Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Republican Corruption of Christ

Kick! Making Politics Fun has a wonderful page dedicated to Jesus.

Big Bruvver is Watching YOU!

You think you're so cool here on the internet talking about all your guns.  Maybe you even spout some "anti-guvment" talk in a chat room thinking that you are safe and sound.


You are aware that it was the Military, not Al Gore, who developed the internet.  At one time, it was called DARPANET or ARPANET.

You'd kind think that people like NSA and GCHQ might have an "in" on how to track people on it.

But, I've been wanting to write a piece about CCTV and how that is probably a  far more effective method of stopping crime than a bunch of idiots carrying handguns.  And not all those CCTV units belong to "THE STATE".

No, if you want to come to my house, you will walk past at least 3 CCTV cameras before the one that will send your image to a remote server that is focused on MY DOOR.

And NONE of them belong to the Guvment.

But what got me to write this is something from Naomi Wolf in the Guardian:
A software engineer in my Facebook community wrote recently about his outrage that when he visited Disneyland, and went on a ride, the theme park offered him the photo of himself and his girlfriend to buy – with his credit card information already linked to it. He noted that he had never entered his name or information into anything at the theme park, or indicated that he wanted a photo, or alerted the humans at the ride to who he and his girlfriend were – so, he said, based on his professional experience, the system had to be using facial recognition technology. He had never signed an agreement allowing them to do so, and he declared that this use was illegal. He also claimed that Disney had recently shared data from facial-recognition technology with the United States military.

Yes, I know: it sounds like a paranoid rant.

Except that it turned out to be true. News21, supported by the Carnegie and Knight foundations, reports that Disney sites are indeed controlled by face-recognition technology, that the military is interested in the technology, and that the face-recognition contractor, Identix, has contracts with the US government – for technology that identifies individuals in a crowd.

Fast forward: after the Occupy crackdowns, I noted that odd-looking CCTVs had started to appear, attached to lampposts, in public venues in Manhattan where the small but unbowed remnants of Occupy congregated: there was one in Union Square, right in front of their encampment. I reported here on my experience of witnessing a white van marked "Indiana Energy" that was lifting workers up to the lampposts all around Union Square, and installing a type of camera. When I asked the workers what was happening – and why an Indiana company was dealing with New York City civic infrastructure, which would certainly raise questions – I was told: "I'm a contractor. Talk to ConEd."

I then noticed, some months later, that these bizarre camera/lights had been installed not only all around Union Square but also around Washington Square Park. I posted a photo I took of them, and asked: "What is this?" Commentators who had lived in China said that they were the same camera/streetlight combinations that are mounted around public places in China. These are enabled for facial recognition technology, which allows police to watch video that is tagged to individuals, in real time. When too many people congregate, they can be dispersed and intimidated simply by the risk of being identified – before dissent can coalesce. (Another of my Facebook commentators said that such lamppost cameras had been installed in Michigan, and that they barked "Obey", at pedestrians. This, too, sounded highly implausible – until this week in Richmond, British Columbia, near the Vancouver airport, when I was startled as the lamppost in the intersection started talking to me – in this case, instructing me on how to cross (as though I were blind or partially sighted).
The funny bit to me is that you lot are complaining up and down about your "gunz" and "statism"; one the other hand, here is a serious bit of intrusion on your privacy, yet you lot are SILENT.

Is it because it's not coming from the "State", but private enterprise?

Or is it because your masters haven't told you that you need to say anything about it?

I'm hearing you sing:

We are poor little lambs
Who have lost our way.
Baa! Baa! Baa!
We are little black sheep
Who have gone astray.
Baa! Baa! Baa!

Family Research Council Shooting was a Hate Crime


Let's be clear: Yesterday's shooting of a security guard at the Family Research Council's offices in Washington, D.C., evidently motivated by the shooter's anger over the FRC's ongoing campaign against the LGBT community, was an atrocity that harmed the cause the shooter espoused. After all, the chief reason groups are called out as "hate groups" is that the rhetoric they purvey is so toxic that often it justifies and inspires acts of violence against vulnerable minorities. To respond to that with an equally insane act of violence is a betrayal.

Moreover, if the motives as reported so far are accurate, it was clearly an act of domestic terrorism, one of an increasingly small species of such acts: left-wing domestic terrorism. It may be helpful here to remember that since 2008, there have been more than fifty incidents of domestic terrorism committed by right wing-extremists and directed at "liberal" targets.
When our friend, Fat White Man made his sarcastic remark the other day, "why are liberals so violent," I guess it didn't occur to him that the ratio of hate crimes Right vs. Left is about 50 to 1.

