Saturday, June 25, 2011

Who Wants to Die for Art?

More on Al Capone's Gun

"the slightly bad taste quirky media aspect of it."

Michael Bishop's Attempted Murder Charges Dropped

Dog Gone picked up on the story when it first broke.

wave3 reports on the follow-up.

The Danger of Gun Shows

via the Truth About Guns where I was interested to see this following comment by Old Slo Biker.
I used to attend the gun shows at that venue pretty regularly, and this is the third incident like this they have had there that I know of. One of the reasons this show nearly ceased to be was the venue’s insistence on high table rentals and admission prices to pay for increased insurance and security. With things like this happening, I see there reasoning.
So besides being the go-to place for terrorists and murderers to arm up, the chances of being shot by accident are too high to ignore. Sounds like a lotta fun.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Jon Stewart on Obama's Double Talk

Friday, June 24, 2011

Benjamin Franklin Speaks about The Constitution

via Sam Wise Gingy commenting on my post on Daily Kos

The idea that what a group of smart men decided two hundred years ago should be considered beyond question today is madness.

Even Ben Franklin himself agrees with me.

Misogyny in Music

Three recent music posts have had a common theme, the same theme as many of our other news-related posts, misogyny.

I'm opposed to censorship in music, to Parental Advisory labels and all that nonsense, but I'm also opposed to passively receiving the messages in these songs with a type of apathetic acceptance. I find that some rap music, with its in-your-face message of violence, can be easily recognized for what it is and enjoyed without subconsciously taking the lyrics to heart. The suggestion that music like that is responsible for violence is absurd.

Main stream and classic rock and roll, however, with its incredibly pervasive and pernicious message about women, goes largely unnoticed and accepted. Take this one for example. Neil Young is actually singing about having shot his woman for cheating on him. Everyone knows the Jimi Hendrix version of the ballad Hey Joe. Same message there, shoot the offending woman. But, did you realize that even The Beatles sang about this?

One interesting difference is the U.K. artists refer to a generic killing while their North American counterparts specify doing it with a gun.

It's interesting that male-dominated rock and roll music is shot through with this ugly message. More interesting still is that it is largely unrecognized for what it is.  It's no wonder that domestic violence is as widespread as it is. And like all types of violence, gun availability makes it worse.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Hey Joe - Jimi Hendrix

"I shot my baby 'cause I caught her messin' around with another man."

Run for Your Life - The Beatles

"I'd rather see you dead, little girl, than to be with another man."

Thursday, June 23, 2011

So WHERE DID those illegal guns come from?

I think we can safely assume they did NOT originate with the manufacturer selling them to the bad guys.  So HOW did all these illegal guns we keep hearing about get into the hands of these bad people in the first place?

And that raises the logical question, if legal guns were just a little more difficult to come by, so that we could be more confident that the only people who had them were LEGAL people, who further, would because of that difficulty be a lot more careful with them, would there be so many guns circulating among people who DID NOT have them legally?

From the STrib, June 23, 2011:
87 arrested in raid on after-hours club in south Minneapolis

More than 80 people were arrested in an early morning raid Thursday that turned up guns and drugs in an after hours club in south Minneapolis.

The arrests included a dozen people who were jailed on weapons and narcotics charges and for outstanding warrants, said Sgt. William Palmer. Also, 75 people were cited for participating in a disorderly house, a misdemeanor, and were released.

A police SWAT team raided the building on the 3000 block of 27th Ave. South at 3:05 a.m.

"We'd been looking at the address for a couple of months as a possible tippling house, an after hours club," Palmer said. "Then reports that some assaults had taken place in or around that building led us to put a higher priority on investigating it."

The SWAT team was used to enter the building because of the expectation that people in the club had guns, Palmer said.

Police found a bar and sound system set up in the basement.

They seized crack cocaine, heroin, marijuana and pills, as well as several guns (emphasis mine - DG), Palmer said.


Call 911 If You See Anyone Not In Uniform With A Gun.

It's sage advice from two perspectives.

First, you're likely preventing/mitigating a crime.
Second, it's the activist thing to do.

