Saturday, June 5, 2010

Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day

That's the title Robert Farago meant to give this post. It happened at about the 1:00 minute mark.

Jon Stewart on Glenn Beck - Again

Glenn Beck has become so powerful that his wise words can now be acted upon retroactively.

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John Lott on the UN Small Arms Treaty presented a wonderful article by Prof. John Lott. He makes a case for the dangers of the UN Small Arms Treaty recently endorsed by the U.S. Pointing out that the treaty would disarm legitimate freedom fighters such as the French Resistance heroes during World War II, he makes a clear and succinct argument against the treaty. Of course his main concern is this:

The Small Arms Treaty is just a back door way for the Obama administration trying to force through gun control regulations. With the huge standing ovation that House and Senate Democrats recently gave Mexican President Calderon for his advocacy of a new so-called “Assault Weapons Ban,” Americans who care about self-defense have been put on notice. The threats to gun ownership are as real as ever.

Now, I don't know about you, but I don't buy that one. To me it sounds like Prof. Lott is operating as the mouthpiece for the gun manufacturers of America, attempting to keep sales and paranoia as high as possible. But, maybe he's just concerned.

There was one other part of the article that I really enjoyed.

Americans have seen the increase in murder rates in DC and Chicago after their bans, and the sudden 25 percent drop in DC’s murder rates last year after their ban was removed. But as recent research shows, gun bans have consistently lead to higher murder rates around the world.

The "recent research" is his own book. Isn't that a riot?

What's your opinion? Is John Lott serious about the need to continue worrying about Obama as an enemy of gun rights? Sarah Palin said the same thing at the convention recently, after all. Are they right? Or, are these tireless doomsayers acting on some agenda of their own?

Is he on the right track about the UN Small Arms Treaty? Or, is there a bit of distortion there applying it to such laudable movements as the French Resistance?

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Guns Stolen in Iowa

The Sioux City Journal reports on the latest multiple gun theft.

VAIL, Iowa -- Authorities are offering a $4,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for stealing approximately 40 guns from a dealer in Crawford County, Iowa.

Crawford County Sheriff James R. Steinkuehler said the guns were stolen during a burglary some time between 3 p.m. Sunday and 11 a.m. Monday at Pete's Gun Shop in Vail, a city about 10 miles northeast of Denison.

Officials believe the suspect or suspects entered the business through a vent in the back of the building.

I know, I know, only the thief is responsible for stealing something. You can never blame the victim. But let me ask you this, all you individual-responsibility guys, all you don't-blame-the-victim guys. If you owned a gun shop, do you think it would be very difficult to render the "vent in the back" of the building inaccessible from the outside? I'd say it wouldn't take much to do that, not much brainpower to think of it and not much labor to do it. I'd go so far as to say, a gun store owner has a responsibility to do exactly that. We're not talking about international master thieves like you see in the movies. These are local hoodlums trying to make an easy buck. How hard would it be to prevent them?

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

In England They Get It

The Daily Mirror published an article that summed up the gun control position in Great Britain.

Gun crime is thankfully rare in Britain. That's because we have very tight laws on firearms, not because we are less barmy than Americans.

If we had Yankee-style "right to bear arms," there would be many more homicides and mass shootings.

The horrific massacre in Cumbria is a powerful reminder of why we need such legislation, born out of bitter experience that you can't trust men (it's always men) with lethal weapons.

The shooting lobby invariably reacts against the possibility of further restrictions on gun ownership, arguing that people kill people, not guns. Well, it's a lot harder without guns.

What's so difficult about that? Fewer guns, fewer gun crimes. I especially liked this line: "born out of bitter experience that you can't trust men (it's always men) with lethal weapons."

What do you think? Please leave a comment.

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Terrible Gun Sickness in Houston has the story.

Police say the incident started when the husband followed his wife to the home. As the wife met another man, who police say is her boyfriend, the husband got his weapon and shot the boyfriend. At the same time, the boyfriend pulled his weapon and shot the husband. The wife was caught in the crossfire and shot in the arm.

Do you think that's normal? I certainly don't.

Please leave a comment.

Where Were the Parents? reports on the tragic shooting.

SALINA, Kan. A 14-year-old boy has been charged with fatally shooting his 9-year-old stepbrother at their rural Kansas home.

Saline County Attorney Ellen Mitchell said the 14-year-old was charged today as a juvenile with one count of first-degree premeditated murder in the death of his stepbrother.

She says she is awaiting investigative reports and doesn't know whether she will seek adult charges. A hearing is planned for 9 a.m. Thursday.

