Saturday, January 23, 2010

Boys Will Be Boys

When are the supposedly responsible gun owners going to start taking responsibility for this? Children, usually boy children, like to bring daddy's gun to school. Are the numbers of these cases insignificant enough to be ignored? They appear in the main stream news more often than DGUs, to put it mildly. Here's today's sampling. reports this:

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said Thursday she charged a 10-year-old boy with bringing an unloaded handgun to his Detroit school.

The boy has been charged with carrying a concealed weapon, possessing a weapon in school and minor in possession of a firearm in public.

I'm sure gun folks are in favor of putting all the focus on the 10-yar-old and none on the grandfather, whose gun it was. This is how they continue to shirk their responsibility.

The Houston Chronicle reports this:

A New Caney Independent School District student was taken into custody after authorities said he brought a pistol to school, officials said today.

The student, 13, is a seventh-grader at White Oak Middle School, 24161 Briar Berry Lane in Porter.

The student has been charged with unlawfully carrying a firearm and having a gun at a prohibited location — both third-degree felonies. Also, the student will face a mandatory one-year expulsion, officials said.

A meeting for parents has been scheduled at the school's cafeteria at 7 tonight to discuss the incident, officials said.

They're going to talk to the parents. I should hope so.

What's your opinion? Don't you think the laws and the attitudes are too soft on the parents of these kids? The one boy is 10-years-old, for crying out loud. Why do gun owners continue to defend these appalling examples of improper gun security in the home? Is the dilemma faced by gun owners about how to keep the gun safely away from children yet sufficiently accessible for an emergency too much for them to cope with? Do they tend to fault on the side of accessibility at the cost of safety and security?

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Polygamy Brings Glory in Heaven

The Houston Chronicle reports on the third conviction of a member of the FLDS.

A West Texas polygamist sect member was sentenced to seven years in prison after pleading no contest to sexual assault of a 16-year-old girl Friday.

Michael Emack, 59, of Eldorado, entered the plea in district court to sexual assault of a child, said court administrator Irene Devore. Under Texas law, someone younger than 17 cannot generally consent to sex with an adult.

Emack's plea marked the third sexual assault of a child conviction for a resident of the Yearning for Zion Ranch in Eldorado, said Jerry Strickland, a spokesman for the Texas attorney general's office. Nine other suspects, including sect leader Warren Jeffs, are awaiting trial on charges including sexual assault of a child and bigamy, Strickland said.

The last time we talked about these guys, after a number of other discussions, I decided I felt they were child molesters hiding behind religion. Marrying a 16-year-old is perhaps debatable, but the "prophet" himself, Warren Jeffs had taken a 12-year-old bride. That's what swayed me.

What's your opinion? If these sect members are nothing more than middle aged men who receive young girls as rewards, should the State of Texas put a stop to it? It's not like they're stealing their brides off the street or from the public park, the girls are members of the sect and usually going into these "marriages" with their parents' approval.

I noticed an interesting connection between the FLDS belief that polygamy brings glory in heaven and the proverbial suicide bomber's belief that what he does will increase his reward in the afterlife. Do you think that's a valid comparison?

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Power to the Tefillin, Always

Laci sent me a link to an incredible story. What do you think would be the best title?

A. The fear level has risen.
B. The ignorance of flight attendants.
C. Gun-free zone saves boy's life.

A US Airways crew panicked by a Jewish teen's prayer ritual aborted a flight from LaGuardia Airport on Thursday, landing in Philadelphia amid unfounded fears of a terrorist bomb.
The trouble began when the 17-year-old White Plains youth pulled out two small Scripture-filled boxes used for his morning prayers on the Louisville, Ky.-bound plane, authorities said.

Friday, January 22, 2010

What's Wrong With This Picture?

I saw this on the ESPN site which Sebastian linked to.

(picture credit Colin Moore)

Is his finger on the trigger?

XXX-Rated Gun-Lover Videos

Ooh Shoot provided a link to a wonderful site called store where you can buy the most fascinating DVDs. They liked the one called Gunshot Wounds First Aid. My favorite is called Head Shots.

The video shows you why head shots are important, you’ll learn the anatomy of the human brain discussing kill zones and how to analyze the head from straight on and profiles. Then, you’ll see how to shoot to be able to make consistent head shots from realistic self-defense distances. The Head Shot Targets are life-sized, full-color images of human faces designed to help the professional refine his/her accuracy skills. Each target is matched with the Kill Shot Overlay to demonstrate accuracy and to allow the operator to see and document improvement. Get unlimited targets and the video; Head Shot: How and Why when you get the Head Shot Target Training System. We’ll discuss drawing from concealment and shooting with gun in-hand. And, you’ll learn how to use the targets for maximum improvement. The targets are on the enclosed CD. You can print them out any time you like along with the Kill Shot Overlays. The video is on DVD and runs 20 minutes.

