Saturday, March 26, 2011

Surrender..........too late for the slain police officer

from the Star Tribune

Suspect in Ga. police officer's slaying surrenders, frees hostages after demanding TV coverage

Last update: March 26, 2011 - 3:21 AM
ATHENS, Ga. - Holding five hostages in an apartment surrounded by police, the suspect in the slaying of a Georgia police officer made an unusual request to negotiators — he wanted to surrender on live TV.
Jamie Hood, 33, walked out of the apartment late Friday night shirtless and surrounded by five of the nine adults and children he had held captive for hours as he negotiated with federal, state and local authorities. It was a prime-time ending to a four-day manhunt around this quiet college town for Hood, who authorities say killed one police officer and wounded another Tuesday.
The tattooed, head-shaven Hood was immediately swarmed by tactical officers in green fatigues and wielding high-powered guns, patting him down and ordering him to the ground. He did not resist.
"He was convinced he was going to be killed by law enforcement," said Georgia Bureau of Investigation Director Vernon Keenan, who an hour earlier had gone before TV cameras to promise Hood that he would not be harmed if he turned himself in and freed the hostages.
Keenan said Hood, whose brother had been killed by police a decade earlier while Hood was in prison, insisted that his surrender be broadcast live by a news camera crew to ensure he was not harmed.
Investigators said they believe Hood was using cocaine on Friday and that he was armed with a firearm during the standoff.
Police had been searching for Hood since Tuesday, when Athens-Clarke County police officer Elmer "Buddy" Christian was shot and killed while police say he attempted to apprehend Hood. Another officer, Tony Howard, was shot in the face and upper body, and is recovering from his wounds.
The four-day manhunt for Hood led authorities to several locations around Athens-Clarke County, about 75 miles northeast of Atlanta, as they received a flurry of tips about where he might be hiding. Officers descended on an area in east Athens, surrounding an apartment complex and barricading nearby roads.
As the search intensified, Hood reached out to police around 3:40 p.m. on Friday and asked to talk to authorities about surrendering, Keenan said. He told police he was afraid for his life and that he would harm the hostages if his demands were not met, Keenan said.
After hours of negotiations, Hood agreed around 9 p.m. to free four hostages, which authorities saw as a promising sign. Initial reports were that he had eight hostages.
Television cameras trained at the apartment's door showed him emerging along with the remaining hostages, single file and hands in the air, around 11:15 p.m. He was later led to a police car, where TV cameras showed him calmly talking.
Hood's family members and residents from area neighborhoods gathered to watch the hostage situation unfold at a media encampment at a church parking lot near the apartment complex. Several of Hood's relatives waited for updates and prayed it would end without bloodshed.

Can One Learn from a Negligent Discharge?

Tonight, I had my first Negligent Discharge. After cleaning my CMMG conversion kit for my AR-15, I reinstalled the kit into my carbine. I do not own any 22 snap caps- so I cycled a live round to insure it was feeding properly. I then dropped the mag, cycled the bolt a few times (which I thought ejected the round) and dropped the hammer with the gun pointed toward the floor.

And promptly shot my basement floor.

I failed to visually inspect the chamber to insure the weapon was unloaded. Thankfully, no one was hurt (aside from my pride).

my comment:

You are a danger to yourself and others, my friend. The only difference between you and most of the fellow gun slingers is you admit it.

My belief is a person who has proven to be capable of such dangerous stupidity is more likely to do it again in the future than someone who has never done it. Others hotly contest that idea and claim the opposite. A negligent discharge makes a person even more careful and therefore less likely to ever do it again, they say.

I'll bet I know which one you believe.

I have a solution, or I should say a partial solution. The Mike B is King solution formerly known as the One strike you're out rule.
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Oklahoma Rifle Association Against Open Carry

The Officers and Board Members are in opposition to SB 129 for these reasons:

First, The purchase of handguns by persons under the age of 21 is in violation of existing Federal Law.

Second, Allowing citizens, trained or untrained, to carry Rifles and Shotguns either in a scabbard or with a sling on city streets and into business establishments will create an atmosphere of hostility and distrust, not to mention create fear in those in our society who have an aversion to any type of firearm.

Third, The apprehension, created for the Law Enforcement Officers by the open carrying of long guns could create situations resulting in unnecessary use of deadly force.
I found this pleasantly surprising. I knew there were reasonable gun rights enthusiasts, I just haven't met many of them. And to find them in Oklahoma, of all places, was wonderful.

Over at Robert's blog the commenters were pretty much in agreement.  I guess that's why he calls them the "armed intelligentia." 

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Home Defense Advice for Gun Owners

Tam said:

Were I him, I would probably just sell all my guns now, because in this one video, he has handed any future prosecutor a slam-dunk murder conviction in pretty much any conceivable self-defense shooting scenario he could be involved in, short of his house being stormed in broad daylight by a platoon of chainsaw-wielding Hell's Angel zombies. And even then he'd look suspicious.

I said:

For a while I was wondering if he was joking, but in the end I figured we wasn't and that he represents a good percentage of gun owners.

I didn't hear him condone murder. He even said if you do certain things it'll look bad. His advice is to destroy evidence, but not of a murder.

How many passionate gun owners do we know who hate the police and mistrust the government? It's from among them that you get guys like this.
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Why We Need Gun-Owner Licensing and Gun Registration

The way it is now, when the police need to investigate a crime, they need to pussy-foot around the gun dealers. They need to be very careful how they express their REQUEST. And naturally, cooperation is not forthcoming.

