Saturday, July 31, 2010

Glenn Beck on the Byron Williams Incident

The Washington Post published an article examining the reaction of Glenn Beck to the arrest of Byron Williams. He's the guy many say was motivated by Beck to plan an attack on the Tides Foundation, which was thwarted.

A week after the incident, the mystery was solved. "Tides was one of the hardest things that we ever tried to explain, and everyone told us that we couldn't," Fox News host Glenn Beck told his radio listeners on Monday. "The reason why the blackboard" -- the prop Beck uses on his TV show to trace conspiracies -- "really became what the blackboard is, is because I was trying to explain Tides and how all of this worked." Beck accuses Tides of seeking to seize power and destroy capitalism, and he suggests that a full range of his enemies on the left all have "ties to the Tides Center." On Monday, he savored the fact that "no one knew what Tides was until the blackboard."

For good measure, Beck went after Tides again on Fox that night. And Tuesday night, Wednesday night and Thursday night. That's on top of 29 other mentions of Tides on Beck's Fox show over the past 18 months (two in the week before the shootout) according to a tally by the liberal press watchdog Media Matters. Other than two mentions of Tides on the show of Beck's Fox colleague Sean Hannity, Media Matters said it was unable to find any other mention of Tides on any news broadcast by any network over that same period. Beck declined comment.

The author of the article, Dana Milbank says, "It's not fair to blame Beck for violence committed by people who watch his show." She goes on to describe some of the other Beck-inspired incidents.

I'm not that politically correct or journalistically fair, I blame Glenn Beck. In my book, he bears part of the responsible for these incidents, only a few of which come to light. Thousands of lesser ones must go unconnected to him but are actually a result of his hateful talk. And that's not to mention the millions of his followers who enjoy an increased hate of government and hate of progressives and hate of the Left, all in the name of what, freedom, rights?

What's your opinion? What do you think about Glenn Beck?

Restoring Honor

Dennis Henigan wrote it up for The Huffington Post, Paul Helmke covered it on the Brady Blog.

We now know that the National Rifle Association will be joining Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin for Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally at the Lincoln Memorial on the 47th Anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. Is it possible to imagine a greater offense to the legacy of Dr. King?

Later in the article it mentions the fact that Ted Nugent will be there as well. What a cast of characters. Helmke and Henigan point out the terrible incongruity in these characters pitching their hateful and sometimes nonsensical rhetoric at the site of King's famous speech, which was at the site of the Lincoln Memorial.

The part that always amazes me is usually associated with Wayne LaPierre - the "notion that guns are legitimate tools of political dissent." His famous "the guys with the guns make the rules," is what must have inspired an entire generation of deluded gun owners. That combined with the tendency to succumb to adolescent braggadocio results in frequent comical remarks, many on this very blog.

What's your opinion? Is restoring honor in America an idea that has something to do with guns? Are these speakers, Beck, Palin, LaPierre and Nugent, the best representatives of a movement which can "restore honor?" Do you think these people represent the majority of gun owners?

Please leave a comment.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Naomi Klein

We talked about her before. She's still great.

For the Gun Owner Who Has Everything

Bankrupt Gun Owners

CBS News reports on the latest protection for gun owners.

If you file for bankruptcy, you run the risk of losing your money and your car to creditors.

But under a measure that just overwhelmingly passed the House of Representatives, one thing they would not be able to take is your gun.

The House this afternoon passed a bill that would change the law to allow someone going through bankruptcy proceedings to retain their rifles, shotguns, and pistols so long as they are worth less than $3,000 combined.

I guess that's pretty reasonable, but it seems a bit weird that you might have to give up your car, which could be necessary for work, but not your guns. Doesn't it often seem that gun owning gets more than its fair share of attention?

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

One Can Only Hope

A Washington Times editorial expressed the concerns gun owners should have about Elena Kagan.

We've been down this road before. Less than a year ago, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont Democrat, made similar assurances regarding then-Supreme Court hopeful Sonia Sotomayor, saying, "I do not see how any fair observer could regard her testimony as hostile to the Second Amendment personal right to bear arms, a right she has embraced and recognizes."