15 Years for Shooting ex-Fiance

Assistant Prosecutor David Zeyen said Stredney confronted Hart in the parking lot of NCO Financial Systems on Frantz Road as he arrived for work on the morning of Dec. 14. She tried to force him into her car at gunpoint and shot him in the face when he refused.

She threw the handgun from the window of her car as she fled and was stopped by Dublin police less than a mile away.

Stredney's mental illness was among the reasons that Hart had called off their wedding plans, Zeyen said.

She purchased the gun a week before the shooting and asked police to show her how to use it, claiming she had been a burglary victim and needed to protect herself.

Stredney, of Warren, Ohio, made a lengthy statement in court, saying she had been under a psychiatrist's care for 19 years but "no one knows what's wrong with me."
Gun rights advocates are opposed to any and all attempts to screen prospective gun buyers for mental fitness. This, thay say, would infringe on their god-given fundamental human right to own that particular inanimate object.

The result of all this freedom is in the news every day. Usually it's men shooting women in domestic incidents, but sometimes it's like this.

What's your opinion? Are Ohioans more free or less free because of the gun rights they enjoy?

Please leave a comment.

Whitey Bulger Played by Jack Nicholson

Whitey Bulger Arrested

On the run for 17 years, the accused Boston crime boss James "Whitey" Bulger and his longtime girlfriend were finally caught in California by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday.

They were arrested without incident at a residence in Santa Monica, the FBI said in a statement, just days after the agency renewed its public campaign to capture Bulger and his 60-year-old girlfriend Catherine Greig.

The 81-year-old former fugitive has been wanted on 19 counts of murder committed in the 1970s and 1980s, drug dealing, extortion, money laundering and conspiracy. He is the older brother of William "Billy" Bulger, a former president of the Massachusetts State Senate.

Pentagon Scare Suspect Linked to DC-area shootings

Anyone else curious as to where this guy got the gun that was involved in all of these shootings?

by way of MSNBC
updated 6/22/2011 6:20:06 PM ET 2011-06-22T22:20:06

Officials: Pentagon scare suspect linked to DC-area shootings

A Marine reservist who was detained during a security scare near the Pentagon last week has been linked to the shootings last year at the Marine Corps museum in Quantico and several D.C.-area military recruitment stations, officials said Wednesday.
Ballistics evidence appears to link Yonathan Melaku, 22, to the shootings, one official said. The two officials spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.
Melaku is being held without bail on unrelated larceny charges involving car break-ins that happened after the shootings. He has not been charged in last week's incident or the building shootings.
Melaku, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Ethiopia, was detained Friday after he was spotted carrying a suspicious backpack near the Pentagon containing what initially was feared to be bomb-making material. Authorities later said the suspicious items were not explosive
Melaku also had a notebook with the words "al-Qaida" and "Taliban Rules" written inside, one of the officials has said. The context of the words was not immediately clear, but another law enforcement official has said Melaku is not believed to have any links to al-Qaida or any other terrorist organization.
The shootings last year, all done with the same gun, did not injure anyone. The Marine Corps museum was targeted twice. Two windows were shot out at the Pentagon, and a Marine Corps recruiting station in outside Washington was also targeted.
At the time, FBI officials suspected that the shooter had some sort of gripe against the Marine Corps.
Peter Carr, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney in the eastern District of Virginia, declined comment except to say that Melaku remains under investigation following last week's incident. FBI spokesman Andrew Ames also declined comment.
Melaku has a status hearing Thursday on the grand larceny charges that accuse him in a spate of car break-ins and vandalism in Leesburg. He was arraigned in early June, and released on bail. After the Pentagon scare, more charges were added and he was held without bail.
The shootings started Oct. 17 at National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, south of Washington. Days later, the Pentagon was hit. Then, the shooter targeted a Marine Corps recruiting station in Chantilly before again firing on the museum. The fifth shooting was discovered at a Coast Guard recruiting station near a sprawling outlet mall in Woodbridge. The buildings were within 40 miles (65 kilometers) of each other.
Melaku joined the Marine Corps Reserve in September 2007 and was assigned as a motor vehicle operator to a unit based in Baltimore. He was not deployed overseas.
Spokesman Lt. Col. Francis Piccoli said Wednesday the Marine Corps was in the process of trying to remove him from the service based on the grand larceny charges. Melaku has not tried to contest his removal, Piccoli said.
Melaku's attorney, Robert May, did not return a call seeking comment Wednesday.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Busy News Day - MORE Minnesota Gun Violence

Not a story for the squeamish.  While Minnesota is one of the safer states from gun violence, and has less gun access than many other states, there is still more gun violence than many people realize - my reason for posting these here.