County sheriff's Capt. Brian Shea says the older boy called 911 Tuesday afternoon and said he shot his brother accidentally. The two boys were home alone while their parents worked.

But Shea says the investigation revealed the shooting was no accident.

I can see that a 14-year-old should know better, but when Saline County Attorney Ellen Mitchell says she may want to try him as an adult, I say that's ridiculous.

I know the article said the parents were working, but I still want to ask, in a more figurative sense, "WHERE WERE THE PARENTS?"

What's your opinion? Is there something wrong with leaving two kids home alone with access to a gun? I say yes.

Please leave a comment.

More Guns - More Gun Deaths

That's it. The argument is over. The gun advocates can just go home now and wait for the government truck to come by to collect their guns.

From the Gun Guys taken from the VPC press release.

States with the Five HIGHEST Per Capita Gun Death Rates

  • Louisiana--Rank: 1; Household Gun Ownership: 45.6 percent; Gun Death Rate: 19.87 per 100,000.
  • Mississippi--Rank: 2; Household Gun Ownership: 54.3 percent; Gun Death Rate: 18.32 per 100,000.
  • Alaska--Rank: 3; Household Gun Ownership: 60.6 percent; Gun Death Rate: 17.62 per 100,000.
  • Alabama--Rank: 4; Household Gun Ownership: 57.2 percent; Gun Death Rate: 17.55 per 100,000.
  • Nevada--Rank: 5; Household Gun Ownership: 31.5 percent; Gun Death Rate: 16.21 per 100,000.

States with the Five LOWEST Per Capita Gun Death Rates

  • Hawaii--Rank: 50; Household Gun Ownership: 9.7 percent; Gun Death Rate: 2.82 per 100,000.
  • Rhode Island--Rank: 49; Household Gun Ownership: 13.3 percent; Gun Death Rate: 3.51 per 100,000.
  • Massachusetts--Rank: 48; Household Gun Ownership: 12.8 percent; Gun Death Rate: 3.63 per 100,000.
  • Connecticut--Rank: 47; Household Gun Ownership: 16.2 percent; Gun Death Rate: 4.27 per 100,000.
  • New York--Rank: 46; Household Gun Ownership: 18.1 percent; Gun Death Rate: 5.07 per 100,000.

What's your opinion? Why is it always so difficult to get the gun owners to admit the that which is so obvious?

Please leave a comment.

Armed Woman Prevents Daughter's Rape reports on a nice clean DGU. Not even I could turn this one into an argument for gun control.

A Cape Girardeau mother with a gun is being credited with stopping the attempted rape of her daughter. The Southeast Missourian reported Wednesday that Craig Kizer, 51, faces a variety of charges, including attempted rape, armed criminal action and burglary. He has no known address. Police say Kizer had been working on the family's home as part of a renovation project but was not staying there. The teen was in bed around 5:30 a.m. Sunday when Kizer came into her room with a knife and climbed on top of her. When he set the knife down on the bed, the teen grabbed it and screamed. The girl's mother came into the room with a gun, pointed it at the suspect and ordered him out of the house. Police later arrested him.

Beautiful! Clean! No one was hurt.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Alaska Man Kills Grizzley in National Park

The Fairbanks Daily news reports on an unusual DGU.

Officials at Denali National Park and Preserve have released no new details or information regarding the fatal shooting of a grizzly bear by a hiker on Friday in the 6-million-acre park south of Fairbanks.

Park officials on Tuesday still had not released the name of the hiker who shot the bear, and rangers are investigating the shooting to determine if it was justified, according to park spokeswoman Kris Fister. She did not say if the park service was contemplating criminal charges against the shooter.

A new law passed by Congress in February made it legal to carry firearms in the area of the park where the bear was shot but illegal to discharge them. Rangers said it was the first known instance of a grizzly bear being shot by a visitor in the wilderness portion of Denali, formerly called Mount McKinley National Park.

Without the gun, would this have been one of the extremely rare bear killings that happen every once in a while? Or, like it could happen in any DGU, did the shooter exaggerate the danger afterwards to justify his actions?

They said this was the first reported incident since the new law. I wonder how many unreported incidents there have been, how many road signs and trees now have bullet holes in them.

What's your opinion? Is the right to carry guns in National Parks doing more good than harm? Is this story an example of that?

Please leave a comment.

Austin Texas Gun Buy Back

The Austin Statesman reports on an unusual initiative for a city in Texas: a gun buy-back program. FishyJay sent us the link with this comment.

"As I have said before, I don't have much against "buybacks" (the voluntary kind, not the mandatory kind)."

For the first time in Central Texas, a law enforcement agency will take a gun off your hands, ask no questions and give you money for groceries.