Once the "wise Latina" donned the robes of her lifetime office, any pretense of upholding the individual's right to bear arms was jettisoned. Ms. Sotomayor signed onto the gun rights dissent of Justice Stephen G. Breyer last month, which stated, "I can find nothing in the Second Amendment's text, history or underlying rationale that could warrant characterizing it as 'fundamental' insofar as it seeks to protect the keeping and bearing of arms for private self-defense purposes."

There's reason to think Ms. Kagan will follow the same path.
What's your opinion? Is Kagan going to be another Sotomayor, as concerns gun rights?

And how about that Justice Breyer? Can he write, or what?

"I can find nothing in the Second Amendment's text, history or underlying rationale that could warrant characterizing it as 'fundamental' insofar as it seeks to protect the keeping and bearing of arms for private self-defense purposes."

Please leave a comment.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Texas Governor's Race reports on the governor's race in Texas.

What's your opinion about candidate White.

Please leave a comment.

TN Law Allowing Guns in Bars Unpopular reports on the tremendous grassroots support for gun control in Tennessee.

Eighty-two percent of Democrats and 71 percent of Independents were opposed to the gun law, but a majority of Republicans, 59 percent, was against it as well.

What do you make of that? Is it like the pro-gun folks say that you can't trust public opinion - what if they wanted slavery? Or do you think these numbers show how far from reality the bullying gun lobbyists have taken us?

Please leave a comment.

Fractured History

Gunloons using history to advance NRA talking points is like watching a two year-old eating spaghetti--it's messy and fun to watch.
Case in point: Fat White Man, in comments, tells us:
When the threat of a German invasion was eminent, the Brits begged U.S. private citizens to send over thousands of personally owned rifles since the bulk of their subjects didn't own any. We were more than happy to oblige. You would have thought that they would have returned them afterwards instead of just destroying them.

There are a number of falsehoods and misrepresentations here. But let's begin with the real history, shall we?
In the Spring of 1940, the British Secretary of War, Anthony Eden, made a radio address which included the following words: "Your loyal help, added to the arrangements which already exist, will make and keep our country safe."
Soon after, the War Office began receiving reports of groups of civilians, equipped with shotguns, patrolling the countryside. It was never the intent of the British Govt. to use or call out civilians for such duty, preferring to leave such duty to the Army and police, but it was decided that a such an organization might be helpful as a morale-booster. Thus, was born the Home Guard or Local Defence Volunteers (LDV). It was affectionately known as 'Dad's Army' because most of its members were elderly men. Though the age limit for the LDV was 65, it wasn't uncommon for men in their 70s and 80s to be involved.
It's important to note the LDV started with no funding, no organization, no headquarters. Obviously, with Britain in the thick of WWII, all supplies and materials were going to the armed forces. The LDV had no uniforms or centraized command structure. As a result, the British Govt. asked allies for help. The US did send some 7000 rifles to the Brits for the LDV. And we also sent uniforms, binoculars, autos, trucks, radios and other donated surplus goods.
In reality, the LDV never functioned as an anti-invasion force. It was mainly used for civil defense functions such as clearing rubble, guarding damaged businesses, and helping with firefighting.
By early 1943, the LDV had pretty much ceased as an organization due to widespread absenteeism and disinterest.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Gun Practice Near the Neighbors

The Boston Herald reports on the common sense exercised by a New Hampshire gun owner.

MONT VERNON, N.H. — A Mont Vernon, N.H., man is facing charges after giving his girlfriend a shooting lesson that some neighbors felt was too close to their home.

Twenty-three-year-old Troy Gagnon had fired one round from a .20-gauge shotgun and his girlfriend had fired another Saturday afternoon when a neighbor called police.

The neighbor was outside with his children.

The New Hampshire Union Leader says Gagnon initially denied firing his shotgun, but his friend said they had.

Gagnon was charged with a felony count of reckless conduct. He spent the weekend in jail before being released Monday.

What happens next, do you think? After getting out of jail, he gets a slap on the wrist, some misdemeanor charge, and he's back in business, back in the business of being a reckless endangerment to himself and others. Does that sound about right to you?

Please leave a comment.

