Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Rich, Rich Fantasy World of the Gunloon

Do we really want people who have an overpowering compulsion to play dress-up to have guns?

I mean, I think every child likes to dress up as a favorite superhero or princess or sports figure. But that usually stops by somewhere in the third grade. A few of the really maladjusted kids may go Goth for a year or so in junior high but that usually ends when they discover it's not going to get them a prom date or when summer rolls around and dressing all in black will make you sweat like a pig.

And why in the name of the Aqua Buddha, would anyone participate--as an adult--in this?

United Nations Small Arms Treaty

I blame the commenters on my blog for the fact that I see the gun debate in black-and-white terms. You're either pro-gun or you're gun control. Or, maybe this type of thinking is entirely my fault.

For this reason, I find Robert Farago at The Truth About Guns especially refreshing.  Sometimes I wonder whose side he's on, but that's only when I slip back into that black-and-white thinking.  I suppose he's just an honest and reasonable, although passionate gun owner. Take this post for example where he accuses the GOA of distorting the United Nations Small Arms Treaty for its own purposes.

The gist of it is the GOA, and many other pro-gun voices, keep talking about the U.N. interfering with their gun rights, but really the U.N. is interested in "military arm sales between countries."

Farago's conclusion:

I’ve taken the NRA to task for fear-mongering. Ditto the GOA. If you want to be more effective with mainstream American voters—-and why not?—tell the truth about guns. There are U.N. plots to disarm the world. But this ain’t one of them. And you know it. And if you don’t, that’s even worse.
What's your opinion? Is it fair to describe the author of The Truth About Guns as "honest and reasonable, although passionate about guns?" Do you think he represents a large swath of gun owners or are the more contentious voices characteristic?

Please tell us what you think.

O.J. Simpson Stays in Prison

Yahoo News reports what some will undoubtedly consider good news.

LAS VEGAS – The Nevada Supreme Court has refused to overturn O.J. Simpson's armed robbery and kidnapping convictions stemming from a Las Vegas hotel room heist.

But the court on Friday ordered his co-defendant's conviction in the case reversed.

The 63-year-old Simpson is serving nine to 33 years at a state prison. His co-defendant, Clarence "C.J." Stewart, is serving 7 1/2 to 27 years at High Desert Prison northwest of Las Vegas.

Both men were convicted of kidnapping, armed robbery, conspiracy and other crimes for what Simpson maintained was an attempt to retrieve family photos and mementoes.
I was wrong in my prediction. But I still say the kidnapping charge is nonsense and he's paying for something he was acquitted of 10 years earlier. The whole thing is a disgraceful abuse of the legal system. But that's Nevada for you.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Ohio Man Kills ex-Girlfriend

Even I don't propose we restrict guns from men who breakup with women. But something has to be done about these guys.

[Her] niece, Cassandra Morales, says her aunt broke off a relationship with Rodriguez two years ago and he had attacked her once before, sending her to the hospital.
Would tighter restrictions on domestic abusers help? Does Ohio even have such a concept? Something needs to be done, don't you agree?

Please leave a comment.

Friday, October 22, 2010

George Best and Pele

Recalled Bullets

via Laci.


In Oklahoma they don't like it.

 "If you are a criminal, why would you use a firearm that could come back to you?  Guns that are used in crimes are stolen firearms," [Medlock Firearms manager Brad] Wells said.
That is getting to be one tired old argument, isn't it?  "Criminals don't obey the laws, laws only affect the law-abiding."  Well, considering that all the guns start out in the hands of law-abiding gun owners, what's the point? Combined with other common-sense measures, this technology could be the future of gun control.

One thing it would do for sure and right away, is allow the police to trace those guns in the hands of their rightful owners, you know, the famous 10% of gun owners who are not full-fledged members of the criminal world but do stuipid things with their guns.

What do you think? Please leave a comment.

Uxbridge Accidental Shooting

It's not often that we see the anguish so clearly pictured. The story leading up to this photograph is certainly a touching one.  But is it really any different from the many similar incidents in which the bullet lands in the floor or the wall instead of someone's head?  Maybe this guy broke three of the Four Rules instead of just two.

