Saturday, August 4, 2012

A better graphic of James Holmes's Gear

According to Mother Jones, most mass shooters have bought their guns LEGALLY: "132 guns possessed by the killers, more than three quarters were obtained legally."

Note the "By looking closely at Holmes’ ammunition and equipment, it becomes clear the attack at the movie theatre could have been much worse."

This graphic comes from:

Now, isn't it wonderful that any maniac in the US can buy the gear to kill a large amount of people?

Even better, that people (you {should} know who you are) are willing to stop any attempt at preventing that carnage from happening in the first place?

Yeah, yeah, I know all the gun guys would have been able to have stopped the punk if they had been in that theatre--they would have been able to take clear shots through the haze of the CS gas.

Mother Jones' Interactive Map of Mass Shootings

We used the following criteria to identify cases of mass murder:
  • The killings were carried out by a lone shooter. (Except in the case of the Columbine massacre and the Westside Middle School killings, both of which involved two shooters.)
  • The shootings happened during a single incident and in a public place. (Public, except in the case of a party at an apartment complex in Crandon, Wisconsin.) Crimes primarily related to armed robbery or gang activity are not included.
  • The shooter took the lives of at least four people. An FBI crime classification report identifies an individual as a mass murderer—as opposed to a spree killer or a serial killer—if he kills four or more people in a single incident (not including himself), and typically in a single location.
  • If the shooter died or was hurt from injuries sustained during the incident, he is included in the total victim count. (But we have excluded cases in which there were three fatalities and the shooter also died, per the previous criterion.)
  • We included six so-called "spree killings"—prominent cases that fit closely with our above criteria for mass murder, but in which the killings occurred in multiple locations over a short period of time.

Jon Stewart on the Chick-Fil-A Bruhaha

Friday, August 3, 2012

Jon Stewart on Harry Reid

Accidental Shooting of Minnesota 2-year-old - No Charges

Sgt. Paul Paulos said paramedics were initially called to the 1300 block of Beech Street on reports of a child who fell and hurt himself. When emergency responders arrived, they saw the child had been shot. 

Officers determined a 9 millimeter handgun had been fired in the house, Paulos said. 

A 16-year-old girl was at the home along with three other boys, ages 10, 9 and 7. All were relatives of the victim, who has been identified as Jacob Xiong. 

Paulos said Xiong's parents weren't home at the time of the shooting, but they are cooperating with the investigation. 

Paulos said the boy is in serious but stable condition. He said no one is under arrest and officers aren't looking for suspects.
What's your opinion? Isn't that a little apathetic?  Shouldn't we be outraged at this?  Shouldn't someone be held responsible for the improper storage of the gun, or something? Why are kid shootings so acceptable?

Please leave a comment.

Accidental Shooting of Denver 2-year-old - Parents Charged

The Denver Post reports

Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey formally charged two people Thursday in connection with the accidental shooting of their 17-month-old son. 

Iesha Paris , 21, is charged with child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury and misdemeanor child abuse. Darryl Hunter , 26, is charged with accessory to child abuse and possession of a weapon by a previous offender. 

Allegedly, Paris left her son and 2 ½-year-old child alone in a room where there was access to a gun on July 27 in their home on Baltimore Court.

Every day we read stories just like this where no charges are even considered or where the investigation will later determine IF the parents will be charged. Then we have those cases where someone is charged immediately.

Do you see the pattern. Black and brown people are more likely to be charged with this terrible crime of negligence than their white counterparts.

What else could explain it?

Please leave a comment.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Al Jazeera's Inside Story

"Wild Assertions With No Evidence"

It appears Greggy Camp has had his fee-fees hurt by my posting of a story concerning NRA member Walton Bulter.  Greggy has charged me with making "wild assertions with no evidence" and other assorted calumnies.

But is Greggy's complaint valid?  Let's see.

Doing a search on Walton Butler yields about 14M hits, the vast majority relaying the same story as my post.  Thus, if I made up the story as Greggy suggests, there are a whole lot of media outlets engaged in the same subterfuge.