Afghan "Pentagon Papers"

Just the other day I was wondering if I'd been a bit hasty in writing Obama off as just another puppet. Well, after reading the Brad Blog post yesterday, I'm more convinced than ever. I'm afraid the Afghanistan mess outweighs all the supposed accomplishments. What do you think?

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Jon Stewart on The Sherrod Case

Lost in Race
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Editorial Prompts Gunloons to Leave La-Z-Boy

Good Op/ed:
It’s long been the stereotype that Brits view America as a gun-toting, violent and generally unrefined nation. The caricature could actually be closer to the truth than we think.

A shocking act of violence here recently threw the issue of gun control in Britain versus America into sharp relief.

In a quiet town in the north of England, 12 people were killed in early June when a taxi driver went on a shooting spree. In its wake, the tragedy left a shaken, paralyzed and livid nation.

One person interviewed following the shootings summed up the British point of view: “You hear of these things happening in America, but not here."

Naturally, this brought out the mouthbreathers in comments.

DGU Against the Heat

Fix the air conditioning or else:
An overheated Orefield homeowner pulled a pistol on an air-conditioning repairman who had just told him his cooling unit could not be fixed on Monday, police said.

Gee. And gunloons want to carry guns into bars?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Reasonable Gun Owners Agree

John Lott Accuses the Others

On the Big Government site, which was created by Andrew Breitbart, whose name has become synonymous with making stuff up, John Lott accuses the gun control groups of making stuff up.

Speaking about the almost 2 million concealed carry permits issued in Florida, Lott trotted out this old nag.

For all those individuals across the more than 22 years of legal carry, there were only 167 cases where the permit was revoked for a firearms related violation, or about 0.01 percent of permit holders.

It doesn't take a genius to realize that those 167 cases do not represent a comprehensive number. In many cases in which the criminal turns out to have had a concealed carry permit, that information is mentioned as an after thought. It is usually not the focus of the investigation. In fact, no one is even interested except the gun control folks.

So, the old less-than-1-percent argument is misleading, at best. But, to get an idea of the kind of people who go for this argument, you just need to check out the picture featured in the John Lott article. I suppose he selected this picture himself, which must depict exactly the kind of thinking he engages in.

How's that for a realistic image of what the average gun owner can expect at any moment.

What's your opinion? Do you think John Lott really believes that only 167 Florida concealed carry permit holders out of 1.8 million have broken the law? Do you think this picture is a good example of what's in his mind?

Please leave a comment.

OK Gun Show Accident reports on a gun show incident.

OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma City police say a man was accidentally shot in the leg at a gun show when his father handed a customer a loaded handgun.

Police Sgt. Charles Phillips says the wound is not life-threatening.

Phillips says two off-duty police officers were at the doors making sure guns are unloaded as they're brought in - but he says they do not check guns held by vendors.

Police say no arrests are expected in the accident.

What, no arrests? Why would that be? Is it because they understand that accidents can happen to anyone and gun owners shouldn't be held responsible for things like that? Is it because the guy who was shot in the leg realized that it could have been worse, it's just a small price to pay for all that freedom and all those gun rights?

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Debate Like A Gunloon

You, too, can debate like a gunloon. Just follow these easy steps:

1. Pluck the fruit from the cherry tree.Be sure to point out Chicago's gun laws did not work, despite homicides declining from 1990 (851) to 2009 (458), because there were 510 homicides in 2008.
2. There is no difference between the US and Columbia. When confronted with international statistics on gun control/gun violence--wisely note that Columbia has tough gun laws. IOW, pretend first world nations don't exist.
3. Make perfect the enemy of good. Any gun control law must, as a minimum, guarantee the absolute safety of everyone, anywhere, for all time. Note the converse does not hold true: lack of gun laws don't matter to public safety.
4. All science is biased against guns. It is an established truth that institutions like Harvard, Stanford, Johns Hopkins, CDC and the AMA will publish studies saying whatever you desire, if you pay them.
5. Use quotes from famous people, even if they never uttered them. If you are accused of using a bogus quotation, merely narrow your eyes and coolly respond, "Well, that's what they were thinking." Remember, use of full context or complete quotations is biased as well.
6. Literal is for thou, not thee. When a gungrabber uses a figure of speech such as "rivers of blood" or "Wild West"--be sure to point out Main Street looks nothing like the Mississippi and make snarky comments about Wyatt Earp. However, if an NRA Board Member talks about shooting police officers or repeats racial slurs--it's just a figure of speech.
7. See no evil. Nobody has ever been to a gunshow and seen racist materials. Further, none of your friends (or you) has ever used a gun improperly or in an unsafe manner.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock

This is from the Academy Award winning documentary, apropos of nothing.