The Seattle Times has the story.

Three dozen legislators are taking the State Patrol to task for sending a letter to gun dealers that they fear is an unconstitutional "fishing expedition."

The Patrol, which is searching for one of its semiautomatic rifles that might have been stolen, concedes the letter from an investigator "was not as well worded as it should be," Patrol spokesman Bob Calkins said. "We touched a nerve we had no intention of touching."

A new letter is going out to gun dealers stressing that any information they might provide is voluntary, Calkins said.
What's your opinion? Wouldn't it be faster and better and easier if the police already had this information? Well, you know why they don't right?

Please leave a comment.

Police Brutality in Manaus Brazil

Jon Stewart and Bret Baier

This is an example of why people find Jon Stewart the most trusted, best spoken and funniest guy on TV.

Senator Klein of Arizona

Arizona continues to maintain the crown.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Letter to the Editor

One of our readers sent us this letter he'd written to his local newspaper.  It was not accepted for publication, at least not yet.  What do you think?
As a second amendment supporter and a legal gun owner, the Connecticut law requiring all hand gun owners to take a NRA course on gun safety and purchase a $ 125 eligibility certificate is a prominent example of political corruption and influence peddling in the American political process.  The so called gun control law in Connecticut is nothing more than political corruption by the NRA that only benefits their own members and does nothing to stem the flow of illegal guns or reduce the amount of gun fatalities in Connecticut

The $ 125 eligibility certificate is a prime example of how politicians and political lobby groups like the NRA are all part of the same problem. Instead of limiting the options of Connecticut residents to only paying an NRA certified instructor to obtain an eligibility certificate to purchase a hand gun , the same corrupt politicians who were influenced by the second most powerful political action committee in America, should have included an option for Connecticut residents to take a gun safety class at a local police station.

A recent article by the Connecticut Post, Target shifts to gun lessons (Connecticut Post March 14, 2011), reveals that local police stations do have the resources to offer the same type of class to the citizens they serve and should be an option for Connecticut residents who may not want to support the National Rifle Association with the $ 125 eligibility certificate.

The recent article, Target shifts to gun lessons was about a local police department offering a ‘citizens police academy’ designed to provide citizens knowledge and understanding of how that local police department operates.  Although the real motivation of the local police department to offer a ‘citizens police academy’ was a public relations maneuver to overcome the negative publicity of a June 2009 accident in which two teenagers were killed by police car speeding at over 90 mph, the article proves that police departments do have the resources to provide local gun training to citizens.
Although proclaimed to be a gun control measure by the left wing politicians who passed the legislation, the entire $ 125 fee associated with the NRA issued eligibility certificate goes directly to the National Rifle Association. Not a single dollar goes to the state to fund gun control measures like tracking illegal guns or promoting gun safety programs like trigger locks. The $ 125 fee is a text book example of legalized corruption and influencing peddling in American politics.  If the NRA had the interests of all citizens and not just its members, the NRA would have supported legislation that included the option to go to a local police department for the required eligibility certificate and gun safety training.

In addition to assisting citizens to fulfill the state statue that requires all hand gun owners to pass a gun safety class, having local police departments offer the class enables local police to see firsthand who is purchasing handguns and to personally meet the citizens they serve. 

At a time when the public is debating the salaries of public servants, local governments and police departments should be providing more services to the citizens who pay their salaries and fund their pensions. Offering to provide gun safety classes to citizens who want to exercise their second amendment privilege and not be forced to pay a $125 “fee” to own a handgun would be a good step towards removing some of the legalized corruption in the American political process.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Gun Violence versus Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness - AGAIN: the Indiana School Shootings

A 15-year-old boy who was expelled this week opened fire at his central Indiana middle school before classes began Friday, shooting another teen student in the stomach, police said. The incident sparked an hours-long school lockdown as hundreds of panicked parents awaited word on their children.
State Police Sgt. Curt Durnil said Chance Jackson, 15, was in critical but stable condition at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, where he was taken by helicopter after the shooting at Martinsville West Middle School just after 7 a.m.
Police arrested the former student suspected in the attack on the south side of Martinsville about an hour after the shooting, and are interviewing him at the county jail, Durnil said. Morgan County prosecutors are reviewing possible charges against the boy, he said.
Police refused to speculate on a possible motive in the shooting. Durnil said the teen in custody had been suspended then expelled from the school this week and was not supposed to be on campus. He said he did not know why the student was expelled.
"We have no motive at all at this point. We're talking to witnesses and schools officials to get to the bottom of it," he said.
Durnil declined to address reports that the shooting may have stemmed from a dispute that started at a school dance last weekend.
"We're still looking at all angles, to be sure," Durnil said.
Classmates told The Associated Press that Jackson and the shooting suspect had a volatile relationship and had argued before.
Morgan Lanfair, an 18-year-old student at a local high school, said she and the suspect have been friends for two years. She said he has been in trouble at school before but that she didn't think he "would go through with something like this."
Jackson's family released a statement Friday afternoon that said the teen was out of surgery and in stable condition. The family asked the public to pray "for the families of all involved."
Police found the handgun used in the shooting in a field near the school, which is about 30 miles south of Indianapolis, Durnil said. He said police were not looking for any other suspects in the shooting.
One neighbor reported hearing two gunshots, but Martinsville Police Chief Jon Davis said he did not know how many times the victim was shot. Durnil also said it was unclear how many shots were fired. "

A Young George Carlin - Almost

Taco Bell Shootings

We've all heard about the guy who got upset at the burrito price recently, but did you know there've been a few other incidents?