Of course, Greggy's heartburn with my post concerns the implications that: a.) gunloons sometimes do illegal things like shooting people; and b.) gunloons often have racist tendencies.  Well, we only have to look at gun homicide numbers in the US to see that (a) is true.  But what of (b)?

As I've sagely noted on numerous occasions, one only need to go to a gunshow for evidence.  You'll find no shortage of vendors hawking Nazi memorabilia.  You'll also find various white separatist/supremacist material.  And--you'll certainly find copies of the most-read gunloon 'literature'--"The Turner Diaries"--which fantasizes about a race war.

But you can always go to NRA leadership for examples of racism.

People get sick from eating lettuce...

And they yank it from the shelves, but how many people are killed and injured by guns each day?

How Many DGUs are Really Legit?

Our new favorite commenter, Frail Liberty, said no one believe that 2.5 million lives are saved each year by the defensive use of guns.  Even Kleck's study said the figure would be about 160,000.

My response:

I can assure you, FL, many of the pro-gun uninformed believe that 2.5 million lives are saved a year. They believe that because they've read it and have repeated it so often themselves that it's taken on an aura of truth.

You're smarter than that.  Great.  Good for you.  So how about this for an idea.  Of the 162,000, since the poll was getting its info from the defender, how many do you think were really unnecessary and/or criminal? None?

My idea is that, given human nature and the obvious temptation to paint the picture in its best light, anyone who describes a defensive use of a gun has about a 50% chance of being a liar. In other words, only half of the reported DGUs are really legit.  The others are criminal acts disguised.

Mental Health Screening

Mental Health Screening for Gun Buyers? It's Nearly Non-Existent

This morning, I posted a new blog at the Huffington Post that examines one of the hard truths about the gruesome mass shooting in Aurora:  Under federal law, mental health screening for gun purchasers is cursory at best, negligent and reckless at worst.

Most Americans probably assume that the background check for gun buyers who go through a federally licensed dealer (FFL) is robust, to include significant screening for mental health history. The reality is far different. Unless a gun buyer has been involuntarily committed or formally adjudicated by a court as a "mental defective," he is free to stockpile as many firearms as he wishes. Furthermore, when a gun dealer is processing a transaction, he does not see any details about the mental health history of a customer: just some type on a computer screen telling him to APPROVE or DENY a sale.

What can we do to improve this deeply flawed system and prevent the next Aurora?  Please check out my blog, " Aurora's Hard Truth: Mental Health Screening for Gun Buyers Is Nearly Non-Existent," to find out.

Best regards,
Josh Horwitz
Executive Director

Conservative Child Abuse

Rick Reese, Crooked FFL Dealer, Goes Down reports

Rick Reese, patriarch of the family, and his wife Terri were both convicted on one felony count each of false statements in connection with the acquisition of firearms. Ryin, 25, was convicted of two counts. Remington, 20, was fully acquitted. 

Each false statement conviction could carry a sentence of up to 5 years in federal prison.

The family was arrested last August and charged with a total of 30 counts of conspiracy, false statements, gun smuggling and money laundering. Prosecutors argued throughout the case that the family knowingly sold guns to so-called “straw buyers” who were getting weapons on behalf of violent Mexican drug cartel members. 

The day they were arrested, federal agents seized the Reeses’ Deming property: 85 acres of real estate; cash, bank accounts and coins; and the entire inventory of their New Deal gun store. All of the property was subject to forfeiture to the U.S. government.

The initial indictment in the case says that the false statements convictions will mean the forfeiture of “any firearms and ammunition involved in the commission of the offenses.” 

Hall said that “further legal analysis” will be required to determine the final extent of that forfeiture.
Crooked FFL Dealers should be severely punished. It sounds like Mr. Reese is out of business.

Does that little conviction along with whatever forfeitures they decide upon sound like enough?