Is This True?

Have I been too quick to write this guy off?

What do you think? Please leave a comment.

Grenade-selling FFL Dealer

Grenades were sold to an doctor by a licensed gun dealer, reports the Arkansas News.

A retired weapons dealer testified today that he sold grenades similar to one used in a 2009 bombing that critically injured the Arkansas Medical Board chairman to the Pope County physician accused in the blast.

Lloyd Hahn of St. Charles, Mo., also told a federal jury that he sold to Dr. Randeep Mann 100 grenades similar to the ones found buried near Mann’s home outside Russellville and a Russian-made machine gun without the necessary federal paperwork.

Prosecutors attempted to use Hahn’s testimony as the most direct link yet offered between Mann and the February bombing that wounded Dr. Trent Pierce in the driveway of his West Memphis home. The blast caused severe injuries to Pierce’s face, arm and leg, and cost him an eye.

He was testifying under immunity. I would imagine this was not the very first time he'd sold grenades and machine guns and other stuff like that. We often talk about the concealed carry guys who go bad, but my contention is when they make the news, they'd already gone bad, or had always been bad. It's the same with the FFL guys, at some point they get caught.

What's your opinion? Do you think the pro-gun rationale which says the percentage of bad apples is extremely low is valid? They use this argument a lot, gun accidents with kids, CCW guys who go bad, unscrupulous gun dealers. I don't buy it.

Please leave a comment.

Someone Should Tell Joe Huffman

What was that question again, "Can you tell me one place where gun control has worked?" I may be misquoting it, but I think that's the idea.

Datelines Philippines reports on the good news.

From January 1 to the end of June, 157,674 crimes were recorded nationwide, a 68 percent from from last year’s 502,655, Directorate for Investigative and Detective Management (DIDM) figures released by Camp Crame showed.

“What is very noticeable here is the direct effect of the gun ban to peace and order, particularly the gun-related crimes,” PNP Chief, Director General Jesus Versoza said in a statement.

That seems pretty clear to me, I can't wait to hear how the gun bloggers will rationalize it away. You see, they already know it can't be right, so now they just have to find a way to explain why. And if all else fails, they'll just say they don't trust the stats or the folks reporting them.

I hope that's what they do, because when I did that about some of their fluky reports, they didn't like it very much. This will be a way of balancing out the argument. Let's see.

“Crimes are effectively prevented when the instruments of crime were virtually ‘taken away’ from the hands of criminal elements, threat groups and other unauthorized individuals,” Verzosa said.

Now, wait a minute. Where did a Police Director, way down in the Philippines get an idea like that? Do you think he's been reading the Brady Campaign or the VPC site? Or do you think, as a reasonable man, looking at the facts, he came up with the same exact conclusion that many reasonable people looking at the facts in the United States have concluded. The fewer guns the better.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Rob Portman and Gun Control

The Cleveland Plain Dealer asks the question did Rob Portman ever really say, "I never met a gun control bill I didn't like."

In order to determine that PolitiFact Ohio asked the folks who have used the quote against Fisher, "including the Buckeye Firearms Association, the Ohio Republican Party and the campaign of Rob Portman, the Republican running against Fisher for the U.S. Senate."

It spoke with people who dealt with Fisher two decades ago and opposed him on issues in the Ohio Senate. And it asked the National Rifle Association -- twice -- to dig into its research archives, although the NRA didn't follow up either time. We checked decades' worth of newspaper clippings and websites and asked those who keep using the quote to check their records in case they've found it.
Guess what? No one has come forward with anything indicating that Portman ever said that.

Anyone who reads the gun blogs could have saved them a lot of time. This is the typical way pro-gun people treat their adversaries, or those they perceive as adversaries. A Republican politician who gets a low rating from the NRA is fair game to attacks like this. One exaggerated remark, glib and catchy, which then is repeated countless times, begins to have a superficial credibility.