Identification won't be required to turn in a weapon through Guns 4 Groceries, a program sponsored by the Austin Police Department and the Greater Austin Crime Commission that will allow police to buy guns in exchange for grocery store gift cards.

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said the main goals of the program are to reduce gun violence in Austin and help families that do not know what to do with an old gun in the home.

"This is not about trying to diminish someone's Second Amendment right, and it's not about us telling people they shouldn't own a gun," Acevedo said. "This program is for people who are too old to operate a gun or for people who no longer wish to have a gun in their home."

Unlike FishyJay, it seems to me most of the pro-gun advocates hate these programs. I've tried to ascertain why. Maybe this is a hint.

Chuck Young, executive director of Texans for Accountable Government, a nonpartisan political action committee, said many of the guns that police are wanting to buy could be sold at gun shows for four times the price.

"I think most of the ones they could be buying are broken, and it is really just a photo-opportunity for police," Young said. "What we are concerned about is how this creeps into a gun-control mentality."

What's your opinion? Is this kind of thing a big show for the police with no real benefit involved? Why would the police in Austin Texas go in for it then? They're still Texans after all.

Is the real problem with these programs that they lend credibility to the gun control idea about gun availability? The role that gun availability plays in violence and death is so obvious us that we find it hard to believe the gun advocates are serious when they deny it.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Loredo Gun Seizure

The New York Times reports on one of the largest seizures of guns near the Mexican Border.

Federal authorities are investigating the origin of one of the largest gun seizures ever on the Mexico border: a cache of 147 assault rifles with banana clips and bayonets discovered in a truck being driven down a residential street in Laredo on Saturday, the local police said. Officers acting on a tip pulled over the truck and arrested the men inside after a short chase. Inside, they discovered 147 new AK-47 rifles, still in their boxes; 263 high-capacity magazines; 53 bayonets; and 10,000 rounds of ammunition — enough for a small army. Federal agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement took the men into custody.

What do you think? Is this just a drop in the bucket? The 10,000 rounds of ammo is what surprises me. Bob S. told us it's perfectly normal to keep 10, 20 or even 30 years worth of ammo on hand. This is nothin'.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

The U.K. Massacre

Bloomberg has the report (not the mayor, the news outlet).

RuffRidr really hurt my feelings with this comment.

Also, would love to hear your views on the mass shooting in England.

Interesting that the story has been almost completely ignored on this blog.
I scour the internet continually, but honestly hadn't picked up on this till I saw these two mentions on my own blog comments. To suggest that I pick and choose, is just ridiculous, I'm outraged .

Here's the story:

June 3 (Bloomberg) -- One of the worst mass killings in British history may have been triggered by a row over a family will, the Daily Telegraph reported, without saying where it obtained the information.

Taxi driver Derrick Bird went on the rampage armed with a sniper rifle and a shotgun through the northeast county of Cumbria, killing 12 people and wounding 25 before turning the gun on himself; his twin brother David and a local solicitor, Kevin Commons, who may have advised the family over the will of Bird’s ailing mother, the newspaper said.

Bird had initially armed himself with two guns on the night before Wednesday’s killings, but was disarmed by a friend; he sought medical help at a local hospital for his mental state but was turned away, the Telegraph reported.

I know, I know. This proves that both gun control and universal health care don't work worth a damn.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

A Fascinating Article Indeed

As recommended by JadeGold in his comment to American Military Fetish.

Wired reports that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is not getting his way in trying to curtail military spending.

Over the past few years, Congress has approved continued work on an alternate F-35 engine, a move that would break Pratt & Whitney’s lock on the JSF engine market by funding a competing engine made by a GE/Rolls Royce team. Supporters say a second design would ultimately yield some cost savings, but that argument has failed to move Gates, who has said that things don’t need to be any more complicated than they already are for the troubled F-35 program.

Then there’s money for 30 Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet fighters: eight more than the Department of Defense requested. Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri, who introduced the amendment, said the extra aircraft (like the one pictured here) would “help address a looming fighter shortfall for the Navy’s carrier fleet.”

So much for austerity in naval budgets. Gates, as readers will recall, has already suggested that the Navy needs to take a hard look at whether it is right-sized — and whether it needs to keep 11 carrier strike groups for the next three decades. House authorizers, however, said their $65 billion recommendation for Navy and Marine Corps procurement was aimed at “reversing the decline in the Navy battle force fleet.”

What's your opinion? Is this too much? Does the kind of influence that accounts for these contracts, in spite of the Secretary of Defence's opposition to them, also explain the fact that we continue to fight two useless wars?

What do you think? Please leave a comment.