Is that sick, or what? I'll admit one thing, at least there's no attempt to disguise what it's all about. It's about killing people.

What's your opinion? Do you think some gun owners themselves would find this a bit shocking? Are there some who want to have a gun but don't really know what they're getting into?

Please leave a comment.

Soccer and Guns in Colombia

The New York Times reports on an incredible sports story in Colombia.

A soccer player who acknowledged killing a heckling fan last year played Tuesday for the Colombian club Atletico Junior. Javier Flórez said heckling fans challenged him to a fight after Atletico Junior lost a Colombian league match July 5. Flórez said he was drunk and pulled a gun. He said a fan tried to take the gun away and it went off several times. He said he did not intend to kill anyone. Flórez was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to three years’ probation.

Remind me of this the next time I complain about lax gun laws in the States. Isn't the line, "it went off several times," a riot? But when it comes to judging these things, soccer is king.

Please leave a comment.

Milwaukee School Gun Incident

The Chicago Tribune reports on the gun incident which took place in a Milwaukee school.

A lockdown at Washington High School in Milwaukee is over after a student brought a gun to school.

Police say a mother went to the school at about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday to notify the principal that her son may have brought a handgun to school. Police found the 14-year-old boy, who said he gave the gun to another student. The gun was found inside a backpack in the locker of a 15-year-old boy.

Milwaukee Public Schools spokeswoman Roseann St. Aubin says officials then decided to search the entire school. The lockdown ended about 11 a.m.

Sgt. Mark Stanmeyer says both boys were taken into custody and will be referred to juvenile authorities for possible charges.

As I said a minute ago on the other post, what is wrong with Wisconsin? The two boys are locked up, and what about the mother? Did she get a good citizen commendation from the school? If it were me, I'd what to know whether that gun came from the home and if so, why was it accessible to the teenager. If it were me I'd want to know how the mother even knew the kid had a gun.

In spite of the sketchy details, don't you think this is just another of the seemingly endless examples of "too many guns?" That's how I see it.

Please leave a comment.

13-Year-Old Wisconsin Boy Shoots Dad

The Chicago Tribune reports on the terrible shooting which took place in Baraboo, Wisconsin.

Sauk County authorities have charged a 13-year-old boy accused of fatally shooting his father after he got into trouble at school.

At a hearing Wednesday, Michael Crisafulli sobbed most of the time, but said "yes" when the judge asked if he understood the charges. Under Wisconsin law, he's charged as an adult.

The judge set bail at $500,000 and ordered a mental evaluation. Relatives say the boy has autism.

The boy was found wandering around a Walmart store Tuesday night. Police later found 55-year-old Angelo "Nick" Crisafulli dead in his Town of Delton home with a gunshot wound to the back of his head.

The complaint says the boy told police he had a "balloon of anger" that finally broke. The complaint says the boy was expelled from school Tuesday and his father was angry.

First of all, what kind of justice is charging a 13-year-old as an adult? What is wrong with Wisconsin?

Second, I realize it's weird to talk about shared responsibility when one of the parties is dead, but does anyone wonder what kind of a dad Mr. Crisafulli was if young Michael was that afraid to face him? I do. I don't think kids who are just-turned-teenagers have that kind of rage and fear unless they learn it at home.

And what about the gun? Do you think dad was probably a gun owner who taught his son about guns? Do you think the son may have learned some unintentional lessons besides gun safety, things like "when you're in a tough spot, the gun can save you?" What do you think?

Please leave a comment and don't be afraid to read into the story a little bit, that's what I do.

Mayor Greg Ballard and Frank Straub reports on the appointment of Dr. Frank Straub as Public Safety Director by Indianapolis mayor Greg Ballard . We discussed this when the appointment was first announced. Now the City Council will vote to approve it.

The notion that a new public safety director from the East Coast has come here to disarm law-abiding Indianapolis residents certainly comes as news to Mayor Greg Ballard, who appointed him.

The same reaction would appear to characterize the City-County Council, which is scheduled to vote Feb. 1 on whether to confirm Frank Straub.

In typical fashion, the opponents of gun control have warped this situation beyond recognition. In an attempt to appease the gun folks, Straub clarified his earlier statement that there are too many guns in Indiana.

Straub has since offered clarification, saying he begrudges only criminals with illegal weapons and has no quarrel with law-abiding people owning all the guns they can legally procure.

"No quarrel with law-abiding people," I hope they heard that on the City Council because Indianapolis desperately needs help, the entire state of Indiana does.