The only thing more lopsided than that is the ratio of gun violence incidents to legitimate DGUs.  That's about 200 to 1.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Saginaw Cops Appear to Have Committed Murder


We've seen this before, summary execution for disobedience.

What's your opinion?  Did you see anything like lethal threat in that video?  This is the same thing that happens in many of the supposed DGUs we hear about. The only lethal threat is in the mind of the trigger-happy gun owner.

The problem comes when some video records it.

Please leave a comment.

West Virginia 7-year-old Seriously Injured with Pellet Gun

WSAZ NewsChannel 3

I have two things to say about this:

1. Air-soft guns, BB guns, pellet guns and all the rest need to be treated like real guns.  Parental supervision, safe storage and adherence to the 4 Rules of Gun Safety are all a must.

2. Ban them sumbitches.

Accidental Shooting of Las Vegas 10-year-old by Himself - Mom in Jail

Local news reports

North Las Vegas Detectives arrested Carmen Gustin of North Las Vegas on charges stemming from a shooting that occurred in her home on Aug. 9 that left her 10-year-old sun in critical condition with an allegedly self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head

Gustin, 38, was booked into the Clark County Detention Center on charges of child abuse with substantial bodily harm, two counts of child neglect, and one count of destroying evidence.

Authorities say the boy appears to have found a handgun in the house and shot himself Aug. 9 while he was home alone with a 3-year-old brother.

Charging documents accuse 38-year-old Gustin of initially telling police her son's head injury came from a fall. They say she also took the gun her son had used and hid it in a dresser drawer.
It's not the amazing negligence of leaving a gun around kids that gets people locked up. It's lying to the police about it. That really pisses them off.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Great Scene from The Sopranos

CSGV Statement on the Latest Headline-grabbing Shooting


Washington, DC—Yesterday’s shooting at the Family Research Council headquarters in Washington, D.C. reminds us that the use of political violence—to whatever end—is always, unequivocally wrong. It is extremely fortunate that no one was killed or critically wounded during this incident, thanks to the heroic actions of security guard Leo Johnson.

Our Founders built a system of government under the Constitution where citizens—through the power of their ideas—make policy decisions in a framework that requires negotiation and compromise. They explicitly rejected the notion that “ the guys with the guns make the rules,” recognizing that such a “might makes right” approach can only lead to chaos and anarchy. When our Founders observed such anarchy during armed uprisings like Shays’ Rebellion, it hardened their resolve to draft and ratify a Constitution that would obviate the need for political violence.

We must continue to approach the political process peacefully, as equals. Let us prevail by the character of our ideas and the force of our arguments, not by the barrel of a gun. We strongly condemn any and all acts of political violence. All Americans of conscience should do the same.

Whose More Responsible for Gun Violence, Hollywood or the NRA/Gun Manufacturers

The Pittsburgh Post Gazette published a fascinating article by Edward Wasserman

Raising the issue of media violence feels like indulging in some ancient controversy from the 1970s, and that's too bad. I think we need to foreground the pop-cultural side of the killings, specifically the ways that Hollywood has drifted in recent years toward sanctifying firearms as the most powerful means of self-validation in action films, the go-to remedy for most wrongs, real and imagined, the universal vehicle of catharsis, cleansing, rectification.

Face it, the most dangerous promoter of gun violence in contemporary society isn't the gunmaker or the National Rifle Association, it's Hollywood. Movies are how guns are exhibited, marketed and sold. When did you last see an advertisement from Glock or Ruger or Smith & Wesson? Unless you read a specialty magazine, never.

That's because the market for firearms isn't widened and regenerated through consumer advertising. That happens through lurid, breathtaking portrayals of gun violence, lovingly depicted in harrowing detail, as plot elements indispensable to the contemporary action film.
What do you think? There's certainly something to what he says, but what's the point? Is it to take our focus off the NRA and gun manufacturers?

Let's say both Holywood and the NRA/gun manufacturers are heavily invested in the proliferation of gun culture and violence.  It's not true, Hollywood is involved in fantasy violence while the NRA/gun manufacturers are interested in the real thing, but for argument sake let's say they both make lots of money by promoting guns and gun violence.

Which one would be easier to control through legislation?  Hollywood would cry the 1st Amendment, the others would cry the 2nd.  Which Amendment do you think more readily admits exceptions?  The 1A has that famous "crying fire in a crowded theater" exception.  The 2A has so many exceptions and restrictions it's hard to count them all.  Justice Scalia clearly stated in his Heller decision that "reasonable restrictions" are allowed.