Does this anguish translate into lessons learned, in your opinion?  Is a guy like this less likely to ever do this again after having had this terrible experience? Or, is a guy who's proven himself capable of such monumental stupidity once, more likely to repeat it than, say, someone who's never done it.

For me these are academic, although interesting, questions.  One strike you're out covers all of them. If you mess up, big or small, with a gun, you forfeit your rights to own them.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Glenn Cannon Gets 51 Months

I sure hope this guy had a bunch of prior convictions or something. Otherwise, I'm afraid I'd have to join the pro-gun voices who are saying, "What, are you crazy? 51 months for possession of a gun?"

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) - A Providence man is behind bars after being sentenced on gun charges.
Glenn Cannon has been ordered to serve 51 months in federal prison, followed by three years supervised release.

The 31-year-old pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm.

He was arrested after Providence Police found a gun hidden in a sock, in his car.
What do you think? Does that sound a bit heavy to you, especially when we have daily reports of people doing serious wrong with guns and getting off on misdemeanors?

Please leave a comment.

Baltimore Gun Shops

I keep hearing that unscrupulous FFL gun sellers are so rare, that the vast majority is on the up and up, they keep telling me.  Well, I guess they never got the memo in Baltimore.

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms said in 2007 that they traced 64 firearms seized by Baltimore police at crime scenes to Clyde's, behind only Valley Guns in Parkville, which was shuttered because of inventory problems. Two other gun shops that were among the top five on that list, Northeast Gun & Pawn and Baltimore Gunsmith, both in the city, also have been closed for violations.
What's your opinion? Isn't it like any other business in that greed can easily lead a shop owner to practices that are not exactly consistent with the desired due diligence. It's all about turning a blind eye to suspicious sales, don't you think? Of course, some of the worst cases sell guns out the back door and then lose the paper work.  But the others just make it too easy for the straw purchasers to do their thing.

Please leave a comment.

An American Band

I must admit Laci has improved a bit with his latest muscial offerings, but here's what it's really all about.  Besides the title (spelled backwards) and the famous drum solo by Don Brewer, I love this line, which often comes in handy:

"Cause I just done got hip to you"

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Gun Issues in the Election

Via japete in a wonderful post about the future of Colorado and Alaska.

Il Principe on CT Gun Laws and Other Things

The Prince speaks.  What do you think?

As a former military service member and an America citizen who values all of the privileges given to Americans in the U.S. Constitution, I enjoy practicing the privilege bestowed to me in the second amendment. Although my other long cherished constitutional protections in the U.S. Constitution outlined in the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and Fourteenth amendments have been undermined by the Patriot Act, the right to bear arms for now is still a right not affected by the concentration of power within the executive branch of the federal government enabled by a perpetual war and the national security state apparatus. On the contrary, with the federal government focused more on external threats combined with fewer federal resources for state and local governments, the individual has to be prepared to be responsible for their own personal security. As an analyst by trade and a frequent commenter on MikeB302000, a recent trip to a gun range in the more restrictive gun law state of Connecticut, prompted an analysis of gun legislation in Connecticut.
Please leave a comment.

Gun Theft in Santa Barbara County

Burglary, gun theft, it happens all the time.  Some even say it's the number one supplier of guns to the criminal world.  I personally think straw purchases are the number one supplier followed by improper transfers, but theft is a big problem, I agree.

In this case there was an interesting mention in the news article about the gun storage.
The burglars also, authorities said, took 20 guns from a safe.
I wondered exactly what kind of safe that was. You can call anything a safe, anything from a high-school locker to a bank vault. That's your gun safe. If indeed, the guns were safely stored in a proper safe, one which meets industry standards and all local ordinances, where such things exist, then, what we've got here is a plain case of theft with no shared responsibility on the part of the gun owner.