As Straub's predecessor, Scott Newman, has pointed out, Indiana's lack of limits on the number of guns that can be legally bought at one time has made the state a prime source for illicit resale by "straw purchasers." Bad guys come here from other states to load up.

Loose laws are trouble enough. Lax enforcement makes matters worse. An investigation by The Star last fall turned up hundreds of cases in which State Police approved handgun permits for persons whose records of violence disqualified them under the law.

I keep hearing all that's wrong with the one-gun-a-month rule, but isn't the prospect of someone with a straw buyer in Indiana coming over to load up the trunk of the car worse? I say yes. What's your opinion?

And don't you think it's about time some improvements were made in the issuing of gun permits. The argument I keep hearing is that the number of incidents is nothing compared to the total number of permits. One reason I find that to be misleading is that only the worst incidents make the news or the statistics. You'd have to somehow include all the less grave offenses in order to have a proper percentage. But, even so, claiming the percentage is so low we shouldn't worry about it is a mistake when we could easily improve the situation.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Oathkeepers in the News

It's interesting we were just talking about the Oathkeepers and here they are in the news. Last time we discussed them, I don't know if we came to any agreement. (h/t Alan Colmes)

Tea Party 'Hero' Arrested For Rape, Stolen Grenade Launcher Discovered

A former Marine and current member of the Oathkeepers militia group, who was a featured speaker at the July 4th tea party in Oklahoma, has been arrested on suspicion of rape — and when his home was searched, police discovered a grenade launcher stolen from a California Army base.

It turns out the guy was well known, or at least he had a couple videos on Youtube. Meet Charles Dyer, Patriot.

What's your opinion? Are guys like Charles Dyer patriots or lunatics? Are they something in between?

Please leave a comment.

Meteorite Falls in Virginia

The Baltimore Sun reports on the dramatic meteorite strike that happened in Virginia.

A Washington DC television station is reporting an apparent meteorite fall in Lorton, Va. The space rock, which has been taken to the Smithsonian Institution, crashed through the roof of a dentist's office at around 5:45 p.m. on Monday, narrowly missing patients and staff.

The story on the Web site of WUSA9 in Washington says the mango-sized meteorite crashed through the roof and acoustical tiles of the Williamsburg Square Family Practice office in Lorton. Dr. Frank Ciampi told the station the crash was so loud he thought bookshelves had toppled.

This is not something to joke about. For one thing, this took place just a stone's throw from the White House. For another, have you noticed that these "incidents" seem to occur most often in gun-friendly states? We recently talked about the Arizona meteorite problem.

What's your opinion? Do you think it's right for supposedly responsible men to continue acting like this is not a serious problem? What's it gonna take?

Please leave a comment.

8 Dead in Virginia

CNN reports on the mass shooting in Virginia.

Three teenagers and a 4-year-old were among the eight deaths in a Virginia shooting, state police said Wednesday.

Christopher Speight, 39, is being held without bond at the Blue Ridge Regional Jail in Lynchburg, Virginia, after being charged with a single count of first degree murder, police said, adding that further charges are pending.

Speight surrendered peacefully early Wednesday morning after an overnight manhunt left him hiding in the woods surrounded by a several-square-mile perimeter set up by authorities, Appomattox County Sheriff O. Wilson Staples said.

Speight was wearing a bulletproof vest but had no weapons when he surrendered, Staples said.

At this point of the investigation many details are still unavailable. The police spokesperson said they don't know the shooter's relationship with the victims. I guess that will be forthcoming. But does it really matter? Whether he was a close relative or a total stranger, I don't see all that much difference, do you?

On the Huffington Post it's reported that some of the victims were his sister and her family.

What I was most interested in, and couldn't find enough information about, is the helicopter. The police spokesperson said he'd shot and hit it. In another report I read that "he damaged it." I remembered all the mocking derisory remarks on the part of the pro-gun crowd when we talked about the banning of .50 caliber sniper rifles because they could shoot down aircraft.

What do you think? Does a man with a rifle shooting at an aircraft pose a serious threat? Could a marksman shoot down a helicopter like they do all the times in the movies?

Please leave a comment.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Laci the Dog Speaks to Zorro

In Laci's latest post directed to Zorro primarily, some interesting things came up.

You get uptight about my comment about prying the gun from your cold dead fingers? Then, Zero you make a total asshole of yourself by saying bring it on.

And then there's this.

The only thing you lot are proving is that you are immature assholes who shouldn't even be allowed to think about firearms let alone actually possess them. In other words, you only confirm my belief in strong gun control measures by acting as you do.

What's your opinion? Do you think the overenthusiastic response on the part of some pro-gun folks is counterproductive to their stated cause? They say they want to win people over to their way of thinking, if not the recipient of their comments, at least the fence-sitters who may be reading. Yet, the excessive contentiousness is so off-putting, I really don't think anyone would be attracted. What do you think?