Obviously, the NRA and the gun manufacturers need to be contained through gun control legislation.  No one wants to do anything about Hollywood films that depict violence.  But, most people do what something done about the gun availability and consequent problems.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Shooting Victims Want Better Gun Control

Obese Virginia Gun Owners Demand Their Rights

Matthew 26:52

Then Jesus said to him, ‘Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.

Another thing Jesus said which didn't make it into the bible is this.

 I say unto thee, all those who use the Holy Book to justify gun ownership shall be cast into Gehenna where there is gnashing of teeth and eternal suffering.

Accidental Shooting of Texas 12-year-old by his 14-year-old Brother - No Charges

 Local news reports

A 14-year-old shot his younger brother at their East Bexar County home Thursday afternoon, apparently by accident, officials said.

Bexar County sheriff's Detective Louis Antu said the boys were alone at the home about a mile north of U.S. 87 on Stuart Road about 2 p.m. when the teen-ager shot his 12-year-old brother in the chest with a .22-caliber firearm.

Authorities said they believe the firearm belonged to the boys' mother, who was at work. Antu said the shooting is being handled as accidental, and no one had been charged as of Thursday afternoon.

He said deputies hadn't determined where the weapon was before the boy took it or whether he loaded it himself.

Antu said parents should keep firearms unloaded and inaccessible to children.
In Texas, that's the extent of the consequences to negligent parents whose kids get hurt or killed. They're told by the police what they "should" do. No one likes to be told what to do. It really hurts.

What's your opinion?  Mine is, I repeat, whenever a kid gets ahold of a gun, an adult gun owner should be held responsible.  The consequences should be something stronger than a mild verbal reprimand.

Please leave a comment.

Is the Family Research Council Shooting a Hate Crime?

 Yahoo News reports

FBI officials said Thursday that the shooting of a security guard at the Family Research Council's D.C. headquarters on Wednesday may fall in the "hate crime/terrorism nexus," depending on the shooter's motive. 

FRC is a socially conservative Christian advocacy organization that opposes gay marriage and abortion, among its other causes. In an interview on Fox News Thursday, FRC President Tony Perkins said he thought the attack should be classified as "terrorism," but some other commentators have suggested that the shooting may also qualify as a hate crime, if it can be proven that the attacker was targeting the group's religious beliefs.

Suspected shooter Floyd Lee Corkins II "has strong opinions with respect to those he believes do not treat homosexuals in a fair manner," according to his parents, and Corkins is said to have yelled that he did not like FRC's politics before opening fire. He was also found with a backpack that contained more than a dozen Chick-Fil-a sandwiches.
This is the story about which Fat White Man quipped, "Why are Lefties so violent."

Well, I guess on the surface that's a fair question.  What do you think? Does this case prove that the lunatic gun maniacs are not limited to the Right side of the political spectrum?  Or is this the exception that proves the rule?

There's no denying that by targeting a notorious right-wing organization one probably belongs to the Left, but what about those Chick-Fil-A sandwiches in his backpack?  What could that be all about? It sounds to me like Floyd was just another mixed up gun owner.

No, I'm afraid it's not as simple as Left vs. Right.  There are plenty of fanatical gun owners who hold certain "Lefty" ideals. Some of them feel sympathetic towards homosexual cases, I suppose some of them are gay themselves.

No, the distinction when it comes to gun ownership is not whether a person is left-leaning or right-leaning politically, but whether they are of sound mind and responsible.  Guys who fail in those categories and believe the gun is the answer to whatever problem they have are a danger. And as much as the rest of the gun-loving community tries to deny it, they are too many.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Jon Stewart on the Republican Hypocrisy about Vitriolic Rhetoric

Obama is Sincere - Romney is Not

When is it Appropriate to Disarm Someone?

NPR reports

Timothy Courtois' family had been worried about him for weeks. They repeatedly told police in Biddeford, Maine, that the 49-year-old was off his meds for bipolar disorder. And police were also told he had guns. But still, because he wasn't doing anything that rose to the legal definition of imminent threat, police said their hands were tied.

"We're very limited — very, very limited to what we can do," says Biddeford Police Deputy Chief JoAnne Fisk. "Just because somebody has a hunch, we will investigate it. But everybody has rights, and you have the right to bear arms in this country."

It was both frustrating and a relief to police and the family when Courtois was finally arrested for speeding down the highway to what could have been a tragedy. Police found an AK-47, handguns and several boxes of ammunition in Courtois' car as he drove toward New Hampshire, he reportedly told police, to shoot a former employer.
This little story, which is being repeated in every city all over the country, perfectly illustrates a serious dilemma we're facing.

All people, including gun owners, have the right to privacy and should be able to conduct their affairs without outside interference.  This is basic.  But, when the public safety is at risk, something needs to be done.  What's the solution?