Fast food restaurants are often used for meeting places and Taco Bell is not the only franchise to experience violence on its doorstep. However, the recent spate of shootings around the country at Taco Bell restaurants should raise questions about the safety of customers and employees.
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Rural Florida Continues to Amaze

The Miami herald reports.

A Panhandle neighborhood has likely lost its two-year fight to keep a neighboring gun range quiet.

The Santa Rosa County Commission voted unanimously Monday morning to consider an ordinance reversing an earlier regulation that had silenced the range. Commissioners told disappointed homeowners they face a $5 million state fine under proposed legislation that penalizes any local government that tries to impose almost any aspect of gun control.

The county silenced the Gulf Breeze range in 2009 after neighbors complained about the noise and about finding stray bullets on their properties.

Commissioners are expected to vote to change the local ordinance on Thursday morning.
I mean, it was just a few stray bullets on their property, and the noise, how bad could that be? [/sarcasm]

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Gun Responsibility

 Mercury News reports.

A 78-year-old Northern California man is facing gun charges after authorities say his 3-year-old great-grandson accidentally shot himself with a handgun. 
Shasta County District Attorney Steve Carlton told the Record Searchlight that John Edward Stepp faces a misdemeanor charge of failing to properly store a firearm that allowed the boy access to the loaded 9-millimeter gun. 

Carlton termed the shooting as "100 percent avoidable."

Investigators say Grady Stepp shot himself with a gun at his great-grandfather's home outside Shingletown on Feb. 13, causing damage to both lobes of his brain.
MISDEMEANOR? Are you kidding me?

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Arpaio and Seagal

Chris Brown sent us the link. I'd already seen the story and felt ambivalent about posting it. I'll tell you why. It sounded so crazy that I wondered if it had been invented or if it were satire. Anyway, here it is on The Daily Kos.

St. Petersburg Florida - Another Murder

Why is it so hard for people to connect the dots? Gun availability plays a terribly deadly role in what's going on down there. The guns used in the incidents described in the video, which covers only a couple weeks, were not manufactured in somebody's criminal workshop or basement, like Zorroy keeps saying. These were guns that were diverted from the lawful gun-owning world into that of the criminal. Proper laws, which are severely lacking in Florida, would prevent much of that gun flow.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Denver - 2 Dead 3 Wounded

Seattlepi reports

Denver police are looking for two men suspected of killing two people and critically wounding three others in a shooting.

Two men walked into an apartment and there was a confrontation with one of the victims, followed by gunfire. All five victims were in the same apartment when the suspects entered.

Police say three others are in critical condition but are expected to survive. Officials say they don't know what the relationship is between the shooters and the victims.
What's the pro-gun solution? Fewer gun restrictions. Often they side-step the gun-availibility part of the problem altogether and say we need to be tougher on violent criminals. I say, we already are tough on violient criminals, and perhaps we need to be tougher, but in the meantime we should make it harder for them to get guns, not easier.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Maybe Mary Rosh Did It

There's been a wonderfully entertaining dust-up between John Lott and Chris Brown.  You can read about it on the Media Matters site.

It seems John tried to get a little tricky, but he should have known you'd have to get up pretty early in the morning to sell Chris Brown the Brooklyn Bridge. [/mixed metaphors]

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Thursday, March 24, 2011 fact-checks Ann Coulter - like a hockey player hip checks an opposing player

Coulter, like so many of the conservative right wingnuts got her science seriously wrong.  Again.

It's part of their anti-intellectual posing.  But when Coulter claims that the news media is not accurately reflecting that radiation is good for you, as she opines for reasons of sensationalism, she lies.

Here is the legitimate science, unlike the well-rotted maure that passes for thought between Coulter's ears (and which would be better used as fertilizer on someone's roses).

Here is what had to say:

"There is a growing body of evidence that radiation in excess of what the government says are the minimum amounts you should be exposed to are actually good for you and reduce cases of cancer," Coulter said.

Before you go sticking your head in the X-ray machine, a little perspective is in order here. While there are scientists who subscribe to the theory that low levels of radiation can have beneficial health effects -- it's called hormesis -- it is still an outside-the-mainstream opinion.

"There is not a shred of evidence that radiation is good for you," said Eric Hall, director of the Center for Radiological Research at Columbia University in New York City.

As for hormesis, Hall said, "No one in the mainstream believes it."

Said Fred Mettler, a radiation expert at the University of New Mexico: "Ms. Coulter -- who I find very enjoyable -- might be better sticking to political opinions."

Mettler, the U.S. representative for the United Nations committee on the health effects of radiation, pointed us to a chapter on hormesis from his book, Medical Effects of Ionizing Radiation.  In the book, Mettler calls hormesis "a concept that is controversial at best."

Pursuit-- of WHAT?