Please leave a comment.

The Jesus Scopes

This is what we were talking about the other day. There are more pics on the ABC site. Many thanks to Andrew for the tip.

What do you think? Is it no big deal?

The First Cannabis Café published a fascinating article about the first medical marijuana restaurant in America.

On November 13, a clot of journalists stands in a hailstorm outside a Portland, Oregon, business called Rumpspankers Beyond Broth. We’re awaiting a press conference rechristening the business the Cannabis Café, the first restaurant where patients licensed by the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) can publicly use marijuana.

“Welcome to freedom!” says Madeline Martinez, all good cheer as she finally presents the café, a cavernous room of dinged-up furniture and paper lanterns. As the executive director of Oregon NORML, Martinez previously hosted bimonthly socials for marijuana patients in the ballroom above Rumpspankers, but a seven-day-a-week place to congregate and medicate? That is her dream come true.

It sounds like a wonderful idea. I would imagine some folks who require marijuana for their conditions also suffer from loneliness. Their caregivers could deliver them here once in a while.

But those who show up on Cannabis Café’s inaugural day seem relatively hale. A 20-year-old says he uses pot “because I tore a muscle in my hamstring.” A 48-year-old woman with fibromyalgia is here as much for the social aspect as for pain relief. “It’s really nice to know you’re not alone,” she says, smiling at a 39-year-old man with a pacemaker, who smiles back.

The only person not smiling is the one who appears the sickest. Outside, the hail has changed to rain, and at a table at the end of the stairwell sits a man, visibly ravaged by illness, thin and out of breath and leaning on a cane. He is looking at the line of people waiting to get in, nearly all of them young men, joking and laughing. Asked whether he wants some help up the stairs, he shakes his head, too weak to answer.

What's your opinion? Is this burgeoning movement going to be ruined by fakers like the guys on line for the first day's action? Should that ruin it? Would it be a bad thing if we allowed marijuana cafés like they do in Amsterdam?

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Jewish Princess

"With a garlic aroma that could level Tacoma"

Road Rage in Tacoma reports on a frightening incident of road rage.

TACOMA, Wash. -- Tacoma police hope the parents of a 2-year-old girl wounded in a road rage shooting can remember details to help them catch the shooter.

Police spokesman Mark Fulghum says investigators Monday only know that the suspect fled in an SUV, believed to be a black Ford Explorer.

The wounded girl was treated at Mary Bridge children's hospital for a wound in the thigh and is expected to recover.

Fulghum says she had been riding in a back seat car seat in a car driven by her father with her mother in the front passenger seat.

Fulghum says one car cut off another in traffic, hand gestures were exchanged and the driver of the SUV fired into the family's car.

I guess there are other countries like this, but the United States has definitely become one in which you dare not confront someone lest you get shot for your trouble.

What's your opinion? Are road rage incidents that turn violent with guns so rare that we need not worry about them? Or do you feel we're heading in the wrong direction as far as gun proliferation?

Please leave a comment.

Guns Save Lives

Yahoo News reports on the man who shot his way out of a sinking car. Thanks to Il Principe.

FatWhiteMan was on it too.

ROSEVILLE, Calif. – A driver whose SUV plunged into a Northern California creek after he was startled by his hands-free cell phone device escaped the sinking vehicle by blasting out the window with a handgun. The 28-year-old man, whose name wasn't immediately available, is an armed security guard at Thunder Valley Casino, north of Sacramento. He sustained minor injuries in Sunday's accident.

A spokesman for the Roseville Fire Department said the man was traveling northbound on Industrial Avenue in Roseville when the cell phone device activated. The driver was startled and veered off the road through the guardrail. The SUV landed in Pleasant Grove Creek.

He used his gun to shoot himself out, then flagged down a passerby.

The Prince's remark was worth repeating.

Some fodder for your blog. Seems like the guy is a bit too jumpy to lose control of his vehicle from the sound of his cell phone. Hope he is not that jumpy when it comes to using his gun on the job.

What's your opinion? Anyone can lose control of the car, right? Anyone can be a bit jumpy. But, it makes you wonder how fit this guy is to be in his line of work.

Please leave a comment.

The Other Loophole reports on the other loophole. Thanks Laci the Dog.

Less than a year after a court-ordered stay at a state mental hospital, David Otto Gluth Jr. went gun shopping.

His involuntary commitment in 2008 to Searcy Hospital in Mount Vernon made him ineligible under federal law to have a gun.

The instant background check run by the Bass Pro Shops store in Spanish Fort failed to flag Gluth, however, because Alabama reports only a tiny fraction of mental health commitments to a national database.