Digby on Glenn Reynolds

Digby at Hullabaloo picked up on the ridiculous remarks of Glenn Reynolds about the recent Chicago gun violence.


Now, where have we heard that one before?

Digby said:

Certainly Glenn Reynolds believes that gun control doesn't solve the problem of gun crime, but from the snotty tone, it also appears that he holds gun control advocates responsible for the deaths themselves. I guess he really believes that if everybody were armed nobody would ever fire their weapons. Why these guys think that I will never understand. It's as if they actually think that violence is always a rational act. Maybe in Libertarian Disneyland that's true, but here on planet earth, people's passions often get the best of them and when that happens, if guns are present, some people are likely to get shot.

What's your opinion? Who sounds more sensible to you Glenn or Digby?

Please leave a comment.

Machine Gun McCain

The real title is Gli Intoccabili. A good old flick.

Common Sense Gun Laws

Mercury News reports on a good common-sense gun law which looks like it'll pass.

SACRAMENTO, Calif.—Citing safety concerns, the California Assembly passed a bill Tuesday that would make it illegal to openly carry a gun in public, even if it is unloaded.

The bill would make it a misdemeanor to carry an exposed handgun on any public street or in a public place. The bill passed on a 41-25 party-line vote and now moves to the Senate.

Under current California law, gun owners can carry a rifle or handgun in a holster in public if it is unloaded.

"How is a police officer supposed to know?" asked Sandre Swanson, D-Oakland. "Why would we put our men and women who protect us and provide security for our community in danger to make that split second decision?"

But opponents said bill AB1934 would chip away at the public's right to bear arms and protest peacefully.

"This is a backhanded, even acute way, of implementing gun control," said Assemblyman Jim Nielsen, R-Biggs. "I assure you that criminals don't worry about this. They have the guns, and they know how to conceal them, how to use them."

"You are making it official that gang members can carry weapons," Assemblyman Kevin De Leon, D-Los Angeles said to colleagues who would vote against the measure.

Similar open-carry bans exist in Florida, Illinois, Texas and Washington, D.C., according to the Legal Community Against Violence, a public interest law center based in San Francisco.

The first problem I have with this is that little word "misdemeanor." Either violating this gun law should be a felony, or any gun misdemeanor should result in disqualification to own firearms. How else are we going to weed out the problem gun owners?

Secondly, what's the problem with Assemblyman Jim Nielsen? He says, "I assure you that criminals don't worry about this. They have the guns, and they know how to conceal them, how to use them."

What exactly does that have to do with prohibiting open carry?

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

The Popularity of Capital Punishment

The American Thinker provided a fascinating analysis of capital punishment polls.

A recent Washington Post poll found that 60% of Maryland citizens support capital punishment with 32% opposed. But there was a caveat: when respondents were forced to give a choice between life without parole or execution for murderers, Marylanders supported life without parole over execution 49% to 40%. Opponents of the death penalty have long enjoyed pointing out that support for executions drop when life without parole sentences become an option to putting murderers to death. However, overall numbers of death penalty support or the more nuanced ones reflecting the life without parole option (from whatever polling agencies), are misleading at best in attempting to gain the public's true and accurate views of capital punishment.

That part sounds pretty good to me. If people are given a choice between the death penalty and life without, they choose life without. But the article goes on to describe how the same folks who say they oppose capital punishment, when confronted with a very heinous crime, opt for the death penalty.

For example, in October of 2009 Gallup conducted its yearly death penalty survey and found that nationally, 65% of U.S. citizens favored capital punishment for murder. Yet, incredibly, when New York City residents were asked a month later if they supported the death penalty for alleged 911 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed if found guilty, 77% sad "yes" while only 18% said "no" (USA Today/Gallup, Nov. 20-22, 2009). Politically, socially and culturally, NYC is a very liberal place. It is bluer than blue. Yet it decisively trumped the rest of the nation in support for the death penalty when a very real incident involving real evil was in play. And, I might add, one can't be a true foe of capital punishment if an exception is made for a particular individual (granted, a particularly bad one).

What's your opinion? What's the best way to get a fair reading on the popularity of capital punishment? If we give people examples of especially horrible crimes that have struck close to home, aren't we risking an emotional response? Isn't the reaction to an abstract case the true reading?

Here's another way to say it. What would the folks who favor the death penalty say if it were their child who committed a capital offense? Wouldn't some of them think twice about their choice? Wouldn't they be too emotionally involved to give a fair response? Isn't the reaction to an abstract case the true reading?

What do you think? Please leave a comment.

