michael Vick.

I wonder why the gunloons aren't defending Vick. Oh, that's right--I forgot.

"When Something's Dumb, It's Just Dumb"

That was the response of Black River Falls (WI) Police Chief Don Gilberg to Jackson County (WI) District Attorney Gerald R. Fox's decision not to enforce various gun laws in his county.

DA Fox declared that in light of the recent SCOTUS ruling, his office will
no longer take any cases police might refer that are solely about violations of concealed carry, uncased or loaded weapons in vehicles, guns in public buildings or where alcohol is sold or served. Nor will Fox prosecute the possession of switchblade and other types of easy-opening knives.

I think Fox will soon discover this was not his finest career move.

Friday, July 2, 2010

VA Mass Killing Suspect Ruled Incompetent

Christopher Speight, charged in the shooting deaths of eight people in VA--including four children--has been ruled incompetent to stand trial.

Appomattox County Circuit Court Judge Richard Blanton ordered last week that Christopher Speight be sent to a state psychiatric hospital. If he is found competent after treatment, Speight could stand trial for the January shooting deaths.

Odd. An NRA member declared Speight was "an upstanding Christian young man." Apparently, being an NRA instructor gives one special insight as to character.

"In Guns We Trust"

From BuzzFlash:
It's about white males in America feeling threatened by becoming a minority and the gun is their last psychological reassurance of entitlement power against an encroaching demographic change in our democracy. After all, the City of Chicago allows citizens to own rifles, so there never was a ban on guns in Chicago; there was a ban on a certain type of gun, which didn't even exist at the time the Constitution was written.

But it is the handgun that makes so many white males feel impregnable, as if they were riding around with a turret gun in a Hummer

Read the comments as well.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Year's Biggest Free Agent

LeBron James?


This is the year's biggest free agent.

Guns, Bikes, Booze, NRA 'A' - Rated GOP Politicos

Always a recipe for bad things.

Fresh off a conviction for impaired driving, former state House Speaker Craig DeRoche is back in court for an alcohol-related offense.

The Detroit Free Press reports DeRoche, a Republican who represented parts of Metro Detroit in Michigan's 38th District for much of the past decade, was arrested early Sunday at his Novi home after a family member called police to say he was drunk and carrying a gun


Uh huh. Gunloonery isn't about insecurity issues. You bet.

That's why I have to take my shirt off while posing with assault weapon. Yessir. Yeah, I know I'm in my parents house and all. But I have the night shift at the Quickie Mart.

Won't be there much longer:

Adam Coughlan, 29, was arrested May 21, 2009 after a raid of his Lake Hiawatha home turned up more than 40 firearms and ammunition. Authorities said he was converting weapons into illegal assault weapons, and was captured on electronic surveillance arranging to sell an AK-47 automatic firearm at a Quick Chek in Parsippany.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Random McDonald

Chicago to continue gun control efforts:

Chicagoans should be limited to one handgun for every eligible person living in a home — and gun dealers should be banned within the city limits — in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to shoot down the city’s handgun ban, the city’s top lawyer said today

TIME: Supreme Court Gun Ruling: More Bark Than Bite?

The floodgates are now open for lawsuits challenging state and local gun-control laws nationwide. But based on what the majority actually said, it seems likely that many of these challenges will fail

Handy Tip

I realize gunloons usually have their wine in bottles with screwtops or out of a box or-shudder-mixed with soda pop. But for all others, here's a tip for when the corkscrew goes missing.

Grassley Asks Kagan if 2A comes from God

Unbelievable. Via TPM:

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Saul Cornell on McDonald

Can't disagree with Prof. Cornell. From SCOTUSBlog:
The quality of scholarship cited by Alito, much of it published in minor law reviews and much of it produced by gun rights activists with the express purpose of influencing the Court is nothing short of intellectually embarrassing. With over a thousand law reviews in existence, and many law reviews going on-line as well, the entire nature of legal scholarship now appears totally debased. Law review publication, most of it lacking any meaningful peer review or comparable quality control, has proliferated to the point where activists simply seed the law reviews with the express purpose of bolstering specious arguments. The notion that courts ought to wait for a true consensus to appear before turning to law reviews has been replaced by a notion that all publications are created equal. The notion of scholarly authority has almost no meaning any more.

Preach it, Prof. Cornell!