If, on the other hand, what they refer to as a gun safe was nothing more than a sheet metal or wooden cabinet which was easily opened with or without a key, then I'm afraid we have to hold the gun owner responsible for improper storage of guns which abetted the theft.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

New Hampshire Gun Story

No evidence why he shouldn't get the gun back? How about the title of this post as a good reason.

The New Hampshire Supreme Court says the state has the burden of showing why a seized firearm should not be returned to its owner.

A district court judge refused to return a Glock handgun to Richard Pessetto of Grafton. Pessetto was given a suspended sentence for having a loaded firearm in his vehicle without a license. Raymond police seized the gun during a motor vehicle stop in May 2008.

The judge ordered Pessetto to file a form used when a person tries to get back weapons after a domestic violence or stalking protective order expires. Pessetto said he's never been the subject of such an order.

Prosecutors offered no evidence why he shouldn't get the gun back.
What's your opinion? Please leave a comemnt.

Pentagon Shooting

It seems incredible to me that there's some kind of mystery involved here.  Wouldn't the Pentagon area be one of the best surveilled in the world?  Don't these people watch 24?  Don't they know how Chloe does it when Jack Bauer needs to know something NOW?

The Supremes at the Koch Event

The Huffington Post reports on the controversy surrounding the attendance of Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas at an event sponsored by Koch Industries.

But the Koch event appears more political than, say, the Aspen Ideas festival. In its own invitation, it was described as a "twice a year" gathering "to review strategies for combating the multitude of public policies that threaten to destroy America as we know it." In addition, it's not entirely clear what the two Justices did at the Koch event.
That's a little blatant, don't you think? Please leave a comment.

"Open, Honest, Rational, Conversation"

This evening I sent the following email to Jonathan Sullivan, who writes by the moniker of “Linoge” at his oddly named “Walls of the City” weblog:

Subject: In order to provoke some thoughtful reflection

Given that, unlike you, I am genuinely interested in an open, honest, rational conversation, I feel it is only appropriate that I call your attention to my recent post here:

Also unlike you, I promise that I will not moderate your comments into oblivion just because I disagree with what you say (though I should caution that my weblogging platform does auto-moderate any new commenters – I will approve whatever comment you care to leave as soon as I can). If you have any questions or concerns about that post, please feel free to comment at it, or respond to this email.

Thank you for your time,

(Please be advised: Any email sent to this address will be considered for publication at the above-linked webpage. Also, this email has been blind-carbon-copied to others, and any attempt to misrepresent it will be handled accordingly.)

Unsurprisingly, I have not received any form of acknowledgement from him, though two of my blind-carbon-copy recipients did indicate they received it, and one uses the same online email system Jon uses, so I think we can rule out technical difficulties. For someone who claims to be “passionate about the issue” and interested in “provok[ing] some thoughtful reflection”, I find his lack of a response to be disturbing.

For people who seem so very inflamed by their respective causes celebres, they seem to lack the courage to defend, or even support, their personal beliefs anywhere other than their own closely regulated, controlled, and moderated corners of the cortex. I wonder why that is?

Also. Bwahahahahahahaha.

YeeeHaw!! 'Nother NRA Hero!

Joe Benny Tubbs--he don't cotton to brown folks in the neighborhood:

The shooter is believed to be Joe Benny Tubbs, according to ACSO Sheriff Kent Henson. Scott said he was one of the first Tubbs shot at.

“They said no (racial slur) are going to walk down this road,” Scott said. “It scared me when they pointed the gun at me. I was running and I could see the bullets going past me. I’m just glad I didn’t get shot.”

Whenever you see two first names like Joe Benny or Jimmy Bob or Ricky Elvis...N R A.

Boggles My Mind

By now, I'm sure you've heard that the Pentagon was shot at:
Investigators originally found two windows on the exterior of the building that had been hit by one bullet each. But today, Steven Calvery, director of the Pentagon Force Protection Agency, said the investigation has determined that four additional bullets hit the Pentagon's facade, according to CNN.