The Census Taker

From FishyJay.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The American Military Fetish

The Daily Kos published a rather unusual Memorial Day article, with which I agree totally. What do you think?

What could be sadder than a general without a war? We have 42 four star generals or admirals in the US...and that's just the top dogs, the four stars. There are tons more of the lesser generals. How many of them do you suppose would care to serve their entire careers during peace time? None of them is my guess. So from within the ranks of the military itself there is significant pressure for going to war. Call it the 'when you have a hammer the whole world is a nail' principle.

The article goes on to mention the defense contractors and their lobbyists, who I believe are the real culprits.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

The Ridiculous Tenacity of the Pro-Gun Position

In his latest Examiner article, Kurt Hofmann exemplifies the ridiculous tenacity of the pro-gun activists. Their rules of engagement include, never backing down and never admitting you're wrong. When something is said which the opposition challenges, they meet it with forceful advancement.

Instead of admitting that Mayor Daley's remark was not really a threat and calling it that was a simple rhetorical trick on his part, which I suggested, Kurt, always true to form, stuck to his guns.

The "mayor's comments" referred to above would be Daley's proposal to put a bayonet tipped rifle "up [the] butt" of a reporter who had the temerity to ask if Chicago's handgun ban could be said to be effective, given the consistent carnage there.

Repeating the word "proposal" several times in the new article seems to be the new way to distort the mayor's comments, while supporting his original question: "Is Chicago's Mayor Daley guilty of 'terroristic threats'?"

What's your opinion? Is Kurt one of those stubborn guys who can never admit when they're wrong? Is it reasonable to you that during a press conference, while being video taped, Mayor Daley really threatened to harm someone? On the other hand, do you think someone making a call to the mayor from California, might have been serious?

I think it was clear from the very beginning that the mayor did not threaten anyone. I don't think the California caller was so obviously innocent, at least not at the beginning. Yet, at this point, extraditing him to Chicago and making an example out of him is just a foolish as insisting the mayor was guilty of 'terroristic threats'.

What do you think? Please leave a comment.

Henigan on the Upcoming McDonald Decision

The Huffington Post published a very illuminating article by Dennis A. Henigan on the future implications of McDonald vs. Chicago based on the Heller decision.

First, it is important to keep in mind the nature and scope of the right that would be applied to states and localities. In the words of Justice Scalia's majority opinion, the Second Amendment guarantees "the right of law-abiding, responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home." In addition, the Heller right applies only to self-defense in the home, not to carrying guns in public. Although some have expressed concern that a ruling against Chicago would cripple "stop and frisk" and other law enforcement tactics against illegal carrying of guns on the street, nothing in Heller itself would jeopardize those tactics.

Second, the Heller majority went out of its way to make clear that strong gun regulation short of a handgun ban would still be permissible, regardless of the new right to be armed. According to Justice Scalia, the Second Amendment right is not "to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose." Instead, the Court said, "nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt" on several broad categories of gun laws, which the Court said remain "presumptively lawful." Those categories, which the Court said did "not purport to be exhaustive," include laws imposing conditions on the sale of guns (which could include background checks, licensing, registration, etc.), bans on dangerous and unusual weapons (which could include machine guns and assault weapons), and prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons. Heller's assurance that prohibiting concealed weapons remains "presumptively lawful" further suggests that extending the Heller right to the states would pose no threat to police tactics against illegal guns on the streets.

Of course the pro-gun spin doctors invested lots of energy into their positive interpretation of the Heller "victory."

If Chicago's law is struck down, it will no doubt be hailed by the NRA as a great victory, as was Heller. But the most ardent "gun rights" advocates can barely hide their disappointment with the practical impact of Heller. They likely have more disappointments to come after McDonald.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Bloody Baltimore

The Baltimore Sun reports. The reality is worse than The Wire.

It seems as if the entire city was wrapped in crime scene tape this weekend.

Ten people shot. Seven of them died. We've had weekends, days even, with more shootings (remember the day of the cookout last year when 18 people were shot in a single night -- though only two people died) but I can't recall any as deadly.

Virtually every part of the city, including two area where cops and everyone else are concentrating on -- Carrollton Ridge, where 5-year-old Raven Wyatt was shot last year, and McElderry Park, where former gang members try to intervene in disputes before they become violent.

And this morning we wake to news that the end of the Memorial Day holiday has brought no respite to the weary. Another shooting, another death, 43 minutes after midnight, technically after the holiday, but adding to the toll means 11 shootings with 8 dead in four days. This time, the shooting was in West Baltimore, on Fulton Avenue. And on top of that, a man was stabbed to death about 6 p.m. Monday in Northeast Baltimore.