The same recurring themes of how criminals are able to get access to guns is part of the reason for posting it, so I hope that discussion will touch on this issue, this recurring theme.

From the STrib:

Anguished wait for justice ends

  • Article by: JAMES WALSH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 22, 2011 - 12:23 AM
Victims' relatives endured four years of waiting before two inmates were convicted of grisly triple homicide in St. Paul.
As each "guilty" verdict was read, it was as if four years of waiting, four years of anguish and four years of unanswered questions began to melt away.
"Yes!" a man said as U.S. District Judge Joan Ericksen informed Tyvarus Lee Lindsey and Rashad Raleigh that they each had been found guilty of murder and possessing a firearm.
It took nearly two days of deliberations, but the federal jury's verdict "gives us some peace of mind. It means we can move forward with our lives," said Willie Hill, stepfather to Otahl Saunders, who was killed along with his girlfriend, Maria McLay, and McLay's 15-year-old daughter, Brittany Kekedakis, in their St. Paul home in the early hours of March 23, 2007.
Each was killed by a single gunshot to the head.
"We just know that the jury got it right," said Saunders' mother, Beth Hill.
That the case ever came to trial is a credit to the diligence of the victims' family, the St. Paul police, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office, Beth Hill said.
"They were as horrified [by the crimes] as we were," she said.
The triple killing rocked St. Paul's North End and stung investigators with its brazen nature.
It was just after 6:30 a.m. on that March morning when a group of masked men, all wearing black, kicked in the back door looking for drugs and money.
The men tortured Saunders, using tin snips, before shooting him. They lined up McLay, Kekedakis and McLay's two younger children and forced them to lie face down on the floor in another bedroom -- before Raleigh shot McLay and Kekedakis.

Minnesota Gun Violence, June 2011 edition

Add this to discussions about instances where an unarmed person fights with - and wins - with a criminal or other person who is armed with a gun. 

Right up there with criminals using toy guns or fake guns that look real, this behavior intrigues the heck out of me as a facet of gun violence.

Let the comments begin!

From the June 22, 2011 STrib:

Clerk fights robber for gun; St. Paul police seek help to ID gunman

St. Paul police are asking for the public's help in finding a man who chased and punched a store clerk during an attempted robbery.
The suspect wore a mask when he forced open the door of the AA Avenue Grocery at 682 Selby Av. about 10 p.m. June 8, according to police, as the clerk was locking the front door.
The man displayed a gun and threatened the clerk, demanding money and chasing him to the back of the store.
The suspect and clerk fought over the gun, and the clerk was able to pull off the man's mask. The clerk grabbed a can of food from a shelf and struck the suspect in the head.
The suspect punched the clerk as the two moved to the front door, where the clerk forced the suspect out and locked the door.
The clerk suffered cuts and scrapes on his head, hands and knees, police said. He did not require medical attention.
The suspect is described as black, age 18 to 20, about 5-foot-7 to 5-foot-9, medium build with short curly hair. He was wearing a black jacket or sweatshirt with a hood, blue jeans and a black mask.
Police ask that anyone with information call 651-266-5650.

An Interesting 'Teen Brain' post

From the June 22, 2011 STrib:

Teens' brains bop to an odd beat

  • Article by: AMINA KHAN , Los Angeles Times
  • Updated: June 21, 2011 - 10:50 PM
Scans of their neurological activity -- done for an unrelated study -- predicted whether a pop song became a hit.