Authorities are continuing their search for the gunman today. Calvery said Tuesday he thought the shooting was "a random event." (D.C. has a notoriously high rate of gun violence).

I've got significant problems with this. First, the Pentagon isn't in DC--it's in Virginia. Second, on what planet is a shooting directed against the headquarters of United States Armed Services considered a "random event?"

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Self Defense Training

Robert Farago posted this video to point out that car doors are not very good cover in a gun fight. What it made me wonder is why a guy who spends so much time training for life-and-death possibilities would allow himself to carry so much extra weight. We make jokes about fat white men, but there is some truth to it. Wouldn't someone seriously concerned about self-defense keep in better shape?

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment

Wisconsin Gun Show Incident

The Chicago Tribune covered this story, briefly. I guess there wasn't all that much to say.

A glass display case shattered, but fortunately no one was hurt when a handgun was accidentally fired at a crowded gun show in Fond du Lac.

Police say a man was showing the gun to a vendor at the Fond du Lac County Fairgrounds Expo building during the weekend when it fired. Capt. Mat Mueller says the bullet could easily have struck someone.

Mueller tells The Reporter that everyone carrying a weapon is required to have it checked at the door to make sure it doesn't contain ammunition. He says the man who fired the gun bypassed the security check.

He was cited for firing a weapon in the city.
I couldn't help but notice that the first mention of the incident was accurate: "a handgun was accidentally fired." Of course you could argue about the "accidentally" part, but I'm talking about the correct use of the "it was fired" idea.

The second mention goes back to the usual sloppy description that takes all the responsibility away from the guy who pulled the trigger and places in squarely on the gun. "when it fired."
Now, this trickery is especially humorous because the pro-gun voices are continually telling the gun control people that the gun is just a tool and we should stop focusing on it and look at the people who use or misuse it. In these cases though, they love to take the focus off the shooter and put it right on the gun, "it fired."

But the best thing is the final line:

He was cited for firing a weapon in the city.
You don't need to know anything about Wisconsin law to know that we're talking about a slap on the wrist misdemeanor, which might be bargained down from there. And this upstanding citizen who fired a gun in a crowded room will continue to do his thing.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Tampa Florida Arrest

The scene is right out of a Hollywood movie.  A foot chase, criminal trying unsuccessfully to scale a fence, a fight with police that ended with a battered suspect in custody.  It's the description afterwards that I found interesting.

"In hindsight, he was trying to go for the gun the whole time," [Tampa police Officer Jerry] Wyche said.
That made me wonder a bit, but at least it explained the weird headline, "Man nearly pulls gun..."

The other part I liked was this.
Both officers, who said they smelled marijuana in the Chevrolet, chased Powell, who ran toward a home and jumped a fence.
Isn't that the old let's-make-up-some-probable-cause trick so we can harass this guy? That's what it sounds like to me. I wonder what the real reason the stopped him was.

What's your opinion?   Am I reading too much into this story? 

Please leave a comment.

Deleware Men Arrested

The story is quite a shocking one.  Three young men were buying a gun illegally and instead of just paying for it they shot the seller in the face with a shotgun.  The action took place in July, the gun dealer lived and now the three bad boys are in custody.

You know what I'm wondering?  Where did the gun come from?  What legal gun owner allowed it to slip into the criminal world where it do so much damage?  Naturally pro-gun folks want us to focus on the criminals and not the gun, and certainly not on the last legal owner of the gun.  I say that's wrong.

Criminals are not going to obey the laws, on this I agree with the gun guys.  But what I understand from that is, for that very reason we need to focus on the legal gun owners who for the most part do obey the laws. That's where we can make a difference.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Philosophers' Names as Useful Words

via Futility Closet.

Here's my favorite.

rand, n. An angry tirade occasioned by mistaking philosophical disagreement for a personal attack and/or evidence of unspeakable moral corruption.

Noam Chomsky on the Government

So many pro-gun folks hate the government. Noam would say they're misled. What do you think? (via The Well-Armed Lamb)

Road Rage Battle in Ft. Myers

In this report they may have coined a new phrase: "Road Rage Battle."