What's the solution? Should we lessen the restrictions on buying and owning guns? Does that make sense to you? Please keep in mind, all the guns used in these shootings started out legally owned. In most cases, the last legal owner was responsible for the weapon passing into the criminal world. That's the connection. That's why the lawful gun owners cannot disassociate themselves from this mess.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Three Women Shot

The Chicago Sun Times reports on this unusual shooting.

Three women were shot -- one was seriously wounded -- while walking down the street with “new” male companions early Monday on the Far South Side, police said.

The victims are between the ages of 23 and 27 and were walking with male companions at 131 W. 113th Pl. about 12:20 a.m. when the incident occurred, according to police.

The shooters who all are acquainted with the women, apparently didn't like the fact they were walking with “new” men and began firing, according to police.

Police said the gunmen were “probably” trying to harm the men, but wounded the women instead.

The woman most seriously injured was shot in the chest and had to undergo surgery at Advocate Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn. Another woman who was shot in the hip was also at Christ but her injuries were not life-threatening, police said.

The third woman -- who was shot in both legs -- was taken to Roseland Hospital, also with non-life-threatening injuries.

No one was in custody at 5 a.m.

Now, come on, in order to qualify as yet another example of Guns are bad news for women, I'd have to discount what the police said.

Police said the gunmen were “probably” trying to harm the men, but wounded the women instead.

How could they know that anyway? Besides, the shooters were obviously poor shots, but is it really possible that four bullets landed and only the girls were hit? I have an idea, in addition to loosening up the gun laws in Chicago, they need to allow these young marksmen to utilize the shooting ranges to practice, no background checks required, of course.

What's your opinion? Do you think the underlying problem of men doing violence to women is worsened by the availability of guns. That's what I think?

Please leave a comment.

Apex, North Carolina Murder - Suicide reports on another tragic crime of passion. Wake County NC has been busy lately.

Authorities say the gunman entered the store with a handgun and shot 59-year-old Guadalupe F. Rosas, of Apex, then turned the gun on himself. Officials say as police entered the store, they encountered the suspect and challenged him to drop the weapon. That's when the suspect shot himself. The gunman and Rosas were pronounced dead. Authorities are not releasing the name of the suspect pending notification of next of kin.

It is believed to have been another case of ex-boyfriend punishing former girlfriend. That would put this one square in the middle of the Guns are bad news for women category as well as the Famous 10%.

Why does it seem that people who shouldn't have guns in the first place have such an easy time getting them? Why in the world would anybody want to make it even easier to get guns? Does that make any sense?

Please leave a comment.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Ansonia Precision Manufacturing reported on the sentencing of Michael Stinson who was convicted of stealing assault weapons.

NEW HAVEN -- Michael Stinson insists being entrapped by federal agents into stealing assault rifles from an Ansonia manufacturing plant.

But Assistant U.S. Attorneys Felice Duffy and Robert Spector did not believe the 16-time convicted felon and took him to trial.

The federal jury did not believe him and convicted him in March on charges of conspiring to steal firearms, theft of firearms from a licensed dealer and possession of firearms by a convicted felon.

First of all, are they really saying the guy had 16 felony convictions? I have gone on record opposing the three-strikes-you're-out laws, but this is ridiculous. Even I'm not that soft on criminals?

She [the judge] sentenced Stinson, 52, of Newfield Avenue, Bridgeport, to 16 years and eight months in prison.

The judge imposed a term of nine years and two months on David Harvin, 28, of Birch Drive, Stratford, a co-defendant who cut his trial short by pleading guilty to the three charges.

Around 2 a.m. on Oct. 21, 2009, Michael Stinson and Harvin, who was wearing a camouflage mask and black gloves, were videotaped inside the plant where they attempted to steal 29 rifles they packed into two duffle bags. They were arrested while leaving with the first bag.

Michael Stinson testified he was at the plant to pick up scrap metal and blamed Stevenson for telling him to take the guns.

"Mr. Stinson's testimony is in direct conflict with what David Harvin stated under oath at his change of plea before the Court," said Duffy.

Harvin, who has six prior felony convictions, said Michael Stinson called asking him to assist him in the theft, the prosecutor said.

Wow, those crazy Connecticut gangsters and those crazy Connecticut judges. In this case the guy who got the lightest sentence already had six felony conviction under his belt. He'll be out in four or five.

What's your opinion? With all the excitement do you think anyone bothered to question the security measures taken by Ansonia Precision Manufacturing prior to the theft? Does that even enter into it?

What do you think about the sentences? Are they strong enough? Don't you think this is the other extreme from those horror stories you hear of felony pot criminals getting life sentences?