In my opinion, the criterion which is generally used now is not sufficient,  It says if a person has "ever been deemed by a judge to be mentally incompetent or involuntarily committed," only then would they lose their right to own guns. Even if the reporting of such cases were 100%, which it is not, that would be setting the bar too high. We have daily examples of people who qualify under this lenient ruling and yet wreak havoc with their guns.

The only way I can see to address this problem would require a major overhaul of our gun control policy and attitudes.  It would require licensing of  gun owners with a "may issue" stipulation by the local authorities.  When an obvious situation is developing, the license can be suspended and guns forfeited.  Many lives would be saved.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

The Soaring Cost of the Aurora Shooting reports

Police spent nearly 26 percent of the year's law enforcement budget for overtime pay in responding to the July 20 mass shooting in a movie theater.

The city so far has spent $462,600 on overtime costs for police officers and civilian employees following the midnight movie killings at the Century Aurora 16 theater and has applied for a federal grant to help cover the costs. The costs include investigators and responders on the morning of the shooting, security at a large vigil held later and protection for visiting dignitaries.
The article goes on to explain that police overtime, which all happens AFTER the shooting is over is just the tip of the iceberg. The lawyers get into the act too.

CU has agreed to pay $505 an hour for a single lawyer to review what officials there knew about Holmes and when they knew it. As that lawyer brings in associates and paralegals from his firm, Perkins Coie, they will be billed to the university at $245 an hour or more and $205 an hour, respectively, according to an agreement signed July 30.
Sadly, we're still talking about a small fraction of the cost. Some of the victims had inadequate or no medical coverage. These costs must be added to the toll.

Wouldn't an ounce of prevention be worth a pound of cure in this case? Isn't this a good argument for proper gun control which would prevent some of these major incidents?

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Gun Crime is Up in St. Louis

CBS St. Louis reports

The latest crime report for July shows assaults with a weapon are up more than 14 percent from a year ago, underscoring what Chief Dan Isom says is a problem of more guns on the street.

“Many people have talked about the gun show loophole, which allows people to buy guns and basically there’s absolutely no background check,” Isom said, “So, just the way the laws are structured today, there is a proliferation of guns in our community.”

Isom says police chiefs from around the country are complaining about lax gun laws, and Mayor Francis Slay, a member of the police board, says gun proliferation was also a hot topic at the recent U.S. Conference of Mayors.
It often seem like everyone is in agreement about gun availability except the fringe-lunatics who blindly support gun-rights above all else.

Gun availability is a major factor in crime.  Why is that so difficult for some people to understand?

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Accidental Shooting of CCW Holder by Himself - No Charges Yet

via Gawker h/t to Southern Beale, who had this to say about it.

Here's another one for you: one of those super-responsible CCW holders we're always hearing about took his gun to the movies with him (no doubt to save us all from the next movie theater mass shooting). Instead, his gun fell to the floor and He accidentally shot himself in the ass.

Stupid gun loons.  

I couldn't agree more.

A Nevada movie theater patron sustained a buttock injury last night when the handgun he was carrying in his pocket accidentally went off after falling to the floor.

The 56-year-old, who has a permit to carry a concealed weapon, proceeded to apologize to other moviegoers in his immediate vicinity and exit the theater. Police tracked him down to a Reno hospital; his injury was not considered life-threatening.

Police say they will hand off the case to the Sparks City Attorney's Office, which may decide to bring charges against the man.

Washington State Triple Shooting - Woman Arrested

The Seattle Times reports on the latest random mass shooting.  They're coming so fast now we can hardly keep track of them.

A 20-year-old woman who allegedly opened fire in a grocery store on the Key Peninsula on Saturday afternoon, wounding three strangers, was charged today with two counts of first-degree attempted murder and one count of first-degree assault.

Laura Sorenson pleaded not guilty to the charges during her arraignment today in Pierce County Superior Court. She is being held in the Pierce County Jail in lieu of $1.5 million bail.

“There does not appear to be any understandable motive for this shooting,” Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said in a news release. “The defendant said she didn’t even know the men she shot.”

According to Lindquist, Sorenson walked into the Peninsula Market on Saturday afternoon, pulled a revolver out of her purse and made a comment about killing people. She fired until she was out of bullets, hitting three men, he said.

The victims were a clerk, a developmentally disabled man, and a 78-year-old man who was crouched down and hiding. Two of the victims were hospitalized. One victim is in critical but stable condition, Lindquist said.

Thomas Alton Caffall Loved Those Video Games

CBS News adds some detail to the profile of the latest hero of gun rights.