Can the teen brain identify chart-topping pop music hits before a big-shot producer ever could?
Perhaps, according to a study published recently by the Journal of Consumer Psychology. Almost by accident, research by Emory University scientists showed that adolescents' brain activity could potentially predict a song's ultimate success or failure.
In 2006, Emory neuroeconomist Gregory Berns had 27 teens listen to 120 songs that were by relatively unknown artists, and measured the teens' brain activity. He intended to measure how peer pressure affects teens' opinions. But three years later, Berns heard one of the songs, One Republic's "Apologize," and it had become a hit.
Researchers already knew that brain activity in the orbitofrontal cortex and ventral striatum could generally predict a person's choices. But could it also predict whether other people -- whose brains were not scanned -- would decide to buy that music? Could a few teens' brain activity predict a song's eventual popularity?
To find out, researchers looked at sales figures for the original 27 songs and compared them with the brain reactions they'd elicited. Teens' brain scans predicted 90 percent of the dud songs and predicted the songs that made it over the 20,000 sales mark about a third of the time.
Oddly, the teens' brains were better at predicting a song's success than the teens were. When they were asked to rate the songs, their rankings didn't correlate with the songs' popularity at all.

A Murderer, a Teen - and How He Got the Gun He Used

What this particular article doesn't mention is that Michael Swanson apparently acquired the gun(s) involved in this crime from a family cabin; they belonged to his grandfather.  What does this say about how lawful gun owners secure their legal weapons from bad people?

This young man has a diagnosed mental illness; it is different from the mental illness that the shooter of Gabby Giffords and so many others has been diagnosed with, but the callous attitude towards the lives of other people seems similar.  We do not do enough to prevent the dangerously mentally ill from accessing firearms.

I find the comment near the bottom, to the inquiry about why he didn't shoot someone the previous April, "because I didn't have a gun" to be of particular interest.

From the June 22, 2011 STrib:
CARROLL, IOWA -- Michael Swanson, refreshed after a couple McChicken sandwiches, a Coke and a pack of smokes, talked with an Iowa criminal investigator about his interest in mixed martial arts, his frustration with the Minnesota Vikings and the fact that "Brett Favre is a dried-up old man."
He spoke in the same unaffected tone that he used to describe walking into a Kum & Go convenience store in Humboldt on Nov. 15, demanding cash and shooting 61-year-old clerk Sheila Myers in the face, killing her.
"I felt powerful. I just didn't care," he told Special Agent Mike Krapfl with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation in the early morning hours of Nov. 16.
"My adrenaline was going good. I just felt like, 'Well, sometimes people get shot.' "
The second day of testimony in Swanson's first-degree murder trial featured a two-hour videotaped interview with investigators in which the St. Louis Park man, then 17, seemingly held nothing back.
He talked about how, after not sleeping for four days, he chose the Humboldt convenience store to rob because Myers was the only person there. He put on his ski mask, packed a handgun and pointed it at her while setting the bag on the table. She put the money inside it, he said.
"Then I shot her," said Swanson, now 18. "And I left. I just walked out."
His voice on the videotape reflected little emotion, but he smiled and scratched his head when re-enacting the noise that Myers made when he shot her, a "half-scream, half-gasp."
He shot her in the face, he said, because "it was final."
"If I was just gonna shoot to injure, why would I shoot her at all?"
Relatives of both Swanson and Myers remained in the courtroom and appeared stoic while the videotape was played. But they couldn't look at the screen during earlier testimony by Associate Iowa State Medical Examiner Dr. Michele Catallier, who said that blood in Myers' lungs indicated she was alive for an undetermined amount of time after she was shot. A photograph of Myers' body was shown while Catallier spoke.
Swanson will stand trial separately for first-degree murder in the shooting death of Algona convenience store clerk Vicky Bowman-Hall. References to Bowman-Hall's shooting appeared to have been edited from the video interview.
In the tape, Swanson told the agent that he had been recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder and had not yet been prescribed medication. He was in a manic phase, he said, when he committed the crimes.
He'd been in a similar one the previous April, he said, when he had headed south in a stolen car. He was arrested in Missouri. He didn't rob anyone there, he said, because he didn't need money.
The agent asked him why he hadn't shot anyone.
"Because I didn't have a gun," he said.
The videotaped interview was expected to resume Wednesday afternoon.
Abby Simons

Down By The River - Neil Young

"Down by the River" is a song composed by Neil Young. It was first released on his 1969 album with Crazy Horse, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere. Young explained the context of story when introducing it in New Orleans on September 27, 1984. It depicts a man who catches his woman cheating on him, then meets her down by the river and shoots her. A few hours later the sheriff comes to his house and arrests him. In the liner notes of his 1977 anthology album Decade, Young states that he wrote "Down by the River" and "Cowgirl in the Sand" while delirious in bed in Topanga Canyon with a 103 °F fever.