Gluth walked out of the sporting goods store Oct. 19 with a shotgun, a rifle and a pistol.

Federal authorities and gun control advocates contend that thousands of potentially unstable mental patients have easy access to guns because Alabama's reporting law is so narrow.
The article goes on to explain that although the federal law is clear, the practice in gun-friendly Alabama is to report only those mental patience that have had a history of gun misuse. I'm sure the NRA and gun-rights advocates support this.

Gluth, 42, graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and served 18 years in the Army, rising to the rank of major.

He was treated for post-traumatic stress disorder at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and a psychiatrist who attended to him at the AltaPointe Health System in Mobile wrote that Gluth might suffer from bipolar disorder with psychotic features, narcissistic personality traits and a "psychotic disorder not otherwise specified."

What's your opinion? Should Maj. Gluth get a pass because he'd graduated from West Point? There's no information about his military record, but what if he'd been a bona fide war hero? Would that make a difference? Or should all mental patience who've been involuntarily committed forfeit their right to own guns?

What do you think? Please leave a comment.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

God and Guns

On The Brain Police site, Microdot has written a post about the God and Guns mix that some of us find fascinating. It seems a major defense contractor which provides gun sights for the military has placed biblical citations on them, I suppose to remind the shooters what the wars are all about.

One of the citations on the gun sights, 2COR4:6, is an apparent reference to Second Corinthians 4:6 of the New Testament, which reads: "For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."

Other references include citations from the books of Revelation, Matthew and John dealing with Jesus as "the light of the world." John 8:12, referred to on the gun sights as JN8:12, reads, "Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

"It's wrong, it violates the Constitution, it violates a number of federal laws," said Michael "Mikey" Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, an advocacy group that seeks to preserve the separation of church and state in the military.

What's your opinion? Is something wrong with this? Does it violate the separation of church and state? Does it offend non-Christian soldiers and Marines?

What do you think about the biblical justification for gun ownership? We've discussed this before, but I still don't get it. Do you?

Please leave a comment.

Governor Corzine's Final Act reports on the final legislative action taken by outgoing Governor Jon Corzine.

Gov. Jon Corzine tonight signed a measure making New Jersey the 14th state to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes, part of a flurry of bills the Democrat penned in his last full day on the job.

The marijuana bill (S119) is expected to take effect in six months. Only patients with specific illnesses would be permitted to get a prescription: cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, seizure disorder, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as Lou Gherig’s disease), severe muscle spasms, muscular dystrophy, inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease and any terminal illness if a doctor has determined the patient will die within a year.

What's your opinion? Is this a good law? Is the only reason to oppose legislation like this because of the possible abuse by loose prescription-writing doctors? I mean, anybod could be diagnosed with "severe muscle spasms."

Please leave a comment.

Criminals Packing More Heat

The New York Times published an op-ed piece concerning the alarming changes in the types of weapons in criminal hands.
The nation’s police chiefs are finding an alarming increase in criminals’ use of assault weapons — the high-powered battlefield rifles that used to be banned, back when the federal government showed greater concern for public safety. The 10-year ban expired in 2004, despite the vows of presidential nominees from both parties to fight for renewal. Congress hasn’t mustered the guts to try, preferring to roll over for the gun lobby.

A survey of more than 130 local police chiefs and officials found 37 percent reporting an increase in assault weapons in street crime. Front-line police find criminals generally packing more powerful heat, with more than half of the chiefs citing increases in large-caliber handguns and high-capacity semiautomatics — the real-life stuff of tough-guy movie fantasies. Miami police reported that four years after politicians allowed the federal ban to lapse, homicides by assault weapons increased sixfold, including the murder of two police officers.

What do you think? Is the opinion of police chiefs to be discounted because they're really politicians? That's what I've been told. My contention has always been that the chiefs of police should be a very reliable source of information on gun and crime issues.

In their frustration, the chiefs deserve credit for trying to come up with some local and state solutions — for example, requiring owners to immediately document lost or stolen guns as a deterrent to the current dodge of selling them as “lost” in the underground market.

The chiefs were collectively enlightened, discovering that in most states gun dealers are monitored not by state or local police but by federal firearm inspectors. They have a force of but 600 covering 115,000 gun dealers — who may be visited no more than once a year. Polls regularly show that the public, including most gun hobbyists, wants more realistic gun controls. But don’t tell that to the timorous politicians of Washington.

What's your opinion? Would demanding gun owners to report lost or stolen weapons infringe on their rights in any way? Would this make them criminals?

What about the task of yearly inspections of gun dealers by the authorities? The reality is that many dealers are never visited and others so infrequently that it serves nothing. Don't you think that's a problem?

Please leave a comment.