From MN KSTP television news web site:
Overnight Police Chase Reaches Speeds of 85 mph Thursday
An overnight police chase that started in Minneapolis and ended in Ramsey County reached speeds of up to 85 miles per hour Thursday morning.
5 EYEWITNESS NEWS followed the chase using Traffic Management Cameras as a car raced through the metro.
It started around midnight in Minneapolis, when police say they responded to a call for shots fired. (my emphasis added - DG)        The chase ended nearly an hour later at the corner of Sylvan Street and Larpentuer in Ramsey County.Officers there used what are called "stop sticks" and a pit maneuver to stop the suspect.  Police say one person was taken into custody.
Oh, look!  Even when no one is actually killed or injured directly by firearms, the rest of the city - in this case at least two cities, because this started in Minneapolis and concluded in St. Paul, MN - we are exposed to greater danger. 

This was a danger that would not have occurred without the catalyst of firearms.

Life liberty and the pursuit of happiness?  Or the high speed pursuit of reckless drivers who also apparently are reckless in discharging firearms in high density urban surroundings?

Lets here a rousing chorus, do sing along at your respective computers, for being free - free for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and for the safety of all the people we love (and ourselves) to be free from the risk of firearm violence:

(It just fit my mood - hope whether you agree or disagree, it gives you each a smile.  There is nothing like a little "Queen" to get the blood circulating.)

Man Kills Wife, Self..........with a Firearm

from KSAX, the local Alexandria MN area television news station:      Police: Man Kills Wife, Self in Park Rapids Police in north central Minnesota say a man killed himself after fatally shooting his wife, who had a restraining order against him. Park Rapids police say Dawn Anderson called 911 Tuesday night and said her husband, Greg Duane Anderson, was threatening to kill her. Chief Terry Eilers says dispatchers could hear some loud noise in the background, then the phone went dead. One of the couple's two sons also called for help and told authorities his father had a high-powered hunting rifle. Eilers says when officers arrived at the home they found the couple on the deck outside, both were unresponsive. KSAX reports Greg Anderson had been living at a halfway house in the Moorhead area.(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
So, except for the unfortunate people who are dead, isn't it just wonderful how free that 2nd Amendment is making all of us.......except of course, for having to worry about becoming one of those unfortunate firearm casualties, or experiencing the loss of someone we love to one of those firearm casualties.....  It does seem that we have a problem with those 2nd Amendment rights colliding with that inalienable right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness......and Life seems to be losing way too often.  These recent stories are from Minnesota sources; Minnesota does not a particularly high rate compared to other states in the U.S. for violent crime or for domestic abuse.  Statistically red states are higher in those categories, as well as being higher in rates of divorce, despite all the lip service given to 'family values' by conservatives; (MN is largely a blue state).

As I prepare to hit 'publish', I'm already waiting to see what gunloons are going to assert that the correct solution to the above situation was for there to be more guns in play.  So let me point out that by that reasoning, we would still have at least one (and possibly more) firearm deaths.

I would point out here, before the gunloons have their knee-jerky reflex, that other first world, industrialized / developed countries - I would point to the UK as an example - have dramatically lower firearm deaths per 100,000; and also lower crime rates as well.  I would argue to this blogs readers that they are not only AS free as anyone in the U.S., but because they have less risk of death by firearms, they are MORE free than we are in the U.S.A. to live their lives in peace, and safety.

Tea Party Hypocrisy

Provocative as Usual

via Ramona's Voices

Yes, provocative and nutty, as usual.

New Slogan

Coined by Flying Junior:

What the fuck is wrong with people? Unless you are into killing people, you really don't need guns.

Aurora, Colorado's Finest

The Denver Post reports.

For the fourth time this year, and the third time in less than a week, Aurora police late Sunday night shot and killed a suspect — an unprecedented string that has left several officers injured and many more on edge.

Police responding to a possible theft in progress found three men in the lot, Carlson said. The suspects got in a truck and tried to drive off.

Investigators still are piecing together a sequence of events and attempting to determine who shot whom, Carlson said. Police also are investigating whether the driver drove at an officer and hit him with the truck.

Two of the men in the truck were hit by bullets. One died at a local hospital. The second is being treated at a hospital. The third man is being treated for injuries believed to have been sustained in a post-shooting crash.
I guess it's a natural response to the increase in policemen killed in the line of duty, but the Aurora cops still have a ways to go before they take the crown from some of their counterparts accross the country.

What's your opinion?  Are policemen adequately trained to handle the danger and stress of their increasingly dangerous job?

Please leave a comment.

Another Sick, Travesty of Justice

In Montana they go to any length to protect their so-called lawful gun owners, even sacrificing their own children.

An 11-year-old Great Falls boy accused of the negligent homicide of a 10-year-old boy could, if convicted, face juvenile detention until he's an adult, according to documents filed Monday by the Cascade County Attorney's Office.
This is something all gun owners can be proud of, especially the tough, personal-responsibility types. I mean, why would the dad have to answer for something like this? He did his best to teach the boy.

Gregg Zindell told GFPD detectives that he had taught his son "strict, strict, strict rules" about gun safety, including that he should only shoot under adult supervision, that he should keep the gun's bolt open until ready to fire and that other people should be at least five feet behind when he is shooting.

Gregg Zindell told detectives that his son wasn't even allowed to point toy guns at others, court documents stated.
Better would be if we lock up old Greg for a year or so, take his gun rights away, which he obviously is not responsible enough to handle, and give the kid some kind of juvenile counselling and probation.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

The Utah Gun Culture

In the great state of Utah, where they have their own state gun, when a kid gets in trouble and wants to make up a cover story, what does he say?