On the bright side:
As a practical matter, the case merely extends the Heller status quo to the states and seems unlikely to change the realities of gun regulation. While gun bans may be out, virtually any gun regulation that could survive the political process is likely to survive the wave of challenges that will follow in the wake of this decision. Interestingly, Justice Alito underscored the narrow scope of Heller’s original holding – which, he made clear, only protected guns in the home. Since most gun rights advocates are focused on the right to carry, his statement in McDonald is likely to be a serious disappointment.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Appealing to Low Info Voters

Pamela Gorman wants the low info voter demographic:

If Arizona could somehow tax their whackjob politicians, they'd run a huge surplus.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Blog Absence

This'll be my last post for about two weeks. I'll be luxuriating on the Jersey Shore, showing my kids what a real "mare" is and treating my internet addiction to a bit of cold turkey.

I'm disengaging the comment moderation in case anyone wants to say something to one of my recent posts - you won't have to wait for it to be released.

And, in case you haven't noticed I'm leaving the blog in good hands, the man who needs no introduction.

McDonald SCOTUS Decision

I'd say 'pretty much as expected' but not really.

It appears the SC wants to wash its hands of this issue. As expected, the Court struck down Chicago's handgun law. But the really interesting part is that the majority say less severe laws and regulations could survive legal challenges.

More to come...

DC and DGUs

An interesting aside in a story about Chicago and the upcoming Supreme Court decision. Buried in the article is this:

Since the ban was lifted in D.C., just over 800 guns have been registered in city. The relatively low total comes as the district passed the slew of new requirements that also include being fingerprinted and taking ballistic tests, which could help police track bullets back to specific guns if needed.

And this:

Washington, D.C.'s police chief, Cathy Lanier, said the city has "yet to have a case where someone was about to be the victim of a crime where someone pulled a handgun and saved themselves." However, that isn't the case in Chicago, and many say that could provide the motivation for more people to purchase guns if a ban is lifted.


Lanier, D.C.'s police chief, said she believes getting rid of the ban has not had an effect on crime. The number of accidental shootings in homes, domestic violence shootings and suicides did not go up as a result, she said. Nor, she said, has the homicide rate gone down as a result of lifting the ban, a frequent claim by gun rights advocates.

"I just hope that there's not a thought that allowing people to legally register guns is going to have a big impact on crime," she said. "It certainly hasn't here

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Sentencing Disparity

Two headlines:

Man gets 15 years for fatal club shooting

Man gets 30-year sentence for shooting at cop

I realize there are many variables, one's in Florida, one's in Iowa, not to mention the backgrounds of the offenders. But I couldn't help but notice that the life of a cop is so much more valuable that actually killing someone who is not in law enforcement gets you half as much time as just shooting AT a cop.

What's your opinion? Is something wrong with that? Please leave a comment.

Murder - Suicide in Kentucky

Local 12 Cincinnati reports on the latest. The action took place in Northern Kentucky.

One resident on Vice Lane said she was inside when she heard what sounded like firecrackers going off. When she looked outside, she saw 42 year-old Denise Pauly in the street dead from a gunshot wound.

Her ex-husband, Dean Pauly was also suffering from what appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was taken to University Hospital where he was listed in critical condition. Pauly died Sunday from his injuries.

I sometimes read a couple sites dedicated to reporting DGUs. They publish interesting stories, about a thousand a year or so. But, in order to come up with them they employ the efforts of a small army of folks all across the country sending in the links. If they relied on the main stream media, straight Google searches, and other simple means, they'd come up practically empty.

On the other hand, stories of men killing their wives and turning the gun on themselves, and the like, are so much more numerous that they appear daily at the stroke of a key.

Why do you think that is? Some say it's a conspiracy on the part of the anti-gun media. But, doesn't the internet overcome that? Is Google in on the conspiracy? Of course not.

The reason is simple, in spite of what John Lott says and what the rest of the pro-gun crowd keep repeating, true DGUs are rare and true misuse of firearms is very very frequent.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Memo to Glenn Beck

The Canada Free Press published an incredible "memo to Glenn Beck" by Philip V. Brennan. The opening lines say it all.

There are few people who I admire more than Glenn Beck. As a latter day Paul Revere he is alerting the American people to the to the real perils inherent in the Obama Administration’s drive to deliberately wreck the economy and impose a Marxist regime upon the United States.

Remarkably, from there he goes on to urge Glenn to give Joe McCarthy another look, you know the misunderstood-due-to-a-lefty-conspiracy Joe McCarthy.

It's a wonderful read. Enjoy.

Endless War

Via TPM, a very perceptive piece by Andrew Bacevich on the effect of seemingly endless conflicts on the military.

The Long War is not America's war. It belongs exclusively to "the troops," lashed to a treadmill that finds soldiers and Marines either serving in a combat zone or preparing to deploy.