I'll bet the guy had a concealed carry permit, what do you think?

Please leave a comment.

Triple Shooting in Raleigh

If these two conspired with that one to kill the other one, then who shot the three of them? All I know is when people like these want guns, they can get all they want, every one of which passed through the hands of one or more legal gun owners. Yet, the legal gun owners insist they have nothing to do with this, these people are criminals, they cry.

Please leave a comment.

Shore Leave - Tom Waits

Dedicated to true veterans like Il Principe, whose opinion I listen to rather than all the wannabe veterans and phonies.

"They're Both Gone"

Today's Murder-Suicide:
"They're both gone," the caller said through tears.

"What do you mean they're both gone?" a Washington County dispatcher asked.

"I just came and I found them."

"Are they..."

"They're both dead."

The call came into the county's dispatch center shortly after 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. A man had walked up a steep path in the dark woods of Lakeland's Humphries Park and found the bodies of Jacob Zachary Campbell, 14, and Lisa Marie Grijalva, 15, who died in an apparent murder-suicide.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Weer'd Thinks, Fails

Weer'd thinks about Hate Crimes:
As much as it disgusts me to hear about “Hate Crime”, I see no valid reason to judge the crime any differently than crimes of passion, or crime for profit, or “honor killings” like this. You judge a man by his actions, not by what’s in his mind, or heart, and not by the tools in his hand.

This is odd for several reasons; first, Weer'd has been pretty much ok with white males shooting and killing people. But the second and larger point is that such thinking goes entirely against our entire system of justice which does account for intent. Laci can address this far better than I but IIRC there are around 20 categories of homicide that one could possibly get charged with. There's a world of difference between someone who plots a murder for months and carries it out and someone who gets into a bar fight and accidentally kills someone. Similarly, there's a ton of difference between someone spray paints a swastika on the side of a Synagogue and someone who paints "Red Sox Rule" on a garage door.
Pretty strange coming from Weer'd who believes the ATF goes after FFLs for making "typos."

Gun Range Suicide

In the Fort Lauderdale area there have been a few of these incidents lately.  Do you think South Florida is particularly suicide-prone?  I wouldn't think so, which means to get an idea of what's really happening, we'd have to figure this is going on everywhere there are shooting ranges. We've covered this a few times, for example here and here and here.

Sounds bad.  What do you think?

Please leave a comment.

Australia Paving the Way Again

Psychological testing would be a good way to eliminate some of the problem gun owners.  Don't you think?

Please leave a comment.

Negligent Shooting in New Mexico

The Iraq war veteran who worked in corrections probably had a concealed carry permit too. Yet, he was so stupid that he shot his 4-year-old son, who may die.  The bullet passed through the kid and hit the grandmother in the stomach.

Does anyone question the fact that this guy should not have owned guns, that he was too irresponsible to handle them safely?

Please leave a comment.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Lighten Up, Jay G.

One of my great pleasures is reading gunloon blogs and accounts of what they'll do when or if something happens. Today's fun is courtesy of Jay G's imagination.

Yeah, you point a gun at my kid and I will shoot you dead, too. That's one of those "shoot to stop but there ain't nothing more stopped than dead" moments right there. Threaten my kid, die on the spot.

Kill this motherf***er tomorrow. If not tonight. Give me the f***ing job, I will drive out to Idaho myself to put a dozen 12 gauge slugs through his worthless body. No, strike that. It would give me the greatest pleasure in the world to beat this piece of sh** to death with my bare f***ing hands.

And f I ever witness some dirty hippie disrespect you, I solemnly promise to punch their f***ing teeth straight down their neck for you.

Jeebus. Who knew customer service was such a jungle?

Hunting Humans

I recently read a book by Elliott Leyton called Hunting Humans: The Rise of the Modern Multiple Murderer.
The book is about 25 years old and is written by a professor considered to be a leading expert on serial murder.