Bill to Close Access to Indy Database

The Chicago Tribune published an article on the proposed bill which would prevent public access to the Indiana concealed carry permit database.

INDIANAPOLIS - Public access to the state database of people with permits to carry guns would be closed under a bill on its way to the floor of the Indiana House.

The bill was filed following complaints over newspaper stories that used information from the database to scrutinize how gun permits are issued, including one that found a permit wound up in the hands of a man who had pressed the barrel of a loaded handgun into the chest of a woman holding a baby.

Just yesterday we were discussing this. I failed to receive an answer to my question put to Sebastian, but directed also to any number of other pro-gun bloggers who seemed to be mistaken about the nature of these disclosures.

My questions were these:

Are they talking about a different Indiana newspaper, do you think? Or could they have been mistaken in their understanding of what actually the Indy Star was doing?

The Chicago Tribune says this:

Neither the Indianapolis Star nor The Herald-Times of Bloomington, which used the database as a source for stories, published names and addresses of people who had concealed-weapon permits.

So why all the secrecy? And in order to achieve the secrecy, why was it necessary to exaggerate the offense? Isn't it a good thing to bring this "shall issue" business out into the open? Aren't the gun owners themselves concerned with the quality of people who carry guns in Indiana?

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Brady Campaign Gives Obama an "F"

Politico reports on the Brady report card for Obama's first year in office.

President Barack Obama gave himself a B+ for his first year in office, but he gets an F when it comes to gun control issues, according to a leading advocacy group.

Calling Obama's record on gun violence during his first year in office an "abject failure," the Brady Campaign Against Gun Violence said Obama has broken campaign promises and failed to show leadership on the issue.

"As a senator and candidate, he promised to stand up to the gun lobby and fight for strong gun laws," the group writes in Obama's 2009 "report card." "Unfortunately, that Barack Obama has been absent in his first year in office."

Why do you think President Obama failed to follow through on his campaign promises about guns? Is it just that there have been so many other important issues? Or do you think he never intended to live up to them in the first place?

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Military Academic Complex

Opinione published an article about the little-know facet of the Military Industrial Complex which ensures future generations of "leaders."

As American students return for another semester at universities around America, Opinione thought it would be an excellent time to discuss how the Pentagon’s influence in higher education has contributed to the militarization of American society and perpetual wars waged by a callous and inept political establishment. Although the average American is not even aware of the power and influence of the larger military industrial complex, most Americans would be shocked to learn how much money the Pentagon contributes to America’s research universities and Ivy League Schools. Known as the “Golden Triangle”, a group of military agencies, the high technology industry, and research universities, the military academic complex is influencing the bright young minds in America to develop the next generation aerial drone, stealth destroyer, and other items related to death and destruction.

What's your opinion? Is this something to worry about? Certainly we need good minds involved in military development and spending in the future, but do you think it's gone too far? Even our current administration has increased military spending. Will this be the real source of our eventual bankruptcy? What do you think?

Please leave a comment.

Monday, January 18, 2010

That's Laci the Dog

The complete story.

South Carolina Teen Accidentally Shot Dead

The reports on another tragic shooting accident. H/T Ohh Shoot.

COLUMBIA -- Tall and blond, David L. Dodenhoff had a casual style that made it easy to find friends, and, his mother, Connie, said, maybe slack off just a little on schoolwork.

Dodenhoff — those who knew him called him by his middle name, Luke — died Saturday morning, a day after he was accidentally shot in the head while target-shooting with a friend. The A.C. Flora High School senior was 17.

Richland County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Monique Mack said the teens were shooting on a property off Gatehill Road near Eastover when Dodenhoff was accidentally shot. The youth was airlifted to Palmetto Health Richland hospital, where he died.

“They were out there and doing some target shooting or shooting at small game,” Mack said. “The victim stepped in front of the gun while the other was aiming. It happened kind of simultaneously.”

Mack said the department is investigating, but the shooting has been ruled accidental. The second teen's name has not been released.

“It's just a tragic accident — there's no rhyme or reason,” Luke's father, David, said.

I would like to know what the father means by "there's no rhyme or reason." It's hard to get a feel from just the written word, for just what he meant by that or what he was feeling, but to me it sounds unbelievable. What kind of training and preparation had young Luke undertaken, do you think? I don't know who's worse the kid who put his head in front of the gun and ended up dead or the one who pulled the trigger. This is so far beyond violating the 4 Rules that I don't know what else to say.

What's your opinion? As a gun owner do you think you could ever allow your 17-year-old to go out shooting with such an frightening lack of training? Or do you say this is just one of those accidents, could happen to anybody, and besides, percentage-wise they're rare as hens' teeth? Is that what you'd say?