The Best Court Money Can Buy

via Democratic Underground

I say throw the bum out.  I question the validity of decisions like Heller and McDonald which were decided by the slimmest of margins, one vote, when one of those votes came from a man like this.

Jon Huntsman for President

I think it's a good thing for Obama the Republican voters will never be able to get behind this guy.

Al Capone's Gun

The New York Post reports on the upcoming Christie's auction of Al Capone's gun. It's expected to fetch $100,000.

What do you think about that? Are we obsessed with guns or what?  I guess you could say we have "enthusiasms."

Please leave a comment.

Why is Crime Dropping?

The BBC reports on ten possible explanations. Somehow they didn't even mention more guns equals less crime. Here's my favorite.

There is a controversial theory put forward by economist Steven Levitt that the increased availability of legal abortion after the Supreme Court ruling in 1973 on Roe v Wade meant that fewer children were born to young, poor, single mothers. This, says the theory, stopped unwanted babies in the 1970s and 80s from becoming adolescent criminals in the decades that followed. But some of his peers have questioned whether the evidence really supports the theory.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

More Scared Cowardly Crabby Guys Shooting Kids

By way of Aol news and the HuffPo:

Thomas Dunikowski Allegedly Shoots At Crowd Of Rowdy Teens In Marine Park, Brooklyn

Thomas Dunikowski, the Marine Park man who allegedly opened fire on a group of rowdy teenagers Saturday, is being called a hero by the mother of one of the victims.
Larisa Kaprovskaya's 21-year-old daughter Yana was a bystander hit by shrapnel in her left leg when Dunikowski discharged ten rounds with his semi-automatic hunting rifle into a crowd of 30 teenagers, according to The New York Daily News. The teen terrors were knocking over trashcans and vandalizing cars outside Kaprovaskava and Dunikowki's neighboring houses.
"He shot because he wants to protect us," said Kaprovskaya, 50, told the News. "I don't know what would have happened to us if he didn't try to protect us. I appreciate him."
Yana Kaprovskaya was not badly hurt but two of the teenagers suffered more serious injuries.
One bullet went through the neck of a 17-year-old Francis Ruan, and fragments of the bullets hit a 15-year-old David Mahoney. Both boys were hospitalized but expected to survive, according to PIX11.
The altercation began when Dunikowski warned the kids that they needed to quiet down and to get off his stoop. When the teens didn't budge, Dunikowski punched Ruan in the face, breaking his glasses, the News reports. It was then that Dunikowski went back inside, grabbed his illegal hunting rifle and fired rounds from a second story window.
Dunikowski, who lives with his wife and baby son, then stashed the gun on the roof and climbed into bed naked, according to The New York Post, pretending he was asleep.
Dunikowski was charged with assault with intent to cause serious injury with a weapon, criminal possession of a weapon, reckless endangerment and resisting arrest, the Post reports.
I would challenge the claim that this guy was protecting anyone.  I would point out that this is about vandalism, not a threat to life or bodily harm; kids were kicking the tires of parked cars, not doing any actual damage.  There is no indication whatsoever that any of the teens were armed.  This jerk shot at them from an upstairs window after punching a kid.

It would be interesting to explore further if the cops were on the way to deal with the kids.  This would seem to be a clear case of the 'cure' being worse than the problem it was intended to correct.  Further, it demonstrates all of the problems with vigilantes taking the law in to their own hands, as has been advocated by asses like Neal Boortz.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

George Carlin's American Dream

click on image to read words

click here for the video

via Tim's Scared Stiff

California Gun Sweep Nets 1200 Weapons

Local 2 KPSP reports

A recent statewide sweep found hundreds of Californians illegally in possession of firearms, officials said.