Police say a 14-year-old Utah boy was trying to cover up for falling and ripping his new pants when he reported a bullet grazed him. 

South Salt Lake police Sgt. Mikael Wersland told the Salt Lake Tribune that the teen reported the shooting Tuesday evening. Police say about 10 witnesses told them they did not hear any gunfire in the area at the time.
Wersland says the boy "fell down and tore the knee" of his pants, but lied about being grazed by a bullet because he didn't want to get into trouble. The sergeant says the teen only suffered a "scrape where he fell down."

The boy has not been identified. It was not immediately known whether he would be charged with any crime. 
Should he be charged with a crime? Absolutely, felony lying to the partents, and he should be tried as an adult. How else is he gonna learn?

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Two GA Cops Shot - One Dead

The Washington Post reports. A traffic stop turned into a shootout, one cop dead, one suspect at large.

A total of 162 officers died in the line of duty last year, up from 117 in 2009. Before the Georgia shootings, so far this year, 49 lost their lives, a 20 percent rise from the same time last year.
Yet, selfish pro-gun apologists insist it has nothing to do with gun availability. I say they're wrong. It has everytihing to do with it.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Olbermann on Lonesome Roads Beck

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Update to the Two Students - Now the Second Student is Dead, and a Third Victim is Identified

The update from the STrib is here, the shooter is identified as the male student, who died of his injuries which were self-inflicted.. 

The third victim? Their 7 month old daughter.  While it is not specified, she may very well have been in the home at the time of the shooting, a murder-suicide.
The teens were living at the home, just west of Amor, with Cox's parents.
Sheriff Brian Schleueter said Cox shot Belmonte and used the same gun to kill himself. Two semiautomatic handguns were recovered from the scene, the Sheriff's Office said.
Cox's Facebook page includes "suicidesytem" as part of its web address and lists 1960s mass killer Charles Manson as among "people who inspire" him.
The Forum of Fargo and other news reports said that he and Belmonte are survived by a 7-month-old daughter.
My emphasis added.  I wonder if those two semiautomatic handguns were for home protection?

So, just how safe was that, really, as it turns out?

Incredibly Dramatic DGU

via Fat White Man

Not only incredibly dramatic, but extremely rare too.

When a burly ex-convict forced his way into a posh Florida home last week, he had no idea what awaited him -- a 25-year-old beauty queen with a pink .38-caliber handgun.

Meghan Brown, a former Florida pageant queen, shot and killed 42-year-old Albert Franklin Hill during a home invasion March 12 at the 2,732-square-foot house she shares with her fiance in Tierra Verde, Fla.

Hill barged into the home at around 3 a.m. after Brown responded to a knock at the front door, according to a police report. He allegedly grabbed the 110-pound Brown around her nose and mouth and dragged her to an upstairs bedroom.

The woman’s fiance, Robert Planthaber, said in an interview that he was quickly awakened by the altercation and ran to Brown’s side.

"I attacked him and took a severe beating to the head," Planthaber told "But I got him off of her long enough for her to scramble to the room where she keeps her pink .38 special.”
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Police Shoot Unarmed Man on Video

via The Truth About Guns where Brad opened up with this incredible sentence. "Never mind whether or not the officer in question was justified in shooting the perp." He goes on to talk about whether the shooting was offensive or defensive, which I couldn't quite distinguish from justified or not.

To me it's manslaughter, pure and simple.

A Gun Story

A secretary at one of the criminal defense law firms in a large city in shall issue state had been carrying a glock pistol in her purse. Her reason for this, of course, was self-protection. After all, the people who came into the office were those facing criminal charges. Some of these people were violent criminals. 

It made sense in her mind to carry a gun for protection. 10 years of carrying the gun, she never used it.

But after 10 years, her purse was stolen from the office--along with the gun--a couple of weeks back. 

The really amazing part was that the video cameras in the building got fried in a power outage. That meant the video footage was missing that would help to identify the culprit. That means the gun in now out on the street and in the hands of a criminal.

This story, which I figure is quite illustrative of one of the problems with carrying, was sent by a friend who shall remain nameless. I have every reason to believe it's a true story. The only question is how representative is it?

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Chris Brown on John Lott's Criticism

via Media Matters, Chris makes mincemeat of Lott's recent statement on Big Government which we looked at the other day.

The gun lobby's case against the Obama administration has regularly been short on facts, and it's no surprise that Lott wants to get in on the action. We've debunked Lott's various assertions on background checks and guns shows, and many questions regarding his apparent disregard for scientific rigor, creation of a fake internet persona and allegations that he fabricated survey results have been documented (here, here, here, here, here and here). 
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Acting Out the Fantasy

"This series take us inside Ted's head as he trains competitors to survive in the wilderness, creates challenges to test their abilities and mentally pushes them to their breaking points," said Bob Kusbit, head of development for CMT. "It's a game of cat-and-mouse that showcases the strategy and skill of outdoor survival, as only Ted can do."
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Rural Florida at Its Gun Loving Best

via Reuters

Helen Staudinger, 92, wanted a kiss.

But authorities say after her 53-year-old neighbor refused, the central Florida woman aimed a semi-automatic pistol at his house and fired four times.

"If my head would have been over just a little bit further, (a bullet) probably would have hit me in the back of the head," the neighbor, Dwight Bettner, told Reuters.