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Is Bill Maher More Offensive Than Glenn Beck?

From Mediaite.

If you thought Glenn Beck putting on an evil witch voice to imitate Malia Obama was offensive, this one is going to blow your socks off. Last night, Bill Maher lamented President Barack Obama’s “professorial” personality, noting with a hint of betrayal in his voice that he was expecting a “real black president”– you know, the kind that “lifts up his shirt so they can see the gun in his pants.”

I think Maher is a funny stand-up comedian, while Glenn Beck is an influential political commentater. That makes Beck's nonsense about the kid offensive and Maher's joke about the gun, just a joke. What do you think?

Tragedy in Wake County NC

The News Observer reports on the wife who shot and killed her husband over another woman.
GARNER -- Police have charged a wife with killing her husband early Saturday in the recreational vehicle in which they were living.

Police say Ruby Ashworth Gonzalez, 59, called 911 shortly after 1 a.m. to report that she had shot her husband in their RV parked behind the former Staples store on Garner Station Boulevard.

Police found Abundio G. Gonzalez, 48, dead, apparently as a result of a single gunshot to the chest, according to a release from the Garner Police Department. Ruby Ashworth Gonzalez was arrested at the RV and has been charged with first-degree murder.

Police say the shooting was the result of an argument involving another woman, though they say they do not anticipate charging anyone else.

Here's what I say.

1. Too many guns.
2. Too much gun culture.
3. Guns are bad news for women.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

The Land of the Free

The Desert Conservative posted an amazing article the other day. The opening lines tell it all.

Someone has got to get the point across of, America is free simply due to our Right to bear arms! If that were not so the Terrorists would have started something here long ago! Pastor Lee
The Pastor goes on to talk about the legislative initiatives of the "perennial gun-grabber Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.)."

What's your opinion? Isn't it a bit silly to claim that America is only free due to the 2nd Amendment? Wouldn't that mean that other countries generally are not free?

Please leave a comment.

Follow-up on Paul Shelly

The Trib Live reports on the resolution of the Paul Shelly case.

"Eleven months after the fact."

That was former McKeesport councilman Paul Shelly's first reaction to seeing a court document indicating the state would not prosecute him on criminal charges filed last June after a McKeesport man accused Shelly of pulling a gun on him during an argument.

Shelly, 46, was to be tried on charges of terroristic threats and defiant trespass before Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas Judge Joseph K. Williams III Wednesday but the trial didn't occur due to his accuser Edwin Batista, 48, of McKeesport, expressing a desire not to proceed with the case.

Since accusing Shelly of pulling the weapon on him in his dry cleaning shop which is now out of business in downtown McKeesport on June 13, Batista has had a number of brushes with the law and is in Allegheny County Jail awaiting trial in July on charges of terroristic threats and other charges stemming in part from threats he made against McKeesport police Assistant Chief Thomas Greene.

A man wrongly accused and seriously harmed in the process should be compensated, no? No gun was ever recovered? He spent three days in jail? What's behind all this? Is it just dirty Pennsylvania-style politics?

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Monday, May 31, 2010

The Man Who Threatened Mayor Daley

The Chicago Government Examiner provides an update on the man who threatened Mayor Daley.

Christopher Traynor Fox, the 39-year-old from San Jose, California who was charged with making threatening calls to Mayor Daley, is now denying that he threatened to shoot Daley. Fox's denial came Friday afternoon in the Santa Clara County Jail.

"So, Daley apologized, and he is off the hook, but I am still in jail," said Fox, this past Friday. "I have no bus tickets, no plane ticket; I wasn't planning on going anywhere. I'm not a threat."

Some people, including Mr. Fox himself, are trying to equate what he did with what Mayor Daley did. There's no comparison. The mayor was being video-taped when he made those stupid remarks, obviously intended to express the fact that guns are dangerous and removing them from the streets is good.

Christopher Fox, on the other hand, picked up the phone, called long distance and said the same kind of stupid remarks to Mayor Daley who is a public official.

The mayor's comments required nothing to ensure public safety. Some people decided afterwards to make a big deal out of it, but that happened afterwards when it was already clear there had been no threat.

Mr. Fox was arrested as he should have been. His level of threat needed to be determined and if necessary neutralized by his detention. In my opinion, he should now be released and charged with some minor offenses. But since these involve gun ownership and his mental state and threatening a public official, he should forfeit his rights to own guns the same way a domestic violence offender does.

What do you think? Please leave a comment.

Alaska's New Gun Law

KTUU reports on the newest gun law signed by Governor Parnell.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Gov. Sean Parnell has signed a measure exempting firearms, accessories and ammunition made and kept in-state from federal gun regulations.
That's it, one line, no fuss no muss.