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Accidental Shooting by Mississippi Cop - No Harm No Foul

Local news reports

The injured officer was among a group taking James Willie to a hearing in Charleston, Miss., on Wednesday. Willie is charged with fatally shooting a man from Nebraska and a woman from Mississippi in separate incidents in May on dark, isolated stretches of Mississippi highways.

Stewart says the deputy's gun discharged while he was getting out of a car. He says Willie wasn't involved in the shooting of the deputy.
The incident may not have been life-threatening but it certainly should have been job-threatening. What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Bad News for Jonathan Clark Sullivan

Linoge always seems to be on the losing end of thing:

(CNN) -- A decreasing number of American gun owners own two-thirds of the nation's guns and as many as one-third of the guns on the planet -- even though they account for less than 1% of the world's population, according to a CNN analysis of gun ownership data.
The data, collected by the Injury Prevention Journal, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the General Social Survey and population figures from the U.S. Census Bureau, found that the number of U.S. households with guns has declined, but current gun owners are gathering more guns.
I suspect Jonathan Clark Sullivan will give up his guns when (if) his testicles drop.

Another Potential NRA Board Member

Walton Henry Butler, NRA member:

The fact is gunloonery is all about this:

According to a charging affidavit obtained by The Star, Butler had referred to Pamela Rogers’ child and other children at his apartment complex with racial slurs.

Gant was shot between the eyes when he went to Butler’s apartment to confront him over the remarks, the documents said. Butler allegedly closed his sliding glass door and left Gant bleeding on ground outside.
The suspect contacted 911 and had finished his dinner before Gulf County Sheriff Joe Nugent arrived.
Nugent recalled that Butler appeared “inconvenienced” by the arrest, saying that “he had only shot a n*gger.”

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Al Jazeera's Interactive Map

Accidental Shooting Death of Houston 11-year-old by his Brother - Charges Possible

The Waller County District Attorney's office will likely recommend a grand jury investigation into the shooting at the family's home in Hockley, authorities said Tuesday. The two boys were playing with guns, a 12-gauge pump shotgun and a 20-gauge shotgun, unsupervised around 11:15 a.m. on Sunday.

A shot from the 12-gauge struck the younger brother, 11, in the left shoulder.

The 11-year-old was taken to Tomball Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead about 12:26 p.m. The 12-year-old was released to his parents about 8 p.m. Sunday.

The Waller County District Attorney's office has only received verbal reports and is still determining whether the parents could face charges. The decision will ultimately made by the grand jury.
I don't see the need for a Grand Jury Hearing to determine if a crime was committed. Whenever kids are left alone with access to guns, a crime had been committed - even in Texas.

Or am I wrong?

What do you think? Please leave a comment.

R.I.P. Gore Vidal

Lawrence O'Donnell Blames Wayne La Pierre

July Visits Mark a New All-time High

(click to make bigger)

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

So you wanna fight the government with a pistol or rifle???

Gimme a break!

IR scanners will see you like you walked out of Chernobyl miles away.

And then there's the GMLRS (AKA the "Grid Square Removal System") and other (real) artillery:

The weather forecast--sunny with a high likelihood of steel rain.

As Matthew White says "The most likely outcome of a war between the Feds and the extreme right is that the extreme right is crushed like bugs, even before the network news anchors can move their mobile newsdesks, satellite link-ups and tactical hairdryers out to the battlefield."

Have a nice day!

Gun Advocates Use Unreliable Data to Prove Need for Weapons

CONSERVATIVE journalist and Former Speechwriter for President Bush, David Frum, says the number of times guns are used defensively has been vastly exaggerated. He goes on to say that "The trouble is that this claim of 2.5 million defensive gun uses is manifestly flawed and misleading."
For gun advocates, however, the main problem with the government estimate is that it is not nearly high enough to support their case that private gun ownership is the best way to stop crime. Many of them prefer another statistic, this from a study published in 1995 arguing that Americans use guns in self-defense some 2.5 million times a year, or once every 13 seconds. A Google search finds more than 1 million citations of this study posted online.
Better yet:

But most of the time, gun owners are frightening themselves irrationally. They have conjured in their own imaginations a much more terrifying environment than genuinely exists -- and they are living a fantasy about the security their guns will bestow. And to the extent that they are right -- to the extent that the American environment is indeed more dangerous than the Australian or Canadian or German or French environment -- the dangers gun owners face are traceable to the prevalence of the very guns from which they so tragically mistakenly expect to gain safety.
Read more here


Ever wonder why the NRA wants to fight firearms restrictions in its home country as well as abroad?