Staudinger remained in jail on Tuesday, a day after being arrested on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and shooting into a dwelling.
What's your opinion? Is it wrong to malign the entire State of Florida because of stories like this, even if they seem to have more than their share of them?

Please leave a comment.

South Dakota Priorities

CNN reports on the latest infringement on the rights of women in South Dakota.
A new South Dakota law requiring a woman to get counseling at a "pregnancy help center" and wait 72 hours after a physician assessment before having an abortion appears destined for a legal challenge.

Law opponents say the waiting period would be the longest in the nation.
How do you suppose that compares to the rights of MEN to buy guns?

Please leave a comment.

The Five Moral Realms

via Laci from a fascinating article entitled Liberals Aren’t Un-American. Conservatives Aren’t Ignorant in the Utne Reader.

1. Harm/care: It is wrong to hurt people; it is good to relieve suffering.

2. Fairness/reciprocity: Justice and fairness are good; people have certain rights that need to be upheld in social interactions.

3. In-group loyalty: People should be true to their group and be wary of threats from the outside. Allegiance, loyalty, and patriotism are virtues; betrayal is bad.

4. Authority/respect: People should respect social hierarchy; social order is necessary for human life.

5. Purity/sanctity: The body and certain aspects of life are sacred. Cleanliness and health, as well as their derivatives of chastity and piety, are all good. Pollution, contamination, and the associated character traits of lust and greed are all bad.

Haidt’s research reveals that liberals feel strongly about the first two dimensions—preventing harm and ensuring fairness—but often feel little, or even feel negatively about the other three. Conservatives, on the other hand, are drawn to loyalty, authority, and purity, which liberals tend to think of as backward or outdated. People on the right acknowledge the importance of harm prevention and fairness but not with quite the same energy or passion as those on the left.

Of the five moral realms, the one that causes the most friction between cosmopolitan liberals and traditionalist conservatives is purity/sanctity. To a 21st-century secular liberal, the concept barely registers. Haidt notes it was part of the Western vocabulary as recently as the Victorian era but lost its force in the early 20th century when modern rules of proper hygiene were codified. With the physical properties of contamination understood, the moral symbolism of impurity no longer carried much weight.
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Two More Students Involved in a Shooting - One Dead, One Hospitalized

1 Teen shot dead, another wounded in W. Minn. home; schools locked down
Minneapolis Star Tribune, by Paul Walsh

A 16-year-old girl was fatally shot and a 17-year-old boy was wounded at his home in western Minnesota, authorities said Tuesday.

The shooting near Amor was reported about 9 p.m. Monday to the Otter Tail County Sheriff's Office, which added that "this incident is isolated to this residence, and there is no threat to the community at large." No arrests have been made.

The girl, a sophomore at Perham High School whose name has not be released, was dead at the scene, the Sheriff's Office said. The boy, Dylan Cox, was taken to Sanford Hospital in Fargo. Cox was a student at the high school "for a while," said Perham-Dent School District Superintendent Tamara Uselman.
So........who is going to be blamed / held responsible for this particular gun violence? 

Are we going to acknowledge the loss of the priceless treasure embodied by our children? 

How about the consideration of this as bloody?

The countdown begins: 10.........9.........8...... for the pro-gun assertion that we would all be better off if we lived in a vigilante-style society with more guns, not less....7.........6.........5.........4........3.......2......1

Who will be first?  Step up, don't be shy....

11-year-old Arrested

CBS New York reports.

An 11-year-old boy was arrested on charges of bringing a loaded gun to school on Friday.

Police told the New York Post that the boy arrived at Public School 140 in the Jamaica, Queens and bragged to a friend that he had a pistol in his book bag.

The police said the friend told a school safety officer, and the officer checked the boy’s bag and found a loaded Glock 9mm semiautomatic gun.

The boy was arrested on charges of criminal possession of a weapon. His name was not released because of his age.
As Eminem said, "where were the parents at?"  I say the whole family should be immediately arrested for child abuse. If it turns out the kid was an extremely prococious gang member, then the famlily can be exonerated.  If the gun came from dad or big brother, they take the weight.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Rene Jaquez, Academy Award Nominee

Also nominated are all those gun bloggers who are trying to say this is a big deal.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

My Feelings About the New War (and the Old Ones Too)

Crown of Creation

Gun control folks to gun rights advocates, think about it.

In loyalty to their kind
they cannot tolerate our minds.
In loyalty to our kind
we cannot tolerate their obstruction.

The Cost of the War in Libya

via Norwegianity from Crooks and Liars

And of course we can afford this -- it never means raising taxes on the rich. From my buddy Scarce who helps me here and shared this with our group.

Deep Thought -- U.S. fires 110 tomahawk missiles, each costs $569,000. That's more than 5 years of NPR federal funding in less than an hour.

We've got to have our priorities, don't you know.
What's your opinion? Are those priorities off?

Please leave a comment.

Gaddafi: Long War

via The Huffington Post

The puppeteers who pull Obama's strings shouted, "Hooray."

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

NRA Type Shoots Outside the Bun

Yes, indeed.   Apparently, in gun-friendly Texas, you can shoot at cops if Taco Bell raises the price on your Beefy Crunch Burritos:
The Associated Press reports that a Taco Bell customer bought seven Beefy Crunch Burritos and was enraged to find out that the price had gone from 99 cents to $1.49.