Please leave a comment.

The Gift Of Gab - George Carlin Style

Was there ever anyone with a better gift of gab? Isn't it funny to think that President Obama relies on a teleprompter?

The Truth About the Indy Star Database published a clarification about the controversy surrounding its gun permit database.

Some background: Last fall our StarWatch investigative team spent weeks analyzing gun permit records. We learned that more than 100 people were issued permits even though local police were opposed; these were people prone to criminal activity who should not have been given gun permits.

Along with our story we ran, as part of our growing catalogue of community databases, a feature that allowed our online readers to learn how many gun permits have been issued in each of the state's zip codes and information about the race, gender and average age of gun permit holders as a group.

We did not and have no intention of giving out names of legal permit holders or addresses of permit holders.

Now that's a little different from what I've been hearing. Sebastian said, "newspapers decided to be bozos and publish lists of permit holders," which is a mild version of what I've read on numerous pro-gun blogs.

Are they talking about a different Indiana newspaper, do you think? Or could they have been mistaken in their understanding of what actually the Indy Star was doing?

Or do the pro-gun bloggers feel like the NRA, that even this is unacceptable and the State records should be secret?

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Lawful Gun Owners Turned Bad published an editorial by Pat Howard, which I found very interesting.

Jayson Sack had the bad luck to go roll up his car windows -- sprinkling rain was forcing his family's Saturday evening picnic inside -- as a Saturn sedan came rolling across East 20th Street. A witness recalled Sack yelling at the driver to slow down.

The bad luck was that the Saturn was driven by a 22-year-old cop wannabe with an attitude, a criminal justice degree and a .357 Magnum tucked in his pants. Trouble waiting to happen, in other words.

Atkin got out of the car, pointed that pistol and snuffed the life of a 30-year-old father of two who loved sports and hot cars. A life that could have continued on if only Atkin had done the same.

Reports like this take on a greater significance when told by gun owners. For one thing, this shows that not all gun owners are of the passionate variety who blindly defend guns at every opportunity.

I'm a gun owner myself, and I harbor mixed feelings about the limits of gun rights and a general skepticism about gun control. But if I have a soft spot for anti-gun arguments, it has something to do with a young guy driving off to visit his mom on a spring evening with a large-caliber handgun stuffed in his shorts.

Joel Atkin was carrying that pistol legally, right up until he used it to murder a man in the street for no reason. That's at the heart of the what-ifs in this case.

How many gun owners do you think "have a soft spot for anti-gun arguments?" How common do you think that is?

Mr. Howard mentioned that the problem is when anger and guns get together. I suppose he's talking about a certain type of anger, the kind that becomes uncontrollable. How many people suffer from that, do you think? Would the percentage be the same for gun owners?

In my previous attempt to answer that I placed the level at 1%, which I should add was a low ball conservative figure. Nationwide it's believed to be much higher. They call it IED, Intermittent Explosive Disorder.

What's your opinion? Is something wrong when people have to be so fearful of confrontation that they're reluctant to say something when offended lest they get shot for their trouble? Is this an undesirable side effect of the gun movement? What do you think?

Please leave a comment.

Glenn Beck: Guns Save Lives

Did Senator Karen Johnson say there has never been an incident of misuse by a CCW permit holder in Arizona?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Treason of Rush Limbaugh

One of our favorite blog friends, Man With a Muckrake wrote a wonderful post about the incredible phenomenon of guys like Rush Limbaugh and their audience.

My thesis is this: Limbaugh and propagandists like him prey on the fucked-up minds of American men in order to use these men to destroy the unity and cohesiveness of this nation. Limbaugh ought to be arrested, tried and hung for treason.

Those to whom I refer with the F-U-M are that miserable knot of Americans who cling to stereotypes of the past and refuse to see others as equal to themselves. As Orsen Wells said, ‘Some people are more equal than others.’

They are, simply put, angry men looking to displace their anger onto others. America is plagued with millions of these angry men. It is, perhaps, epidemiological. Many of these men also carry weapons.. Weapons make them feel safer. So does yelling and demeaning chiding.

What's your opinion? What do you think motivates Limbaugh and the others to do what they do? Are they patriots in your opinion, as they claim? Are they showmen doing what they do for the ratings? What do you think?

Please leave a comment.

Why Concealed Carry is Useless

This is what happened to me yesterday.

While walking in our little town, holding my 6-year-old by the hand, we stopped to look at an outdoor fish pond through the hedges of one of our neighbors. Enjoying a sunny moment of watching the koi fish, or whatever they were, I became aware of three young men approaching from behind. Out of the corner of my eye I could see they were a little rough looking, perhaps 20-something immigrant-construction-worker types. The problem is although they are generally hard-working and pose no threat, they're almost indistinguishable from their Romanian or Albanian co-nationals who commit some of the violent crime we do have around here.