Attorney General Kamala Harris announced the results of the sweep Thursday that netted 1,209 firearms, seized from people legally barred from owning them.
I'll bet they weren't all "criminals." I'd imagine some of them were the guys who say "bad laws be damned" especially the domestic violence guys. I know they're criminals too, but I'm differentiating between them and the armed robbers and crack dealers.

Here's what I suppose is the controversial part.

In announcing the major seizure, [Attorney General Kamala] Harris called for the passage of Senate Bill 819, which would allow fees collected by gun dealers to fund additional proactive police efforts.

"SB 819 addresses a troubling blind spot in our current enforcement of existing firearms laws," said Senator Leno, D-San Francisco, author of SB 819.

State Sen. Leno also said the increased confiscation of unlawfully-possessed firearms would help prevent future crimes and save the state money due to avoided prosecution and incarceration.
Would it be a problem if the FFL gun dealers paid for this? Somehow I think gun-rights people would oppose that.

What do you think? Please leave a comment.

Florida Man Kills Best Friend

The girlfriend of the dead guy said they were just drunk and stupid.

It turns out the shooter had a pretty good arrest record, so it's safe to assume he was not a legal gun owner. But is there really that much difference? Don't legal gun owners get "drunk and stupid" too?

What's lacking is proper gun control which would lower gun availability to unfit people. FFL gun dealers and their clients have to be constrained by law to be more responsible with their weapons ensuring the guns aren't diverted into the black market. Folks who want a gun have to undergo better screening about their criminal and mental health history. In the home guns must be secured so they're not so vulnerable to theft.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

4 Dead in NY Pharmacy Robbery

Four people killed during a pharmacy store robbery in suburban New York City, including a teenager due to graduate high school this week, were shot at very close range by a dangerous suspect intent on stealing painkillers, a police official said Monday.
Everyone agrees we have a terrible crime problem. Most feel that the war on drugs is not helping things. But when it comes to gun availability, the gun-rights fanatics draw the line. This has nothing to do with it, they cry.

What's your opinion? Drug addicts who become stone killers AND have easy access to guns are a bigger problem that they would be if we would only control the flow of guns better. Don't you think?

Please leave a comment.

Monday, June 20, 2011

I Am The NRA

Meet State Senator John McGee (R-ID).

John is very proud of his membership in the NRA and often proclaims his fealty to the NRA:
NRA member John, unfortunately, spent Father's Day in the hoosegow:  He was arrested on charges of grand theft and drunken driving after what witnesses said was bizarre behavior and statements early Sunday morning.

Bizarre behavior and statements?  Why, it could be Wayne LaPierre.


From the Monday June 20 2011 STrib by writer Paul Walsh:

Twin Cities grandma takes shot of hot lead in leg watching Old West show

A shot of hot lead from an Old West reenactment gone awry has a Twin Cities grandma limping home Monday with a shattered leg bone and a canceled vacation.

Carrol Knutson, 65, of Birchwood, near White Bear Lake, was one of three tourists wounded Friday night at a staged shootout on Main Street in the Black Hills town of Hill City, S.D.

The shootout -- in which blanks are supposed to be used -- was one of many choreographed by volunteer cowboys from the Dakota Wild Bunch Reinactors as a regular summer attraction in the area and as a fundraiser for the Children's Miracle Network.

The Pennington County Sheriff's Office has yet to explain how the shots fired by one or more of the actors winged the spectators. The Dakota Bunch said on its Facebook page that it was holding off on any further reenactments but otherwise would have nothing to say about the incident, which authorities are deeming an accident.

"The last gun battle was just concluding, and the next thing I knew there was blood spewing out of my leg," said Knutson, who was with her husband, Don, and their 13-year-old grandson, Jake.

"Jake was standing right next to me," Carrol Knutson said. "He was very strong and trying to encourage me, be positive. 'It's going to be OK. It's going to be OK.' "

Jake's nurturing aside, Grandma Knutson said things have not been OK. She tallied up the consequences: a shattered fibula, thousands of dollars in medical expenses and the remainder of their westward vacation -- a stop in Yellowstone and a whitewater rafting excursion -- canceled.