Upset about the price change, the man then allegedly fired an air gun at an employee and later fired an assault rifle at officers during a traffic stop after the Taco Bell incident. The man ended up barricading himself into a hotel room for three hours before San Antonio police used tear gas to drive him out.
I'm sorry, but you're in Texas and you're getting your Mexican food from Taco Bell????

Monday, March 21, 2011

Guns in Bars Again

Disgruntled NRA Member asked to leave bar on Ladies Night
 It's all good fun until the shootin' starts:

VAIL — Richard Moreau, a long-time Vail resident, allegedly opened fire in a popular bar here Saturday night killing one man and wounding three, police said.


Why? Who benefits from this?

From my morning peruse of the Mpls. MN STrib (Star Tribune):
Fond du Lac police Officer Craig Birkholz, 28, was shot in the upper chest and killed, police Chief Tony Barthuly said. K-9 Officer Ryan Williams was shot twice and was taken to an area hospital, where he was in critical condition, Barthuly said. Williams' dog, Grendel, also was shot.
A third officer, Zach Schultz, was injured on a stairwell in the house. Police say Schultz was not injured by gunfire.
Birkholz had been with the Fond du Lac Police Department for two years and had served in Iraq and Afghanistan with the Army. He is survived by his wife, his parents and a brother.
I was struck this morning while having the news on in the background that this man, this police officer, who was killed survived our military conflicts only to be killed back home in Wisconsin, by a man with prior criminal problems who was being investigated for a sexual assualt.  The police officer's death occurred despite bullet proof vests.

What a terrible waste.  It puts the issue of our gun ownership in starker perspective, given the statistics for fire arm deaths in other, comparable western / industrialized counries.

Is our gun ownership policy worth this?

Mudrake on the New War

In his typically eloquent fashion, our friend Mudrake described the latest insanity.

Three military adventures, two of which have proven futile and extremely expensive. The loss of blood-treasure is incalculable. Yet, neither the Democrats nor Republicans proposed cuts to the bloated Pentagon budget. One trillion dollars. No cuts. Apparently the citizens of the United States, through their congressional representatives, feel that a strong military is essential to the functioning of this nation. National Public Radio, no; bombs, yes. Odd priorities. School funding, cuts. EPA, Amtrak, National Endowment for the Arts, cuts. Job-training programs, National Institute of Health, Center for Disease Control, cuts.

Is this what the citizens of this nation really want? Do we want cuts to our quality of life, our safety, our health and culture so that we can build more submarines? If so, we are a pathetic people.
What's your opinion? Does that describe it pretty well?

Please leave a comment.

Bill Maher on Just About Everything

He covers the NRA in less than a minute.

Another War

On That Mr. G Guy's Blog there's a post up entitled Obama's War.

After quoting from the UN Resolution giving the good countries permission to attack one of the bad countries, which everyone knows is a thinly disguised charade to pretend the US is not behind all this world policing, Mike (Mr. G Guy) had this to say.

That is the ultimate irony…that Obama who was sooo against the “Bush wars” would turn around and involve the US military in another war without even asking the Congress for approval. Obama wears his hypocrisy like a General wears his combat ribbons.
I'm in total agreement with that, after having been an Obama supporter and defender long enough. That period of my life ended when he announced an escalation of the Afghanistan action in the West Point speech a year or so ago.

The only thing I might question is the use of the word "hypocrisy." I'm not sure that's exactly right, I was thinking more like, "behaviour spineless, wishy-washy, political lackey who does what the hell he's told," as George so clearly explained.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Interesting Health Statistics from Kaiser health news web site

I came across this site online from Kaiser while researching a quite different topic for a penigma post, and thought it would be appropriate here.  I was researching how red states compare with blue states for effectiveness of political ideology as measured by various statistics in comparison, like crime and population in prison.

This is an interactive map, by clicking on state you can see that state's gun death statistic.  It is worth noting that the highest rates for gun deaths are among the red states, but not all of them - for example South Dakota and Nebraska are also among the lowest gun death states. 

In that red state blue state series, one of my commenters suggested there was greater freedom in higher gun ownership.  I argued back that there is no great freedom - or safety - in putting greater numbers of people behind bars, or in being dead from a shooting.

Check out your state!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

John Lott on the Obama Statement

Included in a list of items proving that Obama is still and always the gun-rights Antichrist, John had an innovative way of explaining the National Parks legislation which is one of the few concrete gun decisions made during Obama's presidency, and one which is clearly pro-gun.

In fact, Obama allowed the change in regarding the guns in national parks, not because he supported the idea, but because it was a very popular amendment to a bill that he wanted, the “Cardholders’ Bill of Rights Act of 2009.”
It's creative ideas like that which make Prof. Lott stand out among gun bloggers. Then presuming his superficial arguments have been convincing, and that contrary to evidence we now believe the president has been pushing for "more gun regulations," he goes on to say this.

Obama’s push for more gun regulations begs a question he refuses to address. When have any of the laws that he has supported previously reduced crime rates? It would be nice if some in the press, including Dionne, would actually ask whether the previous background check changes reduced crime rates. Yet, again, may be they don’t ask the question because they already know the answer.
Talk about creative, talk about innovative, was that a slick way to link to one's own book on Amazon or what?