Isn't it funny that pro-gun folks often refer to anti-gun people as sheep. What's a better example of sheep-like behavior than mindlessly repeating catchy one liners, regardless of their veracity?

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Arizona's the First

An op-ed in the Arizona Daily Star expresses my concerns pretty well.

Beginning Thursday you can carry a concealed weapon in Arizona without a permit.

Supporters of the new law say it's all about freedom and extending Second Amendment rights.

Some supporters even argue that the more people who carry firearms, the safer we will all be from robberies, assaults and lunatic shooting sprees.

We think not. We suspect a bunch of armed citizens trying to intervene in such incidents will be more likely to endanger innocent, unarmed citizens than to prevail over the bad guys.

But the law's the law. So let's be responsible with these new freedoms.

In other words, tough shit, gun controllers. The author of this article is a bit more optimistic than I am. I don't think too many people who decide to carry concealed guns in Arizona will bother with the classes and training. If they were they types to do that, they would have already gotten the concealed carry permit like so many others.

Good luck Arizona. I sure wouldn't want to be in the vicinity of a crime when the intervention of some armed citizen is so much more likely. I predict these guys will do more harm than good.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

About Andrew Breitbart

The Huffington Post published a wonderful article by Peter Dreier and Christopher Martin about Andrew Breitbart. After providing a detailed synopsis of the ACORN situation, which he manufactured, they ask some hard questions about the Sherrod case.

Clearly the Obama administration over-reacted, fearful, as a high-level official put it, of having the Sherrod story show up on Glenn Beck's Fox News show. Why they are so intimidated by Beck and his ilk is a mystery. Their followers, and those who identify with the Tea Party, represent no more than 15 percent of all voters. Moreover, very few of Beck's (or Limbaugh's) devotees would even consider voting for a Democrat. After all, they think Obama is a Marxist, a Muslim, and a foreigner. This is not a constituency that Obama and the Democrats are going to win over by appearing to be bipartisan or middle-of-the-road.

And if Obama and his inner circle are worried that Breitbart's and Beck's poison will spread from their base among right-wing zealots and start influencing "independent" and "swing" voters -- and thus help sway close elections toward Republican candidates -- then the best way to prevent that from happening is to fight back, and challenge their lies and distortions, not run away and hide, or capitulate, as they did by firing Van Jones, abandoning ACORN, and firing Shirley Sherrod.

Breitbart's credibility may or may not survive the Sherrod controversy. But what's important is whether responsible journalists -- as well as the Obama administration, the Democrats, and liberals and progressives -- learn some lessons from this episode.

Yes, acquiescence is not the correct response to the tricks and lies of the right. This is the beauty of the internet. Whether the main stream media, the White House or anyone else does the right thing, in the liberal blogging community you can be sure to hear the entire spectrum of opinions on everything from Shirley Sherrod to the War in Afghanistan.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

More Jon Stewart

Have you noticed that after thousands of reports about the building of an Islamic Learning Center ON the 9/11 site, or AT the 9/11 site, we're beginning to see NEAR the 9/11 site? The reason is it's going to be two blocks away. There's a gigantic building separating it from Ground Zero, which will not even be visible from the building site. And, there are churches and synogogues in the area as well.

What is wrong with the right wing, xenophobic conservatives, the same ones who viciously oppose amnesty for illegal-Mexican-immigrant workers, why can't they speak the truth? Why do they have to exaggerate the supposed offense by disseminating a false image of a Muslim Mosque right where the Twin Towers used to be?

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Profile of a Killer

The Seattle Times published a detailed profile of Christopher Montford who allegedly shot two cops last year, killing one of them.
His four years as a 30-something college student in the Seattle area give the clearest picture of the obsessive political ideology of Monfort, who carried a copy of the Constitution in his breast pocket and saw himself as a modern-day version of a Revolutionary War-era patriot.

The article describes at length his intense objections to the War in Iraq and the Bush-era initiatives which many viewed as anti-freedom. He was one of those guys who can't seem to turn it off. Once he got ranting about one of his favorite complaints, he became overbearing and seemed a bit unhinged.

I know some people like that, how about you?

Please leave a comment.