"It was extremely painful," Carrol Knutson said of the moment when her flesh and bone were pierced. "Worse than anything I can imagine," she added, topping even the three times she gave birth.

"At least then there was a good outcome," she said.

At the hospital 30 miles away Friday night, Carrol Knutson said, police and the doctor said "there was no doubt in their mind that it was a bullet" that hit her.

"They think it was a .45-caliber," she said. "There was lead residue, which indicates it was a bullet."

Before the shooting, Carrol Knutson had invigorating experiences on the vacation, saying that she conquered the 700-plus steps at the Jewel Cave National Monument in the Black Hills and polished off a 7-mile hike.

Now she gets around with a walker and is looking at six to eight weeks of recovery.

"My summer is shot," she said, obliviously to the pun she had just made.

Could legal action be an option?

"I'm not a vindictive person," said the recent retiree from 3M. "I'm still waiting for the city to contact me. At least a phone call would be in order.

"I think they should pay the medical bills," she added, noting the "huge dedictibles" that her insurance requires.

The others who were wounded were Jose Pruneda, 52, of Alliance, Neb., and John Ellis, 48 of South Connelsville, Pa.

"I got shot in the forearm, and it went through the other side of my elbow," Ellis told the Rapid City Journal. "I had surgery around midnight Friday to remove bone and lead fragments."

A little 'innocent' accidental gun violence, which emphasizes in an unusual way the risks of guns as a source of entertainment.

The Psychological Dangers of Toy Guns

So my son is obsessed with his toy gun he takes it every where with him and it is very troubling to me should i be conceredned for his safety and mental capabilities? (does he have a chance of becoming a psychotic killer when he grows up??
The Best Answer:

It depends from a few details:
1. What kind of a toy gun is it? Does it make noise only, does it spit water, shoot peas or is it a "gotcha-toy" shooting coloured projectiles? Does it look like a futuristic laser canon, its colours being pink and yellow or is it a black 1:1 detailed replica of a .45 ACP Handgun bearing even a false serial number?

2. Is the son's age 1- 6 years, 7-15 years, 15-25 years or above?

3. What is his activity with the gun? Aiming at cars shouting "boom-boom", re enacting classroom massacres or killing cats and birds?

4. Is it known to the mother that boys in certain ages (have to) play with insignia of power or exercise power in games to learn the right dosage for later?

5. Is it also clear that boys above the age of 2 years do many strange things just to provocate their mothers and anything being proven to do the job is welcome?
The answer lies in the combination of possibilities. A 45 year old son with a water gun is as pathological as a 2 year old boy with a 9mm SIG. In any way he has the chance to become a psychotic killer like all of us - psychosis has nothing to do with the toys of childhood - fortunately it is a rare disease and has most often symptoms far away from killing people. More psychotics think they are Gandhi or Jesus Christ and behave like them, but nobody takes any notice.
What do you think? Did they miss anything? Please leave a comment.

Arizona Concealed Carry Permits Made Easier

The Arizona Republic reports on four changes in the gun laws. Here's my favorite.

Since July 29, 2010, people 21 and older have been able to carry a concealed weapon without a permit in Arizona except in bars and restaurants that sell alcohol. Although the law does not require permits in most cases, some people still apply for them. A new law tweaks the permitting process by reducing some of the requirements for instructors and permit-holders.
Perhaps some people might wonder why anyone would bother getting a permit if none is required. One reason I've heard is to enjoy the reciprocity offered by neighboring states. If a guy does permitless concealed carry in Arizona, he couldn't legally carry his gun in other states which require permits.

What Arizona is doing with this law is lowering the quality of the average permit holder, who, when travelling to other states, is lowering the quality of the concealed carry gun owners there. Do you think that's a good idea? Wouldn't common sense demand an increase in qualifications rather than a decrease?