The fact is, what "they already know" is that "more guns, less crime" is a ridiculous idea that is only supported by biased gun owners desperate for justification.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

A Compelling Argument for Guns on Campus

A woman sexually assaulted in a campus parking garage by a convicted killer and rapist told state lawmakers Friday that she could have defended herself if she were allowed to carry a concealed weapon at the University of Nevada, Reno.

"I would have at some point during my rape been able to stop James Biela," Amanda Collins told the Senate Committee on Government Affairs during emotional testimony.

Collins testified in favor of a bill sponsored by Sen. John Lee, D-North Las Vegas. The bill would remove a requirement that people who hold a concealed weapons permit obtain permission from a college or university president to carry a gun on campus.
It's certainly hard to argue with that. But, isn't using the emotional appeal what gun control folks are supposed to be doing? It's funny how the more you read these stories the more you see the hypocritical double standard employed by the gun rights movement.

Getting beyond the emotional appeal of this woman's testimony, we find ourselves back with the same old arguments. Would guns on campus do more good than harm?

My questions run something like this:

1. Aren't forced rapes, like what happened in the parking garage in this case, only a tiny percentage of the violence done to women, most of which is done by acquaintances?

2. Wouldn't allowing guns on campuses, which might be useful in extremely rare incidents, also increase the numbers of gun-theft, negligent discharges and blatant misuse?

3. Wouldn't the presence of guns impede open dialogue between student and teacher which is often heated and passionate?

For me the answer is clear and no emotional appeal, however tragic, can change it. Guns are bad news for college campuses.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Winston Dorian on the Obama Statement

On his blog, 2nd Amendment, Shooting and Firearms Blog, Winston didn't really have anything new and interesting to say, but a couple things struck me as noteworthy.

What he chose to do this week is to make a thinly veiled call for gun owners to willingly give up our rights by calling on us to seek “agreement on gun reforms.” But gun owners will not be fooled by this cynical ruse.
"Cynical ruse?" Is that what he meant? Maybe that's one of those lawyer expressions, but I just don't get it.

He goes on to repeat much of what we've heard from the pro-gun side these last days. But the final paragraph is pretty amazing.

NRA has responded to the President’s op-ed (click here to read our response) and has declined the invitation to join in any discussions that have the obvious intent of diminishing our rights. And NRA will continue to decline any such invitations as long as President Obama’s anti-gun actions contradict his misleading campaign rhetoric.
Maybe I'm the last to know, it wouldn't be the first time, but is old Winston an NRA Board Member or does he speak for them in some other capacity. He referred to the official NRA statement as "our response." Of course he could be just a dues-paying member, but expressing it like that would be a bit over-blown, don't you think?

But the best thing about the summation paragraph is the description of Obama's actions.

as long as President Obama’s anti-gun actions contradict his misleading campaign rhetoric

What anti-gun actions do you suppose he's referring to? As president, the only actions taken have been pro-gun, the National Parks and the Amtrak trains. Even the president's inaction has been pro-gun, one could say. So what is Winston talking about?

I suspect that even Winston himself doesn't know.  It seems to me he's doing what so many pro-gun bloggers do, he's repeating the NRA talking points without even considering their merit.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Reporting Multiple Sales

Winston Dorian has the story.

The BATFE is demanding the authority to require all of the 8,500 firearm dealers in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas to report all sales of two or more semiautomatic rifles within five consecutive business days, if the rifles are larger than .22 caliber and use detachable magazines. Yet, under existing law, the bureau has full access to every record of every firearm transaction by every licensed dealer, whether during a bona fide criminal investigation or simply to enforce compliance with record keeping requirements. This reporting scheme would create a registry of owners of many of today’s most popular rifles–firearms owned by millions of Americans for self-defense, hunting and other lawful purposes.
You'd think that guys like the gun-rights folks, who continually accuse their opponents of lying, would strive to keep it a bit cleaner themselves. But, you'd be wrong. In fact, all their accusations are just a smoke screen. The most mendacious and the best manipulative spinsters are the pro-gun fanatics themselves.

Example:The last sentence in the statement above which describes the dangerous attempt on the government's part to record multiple sales.

If they were a bit more honest, it would have said this:

This reporting scheme would create a registry of owners WHO BOUGHT TWO OR MORE IN A FIVE-DAY PERIOD of many, BUT NOT ALL, of today’s most popular rifles–firearms owned by millions of Americans for self-defense, hunting and other lawful purposes.

But they didn't say that. What they said was designed to give the impression that the government wants to compile a list of ALL gun buyers, which triggers the expected knee-jerk reaction of resistance on the part of the gun owning public.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Unarmed Hero

via Norwegianity from Nick Coleman's The State We're In

Mohamed Sawky is 39 and a U.S. Army veteran who is studying for a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership at St. Catherine’s University, with a concentration in Dispute Resolution. As the thief shouted at him to get out of the way, Mohamed resolved to end this particular dispute right here, right now. “No,” he told the guy. The guy then shoved Mohamed and sprinted for the door. Mohamed turned and sprinted after him. He nabbed him on the sidewalk, holding on and ducking as the thief tossed wild punches at him, landing a couple of hard ones before Mohamed wrestled him down on the sidewalk. It wasn’t easy.
Lucky for this thief, and the rest of the Starbucks customers, that no armed men were in there. That would have made things worse, don't you think?

Please leave a comment.