Too much money to be made selling guns to idiots.

“The Obama administration’s feebleness in the face of the American gun lobby will result in 2,000 lives lost each day… but (it) still has time to turn election year adversity around by courageously supporting a strong Arms Trade Treaty outcome during the U.N. General Assembly meetings in October,” said Kathi Austin, executive director of the Conflict Awareness Project and former U.N. arms investigator.

Fat chance, that's a month before the election.

Ron Johnson's Opinion of the Constitutional Right to Buy a 100-round Magazine

Accidental Shooting Death of Georgia 2-year-old - No Charges

 Local news reports

After arriving they [the police] found a 2-year-old boy had been shot. Investigators say the firearm was found in the possession of two juveniles. 

Police believe 2-year-old Jeremiah McCrea was playing with the gun in the upstairs hallway when his 6-year-old brother tried to grab it from him. They say that Jeremiah was shot on the left side of his forehead.

Their mother Alexis McCrea was the only adult home and she was downstairs.There were two other siblings at home at the time as well.
It was just an tragic accident. Why would anyone be held responsible?

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Accidental Shooting of Indiana 3-year-old by Himself - No Charges reports

South Bend police say a 3-year-old boy who found an unlocked gun safe near where his mother was sleeping on a couch picked up the weapon and accidentally shot himself in the wrist.

South Bend Police Lt. Cindy Kilgore says the boy's father works the midnight shift, so the mother keeps a gun nearby. Kilgore says the mother was unaware that her son was up and was awakened when she heard the gunshot about 7 a.m. Sunday.

Kilgore says no charges were filed because police determined the shooting was accidental. A copy of the police report was forwarded to Child Protective Services.
Naturally, that's the way they treat life-threatening negligence in gun-loving Indiana.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Another NRA Gunloon Myth Debunked By Facts

If Jonathan Clark Sullivan twitter-twatted it---it's always wrong.

The Economist:

Mercifully, such tragedies are becoming rarer. The number of firearms offences recorded by police is at its lowest level this millennium. Last year 39 people died from gunshots, down from 96 a decade earlier. This is not just because of better medicine; the number of people entering hospital accident and emergency departments with gunshot wounds has also dropped, from 1,370 in 2003 to 972 last year.Violence in general is dropping. But the fall in gun crime is especially steep (see chart). The number of offences involving guns dropped by 16% last year, whereas the number of crimes involving knives (which have only been properly recorded since 2010) fell by just 5%. The biggest improvements have been in places where gun crime once seemed uncontrollable. In both Manchester, once nicknamed “Gunchester,” and Nottingham, gun crime has fallen by almost half since 2006.Organised criminals are less likely to use guns. The number of armed robberies has fallen by around 45% since 2001, and bank robberies and post office hold-ups are now almost unheard of. “Serious armed robbery has become a dinosaur crime”, says Roger Matthews, a criminologist at the University of Kent. Modern armed robbers are amateurs, he says, usually badly equipped and often on drugs.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Justice Scalia Offers Some Comments on Gun Control While Hawking his new Book

Accidental Shooting of Arizona 12-year-old by his Dad - The Shooter Fled the Scene

via Kid Shootings

A 12-year old child was with other children at a party in his home, in Phoenix, Arizona, when the child's father unintentionally shot and wounded the child while handling his gun.  The father then fled the scene.

From an article:
Residents in the area of 3900 S. 3rd Avenue were having a party early Sunday morning that included several children. 
At some point during the party, the father reportedly shot his child while attempting to clear his gun. 
The child was taken to the hospital with a non-life threatening gunshot wound to the leg. 
The father fled the scene prior to police arriving and has yet to be located.
I can't help thinking how foolish it was for the dad to flee. Didn't he realize in Arizona you only get a warning for this kind of thing?