I remember when the same issue was being debated in Montana
, there were numerous news articles and reports. In Alaska, it doesn't take all that.

That's why Alaska is such a gun paradise.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Bloomberg Supports the Mosque at Ground Zero

The New York Post reports on the mayor's statement in support of the building of an Islamic Mosque and study center near the site fo the Twin Towers.

In his fiercest defense yet of the mosque proposed near Ground Zero, Mayor Bloomberg declared yesterday that it must be allowed to proceed because the government "shouldn't be in the business of picking" one religion over another.

"I think it's fair to say if somebody was going to try, on that piece of property, to build a church or a synagogue, nobody would be yelling and screaming," the mayor said.

"And the fact of the matter is that Muslims have a right to do it, too."

Placing the proposed mosque two blocks from the World Trade Center site has led to an outcry from opponents, including family members of 9/11 victims, who contend the holy place at 45 Park Place would defile the memories of those who perished in the worst terror attack in US history.

What's your opinion? Would a Moslem Mosque "defile the memories of those who perished in the worst terror attack in US history?"

Please leave a comment.

Murder - Suicide in Minnesota

The Northlands News Center reports on this latest tragedy.

What's your opinion? Do you think he would have used a knife if there'd been no gun in the house? Isn't a gun less personal, less hands-on, and therefore an aid to someone like this?

Please leave a comment.

Concealed Carry Guns in Bars

The problem with this is twofold: The pro-gun crowd pretends all the concealed carry guys are responsible, which they're not. And they pretend all the bars are classy eating establishments where families go, which they're not.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Loopholes Loopholes Everywhere

WKTV reports on the issues surrounding a shooting incident which took place in upstate New York last week.

79-year-old Abraham Dickan walked into the store and opened fire with an illegal gun. For now, it's the scene of a crime but gun control advocates are calling it a sign of the times.

"What this how easy it is for someone to possess a gun that is illegal," says Angelo Roefaro, New York State Coordinator for Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

The Coalition says the shooting begs the question, how did a 79-year-old man get his hands on the weapon? They say it could be an example of the loophole law. People cross state lines and buy guns with cash, no questions asked. The Coalition says illegal gun trafficking can happen anywhere.

The New York State Rifle and Pistol Association says loophole law or not, it's up to law enforcement to crack down on who is carrying the gun.

The article provides links to the background stories. Basically, the guy was an angry and unfit gun owner. When his pistol permit was revoked he didn't miss a beat. He picked up an unlicensed gun to continue his aggressive behavior.

What's your opinion? Is it too easy for a guy like this, who is obviously dangerous, to arm himself? Is that just a small price we must pay for the rest of us to enjoy the 2nd Amendment?

What do they mean by "loophole law?" Is that just another way to describe the ease with which disqualified people can cross state lines to buy guns more easily? Or is there more to this "law?" Either way, can we all agree that they're really overusing the word "loophole?"

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

McDonald vs. Chicago

The Huffington Post published a wonderful article by Lonnie Saunders about McDonald vs. Chicago.

I had a front row seat, next to the attorneys for Petitioner Otis McDonald, the 76-year-old South Side African-American grandfather, who brought this action. From the justices' questions, it sure didn't seem like a slam dunk for the gun lobby.

Now, that's a refreshing and hopeful change from what I've been hearing from the pro-gun side. Ms. Saunders goes on to explain in very simple terms the difference between the District of Columbia and Chicago, pointing out the fact that even the conservative Justices favor States Rights in many cases.

Attorney Benna Ruth Solomon, who represents the city of Chicago, explained it this way: "We are defending the right of choice for state and local governments. We are not the party seeking to change the law that has existed for the past 200 years. We are not seeking to impose Chicago's handgun ban on other jurisdictions. Gun regulation decisions should be made based on local conditions."

Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, in particular, have traditionally paid careful heed to states' rights. As Justice Antonin Scalia put it during oral arguments in McDonald, "If there is a constitutional right, we find what the minimum constitutional right is, and everything above that is up to the states. In Heller, we did not decide the concealed carry law. You may have a great deal of divergence from state to state, and on that I suppose the legislature would do statistics. Statistics are not important for judges but they would be for the legislatures."

What's your opinion? Is this decision a slam dunk for the gun rights side? Are the gun control folks just whistling in the dark here?

Please leave a comment.

Jon Stewart on Racism in America

On Topic: In the News - Race in America
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
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Beer Drinking Hunters

FishyJay said, "Here's one that JadeGold should like."

I like it too.

Dennis Hopper R.I.P.