Caffall's stepfather, Richard Weaver, told CBS station KHOU that the suspected gunman refused to work after apparently quitting his job less than a year ago. Weaver said Caffall regularly played video games inside his rental home near the campus. According to KHOU, Northcliff, the third man killed on Monday, was Caffall's landlord.

Weaver told KHOU that Caffall played video games so much that it seemed to be warping his sense of reality. He said Callfall's alleged violent reaction to an eviction notice was not something that surprised him. Weaver even told KHOU he had become concerned that Callfall might hurt, or even kill, one of his own family members in recent months.

This reminds me of the famous Anders.  He played video games too.

Accidental Shooting Death of Tennessee Turkey Hunter - Shooter Goes to Jail

The Daily Herald reports

A Lewis County man will serve more than a year in prison for the 2011 accidental shooting death of another man, county officials said.

William Wesley Allen was found guilty of the criminally negligent homicide of 38-year-old Patrick Bennett after a two-day jury trial June 13-14, the Lewis County Herald reported. He pled guilty to an additional charge of hunting during a closed season.

Judy Bennett, the victim’s mother, told The Daily Herald her son died of a gunshot wound to the neck while turkey hunting in a wooded area on March 27, 2011.

Allen was hunting with a child in the area when the incident occurred. He told a jury he didn’t see Patrick Bennett through the trees, Judy Bennett said.

Allen was sentenced Wednesday to serve 18 months in a state prison for the charge of criminally negligent homicide. He was also ordered to serve 30 days in the county jail for hunting in closed season. The two sentences will be served concurrently, a county court official said.
It's interesting how many negligent shooting stories we've seen among turkey hunters.

1. Tennessee
2. Alabama
3. Oregon
4. North Carolina

And that's just earlier this year. What is it with turkey hunting? Does it attract a lower caliber gun owner than, say, deer hunting?  Excuse the pun?

What do you think about the sentencing of William Wesley Allen?  Was that too severe?  It was an accident, after all.

Please leave a comment.

What the Gun Control Movement Can Learn from Gay Rights

The Atlantic Wire published a fascinating article about how the gun-control movement might improve its approach.  Basically, taking a cue from the marriage-equality movement, gun control folks need to mobilize some wealthy backers.

Which gets at what may be the most important difference between the push for gay marriage and the push for more effective regulation of guns: When gay-rights advocates achieved their marriage victory in New York, they benefited from a relatively weak and poorly organized opposition movement. That's a luxury that gun control advocates will never have.

But if Bloomberg and other wealthy supporters of gun control were to create a single-issue Super-PAC, seed it with $200 million, hire experienced operatives to scare on-the-fence legislators and protect rebels, the political fight with the N.R.A. would start looking a lot fairer, fast. 
Why do you think the gun-control folks haven't already done this? Wouldn't it be fairly easy to find a handful of super-rich supporters who could come up with a couple hundred million? I would imagine some of them would contribute big just to thwart the NRA.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Stop Lead Poisoning - The NRA's Against It

Summit County Citizens Voice

Even though there are plenty of modern, less toxic alternatives available, the National Rifle Association doesn’t want the EPA to address lead hunting ammunition with new regulations.

The gun rights group earlier this month filed legal motions to try and block the EPA from protecting wildlife and people from the effects of poisonous lead hunting ammunition left the wild.

Paranoid as always, the group sees any attempt to regulate anything to do with hunting as an attack on its misguided interpretation of the U.S. Constitution.

By now, it’s clear that lead shot is not a good thing for the environment. Nearly 500 scientific papers have documented the dangers to wildlife from this kind of lead exposure.

A recent study by University of Santa Cruz California researchers showed that lead is the leading cause of mortality in endangered California condors. Many of the birds that have been released into the wild have been recaptured and treated for lead poisoning.
Wouldn't moving away from lead be the right thing to do? It seems to me the NRA and its supporters are not interested in that at all. They have a knee-jerk reaction to anything that in any way might limit their "freedom" to do what they want.

Aren't there some pro-gun folks who are also environmentally conscious?

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Canada vs. the US

Thanks to our new commenter Alex for this RCMP link.
  • The rate of crime involving firearms is much lower in Canada than in the United States.
  • There are more than 30 times more firearms in the United States than in Canada. There are an estimated 7.4 million firearms in Canada, about 1.2 million of which are restricted firearms (mostly handguns). In the U.S., there are approximately 222 million firearms; 76 million of the firearms in circulation are handguns.
  • A much higherproportion of homicides in the United States involve firearms. For 1987-96, on average, 65% of homicides in the U.S. involved firearms, compared to 32% for Canada.
  • Firearm homicide rates are 8.1 times higher in the United States than in Canada. For 1987-96, the average firearm homicide rate was 5.7 per 100,000 in the U.S., compared to 0.7 per 100,000 for Canada.
  • Handgun homicide rates are 15.3 times higher in the United States than in Canada. For 1989-95, the average handgun homicide rate was 4.8 per 100,000 in the U.S., compared to 0.3 per 100,000 for Canada. Handguns were involved in more than half (52%) of the homicides in the U.S., compared to 14% in Canada.
  • Rates fornon-firearm homicides are nearly 2 times higher in the United States than in Canada. For 1989-95, the average non-firearm homicide rate was 3.1 per 100,000 people in the U.S., compared to 1.6 per 100,000 for Canada.