If I'd been armed, what would have been the proper next action? Reach under my coat to take hold the gun and prepare to draw? But even that wouldn't have been enough in the three seconds it took for them to reach us and pass on the narrow sidewalk. If they'd been predators, even with my hand on the gun, they'd easily have had the upper hand.

So, for safety's sake, should I have pulled the gun on them in a pre-emptive defensive move? No, of course not, that would have been too much, especially in hind-sight knowing they indeed meant no harm.

The point is, based on this and numerous, almost daily experiences like it, I understand that concealed carry is not the responsible, protect-your-family thing it's so often described as. In most situations the gun would do no good whatever and often great harm.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Washington Man Cleared of Gun Charges reports on the Longview man who was cleared of gun charges.

LONGVIEW, Wash. -- A Longview man who pulled a gun on bouncers at a local bar has been found not guilty of second-degree assault.

A jury determined that 29-year-old Brian Adam Barnd-Spjut acted in self-defense on the night of March 28.

A security video showed bouncers from Kesler's Bar and Grill hauling the man down the bar's hallway toward a back alley. When thrust into an alley, he spun around and pointed the gun at three bouncers and the bar manager.

Barnd-Spjut, who has a concealed weapons permit, says he displayed the gun because he feared the bouncers would beat him up.

I don't know about anybody else, but I've never seen bouncers take someone out to the back alley by force unless that person was doing some serious acting out in the bar. So, is it safe to assume there was some altercation inside the place before Brian Adam Barnd-Spjut had to protect himself with the gun? Would that have anything to do with this, do you think?

Is this case an example of why the law permitting concealed carry in bars is good? What if he'd shot and killed one of the bouncers? Would that have been justified? Is fear of a beating a good enough reason to kill someone? Is fear of a beating a good enough reason to draw the gun? I didn't think the 4 Rules contained one about preventing a beating or keeping the bouncers at bay. I mean, how far are we going to stretch the "lethal threat" excuse?

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Meteorite Show in Arizona reports on the largest meteorite show in Arizona history.

Tucson, AZ (KOLD) - The Lunar and Planetary Laboratory will hold an exhibition on the U of A campus which boosts the largest collection of Arizona meteorites in a single place. The exhibition is free to the public and will be held on January 30th in the Kuiper Space Science Building from 6 to 9 PM.

Since 1891, more than 95 separately classified meteorites have been found in Arizona. The goal of the laboratory is to display at least one piece from each meteorite found, and to do this they will be getting help from private individuals and other institutions.

What this means, of course, is the possibility of being struck by a meteorite is much more likely than previously thought. When they say "separately classified meteorites," that's just what they mean. Many of those 95 fragmented into many smaller pieces just prior to impact.

What's your opinion? Is it responsible to take no precautions against an eventuality which is as potentially devastating as being hit by a meteorite? Wouldn't this fall under the purview of the manly head-of-household who is generally the principal bread-winner and does all the driving on family outings? What do you think? Certainly women and children shouldn't have to worry about stuff like this?

Please leave a comment.

The Death Penalty in Mongolia

Catholic News reports on the complete moratorium of capital punishment in Mongolia.

Tsakhia Elbegdorj says it degrades Mongolia's dignity. He plans to commute the sentence of people on death row.

Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Mongolian President Tsakhia Elbegdorj has announced a moratorium on the death penalty, and has called for its abolition.

Mr Elbegdorj told parliament that such punishment degraded Mongolia's dignity and that he would commute the sentence of death row inmates.

In the land of Genghis Khan who imposed discipline by putting people to death, the president wants a moratorium on executions because the “majority of the world's countries have chosen to abolish the death penalty. We should follow this path," he told lawmakers.

The president said he would start at once. “From tomorrow, I'll pardon those on death row. I suggest commuting the death penalty to a 30-year severe jail sentence.”

It's often said that the United States has a history of violence, you know, the revolutionary war period and the cowboy-gun-slinger period a century later. But Mongolia really has it, going back nearly a millennium. In the land of Genghis Khan, you might think violence is in their genes. Yet, even they're taking the cue from other "enlightened" societies on the issue of executing their own.

China holds the unenviable title as the world’s top executioner in 2008 with 1,718 people put to death. That is more than half of the 2,390 executions carried out in the world that year.

Altogether 93 per cent of all executions occur in five countries. In addition to China, the list includes Iran (346), Saudi Arabia (102), the United States (37) and Pakistan (36).

Everyone knows the arguments for and against the death penalty. But, how about adding the one about the company we keep by continuing this barbaric practice so fraught with problems and complications.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.