The central thesis of Hunting Humans is that most mass murderers tend to be socially arrested or inept conservative men who are very conscious of their inability to progress beyond their class on either a social or professional level. Feeling trapped or restrained, they kill those they believe are preventing their ascent.

Sound familiar?

One of Leyton's case studies in the book is Mark Essex. Essex's murderous rampage ended up in a shootout at a New Orleans Howard Johnsons. Leyton notes police were stymied, in large part, because many citizens started showing up with firearms to participate in the shootout. As a result, Essex was able to hold off police for nearly half a day until a USN helicopter was called in to gun him down.

Sheboygan Cop Disciplined

We discussed this story when it happened last August. A drunk cop at a bachelor party fooling around with the boys ends up shot with his own gun. Now, a few months later, the news comes out about some mysterious and unnamed punishment.

A Sheboygan County deputy is being disciplined by his department after he was shot with his own gun while-off duty at a bachelor party in August.

The sheriff's department says Friday that an internal investigation found that Deputy Anthony Blodgett violated two department policies at the Aug. 7 party in Rhinelander.

Blodgett remains employed by the department. A news release says the department will have no additional comment.
I wonder what that disciplinary action was exactly. Do you think he's been stripped of his weapons and assigned to the property shed in the basement? Somehow I doubt it.

What do you think? Please leave a comment.

Pennsylvania State Trooper Nicholas Petrosky

Gun-friendly Pennsylvania has had its share of gun stories lately, but this one has a couple of interesting angles to it.

The 4-year-old son of a Belle Vernon Pennsylvania State Trooper accidentally shot himself in the leg with his father's gun Thursday night.

According to Donora police, Trooper Nicholas Petrosky was drying his son after a shower when the little boy grabbed his father’s gun, which had been placed on the bathroom counter.

Police said it was the trooper’s personal gun, not his state-issued weapon, that went off.
I'm not sure why the State Police felt it was important to clarify that it was his personal weapon, but it made me realize that the police and gun owners in general are not distinct and separate groups. This is where they overlap.

Apparently, State Trooper Pertosky was one of those guys we've been talking about lately who believe in carrying a gun in the home. I suppose, during certain intimate moments even these guys must briefly disarm themselves, as Petrosky did. That's where the trouble comes in, at least in this case.

Another interesting aspect is one that comes up every time I call for the future disqualification of someone responsible for a gun "accident."  He's learned his lesson and will never let that happen again, they say, they, being the die-hard pro-gun guys who will never give an inch in the argument.

In other situations they call for punishment, severe and swift.  But with gun stupidity, anyone can make a mistake, right?

One strike you're out, is what I apply to anyone who allows his 4-year-old son to shoot himself with a gun. By "out" I simply mean permanent disqualification for owning or using firearms for life.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Florida Shooter Killed by Police

The action took place in Jacksonville, Florida.

Investigators say the man accused of fatally shooting two people and wounding two others was shot 28 times by Jacksonville police.

New details were released Saturday about the police-involved shooting that left 33-year-old Christopher Scott Kilgore dead. Police say the shooting most likely lasted only a few seconds.

Law enforcement had been looking for Kilgore since Monday. Clay County authorities said he fatally shot his brother and a friend. Kilgore also shot his parents, but they survived. 

Officers were following up on a call about a suspicious person Friday when they confronted Kilgore, ordering him to give up. He refused. The officers then shot him. Kilgore had been armed with a handgun and a shotgun, but never returned fire.
I know, if you don't want to end up shot by the police 28 times, you shouldn't go around shooting people yourself. Wait a minute, isn't that like blaming the victim? Don't I always get called on that one about gun theft and other matters?

In this case, let's see, he made victims of his brother, a friend and his parents.  Then the police made a victim of him. The police should answer for that.  Our friend Kevin H. told us that in order for the cops to hit him 29 times they'd have to have fired 50 to 100 times.

I call that an excessive response to a non-life threatening confrontation. And they know it too, don't you love this justification.

Police say the shooting most likely lasted only a few seconds

What do you think?

Please leave a comment.