Spike Lee: The NRA has the Vulcan Death Grip

Close the Gun Show Loophole

A recent poll from Mayors against Illegal Guns found that 74 percent of NRA gun owners and 87 percent of non-NRA gun-owners support mandatory criminal background checks in order to purchase a firearm. However, even with this public support, there remain loopholes that allow 40% of gun purchases to occur without a background check, with no questions asked.

You know what the most common pro-gun response to this suggestion is? "There is no such thing as the gun show loophole." 

They figure the more time they can make us waste arguing about the terminology, the longer this blatant offense against common sense will continue.  Maybe they're right.  Progress certainly is slow in spite of the overwhelming agreement even among gun owners.

What's your opinion? Is it a genius tactic to argue for years about whether it should be called the "gun show loophole" or something else?

I prefer "private sale loophole," but since we all know what we're talking about, I object to all the obfuscation and diversion.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Accidental Shooting of Pre-teen CA Girl - Investigation Ongoing

Local news reports

Authorities say an 11-year-old girl is in condition after she was accidentally shot by a 12-year-old boy in San Bernardino County. 

The sheriff's department says the shooting occurred Sunday in the San Bernardino Mountain community of Angelus Oaks. 

Deputies were investigating how the boy got a hold of the gun and if the firearm had been properly stored.
Well, at least that's something. In California that take it seriously enough to actually have safe storage laws.

Any time a kid gets ahold of a gun, an adult gun owner should be held responsible.

What do you think?  Please leave a comment.

Accidental Shooting in Texas - Two Women Hurt - Gun Owner Gets a Slap on the Wrist

Local news reports

A man faced criminal charges after his 14-year-old nephew accidentally used his weapon to injure two women at a family gathering Saturday night.

Brian Ariel Bazan, 29, was comparing hunting firearms with one of his cousins when Bazan’s nephew got a hold of a .45-caliber handgun, said a witness who refused to give a name.

The 14-year-old grabbed the gun, fired once and injured two women. The single projectile struck a 19-year-old in the upper chest, went through her back and struck a 45-year-old in the leg.

Investigators do not believe it was the child’s intent to harm his two relatives, but a McAllen municipal judge charged him with deadly conduct, a Class A misdemeanor, and transferred him to the custody of the Hidalgo County Juvenile Detention Center.

Bazan also faced misdemeanor Class A charges for making the firearm accessible to his nephew, Morales said. A judge issued him a $3,000 personal recognizance bond.
That sounds like the responsible adult gun owner gets less of a punishment than the kid. Going to juvie is no joke for a 14-year-old, but a misdemeanor gun charge is.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

It's the Assault Weapons - The High Production and Indiscriminate Sale

Peace, Earth and Justice News reports

“The United States should stop producing so many weapons, which cause us so much harm. That country also suffers from so much violence, as billions of dollars go into manufacturing guns.”

That is the message that anti-crime activist Fernando Ocegueda will take to the public in the United States, during a one-month visit to that country by the Caravan for Peace with Justice and Dignity, made up of 70 family members of victims of violence in Mexico.

“We are feeling hopeless because we are ignored,” said Ocegueda, who sells electronic goods. “Our mission is to raise awareness about the indiscriminate sales of (assault) weapons, which flow over the border into our country, where they generate so much violence.”
It's embarrassing when we have to be told by someone outside the country. We should be telling ourselves this. Of course, we are doing exactly that.  We are telling ourselves that the gun manufacturers are producing more guns than can possible be absorbed within our country by legitimate buyers.  They know a certain amount of their production goes quickly into criminal hands.

And to make matters worse, they pay the NRA and the gun lobby handsomely to keep it that way.

These are some of the most disreputable businesses in the country.   It's important that we strrive to bring greater awareness to this problem.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Simply Put It's Just a Coincidence

Monday, August 13, 2012

Sorry, but you don't have a right to machineguns under the Second Amendment.