Of course there might be more to the story, like was he Hispanic.  In that case, he's lucky to be alive.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Accidental Shooting of PA Woman by her Ex - He's Charges with Reckless Endangerment

Ohh Shoot recounts this wonderful tale of gun-owning insanity in Pennsylvania. The original incident happened in February, the sentencing is more recent.

42-year-old Pete Tano, of Hatfield Township, Pennsylvania was estranged from his wife of 17 years, Christina. According to court documents, the couple got into an argument in January when Tano arrived at her apartment and saw another man there. Christina told Tano to leave and when he didn't she "panicked and grabbed her gun" , a .38-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver.

Reports indicate that she was waving her gun around and told Tano to get out but instead he pulled out his own gun, a 9 mm Glock semi-automatic handgun.

Christian testified that she dropped her gun, hoping Tano would drop his, but instead, he swung his arm down at her. She said she went to block the blow with her hand, but his gun hand struck her head and the gun fired, shooting through her wrist, a Marilyn Monroe poster and into the wall.

Tano pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of recklessly endangering another person and was sentenced Thursday to 23 months in the county jail. The judge reduced the sentence to five months already served and placed Tano on parole for the remainder of the 23-month sentence.

Accidental Shooting of Texas Teenager - Manslaughter Charged

Eliezer Sanchez Jr., 19, was arraigned on a manslaughter charge Sunday afternoon for shooting Jessica Saldivar in the head about 5 a.m. Saturday.

Sanchez told police investigators that he had pulled the trigger of the .38-caliber revolver not knowing that it was loaded, according to the criminal complaint. Four witnesses provided sworn statements that the shooting was accidental. 

Saldivar was rushed to the hospital where she later died about 3 a.m. Sunday.

Pharr police Chief Ruben Villescas said Saturday that Sanchez was charged with aggravated assault, a second-degree felony, for recklessly causing serious bodily injury to Sanchez. When Sanchez died of her injuries, the charge was increased to manslaughter.
In Texas (and not only there) Brown people get a different kind of justice. Compare to this one, or this one, or this one.

Don't get me wrong, I believe the responsible people should be held accountable for their actions, but it should be evenly applied. There is a terrible racism that runs through the application of gun laws.  Often it's too severely applied to non-whites and not applied at all to whites.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

UN Arms Treaty Must Wait - Agreement Fails

Bloomberg Businessweek

"This was stunning cowardice by the Obama administration, which at the last minute did an about-face and scuttled progress toward a global arms treaty, just as it reached the finish line," said Suzanne Nossel, executive director of Amnesty International USA. "It's a staggering abdication of leadership by the world's largest exporter of conventional weapons to pull the plug on the talks just as they were nearing an historic breakthrough."
The gun-rights advocates will probably begin considering Obama a friend after this, don't you think? I mean, they claim to not be biased.  Who else should get credit for this?

Let's see what they have to say on TTAG.

NRA: We Killed the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty

Sick Obese Gun Owner Shoots his Kids to Spite his Wife - Commits Suicide

AP reports

A man who had recently separated from his wife shot his two children, killing his 7-year-old daughter, before committing suicide, prosecutors said.

No restraining orders had been filed against Daryl Benway, and he had no criminal record, the DA said. He had a gun license that expired in 1999, Early said.
What's that supposed to mean, his gun license expired? What happens in Mass. when gun licenses expire? Do the authorities suppose those men turn in their guns?

Should extreme obesity be a restricting factor in gun ownership? Just look at that photo. He's the kind of guy who gets out of breath just standing up to take a family picture. Is someone like that capable of handling a gun responsibly?

Does the mental illness which leads to the kind of lifestyle in which extreme obesity can set in impair one's ability own and manage guns?