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Arlington Texas Domestic Triple Murder

The Local Fox affiliate reports on what happens when a pissed-off ex-husband gun owner gets upset.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Some Stuff You Couldn't Make Up if You Tried

From the AP by
way of MSNBC:
Off-duty cop dressed as clown kills alleged robber
Authorities say an off-duty Chicago police officer dressed as a clown for a fundraiser shot and killed a teen who authorities say was trying to rob him.
Police say the officer was headed home from a children's event Friday night when the suspect approached him, asking for money.
When the officer said he didn't have any, police say the teen pulled a gun.
After a struggle, the officer grabbed the gun and fired, killing the teen.
The officer sustained minor injuries. A weapon has been recovered.
Authorities haven't released the names of those involved.
The Independent Police Review Authority is investigating the incident.

This raises a lot of questions.  The one that occurred to me first was....why would a teen think that a clown had any money on him worth stealing? 

This brings up every movie and television faux fight where two or more people wrestle over a gun, and the gun goes off, with the momentary suspense of ambiguity over who (if anyone) has been hit.

And of course it raises the question which examining news reports of shootings should always raise for us to discuss here - where do the criminals get these guns, and how?  What more can we do to keep all criminals, but especially kids, from getting their hands on firearms? 

I have to wonder how much our cultural attitude which tends to glamorize firearms rather than a down-to-earth and more realistic approach to weapons and violence.  There is nothing which could perhaps add such a macabre quality to this tragedy - and it is a tragedy - as shooting someone while costumed as a clown.  I'm sure that the last thing that anyone exerting themselves to raise money for children would wish to do is to kill a kid; and teenagers are still children, and not yet really adults however much they try to be.

Christie and Ailes Not-so-strange Bedfellows

via Gawker from Norwegianity who questioned how this could not be illegal.

The office of Republican Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey is claiming that Fox News chairman Roger Ailes is a confidential adviser whose interactions with the governor should remain secret under New Jersey's executive privilege.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Medical Marijuana in New Mexico

via Fuck Conservatives, link sent in by El Gato

What do you think this is all about?  In Denver I'm told there are more dispensaries than you can shake a stick at.

Please leave a comment.

How to Understand the Second Amendment

On Science Blogs a commenter named Dingo Jack wrote the following wonderful comment.

Those poor Founding Fathers, they'd never have thought that even well-educated Americans wouldn't have a clue what a Nominative Absolute* is and how to use it.
* The Nominative absolute is similar in structure and use to the Latin Ablative Absolute and the Greek Genitive Absolute (the subordinate clause being in the Nominative, Ablative and Genitive cases, respectively).

I'll translate for you: "[When a] ... well regulated Militia... [is] ... necessary... [for] ... the security of a free State, [then] the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed [but if the first clause is false, then the second clause is inactive.]
(The main clause is in bold, the subordinate clause in italics)

Right Wing Gun Violence Promoters - Boortz, Beck

The Ed show also did a great segment linking the incipient racism in this rant on behalf of vigilante gun violence to racism.

from the HuffPo:

Ed Schultz said he is worried about right-wing rhetoric after playing a clip of a talk show host calling for the streets of Atlanta to be "littered" with "dead thugs."
Speaking on his Wednesday show, Schultz challenged conservative talk show host Neal Boortz to appear on his MSNBC show and defend controversial comments he made about Atlanta on Monday:
BOORTZ: We got too damn many urban thugs, yo, ruining the quality of life for everybody. And I'll tell you what it's gonna take. You people, you are - you need to have a gun. You need to have training. You need to know how to use that gun. You need to get a permit to carry that gun. And you do in fact need to carry that gun and we need to see some dead thugs littering the landscape in Atlanta.
"There's something very ugly and dangerous going on in this country," Schultz said. "Right wing talk show hosts seem to be amping up racist and reckless rhetoric like never before ... the level of racist and violent rhetoric on hard-right wing radio today is off the charts."
He said that, in his opinion, Boortz "just advocated murder in the streets of Atlanta," and guessed that "Neal wasn't thinking of white thugs." Schultz also called Boortz "reckless, stupid and a racist."
He then challenged Boortz to "come on this program tomorrow night, and can you bring pictures? Can you show me who these thugs are? ... You're advocating damn near civil war."
Schultz also accused Glenn Beck of promoting violence for saying earlier this week, "Why would you get a gun? To prepare for tough times, that's why," while pointing at a picture of President Obama.