It's going to be fun to see the reaction from the gunloons once they realise that Heller-McDonald may have been more of a Pyrrhic victory than they realise.  Mostly because they ignored this bit from the oral argument:
MR. GURA: Well, my response is that the government can ban arms that are not appropriate for civilian use. There is no question of that.
JUSTICE KENNEDY: That are not appropriate to –
MR. GURA: That are not appropriate to civilian use.
MR. GURA: For example, I think machine guns: It’s difficult to imagine a construction of Miller, or a construction of the lower court’s opinion, that would sanction machine guns or the plastic, undetectable handguns that the Solicitor General spoke of.
And neglect that Scalia said:
Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. From Blackstone through the 19th-century cases, commentators and courts routinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.
It's been my contention that these decisions were intended as a way of slowly breaking the bad news that even though it's an "individual right" that term is pretty meaningless when it comes down to the ownership and possession of deadly weapons.

The Wall Street Journal brings the bad news that:

The U.S. courts of appeals for the Third, Sixth and Eighth circuits have all said, in so many words, no right exists to have a machine gun. You can add the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to the list.

In affirming the conviction of Alaskan Matthew Wayne Henry for possessing a homemade machine gun Thursday, the Ninth Circuit held:
We agree with the reasoning of our sister circuits that machine guns are “dangerous and unusual weapons” that are not protected by the Second Amendment. An object is “dangerous” when it is “likely to cause serious bodily harm.” Black’s Law Dictionary 451 (9th ed. 2009). Congress defines “machinegun” as “any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger.” 26 U.S.C. § 5845(b). The machine gun was first widely used during World War I, where it “demonstrated its murderously effective firepower over and over again.” William Rosenau, Book Note, The Origins of the First Modern Weapon, TECH. REV., Jan. 1987, at 74, (reviewing John Ellis, The Social History of the Machine Gun (1986). A modern machine gun can fire more than 1,000 rounds per minute, allowing a shooter to kill dozens of people within a matter of seconds. See George C. Wilson, Visible Violence, 12 NAT’L J. 886, 887 (2003). Short of bombs, missiles, and biochemical agents, we can conceive of few weapons that are more dangerous than machine guns.
Oh dear. What could be worse?  Perhaps the head of the UK's National Rifle Association saying that US Gun Loons are crazy:

Unfortunately, most people see the picture of the US NRA as an organisation for lunatics, criminals, and just plain whackjobs. Too bad the gunloons don't get that's how they are perceived.

Inexplicable Obama Hate

In late October 2011, the Republican Party of Virginia sent out a cartoon-drawn Halloween card. Reminiscent of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” the card portrayed in one section mindless zombies in lockstep, shouting out “O–Bama;” other sections had ghoulish depictions of Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama with a bullet hole in his head. On June 17, 2012, the Helena, Montana Independent Record reported that the Republican Party of Idaho’s convention hosted Rush Limbaugh as guest speaker. Outside the convention hall there was an outhouse. A sign declared it to be “Obama’s Presidential Library”; it too was riddled with bullet holes, and inside the outhouse hung the president’s “birth certificate” as well as scrawled messages regarding the sexual availability of Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Nancy Pelosi. In both cases, Republican Party spokespersons downplayed these incidents as minor infringements of good taste.

What is going on here? These are uncertain times, but it is worth asking: When, in presidential politics, is it okay to create hate?
I don't think this type of attitude and action can be explained by overly-exuberant politics.

I believe whenever we encounter inexplicable Obama hate, the reason is racism.

What do you think?

One Strike You're Out

Updated again (see number 7)

Updated by popular demand from the original tongue-in-cheek post which read like this:

In accordance with newly enacted legislation, the gun owner will permanently forfeit his right to own guns, spend 10 days in jail and report to a probation officer for 10 years, submitting to regular and random home inspections, to ensure compliance. The new law signed by the governor earlier this week is called the "one strike you're out gun law." Supporters are optimistic that this year alone thousands of lives and millions of dollars will be saved.

What I'd like to clarify is exactly to whom this sanction should apply. The simple answer is anyone who does anything wrong with a gun.

1. dropped gun
2. negligent discharge
3. improperly stored weapon in the hands of a child
4. improperly stored weapon stolen
5. brandishing
6. lost gun
7. bringing a gun to the airport because you forgot you had it

Obviously, each of these can have a wide range of consequences and should not all result in the same exact punishment.  A judge would have discretion concerning the appropriate jail time, fines, etc., but the forfeiture of gun rights is not up for bargain.

Memphis Cop Loses Leg after Gun "Accident"

"I really don't remember it," he says. "I just know I'm here now. I'm taking it day by day."

Griffin is a 16-year veteran of the Tunica Sheriff's Department. He was leading the Emergency Response Team, Tunica's equivalent of SWAT, when his gun went off by mistake.