The policy of "may issue" is the answer. In many cases, the local authorities can make a judgment call about these issues. Of course, I'm not just talking about concealed carry permits. "May issue" should apply to gun ownership as well.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Accidental Shooting of Young Maryland Girl by her Brother - She's Dead - No Charges

 Delmarva Now reports

A clearer picture was beginning to emerge Friday into how a 12-year-old girl was shot and killed at her Willards home.

Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis said the 13-year-old boy, who accidentally shot her Thursday, was moving items from the floor of his bedroom to clean.

"He went to move the gun to a location where he could clean his bedroom floor," Mike Lewis said. "While moving that gun, his sister actually said something to him and he turned to answer her and, when he did, he accidentally discharged the firearm."

The .22-caliber rifle belonged to the boy, who used it to go hunting and who had completed a hunter's safety course. The brother and sister were reportedly home-schooled.
"Home-schooled," you know what that means, right? Parents who do that are convinced they can do a better job with their kids than the local government-run schools.They even sent this boy to the hunter's safety course.  It's probably safe to assume that long before that they taught him basic gun safety themselves.

Yet, he killed his sister in a moment of unforgivable gun negligence.  In my opinion, the parents share in that responsibility.  This is more than a "tragic accident."  This is gross negligence, not only on the part of the 13-year-old who took the fatal action, but on the part of his parents.

These are people who cannot be trusted with guns.  Do we need any more proof that what happened?
The gun-rights fanatics keep telling us we cannot punish people for things they haven't done yet. But they also say we cannot punish people like this who are responsible for death. 

The bias of the pro-gun folks is blatant and nonsensical.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Lawful Pennsylvania Gun Owner Commits Triple Murder

Yahoo News reports

A Pennsylvania man confronting his estranged wife about custody arrangements for their daughter shot the woman to death and killed her boyfriend and his mother, then fled with the 4-year-old girl before the two were found about 250 miles away in Ohio, authorities said.

In Pennsylvania, guns are very bad news for women. When one of the lawful and responsible gun owners gets angry enough, this is what happens.

What's your opinion?  Do you think not a single one of these murdering maniacs could be identified before they act? Do you think a guy who kills his ex and her family has displayed no signs of instability up to the moment he pulls the trigger?

We need to raise the bar as to who may own guns. We need to screen for psychological problems. We need to disarm the worst of the worst, before they act.  It wouldn't be that difficult to do.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Why buy your deadly fetish when you can just 3D-print it?

AR-15 part made with 3D printer (in white resin)
Need a gun and don't want to actually buy one?  Care to skirt the law without stealing the object of your fetish?

Well wish no more!  Now you can just print it with a 3D printer!  Apparently someone has made a working gun using a 3D printer.  They've even made working parts for an AR-15 assault rifle.  Online plans are apparently available, of course.  Gun fetishists will make sure they arm the world this way, and damn the consequences.

3D printers aren't common for home use, but it won't be long, and they are certainly available for those who wish them.  Get one, and then you gun loons will be able to make and own all sorts of ego boosters for just the cost of the resin.

From a New Scientist article:

HaveBlue", a member of the gun enthusiast forum, which is named after a common semi-automatic rifle, claims to have carried out the first successful test-firing of a 3D-printed gun. 
HaveBlue did not print an entire gun but only a part called the lower receiver, which serves as a frame for the other components of the gun. This component is the only gun part regulated for sale under US law and as such must carry a serial number - unless it's made by a private individual for their personal use, so HaveBlue is not breaking any laws. 
Making gun parts used to be impossible for most people, of course, but computer files for AR-15 components have been available online for some time. HaveBlue claims to have combined a 3D-printed receiver made from hard plastic with parts from an ordinary pistol and successfully fired more than 200 rounds. "To the best of my knowledge, this is the world's first 3D printed firearm to actually be tested, but I have a hard time believing that it really is the first," HaveBlue said. 
HaveBlue also attempted to build a working rifle using the printed receiver, but encountered difficulties when passing ammunition through it. These issues remained after swapping out the printed receiver for an aluminium version, though, suggesting the problem lies with a non-3D printed part of the gun.