To be an American soldier today is to serve a people who find nothing amiss in the prospect of armed conflict without end. Once begun, wars continue, persisting regardless of whether they receive public support. President Obama's insistence to the contrary notwithstanding, this nation is not even remotely "at" war. In explaining his decision to change commanders without changing course in Afghanistan, the president offered this rhetorical flourish: "Americans don't flinch in the face of difficult truths." In fact, when it comes to war, the American people avert their eyes from difficult truths. Largely unaffected by events in Afghanistan and Iraq and preoccupied with problems much closer to home, they have demonstrated a fine ability to tune out war. Soldiers (and their families) are left holding the bag

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Guns, Soccer, Late Night Hijinks

Just another case where arguments like this--over World Cup soccer--used to be settled by fisticuffs. A fat lip, a black eye, maybe a loose tooth.

In the Lone Star state, they have to pack heat:

Senior Cpl. Gerardo Monreal, a police spokesman, said four men attending a party in the 3200 block of Nebraska Avenue got into an argument over an upcoming World Cup soccer game around 3 a.m.

One man got a handgun from his car, shooting and fatally wounding two men, ages 17 and 28, police said.

A struggle ensued and the assailant fired several more times, wounding himself in the leg. He was arrested and taken to Methodist Dallas Medical Center for treatment

I suspect alcohol was also somehow involved. Makes you wonder why the gunloons are so determined to take their firearms drinking.

Piszczor vs. Bennett

The Chicago Tribune published an article in anticipation of the Supreme Court ruling which is expected shortly. It contains some interesting history of the gun debate in the village of Oak Park.

The gun ban question has lingered over the village and Chicago for more than a quarter of a century. But in the case of Oak Park, the debate is rooted in the death of Piszczor and the life of Bennett, the rallying forces in the mid-1980s for either those who supported gun control or those who did not.

The murder of Piszczor, a prominent Oak Park attorney who was gunned down in a Chicago courtroom in 1983 along with Judge Henry Gentile during a divorce case, was the impetus for the handgun-control movement that led the village in 1984 to pass its ordinance banning handguns. A year later, residents voted to support the ban with a 54 percent majority, despite an aggressive effort by the National Rifle Association to get voters to repeal it.

On the other side, Bennett, then the owner of a gas station at Austin Boulevard and Harrison Street who insisted on carrying a handgun to protect himself, was the public face of the pro-gun movement, powered and financed by the NRA, that kept the village in court for years.

Is there anything wrong with people in a certain municipality deciding they want no guns? Can anyone explain that to me without resorting to ridiculous comparisons?

For many residents, Piszczor's murder was viewed in the 1980s as a senseless act of violence that could have been avoided if handguns were not readily available.

What could be simpler or clearer than that? Please leave a comment.

The Virginia Anger Counselor

Google News reports.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A former priest and anger-management counselor who pulled a gun in a traffic dispute on two men who happened to be U.S. Marshals has been sentenced to a year in prison. Fifty-seven-year-old Jose Luis Avila of Annandale pleaded guilty earlier this year in U.S. District Court to assaulting a federal officer.

In January, Avila was driving by the marshals near his home. He honked his horn because he believed they were standing in the road. When he thought one of the marshals made an obscene gesture at him, he pulled out a loaded handgun.

The 12-month sentence was in line with what prosecutors had sought. Defense lawyers wanted probation or time served; Avila has been jailed since January.

Avila has also been ordered to undergo anger management.

Now, I'm all for a guy like this losing his gun rights, obviously he's not your ideal candidate for responsible gun management. But, keeping him in jail seems a bit severe, as does the charge of assaulting a federal officer.

It's difficult to know what exactly happened, but it sounds like those federal marshals who were standing in the street blocking traffic and reacted strongly to the horn being blown at them, were not your ideal examples of law enforcement either. I hate bullying cops as much as FatWhiteMan does. And I hate overly severe sentences for folks who dare to challenge them, even if it is with a gun.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Murder - Suicide in Georgia

The Times-Journal reports on the tragic story.

According to investigators with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, the 29-year-old mother allegedly shot her daughter with a high-powered rifle, and then turned the gun on herself.

“It was a tragic thing,” said Chuck Phillips, chief deputy with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department.

Phillips said it’s believed there had been problems between the woman and the child’s father.

The apparent murder-suicide happened sometime before 9 p.m. Thursday in the back yard of one of the mother’s family members, at a home on Jackson County Road 705.

The only one I don't blame for this, besides the gun control advocates, of course, is the child's father. I blame the sick mother, I blame the owner of the gun, I blame the State of Georgia and I blame all the gun owners who support lax or non-existent gun laws.

Could she have drowned the kid and cut her own wrist? Yes of course. But what she did was to pick up the most efficient killing tool around. And, like often happens, we'll never know if she would have used another means if no gun had been available, or if she did resort to some other means if she would have been successful.

That's why gun availability is a major factor in cases like this.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Seranading Gunloons on a Saturday Night

As the man says: What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.