"He accidentally slipped and he had his hand, his rifle in his hand. It was an M-16 and he said his reflexes kicked in and he automatically grabbed something and his finger pulled the trigger," says his wife Angela. She says the bullet caused too much damage to his leg for doctors to save it.
You know who has "accidents," tripping by accident, pulling the trigger by accident, people who are clumsy, people who are distracted, people who are ill-prepared.

Leaders of Swat teams and any other person entrusted with a firearm cannot afford to be like that.  If they are, number one, they should take responsibility for their actions and stop calling it an "accident."  Number two, they should relinquish their right to own and use guns in the future. No second chances.

Does that sound too severe?  Is it too unforgiving?  Well, ask yourself why not?  Why not be severe and unforgiving when dealing with gun handling? 

Let's take Officer Griffin, for example.  Do you think in his 16-year-career, this is the very first time he's had an "accident."  I doubt it.  People who are distracted and clumsy and ill-prepared have frequent instances of "accidents," usually not with the dramatic results as this one.

Replace the word "accident" with the more appropriate and accurate "negligence," and it becomes clearer.  Negligent gun owners lose their right to own guns, period.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Oklahoma is OK with the Mentally Ill Buying Guns

The Republic reports

According to a 2011 report by the gun control advocacy group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Oklahoma lags behind other states in supplying mental health records to the national database used for these types of background checks. Though federal law attempts to motivate states to submit these records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), Oklahoma has only sent three mental health records since 2009, the group reported.
This is the disgraceful situation that happens in many states.  Although I don't believe the NRA can be blamed directly for this, they aren't actively orchestrating the bureaucratic mess that allows this to happen, they aren't doing anything to help either.  They aren't spending any of their money to lobby for changes. They're sitting back and just watching like everybody else.

The funny thing is, this may be the very thing that tips the scales of public opinion eventually.  Allowing mentally unstable people to purchase guns as freely as they do guarantees an increased number of the headline-grabbing mass shootings that we've seen lately.

Sooner or later, the general public which is mainly apathetic about gun rights, will become sufficiently outraged to demand changes.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Carlos Santana - Europa

A Harlem Mom Who Supports "Stop and Frisk"

CBS reports

Repeal the 2nd Amendment

The Second Amendment is dead — a victim of its own making. It has been killed over and over again. It’s been dying since the mass murders at the University of Texas Clock Tower, 101 California in San Francisco, McDonalds in San Diego, Columbine, Virginia Tech, Trolley Square, Fort Hood Army Base, and now Aurora, Colo. It only remains to be declared DOA and repealed — plain and simple.

If we add up all the sorrow, injury, disability, terror, and death caused by guns in this country, compared with the good that personally owned guns have proven to be since 1776, there cannot be any other conclusion. On this one, the Founding Fathers might have had an initial idea, based on their active revolt from the British, and the need for everyone to have a single-shot, barrel-loaded gun at the ready, just in case.

But this gradually disappeared, as a need for the populace to grab a gun and overthrow the oppressors became no longer valid. The chances of this type of "defense of freedom" uprising happening today is not only slim but none. The Communists, North Koreans, Nazis, and various comic-book villains, are not coming for us.

Two hundred years of experiencing this constitutional mistake should be enough to end this death-causing, not freedom-protecting, clause. The self-protection aspect of this thing is incredibly weak — just ask Trayvon Williams in Florida. In the past month alone, we saw two infants shoot themselves in the head and die from guns owned by their grandfather and father, respectively.
I'm not convinced repeal is what's needed. I've always thought, sooner or later, the citizens of the US will wake up to the obvious and relegate the 2nd Amendment to the scrapheap of irrelevance.

But, maybe Jeff's right.  Maybe it'll take something stronger than gradually shifting public opinion.

What do you think?  Please leave a comment.

The Glendale Arizona Gun Show Where the "Gun Show Loophole" is Alive and Well


Gun show vendors require background checks when selling guns, sort of.

All licensed dealers do check your criminal history and it usually only takes a few minutes, said Mike Reber of Arizona Arms.

However, private dealers, people who sell their individual guns to buyers at gun shows, don't have to perform such a check as long as they're "reasonably sure you're not a felon," Reber told ABC15.

Reber has a booth this weekend at the "Crossroads of the West Gun Show" in Glendale, and is expecting a large turnout.
While the gun owners and gun sellers are offering facile inane bullshit like "if guns kill people how does anyone come out of a gun show alive?" the NRA and the gun lobby is spending millions to keep the lax laws the way they are.

For years we've been hearing ridiculous arguments justifying the private-sale loophole, and what's been done?  Nothing.

Is it going to change?  What's your opinion?

Please leave a comment.